The Expendables 2
It was supposed to be sweet relief from raising a newborn. No screaming, no nappies, no washing. Just two hours of whatever the hell was on at the movies. "Grandparents are the saviours of our souls," we thought as we rolled into Westgate cinema, bought tickets to the next film up, and sat down with snacks (two frozen Cokes, two Choc Tops and a bucket of popcorn, if you must know). But just 15 minutes into
The Expendables 2
, we'd had enough.
We couldn't take another gun shot, another explosion, another painful grimace from an ageing action star. We walked out and straight into the theatre next door. The movie? Total Recall. No, not the good Arnie one. The terrible Colin Farell remake. Looking for a moral to this story? Sometimes a night at home with an insomniac baby is absolute bliss.
To be clear, I didn't actually walk out, because I'd paid full price for a movie (yes, I am extraordinarily cheap).
I hated Spring Breakers so much I forced myself to stay to the end just so that I knew what other kind of nonsense it could come up with - and also because I was praying it would be revealed to be a joke at the end.
The whole thing was like James Franco and his buddies got high and started recreating early 2000s rap videos in someone's mum's basement, and decided that was a good basis for a film.
It was sexist and a bit rapey, it glorified drug and gun culture and aside from all that, it was just awful. Nothing made sense, the plot was like piecing together morse code, the characters were awful and Franco was utterly ridiculous.
I wrote a review at the time and was eaten alive by the artistic types who said I just "didn't get" Harmony Korine's vision.
I didn't. I still don't. I never will. And I'm pretty sure I don't want to.
I don't normally walk out of movies, especially if I've paid full price. If the film is completely dull, I just gobble up my popcorn and use the time to take an overpriced nap. Even one time on a truly tragic date, I gritted my teeth and waited till the credits started to roll before I ran out at full speed (to be fair that was more to do with the date than the film). But there was one instance where I was forced out of a cinema. Not because I'd snuck in and got caught - although, now that I think about it I had tried to pull that trick once or twice - it was because the cinema was about to collapse.
During a screening of Will Smith's underwhelming superhero film Hancock(no not Suicide Squad), the movie just stopped. It was about 15 to 20 minutes into the film during a big action scene when cinema employees informed us that we had to evacuate the building. I didn't mind all that much as Hancock was proving to be incredibly average, plus they were handing out complimentary tickets and a refund for our troubles. Weeks later I decided to return to the cinema and see how Hancock ended. Maybe it got better? It didn't. I deeply wish I hadn't gone back.
In the comfort of my own home I've switched off countless films. But there's something about watching a movie in the cinema that sees me sticking it out to the bitter end. With one notable, shameful, exception.
While my esteemed colleagues have displayed good sense and exceptional judgement by walking out of cinematic disasters, I, on the other hand, walked out of a movie that won four Academy Awards. Including the two that people actually care about; Best Picture and Best Director.
It was Clint Eastwood's violent and gritty cowboy film Unforgiven that had me getting up out of my seat and heading for the door. Critics had raved about it. Still do. In fact it's since been added to America's National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
But I didn't care. I was bored. I needed to go to the bathroom. I got up, walked out and then ... just didn't walk back in.
What can I say? I was young. I was dumb. I wanted fast action and big 'splosions. Not old men gritting their teeth in the desert. I went next door and played spacies while I waited for my pals.
About an hour later they found me. They told me it sucked.
I had quite a traumatising experience from this movie.
It's pretty much one long-ass scene where Ryan Reynolds gets buried alive with only a lighter and a cellphone and he's racing against time to try and escape his airless death trap six feet underground.
But surprise surprise his phone dies, he manages to light a fire in his coffin thingy and by this stage, I had had enough and was feeling kind of stressed about the situation so I got the hell out of there. Who knows what happened? I guess he died.
It was also my first and last date with a guy who kept texting GOD KNOWS WHO (some other gal probably) throughout the entire film, so that didn't help either. It was a rude and claustrophobic experience all round. Ain't nobody got time for dat.
August: Osage County
It was January in Los Angeles and I was at a loose end, waiting for the evening flight back to Auckland. I'd just spent three days covering Lorde's historic Grammy win, working 18 hour days and generally busting my ass. I wanted to go home and I wanted to go home now. But if you've got to while away an afternoon, why not do it in the company of Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and Benedict Cumberbatch, right? Wrong. So very, very wrong.
Despite being billed as a "comedy-drama", this film is two hours of total bleakness. And not that bleak-but-thought-provoking vibe most Oscar-contenders achieve. This was bleak and boring. Like watching paint dry, if drying paint had the ability to suck your soul and will to live. I spent an hour sinking deeper into a state of despondency before finally pulling the pin and walking out. To this day, I can't walk past Pacific Theatres at The Grove without shuddering.