Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Apollo 18: Not Just A Film, You Know

Sci-fi horror Apollo 18 is out this week. I haven't been invited to any screenings of it, if indeed there have even been any, so here are some things about the 1992 They Might Be Giants album of the same name, which will have to do:
  • FACT: The track 'I Palindrome I' features a 27-word palindrome as its bridge: "'Son, I am able,' she said, 'though you scare me.' 'Watch,' said I. 'Beloved,' I said, 'watch me scare you, though.' Said she: 'Able am I, son'". I'm hoping the script of Apollo 18 found space to squeeze that line in out of respect.
  • FACT: The track 'Fingertips' consists of 21 snippets of songs that don't exist, strung together apparently at random, with titles like 'Please Pass The Milk Please' and 'Aren't You The Guy Who Hit Me In The Eye?'
  • FACT: While making this album, They Might Be Giants were asked by NASA to be Musical Ambassadors to International Space Year in 1992. They said yes.
  • OPINION: While 'Apollo 18' boasts great songs like 'Dig My Grave' and 'Turn Around', it's not their best album. That would probably be their previous effort, 'Flood'.
  • OBSERVATION: The cover suggests that if TMBG were going to name their album after a future movie, it probably should have been Megawhale vs. Giantfuckoffsquid In Space. That's a movie, right? Well it should be.
They Might Be Giants: 'I Palindrome I'

Monday, 29 August 2011

Live And Let Die: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

In preparation for this month's BlogalongaBond, I did my usual scouring of Google Images in order to find something worth chuntering about. Usually all I get is a load of boring DVD covers and stills the whole world has seen a bazillion times, but this time I struck gold with an assortment of pictures that I couldn't find room for in the main post.

So as it's a Bank Holiday, and no Bank Holiday is complete without a bit of Bond, here they are, presented as a supplement to my lengthy Live And Let Die waffles. Think of them as some kind of rubbish Special Feature you might get on a really cheap DVD. No, you can't have your money back.

This role-playing adventure game (think pale, socially awkward boys rolling ten-sided dice in order to find out the Success Chance of a given action, which is determined by multiplying the Primary Chance of the action by the Ease Factor) was part of a series made between 1983 and 1987. The amazing cover features bouncing boats and Bond in a canary yellow shirt, looking uncannily like Timothy Dalton, who wouldn't play Bond until three years after this game was produced.
I really, really want it.

The Amstrad computer game is amazing for two reasons: firstly the massive ginger afro they've given Bond on the front cover (I suppose it could be an explosion), and secondly the hilariously camp depiction of Louisiana State Police's Sheriff JW Pepper and his ker-razy, apostrophe-heavy lecture to "the kids":
"Goddam it boy! That darned Mister Bond bin at it agin'. He done and wrecked twelve o' my bran' noo po-lice cars, broke all da speed laws o' tha' county an' now he's causin' mayhem in that boat a' his! If ah ketch any o' yoo boys or gals a' followin' his exam-ple now, you'se better be watchin' yo' ar@*. Shee-oot!"
It was going well until he said "ar@*". Clearly the correct pronunciation in the southern US state of Louisiana would be "a@*".

I don't know what the hell is going on here but let's say for the sake of argument that it's definitely not racist.

The cover of this Russian first edition of 'Casino Royale' and 'Live And Let Die' features a subtle ad for Rolex watches, which probably failed because nobody was ever going to look at the back of the book when there's a naked, large-breasted woman having a two-handed ladywank on the front.

As if Bond didn't have enough to worry about with a madman on the loose and his totty tied to the wall of a cave, he's now about to be buggered by a black man in a loincloth. I don't know what it says about me but I would love to have seen Roger Moore tackle this scene in the film. Quip your way out of that one, smartar@*.

Friday, 26 August 2011

BlogalongaBond / Live And Let Die:
The Assassin's Guide To Failure

So here we are. The beginning of James Bond: The Sitcom Years. There's a new 007, and he's charming, handsome, handy with a one-liner and about as close to Ian Fleming's creation as I am, i.e. Not Very.

Let me be clear: I like Roger Moore. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, he is a good actor, and he's quite rightly assumed the position of National Treasure for his resolutely British self-deprecation, his charity work for UNICEF and his heady days as an ambassador for knitwear. He's also about the only actor who could get away with something like this:
He is, however, the worst thing that ever happened to James Bond. Now I'm all for a bit of levity in a Bond film – God knows they’d have long since become extinct if they hadn’t developed a sense of humour - but Rodge's inability to take any of it seriously just seems like a lack of respect. His insistence on breezing through his entire tenure as if he’s telling a long joke in an after-dinner speech means that there are now seven Bond films in which Fleming's cruel, brutal cold warrior is all punchline and no punch.

