Friday, July 25, 2008

Sleep, and three cool things

Still trying to kick myself back into UK time, and catching up on emails and so on, I will do proper blog posts when I'm awake again. Working on a full breakdown of our American adventure, and also want to talk about my visit to a school this week, which was just brilliant fun (don't worry, I was invited, I didn't just turn up at a school and demand to be let in, although I *could* do if I felt like it, I'm TV's James Moran, for fuck's sake, I can do anything I want). Anyway. While I'm catching up, some cool things:

Cool Thing 1: Short Trips: Transmissions is out, and I got my copies today. I am officially in a proper book. Well, my first published short story is, I'm not actually in the book myself, that would be uncomfortable. Check it out:

That's my name! My story! Wheee! It's very exciting for me, because it's my first ever published story (and not my first ever story, as Wikipedia says, that would be the one I wrote when I was 4 years old - this one is much better than that one). By the way, the glowing light at the top of the photo is my angelic halo of goodness.

Cool Thing 2: Harvey Keitel has been cast as Gene Hunt in the US remake of Life On Mars. With Michael Imperioli as Ray Carling. And it will now be set in New York city. Dude. Mr White and Christopher Moltisanti in 70s New York, busting heads and driving cars through cardboard boxes. THROUGH NEW YORK CARDBOARD BOXES. Speaking of 70s coppers, two adverts that still make me laugh: This one, and this one. Both featuring Phil Cornwell, soon to star in Doctor Who spin-off series "The Pompeii Stallholder" (this may not be true).

And finally, Cool Thing 3: I managed to avoid all spoilers and reviews before going to see The Dark Knight (don't worry, no spoilers here). I knew nothing about the story, and it was such a treat to go into it that way. It's getting more and more difficult to do that now, but it's well worth it.

Just one last thing - has anyone experienced sound problems when watching movies at the Odeon Leicester Square (the bigger one, not the one with 2 screens)? The last two we saw (Indy 4 and The Dark Knight), we were up in the circle, and missed a good half of the dialogue, it was quiet, distorted, and I had to strain to hear what I could. Not really good enough for those prices. We usually go along for the big movies, the whole point is to get the West End experience, big screen, big sound, and all that, but it's just not worth it anymore. The Empire Leicester Square is great, as is the Odeon West End (also in Leicester Square, and the Apollo West End, so if a movie's not playing in those, we'll just stick to our local multiplex.

But while I'm on the subject - if you're paying 15 quid a ticket to see the latest exciting movie at the Odeon Leicester Square, why the hell would you arrive TEN MINUTES late? And then go to the toilet 2 or 3 times? Once, sure, but 2 or 3 times? Movies aren't that long, I mean, most are overlong, but surely you can hold it in? I'm not talking a few people, it was a constant, steady flow, some people went several times (I recognised them because they kept walking in front, *really* slowly, blocking the screen for our whole section). Hey, here's an idea: arrive on time, go to the fucking toilet, find your fucking seat, turn off your fucking phones, shut the fuck up, and sit the fuck down. Or I will crush your head between two bricks.

Okay, I think I need more sleep now, I'm getting violent again.


FlatlandDan said...

Just got back from seeing the Dark Knight as well and had a similar experience of people leaving. One person even walked out the side exit into the night air. Why pay?

So, same issues in Canada as well.

Sonance said...

Ah, you could be living in the States, wherein new born infants are admitted to R-rated movies if accompanied by a parentard.

Yeah, when I went to see Matrix Reload, a family of about eight people decided to wander in about 15 MINUTES LATE. They spent a further 5 minutes getting situated IN THE FRONT ROW. Oh, did I mention they had two babies with them? They both spent the next 20 minutes or so bawling loudly. But, hey, it was okay -- the mothers picked them up and wandered backwards and forwards along the front row to calm them down. As calm as an infant could be with a 30ft tall visage of Keanu Reeves a few feet away and pumping techno music.

I would have complained had half-a-dozen other people not beaten me to it. Not that the complaints amounted to much. Still, the whole fiasco was probably marginally more entertaining than the actual movie.

