Described as a cross between Grey’s Anatomy and L.A. Law, The Deep End does look it’s attempting to look like those two shows. Here’s the description from ABC:

Sterling Law is one of L.A.’s most prestigious law firms. Each year it recruits four new young lawyers from the finest law schools worldwide. It will nurture, guide and shape these recruits into the best damned lawyers they can possibly be — or else.

This year the lucky four are Dylan (Matt Long), a blue collar kid made-good; Addy (Tina Majorino), a sweet mid-Westerner with a lethal legal mind; Beth (Leah Pipes), a brilliant Brentwood babe; and Liam (Ben Lawson), an Australian with serious drive. Sterling Law is under the control of ruthless senior partner Cliff Huddle (Billy Zane), aka “The Prince of Darkness.”

And the trailer:

I’m on “holiday” (it’s not really a holiday when you’ve got appointments with dentist, doctor, optician, etc and a whole load of other stuff to sort out) to the Netherlands this week, so I thought I’d re-blog a couple of my older blog posts. This post was originally from January 2008. Not a lot of shows do voiceovers these days do they? Can you think of any of the newer shows that do?

After reading this post from the Empire Blog about TV show opening voiceovers, I got inspired to create my own Top 30 list. It surprised me how difficult it was to find a couple of these (a great source was Blackcatter’s World of Theme Song Lyrics). I have a feeling I’m forgetting very obvious intros, but anyhow here’s the list:

30. Seven Days

Ever wish you could live your last week over again? Well, my name’s Frank B. Parker and I get to all the time. I work for a secret government project experimenting in time travel. When things really get messed up, I’m the guinea pig they send back to fix everything. Catch is, I can only go back seven days. [Video]

29. Sliders

What if you can find brand new worlds, right here on Earth, where anything is possible: same planet, different dimensions? I found the gateway! [Video]


28. Day Break

My name is detective Brett Hopper and this is the day that changes everything. I will be framed for murder. My girlfriend Rita will be in danger. I know all this because I’m living the same day.. over and over again.

27. Earth: Final Conflict

They have come to Earth with the promise of peace. An alien race called the Taelons. But there are those who resist these alien companions. For the Taelon’s true mission, the secrets they hide, will forever alter our world. The fate of humanity now lies on those who dare challenge the future of Earth. [Video]

Earth Final Conflict

26. Dark Skies

My name is John Loengard. I’m recording this because we may not live through the night. They’re here, they’re hostile, and powerful people don’t want you to know. History as we know it is a lie. [Video]

25. Andromeda

The Universe is a dangerous place. But in our future, my crew and I fight to make it safe. I am Dylan Hunt, Captain of the Andromeda Ascendant, and these….. are our adventures [Video]


24. Law and Order

In the criminal justice system the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories. [Video]

23. Alien Nation

That was the scene in California’s Mojave Desert five years ago – our historic first view of the Newcomers’ ship. Theirs was a slave ship, carrying a quarter million beings bred to adapt and labour in any environment. But they’d washed ashore on Earth, with no way to get back to where they came from. And in the last five years, the Newcomers have become the latest addition to the population of Los Angeles

Alien Nation

22. Viper

The day after tomorrow. A time when criminals rule the city. The only weapon that can stop them…needs a driver. The most wanted man on wheels is about to change sides. Now against a corrupt system, a lo fight for justice. Viper is taking back the streets. [Video]

21. Team Knight Rider

Ten years ago, all it took was one man and one car to get the job done. Now, the Foundation for Law and Government has assembled five highly skilled operatives, and paired them with the most advanced state-of-the-art vehicles, to take on a new breed of outlaw. They are Team Knight Rider. [Video]

Team Knight Rider

20. Freedom

War broke out in the Middle East. Domestic terrorism got out of control. The president tirelessly toured the country, urging patience and calm. Then Air Force One went down and the president is presumed dead. Marshall law was declared and the United States of America was turned overnight into a police state. Curfews were enforced, identity papers were required for all. Penalties for unlawful behavior were harsh and certain. And it worked too for a time. The riots stopped. Everyone had food, water and power. Stability and peace returned to the country, but it was peace not Freedom. And that was a price some of us would not pay. [Video]

