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143 Nguyen Tuan, Thanh Xuan, Hanoi
“Update: As promised, the website updates have gone into effect and look good. Given their communication with me after this review, as well as the quick follow-thru on their improvements, I happily revise my earlier 3 stars to 4 stars and also recommend them as a good option. original review...”
I have to give this cinema full marks because you CAN ACTUALLY watch a film here and have the entire cinema all to yourself.
Let's face it, the most annoying thing about Megastar are all the brats on their mobiles continually blabbing and driving you to insanity with their constant drivel. I get it, I get it, they don't need to hear the film because they can read the subtitles but for most of us unworthy expats, reading Vietnamese is not our thing, so surprisingly, we actually enjoy LISTENING to it as well.
I saw The Fighter last Wednesday at 2pm and I was the only one in the place. My own private cinema.
Sadly it was a little bit different for Thor at the weekend, but the moral of the story is to avoid weekends and bring a taser should anyone start to interrupt your film experience.
At 40,000 VND I cannot imagine money better spent. Everything is new, and the seats are very comfy. Go now before the trend-setting masses start to accumulate there once it becomes fashionable for them to teeter around with their fake Burberry shit.
Oh and on a final note, if you are looking for some extra entertainment, you should visit the Big C in the basement and try to exit it via the entrance. The 5ft tall security guard will try to rugby tackle you to the ground but you can dispense with him quite easily as you are a LARGE expat. If all else fails, feel free to resort to the 1 inch Bruce Lee punch. Nothing can stop you - You are Thor!
Finally opened! well behind schedule but we My Dinh dwellers will take it. A perfectly functioning cineplex in the badlands of West Hanoi is just what we needed. The movies are good, hollywood, mainstream time wasters. No fancy, finnish, abstract, art-house fare out here thank you very much! Movies are generally in english with vietnamese subtitles. Im very happy about this.
Only 4 stars as the popcorn machine isnt up and running yet
Platinum is a valid alternative to Megastar, especially for people who live near the Manor area. I wish I lived closer to this cinema as it is very decent and the prices are quite reasonable.
The only drawback here is that Platinum doesn’t have as extensive a selection as Megastar – many of the recent Best Picture nominees are only available at Megastar. However, the concessions stand has very reasonably priced stuff. Their popcorn is quite nice, though their pastries and bread are not very tasty. It’s not really a big deal as the cinema is on the same level as the Garden food court and there are quite a few choices.
The best thing about this place though is there are no lines at the ticket counter. I love being able to go in just 2 minutes before the movie starts and can still be able to buy tickets. That is because there are not many customers at the moment, which is unfortunate and I hope this place doesn’t close down because of that. For the moment though, do go there and check it out if you are in the neighborhood. I also heard they are planning to have private rooms to watch the movies if you come with a group of friends but maybe they haven’t finished constructing these rooms yet – watch out for it.
These brave lunatics invited year levels of our students to see a movie in 3D here, so I’m a bit biased (not sure on prices and stuff though). I’m also not writing a review of going on your own, because I haven’t done that yet, but will be next time something comes out that I want to see. But by the same token, if you’re wanting to take a screaming horde of students almost sick with excitement to the cinema, I’ve been to both Megastar and Platinum with my charges in tow, and much preferred here.
Getting kids in was a lot easier, a long chain of them up all the escalators, rather than trying to hijack a lift and take it from the ground floor to the top of Vincom sardined full of students. They also showed us the projection room, and explained how the picture went from the big rolls of film and out onto the screen. Some of the other classes had a short Q&A session with the manager about 3D and other movie related topics, but we were running a bit late.
The little tackers were all given a drink and a packet of chips, and their glasses. Glasses over glasses was explained, and leaving them on not taking them off half way through to help prevent a headache and all that jazz. Sound quality was good, better than Megastar I reckon. Admittedly we didn’t have people talking on mobile phones throughout it, but it’s not like an army of third graders can be quiet for long. Nor do they have large bladders.
Afterwards, we were given lunch. I’ve been on other excursions where food has been “organized” and its generally a bit of a slipshod affair - not enough, not really kid friendly, and generally goes everywhere. These guys were great, little containers with a hotdog, some chips and a piece cake. No kid is going to knock that back, and what little mess there was is easy to deal with. So not only were they professional in their area, they did a great job where they could be forgiven for not thinking it through carefully.
