My snarky reviews of Movies, TV series, Food and other happenings...
Ion's newest Thai restaurant is apparently a famous/popular restaurant back in Thailand. Well, it's definitely popular since I still had to wait 20 minutes for a single person seat on a weekday night dinner. However, their wait staff to customers ratio is still wanting with inattentive service but at least prompt when on demand. Main course coming before starters is always a big no no. The curries are clearly catered to a more western tastebud than authenticity. They run on the sweet, peanuty side rather than a spicy fiery palate. The red curry chicken was served with chicken slices on a shallow plate, hence not enough of that sweet curry for eating with their $2.50 Jasmine rice. The pork balls were good, well fried with a crispy outer layer but the inner meat still retained some juice and an interesting spicy/soury taste, however it was too expensive for a starter (likewise for the rest of the starters). The fried curry soft shell crabs was similarly too sweet overpowering the taste of the crabs, but at least it was more generous than the chicken. The small mango sticky rice was really small, and the rice/coconut was not warm or salty enough. The mango also was not sweet although they did give half of a small mango. The coconut ice cream is a winner though, but the extras for the mixed condiments is essentially more a money making gimmick than anything else.
Verdict: A good, decent Thai restaurant that deserved a repeat trial to try the rest of their menu, but just beware of the pricing.
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…