Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Who eats nachos at the movies anyway? Seriously.

WARNING: It's a 'back in the day' post, so if reminiscing ain't your style, scroll down to the bits and bobs afterwards. I'll make it worth your while....


Back in the heady days of my youth, when I had more free time (and cash) to spend, my regular haunts around old Canberra town were the local record store (R.I.P. Impact Records), the mall, and my personal favourite, the cinema. For a city of over 300 000, Canberra didn't do to badly when it came to places to while away a few hours in a darkened room with a bag of popcorn, a caffeinated beverage that had far too much ice in it, some rowdy kids, and a few unemployed peeps wasting the hours between The Midday Show and Neighbours.

If you wanted to see the latest Hollywood tripe, then the Greater Union in Civic and Tuggeranong would suffice. Those who wanted the finest in local and arthouse flicks could usually find a flick at either Electric Shadows or Centre Cinema to suit their refined palette. The mall in Belconnen soon acquired its own cinema in the form of the Hoyts behemoth (10 screens I believe...are that many needed?), and the small quaint picturehouse in Manuka soon became a mini-multiplex as well, although it catered to both the mainstream and arthouse crowd too, so you at least had a choice between the latest Denzel Washington or Daniel Auteuil vehicle (Auteuil everytime).

So for most of my formative teenage years going to the movies became more than just the treat my parents would provide every school holidays. Hours were spent glaring towards large screens, sometimes accompanied by THX or surround sound if my luck was in. Sure, a bad choice might have been made now and then, the realisation coming only after the Coke became watery, and all that was left in the popcorn bag were loose kernels that broke your teeth (Volcano? I think the only reason I saw that load of bollocks was that I'd seen everything else that was showing. And it was a joint decision too, so I'm only taking half the blame for that flaming turd), but overall I'd say the ratio of good to bad flicks was around 80:20.

Then a few years ago I moved to London, and all of a sudden I stopped going to the movies. Partly due to the exorbitant prices charged at the box-offices (especially the tourist traps of the West End), but partly because I had a new city to explore. Long gone were the days when I would pride myself in having seen every film nominated for Best Picture at that years Oscars. This year? Not one of the five up for the gong, not even 'Jake and Heath Get Their Spurs On'. What happened? Well it comes down to these factors - work, music, records, football, relationships, going out, far too much time spent on tubes, buses and other forms of public transportation, making ends meet, shopping, kitting out numerous flats in Swedish furniture, trawling markets for hidden gems, days in the park, travelling, and most of all, getting to know London.

Recently, I've started to watch films again on a more regular basis. Getting into Hayao Miyazaki, watching Samuel L. Jackson getting 'mother-fucking snakes' off a 'mother-fucking plane', seeing Captain Jack swashbuckle and talk his way out of trouble, watching Cary Grant run away from Martin Landau while falling in love with Eva Marie Saint.....suddenly, it's like I'm 14 again, and flush with pocket money and free time, seeing movies regularly seems natural again. Time to grab a bag of over salted popcorn, an over iced Coke, and sit back down in the stadium seats for two and a half hours at a time while my butt gets numb. This time though, no Tommy Lee Jones disaster flicks OK?


* So that's 10 million quid in the coffers - cheers Rafa!

* That Christina album isn't too bad, as long as you throw away the tripe filled Linda Perry second disc. Here's a re-rub of the Preemo helmed 'Back In The Day', with Termanology filling up a few bars just for fun (thanks to the kids at Spine)

* Nat at A Bit Nice spin-off My Two Dads is compiling a definitive list of your favourite TV theme tunes....ever! (note the exclamation mark to show just how important this task is). Won't you help out, pwwwwwwease? Here's one of my childhood favourites, with added Spanish glamour.

* One of those tarted up boozers that occasionally allows me to plays tunes, as well as get slighty tipsy, finally has a MySpace page. Add the Weld to your list of compadres.

And for those that skipped Major Leaguer's own version of The Wonder Years at the start of today's post, here's your reward.

Told you it was worth your while.

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