19. Threshold

My name is Molly Caffrey, and I work for the Federal Government. I deal in worst case scenarios, the unthinkable. On September 16th, 2005, the unthinkable happened. An extraterrestrial object appeared off the bow of a naval freighter. The entire crew was exposed to a high frequency signal. Some died instantly. Others began to change. They are now stronger, more resilient. They dream of alien landscapes. And they are driven by the impulse to infect others. Several of the crewmen are now loose in the United States. They will strike anytime, anyplace, anyone. Their goal: to turn us into them. But I have a plan to stop them. That plan is called “Threshold”. [Video]

18. Poltergeist: The Legacy

Since the beginning of time, Mankind has existed between the World of Light and the World of Darkness. This journal chronicles the work of our secret society, known as The Legacy, created to protect the innocent from those creatures that inhabit the Shadows and the Night. [Video]

17. Birds of Prey

Alfred Pennyworth: Legend tells of a caped crusader, Batman, guardian of New Gotham, and his one, true love, Catwoman, the queen of the criminal underworld. Their passion left behind something extraordinary: a daughter, Huntress. Half meta-human, she has taken up her father’s mantle and fights to protect the innocent and helpless. Joining her in this struggle, Oracle, once Batman’s protégé, Batgirl, she was caught in the crossfire of the war between Batman and Joker. Now she fights crime a different way, a master of the cyber-realms and trainer to heroes. Together, they have taken in Dinah, a meta-human herself, with powers that she is only beginning to explore. These three are the protectors of New Gotham: the Birds of Prey. My name is Alfred Pennyworth and this is their story. [Video]

Birds of Prey

16. Early Edition

What if you knew beyond a doubt what was going to happen tomorrow? Sure, I know it’s crazy… but what if you did? Whether you’d be rich, or poor; a hero, or a loser; lucky in love, unlucky in life. What would you do? What if, by some magic, you found the power to really change things? People, events, maybe even your life? Would you even know where to start? Maybe you can’t know. Until it happens. [Video]

15. Buck Rogers In the 25th Century

The year is 1987 and NASA launches the last of America’s deep space probes. In a freak mishap, Ranger 3 and its pilot, Captain William “Buck” Rogers are blown out of their trajectory – into an orbit which freezes his life-support systems and returns Buck Rogers to Earth five hundred years later. [Video]

14. Babylon 5 (Season 4)

Lennier: It was the year of fire…
Zack Allan: … the year of destruction…
G’Kar: … the year we took back what was ours.
Lyta Alexander: It was the year of rebirth…
Vir Cotto: … the year of great sadness…
Marcus Cole: … the year of pain…
Delenn: … and a year of joy.
Londo Mollari: It was a new age.
Stephen Franklin: It was the end of history.
Susan Ivanova: It was the year everything changed.
Michael Garibaldi: The year is 2261.
John Sheridan: The place, Babylon 5. [Video]

13. Knightrider

Knight Rider, a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law. [Video]


12. Hercules

This is the story of a time long ago, A time of myth and legend, when the Earth was still young. The ancient gods were petty and cruel, and they plagued mankind with suffering and beseiged them with terrors. For centuries the people had nowhere to turn, no one to look to for help. Until he arrived. He was a man like no other. Born of a beautiful mortal woman, but fathered by Zeus, king of the gods. Hercules possessed a strength the world had never seen, a strength surpassed only by the power of his heart….No matter what obstacle, as long as there were people crying for help, there was one man who would never rest. [Video]

11. Xena

In the time of ancient gods, warlords, and kings a land in toil cried out for a hero. She was Xena – a mighty princess . . . forged in the heat of battle. The power, the passion, the danger. Her courage will change the world. [Video]


10. Highlander

He is immortal, born in the Highlands of Scotland, 400 years ago. He is not alone. There are others like him. Some good, some evil. For centuries, he has battled the forces of darkness, with holy ground his only refuge. He cannot die, unless you take his head and his power. In the end, there can be only one. He is Duncan MacLeod, the Highlander. [Video]

