Friday, December 28, 2018

Restaurant review: THE PICKLED HEN (Marble Arch)

Such is my fondness for exploring London restaurants using deals I’ve pre-bought on the internet, that I bought a Sunday brunch for two deal from BuyAGift at The Pickled Hen of London Marriott Hotel Marble Arch. The deal entitled us to unlimited Presecco for two hours and a Sunday brunch for £39.

You definitely get bang for your buck with this deal. Apart from the main, where you order a la carte, everything else from the brunch was buffet-style. Normally, when I think of buffets, I'm reminded of copious amounts of food on display, all of questionable quality. That wasn’t the case here at all: there was choice, but it was all refined and prepared, like cute little quiches, a generous cheeseboard and cold cuts including small slices of salami.

Two photos of just some of the awesome foods you could have:

Monday, December 24, 2018

Restaurant review: PLANET HOLLYWOOD (Piccadilly Circus)

Hey readers! Sorry I’ve been MIA for the last two months; I recently started a job in Finance and absolutely adore it! However, I’m also putting the finishing touches on my PhD, and between that, the 9 to 5 job (where the 5 often extends to much later than 5) and studying for exams that accompany my job, I have had very little time for anything else! Hence the non-existent film discourse. 

My coverage of the 2019 Oscar race will sadly be minimal compared to my extensive coverage this year, although, rest assured, I will find time to watch the key Oscar players, come hell or high water!

Until then, here be a review of Planet Hollywood, a cheery-looking place just of Piccadilly Circus that I have long wanted to visit, if only for its enticing name!


I bought a deal for a two-course meal for 2 at Planet Hollywood on I got the voucher with a discount, but I will be assessing the dining experience had I paid the price been what it’s retailing at on the website, without a discount, of £40.

With the deal, you’re entitled to two courses out of a starter, a main and a dessert. This is good because it affords flexibility, with those with a fondness for the savoury dishes given the option of starter, and those with a sweet tooth can choose dessert. What’s more, because the portions are quite large (think American-style portions), two courses will fill you, in the same way that it usually takes all three courses of a Café Rouge-style set menu to fill you.

Because I’ve always loved the sour more than the sweet (my personality in a microcosm, right there. #GoneGirl), I opted for starters instead of dessert. I had nachos: 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Restaurant review: KILN (Soho)

Kiln is a Thai restaurant situated at Brewer Street, in the heart of Soho, an area that is graciously devoid of any franchises. Instead, the streets are filled with restaurants of which there are, at tops, two or three others in the UK, meaning when you dine in this area, you can be certain that your tastebuds will be treated to something atypical.

The dishes in KILN are inspired by the regions where Thailand borders Burma, Laos and Yunnan, whilst incorporating some Chinese herbs in their seasoning. Thus, for those who like their regional food to be nice and mild, some of the dishes at KILN may initially surprise you with their sharp flavouring.

The choice on the menu is quite limited - the current menu only features three starters, three vegetarian/salad sides, four fish dishes, four meat dishes, and three choices of rice or noodles. But the idea is that what they do serve, they do exquisitely. Below are the  Aged Lamb & Cumin Skewer, Isaan Style Tamworth Sausage and Slow Grilled Chicken & Soy:

Thursday, October 25, 2018

OOTD: Polka dot tights

T-shirt: H&M
Hoodie: Marks and Spencer
Handbag: Michael Kors
Boots: Dorothy Perkins
Tights: M&Co
Miniskirt: a gift

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Ranked: BLACK MIRROR episodes [9 to 1]

As mentioned in part 1 of this blog, Playtest, the median episode, scored a solid 8 out of ten. Thus, the nine episodes I am running through today are all 8.5s or more, a testament to the general strength of Charlie Brooker’s dark, twisted, but constantly thought-provoking series.

09. USS Callister

Black Mirror does Star Trek in this epic take on fanboys, nostalgia, and when you weaponise your interests for less than salubrious purposes.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Restaurant review: KOUZU (Belgravia)

I bought a voucher to dine at Kouzu on BuyAGift. The restaurant fancies itself an upmarket Japanese restaurant, and the deal retails at £49 ordinarily, so I will be assessing it as if I paid this amount for the deal (in fact, I got a fair bit off the price due to a discount code, but I’m aware discount codes don’t occur all the time).

