The Farce is strong with this one.

Today at work, the subject of Star Wars came up.

Actually, every day at work and at home and at the supermarket and in the car and sat on the toilet pushing out a Jar Jar, the subject of Star Wars comes up.

Why?  Because I fucking LOVE Star Wars.

The Scruffy Nerf Herder has a point.

Anyway, today’s Star Wars conversation started when I saw a trailer for the new Blade Runner 2049 trailer (Squeeeeeee!). I asked my work colleagues if they’re as pant-wettingly excited to see it as I am.

This question was met with was a lot of blank expressions.

My heart sank.

“Wait, who here has seen the original Blade Runner?”, I asked, with slight desperation in my voice.

Only one hand went up.

One.

It was at this point that the girl who sits next to me – let’s call her Cluelessa – said, “There’s one reason why I want to see that movie”.

I sighed. “It’s because of Ryan Gosling isn’t it?”

She beamed excitedly, “Of course!”

I held my shit together and smiled. “So let me get this straight”, I said incredulously, “You went with Ryan Gosling and not Harrison Ford?”

She nodded enthusiastically.

“But he’s a legend!”.  (Harrison, not Ryan)

She paused for a moment as she redirected brain power from her mouth to her brain, “I liked him in Air Force One” she replied proudly.

I had to take a moment to compose myself and remember it’s not deemed socially acceptable to choke the shit out of a co-worker.

For some reason it’s frowned upon.

“So, let me understand this right….you didn’t go with Indiana Jones or Han Solo….instead you went with ‘Air Force One’?”

Thus began the conversation about the cultural phenomenon that is Star Wars[1]

It soon became evident that most of the people I work with haven’t actually seen Star Wars, unless it was the one with the “racing thingy” (Pod Race) or “Anakin” (probably a prequel).

I wanted to scream like a Wookie.

The conversation, as dumbfounding as it was, came to a head when Cluelessa asked, “Wait, Darth Vader….is that Star Wars?”

I had to take a moment.

Trembling with rage, I picked up the concrete paperweight on my desk and pushed it towards her face.

“That’s no moon”

“Pop quiz; what’s this?”

She beamed blankly as she looked at it, then at me, then back at the paperweight.

She didn’t know the answer.

SHE DIDN’T KNOW THE ANSWER!

“It’s the Death Star!”, I said, holding back tears and throat punches.

“OK, here’s another question for you”, I said with a new hope (see what I did there?), “What do Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker have in common?”.

There was a long pause.

In fact, there shouldn’t have even been a short pause.

It went very quiet and I could hear my own heart breaking.

One of the other girls piped up, “Isn’t he, like, his dad or something?”

Oh my god!

Then Cluelessa said, “Wait, isn’t Anakin, Luke? Wait, no….hold on, so who is Luke?”

Unbelievable.

But, as I write this from prison, I have to say it has become evident over the last few years that Star Wars is slowly slipping off the radar with the ‘young folk’ of today. It’s for this reason that I am so thankful that Disney now own the rights to a galaxy far, far away.  All the time there is love for the franchise – and tons of cash coming in – Disney will continue to bring Star Wars to the big screen.

Despite one of the girls saying they’ve only seen ‘The Force Awakens’ (eye twitch), it is still keeping the legacy alive….and ‘The Force Awakens’ is still a great film even though its plot is effectively ‘A New Hope’, but without enough R2D2.

I live and breathe Star Wars. I love everything about it[2] and it breaks my heart to think that one day, in the dystopian future of…say…2049, it’s possible that no-one will look at Rick Deckard and say Hey, you look a lot like Han Solo”.

[1]  Not including the prequels.

[2]  Except Jar Jar Binks[3] and any unnecessary or comedic CGI special effects added to the original trilogy.

[3]  Especially Jar Jar Binks!

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Expect the expected

Here’s a post I haven’t been able to post due to switching computers at work and technology was acting like a Cuban Airport Employee.

Well, I’ve managed to retrieve the file before launching the old machine through the air, and the window, into the street.

Here it is.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Yesterday I went to the cinema to see ‘Star Trek: Beyond‘.

It was awesome by the way.

I had booked my ticket1 online, which meant downloading the app (because mobile sites usually suck dick), finding the closest ‘Galaxy’ cinema to me, selecting my movie, selecting my preferred time and choosing my seat.

Pretty standard stuff. At every step of the way I had all the information I needed available to me; 2D, 3D, Dbox, Dolby Atmos, IMAX, movie rating and full running time.

