I didn’t expect Everyman to show Disney’s Aladdin, I expected it to show more Art House films as it seems more focused to bring in adults. While I still think they package the whole thing up in in a slightly more grown up way, focusing on quality food and drink, and innovative hospitality there were several young teens in attendance at the 5.15pm showing.
From the moment you arrive at the doors, they turn your movie into an experience. I felt transported back to the 1920s, to an age of art deco luxury and opulence. Heading down the stairs there is a lovely member of staff to greet you, who explains how it all works. He directs you to the plush bar to relax in before and/or after the screening.
You can order food and drinks, including beer and cocktails from the bar or from one of the staff members walking around the bar area with an iPad. You can pay here too and it saves any time standing at the bar, it really could not be easier. Just give your screen and seat numbers for anything you want brought to you and during the trailers your drinks and food will be served direct to your seats. You can order food and drink to be served direct to your chair up until the start of the film.
Now the seats!! Each of the underground screens (there are 4 in total) is uniquely decorated, with soft living room seats and plenty of room to stretch out. Our screen had plush red 2-seater sofas, with cushions, generous leg room, feet rests and a small table for our drinks.
Your food arrives on a small tray or plank, depending on what you have ordered. As the trailers were on at this point I didn’t want to put the flash on my camera to take any pics so unfortunately there are no photos of the Halloumi burger or the Chicken burger that we ordered. All I can tell you is that they were delicious. Just because it’s served at your table and in a cinema does not mean there is a compromise on quality or taste.
The only thing I would say, is that if you order a dessert then they bring that out at the same time, so in our case, while the cookie dough and ice cream was delicious, I was a little conscious that it would start to melt! It didn’t take long to plough through our burgers so there was only a little melting thank goodness! There was enough light to eat and plenty of time to finish off before the main film, leaving our drinks to be sipped at our leisure from our small side tables. So we sat back, put our feet up and enjoyed the film.
One of Everyman’s aims is to rekindle adults’ love for a trip to the cinema, I certainly think they achieve this, even for the young adults.
Just a quick review of Disney’s Aladdin. I enjoyed it. At times, the script seemed to stall and the film moved a bit slow, but then it was back with a bang. Will Smith did a fine job stepping into the shoes of Robin Williams as the Genie. He brought his own personality to it and the scene where ‘Prince Ali’ arrives in Agrabah it totally breathtaking with the dancers, elephants, music and a huge explosion of colour!
Jafar was a different matter, he came across as quite weak and certainly not someone to be feared. He just didn’t have the oomph that was required to make you fearful of him, even in the finale.
But one thing Disney are very good at is moving with the times and keeping things modern. I liked how the film branched out into 2 new areas from the original. The first one, where the genie had a love interest in Princess Jasmin’s cookie and funny hand maiden and this did give the film a unique twist and brought quite a few laugh out loud moments.
The second, is that Princess Jasmin, while getting her man in the end, was also a strong, independent woman who had her own voice and was as fit to be Sultan as any man, which indeed she became. Good on Disney for going in this direction. It’s something I’m seeing more and more in Disney films generally (think the two strong female leads in Frozen for instance, and let’s not forget Pochantos, Mulan and Brave). Rather than sweet, vulnerable girls left alone only to be rescued by a man, these princesses are doing if for themselves and are great role models for our young people as they grow up. Not just our daughters, but the expectations of our sons, who will hopefully grow up to treat women as equals. Great move Disney!!