I don’t go to the cinema very often. It’s expensive, uncomfortable, and not a great experience for me. I get annoyed by people eating, talking, or laughing at the wrong moments. I don’t deal well with having to be quiet myself, or the fact that I can’t ask what’s going on or press pause if I need to go to the loo I’m not much of a film person – I never think I have time to sit and dedicate wholly to watching a movie. I’m also very judgemental in terms of what I will and won’t watch. And as a result I’m sure I miss out on some awesome stuff. In fact when I do sit and watch a film, even something that I’m very against, I generally tend to really enjoy it. Yet the same pattern repeats itself.
The Fast and Furious franchise is a perfect case in point. My husband loves them. I turned my nose up – fast cars and girls, why would I be interested? Under duress I watched one, just to shut him up. And I was hooked! The energy, the soundtrack, the characters. Of course Paul Walker was very easy on the eye, but that wasn’t the only thing. I got immediately drawn into the story, and immediately wanted to watch all of them. I even love Tokyo Drift (number 3).
When Paul Walker died there was obviously a massive outpouring of shock and grief, as well as a question over the future of F&F7, which was already being filmed. When it was confirmed that the film would be completed and released, we said we would definitely go to the cinema to see it.
Handily, the release date coincided with the opening of a new cinema in Birmingham – Everyman. There are only a handful of them in the UK at the moment, but I believe there are plans to open many more. The cinema is in the Mailbox, which is currently undergoing a multi million pound redevelopment, and sits in a plot previously occupied by an indian restaurant (and maybe something else more recently?)
So, what was the verdict? A big thumbs up to both the cinema and the film. The cinema is very nicely done. Just 3 screens, a traditional bar, fresh flowers, lots of wood and old cinema posters.
About as far from a multiplex as it’s possible to be (and all the better for it). We were in screen 3, down some stairs past this little fella!
There’s another bar at the bottom where you can order food and drinks to be delivered to your seats. And the seats – well, they’re the star of the show. Big comfy sofas for two people, in purples and reds, with snuggly velour cushions. Wooden footrests and drinks rests give a real quality feel. And, when the film started, the sound was amazing and the darkness was very dark. Perfect film watching conditions.
The film was fab. Lots of special effects, a huge budget as you’d expect for a Hollywood blockbuster, all of the favourite characters and a great appearance by Jason Statham. Knowing that Paul Walker had passed away prior to the end of filming, and that the film makers used Paul’s brothers as stand ins on scenes that were yet to be completed, there was a worry that continuity might suffer as a result, but it was flawless. And the ending (no spoilers) was perfect. Just right. And yes I cried.
I read this article yesterday, which gives a small insight into how the film was completed without Paul. It must have been tough for the rest of the cast.