And here we are.
There have been a few posts and memes kicking about the interwebs banging on about how if you haven't learnt 17 languages, redesigned the financial system and invented a new kind of duck then you'll have wasted all this time you didn't ask for.
I mean, we thought the whole plan was to stay inside and just make sure people didn't die - but clearly that isn't enough for some people so they have to hop on their high horse and preach bollox to the masses.
Probably while doing none of the things they're banging on about.
Over here at Popcorn Towers, we've embraced the whole STAY THE FRICK INDOORS mantra with gusto, and seeing as our usual evening escapades of cinema/quizzing/stand-upery have all been thrown in the bin for the foreseeable we thought we'd do something productive.
But, this being us, it's still taken a couple of weeks to get our crap together and actually start hitting the keyboard.
It's almost as if there;'s some big, global event that is kind of overtaking everything and making us focus on bigger issues...
As our regular reader (or listener) will tell you, we have a film or two kicking about the place that we've never got around to actually watching - so what better time to tackle that pile, eh?
We can learn Swahili tomorrow...
First up, The Good Liar. A film we'd wanted to see on the big screen, but alas, as ever....
Starring Sir Ian McKellan and Helen Mirren, it's ostensibly a film about a con man who swindles people out of their hard earned. But it's actually far cleverer, funnier and darker than any of that sounds - and has an ending that is just wonderful.
McKellan and Mirren are clearly having the time of their lives, while the supporting cast are also on top form. Sure, The Good Liar won't change the world, but it will make for a great evening.
We followed this up with The Fast And The Furious - the film that ignited the franchise that just won't die.
We'd never seen it, but in the last six months had managed to see Hobbs & Shaw and Fast & Furious 7, so we figured the damage had already been done so we might as well go back to the start.
And d'ya know what? Not terrible.
The dialogue's awful, the cars are ridiculous, Vin Diesel steals the show - and it's just one whole mess of dumb fun.
Again, won't change your life, but watching the whole lot will certainly take care of at least a week.
So, what's next?
It's She's The One.
In our defence, we only own this film because it was cheaper than owning the Tom Petty-scored soundtrack. Not a mistake we'll be making again.
If you've never seen this film, don't. It has aged badly and it was terrible when it came out.
With sexual politics that were dated in the 90s, Jennifer Anniston plays Rachel, Cameron Diaz gets the only bra available, John Mahoney plays Martin, Amanda Peet looks embarrassed and we all wonder what we're doing with our lives.
If you're arsed about the plot (and you shouldn't be), two brothers don't get on, live very different lives, but fall out over the same woman for Reasons.
Whatever you do, don't go and watch this.
Thankfully Scream 4 has come next to hand, helped in part by a Wes Craven cameo in an episode of Castle.
Bringing back Neve Campbell and Courtney Cox, and heaping in every up-and-coming starlet they could find, Craven again turns the genre upside and inside out while commentating on the nature of fame and social media.
The fourth film in a series has no right to be this good, and yet it grips from start to finish, knows what it is doing, makes you smile and squirm in equal measure and reminds you that Craven still had a trick or two up his sleeve back in 2011.
Right, what's next...?
Turns out, 12 Angry Men. The Henry Fonda one.
A film famous for being parodied as much as being an amazing film. And another one purchased during a blitz through and HMV sale in Bradford more years ago than I care to remember.
On the upside, ripping off cellophane is a lot easier when it's starting to break down due to age...
But we digress.
A beautiful, note-perfect study in human behaviour, 12 Angry Men is a simple idea executed perfectly. After five minutes, all 12 cast members are in one room. And we stay with them for almost 90 minutes.
In that time they go over the evidence of a murder trial, with only Fonda prepared to actually question the facts presented to him.
Back in 1957 this was a great film. In the age of pointless internet debates and people refusing to deal in facts because they saw a YouTube video that confirmed their own innate prejudices?
It's a valuable, essential lesson in critical thinking. And it's gently moving to boot.
Oh look, it's Citizen Kane. The Greatest Film Ever Made.
