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It's Only a Movie: Reel Life Adventures of a Film Obsessive [Paperback]

Mark Kermode
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

4 Nov 2010
In It's Only a Movie, the incomparable Mark Kermode takes us into the weird world of a life lived in widescreen. Join him as he gets lost in Russia on the trail of a low-budget horror flick, gasp as he's shot at in Hollywood while interviewing Bavarian director Werner Herzog, cheer as he gets thrown out of the Cannes film festival for heckling in very bad French, and cringe as he's handbagged by Helen Mirren at London's glitzy BAFTA Awards. Written with sardonic wit and wry good humour, this compelling cinematic memoir is genuinely 'inspired by real events'.

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It's Only a Movie: Reel Life Adventures of a Film Obsessive + The Good, The Bad and The Multiplex + Hatchet Job: Love movies, hate critics
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Product details

  • Paperback: 343 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow Books; 1st edition (4 Nov 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099543486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099543480
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 95,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Film criticism is rarely as much fun as Kermode, whether on the radio or in this hugely entertaining book" (David Hughes Empire)

"A droll account of Kermode's rise to becoming the most prominent, and extravagantly quiffed, movie pundit in Britain" (Stephen Dalton The Times)

"Bubbles with gleeful obsession" (Reader's Digest)

"Breezy, entertaining ... certainly made me laugh" (Independent)

"In an industry where serious film criticism is increasingly marginalised, we're lucky to have him" (Ali Catterall Word)

Book Description

The BBC's most popular film critic's Sunday Times Top 10 bestselling memoir

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A true reflection of the good Dr 23 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this as I enjoyed Mark's review show on 5 Live with Simon Mayo. Perhaps the most helpful thing I can say is that if you don't like Mark - the way he speaks, his attitude and his approach - then you will not like this book. As you read through the book it is almost impossible not to hear his voice echoing in your head as he writes exactly as he speaks. If you're a fan this is great, if not then the book will start to grate quite quickly I think. The book illustrates where his almost obsessive film knowledge has developed from. It also shows he is not afraid to voice his opinion, even if it goes against the main stream.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And hello to Jason Isaacs! 4 May 2011
By Sofia
I took "It's Only a Movie" with me on holiday as an easy and engaging read, while unable to listen to his weekly 5 Live show with Simon Mayo - and do you know what? I quietly enjoyed it.

It's not an autobiography and in fairness doesn't purport to be one. It's not a deep analysis of the world of film and again, it doesn't stake any claims in this department either. It takes instead quite a genial, self-deprecating look at how an obsessive love of film has somehow led Kermode to a career as a respected film critic. It doesn't take itself too seriously, as the title 'It's only a movie' ought to make clear and it is stuffed full of moments that shoot holes in the good doctor's preeminent image of all-knowing confident critic.

Like many of the films he's loved, his book probably has a niche market. I enjoyed it because I enjoy the weekly wittertainment podcast and this book goes a long way to providing the background to some of the show's recurring themes; "Chubby, hmmm?", a diffident respect for a certain Bavarian filmmaker, and I finally learnt the origin of Mark Kermode's apparent obsession with Jason Isaacs. You don't need to share his love of horror films to enjoy the book, nor do you need to agree with him about the Exorcist or Mary Poppins. If you can give Mark Kermode, the person, a little time (and as another reviewer wrote, I imagine this is even more so with the audio version) then my guess is you'll probably enjoy his company. It's only a movie, it's not too serious, and like most movies, it's a perfectly entertaining way to spend an evening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for film buffs and amateurs alike 4 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Huge fan of Mark Kermode from his Five Live show, and this book was exactly what I was expecting - entertaining, opinionated and educational. Nice one, Mark!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous 9 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i used to have special 'get lost kids' time when Simon Mayo's film review seg was on 5Live. This took me back, and behind the scenes, and to the beginning of The Kermode. i have now read a couple of his books on film and loved them as much as the radio shows. The fact that i have almost never seen, and pretty much never intend to see any of the films he mentions. Passion and enthusiasm is an entertainment in itself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun 7 Dec 2013
Excellent book for anyone with an interest in films - I'm a fan of his broadcasting but I think he's an even better (and funnier) writer. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By iris
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's only a movie By Mark Kermode

This is a great book by Film critic Mark Kermode , and I have to say that what I already love about this book is how it speaks to you throughout ..this is a book about a man passionate about his movies and of course the importance of sitting on the isle side of the cinema - which I can understand and not having any distractions or people blocking the view again, I too understand this the biggest problem/s of all has to be the slurping of fizzy pop when someone gets to the bottom of the cup or noisy popcorn munching or mobile phones or chatting ... and please don't take your shoes off to rest your feet on the backs of the chairs !
and of course to watch a good film you need to see the whole of the screen if you don't see the whole screen then the experience is just ruined .

Personally I like to go the cinema early, and find your seat when the screen room is still empty walking past that mighty big screen and taking in the atmosphere ! the anticipation of a new adventure and new characters about to come to life and leap out the screen in 3D....
This book isn't itself autobiographical but a book of memories of particular films and the factors that ignited a love for film and done in a witty sharp wonderfully fun manner and right on the money with his critic of each and every film
if like me you are a real film fan you will love this book, the first in a series of three books well worth a read !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Kermode 1 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very entertaining and informative. Kermode has the gift of being passionate about what he does and transmitting that passion on to others. If you like films you must read this book, all of Mark's books and listen to his flagship podcast. Now!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Selected high and lowlights of the film reviewer 13 Aug 2013
By mkh
'It's Only a Movie' is balanced in roughly the same way Kermode comes across in the media - part knowing self-aggrandisement as a person and part self-deprecatory as a film reviewer. In other words, he underrates his own talents as a critic in terms of his honest (and knowledgeable) approach to film who hyper-compensates when talking about anything else.

This selected journey through Kermode's life misses out pretty much all the boring bits and concentrates on his brushes with the film world along with occasional in-depth consideration of key films during his time as a critic and reviewer. So, out go all those funny moments that appear in biographies which are not actually that funny and kept in are some genuinely funny moments. Kermode entertains us with 'Mr. Nyet' while he learns just how big Russia is (by flying to Moscow he is actually further away from his destination of Feodosiya than if he had stayed in London) and how he was turned into a small, snivelling creature at the BAFTAs under the glare of the now glamorous and very serious actress Helen Mirren (who was always a serious actress but used to take her clothes off, which really confuses the British press). He also spends much of a chapter considering his relationship with Simon Mayo, which is fine, except Kermode assumes the reader has heard them together on the radio, which I have not.

Not many films are discussed here, but Kermode goes into depth on the few that are in a way he does not have time to do elsewhere.
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