Pop Up Screens Is Back

It’s finally sunny(ish) and for film fans it’s the perfect time to get away from the cold indoor cinema, sit outside…and watch a film! That’s right, outdoor screenings are returning to a large green area near you with the announcement of Pop Up Screen’s line-up of new and classic movies in partnership with Benadryl.

Yes that’s right, it’s time to ditch the indoors, bring your favourite blanket and pick a film or two from choices such as Thor: Ragnarok, Wonder Woman, Academy Award winners The Shape of Water, 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Get Out along with 2017’s Beauty and the Beast and many more.

There are multiple locations this year, with the additions of Ruskin Park in Denmark Hill, Guildhall,  Canbury Gardens in Kingston and Priory Park in Crouch End, so even more chances to enjoy some amazing movies. Take a look at the selection below and pick out your favourites. You can book your tickets at popupscreens.co.uk.

 

Bishops Park Fulham

Friday 20th July: The Breakfast Club

Saturday 21st July: Dirty Dancing

Sunday 22nd July: Romeo & Juliet

Friday 31st August: Logan

Saturday 1st September: La La Land

Sunday 2nd September: Moulin Rouge!

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Ruskin Park, Denmark Hill

Friday 27th July: Get Out

Saturday 28th July: Grease

Sunday 29th July: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

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Corams Field, Russell Sqaure

Friday 3rd August: (500) Days of Summer

Saturday 4th August: Notting Hill

Sunday 5th August: Cool Runnings

Friday 21st September: Donnie Darko

Saturday 22nd September: Dirty Dancing

Sunday 23rd September: Easy A

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Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith

Friday 10th August: 10 Things I Hate About You

Saturday 11th August: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Sunday 12th August: The Greatest Showman

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Guildhall, City of London

Monday 13th August: Wonder Woman

Tuesday 14th August: Thelma & Louise

Wednesday 15th August: Suffragette

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Canbury Gardens, Kingston

Thursday 16th August: The Goonies

Thursday 23rd August: Thor: Ragnarok

Thursday 30th August: Top Gun

Thursday 6th September: 10 Things I Hate About You

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Central Park, Greenwich Peninsula

Friday 17th August: Baby Driver

Saturday 18th August: Bridesmaids

Sunday 19th August: La La Land

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Manor House Gardens, Hither Green

Friday 24th August: The Jungle Book

Saturday 25th August: Dirty Dancing

Sunday 26th August: Ghostbusters

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Priory Park, Crouch End

Friday 7th September: 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Saturday 8th September: The Greatest Showman

Sunday 9th September: Back to the Future

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Paddington Recreation Grounds, Maida Vale

Friday 14th September: Grand Budapest Hotel

Saturday 15th September: The Shape of Water

Sunday 16th September: Pretty Woman

 

Keep. It. Reel.

Feasting From Films. Chef: Garlic Pasta

Recently my lady friend (hello Lizzie) had the idea of combining my love of food and film into regular blog posts. Essentially the concept is to cook/bake dishes seen in movies, see how easy they are to make and how they taste. Lucky for me, I enjoy cooking however Lizzie is much better at it than I am so she took the reins on what is hopefully the first of many food related film blog posts.

The idea sprung to Lizzie’s mind after were watched the Jon Favreau flick, Chef who stars and directs this food lovers movie. (If you’ve not seen it, I suggest that before viewing it that you eat something extra tasty. Food envy is the worst.) Favreau stars as Carl Casper, a frustrated chef, caged by the menu he has to serve night after night as well as his unrelenting boss, Dustin Hoffman.

Once upon a time he was being hailed as one of the most exciting things in the restaurant business but is now reduced to a bog standard cook. This leads to a pretty bad review from a well-known food critic and the meltdown to end all meltdowns. Unfortunately for Casper, this is the digital age where everyday people can photograph and film at the push of a button which leads to him becoming a viral star. He quits and soon after he’s convinced to start a food truck which quickly gains popularity.

Before all of this, the pre-meltdown portion of the film if you will, he cooks garlic pasta (full name is Pasta Aglio e Olio) for Scarlett Johansson who loves it! Who wouldn’t? It looks so good that I’m pretty sure I could smell it. Maybe it was the garlic bread I was eating at the time but I doubt that. Anyway, here’s the ingredients and method for the garlic pasta.

For the original recipe, take a look here.

