All those little (large) things you hate about the cinema happen here in China. Playing with mobile phones, texting there friends and family every minute, bad ringtones, talking loudly i experienced them all in the first movie. I have to say the other movies there wasn’t really much of the mobile phone use happening but it was still annoying. If they were to use the warning message you get before movies in the UK about the use of mobile phones, it would be an all-out war. I would n’t want to be an usher as you would spend more time ejecting people from the screen, the screen would be empty by the end of the movie!!! The cinema would have a new peoples revolution on their hands.
This wouldn’t be the last movie I would see today, after my girlfriend getting so excited about new Harry Potter movie coming out on the 15 July I promised I would take her to see it. This day was my chance to explore Tianhe (new city centre) and we then moved towards Bejing Road area a massive retail district more towards the old city centre (Guangzhou is twice the size of London with nearly 15 million people!). We take the metro and we come to another newish shopping plaza Mayflower Plaza. I don’t mind going shopping with women if I get what I want to buy or look at it am very happy to go with you. This plaza wasn’t as big as Grandview but it had as many floors, we made our way around and we got to the 6th floor which was one big restaurant. The next floor was the cinema and I suggested we went up to look at Harry Potter times and we did.
When were enquiring about the movie a man was having a raging argument with the manager about something, I think it was funny because Michelle was laughing but she never let me know what it was about. By this time Michelle was getting curious about Night of the Museum 2 and begged me to go, I gave in and said Yes. We bought premier seat which cost 100RMB each (£10 GBP) and it included the comfy chair and popcorn and coke for both of us.
We had one hour to waste and we just went downstairs to the restaurant which was another experience and a half. You have to walk around and point to what you want and after much debate, we both picked and enjoyed a quick dinner before heading back upstairs. The movie was ok and the first one was shown on TV twice in a week so I was interested to see what this was like. The movie wasn’t great as it went really quick and there was no structure to it either but I’m sure children would have enjoyed it.
It was a few days later before I got my next fix and we headed back to the Tianhe area to the Grandview Plaza and to see Terminator Salvation. We first tried in the neighbouring the mall cinema and we missed the movie but it was the same cinema group in the Grandview Plaza, we bought tickets and Michelle got a cinema loyalty card. I was so eager to give this movie a second chance but after this, I hated it even more (see review 2). What I also witnessed this night was unwelcomed.
I’m not Chinese my girlfriend is Chinese and we got some stares, comments with me been a white man with a local Chinese girlfriend. I know it happened and I didn’t understand a lot of the verbal comments but when Michelle angrily replied back I knew it was abuse. But a local girl came to the screen and she and her boyfriend were subjected to some nasty racist abuse. Her boyfriend was a black man and in the UK interracial dating is part of society but in China, it’s still a taboo. The couple walked out of the film after 20 minutes and I myself was pissed off. When in today’s society when people just judge other people due to the colour of their skin it’s wrong, love sees no skin colour just 2 people who love each other.
July 15th came and the highlight of my cinema experience, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. When the first movie came out I liked it but it was released same time as a better movie Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship of The Ring. It has taken me a while to enjoy and appreciate it. This was another arsebreaker nearly 3 hours long and I waited at the side as Michelle got the tickets we had a little wait and went for wander around the plaza (Grandview Plaza of course)She bought a teddy bear and I got a traditional Chinese teapot for my mum before we headed up to cinema. I bought the popcorn and Michelle went toilet and was unsure of the screen and I stood there and stood there and out of the screen popped Michelle!!! I had been waiting whilst she was inside and I broke all my laws of cinema and missed first 15miuntes!!!, dohhhh!!!! But what I saw of it, it was very good. This is Harry Potters most mature film to date, very dark compared to the others but as time has gone on the film seems to get better in my opinion.
Looking back on my time in China and their cinema’s, there isn’t much difference between British and Chinese cinema experience. The movie is the same (just with Cantonese subtitles), the ushers work slightly different(waiting at screen entrances instead of the entrance to the hallway where screens are).Theres still popcorn, coke, and ice cream the whole cinema screen is the same, the only differences are the prices (Cheaper!!!), mobile phone usage and loud talking during movies. I’m not surprised that China is infamous for openly selling pirated movies on the street. If I could watch movies every day I would, I’m crazy on them but rest assured my fellow film addicts if you are travelling to China or far east please rest assured you will get your daily fix of movie mania no problem!!!
Originally posted at The Peoples Movies | 28 July 2009