The Cornetto Trilogy

Two weeks at home. Honestly, I’m good, for the most part, at least while I’m in the moment. I’ve said before, but I thrive on my own, and I’m very much a homebody so I’ve been enjoying this time with my cats and my movies and myself. If I start thinking about the future and how long theaters will be closed (which will directly impacts the company I work for) and thinking about the disease itself, then I start to experience some existential dread. But for now, we’re good, we’re healthy (Mom in Texas too), and we’re making the best of it.

Starting to settle into some routines. Mile walk around the block-ish in the morning. Work. Lunch break with an episode of Firefly. More work. Another walk. Two movies. I would have liked to get yoga in there, but not on the daily until my asthma is controlled. I think the walking is good anyways. For days off (currently just weekends, but very likely to soon include Wednesdays), I’m making myself be productive in the morning. Clean something. Groceries. Organize things. Whatever. And attempt some yoga. Then I can sit on my ass for the entire afternoon with some crochet and a movie marathon. Part of my productivity morning also includes a blog post. So here we are.

Right as this whole thing started, I raided the 5 dollar filter on Best Buy. I haven’t even touched those movies. Instead, what I’m doing is any time that I think of something that I would enjoy watching, I pull it from my wall and add it to the pile. Then at movie time, I’m picking just from the pile (which runs about 12 deep, plus the new stack). I’m trying to use the opportunity to revisit things that I should know better. One of the first I tackled was The Cornetto Trilogy.

Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End. Written and directed by Edgar Wright. Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and an assortment of other great British actors who appear in some combination of the films. All featuring Cornetto ice cream in some random scene. The internet tells me that Cornetto sent a supply to the filmmakers after its appearance in Shaun. So they added a reference in Hot Fuzz to try and repeat. They didnt follow thru. But they did send in a supply after World’s End.

Here’s my general feeling towards the Cornetto trilogy (pre-last weekend). When I first watched them, my response was “meh”. I didn’t find them as funny as the rest of the world. They just weren’t my style. But they’ve become such a big part of the cultural zeitgeist that I can’t help but notice them. And I do enjoy seeing them in small bits and references. Hell, that’s also how I feel about Scott Pilgrim, so it might just be more my connection to Wright than the UK. I do unequivocally love Baby Driver, tho. Anyways, Cornetto.

First Shaun. I actually have a couple of stories from trying to watch this back in the day. When it was released, it was a big hit back at the ol’ college dorm. Everyone loved it and would talk about it all the time. So when I went home at Christmas, I rented it from Blockbuster (dating myself) to watch with my Daddy. We got about halfway thru the movie, we’re both staring in silence. He eventually breaks it with “Why are we watching this?” “I heard it was funny. Although now I realize I don’t care for British humor” “Yeah me neither” and we sat thru the rest in silence.

Some time later, a hall mate gifts me the DVD for my bday. He’s so proud of himself that he found a movie to buy me that I didn’t already have (if only he could see the movie wall now). I thanked him, but didn’t let on that it wasn’t my thing. A few days later, I put it on while I’m doing some homework (p-sets for the MIT crowd). I usually liked to put on films I didn’t need to pay attention to. He walked by, and got excited I was watching, and sat down with me. I still kept up the charade that it was a great present. That only lasted so long tho. Some time later I was telling some friends about my movie study strategy and he overheard and pieced it together.

How did this second watch go? Much better! I feel like I already knew all of this movie, just out of order, from how many times I’ve seen it referenced. The individual pieces were clever. My expectations were also different. Instead of thinking “OMG this movie’s gonna be hilarious” it was more “oooh this is the part where…” It’s still not quite laugh out loud funny (that’s gonna be a trend) but I could still appreciate its charm. And I fully support it for its originality and place in pop culture.

Moving on to Hot Fuzz. No interesting story from the first watch, cause I don’t even remember it. I bought it cause I felt like I had to. Watched it and didn’t pay attention. I couldn’t have even told you a single thing about it other than Pegg and Frost are cops and there’s likely ice cream somewhere.

This time around, I really did enjoy it as well. I liked the story and the mystery of it very much. While on the surface it seems like the most basic and unoriginal of the three premises, it’s the one that had my attention the most. Again, no real LOL moments, but some light “ha!” here and there. Bonus points for Olivia Colman in the cast, because any movie she’s in is infinitely better.

The World’s End, I’ve actually written up before, because it’s the only one I’ve seen in theaters. That’s prolly why it’s the one that I was the most into, because I was focused in a theater. I also really relate to the first half since I used to go on a pub crawl in Boston every year along the Freedom Trail. The first half of the film brings back some very fun and happy memories.

The rewatch highlighted the big problem with the film tho, which is that for me, the second half is so much weaker than the first half. Once it devolved into what it devolves into (no spoilers) it’s just not as interesting to me anymore. And on this watch I found the characters (mostly Pegg’s) to be kinda obnoxious. I think that comes from seeing the films in rapid succession. They’re clearly trying to differentiate Pegg’s character and take him a little too unlikeable.

Two weeks ago, I would have ranked the trilogy 1-World’s End, 2-Shaun, 3-Hot Fuzz. Now I’d invert that. I liked Hot Fuzz the best, prolly because it was the most unexpected. World’s End just didn’t do anything for me, much like how the other films had previously done.

And with that, I think I’ve fulfilled the blog portion of my productivity goals for the day. I guess I should go clean things now.