Thick 4.4

The Thick of It 4.4

 

Malcolm’s patience with Nicola Murray’s leadership is at an end. As Nicola is stuck on a train on the way to Bradford with a crew from Sky News, and with Ollie in hospital recovering from an appendix removal, Malcolm hatches a plan with Ollie, Ben Swain and Dan Miller to double cross Nicola, and force her to resign

 

Thick 4.3

The Thick of It 4.3

Stewart Pearson takes Peter Mannion to a “Thought Camp” at a remote country mansion. While they’re away and out of mobile phone range, Fergus invites an attractive female economist into the department to discuss her idea about creating a taxpayer-funded community bank.

However, when NHS housing campaigner “Mr Tickle” commits suicide, Fergus is forced to make a rash decision and Peter finds himself on a slippery slope.

Thick 4.2

The Thick of it 4.2

Leader of the Opposition Nicola Murray finds herself facing a new set of pressures following her party’s election defeat, including being harassed by a man in an unusual costume. However, her problems mount when journalists get a glimpse of some embarrassing meeting notes – and she starts to worry about how close fellow shadow cabinet member Dan Miller is getting to media strategist Malcolm Tucker.

Thick 4.1

The Thick of it 4.1

MP Peter Mannion is taking charge at the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship as part of a coalition government. However, he must also work with junior minister Fergus Williams, an arrangement neither man is enjoying.

As the series begins, Fergus excitedly prepares to launch his new digital education initiative “I Call App Britain”, until Downing Street spin doctor Stewart Pearson announces technophobe Peter is going to be the spokesman for it instead.

 

Thick 3.8

The Thick of it 3.8

Malcolm finds himself running out of both options and friends as the election looms, until he finds help being offered from an unlikely quarter.

 

eHoyts

The Hoyts Experience

 

After going to the Hoyts counter to order a ticket, and finding the Cinema full, I decided to try something different and possibly change a habit.  I knew that Hoyts has a promo suggesting you could join them for benefits, so I joined.

First I installed the app on my phone. Seems to work OK.
It looks like you can scan a voucher to pay for the ticket.

The site is very graphics heavy but seems to work.
Finding a currently screening movie and a time was easy enough. I selected a seat and moved on. It’s not so easy to find screening times for movies yet to release. The web site is better.

I used the web site to complete the transaction. Now comes the interesting part – payment First, there is a $1.50 Booking Fee – Why, I don’t know. If you want people to use your service, why pay more ?

Then there is the payment method. It’s Visa, Masterpass or Gift Card. No PayPal ! Thinking the ‘Gift Card’ was the same as the voucher, I entered the details. That didn’t work. You have to go back and redeem a voucher (!)

So the ticket cost $12.50 – $11 (normal cost) and $1.50 booking fee.
At least I knew there was a seat and where it was.

They sent me an email with confirmation. This included a PDF that was obviously designed to be printed. I don’t have a printer, so opened the email on my smartphone and with some scrolling could display the booking info.

Then I read the attached –

– Please collect your tickets at least 15 minutes prior to the start of your movie.

– Bring a copy of this confirmation email or the confirmation number;
AND The credit card you made your purchase with;
OR Photo ID so you can claim concession, senior and student tickets or restricted films.

– Please note that your cinema allocation could change. Please check with a team member on entry.

1. So this isn’t a ticket after all. You still have to go to the counter
(isn’t this what this whole process was designed to avoid ?)

2. Why the Credit Card ? (I’m taking it just in case). I have made bookings through Ticketek and all you need is the ticket.
So the way this is written, take either a) Credit Card or b) Photo ID
But if you don’t need a concession, do you need the Photo ID ?
Bit confusing

3. What ! I just chose the seat I want. Why would it change ?

Going back to the Phone App, when I tried to login the thing crashed. I had to uninstall it then reinstall. Finally managed to login. Under ‘My Tickets’ – nothing. Going back to the online site, managed to find my transaction statement.

Looking at the reviews of the product on Google Play,
124 5 star reviews
100 1 Star reviews

The latest reviews indicate that a recent upgrade was not an improvement.


Break for Movie


At the Hoyts counter, all that was needed was to show the receipt to get the movie pass.

Conclusion:
It will work. Just avoid the phone app and use the web site. You do pay a bit more, but it does mean that you can leave later and be sure of a good seat (at a price).

But the web site and phone app need a good clean-out  of the extraneous junk and streamlining. It’s clear that everything is designed to get you to the counter where they can sell you food.

and BTW at the theatre I sat next to a large guy with the proportions of Kim dotcom. He had a large bucket of popcorn, but it didn’t interrupt the movie as he polished it off in the first 20 minutes.