It's a fascinating thing, owning a film. It often means you'll watch it tomorrow, because you can. And what happens is, as in this case, you get round to it 10 years later because there's a global pandemic and you had nothing else to do.
And I probably wouldn't have got round to it today if my father hadn't mentioned he was about to watch it. So he has his uses....
And it's definitely worth a watch. I mean it's not called The Greatest Film Ever Made for no reason.
The cinematography is stunning - it looks amazing. But, as we've covered several times before, that means it's lacking something somewhere.
In this case, a good editor. At two hours, you could lose half an hour and not miss anything.
The pace is very slow and meandering, and not in a way that keeps you watching. This is clearly an ego project - ironic given the subject matter.
But what is fascinating is the parallels you can draw with figures of today. A rich egotist damaged by events in his childhood? A media mogul who thinks he controls a whole country? It's as if Trump and Murdoch saw this film more as an instruction manual.
Still, looks amazing.
Wonder what will be next...
Oh look, it's From Here To Eternity!
It's funny how you just assume you know some films – not because of any actual research, just because they're so entrenched in modern culture you've heard so many references that you seem to have pieced the film together over time.
This is one such film.
It's a classic, right? A classic love story. They kiss on the beach. It's all romance n that....
We mean, yes, sure, that scene's in there – but it happens so early on in the film it actually throws you and makes you wonder what's coming next. And in fact it's not even the main love story. That's the two people having a quick affair there, getting all sandy and washed over.
It's actually the story of a soldier (Montgomery Clift's Prewitt) who doesn't want to fight but ends up having to. He falls in love with Alma (Donna Reed), who works in a bar as Lorene keeping men company, while standing up against racists who keep picking on his mate Maggio (Frank Sinatra).
And then Pearl Harbour happens.
All of which is a far cry from the film you think you're going to watch. Despite being the poster couple, Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr are the sub-plot.
And finding this out is kinda cool. Having myths dispelled, getting to watch a classic for the first time and finding there's so much more depth and nuance (not to mention hugely uncomfortable sexual and racial politics) is quite fascinating and uplifting.
(Oh, and the trailer is BRILLIANT - tells you absolutely nothing about the movie!)
On to our next Great Epic - The Bridge On The River Kwai, a film dismissed by one parent as 'ooh, I don't like war films'.
Which is silly, because in the same way Jaws isn't about a shark Kwai isn't about war.
It may be set in a POW camp during WWII, but it's about two stubborn men and their egos.
And it's frankly brilliant.
Wonderfully shot and with humour and tension in equal measure, Alec Guinness steals the show (and an Oscar) with a performance of wonderfully understated grace.
The supporting cast shines, the story never sages despite the film being about three days long, and issues with bird noises being heard as bats take flight there is absolutely nothing to fault here.
The fact we were screaming 'press it' during the closing scenes tells its own story.
Over time, 'classics' can become over-hyped, the recounting of them overtaking the quality that was originally on screen - but The Bridge On The River Kwai deserves its place in cinematic history.
A view which I'm sure will delight those involved with the production...
Three down, four to go - this time we saddle up with The Professionals.
No, sadly not the 70s TV cop classic – this would be the classic western staring Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin.
If, like us, this one hadn't popped up on your radar before it is the most western of westerns.
Rugged men, horses, guns, the phrase "bad hombres" (so THAT'S where it came from...), sweaty buxom women, more horses, beards, Gringos, cigars, train rides and a chicken.
It's definitely a western.
Four mercenaries are hired to get a rich man his wife back after she was kidnapped and hoiked to Mexico. Probably on a horse.
Gathering on a train that makes request stops (oh those were the days), our fab four canter their way to the bad men's lair, shooting anyone who moves along the way.
Plans are planned, then executed – along with a lot more bad guys – before everyone hightails it back over the border for a bath and a plot twist.
If you like westerns you'll almost certainly know about The Professionals already, but if you don't you'll love it.
The scenery is breathtaking, the cinematography is beautiful, the one-liners are delivered with aplomb and everyone does what is asked of them.
Except the chicken.
If you don't like westerns, however...
Definitely not a western is Lawrence Of Arabia, of course. More a Middle Eastern.
