Reviewing everything...

Please brace yourselves for a LONG post... in no particular order:

Wall-E: If someone told me that this would be a movie with almost no voice about about two robots roaming around earth and a spaceship, I would have thought disaster in the making. Turns out Disney had this right. A simple depiction of a robot's life as a garbage man on Earth was going to be cute and intriguing. An even simpler relationship between naive rusty robot and sophisticated shiny white robot was going to be fun and pure. I loved the first half hour: Wall-E kept amusing itself despite the devastation around it. I loved the next hour: fat humans relying on machines for everything. I loved the last half an hour: Eve worrying about a rusty robot that probably served better as landfill than as a half functioning robot. Excellent movie, highly recommended for all the details that came with two simple lives.

Clone Wars: Okay... I just had to see what this was about. Not bad even though it was cartoon. Skywalker gives a better performance than the real person... though I wish Natalie Portman appeared in person. One thing to keep in mind: in the past, you could do much more with action scenes in a cartoon. Seems like special effects have caught up... and cartoons can't out-do humans that much anymore. Not recommended.

Vicky, Christina, Barcelona: Typical Woody Allen movie, not that I have seen that many Allen movies. A typical discussion about love and feelings is reflected through the lives of Vicky and Christina. As seen in my earlier submission to the fail blog, Penelope Cruz won an award for her depiction of a mostly deranged woman. By the way, if I may add, Scarlett Johansson sort of disappointed. Throughout the entire movie, she just had this dumb smile and confusing look. Seemed a bit detached from the movie. Anyway, the movie was an okay discussion about love. I didn't find it too thought provoking. Final verdict: slightly recommended if they can cut out all the very annoying narrator.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Really? 13 Oscar nominations? I don't get it. It's not bad. But it's not 13-Oscars worthy... It is watch-a-second-time worthy though, with a simple premise of a person physically aging backwards. Movie aside, I happen to think that the most interesting and painful part should be when you're mentally an old person with lots of memories and experiences trapped in a boys' undeveloped brain and body. Now that would be intriguing. Unfortunately, due to Brad Pitt, the movie had to focus on the period where he can act as a 20-40 year old, thereby putting his body in the 20-40 range as well. Not so intriguing. By the way, how does that deserve an Oscar? At no point did I feel Brad Pitt acted. He looked old, sounded old, and acted old, but was never that convincing. He seemed more confused most of the time. Nonetheless, I want to give this movie a second chance for its fascinating premise. Recommended.

Death Race: I understand Jason Stathem is the perfect person for this kind of role. Framed race car driver participating in a race to get himself free and revenge on the people who framed him. Awesome casting. It's either Stathem or Scofield for the role. Joan Allen, you are a 3-time OSCAR NOMINEE. Please don't emabarass yourself with these movies! Not recommended, unless you hate Joan Allen and want to watch her demise from being a real actress.

Harold and Kumar escape from Guantanamo Bay: The toilet scene was an awesome continuation of the classic White Castle movie. After that it was mostly downhill. Recommended for the first 10 minutes.

Tropic Thunder: I think my expectations were too high for this movie due to PNGF's constant movie raves (last time she loved a move this much was Get Smart (my review) and Borat). It was okay. Funny overall and a bit over the top. Ben Stiller didn't do it for me, though Robert Downey Jr was really funny. Whereby I loved the scene where the driver of the get away truck asks "why are you all jumping off the car?" (because they were firing a missle at it) and the truck promptly blows up, PNGF liked the "you can't go full retard" conversation between Stiller and Downey Jr. We're just different people, I guess. Okay, I admit, the part where Downey Jr says "Look at Sean Penn. Full retard. Nothing in return." was quite funny. Oh, I also admit that PNGF never raved about Borat. I made that up. Recommended with lower expectations.

Restaurant week in NYC during Chinese New Year... luckily coinciding with my visit to NYC (Great business class to NY, not so good back to Shanghai). Here's the lineup:

Morimoto: the restaurant week lunch menu did not have any sushi and sashimi. So I had the Kobe Beef Lunch Set instead. Kobe beef was a bit too cooked and not tender enough. Sushi was great though. As usual, my Octopus benchmark works. PNGF got the restaurant week menu and her cod was drentched in sauce. When the restaurant manager (he's been with Morimoto since 2002... how do you stay with a restaurant for 6 years?) came over and she told him what she didn't like, we were give two signed copies of the Morimoto menus! Rewards for honesty! Yay! Recommended.

Delmonico's: Petit fillet was good. It's been a while since I had steak. Good steaks in Asia don't quite exist, so I stopped trying unless I get a really good recommendation. Delmonico's satisfied me. Decor was good and service was attentive. I'm still missing filet mignon and real American sugar-laden desserts. Anyway, for $35, I'm not asking for anything more. Highly recommended for restaurant week.

Shake shack: again, it's a matter of expectations. In and Out is better, but Shake Shack is not far behind. Burgers are meaty and juicy while not too messy. Their fries are excellent and the milk shake is a must-get. Some may think it's a bit much for a $10 meal... I think it's worth it. Recommended.

Cipriani: when a restaurants requires gentlemen to wear coats, I expect the service to be good and the food to be better. Well, I wore my coat, but nobody asked to hang it for me. Thankfully, the food was not bad. Here's the biggest piece of Salmon tartar I've ever had. A bit on the fat side given the amount of salmon though. Strawberry sorbet was great. Chocolate ice cream was too rich - felt like it was moose. Anyway, as a rule, your food must be good for you to require people to dress up for your restaurants. Not recommended.

Posted by Picasa


chaubella said...

re: Borat, you were almost RK. good thing you saved yourself, cus you would've been SOOOO RK. =)

re: shake shack, until In N Out makes it to the east coast, shack shack it is! the black and white milk shake... {drool}

re: Cipriani, mousse, dear. i think your english is deteriorating...

Juanjaime said...

Finally somebody agreeing with my love for Wall-E's lack of verbal communication between two robots, but still remaining a great movie.

Some of my friends fell asleep first half cause it was all Wall-E and Eve!
What the?

For a heavy heart thumbing movie, try Revolutionary Road. I couldn't breath properly after the movie. Basically, American Beauty, but with a much more simple story line, and much more simple character, which makes it much more scary, because none of the characters are really that screwed up, but the whole thing becomes screwed up!!

Juanjaime said...

random thought... when do you reach the age where you stop drink as if there's no tomorrow?