Monday, August 21, 2017

My Seven Favourite Songs from Disney Musicals

I’ve restricted the options to just songs from Disney musicals, as opposed to songs that appeared in Disney non-musicals, such as ‘When She Loved Me’ from Toy Story 2, otherwise it would have made a hard task even harder (I love ‘Le Festin’ from Ratatouille)!

07. HellfireThe Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
A left-field shout, given the crux of this song is about the sexual frustration a pious priest feels towards the beguiling gypsy Esmeralda. But I had to nominate Hellfire because it’s memorable, taboo, and tonally, so recherché (what other Disney film features the line ‘he made the Devil so much stronger than the man’?)

Essentially, the message of Hellfire is ‘if I can’t have her, no-one can’. It’s every possessive ex-boyfriend, immortalised in a Disney song, and fits in neatly with the plot, as dastard Claude Frollo’s unsatisfied urges are his motivation for a Domino effect that leads to Paris burning. The religious imagery employed in Hellfire only go to compound Frollo’s sense of sinful lust for a woman he both despises, yet will do anything to possess.

I like songs which shine a torch onto the hypocrisy of religion, and Hellfire offers an insight to this holier-than-thou priest’s mindset. Turns out, his thoughts aren’t so holy, and the choir-like vocals accompanying Frollo’s disturbing soliloquy underscores this irony nicely.

(On a slight film ratings tangent, the likes of fluffy Frozen and Tangled getting rated PG when The Hunchback of Notre Dame, by far one of their darkest films, was only a U, is mighty misleading. It ought to be at least a 12 for the creepy overtones in this song alone).

06. Prince AliAladdin (1992)



Thursday, August 17, 2017

A delicious three course meal at my friend's wedding.

Last month, I attended my friend's beautiful wedding in Bristol (OOTD here). Here are some pictures I took, including part of the awesome three-course meal we had!



Book review: THE LOST SYMBOL (Dan Brown)


Robert Langdon, the Harvard professor whose impressive cognitive abilities was put through their paces in Angels and Demons and then The Da Vinci Code, finds himself at the centre of another mystery. This time, it involves the kidnapping of his close friend, Peter Solomon, a renowned member of the Freemasons. Along with Peter’s scientist sister Katherine, Langdon must piece together the fragmented clues to get Solomon’s abductor the information he strives, if he wishes to see his friend alive again.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

She played the fiddle in an Irish band, but she fell in love with an Englishman.

Given that romance is my favourite genre, it goes without saying that I've seen my fair share of love scenes in movies. There’s an unofficial hierarchy when it comes to how strict the BBFC, IFCO and MPAA are when it comes to lovemaking at 12A/PG-13, and it goes (from least strict to strictest): BBFC < IFCO < MPAA.

For example, the sex scenes in The Light between Oceans, Brooklyn and My Cousin Rachel received the 12A equivalent in all three films boards. About 80% of PG-13-rated sex scenes do fall in that Venn diagram intersection of BBFC, IFCO and MPAA rating sameness.
Saoirse Ronan shines in Brooklyn. She's also in the music video of Ed Sheeran's 'Galway Girl' a song I currently have stuck in my head!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Restaurant review: ZELMAN MEATS (Soho)

If you like steak, but don't want to commit to 400g of just one type, and in doing so, restricting your choice to a rump which may or may not be cooked to your ideal condition, Zelman meats could well be the solution to your quagmire.

At Zelman Meats, there are four core beef steaks you can order (Smoked Short Rib, Chateaubriand, Sliced Picanha, “Dirty” Sirloin Steak). The former two are priced by weight, and the latter is priced in conventional restaurant manner, at £32 for 400g. The minimum order per table per given type of meat is 200g, but if you go with a friend, you can order a joint amount of 200g of several types of steaks, and share everything, so there's variety in your meal!


Also pictured above are Black Truffle and Parmesan Chips, which were a bit pricey at £8, but the conflation of truffle, chips and cheese is hard to argue with.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Restaurant review: DISHOOM (Shoreditch)

Dishoom’s reputation precedes itself. Due to great word of mouth, the Shoreditch venue, as with the Covent Garden venue, which I have also been to, doesn’t allow bookings unless the party is of six people or more. If you’re in a party of five people or less, you have to queue on the door, with the length of the queues ranging from half an hour to an indefinite period of time.

