Tuesday, January 22

Film: Glass Click for more info

Split was an interesting film not least because of its divergence from Shyamalan's usual style. As I'm not the biggest Shyamalan fan this wasn't necessarily for the worse - in fact I quite enjoyed the increased accessibility of the film even if it came at a slight cost to its conciseness. Ironically though despite being more in the classic style Unbreakable remains one of my favourite Shyamalan films, which actually worked out quite well when it turned out to be part of the larger trilogy.

If you were to plot Unbreakable and Split on a graph, Glass would lie on the same gradient. In many ways its the total opposite of Unbreakable, with lots of plot, lots of foreshadowing and lots of comic-style turmoil. In that sense it was actually quite meta, as comic book lore and style play a major part of the workings of the film.

Major props go to McAvoy who amazingly manages to improve in his presenting of multiple personalities, but he's also not alone in some decent performances by Willis and Jackson, with Sarah Paulson doing more than enough to fulfill her particular role as the sceptic.

On its own then, Glass isn't really that exciting, but as a bookend to a trilogy spanning almost twenty years it's actually quite perfect. Recommended.

Saturday, January 12

Food: Hankies Click for more info

My Hankies story begins a couple of years ago, when I visited the Hankies Cafe on Shaftesbury Avenue and immediately walked out after checking the menu. If I was going to pay for overpriced hipster Indian street food then I wasn't about to make it a quickie in a cafe.

Fast forward to 2019 and here I was, but in the restaurant situated in the Montcalm in Marble Arch. I'll make this one quick: the food was good and the bill not too terrible (£20 per head, no drinks or dessert) but the service was terrible - almost to the point where I thought it was part of the whole experience.

Honestly, it's astonishing that restaurants like these still think they can get away with it in a city where an alternative lies just two minutes walk away. I was asked on leaving which of the hipster Indian places I liked the best and I surprised myself by answering Dishoom... which pretty much says all you need to know about this particular genre of food.

Friday, January 11

Food: Issho-Ni Click for more info

Apart from the discussion generated regarding exactly where Shoreditch starts and whether or not Bethnal Green Road will resist the ever encroaching gentrification, Issho-Ni was as solid a choice as you can get when it comes to Japanese food. The concept revolves around a sharing menu (which I, albeit cynically, still read as "we want you to order more than you actually want to") of various sliced meats, skewers and (of course) sushi, nigiri and sashimi (those on a halal diet should enquire about what meats are available to them). We ordered enough variety to keep everyone's tastes and bellies filled and generally came away happy enough.

Despite being a small place (I counted around 30 covers maximum), it was spacious enough for our party of seven to enjoy ourselves comfortably. Our bill came to around £30 per head, although with a bit more discretion during ordering I think you could expect a fiver less and still come away feeling well fed.

Issho-Ni makes for a nice place to go to infrequently, perhaps on a special occasion, and in that context gets a recommendation here.

Wednesday, January 2

Film: Aquaman Click for more info

The good news is that Aquaman isn't terrible. The DCEU finally appears to be turning a corner somewhat, finally shedding its reputation of being dark and serious for something a little more fun and accessible... and being a whole lot better off for it. Hooray!

That's not to say Aquaman isn't without its flaws. It actually plays more like a Indiana Jones with powers than a superhero film, and there are some bizarre scenes that could have come straight from a Bollywood movie. These aren't bad things per se, but the filmakers are clearly trying to experiment and establish what works and what doesn't.

There's a few continuity errors scattered about and the acting is adequate at best. But overall Aquaman proves to be a fun enough journey to forgive its minor issues. Recommended.