On the way over:
- The first half-hour of The Invention of Lying, which is really good. After that though, they ask you to start caring about Ricky Gervais's character, and ROI goes way down.
- All of This Is It! I really liked it, the bits at the start where some of the best dancers in the world are auditioning, and are visibly beside themselves at the idea that they might get to share a stage with Michael Jackson, are great. Also he looks amazing, but he doesn't ever look good.
- The first hour of '9', the animated one - it passed the time, but I'm not really sure if I can be arsed even the few keystrokes to find out what happened next.
- Not seen but I'd quite like to, some of them not even as Airplane films: (500) Days of Summer, Band Slam, District 9, Inglourious Basterds, Shorts, Surrogates, Terminator: Salvation, Where The Wild Things Are, Zombieland.
- Number of these available on the way back: 2
On the way back:
- District 9: I'm assuming this was not funded by the South African Tourist Board: Apart from the 'Oh noes black people can be racist too' bits (which are only really in the first five minutes) they do really enjoy the White Shaven-headed South African = instant villain. It has a climactic fight scene that was actually pretty well shot, but then drenched in the slowmo and strings that I am happy blaming the producer Peter Jackson for. Mostly it's just a sign of how much good CGI you can get for $30 million these days.
- Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant - really amazingly bad film, difficult to imagine it came from a book, and not just a script that reads EG 'drop perfunctory romance in here'. The tone is all over the place, John C. Reilly looks like he'd quite like to go completely Christopher Walken, but someone must have been trying to reining him in, insisting that if he'd only really try to get in contact with his red fright-wig, there'd be a great performance in there. There isn't a great anything anywhere in this film, even considering it has Willem Defoe and Salma Hayek as well. It looks like it cost a tenner (but actually cost $10 million more than District 9) - some of this might be having a wall of exposition to eat through, so that a second film (oh god, no) could assume that you understand the importance of the Cirque in the endless battle between the Vampires and Vampanezes (YOU REALLY DON'T WANT TO KNOW). But instead it just seems like it's making it all up as it goes along, like a tale told by a small child, but much much duller.
- Where the Wild Things Are: Ugh, this has been Dave Eggered to within an inch of its life: Of course Max turns out to be the Product of a Broken Home, because being the Product of a Broken Home is more Authentic, and give Depth to his Issues. And all of the monsters are now Aspects of his Psyche, to provide Psychological Depth and etc and etc and ugh. The kid is actually pretty good, and the look of the monsters are both very faithful to the book and very detailed and well-acted. The mimsy-core soundtracked annoyed me, but I think this was bleed-over from being as the primary colours in the emotional palette of the film - I suspect I like some of them otherwise. It's not as bad a film as Cirque Du Freak, because nothing is, but it's also much less interesting.
- Ghost in the Shell - actually the sequel to this may just be worse, but it's the original I saw, and... I don't get it. I've seen it three or four times, it's never seemed interesting or groundbreaking or anything - between Neuromancer before and Akira contemporaneously, I don't think the world would lose anything if the film disappeared entirely from culture. Except the classy "Ninja Cyborgs in the nude for you!" title sequence.
- The Day The World Stood Still - it's got Keanu! He's actoring! It's not really any good, but it filled the remaining time - but like '9' I will not on my deathbed regret seeing how it all worked out. Kathy Bates though!