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About MatthewArdill

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  • Birthday 10/01/1974

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    Comedy, music, movies, video games and all things geeky.
  1. This is my first time commenting on the forums (lurked a bit and been listening for ages) so I wanted to start by thanking Jason, June and Paul for their sacrifices watching some truly terrible movies and their great creative output. I love the work all three of you have done and really appreciate it! I have a "complex" relationship with the film Highlander II, growing up I was (and still am) what Jason would call a "Nerd". As a kid I loved the original Highlander, it had a deep mythology and an amazing sound track. I was young enough to not understand how much of an A-Hole that Sean Connery was and Clancey Brown was one EPIC bad guy! You had magic, a sympathetic hero with a tragic past, and a redemptive journey where he "saved the world" at the end. All of that was undone by Highlander II. Of course, my friends who I played D&D with shared this same opinion, we all thought the original was the bee's knees and when the sequel was announced we were ecstatic. How was it going to pick up? The ending was very conclusive, was it going to tell some of Connor's past? Maybe it'd touch on that assistant who they hint he had a love affair with back during World War II? So after a day of playing D&D my D&D group and I headed out in an overburdened orange Toyota Tercel for a film experience that would forever change my relationship with cinema. We have to remember first that this was released in January 1991. The internet was a "thing" back then but it certainly didn't have the life it has today and was by no means as accessible to the general public. We didn't have early reviews warning us away, we didn't have fan sites dissecting the movie and telling us about the behind the scenes production drama, we had a trailer and buzz and that's about it. The six of us drove to the theater the next city over in a five person car. Parking we lined up excited to see this movie only to find the theater had sold all but five tickets. At 16 this was the end of the world and we didn't know what we would do. One of our crew decided he would stay in the car while we watched the film. We thanked him for his great sacrifice and went into the theater for a two hour segment of our life we will never see back. To this day that is a two hour segment of my life that is a blur, what little I remember of watching the movie at the time is a mix of sadness and disappointment with a sprinkling of shock at the effects which were already at the time out dated. Leaving the cinema I felt cheated, for the first time in my life I felt a film maker had let me down and this is when my entire relationship with films changed. Before this film I had led a pretty charmed life where I was able to find magic in every film I saw. Mere weeks earlier I saw Edward Scissorhands at that same cinema and left enthralled by the cinema with Burton's love letter to an era gone by but this time I left changed and not for the better. I had the earth shattering realization that films could not only be bad but they could be a craven sad money grab that exploited people's expectations and took advantage of an audience. This was a time before we had six super hero movies and 12 big budget science fiction films a year. Genre films were still for "geeks and nerds" and hard to come by. This was one of maybe a half dozen science fiction and fatasy films we'd get all year and when one of the other ones was Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country despite the fact we also got Terminator 2 and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (a love letter to Ingmar Bergman films) it still felt on the hole sci-fi and fantasy fans got a kick to the groin. Walking out of that cinema a degree of cynicism crept into how I watched films and I've never been able to recover and watch films the same way, with that wide eyed innocence I was able to before. The real punch line of the entire experience was the guy who had to stay in the car claimed a couple were in the car next to him and got it on. Even at the time I found it gross that he'd watch a couple snog but honestly if given the opportunity to maintain my innocence and stay in the car freezing my backside off in the Canadian January or go and see that TERRIBLE Highlander II I'm not sure what I would do. Yeah I wish that film hadn't sucked so bad I felt it had ruined the potential of a great story but at the same time it equipped me with the tools I need to be critical of films and not just take everything at surface value. In the end, I guess I owe it a debt of gratitude because I've never been suckered in the same way and despite it all it helped me realize a crappy sequel can't "ruin my childhood" it's just a crappy sequel. The original can still be magic if you want it to be.