August 09, 2006

The BBC's resident grumpmeister

Shuffling into town with two smaller members of the troop, I was persuaded to finish off the day in London by taking them into one of the big Leicester Square cinemas to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2.
I wasn't disappointed because I had been expecting crap, and crap was what I got. Chimplet #1 opined that it was fun, but said it presaged the death of narrative cinema (not in those words, exactly), and Chimplet #2 thought that the scary bits were great although, one hour later, he couldn't remember what the story was.
If only they had listened to Dr. Kermode.
Now, I'm happy to say that I'm one of the 2 million regular podcast downloaders identified by Rajar last week.
One of the BBC's surprise podcast hits is its Friday afternoon film review. The reviewer is a reconstituted teddy boy with a doctorate in filmology, a diploma in cynicism, and a quiff protected by the National Trust. Even better, this unlikely fellow deeply loathes Harry Knowles (wheezy so-called Voice Of The People whose reviews supposedly has Hollywood quaking in its boots with his lazy website's "hey, dude" manner of delivery that barely qualifies as English).
I don't suppose that the BBC's Mark Kermode is alone in panning the latest Pirates movie. A few weeks ago, this film was the subject of one the grumpmeister's longest and most memorable rants. Since then, he has regularly implored listeners to avoid seeing it, and has despaired at the public's willingness to pour money into Hollywood's pockets when its films are so unbelievably crap.
The problem is that we're hardly spoilt for choice, and being told that something's worth avoiding is often the spur to get people to do the opposite.
So apologies to the good doctor. You were right.

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