To avoid fainting, keep repeating it's only a move ..only a movie ..only a movie ..only a movie
If you grew up believing that Planet of the Apes told you all you needed to know about politics, that Slade in Flame was a savage exposé of the pop world, and that The Exorcist revealed the meaning of life, then you probably spent far too many of your formative years at the cinema. Just as likely, you soon would have realised that there was only one career open to you - you'd have to become a film critic.
In It’s only a Movie, the incomparable Mark Kermode takes us into the weird world of a life lived in widescreen. Join him as he embarks on a gut-wrenching journey through the former Soviet Union on the trail of the low budget horror flick Dark Waters, cringe as he's handbagged by Helen Mirren at the Bafta awards ceremony, cheer as he gets thrown out of the Cannes film festival for heckling in very bad French, and don't forget to gasp as he's shot at while interviewing Werner Herzog in the Hollywood hills.
Written with sardonic wit and wry good humour, this compelling cinematic memoir is genuinely ‘inspired by real events’.
©2010 Mark Kermode (P)2010 Random House Audio
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"A Critique of Pure Unreasonableness"
Most of the time, Kermode writes as he broadcasts, which will amuse or infuriate you depending on your preferences. Read by anybody but the author this would be a waste of money and almost eight hours of your life. Read by the author it will make you laugh more than six times and understand why Google says "hello to Jason Isaacs" when you type his name in. Kermode is probably currently one of the top ten of Britain's ex marxist, vegetarian, former feminist, Christian film critics, and this book amply explains how he achieved this, unless you are Ukranian, when it will offend you.
"It's only a review but..."
Really enjoyed this - as others have reported its a strange mix of autobiography and general thoughts/anecdotes but all entertainly narrated by the man himself. He does it with a real sense of passion and enthusiasm that for me made this a far more engaging experience than I suspect the book counterpart would be. If you're a fan of the good Dr. then this is a really entertaining listen with some fascinating insights into the life and thoughts of the country's best film critic.
"Great for the fans"
I'm very fond of the Good Doctor. I would not say that I hang on his every word but, certainly my friends tease me with some reason that, I allow him to influence my movie-watching behaviour more than an intelligent man really should. Guilty.
To the book... yes, I enjoyed it. I expected to, and I did. I don't think anybody who isn't already a fan of Dr. Kermode is going to get anything out of it, for it is essentially a selected autobiography. Admittedly, it has a style and technique that attempts to stand apart from the biographical content - it is the story of a man who lives his life through movies - but still, if you don't care about the man already, you're unlikely to care about his life; no matter how he lives it.
If you're an avid Wittertainee, pick this up. If you don't know what the Hell that last sentence meant, you'll probably want to give it a miss.
"Uncut Wittertainment - Not much more"
As an avid listener to Wittertainment I am fully aware of the 'Kermodian rant' which, while very entertaining on a Friday afternoon, I did have concerns over his suitability in narrating his own story. Totally unfounded and with second thoughts who else could tell his story. I do agree with other reviewers that if you download the podcast and follow the Uncut blog then you probably know most of it. Definitely left wanting more.
"It's Only an Audiobook. (But it's very good)."
Leaves you wanting to hear more.
Some really funny moments, and the odd, sad one too.
Ever interesting and well read by Mark.
"Perfect listen - great production"
Mark Kermode's knowledge of movies is outstanding, he has an excellent radio voice so is perfect to narrate his own work. Becuase he has lived it he brings his stories to life. I would suggest there is one chapter where he labours a journey to Russia, but one can overlook that given the rest of the book. If you are a fan of his BBC Radio 2 show this is a 'must listen'.
"Interesting but not interesting enough"
As a huge fan of Kermode's film review show with Simon Mayo on Five Live for several years this was an interesting listen but ultimately, it's the story of how a film critic became a film critic. There's a bunch of interesting anecdotes (his horrific trip across Russia, Werner Hertzog getting shot whilst being interviewed by him), most of which I was already aware of from the show, and beyond that there's not much else.
It was good to hear Mark reading the book himself but there just wasn't enough meat on the bones for me.
"very good and well written"
Mark Kermode, well i think he is a great movie reviewer. He rates movie on how he sees the movie and i think that is great for a movie reviewer. Back to the book. Its funny and well written. He talks about the movies he loves and hates. He love horror movies oh and so do I. But dont let that put you off. The way the book is written is like being in a movie or lots of movies. I never knew of Mark Kermode till i listen to this book because i live in New Zealand. I rate this book 5 stars. And recommend this to anyone that loves movies or wants to get to know Mark Kermode a little more.
I'm a fan of mark Kermode's film reviews and always listen to the podcasts. Fun as they are, part of the pleasure is in appreciating how annoyingly smug and slightly conceited the blessed Dr Kermode is. I expected this to be a problem with the book but it isn't. The book is slow to start but have patience and you'll be well rewarded. After the first few chapters the book becomes genuinely laugh out loud funny. It's great fun and I was sorry to finish it
"He does have great hair though"
I've often watched Kermode review a movie and thought: "Why should I care what you think?" As, indeed, he would probably think if he ever read this review.
I'm none-the-wiser really, having listened to this book from start to finish. There's nothing wrong with it, maybe it's a wee bit irritating at times, but essentially it's a biopic of Kermode's life with particular attention to his relationship with films filled with personal anecdotes and revealing stories about films and the people who make them, but I just didn't really connect with it.
What's missing is drama (apart from the bit where Werner Herzog's pants explode), it's lacking in comedy as well, or horror or romance. It's not a movie, it's not quirky enough, or racy enough or exciting enough. It's just a story about a guy who likes watching movies but don't be fooled into buying it simply because you like watching movies too, because it's not that kind of movie.
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