My snarky reviews of Movies, TV series, Food and other happenings...
Table at 7
Restaurant Week, October 2011. Lunch set @ $40++. I preferred the food here than at their previous establishment: Sage. For the restaurant week lunch set, I had the yellow fin tuna tartare with daikon, avocado and sesame oil, followed by a main of chargrilled beef onglet and a warm valrhona chocolate tart. The tuna tartare tasted like the old-school sheng-yu (raw fish) that I used to eat with my porridge in chinatown market, but the daikon, cucumber and avocado does add another dimension to the texture of the dish. The onglet was done medium-rare (which we had to specify directly to the wait staff who did not ask) and it was really good, with a nice charred taste in the exterior and just enough tenderness and chewiness within; the accompanying mash was blah. Lastly was the dessert. Interesting way of serving the usual warm valrhona cake, kudos if the pastry tart was home-made, though the moccha ice-cream was way more ice than dairy!
Verdict: May go back, but I won't particularly hunt it down.
Table at 7
7 Mohammed Sultan Road
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…