Cineworld Unlimited cards are great. £15.99 a month, and you can see as many films as you like, as many as you can cram into one day. While a working week often puts a dampener on any mid-week cinema plans, the weekends are made for abusing the Unlimited card.
Last Saturday I went to Cineworld and made myself at home. Armed with my Unlimited card (premium now, so 25% off snacks) and a meticulously planned film schedule, I settled in for the long haul.
Not one to ease myself in, I launched straight in with Elysium. It wasn’t entirely what I was expecting, but good none-the-less. A stand-up sci-fi film, though it does contain some much used clichés (countdown timer anyone?). I found it quite refreshing that for a change the protagonist was less concerned with saving the world, and was all about saving his own bacon. Altogether, I had expected Elysium to be more visually spectacular with a more strongly driven story. Though I hadn’t expected much from the film, I had anticipated it being a bit more revolutionary and out of the ordinary. Elysium was a thoroughly standard film, just not entirely what I was expecting.
Out of Elysium and straight into We’re The Millers, which could not have been a more different experience. Whilst We’re The Millers doesn’t stand out as being a brilliant comedy, it is by no means a terrible film. Unlike Elysium, We’re The Millers basically lived up to my expectations. It did have funny moments, but now, some five days after seeing the film, I’m struggling to remember a single joke that I laughed hard at. At times, the chemistry between Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston seems a little forced, but again, better than in some films that I’ve seen. There are some awful, cringeworthy moments, but these are soon over with, and the audience are left with an average comedy as a result.
Two films in a day is more than enough for most people, but for me, it was a mere halfway point. Time for an important break, lunch and some much needed fresh air (which would have been much more enjoyable if it wasn’t pouring down with rain). For anyone considering the four film trip, I would recommend having a nice long lunchbreak, trying to stay away from screens of any kind (my iPad, iPhone and the It Box in the cinema and pub opposite meant I probably struggled with a headache for longer than I needed to).
Out of lunch and (almost) straight into film three, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. This was probably the film of the day I was least looking forward to. A sort of pseudo-Twilight teen fiction film, The Mortal Instruments tried to dip itself into a few genres and tick off a few of the core plot fillers. I think the film spread itself a little thinly over a lot of plot, and tried to cram in too much. Whilst there have been grumbles with other books being split into two films, often it is necessary, especially in instances like this when a whole new world and mythology has to be introduced. Having said that, the film moved quickly and didn’t lack action, but perhaps would have benefitted a little more time with characters, learning their motivations and allowing us to feel more of an affinity to them.
Partway through The Mortal Instruments is when I hit my film wall. My bum was numb, I was getting fidgety. I could feel the mother of all headaches coming on, and I was in no mood for the next film to be complicated, or anything that required me to concentrate too hard on. Luckily, the fourth and final film in my day of cinema was Pain and Gain. Thoroughly ridiculous, and frankly, totally unbelievable as a true story, Pain and Gain is the story of three bodybuilders who seek to take the wealth and lifestyles from their rich clients. I had expected the film to be more about the trio enjoying the wealth they have acquired, but there is a lot of focus on the planning and the actual acquisitions. The plot of the film has obviously been dramatised, and it makes you wonder how much of the story has been fabricated; how would it be known that one of the characters fed his toe to a dog? Again, another okay film, for what it is and as a piece of cinema which is designed purely to entertain and not to evoke any strong feelings, it sets out what it aims to do.
An enjoyable day out, in all, and a variety of films watched; I’d say if you’re considering doing a four film day the key is to mix it up with different genres and film styles. The Unlimited card meant instead of spending £36 on cinema tickets per person, we got our month’s money’s worth in one day, anything after that is just a bonus.