Before the Devil Knows You're Dead: look beyond the plot (Brothers conspire to rob parent’s jewelry shop turns horribly wrong) and you will find some very fine acting by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawk, and the lawyer boss from Erin Brocovich. The story is pieced together using a time line approach, jumping to different times with perspectives from different characters. Sorry, Mr. Director, this isn’t going to work for a predictable piece. Momento remains unscathed. Needless to say, not recommended.
Atonement: The best revelation is that, for better or worse, I am not a “mature audience” yet, as this film is meant for. Too long, too slow, too boring. Not even Keira Knightly kept me interested (her coming out of the fountain barely clothed notwithstanding). Not recommended.
Charlie Wilson’s War: As SW put it nicely, “this is such a typical American movie.” Tom Hanks plays a congressman with slight character flaws (women and booze, can we blame him?) but finds a conscious while visiting a refugee camp. As a result, he funds the Afghan people with enough weapons to beat the Russians, only to find the funding dry up when it comes to building a school in Afghan. Philip Seymour Hoffman (again!) stars again with some excellent dialogs with Tom Hanks. You gotta love it when two great actors are having fun together. There’s a certain chemistry that cannot be replaced. The same thing can’t be said of Julia Roberts, who plays some Texas woman fighting for the Afghan cause. A character that should have been, in consultant talk, rationalized. Recommended only if you understand some US politics to appreciate the humor.
Joe’s Stone Crab
I had no idea that the “Key Lime” in Key Lime Pie meant lemons from the Florida Keys. Had I known, I would have ordered them from Joe’s Stone Crab, which claims to have the best in town. Their stone crabs are the other draw, and they were delicious. Get the jumbo size ones cus they have the best meat. Get one order for two people so you don’t get sick of crab meat after three big claws. Here's a picture for 2 orders (yes, that's too many claws, we got all crabbed out)
Crepeville (can't find it... maybe it's called Crepevine...)
I miss brunch (American brunch) so much that anything can satisfy me. This particular establishment near the San Francisco airport (thanks to AA and CX ineptitude) rose to the occasion. Salmon crepe was great... more importantly, there's a hot chocolate that taste like chocolate, not water! What a concept! Yummy brunch.
H One (new review site in HK... problem is it doesn't give a rating)
Pretty decent meal at the IFC. Duck breast were tender and just dry enough to be well complimented by tangerine orange. Excellent appetizer. The main dish was a prawn dish with naan. I love naan. No pictures for the tiramisu-coffee ice cream combination though, since it wasn’t pretty and, frankly, wasn’t very good.