Straight to DVD.

This morning I saw a trailer for a film - a film for which there is no doubt in my mind never reached the cinema. It was your typical adrenaline-pumped, explosion-rife, we-gotta-complete-objective-A-lest-outcome-B-occurs trailer, starring a whole host of completely underwhelming actors. It was nestled between an advert for blister plasters and one of those outrageously annoying Aldi adverts where a pensioner compares two identical products of different brands and can’t discern the difference. A real prime-time television spot.

The trailers for indisputably shit films always seem to be over quite quickly, as if the producers don’t want to give away any more exciting footage than they already have - because they’d have no more footage left worth watching. Indeed one could go further to say that in fact, the producers are suggesting in the trailer that only thirty seconds of their hour and a half film is worth your time. But you’ll have to watch it to find out!

What it really made me wonder however is this: do producers tell the actors on these films that the film will be going straight to DVD? Do the actors know that they are going through over a year of dressing up as one of the American Joint Chiefs of Staff, or the ludicrously attractive bank clerk, only to be watched by a balding man in a filthy string vest who’s only goal of the day is to finish his extra large bag of Cheetos before the credits roll? One can imagine the palpable awkwardness when the lead actors ask for the date and location of the premier. “Premier? Oh no, we’re just gonna head by Brian house with a couple o’ cold ones and watch it there, you should come along”.

If we are to consider film an an art form, which it undoubtedly is, it seems a shame that some works of art are destined for the dusty shelf at the petrol station. But to the same token, some of the absolute arse that gets produced nowadays deserve such a lowly place. I bet even the people that work in the petrol station would agree with me.

The Lady’s not returning.

Baroness Thatcher died as I was grinding salt onto two fried eggs. Having not even been conceived during her time in office, and consequently completely unaffected by her policies, when I heard the news on the BBC Breakfast programme I was more or less indifferent - aside from her having interrupted my breakfast. In fact, I continued with my morning and ground some pepper too. 

Then, as inevitable as the rising of the sun at dawn, came the tidal wave of social commentary on Facebook. Initially my newsfeed was punctuated by the occasional ‘RIP Margaret Thatcher’, presumably thanks to those few who are determined to constantly assure us that they are abreast of current affairs. Or perhaps they feel a real need to prove that they can show compassion towards somebody they never knew - a wholly useless trait. But as long as we know that they are aware of the unmissable news story of the year, everyone’s time has been well spent.

Yet alongside the hollow tributes were those rejoicing the death of Baroness Thatcher. I would estimate that I am friends with three people on Facebook who were alive during her premiership (none of whom had anything to say about her passing I might add). Instead I was to read one insightful eulogy after another, written by a blinkered few who were eating puréed carrot from a spoon when Thatcher finally left No. 10.

And yes, I’ve watched Billy Elliot. I’ve seen the archive footage of the miners’ strikes in the mid 80s. I would not venture to suggest however that this qualifies me to pass judgement on the politics of the era, not least on the policies of a recently deceased woman. To the same degree, I couldn’t possibly comment on the trials and tribulations to which father is subjected  when all his son wants to do is dance Swan Lake.