9. The Pretender

On screen: There are Pretenders among us. I was taken from my family. A child genius. Thirty-six hours and he’s already demonstrating more talent than any of our others. Exploited by the Centre. How many people died because of what I thought up? Since I broke out… Escaped …I’ve spent every moment searching for my past. He’s a Pretender, a genius who can become anyone that he wants to be. The Centre wants him alive. Preferably. He defends the weak and abused. Life’s a gift. Are you a doctor? I am today. [Video]

The Pretender

8. Quantum Leap

Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Dr. Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished …. He woke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that were not his own and driven by an unknown force to change history for the better. His only guide on this journey is Al, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. And so Dr. Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home. [Video]

7. SeaQuest DSV

The twenty first century mankind has colonized the last unexploded region on Earth, the ocean. As Captain of the Seaquest and its crew, we are its guardians. For beneath the surface lies the future. [Video]


6. The New Outer Limits

There is nothing wrong with your television. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are now controlling the transmission. We control the horizontal and the vertical. We can deluge you with a thousand channels or expand one single image to crystal clarity and beyond. We can shape your vision to anything our imagination can conceive. For the next hour we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the deepest inner mind to the outer limits. [Video]

5. Charlie’s Angels

Once upon a time there were three little girls who went to the police academy. And they were each assigned very hazardous duties. But I took them away from all that. And now they work for me. My name is Charlie. [Video]

Charlie's Angels

4. The A-Team

Ten years ago a crack commando unit was send to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit, these men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem – If no one else can help – and if you can find them – maybe you can hire the A-Team. [Video]

3. Farscape

John Crichton: My name is John Crichton… an astronaut. Three years ago I got shot through a wormhole. I’m in a distant part of the universe aboard this living ship of escaped prisoners, my friends. I’ve made enemies. Powerful. Dangerous. Now all I want is to find a way home, to warn Earth. Look upward, and share… the wonders I have seen. [Video]


2. Star Trek: The Next Generation

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before. [Video]

1. Babylon 5 (Season 3)

Susan Ivanova: The Babylon Project was our last, best hope for peace. It failed. But in the year of the Shadow War, it became something greater: our last, best hope…for victory. The year is 2260. The place, Babylon 5. [Video]

Babylon 5

Tags: TV Series

Another new series on Fox, and this one doesn’t sound interesting at all:

In the tradition of Malcolm in the Middle and The Bernie Mac Show, SONS OF TUCSON is a family comedy about three brothers who hire a charming, wayward schemer to stand in as their father when their real one goes to prison.

It could turn out fun, but the clips so far don’t look that brilliant:

I’m on “holiday” (it’s not really a holiday when you’ve got appointments with dentist, doctor, optician, etc and a whole load of other stuff to sort out) to the Netherlands this week, so I thought I’d re-blog a couple of my older blog posts. This post was written in July 2007  and was actually the first review I ever wrote (for MissGeeky and just in general). If you haven’t seen The Fountain yet, go and watch it! It remains one of my favourite movies.

A couple of weeks ago I finally saw The Fountain. It’s written and directed by Darren Aranofsky, who did Requiem for a Dream and Pi (two films on my very long “still to watch” list) and stars Hugh Jackman (X-Men, The Prestige) and Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener, The Mummy).


I’m not sure how to describe the movie without giving too much away of the plot, but I’m going to give it a try. As the title suggests, the movie’s about the Fountain of Youth, the Tree of Life, in short the quest for being able to live forever. The story spans a 1000 years merging three storylines. The first is in the present with a doctor, trying to find a cure for his dying wife. The second is in the 16th century with a conquistador who is given the mission by his queen to search for the Tree of Life. The third… well… I think you have to see the third to actually believe me, but it’s about 500 years in the future about a space traveler traveling through space (duh) in a giant bubble (not so much duh).

It somehow sounds too weird, but it actually works all great together. The movie is beautifully filmed, although some may say the special effects and lighting make it too fake. I actually thought they were used just right, giving the movie this surreal, magical feel. What I really love about The Fountain though is that it’s open to your own interpretation. I love movies which get you thinking and in this case the plot, the settings, the characters all stimulate you in constructing an explanation in which you believe in. It’s gives the same fulfillment as solving a difficult puzzle.

