Zach and Miri… are missing something

Zach & MiriFratboy comedy titles marked a new low with the release of the new Seth Rogen/Judd Apatow movie, Zach and Miri Make A Porno.

Want to get people to come and see your film? Stick the word ‘porno’ in it and all the sad wasters who think it might have a bit of naughty in it will flock to the local multiplex.

However, those people who hear the film advertised on Magic FM could be forgiven for not realising exactly what the plot actually is.

I heard it advertised on Saturday morning around 9am and clearly the filmmakers have realised that not everyone who listens at that time will be the target audience.

How do I know that? Well, because mysteriously when it’s advertised on the radio, the film’s title has been curtailed slightly to the less exciting and informative, Zach & Miri.

Yup, the bit about ‘making a porno’ has vanished, leaving me to wonder if there are a host of people out there who’ve booked tickets thinking they might be going to watch a sweet romcom along the lines of Frankie & Johnny, or maybe even a scabrous look at age-gap relationships like Harold & Maude.

Did they think that not using the word ‘porno’ on the radio would avoid any awkward questions for parents with kids of a certain age?

Surely, those kids who are savvy enough to want to know more will also be able to read and will wonder what the MASSIVE BUS ADS mean, just as much as a 15-second ad on an easy-listening radio station.

Of course, they could just have been worried about the sensibilities of their listeners, none of whom would have been anywhere near the MASSIVE BUS ADS and would never have spotted the word ‘PORNO’ in 10ft high letters.

Makes you think, huh?

The state of modern cinema

The Dark Knight cinema ticketsWe went to see the new Batman movie last night and caught the late showing, starting at 9pm.

Now first of all, a confession. As we have limited babysitting options, C and I haven’t been to the cinema together since before A was born.

However, I’ve been spoilt for many years because I get invites to see advance screenings of films before they go on general release.

I don’t go to as many as I used to, but for the last 10 years or so, the majority of my cinema viewing has been done either in the West End or in little Soho screening cinemas alongside other film journalists.

Consequently, I’m a bit out of practice with a general cinema-going audience and, boy, was I disturbed last night?

People arrived literally as the film was about to start, causing maximum interruption and disturbance who consider the ads and trailers as part of the cinema experience (in other words, me!).

There were all sorts of smelly and noisy snacks being consumed while the film was going – I pity the people who had to sit next to those eating nachos.

It never fails to amaze me that some people don’t turn off their mobile phone and then answer a call during a film. What part of anti-social behaviour don’t you understand?

Even if you’re only saying, ‘Sorry, I’m in the cinema’ that’s 5 words too many. Why bother answering it in the first place? What good does it do?

And film? Good, but too long and spoilt by there being no air conditioning and it being unbearably hot.

Michael Caine (couldn’t) give (it) away

Michael Caine free DVDsThe Daily Mail is giving away free Michael Caine DVDs this week. Oooh, good-o, you might think. Now I can get hold of The Italian Job or Zulu without having to buy it. Sadly, you’d be mistaken.

A quick shufti at Michael Caine’s IMDB entry shows that he’s credited with more than 130 film roles – an astonishingly large body of work.

Sadly, however, a repertoire this big means that there are more than a few clunkers in there. For every Hannah And Her Sisters there are at least 10 ropey roles.

And to prove it, let me rattle off some of the DVDs that the Daily Mail is so generously giving away to readers this week: The Whistle Blower, Half Moon Street, Shiner, Without A Clue, A Shock To The System, The Statement, Shadow Run, Bullet To Beijing… the list goes on and, let me tell you, even the most hardened film buffs would be hard pushed to claim to have seen more than a couple of them.

Fortunately, Caine will always be remembered fondly for the roles that were successful, but I still wonder why he’s made so many crap films in between.