(2 hours and 2 minutes, in case you were wondering).

Now, the ‘Galaxy’ cinema chain do an awesome thing before each and every movie; a member of staff stands at the front of the auditorium and announces the following to everyone:

  1. What film they’re here to see (because some people are that stupid).
  2. How to use the recliner seats (because some people are that stupid).
  3. What the running time of the movie is.
  4. If there’s anything to see after the credits.
  5. If anyone uses their phone or is distracting during the movie, they will be kicked out.
  6. Sit back and enjoy the movie

I have to thank Galaxy cinemas for numbers 4 and 5. These are little touches I would implement if I owned a cinema chain, except theirs have fewer snipers.

Anyway, as the staff member was going through his repertoire, he reached number 3 and announced the film was just over 2hours in length. At this point there was an audible groan from almost everyone in the theatre.

Double-U, Tee, Eff?

I couldn’t believe it. What were people expecting?

This isn’t 1985 anymore; movies aren’t a standard 90 minutes in length. In fact, ‘Back To The Future‘ was released in 1985 and that piece of excellence is still a cool 2 hours in length.

Some2 people get on my tits.

There would have been outrage if we had been told the movie was 45 minutes in length. If anything, I wanted the movie to be 4 hours long for the price I paid!

I would certainly not be setting my phaser to stun.

khaaaan!

1 Yes, singular. Want to make something of it?

2 Most

Rating responsibility

​My wife and I just sat down to watch the latest Jason Bourne movie. We’ve been sat here a few minutes and a couple have walked in with a 2yr old girl…..and sat right in front of us.

Why bring a 2yr old to a violent film like this?

Maybe it’s to save money on childcare….nope, it can’t be that judging from the amount of food and drink they’ve just wheelbarrowed in with them.

Honestly….there’s no accounting for stupidity.

The trailers alone are adult themed thrillers and horror movies with violence, screaming and jump scares.

Apparently, in America, the film’s rating doesn’t apply if there is an adult in the party. That means a 10 year old can see a rated R movie as long as their parents are with them.

How does that make sense?

In the UK, if a film is rated ’15’ or ’18’, you have to be 15 or 18 years old to see it, regardless of who is in your party. I know that sounds like crazy talk, but them’s the rules mate.

If the filmakers want people under a certain age not to see their film, there’s probably a good reason behind it. The movie doesn’t suddenly become child friendly just because twats of the right age are present.

Surely, by the same logic, it’s ok to have sex with an underage child providing the parents are present…right?

Harsh? 

You bet it is; but so was Jason Bourne graphically strangling a man who had earlier brutally shot people in the head at point blank range, spraying their brains and blood on the walls.

“Yay Daddy! Again! Again!”

Yes I’ve used this picture before….I wonder why?

Don’t ask…

My wife is ill.

Living in America I should really say ‘my wife is sick’, but I can’t use that sentence without wanting to add ‘and twisted’ on the end.

So….my wife is ill.

Very ill actually.

She has spent most of the day – and last night – coughing, sneezing, throwing up and sporting a high temperature.  What;s even worse is the fact I had to cancel our 6:20pm showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

It’s such an emotional time.

Unfortunately I couldn’t cancel the tickets online with the same ease I booked them, so I had to put on outside clothing and drive to the cinema.

Sorry, ‘Movie Theatre’.

Sorry, ‘Movie Theater

(rolls eyes)

After a 35 minute drive I arrived at the cinema and headed into the noisy, bustling foyer.  I navigated the slow, shuffling popcorn munching morons and made a beeline for the box office desk.

The young girl behind the (bulletproof?) glass called me over and I pushed my pre-printed ticket under the glass towards her.

“I need to cancel these tickets; my wife is sick (and twisted) and so we can’t make the 6:30 showing”.

She smiled, took my tickets and proceeded to scan stuff and type things on her tiny little keyboard.

After a few seconds she said, “So I have to ask, where are you from?”

Did you have to ask?

“From Vegas, born and bred” I replied, with a smile.

She looked at me blankly, an emotion came across her face (ooer!) which I can only describe as bemusement.  No, wait….confusion; the word is confusion.

I decided to help her out.

“Just kidding, I’m originally from the UK”.

She smiled (out of relief mostly) and what followed were the usual questions of “How do you like it here?” and “How is it different from the UK?” etc.

After a minute or so of “I don’t miss the clouds and rain” and “Well, the TV over here sucks” she smiled again at me and slipped me my refund receipt.

