Events

Tue 21
  • Ahmed Harfoush at Saigon Restaurant & Lounge
    Ahmed Harfoush at Saigon Restaurant & Lounge
    Oct 21 9:30 pm to Oct 22 2:00 am - Saigon Restaurant & Lounge
    Cairo crooner, Ahmed Harfoush, returns to the Fairmont Nile City's Saigon Restaurant & Lounge for another special Mad...
  • Raindogs & the Cadillacs at Cairo Jazz Club
    Raindogs & the Cadillacs at Cairo Jazz Club
    Oct 21 9:00 pm to Oct 22 3:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    Tom Waits cover band, Raindogs, return to CJC, before the Cadillacs take over with their rockabilly Classics. Reservations at Cairo Jazz Club are...
  • Neobyrd at VENT
    Neobyrd at VENT
    Oct 21 10:00 pm to Oct 22 3:00 am - VENT
    Enigmatic electronic producer and musician, Neobyrd, is back at Downtown bar/art-space, VENT. For reservations, call 0225747898.
  • Mawawil at Makan
    Mawawil at Makan
    Oct 21 9:00 pm to Oct 21 10:30 pm - Makan
    Join Mawawil for an evening of songs from Gamalat Shiha at Makan. Tickets are 30LE. For more information call 02-27920878.
  • Fusic Tuesdays at Graffiti
    Fusic Tuesdays at Graffiti
    Oct 21 10:00 pm to Oct 22 3:00 am - Graffiti
    This week, Tamarai resident, DJ Lyon (not Lion, as is spelled in the poster), takes over the decks at Four Seasons Nile Plaza's Graffiti for...
Wed 22
Thu 23
  • Lobster Theremin Label Night at VENT
    Lobster Theremin Label Night at VENT
    Oct 23 10:00 pm to Oct 24 3:00 am - VENT
    Join VENT as they host Jimmy Aqsuith and Route 8 of exploding London record label, Lobster Theremin. Vent residents, $$$TAG$$$ and Xuli, also join...
  • Heart of the Equator at Alchemy
    Heart of the Equator at Alchemy
    Oct 23 9:00 pm to Oct 24 2:00 am - Alchemy
    Fight the increasinglt chilly Cairo evenings with tropical-inspired cocktails this Thursday at Alchemy, for an exotic start to the weekend. For...
  • Massar Egbari at Cairo Jazz Club
    Massar Egbari at Cairo Jazz Club
    Oct 23 9:00 pm to Oct 24 3:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    Utilising a unique fusion of alternative rock, jazz and blues - with a dash of Oriental influence - Alexandrian band, Massar Egbari, return to...
  • DJ Nii at O Bar
    DJ Nii at O Bar
    Oct 23 9:00 pm to Oct 24 3:00 am - O Bar
    DJ Nii returns to Fairmont Nile City's O Bar for a night of the best progressive house music. For reservations, call 01286188880.
  • Turath at Beit El Sennary
    Turath at Beit El Sennary
    Oct 23 8:00 pm to Oct 23 10:00 pm - Beit El Sennary
    Head over to the heart of Islamic Cairo for an evening of classic Arabic music courtesy of four-man group, Turath, at Beit El Sennary....
Fri 24
  • Noha Taha at Saigon Restaurant & Lounge
    Noha Taha at Saigon Restaurant & Lounge
    Oct 24 9:00 pm to Oct 25 3:00 am - Saigon Restaurant & Lounge
    Egyptian singer, Noha Taha, takes centre-stage at Fairmont Nile City's Saigon Restaurant & Lounge singing the most epic Hollywood soundtrack...
  • Dina El Wedidi Album Release Concert at AUC Greek Campus
    Dina El Wedidi Album Release Concert at AUC Greek Campus
    Oct 24 8:00 pm to Oct 24 10:00 pm - AUC Greek Campus, Mohamed Mahmoud St., Tahrir Sq., Downtown Cairo
    Combining music from East and West, blending jazz, rock and metal without losing her Oriental touch, catch local singer, Dina El Wedidi, as she...
  • The Friday Jazz Brunch at Napa Grill
    The Friday Jazz Brunch at Napa Grill
    Oct 24 1:00 pm to Oct 24 5:00 pm - Napa Grill
    Head over to Fairmont Nile City for a family brunch at Napa Grill, where you can feast on a buffet of international cuisine and let the little...
  • 'Alice In Wonderland' at MUST Opera House
    'Alice In Wonderland' at MUST Opera House
    Oct 24 10:00 am to Oct 24 9:15 pm - MUST Opera House
    Fun Factory presents a magical performance of 'Alice In Wonderland' at 6th of October City's MUST Opera House. For more details click here. First...
  • Meshwar Band at El Sawy Culturewheel
    Meshwar Band at El Sawy Culturewheel
    Oct 24 8:00 pm to Oct 24 10:00 pm - El Sawy Culturewheel
    Head to El Sawy Culturewheel's River Hall for a night of contemporary Arabic reagge by Meshwar Band. Tickets are 20LE. For m0re information, call...
Sat 25
  • Cairokee at New Generation International School
    Cairokee at New Generation International School
    Oct 25 6:00 pm to Oct 25 9:00 pm - New Generation International School, Km27 Cairo-Ismaillia Desert Rd.
