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PULSE

THE MAGAZINE FOR THOSE WHO MAKE IT ALL HAPPEN - EDITION 02 - WINTER 2010/11

News MEET OUR FIRST SILVER Es Faces of DEREK COWNTY, FILM BOOKING DIRECTOR Portfolio PIRACY IN OUR CINEMAS In the back row with... COMEDY GENIUS, SIMON PEGG Top 10 Tips KEEPING OUR CUSTOMERS HAPPY IN QUEUES Films in focus GNOMEO & JULIET/ 127 HOURS/PAUL

Colin Firth is King George VI HELPING YOU TO DELIVER


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J2O and juicy drench Fruity, thirst-quenching ‘adult’ soft drinks that offer the perfect alternative to carbonated soft drinks.

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Fruit Shoot My 5 Apple & Pear Fruit Shoot Apple & Blackcurrant Loved by kids, trusted by parents. With no artificial colours or flavours, and low-sugar options.

$

drench Refreshing hydration.

 

Pepsi Max Top quality refreshment – available in three variants to suit individual tastes. And particularly good value when enjoyed as part of a combo/value meal.



juicy drench Cranberry and Raspberry The thirst-quenching ‘adult’ soft drink that offers fruity satisfaction and the perfect alternative to fizziness.

J2O Orange and Passion Fruit A tasty, fruity, thirst-quenching ‘adult’ soft drink, without the fizz of a carbonated option.

Pepsi Top quality refreshment – available in three variants to suit individual tastes. Remember, as these customers like to share, a large Pepsi makes a great choice.

drench Refreshing hydration.

drench Refreshing hydration.

Pepsi Top quality refreshment – available in three variants to suit individual tastes.

 #$  " $ %  

Tango Ice Blast Two, delicious ‘fizzy ice’ flavours, offering a taste blast experience: Cherry and Raspberry.


BIG E Customer Key Recognise these little guys? Every film shown at Empire will suit at least one of them. From Romance to Horror, Sci-fi to Comedy. Need a reminder? Then make a mental note of PULSE’s Big E Customer Key and keep a look out for them throughout PULSE magazine. “Billy” - The care-free student 20 years old University Student Single/Casual Relationship Loves well written scripts and full-on action “Jane & Friends” - Sociable best friends 37 years old Part-time Work Married It’s all about the labels and girl-talk “Dan & Sarah” - The romantic couple 30 years old Professional Long-term Relationship Enjoy love stories or heart-warming comedy “The Palmer Family” - The typical family Children under 10 years old Professional & Housewife Married - Happy Family Grand adventure, fantasy, and fairy tales “JJ” - The typical teen 13 years old In Secondary Education Single Superheroes, galaxy lightyears, and beyond! “Beryl” - The gran you wish you had 61 years old Retired Married Mysterious dramas and thrilling plots

Produced by: BA (Hons) Magazine Journalism and Feature Writing Editor: Susa Dickerson Features Editor: Ali Kirkby Art Director/Designer: Daniel Poole Staff Writers: Helen Archard

Letter from Roz I am pleased that you all enjoyed reading the first edition of PULSE Magazine. Thank you for all your lovely comments. A huge thank you also to everyone who entered the competitions, sent in their tips or emailed their photos. Whilst I’m in ”thank you” mode, a great big thank you to the PULSE team (students from Southampton Solent University) for their hard work and time putting PULSE together. Without them and the sponsorship from our suppliers, such a fabulous magazine wouldn’t be possible. Our thanks also to all Empire teams for their brilliant efforts last year and to Cadbury for providing each member of staff with a treat for their Christmas stocking. This edition, we have tweaked a few of the sections to reflect your feedback. The ‘Round Up’ pages have been replaced with a new ‘Looking Forward’ section (pages 26-27), showcasing future films we’re itching to see. And when Newcastle Empire asked if they could write something for PULSE, we said “Absolutely!” – Take a look at their excellent contribution (page 39). In this issue, ‘Faces of Empire’ (page 11) features Derek Cownty, Empire’s Film Booking Director, and “Grandad” of our company. Our cinema in focus (pages 34-35) is one of our smaller cinemas, Sutton Coldfield and there are some great tips about keeping customers happy in queues (page 10) that will hopefully become the norm in all our cinemas. Don’t forget to tell us what you like about PULSE and what you would like us to include? And please continue to get in touch with us via the email below if you have any ideas, photos, tips or would like to enter any of the competitions. Talking of competitions, congratulations to Dean Mowbray (Newcastle) for providing the Top Tip and Kerry Moores (Wigan) for working out the answer to our Competition Corner crossword. And a big well done to Julia (Poole) for some great customer feedback. STOP PRESS - fantastic hoorah to the winning team of the Big E In Action, Hemel Hempstead. Also to runners up Newcastle and The Empire, Leicester Square. We all loved viewing the films and it was so great to see you having so much fun making them. Watch out for the sEquel!

Roz editorpulse@empirecinemas.co.uk

WINTER 2010/11 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 3


Another fantastic year - and it’s all thanks to you! As we start a new year, it’s always good to reflect on the one we’ve just left behind. 2010 was an exciting and disappointing year for us at Empire. Sadly we didn’t meet our budgeted admissions, mainly due to the World Cup and more recently the bad weather. Of course, we did have some record-breaking films. The year started off with Avatar, which has become the biggest grossing film of all time. The summer saw the return of Buzz and Woody in Toy Story 3, which ended up taking a massive £74 million and looks like it will be the year’s number one film. Overall, 2010’s top 20 films look like they grossed more than £500 million! Oh and yes, as a company, we had our second busiest day ever on Harry Potter 7 Saturday, with many of you having record days. However, the life of Empire Cinemas hasn’t just been about film. We’ve been very busy across many projects as we strive to deliver our Magnificent 7. We have continued our investment programme, completing refits on the concessions stands in Hemel and Wigan and adding 4 screens to Basildon, along with Empire’s first Impact screen. We’ve refurbished screen 4 in Bromley and the 3D screen roll-out has continued. Most cinemas have been painted to Empire colours and the chiller has been replaced in The Empire. And unbelievably, we’ve fitted over 60,000sqft of carpet! But it hasn’t all been about capital investment. The past year was notable as we pushed forward on our training programmes and introduced further automation to our processes rolling out FiSch. The big event for me, however, was defining our customer experience strategy and as a result the Big E came to life in the summer of 2010. This has helped us build on the heritage of Empire Cinemas and we have started to create history all of our own. Beryl, JJ and other characters, plus phrases like “OMG Good” and “Shockingly Bad” have started to become part of our everyday language. We have lots of exciting projects planned for the year ahead that will build on the work already done. There will be lots of incentives for everyone to make the Big E a reality in their cinemas and competitions via the Pulse magazine to watch out for. Looking forward to 2011, we have budgeted to spend another £5 million on capital investment across the business. Watch out for news on big projects coming to Newcastle, Poole and Bromley. Once again the film line up from our partners in distribution looks fantastic, alongside the obvious blockbusters, the final Harry Potter, the Twilight films and the return of captain Jack Sparrow, I think we can look forward to some great new products. Personally, I can’t wait for Cowboys and Aliens, Tintin, Arthur Christmas and of course Paul. However, it’s not just about the big films. The coming year is about all films and we have to look at how we are going to make films like The Kings Speech and True Grit work for us. Finally, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank each and every one of you for all your hard work in the past year. A special ‘thank you’ for our Silver Es (see pages 8-9 for more details) and also to the team at Hemel Hempstead for their winning Big E In Action film, probably the best customer experience video I’ve ever seen! – We will be sending copies out to all cinemas so you can see just how the Big E is looking across the business. Thanks again to everyone for all their effort and support. I look forward to a successful 2011 taking Empire Cinemas to the next level.

Paul Baxter

Operations Director

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PIRACY WHY SO SERIOUS?

8-9

MEET OUR FIRST SILVER Es

10

TOP 10 TIPS TO A HAPPY QUEUING CUSTOMER

11

FACES OF EMPIRE DEREK COWNTY

13-27

FILMS IN FOCUS REVIEWS & FACTS

28

WIN AN IPOD WITH YOUR MARKETING IDEA

29-39

ALL ABOUT YOU IN-HOUSE

41-42

COMPETITION CORNER

43

IN THE BACK ROW WITH SIMON PEGG

6 PHOTOGRAPH © Susa Dickerson

6-7

Contentswinter

10/11

11 22 34

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PIRACY WHY SO SERIOUS? Copyright piracy is a big threat to cinemas around the world. Empire Newcastle experienced this first hand and we want all our staff to be on the lookout for the criminals hiding in the deep dark depths of the cinema seats.

at a consistent high, a good reflection of the action taken by cinema staff. The shoddy recordings that appear on file-sharing websites on the Internet, are full of low-quality, juddery images. The sound and picture quality of these filmed images are a miniscule fraction of that of the actual cinema experience. With the advancement of technology in camera phones and small digital cameras, crafty pirates are finding their equipment easier to hide. But this just means we need to open our eyes that little bit wider. People are even going as far as concealing cameras in sunglasses, although this in itself is suspicious, as sitting in a dark cinema screen with a pair of shades on is sure to draw attention. In a counter attack against ‘tiny technology’ and in our battle against film theft, we’ve had our very own advancements, including night-vision goggles, particularly encouraged at premieres and first screenings. Ultimately it falls into the hands of our dedicated Empire Cinemas teams to help stop these crimes. The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) work to stop all forms of piracy across the world and hold the view ‘detect, disrupt, deter, dismantle and prevent’ when

W

e’ve all seen that advert in film previews telling us we wouldn’t steal a car, handbag or mobile phone. With morals intact, this seems obvious. The film industry however, is still under the attack of pirates. Unfortunately these ones aren’t obvious enough to walk around on a wooden leg carrying a parrot and shouting ‘Arrrr’. Even more unfortunate is that none of them are Johnny Depp in a bandana, tricorn and beaded dreadlocks. It would certainly make life easier if they were. Copyright theft, particularly since the pressure of recession and economic crisis, is a massive threat to cinemas across the country, with seemingly regular people entering our screens, armed with filming equipment, intent on stealing the films our company pays to provide for the general public’s enjoyment. The piracy industry is worth over £200 million for the criminals involved and often relates to wider organisations and gangs involved in a hierarchy of more serious crimes. Although the number of proven recordings found in UK cinemas has fallen from it’s peak in 2007, every illegal film produced loses the industry money. Since 2007 the number of interventions has stayed

People are even going as far as concealing cameras in sunglasses.

