To Camberley in Surrey for the first time in 25 years, to see the Judge Dredd movie at the local picture house. The town is much as I remember it, except for the addition of a new shopping centre; but I was disappointed not to spot the Camberley Cowboy, a grown man who used to walk up and down the High Street dressed in full cowboy fig, because he (one presumes) liked to walk around the town dressed as a cowboy.
Nearby Reading had (and still has, as a matter of fact) the entirely charming and slightly eccentric Reading Elvis; my home town of Fleet has a genuine political party leader in the majestic Howling Laud Hope of the Raving Loonies; while Camberley had the Camberley Cowboy, who seems to have ridden off ino the sunset and been replaced by a large concrete elephant on the main road into town.
Also, the UK headquarters of Krispy Kreme Donuts. So not all bad, then.
But that is by-the-by, for I was there for the cinema. Dredd is one of the few times that I have paid out cash money to see a 3D movie, essentially because I'm a huge fan of 2000AD (with a much dog-eared, torn and graffitied copy of issue one in a box under my bed), and there are no 2D showings within sensible distance. Three dimensional movies give me a three dimensional headache, invariably leading to very much three dimensional rich, brown vomit in the car park afterwards.
It is usually, seconds after wiping rich, brown three-dimensional vomit from my face with the back of my hand, that I realise I have to drive home with my real-world depth perception well and truly destroyed, and it is time to call a taxi. Thanks, Hollywood. Thanks a bunch.
However, you have to hand it to the makers of Dredd, for they've made the 3D an essential part of the movie, as the illegal drugs that play an essential part of the plot slow down reality, enhance awareness of bright sparkly things floating around, and make people getting shot in the head at close range look all the more sickeningly beautiful. And there are a lot of people getting shot in the head at close range, and I think the sparkly things floating around were - mostly - their teeth.
Dredd 3D is also the first three-dimensional movie ever made to avoid this scene, required by law of all films of the genre:
SCENE: HALL OF JUSTICE. DAY.
Dredd is seated, feet up on his desk. Judge Anderson enters without knocking.
Judge Anderson: "Hey, Dredd. When this case is all over, care to join me for a spot of fishing? I hear they're bitin' down by the Mutie Canal!"
[Judge Anderson waves a fishing rod at the camera for several awkward seconds]
Dredd: "Not right now, rookie. Can't you see I'm busy?"
[Dredd throws a baseball at the camera]
Dredd (cont): "And haven't you got work to do?"
Judge Andseron (sighs): "Yes, boss. Drokkin' slave-driver."
[Anderson picks up a feather duster, and starts dusting. You know, toward the camera]
...hence the 18 Certificate.
Movies in 3D are fine for people whose heads can stand the experience without having to spend the next twelve hours in bed with a bucket nearby. For the rest of us, I'd be obliged if the producers offered a near-equivalent alternative where actors are employed to re-enact the film on a stage for the benefit of paying customers.
We could call this new development "going to the theatre". I don't know about you, but I think this could catch on.