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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hello to Jason Isaacs....
... is one of the few regular features from Mark Kermode's weekly film review with Simon Mayo on Five Live which doesn't appear in this amusingly polemical book. Very simply it is a rant from start to finish. If you want an extremely funny, highly opinionated broadside fired at everything the author sees as wrong with modern cinema, you'll love this.

What you...
Published on 4 Sep 2011 by P. G. Harris

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WELL WORTH A READ.
This book is very informative and entertaining. It made me laugh out loud in several places - just very funny descriptions of real situations (eg Buying tickets online for a Multiplex cinema - when the system doesn't work).
However, in some places it is rather heavy going when he gets onto one of his favourite hobby horses - he tends to go on rather too long, having...
Published on 10 Oct 2011 by PUMPERNICKEL


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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hello to Jason Isaacs...., 4 Sep 2011
By 
P. G. Harris - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Good, The Bad and The Multiplex (Paperback)
... is one of the few regular features from Mark Kermode's weekly film review with Simon Mayo on Five Live which doesn't appear in this amusingly polemical book. Very simply it is a rant from start to finish. If you want an extremely funny, highly opinionated broadside fired at everything the author sees as wrong with modern cinema, you'll love this.

What you get is Kermode targetting the modern multiplex experience (as exemplified in a comedically kafka-esque account of attempting to watch a Zac Efron movie in a multi-screen cinema), an attack on brainless blockbusters when it is possible to make intelligent mass appeal films (here the good doctor, repeats his broadcast praise for Christopher Nolan's Inception) a rubbishing of 3-D movies, an analysis of the role of the film critic, a consideration of what the British film industry actually is, and a cry for films other than those in (American) English to gain an audience.

To my mind this is a superior work to Kermode's previous book, being much more of a coherent whole, rather than a magpie collection of anecdotes; and while the trick of virtually repeating one of his reviews (in this case the execrable Sex and the City 2, rather than Mama Mia) is reproduced, it is much more in context this time

The book is, as I say, a polemic, and Dr K is a self-confessed ranting ex-trot and as such it is unlikely that you will agree with everything he has to say. For me Kermode is too much of a luddite, frequently blaming the medium and the technology (particularly digital cinema) rather than its use. However the fact that you will at times disagree with the writing shouldn't matter one jot. If you want a well written, heartfelt, laugh out loud funny call to be given something more in the cinema than purely commercially driven, narratively bereft, pap while being fed overpriced rubbish, then this is the book for you.

Thoroughly recommended, with one slight warning - it is a very tiring read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny and honest, 11 Sep 2011
This review is from: The Good, The Bad and The Multiplex (Paperback)
I was sent this book by Random House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I am a fan of movies and I love going to the cinema, although I don't get there nearly as much as I would like.
Mark Kermode is a film critic, he's been in this job for around 25 years and has seen a wide range of movies over the years. In this book he discusses how cinema has changed over the years, why modern movies are so bad, and what film critics are really for.
I love his sense of humour in this book, he has a great wit and way of describing events and movies. I actually laughed out loud at parts of this book, especially a certain scene with him trying to book online tickets and fighting with his computer.
I will admit he went down slightly in my estimation when he confessed, a) that he is a massive Zac Effron fan- now while I have no real problem with Zac, I don't see what all the fuss is about, yeah he's a decent actor and I can see why children think he is good looking but he isn't anything to shout about. b) he doesn't like Pirates of the Carribean - how can you not like these? they are epic!!! c) he thinks Twilight is better than Titanic - now I'm not a mass fan of Titanic but it wasn't bad, whereas Twilight is the worst thing ever invented. (I don't want to insult anyone here, and I know there are mass debates concerning the sparkly vampires, so I'm not going into too much here, it's just my opinion)
Putting these differences aside, I found Mark Kermode rather likeable and I actually wanted to hear what he had to say. I'd never heard of him before, I found from this book that he has a BBC radio show and is actually a well known critic, but I guess that meant I had no preconceptions of what the book would be like.
I was cheering his review of Sex and the City 2 and hooked by his explanation of how cinema has evolved. I've done cinema studies when at school and looked things up in my own time, but there were things I didn't know before and things he explained in further detail. He is very honest in his opinions and has strong views.
This is of course non-fiction but it reads as though Mark is talking to you, laced with his humour it is really easy to read.
I learnt quite a bit in this book and was shocked by how much some movies have cost. I agree with him when he says - if they cost that much why aren't they better. And why are cinemas more expensive these days when there are less people working there? If you love film, cinemas or movies of any sort you should read this book, it will make you think again about what you are experiencing.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mark Kermode on great form, 2 Sep 2011
The Good the Bad and the Multiplex is Film Critic Mark Kermode's plea to the nation to "wise up" about the state of cinema. For those of us who follow his highly entertaining and (usually) 100% accurate criticisms of Movies on BBC radio then much of the book is as we would expect. His long standing arguements about the dumbing down of cinema, the latest Hollywood craze for "3D" films (Which I can't abide give me 2D anyday,)The Hollywood obsession with remaking fantastic foreign movies and completely ruining them, the death of narrative cinema etc. are well known. Here he expands on his arguements and makes a coherent and passionate plea to us,the audience,to expect and demand better.