Moore isn't entirely to blame: following the "disaster" of George Lazenby, producers Broccoli and Saltzman deliberately steered their new star away from the Connery model by making him drink bourbon instead of Martinis and smoke cigars instead of cigarettes. They even had M and Moneypenny inexplicably pop round to his questionably decorated flat to brief him on his new mission, which is unforgivable. The obvious consequence of all this is that not only is the new guy not Sean Connery but he's also not James Bond, despite what his ludicrous monogrammed dressing gown says. He's just Roger Moore.
Still, we're stuck with him, so what about the rest of Live And Let Die? Well, it's not very good: moments of promise are soon smothered by Bond's cringingly sexist dialogue, the arguable racism or plain old bad filmmaking. There's a complex and interesting relationship between the villain and the girl that gives them both layers of subtlety rarely seen in a Bond film, but it's stomped on by Bond's excruciating "there there, darling" condescension towards her. Likewise, the excellent work put in by the cast of black actors is all but undone by having nearly every single one of them play a bad guy. Even the film's potential high point, a speedboat chase through Louisiana's bayous, is fluffed by frustrating stop-start editing decisions and the unwelcome appearance of a stupid fat redneck comedy cop.

Live And Let Die's least welcome legacy, though, is the villain's staggering inability to successfully assassinate James Bond, which would feed legions of awful parodies and Bond haterz for decades to come. It's one thing to leisurely explain your diabolical scheme to the hero while he unties himself from his sloppily-tied clove hitch, but it's another thing entirely for you and your asinine assassins to balls up his murder on no fewer than ten occasions in one film. It's enough to make you wonder if they've been taking lessons...

How To Die And Let Live:
A Ten-Step Guide To Being A Bad Bad Guy

If you have every opportunity to shoot Bond, don't. Go for his taxi driver instead, then speed off before the car crashes. Under no circumstances hang around to have a crack at 007 should he lean forwards to take control of the car.
Don't kill Bond in that quiet corner of Harlem; take him for a walk first, preferably past some convenient street furniture with which he can attack you. Don't worry: all he'll do is kick you and leave you, rather than kill you in case you try again.

If your human minions are proving useless, give the job to a dumb animal. Snakes are ideal: they're slow, easy to spot and made of highly flammable rubber.
Snake fail? Try a lady. Not only are they good for providing confusing plot twists but there's also surely no way they'll fall for the notorious fanny magnet, thereby switching sides (again). As an added bonus they can do all this in a string vest.
Has Bond discovered your heroin farm? Best send a helicopter to shoot at him, but only once. They'll miss him by inches before immediately declaring him lost and giving up and going home for a nice cup of tea and a Hobnob, but at least they tried.
If Bond tries to escape in a very slow wingless plane with a pensioner on board, your crack team of henchmen can't fail. The worst they'll do is miss him altogether, let him pass, then - despite not being hurt - watch as he makes a crap quip and wanders off.
Now you've got him, give Bond a tour of your heroin factory before leaving him on an island surrounded by stupid reptiles. Don't hang around to make sure they eat him, it'll be fine. It's not as if he can use them as stepping stones to escape, is it?
Speedboats are an ideal way to catch Bond. It's not as if your men are so unfeasibly stupid that they'll repeatedly drive into swimming pools or trees, AND you'll have the help of the Louisiana State Poh-leece's most competent officers.
If all else fails, feed Bond to the sharks yourself. Don't remove his watch though, in case it has a hitherto-unknown function that may help him in exactly this situation, and don't forget to turn your back just long enough for him to escape.
Don't worry if you've unexpectedly exploded, there's always your top henchman to finish the job in the final scene, even though he could have done it at any point. His unique disfigurement will almost certainly not be his ultimate downfall.

The music
It's not all bad. Live And Let Die immediately atones for the series' weakest pre-title sequence with the series' greatest theme song. Wings - "the band The Beatles could have been" (Partridge, 1997) - cruelly rocket expectations for a world-class Bond film to the moon with their blistering title track, and George Martin delivers an archetypally seventies score with more flare-flapping funk than a pimpmobile full of Isaac Hayeses.

