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Movies on a rainy day

A colleague of mine noted the other day that Brits are famous for talking about the weather a lot, because, well, “all we have is bad weather”. I am clearly assimilating, then, since I feel compelled to start this entry with an observation that it seemed as if the entire June was one endless rain…

Yep, that’s famous British weather for you. The natives swear that they do not recall it ever being this wet, to which I retort that every year reports from Wimbledon mention entire play-days being rained out. The facial expression that comes on once the person realizes the truth of my statement is rather priceless.

It’s gotten warmer than it was last week, but still remains unseasonably cool. Cool to us, I mean, although it is definitely not a complaint, given that we already got some taste of high temperatures with no air conditioning in the house at the end of May. My British acquaintances would make me believe that these temperatures are uncommon as well, but I find it hard to believe after having discussed their mis-recollections of the rain patterns…

Anyway, the forecast is for sunny skies for tomorrow – that will be July, of course.

We tentatively planned to go to the botanic garden today. The last few weekends have been really slow, with only one notable outing, but I should think that we have been recuperating long enough from our earlier dizzying travel schedule. Time to resume checking places off our destinations list.

But with continuous rain, we had to look for alternatives, the only feasible one of which was going to the movies. So we went to watch the latest of Shrek. It’s a funny movie, with plenty of parodies and laugh-inducing allegories. But it did feel to me a bit too much of the same after the previous two installments. And the climax scene was not hilarious enough to make believable villains renouncing violence and reaching for their inner selves upon hearing a preaching speech by a young boy.

Don’t get me wrong – I liked it. As I am you will too.

This was not our first trip to the movies in England. A couple of weeks ago, Becky and I went to watch another threequel, the Pirates of the Caribbean, which was entirely disappointing due to the gloomy, drawn-out plot with too many strange twists, continuous betrayals and inexplicable decisions made by various characters. The international pirate representatives added some color and even comic relief, but the sudden worldwide set was incongruous. And the resolution of every single plot line felt unsatisfactory and inapt. Johnny Depp’s uproarious Captain Jack Sparrow is the only redeeming aspect of the movie.

The cinema experience in England turns out not to be any different from the US. Huge multiplex with over a dozen screens, arcades and concession stands, mostly empty for the early matinees on weekends, but gradually getting crowded towards the late afternoon. Popcorn is not commonplace, if exists at all (I have not noticed it and, not exactly being its aficionado, was only too happy to never catch its smell). Advertisement slides are not shown prior to the scheduled start of the show, but instead, commercials and movie trailers last for almost half an hour prior to the feature presentation.

By the way, do you realize how many serial installments have or are coming out this summer… Not even sequels. Besides Shrek and Pirates, there are threequels for Spider-Man, Ocean’s 11 and Bourne franchises, the fourquel of Die Hard (who would have thought? – although, wait, next summer we’ll see a fourth Indiana Jones!) and the fifth Harry Potter. The latter obviously is not the last in the series. Add to the mix the spin-off of Bruce Almighty (this time it’s Evan) and the Fantastic Four sequel, and the summer appears to be devoid of original concepts.

The other trailers that I’ve seen appear to be based on old TV shows – not highly original either.

Did I forget any?