Monday, 22 February 2010


I watched Ponyo the other day, the new Crackers Patel Japanimation from legendary bonkers merchant Hayao Miyazaki. Before I bore you with my opinion of it, I need to bore you with a frothing rant.

Cineworld Enfield is driving me up the fricking wall with their cataclysmically poor standards of projection. In the middle of the trailers, the picture I was looking at decided it would rather I only saw the top half of it, and that the top half would look better at the bottom half of the screen. Everyone else in the auditorium thought that grumbling about it under their breath would be enough to sort the situation out but I decided to take action. So I mentioned it to an usher, who helpfully told me that "it happens sometimes, but sorts itself out when the film starts."

Obviously it didn't sort itself out when the film started. A projectionist sorted it out ten minutes into the film. This, combined with Cineworld Enfield's unfathomable decision not to mask off the edges of the screen when showing a film that doesn't fit its full width, meant that the beginning of Ponyo looked like this:

Even Miyazaki didn't intend his films to be that weird. Cineworld Enfield: Must try harder.

And, relax.

Ponyo was quite good. It wasn't as good as Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke but it was better than Howl's Moving Castle or My Neighbour Totoro. It was about as good as Laputa: Castle In The Sky. If you've got no idea what I'm on about you seriously need to educate yourself in the ancient art of Miyazakigami.
Ponyo's only problem for me, as a grumpy old codger, was that it was a bit too slight, aimed too much at a younger audience; it didn't probe the unsettling recesses of darkness that Spirited Away did. It did, however, look amazing. I'd try and describe the scenes where the sea comes alive and goes furiously mental all over the shop but you're better off watching it for yourself.

Best bit: If, like me, you love the armies of cute little critters Miyazaki shoves effortlessly into his films, like:


then you're in luck! Because Ponyo has these things:

Anyone know where I can get one?

Final suspiciously-similar-font-related thought:

Just saying is all.

To comment on this post, click here


  1. One day, perhaps sooner than you expect the projector will be digital and the projectionist a dole queue statistic. The projector will be lined up perhaps once a year if you are lucky. When the Barco goes squiffy it will stay squiffy for months and you will be nostalgic for the days when the Cineworld Enfield had a human being slumbering in the projection booth who could be woken up in ten minutes or so to attend to a fault.

  2. As you are in a ranty mood, would you shout at me if I mentioned how fine Colin Firth's buttocks looked in a Single Man? It's a very beautiful film but no cute critters....although Matthew Goode also has fine buttocks. I think I'd rather watch a film containing partially naked men than boggly eyed critters.

    So shallow, I know.

    Ms So So Jeans

  3. When I watched Green Mile, we had just got to the nasty scene where the electrocution doesn't go too well and the film seemed to hit pause so we had to sit through a constant flickering of a man being electrocuted and fried. When the projectionist fixed the problem (he also had to be told, didn't work it out for himself) he restarted the film from just before the sizzling scene so we had to see it yet again. Perhaps the anti-death penalty brigade had knobblled the projectionist and was hosting a campaign?

    Ms So So Jeans

  4. I've known four projectionists in my time. Three of them thought they were rock stars and the other was an old fella who terrified the rest of the cinema staff but was devoted to his job and uncompromising in the quality of the service he provided.

    Any more projectionists out there care to comment, or have you all been replaced by the Projectortron 2000?

    Colin Firth's arse my arse.

  5. "Colin Firth's arse my arse."

    Eh? His arse is your arse? Or are you trying to suggest you have fine buttocks as well? Well, until we see you writhing around in a tank of water we'll stick with the facts.

    Can you ask your projectionist friends why they close the curtains after trailers and then open them again and reset then screen width? Though, thinking about it, that may just be the arty farty cinemas, can't remember any curtains in Vue cinemas.

    Ms So So Jeans

  6. Ponyo was more disrupted for me by the fact that only the dubbed version was available at the local cinema.

    Casting Frankie Jonas and Noah Cyrus or whatever they're called just made the whole thing incredibly shrill and annoying. I just wanted Sosouke to say "Ponyo! Shut the fuck up!" every now and then.

    Sorry, Liam Neeson- I can't hear your vocals because my ears are tuned to a frequency that makes dogs explode. But it's ok, Disney! I don't need my ear-drums!

    A subtitled or even muted version would've been preferable. Or I could learn to speak Japanese?

  7. I'm not so fussed about the dubbing of Ghibli films, they usually do a reasonable job. They're always going to be dubbed for an initial cinema release because they're aimed at kids. Come the DVD release you can listen to Japanese all you like.

    I thought Neeson was miscast; David Bowie should have been the voice of the eccentric underwater sea-dude. And what was the point of having Maaaaaaaaatt Daaaamoooonn for about three lines of dialogue? No point.

  8. I need to make a complaint, who do I write to her call> My husband was mis identified this evening at the cinema. He was accused, insulted and we were made to leave the cinema with no apology. When the manager finally found out the truth she still made us leave the cinema. We walked into the cinema 10 mins before brother, he called a assistant a fool because he did not allow him to take in a bag of sweets. For this reason because he was with us, we were all made to leave!!! this was just so awful and embarrassing, the mangeress would not reason with me, insisted 100 per cent by cctv that it was my husband and had 5 security around us ! discusting!!!!

  9. THROWN OUT OF ENFIELD CINEMA--INNOCENT! At the begining of the film the security came to the back of my husband while watching the film and said we want to see you outside. They then went on to say that my husband had insulted and abused a assistant. My husband pleaded his innocence, they was having none of it! I asked them to go get the assistant, I looked at him, was it us, he said yes I think so. I said to him, look I spoke to you, gave you receipt, you said no I need tickets, husband gave you 4 tickets, we walked in, no more was said!

  10. THROWN OUT OF ENFIELD CINEWORLD - INNOCENT - THE SECURITY GUY SAID , WE HAVE SEEN YOUR HUSBAND ON CCTV, I ASKED TO LOOK AT IT, HE SAID LATER. We went back into the cinema, they came back 5 times, walking up and down, then came behind husband, said out side again! my husband was infuriated, I said I will go and talk to them. The manageress, would not reason with me, she said it was my husband, that we were to leave or lights off, stop the fil and police will be called. I said call the police, that I wanted her name, an apology and to see film, she said no!!! that her assitant had been abused and in the interest of him and the people we will leave the cinema.

  11. THROWN OUT OF ENFIELD CINEWORLD - INNOCENT - So the last thing said to the poor assistant that looked fine sweeping up popcorn. I said was it 100 per cent my husband, he 99 .9 peer cent, was it me or a blonde woman ( i am blonde ) yes he said, a blond woman. in the meantime, brother who walked in cinema 10 mins after us asked what is going on, I said told to go hubby suppose to of abused assistant and we are being blamed.

  12. THROWN OUT OF CINEWORLD ENFIELD - INNOCENT! He then went onto say I called a gy a fool, I will come and tell them. The manageress said because we knew each other, all 8 of us to leave the cinema. I asked for apology, my brother felt he was not offensive. she said no, she was obstinate and rude, no reasoning with her. They then said the recognised a little girl white boots and red top, because she was in sitting in our row, at the end, it was my husband! she felt she did not need to apologize. She then said she give money back 7 ppl.

  13. ENFIELD CINE - I Then went on to say that she was a useless manageress, get herself a real job to suit herself, she then said that I had insulted her and I was not going to get my money back. she called the police. The police said wasted their time and were putting in a report about cineworld> Hey a real crime was going on which she failed to notice because she wanted to put her authority on hard working tax payers and four little children, throw us out! disgusted! I want to make a complaint, she should never of treated us that way. no apology!