One only minor thing was the previews weren’t the best choice... one was a little racy (well, as racy as it gets in Vietnam) and the other was a bit scary. I get scared easily, so as soon as I realised it was going to scare me, I stopped watching the screen and watched the students instead, and enjoyed that immensely. There’s something to be said for nine year-olds watching flaming skulls, demons fighting ghosts V’s vampires, arrows (in 3D!) blood shooting out (in 3D!) and a decapitation (in 3D!)…though it could have just been a non-flaming skull, the kid was a bit-wild eyed in his description of it. But this was dealt with in the Q&A session, the cinema doesn’t get to choose what previews, trailers or ads they screen, that’s handled by the distributor, and so it isn’t their fault. I’ve noticed this at Megastar as well, that often even in kid’s movies (I’m immature, I love cartoons) there will be trailers that would be M and you wouldn’t see back home.
A really solid performance if you have a hundred students with you, and the management were really friendly and helpful. So if you’re a teacher, even if not of school aged kids, you might be able to organise something here for a lesson that is a little more interesting than just going to the movies. And if you’re going to see something by Pixar or Disney and the previews are on, watch the little kids, you’ll have a grand time!
I've seen a couple of films here now, and overall my experience hasn't been too bad.
I saw one 2D film (English-language romance with Vietnamese subtitles) a few weeks ago, and the film wasn't great, but that's not really the cinema's fault... The seats were fine, the ticket purchasing was fine, no complaints at all. We did get slightly lost trying to find cinema 5 (Cinema 5 and 6 are upstairs, take the internal elevator up a floor, or find the stairs.)
I saw a 3D film tonight (Mandarin-language with dual Vietnamese and English subtitles) and the film was very good, but the experience was marred by the dirty 3D glasses and low projection brightness.
I swapped glasses with my friend (hers were dirtier than mine) but both were pretty marred by fingerprints and skin oil -- I looked after the film when the lights came up -- but even cleaning them wouldn't have helped immensely.
3D films at Lotte, and the ones I saw in Australia, use the "RealD" Polarization-based system, while Platinum uses the "Dolby3D" interference filter-based system.
The 3D film I saw at Platinum tonight seemed very very dark, which led to me removing the glasses quite often so I could see the nearly-black-on-black-background night-time outdoor scenes. So I currently have a preference for the RealD projection technique.
Apart from the 3D, I have no issues at Platinum. There was little to no talking during either of the films I saw, particularly the 3D one was near-silent except for the particularly visceral scenes.
The ticket staff informed me when I was buying my ticket tonight that there was no English in the film, just Vietnamese subtitles (which I expected), although the trailer on the site was dual-subtitled so I had carried a small amount of hope.
As it was, I was pleasantly surprised not just to find the film was dual-subtitled English and Vietnamese, but also actually really good (if you like Chinese martial-arts fairy tales).
Four stars because although a 2D films are cheaper and satisfactory, the 3D film was the same price as Lotte (150k VND although worse seats are cheaper) and Lotte's 3D projection results have been better so far.
Both the 3D films I saw at Lotte were computer-animated, which tends to be brighter. So I might not be making a fair comparison here. We intended to go to Lotte tonight for this film, but their two showing times were too early and too late for our schedule.
In the end, I'm satisfied with my experiences here, but will generally choose Lotte over Platinum when the choice is available despite the slight ticket premium.
Also, I just noticed that their website "cinema schedule" is out of sync between English and Vietnamese, and I'm sure earlier tonight it was showing last week's schedule still.
So be sure to check show times on the individual movie's page, which shows screening times for each day of the week.
Edit: Saw another 3D film here recently (Resident Evil 4) which wasn't as dark, and the glasses weren't as dirty this time, so on the whole a more pleasant experience. Doesn't affect the rating overall, I'd still choose Lotte when given the choice, but I wouldn't refuse to see a movie here by any means.
Edit: Bumped my review to 5 stars. I've seen a few films here now, and am quite satisfied with the experience, particularly now that I know that popcorn comes in two types...
They earned the extra star last weekend because while I was in the queue to buy a ticket, a lady came out from the back area and started sending all the people trying to skip the queue to the back of the line.
If you like Platinum Cineplex (The Garden)...
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