His chapter on Hollywood blockbusters and how mind-numbingly dull they have become recently (hello Michael Bay)and how they could be brilliant given to an intelligent director who gives the audience credit fot having some intelligence (hello Chris Nolan) is just simply exactly how I have felt for some years now.

I don't expect Hollywood executives, 14-18 year old schoolboys (at whom most movies seemed aimed at these days) or Danny Dyer are going to read this book and change their ways,but they should,and if they did we might have a new "golden age" of cinema where we don't need gimmicks, re-makes and endless sequels to attract people to the "pictures".(N.B. number crunchers, the movies would make money see Inception for details.)

I highly recommend this book to any serious movie fan who likes a damned good laugh(the section about his 11 year old self going to see Blazing Saddles is hilarious) while having something serious to say about the medium we all love but is under-fire some people who make movies and don't seem to care.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guerilla Criticism, 29 Dec 2012
By 
P. Law-Jones (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I picked this up on the offchance, having seen Kermode on the occasional TV slot. For me the key chapter is on the role of the critic which offers the rationale for the whole book which can best be summed up as guerrilla criticism - partisan, committed, well organised and in a just cause. Worth it for one quote alone, about the status of opinions - I'll leave you, dear reader, to find it. But find it you must. Not a horror buff myself, on the strength of this I've bought a copy of the Exorcist - mere 39 years after original release. Read it and weep, with laughter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hey, Preacher.., 11 Sep 2011
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This review is from: The Good, The Bad and The Multiplex (Paperback)
More substantial cohesion evident in the shape & structure of the whole, than his last book of 'bits'..takes the themes of the current film zeitgeist (everything feels shiny & expensive but lacks soul) and delivers thoroughly researched data, amidst the usual fervent Kermode preachin n' rantin.

Possibly due to the bulk of the data to be set-up here, with lots of figures & dollar signs, the infusion of humour is lessened, compared to the usual wit on display. Lacks a sense of 'off-the-cuff' but gathers substantial matter in a snowball effect of researched info regarding the state of film across the globe.

If only the hollywood suits & multiplex drones could read they might for an instant, if perusing this highly charged list of 'charges against cinema', realise that just because no one can voice their opinion with sufficient volume, there is always the Kermode 'Dragon' ready to monitor them & decry in public..it's his job.

