(phone buzzes)

March 2, 2010

Sunday afternoon, and I’d been wanting to see Up in the Air for ages, it was hardly showing anywhere any more, but it was still on at the Vue in Leicester Square, so me and Steven headed into town. It’s not a bad cinema if you’re in Screen 5 or 7, but this was in one of the slightly rubbish basement screens that really don’t justify the Leicester Square tax. The place seemed kind of empty, we figured it was because of the torrential rain that morning, but then the woman who checked our tickets told us that it was a showing with English subtitles for the deaf. Not ideal, but seeing as we were already there we thought we might as well, so down the escalator clutching our overpriced snacks we went.¬†You could tell the place was way past its glory days when the first two rows we tried to sit down turned out to have the bottom part of one of the seats missing. We finally found some proper seats, and after the usual 20 minutes of ads and trailers, the film started. Right from the start, the subtitles got in the way. Did we really need the lyrics to the opening song spoiling the carefully considered opening credits? And once the dialogue kicked in, the battle was on to try not to look at the words, which appeared just a little too soon before they were spoken. Even when there wasn’t any dialogue, we were subjected to bracketed annotations such as (phone buzzes) and (Alex giggles).

Still, we enjoyed the movie nonetheless, and afterwards we repaired to Cha Cha Moon, an old haunt we hadn’t visited for ages, for some restorative wonton. We sat on the high chairs (I like sitting on high chairs) and chatted about this and that.

It was all good quality time. Just quality time with unexpected subtitles.



August 23, 2009

About a year ago, I received an email from a poncey New York hotel chain alerting me to the news that one of their hotels had been “reimagined” by a designer with a European sounding name. Brilliant. How much classier it sounded than a mere redesign. And it wasn’t just the hotel people that were at it – movie folk soon realised that reimagining a film sounded less of a cop-out than just remaking it.

This year, that’s all changed. Film studios have ditched the flair of reimagination and are now “rebooting” film franchises instead. I quite like this too. “OK,” it seems to admit, “perhaps we went overboard with the tenth, eleventh and twelfth films in the series. But be assured that we have now realised the error of our ways, gone back to basics and actually put something like a proper plot in this one.”

And how do I know of this latest term? Because I managed to score a couple of last-minute tickets to Movie Con II, a somewhat unholy alliance between Empire and the BFI. Steven and I spent last weekend geeking out to film clips from a bunch of upcoming films as well as Q&As with some of the directors.

Normally, such an event would have me twittering, or tweeting if you prefer, like crazy. But because of an anti-piracy ban on phones, I found myself deprived of my addiction. So like a true addict, I found a way round it.

Welcome to the world of paper tweets. (Click to embiggen.)


Gay Man

February 14, 2009


I love San Francisco, the 70s and men. So it was kind of a no-brainer that we would go and see Milk, the film about gay 70s San Francisco politician Harvey Milk.

The Curzon Soho was abuzz with nice young gay men and lesbians. A slightly more earnest and less buffed crowd than you’d find a stone’s throw away on Old Compton Street, and all the better for it.

The film itself was good – San Francisco looked lovely, so did the 70s, so did the men. And one man in particular. A lady friend of mine had previously recommended Mr James Franco to me as a suitable piece of eye candy, but I hadn’t paid much attention. But even with (or perhaps because of) a dreadful 70s ‘tache, I certainly paid close attention this time.

I had to laugh in the closing credits. One minor actor was billed as ‘Gay Man’. Oh, er, right, yeah, him.