    Popular local band, Cairokee, perform a special gig at New Generation International School hosted by El Sawy Culturewheel. Tickets are 40LE.
  • Dina El Wedidi at Cairo Jazz Club
    Dina El Wedidi at Cairo Jazz Club
    Oct 25 7:00 pm to Oct 26 10:30 pm - Cairo Jazz Club
    Dina El Wedidi combines her original acoustic music with powerful lyrical commentary on social and political issues. Reservations at Cairo Jazz...
  • Salsa Night at El Mojito
    Salsa Night at El Mojito
    Oct 25 9:00 pm to Oct 26 1:00 am - El Mojito
    Get your dancing shoes on and make your way over to Conrad Cairo's El Mojito for another red-hot Salsa Night. For reservations, call...
  • El Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group at Wikalet El Ghouri
    El Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group at Wikalet El Ghouri
    Oct 25 9:00 pm to Oct 25 11:00 pm - Wikalet El Ghouri
    Head over to Wikalet El Ghouri in El Hussein for some magical music combined with traditional dance performed by El Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group...
  • 'Alice In Wonderland' at MUST Opera House
    'Alice In Wonderland' at MUST Opera House
    Oct 25 11:00 am to Oct 25 8:45 pm - MUST Opera House
    Fun Factory presents a magical performance of 'Alice In Wonderland' at 6th of October City's MUST Opera House. For more details click...
Sun 26
  • Jazz Gang Ft. Alain Queijan at Cairo Jazz Club
    Jazz Gang Ft. Alain Queijan at Cairo Jazz Club
    Oct 26 10:00 pm to Oct 27 2:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    Cairo Jazz Club welcomes music-lovers for a special performance that will see Egypt's own Ashraf Habashy, Ehab Badr and Amro Salah team up with...
  • Dina El Wedidi at Cairo Jazz Club
    Dina El Wedidi at Cairo Jazz Club
    Oct 25 7:00 pm to Oct 26 10:30 pm - Cairo Jazz Club
    Dina El Wedidi combines her original acoustic music with powerful lyrical commentary on social and political issues. Reservations at Cairo Jazz...
  • 'Alice In Wonderland' at MUST Opera House
    'Alice In Wonderland' at MUST Opera House
    Oct 26 10:30 am to Oct 26 8:15 pm - MUST Opera House
    Fun Factory presents a magical performance of 'Alice In Wonderland' at 6th of October City's MUST Opera House. For more details click...
  • RESTART by Qarm Qart at Mashrabia Gallery
    RESTART by Qarm Qart at Mashrabia Gallery
    Oct 20 11:00 am to Nov 13 8:00 pm - Mashrabia Gallery
    Mashrabia Gallery hosts Qarm Qart's latest work, RESTART; an exhibition through which the enigmatic artist redefines and questions reality as we...
  • 'Fantasy' Exhibition at Al Kahila Art gallery
    'Fantasy' Exhibition at Al Kahila Art gallery
    Oct 20 11:00 am to Oct 31 9:00 pm - Al Kahila Art Gallery
    Mohandiseen's Al Kahila Art Gallery hosts Mohamed Damarawy exhibition, 'Fantasy'.  The gallery is open daily between 11AM-9PM, except for...
Mon 27
  • Hisham Zahran & Aly Goede at Cairo Jazz Club
    Hisham Zahran & Aly Goede at Cairo Jazz Club
    Oct 27 10:00 pm to Oct 28 3:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    A huge night of music awaits, as Nacelle residents, Hisham Zahran and Aly Goede, play back-to-back at Cairo Jazz Club. Reservations at Cairo Jazz...
  • Terasena Exhibition at Beit El Sennary
    Terasena Exhibition at Beit El Sennary
    Oct 27 5:00 pm to Oct 29 9:00 pm - Beit El Sennary
    Islamic Cairo's Beit El Sennary host the second perennial exhibition of Port Said-based, all-female art collective, Terasena. For more...
  • RESTART by Qarm Qart at Mashrabia Gallery
    RESTART by Qarm Qart at Mashrabia Gallery
    Oct 20 11:00 am to Nov 13 8:00 pm - Mashrabia Gallery
    Mashrabia Gallery hosts Qarm Qart's latest work, RESTART; an exhibition through which the enigmatic artist redefines and questions reality as we...
  • 'Fantasy' Exhibition at Al Kahila Art gallery
    'Fantasy' Exhibition at Al Kahila Art gallery
    Oct 20 11:00 am to Oct 31 9:00 pm - Al Kahila Art Gallery
    Mohandiseen's Al Kahila Art Gallery hosts Mohamed Damarawy exhibition, 'Fantasy'.  The gallery is open daily between 11AM-9PM, except for...
  • 'El-Touni: A Design Retrospective' at Sharja Art Gallery
    'El-Touni: A Design Retrospective' at Sharja Art Gallery
    Oct 19 6:00 pm to Nov 13 10:00 pm - Sharjah Art Gallery
    As the first on a series of projects that aim to trace the history of design in the Middle East, AUC New Cairo's hosts an eclectic exhibition that...

