As 2012 comes to a close, I must commend Hollywood for producing some outstanding films, and monster box office receipts. Since relocating to Paris, the films have helped keep the homesickness at bay.

Apart from the indulging myself in cinemas and trying to ignore the French subtitles, I found that playing online poker keeps me entertained as well. Online poker portals such as let me enjoy a good round of Texas Hold ‘em poker in the comfort of my apartment. Since the game has seemingly only gained recent popularity over the past few years, I’ve had quite a good number of substantial wins that eventually financed most of my movie nights this year. The ticket prices in Paris tend to be a bit steep and my additional income from playing is what bankrolls my entire entertainment calendar. Eventually, poker became both my entertainment and my source of revenue for other stuff that didn’t involve work.

Before I invest in a ticket, I make a point of reading reviews about the film on of course, as well as sites like  RottenTomatoes. Paying for about 9 Euros (plus a pair of 3D glasses if applicable) is about $11 to $12 US, paying about the same price for tickets as in New York, is not at all cheap. I often book my tickets online at the GaumontPathe cinema theatre website as the French tend to be impatient if your diction, command of the language and make you sound like you’re mentally challenged. I was glad that I was able to see notable films that had certainly made their mark on the film industry. The Avengers was very successful despite having earned bad reviews from hardcore comic book fans. Other films that were based on novels like The Hunger Games and the last instalment of the Twilight franchise, Breaking Dawn Part 2 earned the same success and criticism. 21 Jump Street and Ted also enjoyed a lot of success (at least with the American audiences here) despite both being given an R rating. I seriously contemplated in seeing Magic Mike but decided that I could do without the teasing at work and back home. It’s not enough that I relocated to Paris and now the guys are going to find out I watched Channing Tatum strip. I’ll never hear the end of it. I’m not a film critique by profession so I’d rather not suffer for the craft.

It’s a good thing that the American film industry is very prolific here in Paris. If we do make it out of 2012, I look forward to another great year full of movies and poker. A whole new set of exciting films are going to be released next year. It’s certainly something I’d gladly invest my time and money in. I’d better hit the poker tables again in the meantime.

-Submitted by Sam H., an reader.


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