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PULSE EMPIRE PORTFOLIO Items confiscated from suspects of film theft.

What can you do to help combat piracy in Empire Cinemas?

TRY THE Q UIZ w w w.f ig h tf il m th e ft.o rg.u k YOU COU LD WIN £5 00!

First and foremost, every step must be taken to add value to the cinema experience, so that temptations to watch an impending or current cinema release on a rip-off DVD might be ignored. The more customers who book cinema seats in advance, the more likely they are to resist any passing chance to view that same new film at home. Keep tabs of all print movements in, around and out of the cinema.

There was a case in one of our very own Empire cinemas in September, where staff intercepted an individual attempting to film a copy of The Last Exorcism. Staff members at Empire Newcastle were praised for their actions, which ultimately prevented at least one illegal copy of a film being reproduced or put on the Internet. FACT representative, Simon Brown, contacted the Newcastle team with praise to say that “prosecutions are important, but disruption is the ultimate goal.” And that this incident was a great example of this and showed good vigilance and awareness from those involved. The team also received a reward under the www. fightfilmtheft.org scheme, which gives criteria to follow in the event of a film piracy incident. This scheme encourages members of staff who notice potential illegal filming to identify the criminal, notify the police and stop the recording before the film ends. An incomplete film is pretty much useless. FACT can offer rewards of up to £500 if these points are followed and a police report and incident report are completed. Thank you to all Empire teams for their efforts. Keep up the good work and we will hopefully see our pirate enemies walking the plank very soon.

it comes to dealing with cinema film theft. Detect the suspect, disrupt the act of filming, deter the subject from the cinema, dismantle the equipment and film and prevent the final images being placed on the web. We follow this policy in our cinemas and encourage staff to intervene and involve the police with any suspicious-looking behaviour that could involve a film pirate. Illegal recording in cinemas provides 90% of new pirate movies. It’s also important to be aware that the earlier the screening, such as previews and premieres, the more valuable it is to pirates as there are less rival copies, so be especially careful if you are based in one of these. The sentence for copyright theft can be up to ten years, which is a large price to pay in comparison to the pocket money cost of a cinema ticket. One case last year saw a 22 year old being given a six-month jail sentence for fraudulently attempting to film in a cinema in Harrow. He was charged with copying a film for use in fraud, breaching copyright by distributing film and possession of a camera phone for use in fraud. This shows the clampdown on the pirate film industry is coming forward in full force and that as long as we keep on the look-out, we can rule it out.

The sentence for copyright theft can be up to 10 years.

Keep prints secure and away from the public at all times. Follow in-house procedures for making up and viewing prints. Night Vision glasses should be in use and staff should be briefed to check screens on all shows of high risk releases. At the ticket check, politely ask customers to switch their phones off and explain that camcorders are not allowed into the screens. Be vigilant and look out during patrols and from projection porthole for any suspicious behaviour on the part of a customer. Report suspicious behaviour to the Duty Manager. Don’t try and tackle the suspect yourself. The Duty Manager should immediately report the crime as in progress to the local Police station, while you discreetly ensure that the suspect doesn’t leave. At no point should any Empire employee risk their personal safety and confront suspects unaided. On Police arrival, brief the Officer and hand over the suspect.

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The

Silver E

Awards

Meet our stars

Staff at Empire Cinemas’ have the incentive of the Silver E recognition award to drive them to excellence. Two team members who have already shined through are Empire Newcastle’s Gary Lee and Jan Dwyer from Head Office. Pulse interviewed them to find out just what makes them so special.

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GARY LEE - From Empire Newcastle

PHOTOGRAPH © Susa Dickerson

ur Big E programme, launched in the summer of 2010, is now in full swing and being put into action throughout our cinemas. It’s ultimately our incredible staff who are responsible for the enjoyment and satisfaction of the customer’s visit, that’s why we’ve set up the Silver E recognition scheme, where exceptional individual team members can be nominated by their manager. Our very first nominee is Gary Lee, from Empire Newcastle, who achieved

Gary Lee

recognition for his outstanding service to all the customers in his cinema. Bursting with pride and waving the shiny E-shaped brooch at us as he approached across the cinema foyer, it was clear this man is passionate about his work and within minutes it was clear to see why he received so many nominations. Gary told us when he found out he’d been chosen: “It was initially a shock, then it was an absolute revelation and an honour. The managers were all lined up and I thought right I’m gonna get the sack, there’s something going on here.” It’s not just a pretty badge these high achievers and future winners receive. Gary and his wife, Angela, were given tickets to the Due Date premiere held at Empire Leicester Square in early November, complete with accommodation. The badge also entitles you to double the allowance for friends and family tickets. In Gary’s case it’s not just the staff giving him a well deserved pat on the back, he told us he’s even had customers buying him bottles of wine in celebration.

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Gary’s advice for aspiring Silver E winners of the future is: “Just try and be yourself, don’t be false and just do the best you can. There’s the POSH training we have - be Polite Open Sincere and Happy - and treat people how you’d want to be treated.” This is his personal take on the Big E and Making it Personal. Gary’s day-to-day job at the Newcastle Empire can be a combination of different responsibilities, from serving people to deliveries and even the glamorous job of unblocking toilets. To do this with a smile on his face shows dedication. He’s even dabbled in the technical world of projection and stepped up to the role of Acting Supervisor. He also takes part in the training of staff and admits he helps smooth out any attitude or communication problems. ‘I just love my job, I just love it, I get a buzz out of it and people just connect with me.’ He says that his ‘home’ cinema team are ‘a great bunch’ and ‘Newcastle are hotter than a chilli pepper’ when it comes to embracing the growing Big E plan. It’s staff members like Gary who personify our customer experience message and if individuals embrace it, it’s important they get some well-deserved limelight.


PULSE EMPIRE DIARIES

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JAN DWYER - From Head Office ur next superstar staff member to receive the silver E award was Jan Dwyer who works in our Head Office and deals with Empire Cinemas’ finance and payroll. Although her job is not at the front line of the cinema, to have someone who can get their head round their numbers is essential for the success of the business and part of the brains behind the customer experience action. In her own words: “Everyone counts at Empire, from cinema staff to Head Office staff and it’s important not to forget what goes on behind the scenes. It’s great to receive something like this even though you already know you are appreciated for what you do.” When Jan was told about her Silver E, she said: “I was gobsmacked when I found out about the award, but it’s not just me, it’s the team behind who deserve it as well. I’d have loved the whole team to receive recognition because they help me out. I’m really fortunate in the job that I do because I get to have so much contact with everyone.” For future Silver E contenders Jan’s

Jon Perkins receiving his Silver E award from Andy Bush, National Operations Manager

Jan Dwyer

advice is simple: “Just continue what you’re doing now and your turn will come, always try and give a little extra no matter what you do.” Similarly to Gary, Jan has received her silver E badge entitling her to double her friends and family allowance. She has also been invited to attend a premiere. Jan has a great attitude and is passionate about Empire as a company and the friendly working environment. Full of enthusiasm she said: “The best thing about working for Empire is that we are right up there with all the other big chains and we do things first or even better than them!” After seeing improvements in customer service, even Head Office are seeing the effects the Big E is having on our company. “I like the big E because it is all about how I would like to be treated when I go to the cinema.” After a background in the world of nightclubs, Jan, who resides in Birmingham,

joined Odeon cinemas in 2000. “It was a big culture shock from night clubs to cinema.” When Odeon merged with UCI in 2005 she stayed on even though their Head Office was moving to Manchester. “I got a phone call from my then manager at Odeon, saying he’d started at Empire Cinemas and once there was an opening would I consider joining? It all began July 30th 2007 and I have never looked back.”

HOT OFF THE PRESS Congratulations to our new Silver Es Dean Mowbray – Newcastle Jon Perkins - Basildon

IN THE PIPELINE We plan to introduce four Silver E days per year. On each of these days, there will be a draw to win a substantial prize. In 2011, they will be 31st March, 30th June, 29th September and 29th December. To qualify, Silver Es must have received their Silver E letter informing them they have been successfully nominated.

SILVER E AWARDS SO FAR Gary Lee Jan Dwyer Gordon McLeod Jon Perkins Dean Mowbray

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10

PULSE TOP TEN

for keeping

TIPS CUSTOMERS HAPPY

IN QUEUES

Each quarter PULSE will feature your top ten tips on how to tackle an issue that might affect the experience given to customers.

This quarter, the tips have been given to us by Dean Mowbray, Newcastle; Tristan Murtaugh, Sutton Coldfield; Lyndsey Warnett, Sunderland; and Adel Smith, Head Office. Congratulations to Dean Mowbray, our top tip winner this edition. A special thank you to Lyndsey Warnett, Sunderland for contributing so many useful tips.

1

Note what seats are left on each of the next shows. Walk up and down the queue, introducing yourself to customers and inform everyone that tickets are available at every till. Then talk to remaining customers, asking them which film they are hoping to see. In effect, become a “Human Information Point”. Give alternatives if films are sold out and inform them of the “real start time” reassuring them if they’ve only missed an advert. - Dean Mowbray, Newcastle

2 4 6 8 10

Give out sweets/popcorn/taste testers of Ben & Jerry’s depending on the queue. If its something we sell, when they get to the till they’ll want to buy some more of it!

When serving in retail, give the customers behind some reassuring acknowledgement, just to let them know that you are attempting to get to them as fast as possible.

