Sunday, November 18, 2007


We went to see Beowulf on Friday afternoon. The film was quite an experience with superb computer graphics and digital effects that were way beyond my understanding. Robert Zemeckis the director had done a fine job of adapting the long olde English poem for the screen. My wife was impressed, and she knows about poems, although she did not remember Angelina Jolie in the original.

The only drawback was that the film was showing at Exeter's Vue Multiplex Cinema. From the outside this building resembles a bunker in downtown Baghdad, and its architectural style can be summed up as "super carbuncular".

It is only when one finds the door, a difficult task in itself, and enters that the full horror of the place really hits you.

Downstairs it resembles some kind of burger bar, that makes the average KFC or Burger King seem like the Ivy in comparison. The garish colours of the entrance make way for an interior that was designed by Grendel, himself, aided by a coterie of retired Stasi agents.

Extraordinary rendition would be a fate too good for these designers.

This is an establishment that sells soft drinks and sticky popcorn in superlarge and extra superlarge sizes, yet has more cinema screens than urinals. It will take a very good film to get me back into this hellish place again.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When we went to see Elizabeth on Friday in Kingston's equivalent ("The Rotunda") it was just the same. We knew to pay by credit card in advance, thus invoking a "booking fee" (on a ticket price of £7.80 each!) but at least we could go straight to a machine and get tickets, and not stand for half an hour in a very long queue (one till open). We knew not to turn up until half an hour after the advertised start-time because of the adverts. I don't mean the trailers, which I quite like, but the ads for cars, getting killed for driving them too fast, and x-rated computer games, awful rubbish.
Yes, the whole experience is smelly, expensive, and all in all, "taking the mickey" out of you. Although there were only about a dozen other people watching our film, they still banged one's seat and chatted throughout. I go to the cinema only rarely these days -- I do like the big screen experience but frankly it is getting harder for that to compensate for everything else.
Sorry, I realise my "disgusted of Tunbridge Wells" comment is longer than your post! You struck a nerve. It wasn't that long ago that I used to go to the cinema once a week. Now it is once every three months and it is not a pleasant experience even if the movie is good.
PS I've heard good things about Beowulf too, from colleagues who have read the original, which I haven't.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Hi "disgusted of Tunbridge Wells" "Enraged of Exeter" here.
Your comment about the experience being smelly reminded me that the whole place smelt of burnt chip fat presumably from the popcorn?
My only compensation was that Kingston prices have not reached the South West, ours were £4.70 for me [over 60] and £5.40 for the poetry scholar. We got a voucher for 75p off our next visit!Obviously they have a problem with customers not returning.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our prices used to be about that. Then they knocked down the old ABC and built an Odeon multiplex -- took them two years and they doubled the prices in the process.
I think if you can go on a wednesday you can get 2 tickets for the price of 1 but I am too tired to go out in the week.

11:20 AM  

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