The menu claims these prawns are 'succulent'. They tasted dry to me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Bar review: GORDON'S WINE BAR (Embankment)

  
My first impression of Gordon's Wine Bar, handily located equidistant between Charing Cross and Embankment tube stations, was that it was a bit dingy. No doubt regular punters at this bar would find the shabbiness endearing, but the peeling paint and decaying wood, in combination with a rather ominous smell, didn't scream 'welcome!' to me.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Pub review: THE PIG AND BUTCHER (Angel)

To get a table on a Sunday at The Pig and Butcher, you have to make your reservation some days in advance. It's quite rare for a gastropub to be fully booked up, but when I visited this venue, that's exactly how it was.

The Sunday menu offers several roasts, some available for the single diner, and others only available as part of a two-person package. On our visit, my friend and I had the beef roast to share. The roasts came with Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, creamed leeks and vegetables.



Thursday, August 03, 2017

Restaurant review: TRULLO (Islington)

Situated very close to Highbury and Islington overground station is Trullo, a rustic, understated, yet very welcoming Italian restaurant.

Trullo has a reputation for its friendly staff, and indeed, the people who waited on us were absolutely lovely, helpfully giving tips whilst making sure we were fully stocked with regards to water. After completing one of our dishes (the pasta one), I asked to keep the plate on the table to polish off the sauce using bread, which they seemed perfectly cool with. I dig that; at a poncier place such plebbish behaviour might have earnt me and eye roll from the waiters.

For starter, we shared the mozzarella dish, pictured below:

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Restaurant review: BARRAFINA (Covent Garden)

On my birthday (18th April), I ventured out of my cheap and cheerful and/or Groupon-bought dining comfort zone and celebrated in style with an altogether more upmarket dinner at Barrafina.

The restaurant specialises in Spanish tapas, and after the nightmare that was Salvador and Amanda with all their short-cut taking, I was naturally, a little hesitant.

I needn't have worried; Barrafina has restored my faith in Spanish tapas in London.

Here are some pictures:



Monday, July 31, 2017

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Gaucho (Picadilly Circus)


Seeking to right the wrong I outlined here of having not been to enough steakhouses in the capital, I popped just down the road from the last place I visited, to Gaucho, a famous Argentinian steakhouse. 


Restaurant review: CRYSTAL CHINA (Tower Bridge Road)

If you fancy Chinese dining a little different from the noodles/rice & meat dish combination, or dim sum options, Crystal China specialises in dry hotpots. This is when the customer chooses several individual items from the menu, and they are all fried together, so the flavours blend together into a delicious melange. 



Sunday, July 30, 2017

OOTD: A University Friend's Wedding in Bristol.

Dress: Warehouse
Bracelet: bought on holiday in Amsterdam
Necklace: Swarovski
Earrings: Accessorize

As you can see, I went for a pink theme, as I believe it to be the warmest colour!

Bonus picture: oblig vain selfie:


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Statistical Analysis of Usage of My Odeon Limitless Card

I went on a 4-hour R course last year, and since then, I’ve just been fixated with adapting the code they gave us to draw pretty graphs with, in order to nerd out over my personal interests (chiefly, films and football).

This post will be much like the one I did six months ago when I analysed my film-watching habit of 2016 across all mediums, only here, I’m just analysing the 69 titles I saw on my Odeon Limitless card with some attempts at ~science behind the graphs I present.


Monday, July 24, 2017

My five favourite songs from FROZEN (2013).

A good musical has to have more than just one big marquee song. Frozen has several great ones, so I thought I’d do a top 5 of the ones that I liked the most. After all, it's a musical who's soundtrack I'm fairly well acquainted with, shall we say!



Sunday, July 23, 2017

10 things I learnt from the 2016 BBFC Annual Report

So, after waiting, and waiting, and waiting, the BBFC Annual Report for 2016 dropped! Here it is, and having pored over it, here are my major takeaways from reading it!



I’m glad my many hours of wasting time watching films purely for BBFC research purposes (such as Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry), poring over BBFC minutes and lurking who complains to their Twitter account has paid off, because my prognostications for the films that would cause them the most complaints were even better than my Oscar predictions (and the Oscar goes to…. La La Land! No, Moonlight! #stillgloating).

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Review: ODEON LIMITLESS CARD

After being underwhelmed by the limited range of films offered by the (ironically named) Cineworld Unlimited card, I voted with my wallet and defected to the Odeon Limitless card as a means of watching as many films as I wanted to in the year instead.