The starters were perfunctory. With regards to the salmon, if they were going for the 'high quality and low quantity' vibe that's typical of many high-class restaurants, they really needed to work on the presentation, because what is photographed below doesn't scream 'high-class' to me:

Friday, October 05, 2018

OOTD: Once you go Hobbs, you don't go back

I always thought there was a certain élan that came with Hobbs dresses, perhaps, in part, because 'Hobbes' happens to be the surname of Miranda from Sex and the City, the high-powered, successful career lady of the show. So it was like, in wearing Hobbs dresses, I would, by extension, be having a bit of Miranda in me!

Dress: Hobbs
Necklace: a gift
Earrings: Christmas market stall
Glasses: Red or Dead
Jacket (to the side): United Colours of Benetton

Hopefully, in the future, I'll build up more supplies of gorgeous Hobbs dresses, so I can emulate the most intelligent Sex and the City character more!

Speaking of film/TV characters' influences on my sartorial choices, when I now go clothes shopping, I seek to emulate the styles of certain sharply-dressed women. Alicia Florrick from The Good Wife and Rachel Zane from Suits are the two at the top of my list.

And, having recently watched the enjoyably soapy A Simple Favour, I am absolutely living for Blake Lively in menswear...

Work wardrobe goals!!

Sunday, September 30, 2018


My love of films is one of the things which define me, so I was ecstatic when my colleagues got me this 100 Movies Bucket List poster, which now sits proudly on my door. At the start, all the 100 movies are covered with grey foil-type material, and you scratch off the foil using your fingernails or a coin, if you’ve seen the film, as I have duly done.

In assessing this poster, I looked at two main areas, design, and choice of film.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

OOTD: Will they know what you overcame? Will they know you rewrote the game?

What I wore to catch Hamilton at the Apollo Victoria theatre, something I'd been eagerly awaiting for months!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Every episode of BLACK MIRROR ranked [19 - 10]

Charlie Brooker's anthology TV show Black Mirror is one of a kind. A dystopian envisioning of all kinds of scenarios in the future if we grow too dependent on technology, most of the episodes highlight the detrimental effects of tech, although a few episodes confound you with their sunny, optimistic outlook on how inventions and gadgets may not only complement, but enhance our lives.

My brother and I have been watching Black Mirror all Summer, and, having now caught up with all four seasons, here are my personal rankings of all 19 episodes in order of preference.

(Note: my nine favourite episodes will be discussed in an upcoming blog. I've split this run-down into two blogs, otherwise one post would be way too text-heavy).

Sunday, September 16, 2018

OOTD: Red meat, red wine, purple dress

Dress: TK Maxx
Heels: Marks and Spencer
Handbag: Michael Kors
Raincoat: Monsoon
Earrings: Miss Selfridge
Glasses: Nicole Farhi

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Consistency Act

This blog is rated 15 for infrequent strong sex references.

The new Fionn Whitehead film, The Children Act, is one of those curious cases where the film is rated 12A in Britain and Ireland, yet got an R in America.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Dress review: HARPER DRESS (Hobbs)

I’ve recently started a job in finance, a profession where it is tantamount that you dress for the part. Time permitting, I might review several of the outfits I bought, but I definitely had to give this gorgeous peach Hobbs dress a mention.

Hobbs’ sizing is very accurate, so the size 10 fit me nicely. If I were to gripe about anything, it would be that it’s too tight at the bust, but that was also the case with the Missguided and Miss Selfridge dresses I reviewed, so I think it’s fair to say that’s an artefact of my inconveniently ample bosom, rather than a design flaw of Hobbs, who tailor their dresses to the average chest size for every size.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Sharp Objects gets rated 18 by the BBFC

I finished reading Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects this week. The book has been turned into an 8-part HBO miniseries, and although I’m yet to watch it, it had very much been on my radar due to the expert way it had been marketed: ‘From the director of Big Little Lies, from the producers of Get Out, from the author of Gone Girl, and starring Amy Adams’. Any semi-cineliterate individual will know that that is a killer recipe for success.

