Thursday, 11 August 2011

Not So Super 8

I know that if you wanted to read someone banging on about the weather you would have logged onto somewhere else and I promise that this is the last time I'll mention it but I'm almost fifty eight now and I don't think I can recall anything like the deluge we have experienced here in St Andrews over the past forty eight hours. I reckon that it rained (and I mean rain not drizzle) constantly from midday Tuesday until about the same time today. It was difficult to sleep last night as the double glazing and thick insulation that the caravan salesman had made such a point of telling us about couldn't muffle the noise of the downpour and when I awoke I opened the curtains gingerly half expecting us to be surrounded by water. God help the families who are staying here in tents. The local river has almost burst its banks which is saying something as it is normally little more than a shallow stream but is today a raging torrent.

I said yesterday that we were going to lunch at the Fairmont Hotel with its fine sea views but. as expected, this was all we could see. However, we enjoyed a very nice bar lunch at the hotel which was made even nicer by the substantial discount given through Sarah's gym membership which effectively gave us a free bottle of wine.

At least our visit to the cinema couldn't be spoiled by the weather. It seemed that many more visitors had the same idea and the 6pm showing of Super 8 was packed. I was really looking forward to this film and was not disappointed at the opening which tells the story of a group of school kids who are making their own movie on a cine camera (the film is set in the pre VHS and digital age). Sneaking out at midnight the gang inadvertently witness an horrific rail smash whilst filming a station scene for their zombie thriller. Almost immediately the crash site is overrun with the military and it is clear to the children that this was no ordinary cargo train as the wreckage is strewn with hundreds of strange white cubes. This is a brilliant opening sequence with spectacular (and non CGI) effects and it leaves the viewer keen to find out what is going on. Sadly the story that follows is a big let down. There's a great performance from Elle Fanning as the only girl in the gang and Joel Courtney does OK as the leading boy but the story, which has been likened by many to ET, has none of that Spielberg classic's charm as the film descends into a routine run of the mill conspiracy story. I wanted to like Super 8 but I'm afraid that I found it boring. If more could have been made of the initial opening (the gang's movie making) and the Super 8 of the title it could have been so much more interesting but the film falls short on originality and both Marion and I felt let down.

I'm not political commentator and rarely comment on current affairs but this week's disturbances were truly momentous. When I initially saw the news I thought that it was a small minority of trouble makers and I am shocked at the huge numbers who were involved and thought it was acceptable to help themselves to other people's stuff. I'm a Guardian reading softy but even I didn't feel a great deal of sympathy for the person who was filmed being hit by police batons in Manchester. It's the sort of thing that I would normally be up in arms about but after watching the behaviour of the looters over three successive nights on Sky News I was worn down with disgust and I bet I was not alone in thinking that maybe he (and the rest of them) had it coming. Few of us would have lost a lot of sleep if it had been the looters and not those who were trying to save their property who had ended up hurt. Marion's of the flog them persuasion and if she had her way she'd be joining a vigilante army and would be standing on the front line machine gun in hand. 


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