Ingredients (Serves 2 people)

  • Large handful of spaghetti
  • 8 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
  • 150 ml extra virgin oil
  • 1 tablespoon of chili flakes
  • 60g Parmesan, grated
  • Handful of diced parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to season

Method

  1. Find the Chef soundtrack and press play
  2. Boil some water in a saucepan, add salt and then place the spaghetti in until cooked, usually around 10 minutes or so
  3. Whilst this is cooking, heat up the oil in a separate frying pan on a gentle heat and then add in the garlic, ensuring that you stir it every minute so that it doesn’t burn
  4. Once the garlic is golden brown, remove from the heat, drain the spaghetti and leave on the side until you’re ready to mix
  5. Add the chili flakes to the garlic and oil, then stir, making sure it is well mixed
  6. Turn the volume up for God’s sake! I can’t hear the sexy salsa sounds of Chef over all that frying and mixing!
  7. Add the spaghetti in and toss/stir until it is completely coated in garlic/chili oil (I’m drooling, I want it again!)
  8. Add in the parsley and parmesan and again stir well
  9. Squeeze in the lemon juice, ensuring it is drizzled all over the spaghetti
  10. Season with salt and pepper to your own taste
  11. ENJOY!

It’s a surprisingly simple recipe which (minus chopping the garlic thinly) didn’t take that long. It’s perfect and filling by itself, however I’d recommend that you serve it with a salad if anything. I added in extra parmesan as I was eating, because of the heat and this also improved the taste overall.

We used more than a tablespoon of chili flakes and it was a bit too much, however you can probably take the heat better than me. Here are a few images during the cooking  process. Excuse the quality, my camera thinks it’s from the 90s.

Keep an eye out on my blog for monthly movie recipes from all sorts of films and if you have any ideas you’d like me to try out, let me know.

Keep. It. Reel.

My Ideal Cinema – The Reel Deel.

These days, going to the cinema can be a bit of a nightmare. Take away the fact that if you are insistent on always going with someone else you have to plan around each other’s schedules, you also have to put up with the chatters, the phone users, the seat kickers, the late comers and the constant bladder emptiers. Basically, the most irritating type of people to ever encounter in a cinema. I was in the cinema recently and two people in separate rows were using their phones as the film started, one proceeded to Snapchat it and the other was filming the movie. What is wrong with these people?! Using your phone should be a good enough reason to get yourself tossed out of there but filming it? It’s illegal, no discussion, prosecute them. Plain and simple. This never happens, it’s always up to other audience members to shush people and tell them to put their phones away. Why pay so much money to talk and stare at small screen? It makes no sense, I’m at my wits end. So if I ever become lucky enough to lay down my own plans for a cinema I own (I’d probably call it The Reel Deel, in case you were wondering), this is how I would run things.

No phones. AT ALL.

When Prometheus was released, I was lucky enough to go to a preview screening. Due to the timing of said screening (happening about an hour after the premier) we all had to hand in our phones. We queued, gave them in, got a ticket to pick them up after the movie. Perfect. It was a quick process to pick them up after. This is a great system for cinemas. It would immediately eliminate the cause of so many random glaring screens that are such a distraction and take you out of the experiences of whatever you are watching.

Phones in cinema

Cloth bags for food

The bags of sweet and chocolate plus certain cinemas who inexplicably serve popcorn in paper bags which creates more noise than they should. When someone is rustling around for a few kernels to chew on, or wanting to suck down that final piece of chocolate, it’s amazing how annoying it is when the shove their hand into whatever they are eating from to grab it. It’s shocking that all of that digging around in such a small bag can create such a large disturbance. No more! The cloth bag will be used instead. At my cinema, once someone buys a crinkly bag of whatever confectionery they desire, the contents will be transferred into a cloth bag and once they return, they’ll receive a discount on their next purchase. If they don’t return it, free cloth bag!

cloth bagsNo talking

I need someone to please explain why people pay money to talk in the cinema. Why? WHY?! For the love of GOD, you’ve come to the cinema to chat. WHY?! Why come here when you can do that anywhere else in which it is socially acceptable? A pub, café, coffee shop, bar, home, restaurant, shops, so many place to chat which are not the cinema. Don’t do it! For my cinema, there would be ushers at hand, ready to tell people to stop talking or to leave. Two strikes and then you’re out. No refund, no coming back. That is that. Harsh? GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!