The movie didn’t do that well in the box office and I do see why. It’s different then the normal mainstream movies and for the regular movie-goer it might be a bit too slow and confusing. I’d recommend this film to anyone who wants something fresh, romantic and doesn’t get too confounded with a movie that puts your mind to work.

TV Preview: Eastwick

May 27th, 2009

I still haven’t seen The Witches of Eastwick, but maybe now I should finally take the time to do so. This new re-imagining of the book/film has been picked up by ABC and stars Rebecca Romijn (Ugly Betty, X-Men) as Roxanne Torcoletti, a flaky artist, Lindsay Price (Lipstick Jungle) as Joanna Frankel, the local reporter, and Jamie Ray Newman (Veronica Mars) as Kat Gardener, a doormat wife and mom. Their lives are changed when charismatic Darryl Van Horne (Paul Gross from Due South) moves to their seaside village of Eastwick and their supernatural powers are slowly unleashed.

Here’s the trailer:

I do really like the premise of Eastwick, although it does sound a lot like a cross between Desperate Housewives and Charmed. Still definitely one I’ll keep my eye on.

I’m on “holiday” (it’s not really a holiday when you’ve got appointments with dentist, doctor, optician, etc and a whole load of other stuff to sort out) to the Netherlands this week, so I thought I’d re-blog a couple of my older blog posts. This post was originally from November 2007. Check out the comments though on the original post; they’re definitely part of the story too.

One of the traditions at BarCamp is to play Werewolf during the overnight. Although there wasn’t any overnight with this Berlin BarCamp (and we were kicked out at 12), we get the chance to play Werewolf. Now this is not going to be a post on how to play it, so if you’re not familiar with it, check out the rules here or here (or just skip this post entirely). What is this post about? The weirdest probability-wise most unlikely game of Werewolf I ever played.

Okay, some facts before I start: there were 13 people with 3 Werewolves, 1 Seer and 1 Healer. We played with 4, maybe 5 experts and the rest were all newbies, which may be reason it went so weird. I was a Villager, so I’ll be describing everything first from my viewpoint.

randomperson13 dies

The seer declares himself during the introduction “I’m not A Werewolf” round and says he has important information. Turns out the “important” information is that MrA (who is sitting next to him) is a Villager. Worst newbie mistake ever! There’s a whole discussion that maybe the “Seer” is a Werewolf and he’s just pretending to be the Seer, but probabilistically that’s very, very unlikely. In the end, we lynch randomperson12, who was asking too many questions.

MrA (person11) dies. Logical right? The Seer told us MrA’s a Villager, so the Werewolves take him out, leaving less information for the rest of the group.

The Seer identifies MrB as a Werewolf. After some discussion, we lynch MrB (person10).

The Seer dies (person9). Hmm, interesting. This meant that or a) the Healer didn’t believe him or b) the Healer was dead.

The Healer reveals himself, saying he didn’t believe the Seer, so kept healing healing himself. I realise that he could just as well be a Werewolf, cause either way he’s not going to die next round. After some discussion I do believe he’s the Healer and we lynch the guy (person8) who to quickly wanted to kill the Healer.

Nobody dies! The Villagers win! With 7 Villagers over!


Now look back at the structure of the game: 3 Nights and 3 Days. You’d think the Villagers lynched one werewolf during every day round, right? Wrong. Here’s what really happened:

randomperson13 dies. The Seer picks MrA next to him: MrA IS a Werewolf, but the Seer misinterprets it and thinks he’s a Villager.

The Seer declares himself and says he has important information. The “important” information is that MrA is a Villager, while he IS in fact a Werewolf. What’s the chance of first finding a Werewolf, reading it wrong and then give it out as important information?! We lynch randomperson12, who was in fact a Villager.

MrA (person11) dies. Wait a minute…that was a Werewolf, right? He dies, because the Game master misinterprets the finger pointing. They were actually pointing at the Seer!

The Seer identifies MrB as a Werewolf. After some discussion, we lynch MrB (person10), who really IS a Werewolf.

The Seer dies (person9), because the Healer didn’t believe him.

The Healer reveals himself and we lynch the guy (who IS a werewolf) who to quickly wanted to kill the Healer.

Nobody dies! The Villagers win! With 7 Villagers over!

