Saturday, January 14

Book: The Gathering Storm, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson Click for more info

Book twelve (2009) is a special book, primarily for two, possibly related reasons. Firstly, that the author of the bulk of the series, Robert Jordan, had passed away before the publication of this part. Secondly, the last three books were actually written as one volume by Jordan, with the decision to split them being made past his death. Both of these events manifest in a book that is far more pacey, declarative and perhaps even more accessible than those that came before it. It really did feel like we're now in a race to the finish.

A lot happens in The Gathering Storm, with most of it based around two of the main characters of the saga. That leads me to suspect what the next part will manage - another clue as to the newfound accessibility perhaps - but I'll have to wait and see if that theory pans out.

It literally feels like there's no going back now.

Friday, January 13

Food: Grand Trunk Road Click for more info

I have to admit that when I was first told that "the guy behind Tamarind is coming to Woodford" I did dismiss the whole idea as one for those of us with more money than sense. Since I'm not really in the business of posting restaurant visits on social media or the like I wasn't particularly fazed by its heritage either (I've not visited Tamarind). That said, I was curious that such a place could exist within walking distance to my house; if anything its nice to have choice at a time where I visit central London less and less to eat.

So here's the thing: I was wrong. GTR was pretty fabulous - in fact I'm struggling to fault it and don't quite know where to begin with my gushing. The food was great - not heavy or overbearing in terms of oil or spice, yet full of flavour and texture it was actually refreshing to discover that Indian food doesn't have to be that way. If I did note something it's that it may have been a little bit salty, but that might have just been my taste. Even the desserts hit the mark with them not being overly sweet.

The service was another aspect that shone throughout our evening. It really was outstanding from the ordering, to the cleaning up all the way to Rajesh himself going out of his way to talk to and host our group.

Of course, all this comes at a price... but even at £25 per head I felt it was all such a bargain - we probably ordered just about enough food, but a few quid might be saved if you dropped the dessert and extra sides. And let's not forget about the location - we were home within 15 minutes of paying the bill and that was by walking. Truly amazing.

If it's not clear by now I really enjoyed my time at GTR, and despite being an Indian it has immediately become my favourite place to eat in my locale. Of course the price prohibits visiting too often, but sometimes the whole point of your crown jewels is to only take them out rarely. Totally recommended.

Wednesday, January 11

Food: The Banc Click for more info

That's pronounced bonk by the way.

Perhaps the only burger place left on my list to try in London, The Banc slightly disappointed from the start. Although striking at first, there was a slight "mutton dressed as lamb" feel to the place, with its quite posh facade not quite doing enough to cover the fact that it was just another steak and burger place.

That said it wasn't bad once the food came. I went with the straight cheese burger (a recommendation from a friend who suggested the less that got between me and the beef the better), and it was definitely on the better end of that I've tried... perhaps even on par with Proper. Everything else was also above average, with the steak I sampled not a chore to eat as I've found others before it. Service was adequate, but again not quite what was implied.

The Banc also offered a shisha lounge, which will never be my thing, but good to know for those who need to waste time, money and health post dinner.

Overall though it was the price which really let The Banc down. The menu was pretty premium, which could have barely been justified by the food - the burger was £9 and steaks £20 which are above par. But at that price one needs more than just good food and thus it was quite a disappointment that the rest didn't quite live up to the promise.

Sunday, January 8

Film: Dangal Click for more info

If there's one thing that you can always rely on, it's that the Annual Holiday Amir Khan Bollywood release is going to be great. Dangal didn't just hit that mark; for me it exceeded it.

Which is odd really, considering it's a film about the most boring of tournament sports: wrestling. But the story is a good one, with it being about the struggle to achieve the impossible - although the context does highlight the fact that the contenders were female, that wasn't really the point and I think the film would have been great regardless. Although I did feel the underlining of the misogyny with thick red marker pens was a bit laboured and unnecessary, that would be the only complaint I had. That, and perhaps how it kept making me well up.