Killer’ being the operative word. The plot revolves around a journalist, Camille Preaker (Amy Adams), who returns to her stifling Missouri hometown to investigate the disappearance of two young girls in the town. Having a tonne of baggage herself, including strained relationships with her frosty mother, the investigation causes Camille to revisit some of her demons, including the death of her beloved sister Marian, a death she never got over.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Film review: SPIONE (Fritz Lang, 1928)

A criminal mastermind, Haghi, wishes to get his hand on some Japanese government secrets. In order to do so, he enlists the talents of the Russian spy Sonja Baranikowa, who must use her feminine wiles to procure information from a debonair young spy, known only as his number, 326. Haghi's immoral plans are considerably complicated, however, when Sonja falls for the man she is supposed to be manipulating.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Restaurant review: DAWAT (Tooting)

I could have South Asian cuisine for dinner most evenings, and Tooting boasts two great Pakistani restaurants, situated across the road from each other, to ensure that you never get tired of going to the same place.

My comments about Lahore Karahi pretty much all apply to Dawat, with regards to affordability, portion sizes and the no-frills dining experience. However, of the two, I think Dawat just edges it, because, from my two visits to Dawat, I felt their ingredients were fresher. See the photo below:

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Film review: TERMINAL (Vaughn Stein, 2018)

A waitress talks to a dying man. Two bickering assassins await orders on their next hit. And a quirky janitor lurks around a dilapidated train station. These seemingly disparate goings on in an anonymous neon-lit British town are all somehow linked, and slowly the plot pieces together in Vaughn Stein’s crime caper that plays out as a terrible Quentin Tarantino rip-off.

Monday, August 13, 2018

My Moneyball moment

Earlier this year, I had a job interview for a Finance role, wherein I had to give a pitch about myself. I found the task a little daunting (how does one sell themselves without sounding egotistical?), but I remembered one of the fundamental tenets of good film writing: show, don't tell.

Rather than tell my interviewers what I could do, I thought I'd show them. I said I had some experience with R, and put my money where my mouth was in the form of this graph:

So there you go: my very own "Jonah Hill in Moneyball" moment. And just like Hill's character convinced Brad Pitt with his expert understanding of baseball economics, I convinced my interviewers thanks to my graph of goals scored by Chelsea players!

And they say films don't teach you anything. ;)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Takeaway review: KENNEDY’S OF GOSWELL ROAD (Clerkenwell)

On Monday, me and my friend Rebecca (previous places sampled with the babe here) had a lunch-time catch-up over fish and chips at Kennedy’s of Goswell Road.

Rebecca and I both had a regular cod and chips, which at £6.50, offered a much more reasonable return for our money than the practically non-existent portions you get at United Chip, down the road.

In terms of quality of the lunch, with The Narrow being the finest fish and chips I’ve sampled in London and Quality Fish and Chips being the worst, I’m glad to report that Kennedy’s leans closer to the former than the latter.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Inbetween a 15 and an 18

This blog is rated 15 for strong sex references.

Every year, I like to analyse the BBFC short insight for a film, before I’ve even seen it. Last year, I nerded out to the BBFCinsight for Dunkirk, as it was an unprecedented case of four different adjectives for each of its classification issues.

The year before, I was excited because Suicide Squad got a 15, which is really unusual for a big studio superhero movie. Funnily enough, Suicide Squad’s short insight is actually subsumed in Dunkirk’s, ‘sustained threat, intense sequences, moderate violence, strong language’, yet Dunkirk is a rating lower.

Tangential, but Dunkirk has Harry Styles (a singer-turned-actor) and Suicide Squad has Cara Delevingne (a model-turned-cocaine addict). They used to ‘date’ each other. I daresay one was substantially more successful at acting than the other.

2018’s bout of ‘Emma critiquing the BBFCinsight of a film having not even seen the movie’ comes for the upcoming The Festival. For this film, Iain Morris and Damon Beesley, the creators of The Inbetweeners, collaborate again, as director and producers, respectively.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Film review: METROPOLIS (Fritz Lang, 1927)

The city of Metropolis is separated into the wealthy upper class, who live an opulent lifestyle above the ground. Below the ground are the impoverished labourers, who’s hard work keeps the city running so the rich can enjoy themselves.

Freder, the son of the calculating overlord who oversees Metropolis, Joh Fredersen, was living in blissful ignorance until one day, Maria, a saintly woman who instils hope in the beleaguered workmen, infiltrates his lavish habitat and implores him for his help.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

OOTD: Wearing my 'Insufferable Emma' dress

My five least favourite actresses are Jennifer Lawrence (eighth worst performance of 2017), Emma Stone (actually not a bad actress tbf, but she stole a role from an Asian actress in Aloha), Emma Watson (worst performance of 2017), Cara Delevingne (fourth worst performance of 2017), and Kaya Scodelario (I don't contribute to her Box Office takings so haven't seen a film she's been in for years, thankfully).