In both concessions and box office queues ensure that all leaflet holders and magazine racks are full, so that if the customer wishes, he or she may take one to pass the time.

Keep customers informed. If there is a queue forming outside the screen, make a quick, friendly announcement to let the customers know what is taking so long, and that they will be seated as soon as possible.

An obvious one, but open all available tills. If you see a queue forming, make sure that all available cashiers are manning their tills and paying attention to customers.

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3 5 7 9

Always apologise for the wait once the customer reaches the till, this way at least they feel like you understand that they have been waiting.

Ask customers if anyone is just after film tickets and can pay on their card. Take the relevant customers to the ATMs, helping them with their transactions if they have never used them before.

Give out copies of Escape magazines to those customers who don’t appear to have one. Talk generally about films, have trailers playing in the foyer and provide a distraction.

Keep smiling! No matter how busy or stressed you feel, customers will appreciate your happy mood and your chatting to them when they reach the front of the queue.

In our spring edition, we will focus on ‘How to Suggestively Sell Our Products’. For a chance to win 250 E pounds for the number 1 idea, send us an email with the title “Top Ten Tips” to editorpulse@empirecinemas.co.uk by end February 2011.


10

minutes with DEREK COWNTY

he films we show at Empire Cinemas aren’t just kindly delivered to our doorstep for our customers’ enjoyment. Careful negotiations and scheduling are involved to make sure the right movies are shown at the right time. It is the job of Derek Cownty and his team to ensure that Empire is at the forefront of the film industry dealing with the film distributors and scheduling upcoming movies months in advance. We grabbed a chat with Derek who gave us a detailed insight into the process of bringing a film from its producers to our screens and creating a schedule to suit our customers’ needs. As Empire’s Director of Film Booking, what does your job involve? Films are made by the producers and filmmakers. We at the cinema get told about them through a film distributor. There are six major film studios in the country (Warner Bros, Sony, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Universal and Disney) and they probably control about 75% of the movies released. As a film booker, we deal with the sales departments of these companies who decide when the films are going to come out to the cinemas. It’s a very small industry and when we go to screenings, we see people from the opposition. We view the film and then decide if we’d like to take that film and then make the distributor an offer to play it. So you’re in charge of all the scheduling for the whole of Empire Cinemas? We give the weekly film line up to the General Manager who will come up with a proposed timing schedule. We then agree the timing schedule together as we have to meet the contractual obligations that are agreed

with the film distributor. There is a science in the way we write it, to provide the right customer experience, especially in these days of competition. This all ties into what Empire is doing with the Big E programme. Our part of this is to provide the best movies available, at times when the public want to see them. They then get a good experience if they come in and the queues aren’t too long.

PHOTOGRAPH © Susa Dickerson

T

PULSE FACES OF EMPIRE

When negotiating with distributors, how much do films usually cost and do you have a budget to work with? Yes I do have a budget. The distributor has to strike a separate deal with each company over each movie. It’s very much linked to box office, the higher the net take the higher the percentage we usually pay. We have to pay a minimum of 25% of the net box office to the distributor which is a UK contractual agreement. We pay a higher rate for some of the blockbusters on their opening weeks, which reduces as the weeks go on. How did you get involved in the film and cinema industry? My uncle worked for 20th Century Fox and when I was at school, it sounded very interesting. I left school at 17 and went straight into an interview with Odeon Cinemas, where I started booking kids clubs stuff. After a couple of years, I then progressed onto booking cinemas. I worked

for Odeon for 17 years, followed by six years with UCI, 10 years with Warner village (before it became Vue), then I did a year of consultancy and ended up here five years ago. I joined the Empire when it was about a month old, so I’ve now been in this business for 38 years I’m afraid. In your opinion, what is the next step for cinema? I think the next challenge for the industry is how film and cinema awareness is spread. This will increasingly develop through social media channels. Digital is already here, so I don’t think there’ll be any fundamental technical change in the next few years. This has enabled us to offer a broader range of film and alternative content events in a better quality, but you have to stay up to date with technology otherwise you get left behind.

INTERESTING FACTS Derek prefered movies from the days of Clint Eastwood. His favourite is a toss up between Dirty Harry and Magnum Force. Derek’s favourite films last year were Robin Hood and Toy Story 3. Derek’s earliest memory of the cinema is the showing of Bambi. Salted is Derek’s favourite popcorn flavour.

A special thank you to Derek Cownty for sparing the time to talk to PULSE Magazine.

WINTER 2010/11 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 11


14

Contentsreviews

10/11

BRIGHTON ROCK

SANCTUM

16 18

PAUL

KING’S SPEECH

20 22

GNOMEO AND JULIET

TRUE GRIT

23 24

127 HOURS THE LITTLE BLACK BOX

25

MINI REVIEWS

26-27

LOOKING FORWAD

Look to me for fantastic facts on this season’s releases

THE LITTLE BLUE BOX Look to me for film knowledge and Main Customer Matches. (Some Little Blue Boxes may not include all possible matches).

NOT ALL FILMS LISTED WILL BE SHOWN AT ALL EMPIRE CINEMAS

WINTER 2010/11 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 13


Sam Riley burning the roads of Brighton

GANGS OF BRIGHTON No, this isn’t a music history lesson.

BRIGHTON ROCK

G

February 2011 raham Greene’s classic novel about sexual anxiety, religious confusion and the odd bit of violence is about to get another stab at cinematic glory. Way back in 1947, Richard Attenborough, in one of his first roles, turned in an iconic performance as Pinkie Brown, a small time hoodlum with some serious demons and a bit of a death wish. Here we are, some 60 plus years later, and it could be about to happen again. 30 year-old Sam Riley is undertaking only his fourth feature film role, after blowing away audiences and critics with his blisteringly powerful turn as Ian Curtis in Control. In Control he was rocking his way around

Macclesfield as a tragically doomed rock star. Now he’s set his eyes on the bleak shores of Brighton. Riley’s understated skill as an actor is paramount to the success of this character, and in effect, the entire film. As a character, Pinkie is a smouldering well of anger that is bubbling just beneath the surface. Riley perfectly portrays the violent and desperate emotions from behind his knowing eyes. Rowan Joffe wrote and directed the picture. It isn’t surprising then that Riley was cast in the lead, as Joffe’s previous writing partner was none other than Control’s director Anton Corbijn. This is Joffe’s directorial debut. Where he may lack a bit of experience, he has expert hands to fall back on in the shape of Paul Webster, who produced brilliant films including Atonement and Eastern Promises. Whereas the book and subsequent film

14 | PULSE MAGAZINE | WINTER 2010/11

are set in the 1930s, this version brings the proceedings to 1964. For those old enough to remember, this was a time filled with the feud between mods and rockers. Riley’s Pinkie belongs to the former, riding his way through Brighton on those famous scooters. The story involves grudges between rival gangs and unlike previous gangland efforts, this will not involve fights with bats and guns. The weapon of choice here is a flick knife, and Pinkie learns early on the dangers of such a weapon, earning himself a large slash across the cheek. Perhaps, as today’s audiences are more akin to graphic violence than they were back in the 1940s, this version intends on upping the ante in the way of onscreen brawls. In a recent interview with Empire magazine, Sam Riley said: “There’s more of Greene’s violence, more religious confusion, and the sexual anxiety is more


PULSE FILMS IN FOCUS

FANTASTIC FACTS prominent in our Pinkie.” He may not be able to directly connect with his character’s motivations for murdering people, but that didn’t stop him from developing a kinship with the character: “You’ve always got to root for your characters even if they feel like bastards.” Undoubtedly the addition of more violence is not everybody’s cup of tea. But then again, you have to respect the filmmakers for wanting to take the project in a different direction to the original. So, this is unlikely to be another remake that is simply a shot for shot comparison of the original. Coming in on the romance side is Riley’s love interest, Rose, played by Andrea Riseborough, a relatively unknown but highly talented young actress. She recently starred in Made in Dagenham and another of this issue’s offerings, Never Let Me Go. Beefing up the cast are some iconic British superstars. Helen Mirren is playing

Ida, Rose’s boss and unofficial protector. She will be trying her best to make sure Rose stays safe in the midst of all the gangland violence. Fresh from playing Olivander in the latest Harry Potter instalment, the chestburstingly entertaining John Hurt will also be making his presence felt as Phil Corkery, an acquaintance of Ida’s with gangster connections. Lord of the Rings’ Gollum himself, Andy Serkis, is yet another great British actor ready to add another live action notch to his already superimpressive CV. Brighton Rock may not be the most conventional film to see whilst on a date, but there is enough romance and violence to satisfy both parties. Dan and Sarah are a dead cert for this film. You can even count on Billy and his mates to come along for the ride. Can this version possibly top the dizzying heights set by the undoubtedly classic 1947 version? With the delectable talent involved, I would put my money on yes.

There’s more violence, more religious confusion, and the sexual anxiety is more prominent.

Mirren has played a Queen a total of six times: The Queen (2006), Elizabeth I (2005), The Prince of Egypt (1998), The Snow Queen (1995), The Madness of King George (1994), and Caligula, My Son (1979).

KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Crime / Drama / Thriller Director: Rowan Joffe Starring: Sam Riley, John Hurt, Helen Mirren, Andy Serkis Movie Recommendations: Never Let Me Go The Woman in Black

MAIN CUSTOMER MATCH

Dan & Sarah

Billy

Left: Sam Riley with co-star Andrea Riseborough; Right: Sam in a bad mood.

