Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2002-08-06 Entry: "Dinner and a Movie"

Falling rapidly behind again, we get to Friday 27th July 2002 (well, at least it's the same year!).

Retrieving my hastily scribbled aide-memoire (okay, it's a post-it note with things that happened each day worth comment), I see that Friday was notable for the welcome lunch at work. For some unknown reason, the company are willing to pay for the new employee and their buddy (basically a guy who introduces you to everyone and shows you around) get a lunch, and the rest of the team (or all other hangers on as the case may be) have to pay for themselves.

Well, we went to a french bistro-type place, which was very pleasant. The clam chowder for starter was an experience (I'm fairly sure I've managed to avoid all chowders up until this point), and the main course was, as seems to be the standard, big enough for six. Unfortunately there was only one of me, so I didn't manage to finish it, but jambalaya with king prawns is definitely worth ordering again (presuming that you're in Mimi's Place and not somewhere else entirely).

The meal had one other side effect - that of me not needing to eat in the evening. This was, of course, a really bad thing, as it meant I could hit the bar earlier, and with opening hours like these another hour on the start is a terrible move. Fortunately my lack of alcohol tolerance meant I could switch to water without too much worry, and then alternate - I'm starting to get good at that...

Due to the excesses of Friday night, Saturday (when I was supposed to be apartment hunting) was pretty much a write-off, as I didn't actually get going until 1-ish. So, not wanting to waste the day completely, I gave up and went to see a film. Unfortunately, I'd seen everything I really wanted to by this point, and Austin Powers was about as far down the list as it's possible to get without falling off the bottom. So I picked K-19, thinking that at least Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson should make it vaguely watchable.

First point against it - it's a submarine film. It is completely impossible to make submarine films exciting, as everything happens really slowly, with lots of skulking around trying to spot / avoid the enemy. It's also pretty much impossible to raise a flicker of excitement towards submarines from anyone who's read as much of Tom Clancy's work as I have and realized he's obsessed with the damned things. He even manages to put submarines in books that shouldn't have anything to do with them. I'm amazed there isn't a submarine in Rainbow 6, and thats about a counter terrorism organization.

Second point against it - nothing happens. Alright, considering point one, you wouldn't expect a great deal, but something should happen. Some moment of excitement, or of tension, possibly a swift exchange of torpedoes with the enemy. But no - no action, no torpedoes, hell, no enemy for most of the film.

Third point against it - they try to play Harrison Ford as the bad guy! Against Liam Neeson?! Are they mad? If anyone's going to play the bad guy it should be Neeson.

Fourth point against it - what moron decided they should attempt Russian accents? Some of them are downright terrible, and most of them fade in and out at will. At least the last Russian submarine film decided there was no point having the lead actor attempt a Russian accent (Sean Connery in The Hunt For Red October) as he'd never be able to do it and no-one seemed to mind him playing an English secret agent with that accent.

I don't think I really need to find anything else wrong with this film. For what it's worth, the acting is reasonably good. Harrison Ford is starting to look his age, so I'm starting to get a bit dubious about the sanity of Indy 4, but time will tell.

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