Parasite – The contrarian I didn’t like it review.

I guess the easy thing would be to go along with the swathes of glowing reviews from experts and take note of the huge array of awards that this movie has won and seems to continue to win. Wait. For. It. … Just a little more…


I really didn’t like this movie. I did want to. I just didn’t. I was searching for a way to describe how I felt, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. It looks lovely, but that, for me is about it. The story is stupid, the characters ugly. It’s a good thirty minutes too long and, well, boring. The best way I could think of to describe how I felt watching Parasite was thus:

Imagine you are sitting in front of a washing machine that has a lovely white cotton towel in it, the really fluffy one you just bought that totes gets you and then you half notice what looks like a flash of red. A rush of adrenaline, but then it abates because it was just a figment of your imagination. You turn to look away, but WOAH just as you glance back, there in the window is a big dark blue sock and it is clinging to the glass taunting you.

THEN BAM. The red sock appears and pushes the blue sock off its perch. You reach of the off button, but know that despite your need for this disaster to be over the off button on a washing machine is more an indication of future intent than a strict instruction and this horror show is going to continue for some time and you’ll just have to deal with it.

You sit, horror-struck in front of the washing machine unable to move, you watch as red follows blue follows white and then it all starts to blend into one indescribable shade of grey. A really crap grey that ruins everything. It ruins the blue sock, it ruins the red sock and worst of all it ruins is the white towel – everything looks awful and all you can do is sit.

THEN BAM, the washing machine inexplicably lurches forwards and falls on you trapping you until help arrives – it never does. As you sit there, trapped, you try to work out why this happened and how on earth the washing machine could have fallen on you, but this story has no need for logic or sense it’s just a collection of things thrown together. Not unlike Parasite.

I didn’t like it.

The Personal History of David Copperfield

It cost me forty-five quid to watch this movie. And, at the end, as the credits rolled, it wasn’t something I was obsessing over, so I guess all-in-all that must mean it’s a good movie. It is.

However, I can’t help thinking that this would have made a much better 6-part mini-series on BBC4 than a two-hour movie. There are so many lovely scenes, but it felt to me there could have been a lot more lovely scenes and the movie format couldn’t allow for them even at £45.

All the cast are great, the way the story flows through the scenery never gets messy or weird or jarring. Though I did want Malcolm Tucker Mr. Micawber to swear at the bailiffs a bit. Well, quite a lot really.

I do wonder if it might be of its time as a movie though – in a way that you watch it 3 times now and rave over it and then in five years watch it again and don’t maintain the same sense of joy or excitement. Even though you remember that feeling it’s like there’s something missing, somehow. I felt that way a bit after The Madness of King George. Watched it three times when it came out, loved it. Saw it again a few years later, didn’t like it half as much. What what!

So, it’s a fun escape – if you like Armarretto Averivaderci movies, TV shows or comedy output, you’ll like it too, all the punchlines are in all the right places and all the actors are acting at the right time. Jolly good show!

Though you may want to avoid the Vue at Leicester Square if you want to pay less than a king’s ransom to watch a movie and have some popcorn and a drink or you’ll end up as destitute as a third-act character in a loose movie adaptation of the fourth most popular Dickens novel.


Of course, you’re supposed to like this film. Our brave boys, heroes led by donkeys, the misery of the trenches, The Battle of the Somme and all those other things. This is those and a long walk rolled into one two hour movie.

However, here’s the thing – this movie and the way it has been received, sits for me on the pre-built foundations and emotional labour of a fair few GCSE history teachers and other war movies when you strip that away you’re not left with much.

The story, true it may be, feels like a lazy Saving Private Ryan prequel. But then, the ‘tragedy’ that might unfold should they not reach their goal seems at odds with the wide narrative of this war. 1600 men might die, well, I guess, but 57,000 died on the first day of The Battle of the Somme so 1600, even if one of those is a brother of one of your men seems, well, forgive me, not a lot.

It’s not a bad film, by any stretch and there are some good action sequences, but then there are scenes that seemed so at odds with the overall that they brought me fully out of France and back to the slightly worn non-VIP seat at the Halifax Vue. The baby scene, for example, WTFBBQ? as the youth might say, the youth in the cinema were texting at this point in the movie so they could well have been asking this very question. What an utterly unnecessary and pointless waste of five minutes. Not a clue why any of that needed to be done – maybe it was truly what happened, but like an aside in a long story about your holiday to Greece that includes an uncle who once also visited the same place as you completely by coincidence, it had no bearing on the story. I also didn’t much care for the next scene where seemingly every Gemman with a rifle is the world’s worst shot. I mean, yeah, the drunk guy, but all the others missed? Hmm.

The circus end piece with our hero breaking in to deliver his orders was very Blackadder Goes Forth, but I’m not sure it was supposed to be. I think it was to be taken seriously. When Eggs Benedict delivers his “ahh well, we’ll all be dead tomorrow or the day after” speech, it feels glib and not at all like the actual truth of the matter. Yes, Colin Firth has decided to do the right thing, but we all know that those fellas coming back down into the trenches face certain death anyway. Life wasn’t saved death was merely postponed.

Film looks marvellous, sounds lovely, is a story about which one can draw no new conclusions – these were heroes lead by donkeys politicians, 1917 receives an inoffensively bland rating from me. Make of that what you wish.