In terms of cinemas, the venues ranged from plush, comfortable and state-of-the-art (the newly renovated Orpington Odeon is as luxurious as any cinema I’ve been to, and one of the finest things about my otherwise fairly humdrum hometown) to scummy and very badly maintained (Birmingham, where I saw Lights Out, had muck all over the floor, as well as brats watching the film who were clearly under-15).


Bungsy's Girlcrush List, 2k17.

I haven't done one of these lists for over three years, and I think it's fair to say my taste in women has generally evolved, whilst some of the lady crush staples still remain. 

Some choices from previous years which now make me cringe when I look back include Cara Delevingne (in my defence, this was before she assailed my eyes as an actress and played to her strengths as a model), Kaya Scodelario (still fit tbf, but just kinda annoying) and Emma Stone (still cute, still talented, but I will now forever sideye her for the yellowface in Aloha debacle). 

I imagine when I look back at this list in a few years, I will be equally cringed out.

So, without further ado, Emmabung's Girlcrush List, 2017!

10. Ariana Grande
'Problem' is a piece of song-writing genius, an ace and catchy song has guided me through all manner of turbulent times. I have so much time for Ari's 4-octave vocal range, and I also dig how despite being baby-faced and having Bambi eyes, she has a hyper-sexualised image. The seductive way she peers up from the heart-shaped sunglasses in the 'Bang Bang' music video: swoon.

Friday, July 21, 2017

A fabulous three course meal at the Scarman Conference Centre, University of Warwick.

I attended a conference at the University of Warwick this April, and on one of the evenings, we were all treated to a delicious three course meal. Here are the courses:

Salmon starter. Such a generous (and appetising) portion of seafood! (I love seafood btw; whenever I'm at McDonald's I always get the filet o'fish).

Thursday, July 20, 2017

When the BBFC TMIs.

Last week, my brother and I caught up with White Gold, a show about three wheeler-dealer window salesmen in Essex in the 80’s, on iPlayer. Written by one-half of the team behind The Inbetweeners and featuring two of the four lead actors from the show, it’s also about half as good as The Inbetweeners.

The main issues with the show were that it tried too hard to be funny, and Ed Westwick (Chuck Bass from gossip girl)’s character was a deeply smarmy, dislikeable bloke. I think the cover of the DVD pretty much tells you all you need to know about this show:

I miss Simon Bird. So much.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

For there's no club in town quite as manly...


Four months on from seeing Beauty and the Beast at the cinema, I'm still absolutely obsessed with the 'Gaston' song. Even the most tenuous thing, such as the club photographed above, gets me breaking out in song. It might just be my second-ever favourite Disney song (second only to 'Let it Go', obviously).

Oh, and say hello to what will almost certainly be one of the worst films of 2017:


Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Four Adjectives for Four Classification Issues

That Harry Styles movie, Dunkirk got its BBFC rating today, and as with Christopher Nolan's last six feature-length films, it's a 12A:


What stood out for me is that the short insight, for the four things in the film that render it 12A-worthy, each feature a different adjective:
- sustained threat (as was used in the short insight for Nolan's The Dark Knight, still by far the most complained about movie in recent years to the BBFC)


Monday, July 03, 2017

My 10 favourite performances of 2016.

I've done the trash performances list, now for the good eggs!

10. Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train

Clown music film is clown music, but Emily Blunt really deserves a shout-out on this list, for working her ass off in The Girl on the Train. Her unvain performance as a pathetic alcoholic was spot-on. 


My top 10 films of 2016 [5-1].

Part 1 of this rundown was here, which also featured five films you ought to avoid like the plague.


05. Elle



Friday, June 30, 2017

Second Guessing the Most Complaints the BBFC Got in 2016

The BBFC’s 2016 Annual Report is set to be dropped any day now (2015's one came out late June last year), and for me, it’s basically like waiting for Christmas. Of course I’ll do an extensive coverage of the Report when it comes out, as I did with the 2015 one, but for now, I thought I’d guess which films the BBFC got the most complaints about.

Note that these are my predictions for public feedback, not my own thoughts about the BBFC’s performance in 2016, which I have outlined in this blog post already.

