Quentin Tarantino's new film, Inglourious Basterds, is out today. By all accounts it's awful – not just awful, actually, but tedious, gratuitously violent, over-long and the plot, they say, is downright daft. It features several scalpings and a scene where a swastika is carved into someone's forehead. One critic has described it as "a colossal armour-plated turkey from hell".
Right. So that's another film I don't want to see then. Another film to add to the list – as long as my arm – that I've had no desire to see this year, last year, the year before that.
Lately, I haven't wanted to see Public Enemies (too much self-important testosterone), Confessions of a Shopaholic (conspicuous consumption in a recession – no thanks), Brüno (this joke's getting a bit old), Antichrist, (live-action clitoridectomy, anyone?), Coco Before Chanel (not that interested in the woman, frankly) – and that's not to include all the films I obviously wouldn't want to see due to being the wrong side of 40 – films such as Harry Potter, Transformers, Ice Age and Monsters vs Aliens. Maybe I've been churlish, maybe I've been wrong not to see these films, but if you wanted to market-research me, the fact remains that I've seen the advertising for these films, I've seen the reviews, and still I've stayed away.
And honestly – I'm not a culture Nazi. There are things I love on the screen. It just so happens they're on the small screen. I love Mad Men. I loved Red Riding. I loved The Wire, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, In Treatment. But where are the movies for people like me?
I miss movies because much as I love good TV, there's nothing quite like the voluptuous, soul-shattering gorgeousness of a cathartic big-screen experience. The last time I had something approaching one of those was watching Ang Lee's Lust, Caution – and that was two years ago.
Since then it's been a good deal of disappointment, a good deal of looking at my watch and wondering if we could skip the end, get home, and save £7.50 on the baby-sitting.
Let's take the Oscar contenders of the last couple of years, and these are the ones I did see: I didn't much like Atonement (overblown, pretentious), There Will Be Blood (that testosterone thing again), The Reader (dreary) and even, dare I say it, feel-bad movie of the year, Slumdog Millionaire (man's inhumanity to man sexed up manipulatively in the service of a – completely phoney – happy ending).
I suppose the truth is that they make TV for people like me – and not movies – precisely because people like me aren't often at the cinema (see above re London baby-sitting rates). But I'd like to put in a plea. I would go to the cinema if they made films I wanted to see.
And I'm not the only one. Traditionally, research shows that only the young go to the movies – but this trend has been bucked recently. The worldwide success of Mamma Mia! shows that older women have an appetite for film – and spending power, too.
But is the industry courting middle-aged women? No. Is it courting the sophisticated audience that made The Wire and Mad Men such big hits? No. Is it making grown-up movies? No – it's throwing money at the likes of Quentin Tarantino. Once cinema's enfant terrible, Tarantino, pictured, has grown up into a monstrous destructive toddler and can be seen jiggling up and down on YouTube calling gratuitous, graphic violence "so much fun".
This is a man, bear in mind, who's last film, Death Proof, featured cars full of women being rammed repeatedly until all the women inside the cars were dead.
You'll be glad to hear, then, that he recently said in an interview: "I like the idea that it's all by me, that it starts with me and a blank piece of paper, and it ends with me and a movie. It didn't exist before me and it's all created by me, and it's all completely a product of my imagination."
C-sections, cocaine and frozen cakes
So, that's why mums go to Iceland. Not because it's cheap, not because of the frozen chocolate gâteaux – because they're on cocaine!
Kerry Katona, mother of four and the face of Iceland, has been caught on video appearing to snort some white powder at home in her bathroom. And now she's been dropped by the supermarket chain.
Since leaving a girl band, Katona has spent her time serving up frozen hors d'oeuvres in cosy Christmas adverts as well as serving up her own chaotic life story for celebrity magazine consumption.
It's been quite a smorgasbord. You only have to run your eye down Kerry's Wikipedia entry to get the flavour. Reading only the link words, the story is as follows: pop, group, Atomic Kitten, lap dancer, tabloid, Sunday Sport, I'm a Celebrity, Eurovision Song Contest, MTV, OK! magazine, Max Clifford, Westlife, Brian McFadden, honeymoon, Mauritius, divorce, Mark Croft, sweetheart, Gretna Green, C-section, The Priory, bi-polar disorder, miscarriage, foetus, bankrupt, liposuction.
Iceland, however, say that up until now they have always stood by Katona, as an example of "a normal person and mum". If that's what they think normal is, I should really drop my prejudices and get down to Iceland more often. The customers must be quite entertaining.
* Meanwhile a new study tells us that 95 per cent of American bank notes bear traces of cocaine. Similar tests conducted two years ago found that only 67 per cent of US banknotes had cocaine traces. A doctor from the University of Massachusetts said that this "could be related to the economic downturn, with stressed people turning to cocaine".
That sounds alarmist to me. The US treasury website says that they print approximately 38 million notes a day, and the study only tested 234 bank notes from 17 cities. It's far more likely that notes get contaminated when they're passed through banks' currency-counting machines.
I really wouldn't like to think that 95 per cent of the notes I handle have been shoved up someone's nose.Reuse content