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Brotherhood of the Wolf: a French knight and NATIVE AMERICAN WARRIOR (!!) investigate reportings of a murderous wolf-like beast in 1700s France. I can best describe this as a 1980s fantasy fanboy political aristocratic period dramahorror‘; with werewolves, camp comedy, bawdy action, and token European tits. Trying to cover this much ground, it’s simply far too weird and ridiculous for its own good. The acting is theatre at best, the plot is nothing short of batshit mental, there’s also lots of hammy slow mo, rubbish CGI, and a laughable bone-sword. The beautiful Monica Bellucci can’t even save this, as a tracking shot of her naked body morphs into a CGI woman-shaped mountain-scape… really!?!?! The film’s like a wholesale sized can of industrial strength WTF, focus grouped by the biggest nerds in the world – and I love geeky films.

I endured 45 minutes then skipped through the rest of the film, stopping at the action scenes only.

Alternative Plans: sat in the corner of my room – confused, angry and disoriented – bashing head against the wall, thinking why… why… why… why…

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Walkout: The Secret World of Arrietty – Despite being a Studio Ghibli film, around the 20 minute mark my two mates and I knew this wasn’t for us. Being a re-telling of The Borrowers, it’s definitely pitched at an audience far younger than us (mid 20s men), it was also quite a slow burner, especially for a kid’s film. The biggest turn off however was the English dubbing – not just because dubbing’s rubbish – but because badass Mark Strong is cast as the dad, and not fighting anything. Hanna the assassin was Arrietty, and Sophie from Peep Show was the mum… maybe it’s just me, but it’s such a strange voice cast? Although not as strange as Will Arnett (!!!) being the American voice of the dad…

Realising this was pretty uncool and that we may have looked like a pack of predators in amongst the screen full kids, we bundled out ASAP, not looking back.

Alternative plans – as it was still relatively early we went to the nearest rock Pub and got our beer on!

Tree of life:  I’m never normally bothered by how arty or pretentious a film gets – if anything, it usually makes a film at least a little interesting… Despite this my cinema buddy and I endured around 30 minutes in to this before we realised that there was nothing on the screen that could hold down the film and tie together all of the random imagery that we were seeing. Entire segments featuring dinosaurs, stellar galaxies, wildlife, nature, scenery… for what purpose? Could someone please explain this to me? The Tree of Life takes the idea of a ‘narrative’ and clubs it in the face until all that’s left is a few recurring characters at 20 minute intervals. Non-linear storytelling can also be awesome, but if you could find the story in this, you’re a better man than I.

Despite being hooked in by Pitt and Penn, we realised there was around another 1 hour 50 minutes (total runtime of 140 minutes) – this was definitely a case of Tree of Life 1, Paragraph Film Reviews 0.

Alternative plans – 2 bonus hours of Call of Duty: Black ops.

Because of my awesome unlimited cinema card with Cineworld, infinite online streaming with Love Film and more generally having a massive DVD/BD collection I’m getting to the point where I’ll be damned to sit through an entire film that I’m not enjoying and waste another 60 / 90 / 120 minutes of my life. As the years go on the tolerance level seems to be decreasing rapidly, so much so that it’s now worthy of it’s own feature and category.

For these films I’ll tell you how long I lasted, why the film wasn’t doing it for me, and what the alternative plans were – plans that were much better than watching the film – at least at the time…