Sunday, April 27, 2008

Di Xem Phim – Going to See a Movie

The Boyfriend and I decided to go see a movie. First was the challenge of finding what movies were playing. I had dropped by Galaxy Cinema, an “American-style” cinema, nearby and there were three options: Fool’s Gold (I knew for certain The Boyfriend would not be interested), a Jackie Chan/Jet Li movie and a kung fu movie. As I tried to remember the names of the last two movies, I forgot them on my walk home.

We searched the internet to see what else was playing and found one website that had the schedule for four movie theatres in the city. The selection was similar so we decided on the Jet Li movie Thong Linh (or Warlords). This website did not include Galaxy Cinema so I called to find out when it was playing. We settled on the 16:50 show, and I called back to make sure I understood properly.

As we got to the cinema, Thong Linh was actually playing at 16:40. Luckily, we got there 10 minutes early. We were looking forward to some popcorn, to find no popcorn in the popcorn machines and no one working behind the counter. Thoroughly disappointed! We went to our theatre and were ushered in to a given row. Not sure if we could have sat anywhere we wanted. It was already pitch black even though commercials were still playing.

We were just on time to see Tiger beer and Coors Light commercials while Heinekken was being sold outside. There was also a hilarious amateur-looking commercial, common to cinemas, about turning off your cell phone, except it also included not smoking (yes!), keeping quiet and not putting your feet up (I’m guilty of this when no one is in front of me…). This was rapped in Vietnamese, with scantily clad girls dancing in the background. That’s the way to get a message through!

The movie was actually in mandarin. There were Japanese subtitles, sandwiched between big yellow Vietnamese subtitles on top and smaller white subtitles in English. It was a bit distracting as I would try to read the English subtitles and the Vietnamese. The sound was terribly inconsistent, going from barely audible to deafeningly loud.

Warlords turned out to be a war/epic battles movie with a love story; I remembered why I don’t like and rarely watch these types of movies! Too much gore and violence!

A third of the way through the movie, I asked The Boyfriend when Jackie Chan was appearing. “I don’t think he’s in it”, he said. Weird, I was so sure he was! At a point, I heard a woman behind me talking. I turned around to see her on her cell phone. Obviously, she did not see the rap commercial! Who actually answers their cell phones at a movie theatre?

When we walked out after the movie, we could only smell one thing: popcorn! Outside, bags were pre-filled with popcorn. People were eating popcorn at their tables. We were not sure if popcorn was just an evening offering, but we felt SO cheated!

Finally, when we came home, I realized Vua Kungfu (The Forbidden Kingdom) was actually the Jackie Chan/Jet Li movie. There were two Jet Li movies! How confusing! This kung fun movie was actually in English too. Maybe I would have liked it better. Oh well!

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