Friday, March 31, 2017

Show: Found Footage Festival @ Soho Theatre

The Found Footage Festival is the crowning event of a scene I'm only just starting to get into. There are people out there who scour old video collections for amusing content and two of the best, Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett have managed to turn that obsession into an hour-long live shows that they're currently touring with. I saw them as part of a 3-day run in London.

Including content such as religious videos where Jesus is commenting on being touched, to news reel bloopers to some of the worst exercise videos the guys provided a hilarious show from start to finish. I was introduced to this scene through the Duke Mitchell Film Club. I 'll be keeping an eye on these two too. So impressed was I that I bought the entire back catalogue on the way out.

Film: Free Fire

Free Fire is the kind of film that'd materialise if you were asked to extend the final scene of Reservoir Dogs into a 90-minute film, and I've no complaints with that.

A Boston gun deal between some Irish and some international dealers go awry when two people on either side rekindle a private feud. A woman and physically large American arbitrating the deal are unable to prevent it becoming a mini-war. Throw in a double-cross and you've a film that continues to remain interesting despite the simple premise.

The film is funny, getting close to the level of the gunfights in Police Squad as the people throw things at each whenever the bullets ran dry. I also like that a lot of the quips the two sides throw at each other take place off-screen making great use of surround sound.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Show: Punel Show @ Museum of Comedy

A new show from Mark Simmon's joining up with PunRun regular Darren Walsh as they try a new panel show format based on puns. The format seems to intentionally not work adding to the humour, but the jokes really do as we were blessed with a couple of hours of inane puns and one-liners. As a fan of groaning and death-threat eliciting humour this was right up my street and being just a short walk from the office was literally that too!

Highlights for me were an R.Kelly joke,  and a joke that despite being a one-line took ages; they even managed a pun during the interval. I also enjoyed that the audience get to take part.

The show runs for a few more weeks and is highly recommended if puns are your thing.



Graffiti: Dank in East London

Here are a few photos of 2 Dank Kitchener pieces that can be found in East London.



The first is one of his more recent ones and it can be found a short drive from Stratford rail and bus station. It features some of his Future Tokyo creatives.


The second located not far from Plaistow station has been around for almost a year and is a collaboration with another artist I like, Otto Schade. 

Both are stunning pieces and Dan's work is improving with every piece he does.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Film: The Assignment

Michelle Rodriguez plays a bearded male hitman with an unnecessary big dick who is kidnapped by a Shakespeare-quoting surgeon, played by Sigourney Weaver, and turned into a woman. After shouting "nooooo" at realising the dick has gone and she now has breasts, the Hitwoman seeks her revenge.
I watch too many shit movies. This is another but this could end up being a cult film like Showgirls it's so bad.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sightseeing: Dubai Food

The obligatory supermarket visit

This sounds like the chaviest of girlie drinks. 

The UAE is a dry country which means you can drink wine but without the alcohol.
 
If you like your snacks inspired by Blackadder

Pocari is the refreshing Japanese drink. Badam is the wrongest drink, it's like drinking turkish delight flavoured milkshake with coconut lumps in. 

This sounds like something that would send you to sleep.


Pork has it's own section and staff to serve you but it's kept separate to the rest of the store. They really do make the most of the pigs they kill here: ears, and hearts? I like how the blood is also in here, I thought the rules only applied to the meat. I'm clearly wrong.

All of these products contain pork or pork derivatives. Even the Heinz ketchup!


Sightseeing: Dubai

Whilst in Dubai we didn't do too much sightseeing, partly due to the itinerary and me not being particularly bothered to go anywhere in the spare time we did have. I guess I'm getting old.

However we did have time to go up the Dubai tower.

We got there super early to get the jump on the public.


There's a moderately long pre-show and obligatory green-screen photo which I skipped straight through. The elevator is really quick in getting you up to the observation floor.



Despite being called "At the Top" it's clearly not. The view is impressive and on first impressions it seems like any other big building until you remember that you're looking down on other skyscrapers. 

There is still a long way up! I think the top is some way off still

Here's what it is really like at the top.

Elsewhere in the building there's a Bond exhibition that is there for a few more weeks yet.


Instead I made do with grabbing a ridiculously overpriced ice cream from the shop at the entrance. Having chosen smurf flavoured ice cream I took a sick pleasure in understanding what had happened to the lovable blue creatures whilst eating them. 




The Dubai Mall aquarium is pretty impressive too. You can pay to walk the tunnel that runs through the tank or you can just stand and observe it from the side.

The Souk is part of the mall that harks back to the old Arabian markets but if it was built with a sizeable budget.

The waterfall is pretty impressive and is quite lengthy (that's not really obvious in the portrait shot). I'm sure I've seen this somewhere before but can't think where. Vegas perhaps...

Here's the Burj at night. It's a popular draw with the tourists and locals.


They have regular fountain shows through the evening which is probably the draw for the public. Do bear in the mind the entrance in and out fills with people leaving and going to shows.


We did also ride the metro. It's a long walk from the mall to the metro station but all indoors and with plenty of travelators to help move you there quicker. It's the largest driver-less metro in the world and will run over a longer track as they expand it.

Dubai is an interesting place. It's incredibly clean and safe, way more than back at home and the investment here is incredible. I can easily see myself coming back every couple of years or staying a night during a long-haul flight to Asia. However you have to turn a blind eye to the migrant labour that has done most of the construction work here. As you travel around you often see small buses ferrying these guys from place to place and they look like prison buses with everyone wearing the same outfits. Victims of dubious practices these guys come from SE Asia enticed by a promised wealth that fails to materialise. There are many articles online that go into this in more details. Will it become the Orlando to the East that it is trying to be? Based on the theme parks now appearing I think so. Outside of the park there are many reasons to come here, whether it be food, events or just some warm weather. With a rumoured Cirque show also due to set up residence I will definitely be back.


Park: Adventureland

The final park of the tour was back in Sharjah close to the airport. Adventureland is another large mall park run by a guy who used to work for ride maker Vekoma. 


The park has 3 coasters, which is pretty good for an indoor park, two of them are quite lengthy powered rides, which some picky people wouldn't count.

Kukulcan is the red one and Forest Train is the right. The stations are both beside each at the front of the park. A kukulcan is a feathered serpent from Mayan culture. A forest train is, well, a train that goes through a forest.


The best coaster and one of the surprises of the trip was their motocoaster which took us right up to the ceiling before coming back down with some nice twisting turns and close interactions with the rest of the park. I liked this a lot!


Elsewhere the park didn't really offer much to us. I was 40 years too late for the majority of the rides.





The park does have some really good unique theming around the park. It's not confirmed if the birds peck your eyes out if you make it to the top.

This theming was perhaps a little politically incorrect.


This was quite nice with a drop tower on a very long program bouncing up and down within a surrounding plant.

If you can't afford Disney's Toy Story attraction here's a cheaper alternative that offers the same thing, as you shoot at screens from a moving train.

We all quite liked the park and it served as a perfect conclusion to a rather excellently organised trip. Everybody who went had a great time.


Film: War for the Planet of the Apes

The latest in the monkey series sees the monkey clan uproot and heading off to the desert, because that's a good climate for monkeys ...