With total UK box office sales of nearly £1.25 million, Cloud Atlas stands out from the other films in the current UK top 15 cinema films for a number of reasons. Firstly, at nearly 3 hours long it is the longest film you are likely to see in the cinema although it is run a close second by Les Miserables. It is also unusual in that it took 3 directors filming separately to create the immense, sprawling story. Some critics have heaped praise on it for being so innovative and ambitious whilst others have found it ludicrous and incoherent. The story spins through different time periods with the same actors playing different characters in each. Tom Hanks is the big star of the film and like his co-stars is subject to the ministrations of a very creative make-up department. Indeed, part of the fun of the movie is to try to identify each of the actors in each of the different time periods.
Sarah Connor, the film critic of Torquay’s local newspaper, the Herald Express falls into the camp of critics who actually loved the film. Not blind to its shortcomings she has concluded her recent review by saying, “It’s one of those films you really should see, even if you end up not liking it, because this one deserves attention for being so daring, so innovative and so splendidly awesome.”
Cinema goers on The English Riviera have an interesting choice when it comes to choosing where they see films like Cloud Atlas or indeed any of the UK’s current top films. The first choice is the Central Cinema in Abbey Road Torquay. This Cinema is in the very centre of the town and is owned by Merlin Cinemas which is a West Country chain of cinemas. Standard priced tickets for this cinema cost an amazing £4.99. However, when you cross the threshold of the establishment you do begin to understand why it is so cheap. The charitable might say that the cinema is in need of a little modernisation; those with a more blunt turn of phrase might suggest that the place is a flea pit and verging on the derelict. However, it has a charm all of its own and is well worth supporting. Sound quality and picture quality are absolutely fine and you do tend to find that this cinema is less crowded than its main rival.
The second choice is the multiplex style cinema on Paignton seafront. Formerly, the Apollo Cinema it has just been taken over by the expanding Vue cinema chain. This is a high quality establishment which is bright, modern and clean. Even before Vue took it over it was also participating in very interesting link ups with Opera and Ballet houses as well as theatres in London so that Devon residents could see West End performances live without the long journey to the capital. Vue have promised more investment into this Cinema and even more innovation. All this does come at a price though and tickets at the Paignton Vue cinema will cost roughly double what you might pay in Torquay.
Both of these cinemas are real assets to The English Riviera. Not only are they facilities that locals can use but they are also very useful for those visitors on winter breaks or spring breaks to this part of South Devon when the weather can be a little more unpredictable.
Torquay’s more mature residents and visitors (as well as younger film buffs) are also likely to find the regular Friday afternoon cinema screenings at Torquay Museum of interest. These have grown massively in popularity and typically begin with a meal in the museum café followed by a screening of a classic film usually from the fifties, sixties or seventies.
This last venue is only a three minute walk from the multi award winning Somerville. This 5 star Gold Award Guest accommodation was awarded the accolade of being Devon’s B&B of the year for 2013 and was also the South West B&B of The Year Silver award winner. The Somerville offers boutique style accommodation which includes inexpensive standard rooms as well as sumptuous suites which are ideal for visitors celebrating something special such as a birthday or anniversary. The Somerville is also within walking distance of the central Cinema in Torquay and only a ten minute drive to the view cinema in Paignton.