The VIP life at Cineplex

Recently, my friends and I decided to splurge and check out Cineplex’s VIP cinemas.

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LA for Christmas! Pt. 2

Hello y’all,

So finally posting part 2 of my LA trip. And it’s actually not that overdue if you look at some of my other posts.

After Anaheim, we went back to the city of Los Angeles. We were exhaused on the first day and decided to skip some of the stuff we had planned so we can go straight to Little Tokyo. Some things I learned about LA:

1. Little Tokyo is the best place ever

We ended up skipping another few things on our list just to re-visit Little Tokyo on the third day. They have a million ramen places to choose from and we ended up going to Orochon Ramen and Hakata Ramen. We had to wait at both of them but Hakata’s wait was almost 2 hours! They both served great ramen, but the bf and I both agree that Orochon’s soup was better. We like spicy and Orochon gave you the option to make it super spicy.

Another thing Little Tokyo was amazing at was mochi. I think the mochi lato at Mikawaya Mochi has forever changed me. No mochi will ever taste as good 😦 They had regular mochi too, but the lato ones were creamier and the skin wasn’t as hard. It was so perfect!

2. K-town isn’t trashy

From what I’ve seen of the webseries K-town, I had expected Koreatown in LA to be trashier and greasier. It really wasn’t. Instead we found super cheap restaurants! They were quite famous for their Korean BBQ all-you-can-eats and we ended up settling for one that was $11.99 at Sanya Korean BBQ Buffet. So much meat. So worth it.

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Tell me this isn’t cheap. The $11.99 menu was more than enough for dinner.

We had lots of beef brisket, thinly sliced. We let it grill just a little longer than necessary, giving the outside a slightly crispier exterior. It was amazing. We also had some pork belly and there were a lot of other things on the menu. But we were quite full from the side dishes they provide you as well.

Koreatown also had lots of shops that sold Korean products. I hopped into one or two cosmetic shops just to see what they have and their collections are quite complete. If you’re looking for asian snacks, this also was a good place to go!

3. The Getty is far

I was annoyed by LA’s transit system to begin with, but getting to the Getty really was something. We had to take two busses, and the schedules were horrible. It took forever to get to the Getty via transit (about an hour and 20 minutes?), whereas driving would’ve taken 19 minutes.

$100 million. Right there.

$100 million. Right there.

One thing I did enjoy was seeing the paintings. I’m no art expert, but at the Getty I got to admire the works of some big artists. It was the first time I had seen a Van Gogh, Monet, and a Picasso in real life. Or any famous paintings in real life I guess. Irises by Van Gogh was the featured exhibit for the period that we were there. A hundred million dollar painting. I didn’t even want to breathe near it.

4. Hollywood is only glam for about 4 blocks

Exiting the metro station for Hollywood, I took a few seconds just to marvel at how alive and amazing Hollywood looked. Bright lights, crowds of people, music everywhere. We hit up a few souvenir shops, went to Madame Tussauds and at night, spent new year’s eve at Hardrock Cafe counting down with other patrons in the restaurant.

Madame Tussauds shenanigans. They had a Marvel exhibit!

Madame Tussauds shenanigans. They had a Marvel exhibit!

But then we went to explore and walked down Hollywood only to realized that the glam only lasted a few blocks. Beyond the main strip of Hollywood that we always see on TV, the street was lined with mediocre restaurants or shabby looking pubs. The Walk of Fame also deteriorates drastically, the names of actors/actresses being none that we recognize. But I guess to be a tourist attraction, you don’t need to show everyone the full picture before their arrival.

5. The TCL Theatre is beautiful

My boyfriend and I saved The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies for the TCL Theatre! We saw that they were showing it and decided we’d hold off until we got to Hollywood. Plus, we’d get to check out the TCL Theatre!

I could not believe how nice the theatre was and that it is accessible to the public. I’m so used to seeing award shows and events happening there on TV I never thought it would be open for regular movies. They also played movies in IMAX and the quality was so good it was almost disorienting at first watching the characters so clearly.

I thought the price was amazing. It was $19 a ticket for IMAX in a gorgeous theatre. In Vancouver, we pay $15 for a shabby theatre seat for IMAX. It was so worth it watching a movie there. If you do go, visit the washrooms. It’s ridiculously big.

So that’s it for my LA trip! I’m proud of myself for having written pt 2 so quickly 🙂

– Karen

“Guardians of the Galaxy”: A Movie Review

Hello all,

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Went to an advanced screening of Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday! Everyone was really excited, and I was told it was one of the most sought after movie screenings of the year! Luckily, my friends and I still managed to snag great seats!

Guardians revolves around a kid called Peter Quill, who had been separated from his family on Earth when he was young. He got abducted to another planet. He becomes a ravager (think space pirate), but amongst one of his missions to steal a mysterious metal sphere, he decides to sell it off to make a profit instead. Turns out there’s a lot more to the sphere than we all though. In order to save the universe from destruction, a group of unlikely heroes work together and form the Guardians of the Galaxy.

I had hopes for not crying in this film. Judging from the trailer and what I’ve heard about it, I expected it to be all laughs, but there were quite a few moments where it was (very) touching. In regards to this movie as opposed to the other recent ones set in the Marvel universe, be prepared to not have our own planet earth to ground yourself to the story. Very little of this movie happens on Terra, but instead we get introduced to different planets and zoom around space for a good part of it.