So 40% of my 'Insufferable Women' list consists of women who share the same name as me. What they also have in common is that in the musicals they acted in, their singing was... not the best. This quote from Phantom Thread perfectly summarises my reaction when I heard Emma Stone wail through 'Audition' and Emma Watson's auto-tuned caterwauling in 'Belle':

In La La Land and Beauty and the Beast, the two Emmas each wore a yellow dress. Stone's came in the 'A Lovely Night' dance, and Hermione's was in the scene when she first dances with the Beast.

Not one to be left out, I thought I'd make like my two namesakes and also wear a yellow dress. After all, I too, am an Emma of dubious singing talent, who has far too high an opinion of herself. Hence, my yellow dress is verily named, the 'Insufferable Emma' dress.

Dress: John Lewis
Earrings: from China
Glasses: Red or Dead

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Death of Specificity

This blog is rated 15 for infrequent very strong language and strong sex references.

The Death of Stalin, Armando Iannucci’s razor-sharp historical satire, explores the power struggles that unfold immediately after Joseph Stalin dies from a stroke, with hilarious consequences.

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Perks of Being a Fangirl

It all started last year, when I watched Disney's limp, uninspired live-action reboot of Beauty and the Beast (aka the film that Emma Watson turned La La Land down for. 😏)

Although it was paint-by-numbers filmmaking for the large part, the standout scene was the exuberant 'Gaston' sequence

I was so enamoured with that musical scene, Gaston became my second favourite Disney song (not a cheap compliment if you consider what number one is) and I would look for any excuse to sing the song. For example...

🎶 No-one gazes lovingly at Mbappé like Macron! 🎶

Thursday, July 19, 2018

10 Lessons Learned from the 2017 BBFC Annual Report

I’ve waited long and hard, but Christmas for Emma has arrived! The BBFC Annual Report for 2017 dropped today, and here are the ten main takeaways I got from consuming it!

01. Emma knows her BBFC
Just as I’d predicted in my anticipation blog, the film which got the most complaints to the BBFC last year was Logan

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A hug is just a hug, a sigh is just a sigh

Congratulations to France on winning the World Cup!

As I said before the tournament began, they were who I wanted to win, largely because they have the dishiest squad, but also because two of their starting XI, N’Golo Kanté (the happiest man ever) and Olivier Giroud, are Chelsea players, so Chelsea can claim 18.2% of the victory.

Part of me wanted France to win for vengeful Gone Girlish reasons: England football fans love to sing that intolerable ‘it’s coming home’ song, and it would put their backs up something awful seeing the trophy ‘come home’ to their Gallic neighbours, instead. 

And, as I’ve mentioned, I feel English football fans don’t deserve to be rewarded, given the no small part they play in normalising racism against my people. The BBC presenter Gary Lineker making excuses for Jamie Vardy’s usage of ‘Jap’ is a shining example of how racism against east Asians in this country is considered fair game.

But yes, congratulations to France! I’m delighted that Hugo Lloris, who has been toiling endlessly to no fruition at White Hart Lane, finally gets to experience glory!

My last World Cup-related blog that I will do before reverting to my status quo of pedantic BBFC blogs and throwing shade at restaurants, is ten adorable bromantic intra-club moments from the tournament this year. 

This World Cup has been absolutely immense, the Banter World Cup, if you will, featuring sensational goals (my personal favourite was Benjamin Chalamet’s one against Argentina), thrilling games, hilarious moments and memes and general WTF-ery arising from the use of VAR on margin calls. And I’ve loved every minute of it.

But my favourite thing about the World Cup, and all international football tournaments, for that matter, remains the lovely display of fraternity between footballers from the same team (but opposing countries) at the end of the game.

Remember, before the World Cup started, the thing I was most excited for was some manlove between Chelsea club-mates Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard. Did my expectation get fulfilled? Read on to see!

A disclaimer, that these are just ten bromances that involved players who I like.