Amir was great as expected, but he was surrounded by a cast which really made the film shine, whether the characters were being depicted as young or adult. The rest of the film oozed with the production quality that we have come to expect.

All in all then, a wonderful film and undoubtedly recommended.

Wednesday, January 4

The Crystal Maze Click for more info

I'm usually the first to poo poo "experiences" aimed at us children of the 80s. I'm all for nostalgia, but I refuse to to pay for what essentially amounts to an emotional bullet to the head. But when some friends suggested we participate in The Crystal Maze I was curious - this would actually be quite interactive, and finally I'd have the chance to prove I wasn't as stupid as those contestants I saw on the TV. Don't lie - we all thought it. On the other hand £50 was quite the price to pay, but peer pressure and my own temporal flippancy prevailed and we booked our slot, almost 7 months in advance.

The experience itself was quite good. Now obviously I'm not to go into too much detail (can't have anyone cheating) but I think it's reasonable to discuss things like the quality of what was on offer. As expected it wasn't really a full fat Crystal Maze experience - it was always clear that we were in an office block, and some zones (I'm looking at you Futuristic) were actually quite laughable. Of course there was no Richard O'Brian, but our maze master was adequately fun, encouraging and helpful.

The games themselves were actually rather good, and I felt tested us in the same way contestants on the show were. As it was a team activity we didn't actually get to directly participate often, but as a group it was easy to remain involved. Oh and the whole thing was only 75 minutes which, understandably, flew by.

Oh and yes, we were validated both on personal (I won both my rooms) and group (by our performance in the dome) levels, although really the best advice we were given and can pass on is to really not worry about winning or losing.

So was it worth it? Well I have to say it really was a lot of fun - partly for the nostalgia, but mainly for the group hi-jinks and messing around. After the euphoria faded however I did conclude that at £50 it wasn't actually that great value for money: that much could get you a couple of escape rooms or real-world game that would last much longer than this did. So yes, I guess what I'm saying is that my initial hunch was correct, with this Crystal Maze experience being more about the nostalgia than the team-building or challenge; but that's not necessarily always a bad thing either, even though I can personally think of more enjoyable ways to spend my time and money on.

Monday, January 2

Food: Patchi Click for more info

There's an idea that food is only worth paying for if there is a redistributable experience that goes along with it - the kind of stuff as indicated by the whole obsession with social media for example. And while I would never deny that eating out can (and perhaps even should sometimes) be considered an event, for me the need to eat will always trump the trophyism (to borrow the term).

Case in point: Patchi. Situated in what seems like an abandoned street off to the side of ghetto Park Royal, Patchi is a down to earth establishment, focusing on getting the job of feeding you done rather than pander to whatever social requirements you might have. This is probably because the place isn't primarily a restaurant; apparently they are Europe's leading manufacturer of baklava too.

That said, the food wasn't bad. In fact it was way above average, with my kafta and chips hitting the spot adequately. Perhaps mistakenly we didn't touch the baklava for dessert, instead picking a selection of desserts and cakes that they also manufacture. All were pretty decent.

The cost was a bit of a surprise, with the average bill (including desserts) hitting the £15 mark. This, I guess, is something that is required when there are no fancy mocktails to prop up the income, although I can't help but feel that there are cheaper options available - perhaps with more judicious ordering the magical £10 limit wouldn't have been breached.

Nevertheless, the place was a joy and I do recommend it.

Monday, December 26

Film: Rogue One Click for more info

It could have been so easy for Rogue One to just have been another cash in. But it wasn't - it was rich, well produced and respecting of both the franchise and its target audience. Of course the main value is for the Star Wars fans, but I can see those who aren't so bothered enjoying a pretty decent science fiction movie too.

The context (ie, that it's a prequel) both allows and forces the film to take some pretty serious risks as well, and in both cases I felt that the film benefited from the chances that were taken.

