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Not Recommended
by Xavier Jones-Barlow

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Hormone Cure

Hormone Cure
So what would you do if you found yourself in the position of being somewhat employmently challenged, financially stunted, forced to co-habit with a parental unit and a sibling and steadily losing every nuance of any remaining sanity? You watch a lot of movies that's what. I mean a lot more movies.

OK, so here's one for you; what is the most amount of movies you have watched in one day? Or should I say one sitting. This could be at home, in the cinema or at a close friends pyjama party. It could be on an especially long international flight, on your computer while at work or on those neat little glasses the Japanese have that put a giant telly right in front of your eyes. On a particularly hot and sunny Thursday recently and against all common sense, my freakishly gangly aforementioned younger brother and I decided to strain the aforementioned sanity to the limit. We thought it was a good idea at the time. The task we set ourselves was to watch all six STAR WARS movies, back to back, with barely a pause to pee.

During my teenage years, the male contingent of my circle of friends attempted to watch the 'original' three in one go on several occasions. Fuelled by alcohol and unchecked hormones I never managed to complete the task. I would either disappear (hormones) or fall asleep (alcohol)halfway through JEDI. In fact, the only time I ever managed it was when I was seven years old, at the cinema, when all three films were being shown at the cinema following the release of JEDI. Good times. Armed with popcorn, several hundred packets of crisps and an extra large packet of Doritos myself, my brother and a friend embarked on our over-geeky fifteen hour quest. Alcohol was prohibited, as was sunlight, sleep and mobile phones.

You may think that this is a slightly odd goal to have. You are not wrong. You may also consider this to be one of the geekiest and socially retarded aspirations one could have. You would not be too far of the mark on that point either. Needless to say, every now and then I have to exercise/exorcise/appease my inner Fanboy (it occurs to me that it would be a good
Insomnia Cure

Insomnia Cure
time to mention that we also watched the Clone Wars cartoons between II &III) if only to keep a twisted grin on my face, or at least keep my intake of Sci-Fi/Fantasy in check. My inspiration for even considering this ranges from deranged curiosity, a current feeling of under-achievement, an unquenchable fascination with over sized glow sticks and a distinct lack of spiritual growth on my part.

Diving headlong into the Lucasverse all the usual debates and arguments were aired; The importance of Jar Jar, the scholarly writing, the impeccable acting skills on display, the flawless direction and the disappointing lack of a musical interlude. Plenty of material to keep us all entertained and at times, potentially kill each other. Six hours in and motivation is waning in certain corners of the audience. I am still raring to go however and we plug on, hitting Episode four in the late evening. The revelation that my compatriots have never witnessed the Stormtrooper banging his head amused me somewhat as collectively we picked out all the mistakes that have since passed into cinematic folklore.

By the time the litmus test that is Episode VI arrives, we are all bleary eyed, somewhat stressed and a little sick of C-3PO. But we have come this far, and despite losing a man just after Leia throttles the slug my brother and I resort to shouting at each other in an attempt to stay conscious. I find my concentration is all over the place, the urge to press one little red button on the remote is strong, but a bout of banging my forehead on a nearby unsuspecting wall soon buries the inclination to quit. With the end in sight, the helmet-headed dude has just chucked the wrinkly one down a conveniently bottomless over-sized air vent, I discover that my 'little' brother is peacefully snoozing. Ewoks will do that to you. Bless him, with only fifteen out of nine hundred minutes to go he succumbs to his own dreams of gold bikinis and white jumpsuits. Search your feelings little brother, to complete the circle and fulfil your destiny you are going to have to do it all over again before you can call yourself a fully
An Unlikely Salvation?

An Unlikely Salvation?
fledged master of the farce. I blame myself, I was too busy searching for the famed potato that is supposedly hidden in the space battle (that after approximately 236 viewings I still have not spotted) to notice his eyelids drop. Despite this late let down, I am victorious, I can now honestly boast of my accomplishment and impress a myriad of women the next time I am stuck for words. I can't wait.

I slept well that night/morning, falling into a coma roughly fifty-two seconds after switching the DVD player off. A week later, I think I have fully recovered. I can now focus on objects other than the television, that ethereal humming noise has stopped and it has been at least three days since I last said, 'I have a bad feeling about this'. So what wisdom can I impart to you after my ordeal? I really don't know. Travelling through hyperspace is not like dusting crops? Size matters not? Power corrupts? George Lucas is more than capable of lending you ten dollars? I will however say this, I actually really did enjoy myself. It may be the films themselves, the company or the fact that I really like Doritos. But it was fun. It has led to me to consider other marathon film viewings, and ways to force my brother, or indeed any other guileless individual to join me.

However this does pose a problem. I have been musing over what would be a good choice of material and it is painfully obvious that most of the major franchises are almost exclusively fantasy or horror with a bit of action thrown in. HARRY POTTER, LORD OF THE RINGS, JAMES BOND, ROCKY, STAR TREK, EVIL DEAD are all contenders for a filmy session but I am afraid that after STAR WARS, which is really the daddy of the modern flick serial I struggle to find the imputes to commit.

Any of you out there got any better suggestions? I think the 'plan' is to watch the first two BOURNE films and then skip down to the cinema for ULTIMATUM. Alternatively feel free to let me know that my depths of sadness have reached an embarrassing low and I should just go and sort my life out.



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Every other Saturday

Xavier analyses film, literary. A bizarre melding of books and movies.


Other Columns
Other columns by Xavier Jones-Barlow:

My Month As A Teenage Girl

Mr Jones and the Shame of the Spolier Scolls

Fragment: Consider Revising.

Proof Reading The Movies #1

The Cinematic Chicken And The Literary Egg

All Columns


Xavier Jones-Barlow
Xavier lives in Scotland where it is very cold. He spends his time writing about live bands and people dreamt up in his bizarre imagination. Quite huggable .



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If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Xavier Jones-Barlow by clicking here.


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