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Hello to Jason Isaacs....
on 4 September 2011
... 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.