The clothes
I don't know much about costume design but looking at the clobber on show in Live And Let Die is like having Huggy Bear throw a fondue party in your eyeballs. For far more informed opinion than I could ever hope to impart, check out these / three / posts at the massively-collared Clothes On Film.

The stunts
Live And Let Die's lengthy boat chase might be (i.e. is) a failure in terms of editing and direction, but the stunts therein are typically eye-popping, especially the record-breaking speedboat jump. The bus which transforms from a double to a single decker via the intervention of a low bridge is also noteworthy, and the sequence in which Bond attempts to wrest control of a car from his dead chauffeur is more exciting than you probably remember.

And finally:
Trust Roger Moore to take the series' best running double entendre and give it a new twist for the female-empowering new decade:

Rosie Carver, an inexperienced CIA agent, is terrified by the sight of a dead snake. She rushes into Bond's arms for comfort.

Oh, I should have never gotten into any of this!
I'm going to be completely useless to you.

Oh, I'm sure we'll be able to lick you into shape.

BlogalongaBond will return with The Man With The Golden Gun

What the hell is BlogalongaBond? I'll tell you.
Further BlogalongaBondareading here

Thursday, 25 August 2011

The First Jude Law Film Festival Is Almost Upon Us!

The First Jude Law Film Festival kicks off in just a few weeks with the European Premiere of Fernando Meirelles' 360, in which the great man stars alongside unworthy mortals such as Anthony Hopkins and Rachel Weisz.
The announcement of 360, whose first European public screening also coincides with that of a less significant festival known only by a small number of people as "The LFF", marks the beginning of a two-month period in which it will be physically impossible to approach our nation's multiplexes and picture houses without having The Actor Jude Law beaming down upon you from some giant standee or other.

Further screenings include Steven Soderbergh's Contagion, due for release on October 21st, Martin Scorsese's The Invention Of Hugo Cabret  Hugo Cabret  Hugo, which may or may not be retitled H by the time of its December 2nd release, and Guy Ritchie's semi-eagerly awaited Sherlock Holmes sequel A Game Of Shadows, due on December 16th.
A spokesperson for The Actor Jude Law was yesterday quoted as saying:
“'I'm delighted that 360 will be my - I mean, our - opening night film, and very pleased to welcome The Actor Jude Law to his own Festival. With my - sorry, his - impeccable film making credentials and handsome visage, The Actor Jude Law combines masterful visual story telling with a cheeky grin and a boyish charm, despite so-so performances from a largely unimportant cast. It will be a pleasure to open this year's Festival with such an accomplished film from one of international cinema's finest actors.”
Anybody not wishing to wallow in the glorious majesty of The Actor Jude Law's acting during the latter months of 2011 is strongly advised to avoid the Festival at all costs, as exposure to his era-defining and awe-inspiring talents will be mandatory for anybody who leaves their house or turns on their TV.

For everyone else, Judefest starts on October 12th. See you then!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Dear Chris Fable, Harry Potter Would Like His Font Back

FYI, The Adventures Of Chris Fable is actually 2010's The Wylds, a loose adaptation of 17th century author John Bunyan's 'The Pilgrim's Progress'. On the IMDb it scores fewer stars out of ten than the amount of pounds it costs to buy, and its user reviews are split between God-fearing Christians who claim it's "a great movie for family and church" and idiots who bought it from Tesco thinking it might fill the aching void in their lives caused by the absence of any more Harry Potter films (sample review: "Scince [sic] when do cowboys happen to have two swords.").

I haven't seen it so I don't know which of those two groups of people to side with, but I am reasonably sure that there's nothing in the Bible advocating selling cheap tat by lying through your teeth with misleading DVD covers.

Monday, 22 August 2011

The Skin I Live In

It wouldn't be right for me to go into too much detail about what Pedro Almodóvar's new film The Skin I Live In is all about, although I can tell you what it's not about. It's not about the flawless employment of the English language, what with its preposition-misplacing title, and it's definitely not an adaptation of this children's book about racial tolerance:
I suppose you could say that it's about love, obsession, betrayal, madness and vengeance, and if any of that makes you think of Vertigo then you're a step closer to understanding where Almodóvar's coming from, which is to say, a place of considerable weirdness.