WINTER 2010/11 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 15


Fear reaches new depths Cave diving in unexplored territory. What could possibly go wrong? SANCTUM

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February 2011 s if writing, producing and directing Avatar wasn’t enough to contend with, Hollywood mogul James Cameron was also overseeing cave-diving adventure thriller Sanctum in his spare time. Who knew there were even enough hours in the day. It’s not entirely surprising that this project would have attracted Cameron’s attention. Literally half of his movies have been based at sea or incorporated seriously wet locations. He also spends a large amount of his time between movies, making documentaries about the ocean and the mysteries of the deep. This 3D spectacular comes to us largely from our friends down under. Director Alister Grierson and writers John Garvin and Andrew Wight all hail from the Land of Oz. This is only Grierson’s second featurelength directorial gig. He has made some pretty impressive shorts that, if you can find, are well worth checking out. The screenwriters don’t have a great deal of credits that many of us will know about, but they do all have a very strong background in documentaries (including Cameron’s ocean documentaries). Don’t in any way let this put you off, because this is precisely what should intrigue you about this movie. Sanctum takes place in an uncharted cave system in Australia, where research scientists attempt to reveal the secrets of the last unexplored place on the planet. Tagging along here is an adrenaline junkie looking for fame and fortune, played by rising star Ioan

Gruffudd of Fantastic Four fame. Naturally, their expedition doesn’t go entirely to plan and the crew find themselves in a race against time to escape from a totally unexplored, cavernous tomb. If you were sat there thinking this is all a little goofy and far-fetched, you would be dead wrong. Believe it or not, a similar set of circumstances actually occurred to writer Andrew Wight only a few years ago. He and his team witnessed a year’s worth of rainfall within 20 minutes. This caused the cave they were exploring to collapse in on itself. Miraculously nobody was hurt, but it took them two days to dig their way out. It’s highly likely that it was this experience that acted as his inspiration when writing the film. You can trust that many of the situations the team find themselves in, have all occurred to these guys in real life. The boys higher up clearly want this to feel as natural and un-staged as possible. This is why I say that the writers’ having a background in documentaries is intriguing. Not only the writers for that matter, but the Production Company, cameramen and cinematographers as well. All aspects of the crew resonate from underwater documentaries. This should make for some of the most fascinating and beautiful visual storytelling we’re likely to see all year. The team are of course, making this (like every other film coming out next year) into a 3D spectacular. Fear not though, as it is being shot in 3D and not being rendered afterwards like some less successful efforts. Casting wise, there aren’t many superstars aboard. Heading up the roster is Richard Roxburgh, who was most famously seen kicking seven bails out of Tom Cruise in

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M:I-2. Most of the actors are Australian, and haven’t as yet, broken into global stardom. Naturally, there’s one or two of the Home and Away and Neighbours alumni dotted amongst them. There really is something for everyone to be found here. There is action and peril aplenty, and the nature of the father-son subplot adds a great human element to the story. It may not however attract the older viewer, so don’t be surprised if Bob and Beryl aren’t amongst the crowd. The plot may not seem wholly original, but given the style they have used to capture the film, this should make for a visually stunning piece of escapism. And the fact that Cameron has put his name to it goes to show a certain degree of confidence from one of Hollywood’s biggest perfectionists. And that most definitely counts for something.

KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Action / Adventure Director: Alister Grierson Starring: Rhys Wakefield, Allison Cratchley, Christopher Baker Movie Recommendations: Super 8 127 Hours MAIN CUSTOMER MATCH

Jane & Friends

Billy

Dan & Sarah


PULSE FILMS IN FOCUS Diving into the unknown depths of the least explored places on earth.

FANTASTIC FACTS James Cameron has made 4 films involving water: The Abyss (1989), Titanic (1997), Expedition: Bismarck (2002) (TV), and Ghosts of the Abyss (2003). Cameron was the first director to film both a $100 million Terminator 2: Judgement Day and a $200 million Titanic movie. Ioan Gruffudd played Officer Lowe in Titanic.

WINTER 2010/11 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 17


Spotted by federal agents while on the run.

The Alien, the Geek and the UFO Frost and Pegg are taking their bro-mance on the road

PAUL

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February 2011 he year is 1999, the millennium is upon us, as is a new comedy series that will ultimately lead to one of the biggest British comedy duos since Morecambe and Wise, or Del Boy and Rodney, whichever you prefer. Spaced gave birth to the Pegg-Frost pairing that brought us the mind-boggling brilliance that are Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. After a short-term separation for individual projects, Britain’s favourite sons are reuniting for a brand new comedy adventure. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are back with buddy road-trip movie Paul. While fellow collaborator Edgar Wright is not present for their latest escapade, they have found a fitting replacement in

director Greg Mottola. Mottola was responsible for the best comedy of 2007, Superbad. Not to mention, the brilliant yet under-appreciated dramedy that was Adventureland. As with most buddy movies, there will be the inevitable third act jump from hilarious to heartfelt; Mottola’s previous efforts show that he’ll be able to pull it off to perfection. He’s demonstrated how he can blend genuinely touching moments with genius comedy. For proof, just watch either of the afore-mentioned movies. Here, Pegg and Frost are playing a pair of best bud, comic-book geeks who are travelling cross-country to the San Diego Comic-Con. Along the way they decide to hit up all USA’s famous extra-terrestrial hotspots. Whilst stopping off at Area 51, they come across a little grey Extra Terrestrial who goes by the name of Paul. Paul is being played by comedy go-to-guy of the moment,

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Seth Rogen. If you would like a visual aid, simply imagine little old E.T being stoned and swearing more. Just Ace! As you would expect, this most bizarre of events takes the guys off their route plan. Chaos ensues in the form of government agents, gay marriage adoption gags, and to quote Pegg himself: “a crazy creationist and his one-eyed daughter.” In filling these spots, the comedy titans have gathered a host of comedic talent so awesome you’ll find yourself salivating all over your shoes. Picture this: Jason Bateman as FBI special agent Lorenzo Zoil, a man obsessed with bringing Paul to the government without being discovered by the major public. Jane Lynch is taking a break from playing Glee’s machiavelic Sue Sylvester to join the antics. With Saturday Night Live veteran Kristen Wiig, they are


PULSE FILMS IN FOCUS

FANTASTIC FACTS

KNOW YOUR STUFF

Seth Rogen enlisted the help of Andy Serkis to figure out how to work the mo-cap suit.

Genre: Comedy / Sci-Fi Director: Greg Mottola Starring: Seth Rogen, Simon Pegg, Kristen Wiig, Nick Frost Movie Recommendations: The Green Hornet Cowboys & Aliens

Simon was part of the same comedy troupe as David Walliams, Matt Lucas and Dominik Diamond. Simon was offered a role in Dog Soldiers (2002), but turned it down at Edgar Wright’s request, as Wright wanted Shaun of the Dead (2004) to be Pegg’s first role in a horror movie.

MAIN CUSTOMER MATCH

JJ

Billy

The Palmer Family

Seth Rogen and Simon Pegg.

both aboard to ramp up their respective CVs with more scene stealing characters. If that’s not enough for you, why not add Sigourney Weaver, Bill Hader, Gwyneth Paltrow’s mum, Blythe Danner and Anchorman’s David Koechner: WHAMMY! As with Shaun and Fuzz, Pegg and Frost took the liberty of writing the screenplay. That was probably for the best, considering what they achieved co-writing their last two collaborations. The pair revealed an amusing little story in a recent interview. They claimed that the whole premise for the movie was created by them whilst filming Shaun of the Dead. They just wanted to film somewhere it didn’t rain constantly. Ironically, during the shoot for Paul, it actually rained more than it did in England. How they must have laughed. If Shaun of the Dead was an homage to the classic Romero-style Zombie movies and

Hot Fuzz was a spin on the classic buddy cop movies à la Bad Boys or Lethal Weapon, consider Paul a respectful send-up of every Alien and Independence Day style movie you can think of. You can expect all of the ludicrous plot twists and themes of ‘we are all aliens in America’ as you would find in a classic sci-fi epic. But with these boys in control, it’ll be one hell of a good time. Can you honestly say they’ve made anything bad together yet? Even if you aren’t the biggest fans of their previous work, there is no denying the twinkle they carry for the art they are parodying. They possess a rare skill in making you realise where all of their character stereotypes, stories and plot developments are being ripped from.

But they do it in such a respectful way that you simply don’t care. All it makes you want to do after is revisit the classics that were their inspiration. I don’t believe you can pigeonhole these guys with any particular fan base. Their style is so broad and accessible, it is loved by too many to keep track of. Expect to see JJ, Billy, Dan & Sarah and Jane & her mates in attendance for this.

WINTER 2010/11 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 19


Colin Firth taking a stand.

A ROYAL AFFAIR Do you think this will make Christmas Day more interesting?

THE KING’S SPEECH

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January 2011 he King’s Speech has certainly been garnering itself plenty of positive buzz over the past few months. It’s certain to be high on the list when awards season comes round early in the year. Colin Firth is making his second attempt at a best actor nomination in as many years. Forget him playing Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’ Diary. After last year’s A Single Man saw him rise to the upper echelons of movie stardom, he is now heading back to his roots for an English period piece. Fellow Awards veterans Geoffrey Rush and Mrs Tim Burton herself, Helena Bonham Carter, are amongst the lead cast. Carter is adding another odd piece of casting, as

Queen Elizabeth, to her already considerably varied resume. Of all the current female stars in Hollywood, she is without question one of the most talented, having almost as diverse a character list as Johnny Depp. Who could forget her unforgettable turn as Marla Singer in the cult classic Fight Club, or her deranged portrayal of one of the Potter universe’s most evil characters, Bellatrix Lestrange. Rush is no stranger to playing fantastic characters either. As Captain Barbosa in Pirates of the Caribbean, he succeeded in stealing every single scene he was in. And let

The King giving his speech.

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us not forget his jaw- dropping depiction of pianist David Helfgott in Shine, for which he earned many a best actor award. King’s Speech sees Firth playing King George VI, a monarch who suffered from a terrible stammer. After all of the top professionals have failed to aid George, Her Royal Highness enlists the assistance of speech therapist Lionel Logue. Naturally Logue’s methods are highly unorthodox and not overly approved by the majority of his profession. Could he be the only one to help George, not just with his speech, but also with his life? This is movie-land, so anything is possible. Director Tom Hooper is a veteran of British television, and whilst he may not have a huge amount of experience with feature films, one of his rare entries was the greatly enjoyable The Damned United. Forget Mike Bassett: England Manager,


PULSE FILMS IN FOCUS Firth with co-star Helena Bonham Carter.

