Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

Dare you visit THE LOCAL CINEMA!!!!

I've had this blog buzzing in my head for a while now, and 'tis finally time to reveal the horror that is:

Names changed to protect the guilty. I adore and loathe my local cinema in equal measure. Lets start with a general description. It has four screens, two on the ground floor, two on the floor above. Screen 1 is approximatly 3m x 1.5 and has about100 seats - Screen 2 is slightly bigger, but only has about 30 seats. The two upstairs are both smaller. They're really cosy - great for watching comedies on. Run Fatboy Run played in a packed room, and the atmosphere is amazing...

...the downside is that sometimes, you don't want cosy. You want 360 degree screens, massive speakers, spaceships flying right over your head. It makes cinemagoing on holiday a really exciting experience, especially if there happens to be something good on. Unfortunately, Hollywood do not check their production schedules against my holidays first - which means while I was fortunate to see Lord of the Rings and Die Hard 4.0 on a proper screen, I saw 300, and am going to see Beowulf in one of our dingy holes. And with so few seats, they don't bother with tiered seating - which is a problem if Marge Simpson and the Pope decide to sit in front of you.

Another serious problem is it being our only cinema, it controls exactly what comes over and what doesn't. Fans of teen slashers, animated kids films and harmless rom coms need not fear - without fail, these films will come over. Even if there are three films about animated animals out at the same time, they'll keep them all. Living on an island, it's not as easy as merely driving to the next city if the local council decide, for example, that Natural Born Killers can't be shown (this actually happened, not that I minded at the time...). We can only see what they decide to show. If the film you desperately want to see is on, then it's your hard cheese. Unless you fancy stumping up the air fare...naturally we don't even get to breathe on foreign films.

Case in point: Grindhouse was a tribute to tiny, rubbish cinemas with awful screen quality, with chewed up prints and lousy movies. Should have played here. Last night we watched 3:10 to Yuma - it took them the first five minutes of the film to sort the screen size out (it was stretched incorrectly so we lost the top and bottom of the picture) - before that, we got at least half a minute of scratch and mess. Halfway through, the colour was tinted blue and the sound fell out of sync. I repeat: who decided that Grindhouse was an unsuitable film to play here? The atmosphere would have been perfect. Film has snapped at our cinema before. People have had refunds, because the actual film has just died on us.

Still, there are a few advantages to having an independant cinema. They do not check your age when buying tickets. It is, in the words of Hot Fuzz, all for the "greater good". They also don't check you have a ticket when you walk into the cinema except for the big releases. There isn't a turnstile to get to the screens - it would be very easy to walk in and out without paying. If you were so incined. Not that I've ever taken advantage of either of these, not that it's necessarily a good thing. I'm just saying...if they ever were to bring over an 18 I needed to see, I would have been able to see it very easily indeed.

Other problems? Well, there's no crowd control whatsoever - rolling over seats, eating sandwiches from lunchboxes and generally being annoying are all perfectly normal. And the food's overpriced. But that happens everywhere, doesn't it? They no longer serve sweet popcorn, which is a big problem. And they have Hershley bars and Ben and Jerry's to make the experience "more American".

My final gripe is that they don't show proper trailers before movies. It's a crying shame. Even though it's annoying sitting through half an hour of the same 'ole local home-built powerpoint "adverts", I'd happily waste another 10 minutes for some proper, appetite whetting trailers.

The horror...the horror...

PS - Pirate DVDs...who'd have them?

I'm holding two Halloween parties this year. Normally, I just hold the one, but my two Christian buddies can't come. So this year, I'm having a generic costume party which they can attend (the food, the film, the fun - with absolutely no off-colour content. It'll be fun...), and then a properly scary Halloween bash two weeks later. "Halloween 1: The Beginning" is being held on Friday. We're having pizzas, watching something harmless and dressing up

The cornerstone of "Halloween 2: The Inevitable Sequel" is the fact Friend 1 wants to see Saw. Well, I ain't complaining. Friend 1 has an aversion to cinema, so I'm jumping at the oppertunity to get her to sit through something. The only problem is, I don't have a copy. I asked around my year, and a virtual stranger has leant me their copy. Which is great. Ish.

Because it's the most blatantly pirated DVD I've ever seen, and as such the quality is foul. Like watching it through gauze curtain. Not that pristine screen quality is the most important thing, particularly in a film like Saw, it's nice to pick up on all that grimy background detail. I have never been entirely sold on the fact I "wouldn't steal a handbag". Apart from the temptation to yell "how do you know?!" at the screen...but bad quality is enough to put me off.

Now here's the problem: I can't really hand it back, or ask around a second time in case they catch wind, because it was so kind of them to remember it for me, and I don't want to hurt their feelings. At the same time, I've got two weeks to come up with another copy - I've had to draft in my sister to ask her year instead.

I repeat: the horror...the horror...


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