A small note to talk about Riz Ahmed - before we start gushing about the first prominent Pakistani in a Star Wars role, it's worth thinking about exactly what that role entails. I was slightly disappointed myself, but hey, baby steps.

All in all though Rogue One was a great film and one which manages to vindicate the tick tock release schedule Disney has come up with. I'm already counting down to December 2017 for Episode 8.

Wednesday, December 21

Film: Passengers Click for more info

Passengers was not the film I walked into expecting to see. What was supposed to be a sci-fi thriller turned out to be more of a romantic drama.

What's really surprising is that the film was probably better for it. The "escape room" in space would probably have been way too predictable and although the resulting themes here weren't entirely original either, the context and placement were more than enough to keep things novel.

So although not deep and pretty familar Passengers is a solid offering in a time when everything else tries so hard to be fancy. Recommended.

Friday, December 9

Film: Dear Zindagi Click for more info

There's a pretty explicit qualifier at the start of this film warning no one to take any medical advice from any of the story of scenes to follow. This is a good thing since, right from the start, Dear Zindagi sucks as a film about mental health issues. It treats the subject with such shallowness and cliche that it's probably worth ignoring that whole facet of the film altogether.

What the film is good at is 1) being cute, 2) being philosophical about life and 3) Alia Bhatt. Which if you're keeping track makes it a great Bollywood film.

The music is largely forgettable (although that was more due to it not being to my taste), but the production was good, the actors and their acting equally beautiful. It's all also paced rather well, something which the industry seems to be getting better and better at.

All in all, it's a great romp if you're looking to enjoy yourself and have a good time. On the other hand if you're looking for something to challenge you and make you think about a serious topic... it's probably best to look elsewhere.

Tuesday, December 6

Film: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Click for more info

Yes, it's a Harry Potter film, and yes it's very American. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - in fact it's nice to have the HP universe expanded some, and differing perspectives given. The wizarding world now has more colour, more scope and that's a good thing.

What's not so great is the quality of this film. My immediate thoughts were of how rough around the edges it was, with some really bad acting, production and editing. Unfortunately this was all enough to ruin the film for me, which is a shame since all the magic, mystery and adventure you'd expect is all there too if you look hard enough.

Still, it's Harry Potter so gets a recommendation. Whether it's one to watch in the cinema or not I'm having a harder time to decide.

Sunday, December 4

Karachi 2016

This year's trip to Karachi marked a little bit of a failure on my part; my intention was to visit at least annually going forward, as Pakistan becomes a bit more of a staple destination for me. And yet it has been a whopping two years since I last visited, having missed a trip earlier this year (I was in Vegas instead).

The trip was different for a couple of (related) reasons. Firstly, I had some Canadian (ie English speaking) cousins there with me. These are a bunch who, although I had only seen earlier in the year, I haven't been in Karachi with for almost 20 years. The trip was also different due to the scarcity of time - a wedding took up most of the first week, which left things compressed during the second, if not lacking altogether - I already feel that I need to return in order to make up for the shortcomings. Oh and the resulting late nights meant that I didn't really have to deal with any jetlag issues on my return to the UK.

New things then? Well there are a few. Careem and Uber are now relatively well established, giving us a level of independence and freedom we might not have had before. It remains to be seen how long the initiative lasts.

I saw a fair few Chinese in the malls, a sign of the ongoing investment coming in from the country. So far the effect is a positive one.

Clifton is becoming more and more built up as I visit. You don't have to squint too hard to imagine being in a place like Dubai instead. Again, a positive sign... and again, it remains to be seen how long it lasts.

The rest of Karachi appears to be relatively stable in its ongoing decline, and yet there is a renewed sense of hope as cracks start to show in the incumbent rotting of the place. That said, I was woken each day by a young girl shouting down each street asking for food. Change will take longer than the one year I hope to leave before my next visit.

