Transformers, Harry Potter, Submarine, Zookeeper

I watch a lot of films. If you don’t already know that about me then you probably don’t know me very well at all and I wonder why you’re reading my blog. 😛

Cheryl and I used to go to the cinema between 4 and 10 times a month when we were in Nottingham so it’s been a bit strange not to go very often while we’ve been in London. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had quite a few visits to various cinemas though and it’s been quite nice.

We went to see Transformers 3 at Paramount’s office in Chiswick and they gave us free drinks and pizza before the film. That was pretty awesome. The film wasn’t too bad either, if you forget about the acting of a certain member of the cast.

Earlier this week we went to Cineworld in the O2 to watch the final instalment of Harry Potter with Dan, Fran, and Hannah. Most of the film was pretty good. A few bits seemed a bit lame, or funny, or just awkward, and then at the end it flashed up with “19 years later” and Dan I looked at each other with a look that said “what the hell?” The last few minutes basically made me come away with a worse impression of the film. it was completely unnecessary.

Yesterday Cheryl and I went to see a screening of Submarine at the Charlotte Street hotel near Tottenham Court Road. After the film–which is brilliant–we took part in a Q&A with the writer/director Richard Ayoade. That was really cool. I’d never taken part in something like that before so it was pretty exciting to be there. Richard Ayoade was very self-deprecating during the whole thing, which is how I think I would be if I ever became famous. I spent the entire Q&A session thinking whether I should ask him the stupid question I’d come up with or not. I went with it for the last question of the night: “how deep is the ocean?” If you’ve not seen the film then you won’t get why that’s funny. Everyone in the room laughed though, so my worries about nobody getting it were baseless. 🙂

Next week we’re going to Sony’s cinema to watch Zookeeper. I’ve not heard a great deal about it, but I’m hoping it’s good. Definitely looking forward to the refreshments. 🙂

Subscription TV over the Internet

I recently signed up for Lovefilm again when I saw that I can stream a bunch of stuff via my PS3. They’ll also send me DVD/Blu-ray/PS3 games in the post and I can send them back when I’m done. I pay £14 a month no matter how much I watch, which seems like a good deal to me.

I pay for an Unlimited card at Cineworld so that I can go and see as many films as I like at the cinema for £13.50 a month. Cheryl and I tend to go to 4 or 5 films a month, which makes it considerably cheaper per film than not having the card and seeing the same number of films. We get to see all of the latest films as they come out in awesome quality complete with surround sound (and idiots with their phones on).

I pay £10 a month to Spotify so that I can stream whatever music I like (with very few limitations) to my work and home computers, and also my mobile phone without any advertising, at a high quality.

When I want to watch a TV show I have to watch it as it plays out on TV with advertising, or record it with a DVR when it’s on so I can watch it later. Other than sometimes on Virgin there seems to be no concept of an on demand catalogue of shows. Why? I would quite happily pay £15 a month or so for an archive of TV shows to be available at the press of a button on a variety of my devices in different locations. If LoveFilm had rights to more shows I would definitely go there for them, but sadly they don’t.

An additional problem is that I am a fan of shows on Facebook, so I get all sorts of updates as the latest episodes of How I Met Your Mother or House get shown over there, and then I get to wait 6 months for the episode to air over here on a channel (as part of a package) I have to pay Sky to watch even though I only want 1 or 2 shows.

Why would I do that? Why should I do that? If I want I can download the entire episode within hours of it airing in the US with ads removed and play it on my PS3, my phone, burn it to DVD and play it basically anywhere, etc..

It is obvious that the subscriber model works, I subscribe to almost all of my media these days. If you guys make it available in a sensible way then I will happily give you my money for it. If you continue doing it this way then people will continue to make it freely available. If you want to succeed you have to make your stuff as available as TeH pIrAtEz do, but legally and for a decent price.

Drinks, bad news, movies, Android apps

On Saturday night Cheryl and I went out with Holly and then Len met up with us in The Social. We had a bunch of drinks and ended up spending the whole night in there, leaving at about 2 in the morning. It was a really fun evening, and I was very tired by the end of it.

I got woken up by Cheryl at about 5 in the morning because she’d just had some really bad news about her uncle back in Singapore. 🙁 After a bit more sleep I commenced operation Cheer Up Cheryl. I made some American-style pancakes with chocolate chips in. Then I fell back to sleep again while Cheryl was speaking to her mum on the phone.

After 4pm we headed to town to the cinema to watch The Karate Kid. It was a good film. Jaden Smith is a pretty good actor and is somewhat like his dad at times, which is quite a compliment, I think. The name of the film doesn’t really fit any more since the entire thing is about Kung Fu, but oh well. Jackie Chan is always appreciated in any movie. 🙂

After the movie we went to Tamatanga where I discovered that they don’t know how to use capital letters on their menu (is that really stylish?). The food was nice enough, but we couldn’t take what we left because we were heading back to the cinema to watch Knight and Day. We had a bit of time to kill so we played on the IT Box again. We’re beginning to dominate the score board for Word Up. 🙂

I had very low expectations for the film, but I was quite pleasantly surprised by how not-shit it was. There were enough funny moments to make it light-hearted, and enough action to keep anyone interested. It was a bit like a Jason Bourne comedy, starring an crazy midget and Cameron Diaz. It could have been a lot worse…

When we got back I was updating some apps on my phone when I noticed that Google were publicising Sky’s app on the marketplace. I took a quick look and saw that it has between 10 and 50 thousand downloads already. It makes me so sad to know that the audience for my app was so large, but I hardly tapped it at all. Oh well.


Cheryl and I were talking about how many films we wanted to watch at the cinema yesterday, so we decided it would be worth investing in an unlimited card for Cineworld. It costs £13.50 and you use the card to go to as many films as you like.

We ordered our cards online yesterday and then printed the temporary passes out. We met near the cinema in time to watch Toy Story 3 in 3D. It was a really good film. It was sad in parts, hilarious in parts, and just plain great overall.

After that had finished we went to get our tickets for Inception. After getting the tickets we went to Subway for a quick sandwich. We sat upstairs and had to listen to chavs talking about their illegitimate children, or whatever it is chavs talk about these days. We left there as soon as possible to go play on the IT Box in the cinema. We ended up playing on Word Soup about 6 times. We did fairly well, but couldn’t seem to be consistent enough to win money.

We went into the screen to watch Inception and sat down. When the film was ready to start the lights came up to full brightness for some reason. They stayed like that until someone went to speak to the people. Then the lights dulled, then flashed bright again. Stupid lights or stupid staff, I’m not sure. Eventually they turned off and we could see the screen properly.

Inception itself can be a bit confusing with the timeline changes, but the film itself isn’t that complicated. I’m sure it could be difficult to follow if you have a short attention span, or if you lost concentration for a few minutes, but it’s still enjoyable. It’s jumped into IMDb’s Top 250 at number 3, which is ridiculous. I’m sure it’ll get lower and lower over the coming weeks, but I imagine it’ll stay in the middle of the list for a fairly long time.

We got out of the cinema at 11:50pm after arriving there at about 5:30pm. It was a long evening in the cinema, and there will be many more to follow. 🙂