01. 10 Cloverfield Lane (12A, people will say it should have been a 15)


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Product review: ORIGINAL WAYFARER SHADES (Rayban)


Now that the sun is shining in Britain, it's important to shield one's eyes from the scorching sun, whilst also looking the part. I have several pairs of sunglasses, but, due to my fixation with Nabokov's Lolita, they predominantly tend to be heart-shaped. I've seen characters in films ooze swag in Ray-ban sunglasses before, most memorably Emma Stone in Easy A when she struts down the hall wearing wayfarers and a basque and everyone gawps at her

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Restaurant review: CHAPTER ONE (Orpington)

Chapter One is basically the only restaurant in Orpington to carry any kind of distinction. It has used to possess one Michelin star (was sadly stripped of it in 2014), but for Bromley, that's enough to make it stand out. I’d never been there before, but for my 27th birthday, my friend Joy kindly treated me to a three course meal on the lunchtime menu there.




Facebook's somewhat lax policy to racist comments.

Yesterday, I commented on a thread on the Match of the Day account about some footballer being mentored by Jamie Vardy. I wrote something like 'hopefully this player doesn't inherit Vardy's penchant for racially abusing Japanese gentlemen in casinos.'

One Leicester fan, rather lacking in self-awareness, replied with this  (comment at the bottom).


To counter someone complaining about a player from their team for being racist about east Asians, with another, barely veiled racist comment at east Asians, sort of went to illustrate my point.

Unperturbed and unimpressed, I grassed him up to Facebook, only to receive a classic non-response:


So he not-very-subtly called me a 'chink', yet Facebook decided not to take the comment down, instead giving me advice on how to shield my eyes from racist attacks.

No wonder females, and especially females of colour, rarely get involved in football discourse. Cesspit.

I hope you're proud, Gary Lineker, for enabling Vardy, and other Leicester fans' racism, by normalising his usage of 'Jap'. This is the outcome of your careless words.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

When the BBFC is wayyyyy more wordy than the IFCO.

Ireland's insight for why Spider-Man: Homecoming is a 12A is pretty straightforward:


Very similar to their insight for Wonder Woman, a 12A for 'moderate action violence' in Ireland and 'moderate violence' in the UK. Notice how in that case, the Irish used one more adjective than the BBFC did. Another movie which got a 12A in the UK for 'moderate violence', not-so-Magnificent Seven, has a wordy AF IFCO insight, 'intense sequences of Western action and killings'.

So this demonstrates that generally, the Irish like to use more words than the BBFC, right? Right?

Well, here's Spider-Man: Homecoming's BBFC short insight, which is detailed, bordering on verbose:



A few interesting things:
1) Obscured strong language? I remember in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, when Johanna tells the the Capitol 'f_ck you' and it's bleeped out, so maybe something like that? (Tho the BBFC just called that strong language, rather than 'bleeped strong language'.)
2) The IFCO have mild ticked in the sex/nudity box, yet the BBFC consider the sex references in Spider-Man: Homecoming moderate. This is very interesting, as the BBFC are generally more lax on sex references than the IFCO (Eddie the Eagle is a PG over here and a 12A in Ireland). The only time (to the best of my knowledge) that the Ireland have rated something lower than the British for sex references is the boob-groping in Your Name. So maybe the sex references is something like that?
3) The BBFC consider the threat moderate, yet the Irish didn't flag it. So either the BBFC are being too cautious, or the IFCO are too hardened.

I will be able to judge which insight was more appropriate when I see the film!

Product reviews: three shower gels (Radox, Boots own brand)


The Radox Brazilian fusion was 50p from Superdrug, the Zingy Lime Fizz was 75p from Boots, and the Radox lavender and waterlily shower gel was £1 from Boots.

Radox Brazillian fusion was by far my favourite of the three. It had an incredibly fresh smell and I loved the way it left my skin feeling afterwards, smooth and hydrated. There was a spicy edge to its aroma, which I presume is the Brazilian contingent. A.

The 'zinginess' of the Boots Zingy lime fizz was a little too pungent; the smell completed overpowered my nosebuds when I applied some. Unfortunate, as I adore the colour (my bedroom walls are that exact same shade of lime green). C

Conversely, the scent of the Radox lavender and waterlilly was far too faint. No sooner had I applied it to my skin and washed it off, the smell of the product had gone. I know shower gels aren't supposed to linger that much (that's what perfumes are for, after all), but this shower gel was too diluted by half. The picture above, of the watery consistency, can attest to that. C+

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The rest of my product reviews are here.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A stray observation from perusing the DVD section of charity shops on a Saturday morning.