And a film that takes the word 'epic' to the absolute extreme.
We actually worked out we could have flown to Morocco in the time we spent watching the film. Especially as it's bloody hard to actually get three-and-a-half uninterrupted hours around here.
But issues with time aside, bloody hell this is a movie.
We always worry, watching the classics, that either time won't have been kind (and there are a couple of awkward moments here) or history has painted a different picture.
But man. That David Lean fella knew his way around a movie didn't he.
This is also one of those rare movies that loses impact being moved to a smaller screen. Even in a world of 55446464" flat screen wossinames, this is a film that needs to be seen on the big screen.
Because the landscapes and vistas are breathtaking, the shots Lean uses are awesome. This is, in every sense, a big production.
At the centre of it all, of course, is Peter O'Toole delivering a beautifully measured, delicately underplayed performance – and in the process steals the whole show.
Again, we appreciate this is probably not news to fans of the film, but watching this for the first time (having got comfortable, obvs) is a real eye-opener.
The pacing is slow without being leaden or laboured, there are nice touches of humour, there's not a bad performance to be seen and the camels are ace.
These days this would probably be served up as a Netflix four-parter, but to immerse yourself in something this epic, this long, without breaks or (if you're lucky) interruptions is a rare and welcome experience.
Oh, and even the trailer is epic. Of course it is.
Part of the thinking behind this particular run of reviews was picking up a boxset of 'epic' classics from HMV for £2.99.
Which for seven films is frankly a bargain.
Sadly there are clear technical issues with trying to shove fours of movie onto a DVD cheaply, which caused issues with Arabia – and The Guns Of Navarone, which was to be the next film, only for the whole thing to freeze halfway through.
So, while I await the arrival of the BluRay (Two for £12 you say? Rude not to....), I went looking for another classic to watch.
And found Blithe Spirit in the mahoosive To Watch pile.
Call that a win.
Co-written and directed by David Lean and based on the classic Noel Coward play, it's the story of a writer who wants to dabble with the spirit world as research for his book only to have his dead wife rock up.
We've all been there, right?
Front and centre of the small cast is Margaret Rutherford as the medium Madam Arcati, invited to dinner by Rex Harrison's Charles Condomine.
What follows is a beautifully-paced comedy in which everyone delivers.
Almost stealing the show from Rutherford is Kay Hammond as the now dead Elvira, who is quietly amused at being summoned and clearly has dry contempt for her former husband.
Excellent use of lighting, make-up and special effects bring this film to life and help to provide a tight 90 minutes of fun.
This is, however, a film of its time and as such there are moments of dialogue that don't sit well with today's racial and sexual politics – but in a way it's good that they are here, so we can see how far we've come.
Kind of. Still got a long way to go, obviously. Will be interesting to see what they do with the 2020 remake...
One of the fascinating things about The Event and lockdown life in general is how stress etc can effect you.
Film watching, for example, has taken quite the hit as it turns out watching something new is really quite stressful when every day is full of unknowns.
Which is why we're watching every Midsomer Murders we can lay our hands on, but it has taken us a week and three attempts to actually watch The Thing.
Thankfully, once we'd stopped ol' Mr Brain from dancing about like a squirrel on speed, it was worth the wait and effort.
John Carpenter's 1985 remake of the 1950s horror, this is the tale of a shape-shifting alien discovered in the frozen wastes of the South Pole and inadvertently brought back to life.
These things will happen, eh?
Delivered at a slow, deliberate pace (very like Alien in some respects), the action explodes periodically and the tension slowly creeps up on you as – like with that Agatha Christie book we don't mention anymore – members of the research team are Happened To.
At the centre of it all is a bearded Kurt Russell, delivering a beautifully understated performance as he leads the crew on a mission to find out who's alien and who's human.
The showpieces here, however, aren't the action scenes or the dogs (good as they are) – it's the special effects.
Made long before CGI, the models and the blood are gore-tastic and there is one brilliant bit where one of the characters loses both hands in a way that will have you squirming and grinning in equal measure.
This may be an '80s classic, but it stands the test of time.