The Virgin Atlantic flight from LAX to Heathrow is around ten hours. Although I’d love to pass out for the duration, goat class isn’t always conducive to uninterrupted sleep (I know better than to harrass the checkin staff for upgrades. I reckon there’s no better way to get assigned a seat next the loos at the back of the plane) so I watch movies, write, nap and snack.
One of the primary reasons I fly Virgin exclusively is their properly excellent entertainment on demand system, and its sheer breadth, edited by people who clearly love popular culture. (Are you listening American Airlines & BA?) These are the films I caught this trip: Salt: Extremely refreshing to watch a film with a fairly complex plot and strong narrative drive with a female protagonist but two things.
1) The wigs, jeezus the wigs they put on Angelina. If I was a CIA suit scanning the crowd looking for a rogue agent, I’d have picked her out just because she looked like Cher.
2) The name. Salt? Really? Clearly Hollywood execs are not well versed in the world of Roald Dahl. Because if they were they wld be familiar with Verucca Salt, one of the most unpleasant little girls in children’s literature.
Knight & Day: I do love a good beat ‘em up, blow ‘em up. (Too many wasted hours spent smoking hash and watching crap movies with crap boyfriends at university. Just say no kids.)
But this, this was, I’m struggling here for a suitable description and keep coming back to fucking awful. I couldn’t get beyond the first 25 minutes. Apart from a script that was so bad I was unable to suspend my disbelief, Cruise was a gurning parody of his Mission Impossible persona and Diaz a vacuous idiot, whose character set feminism back about forty years.
Sex & the City 2: The moment the women left Manhattan in the first movie, the franchise jumped the shark. Sending them off to Abu Dhabi just confirmed that Carrie et al really did need to bugger off, not to the UAE but into oblivion.
Letters to Juliet: Strangely enjoyable with some real actors (as opposed to film stars), although I kept getting distracted by Amanda Seyfried. Is she more alien than frog, or vice versa? And Vanessa Redgrave: Little bits of actors’ business going on all the time, whilst she calmly acted everyone else off the screen and into the next movie.
I do very much love looking at Gael Garcia Bernal, but only at the movies. I once (cue massive name drop) hung out with him at a fairly debauched Cannes Festival party only to discover when we stood up that he is properly pocket-sized. Which rather killed the allure.
The A-Team: Confession: I had an A-Team Panini sticker book, and harboured a major crush on the Faceman whilst at school. Hands down one of my favourite TV shows (alongside Dempsey & Makepeace), it’s clear I loved a good explosion or ten in my viewing habits from a very early age. But I lasted about 30 minutes of this dire film. The casting wasn’t bad, but there were no gags, and the pacing was all wrong. Massive, unforgiveable nostalgia fail.
The Kids are Alright: Proving yet again that a beautifully written script illustrating some universal truths with a simple story, brought to life by subtle, excellent acting will trump multi-million budgets and ludicrous wardrobes. (Couldn’t decide who I fancied more: Mark Ruffalo or Julianne Moore.)