Thursday, February 24

Book: White Sand (Prose), Brandon Sanderson

In what turned out to be a bit of a back track, I realised that I was sufficiently dissatisfied by my reading of White Sand, the graphic novel, to give the original draft prose a go. Although largely redundant (I plan to finish off the comic), I felt that I wasn't able to quite follow and engage with the story set in Taldain, and hoped that reading the prose would allow me to continue reading the adaptation with a bit more comfort. Of course, it remains to be seen whether reading a non-canon version of a story will help or hinder.

Otherwise the book was clearly a draft, and very rough around the edges, particularly as it went on. As such, it wasn't quite as rigorous as the other books in the Cosmere, in the magic system, plot or character development. Still it was fun, and as I wanted, more accessible than its comic counterpart. I appreciated the insight and context that the written word was able to provide.

There are a few "non-canon" artefacts in the Cosmere, but I don't envisage approaching those. White Sand was therefore less optional for me than its draft status implies. I don't think I can recommend its reading to even a completionist though, unless like me you found the graphic novel to be a bit labouring.

Wednesday, February 23

Film: Uncharted Click for more info

A movie based on not just any videogame, but one of the best franchises in the past decade or so? Using actors who look waaaay too young in comparison to their original counterparts? Was this ever going to be anything but an abject failure?

Well... apparently it can. Now, no, Uncharted is no classic homage to a classic videogame, but despite it really shouldn't working, it actually wasn't bad. In fact it was rather good.

What it managed to nail was the fun factor I suppose. It plays from a very solid playbook, doesn't try anything too brave and makes few mistakes. The action is just as inspired as the source material (in some cases lifting them wholesale). And of course the music was spot on.

So not terrible then and I guess... recommended.

Wednesday, February 16

Film: Moonfall Click for more info

I mean, I don't know what I was expecting while waiting for this film to start. No wait - that's a lie, I did. I was ready to hate it, merely doing my bit as a responsible adult humouring the whims of a friend's kid who was joining us on this visit. Just taking one for the next generation etc.

And so sure enough, I wasn't disappointed. In fact, it's a kind of secret shame to admit that I actually enjoyed it at times, proof positive that these things are not objective and that anything can be great if you put your (positive) mind to it.

Please note: this is not to say that Moonfall was a good film. It wasn't. It wasn't even "so bad it was good". This was a ridiculous film that shouldn't have been made, and shouldn't be seen by anyone. Unless you're being forced to by a young child.

Wednesday, February 9

Food: Kate's Cafe

Discovery can be a funny thing. We initially found Kate's Cafe on Tiktok - a Ghanian restaurant recommended by someone we didn't know, brought to our attention by an algorithm. It looked so good, so alluring, so essential. And so off we went.

Of course reality is never as shiny as social media, and so we left disappointed, even though the place wasn't that bad. We went for the kebabs, Jollof Rice with chicken and the novelty Kontomire with the dough like Fufu. Everything was... adequate.

Otherwise Kate's Cafe was clean, the service was great, and the place quiet and a decent place to try something new. I did find the bill of £15 per head a bit on the pricey side, but I suspect I will need to recalibrate my price expectations as a separate exercise anyway.

So overall, even thought I have no regrets visiting Kate's Cafe this time, I don't envisage going back in the near future.