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After reading ‘Hatchet Job’ by Mark Kermode last year and thoroughly enjoying it, I was really looking forward to reading his other books, starting with ‘It’s Only a Movie’ which is his sort-of biography (in reality more of a collection of stories from his career; Kermode describes the book as “inspired by real events” and tells the stories as though they are part of a movie of his life – with Jason Isaacs playing the man himself).

For anyone who doesn’t know who Mark Kermode is, he is a well known and popular British film critic, and half of Kermode and (Simon) Mayo’s Film Review programme on BBC Radio 5 Live, and this book relates the story of how he got there, starting off as an enthusiastic journalist for various regional magazines – amongst other things, he describes being humiliated by Helen Mirren, a wholly unenjoyable and ultimate fruitless journey to Russia to do an on-set report about the film Dark Waters, and how celebrated director Werner Herzog was shot at mid-interview!

If anything I enjoyed this book even more than I enjoyed Hatchet Job. Kermode is a self-deprecating and often very funny narrator, with a tendency to veer off at tangents halfway through any given story, but he always comes back to the point he is making, and always in a very entertaining fashion. His passion for films – in particular splattery gory horror movies – is clear to see, and even if I didn’t always agree with his opinions on certain films, I certainly enjoyed reading them.

It’s an entertaining and easy read, and I would definitely recommend it, particularly to film fans.

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