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Thursday 11th June 2009

Another tedious half a life time passed watching the rest of Benjamin Button - it took me three sittings, but I was determined to see it through to the end. This film would not defeat me. It has more of a claim to be called "The Never Ending Story" than the film that actually got that name. The film has pretensions to be meaningful or artistic, but it is none of these things and could do with ET style government officials finding out about Benjamin and his strange affliction and quarantining him as Cate Blanchett comes up with a scheme to rescue him. I still found the special effects cartoony at best. I was much more impressed by the effects on Total Recall, which seems to be always on TV and which I have already watched three times in the last year (and maybe a dozen times in total - at least in part). It's genius. No matter how many times you watch the film it is impossible - IMPOSSIBLE- to tell which of the three breasts that the mutant woman reveals is the false one. It's genius. I was tired and needed to go to bed, but still I stayed up to watch this film all the way through, even though I can practically recite the dialogue now. My favourite bit was where just after Schwarzenegger has more or less wasted his hologram trick (he can replicate himself, but actually waits until the laughing hologram has fizzled out before coming out to shoot the bad guys) he then is cornered again and laughs, "Ha ha ha, you thought this was the real Quaid," and then with no comic timing at all reveals, "You were right!" and shoots the baddies dead. I would argue that it would have been in their interest to shoot Quaid hologram or not and discover which one it was afterwards, but they just stand there as he laughs. Genius.
Is Quaid in a dream or are the events really happening to him? We'll never know. But I wish someone had thought to ask him if he was party to the scenes in which he does not appear, because if not, and it's a dream, then how are they happening? If he is seeing them when he is not there, then it's obviously a dream and if he isn't and they're actually happening then it clearly isn't any kind of a dream that we would recognise. And do you ever have a dream where you go out of the room, but the dream stays with the people you've left behind? Maybe, but you'd probably start to notice after a while. I therefore conclude that it wasn't all a dream and Quaid or whoever he is saves Mars and all the freaks on it. This film has everything. It is genius and shits all over Benjamin Button. If you haven't seen it then rent it immediately (or wait til it's on TV again, which it is on pretty much an hourly basis). If you have seen it, then watch it again. Until you know every single line in the thing. It is completely awesome.
I wonder as Cohaagen is sucked out into the airless atmosphere of Mars whether he is hoping that Quaid will activate the machine that still seconds before he was telling him not to, or if he would rather die than give the planet the oxygen that it so badly needs. If only he would say something as his eyes pop out on their stalks. But as with so much in this film, it gets left unsaid.

Oooh yes and tickets for the Edinburgh Fringe are available from Underbelly website Hitler Moustache
6th-30th August at 20.40 White Belly
Collings and Herring Podcast 19th-23rd August at 12.20 Belly Laugh
Box Office: 0844 545 8252

Don't leave it too long to book, especially for the limited podcast run. And certainly worth booking in advance for the weekend and half price preview shows of Hitler Moustache if last year was anything to go by.

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