FANTASTIC FACTS Geoffrey Rush became the 19th actor to win the triple crown of acting: in 2009, he won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play (Exit the King) to go with his Oscar for Shine (1997) and his Emmy for Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004). Carter based her performance of Marla Singer in Fight Club (1999) on Judy Garland in the later stages of her life. To help her get into the mindset, director David Fincher would often call her Judy on set.

Firth and Carter.

KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Drama Director: Tom Hooper Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter Movie Recommendations: War Horse True Grit

Geoffrey Rush.

MAIN CUSTOMER MATCH

Dan & Sarah

Hooper’s direction of master impersonator Michael Sheen helped United be one of the best movies ever made about football. Also, the fact that he is so well versed in the art of British television allows him to keep an effectively English feel to the proceedings. He stops the whole thing feeling too ‘Americanised’ like so many other movies. As fascinating and excellent a story as this may be, it would be foolish to expect JJ and his mates queuing round the block for this one. However, on the basis of nostalgia, look out for Bob and Beryl to be pre-booking their tickets. It also wouldn’t be a far cry to see Dan in line as well. Screenwriter David Seidler, like Hooper, has spent the majority of his career scripting TV projects. When it comes to full length features, he is mostly known for his writing of animated affairs. Namely The Magic Sword: The Quest for Camelot and The King

and I. He certainly knows his way around a period piece. To further whet your appetite, in the acting stakes are Guy Pearce and Michael Gambon filling the supporting slots as King Edward VIII and King George V respectively. Pearce had a brief cameo in the post-apocalyptic drama The Road last year. However, he is most famous for his turn as police officer Ed Exley in L.A Confidential. He’ll also be trying his hand at horror in Guillermo Del Toro’s Don’t Be Afraid of

Beryl

Jane & Friends

the Dark alongside Katie Holmes next year. We all remember Michael Gambon as the unforgettable Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series. His gripping portrayal of Dumbledore is sorely missing in The Deathly Hallows Part 1. Another classic thespian billed is Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill, a terrific yet underrated actor who has unjustly never broken into full-on movie stardom. He has made a career out of electrifying supporting roles. Some of his most notable were in The Last Samurai, Rock Star, Vanilla Sky and yet another veteran of Harry Potter as Peter Pettigrew. It seems that when casting an elite British film, you need to look no further than the Harry Potter franchise for your team. The King’s Speech will be arriving early next year, so be sure to keep an ear to the ground for this unmissable drama.

Firth is King George VI.

WINTER 2010/11 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 21


“Did my heart love ‘til now? Forswear its sight. For I never saw true beauty ‘til this night.” Romeo, Shakespeare

“Oh Gnomeo... Shakespeare’s world-reknowned love story takes centre stage on a lawn near you... GNOMEO AND JULIET

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February 2011 magine if you will, a Toy Story setting, everyday objects, lifeless in the presence of their human owners, but at night come to life and live full, adventurous lives. This is a story of garden gnomes locked in an eternal battle over their owners’ lands. Not so much Capulets and Montagues as red gnomes and blue gnomes. This being an animated movie aimed primarily at children, obviously the first people to expect would be the Palmer family. But let’s not forget, animated films of the past few years are known to attract massive audiences, and given the source material is from one of the most famous plays ever written, this could be a blockbuster of epic proportions. Anyone could be in line here. Bringing one of the world’s most famous tales into a modern world has required the help of a team of highly esteemed writers, between them, they have penned such hits as Chicken Run, Madagascar, Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the WereRabbit, and, Mike Bassett: England Manager.

Directing this opus was Kelly Asbury. He’s the man who brought Shrek 2 to the big screen. He also headed up Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. If that wasn’t enough, he also worked on the creative departments for Beauty and the Beast, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Kung Fu Panda. As with the majority of animated films, there is a widely varied voice cast attached to the project. But this little gem could actually take the crown for the most bizarre and titillating mixture of talents ever assembled. James McAvoy from Atonement and Emily Blunt from The Devil Wears Prada stake on the roles of Gnomeo & Juliet respectively. That seems fairly standard. But wait for it, as Gnomeo’s nemesis, Tybalt, is Cranks’ Jason Statham. Also joining the cast, are Michael Caine, Julie Walters, Maggie Smith, Patrick Stewart, Stephen Merchant, Matt Lucas, Ozzy Osbourne, Hulk Hogan, Dolly Parton, and in the greatest piece of casting for years, Victor Meldrew himself, Richard Wilson, as Lord Capulet. Boom! With such a great cast, the kids will be eager to see this one, so advise your customers to book their seats early.

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FANTASTIC FACTS Kate Winslet was at one point going to star as Juliet, but she was replaced by Emily Blunt. Ironically, at the 2002 Chichester Festival, Emily earned rave reviews playing Juliet in a production of Romeo and Juliet.

KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Animation / Family Director: Kelly Asbury Starring: James Mcavoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Julie Walters Movie Recommendations: Tangled Cars 2 MAIN CUSTOMER MATCH

The Palmer Family

Jane & Friends


Yeeha cowboy!

PULSE FILMS IN FOCUS

Brokeback Murder The Dude is walking in the footsteps of The Duke. FANTASTIC FACTS Matt won an Oscar for “Best Original Screenplay” with his best friend Ben Affleck for their movie Good Will Hunting. That same year he was nominated for “Best Actor in a Leading Role” for the movie.

KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Western / Drama Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen Starring: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld Movie Recommendations: Hereafter War Horse Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy MAIN CUSTOMER MATCH

Dan & Sarah

Billy

TRUE GRIT

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January 2011 hose pesky Coen brothers are returning to the west for their latest directorial effort. After the almighty Oscar winning success that was No Country For Old Men, the boys have clearly realised that they can really tell great stories in this setting. Now it is time for them to show us what they can do with ‘The Old West’, with new thriller True Grit. Grit is a remake of the 1969 John Wayne classic of the same name. Based on the novel by Charles Portis, the story follows a young girl (played by newcomer Hailee Steinfeld) who enlists the help of a grizzled U.S Marshall (Jeff Bridges) to hunt down and kill the man (Josh Brolin) who murdered her father. Also along for the ride will be a Texas Ranger (Matt Damon) who has experience dealing with the murderer. The brothers have taken control of the screenplay, as is their usual method. And since they haven’t made a bad movie in nearly 20 years, they can adhere to the old ‘If

it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ rule. Given the Coens’ track record for crossgenerational appeal, it would be foolish to discount anyone from being attracted to this film. Of course due to the age restriction, JJ is a no go, but if predictions are correct then expect to see all manners of customers hopping aboard the bandwagon. The overall talent involved with this film is nothing short of incredible. All you need to do is watch the trailer to see displayed: ‘Academy Award winning directors – The Coen Brothers’, ‘Academy Award winner – Jeff Bridges’, ‘Academy Award winner – Matt Damon’, ‘Academy Award nominee – Josh Brolin’. If your mouth isn’t watering at this prospect, you should take a look through these guys’ back catalogue, then keep the hospital on speed dial for fear of your head exploding through excitement. Hailee Steinfeld is also gathering herself an enormity of positive buzz for her performance as the vengeful youngster. Of course, this level of talent on board a project hasn’t always turned into incredible results, but rest assured this one will not disappoint.

Jane & Friends

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James Franco looking hot on a rock!

NO REST FOR THE

WICKED

Canyoneering cost Franco an arm but saved him a leg. 127 HOURS

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January 2011 ollowing hot on the heels of claustrophobic thriller, Buried, is Oscar winning director Danny Boyle’s latest movie, 127 Hours. The movie tells the true-life story of mountain climber, Aron Ralston, who gets trapped in a canyon by a boulder and has to resort to extreme measures to survive. Ralston is being played by Golden Globe winning actor James Franco. He may not yet be a household name, but Franco has been garnering a name for himself in Hollywood for some years now, earning critical and commercial acclaim. After failing to get the lead, he was cast as Harry Osborne in Sam Raimi’s monumentally successful Spiderman series. Since then you may have seen him in the likes of Pineapple Express and Milk. Even though this is a claustrophobic movie, 127 hours isn’t sticking to the immeasurably strict rules set down by Buried. This is going to take you away from the canyon to explore more of the story in flashbacks. An interesting twist, as you won’t

see Franco in any of these scenes. This is done intentionally, so that you never see him away from the canyon, keeping the idea in your head that he is always stuck there and in constant peril. It’s a very clever little premise, one that is unfortunately under-used in this kind of set up. As usual, Boyle took it upon himself to provide the screenplay. He wrote alongside Slumdog collaborator Simon Beaufoy to adapt the real Aron Ralston’s novel. The movie is being distributed by 20th Century Fox’s sister company Fox Searchlight, which is known to be Fox’s vehicle for their more indie projects. And if, by chance you haven’t already stumbled across spoilers for the gut-wrenching climax, I’m not going to spoil it for you. I will however tell you that this may not be one for the squeamish. On that note, Jane and her mates may not be top of the list of people to expect. Don’t count them out entirely though, for this is a very emotional story that could attract those with a slightly stronger stomach. Most likely this is more one for Billy and his mates. So, keep this one firmly on your radar as it promises to be one hell of a ride.

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FANTASTIC FACTS James Franco hid his textbooks in the crevices in the “canyon” set, to help keep his mind off the claustrophobia factor of the teeny tiny set, which he would be in for hours.

KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Adventure / Drama Director: Danny Boyle Starring: James Franco, Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn Movie Recommendations: The Next 3 Days Sanctum CUSTOMER MATCH

Billy and Mates


PULSE FILMS IN FOCUS

THE NEXT 3 DAYS Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks take the lead in Oscar winning writer/director of Crash, Paul Haggis’ thriller. Crowe plays a man whose life is thrown into turmoil when his wife, Banks, is convicted of a murder she didn’t commit. In order to break her out of prison he enlists the help of escape artist, played by Liam Neeson. Also starring is Olivia Wilde, recently seen steaming up the world of Tron.