talking

No toilet breaks

Okay okay, I’ve calmed down. Now this might sound a little mean and we’ve all needed to relieve ourselves during a movie. But it can be distracting to others to see someone get up and attempt to duck down whilst a film is playing and they are running for the loo. There are a couple of ways in which this can be solved. First is to ban all breaks, pretty much lock the doors until the credits. I’ll be a nice and say that if it’s a Marvel film who commonly have mid and end credits scenes, the doors would open when the credits begin if you need to duck out before the very end. Yeah, I’m pretty nice like that. The second way is to have easier access to the exit. The best way to do this is have steps on the left, middle and right of the seats which leads directly to the door. Or the image below could serve as a solution. Maybe not…

toilet

Carpet only throughout each screen

Whilst we’re on the steps, it should be carpeted fully with no hard wood floors. Nothing that can make a sound. Including the small section of each step with has a hard bit of plastic on the edge. It makes noise when anyone walks on it and creates yet another disturbance. Get rid of it, I hate that thing!

steps

No late entry

What is the point in going to the cinema if you are going to miss bits? You may as well not see it at all. I’ve seen people come in 10 minutes after a film has begun and it makes no sense to do this. The first 10 minutes of countless films sets the whole thing up, you will not understand fully what’s going on or why. If you can’t make it on time, then don’t go. At all. A ban on late entries sounds pretty ideal.

no entry

No smelly food

Don’t serve something that will make other who have come to watch a film vomit! Hot food you can buy at the cinema is gross. Nachos and hot dogs are the primary culprits. The less smelly the better. The smell is offensive as is that taste. It makes no sense to film the screen with something that will piss off most of the people who sit near to you. No hot food in The Reel Deel.

hot dog

No 3D movies

I hate them. There’s light loss, there’s rarely enhancement on the picture which is worth it. If you ever saw Toy Story 3 in 3D, I’m sire that you’ll agree the film is just amazing however the 3D is a perfect example of how not to use it. It gave the audience nothing more that we were already getting from the characters. So why is it used so heavily? Well apparently it’s working because it’s making the studios more money. Of course it is, it’s a gigantic rip off that so many people are forced into due to lack of 2D option! So no 3D films at all. All movies do have a 2D option but a lot of the big chains, depending on which branch you frequent, only have the 3D option. More money, that’s what it’s all about.

3D

Charging an affordable set price throughout the week.

On the subject of money, this is something I’d like to see implemented. Arguable a couple of chains have their own see as much as you want for a monthly fee card. A brilliant scheme which saves a lot of money. However, let’s say you have one of these cards and there’s nothing to see which is playing a decent time for this particular franchise. Well, you’d have to go elsewhere in the hope that you don’t have to pay too much as you’re already forking out around £20 a month. Now, credit where credit is due, the Odeon in Covent Garden has almost done this. They charge £7 during the week and the prices go up on the weekend and there are no booking fees online. It’s pretty impressive, but it’s just not good enough. I was going to see Jason Bourne during the week at another of their branches close by in Leicester Square and the prices was £18.50. How anyone can justify this is beyond me. This is £1.40 less than what I pay per month for my Cineworld Unlimited card. It’s just ridiculous! A flat rate Monday to Sunday no matter what time or what day would make things easier and fairer for anyone who wanted to see film.

cinema ticket

So what do you think? Harsh? No harsh enough? Or just right? Maybe one day this dream will exist, one day…

Keep. It. Reel.

The Oscars 2016 – Live Stream

So it begins, the biggest night of the year in the movie industry, I’m looking forward to seeing how Chris Rock does as host of the 88th Academy Awards and I’m curious to see how I do with regards to my predictions. Maybe I’ll get it a little bit more spot on this year. I wanted to share a video with you all to ease you into the celebrations with a wonderful bit of humour from the folks at Screen Junkies. They have created a fantastically glib and accurate portrayal of the actors and movies nominated, check it out and have a look at their other other Honest Trailers.

Chris Rock will most likely be poking fun at the fact that the hash tag #Oscarssowhite has taken off due to the fact that all of the nominees are white. I hope to be laughing a lot more than last year. We’ll see! I’ll be covering it right here in London with lots of snacks, I cant wait to rip into these. See you all later tonight.

IMAG2119_1

29/02/2016. 01.30. Here we go! Let’s see how Chris Rock gets on. This is a great opening montage of the years finest movies.

Chris Rock

29/02/2016. 01.44. A really good, really funny and very apt opening monologue from Chris Rock. Well done!

Chris Rock 1

29/02/2016. 01.45. First award is for Best Original Screenplay

And the winner is Spotlight

Spotlight

/29/02/2016. 01.52. Up next is Best Adapted Screenplay. And the winner is The Big Short

Big Short

29/02/2016. 02.03. Sam Smith performing Writing’s on the Wall, presented by Sarah Silverman.