Highlights

Restaurants

Buffalo Burger: Lip-Smacking Burgers with a View in Maadi

Buffalo Burger: Lip-Smacking Burgers with a View in Maadi

What can beat a plush fast food experience? One with a picturesque view, of course! We can never ever say no to burgers, and when presented with the opportunity of healthier burger options, we're definitely game. Located in Maadi's Nile-side food complex, the Platform, Buffalo Burger offers both outdoor and limited indoor seating options, but who would want to forego the beautiful sight of the Nile and sit indoors, right? Upon arrival, we could tell the place was filled to its brim with customers and so we knew what was coming; our waiter sat us down indoors until an outdoor table was available. Once seated, we were presented with both the Buffalo Burger and FIG Lounge, its sister restaurant chain, menus. We, however, were only determined to sink our teeth into burgers. The beef burger patties come in three sizes: 150g, 200g and 250g. Chicken burgers and "Lighter" burgers are also offered with all kinds of toppings. Of the beef, the Hawaii Waikiki seemed the most intriguing. Its ingredients included Swiss cheese, Buffalo sauce and pineapple rings (28LE-37LE depending on its size).  The Animal Chicken burger (28LE) also sounded delicious boasting a grilled chicken breast drenched in cheese, onion rings and a mixture of sauces. Add 10LE-12LE and you can make your burgers into either medium or large combos. We opted for some of the lighter options, which had their calories listed on the menu - to put our consciences to rest. The 200g Baby Boomers burger  (32LE)  caught our eye first, as well as the Skinny Chicken burger (28LE). Having made healthier choices with our burgers, we decided to order them as combos so we can enjoy some crisp fries. Our waiter swiftly took or order and just a measly twenty minutes later, our food was steaming hot on our table waiting to be devoured. The Baby Boomers was delicious; with fresh multi-grain buns holding together the grilled beef patty, it was topped with mushrooms and light mayonnaise. The Skinny Chicken, a simple plain grilled chicken breast topped with cheddar cheese, wasn't as spectacular and lacked cohesion in flavour and was a little dry. The fries, however, were the true surprise; a perfect combination of French fries, chips, and onion rings of which none were greasy or soggy. They were, however, quite sparse and we yearned for more. To wrap up, Buffalo Burger is a win-win spot, offering both delicious food for all tastes and an awesome view. The place, however, was incredibly crowded at the time of our visit, making us think we should probably order our food from the comfort of our couches at home to avoid all the unnecessary hustle and bustle.

