This week's bear count: 1

BIG BLUE MEETS SILVER SCREEN

The total volume of the world's oceans is estimated to be a pointlessly unfathomable 1.35 billion cubic kilometres. Now that you've already forgotten that fact, here's something moderately more useful — the Ocean Film Festival rolls into the Crescent Theatre on October 5, along with the best aquatically-themed movie shorts from just about everywhere. Grab your armbands. 
Title: The Right Subject: Big ol' Aussie waves Minutes: 2
The weather may be sunnier for surfing Down Under, but that doesn't mean the waters are any more forgiving. The Right shows just that — it's among the most dangerous and unpredictable waves in the world. The film of the same name follows Gold Coast surfer Ryan Hippwood — as he takes on the death-dodging mission in Western Australia. And when we say death-dodging, back in 2012, Ryan literally almost died attempting to surf this particular gravity botherer.
Title: Kayaking the Aleutians Subject: Paddling Alaska (with BEARS) Minutes: 36
If there's one person in the stratosphere to trust when they tell you an expedition is impressive, it's Sir Ranulph Fiennes. When he heard that British explorers Justine Curgenven and Sarah Outen had spent 101 days attempting to be the first to paddle 2,500km along the Aleutian chain of islands in Alaska, he described his admiration as "unbounded". A slight spoiler as to some of what the pair encountered on their journey is probably fairly evident from our image selection.
Title: The Accord Subject: Iceland's only professional surfer Minutes: 18
There is, and has only ever been, one professional surfer in Iceland — Heiðar Logi Elíasson. And when he's not pitting everything he has against The North Sea, he's skateboarding, or surfing, or doing any manner of things which make for silly good goggle-boxing when filmed against dramatic Nordic scapes. The Accord follows Heiðar and the tiny surfing community on the island, showing the beautiful, turbulent relationship between humanity and nature.
Title: One Voice Subject: The big watery mammaly fellas Minutes: 6
Coming in around about equal with bears in our rankings for everything in the world ever, is success stories. One Voice follows the tale of the North Pacific humpback whale and its return from the brink (not the emotional brink, though there could be something in that Pixar). Back in 1970, hunting had decimated the humpback population down to a sad-making 500. But numbers have since increased to more than 25,000, making this behemoth a true success story of the conservation world. That's worth six minutes of anyone's day.
Tickets are £13. The screening begins at 7.30pm, with a running time of around three hours.

FILM PICK: BRIDGET JONES'S BABY


Belated sequels can be a gamble, especially coming a solid 12 years after a dodgy last entry. What a surprise, then, that this third course in the Bridgetiad more than matches 2001’s first entry, and even those immune to its sanitised fantasy London back then might well find themselves going with it this time around. Bridget – Zellweger sparklingly warm as ever – finds herself pregnant, but isn’t sure which knee-trembler caused it – the one with Colin Firth, or the bloke from Grey’s Anatomy? This sliver of a plot is an excuse for a solid cast to bounce off each other (at times literally), and the amiable, good-natured feel easily obscures the more cynical considerations that presumably led to Bridget’s revival. Times & trailer
 

A SLIME-PIT OF BITTERNESS...


...Is how the Daily Mail describes Solihull silly-man Stewart Lee. Returning to the Symphony Hall with Content Provider, his first full-length show since the gloriously uncomfortable Carpet Remnant World had us in chortle chokes back in 2012. The latter won awards, with Lee's over-explained jokes, and painfully eked-out stories earning him a horde of new fans (and a reasonable number of new enemies). He's been out of the stand-up spotlight for four long years, instead writing and performing his TV project Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle, so we're particularly looking forward to finding out who he's going to be horrible to next. Bagsy not us. Bagsy the Daily Mail. Runs March 27 and 28, tickets (at £25) here.

NO, THEY'RE NOT IN HARBORNE. 
YES, THEY'VE STILL GOT WINGS.

In news that brought shock, joy and a goodly measure of urgent phone-based verification that you CAN get a train from the city centre to Henley-in-Arden, The Butchers Social announced its move to the country, and to much bigger digs. After a couple of weeks of wings and tings, the team has this week launched its full menus. And here's what you need to know. Ox cheek bon bons, scorched mackerel and pig's head fritters all feature by way of small platey sort of fare, coming in at £6 or £7. The mains we'll be hitting up first include the king oyster mushroom, cep granola and smoked duck egg yolk (£14), while something tells us the truffled mac 'n' cheese which accompanies the beef shin (£15) will be worth the journey in its own right. The team is also going big on brunch, which is served until a rather civilised 3pm. Think Jerusalem artichoke and truffle soup, or soft shell crab (pictured), or crispy fennel seed halloumi. For BRUNCH! We'll be on the 10.31am from Moor Street, which departs platform 1, Saturday morning.
Venue: Tonkotsu, Selfridges, The Bullring, B5 4BP; website
Choice: Chicken Karaage (£6) Chooser: Manager, James

We could describe the art of karaage as a Japanese cooking technique, then dress up this week's "You Choose" with ingredients like seasoned wheat flour, varieties of oil and optimum temperatures. Or we could call a proverbial spade a spade. Tonkotsu's fried chicken is freakin' delicious, and while you absolutely should try a ramen while you're in Tonkotsu-town, the karaage stole the noodle-bar style performance. Unavailable at the London outfit's Oxford Street gaff, you will need to share this crispy, succulent (rather generous) "side" if you're going to slurp your way through a main in addition. Which you should. Because for a relatively small menu, there is much to chomp, to cleanse (if you go for a lighter ramen) and to crave. An addition to the city centre that's utterly bound to be popular, with a team already operating as a cohesive unit. Menu
 
  • Peel & Stone Harborne and Midlands Beer Blog have got it together (*collective whoops*) with a five course pairing kinda shebang. October 14. £35. We'll do a naked calendar if it doesn't sell out. Book
  • Tomorrow from 5pm, The Arcadian will be getting all Chinese and Autumnal with the transparently named Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. Lion (dances), lanterns and fireworks will abound
  • Glynn Purnell's second set of numbered pages Rib Ticklers and Choux-Ins is out today. Inspired by his bistro offering, expect recipes you can actually think about recreating. And some very pretty pictures
  • New world wines. Get an informed opinion with Spit Wine School at The Plough on September 29. Or just get the right side of befuddled with your friends. Tickets are £25 either way
"My grandad always said, "You should never judge a book by its cover." And it's for that reason that he lost his job as chair of the British Book Cover Awards panel." - Stewart Lee
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WORDS: Katy Drohan, Kirsty BolseyAndrew Lowry
IMAGES: Tom Bird (The Butchers Social), Chris Cilfone (One Voice) 


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