Phew! Bit of a different perspective, right? There were 2 mistakes that caused this strange (the misinterpreting of the Werewolf signal by the Seer and the misinterpreting of the finger pointing by the game master), but somehow the second mistake did cause to correct the first mistake. I love probabilities and the chance of this happening is mind-boggling small. Freakishly small! Anyhow, it just seemed like a very surreal game to me and I’m still amazed at it all.


So who’s in for more Werewolf this week?

Tags: Games

TV Preview: Happy Town

May 26th, 2009

Okay, if you watch this trailer, you’ve got to see it at least half of it. The beginning of the trailer really makes it out as if it’s some Everwood type of series, but it isn’t at all. Here’s the description from ABC (I hadn’t read the description before watching the trailer; otherwise I wouldn’t have been that surprised):

For the past seven years Haplin, Minnesota’s lived up to its nickname, Happy Town. Even the air is sweet with the smell of bread from the industrial bakery. Unfortunately, everything is about to change. 

Seven years ago, an unknown psycho, nick-named “The Magic Man” kidnapped seven children before Sheriff Griffin Conroy chased him away. But the discovery of a local’s gruesome murder and the disappearance of a new child have everyone whispering the Magic Man is back. Now, Mayor Haplin has ordered Deputy Tommy Conroy to replace his father as Sheriff — whether he wants the job, or not. Tommy knows better than to cross the town royalty, whose bakery employs half the town, including his wife. As Tommy begins investigating, his friends and neighbors become suspects and the quiet small town life he’s always cherished begins to sour. But Tommy’s not the only one investigating Haplin. A mysterious young woman has just arrived in town, and she’s quietly searching for answers about her family’s history with the residents of Happy Town. 

And the trailer:

It’s weird that the description of the series, manly focuses on the sheriff, while the trailer focuses on the new girl. I doubt this series will survive; thiller-y who-dunnit shows with only a red line as plot rarely do well on TV. And even if the first season turns out okay, it won’t last beyond that.

I’m on “holiday” (it’s not really a holiday when you’ve got appointments with dentist, doctor, optician, etc and a whole load of other stuff to sort out) to the Netherlands this week, so I thought I’d re-blog a couple of my older blog posts. This post was originally from January 2008.

I’m a big movie fan, so you’d think I would enjoy going to the cinema. To be honest, I kind of still do. Where else can you see the newest movies on a nice big screen with great sound? But a part of me sees the actual experience as a chore. Yes, I want to see movies in the cinema, but there are so many things wrong with the cinema experience that I wonder if it is actually worth it. If you have a big enough TV set at home, what is the added value of going to the cinema? The traditional concept of the movie-going experience desperately needs a complete reinvention (FourStarters did a post about this a while back).

Cinema by rpb1001
Photo from Flickr by rpb1001

This is the first in a series of posts where I want to focus on how cinemas should be (and in some cases are) adapting to the altered demands of cinema visitors. Before we actually come to that though, I want to identify the common problems that occur with today’s cinemas. Keep in mind that these are 10 general problems; it doesn’t mean that all cinemas have each of these problems, although most of them will have more than one problem. Some of these problems also have very simple solutions, but none the less they keep occurring.

1. Poor Projection Quality

Raise your hands if you’ve ever been to a cinema where the movie was out of focus or had too many scratches on it. I’m hoping a lot of you just raised your hands (or at least nodded in agreement) and are annoyed by the fact that this happens so often, but the truth is most movie audiences don’t care about the projection quality. Poor projection quality is purely caused by incompetent projectionists, who mishandle the reels and don’t adjust them properly [FirstShowing]. If movie goers would complain about this, something might be actually done, but the fact is most people don’t complain.

I’ve had a couple of times that we were the only ones during a crappy showing that stood up, left to find an employee and complain about the quality. Some people might just be plain lazy or don’t think it’s something worth complaining about (which I find ridiculous, you’re paying to see this movie here, right?), but most people just don’t know what good projection quality is [FirstShowing]. They’ve never experienced how it should be done the right way; this bad projection quality is all they’ve ever known. It’s a problem, which has a simple solution (train/force the projectionists to set-up the movie properly), but if people don’t see it as a problem nothing will be done about it.


