Last night I watched Next, a film starring Nicolas Cage as a man who can see into his own future. The catch is that he can usually only see two minutes ahead, which is enough to allow him to run his own magic act and make a little money in the casino, as well as avoiding a certain amount of trouble, but not enough to allow for really big stuff.
The plot revolves around the search for a stolen nuclear device, and a government agent’s attempts to involve our hero in tracking it down and preventing a disaster. All Cage’s character really wants, however, is to pursue the girl of his dreams. The film is based on a story by Philip K. Dick, a science-fiction author of some note, and largely stands up well. I particularly liked the surprise ending, even though it left the story hanging a bit. I felt that the bad guys weren’t really sinister enough, and were completely one-dimensional, but they’re really almost incidental to the plot.
On the whole, then, a thoroughly entertaining movie, and well worth renting. I’d buy it if it was suitably cheap (as it is at Amazon right now) but not at full price.
This afternoon my friend Vally and I got on a bus to South Woodford (after quite a bit of waiting) and saw the new Ricky Gervais film, The Invention of Lying. The first half of the film was very entertaining, as it explored what it means to have a world in which nobody lies and everybody speaks their mind all the time, and what happens to that world when one person discovers they can lie. It falls apart a bit in the second half, though. The romance feels a bit forced and the pandering-to-Hollywood saccharin happy ending feels very contrived. On the whole, I’d say that it’s worth seeing if you fancy killing a couple of hours in a pleasant enough manner but it’s not worth going too far out of your way for.
I went to see the new X-Men film with Jenny, Jenni and Sophia last night at the Cineworld in Shaftesbury Avenue. The special effects were, as always these days, superb but the story fell flat as far as I was concerned. They’d tried to introduce some plot twists but they felt contrived and I didn’t care enough about the characters for it all to matter. Still, it was good fun and a very enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours.
Afterwards we popped into Ed’s for a bite to eat, although I’d eaten enough nachos in the cinema to stop me from being hungry. I nibbled the odd chip and had a milkshake while the others ate. Then home to bed. A good evening.
Last night I brandished my new Unlimited Pass at the Cineworld cinema at Shaftesbury Avenue and saw ‘In the Loop’ with my friends Sophia and Paul. It’s rare for a film to make me laugh out loud but this one managed to do it all the way through. I noticed the others doing the same. If you’re not put off by a lot of swearing, go and see it.
Afterwards we had a very pleasant meal of pizza and wine. The wine wasn’t great but it was OK and it helped the evening along nicely. I really enjoy spending time with friends. After all, as we said last night, stuff can come and go but you don’t want your friends to.
Yesterday afternoon we spent a very enjoyable time in London’s Docklands. At least we did once we managed to actually get there. First there was trouble on the bus to Stratford when a group of people decided they didn’t want to pay. Eventually they got off and we were on our way again. On our arrival at Stratford we found that the DLR wasn’t running. There had been no notice of this; in fact, it wasn’t included in the station announcements along with the other lines that were closed. We found our way to the rail replacement bus, after a bit of grumbling, and soon we were on our way.
Once we arrived at Canary Wharf we located a handy pub where we had a drink while awaiting the rest of our party’s arrival. Having had a bit of a chinwag we spent a very enjoyable time in the Museum in Docklands, which currently has a very good Jack the Ripper exhibition on. Not so much about the murders as about the time in which they happened.
After that it was back to the pub for a meal before wandering over the road to the cinema to see Hellboy II, which was great fun. Not only does it look fantastic but there’s bags of humour. If you like that kind of special effects extravaganza, go and see it.
An uneventful couple of bus rides brought us home again at a not-too-unreasonable hour, but I’m still very glad it’s a bank holiday Monday today.