Before I could thank her and leave, she hit me with this one…

“Let me ask you one more question; since you’ve been here what stereotype of Americans have you found not to be true?”

Wow, this was an interesting one.  Where do I start?

Actually, where DO I start?  I couldn’t think of a single stereotype off the top of my head and here I had this young girl smiling at me, expecting an answer…..an honest answer.

Naturally.

So I went with the most common stereotype; the one that is synonymous with Americans, known the world over.

“Well, there’s the stereotype that Americans are stupid…” I began.

Her face dropped.

The foyer fell silent.

I felt like that out of town stranger who had walked into a saloon in the Old West.  Even the popcorn had stopped mid-pop.

She looked mortified and started spouting some bollocks about the revolutionary war and the fact that it was actually the English fighting the English or something.  I tuned out to be honest.

Hey, she asked the question.  Be prepared for the answer.  Well, half the answer in this case.

Before I could say that I found that stereotype to be (mostly) untrue, she looked behind me and said “Next please”.

Oh dear.  Touch a nerve did I?

As I got in my car I smiled to myself as I nearly said, ‘Americans are very easily offended’.

Cunt.

See?

ron offended

Wait, she DID ask for an American stereotype that I had found not to be true…right?

Right?

Give me a sign…and I will point and laugh at it.

Yesterday I was in traffic, sat behind a truck that had the slogan:

‘Behind You All The Way’.

Ah, the irony.

I was on my way to see Star Wars Episode VII : The Force Awakens for the second time.

When I got to the cinema I realised I was extremely early (like I was keen to get there, for some reason) and my man date hadn’t arrived yet.  Out of boredom I began wandering around the child-filled lobby, raising suspicion with security.

My boredom took a breather when I saw this sign on the wall…

image

OK, so most of this is standard stuff about not bringing in your own food and switching off your phone…blah blah blah, but it was a little disturbing to read ‘no weapons’.

Does that include lightsabers?

It was scary to see that written on a sign that was NOT trying to be funny.  They meant it.  If you’re armed you’d better not mess with these people, they have a sign.  What do you have?

Oh, wait…

But my favourite part was that they felt it necessary to advise they WILL wake you up if you’re snoring, like it’s a regular thing.

This had me laughing out loud to myself.

Security began to close in.

This, combined with the contradictory truck logo, reminded me I had two or three amusing photos on my phone that I was saving for a potential blog post in the future.

Well, now this post is that post.

Enjoy.

image

On the back of a camping chair (and down the front of my pants)

20150828_121849.jpg

We need to protect the gaylords it seems….or are they there to protect us?

20150821_070247.jpg

TV show about your mother.

Everyone should experience (cl)IMAX

My wife and I went to the cinema yesterday to see ‘Tomorrowland’ in IMAX.  We enjoyed it and it’s well worth a watch.

After the film I had to visit the toilet; the inevitable consequence of drinking a LOT of Coke!

As I was having the longest piss in history, I started to get bored and began looking around.

(I was in there alone….otherwise it would most definitely have been ‘eyes forward’)

As I looked to my left I saw this vending machine:

Shady Vending Machine2

Yes, that’s right; this vending machine – in a cinema – is selling various lubes of different flavours and sensations, Tic-Tacs (important), a form of Viagra (impotent?), condoms and vibrating cock rings.

I’m not a prude, but come on!

This isn’t a pub or a club; it’s a c-i-n-e-m-a.

I guess kissing in the back row has come a long way.

Pun intended.

The cinema ‘experience’ (Part 3)

Following on from parts one and two, here is the final category in why the cinema experience isn’t that great.

3. The Performance

Bearing in mind I left the comfort of my home to see a film, I still have some issues with the viewing experience. These are:

Retard Retail therapy

All the adverts.

SO many adverts.

The same adverts that we’ve seen on TV, but this time they’re the unedited, longer versions that we can’t avoid on the massive screen. Usually we’d ignore them at home by making tea, fast forwarding (if it’s a recorded program) or muting them entirely.

Not at the cinema.

Nope, here you have to endure it all in high definition with super loud digital surround sound.

Still boring.

sleep cinema

In addition to the adverts for cars, yoghurts, perfumes, mobile phones and alcohol (seriously, what exactly IS the demographic here?), they have at least 3 or 4 adverts about the cinema experience.

Eh?

It’s basically 10 minutes spent telling us how great it is to visit the cinema and how much you should go to the cinema and what to expect at the cinema…..WHILST YOU’RE SAT IN THE CINEMA!

