I got the chance to watch a couple of movies over the weekend. Jarhead, directed by Sam Mendes, was a distinctly average movie. Some great acting and brilliant photography failed to conceal a movie that was essentially empty of real meaning.

It's only when you watch the special features that you get a feeling of what went wrong. Usually when I watch deleted scenes, I can see why the scenes were deleted. Here, all I could see was a far better movie than the one I watched. And Mendes' narration made it clear that he was a book whose power lay in the psychology of what the marines went though, in which the key element was lost in the transition to screen. Shame.

Memoirs of a Geisha was a far better film: visually stunning, beautifully acted and compelling viewing. Some slight elements of "westernising" the story grated  a little, but that's just a nitpick. This was a film a genuine didn't want to end. Bearing in mind that I never got much beyond the first 100 pages of the book, that's quite a compliment.