Screen Time and Awesome Things I’ve Seen!

It’s great fun to book an awesome holiday. It’s great fun to book awesome holidays for the next two years running…. but that also means you have to save up to pay for all that awesomeness…. which results in a A LOT of Netflix time.

I don’t mind this. I’m a self-confessed homebody and since I love my house, there’s nothing I like better than the idea of staying inside it for days on end.

So, I wanted to share with you some great TV and Films I’ve seen over the last few weeks, that you might want to watch too.

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The Staircase, available on Netflix, is a true-crime documentary and is apparently the doc that inspired the creators of Making a Murderer. Originally made as an 8 part series for the BBC in 2003 it follows the crime and trial of a man accused of killing his wife, who was found at the bottom of a staircase in their home. There were then 2 more episodes made in 2013 and then 3 more for Netflix have just been released along with the episodes prior. It’s a gripping series and if you like crime documentaries then you should definitely watch it. I have since found out, a whole strand of theory has been removed from the series by Netflix, which was originally shown and is now not there. Apparently a separate episode dedicated to this theory will be released at some point by Netflix. A strange move, I think, but I’ll be interested to see that, as and when it emerges.

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I’ve been enjoying watching new films, recently. Since I don’t often go to the cinema, I have been waiting for a whole bunch of films to arrive on streaming services so I can finally watch them. Mother! is one Gary didn’t really want to see but it intrigued me so much. I wouldn’t say the film is enjoyable, but it’s entertaining. I think it’s clever, others feel it’s self-indulgent of the director and egotistical. It reminded me of classic horrors of the 1970s. Frightening but not because something has been put in front of you. Comparisons with Rosemary’s Baby are probably the closest you’ll get to knowing what you’re getting into if you are deciding to watch this. It’s intense, and stressful and echoed anxiety dreams I used to (and still sometimes do) get when I worked in retail and dreamt I couldn’t get customers out at the end of the night, and somehow they kept coming in. It’s not for you if you’re easily stressed out. A lot of the reviews I read after watching the film were from people who were angry at the film. I guess it stirs up emotion and I think that’s exactly its aim.

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Having just said I never go to the cinema, I’m going to contradict myself now. I saw Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in 4DX at our local cinema. We’re really lucky to have a 4DX screen as I believe there’s only 2 in the UK and only 1 in the US (that might be wrong, but I know there’s only a handful in the world). I love watching action films in 4DX. It feels like you’re on a theme park ride for the full length of the movie. I saw the first Jurassic World in 4DX and I’m pretty sure that was my first 4DX experience, so I had to see this one in the same way! I really enjoyed the film. It was suspenseful, exciting, good storyline which followed on well from the last. No Jurassic Park film will be as good as the original, but they’re doing pretty well with these last two!

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And to finish, I’ll talk about a show that’s completely blown me away. I’d avoided watching The Handmaid’s Tale because I was concerned I’d be upset due to the subject matter. But then a colleague said she’d been watching it and was enjoying it so much that I just had to try it out. I already knew Elisabeth Moss from The West Wing and then Mad Men, but she’s so incredible in this. The show took my breath away to the point that I binged the whole first season in a single weekend, and managed to catch up with the second season that has started week by week. There are points in this show that are so powerful that I’m sad I’ve seen it because I want to watch it for the first time again. One of the scenes in the first episode of season 2, along with the music choice they made, was SO powerful I could have sobbed. I’m so glad I started watching!

So, those are the things I’ve been enjoying watching of late. I’m sure I’ll share more with you as time progresses – it’s a great way to save on those pennies! What have you been watching, that you’ve loved?

Jurassic Park In Concert

A couple of weeks ago Gary and I went to The Royal Albert Hall to see Jurassic Park In Concert.

As huge fans of the film it was great to go to this venue and see John Williams’ score performed by a live orchestra.

We’d been to a few similar events previously (Back to the Future, Pixar, Brief Encounter) so knew what to expect, but I’d forgotten we’d got box tickets which was a nice surprise.

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At events like this it’s easy to forget the orchestra are playing alongside the film, and I really think that’s a compliment to the orchestra, since you totally forget that something unusual is happening and that the music is coming from people actually playing in front of you.

The music to Jurassic Park is so classic and impactful that it was really nice to sit and watch them play. Lovely to focus on parts of the music I like in particular and see the different sections making the sounds I’m so familiar with!

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I love seeing musical performances at RAH and always love having a good look at the discs on the ceiling, which I like to call smarties. They’re to aid the acoustics but I think they just look so pretty! I actually performed at the Royal Albert Hall in a choir singing Carmina Burana, as a child, so it has a special place in my heart!

It was a really lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon, and I managed to get some wear out of my Jurassic Park t-shirt from Universal Studios 😀

A List of Good Things (so far!) 2016

This year has started off awesome, with tons of things planned and a good feeling about the year ahead.

With a few things already booked for this year, at the end of last, we’ve topped those off with a few more. No doubt more will happen as we go along, but here’s what I’m excited about so far!:

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  • My awesome friend Sarah is getting married in a couple of months, and I’m lucky enough to be one of her bridesmaids! I’m so excited about the lead up to it, the day and also the week after as most of us will be staying around the area for a little holiday!
  • A couple of weeks later Gary’s cousin gets married, so I get a second wedding to go to, this time as a guest.

