"The best film of the season"

ATTACK THE MAC

The temperature inside the sun can reach 15,000,000°C. Fortunately, this weekend, it'll warm our city to a rather more comfortable 26°C and chances are it'll have you eyeing up a trip to a park. May we strongly recommend Cannon Hill, where Mac Birmingham is currently showing two extraordinary exhibitions, both free, both brilliant. There's also a fine food market and a brand new 36 hole crazy golf course...
DADARA: TIME = MONEY = ART
Pick of the two exhibitions, but only just, is Dutch artist Dadara's stunning swipe at mankind's obsession with money. His black and white illustrations (top) juxtapose with the vibrancy of the the new monetary notes he has invented (above) to create a visually encapsulating experience. Big name companies like Facebook and Apple have their trademark logos and symbols toyed and tinkered with (see here and here), while entire first world currencies like the Euro (here) also get it squarely in the neck. There's a clear message, but it's made with such charm and warmth that the whole exhibition remains utterly enjoyable. (On until Aug 31)
GIANT FURNITURE TOMFOOLERY
Upstairs you'll fine one of the most playful exhibitions we can ever remember coming to Birmingham. American artist Robert Therrien has built two monumental sculptures, the first of which (pictured) is a colossal dining table with four chairs towering 11 foot high. Kids love it, adults are made to feel like kids again and everyone's brain gets just a little scrambled by the whole thing. Also on display is Therrien's incredibly affable and equally enormous stack of giant plates, which you can check out here. His point is slightly less clear than Dadara's. Perhaps there isn't one. We kinda like it that way.   
36 HOLES OF SILLINESS AND AWARD-WINNING SAUSAGES
Okay, okay, we'll admit it: We smirked and made a smug comment when we heard a 36 hole crazy golf course was being built at Cannon Hill Park. "That's 35 holes too many," were our exact words. Well, now we've been and it's brilliant and we feel adequately sheepish. Beautifully made with genuinely impressive water features, it's joyously good fun. All 36 holes are not compulsory, coward. Head here for prices.
Lastly, Mac's ever awesome food market arrives on Sunday (July 27) with all of these superb stall holders on hand to satiate the ravenous. Pro tip: Visit BBC Midlands Best Street Food winner Squisito Deli and try their tasty Tuscan sausages.

FREEZE THE FIVE THOUSAND 


On August 2 The Hippodrome are jetting award-winning Brazilian artist Néle Azevedo to Birmingham to display 5,000, 20cm tall ice figures on the steps of Chamberlain Square. Members of the public will be invited to position the beautifully crafted sculptures and to stand back and watch as they slowly melt. The inevitably stunning display has been witnessed in Sao Paulo, Havana, Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, Porto and Florence, but this is the UK premiere. 

DENIM: THE RESURRECTION


Next weekend (Aug 2 and 3) Selfridges will become denim obsessed, with staff on hand to help you hunt out the ideal pair of jeans. Denim studios can be found on the second and third floors, but we're most excited about a special workshop where you can bring in your damaged or dying denim and they'll do all they can to breathe life back into your pride and joy jeans. Think of it like a denim A&E room only with far less trauma and far more trousers.

REVIEW: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY


Arguably Marvel’s biggest gamble to date, this $170 million-budgeted space opera bravely favours goofiness above all else, making it feel like a small movie played out on a big scale. It’s a tale of rag-tag convicts scrambling to save the day and thanks to a game cast, headed by Parks & Recreation’s Chris Pratt, and a consistently funny script, it’s a hugely fun two hours at the cinema. While you might feel a bit blockbustered out already this summer, we’d recommend dusting off those 3D glasses for this one. It’s the best film of the season. ✭✭✭✭
(Release: July 31; Screening times: Giant Screen, Electric, Cineworld, Odeon; Trailer here; Words: Benjamin Lee.) 
Venue: Five Guys, Bullring, B5 4BU; fiveguys.co.uk 
Choice: "All The Way" burger, small cajun fries and a drink; £12 

The fastest-growing fast food chain in the US landed in Birmingham a little under three months ago and press and bloggers alike were quick to attack. But, like the patient, prowling panthers (lazy people) that we are, we took our time and allowed the teething problems to settle. Finally, we've been, and we loved it. Over-priced? Yeah, but so what? We'd happily never visit Burger King or McDonalds ever again and throw all the money saved into a fraction of the visits to Five Guys. The "All The Way" burger includes two fresh beef patties, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, ketchup, mustard and mayo. It's a beast, but you can choose over 250,000 combinations of topping to your taste. Make no mistake, this is a dirty burger, but so are some of the best. There's a Five Guys landing in Touchwood, Solihull on August 4 and remember, if you want to beat the queues for either branch - and they can be colossal at peak times - order online.
Recommend a restaurant by emailing tom@ichoosebirmingham.com
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