Noisy Little Bagginses

To abuse John Lennon’s immortal quip, “Those of you in the cheap seats, please rustle your crisp packets, the rest if you can just sigh in disbelief!’

This was my experience at a recent Sunday afternoon screening of ‘The Hobbit’.

I could only imagine how furious the Sound Editor of this film would be, having no doubt laboured tirelessly to create a perfect soundtrack for this movie, if he knew that most of it was being drowned out by the incessant rustle of food wrappers.

It was this crazy cacophony of packaging related noise that distracted from the movie – a movie that I had paid £11 or my hard-earned to see.

Now while I am well aware that ‘snacking’ in cinemas (movie theatres to my American audience) is a long held tradition, the historic choices of popcorn and hotdogs are somewhat silent in comparison to the modern offerings. When was the last time you heard a frankfurter ‘crunch’, or winced at the ‘crackling’ of a cardboard popcorn carton? Even Maltesers were traditionally sold in boxes for this very reason.

I always believed that such packaging precautions were in deference to the performance which, after all, is the main reason for attending!

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Doritos – Not renowned as a ‘Stealth’ Snack!

It would now seem that ODEON Cinema’s tag line ‘Fanatical About Film’ should be changed to ‘Fanatical About Food’. During a brief inspection of their food concessions after the film, I found large bags of Doritos and a myriad of sweets in noisy plastic bags – not exactly Film Friendly Fare!

Have the owners of these establishments forgotten what their core business is all about? Yes, Mr Odeon, you are a cinema, you show movies; it’s all about the movies!

So why would you want to encourage the less considerate amongst us to crawl out of the shallow end of the gene pool and consume food that would have adversely affect everyone else ability to enjoy your main product? Unless thats the point here?

There’s not enough money in selling movie tickets, so you have to supplement your income with snack and drinks? Now, as a businessman myself, i understand this. But what i do not understand is that you are quite able to limit this fare to that which is less audible, but for some reason you are not prepared to do so.

It has even been made easy for you with some free advice, courtesy of the BBC which I have reposted below. Anyone who is vaguely into films should listen to Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s brilliant 5live show/podcast – you will quickly pick up on the theme that movies are there to be appreciated considerately, and their ‘Conduct of Conduct’ is the embodiment of this movement.

Until such time that modern cineplexes take note of such concerns and return to their roots, i say:

“Odeon – Fanatical about Fuck-All except Feeding their Fat Faces with our Filthy Lucre!”

An idiots guide to attending a movie

Recession? What Recession?

It’s Saturday lunchtime and I have just squeezed myself into a tight corner of my local cafe for a ‘Cup’a’Joe’ and a warm, succulent, Chicken, Brie and spinach wrap.

And when I say ‘squeezed’ , I mean ‘shoehorned’; this place is rammed!! Wall-to-wall, the tables are full of shoppers, lunchers, hungover brunchers, and the occasional iPad wielding blogger.
And yet the soundtrack to our lives at the moment, if it were selected by the popular media, would be Simply Red’s seminal work ‘Money’s Too Tight to Mention’.

Every day we are brought down by news of shop closures, job losses, and price rises, most of which we can see evidence of with our own eyes. I am in no way suggesting that the recession is a myth; you only have to be a less-than-impressed holder of ‘Comet’ or ‘Jessops’ gift vouchers to know that it is all quite real.

But, I AM saying that the spread of ‘suffering’ is a peculiar and uneven one. Looking down the main shopping road of my home town, I can see empty premises and struggling businesses in permanent ‘SALE’ mode, and yet Coffee Shops, Bars, Cafe’s and Restaurants are routinely packed to the rafters.

A brief consideration as to why this might be throws up the thought that ‘Everyone’s got to eat sometime’ , somewhat along the lines of Maureen Lipman’s famous ‘People will always need plates’ line. But then it’s plain to see that a Hoisin Duck Salad washed down with an Extra Shot Skinny Latte cannot be classed as an ‘essential’.

Then we think of the social angle. Is it purely that we are not prepared to sacrifice time with our friends, however hard up we might be? This end could of course be achieved within our own homes, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside. Inviting friends to your home for lunch and a coffee seems to have become unfashionable, even though the truth of the matter is that better experience is likely to be had. When was the last time you were rushed off your table in your own home in favour of the next customer? And if the service is slow or the food poor, then you have no-one to blame but yourself!

Needless to say that a home made cake and some sandwiches prepared by your own fair hand would cost you less than the first round of Costa coffees!
Speaking of which, Costa Coffee’s turnover increased by 27.5% in the year 2011/12, and their profits by 38%.

If its a given that we all, on average, have a ‘paucity of moolah’ in 2013, it makes me wonder what we are sacrificing elsewhere to maintain our ‘Lady wot lunches’ lifestyle.

Answers on the back of a Starbucks napkin please………