Cafés

Kahve: Cozy Cafe in Sheikh Zayed

Kahve: Cozy Cafe in Sheikh Zayed

At first glance, some Cairo cafes seem to have it all; good atmosphere, design, location and overall outlook. Then, when you actually decide to give them a go, you end up with unprecedented disappointment. Located in a quiet street in the Sheikh Zayed, Kahve grabs attention with its Turkish name and seemingly chilled atmosphere. The place is adequately-sized, with both outdoor and indoor seating available, and despite being full at the time of our visit, it still retained a relaxing ambiance; perfect for reading a book by yourself, or going on a casual date. We asked a waiter if there were any tables available and he, right away, began arranging one for us. Our menus were laid in front of us and we began our search for something to order. The menu's not huge in terms of variety, but it'll do in a pinch. Kahve offers hot beverages (15.50LE-21LE), mostly coffee-based, of which the Nutella Turkish Coffee (16.50LE) was the most striking. Some cold shakes, cocktails and smoothies were also offered (19LE-29.75LE). As for food, we spotted some savoury items including basic sandwiches, croissants with fillings (11.50LE), pizza and crepes (25.75LE). Some desserts are also offered, including chocolate fondant (29.75LE), waffles (15.75 LE), tarts, muffins, cookies and donuts. The final item on the menu was the shisha, of course, which comes in all sorts of flavours and varieties (20LE-30LE). The true beginning of the end came with us placing our order.  Our waiter, quite surprisingly, did not recognise several items on the menu. He then proceeded to deny our request for Salami pizza claiming that the only pizza toppings available were Hotdog, mushrooms and cheese. Quite baffled, and slightly annoyed, we opted for a Hotdog Pizza and a Cheese Lover's Pizza (27.75LE each), green tea, water and the Chocolate Lover's dessert (30LE). A whopping forty-five minutes later, our table was just as empty as it had been when we first arrived.  Our pizzas and Chocolate Lovers dessert only arrived after we had asked for them three times, and our green tea and water came after we had to remind the waiter that we had, in fact, asked for them two times.  The pizzas were quite small in size, thin, crisp and laden with cheese; totally delicious, but not particularly filling. The same, however, cannot be said for the dessert, as it lacked an adequate amount of ice cream and chocolate sauce, had none of the nuts it claimed to have on the menu, and the brownie itself tasted quite stale. All in all, it's a shame Kahve, with its lovely setting, fell so badly in the service department. Sure the pizzas were scrumptious, but they sure weren't worth the wait.  The Chocolate Lovers dessert was a total disaster and our waiter completely forgetting our order was quite a nuisance.

Arts & Culture

Lost Art: Artist Leaves Paintings in Cairo Streets as Part of Interactive Project

Lost Art: Artist Leaves Paintings in Cairo Streets as Part of Interactive Project

