There are very few things I would change about my wedding.
For starters, I wouldn’t change the marriage. It’s been almost 7 years as I write this and it’s still the best thing I’ve ever done, better even than going to a neighbours to watch Return of the Jedi as a young child, or first hearing the likes of Iron Maiden and the Ramones. Wouldn’t change the date. Certainly wouldn’t change the toast I gave. I would change the soundtrack a tad, namely by making sure the DJ’s actually used some of the vast amount of music we gave them, rather than the small snippets they played after our dance, or making sure they played our entrance music and not the cutting the cake music as we walked in. Little things.
What I would change though, assuming my wife wouldn’t hit me for doing so, is arranging to have somewhere, whether as a banner or on the invite, the phrase “ALL CREATURES WILL MAKE MERRY, UNDER PAIN OF DEATH.” You know, to properly set the mood. And hey, were we to use the wedding march and not Anvil of Crom, why not have it played by Brian May? Why am I talking about this? Well, I just saw Flash Gordon on the big screen for the first time.
Well, Flash Gordon – it’s in the lyrics of the theme tune!
I adore the film far more than I should. It’s a glorious, chaotic mess, one that makes a lot more sense when you realise it’s writer also wrote a lot of the 60’s Batman series. Add to that a lead actor who was dubbed over in post production (though by whom no-one knows), a retro futurist look that embraces 1930’s style special effects, complete with barely disguised action figures falling off spaceships, costuming that has to be seen to be believed (My wife has been trying to get me to cosplay as Vultan for years) and massive sets, all of which are chewed apart by the cast, mostly BRIAN BLESSED, who strides through the film with the air that he can’t quite believe he’s getting paid to have so much fun. Meanwhile, Max Von Sydow is doing his thing, all suave and menacing in some truly impractical costuming, which is saying something given some of the elaborate nothings the female characters are wearing while Timothy Dalton takes things as seriously as a heart attack, a lone rock of drama awash in a sea of ham, much like Lalla Ward in the Doctor Who serial The Horns of Nimon.
It’s the moustache that really sells it. That and the cape.
Finding out that it was a friend of mines first time seeing the film, well, that made the night even better. It’s not something you watch, more that you experience. It’s not quite in the same league as say, Big Trouble in Little China, but it’s sure up there. I’m also stunned the cinema didn’t echo with a resounding chorus of “Gordon’s alive?” Yes, you could nitpick the thing – Flash’s pickup technique was kinda creepy and what sort of insane regime executes people in leather hot pants? Dale’s action girl moment during her escape is completely out of character, though the picking up her shoes afterwards was some lovely comic business. And that’s without mentioning that Flash wears a shirt with his own name on it… But I’ve still not seen anything which so beaufitully matches the spirit of it’s source material, with the possible exception of The Rocketeer, also featuring Dalton. Granted, I’ve not read much of the original comics, but it win’s solely for the scene between the feds and gangsters, as both sides look at each other nervously, and then start shooting at the Nazis.
And what the hell is up with the mirror inside the coffin?
If you’ve not seen the film and this hasn’t made you want to watch it, there might not be any hope for you. Harsh I know, but that sort of thing is how I judge if people are worth spending time with. Now all I need is to find a copy of the Blu-Ray with Blessed’s commentary track…