DOUBLE WHAMMY MOVIE REVIEW: How To Survive a Plague, and the new THOR film

Published: 31st Oct, 2013

Watch this movie…

One of the perks of doing what I do is that every once in a while I’ll get to see movies before they go to the cinema and it doesn’t cost me a penny. I just stroll in, watch them, and the trade off is that I then have to write about them which is basically what I’m doing now, I just haven’t got to it yet – I’m wasting valuable time boasting about how great my life is. I’m being all “look at me, I’m amazing”. But before you spiral into a jealous rage, please bear in mind that I haven’t got a pension plan, I’ve only had one permanent full time job in my entire life and I left that over ten years ago, and I own a fraction of a flat that is so small it can’t be expressed numerically. See? It’s all swings and roundabouts, and I’m just thankful for these small things because they sprinkle a spoonful of sugar onto my freelance existence. So this week I first got to watch a documentary called How to Survive a Plague, and then later I took my woman to a free screening of Thor: The Dark World. If you’d indulge me I’ll say a few words about each and then we can all go our separate ways…

First up, How To Survive a Plague. I was sent this on a DVD to enjoy at my own leisure, and so that’s what I did. I went about my day doing cool stuff like chewing bubble gum and wolf whistling at girls, then at some point on a Thursday afternoon I fixed myself a pot of decaff, bust open a packet of plain Digestives and popped a documentary about AIDS on. Specifically a documentary about AIDS activists in the late 1980s and early 1990s charting their struggle to get treatments onto the market as fast as possible to stop people from dying needlessly – fair to say it was intense and moving, and I looked back on those years when I would have been around 12 or 13 and I remembered the impact of AIDS, the terrifying adverts, the stigma attached, and it struck me that I’d never actually thought about it in real terms, I hadn’t put myself in the shoes of a gay man watching his friends die around him, worrying about who might be next and fearful that it could be him. I’d never really considered the extra weight of prejudice that came with it and how hard people had to fight for their lives, and I spent a good two hours pretending to myself that I had something in my eye despite the fact that I was weeping loudly and heavily and with gusto and enthusiasm as the tears flowed like rain in some open guttering. What I’m trying to say is that you should watch this, I don’t like it when people say that things are “important” or “powerful” because it always comes off as somehow disingenuous, but if I was the kind of writer to use words like those then I would.

How to Survive a Plague from Ford Foundation on Vimeo.

Next up, I got dolled up, doused myself in Chanel Bleu and took my beautiful lady wife to Leicester Square to watch the latest Thor film in 3-D. Immediately I had two problems with it. Firstly I am incapable of seeing 3-D on account of having a lazy eye so that was never going to fly, and secondly I haven’t seen Thor 1, nor The Avengers movie which apparently features Thor alongside his superhero pals like Mister America, Hot Lips and Ant Boy. If I was on Mastermind my specialist subject would be “Not Thor”. Anyway, as a movie it’s totally fine. Probably better than fine if you’ve seen the other installments, and my woman was certainly impressed by the Norse God during a scene where he splashes water all over his naked body then goes to have a look out of the window without furthering the plot in any recognisable way. I was just happy that my preconceptions of it featuring Hunter from Gladiators swinging around shouting VANQUISH VALHALLA at random intervals were way off. Well done Thor, you won me over in the end. This scores two and a half out of four and a third.

And that’s all I have to say about films at the moment. In completely unrelated news I went to see Gregory Porter last night at The Royal Albert Hall and he was AMAZING. Here he is singing a wicked song…

Josh Burt
About the author:
Josh has been a writer and journalist for the best part of twenty years and has written for modern staples like FHM and Cosmopolitan and The Daily Telegraph and The Sun. He has also written a small handful of so-so books that you can still buy.

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