Friday, 25 July 2008

The worst film ever?

Normally when I go to the cinema I enjoy myself. I've seen some pretty rotten films in my time. I even saw the Michael Jackson movie, Moonwalker at Hammersmith way back in 1988 and that has stood head and shoulders above the rest on a scale of cackness.

Well yesterday Moonwalker was removed from it's place of dishonour, one that it had held for 20 years, because I went to the cinema. What film could have been bad enough that I can say the best fun I had in the theatre were my futile attempts to remove the flake of popcorn that had become indelibly welded to the roof of my mouth? Mama Mia, that's what. 

In all honesty this was never going to be my favourite film, I have generally had a strong dislike for films adapted from stage shows, Chicago for example was rotten, The Phantom of the Opera was almost as bad, but I never paid to watch those, other than through my Sky subscription, and that was going to be paid anyway. I didn't pay this time either (thank god), but someone did, and really as far as I'm concerned it was BAD value for money.

Why is it so bad? Well the songs are horribly mangled by the sound department. ABBA songs have a lot going on musically, but whoever produced them made sure it wasn't overpowering, and every part of the complicated tapestry was clearly audible. Well in the film someone decided that louder was better, and everything gets turned up to the point that you can't hear anything but a wall of obnoxious noise, and even to the extent that you can hardly hear the words, not that that really matters, everyone knows the words. Even the words that Pierce Brosnan sings, if singing it can be called, because he sounds like a strangled cat, slowed down to make it intelligible.

Now the plot. Oh my freaking god, it's awful, maybe it works on stage, but in a film? Everything is made so obvious that if you can't spot what's coming up there's something very wrong with you. Oh there are plenty of things that are meant to be surprises, but when they give you clues the size of Zeppelin's, there's no surprise, there's only a horrendous wait until the obvious (and very trite) actually occurs. I have honestly never had to sit through a film where I new what was happening quite so far ahead and with such certainty. Oh, and there's a plot twist too, but it's such a twist that I could have told you it was going to happen from the moment James Bond appeared. I won't spoil it, I'll let you find out what happens half an hour into the film.

And at the end, well I WAS happy, but not for the reason the film maker expects the god-damned film was over, and I will never have to see it again. My wife, and quite possibly my Mother-in-Law will tell you that I went determined to dislike the whole experience. I didn't. I didn't have high hopes, but I went with my mind as open as I could manage, I don't dislike ABBA's music, I in-fact have a sneaking admiration for the harmonies and production even if it's not my favourite. Still this film has soured me to the whole situation, if I never have to hear dancing queen again, I'll be glad, but for some reason my wife and daughter enjoyed it so I think any respite I have will be shorter lived than I deserve.

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