Monday, 3 August 2009

I am the half-blood prince…and other important cinema lessons in the UK…


And a good evening to you from across the Pond. Tonight was a great night – we saw “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” Okay, I will go on record to say that this was, in my opinion, THE BEST film to date (which is shocking, considering it was easily my least favorite book). From start to finish, I was really, really impressed with the acting, the action, the pacing, and the effects. Full marks.

The cinema experience, however, was NOT what I would call life changing. Let’s just recap some unique facts I learned about cinema in the UK tonight:

1. There are two kinds of seats in theaters in the UK – Premium and standard.
2. Premium costs 2-3 pound more per person, but I will pay it EVERY TIME I GO TO A MOVIE GOING FORWARD.
3. Tonight I sat in standard (aka DONKEY CLASS), where the following occurrences were quite regular:
a. Everyone around me talked the entire film in FOUR DIFFERENT LANGUAGES. I would have told them to shut up, but unfortunately I don’t speak Hungarian, Polish, Estonian or Farsi.
b. The seats were built for hobbits, meaning that my neck and back will need 14 years of therapy to straighten out.
c. The standard seats are quite close to the screen. I felt like I was on the front row of the Drive-in for part of the film.
d. Stadium seating? Um, try bucket seating…there were only 7 rows in this uber-modern, upscale cinema.
4. The upside is that there is a pick ‘em – mix ‘em candy shop in the theater that’s quite cheap.
5. There’s also BEER in the theater (marked under a big sign that reads “Thristy?”).

All in all, I loved the film, but I will pay for premium next time (and all subsequent times). The cost for JT and I to see the film tonight in STANDARD, you ask? 35 USD – yeah…good thing it was awesome.

Also, a couple of new features I hope to start on the blog. One will be the Welsh phrase of the week, courtesy of Brother Owain Morgan. The other is the “immigration tip of the week.”

So get this – if you want to become a citizen of the UK, there are tons of ridiculous laws that you have to learn (none of the locals know ANY of them). However, one today caught my eye (no, I’m not immigrating – the book is just in the HR office). This is (more or less) the quote as I remember it:

“In the UK, there are establishments that serve alcohol. These establishments are called pubs. Lots of people drink in the UK, and if you are invited to have a drink of alcohol, you should accept. However, please note that, during the course of the evening, someone may offer to buy a “round” of drinks, which means he will purchase the drinks for the entire group. It is expected that you will return this favor later in the evening, but note that pubs are very crowded. If you knock over someone’s drink whilst on the way to the bar, it is advisable to offer to buy them another. Also, there is no queing at the bar – the bartender will find you when it’s your turn.”

Moral of the story for all you wanna be Brits out there – put down the Ultra and step up to the heavy stuff.

Okay, that’s about all the news that’s fit to print. Chat with you guys tomorrow!


Sam and Jenny

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