Permit me to blow my own trumpet for a moment.
Now, I have excellent taste in movies, so I'd like to run through the top ten grossing movies of 2007 with you. As usual I will give a star rating for each one, do let me know if you disagree...
1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (£49,420,484) ****
Possibly the best of the Potter movies so far with the acting of the young leads improving, a much darker tone and a spectacular duelling sequence between the Order of the Phoenix and the Death Eaters.
2. Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End (£42,237,960) **
Flabby dross with very few redeeming qualities at all.
3. Shrek the Third (£38,620,659) **
Forgetting everything that made the first two Shrek movies watchable.
4. The Simpsons Movie (£38,544,114) ***
Some very funny gags - sadly not the masterpiece we were all hoping for.
5. Spider-Man 3 (£33,547,946) *
Indescribably awful in just about every way
6. Ratatouille (£24,716,887) ****
Pixar strikes gold one more time. The dud that was Cars fades away...
7. The Bourne Ultimatum (£23,703,150) *****
Best action film for ages - The setpieces in Waterloo station and over the rooftops and houses on Tangiers were nothing short of breathtaking.
8. Transformers (£22,863,864) ***
Big and very dumb fun
9. Mr Bean's Holiday (£22,142,332) *
Don't even go there......
10. Hot Fuzz (£21,005,064) *****
My film of the year. Hands down
It depresses me greatly that most of the films on that list are either crushingly predictable or utterly dreadful. There were some superb films released this year that were totally ignored by people scurrying to see the latest Shrek film. And in what sane world does the funniest film of the year come one place behind the inexplicably popular Mr Bean's Holiday? Where does that get fun?
I think I can see the problem. People like to go for things that are familiar (I am the same), and frankly, the cost of the cinema is so extortionate that people aren't that willing to take risks on movies anymore. It means that magnificent oddities like Daywatch for example, are shown in cinemas for one or two weeks at best. While tripe like Mr Bean or Pirates are shown for months on end. This leaves no room for word of mouth growth. By the time I have seen a really good movie and let people know about it, its already out of the cinemas.
I just wish that cinema chains would charge less for the offbeat or arty films. They can continue charging outrageous sums for the big blockbusters, people will still lap them up regardless (and I count myself in that number). However, if I could go and see something quirky and off the beaten track for a few quid instead of paying on the unpleasant side of £6, I'd be in the cinema much more often, which surely only benefits the business side of things.
* I know trumpets don't make this noise. I am open to suggestions at how I should represent the sound of a trumpet in text form.