Films 2017

The Year in Movies – Review 2017

I saw 27 movies in the Cinema this year. A few were officially released in 2016, but these I viewed in 2017.

Here they are in the order I saw them…. (with a quick review)

Moana
Singing, dancing adventure in the pacific. Everyone (including me) enjoyed this one

Hunt for the Wilderpeople
After all the hype, I found this rather ordinary

Independence Day: Resurgence
Forgotten already

Hidden Figures
Great story of women serving in NASA

La La Land
What was all the adoration about ?

The Great Wall
Matt Damon helps China defeat CGI monsters

Kong: Skull Island
Tom Hiddleston & Samuel L Jackson take on the great Ape

Lego Batman
Not as good as the first one

Ghost in the Shell
Style over substance

Fast & Furious 8
Dwayne Johnson dominates

Denial
‘Worthy’ story of a Holocaust denier

Alien: Covenant
Massively hyped, but will not be the classic the first two are

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Guy Ritchie’s story of the King in a dull grey.

Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot reigns supreme

Despicable Me 3
Loved the 1980’s references

War for the Planet of the Apes
Concludes the series

Dunkirk
Loud, long and mainly on a beach

Baby Driver
Music, driving, music, driving, violence (repeat)

Atomic Blonde
Charlize Theron takes back the 1980’s thriller genre.

Valerian
Massive CGI, pity about the story

Blade Runner 2
Long, Long, Long

Geostorm
Gerard Butler defies physics.

Thor Ragnarok
NZ Director makes the best super-hero movie

Murder on the Orient Express
Kenneth Brannagh and his mustache solve a crime

Star Wars – The Last Jedi
Just what we were waiting for

Paddington 2
A good hard stare will solve anything.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Dwayne (The Smoldering Rock) Johnson, Jack (I’m a girl) Black, Karen (Dr Who) Gillian and Kevin (Complaining) Hart all get to strut their stuff.


And the winners are…………..

I have grouped the films by my ratings..

First, in the ‘well that was a waste of time’ group.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
La La Land

Second, the ‘Very Average’ group…
Blade Runner 2
Dunkirk
Fast & Furious 8
Ghost in the Shell
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Independence Day: Resurgence
Lego Batman
The Great Wall 

Third, it’s ‘Well Done, but here are a few problems’ group…
Alien: Covenant
Atomic Blonde
Denial
Geostorm
Hidden Figures
Kong: Skull Island
Murder on the Orient Express
Valerian
War for the Planet of the Apes
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

And finally, in the ‘Don’t change a thing’ group.

<drum roll>

Baby Driver
Despicable Me 3
Moana
Paddington 2
Star Wars – The Last Jedi
Thor Ragnarok
Wonder Woman

 

Jumanji 2

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

is a 2017 American action adventure comedy film directed by Jake Kasdan and written by Kasdan, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Scott Rosenberg, and Jeff Pinkner, from a story by McKenna.
It serves as a standalone sequel to Jumanji (1995), the film stars Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, and Bobby Cannavale. Set twenty-one years after the first film, the film follows four teenagers who are transported into the video game world of Jumanji, and playing as the characters they chose, must beat the game in order to return home. The film is also a tribute to Robin Williams, star of the original.


This gets extra points for featuring Kiwi actor Rhys Darby as Nigel Billingsley, a guide in the game.

The trailer sums up what you get… an action adventure movie with humour from the avatar bodies. It does have a feel of being episodic (games levels?) with rather long sections of character interaction for the purpose of humour, then action and repeat. It does ramp up to a good ending where the gang achieves the objectives of the game.

It ends with an appropriate ending back in the read world. (4/5)

 

Armed Princess

King’s Bounty: Armored Princess is from 2009 and is the sequel to King’s Bounty – The Legend.

After playing the first game I went immediately to the next, but playing a different character. After installing the game I discovered that Steam had kept the saved games from the previous play. I finished the game on 11 Jan 2015 (almost 3 years ago !)

I was able to reload the last save and get the stats screens from the end of the game……….


Paddington 2

Paddington 2 is a 2017 live-action/CGI animated comedy film directed by Paul King and written by King and Simon Farnaby. Based on the stories of the character Paddington Bear created by Michael Bond, it is the sequel to the 2014 film Paddington and is produced by Heyday Films and StudioCanal.

Cast


Perfectly pitched sequel that hits all the right notes of comedy, drama, action and adventure. One of the best films of the year.