Sam Smith

29/02/2016. 02.10. JK Simmons presenting the Best Supporting Actress award. And the winner is Alicia Vikander.

AppleMark

29/02/2016. 02.20. Time for Best Costume Design, presented by Cate Blanchett. And the winner is Mad Max: Fury Road. Well deserved!

Mad Max Fury Hill

29/02/02016. 02.23. Steve Carell and Tina Fey presenting the award for best production design. Oh I love these two. SO funny! And the winner is Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max

29/02/2016. 02.28. Margot Robbie and Jared Leto presenting the award for Make-Up and Hairstyling. And the winner is Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max Fury Road

29/02/2016. 02.27. Michael B. Jordan and Rachel McAdams presenting the award for Cinematography. And the winner is The Revenant.

Revenant

29/02/2016. 02.39. And up next, Best Editing. And the winner is Mad Max: Fury Road. Well done to this film, really well deserved!

Mad Max

29/02/2016. 02.50. Now for the sound awards: Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. Both Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. And the winner is Mad Max: Fury Road. Well done!

Mad Max Fury Road

29/02/2016/. 02.56. Time for one of my favourites, Visual Effects presented by Andy Serkis. Love him! And the winner is Ex Machina. Well done!

Ex Machina

29/02/2016. 03.08. Best animated short film, presented by The Minions. And the winner is Bear Story!

Bear Story

29/02/2016. 03.11 OH MY GOD!!! Buzz and Woody presenting the award for Best Animated Feature! I’m so happy, I love them so much! And the winner is Inside Out. WOOP WOOP!

Disney?Pixar's "Inside Out" takes us to the most extraordinary location yet - inside the mind of Riley. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions - Anger (voiced by Lewis Black), Disgust (voiced by Mindy Kaling), Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler), Fear (voiced by Bill Hader) and Sadness (voiced by Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley's mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. Directed by Pete Docter and produced by Jonas Rivera, "Inside Out" is in theaters June 19, 2015.

29/02/2016. 03.16. Presented by Kevin Hart, The Weekend perform Earned It from Fifty Shades of Grey. Sounding good!

Earned it

29/02/2016. 03.29. Patricia Arquette presenting the award for Best Supporting Actor. And the winner is MARK RYLANCE! YES! So unbelievably well deserved, I’m so happy! GO MARK!

Mark Rylance

29/02/2016. 03.39. Okay, back to it. Louis CK presenting the Best Documentary Short Film. And the winner is A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness. Congratulations.

A Girl in the River the Price of Forgiveness

29/02/2016. 03.41. Dev Patel and Daisy Ridley presenting the award for Best Documentary Feature. And the winner is Amy. Well done!

Amy

29/02/2016. 03.58 A beautiful performance by the immensely talented Dave Grohl. In memoriam this year is truly one of the saddest in years. You will not be forgotten.

Dave Grohl

29/02/2016. 04.06. Time for the Best Live Action short film award. And the winner is Stutterer!

Stutterer

29/02/2016. 04.07. The award for Best Foreign Language film is next. And the winner is Son of Saul!

Son of Saul

29/02/2016. 04.14. Presented by the popular Joe Biden, Lady Gaga performs her song from The Hunting Ground, Til It Happens To You. Great performance!

Lady Gaga

29/02/2016. 04.21. Now Pharrell Willaims (blonde, why??) and Quincy Jones present the award for Best Original Score. And the winner is The Hateful Eight. WHY?!

Hateful Eight

29/02/2016. 04.27. Now it’s time for Best Original Song, presented by Common and John Legend. And the winner is Writing’s on the Wall, by Sam Smith from Spectre.

Writings on the Wall - Spectre

29/02/2016. 04.30. Ali G has made a come back, still pretty funny! Who would have thought that?? Maybe my sense of humour is terrible.  Or maybe he is actually funny!

29/02/2016. 04.37. Oh boy, it’s time for Best Director, presented by JJ Abrams. And the winner is Alejandro González Iñárritu for The Revenant. Woop woop!

Revenant

29/02/2016. 04.47. Getting close to the end and close to bed time! The Best Actress award is next and presented by Eddie Redmayne. And the winner is Brie Larson. WOOP WOOP! So well deserved, what a performance, well done, no one deserves it more than you Brie!

Room(1)

29/02/2016. 04.53. Right, it’s time. Will he get it? Best Actor award presented by Julianne Moore. And the winner is LEONARDO DICAPRIO! YES! FINALLY! Your wait is over! Well done! It’s about bloody time! No more poor Leo!

