Overland miles: 1807 Tacocount: 43 Days without Tea: 1
How dee doo dee PFB regular follower and casual visitor alike, and bienvenudos to the 8.45 pm to Mexico City, getting in to that crazy city tomorrow at 3.30 pm, if it leaves on time, which it hasn’t, and if its progress isn’t delayed further, which it will be. Still, at Clare’s request we have shelled out the extra 150 pesos to take the Super-premier swankclass service, meaning plush reclining seats, plug in headphones and free jamon y queso sandwiches (yay). There were only two adjacent seats remaining when we trundled 30 minutes out of town yesterday to buy tickets so naturally we are at the very back. This worries Clare because we are next to the WCs [note from Clare: the smell of WCs is unpleasant] but as we also have more space and no one to jump over to get to them this doesn’t bother me.
Anyway, I am not going to spend the next 19 hours reviewing said free sandwiches or indeed the contents of our admittedly quite exciting bus-snack bag. No: for two posts only, I am turning film reviewer on-the-go, as this gives me the perfect opportunity to bring you – hour by thrilling hour – the magic of watching movies on Latin American busses. Boy do we treat you good on Prawns for Breakfast!
9.00 pm: An episode of Glee. I’ve never watched this programme in the UK, because (sorry Gleeks) I’ve heard it’s unmitigated sacharine-drenched meaningless twaddle, so I have no frame of reference to review it here. But it’s a perfect introduction to the subject of dubbing vs subtitling. You see, over here everything that can be dubbed is. But you can’t dub a bunch of two dimensional hormonally-imbalanced over-achievers singing in cloyingly perfect close harmony. So all the talking is dubbed in Spanish, and as soon as they break into song, we switch to subtitles, allowing your correspondent to improve his Spanish through pop music. Which I have discovered is absolutely the best way to learn a language. Once you focus on the translated verses, you quickly realise how completely non-sensical all pop music really is. There’s no air / when you’re not there. If only, love. The pseudo-villainous gym coach is brilliantly swivel-eyed when dubbed in Spanish, and would make a great Telenovela character. PFB rating: Two prawns (out of a plate of five)
10.15 pm: We Bought A Zoo. Whenever I watch a film staring Matt Damon, I have to do that thing from Team America: World Police, where you draw out his name: “Maaaaatt Daaaaamon”. This is very much a film where you have to do that, in that you have to wonder what his agent was doing when he recommended his client take this turkey on, especially post Bourne franchise. I don’t actually know what this film’s about, although clearly the clue’s in the title and 15 minutes in he’s just bought a zoo, so over to IMDB for the lowdown: Benjamin has lost his wife. In a bid to start his life over, he purchases a large house that has a zoo. This is welcome news for his daughter, but his son is not happy about it. The zoo is need of renovation and Benjamin sets about the work. But, the zoo soon runs into financial trouble. The staff must get the zoo back to its former glory, pass a zoo inspection, and get it back open to the public. This synopsis, plus the fact that it’s “based on a true story”, tells you everything you need to know about why you should never, ever, rent this film or even start to watch it at home on chance, even when drunk. Especially when drunk. Passing a zoo inspection as the key climatic hook? Why didn’t they just call it We Bought A Terrible Screenplay, Put Maaaatt Daaaamon In The Lead Role And Flushed Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars Down The Can?
11.15 pm: I tried valiantly to stay awake long enough to find out if Matt passes his inspection despite being dangerously unqualified to run a zoo, but I’d knocked back a couple of beers and anti-histamine in preparation for this journey, and Cameron Crowe had this fantastic idea of playing tracks from Icelandic band Sigur Ros’ brilliant album Takk in every other scene so the audience would know when to cry at his terrible movie, so I had the equally fantastic idea of listening to the album on my iPod, and blocking the film out entirely until their soaring music-box lullabies drifted me off into a fitful sleep across the endless Mexican highway. PFB rating: prawns are off
To be continued…