What an appropriate film to be showing in the tobacco-smuggling hot-spot of Gibraltar.
We’ve been fans of Mark Wahlberg since getting Shooter on DVD a few years ago.
Ringing up the cinema, I discovered it was not the prohibitive £20 we had thought, but a fiver each.
Supper was prepared in advance, dog was walked, and out we went for an evening’s heady entertainment.
We hadn’t been to the cinema before so we joined the popcorn queue for our tickets.
I wandered off to ask an usher where to buy tickets and partner asked the same of the woman in front of him in the popcorn queue. We arrived at the ticket place together and a woman magically appeared to sell us our tickets (she hadn’t been there before which was why we joined the popcorn queue, it was the only place selling anything).
Next I asked the usher where we could buy a drink while we waited. I’m thinking dress circle in the theatre here not popcorn and coke at the cinema. Downstairs in the bar …. I decided I wasn’t that interested in a drink.
We entered the virtually empty cinema and sat at the front to stretch our legs. Something started happening on the extremely large screen and we realised we were a little too near so promptly ran to the back. Leg room made no difference as there was plenty. I followed the example of the other two occupants of the cinema and draped my legs over the chair in front.
Plot: complicated, but I’m the sort of person who finds the Sound of Music complicated and usually spend most of the film asking whoever is next to me what is happening.
This was so complicated that I figured if I did that neither of us would get what was happening, and I could read about it later on the tinties. Which is what I did and so can you if you are interested enough. (Link above)
It’s a smuggling heist thing with the usual family threats. Beckinsale played the stereotypical victimised woman who received more than her fair share of threats and violence which was something of a waste of a good actress.
Wahlberg was pretty much his tough hard-nosed self. After watching this we both thought he would have made a much better Jason Bourne than Matt Damon.
Verdict: eminently watchable, some slightly too clever camera angles and panning, but the Panama Canal was spectacular. The action was suitably convincing, characters were pretty good, so who cares about a plot?
It didn’t get a particularly good Rotten Tomatoes review, but neither did Shooter. Some of the critics slagged it off, so that made it worth a look anyway.
The cinema was superb, and with the exception of the other couple in there, it was like having our own private viewing for a tenner.
And it’s five or ten minutes walk away from home. It’s in a converted military bastion that is now a leisure centre, and more pix of that to come on a later post.
But to consider the real contraband for a moment. The Guardia Civil is still stopping every moped under the sun while the car smugglers continue.
How do we know? Well apart from the black plastic bags that helpfully litter the place because the smugglers are too idle to put them in bins (fortunately as we pick them up for free to pick up after the dog), we see them doing it. (The bags had dropped off at one point, but they have increased again.)
We walked around the corner to approach our block the other day and there was a worky sorting out his tools. Or so I thought. Partner was a bit more observant and noticed he was stashing his fags away in the boot, the tools were a neat disguise. Very clever. Or maybe he was a smuggling worky?
How about these cases? extracted from Govt press releases.
A 31 year old Spanish national was arrested by HM Customs after Customs Officers searched a Spanish registered vehicle under her control in a car park near Catalan Bay Road; 15,000 cigarettes (75 cartons) were found in the car.
Two Spanish nationals, both resident in La Linea, were arrested after being found in possession of commercial quantities of cigarettes in the area of Eastern Beach. 4,000 cigarettes (20 cartons) and two Spanish registered motorcycles were seized by HM Customs during the incident.
In a joint anti-smuggling operation executed by the Gibraltar Defence Police and HM Customs, 24 year old Victor Manuel FERNANDEZ Ruano was arrested in the area of Western Beach. He was seen approaching the frontier fence carrying a number of packages. On being challenged, he attempted to escape by entering the sea and swimming to Spain. He was apprehended and subsequently charged with unlawful exportation of goods, obstructing a Customs Officer and with Tobacco Act offences. 5,400 cigarettes (27 cartons) were seized in the operation. Fernandez was remanded in custody overnight and sentenced to fines totalling £2,400.
The limit is one carton per person, just to be clear.
Picky journalism/press officer quote of the day – you shouldn’t start sentences with numbers, unless they are in writing.