I thought this movie was quite good– looked really expensive to make! (Just googled out of curiosity. The budget was $170M.) Currently it has a 91% on Rottentomatoes and a 9/10 on IMDB. It opens tomorrow! A kid friendly movie, but also enjoyable for older audiences too 🙂

– Karen

What is D-BOX? – A Review

Hey everyone,

So I haven’t seen movies for a while because school has been swamping me down, but I did manage to catch Thor : The Dark World with one of my friends over the weekend!

When purchasing our tickets, we realized that aside from the usual IMAX, Ultra AVX and regular showings (3D+regular), there was a new option available: D-BOX.

Doing some initial research, we found out that with D-BOX, your seat moves according to what is happening on the screen. We decided to try it out.

Firstly, if you choose D-BOX, you’re still watching a 3D version of the movie– at least that’s what happened to us. Secondly, we realized the D-BOX seats do not get a theatre to themselves like Ultra AVX films. Instead, we get an area of the regular 3D showing sectioned off for us. These seats are red in colour, and you pre-reserved your seats when you buy your ticket (much like the Ultra AVX films). They reserved some of the prime seats in the house for D-BOX viewers (middle section, closer to the back). When you find your seat, you’ll realize that on your right armrest, you get to select how intense you want your seat movement. These seats are also more comfortable and bigger (they fit less of these seats in the typical row than the regular seats).

Red seats = D-BOX seats; Blue seats = regular seats. All in the same theatre.

Red seats = D-BOX seats; Blue seats = regular seats. All in the same theatre.

Now for the experience bit. 
Firstly, if you get nauseous during 3D movies, I’m pretty sure you won’t be enjoying this. Back when I first started watching movies in 3D, I’d get dizzy, and the same thing happened initially with D-BOX. However, my nausea went away after I got used to the moving seat.

The chair doesn’t only vibrate, but it also lifts you up and down, and forwards and backwards. Now, don’t worry about it just throwing you around. These movements aren’t that intense, but are usually gentle. It’s not like those 4-D rides that make you feel as if you’re actually in a spaceship or whatnot– remember, you’re still in a regular theatre where 80% of the viewers there are watching the film in standard 3D. It’s also pretty quiet, so you don’t really notice the sounds from the chair.

During Thor, we would move along to spaceships that flew across the screen, which was cool. There was also this liquid matter that the screen showed, and our seats gently mimicked the liquid’s floating movement, making you feel as if you were a part of it. There were also scenes where when Thor jumped off a building (not a spoiler, because he can jump anywhere. He’s the God of thunder.), your chair raises you slightly so that you can fall with him off the ledge.

So what did I like about it?
I thought that it was a cool experience. It’s definitely differed from traditional methods of viewing movies, and it does add to the movie. You also don’t need to sacrifice the 3D (if that’s your thing– I like 3D only if it’s made well and the film was actually developed with 3D in mind). Having reserved seating meant that you did not have grab a seat early, and the seats were nice and comfortable since they were bigger.

What did I not like about it?
I was a bit nauseous at the beginning, but that eventually went away. There were some unnecessary movements (did we really need vibrations when Thor ran up the stairs? Arguably not.). It also costs more than your regular ticket (made a chart for your reference– Oo! Look at me being all fancy!).

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My friend who went with me also thought it was a good experience. If you’re not sure whether D-BOX is for you, it never hurts to try it. For me, the biggest issue is the cost. I wouldn’t mind having the accompanying chair-guided-movements to movies if it wasn’t for how much more it costs per showing. I guess I would’ve also enjoyed it more if everyone in the theatre had D-BOX seats, but that wasn’t too big of a problem.

For those of you who have tried out D-BOX, what are your thoughts?

-Karen

“The Great Gatsby” (a.k.a The Alright Gatsby): A Movie Review

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I seem to be doing quite a few of these now that it’s summer.

Anyway, I got premiere tickets off my friend for the showing of The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire (okay, there is a lot of other people, but I do not know them as well). I was ridiculously happy when he told me he could get me the tickets because one of my friends and I were having a conversation about how much it sucks that this movie came out after our summer courses started. But with advanced screening, we managed to bypass the silly release date and watch it a week early!

Advanced screenings are fun, and this time they gave out prizes for people who came dressed up in Gatsby era clothes! So quite a few people dressed up!

I must start with the disclaimer that I have never read The Great Gatsby. I wanted to start it, but I did not want to spoil the movie (since movies are usually not as good as books in my opinion).

The Great Gatsby is a movie filled with mystery surrounding this man called J. Gatsby. He is rich, and he has a thing for this girl called Daisy. The two have not seen each other for five years and in Gatsby’s absence, Daisy got married. So that complicates things quite a bit. The whole film revolves around Nick Carraway’s fascination with with Mr. Gatsby, and he eventually gets involved and takes a part in helping Gatsby’s wishes to fulfil his dreams.

To me, it was The Alright Gatsby. I thought the soundtrack stood out a little at times (not in a good way), and their soundtrack has artists such as Jay-Z. I also found it really hard to connect with any of the characters in the film or emphatize for them, but that probably has to do not with the film, but with the story itself? The visuals were beautiful, but I was not entirely wow-ed by the story. I may have also went in with really high hopes, and left disappointed when they were not reached. Leonardo DiCaprio’s films always interest me, so I thought this would be another instant favourite of mine. I guess not.

I would not put this film very high on my recommendations list, but who knows? You may like it.

Let me know what you think!

-Karen