War's sweat shops are made up of African mercenaries

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en-gb"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Private military companies recruit former child soldiers as mercenaries to save money. <a href="https://t.co/zKK1pEkaHH">pic.twitter.com/zKK1pEkaHH</a></p>&mdash; Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) <a href="https://twitter.com/AJEnglish/status/863786026699030528">14 May 2017</a></blockquote>
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The Stretch

  

Meanwhile another soft tomato - see it to believe it.

The Revenant wins 3 Golden Globes but is a tedious plod through blood and snow.

Based on the true story of fur trapper Hugh Glass, a party of soldiers is collecting pelts in 1823’s snowy winter around North Dakota.  They are attacked by the Arikara, searching for the chief’s abducted girl, Powaqa.  

Glass, their tracker, is mauled to near death by a mother grizzly.  Two soldiers Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) and Bridger remain with the dying Glass and his half-Indian son, Hawk.  Fitzgerald, tries to suffocate Glass and stabs Hawk.  He tells Bridger, Hawk has disappeared but the Arikara are close, convincing him to abandon Glass.  

Glass seals the hole in his throat by burning it and lives to save the girl, Powaqa, whilst she is being raped in a French camp.  A Pawnee who befriends him is hung by the French.  Glass is chased off a cliff in a fall that kills his horse.  He sleeps, naked and bloody inside a dead but warm bison.  Finally, Glass is allowed to live by the Arikara in exchange for saving Powaqa.  

It’s a tight plot, by the book and what makes the film watchable is the beautiful if unforgiving landscape, a haunting musical score and the raw power of Leonardo Di Caprio as Glass.

The grittiness of Alejandro Innartu’s directing - 21 Grams, Babel, Biutiful - is in his usual style, close to the bone.  In a story so rooted in realism, the constant resurrection of Glass jars the senses.  By the time Glass reaches the final battle with Fitzgerald, all emotions are exhausted to numbness; you simply don’t care anymore. 

 

 

Squashed Tomatoes

What's with the Academy rewarding Oscars here and there to Birdman.  It was clever, but was it great?  No.  

There were more enjoyable films out there.  Grand Budapest Hotel, clever, beautiful and entertaining, did I say endearing?  Whiplash, painful to watch but revealing, good.  The Imitation game, moving to the end.  

American Sniper was alright up there even with its dragging pace and detached feel.

Nightcrawler or Guardians of the Galaxy - yes will be watching them too. 

 

The Four Fs

Let's get clear, that's not fighting, fleeing, feeding or f****ing but food, fun, film and found.

That said, for food in Nairobi, a posh shack with great rustic tables and modern grub, correctly named J's fresh bar and kitchen, will have you noshing up cocktails of house, jazz-funk and soul.  Heave in on a Friday.

Which makes that fun too, as well as squashing into something that makes you look good when you are sweating and spinning.  Wouldn't that be why you would Salsa at the Oval's Ocean Basket, no sea in sight, on a Friday?  Live band that used to play at Onami in Westgate, makes it almost theatre.  

Found a bare necessity for those who don't flare up on nuts.  Almond butter, good for cholesterol, bones and for all of us aging gracefully.  You warm up the almonds, skin and all in the oven, then put them in a food processor and whizz them for a good 15 mins, with a pinch of salt.  Bottle in a sterilized jar.  There are recipes out there for granola bars that use nut butter that I'm going to report back on.

Squashiest of all was film this week.  Gone girl, precisely.  Lengthy, with weak characters you want to slap out of their stupor and unpromising at the end, even predictable Depending on how well versed you are with the thriller genre.