TANGLED Disney’s 50th animated feature, Tangled, is a reboot of the popular Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Rapunzel. On directing duties are Nathan Greno and Byron Howard. This will be Greno’s first foray into feature films but he is responsible for a couple of Disney’s famous short animations. Howard’s only previous feature film directorial effort is 2008’s Bolt. Mandy Moore is playing the incarcerated Princess, with Chuck’s Zachary Levi starring as the handsome Prince destined to release her from her prison.

THE GREEN HORNET Seth Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg have taken it upon themselves to remake Bruce Lee’s classic 50s TV show. Heir to a multi-million dollar empire, Britt Reid, played by Rogen, and his father’s assistant Kato, (Jay Chou) figure that they’re wasting their potential and become superheroes. Basically like Batman, just not as dark. You’ll also find Cameron Diaz smiling her way through the movie as Rogen’s love interest. As the movie’s ‘Big Bad’ you have Christoph Waltz. He was the amazingly evil, Jew hunting Nazi in Inglorious Basterds.

NEVER LET ME GO Newly appointed Spiderman, Andrew Garfield is partnering up with Keira Knightley and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps leading lady, Carey Mulligan for this British drama. Based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, the film is adapted for the screen by Alex Garland, writer of 28 Days Later and Sunshine. The film tells the story of its three leads’ love for one another and their time at a seemingly idyllic prep school with a dark secret.

HEREAFTER Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon’s second collaboration in as many years is taking a decidedly different direction than 2009’s Invictus. This is a drama about life after death. Damon is playing a psychic who can genuinely contact the dead, a talent that he considers a curse. Also starring is M. Night Shyamalan favourite and star of The Village, Bryce Dallas Howard. Frost/Nixon and The Queen writer Peter Morgan is the writer behind Eastwood’s latest stab at Academy glory.

THE DILEMMA Vince Vaughn and Kevin James are pairing up for a new comedy about a guy who finds out his best friend’s wife (Winona Ryder) is cheating on him. The dilemma in the title is whether or not he should spill to his best bud. Oscar winning director and former member of the Happy Days gang, Ron Howard, is helming the project. He may have had a career of ups and downs, but when he’s up (Cinderella Man, Frost/Nixon and Splash) he’s one of the best in the business.

WINTER 2010/11 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 25


LOOKING

FORWARD TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER SPY

COWBOYS AND ALIENS

Expected release – September 2011 Director – Tomas Alfredson Starring – Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Gary Oldman, Stephen Graham, Colin Firth

Expected release – August 2011 Director – Jon Favreau Starring – Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde

Say what you want about the BBC thinking that Strictly Come Dancing makes for good TV, but they do know their way around a cracking drama. If you haven’t yet seen Luthor, aired earlier this year, you have no idea what you’re missing. There is also another little cracker in their back catalogue. Tinker was originally aired in 1979. Set in the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6’s echelons. Watch out for the ridiculously cool Brit cast, they’ll make sure they don’t let the BBC down.

Jon Favreau is using his time between Iron Man movies wisely, adapting another comic book into a huge summer blockbuster. With enough stars to fill the fan boys’ quota for the year, Favreau is going all out to prove he can run with the big boys of summer time. This is a bizarre mix of classic Western and alien invasion. The story commences in Absolution, Arizona in 1873, with a stranger (Craig), who has no memory of his past. But, when Absolution is attacked by marauders from the sky, Craig’s slowly returning memory is the only link that might save the town.

In response to your feedback, the ‘COMING SOON’ page has been given a tweak. Welcome to ‘LOOKING FORWARD’, the section of PULSE that explores the movies we’re itching to get watching. Good films come to those who wait.

THE WOMEN IN BLACK Expected release – October 2011 Director – James Watkins Starring – Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer Daniel Radcliffe is taking another step away from Harry Potter. He’s taking he lead in Hammer Horror’s next big screen adaptation. Clearly wanting to repeat the success of Let Me In they’re bringing another classic to the screen. The plot sees a young lawyer travel to a remote village to organise a recently deceased client’s papers, where he discovers the ghost of a scorned woman set on vengeance.

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THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 1 Expected release – November 2011 Director – Bill Condon Starring – Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Dakota Fanning Do I really need to explain anything about this movie? Undoubtedly, 90% of female teenagers already have this release date circled with a giant heart on their calendars. For those of you who are less acquainted with the novels, this instalment sees Bella and Edward get married and during the honeymoon, Bella Swan discover she is pregnant. The Quileute and the Volturi close in on expecting parents Edward and Bella, whose unborn child poses different threats to the wolf pack and vampire coven. This pregnancy brings much danger to the Cullen family.


PULSE FILMS IN FOCUS

SUPER 8 Expected release – Summer 2011 Director – JJ Abrams Starring – Elle Fanning, Amanda Michalka, Kyle Chandler

ARTHUR CHRISTMAS

As per usual, Abrams is keeping all the plot details under strict lock and key. All we know is that it’s a new creature movie about an alien from Area 51. The trailer starts with: “In 1979, the Air force closed a section of Area 51. All materials were to be transported to a secure facility in Ohio.” It shows a cargo train crashing and something trying to get out. But you’ll probably have to wait till the movie to see what that ‘something’ is.

THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN Expected release – October 2011 Director – Steven Spielberg Starring – Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Nick Frost, Mackenzie Crook, Cary Elwes, Simon Pegg

Expected release – November 2011 Director – Barry Cook, Sarah Smith Starring – James McAvoy, Bill Nighy, Hugh Laurie Arthur Christmas is trying to unveil the truth about the question that burns in the mind of each and every child: “Just how does Santa deliver presents to all the children in the world in one night?” The answer, well you’ll just have to wait and see. But I can tell you that it involves some über hi-tech gadgetry at the North Pole. So it can really be a Christmas movie, there’s also a comically dysfunctional family thrown into the mix. Will they learn the error of their ways before Christmas comes?

Steven Spielberg is making another attempt at proving that he is the world’s most versatile director. He’s adding a motion capture literary epic to his already remarkable list of achievements. Tintin and his friends discover directions to a sunken ship commanded by Capt. Haddock’s ancestor and go off on a treasure hunt.

CARS 2 Expected release – July 2011 Director – Brad Lewis and John Lasseter Starring – Owen Wilson, Tony Shalhoub, Larry The Cable Guy Critics may not have been as welcoming to Cars as they were to the rest of Pixar’s offerings, but audiences sure were. With nearly $300 million in box office receipts, it’s surprising that it has taken them this long to turn the movie into a franchise. In this sequel, racing star Lightning McQueen teams up with his best friend Mater for an international adventure as they go up against the world’s fastest cars.

NOT ALL FILMS LISTED WILL BE SHOWN AT ALL EMPIRE CINEMAS

WAR HORSE Expected release – September 2011 Director – Steven Spielberg Starring – Tom Hiddleston, David Thewlis, Emily Watson, Peter Mullan And here is Steven Spielberg yet again. If a children’s detective tale didn’t float your boat, how about a wartime drama that follows a young man named Albert and his horse, Joey. The story will show how their bond is broken when Joey is sold to the cavalry and sent to the trenches of World War One. Despite being too young to enlist, Albert heads to France to save his friend. This is more likely to attract the Oscar buzz that Spielberg is akin to than Tintin. You would think he might even be getting bored of it all by now. But no, he just keeps the masterpieces coming year after year. Show off.

WINTER 2010/11 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 27


PULSE MARKETING

fancy

ipod? an

Got an idea? Need a platform to share it?

This winter, we are looking for the best ideas from the teams at Empire Cinemas.

Can you transform our marketing angle? Will your idea change how customers see you? Can you bring in a truck load of dosh to your cinema?

Prizes await any ideas that get implemented and the overall winner will recieve brand spanking new iPod! So get your thinking caps on and start approaching your managers with ideas.

28 | PULSE MAGAZINE | WINTER 2010/11

Then we want to hear about it!

In February 2011 Your General Manager will be attending the Dragons’ Den event and this could be your chance to get your voice heard.

A special thank you to our friends at Britvic for supplying the iPod as the Dragons’ Den competition prize.


Contentsin-house 30-32

CAPTURED ON FILM

33

BIG E WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

34-35

TEAM IN FOCUS SUTTON COLDFIELD

36-37

CUSTOMER FEEDBACK LETTERS

38

STAFF PROFILE DAVID REID

39

GUEST PAGE NEWCASTLE

10/11

30 33 38 39 WINTER 2010/11 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 29


Captured on film Empire teams around the country have been sending in photos from various events in their cinemas. We thought you might like a peak too, so have selected the best, featured here. We’ve even got one of our very own PULSE team attending the premiere of Due Date at The Empire, Leicester Square. If you would like to feature, please send in your photos. We know there are some good ones, as we’ve been checking out all the Empire groups on facebook.

Quite a few Empire teams organised a Halloween allnighter and sent in photos to share. Well done on some imaginative costumes and decorations. This page: Hemel Hempstead and Swindon teams.

Hemel Hempstead team having a gory time

30 | PULSE MAGAZINE | WINTER 2010/11

Craig and Nichola, Swindon, thirsty for some fresh blood


PULSE CAPTURED

Jigsaw brought his own snack

People of Sunderland love a good excuse to get bloodied up! With their inventive decorations and costumes, the Sunderland team concocted a great atmosphere that the customers enjoyed!

Sunderland team pull out all the stops

Louise Richardson plays dead

S M A E R SC

Customers settle in for the night

WINTER 2010/11 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 31


PULSE CAPTURED

Due Date Premiere PHOTOGRAPHS © Susa Dickerson

PULSE team - left to right Ali Kirkby, Daniel Poole, Susa Dickerson and Helen Archard

Due Date’s director, Todd Phillips with Robert Downey Jr.

The PULSE team were invited to the premiere of Due Date. We all enjoyed meeting Paul Baxter, Derek Cownty, Gary Lee and his wife, as well as other members of the Empire family. Thank you to Lisa Rowland for a great time.

