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
This was such a beautiful film. An elegantly directed love story/fairy tale by Guillermo del Toro that was bursting with extraordinary vision and sumptuous details, and lovingly buffeted with a gorgeous score by Alexandre Desplat. Sally Hawkins was simply divine and enchanting in a (mostly) silent role. And Michael Shannon was a truly terrifying villain. This film not only celebrated Love, but was also a beautiful (yes, that word again) homage to the golden age of cinema/films. Del Toro had a vision and he executed it beautifully without sacrificing his aesthetics or storytelling.
The Shape of Water was a culmination of many creative forces and it truly deserved all its 13 nominations at the 90th Academy Awards. The standouts definitely included production design, cinematography and original score, with Desplat having a strong chance of getting the gold. Desplat's score was so beautiful - romantic yet with a tinge of whimsiness that carried the theme of the film so well. And the l…
Together with the cast and the creative team, director Joe Wright and writer Anthony McCarten, created a film that was utterly riveting despite all the talking and the 125 minutes run time. But more than that, the film was also surprisingly funny, unexpectedly rousing and heartfelt. This was Wright's best film since Atonement. Gary Oldman was phenomenon in it, just give him the Best Actor Oscar already, and the supporting cast was also stellar, especially the underrated Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James and Ben Mendelsohn. In addition, the cinematography by Bruno Delbonnel and the score by Dario Marianelli (whom also worked with Wright on Atonement) were both absolutely top-notched; similarly, the costume design by Jacqueline Durran was outstanding, as were the makeup and production design. This film was an outstanding creative achievement.
Wright's direction was assured and he paced the story very well, except maybe for a slight lagging in the middle of the second act. Howeve…
An absolutely riveting, searingly powerful and bitingly black comedy/drama by the brilliant director/writer Martin McDonagh. Led by Frances McDormand in a tour de force performance and the equally astounding Sam Rockwell, the talented ensemble cast (in particular Woody Harrelson, Caleb Landry Jones and Lucas Hedges) brought McDonagh's wickedly smart script to life. This was despite the film's difficult premise and generally unlikeable characters. However, McDormand and Rockwell really nailed their complex characters and hit it right off the park. They both should be in the running come Oscar season and hopefully together with McDonagh for screenplay and maybe even direction, Carter Burwell for another sublimal score and Ben Davis' for his lensing. With one of the longest title - yet also catchiest - "Three Billboards..." had moments that were sincerely touching and emotionally raw, and also equal parts bitingly funny and honestly bleak, this film was superb and a…