Popping around the blogiverse recently, at ‘Keep Cate Busy’to be precise, I was reminded about my family’s complete and utter failure to see the movie called Hugo this Christmas.
Having read the book my 10 year old, Daniel was desperate to see this film and reminded us of this at regular intervals. My youngest son, Jamie wasn’t bothered at all about it and much preferred the idea of seeing Alvin and the Chipmonks in Chiprwrecked. So some negotiations took place, however this is not really the problem.
We promised that at some point in the Christmas holidays we would try to go and see these films. Of course, in my naivety, I forgot that to anyone under the age of 20, being told that someone is going to try and do something translates specifically into “They WILL do this”
As it happens, we had quite a packed Christmas. Due to the way things have gone, I haven’t written very much so far this year, so I will try and cover some of it later, especially the bit about Michael Morpurgo. Now, WE know that this is how things go sometimes. We know that the million and one brilliant things we got up to should be what the whole family remembers and smiles about. We know that – but kids don’t. Children just remember the thing they didn’t do.
What I’m saying is that, as the end of the holidays approached, we realised that we hadn’t been to the cinema yet. I say we realised… What I meant to say is that we were reminded…
My lovely Sister gave us some vouchers for our local cinema for Christmas so, on the very last day of the holiday, we declared that ‘today’ was the day.
What I did next, I may regret for some time. I told the boys.
I told them about the plan that I had hatched; my cunning plan.
Jo would take Daniel to see Hugo, while Jamie and I would see Alvin.
All I had to do now was check the screening times.
Have you ever had that moment when you realise that the promise you just made to a youngster may have been a tad previous?
Hugo, was no longer being shown in our local cinema – at all! Alvin was, but not Hugo. In desperation I hit Google. It took but a moment to search “cinema reading” and only a few more to see that Hugo was still on – in glorious 3D - at an almost identical time to Alvin, that very afternoon. Fantastic – I had saved the day.
So we would go on the train to Reading, watch the movies and then grab some food somewhere nice – lovely. Now, I should point out that tensions around the house weren’t exactly at their best. People were tired and anxious about returning to school. Though they were looking forward to their treat, I wouldn’t say that attitudes were exactly as ‘Disney’ as I’d have hoped.
Still – we headed off.
Arriving in Reading with time to spare, we popped into a shop to buy some wine glasses that were on offer. This did not help the tension at all because my boys are not the best shoppers on the planet, but it was controlled with the reiteration of what was to follow.
We left the shop and Daniel said something surprising. “I like this cinema Dad - it’s a Vue cinema “
“No, Son,” I corrected “It’s a Showcase in Reading.”
“I’m sure it’s a Vue, Dad”
“Heh – heh, let’s hope not Dan or we’re in trouble, because I’ve checked the times for Showcase”
We did laugh.
We walked over the little bridge and looked up.
Showcase Cinema Reading – as it turns out – is quite a distance out of town, whereas Vue is the cinema that we were currently standing in front of.
We went in and headed up the escalators to discover that Hugo was NOT showing. It wasn’t.
Daniel didn’t take it well at all.
Slowly, and very begrudgingly, we compromised at all of us going to see Alvin. He wasn’t exactly jumping up and down about it. We would have to wait an hour, but at least we were going to see a film.
So I queued in what was the most ridiculously long queue ever. The place was busy and these days you can never just buy your tickets at a kiosk – oh no – you have to buy them at the food counter, meaning that you have to wait as everyone slowly chooses their popcorn. So I waited. I had a feeling there should be a machine for if you just wanted tickets, so I asked Jo to go and investigate.
But she just stood there.
Apparently she had just heard some random person moaning about how there WEREN’T any machines anywhere, so she decided that looking for one would be pointless. So she stood there. Not knowing about her overheard conversation, Jo’s refusal to even go and look wound me up a little, but what could I do except queue?
Several days later the tickets were bought and, because we still had a little time left, we headed outside for some air.
That was when I saw the machines.
From here on in it all got a bit Simpsons.
I shouted at Jo. Jo shouted at me. Daniel shouted at me. Jamie shouted at Daniel.
The next twenty minutes weren’t very pleasant.
And then we went to see Chipwrecked without anyone really talking to each other.
Time is a great healer though – especially when it’s spent in the company of chipmonks. By the time the film finished all was pretty much forgiven, and our treat meal was just that – a treat.
Daniel still hasn’t completely forgiven me for the fact that he will probably now have to wait for Hugo to come out on DVD and then it won’t be 3D. Jo still hasn’t totally forgiven me for shouting at her over the ticket machines. Jamie would have quite liked some popcorn, apparently…
So I’ll review Hugo, using the terminology of the young.
Alvin was good though!