The Skin I Live In doesn't approach the complexity or emotional depth of Hitchcock's masterpiece, but it does present a morbidly fascinating account of the lengths to which one man will go to assuage his inner demons. It helps that the film's lead actors - eternally watchable, infuriatingly handsome Antonio Banderas and impossibly beautiful, vowel-hogging actress Elena Anaya - are both really, really ridiculously good-looking but equally capable of suggesting inner torment that only occasionally rises to the surface.
Credit must also go to Almodóvar's regular cinematographer José Luis Alcaine, whose clean, clinical photography would no doubt be approved of by Banderas' meticulous plastic surgeon, and to the make up team, who give Anaya an unsettlingly flawless look that suggests something's not quite as it should be.

The film's problems come from the underwritten characters: they're all bursting with the potential of the kind of depth that made Vertigo what it is, but we never really get to the heart of their motivation. Why Banderas' character goes to quite such extreme lengths is explained but not fully explored, and the secrets harboured by the rest of the players never satisfyingly explain their actions.
That said, Almodóvar is still one of the world's most interesting auteurs, and you'll be lucky to find many directors making whatever the hell they feel like and still producing watchable, quality stuff like this.

Apologies for going all serious there and using words like "assuage" and "auteur"; here's a little game of Where's Pedro? to redress the balance:

Sunday, 21 August 2011

It's The Return Of That Weekly Trailers Roundup Thing I Used To Do! Remember?

Joel Schumacher's crack at the not-at-all done-to-death home invasion movie at least features Animal Kingdom's Ben Mendelsohn in a porn moustache and Nicolas Cage in the kind of glasses that suggests he will, at some point, stick his thumb in someone's eye socket.

The film that finally blows the lid off one of the cultural world's biggest lies - Thom Yorke never wrote a single Radiohead song. It was Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley all along! Also, Anonymous is directed by Roland Emmerich so everyone is contractually obliged to make a reference to explosions. I've got first dibs on "Bang Goes The Bard".
Released October 28th 2011

The Woman In Black
Why hasn't D-Rad been allowed to speak in this trailer? Anyone would think he couldn't act or something.
Released February 10th 2012

You know what there aren't enough of these days? Mythological war movies with rousing motivational speeches, unconvincing CGI and unbelievably camp costumes. We really need more of those.
Released November 11th 2011

It's directed by John Singleton and stars Alfred Molina, Jason Isaacs, Sigourney Weaver, Maria Bello and Michael Nyqvist. I wish I could say that that completes the lead cast. I really do.
Released September 28th 2011

Red Tails
I'm fairly sure that this is just a cover up and George Lucas is remaking Star Wars with an entirely black cast to make up for Jar Jar Binks.

I firmly believe that Queen Victoria's Dildo would have been a better title.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Holly Valance Ruins Goldfinger For Everyone

Australian actress, model and all-round whatever Holly Valance aroused tabloid journos last week with a "steamy" photoshoot for Foster's Gold, in which she's seen stripped down to her pants, painted gold and lying "seductively" on a bed. It's a recreation of the classic scene from Goldfinger, apparently, BECAUSE FOSTER'S GOLD AND GOLDFINGER BOTH HAVE THE WORD "GOLD" IN, DO YOU SEE?!?! I do hope someone got a massive bonus for that. published the above photo, following it with these utterly redundant words:
"Seductively laying [sic] across an unmade bed, Holly only wears a pair of knickers as the rest of her body is smothered in gold body paint. With one leg in the air, she rests her head on her hands [sic] while the other clutches onto a bottle of the new drink."
Thanks for that, If it hadn't been for your drooling description of the picture you've just shown me, I wouldn't have known what I was looking at. By the way, how many hands does Holly have exactly?

Obviously the Daily Mail got in on the act too, and after making the usual helpful observations about "negative comments" Holly attracted "earlier this year when she was spotted looking curvier than normal" (translation: The Daily Mail called her fat because she was bigger than a size 8), celebrated her normality by publishing this snap of her "reclining sexily across a white bed":
The Mail obviously credit their readers with more intelligence than the Metro, and so didn't feel the need to add a detailed description of their photo, so I hope they won't mind if I do it for them:
"Awkwardly lying on a filthy mattress in a Soho brothel, Holly holds the product she's advertising so far to the corner of the frame that it's barely noticeable, allowing us to focus more carefully on her terrifying frying pan-esque head and vacant expression, suggesting that she's got no idea why she's allowed someone to paint her tits and arrange her in assorted unsexy positions while they witter on about something called 'Goldfinger', whatever that is."
Now obviously I'm no James Bond geek, so I won't bang on endlessly about how this "recreation" singularly fails to recreate any of the sexuality, intrigue or subtlety of the scene which inspired it. I would, however, suggest that for all the associations there are between Foster's Gold and Goldfinger, they could just as easily have picked any film with the word "Gold" in the title from which Holly could pick a classic scene to recreate. So here's her next few campaigns sorted:

