Since returning to Newcastle, it would be a lie to say I haven't been living in the cinema. With so many titles to catch up on over the past year, I needed to get my fix - and with Tyneside reopen and Cineworld around the corner I took every available chance I could to go.
Every time I was in that dark room with the big screen was the best feeling after not having it for so long.
While not every film was great (cough cough Snake Eyes cough cough), every time I was in that dark room with the big screen was the best feeling after not having it for so long. Being able to switch off from the outside world for a couple of hours was something I took advantage of before, but after months of constant social media and a never-ending stockpile of bad news, it was the best feeling ever.
As I mentioned, recently I've been to the cinema a lot. Seeing a healthy, if not weird, range of films from Free Guy (2021) and Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins (2021) to The Sparks Brothers (2021) and Another Round (2020). But while it may not have been my favourite movie of the bunch, one of my favourite movie-going experiences was watching Pig (2021) starring Nicholas Cage and Alex Wolff.
Showing at Tyneside, I didn't expect many people to be at the Pig screening and I only went myself to see Nick Cage be angry over a pig for two hours. But to my surprise, the screening was actually busy. While initially, I was worried about so many people in a close place, I realised that everyone was social distancing, masks were worn and, most of all, they were eager to watch this film. The bustle of people moving to get to their seats, the rustle of popcorn already half-eaten before the film started and hushed voices really brought me back to a time before COVID and made me even happier to be back in the cinema. During the film, there were laughs and gasps, screams of anger (mostly from Nicholas) and the best part of being in the cinema - being able to watch films with others but be as alone as you want to be.
Do I know if everyone enjoyed the film? No. But I like to think that everyone enjoyed the experience. Laughs were had and at least some aspect of normalcy returned. And I hope that as you all come back to Newcastle, you get to experience the same thing.
Now excuse me while I go book several more film screenings
After 18 months of a Cinema-less void, the world of film had shrunk into our tv’s, laptops and god forbid, our mobile cellular devices. While I had ventured out into post apocalyptic streets of Newcastle in 2021 to watch Cruella, Spiral and (most crucially) Kong vs. Godzilla, none of these titles had given me that iconic eye widening cinematic sensation (you’ve seen that Cineworld advert, you know the one).
The smooth, dance-like fight scene choreography was topped off with a CGI spectacle finish that felt much more creative and bold than the shallow and unsatisfying endings of Marvel’s past.
What started as a reluctant capitulation to my boyfriends wish to use Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings as a chance to practice Mandarin turned into a surprisingly thrilling cinema going experience. The witty sense of humour (carried excellently by sidekick Katy (Awkwafina)), the likeable and believable cast of heroes, villains, anti-heroes and sidekicks and the smooth, dance-like fight scene choreography was topped off with a CGI spectacle finish that felt much more creative and bold than the shallow and unsatisfying endings of Marvel’s past.
The 130 minute run time did seem a little gruelling at first but the time flies by thanks to the films use of building tension and excellent pacing. While the film is following the inter-dimensional super-baddy trope that phase 4 of the MCU seems really passionate about, Shang Chi is tied back to earth with a heartbreaking tale of family, grief and reconciliation that makes this comic book movie stand out from the oversaturated crowd.
If you’ve been sat on the fence about returning to the cinema, Shang-Chi has the extravagant visuals and sound design that I feel can only the truly appreciated on the big screen, and it certainly isn’t one you want to miss.