Another two films at the cinema

I met Cheryl on old market square after work yesterday and we went to the cinema in time for the 17:30 showing of The A-Team. It was every bit as silly as I imagined it would be. Some bits are even more ridiculous than I expected (flying a tank, etc.). It was also as full of explosions and shooting as I hoped it would be. 🙂 It’s worth going to watch if you fancy a funny action movie.

After the film we went to pick up our tickets for the 9pm showing of Twilight: Eclipse. when we had the tickets we headed to Chiquito to get some Mexican food. I tried another sub-par quesadilla while Cheryl had macaroni and cheese (yes, really).

Eclipse itself was kind of like this for me:

First 90 minutes
Bella looks just to the left of Edward with a pained expression on her face looking slightly confused by something in the distance.
Bella looks just to the left of Jacob with a pained expression on her face looking slightly confused by something in the distance, then breaks her hand punching him in the face after he kisses her.
Edward does his necessary macho thing to Jacob, then they both pull back with pained expressions on their faces.
Bella looks upset, still.
Bella kisses Jacob, Edward doesn’t mind because he knows Bella loves him more than Jacob.

The next 20 minutes
There’s an awesome fight scene with werewolves and vampires all over the place!

The last 10 minutes
Teenage girl heaven.

The Collector

Cheryl and I went to the cinema to watch The Collector yesterday. I’m kind of struggling to make my mind up about this film. The opening credits were pretty cool, and it definitely grabbed my attention. The rest was suspenseful and horribly graphic, which is what you expect in a horror film. Quite a few bits and pieces were very predictable, and just as frustrating and unrealistic as most horror films tend to be.

I found myself trying to solve the mystery of who the killer was only to find out that it’s not really anybody you’re supposed to be able to guess, and it’s not really significant in any way. Perhaps it could have done with a bit more of a story-line, but that would probably only serve to alienate the intended audience who are incapable of following a complex plot.

The whole film was similar to what I would expect from a Saw film, if I ever bother to watch one. It did make me consider that the protagonists name–Arkin–was some sort of homage to Saw… Like Arkansas, but then I don’t know if either film has anything to do with Arkansas, so it wouldn’t really make sense. No really good reason for the guy to be named Arkin though.

Oh well, if you want a random Saw-like gory horror film then go see The Collector. 🙂

Nice long weekend

I booked Friday off work so that I could help Cheryl pack up and move to her new place over the long weekend. Most of her things were packed by Friday afternoon and so we began moving things by hand to the new place half a mile away. We got a couple of runs of help from her friend Peter who had hired a van with his friend, so that helped a fair bit. We decided to watch Shutter Island before going to sleep, but Cheryl was asleep inside of an hour, and I was falling asleep too, so we just turned it off.

On Saturday Gordon came and gave us a couple of trips in his car, which moved out the vast majority of everything that was left and his help was absolutely invaluable. I will be making sure he has a plentiful supply of alcohol next time we’re out. 😀

After moving that stuff we went to Asda in Hyson Green and when we got back we decided to just hang out and watch films. We finished Shutter Island from the night before, and then Cheryl made me watch Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. We then began watching Fearless, but I realised I’d seen it before, and it was pretty late, and Cheryl was pretty drunk. I made her some scrambled eggs because she randomly decided she wanted some, and then we went to sleep.

On Sunday we caught the train back to Mansfield. My next-door neighbour gave us a lift back to Crown Street, which was very nice and helpful. We watched most of the England vs. Germany game at my house. :'( From there we headed to my sister’s house because it was her birthday. We hung out there for a couple of hours and then it was time to head back to Nottingham before the trains stopped running.

Rather than going straight home we called Rik to see if he fancied some drinks. Turned out that he did, and was already in The Three Wheatsheaves. We went and met up with him, Mike, and Tom and were joined by John and Hannah (unless I got their names wrong). After a couple of drinks we headed back to Cheryl’s old flat to gather the last remaining items and then took them over to the new place. There shouldn’t be any more stuff to move now, and it’s just a matter of finding a place for a thousand pairs of shoes.

Cheryl finds out her uni results today, so I’ve got my fingers crossed for her. 🙂

How to Solve a Mystery in a Film

Before I begin I just want to point out that this post contains spoilers for a couple of movies that are worth watching: Drag Me To Hell, and Horsemen. Read this after you’ve seen them to really understand what I’m talking about, and to avoid ruining the movies.

Lots of different types of films contain mysteries, or puzzles for the viewer to solve. Often the viewer is not required to actually solve these puzzles because they will be presented to the viewer as the story progresses. Using some of the information that you get early on in a film it is often quite simple to come up with accurate conclusions.

Usually, the information given is quite small. It could be a small habit that a character has that doesn’t receive much focus but later gives away a secret identity. Often the information is just something that strikes you as a bit odd when it happens, can be considered insignificant to the story, and is therefore forgotten until later on.

A good example of the latter can be found in the movie Drag Me To Hell. The lead character visits her boyfriend and part of the scene is dedicated to her presenting him with a coin for his collection. This is quite a strange thing to include in a movie, and therefore it is quite likely that it has significance. What makes it more unusual is that the boyfriend takes the coin and places it in a blank envelope. Who does that?

DragMeToHell

Later on in the movie the scene is forgotten because it is deemed to be unimportant. The lead character takes a cursed button (yeah, lame, I know) and puts it in an envelope. As the lead character and her boyfriend are driving along the envelope is dropped and the lead character freaks out until she finally picks up an envelope. Yes, you guessed it, the envelopes got switched. Only, nobody notices this because the act of the boyfriend placing the coin in the envelope appeared to be such an insignificant detail at the time.

The lead character gives the envelope to a dead gypsy in a ridiculously fast filling watery grave in order to remove the curse, and then goes about her life feeling like everything is fine. The next day her boyfriend meets her at the train station and produces the button which he found in the envelope that he thought contained his coin. Suddenly everyone remembers that the boyfriend put the coin in an envelope, and that the two items would be roughly the same size and weight.

The ending of the film was obvious from the moment the button was put in an envelope, but it requires that you notice the details and don’t forget the things that strike you as a bit odd. Why would a horror film take the time to show you that the lead character’s boyfriend collects coins? Why have him put the coin in an envelope?

Another example can be found in the movie Horsemen starring Dennis Quaid. A woman is murdered and the protagonist is a detective in charge of the case. He turns up to the house and discovers that the murdered woman has three children. When our protagonist sees the children it is apparent that 2 are white, and the eldest one is Asian. A fellow officer tells our protagonist that the eldest one has was adopted, and the protagonist ironically thanks the officer for the tip.

Horsemen

Later on it is discovered that the Asian girl is actually complicit in the murder. This should really be quite obvious to anyone watching the film, but it’s easy to disregard a detail as insignificant. Why would the writer of the story bother to add the detail that one of the children was adopted, and make it so obvious by having the child be of a different race? Because the detail is what helps to solve the mystery in the movie!

Essentially all you have to do while watching a film is think “Why am I being shown this weird little detail?” Don’t forget the things you’ve noticed, and try to link them together. More often than not the entire puzzle can be solved long before the end of the film.