The Gold Rush

Fool's Gold

The Man With The Golden Gun

*Awaits delivery of free Foster's Gold*

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Guard

First off, despite what you might have heard, The Guard is nothing like In Bruges. It's got Brendan Gleeson in it and it's written and directed by In Bruges' director's brother, but that's it. In fact, it differs from In Bruges in one massive sense: The Guard is actually quite good.
Pointless comparisons and unpopular opinions aside, The Guard is one of those micro-budget films that succeeds on the strength of its script, and on the subtle but memorable performance of its lead actor. It's also one of those films that has a bizarrely high number of completely different posters floating around the internet, almost challenging Harry Potter for the title of Most Over-Postered Film:
I said "almost".

On the surface it's about a vaguely amoral policeman - he's happy to snarf drugs from crime scenes and employ the services of prostitutes on his days off but he's the only honest plod in Galway - and an impending drug deal, but at its heart it's a razor-sharp look at xenophobia, where characters from all over the world fail to function properly because they simply don't understand anyone from another country / city / postcode. Italy, the US, Britain, Ireland and especially Dublin all appear incomprehensible to somebody at some point, as if Galway is the world's most diverse but dysfunctional melting pot.

It's not a wall-to-wall LOLgasm so much as a wry grinfest, with Gleeson playing the part of a man who may be a genius, an idiot or both, and doing it so well that a second viewing may be necessary to try and nail him down. The supporting cast are also spot-on, and special mention must go to Don Cheadle, who by day wears eye-wateringly beautiful suits as befits his deliberately stereotypical FBI agent character, but by night unleashes beasts like this:
The action-not-quite-packed climax feels a little out of place, and is evidently all that those who've described this film as "Hot Fuzz meets In Bruges" can remember, but as a character piece The Guard is a welcome dessert after all that rich crap you've been shoving in your face at the multiplex over the summer.

That's the second food metaphor I've used to describe a film this week. If I do it again you have permission to hurt me.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Cowboys & Aliens

Reading through some of the names involved in the making of Cowboys & Aliens is like reading the ultimate dinner party guest list. Daniel Craig! Harrison Ford! Sam Rockwell! Steven Spielberg! Damon Lindelof! I would have made my signature Moroccan Baked Chicken and gone all the way to Budgens for a bottle of their best wine (for under £6) if that lot came round for tea. We'd laugh and chat and eat and drink and later on we'd all get naked and go for a swim. Great days.

Unfortunately though, the man in charge of this particular dinner party is Jon Favreau, he's working from a recipe by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, and between them they've managed to turn it into one of those toe-curling episodes of Come Dine With Me. Daniel Craig is standing around looking bored, Harrison Ford has finished off the Budgens wine by himself and is calling Sam Rockwell a gaylord and Steven Spielberg has snuck out the back door, hoping nobody notices he was even there.

In case that overlong metaphor isn't clear enough, here's the stone cold fact: Cowboys & Aliens is shit. Not Green Lantern shit or Tron: Legacy shit, just disappointingly shit, a crushing waste of a fantastic concept and an amazing cast. I'm fucking furious with Jon Favreau and if he came round my house for dinner I'd stuff him in the oven and cook him at gas mark 9 for eight hours until his juices ran clear. Then I'd feed him to the cat.
Favreau's ham-fisted direction turns what should be a fun, wild romp into a humourless, boring slog, and that's unforgivable. He's so excited at having James Bond and Indiana Jones in his film that he daren't actually direct them, so Craig mooches about looking mean and wondering whether or not to crack a joke, while Ford is allowed to be the grumpy bad guy he's always wanted to be, only realising at the end that he's supposed to have another dimension to his character.

The script is equally to blame. Almost nothing happens for long stretches of screen time before a rushed, cursory and often nonsensical explanation of events or conveniently-remembered flashback pops up, while dull characters are given embarrassing clichés to fill the time. Sam Rockwell can't shoot straight for no good reason! A small boy is given a knife for no good reason! Could either of these tired plot devices crop up at crucial moments in the final act? Well, if you can stay awake through the overlong fun-vacuum of a finale, you might find out.