TallulahBelle said...

No no, you don't need sleep (well, whether you need sleep or not is actually your business and my opinion stands for nowt), that is entirely the correct reaction. Skull crushing by bricks is the accepted penalty for fucking with someone's movie viewing. Isn't it?

(by the way, we just had Fires of Pompeii screen here in Australia. Niiiiice work. Donna Noble is The Awesome.)

Megan said...

AGGGH!!!! I hate it when people arrive late - especially for live shows! I mean - HOW RUDE!!!

I had a good old rant to the council about this very thing - asking why - WHY? - do they let these evildoers in - especially after 30 mins into the performance!!!
Next time I'm going to take my trusty Taser with me! That'll teach them to be late!
The council totally ignored my email of intense irritation for some strange and unknown reason! So thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity to have Rant Part 2!

Well now I've just totally forgotten the actual purpose of this comment...

Dozeymagz said...

Gosh that was odd! My name changed from Dozeymagz to Megan in that last post!
Oh no!!! Personality crisis!!!
Better go and have a nice cup of tea to restore Dozeyness!
(Thought I'd better clarify that - don't want you thinking there's another strange person out there!)

Mark Clapham said...

West End cinemas on a Friday or Saturday night are a nightmare for people who've come in half pissed to kill a couple of hours clubbing, and proceed to tit around and stage whisper into their mobiles as they arrange the rest of their evening. Ghastly.

I saw Dark Knight in the States, and a couple of parents had brought three year olds in. I'm surprised those kids didn't shit themselves and flee the building. Maybe they were paralysed with fear.

Jason Arnopp said...

tallulahbelle: "The Awesome" is now my new favourite phrase. It's The Awesome! I thank you.

Simon Underwood said...

Not sure about Leicester Square - I live so far away, damn it! - but the mix on Dark Knight did seem a little off at times when I saw it at my Vue on Friday.

During the action scenes, the music was pumped way up and although I never missed a line of dialogue, I did have to strain to catch it all (the sonar ascent through the tower towards the end and Gordon's final speech in particular) I wasn't if the print mix was to blame though, because during normal scenes the dialogue was mixed fine and clear - but I can't believe it'll sound that way at home on Blu-ray.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Sonance, I'd feel sorry about your experience but the thing is, James and I hold the same opinion when it comes to The Matrix... namely, you just have to pretend the second and third film do not exist. In that sense, I can't feel sorry for something that doesn't that never occurred. :D

Moran, I figured jetlag was killing the pair of yous hence haven't added to your woes by 'mailing you - so I eagerly await holiday news here. Hurry it up, man. We haven't got all summer, you know?

Floor500 said...

Just leaving now to go see Dark Knight properly, in IMAX, I take it that the action shot were done using iMAX cameras

Anonymous said...

Ooo, the new Short Trips. I must make a note to buy that as soon as I can. Congratulations on your first published short story. Should we be expecting to see more of them from you? Or should we be begging? ;)

Blah, I hate people that get up partly through things to go to the toilet. We don't get that so much here in Australia in regards to the movies, but for other things you do. My bf got up twice during a talk by Shaun Tan and I was disgusted, especially given there were only around 30 odd people at the talk, and everyone saw him leave and could see exactly where he was going. That has to be one of my main pet peeves about him.

I'm yet to see Dark Knight and have been trying to avoid spoilers myself. It can be rather hard, can't it. I had to get some of my students to stop talking today when they started discussing the ending of all things. *sigh*

So, exactly how many emails did you end up with? I went away for a week and came home to 200, so I'd hate to think how many you'd have. Think you'll be able to peel yourself away from the computer before Christmas?

Also, I have to agree with TallulahBelle about "The Fires of Pompeii". There were some classic lines and moments in that. I particularly loved the scene when the Doctor and Donna are confronted by Evelina and Lucius. Very clever. Did you know about what the future held for the characters already given the "there's something on your back" line? My favourite line was definitely Donna's "I can tell you where the winds blowing right now, mate". Well done.

PammieJR said...