Needless to say, there were a plenty more than just ten displays of intra-club fraternity throughout the World Cup, such as, for example, Sergio Ramos (the Spain and Real Madrid captain) hugging  his club-mate Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal captain and general showboater) after Spain v Portugal in the group stages. But I don’t like either of them (the fact that I put both in my World Cup Ugly XI may be somewhat of a giveaway...), so I didn’t think it was worth chasing pictures of the moment, aha.

In chronological order…

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Guess the Footballer: Hard

Finally, here are eight from The Times, plus an extra (rather awfully drawn, far too on the nose) one that I did.

The answers to yesterday's medium level puzzlers are at the end of this blog.



Friday, July 13, 2018

Guess the Footballer: Medium

Continuing with the game I showed yesterday, here are the pictionaries which are a tad trickier! At the end, I'll provide the answers to the ones from yesterday!


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Guess the Footballer: Easy

So, England are out of the World Cup, getting beaten by a Croatia side who simply had more guile and experience than them.

As predicted, I am ambivalent about this loss, largely because my main draw for supporting England spent the majority of the tournament warming the bench (at least Gaz had Phil Jones to keep him company).

Also, I despise Jamie Vardy and will never quite forgive the British press (especially a certain football journalist who I used to be on quite good terms with #cryptic) for affording Vardy a free pass for racially abusing a Japanese man.

These same football journalists wrote mini-tomes about racism when Suarez and Terry did it. And to me, an east Asian, the silence from the hacks after Vardy’s choice word selection is a pretty clear sign that the British media don’t think racism against east Asians is problematic.

By not acting, the British press was complicit in the racism that I have suffered and continue to suffer.

That being said, there was a certain spark in the England side of the 2018 World Cup that was a joy to watch at times, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get swept up in the momentous occasion of us winning our first penalty shoot-out in an international tournament since 1996. There's also something to be said for seeing the country unify over a common cause, especially when the weather was so gorgeous too.

In the final, I’ll be supporting France, a decision that I'm not ashamed to admit that is largely driven by aesthetic reasons.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

The 10 Most Handsome Footballers of the 2018 World Cup

Happy Hump Day!! 

Now that we're through to the quarter-final stage of the 2018 World Cup, I have officially seen all of the talent, shall we say, on display, to be able to have done enough research for who I think are the ten smokeshows of the tournament.

Thus, this is a thirst-heavy blog. Photos, gifs, and general swooning of some Adonises will be in abundance. It was quite a challenge to find variations of saying 'he's hot' over and over, but somehow, I managed it!

As with my choices for best and worst dressed at the 2018 Oscars, I'm not even going to pretend the list isn't heavily influenced by my personal opinion of the men in question (and club loyalties). I also have rather, niche, shall we say, taste in men - check out my list of hottest guys in the 2016 Euros.

10. Ruben Loftus-Cheek (England)

What a handsome man. His smile is like a gift from God, and he manages to balance appearing youthful with working a suave moustache.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

If music be the food of love, play on

My captain didn't play in England's 2-1 win against Tunisia on Monday, and thus, I foresee myself spending much of this World Cup releasing an album, full of nothing but songs moaning about Gaz's lack of game time!

He may not be starting, but Cahill's presence in Russia means the British media are at least taking photos of him in Russian art galleries for me, so I can't whine too much.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Restaurant review: THE BREAKFAST CLUB (Soho)

The film is iconic, setting the bar for talky-dramedies channelling teenage angst for years to come. So famous is it, that is has been name-dropped or riffed on in several teenage-orientated movies, including Easy A and The DUFF, and most recently, Ready Player One.

The restaurant was established a good 20 years after the film was released, but such is the goodwill and strong reputation it has forged, that The Breakfast Club is as crucial to any London-based foodie’s itinerary as the film is to a movie buff’s viewing list.

I had long been scared off eating here, however, because on any random walk past the restaurant, it had always had a massive queue outside it. Having succumbed to the marvels of Eat Tokyo and On the Bab, my favourite Japanese and Korean restaurants in London, respectively, however, I modified my outlook on queuing.

Both these restaurants don’t take reservations, yet the food has been worth the wait, so with my fingers crossed, I hoped The Breakfast Club was another example of this.

As it so happened, I needn’t have thought about it so much. Whilst the restaurant is hot property during brunch times of 12pm – 3pm, we went a little after this, so we were seated straight away. So if you have an aversion to queuing, worth bearing in mind!

