2012 wasn't exactly a bumper year for cinema trips. I used to go as many as thirty times in a year, but with the rising cost of fuel (it's a 70 mile round trip to our nearest decent multiplex), and the piss-take ticket prices, not-to-mention the devolving abilities of multiplex staff, I've reduced my cinema attendance to only what needs to be seen immediately and on the big screen. Otherwise, the money you would have spent on a cinema ticket can pay for half-or-most of a DVD or Blu-Ray (replete with extra content and available for repeated viewings).
Anyway, here was my 2012 at the cinema in-review:
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January 3rd 2012: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - on a woefully under-staffed Tuesday, I had to nip out of the screening room (I hate missing even a minute of what I've paid to see - no drinks means no toilet breaks) and tell them to turn the bloody lights off. Not those stupid, annoying spotlights that illuminate your lap and the back of the chair in front of you for the entire movie, but the main lights. Incredibly nobody else seemed to care or notice. If I'd known which switch it was, I could have done it myself, seeing as the control panel was left wide open and unattended. Yes, technically this was released in the last days of 2011, but never mind that.
May 1st 2012: The Avengers 3D - a five-month gap without a single cinema trip. Of the couple of films I did want to see in that time, none were worth the cost and hassle of a 70 mile round-trip. The 3D wasn't my choice either, but the holographic computer screens in the movie looked rather impressive - although I still object to the added cost of 3D, as well as the deliberately inconvenient scheduling (or total absence) of 2D versions.
June 1st 2012: Prometheus 3D - again, 3D wasn't our choice, but the 2D showings were at inconvenient times (as per usual), and like with the above, the holographic computer displays in the movie looked rather impressive. There were three absolute, desperate must-sees at the cinema in 2012 - this was the first of them.
July 22nd 2012: The Dark Knight Rises - the second-of-three must-see-at-the-cinema flicks, partly down to wanting to avoid spoilers.
August 19th 2012: The Expendables 2 - quite possibly the most overtly entertaining cine-trip of 2012, or at least joint-first with The Avengers.
October 31st 2012: The Shining (Extended American Cut) - the best cinema trip of the year without a doubt. Halloween night, a packed crowd, a classic horror movie in a version I hadn't yet seen, and with a crowd who were totally into the flick. Aurally it was an entirely new experience, with the hysterical soundtrack sounding unlike how I'd ever heard it before - in the surround sound environment it was a full-on audio assault. The cherry on top was a girl in the row behind who was utterly petrified by the movie (don't worry, she still enjoyed the film). Horror movies are always best when there's a screamer in the audience.
November 4th 2012: Skyfall - the third-of-three must-see-at-the-cinema flicks. A superb film. It was an annoying shame though that the auditorium was packed (not helped by lots of people leaving those silly two-seat buffer zones between their group and a different group). We ended up in the second row down at the very front. I spent the entire movie slouched right down to angle my head so I wouldn't get an awful neck cramp, but normal dialogue scenes would become tennis matches of attention-snapping. Why on earth do they persist in having seats so close to the screen? The angle is awful and it really damages the viewing experience. You don't read a book with your nose smashed against the text, so why would anyone want to watch a film like they're stood against the side of a building? Nevertheless the film was absolutely brilliant.
December 30th 2012: The Hobbit - squeaking in under the wire, my eighth-and-final cinema trip of 2012. Again we were down in the front few rows of seats, but a little further back than before so it wasn't so annoying - although the side-on angle wasn't great either. Again, the audience insisting on two-seat buffer-zones between groups didn't help. A fairly long film too - a bit of an arse-number - good flick, mind. However, one great thing was this - at long last they turned off those stupid, piss-annoying spot lights - my lap and the seat in front were hidden in darkness, just like they should be. If you trip up the stairs coming in, then it's your own damn fault for not waiting for your eyes to adjust - the viewing experience of everyone else shouldn't be marred by illuminated laps in their peripheral vision causing a distraction. Hopefully Cineworld have at last learned to keep those lights off for good!
So that was eight cinema trips, but I saw more 2012 films in 2012 - just on DVD, Blu-Ray, or Sky Movies:
1) American Pie Reunion (BR)
2) The Raid (BR)
3) The Innkeepers (DVD)
4) The Cabin in the Woods (BR)
5) Iron Sky (BR)
6) Project X (Sky Movies)
7) Safe House (Sky Movies)
8) Ted (BR)
9) Cockneys vs Zombies (DVD)
And that's a grand total of 17 new flicks in 2012.