I SO feel the theatre thing. I just don't get it.

I am in a concert band and at one of our recent performances I watched a lady on the front row get up and go to the bathroom SIX times during our 2 hour performance (with intermission).

It wouldn't have been so bad if she didn't choose to go to the bathroom to the right side of the stage when she was on the left side. She crossed in front of the band each time she went to the bathroom.

I honestly don't know if she had some type of physical problem or if she was drunk, because she sure had one hell of a slow stagger.

If it was distracting for me as a musician, I can imagine how it might have bothered the audience.

Chuck said...

The Joker sets the bar on bad guys, makes Hannibal Lector look like a jaywalker.

I saw it in IMAX but did not really see much difference between the parts shot with IMAX cameras and the rest. One really annoying thing was that the image had little particles of dirt that would move around on the images.
At first I thought the light on the screen was attracting insects, but they would appear last a few seconds then disappear, really distracting and not what you would expect from a premium ticket.

No screaming babies or phones ringing though. The sound was so loud that the babies were stunned senseless and the phones pounded into dust. I think any kidney stones I might have had passed during the second half.

I suppose the insect like things could have been inter-dimensional beings craving a good action movie, more likely the theatre owners are Douche bags.

Anonymous said...

Hello. Glad to hear you had a happy holiday. I just wanted to let you know I watched 'Severance" on DVD just last weekend. Great movie, fantastic script, thanks for the entertainment. And then I was just out blogrolling and stumbled over your blog. Wierd synchronocity so I thought I better stop and say, Hello, great movie, hope you are having a fantabulous holiday recovery.

Dim said...

Felt smug reading about your story success - I have TWO stories in paperback print - but then realised I was still down by a sci-fi episode or several, plus the dinner with Harlan Ellison, Captain's Blogs, handsome, talented etc etc and decided to chuck in the towel....

Yolanda Elizabet said...

You forgot to mention the incessant popcorn munching that goes on in cinemas. Is it really necessary to stuff your face all the time? Perhaps you could write a short story about the cinema from hell. You got enough material in the comments here. :-D

Dan Turner said...

Yes Sir.
The Odeon Leicester Square sound is made of fail (note, kids internet parlance).
We were talking about the DARK KNIGHT afterwards and for the first hour it's impossible to hear the dialogue.
massive sonic explosions, no problem. But hearing people speak? No chance.

Nimdok said...

"Arrive on time, go to the fucking toilet, find your fucking seat, turn off your fucking phones, shut the fuck up, and sit the fuck down. Or I will crush your head between two bricks."

Odd. Aren't these the precise instructions you gave me when I picked you up at the Miramar a couple of weeks ago???

But I have to agree with the above that kidlets and their grown-up versions annoy the Hell out of me at the movies when they don't act like civilized folk in a public place.

Then again, that's what spit-wads are for, no???

Oh, and congrats on the publication James! I've made note of it in a place Unca Harlan is sure to see.

Steve B

Chester said...

HapiBlogging to you my friend! Have a nice day!

Joe Gibson said...

First off - congrats on getting published. You're an author now, not just a writer. ;)

About the sound on the Dark Knight. I work for said company as a projectionist (not at Leicester Square though) so I will have to be careful what I say.

Have you let the cinema know about the issue? With the best will in the world, it's not always possible for us to leave the booth to check the sound. Even when we do, we could come into the screen during a section that is fine.

To be honest, I reckon it might be the sound mix of Dark Knight. But if it's happened on other films then it may be the dolby processor needs adjusting.

I should stop before I go all geeky.

Peter Pan said...

James, you soooooooooo dont want to start me on disruptions at the cinema.
If you are really bored and have 3 misn spare, check out the Side Trips and Fecktards post on my own blog.
But only if you ar eliek really really looking for soemthing to do or want to learn how insult valleys girls properly.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on getting published - your obvious excitement is refreshing to see, despite your other succeses.

My better half has just started to watch Torchwood and is loving it - especially as he worked in Cardiff a few years back.

I guess now that you've made me find your blog I will have to watch it too!