IN all my years of cinema-going, I have only ever walked out of three films.
One, some slasher flick which I can’t remember the title of, I left because I was feeling unwell, so that doesn’t count.
The second, a French comedy called Mon Meilleur Ami, I left because I suddenly remembered I was supposed to be at a work colleague’s leaving do, so that doesn’t count either.
That leaves Shark Tale.
Shark Tale came out in 2004. It is The Godfather as it might have turned out had it been an animated comedy about fish aimed at children. It has Will Smith playing a fish who earns a living washing whales. It is bleeding terrible. Or at least, the first 20 minutes are, because that’s all I’ve seen.
Roger Ebert, the esteemed film critic, summed up the film when he wrote: “… it’s strange that a kid-oriented film would be based on parody of a 1972 gangster movie for adults.”
Rubbish as Shark Tale is, though, I would still rather sit through the entire film than watch the full 90 minutes of yesterday’s game between Middlesbrough and Wigan.
Last night’s final match: Middlesbrough 0 Wigan 0
Commentator: Dan O’Hagan
“Our final match didn’t promise much,” Gary Lineker said on Match of the Day by way of an introduction, before telling us that Middlesbrough hadn’t won in 13 league games, while Wigan had managed one goal in five matches.
It delivered precisely two shots on target, both for Middlesbrough – one from Stewart Downing, one from Gary O’Neil – and both saved by Chris Kirkland.
And it delivered a nasty-looking leg injury to Boro midfielder Didier Digard, caught by a full-blooded but honest challenge from Lee Cattermole.
It delivered a 14th successive Premier League game without a win for Boro, which is a club record. Their all-time record winless league streak is 19 games, set in 1981/82, a season which brought relegation, as this one looks increasingly likely to.
And it delivered a post-match interview in which Boro manager Gareth Southgate managed to look even more crestfallen than usual.
“We’re going to have to win matches that people won’t expect us to win, but we’re capable of doing that,” Southgate said. Well, they were capable of doing it up until November. This is a side that beat Aston Villa away from home earlier this season. It’s hard to see them winning again this season.
“Alan Shearer suffered that game this afternoon,” Lineker said afterwards. “He has no analysis. . .”
Maybe Shearer could tell us whether he had seen Shark Tale, then – and if so, what he thought of it.
“. . . and we’ve run out of time, anyway,” Lineker added. Ah, well. My guess would have been: “You can’t make films like that at this level.”
1. Fulham: 8 (GD: +1; CD: +1)
2. Wigan: 7 (GD: 0; CD: +2)
3. Middlesbrough: 7 (GD: 0; CD: +1)
4. West Brom: 5 (GD: 0; CD: 0)
5. Capello: 4 (GD: +1; CD: +4)
6=. Blackburn: 4 (GD: 0; CD: 0)
6=. Bolton: 4 (GD: 0; CD: 0)
8. West Ham: 3 (GD: 0; CD: +2)
9. Stoke: 3 (GD: 0; CD: 0)
10=. Arsenal: 2 (GD: 0; CD: 0)
10=. Newcastle: 2 (GD: 0; CD: 0)
10=. Sunderland: 2 (GD: 0; CD: 0)
13=. Gubba: 1 (GD: +1; CD: +1)
13=. Manchester City: 1 (GD: +1; CD +1)
15. Portsmouth: 1 (GD: 0; CD: +1)
16=. Everton: 1 (GD: 0; CD: 0)
16=. Hull: 1 (GD: 0; CD: 0)
16=. Tottenham: 1 (GD: 0; CD: 0)
19=. Aston Villa: 0
19=. Chelsea: 0
19=. Liverpool: 0
19=. Manchester United: 0
(NB: Teams level on points will be separated by Gubba difference: the number of times a team is last on Match of the Day with Tony Gubba commentating. If they are still level, they will be separated by Capello difference: the number of times a team is last on MOTD with Fabio Capello present.)