4 December 2013

Three things that are wrong with the cinema

I love going to the cinema. Let me start by saying that, otherwise the rant that follows has no context.

I've always loved films. When I was single I regularly went to the cinema on my own. Sometimes it was just me in the cinema. Well, me and a massive bag of Revels.

When I went travelling I often enjoyed sitting down for a few hours during the day. One particularly memorable film experience was 'Best in Show'. I saw this is Christchurch, New Zealand, on a rainy Tuesday. There were a dozen people in the cinema, mostly pensioners, we all sat at the back. The film, as you would expect from Christopher Guest, is hilarious. What started as a few little chuckles here and there quickly escalated into belly laughs from everyone, and a wonderful shared experience.

These days I mainly see children's films, on a Saturday morning. There's not much to say about that, other than it's a sit down in the warm.

Recently I did see David Tennant in the live RSC production of Richard II. That was amazing. I thoroughly recommend this cinema option as the next best thing to actually being in the audience at Stratford. Again, it's the shared watching that enhances the experience.

This week I was chatting with my oldest friend (well, you know, she's not old, we've been friends for 34 years) and we arranged an impromptu trip to the cinema to see Philomena. Another excellent film, I'd give it a three hanky rating.

This brings me on, however, to what is wrong with the cinema today.

1 - Trailers
When did film trailers change? What happened to a teaser, to whet the appetite? Now you see the whole film. You see all the explosions, all the jokes, all the sad bits, all the spoilers. And it does spoil the film for me. I'd rather not see the trailer. Andy and I watch a lot of DVD's through our Lovefilm subscription and after each trailer we usually say, 'Well, I've seen that, no need to bother watching the DVD'. Last night we saw the trailer for Star Trek: Into Darkness. We've seen the film and were amazed how much of the action is in the trailer. Are trailers for the lowest common denominator? Will people only see a film is they know exactly what they are getting? I don't like it.

Dear People Who Make Trailers,
Please please please go back to proper teasers. You're putting me off your films by showing me the whole story.
Sandy with a brain.

2 - Screening Times
This is my biggest bugbear. I'm freelance. In between working, school volunteering and PTA duties I occasionally like to squeeze in a little me time. Every week I look at the cinema times in the hope that there's a film I can watch, that finishes in time for the school run. This hardly ever happens. Andy has a day off before the children break up. We'd like to see the new Hobbit film at the cinema, but the showings start at 12.40. That's too late for us. Instead we'll wait for it to come out on Lovefilm and move the sofa closer to the television to watch it. It's not the same.

Dear Cineworld,
Please please please show more films that finish at 2.30. Think of all the stay at home or work at home parents who would skive off and spend their money with you during the day.
Sandy with time and money to spend with you.

3 - The Price of Snacks and Drinks
Nothing new here, snacks and drinks have always been a ridiculous price. If cinemas charged a reasonable amount we wouldn't all pop to Sainsbury's beforehand to buy our family-sized bags of Revels.

Dear Cineworld,
Me again. £2.80 for a bottle of water? You robbing so and so's.
Thanks, for nothing,

Do you agree?



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