Annoyingly, everyone else involved in Cowboys & Aliens does their job flawlessly. Harry Gregson-Williams' western-y music is great, Mary Zophres' costumes are entirely convincing without screaming "LOOK AT ME, I'M AN AUTHENTIC 1880s WAISTCOAT!" and the production design and cinematography complete the period realism. What's more, the alien effects - which, refreshingly, mostly take place in broad daylight - are a successful blend of CGI and animatronics. Sadly, though, none of this is enough to save the film from the incompetence of its writers and director, and I for one would like it very much if all of them would stop making films and go away.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Empire BIG SCREEN: Day Three

2.05pm: BIG SCREEN Fatigue
It's Day Three of Empire Presents BIG SCREEN and I'm even more tired and irritable than usual, which fortunately means no The World Is Not Enough "jokes" today.

My first duty of the day was to appear on a panel called "How To Become A Film Journalist" alongside two former Empire editors and three other film journalists of infinitely more experience than myself. I didn't have a lot of anecdotes to share about being in Jack Nicholson's front room or that unfortunate incident I had with Robert DeNiro but it was fun and I should parp out a big thank you to Empire for inviting me on. *PARP* Thanks!

I briefly popped into the press room for a cup of tea and found the camera shy Charlie Lyne of Ultra Culture hard at work posting pictures of me on the internet:
Other laptop brands are available.

Still feeling grumpy (Grumpy didn't like that, LOL) I went for lunch in Nando's, home of the most anaemic burger and fries known to mankind.
Fortunately they delivered on their promise to bring my food "as speedily as chickenly possible", although I don't know to what extent they've measured how long it takes a chicken to convey three plates of food to a table in a busy restaurant.

After annoying everyone within a ten foot radius with my foul whining I retreated to the safety of the press room, where I found Animal Kingdom's Sullivan Stapleton giving an interview about some terrible Sky TV drama he's in. Now let me make this clear: I'm a married man, reasonably sure of my sexuality, but Sullivan Stapleton is a hottie. It's a good job he didn't speak to me or I'd have blushed, giggled and quite possibly dampened my knickers.

I'm just off to play footie and sink a few beers with the lads now. Will probably check out the skirt while I'm there.

6.15pm: Muppets, Barbarians and that
You'll be pleased to hear that my Nando's "chicken" burger cheered me up despite being caked in unsolicited mayonnaise, and that mood was only increased by Empire's Chris Hewitt conducting a live interview via satellite with Kermit The Frog, which was unnecessarily delightful.
Even more delightful was a clip from The Muppets, which very nearly had me in floods of manly tears. I think I will enjoy that film when it comes out IN SIX MONTHS.

I decided to give Conan The Barbarian a try despite every fibre of my being telling me not to be such an idiot, and for a while it was fun. Jason Momoa introduced it in a screen that was so massive even his seventeen-foot tall frame was dwarfed by it:
Sadly the fun stopped more or less when the film started. I lasted an hour but the volume had been set at 'Apocalypse' and the 3D was unbelievably bad, none of which helped the fact that the film was, as expected, utter cabbage.

One element of the weekend that I haven't mentioned is Hollywood Boulevard, the collection of stands, shops and other memorabilia that people like to queue up for at these things. Here's a barely-watchable (leave me alone, I'm not a cameraman) two-minute video of what you're missing if you're not here. Watch out for the long line of miserable-looking people who don't even know the only thing at the end of their queue is a Smurfs poster.

It's better in 3D.

10.10pm: Bedtime
That's it. It's all over. I'm going to bed. I did nothing else of much interest in my remaining time at Big Screen but I felt like some kind of conclusion was necessary.

Despite only seeing a fraction of what was on offer, and some of that being a bit Conany, I had a fantastic weekend. It's great to mix with everyone that goes to these events and I didn't see a single person I didn't like, except for Paul WS Anderson and he doesn't count. I hung out with friends, met people that I previously only knew from Twitter and others that I had no idea even existed, and all of them were lovely. If I interacted with you at all in the last three days, know that you are a wonderful person.

I hereby send out gargantuan congratulations to Team Empire for making it all work, especially host Chris Hewitt for his dogged refusal to die at any point despite occasionally threatening to when I saw him behind the scenes, and massive thanks to James Warren and all at Romley Davies PR for giving me somewhere to blog and the odd pastry.

If you require any further waffle from me, which I find highly unlikely, I contributed to the Picturehouse Podcast yesterday, and everything I said is now both online and out of date.

See you next year!
None of these people are me.