Surely these are the adverts that should be on TV?  I really don’t understand the point of advertising a product to people who are already using it.

“Try Oxygen….it’s great!”

In addition, they advertise that “It’s not too late to grab a Coke from the foyer”.

This isn’t because you’ve forgotten to buy refreshments, but because you’ve already finished your drink during the 40 minutes of crap you’ve had to endure prior to the film.

Technical difficulties

Blurry screen, sound out of sync, all the lights staying on, lines and marks on the picture throughout, bad sound etc… I’ve experienced it all.

vhs

The daddy of technical fuck ups, however, was back when ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’ was having its run back in 2013. I had already seen it in 3D, but I really wanted to see it again in IMAX so I decided to go to a late night showing [1].

The film got to around 10 minutes from the end when suddenly the screen went pitch black. The sound was still going on, but there were no visuals.

Never before has a film’s title been so appropriate.

After everyone in the cinema had heard the end of the film, a staff member came out and apologised.  He then said they were going to restart the film from the place we’d lost the picture.  We all breathed a sigh of relief and sat back to watch the last 10 minutes properly.

They started it from half way. The film is over 2 hours in length.

Bollocks.

I was getting tired, but I decided to Klingon until the end of the film.

(groan)

I eventually left the cinema around 2am.

Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan…….ts

khaaaan!

The limbo moment

I hate this moment in movies.

It’s that span of silence between the BBFC film card…

HIAB BBFC

…and the first bit of anything actually happening on screen.

The reason I hate this is because people are unable to put away their phones or stop their inane conversations until something actually happens on screen to distract them.  They’re like fucking cavemen seeing fire for the first time.

“Duuuuuuh?”

Once something happens (dialogue, action, anything), their conversations die down and their phones (mostly) get put away.

It’s like distracting a crying baby with a set of jangling keys.

distracted

The only Limbo moment that I love (which always commands total silence in a cinema) is the one between the 20th Century Fox fanfare and the trumpet blast of the Star Wars opening Crawl.

That silence is gorgeous.

Then the ‘Lucasfilm’ logo comes up, sparkles for a bit and disappears, followed by the words: “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….”.

Without exception, I get goosebumps of anticipation every single time.

In fact, I’m getting them right now, just thinking about it.

I felt a pang of sadness when I heard that Disney had bought the franchise.  Not because I think they’ll make it all childish (after all, George Lucas was responsible for Jar Jar Binks and Disney did a great job with the Marvel franchise), but because I was going to miss the 20th Century Fox/Star Wars crawl combo.

Will we get that goosebump moment?

I really hope they open with an X-Wing or the Millennium Falcon flying over (or through) the Disney castle at the beginning.

We’ll see.

Steamboat Starwars

Anyway, all this got me thinking about how I’d love the cinema experience to be.  How would I run the cinemas if I was calling the shots?

Well, here are the rules and regulations I would put into place:

  1. No mobile phones allowed in the screens. They will need to be checked in with staff, or switched off and inserted rectally.
  2. Only quiet foods allowed, such as Marshmallows or warm soup (hot soup would involve too much slurping).  All food will be served in bowls; nice quiet bowls.
  3. You can still have popcorn, but only as much as you can carry in your hands.
  4. Food prices will be reasonable, negating the need to sneak in your own (we all do it!)
  5. No talking.  Snipers with tranquiliser darts will be deployed in all screens.
  6. No babies in the screens.  Ever.  Babysitting services will be provided.
  7. Children will be allowed.  Snipers with lower dosage tranquiliser darts will be deployed in all screens.
  8. No adverts.  Plenty of trailers and previews of course.
  9. Large, soft, reclining seats with footrests.  Most will have vibrating massage features as standard.  Plenty of legroom.
  10. Allocated parking.  One vehicle per party.  If there’s a lot of you, hire a minivan.
  11. Friendly staff. Preferably film lovers and nerds.  All staff will be required to watch every movie with free food and drink provided.

That will do for starters, although I get the feeling I may have gone a bit too far here.

Oh well.

I don’t care.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the movies.

I love movies and I will always love movies.  To be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever stop going to the cinema because, despite its shortcomings, it’s easy to forget all the hassle when you’re engrossed in a really good film.

One day I will find the perfect cinema experience (in a galaxy far, far away?), but until then my search will continue.

Fin.

[1] The best time to go to the cinema is for a VERY late showing, ideally around 11pm. Then it’s usually only you and some fat guy in a black t-shirt.  On this occasion there were a small handful, just like the popcorn in rule number 3.