A fortnight ago we went for an evening's entertainment at the Odyssey in Belfast. Update: I emailed the post into Blogger that night, but it took 10 days to appear! Arghh.
The 15% off voucher being handed out at the Odyssey entrance by Bennetts' staff should have warned us that there's a reason they're not busy.
While the staff were friendly, and the cheesy nachos made a more-than-ample starter, the main course was indigestible. The chicken burger had been pan-fried to the point of leather - a steak knife would have been a useful tool to cut it.
The banks of monitors showing distracting videos that bear no relation to the songs blaring over the tannoy don't help the atmosphere either. Not half as good as Bennetts at Belmont. Back to the Red Panda next time.
Think back to the last time you paid for something in person by credit card and didn't get a receipt. Can you remember? Storm Cinemas can't give you a receipt if you pay by plastic - the software at the ticket desk doesn't allow them.
On principle, I whinged and eventually a manager was tracked down. With no receipt, how could I dispute an incorrect charge on my next card statement? They're upgrading to something new (and better) in September. Looks like Warner didn't leave them their system as part of the handover, so they've gone lo-tech in the meantime. "Do you want me to write you something out?" was the suggestion.
I guess if there's no VAT on cinema tickets then a receipt isn't essential - just good practice?
And Superman Returns ... it was a fine addition to the existing collection of tales. Well made, plenty of action, not to distressing. An action hero who craves the appreciation and attention.
Does the world only need a saviour when we're crying out for help? Are we alright as long as we're not in a crisis? Do we really need to be saved from criminals and power-hungry maniacs?
Away from Earth five years, Clark Kent gets his old job back, but life has moved on. Lois Lane has a partner and child. While there's a certain amount of posturing between the two males in Lois' life, Superman ends up dealing with the complicated situation very gracefully and maturely.
And he has one of those near-death experiences that makes you doubt if heart rate monitors actually work!
I'm sure it's not the best film on release at the moment, but its not a bad way to spend a couple of hours at the end of a long week.