If you put a painting up on the wall of a museum, does that necessarily make it art? American artist Leslie McAllister wants people to explore that question in her latest project, Lost Art. McAllister takes pieces of trash from the street and takes the 'rubbish' home to prepare it so it can be painted on. She then returns to the same place after a week or so and paints the scene. The finished painting then comes home with her again to dry and about a week later she goes back again to leave the painting behind. Finders, keepers: whoever finds the painting is free to take it home and do whatever they want with it. "I want to challenge the notion that something must be art and it's must be good because it is in a gallery or a museum" she explains. "I want people to decide for themselves whether something is art and not have galleries or museums decide that for them. If they like my painting, they can take it with them, if they don't they're free to leave it behind." The project is also somewhat of a personal challenge for McAllister. "I'm a bit of a hoarder; I have trouble parting with possessions. So I guess you could say in a way this is therapeutic", she laughs. McAllister started her project in Paris, France, where she lives. "The gallery-scene here is a very exclusive – a closed community that is hard to get into. If you know the right people you'll get to exhibit your art, but if your art is great and you don't have those connections it's very hard to be noticed. By leaving my paintings in the street I turn the public space into a gallery." The artist explains Lost Art could also be seen as the opposite of the Found Art movement, where artists put everyday objects in an art-setting so those objects themselves become 'art- like Marcel Duchamp famously did with a toilet. "I take art and put it out on the street; they took everyday objects and put them in a museum." When McAllister came to Egypt for a 3-month artist residenct at art centre, Artellewa, she was keen to continue her project. The first place she picked to do a Lost Art piece in Cairo was the iconic Tahrir square. "It seemed like the perfect place to start because of its obvious relevance. Pretty much everybody told me not to go though, because I would get in trouble with the police or people would harass me. So I decided to go early on a Friday morning and thankfully it was totally fine. A few people came up to me wanting to take a picture with me, but that was it. I sat on the grass in the middle of the roundabout looking towards the museum. It was a lovely morning and a great experience." McAllister leaves a small note on the back of the painting with the title of the painting - Lost Art #? - her website address and a message briefly explaining the concept. She also asked to please let her know if somebody finds one of her artworks. "So far only three people have contacted me saying they found a painting. I guess some people are afraid to contact me once they find a piece because they are afraid I might charge them money or something." If you're interested to hear McAllister talk about her Lost Art project and would like to see her paint a piece in real life, she is giving a workshop on the subject at Artellewwa, Wednesday 8th at noon.  Photo courtesy of Leslie McAllister.

Shopping

FitNuts: Healthy Delivery-Only Nut Butters in Cairo

FitNuts: Healthy Delivery-Only Nut Butters in Cairo

Fit Cairenes won't let the health craze die anytime soon, we can assure you, and the market for guilt-free snacks is ever expanding in the city.  FitNuts is one of the latest brands offering healthy treats and their new take on (pe)nut butters. We've always known nothing but the conventional nut butters sold at supermarkets and so the concept of all-natural, just plain crushed nuts intrigued us into ringing them up to inquire about their selection and prices. FitNuts offers seven different types of nut butters, each for a set price per jar, including Peanut Butter (2 LE), Almond (35LE), Hazelnut (35LE), Cinnamon Raisin Almond (40LE), Cinnamon Raisin Peanut (40LE), Chocolate Peanut (40LE) and Chocolate Hazelnut (50LE). We asked them what the butters are sweetened with and, much to our surprise and delight, the answer was nothing. Excited by the prospect of indulging in some tasty goodies without having to worry too much about consuming lots of sugar, we placed our order right away. FitNuts offers a delivery service that delivers the order, previously made over Whatsapp, right to your doorstep for an additional 10LE, or you can just pick it up from their headquarters in Dokki. Upon receiving our order just a couple of days after placing it, we couldn't wait to experiment with the butters. They were packaged in medium-sized jars, decorated with colourful stickers which, fortunately, stated all their nutritional information. The Peanut Butter tasted totally different than the store-bought ones we're used to, but in a good way; you could actually taste the strong raw flavour of peanuts without it being camouflaged by added oils and sugar. The Almond butter was decadent yet somehow light, probably due to the usually more subtle flavour Almonds carry in comparison to other nuts. The true star of the bunch, however, was definitely the Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, which we're considering our official guilt-free dessert from now on. It's made with chocolate whey protein powder, which definitely adds to its nutritional benefits, and it tastes almost too good for something that healthy. All in all, we are definitely willing to swear off our unhealthy ways if a healthy diet contains treats that are as delicious as FitNuts' butters. Sure they're not as sweet in taste as the the usual, but the strong taste of the nuts themselves and the health benefits the butters carry make up for the lack of sweetness. The service they offer is also quite stellar, with our order being ready on time and their all-around prompt and informative replies to our inquiries.