Edith Bowman, presenting at the premiere of Due Date

Gary and Angela Lee at the premiere of Due Date

The Sunderland team auctioned off their giant Marmaduke standee, raising £200 for charity ‘Pawz for Thought’ and making one little girl very happy! The Sunderland Echo ran this article, left, on Tuesday 21st September.

32 | PULSE MAGAZINE | WINTER 2010/11


PULSE BIG E WINNER Louise Holyoak with Jayson Hobbs

Louise Holyoak, Ami Cooper, Xanthe Palmer and Yasmine Crowther Xanthe Palmer, Wam Miko and Emma Haynes

Thank you for all your excellent entries to the ‘Big E in Action’ competition. It was a tough choice, but we would like to congratulate the winners, Empire Hemel Hempstead. General Manager, Richard Conian, picked up the £500 prize on behalf of his team. Their film was chosen because not only was it brilliantly made, it was also entertaining and fun to watch and most importantly captured what the Big E is all about. It showed “Beryl” and “The Palmer Family” being treated fantastically by the staff, as well as some of our real customers being interviewed about their personal experiences at the cinema. Brilliant effort by the whole team!

Na Pynaert with Kayli Hanna Shaw

Ami Cooper, Charlotte Stealth Cat Head and Yasmine Crowther

Richard Conian recieving £500 from Lisa Rowland, Customer Experience Manager & Andy Bush, National Operations Manager

Sophie Elliott

WINTER 2010/11 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 33


Empire Sutton Coldfield is a Grade 2 listed building.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN COLDFIELD Our cinemas come in a variety of shapes and sizes so without having to move an inch, we’re taking Pulse readers to see the functioning of an intimate, local Empire Cinema, homed in a building drenched in heritage. This issue we’re at Empire Sutton Coldfield.

34 | PULSE MAGAZINE | WINTER 2010/11


PULSE IN-HOUSE

T

he next stop on our tour of Empire Cinemas has us travelling from the Geordies in Newcastle to the Brummies at Sutton Coldfield. Nestled on the outskirts of the town centre in Maney and a breath away from Birmingham itself, this is our next cinema in the spotlight. Although it’s one of our smaller locations with only four screens, ‘Screen 1’ can seat nearly 600 people. This intimate local cinema, which is nearly three quarters of a century old, caters for all our Big E characters and has a large following for their senior screen and junior films. So it seems we’ll see a lot of Beryl, JJ and the Palmer family of the midlands who would be much at home here and well catered for. The building that houses Empire Sutton Coldfield was first made into a spectacular Odeon cinema in 1936, but shockingly it only had one screen until about 1975. It was then revamped to hold four screens, the same setup as today, with the largest seating 537

INTERESTING FACTS Sutton Coldfield has a total of 13 team members including managers and projection staff. The total number of admissions last year was 108,067. The cinema was first opened in April 1936. Empire Sutton Coldfield is the only cinema in the town but it has hard rivals in nearby Birmingham. In the whole cinema, Empire Sutton Coldfield can seat 1,156 people and five wheelchairs.

people and the smallest an intimate 110. When Empire became a national cinema chain, Sutton Coldfield was one of the many cinemas it took over. Before this, there were rumours that the building as a cinema would be shut down, so the local people and regular customers, began a petition to save it. Working hand in hand with the local newspapers, they made quite an impression. The impact of this massive surge of people power encouraged English Heritage to get involved and, due to its age, the cinema building was made grade 2 listed. The surrounding area is host to a wide selection of fast food from around the globe and is in prime position to supply a whole evening of entertainment for a night out with family or friends. The Big E programme, which has been a great success so far, has given the staff here a lot to think about as well. Front of house staff member David Browne said: ‘I think the scheme is such a good idea’. His colleague

Samantha Harrison, also front of house staff said: ‘Everyone is putting more effort into the scheme to give our customers a visit to remember.’ They deal with the customers as part of their day-to day-routine so it affects them more than anyone as the first point of call for customers to the cinema. Due to its size, Sutton Coldfield is waiting in line to embrace the 3D cinema experience with films like Megamind 3D. This is the main priority for the future to enhance the variety of choice for its loyal customers. General Manager, Marion Kelly said: “We aim to make a name for ourselves within the company after we’ve had all the improvements done including 3D cinema in the near future.” One of our smaller, quirkier cinemas, Sutton Coldfield has no trouble satisfying its customer base and is set to be powered into the future, climbing the ladder of improvement, to enhance the new customer experience encased in its old walls.

MEET THE SOTTON COLDFIELD TEAM General Manager: Marion Kelly has worked in the cinema for 21 years and has climbed her way up the Empire career ladder from floor staff. Operations Assistant: Tristan Murtaugh is Marion’s right hand man and has worked in the cinema for three years. Within the first 12 months, he made a speedy ascent from floor staff to supervisor, to his present position. Supervisor: David Clarke has recently

been appointed as supervisor after two years as part of the Empire family. Retail Staff: Sam, Sarah and Emma are dedicated to providing excellent customer service at the front of house and are dedicated to enhancing the Empire experience. Posters/Leaflets: David Browne is referred to as ‘the poster king’ as well as being in charge of leaflets and other promotional devices.

FANCY HAVING YOUR TEAM FEATURED IN PULSE MAGAZINE? EMAIL US AT: editorpulse@empirecinemas.co.uk

WINTER 2010/11 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 35


K C A B D E E F R E M O CUST D R A O B E C NOTI Featured here are just a few of the customer letters and emails that we receive each quarter. Each employee concerned will receive 250 E-pounds. The employee who has made the biggest effort to ‘make it personal’ will receive a £50 Amazon voucher (or equivalent). The winner for the `Winter edition is Julia from Empire Poole. Well done! When Andrew Weekley mistakenly booked the wrong day for his family’s viewing of the new Harry Potter film at Empire Poole, he emailed in to see if he could amend his booking. Thankfully, staff at the cinema were sympathetic to his plight and re-arranged his tickets for a different date. This is the letter that Mr Weekley sent in reply. From Andrew Weekley 29 November 2010 Re: Goodwill Request - Cinema: Poole (Tower Park) Hello, This is just a quick line to thank you all very much for your help and understanding regarding the ticket mishap (on my part). You’ll be glad to here that we all had a great night and I can’t thank you enough for all your assistance. Once again many thanks for all your help it really is appreciated. Kind Regards Andy Weekley

is Roz says: “I love th er having example of a custom am a problem and our te lia’s turning it around. Ju s in her tone and helpfulnes ples replies are great exam e with of us taking the tim eds our a customer who ne big a help. Nothing is too lt this problem and as a resu took the happy customer even thank the time to write in and team.”

36 | PULSE MAGAZINE | WINTER 2010/11

From David Trippas 23 September 2010 Guest Feedback - Cinema: Sutton Coldfield What a pleasant time I had at your cinema today. The staff members were friendly and supportive and it made a nice change from your rivals. Well done. David Trippas


PULSE FEEDBACK from Maria Faraday 07 December 2010 Thank you - Empire Birmingham Hi there, On Saturday 4th December, I arranged to take my parents to see the new Harry Potter film, my dad phoned the booking line to ask what the difference was between the premier and luxury, he was told with the latter we would receive popcorn and a drink, but on arrival we were told there was no such deal...As I’m sure you can imagine, my parents and I were not impressed at all, so we complained and a lady called Shelley Dove or Shelly Done, a Manager, helped us. She investigated our claims immediately and compensated us accordingly. We are all very impressed with her helpfulness and would like to thank you and say well done on having such a brilliant member of staff.... Thanks again. Miss M Faraday and Mr and Mrs J Faraday

From Violet and David Tanner Thank you - Empire Bromley

clearly Roz says: “This was the to a disappointing start e at one customers experienc given of our cinemas, being at led to false information th let down the customers being en the before they’d even se film.

What it shows how ever, is that a customer’s mood really can get turned around. To take the time to write a letter saying how w ell the situation was handle d, shows a real life “Billy’s gr umpy pants” scenario in op eration!”

e Roz says: “One of th r cinema benefits of a smalle great is the ability to build r relationships with ou ley customers and Brom in this has clearly done so al instance. That person ed lp touch has clearly he l to keep customers loya only be a Empire and that can the good good thing. Keep up work!” WINTER 2010/11 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 37


10 PULSE STAFF PROFILE

minutes with DAVID REID

At Pulse we like to give Empire Cinemas’ staff members the opportunity to gain a little insight into the personal lives of their colleagues around the country. As we’ve found out, some staff members have some extraordinary hobbies, interests and lifestyles outside the walls of their home cinema. INTERESTING FACTS What’s your favourite film of 2010? Avatar. I love films that just take you into their world through amazing special effects, whilst also telling an epic story. It is definitely one of the decade’s most epic films. Who is your favourite Actor/Actress? Zooey Deschanel, particularly in one of my top ten films, 500 days of Summer. Popcorn, sweet or salted? Definitely salted, with lots of butter!

T

his issue, we delve into the world of David Reid, Supervisor at Empire High Wycombe, who is also the owner of some rather interesting pets: three male alpacas named Merlin, Buddy and Pepper. The 25-year-old first found his love for the llama family at a young age, on a family holiday in Southern France. “Cycling along the road, I suddenly had to brake and skidded on some gravel, which knocked me off my bike. The next thing I remember was staring up into the faces of a rather bemused-looking camel and llama, from a nearby travelling circus. I have loved llamas ever since.”

