26 February 2016


movie night2

We rarely go to the cinema any more, for a number of reasons.  It’s expensive, our local cinema in Derbyshire is charmless and grubby, getting there is hard work (fighting our way through teatime traffic and queuing for the car park) and we find it increasingly irritating to have to sit amongst giggling girls, popcorn munching boys and mobile phone junkies who think it’s ok not to turn them off in the cinema.

Consequently we only ever see films on DVD these days.  It suits us to be able to sit on our own sofa, lights turned low, wine glasses filled and being able to pause the film and not miss anything if we need to use the little room or let the dog out.

movie night1

We rarely buy DVD’s when they first come out.  Films are just not that important to us.  So we tend to browse the cheaper shelves in the supermarket, often spending only £5 on a DVD, £10 being our maximum limit per film.  This makes it a bit of a lottery.  By the time the films are cheap enough for us they have either been out for years or were not very popular in the first place.

Take for example, the first two above.  “Cake” is about a woman who is recovering from a serious car crash, not that you find this out until half way through the film.  It was dreadful but not as dreadful as the other one, “The Hours”.  I remember a fuss being made about Nicole Kidman getting an artificial nose in order to look more like the character she portrayed, Virginia Woolf.  It’s hard to say what the plot is like as we stopped the film after about twenty minutes, thinking life was too short to suffer all of it.  Even knowing that Meryl Streep was in the film couldn't redeem it.  Both of these films are destined for the charity shop.

It’s difficult to say what our taste is in films.  Varied really. We like a good tale, good music, a good laugh or something very moving.  For myself I like some thrillers but can’t stand too much gore, suspense, cruelty or bad language.  Nick can take more of all of that than I can.  I took our three film set of the Dragon Tattoo trilogy to the charity shop after only seeing the first one.  I hated it and it gave me nightmares for weeks.  I admit I’m a bit of a wuss – I haven’t actually met anyone else who had to hide behind the sofa as a child when “Mr Pastry” was on the TV.

I’m especially not good with films about animals.  Any amount of cruelty or sadness will have me in tears and give me bad dreams for days.  I could never watch “War Horse” for that reason. 

Film number three above was excellent.  I don't remember the film coming out but I vaguely remembered something about Alan Turing when I picked up the DVD and looked at it in Sainsbury’s.  As the film got going the story came back to me.  He was the person who broke the Enigma code during World War Two and contributed hugely to the defeat of Germany and bringing the war to an end sooner than it might otherwise have happened.  I also remembered some of the circumstances around his personal life and these were dealt with very well in the film.  I don’t remember it being said anywhere but from the film I would guess he was slightly autistic.  Well worth the money and highly recommended.


  1. Your more than welcome to come and have a look through our collection and borrow anything that you fancy.

    1. Thank you, we could perhaps swap a few, although I wouldn't dump these first two on you!

  2. Before we moved here we seldom watched a film at all. We have a local cinema here that charges €4.50 to €5.50 depending on the time and day. They have a number of English films and we all try to support the owners. We have just watched an interesting French series ( completely different to what we would usually watch) that was in French, but we were asked if we would like to see the films with English sub titles. The response was good and we have enjoyed the trilogy. The last one is tomorrow night. A great little pizza restaurant a block away so a good cheap night out. Enjoy your weekend Diane

  3. There is an interesting discussion as to whether or not Alan Turing had Aspergers Syndrome in an article by O'Connell and Fitzgerald, with the imaginative title: "Did Alan Turing have Asperger's syndrome?" I think the conclusion was that attributing a disorder posthumously was not a reliable method as it risks interpreting characteristics of someone's personality to fit the diagnosis. For anyone interested in Alan Turing or in Asperger's syndrome it's worth checking out the article in "Irish journal of psychological medicine" 03/2003; 20(1):28-31. DOI: 10.1017/S0790966700007503

  4. We also have quite a few films you could borrow/swap. Of course the entire boxed set of the West Wing will keep you occupied for quite a while. It is fantastic! We are now looking for our next purchase. In the UK we have Netflix but can't stream here (via a proxy) as the internet is so slow.

    We go to the cinema, but when the DVD of Joy comes out starring Jennifer Lawrence, don't buy it. It is completely joyless!!

    I'll certainly look up the article Elizabeth mentioned. I really enjoyed 'A Beautiful Mind', starring Russell Crowe.

  5. I should watch the last one, does you local library have DVDs? The libraries here loan DVDs, a great free option.

  6. Does Netflix offer only streaming in France?

    In the US we can get DVDs from Netflix, which is lucky because streaming wouldn't work for us with our internet connection. We love movies and some TV series. Right now we're in the thick of New Tricks which we really enjoy. Probably old hat to you.

  7. Carolyn,

    Netflix does offer that service in France.
    Sometimes I do use VPN to connect as, if I am in France ,when I don't have anything ( or already watched) on the streaming service offered in the US or Canada.

  8. I don't go to cinema for the same reasons.
    I think you two most sensible.

  9. We get a great variety of films and TV series in English and in French on our CanalSat setup, with a satellite dish. The English-language programs are subtitled in French (not dubbed) but of course the French ones are not subtitled at all. This is France, where people understand and speak French. CanalSat is not inexpensive but we like to watch the many documentaries (from all countries, usually dubbed or over-dubbed — don't ask...) and news shows that CanalSat carries, not to mention sports events. It is not possible to get American TV via satellite in France, by the way.

  10. Snap! My husband and I are like you, we no longer go to the cinema, instead preferring to add to our DVD collection or watching movies on Apple TV, some of which we rent and others we buy. We feel no need for cable or satellite TV because we tend not to watch the television regularly. Bon week-end.

  11. We do go to Lyon occasionally to see VO films, but generally watch them on DVD. We loved The Imitation Game. Have you seen "Pride"? That is a very good film - funny and moving.