My snarky reviews of Movies, TV series, Food and other happenings...
Not the best: in terms of service or quality, but at least not too expensive. The chirashi lunch set had 4 fishes, 1 crustacean, 2 mollusces and 2 eggs (1 poultry and 1 fish). The chef/owner claims the fish are from Japan. Maybe? Maybe not. I definitely have my doubts regarding the non-fishes. At least the slices are chunky. The set came with a bowl of miso (blah), a chawanmushi (blah), and a scoop of ice-cream (blah). Service was on the slow side, was the kitchen overwhelmed with just another table of 3 next to us, plus 4 counter seats? By the time I was done with my chirashi, the tempura mori just arrived. The maguro yamakke was also disappointing. Yam was not sticky enough (japanese?) and should have added a touch of wasabe (which I did, from my chirashi...unlikely freshly grated). Sadly, it had lots of great buzz about it previously, but perhaps the radiation disaster affected them too.
Return policy: Unlikely to return, unless all the other Japanese restaurants in Cuppage Plaza are unavailable.
5 Koek Road, #03-01/02
Director/Writer Barry Jenkins' moving examination about one boy's tumultuous upbringing shaping his teenage years and moulding him into the man he becomes is both a deeply personal story about self-identity and also an heartachingly poetic narrative of love and romance.
Where "Fences" and Denzel Washington failed in their translation from stage to screen, Jenkins effectively transposed Tarbell Alvin McCraney's "In Midnight Black Boys Look Blue" to the silver screen and embraced all that cinema has to offer to give the story the necessary added depth, scope and cinematic magic.
However, all would have been for nought if not for the cast.
Jenkins struck jackpot with his casting of Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders and Alex Hibbert as the film's protagonist in all three ages. Not only for their uncanny resemblance to each other, but also in the way their eyes and body talk. Similarly, the roles of his best friend were also exceptional. Perhaps only Rich…
A feel good, underdog triumphs, girl-power film, highlighting both a significant and unlooked scientific history during a period of known darkness and discrimination. Led by the superbly entertaining and funny trio of Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, this story deserved to be told. However, despite all the hype, its execution was rather lightweight and the storytelling frou frou in nature. Director Theodore Melfi could not find the true heart of the story and although all three women are extraordinary in nature, without a true focus, all three stories felt under served.
Henson was great. Funny and heartfelt, showing us the great range that she has that made her a previous Oscar nominee and now a perennial Cookie/Emmy nominee. However, she was failed by the lack of characterisation and the simplicity in which her character was handled.
Spencer was also strong in her role. Although like Henson, her character was way too simplified.
A competent film from the directors of "Little Miss Sunshine" that tried to juggle too much including gender politics, LGBTQ rights, themes of love vs ambition and of freedom to love with a love story and a love triangle, and unfortunately, in the end, underserved all of them to the point that the actual titular tennis match was the most exciting moment of the whole 121 minutes. In a similar vein, the supporting actors, including the scene-stealing Sarah Silverman and Alan Cumming, and surprisingly nuanced Austin Stowell and Elisabeth Shue, were more interesting to watch than the leads: a miscast, albeit competent, Emma Stone (who had no chemistry with Andrea Riseborough) and a funny, but lightweight Steve Carrell. Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris delivered a by-the-numbers story but may have bitten more than they could chew such that although the narrative moved forward, it moved erratically and without focus. Furthermore, with such a well known historical momen…