2. Bad Volume

With bad volume I mean that the movies in cinemas are too loud or too soft, or something a bit in between, where in the same movie the action sequences are too loud and the dialogue is too soft. I always thought this was again simply a problem with cinemas, but after doing some reading, I found out it’s a bit more complex than that and not always the cinema’s fault.

Some times the cinema does turn up the volume way too loud, but that’s not always the case. Nowadays a lot of movies are actually made too loud (as in containing segments above 90 db) and cinemas show them as they are meant to be shown, meaning it is often the fault of the studio that produced the movie. Other times the cinema chooses to lower the volume, so that too loud parts are under the allowed limit, but which causes the rest of the film to be too soft. This same thing can occur when the sound is adjusted for trailers in front of the film. This article gives a good example of an action movie trailer in front of a romantic comedy. The volume is turned down, because the trailer is too loud and the volume stays this way for the entire movie.

3. Screen Size

People often complain that some cinema screens are too small and that a bigger screen means a better experience. I disagree. In my eyes it’s all about the relative screen size (I’ve touched on this before in Why Expensive Cinemas Are Not Necessarily Better). It doesn’t matter how big the screen is, if you’re sitting far away from it. I’ve been to the Empire and the Odeon cinemas at Leicester Square and both screens (and auditoriums) are huge. The seats though, are placed on a not so very steep slope, so you’re sitting either A) quite far from the screen, or B) too low and have to stare upwards. Compare that to the Vue at Shepherd’s Bush or the Pathe Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam. Those are smaller auditoriums with smaller screens, but the seats are placed on a much steeper slope, so it feels like the screen is much bigger. Cinema auditoriums should be designed to give the movie goer the best view, preferably no matter where you sit.

Cinema by rpb1001
Photo from Flickr by adpowers

4. Bad Seats

Auditoriums are filled with as many seats as possible, not thinking at all of giving the optimal experience to the movie goer. Most of the time the seats are uncomfortable and small with not enough leg space. Then you have the theaters where all the rows are on the same level (no slope); if it’s busy, chances are somebody is going to sit in front of you and block your view. Of course this is all because they want as many seats as they can in one auditorium.

This is completely silly though, cause more often than not most of the seats will be empty. Yes, Friday and Saturday night might be packed, but the rest of week? It’s never, ever busy. Cinemas should discard the idea of filling as much seats as possible and try to cater to the ultimate movie experience. Get nice big comfortable seats and place them in such a way that from every seat you have a good view.

5. Coat and Bag Space

Question: you’re already stuck in a crappy seat with no leg space, so what do you with your coat and bags? Answer: you put it on the chair next to you. Nobody really wants to admit it, but everybody does it. If you’re with the two of you, you’re most probably taking up at least 3 seats (maybe even 4 sometimes). Doesn’t matter that you haven’t actually payed for those chairs, you’re going to put your stuff there. And if it’s busy? Well, then you’re forced to sit on your coat in your already uncomfortable seat and put your bags amid your already limited leg space. Why, oh, why can’t they find a solution for something as obvious as this?

Cinema by rpb1001
Photo from Flickr by emdot

6. Air Conditioning

Cinemas are always ice freakingly cold. Now I understand why they do this; they’d rather have cold people, then sweaty, smelly people, right? But does it really have to be that chilly in there? It also wouldn’t be too bad, if you could snuggle up to your significant other. But no, the seats are too crappy to be able to do that (btw why are love seats always right on the back?). Turn down that air conditioner, please, we’re not popsicles.

7. Seat Selection

Okay, now I know this point really depends on the cinema; some cinemas handle it pretty well. I’m just ticked off by a couple of irritating past experiences. With seat selection I mean how the cinema deals with people picking their seats. A lot of cinemas still gives tickets with specified seat numbers, but you never really know if they’re going to abide to these seat numbers or not. I’ve had a couple of times that I reserved certain seats on opening night, only to show up and find out you can sit anywhere you want (one time for 13 people). Other times I’ve had it the other way around and you’re forced to give up your seats. While I really don’t mind one option over the other, I want to know before hand which of these rules to abide by. What always seems to work is tickets with no specified places. You just show up and claim your seats, first come, first serve, no hassle.