Tuesday, November 15

Film: Arrival Click for more info

Oh no, oh no no. How did this happen? The book was a short one, so in theory there was no reason to mess with it or edit it. Okay sure, there was enough peculiarity in the story to warrant some creativity in the film making process, but the amount of dilution and irreverence introduced to such a fantastic story has done nothing except spoil the whole thing. The character development has been trashed, the twist up ended. I might almost be able to see why they did it (accessibility) but really, the price was not worth the result.

A real disappointment. Read the book instead - it will probably take you as long as it would to watch this.

Book: The Story Of Your Life, Ted Chiang Click for more info

Yes: another book to be read before the film, but perhaps this time it's a little different. The Story is a short one, having taken only a few hours to read. But those few words presented such joy that I'd have recommended the book regardless of the context.

I personally enjoy exploring the themes of free will and predestination, and ideas like having a whole conversation before uttering a word resonate with me. The story here doesn't give any answers... But like all good books it does present new ideas and a new perspective. The subject matter also implies deep characterisation, again impressive for such a short story.

Recommended.

Tuesday, November 8

Book: Ready Player One, Ernest Cline Click for more info

Ready Player One isn't a great book. It has a skinny plot, one dimensional and flimsy characters and takes almost no risk in telling its story. It's put together pretty flimsily too - it ranks above some of the more recent young adult readings for sure, but doesn't really push the reader too much (which might be a good thing). The flow is trashy, as page turning as you can get.

In fact, the young adulty vibe of the story is a bit confusing considering who the book is aimed at. The thing is that Ready Player One is almost purely fanservice - a compendium of references to all the hip songs, movies and games from the 80s and 90s which only those of us now in our middle ages will appreciate to any real extent. It reminisces, remixes, remasters and mashes up these nods... and once you appreciate that is all it really is the book does become enjoyable of sorts.

It's also why I'm really looking forward to the film (the actual reason why I thought I'd read it now). If the film manages to pull it off, it'll certainly be great, and ironically it's the aforementioned attributes that make it a bad book that will probably make it an awesome flick.

In short, the book isn't a total waste of time and is cheap enough to read and enjoy.

Friday, November 4

Food: Boondocks Click for more info

Once there was Stax, a burger place sat in Soho, reaching legendary probably because of the lack of covers it presented. I think the max capacity of the place was 20 or 25, which although paltry I suspect helped boost the exclusiveness of the place. That's not to say that the place wasn't good - it was - but things change and options present themselves as time goes on (I won't mention which I mean). Social media reputation isn't enough in these cases and so it's not surprising that the same team which brought us Stax looked to present the same food in a more accessible venue.

Boondocks is that place. Situated around Old Street, the location makes a refreshing change, as does the large venue - there was no problem getting a reservation for 8 tonight, although they did insist on a £15 deposit which I found quite unacceptable in this day and age. The food was good, with the menu 90% that of what we had seen before while the service was even better, enhanced by the fact the servers could actually move around without stepping on people. Otherwise this was Stax through and through - I found it to possibly be a little more pricey than Stax, but that could have been due to our decadence: we even tried the Smores which were both novel and delicious (although not all enjoyed).

So quite positive so far then? Well yes, except I felt awful afterwards and will expect that feeling to continue tomorrow morning. This is less the fault of Boondocks and more due to my recent change in lifestyle and diet which seems to have affected both my taste and ability to consume this kind of stuff. That may or may not be a consideration for most reading this, but still perhaps something worth bearing in mind.

Wednesday, November 2

Film: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Click for more info

I think I quite liked the first Jack Reacher film - not that I can remember much. And that's pretty much how things stand with the second in the series: a paint by numbers crime thriller with Jack and co trying to get to the bottom of some quite villainous frame ups and betrayals, all while kicking bum on the way.

The story, acting and production all pass to an extent. As long as you don't go into this with too high hopes you'll more than enjoy it. Recommended.

Friday, October 28

Food: Burgista Bros Click for more info

Yes, I've already established Proper as my go-to gourmet burger place... so my drive to find alternatives has since diminished. That said, food standards do go up and down and geography (not many people like to come to East London for some reason) means it's always worth looking for other options too, and Burgista Bros happens to be a fine choice for food in the West End area.

The counter service was quick, the place clean and not too busy for a Friday night, although I can see the limited number of covers becoming a problem at popular times. Price wise it was pretty expensive overall - my burger meal cost over a tenner (with free soft drink refills), although the portion of four chicken wings were a definite bargain. If I have a complaint about the menu it's that it was pretty small - there were only a couple of precanned burgers over the plain one (we ordered the spicy one and a BBQ sauced one, the latter of which was great) and although I do sometimes appreciate a simple menu I did feel that a few more creative options would have been great.

Which brings us to the food itself. The meat was of a decent quality, cooked well and juicy to a tee. It was almost like a well done Sloppy Joe, which sounds odd on paper but worked wonders on the plate. The fries were okay - but it's a shame that they couldn't be switched out for something non-carby (which essentially meant I had to break the nutrition rules I've recently introduced to my diet).

But overall Burgista was a fine place and one I heartily recommend.

Tuesday, October 25

Film: Doctor Strange Click for more info

I went in to watching this film expecting to hate it. I've never really had any level of affinity with Doctor Strange as a comic book character - it all seemed a little hocus pocus in a world filled more with aliens and mutants. Still, it is part of the MCU so had to be watched regardless. Which turns out is a great rule to follow since Doctor Strange was actually really good.

Leaving aside the normal ingredients of fun, action and plot progression, what really surprised me is firstly how awesome a character Doctor Strange is and secondly (and perhaps even more surprisingly) that I can actually enjoy the acting of Benedict Cumberbatch, someone whom I previously considered to be pretty overrated.

But otherwise the film is a solid one, with some great visuals, good humour and a decent story to it. If you're an MCU nut then you'll watch this anyway, but even if not I thoroughly recommend it.

Thursday, October 20

Book: Knife Of Dreams, Robert Jordan Click for more info

Book eleven (2005) and things are finally getting back on track - by this I mean the actual real progress I found was desperately missing in the last volume is now back in spades, which is probably not surprising considering I only have three volumes left to read. It actually feels like a race to the finish now, or perhaps more accurately the beginning of the end, as plots are finally appearing to lead to their conclusions. Battles are raged, heroes are born and twists uncovered, leaving a pretty pacy book with not many slow bits within.

Having said that I found myself searching online for help while reading this part in order to figure out the nuance of what was going on - something which I alluded to in previous WOT reviews. Since I probably won't ever read the epic again I felt that using guides was acceptable - and valuable as what I did read did clear up a fair few plot lines and developments I didn't even realise existed. In hindsight I should have read explainers at the end of each part in order to compensate for the sheer size of the story as well as Jordan's habit of leaving a lot left unsaid. On a similar note, I can't stress how important it is to read books like these with a map handy - probably due to its popularity ASOIAF had a few searchable mobile apps available which made that series a joy to read but unfortunately WOT doesn't appear to have anything similar.

All in all I enjoyed the return to form seen in Knife Of Dreams and it has left me both hungry for more as well as a little aware that it's all coming to an end soon.

Wednesday, October 12

Film: The Girl on the Train Click for more info

It would be so easy to call this travesty of a film bad only for those who had read the book before watching it. But no, it was bad for reasons all of it's own, and those reasons were both internal and external to the film.

Although possibly superficial, the creative licence taken in the change of location pretty much destroyed the soul of the film for me. Although the main themes of the book could have played out anywhere, there were certain subtleties lost in its resetting in New York.

But geography aside, the film quite sucked for a host of other reasons, most of them which can be filed under "badly made". The production was bad, the acting dire, the presenting of the plot rushed and clumsy. There really wasn't much to enjoy about this film.

So yes, one to avoid - but I will take this opportunity to recommend the book again.

Tuesday, October 4

Film: Deepwater Horizon Click for more info

The film about the 2010 disaster is pretty much what you would expect from a dramatisation of a real life event. It's actually largely "middle" with not much of a beginning and certainly no end - but that is forgiven since what is presented turns out to be a pretty tight retelling of what went on during that day.

Everything else comes second - the production, the acting, the script. But the topic is gripping enough for the film to carry itself well and what we end with is something that keeps you gripped till the end. Oh and yes, they even manage to make the non British bad guy British.

Recommended.

Wednesday, September 28

Film: The Girl with All the Gifts Click for more info

It's fair to say that the zombie genre is pretty saturated now. It's becoming more and more difficult to come up with anything original, and so filmmakers are starting to look at storyline and plot instead to differentiate - so we now have moral dilemmas, the breaking of taboos and philosophical arguments as well as the usual scares and thrills that come with films about the undead.

The Girl with All the Gifts is about the relationship between a half-zombie-in-the-making girl and her teacher, and asks questions about the greater good and even zombie rights. That in itself was enough to make the film a pretty decent watch, but some good acting by the child star of the film and some genuinely scary moments also helped.

For those of you who have played The Last of Us, you'll find plenty of parallels here. And in the same way as the game was, it's also recommended to check out.

Thursday, September 15

Food: Mint Leaf Click for more info

Sometimes it's tough being of subcontinent origin. Amongst the many challenges we face, trying to remain objective and impartial when visiting an Indian restaurant ranks up there with all the worst.

Take Mint Leaf for instance. It would be easy for me to poo poo the place as a typical posh-but-not-really Indian place designed to extract as much money from an expensed City dinner as possible, resulting in a low quality high price experience which is very easy to forget... but instead I'll spend some time explaining exactly why this place sucks so bad.

First of all it was too hot. As in the place. Maybe the air conditioning wasn't working or maybe we were all just having so much fun (not really) but the place was quite uncomfortable at times. The drinks were expensive and boring, mainly consisting of heavily sugared water that didn't really hit any spots. The food was okay I suppose, with the tandoori broccoli something I'd never had before. The daal and paneer were above average, the lamb and prawns not as much. The amount of food was pretty stingy - we had to do the unforgivable and ask for more which tested the service (which was also passable).

But the real nail in the coffin was the price. At £55 per head (excluding drinks) I'm hard pressed to think of any other meal I've ever had that was of such poor value. It was enough to put me off ever going back, even if the bill was being covered. There really is no need for a place like this in London anymore.

Wednesday, September 14

Film: Don't Breathe Click for more info

Quite probably the scary movie of the year, Don't Breathe is as refreshing in premise as it is in execution. For a start, we have three delinquent teenagers (boo) who decide to rob a blind (aw) man's house. The set up is upside down from the start, and it takes a lot for the film to flip the roles by the end of the movie. But that's all part of the thrill really, seeing exactly how far we're willing to go to allow ourselves to root for a bunch of annoying teens.

Film studies aside, Don't Breathe does all the right things - the scares are both shocking and tense, taboos are offered and broken, and the plot isn't thin by necessity. My heart was in my mouth a fair few times, and it was great for each. The acting sufficed for the genre, with The Blind Man doing an awesome job of being pretty darned scary.

For those who enjoy a decent scary romp, don't look any further than Don't Breathe. For anyone else I'd still recommend the film unless you know you're of a nervous disposition (again, boo)

Wednesday, September 7

Film: Sausage Party Click for more info

You would have thought that there would be a fair amount of cognitive dissonance watching a film like this. You have the visual of an (albeit low quality) children's animated cartoon, but with the language and references which belongs to something for a much older audience, but the truth be told it didn't really jar as much as I thought it would. Which is a good thing really as you get to enjoy the film for its fundamental comedic value, and not just because of the contrast of expectations we have from cartoons these days.

That's not to say the language and content in the film didn't have issues. It was pretty gratuitous most of the time - much more than something that would have usually come from Seth Rogen and the like. I wouldn't say that it spoiled the film altogether, but there were times when even I had to cover my eyes.

But if you manage to look past (or even enjoy) the vulgarity, you are actually left with something that manages to tackle quite a few of the more important social issues of our time - more so than many other grown up films. In the 90 minutes or so that Sausage Party runs for, we debate religion and science, ethnic prejudice and racism, friendship and love - and all without the compromise you would otherwise expect from film. It's almost as if abstracting away from real life and people allows us to magnify the issues with more clarity.

Overall though the film was both fun and funny, so gets a recommendation from me - but perhaps it's one to watch at home with trusted company (and no, that definitely doesn't mean your parents).

Monday, August 29

Food: Maha

Sometimes there's a type of restaurant that I will always hate. But sometimes there are exceptions to that rule. In this case, the type is buffet... and the exception is Maha.

The place is quite new so there isn't much detail out there but essentially £13 gets you all you can eat access to food AND soft drink (although strangely enough water is extra), as well as desserts. Maha is located on the tail end of pedestrianised part of High Road, Ilford.

The food is slightly better than what I've had in other similar places, but where Maha shines is in its service. Granted, we did visit on an empty bank holiday but we were allowed to pray (they even offered to turn the music off while we did), were able to request freshly baked naans and even got a plate of cooked to order chops (albeit after dessert).

The icing on the cake was the price. £13 is just about right for what we had, but after a discount we paid £11 which frankly was a bargain.

Maha doesn't have the most amazing food, but it did provide a decent enough experience. One which at the very least nets it a recommendation from this blog.

Wednesday, August 24

Book: The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins Click for more info

Perhaps it's because I was reading this after the debacle that was the last book, but I really quite enjoyed The Girl on the Train.

Yes, the "diary of dates" format was a headache - this was definitely not an ebook book - and yes, the plot did labour quite a bit (the book should have been 100 odd pages shorter, right about where it became obvious what was going on.). But the characters were fab and real, the storytelling gripping, and read suitably easy while remaining of a high standard.

So in short, no, it's not the best book in the world, and neither should anyone say it is. But it was enjoyable enough without costing a lot, and so I do recommend giving it a go.

Tuesday, August 23

Film: Lights Out Click for more info

Maybe I'm getting old (okay fine, there's no "maybe" about that), but I do seem to be getting scared more easily as time goes on. I don't think it's because of any development in film making or story telling - I mean the premise of Lights Out is pretty wonky to tell the truth, and the scares quite silly. In aggregate however the film does the trick and does it well, with a fair number of stifled screams throughout.

In all other aspects - production, acting - Lights Out was adequate enough. I'd suggest skipping the cinema for this one, but perhaps watching it in the safety of your own home instead.

It's Back! Maybe

You know, I do actually think that I've hit a bit of a turning point recently. I'm not sure why - perhaps I'm enjoying writing again or perhaps I have more time on my hands or perhaps my current outputs just aren't cutting it anymore? But I do think that if this blog is going to once again host content similar to how it did many years ago it might actually happen now that year twelve is over.

Maybe the trick is to start small and, I dunno, commit to one post a month? However it turns out, I am optimistic. Of course chances are that I'll be here in a years time wondering what I was thinking... but hey, positive thoughts please.

Saturday, August 20

Food: Riverside Lounge Click for more info

Oh dear. It's not often I feel bad for a place, but Riversound Lounge was a bit of a sorry sort. Apart from us being the only ones there (on a Saturday!), it had a bit of an unfinished vibe to it. It's a bit of a shame really, since it clear that the people working there (I assume it was a family run business) did have their hearts in the right place. With a bit of work the place could be great.

Still, at a fiver a head (for two steaks and two grilled chicken burgers) we really couldn't complain.