So, we finally got to see The Lego Batman Movie after many, many failed attempts to do so. First, I was riddled with influenza and couldn’t move without vomiting for almost two weeks and once I got over that, we went away for a few days, intending to spend on of the evening at the cinema, only to come down with food poisoning. The cinema hasn’t figure at all in the last month or so which has pissed us off mightily. We’d more or less resigned ourselves to renting it when it came out on one of the streaming services. Except we really wanted to try out Wahaca in the new West Quay South complex.
We don’t go into town much so this was quite an undertaking for us, especially as we now no longer have a car. We had to use . . . dun dun daaaaaaaaaaaah . . . public transport! I’ve heard it’s quite popular, this omnibus lark. Can’t say it’s my thing. We had to sit next to a vomiting dog for one thing. Good to see it cleared up after himself though . . .
Anyway, we to West Quay South, found the cinema and made for our seats. Now, the only time I’ve been to a Showcase Cinema was outside Leeds about ten years ago. We saw what was probably one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. I can’t remember the name of it, but it was a low budget Indie thing that came across as four 12 years olds making a film by their slightly older friend. Naturally, it garnered rave reviews, but ugh! Anyway, because of that, the association between bad move and Showcase, we’ve never visited a Showcase again. Well . . . that’s over stating it a lot. I don’t think we’ve actually had the opportunity until now, but you know what I mean.
I’m a bit in love.
The Showcase de Lux is just wonderful. This is how cinema should be. Forget IMAX, just give me a comfortable chair, a crisp picture and a sound system so perfect that the demonstration short made me weep (I did Sonic Sculpture at Uni, I would have killed for this kind of clarity and mobility) and I’m there. The only downside being that I was so comfortably and happy, I had to fight off falling asleep a couple of times during that movie and that’s not because it was dull!
If there’s one thing you cannot call the Lego Batman Movie, it’s dull. It’s really not. It’s dazzling, garish, loud, confused and a colossal assault on the senses. It’s also ridiculous fun! The opening sequence in which . . . aw hell, I don’t even know! There was so much happening, so many villains, explosions and silliness that I defy anyone to be able to see everything that happened on a first viewing. There was a spurious plot about defusing a bomb, but that wasn’t really the point. It was more about a gleeful ‘look what we can do’ by the makers and they did it dead good! As dazzling, engaging, exciting, ridiculous and long as the opener from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. But louder and more colourful.
The plot is slight and some nonsense about accepting the power of family, but again, I don’t think that’s really the point. Most of it’s point seems to be about ripping apart the myth of Batman -showing him up to be a total dick – taking the piss out of previous Batman movies and having as much fun as is humanly possible. And it works. Big time.
At times it’s comes over as an 10 years old’s playtime fever dream, with creatures from every Lego movie and TV franchise fighting it out for supremacy. It was particularly good to see the daleks (obvs) and the Kraken from Clash of the Titans (esp)! This was fessentially a child’s imagination and a box of toys and that’s no bad thing at all.
I was slightly weirded out by having Ralph Fiennes voicing Alfred but not Voldemort, though.
My List of Batman Movies from favourite to least favourite:
- Batman Returns
- Lego Batman Movie
- Batman: The Movie
- Batman Forever
- Batman Begins
- Batman and Robin
- The Dark Knight
- The Dark Knight Rises
There are so many good scenes, so many fantastic set pieces, it’s almost an embarassment of riches but oddly, my favourite scenes are the quieter ones, like seeing the picture of Bruce and his parents out side of the theatre with a sign beside them pointing to “Crime Alley” and my absolute favourite scene in which Bruce microwaves a Lobster Thermidor.
And absolute joy!
After the movie, we went for something to eat. West Quay South is essentially another food court, but with much more expensive food. We looked at Wahaca and to be honest, we were slightly disappointed. Having watched Thomasina Miers programme about the vast variety of Mexican foods that we simply don’t see in this country, it was disappointing to see that it was all tostadas, tacos, burritos, etc.. Exactly what you would expect. So we moved on and had a look at what else was on offer. Casa Brasil was discounted as we’re cutting back on the meat and apart from a very expensive Greek Restaurant, the rest of the choices were pretty pedestrian. More gourmet burgers, another Nandos, another TGI Friday, another Costa, another couple of chain Italian Restaurants, the threat of a Jamie Oliver Kitchen, another Mexican place, a couple of American Diners and a Thai place. I would mind, but there’s nothing really new here. Nothing independent, nothing new, nothing vegetarian or vegan. A wasted opportunity and another corporate wank-a-thon.
So, slightly despondent, we trudged back to Wahaca.
And I’m very glad we did.
We decided to go nuts and have the Wahaca Feast, a sharing menu for two. There were small tacos of pulled pork, more tacos of chicken, exquisite crispy prawn tacos, salmon tostadas, sweet potato, a mushroom empanada and a chilli quesadilla.
Only the empanada caused us problems as far as heat is concerned, but neither of us are keen on excessive heat, so the chances are it wasn’t too hot for most people. Everything else was pretty much to our taste; fragrant, spicy and gorgeous. I couldn’t eat the empanadas, obviously, but Andy tells me they were delicious. The heat was tempered nicely by a glass of ice-cold horchata; a drink made of rice and almond milk with a little vanilla and cinnamon. Beautiful! I’ve looked up the recipe and I’m about to go out and buy the ingredients, it was that good.
The salmon tostada was a peculiar mix of Japanese and Mexican, but was – in its simplicity – rather delightful and acted as the perfect palate cleanser at the end of the main meal.
If anything let the meal down, it was the dessert. I love churros and had been looking forward to them, having had a craving for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, they were dry, greasy, stale and any hint of fluffiness had been lost a long time ago. I get the impression they had been made earlier and kept warm rather too long. The chocolate sauce was rich and dark but wasted on the churros.
We were a little curious that for a sharing platter, a lot of the dishes came in multiple of three – there were arguments about who got the last pulled pork or chicken taco- but that’s a minor quibble. In general, the food was marvellous. Absolutely top notch So much so that I want to go back for my birthday do!
Maybe I’m being a bit harsh about the other places. We’ll go back and try them out at some point, I’m sure . . .