Loses a star for preachin to the choir though..
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WELL WORTH A READ., 10 Oct 2011
This review is from: The Good, The Bad and The Multiplex (Paperback)
This book is very informative and entertaining. It made me laugh out loud in several places - just very funny descriptions of real situations (eg Buying tickets online for a Multiplex cinema - when the system doesn't work).
However, in some places it is rather heavy going when he gets onto one of his favourite hobby horses - he tends to go on rather too long, having clearly made his point earlier.
Lots of valuble information about what really goes on in the film industry, and plenty of film titles I have missed to look up that sound well worth seeing.
I often get part-way through a book and then chuck it - not this one!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Translates from radio to page perfectly, 12 Sep 2011
By 
A. Williamson (Richmond, VA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Mark Kermode for me was always the BBC movie critic that kept popping up and I always wondered why he never got the big Film XX gig where the likes Jonathan Ross and Barry Norman commanded for so many years. Now I realize, he's just too intellectual for that sort of format.

I recently discovered his podcast with Simon Mayo and for the last 6months, we've been enjoying his rants and insight. He's spot with a lot of the view points that I hold, including liking HudsonHawk and dissing all the Pirate movies. Though, I will concede the first Pirates movie was actually not bad.

This book I read from start to finish in one sitting. The opening pain felt about multiplexes I too feel, having 3 young boys, an outing there requires a visit to my financial adviser to ensure we can indeed afford it. The 4000% markup on popcorn that Mark highlights is just ridiculous and I for one, stay clear of the multiplexes as much as possible.

His discussion on 3D is not just a rant, but full of technical analysis on why its such a poor technology; for example 30% light loss. I wasn't aware 3D technology was around in the late 1800's and has been peddled every so often when the movie studios need a new reason to get us back into the cinema.

I felt his writing style was perfect and completely in tone to his mannerisms on the radio. This was the real Mark Kermode, and I burst out laughing (much to the amusement of my fellow flight passengers) at the Avatar : Dances with Smurfs remark.

The chapter on why blockbusters rarely never lose money was again insightful and educational.

My only complaint was that the book was not long enough. It needed a couple of more chapters. He glossed over internet piracy but I think he could have given us a much greater input as to whether or not the movie industry needs the cinema/multiplex or not. A chapter dedicated to that would have been fascinating. He does discuss at length the problems associated when Hollywood remakes foreign films in english, but I feel he could have dedicated a chapter to Hollywood remakes period. Are we running out of good stores so that we have to keep peddling the same ones again and again.

Overall, a great read and whether or not you are a fan of his style of wit and insight, he's thoroughly well researched and presents a strong argument.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great, but nothing new..., 13 Sep 2011
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This review is from: The Good, The Bad and The Multiplex (Paperback)
A few things.

Kermode is one of the best, if not THE best film reviewer. Entertaining, informative and right about 95% of the time. This book reflects all of this. Its a good read.

BUT and this is a BIG BUT if you listen to Kermode and Mayo you will literally have heard ALL of this before.

It is literally like someone has made a transcript of some of the most entertaining bits from the radio.

As the only people who are going to be interested in this are likely to be radio fans then its kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place.

If you only buy one book by Mark Kermode, make it a different one.

It's like going to see the Exorcist, then going to see the Exorcist again, then reading the script.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 15 Mar 2014
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A funny, well written and insightful read. Recommended to fans of Mark's radio show or fans of film in general.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Self Indulgently Nostalgic, What's Not to Love?, 5 Feb 2014
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'The Good, The Bad and The Multiplex' is hugely anecdotal - If you like Mr Kermode you will quite simply like this book. If you also lament the malaise of the modern cinema going experience it is always a pleasure to find someone that not only agrees with you but has the hefty weight of 1000s of hours in the cinema seat to back it up.

Well written and appropriately paced the book recounts a number of key causes of the downfall of the cinema in a balanced and measured manner. The real pleasure of this book is that it puts into words the feeling you get when you visit your local Multiplex to see a film you have been waiting to see for only to leave the cinema wishing you had not have bothered. Nothing to do with the quality of motion pictures but the way that actually viewing the content is made purely secondary to the sale of fast food.

A terrific light read all round.
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The Good, The Bad and The Multiplex
The Good, The Bad and The Multiplex by Mark Kermode (Paperback - 1 Sep 2011)
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