Leonardo DiCaprio

29/02/2016. 05.01. The final award for tonight. Best Film presented by the awesomely voiced Morgan Freeman. And the winner is Spotlight! Wow! Genuinely shocked but very happy for such a terrific film, it does deserve this award! Congratulations!

Spotlight

29/02/2016. 05.04. Okay, it;s just gone 5am, I don’t have work until Tuesday (yay!) So I’ll be recovering from this late sober night. Congratulations to all of the winners, especially Mad Max, Spotlight, The Revenant and of course to Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s good night from me. Until next time.

Keep. It. Reel.

Reasons to go to the cinema by yourself

What’s so bad about spending time by yourself? It seems as if it’s still considered taboo. I lived in Sydney for 6 months where the only people I know were family. So they have their own things happening and I was forced to spend time by myself. I embraced it! I loved it! I went shopping, to the cinema, out for meals and around about the city, exploring it as much as I could. All by myself. There’s nothing wrong with it. Especially going to the cinema by yourself.

I’m going say that whilst I do prefer going to the cinema by myself, I’ve never had a bad experience when I’ve gone with a friend (unless there are strangers who just don’t shut up, that’s out of my control unfortunately). I like going with my friends, but I also think there’s a solid argument in going by yourself. Allow me to convince you, or at least try to.

pacino

When you go

When you go with friends, whether it’s one person or a group, your schedules have to match, you have to agree on a time and then meet up before the film. Fairly standard procedure, but not one I normally enjoy organising. People are busier now more than they have ever been, so I read recently and it makes sense. Our jobs are so much more demanding, trying to organise any sort of meet up is difficult. July is quickly approaching and there are still friends who I’ve not seen this year at all. So, put away your diaries and calendars, get up and go on your own. Chances are that you’ll see others there with just themselves as company.

clock

What you watch

There’s normally a good selection of films to watch so you could probably agree on something. But there’s no guarantee. If you’re a big film fan like myself, chances are you’ll know what films are which are not the big budget movies most people go to see. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with them, but when it’s your choice, and your choice alone, you have the rare chance to pick any film showing anywhere you want to go. Think about that. No compromise, no discussions, no arguments, no disagreements. Just one simple choice. What do you want to see?

screen

Seating arrangements

When I think about that, with the people I’ve gone to the cinema with recently, (hello George, Michael and Ness!) this hasn’t been a problem, I don’t think that it ever is. But we did get there early to buy our allocated tickets so we had the choice of sitting in the back row. Perfect. But when it’s unallocated, what then? Some like the back, some the middle, but no one at the front! And then, the middle of the row? The aisle? The end by the wall? There’s a lot of options to consider. Before I enter a movie theatre, assuming I know it as well as I know the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, I think of where I want to sit, where did it not work last time? Where was it perfect before? Where will I not be disturbed? So many questions to consider. When you’re alone, you really can pick and choose. Unless it’s frustratingly jam packed.

 

movie-theater-seats

 

No sharing, of anything

There’s always someone who goes to the cinema who will enjoy the film and the entire movie-going experience. However, they may enjoy it at your expense. You buy the popcorn but they don’t want any however they end up eating half of yours. Then what happens? They’re thirsty and there goes half of your drink. Oh what’s that? The arm rest? You don’t need it do you? Of course not. Are you starting to see a pattern emerging? That person, and not everyone you watch a film with is like this, will pay for their ticket but get a lot more out of the experience than you. Yes you’re there for the film (and in my case the trailers, LOVE watching them) but these lovely added perks of a big bucket of popcorn, or chocolate or a huge drink and the wonderful armrest, all to make it even more enjoyable are taken away when someone else is there. No sharing is so much better in the cinema

popcorn

You are not alone

I went to the cinema on Sunday to watch Fruitvale Station. I wasn’t the only one who went by themselves. There’s some sort of taboo in doing things by yourself, it’s remarkable how much more you can do by yourself. You don’t have anyone to answer to, that day / outing is all about you. And others do it too. This weekend, there was myself, 3 couples and 5 others who were on their own. If the couples or groups judge you, you’ll never know it. You’re there to watch a movie, or eat a meal, enjoy an exhibition and so on. When I reached home, my cousin says she just doesn’t understand how I can go by myself. When you really think about it, watching a film isn’t a social experience, you’re not there to speak to anyone, you’re not there to interact at all.

you are not alone

When you do anything by yourself, the trick is to not care and enjoy yourself. The day is yours, this is your time, use it as you wish and let those naysayers carry on as they are. At the end of the day, it’s just you and a movie, what more could you possibly want? Here’s to you!

gatsby