Hanna, which was the BBFC's second most complained about film in 2011 (second only to Black Swan), mainly due to the strength of the violence, exacerbated by the fact that it was a young teenage girl involved in most of the fight scenes, is a 15 in Ireland. I'm glad to see the Irish are sensible, and didn't let the fact that the lead actress being their countryman, blind them to their film rating duties.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Don't Drunk Snapchat.

When I send Snapchats when I'm drunk, I usually end up saying shady things that I regret the next day.


In last night's case, I just reiterated something that I've been banging on about for a year now.

In an attempt to do something a bit adventurous with my hair, I tried curling it to look as glam as Rosamund Pike's did in the book launch scene in Gone Girl:


I daresay my hair didn't quite stay as it was meant to, aha.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Book review: DAUGHTER (Jane Shemilt)



Although Jane Shemilt writes in lucid, gripping prose, her first novel suffers from several flaws.


NowTV's completely inaccurate listing of BBFC ratings.

I won a month's NowTV subscription from McDonald's Monopoly, which is super-handy as they have a bunch of shows and boxsets on there.

Prior to consuming the shows, however, I couldn't help but notice how off they were with the BBFC ratings of some of the shows:

Modern Family is a family show, who's episodes go up to 12, tops! Where on earth did they get the 18 from?



How I Met Your Mother and Delicious have episodes that are 15, but that's it.

Based on these three inaccuracies, I wondered if NowTV's default was just to autopilot everything as 18. But they get the show's rating wrong by rating it a lot lower than it should be, too:


And finally, it wasn't easy, but I found a show for which NowTV accurately listed the BBFC rating:
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Nerding out over the BBFC is my thing, chaps. Check out all the other posts I've done on them here.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Friday, June 02, 2017

Bar review: THE REDCHURCH BAR (Shoreditch)

The last time I had cocktails using a Groupon deal with my friend Rebecca was The Escapologist in Covent Garden, which, despite a customer who rudely pushed in in front of me, was a thoroughly enjoyably evening. Rebecca and I had had our boozy night back in September of 2016. Almost nine months later, here I was, taking advantage of another Groupon deal, again with the same babe.

However, the original plan had to been to visit The Redchurch Bar with a friend on May 20th. We arrived in Shoreditch at 4pm (where both the Groupon deal and Google say the bar is open from), but the doors weren’t open. We assumed the bar staff were just running a little late, so settled up shop in The Verge across the road, where, graciously, there was also a Happy Hour (review of The Verge coming soon).

We sat in The Verge until 7pm, occasionally popping over to see if it had opened yet. It never did, although at some points, a man (presumably the manager) was standing behind the locked door, furrowing his brows whilst on his phone. Eventually we gave up hope on our Redchurch cocktails, and went for dinner in Brick Lane. But that was really, really annoying. Of all the problems I’ve had with Groupon, up until then, I’d never experienced a place not actually being open.

So, of course, it was with trepidation that I approached the place with Rebecca some 10 days later. Amazingly, it was open! Admittedly, we got there a bit later, 8:30pm, but the lack of staff was telling immediately; it was a fairly spacious bar, yet I only spotted two couples in The Redchurch bar.

Something inconvenient that this place did with their deal which both The Escapologist and Adventure Bar eschewed (by allowing the deal-holder to open up a tab) was that we had to order all our cocktails at once. This wasn’t ideal because it meant some drinks lost some of their chill towards the end, and as we all know, if there’s anything I need more of, it’s chill.

Even more annoyingly, was the fact that they didn’t have ingredients for a bunch of the drinks. As I’ve stipulated in past reviews of Groupon cocktail deals, if I’ve shelled out £24 for six cocktails, I want to maximise my returns by ordering the most expensive drinks. There were several which were £11.50 here, and the one which caught my attention was the ‘Chinese Cosmopolitan’. I’m Chinese, and I love Sex and the City, so that drink sang to me straight away.

Even more worryingly, they didn’t have lychee to make that drink, and they also conspicuously lacked the ingredients for several of the other drinks which cost £11.50. To not have the ingredients for one cocktail is bad enough, but for the waitress to continually tell me I couldn't have what I desired because they didn't have the components? Poor af.

In the end, Rebecca and I were able to find three drinks apiece that we liked, and here they are: