Do you know what I'd like? I'd like to go to the cinema.
Let me paraphrase this. I'd like to go and see a film and have it be an enjoyable experience. I would like to not have to pay approximately three days' wages for popcorn that tastes like toffee-coated underlay served to me by a glowering munter in a stupid uniform. I would like not to have to walk the duck walk of over-made-up chavs posing and sniggering for thick-arsed scallies done up in their best Ben Sherman, just to get through the god-damn door. I'd like not to feel that by merely walking through the door I have been bought and buggered by the worst kind of American consumerism. Outside may be Nottingham in all its unpretentious, midland cheer; inside, Coca-colonisation awaits. And only a glass door separates the two.
And that's before you look at the films. A klutzy-looking berk with untidy hair pulling an oh-so-self-consciously "quizzical" expression near a blonde in a short dress? That'll be screen one. Less comedic, more two hours that I'd prefer to spend having emergency bowel surgery. Bunch of pallid, shirtless teenagers on dark background with Buffy-ish lettering over it? That'll be screen two: blatant manipulation of the Buffy/X-Files/Charmed fans through flagrant copying of the marketing strategy. Superhero film starring edgy semi-known in latex in front of anonymous cityscape with rubbish, quasi-meaningful dimestore philosophy strapline? Screen three for extravagant explosions, CG that will seem laughable next decade and three bastard hours of what the director thinks are like, rilly deep thoughts. Completely unsuitable for children but with the lowest age rating they could get away with. Kids buy more of the branded shit that accompanies it.
Poster of genuine megastar next to alleged "heartthrob" with all the actul sex appeal and acting ability of a slab of rock? It'll be something about Destiny and Being The Man Of The Moment, and for that you want screen 4. I could go on.
The trouble is, 98% of all this crap is the same - a phenomenally unoriginal waste of money, with the same overblown, gimcrack didache shot through it like BLACKPOOL through rock, except not as meaningful. I've enjoyed films, and recently. Pixar are usually a good bet; I liked Coraline, and three years down the line I'm still laughing at the wonderful, preposterous Die Hard 4, which took the piss out of itself, and then some. But for the most part, a trip to the cinema is a painful experience, which costs me as much as a moderate blackmail attempt and leaves me with physical and mental indigestion. Plus backache from the shitty seats in which even a shortarse like me has to fold up like a concertina.
I'm staying at home next time. My sofa is comfortable, Katherine Hepburn is scintillating and nobody's going to screw me over for a bag of Maltesers. Hollywood, you can kiss my idle, sofa-bound arse.