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Alex B Cann column: A Quiet Place with scares

Tameside Radio's breakfast presenter discusses his recent trips to the cinema and the adventures that the big screen has taken him on.

I had an absorbing trip into a snowy mountain range this week, where I encountered an angry bear, went fishing for my tea and watched the sun go down over a stunning forest.

All of this without leaving Ashton, as I enjoyed Land at Cineworld in one of their comfy leather recliners.

What a fantastic film, although admittedly not massively uplifting. The excellent Robin Wright plays a woman running away from her grief and dark thoughts by moving to an isolated, ramshackle building in the middle of the wilderness, and away from all other humans. She even bins her mobile phone as a friend calls to check on her welfare, ensuring she is completely cut off.

You may recognise the name Robin Wright from House of Cards, and she directed as well as stars in this film. With it being an afternoon screening, it was pretty quiet, but I found it powerful and moving.

Wright plays a steely, resourceful, hugely troubled character extremely effectively, and there are sizeable sections of the film with little or no dialogue, much like the Robert Redford film All Is Lost. Not many actors could convey such a huge range of emotions without saying anything at all.

Also this week, my nerves have been comprehensively shredded by A Quiet Place 2, the long-delayed sequel which was originally slated for a March 2020 release. It stars Emily Blunt, still in hiding from a seemingly endless supply of terrifying creatures that hunt by sound alone. The jump scares are occasionally predictable, but I still left my seat on several occasions, due to the stark contrast between silence and a sudden loud moment in the movie.

My wife is not a huge fan of the horror genre, but she dislikes my reaction to them even more. Anyone at Tameside Radio will attest to the fact that I jump out of my skin frequently when someone walks into the studio, so you can imagine my reaction in a dark cinema! This largely explains why I often go to the multiplex on my own.

By the time you read this, I will have also given Peter Rabbit 2 and Nobody a watch. The latter looks pretty similar to the ultra violent John Wick series, which I really rate, and I await the fourth part of that franchise with excitement.

It was also great to see the trailer for Top Gun: Maverick, which will finally hit our screens later this year, a quarter of a century after the first film. Tom Cruise barely seems to have aged, and I wonder if Berlin will be asked to come up with a sequel to Take My Breath Away. Apart from a follow up number 39 hit which I don’t think I’ve ever heard, they didn’t trouble the charts again.

Away from the silver screen, there’s still much talk of what might happen on June 21. My heart goes out to venues that still haven’t been able to open, but our best chance of getting out of this pandemic remains for everyone to get vaccinated. It’s great to see a vaccine van is touring Tameside’s towns, beginning with Ashton Market tomorrow (Friday). Recent figures have shown that two doses of a Covid jab hugely reduce your chance of being hospitalised, even if you happen to catch the virus, and I hope this persuades people that it’s the best course of action.

I’m really passionate about spreading vaccine confidence, and I understand some people have worries, but it remains for me the only way for us to get more of our freedoms back.

Also this week, we added more plants to our ever growing collection at home, and I remain banned from watering them. Sofia correctly says I am incapable of keeping greenery alive, as I like to treat them to extra splashes of water, which apparently is not always a good idea.

In the news, we witnessed a Portuguese scramble at the airports, as people raced to get home before the 4am deadline on Tuesday; the furthest I’m planning to go on my week off next week is Scarborough for some chips by the sea!

Finally, I’d like to thank David in Droylsden for the bike ride recommendation. I’ll definitely be giving the Fallowfield loop a whirl! Any more tips for non-hilly routes are very welcome via E-mail! And thanks in advance to Dave Sweetmore, who’s looking after Breakfast next week for me.

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