Health & Fitness

EL FIT Fitness Challenge: Egypt's Biggest, Baddest Fitness Event Returns for Season Two

EL FIT Fitness Challenge: Egypt's Biggest, Baddest Fitness Event Returns for Season Two

Now more than ever, Egypt has begun to embrace the idea of healthy living – something that, just fifteen years ago or so, seemed ridiculous. We can sit here all day and hypothesize as to why; greater accessibility to healthy foods and health-conscious restaurants rapidly increasing in numbers is an obvious one that Cairo 360 is all too familiar with. But a possibly bigger reason is the number of health groups and initiatives outside the usual confines of a gym – one of which is the EL FIT Fitness Challenge, powered by Reebok, which is set to return for its second season. Fuelled by a cocktail of greater awareness of health and a seemingly newfound yearning for competitiveness, the EL FIT Fitness Challenge is already a huge date on every fitness freak's calendar. People often talk about the average Cairene's love of sport, but for the majority of those, that love rarely breaks through the TV screen. What EL FIT has done is utilise the new wave of healthy-living and added a very heavy dose of fun. This edition of the challenge has expanded with a new qualification system across six categories, opening up the competition to even more athletes; male open ( 16-34 year olds), female open (16+ year olds), male masters 1 (35-45 year olds) and male masters 2 (45+ year olds), as well as male teams and mixed teams. The challenges range across everything from deadlifting, to med ball runs, to the dreaded '10 Motions' challenge, so this certainly isn't for the weak of heart.   After the qualification rounds in October, the entrees will be sieved down to the absolute best few, who will then go on to the finals in November. Said finals will stretch over two days, with a special fitness expo and a host of mini-challenges also awaiting attendees and athletes. With over 1000 athletes expected to register, and a further 4000 expected to attend the finals this is set to be one of the biggest fitness events Egypt has ever seen. Stay tuned for more details and coverage on Cairo 360 – in the meantime, check out the official EL FIT Facebook page and, if you're feeling brave, maybe even register.

City Life

Cairo Weekend Guide: Al Hezb El Comedy, Pink Party for the Cure & New Art at Alchemy

Cairo Weekend Guide: Al Hezb El Comedy, Pink Party for the Cure & New Art at Alchemy

Hello Cairo! The weekend is so close we can smell it and, as always, there's plenty going on across Cairo. On Thursday, Aly B kicks off his month long residency at VENT, while Fairmont Nile City's O Bar welcomes the indie and nu-disco sets of DJ SHawky. Cairo Jazz Club hosts the jazzy Latin covers of Grey Grass, followed by the Beatles tribute band Glass Onion. Meanwhile, Alchemy hosts the vodka infused night, Shiver. Al Hezb El Comedy celebrates their third-year anniversary with their second show in two days at AUC Greek Campus, while El Sawy Culturewheel hosts the local pop-rock act, Cherine's Project. Noha Taha takes centre stage at Saigon Restaurant & Lounge, while the Argentinean Ballet Company performs the Tango Argentino at the Cairo Opera House. On Friday, Aguizi & Fahim are at O Bar, while DJ Special K and the Gawdat brothers unleash their tech house sets at Cairo Jazz Club. Local favourites, Cairokee are set to perform at Cairo Festival City's Music Tent, while Bikya have some fresh material in line for their show at VENT. Ashara Gharby brings their original fusion sounds to El Sawy Culturewheel, while Cairo Opera House hosts Australian-Egyptian oud player Joseph Tawadros. If you're feeling like taking your kids for fun day out, Shaun the Sheep comes to life at Porto Cairo Mall, or if you're in the mood for self development, check out the Brand Yourself 2014 Concept at Smart Village.             On Saturday, wind back with Basheer's vocals at Cairo Jazz Club, or catch the opening of the Art Within Souls 1 exhibition at Alchemy by emerging artist Nourhanne Helmy. The Cairo Marriot Hotel hosts the fifth edition of Pink Party for the Cure Zumbathon, while Graffiti hosts the Retro Lounge with Hisham Tiba. Catch classicEgyptian film, Chit-Chat on the Nile, at Garden City's ROOM art space, or visit Medrar for the third edition of Roznama; an exhibition and competition promoting original contemporary art. CIC, in collaboration with Goethe-Institut Kairo, display the works of 18 young documentary photographers from the Middle East and North Africa in an exhibit titled Next to Here, while Darb 1718 continue their 'education museum' Out to Sea? For more parties, gigs, exhibitions and just plain more, check out the Cairo 360 events calendar.

