Tuesday, July 25

Film: Spider-Man: Homecoming Click for more info

You know your blog is old when you've already written about the previous two reboots of a comic book character. On the other hand, that kind of pedigree and exposure does put this, the first MCU iteration of our favourite neighbourhood webslinger, in a unique position - it's impossible to watch this without some kind of comparison.

Well in short Sam and Tobey still top the list for me. In fact I'd go as far as to say that the MCU might have even spoiled the character a bit - the superhero side at least is pretty much unrecognisable from what we've been fond of all these years. The characters are revamped and updated and the whole thing just feels a bit shoe-horned in and web 2.0.

On the other hand this is possibly the first Spider-Man that captures the immaturity and youth of Peter Parker, and that while avoiding (in the most part) falling into the angsty trap that young adult film sometimes falls into.

So yes, MCU Spider-Man is okay, not great... and that probably only because we've seen it done so well already. Given the size of the MCU now that's probably as much as we should expect really.

Tuesday, July 18

Film: War for the Planet of the Apes Click for more info

Oh man, where did they go wrong? After the first two chapters in the sublime franchise about clever apes, how can releasing such a shallow cash in of a movie ever be seen as just or fair?

Yes there are apes, yes there is a bad guy, yes there is action. But it's what's missing that's really upsetting - there's no depth, no nuance, no engagement here. It felt like more of a formality than a conclusion, and that's quite sad seeing as how the first two we really did have the making of a great trilogy.

On the other hand, if you did like the first two then you probably won't hate this. For me, it's made all three forgettable and that's a real great shame.

Sunday, July 16

Food: Razza Click for more info

I was preparing to say how generic and passe Razza was, being just another Indian... but it turns out that it was actually novel enough to stand out from the usual - if anything a few of us were stumped by the dizzying array of new options to try. The highlights included Tava Rolls, Chicken Paneer and even a Chicken dish served with a mango sauce and whipped cream (!).

The food itself was above average - so not great but passable. The service was also above par. Cost wise we ended up paying a tenner per head after enjoying a Gourmet Card discount which didn't feel too unfair.

Overall Razza was curious enough to grab our attention for this night, and for those who live in the vicinity it's a solid enough choice.

Wednesday, July 12

Film: Baby Driver Click for more info

As a film, Baby Driver was an okay, largely forgettable, series of car chases and musical fanservice. It's probably worth a watch at some point, but I don't think I would have been too upset if I had missed out.

But as an Edgar Wright joint, Baby Driver was very disappointing. It's almost as if Wright had started with a musical theme (a la La La Land) and built a movie around it, while omitting any of the depth or nuance of his other ingeniously made films.

This is a bit of a shame since the industry needs someone like Edgar Wright, whose willing to stick to his guns instead of buckling to common denominator pressures - his leaving of Ant Man was a case in point of his belief in his movie making style, but alas it didn't seem to quite carry all the way to Baby Driver. All apart from the opening credits coffee fetching scene - that was pure Edgar. It's just a shame it all ended there.

All of which leaves me quite sad actually, and so I've decided to revisit Hot Fuzz to cheer me up.

Wednesday, July 5

Film: The Mummy Click for more info

It turns out that The Mummy really was as bad as they told us it was. The premise was decent enough I guess - on top of the standard mummy affair we had the opening of the Dark Universe (what can I say? I'm a sucker for franchises), the introduction of a wider set of characters and some fun and games along the way too.

But the film itself just didn't work. The acting was shoddy, the production and editing confused and the whole flow just a bit of a mess really. It would be unfair to call the film terrible, but it certainly wasn't unmissable. I like to think that my investment will pay off when the franchise eventually opens up... but I'm not holding my breath really.

So no, I guess that really falls short of a recommendation.

Sunday, July 2

Food: Faroz Click for more info

You know, it's now come to the point where it's difficult to do a bad Turkish or Lebanese. That's not to say that such places serve no purpose - they're great for when adventure or pomp isn't required, the default workhorse when it comes to picking a restaurant. So yes, a solid and dependable grill will always be welcome - more so at least than a substandard one.

Faroz is a solid restaurant. There were no surprises here, the food was well above standard with the food coming quickly in an effective demonstration of good service. The price was bang on as expected, with my two sticks of kobdeh and chips coming in at just under a tenner.

Oh and the location was interesting, with the restaurant paying for our parking while we ate - a decent bonus all things considered. Faroz at the very least has become my go to place when I can't be bothered to look further afield.

Saturday, July 1

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Click for more info

Just to be clear, I had no plan (or hope) to ever get to watch this play - the idea of booking anything a month let alone A WHOLE YEAR in advance makes me a little queasy, and these days I'm happy to overlook things if they happen to be just too much hard work. But that's why I jumped at the chance when a friend offered me a spare ticket for both parts today - there really would have been no probable way I would have seen this play otherwise.

First things first though: Harry Potter And The Cursed Child is not an epic production. It's okay. That of course is more than enough for any kind of Harry Potter fan (of which I place myself at a sturdy 6 on a 10 scale), and there was plenty of fan service and nostalgia for those who fondly remember the last two decades of the Wizarding World. The lack of music is particularly jarring, although I'm not quite sure why I expected this to be a musical in the first place.

So yes, the acting was okay, the wardrobe okay, the plot slightly undercooked (especially when placed in relation to some of the more twisty Potter plots). Technically the stage was pretty fun - the sense of magic was definitely there with some clever and cool tricks played on us, the audience. But I can't say too much, especially seeing as I picked up a #keepthesecrets badge too. Oh and on that note, splitting the play into two parts was pretty much criminal; there's no real reason for it to have been so long really.

So in conclusion: Am I glad I went? Absolutely, most definitely, and not just for the exclusivity of the occasion. Watching The Cursed Child definitely expands the Potter world we know and love and you can't really claim to have seen it all with out it.

On the other hand, do I think it's indispensable? Probably not, but then that is coming from a 6/10 fan. If you have the patience to wait a year then you probably should, especially for the price of £30 that we paid for both parts. Otherwise you could read the script for the story, which for me was the best part of it all.