Film: Spiderman: Far from Home

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We travelled not far from home today, returning to Cineworld at Rushden Lakes.
This time, to catch the latest Marvel Super-hero Movie: Spiderman: Far from Home.

4.5 stars

And not just any old film presentation! We chose the iMax version (and in 3D too!). What a feast for the senses! ๐Ÿ˜ต

What is ‘iMax’ anyway?

An iMax presentation is a superior film presentation technology showing on a much larger screen (both width and height). A standard iMax screen is a whopping great 72ft by 53ft, but even larger ones exist around the world (see below). iMax movies also feature a sharper picture with superior sound quality, normally across (at least) six separate audio channels.

Special cameras are used during the original filming to capture the much higher-quality picture and soundtrack. To leave more room on the film track for maximum picture quality, the audio is recorded separately. Cameras are costly, at around $12000-16000 per week to rent – and there are fewer than 100 of them in total around the world.

The iMax screen ratio is different from a typical widescreen TV (normally 16:9 ratio) and most other cinema film formats – as iMax favours a unique 1.90:1 ratio. Two separate projectors are used, and in the case of 3D presentations, it’s one projector for each eye! In a typical iMax Cinema, the seating is more highly-raked to give the audience a more immersive feel – but the seats do not recline in order to optimise the iMax 3D effect.

As I write this, Germany is about to open the biggest iMax screen in the world (a massive 122ft by 72ft) but Darling Harbour in Sydney is re-building their iMax cinema to regain the title (due for re-opening in 2020).

For those who appreciate iMax nerdiness, there’s a longer article HERE

We picked Jo and Janet up at 3.45 and headed for our destination and the 4.20pm performance. A typical Saturday at Rushden Lakes meant that parking was err, ‘challenging’ – and that included the majority of the electric charging points too! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ.

Luckily (and pretty close to the cinema itself) we spotted an empty charging-bay and we parked-up quicker than you can say ‘kilowatt’.

After grabbing some drinks, we headed for the iMax screen armed with our free 3D glasses. We were soon seated in row ‘M’ (almost at the back and perfectly central to enjoy the best view). Surprisingly, I’d say that the Screen was only about a third full (but maybe other fans had seen it earlier in the week when it was first released).

Unlike other screens here, the iMax seats DON’T recline, but even so, they were very comfortable! Word to the wise! – avoid Row L for a while, as a Marvel fan in front of us managed to completely spill her two-gallon bucket of Coke on the nearly new seats! ๐Ÿ™„ – and that was before the Movie had started!! Even Spiderman’s hands are that ‘sticky’! ๐Ÿ˜‚

On the dot of 4.20, we slipped on our 3D glasses and we were off!

Wow! The 3D effects were amazing, and the picture itself was pin-sharp! Apart from our first visit here earlier in the week, I can’t recall ever seeing such a clear picture (maybe apart of the film: ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ that we’d seen at the local Odeon back in November, 2017).

As the story unfolded, it became clear this wasn’t a typical super-hero yarn, and it therefore required a fair bit of concentration. There’s a massive plot-twist around an hour in, but it’s OK, I won’t reveal the details here; suffice to say, it’s not a good time to pop to the loo!

The SFX were simply outstanding – but that’s becoming the norm these days! Even so, we were still mightily impressed! As an example, if you have a familiarity with London’s Tower Bridge and the surrounding area, then prepare to be amazed… and some! ๐Ÿ˜›

Like all Marvel films, it’s wise to sit through the end of the credits, not just to see the sheer amount of talent it took to get this latest blockbuster to screen, but to gain a clue-or-two as to what’s next for the Marvel-verse.

Even without any 3D effects this is a must-see movie for Marvel fans – and even if you’re not, it’s a very engaging and watchable adventure. Go see!

On the way out, we slipped into Heavenly Dessert nearby for some err, heavenly desserts! By the time we’d finished eating, Robert (our e-Niro) had been on charge for a little over 3ยฝ hours – it turned out to be have been enough time to completely ‘top the car up’ – and best of all, for zero cost! Happy days!! ๐Ÿ˜

Film: Rocketman

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We took the short drive over to Rushden Lakes today – this time, not for shopping! (some mistake surely) – but in consolation, we did sneak in a cheeky dessert courtesy of Heavenly Desserts!

Instead of shopping, it was our first visit to their shiny new, two-week-old, Cineworld cinema (their 100th opening in fact!). We saw Rocketman, the biographical film based on the life of musical legend Elton John.

Directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Lee Hall, it stars Taron Egerton as the titular singer, with Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard in strong supporting roles.

Having also seen Bohemian Rhapsody back in November, comparisons were going to inevitable, but we went with open minds (and ears!)

Mostly chronological, it charted Elton’s life from a young boy, and didn’t hold back on those three rock-star essentials – sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. With that in mind, it’s probably not a film for Grandma, and best to leave the sprogs on the cinema’s climbing wall in Reception!

Taron Egerton more than held his own singing the Elton John staples, and if he ever gets bored of acting, a singing career awaits! Unlike Bohemian Rhapsody, the songs had, in most cases, been re-orchestrated to complement and follow the storyline – it worked really well with an uncanny match of the lyrics to the scene’s mood. Overall, the movie followed a deeper and darker theme throughout compared with Queen’s equivalent – and in places, was even sadder (Who’d be a pop-megastar ehh???) ๐Ÿ˜•

Having said all that, I was hooked throughout! What a movie! For me, easily the best I’ve seen in a long, long while – and I’m not a particular fan of Elton’s music, nor actors trying their hand at singing!

And therefore, I suppose, the inevitable question has to be answered: “Was it better than Bohemian Rhapsody?” With its more graphic storyline, for me, most definitely, “yes”.

A must-see movie! ๐Ÿ˜

And the Cinema itself..?

I can’t recall the last time we went to a Cineworld cinema – we tend to plump for Odeon, only because there seems to be more of them around. Actually, a quick search of my Blog revealed we’d been to MK’s Cineworld back in January 2018 to see Darkest Hour (free tickets courtesy of Sky) – my memory is definitely getting worse! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

First impressions of were very positive ones! First of all, it’s massive inside! So large in fact, it has its own climbing wall for the kiddies (and why not!?). The whole place was scrupulously clean and with major areas bathed in red neon, it looked very inviting. The cleanliness extended to the loos too! Inside Screen 1, the seats were super-comfortable and the sort that recline. The picture quality on-screen was eye-popping – the best I’ve ever seen in any cinema anywhere – pin-sharp and with audio to match. Our expectations were well-and-truly exceeded (and that doesn’t happen too often these days! ๐Ÿ‘).

In fact, it made our local Odeon look very shabby by comparison! We were so impressed, we’re going back again on Saturday – this time to see Marvel Studios’ latest: Spiderman: Far from Home (and I have a feeling, we’ll be making quite a few more visits in the future).