Film

The Best of Me: Overly Sentimental Nicholas Sparks Adaptation

The Best of Me: Overly Sentimental Nicholas Sparks Adaptation

Love him or hate him, one thing is for certain; Nicholas Sparks always delivers. What exactly it is he delivers is another story altogether and the critics will have a field day taking shots at the latest film to be adapted from the American writer's pages, The Best of Me; a sappy and an overly sentimental drama that plays with the notion of fate and destiny in the most ridiculous of ways.    Jumping head-first into what has become an extremely tired formula, The Best of Me is centred on Dawson Cole (Marsden); a rugged Louisiana oil rigger who, after learning of the death of a close friend – and surrogate father - Tuck Hostetler (McRanney), is summoned to return home to fulfil his friend's last dying wishes. Dawson, who is still recovering from a near-death experience, is surprised to learn that Amanda Collier (Monoghan) – his teenage sweetheart whom he's been pining for the last couple of decades – has also been asked to tend to Tuck's last requests.  Stumped and completely thrown by this chance encounter, the pair soon head off together to Tuck's old lake house, an enchanting home that he once built for his late wife, to pack up what is left of his things and spread his ashes. Naturally, it doesn't take long before the sparks begin to fly and memories begin flooding back; will the long-lost lovers find their way back into each other's arms or will fate have something else in store for them?   One of the film's biggest problems – and distractions – is its questionable casting.  Marsden and Monoghan share very little chemistry and fail to come across as a couple madly in love while the younger versions of their characters – played by Bracey and Liberato respectively – shared little-to-no physical resemblance to their older-selves. Granted, any film demands a certain degree of suspension of disbelief, but how about we get some help with that one in a while?     Ineptly adapted by J. Millis Goodloe and Will Fetters, the story – in true Nicholas Sparks fashion – runs in two simultaneous timelines and, while the cinematography is pretty decent – plenty of sun-kissed scenes to keep the romantics in the audience content – there are just too many clichés and too much insufferable dialogue. All things considered, The Best of Me is ironically, one of the worst Nicholas Spark's adaptations to date; it's corny in the sloppiest of ways and seems a little too desperate please. 

Music

The Kooks: Listen

The Kooks: Listen

Divisive British indie-rock band, the Kooks, are  is back at it with their fourth studio album, Listen. The band's previous album, Junk of the Heart, was ill-received by both fans and critics, and the pressure has very much been on. 'Around Town' opens the album with a ridiculously upbeat, retro tone that you will almost certainly find your feet tapping away to; a quite surprising start that signals an even more surprising pattern for the rest of the album. Though the distinctively different sound is explicit, the band still manages to retain a degree of familiarity, as to not alienate fans. Said retro vibe is very much present throughout the rest of the album, with 'Forgive & Forget' following through with a 70s/80s influence. 'West Side' comes along and changes up the sound of the album to something a bit mellower with a sleeker beat, allowing Luke Pritchard's utterly distinctive vocals to shine. Just as you start to settle get into the nostalgic influences, 'See Me Now' slaps you out of that comfort, with Pritchard's vocals taking a more melancholic tone as he laments about adolescent mistakes to his late father; a touchingly soulful tribute. It Was London, however, sets the album back on the same track and the influences of yesteryear colour the track with the electric guitar dominating its sound, fuelled by political muses as it narrates riots and mayhem. Saying 'Bad Habit' is catchy would be an understatement; it's a typically infesting Kooks sing-along that is likely to follow you for days - whether you like it or not. The catchy tunes continue from here, with 'Down and Electric Heart', while 'Sunrise' sees Pritchard seductively makes an entrance chanting "I want you, to show me the way to your heart." The album closes off with 'Sweet Emotion' - the album's closest encounter with romance whose piano solo provides a fitting finale. While this is far from being a revolutionary album, Listen does signal the Kooks' return to form for fans, offering a clean-cut, freshly rejuvenated twist on their usual sound. Detractors, however, will find plenty to pick at.
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Win! Brunch for Two at Napa Grill's New Friday Jazz Brunch
Win! Brunch for Two at Napa Grill's New Friday Jazz Brunch