Films I half-watched on holiday


14th October 2011

Don't ever let it be said this site isn't 100% professional. Even when I'm on holiday, I'm working.

So, I'm back from a week in Marrakesh and have wrestled back control of the site from Luke and Matt, our very own Dick and Dom. "Ali, this is neither the time or the place to discuss your holiday," I hear you all say. And to that I say: WRONG, MOTHERFUCKERS. Not only did I partake in much sun-worshipping, swimming and all-you-can-eat-and-drinking, I also half-watched a few films with Arabic subtitles on Moroccan TV.

God bless you, MBC Action.

Moroccan TV is pretty great. Usually when abroad, you'll channel surf until you find CNN/MTV/that sexy gameshow where women dress in glittery bikinis, and just sit watching it like a sad zombie in bed, while your significant other washes their hair for two hours. Not so here. They have entire channels dedicated to showing half-decent movies at every hour of the day. In English! Imagine the possibilities! Also, I watched 'Most Shocking: High Impact Collisions' from start to finish. Holidays!

I guess my appetite for media in any form is just incredibly voracious. That would explain why I seriously considered spending the equivalent of nine pounds on a copy of Men's Health magazine in the gift shop. Anyway, here were my movie-related findings from sunny Marrakesh. You are welcome.

Total Recall (1990)

What I assumed the film to be about: Brace yourselves, but I'd never seen Total Recall before. And I still kind of haven't - I saw about 25 minutes of uninterrupted Schwarzeneggering, from when he shoots Sharon Stone in the head onwards ("Consider d-d-divorce"). I was happy to see all the quotes I've heard from Arnie soundboards past and present, plus the one-liner quota was more than met ("Hey Benny... Screw... YOOOOU!"). It's quite blatantly bollocks though, right? Note: I didn't see the woman with three tits.

Why I stopped watching it: The sweet embrace of sleep. A pale Brit like me can only take so much sun before he needs an afternoon nap back in his hotel room. Why yes, I did have DOUBLE PILLOWS.
Die Hard 4.0 (2007)

What I assumed the film to be about: We've all seen Die Hard 4.0, so it was no surprise seeing John McClane kicking names and taking ass. What was surprising was that it was playing on 'Channel 2' at 7 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING. I woke up to the sight of John McClane kicking an Asian woman down a lift-shaft. However, this pre-watershed showing meant they'd cut loads of the violence and the swearing. Outrageous! Oh, right.

Why I stopped watching it: The lure of unlimited potato pancakes at the breakfast buffet was too strong to resist. Also it had just got to the Kevin Smith bit. TV OFF.
Bookies (2003)

What I assumed the film to be about: From the good hour or so I caught of this, it appeared to be about a group of college kids who set up an unlicensed bookies and give out the winnings in the pages of unpopular library books. Foolproof! It starred Nick Stahl, Lukas Haas and that guy from The Big Bang Theory, who officially can't play a coked up maniac. Also, it had Rachel Leigh Cook as a jock (!) and a slimy Italian-American gangster whose turf was being stepped on. I'm assuming it all ended well for them.

Why I stopped watching it: I stayed awake when Rachel Leigh Cook played foosball on the promise of getting naked if she lost, but drifted off to Bedfordshire when it was obvious I wasn't seeing any skin. This may or may not have had something to do with the fact I thought the movie was called 'Boobies'.
The Rock (1996)

What I assumed the film to be about: Another film I assume you'd think I'd have seen (preconceptions, guys, way to be uncool), I took the opportunity to plug in the missing pieces of my Michael Bay film jigsaw. From what I gather, it's about Nicolas Cage and James Bond trying to save some giant green marbles from Ed Harris' shouty voice. Am I close? Disappointingly, in the 30 minutes I watched for, I didn't see one helicopter exploding against a sunset, for shame. Think I caught a glimpse of Nicolas Cage's natural hairline, though.

Why I stopped watching it: It was karaoke night at the hotel's Charlie Chaplin bar, which naturally meant I had an appointment in another bar at the opposite end of the complex.
Reservation Road (2007)

What I assumed the film to be about: Known in the industry as 'no, not Revolutionary Road, that other one', this seemed to be one of those Lifetime TV movies about a dead kid, but with an A-list cast. I think Mark Ruffalo played a guy who ran over a child belonging to Joaquin Phoenix and Jennifer Connelly, a gold-medalist at the Grief Olympics. Ruffalo then had to investigate his own case when a bearded, not-yet-mental Phoenix comes to his attorney for help. TWIST!

Why I stopped watching it: Watching powerfully-acted films about coping with grief and mortality conflicted with my views on free cocktails.
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)

What I assumed the film to be about: Confession time: I bloody love the Ace Ventura films. This was the first film I ever bunked off school to go and see (even if I did think the school term started on Wednesday and not Tuesday, if you're reading this Mr Brunwin). I tuned in when Ace 'birthed' himself from the animatronic rhino and continued to delight my wife by quoting the film's most memorable lines mere seconds before they were delivered on screen. She loves it when I do that.

Why I stopped watching it: I didn't. Watched this baby right through to the end. Shi-kaka!
How about this for a bit of added Hollywood sparkle? On the flight home (Ryanair, natch), who should I see in the aisle seat but Stephanie Beacham of Dynasty and Celebrity Big Brother fame? Truly, she put the 'class' in 'economy class'. You want some gossip? I went to the toilet after her and she definitely left splashback on the seat. Her, or one of the 5-6 guys who used it after her, but whatever. It's good to be back.

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