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  • Secret Cinema presents Dirty Dancing in July. After going to their Back to The Future screening we knew we wanted to go to another one, and Dirty Dancing seemed like an amazing choice. Great music, great atmosphere and great movie. We can’t wait!
  • In September Gary and I celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, and to celebrate this in style we’re heading to Orlando for two weeks of sun, Disney and rollercoasters! I’ve never been, but as a mahooosive Disney and Harry Potter fan I’m beside myself with excitement over the parks. Plus we’ll be extending our summer by visiting at the end of September. And no doubt when we come home British winter will be in full swing…..
  • Speaking of Harry Potter:

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We landed some tickets to this Harry Potter play and managed to get them for THIS YEAR. Getting tickets was crazy hard for some unknown reason….. *eyeroll* So in October we’ll be heading off to London for two plays in one day…. intriguing!

  • Also in October, my Mum and Dad celebrate their ruby wedding anniversary and there’s a party to be had!
  • Guy Fawkes night is extra special this year because earlier in the day we will have visited London for Jurassic Park in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall. We went to a Pixar show at the Royal Albert Hall and also Back to The Future in Concert last year and really enjoyed them both. Gary loves musical score, and we both love the score from Jurassic Park so it’ll be a treat to see it live! We’re hoping that as we’ll be in London anyway there might be a good local fireworks display to visit afterwards!

And that’s it for the year so far. We’d hoped to Hot Dub Time Machine it again, but the only local-ish gig is whilst we’re in Florida, and we wanted to go to V Festival but the line-up is a bit rubbish. Still I reckon we’ve got a good year to come! And who knows what else will pop up along the way 🙂

Jurassic World 4DX

Today is Musings of a So-Called Shutterbug’s 6th birthday! Thank you to all those who follow, comment and share. If you’ve been following Shutterbug for all 6 of those years then you deserve a treat today!

On Saturday evening Gary and I headed to the XScape building in Milton Keynes and to the newly refurbished Cineworld cinema.

We were off to see the eagerly anticipated Jurassic World – in 4DX. If you don’t know what 4DX is then I’ll tell you – you watch the movie in 3D where available, on special seats which move appropriately to the movie. There are lights, fog, water, smell and air to experience too. I knew this would be the perfect movie to try out 4DX for the first time, but I was a little nervous for some reason. Probably nervous excitement! Milton Keynes is home to the country’s only 4DX cinema, and we’re very lucky to live on the doorstep.

If you haven’t seen Jurassic World yet or experienced 4DX and don’t want to be spoiled, it’s probably best that you don’t read on. But do come back once you have, and let me know what you thought!

So entering the screen, you could see there were less seats than in a normal cinema screen. In rows of about 8-12 seats, but these were in blocks of 4. The seats are ergonomic and high off the ground, with foot rests. There’s enough space in front of your seat and the one in front that people can walk through your row without you having to get up or move to let them past. On your arm rest there’s a button stating ‘water on’ ‘water off’. I chose to leave water on 😀

The trailers started and I’d hoped we would experience a 4DX trailer to acclimatise us to the feel. And I wasn’t disappointed. Our trailer was for the new Terminator movie, not my cup of tea, but I loved feeling the seats tip forward, side to side, flashes to the sides of the auditorium, air from behind and in front and under the seat by the legs.

I couldn’t wait for the film to start. What surprised me from the beginning was the 4DX experience was all the way through, not just in certain action parts. When you’re introduced to the family at the start it’s snowing and there’s snow on the ground. You feel icy air all around you as if you’re there. The kids get on a boat and your seats move as if you’re on water, with a fresh sea breeze on your face. It’s incredible. Fast moving chases fling you around as if you’re being chased. The island, when you’re first introduced to it SMELLED GOOD. It was like being on the best ride, because it lasted the length of the film. Discussing with Gary, I discovered I experience more, as I was wearing a sleeveless dress so in certain parts I experienced things on my arms and legs that he didn’t. The water parts were fantastic (you don’t get soaked) and you could tell every effect had been thought through to complement the film.

I’ll stop talking 4DX now and talk about the film, but I’m so glad I saw the movie in this way. I genuinely want to experience it again, and it’s worth the extra few pounds.

So the movie; first of all fans of the original score won’t be disappointed. The important themes and phrases are in there and the new score is in keeping with the old, but new enough. During the film there are also massive references to the original movie, in a nostalgic and respectful way, which I really enjoyed.

The movie story and execution is brilliant from start to end, with nothing confusing or irrelevant. There’s masses of product placement but I guess that should be overlooked because of what the film is, you kind of have to expect it. (Starbucks, anyone?)

Most importantly, Jurassic World was in keeping with the other movies. In my opinion it’s up to the standard of the first and is no disappointment. I was fully immersed in this film, whether or not this was due to 4DX, I don’t know. All I’d say is if you don’t know whether to see it – go! See it in 3D or 4DX if you can, but if you liked the original, you’ll love this!

If you’ve seen the movie and/or experienced 4DX I’d love to hear your thoughts!