August 1st, 2007


Last night's film ...

... was Transformers.

But first we dropped by the Peking in Burleigh Street, which is a rather wonderfully not-at-all-conventional Chinese restaurant. Anything with frogs legs and tripe among the dishes isn't entirely aimed at the western palate anyway. But it's a very friendly place, more like going round to a friend's mum and having a home cooked meal. Dishes will arrive when they're cooked rather than all together, presentation isn't particularly important, portion control seems to have vanished out of the window, and you don't see bright colours anywhere.

On this particular occasion, my comment before we walked in was 'I want whatever that is'. Actually, whatever that was was, in closer proximity, a little too lethal. (A party of ethnic Chinese students from various countries had taken up about half the place, and one had ordered one of the dishes 'extra spicy'. He was then trying to get the other dozen to share some of it, saying 'It's not that hot, really'. Yeah, right. The loading of chillies was almost painful even on an adjacent table.) So it was Szechuan Pork for me, with the usual few dozen dried chillies in it bringing it to a nice heat - so long as you avoided accidentally eating the chillies themselves.

And then the film.

Which was fun. It's a popcorn movie, a summer blockbuster. It's of a type with the superhero genre, except here the heroes and villains are giant transforming robots (that's not a spoiler, really). And it's got a 12A certificate, which reflects the fact that it's quite violent, and has some smutty dialogue. There the usual totally implausible computer hacking stuff, but we're talking giant transforming robots here, and the physical transformation of other things is even more implausible. But within those bounds, it's pretty fast moving, even at two and a half hours, and it's nicely humorous (like the character whose immediate impression is that the robots must be Japanese). We spent much of the time laughing, possibly more than during Shrek 3. All in all, it was much better than we'd have guessed.