Tuesday, May 28

Film: Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga Click for more info

Mad Max films have never sat well with me. I'm not sure if it's the imagery, the rawness or just how Australian they are, but it always felt a bit too jarring for my tastes. Or at least that's what I thought.

In anticipation of Furiosa, we sat and rewatched Fury Road... and it actually felt better than I remembered. It wasn't as incoherent as I thought it was, and it was far more fun and less creepy too. The start to end action was great and not too much, while the wild pacing actually made a lot of sense.

Of course it's not the film that's changed over time. And I think on balance Furiosa was even better. It was smoother, better acted and just overall better made. Taylor-Joy was just that, while Hemsworth and the rest of the cast supported her well. It was also a lot of fun and is one of those rare films that at 2.5 hours did not overstay its welcome.


Tuesday, May 14

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

As movie franchises go, the "post-Walberg" attempt are pretty good. The first trilogy was solid, with each of them being different enough to stand alone in a strong set. This, the start of a second trilogy, also starts off on the right foot, getting the basics right while introducing enough nuance and depth to make it a more than just another Ape movie.

It's hard to comment too much on the acting of course, but it was well produced otherwise, with the effects better than ever, and the voice acting just as you would think a talking ape to sound. My only criticism was that it was slightly too long - I reckon a good 20 minutes could have been lopped off to great positive effect.


Saturday, May 11

Aziz Ansari at Bush Hall

Aziz Ansari has always eluded me. To be more specific, I always seemed to hear about his shows after they happen, and by people who really should have invited me when they were booking. So when a friend told me about a show on Friday (ie yesterday), I jumped at the chance and bought in blind. I found out later that the tickets were £60 - Aziz is doing quite well it seems.

The show was just about worth it. After a 30 minute wait (which I'm sure is not normal nor acceptable) we had the warm up acts come on, and both were more than decent. Aziz then came on, and had us laughing for just over an hour over topics covering relationships, religion (which I was surprised about) and international matters. Nothing on Gaza though which was a bit disappointing but otherwise it felt very personal and intimate (although the TMI from some audience members was a bit too much).

Things have changed since the first decade of this century when brown stand-up wasn't funny and Aziz Ansari was always my counter example to that trend. More recently we have more options to choose from but for me Ansari will always be the guy who started genuine brown comedy and I'm glad I finally got the chance to cross seeing him live off of my bucket list.

Food: Tigers Diner Click for more info

Pre-event meals are always hard to judge well. Are we just excited about the show or is the food really that good? I guess at the very least we know a place is bad if even with that euphoria it manages to upset, but I did think that Tigers was decent even aside from that context.

I went for the Godzilla burger and it was a bit of a monster. The food was good, the vibe great, and none of it ruined our evening. I think times dictate we acknowledge their paltry drinks options (mainly Coke variants) and spade-heads-as-plates was more annoying than cute, but otherwise there was really not much to complain about and a lot to love. Recommended if you happen to be in the Shepherd's Bush area.

Tuesday, May 7

Film: The Fall Guy Click for more info

This was a strange movie. On the surface it appeared to be a solid film and reflected the fun and breezy vibe of the TV show it's based on. Gosling and Blunt did their jobs well, the plot was engaging, and things just progressed at a decent enough pace.

Which is why it was surprising that I fell asleep half way through. I guess there was something very bland about the whole thing, proof that a film is more than the sum of its parts and some kind of jeuje was definitely missing here. In its place was some self awareness, meta and schizophrenia in this movie about a movie, and a lot of it distracted more than enhanced.

Fun enough but hardly a classic.

Wednesday, May 1

Film: Boy Kills World Click for more info

Urgh. The only thing more disappointing about a bad film is one that could have been so much better. BKW had all the right ingredients - a badass protagonist, a twisty plot, some great characters and associated gimmicks and some potentially explosive action. Unfortunately once you scratch the surface it falls short on most counts and so ends up being quite the failure.

Maybe it could have been split into two movies? Or maybe it just needed a bit of love and care? It was too bad to even think about how it could be better, and so unfortunately for me this is one to miss.