Thursday, January 19, 2006

Movie time (Harry and Narnia)

We went and saw two movies last week – the first ones for quite a while. On Tuesday it was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and on Thursday we saw Narnia.

Here in Las Vegas going to the movies is a little different than the rest of the world. Here most of the movie theaters are part of big casinos rather than being stand alone businesses.

Looking at the preview, boy these pictures look dark. In Photoshop they were pretty good, guess I'll have to edit again and bring up the light level. The above shot is of the ticket windows, to the left. Straight ahead is the food court, slot machines to the left. Most casinos now have put in a food court, similar to what you find in shopping centers. Texas Station has a Fat Burger (hamburgers), pizza, Panda Express (Chinese), Japanese, sandwiches, and some others. Usually the bigger the casino the more food places.

Standing at the same place I took the above shot of the ticket booths I turned left a little,

And here are all the slot machines. The local based casinos tend to have more slot machines and fewer table games. I guess people that come often tend to sit and play slots more than stand and do craps or blackjack. Most local businesses have slot machines, I am still not used to going into Vons for my groceries and seeing a half dozen people sitting at the slot machines, no matter what time of day I go in. The Vons near my house is open 24 hours a day, so sometimes I end up shopping rather late, depending on other activities. It’s kind of nice to have a fairly empty store to walk around in.

There is only one multiplex theatre that we’ve been to that is in a shopping center. As with everything else associated with casinos, you have to walk through the gambling floor in order to get to your destination. We went last week to Texas Station. It’s one of the Stations chains, which cater mostly to locals. We also go to the Orleans and the Palms, but since Costco sells cheap tickets (well, if you call $7.50 instead of $9.50 cheap) that are good at Regal cinemas, and Texas is part of the Regal chain, we have been going there. There are about twenty screens at Texas Station, most of them have ‘stadium seating’, with nice big high backed chairs set on steps, so the guy in front of you does not block the screen.

Reviews? Well, I’ve read all of the Harry Potter books, and like them – I can still imagine myself in his place (but please, not high school again). I liked all of the previous movies. But each subsequent book is getting thicker, and I think they are about at the limit of what can fit into a single movie. I am not sure if I liked this one. The first half seemed to just fly by. There was too much going on, and if I hadn’t read the book I would have been totally confused. But since I did read the book I also kept saying ‘why wasn’t that in there?’ I did like the story line, and the way things were portrayed. The special effects are really good – hard to think those dragons were not really there.

Narnia was about the opposite. Again, I’ve got the boxed set of the Narnia books, and like reading them. But these are really thin – the set of six (I think it’s six) together are smaller than the Goblet of Fire book. The graphics were great, but I almost fell asleep several times. Things seemed to be just tooo slowwwwww.

A recent New Yorker magazine had an article on the author of the Narnia books. He was a professor at Oxford along with Tolkein (of the Hobbit series). But C.S. Lewis was really religious, and the Narnia series is pushed as a Christian novel. I didn’t see it, but B was interested enough because of the NY article to go on line to Amazon and order another series that he wrote.

B wants to hit King Kong this week. I am not sure that I am up to three hours of a big monkey, but as this one is her choice it looks like I’m going. Hope I don’t snore too loudly.

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