I'm a bit of a cinema snob. I like my cinemas to be clean, not too big, not full of oinks who eat noisy food and talk all the way through to each other and to unknowns on their phones. I like the Curzon Soho, the Phoenix in East Finchley and my own front room (alas, not a cinema but if I sit close to our TV, it can feel like it!).
Various things had previously put me off going to the cinema at the o2. - the crowds, the price of tickets, the cost of parking and the lack of direct public transport from Plumstead Common. However, thanks to a lovely mate, we were able to have a rare night out at the pictures. And luck was a lady last night as we picked a day when there wasn't a big gig on and there weren't too many people about. Plus we found out parking is free for cinema goers who use car parks 2 and 4.
Booking tickets online was a bit painful but when I rang the helpline, the operator was very pleasant. And when we got to the cinema, we were ushered past the bouncers on the o2 door with a smile, breezed up the machine and collected our tickets within 30 seconds. We had opted for the Adult VIP seats - the fun began with trying to find our way into that part of the screen. Lots of escalators later, we managed and then were miffed to find that our seats were separated by a table - something not evident on the cinema ticket site...very poor usability. Worse still, the view was obscured by a handrail. Luckily, the place was empty and we managed to move along a bit. If you are paying that much for tickets, you don't want an obscured view.
If a film has not been made specifically for Imax, and is a huge blockbuster than it's well worth giving screen 11 a go rather than going to the Odeon (or the Odious since it's such a nasty experience using the Odeon in Charlton).
The sound was loud but very clear. Good for a rock based soundtrack on Iron Man 2. And good as the first 20 - 25 mins of the film was so boring that I would have fallen asleep. However, when the action kicked in the film livened up. Again we are shown visions of touch based technology and impressive hardware on show. You also get a real sense of the speed at which Iron Man travelled in the suit as he whooshed across the huge screen.
I didn't think much of the Gary Oldman lookalike who played the Hammer, Stark's competitor. There was even a scene where he was showing weapons that reminded me of Fifth Element scene where Oldman's character Zorg is selling weapons to the aliens gits Mangalores.
Robert Downey jr was on top form but I had hoped for his acting talents to be more stretched. The same for Mickey Rourke and Scarlett Johanssen. I felt they were all underutilised. But then again, this is a comic book action flick and not Shakespeare. The men have their eye candy in the form of Johanssen's Black Widow costume and her fight sequences.
It's funny that Nick Fury is now a black guy as in the comics he was a ginger haired agent who took an Infinity formula to stay young. But Samuel L. Jackson is infinitely preferable to David Hasselhof who played Fury for a TV show.
The best bit for me was after the credits when you saw a teaser for Thor. OMG I am so excited about that film having been a reader of the comics when I was young. I wonder if and who will play Loki.
As for the o2, on a dark windy bank holiday, gig free day, I'd be tempted to go there again.