Sunshine, birthday and Sunshine

In Blair’s Britain, summer lasts all year long. It’s been about 10 degrees C warmer than average for the last few days so bare white legs, sandals avec socks and tins of lager were much in evidence on Saturday afternoon in town. As is my habit, I spent an enjoyable half-hour watching tourists flail about with punt poles on Madgalene Bridge. There was one accidental swimmer, who received a very generous round of applause from assorted diners and gawpers upon clambering back onto his punt.

It was a gentle prelude to the evening’s entertainment: a couple of hours at the Pickerel, wherein Pimms was dispensed in jugs, and then a meal at Edwinns to celebrate my birthday (photos). The waitress impressed us with her dislike for the decor: twigs in pots, that sort of thing.

Avaragado’s rating: eleven lemons

Some of us returned to the Pickerel until closing time, whenever that was, after which Chef and Andy came back to mine to eat chocolate cake (as supplied by Andrew; four portions down, about another twelve to go). Chef jabbered away and we also edited an article on Wikipedia (drunken encyclopedia authoring, it’s what the 21st century is all about). They left, uh, at some point, I forget.

Sunday was my birthday, and the gods smiled upon me: no hangover.

I pootled around for most of the day, then wandered in the sunshine to the Zebra for pre-cinema pizza. The Zebra’s now run by the people who used to be at Sino Tap (which is now being turned into a posh restaurant, apparently), but they’ve just taken over the County Arms – so they’ll be moving again. Andy and his orchestra mob follow them everywhere for their post-rehearsal booze-up. I think, actually, the rehearsal is just the excuse for the booze.

In keeping with the sunny theme of the weekend we saw Sunshine at the Vue. Reviews seem to be mixed, at least the ones I’ve read. Mutterings about sub-2001 psychedelic endings. It’s sadly inevitable that a film like this will be compared to 2001 – ooh look, a long journey in a space ship, a talking computer, general mayhem. Cue blither about Kubrick, iconic cinematic blahdom, men in monkey suits beating up other men in monkey suits. I think that’s quite lazy. It’s like comparing it to the Matrix because some people wear sunglasses.

What’s true is that this isn’t a by-numbers blockbuster. It’s an effects-heavy movie with some Hollywood names and it’s about The End Of The World, but it ain’t a Hollywood film: hooray for that. A Hollywood film would, let me see, have scripted some love interest, and would have had an American not a Chinese commander. And surely a different ending. It would also have cost more than £20m.

The producers did make the actors speak with an American accent, since, I guess, non-Americans are all commie pinkos and villains. The actor playing Trey, the ship’s navigator, was in the second series of Look Around You. Apparently the film was made in the East End of London, by the River Lee. Insert other Wikipedia-derived factoids here.

I came away from the film feeling generally cheerful, determined only ever to use Patrick Moore-approved protective devices when looking at the sun, and happy that Andy didn’t spaz out when lights started flashing in the film.

Avaragado’s rating: cress

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