When I looked back on my blog to find out what today’s TBT film was I audibly groaned. I’ve never wanted to see this film again. Especially now I’ve seen the amazing stage production. That was genuinely an emotional triumph and a beautiful adaptation of a (frankly) stupid story. Stupid because, for me, the story of an animal’s journey through World War 1 is never going to compare to that of a human’s in terms of emotional resonance. 2018 was the centenary of the end of World War 1 and Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old was a film experience I’ll never forget. During the run-up to the actual centenary I got annoyed by the knowledge that an animal charity had designed their own purple poppy badge in memory of the animals who died in warfare. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love animals and think remembering their sacrifice is a good thing. BUT I don’t think it’s right to focus on them over the human sacrifice and you know there are people out there who will have only worn a purple poppy. As another example, I was recently witness to someone compare having to have their dog put down to having a child on life-support. As a former dog owner who went through the experience of having to do that, I know how much it hurts but you can’t compare the situations at all. Animals are great but, surely, we can all agree it’s not the same, right?
I wasn’t sure whether to include this film in my new TBT series of revisiting old reviews. It’s one of the few films I’ve rewatched recently so it isn’t exactly a reintroduction to it. It was around the time that Baby Driver had been released when I was on a massive Edgar Wright high. Such is my obsessive love for him, I’d been watching interviews he’d given and, because that’s what you do on YouTube, I got stuck in an endless stream of videos. During this late night binge, I came across an interview he’d given with Steven Moffat and Joe Cornish whilst promoting The Adventures of Tintin in 2011. This interview left me even less keen on Steven Moffat than I was and reminded me of Wright’s involvement with the film. To be honest, I’d kind of forgotten about it since the first time I’d watched it. Well, I always spoke very highly of it cause I remembered enjoying it. But I’d never really had the urge to go back. But I did. And I was fairly disappointed. So, the question remained, how would it fair a third time?
Anyone that’s been a reader of this blog for a while will know that when I reviewed the novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline I wasn’t exactly a fan. For the most part I found it to be an uninspiring and boring story supplemented by an endless and unnecessary stream of pop culture references. It annoyed me that Cline had the audacity to write a novel set in the future and only reference the past. I mean the novel is set sometime in the 2040s which is 60 years after the 1980s. Are we supposed to believe that in 60 years nothing has ever come along to seem cooler than fucking War Games. Now don’t get me wrong, I think War Games is iconic but I was born 5 years after it was released not 50. Anyway, I don’t need to get into this now. Suffice it to say, when it was announced that the book was being turned into a film directed by Steven Spielberg I was hardly on the edge of my fucking seat. I couldn’t see how it would be any good based on the novel or on Spielberg’s recent track record. I mean I enjoyed The BFG and Bridge of Spies is meant to be great but, come one, The Post was hardly anything to celebrate. Spielberg has been a bit of a hack for years. I didn’t see how a huge CGI fest was going to get him out of his funk. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t curious so, this weekend, I decided it was time to find out for sure.