Sunday, 11 September 2011

Book Review - The Good, The Bad & The Multiplex

A quick note before I start my review:- 

Today, as you know is the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in America. I was only 13 when it happened, I live in the UK, but I remember the news broadcasts, the worldwide panic and confusion and I remember asking my parents if this was the start of World War 3. I was terrified and shocked and everyone was crying. The world pulled together and did all they could to help that day and through the weeks after.  Then it felt like nothing would be right again, the world was crashing down around us. Although things have resumed a certain amount of normalcy over the years, it will never be the same as it was before. The world really did change that day. 

I would just like everyone to take a moment and remember all those who lost their lives that day, all the emergency workers who sacrificed themselves to help others, the people that went back to help but never came out again. Remember their bravery and all they sacrificed.
Also hold in your hearts, those who were left, those who lost loved ones that day and even now feel the gap in their lives. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
May God bless us and watch over us all.

I think this song carries some of the thoughts and feelings relating to that day - 'Iridescent' by Linkin Park. 

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Title: The Good, The Bad and the Multiplex
Author: Mark Kermode
Publisher: Random House Books
Release Date: 1 Sep 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1847946034

What's wrong with the modern movie business? How can we make it right? If blockbusters make money no matter how bad they are, then why not make a good one for a change? How can 3-D be the future of cinema when it's been giving audiences a headache for more than 100 years? Why pay to watch films in theaters which don't have a projectionist but do have a fast-food stand? And, in a world in which Sex and the City 2 was a hit, what the hell are film critics for? This hilariously forthright, enthusiastic look at the state of film today will delight all film obsessives.

My Review
I was sent this book by Random House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I am a fan of movies and I love going to the cinema, although I don't get there nearly as much as I would like.
Mark Kermode is a film critic, he's been in this job for around 25 years and has seen a wide range of movies over the years. In this book he discusses how cinema has changed over the years, why modern movies are so bad, and what film critics are really for.
I love his sense of humour in this book, he has a great wit and way of describing events and movies. I actually laughed out loud at parts of this book, especially a certain scene with him trying to book online tickets and fighting with his computer. 
I will admit he went down slightly in my estimation when he confessed, a) that he is a massive Zac Effron fan- now while I have no real problem with Zac, I don't see what all the fuss is about, yeah he's a decent actor and I can see why children think he is good looking but he isn't anything to shout about. b) he doesn't like Pirates of the Carribean - how can you not like these? they are epic!!! c) he thinks Twilight is better than Titanic - now I'm not a mass fan of Titanic but it wasn't bad, whereas Twilight is the worst thing ever invented. (I don't want to insult anyone here, and I know there are mass debates concerning the sparkly vampires, so I'm not going into too much here, it's just my opinion)
Putting these differences aside, I found Mark Kermode rather likeable and I actually wanted to hear what he had to say. I'd never heard of him before, I found from this book that he has a BBC radio show and is actually a well known critic, but I guess that meant I had no preconceptions of what the book would be like.
I was cheering his review of Sex and the City 2 and hooked by his explanation of how cinema has evolved. I've done cinema studies when at school and looked things up in my own time, but there were things I didn't know before and things he explained in further detail. He is very honest in his opinions and has strong views.
This is of course non-fiction but it reads as though Mark is talking to you, laced with his humour it is really easy to read.
I learnt quite a bit in this book and was shocked by how much some movies have cost. I agree with him when he says - if they cost that much why aren't they better. And why are cinemas more expensive these days when there are less people working there? If you love film, cinemas or movies of any sort you should read this book, it will make you think again about what you are experiencing. 

My Rating
I would give this book 8.5/10, very funny and fresh. Mark is informative and gripping and has a great wit. I want to read his other book now. I may not follow critics reviews when picking the films i want to watch but I do read them and will pay more attention now.

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