Lamas: Merlin, Buddy and Pepper

38 | PULSE MAGAZINE | WINTER 2010/11

Ten years down the line, after receiving an inheritance, David had the perfect opportunity to invest in his very own llamas, although he opted for their 2 ft smaller cousins, the much more manageable alpacas. As they can live of mainly grass, David keeps Merlin, buddy and Pepper in a rented field not far from his house. “They’ve become quite an attraction, many families walk along by the field just to see them and as they’re pretty friendly animals, they often wander up to see what’s going on.” Other than being David’s beloved pets, the alpacas’ shaggy fleece, once woven into wool, is also quite valuable and he’s currently got a large supply of the shaven coat stored away, until he has enough to take it to a mill to be processed and then sold. This wool can then be turned into jumpers and hats, perfect for the winter months ahead. Just like you would a dog, he and his friends even take the furry trio on walks around the local woods, for a change of scenery. “It’s quite funny taking them for walks in the woods because we get so many dog-walkers giving us very odd looks.” The Alpacas, who originate from South America, are used to rocky mountain ranges and David tells us: “they are very sociable animals, communicating with each other through humming or spitting.” He balances the maintenance of these beautiful animals with a busy and varied routine at his cinema. “One minute I’m rushing around trying to stop the water flowing from a broken pipe and the next I’m dealing with hundreds of people wanting to see Harry Potter, as well as being responsible for the staff’s health and safety.” “I would say we have one of the closest, hard working teams I’ve ever worked with, where we trust and get on with each other, both in and out of work.”


Newcastle

PULSE TEAM BLOG

M A E G

T LO B

r very own Empire team members. you by n tte wri ge pa first the to me lco We “Hello!” from your favourite cousins in the North East!

W

e feel privileged to be writing the first blog page of PULSE, so let’s hope we get it off to a good start. Speaking of privileges, we’d like to commence by once again congratulating our very own Gary Lee on becoming the first Silver E recipient. On behalf of everyone: “we are proud and honored to work with you!” And before we embarrass him further, we will move on!

fans, to keep them on their toes (and awake) our very own Jigsaw and a hauntingly creepy Albert Einstein popped up around screens now and again. After all, it’s the little things that get you through the night.

Empire Newcastle’s Halloween Gang

Big E in Action

With the deadline for the Big E films looming, we thought we could use this space Halloween all-nighter as a statement of intent. By the time this blog is published, all As some of you will know, working the films will have been submitted, Halloween all-nighter can be tedious to the with head office having gone say the least. Well, not at Newcastle! through the difficult task of To go that little bit further, all the staff choosing a winner. members who worked that night, entertained Filming went very well, with a great team in fancy dress costumes. Customers were met stepping up for the challenge. Dean Mowbray with the bizarre sights of Michael Jackson our Assistant General Manager came up with and Rocky on retail, while an American our original script that soon spiraled into all football player served up some frozen treats sorts of madness and chaos! on Ben & Jerry’s. With creative juices flowing and If that wasn’t enough for the hardy film everyone enthusiastic to put their mark on Dean Mowbray as Agent Smith from The Matrix the film, casting began immediately. We aimed to involve as many members of the team as possible. Without giving too much away about our film, all I can reveal is

that Rocky and ice cream do not mix, slow motion cameras make everything amazing and who’d have thought Dr Emmet Brown (from Back To The Future) would be the voice of reason! We would like to thank Empire for this opportunity, as it has been great fun. We look forward to more creative challenges like this in the future. We wish everyone the best of luck and may the best cinema win! Thanks for having us. We’ve been great!

Kris Mason & Andrew Spoors Empire Newcastle

If you would like to get involved, please email us at: editorpulse@empirecinemas.co.uk

In our spring edition, look out for the next TEAM BLOG from

Sunderland

WINTER 2010/11 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 39


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PULSE COMPETITION CORNER

Competition corner Congratulations to the winner of our Autumn 2010 edition crossword, Kerry Moores, from Empire Wigan, who wins a year’s supply of chocolate, kindy supplied by For this edition, we have prepared a little quiz for you to complete. Send your answers for the quiz, with your name and site, with the heading “Competition Corner” to editorpulse@empirecinemas.co.uk for another chance of winning a year’s supply of chocolate, courtesy of The winner will be the person with the most correct answers. In case of a draw, we will pull names from a hat. Answers for all quizzes will appear in our Spring 2011 edition.

Have you been reading carefully? I hope so, because below are 15 little head scratchers to test you during your lunch break. All the answers are hidden somewhere in this edition. Best of luck and don’t forget to send in your answers to editorpulse@empirecinemas.co.uk 1.

This Oscar-winning director could be confused for a Scottish dish? Who played Marshal Cogburn in the original True Grit? This actor sported a split personality and monkeyed around for Peter Jackson, name him. The breakout movie for a colourful superhero co-starring Katherine Heigl and Paul Rudd. Famous for biting the head of a Bat, nowadays he’s more comfortable playing in the garden. You could call her Marla, Bellatrix or even Mrs Burton. Danny Boyle’s shiny space movie. The painful name of an Alien actor, you can now find him on the coast. He used to be fantastic, but now he’s hiding out in caves in Australia. He may be afraid of the dark but he’s going all royal this year. Once upon a time he was a psychic X-man, now he’ll just have to settle for being a classic play write. Disney’s new movie has got Rapunzel’s hair all knotty. Ron Howard wishes his life could have been filled with these. Which director gave Hereafters Bryce Dallas Howard her big break? He may be on a trip through the desert but this witty Brit knows how to keep things chilly.

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Sudoku is one of our favorites, so we thought we’d give you a taste. Once you start, you can’t stop. Enjoy! Objective: Fill all the blank squares in the game with the correct numbers. In a 9 x 9 square Sudoku game: Every row of 9 numbers must include all digits 1 - 9 in any order. Every column of 9 numbers must include all digits 1 - 9 in any order. Every 3 x 3 subsection must include all digits 1 - 9.

Sudoku 9 x 9, no hints (easy) 5 1

SUdoku 2 3

7 9 6 8 5 1 9 9 3 9 2 1 3 7 5 9 4 6

9 3 7 1 6 8 2 7 2 7 2 1 4 6 4 6 3 7

Difficulty level: Easy

AUTUMN EDITION CROSSWORD ANSWERS - The word POPCORN – apologies for the error (no.3 down) but thankyou for all your entries. Down

Across 2. 4. 6. 10. 13. 14. 15. 16.

REEPICHEAP — Simon Pegg’s character in the Dawn Treader OLIVIA — Legacy leading lady, ___________ Wilde NEWCASTLE — Cinema team in focus STONE — Star of Easy A, Emma _________ SORKIN — Social Network script writer, Aaron__________ HOFFMAN — Jigsaw accomplice EDWARD — Love and Other Drugs, director ___________ Zwick NORTHAMPTON — Adel’s first cinema

1. KLOVES — HP7 scribe, Steve ______________ 3. PALMER — the name of the Empire family Copyright 2001-2006 abcteach - All Rights Reserved 5. FAIRTRADE — Ben & Jerry’s recent campaign 7. THEVISITOR — Richard Jenkins Oscar nominated film 8. QUARTERLY — Frequency of Epic Magazine 9. BASILDON — Cinema featured with screen added 11. ELIZABETH — Margaret’s daughter 12. RODRIGO — Buried director, ___________ Cortes

www.abcteach.com

WINTER 2010/11 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 41


Spot the difference Here’s one just for fun. Spot the five differences between the two images from Gnomeo and Juliet. Some might be harder to find than others, so look carefully.

42 | PULSE MAGAZINE | WINTER 2010/11


PULSE IN THE BACK ROW...

In the

back row with Sources: Collider, EMPIRE magazine, The Telegraph, The Guardian and Shortlist.

Simon Pegg

S

tand-up comedian, actor, writer, national treasure, any one of these could be used to describe this edition’s Back Row participant, Simon Pegg, who rose to fame at the turn of the century with cult TV sensation Spaced. Having just released Burke and Hare, he’ll next be gracing our screens back alongside old pal Nick Frost in Paul - read our review pages 18-19. What’s your all-time favourite movie? Raising Arizona What kind of influence has cinema had on you as an actor/writer? The irony of working with Spielberg or being in Star Trek, those things, they’re roots in my childhood. I think, ‘I love that show or love that director’ you know? Being in the audience watching E.T. and hearing that little phrase from Yoda’s theme from The

Empire Strikes Back and me getting it and wanting to tell everyone in the cinema, ‘did you hear that? That was Yoda’s thing’ and feeling spoken to on a personal level. That kind of fundamentalised my whole ethos as a writer, in terms of communicating to people underneath things, giving them something to do in order to get to the punchline. You give them the set-up and they build the punchline for themselves. And to be considered intelligent enough to get that is a great feeling. I felt like that, I felt honoured that John Williams and Steven Spielberg thought I’d know enough about that character to recognise his theme. That fundamentalised Spaced and a lot of my work. Do people quote your lines back at you? All. The. F*$£!#g. Time! “You’ve got red on you”, I get that a lot. Someone did shout, ‘Get off me, you bummer!’ once, which is from Spaced. I think. Kids quote Ice Age

back at me. It’s really funny — children’s brains are like sponges. Who is your favourite director? Spielberg is my “All-Time-Hero.” Back when you were working in Debenhams, did you have any idea you would rise to such status? None. It’s all amazing. But luckily it happened quite gradually. The idea of doing some of the things that I’ve been lucky enough to do ... if I could have known that before, it would have been too much. I would probably have wet myself. And then cried. You’re famously a bit of a geek. Have you bought anything that really gives it away? I’ve got a customised Darth Vader helmet, which I bought at auction. But I don’t have a Stormtrooper outfit in a glass case or anything like that.

E NEXT ISSU

Ben & Jerry’s Sundae Competition. Hemel Hempstead, winners of in Action. Learn about the quality of our concessions. More on our winners. Meet some new characters.

Don’t forget to send us any photos, letters or comments to: editorpulse@empirecinemas.co.uk

WINTER 2010/11 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 43


“YOU TALKIN‘ “

TO ME?

Want to know what our customers think about the Big E? This year we need your help to encourage our customers to complete an online survey. The results of the survey wi ll allow us to reward you fo r all your hard work and he lp boost the high standard of our customer experience.

Keep an eye out for more details, coming soon to your cinema.

Your

Opinion Matters


PULSE winter edition 2011