Monday, August 27, 2007

Home Again

Amazingly enough, a relatively pain-free journey back from Heathrow, despite it being a bank holiday weekend there. But it seems that I was lucky. Talking to someone else I travelled with, it took them 90 minutes on Friday evening just to drop a car at Hertz, get from there to the terminals and subsequently catch the Hoppa bus over to their nearby hotel. Ouch!

Against all the odds, BA have actually put themselves in the lead regarding transatlantic entertainment on their flights, at least relative to what plays in the back of the bus. They now have video on demand, offering the canon fodder in the cheap seats a much more appealing way of numbing their brains for the 10 hours it takes to get from A to B when the letters in question stand for the UK and the West Coast respectively.

I sat through three films on the way back: 300, Fractured and Spider Man 3, and was able to start and stop them at will, see them without glitches, jumps and tape breaks, and was even able to pause the action, head off to the bathroom when it was vacant, and head back to continue where I left off. For that last fact alone I applaud BA, helping as it does to eliminate the bathroom scrum that takes place as soon as any one of the films on a normal video system finishes.

Alas, BA immediately managed to knock themselves back from this amazing leap into customer service land - believe it or not, they've deleted the toothpaste from the brush-and-toothpaste amenity kit. (And by "kit" I mean a plastic back with that, an eye mask and a pair of socks.) I suppose they had to pay for the new vid. system somehow ....

The films themselves? 300 was OK in a "ancient history turned cartoon" sort of way. Spiderman 3 is probably a fine action film on the big screen but far from compelling 5 hours into a 10 hour flight on a screen the size of a fag packet, so of the three then Fractured, with Anthony Hopkins, won my vote for being a thriller that keeps you engaged for close to two of those hours.

(But faced with a choice go instead for "Hot Fuzz" from the same people that brought you "Shaun of the Dead".

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