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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A true reflection of the good Dr
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...
Published 9 months ago by Timestar

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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
'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...
Published 12 months ago by mkh


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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
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This review is from: It's Only a Movie: Reel Life Adventures of a Film Obsessive (Paperback)
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
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Sofia (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: It's Only a Movie: Reel Life Adventures of a Film Obsessive (Paperback)
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
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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
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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
This review is from: It's Only a Movie: Reel Life Adventures of a Film Obsessive (Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars It's only a movie reel life adventures of a film obsessive by Mark Kermode, 16 Nov 2013
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iris (west midlands uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: It's Only a Movie: Reel Life Adventures of a Film Obsessive (Paperback)
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
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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
This review is from: It's Only a Movie: Reel Life Adventures of a Film Obsessive (Paperback)
'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. This allows for a detailed consideration of Lynch's 'Blue Velvet', an unexpectedly brief dwelling on 'The Greatest Film Ever Made' ('The Exorcist' in case you have not previously heard Kermode's ebullient ravings about this film) and - by far the funniest and most accurate thing in the book - his take on 'Mamma Mia!'. His reflections on the now (semi-) famous shooting of Herzog while interviewing him, amongst other recollections, show glimpses of honesty which just about compensates for the ego-trumpeting done elsewhere, which Kermode hopes will be read as postmodern self-irony but is actually him just showing off.

Not a serious book on film but rather an entertaining ramble through the high and lowlights of a film critic's life, 'It's Only a Movie' achieves this and basically makes good holiday reading. It is a shame there were almost no reminiscences about the gloriously mad Ken Russell but otherwise this book is worth the time if you have a spare couple of hours.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit like Popcorn: you keep eating it but can't work out why., 9 Nov 2010
By 
Amazon Customer (226a Baker Street.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: It's Only a Movie: Reel Life Adventures of a Film Obsessive (Paperback)
Best to start by saying this is not a true biography. We learn very little about the good doctor from this book: no family revelations, no grasp of whatever theology he subscribes to (he obviously does have some theological standpoint as anyone who has read his work on the Exorcist alone would see), no insight into his personal life. No, this is certainly not a biography in the usual sense. What you get here is a life told through the movies that Kermode has viewed, the people he has interviewed, together with the places he has visited and the jobs he has held that relate to "the movies".

Is this a bad thing? I suppose that depends on what you expect. Do you care when he lost his virginity, who he has shagged, what his political views are (we learn much of what they were in his youth), what lead him to study his Doctoral thesis, his relationships with his wife and children, why he changed his name to his mothers maiden name after she divorced and even worse his thoughts on Simon Mayo? If you do, give this a miss - and then try to get a life. If you don't care about these things, but just want more of the sort of thing Kermode talks/writes about on either his blog or with Mayo (god help you) then this book is fine and you already know what to expect

In simple terms, this is a good book on movies and movie makers, or at least it is if you enjoy, or are at the very least entertained, by Kermode's reviews and radio show - and his rather idiosyncratic take on these. If you enjoy these then you will enjoy this book. And if you don't? Well, you probably wont be looking at this review in the first place.

By the way, take a look at the audiobook also if you get the chance. It's read by Kermode in his usual style and adds something the written word can't. Buy both, I did. Have to help pay for all that hair wax he uses after all.

PS: Have to agree with the dead Python below mind: the cover on the paperback edition is crap.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 3 Feb 2010
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Having been a long time listener to Mark's radio 5 show I was waiting in anticipation for this book. Having managed to get hold of a copy, I can say I was definitely not disappointed. When reading the book on my way to work I found myself being in that embarrassing situation of laughing out loud on public transport.
Unlike following the normal autobiography template, Mark's book takes a different route - first casting the characters of his life with actors and then weaving the reader through a series of anecdotes and stories, which are often embarrassing, often hilarious, always interesting.
Throughout the book I came across thoughts and observations which I thought were peculiar to me, and that made the book even more enjoyable.
If you are a film fan, you will love this book. The only disappointing thing was that it ended. Highly recommended.
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It's Only a Movie: Reel Life Adventures of a Film Obsessive
It's Only a Movie: Reel Life Adventures of a Film Obsessive by Mark Kermode (Paperback - 4 Nov 2010)
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