Empire Presents BIG SCREEN: Day Three

Day three of Empire's geekathon begun in the best way possible, with free pastries that were so fresh they were still warm. Nothing beats a pain au chocolat bursting with warm chocolatey goodness. While still basking in the land of chocolate I realised that apparently I wasn't given a press pass to just sit around nabbing all the free food while bothering people who were actually trying to work with a constant stream of inane questions, so I headed down to IndigO2 for the Lionsgate showcase. Despite being billed as beginning at 11.15, we stumbled in a few minutes shy of that in the middle of some clips from Coriolanus, an adaptation of a Shakespearean tragedy I haven't read that looks like a film I'm not interested in. Gerard Butler had his top on, if that means anything. I was quickly beginning to lose faith in these bleedin' showcases until we stumbled into Disney's contribution. It started with the best reel I'd seen in ages and even Simba's stupid, boring face couldn't deter my excitement.


Luckily Andrew Stanton's big and moderately red face was able to remove the memory of Real Steel director Shawn Levy who was painfully American and wearing a tie that boggled my tiny mind. While the footage from Real Steel made me want to claw my own eyes out and convinced me I'm not interested in seeing it at all, the clips from John Carter were surprisingly good and now I'm quite up for it. And that's not just because it featured Taylor Kitsch with his top off. Next up was some clips from War Horse which is a book I haven't read that was turned into a show I haven't seen and is now a film I don't care about.

The clips were introduced by Steven Spielberg, a man apparently so legendary he's now able to radiate light from his face holes. Or maybe my camera is a bit shit, either one. Despite my ambivalence to the story I can see it's Spielberg doing what Spielberg does best and by the looks of things, everyone will be crying their eyes out when it's released next year. All that sitting down and watching of things meant a wander round the boulevard at all the random shit available. I didn't look properly on Friday so this time I saw a cat from Harry Potter,

a dog from Harry Potter,


and people dressing up as a troll hunter.

All of those things pale in comparison to the unbelievably exciting exhibition for The Help.


Wow, that must have taken a lot of time. The most anticipated event of the weekend was obviously the live satellite link-up with director James Bobin (ha! bobbing...) and Kermit The Frog.

I'm not even a particularly big fan of The Muppets and I was utterly enthralled with Kermit and a clip from the upcoming film, which was amazing. Of course, a few other muppets crashed the party including Fozzie,


Animal (he was gone by the time my camera was ready) and the newly bestowed Dame Piggy.

It was an amazing 30 minutes and well worth putting up with the annoying twat sat behind me. The evening had several things to do and despite being badgered into attending the premiere of Conan 3D, I instead opted to see a film I was actually interested in. I made the mistake of thinking the screening for The Help would be empty but it was bloody rammed. So rammed we had to queue for almost 40 minutes until the staff were sure there were enough seats spare and a good thing to, because The Help is one of the best films of the year. Touching, funny and at times heartbreaking it's the first film I've seen in a long time in which the entire cast are brilliant and I went from laughing to crying in a matter of moments. And of course, it goes without saying that the always magnificent Viola Davis deserves to finally get that gold statue. 

And that was the end of my BIG SCREEN experience so I'll leave you with one last thing: Never buy a bag of pick 'n' mix from Cineworld. Trust me.

Thanks to James Warren and everyone at Romley Davies, the Empire Magazine posse and the people who provided me with the free chocolate based snacks.