Between us, we had ‘Huevos al Benny’ and Korean fried chicken pancakes. With both priced at £10.50, I considered the portions to be very reasonable: -

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Battle of the Sex Scenes

This blog is rated 12A for moderate sex references.

Despite the BBFC constantly palming me off with less-than-satisfactory templated e-mails of little substance whenever I pose them a query, I always seem to come back for more.

Perhaps this is because my brain is so film classification-geared, that I’m hungry to have movie discourse of any kind, and the BBFC did act on my Call Me by Your Name e-mail earlier this year, showing that they are receptive to suggestions, once in a blue moon.

My most recent e-mail to them was about Battle of the Sexes, rated 12A for infrequent moderate sex. The oh-so-informative extended insight reads:

In one scene, two women have sex; however, there is no strong detail.

Friday, June 15, 2018

My attempt at writing a BBFC report for BEAST (2018)

It was William Shakespeare who remarked ‘brevity is the soul of wit’, and with regards to that quote in many walks of life (for example, intolerable guys who’s arrogance would make Gaston from Beauty and the Beast appear modest droning on about how oh-so-clever they are for having passed their CFA exams), The Bard was not wrong.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

This is not just a photoshoot. This is an M&S photoshoot.

Happy Hump Day, readers! The World Cup starts tomorrow, and I am officially pumped.

Despite me supporting France in the 2018 World Cup as I did in the 2016 Euros (with my second teams being South Korea, Japan and Croatia), and me following the England national team with the same emotional whiplashing (not-so-subtle plug of a sick Miles Teller film, there) of love and hate that I had for them in the 2016 Euros (because of that racist Vardy), I will of course be keeping a beady eye on the exploits of my national team. How can I not, when Gary Baehill is in the squad?

The team had their official photoshoot yesterday, kitted out in a rather dapper, and more than a little tight Marks and Spencer three-piece-suits:

Couple thoughts on this photo:

Monday, June 11, 2018

13 Lookalikes Why

Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why was so dreadful that I lost interest in the contrived plot at several points, and instead focused on how some of the cast members looked like footballers. In the spirit of the 2018 World Cup, which begins this Thursday, here are thirteen dubious actor/footballer lookalikes!

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

A million dreams for the world we're gonna make.

On Sunday, me and my friend went on a bus tour around London’s film locations, courtesy of Cineworld. It was super-fun! Despite having grown up in London, up until Saturday, I hadn’t actually been on a tour bus around the city, so it allowed me to indulge the inner tourist in me for a few hours, as well as top up my film knowledge. Win-win!

The bus we rode in on. Ohai, Taron Egerton and Gal Gadot films!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Restaurant review: LAHORE KARAHI (Tooting)

A friend recommended Lahore Karahi to me as a tasty, cheap curryhouse, and being an ardent fan of both Pakistani food and bargains, I ventured to South-West London to investigate. I have now been to Lahore Karahi twice, and here are my impressions of the dishes there!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

TV review: 13 REASONS WHY season 2 (Netflix)

This blog contains spoilers for season 2 of 13 Reasons Why.

Since its release last March, 13 Reasons Why, the Netflix adaptation of Jay Asher’s novel, chronicling why High School student Hannah Baker took her own life, was met with controversy. Many people felt the show glamorised suicide, not least in the way Hannah made 13 cassette recordings with a reason and person named on each tape, to be listened to by the people who contributed to her decision to commit suicide. In season 1, the characters named on the tape, unsurprisingly, were wracked with guilt and recriminations over who was ‘most’ culpable, flew between the accused.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Film review: A OR B [幕后玩家] (Pengyuan Ren, 2018)

A shady investment manager Zhong Xiaonian (Xu Zheng) wakes up one day to find that the safe where he kept records of his dodgy dealings, and a vital USB stick containing access to all his funds, has been ransacked. Even worse, there’s no way for him to exit his bedroom. He’s locked in, and every day at 9am, he must choose one undesired consequence (A), or another (B), or else both will happen.

This plot conceit, which has more than a passing resemblance to the Saw movies, is executed, for the most part, in a suitably compelling manner. In order to rise to his position at the top of the company, Zhong has screwed over many people and made some powerful enemies, and as he tries to plot his escape from the locked room, he’s also trying to ascertain the identity of the person who’s doing this to him.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018