Monday, October 29

Film: Skyfall Click for more info

Weird. That's pretty much the first adjective that sprang to mind when watching Skyfall. The acting, the plot, the action... it was all so weird.

Of course a Bond film isn't just any, and it has it's own standards and genre to fulfil, and to be honest Skyfall wasn't that bad; in fact it was kind of enjoyable. It just wasn't Bond. This isn't the fault of Craig - I thought he was pretty awesome in the last two - but the film itself. The opening was brilliant, but it just lost momentum after that, almost as if production had run out of money and closed half way. Funny that.

What's particularly interesting is the way in which critics and audiences are split - almost all reviews have been positive and yet anecdotally I personally don't know of anyone who didn't find this latest instalment not less than quite a bit strange.

With that in mind I'm not sure I can recommend it; well at least no further than a watch on DVD.

Saturday, October 27

Edge of Arabia: #COMETOGETHER Click for more info

Eh. So we're going to go with the assumption that in these kind of contexts "Arab" is synonymous with "contemporary Islamic", both in terms of content and the kind of audience that such a thing would attract. So yes, this exhibition was actually a collection of Islamic modern art. Cool, I can do modern art.

So we had the awesome, the crazy and the downright wasteful pieces here, some with a more obvious link to Islamic or Arabic culture than others. I really liked The shadow art of Save Manhattan 03, the embedded Hadith in The Cowboy Code and fun had with The Interactive Motion Sensitive Animation of a Bunch of Muslim Men Stuffing Themselves (which is actually my name for it). The video Mendeel Um A7mad Was hilarious, and not just because of the cross dressing actors who starred in it.

The exhibition was quick and free, making this quite the win for a Saturday afternoon. Its worth checking out, but you'll have to be quick as tomorrow is the last day it'll be on.

Monday, October 22

Film: Paranormal Activity 4 Click for more info

Yay, a new Paranormal film! I have to say, I love this stuff and my only real regret of the franchise is that I didn't go to see the third one in the cinema. It was good by the way.

But this is the fourth in the series, and yes, I can tell you now it stretches things a little. But we don't watch this kind of stuff for depth, we watch for the (possibly cheap) thrills. And on that basis PA4 doesn't disappoint.

Yes we're following teenagers now. And yes, we're using blackberries, webcam and social media to follow their lives. But those are all minor distractions really; this is just more of the same.

Recommended, and I can't wait for the next one.

Wednesday, October 17

Film: Looper Click for more info

Make no mistake here - the only thing seriously mindbending about this film is what the heck they decided to do with Gordon-Levitt's face. I mean I get the idea behind trying to make him look like (minor spoiler ahead) ol' Brucie, but to be frank the weirdness is more jarring than suspending and I reckon they would have been better off just leaving alone.

But yes, this is a film about time travel. Although not really because time travel is actually more of a story telling device than a necessity to the plot - this is no BTTF that's for sure. On the bright side this means it's pretty easy to follow (or even ignore); on the down side this means there'll be a lot of disappointed Star Trek fans who will be left unstretched. And that's not even considering the irreverent "twist" introduced later - more of a crutch to distract from the shallowness of the plot more than anything else.

But please excuse the harshness above (as a Star Trek fan, you can blame my disappointment for that). The fact is that Looper is actually a pretty decent flick as it stands; GL is good (as always) with Blunt covering the rear in the casting sense. Willis is just Willis, and those of you who put up with all of One Tree Hill (just me perhaps) will easily recognise the awesomely cute Pierce Gagnon.

Looper was relatively engaging, thoroughly enjoyable and a quite a bit of fun; just don't go in hoping to put your temporal theories to good use - there's no paradoxes here.


Monday, October 15

SMBC Click for more info

Oh my, this is why I love SMBC:

I just don't get people who don't get this. What's the point? It's like missing out on the actual taste of the food you're eating.

Saturday, October 13

Food: Noodle Oodle Click for more info

Just when I thought I was all Chinese'd out, I get taken to Noodle Oodle, miles away in the heart of Bayswater. This is okay, since after tonight it has become the place to eat Halal Chinese.

Maybe I was just hungry (which I was) but even the most simple of dishes were damn good. From the chicken wings and Aromatic Duck for starters to the Black Bean Beef and Wasabi Prawns for mains everything was top notch. Even the service was decent.

£22 per head including drinks was pricey, but then we did over-order slightly (but had no trouble finishing it all off). Much recommended.

Friday, October 12

Book: A Storm of Swords, George R.R. Martin Click for more info

(Part 2, here)

Book Three of A Song of Ice and Fire receives the ball from the previous two books and just runs with it. You would have thought that after four books (as this book was actually split into two volumes) you would get used to the pace, twists and turns of Westoros, but no, I can think of at least three times that I was physically left breathless while reading - something that rarely happens when checking out any media. You know you're reading something good when you literally have to put it down to recover.

But anyway, I feel like I'm wasting time writing when I could be reading. And you should too.

Friday, October 5

Food: Thainese Click for more info

Genius names aside, there wasn't much to say about this 'Stonian take on "authentic halal Chinese". That's not to say that the food wasn't good, because it was pretty decent.

No, it was everything else that lacked, from the short knee biting tables to the lack of decent service all the way to the bill - a whopping 20 quid per head. The real flaw of the place was that you could get similar food down the road for much cheaper and - perhaps more importantly - with adult sized tables.

And it's for that reason - the availability of much better options - that I sadly can't really recommend this place too much. But then I guess with competition someone has to lose.