Cinema by rpb1001
Photo from Flickr by ninjapoodles

8. No Decent Waiting Area

Again this depends per cinema, but most don’t have a proper waiting area. Some of you might argue that it’s also completely unnecessary, but again I think it would add value to the whole cinema experience. Nobody ever arrives right on time when the movie’s about to start and most of the time you can’t go into the theater right away. There should be some area where you can sit down, get a drink and wait. I also see such an area not only being used before the movie starts, but also after it, a place where you can sit down for a moment and talk about the movie.

9. Queues

While some cinemas have solved the problem of queues by using terminals, there a still a lot of them that don’t use them yet. Almost all cinemas I’ve been to here in London have terminals and this significantly cuts down the queues. But even without terminals, there’s a way to do smarter queue management. One particular cinema springs to mind, where even though you had reserved for a movie, you still had to pick up your reserved tickets in the same queue as all the people trying to buy a ticket for the same show. I hated this because all they had to do was scan my reservation and my discount card (you could buy a set of 6 tickets in one go on one card). Instead I had to stand in line with these people who hadn’t taken the time to reserve tickets. On busy nights these people often had a slim chance of getting in anyway, so they were wasting my and their precious time. You would think there would be a way to process reservations separately?

Then you also have the horrible queues at the concession stands, prompting me never to get anything cause it just takes too long (plus side: it’s cheaper and healthier). What I find the most exasperating innovation: the combined tickets and concessions booth? Yes, let’s make people wait even longer in line!

Cinema by rpb1001
Photo from Flickr by lorch

10. Movie Showing Duration

Problem number 10 is just a minor problem, but honestly “9 problems” doesn’t seem as catchy as 10. So my last problem with cinemas is that in some it is very unclear for what (often very short) period of time a movie runs in the cinema. This problem really depends on where you live and how big your town/city is. I understand the “why” behind it: for smaller cinemas it is sometimes not worthwhile to have a movie play for a longer amount of time. This doesn’t lessen the irritation though when you come to the realization that a movie was only playing for 1 week in the cinema and you missed it.

Tags: Cinema, Movies

TV Preview: Past Life

May 25th, 2009

Ouch, this series just looks baaaaad. It’s been picked up Fox for the fall, but I don’t have that much faith in it.

Here’s the description from Fox:

From writer David Hudgins (Friday Night Lights), and inspired by the book The Reincarnationist by M.J. Rose, comes PAST LIFE, a new drama series about an unlikely pair of past-life detectives who investigate whether what is happening to you today is the result of who you were before.

Starring Kelli Giddish, Nick Bishop, Ravi Patel and Richard Schiff. Here are a couple of clips:

A whole TV show about reincarnation? Who wants to take bets how quick this will be canceled?

TV Preview: Cougar Town

May 22nd, 2009

I almost ignored this series completely. Cougar Town? Seriously? But then I found out it written/produced/directed by Bill Lawrence, the mastermind behind Scrubs. While the last couple of seasons of Scrubs haven’t been too great, you can’t ignore the brilliance of those first seasons. Maybe what Lawrence needed was a new focus and Cougar Town might be just that.

Here’s the description from ABC:

Can a woman of a certain age be a mom, a successful career woman and still be on the prowl? Jules Cobb (Courteney Cox) is about to give it a try. 

In a small Florida town, the center of high society is the Cougars high school football team… which is wildly appropriate since this town is the natural habitat for over-tanned, under-dressed divorcées prowling for younger men. Jules desperately doesn’t want to be one of them, but with an ugly divorce behind her and 40 staring right back at her, she’s longing for a little more action in her life. The available men her own age, like her silver fox of a neighbor, Grayson Ellis, only seem interested in dating barely legal hotties — which is awkward considering he’s also her teenage son Tad’s therapist. Egged on by her very married and very irreverent best friend Elle and her determined assistant Laurie, Jules reluctantly dips her toe back into the dating pool. To her surprise, she hits it off with a nice young guy named Bobby — emphasis on the young — and discovers this gal still has the goods. 

And here’s the trailer:

Hmm, not sure about it, but it could turn out fun.