Garry is the Communications manager for Groundwork: A federation of charities working locally and nationally to transform lives in the UK’s most disadvantaged communities. He is also my little brother! I asked him a few simple questions about his relationship with film. Here is how it went…
What is the first film that you remember watching?
I can remember two but can’t quite remember which came first: The Love Bug (1968) by Robert Stevenson and Flash Gordon (1980) by Alex Raymond. I’m going to go with The Love Bug as being my first.
Did it happen to have an impact on you? How?
The main character of the film was a VW Beetle called Herbie. Herbie had a mind of its own and I used to find him hilarious! Looking back, there were probably one or two jokes in that film that only an adult would get, but I used to love how Herbie was so mischievous and funny, although he was very loyal to the people he loved. I seem to remember a part in the film where his driver Jim Douglas (Dean Jones) is mean to him and he gets very upset and ‘runs away’ and tries to end his life. That was very sad.
What is your favourite film? Why?
My favourite film has always been ‘Heat’ (1995) by Michael Mann. I’ve always loved that film as I think it’s brilliantly written and features an interestingly complex dynamic between the two main characters – Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. One’s a cop and the other is a violent bank robber and yet, despite their obvious differences, they find themselves in a place of mutual admiration and respect for the other as they are essentially two sides of the same coin. Despite their admiration for one another they know that their paths will eventually cross and put them at direct odds with one another.
My second favourite is a relatively new one – Avengers: Endgame (2019) by the Russo Brothers. That film really had it all, everything a self-confessed comic-book nerd like myself could ever wish for and more. It really was a triumph in comic-book storytelling principles being converted to the big screen.
What film would you never recommend to anyone and why?
That’s a tough one, as I usually find most films have their merits if you look hard enough. If I had to choose one, perhaps I’d choose ‘Drag me to hell’ (2009) by Sam Raimi. I started watching that film with such high hopes because I seemed to remember Sam Raimi had directed some good films. When you actually watch it though, it was a little difficult to understand if it was attempting to be a serious horror film or some sort of horror/comedy hybrid as parts of it were so bad as to be funny.
What film has made you say that “I’ll never get that time back”?
‘X-Men – Dark Phoenix’ (2019). If you haven’t already seen it, don’t bother. It’s garbage.
Do you have a guilty-pleasure film? Will you tell me about it?
I’ve got a few: ‘Rocky’ (1976) by John G. Avildsen and ‘The Karate Kid’ (1984) by John G Avildsen. Both films are fantastic examples of triumph in the face of adversity and they both leave you with an uplifting feeling by the time they finish. Then you have the childhood classics, like ‘The Goonies’ (1985) by Richard Donner, which are inextricably linked to my own childhood. As for the ultimate guilty pleasure: you can’t go wrong with a bit of classic James Bond played by Sean Connery. I doubt you could make those films nowadays – they haven’t aged well at all.
What was the last film that you watched at the cinema, and did you enjoy it?
The last film I watched at the cinema was Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) by Jon Watts. I enjoyed the bits of it I saw a lot, although I was a little bit disappointed by the ending, which I won’t reveal here.
Are there any upcoming films that you are interested in?
I’d quite like to see ‘The Joker’ (2019) by Todd Phillips. I’ve heard very good things about it and I get the impression it could be a modern classic.