Monday, August 24, 2009

Gastro Non Grata

This event at the Triple Rock in Minneapolis was fabulous.  $3 to get in = small glasses of different beers to sample, small bites of food by famous local chefs, and some highly entertaining (if sometimes not quite technically good) live music.  PLUS a meat raffle.  Wow.  Best 3 bucks I've spent in a while.  This past weekend, the food was from the chefs of La Belle Vie and Sea Change (the Guthrie's new restaurant with the coolest logo I've ever seen), desserts were from La Chiquita.  Mini lamb burgers (I know..."Liiiiisa don't eeeeeat meee") and tuna boats (for lack of a better term....canoe-shaped baguette with tuna, vegetables, and delicious sauce) were the winners of the evening for me.  Also, quite the experience to have a Ukulele Orchestra serenade at the Triple Rock.  It was like a choir of children with recorders, where all members play the same melody line, but substitute the children with grade school science teachers and the recorders with ukuleles and the melody can be something written by David Bowie.  It was fabulous.  Rope Trick was the best band I think.  They had mostly an old western vibe with much yodeling thrown in.  The lead singer has a great voice.  It's definitely an evening of surprises and scheduled itsy bitsy courses.  Don't expect to leave full unless you go for second or third helpings of everything.

The next Gastro Non Grata event should be in November at the Triple Rock.  Watch out for it!

Summer Movies 2009

I've had some time at home, working remotely, and it's been great.  Of course in this time, being the movie lover that I am, I have seen quite a few movies!  Short reviews: 

Harry Potter 6 - As a lover of the books, of course I love the movies.  This movie really played up the humor of the hormones.  The action was good, acting great (I LOVE Alan Rickman and Jim Brodabent made a great Slughorn) well, great by the adult actors...although I think the kids are getting much better.  The movie was incredibly anti-climactic though, which left me disappointed.  

The Ugly Truth - Well what do you expect going to a movie like this.... It met expectations.  It was more raunchy than I thought, but just a cheesy romantic comedy with a very attractive pair.  However, Katherine Heigel has lost WAY too much weight and is now one of those bobbleheads : (

Funny People - Hiarious.  PLUS this movie actually had depth to it.  The characters were complex and the story was quite dramatic.  I like Seth Rogan more and more every movie he's in.  The best parts I think are the lost footage of Adam Sandler with Judd Apatow and the stand up that the actors actually wrote.

(500) Days of Summer - I'm not going to say too much about this movie.  It was everything you'd expect from an indie film - a little odd, confusing, cute and silly.  The characters were just not believable for me at all.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt was great in it, I've missed him.  And although I do have quite the girl crush on Zooey Deschanel, I was left quite disappointed in her performance.  Of course, if I met her, I wouldn't admit to that...

GI Joe - Yeah ... I saw it.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in this one too, but this time he had a cheesy cartoon villain voice and a crazy face.  Versatile.  You know who is not versatile?  Channing Tatum.  The boy can't even do a Southern accent.  Sad.  It was an entertaining action movie, but I did feel like the movie was made for prepubescent boys.

The Time Traveler's Wife - I was so excited and nervous for this film.  The book by Audrey Neffeniger might be my favorite book...ever.  I am so happy to say that the film didn't let me down.  Obviously there are things I wish they included or didn't change, but I think they did a wonderful job with casting, effects, and overall editing.  This film has had a lot of bad reviews by people who didn't read the book - apparently they find it creepy, which I could understand.  So if you haven't read the book, read it.  You won't be disappointed, it's nothing like The Notebook or those other cheesy stories.

District 9 - See it.  Holy moly see it.  Imagine if ET was even more humanized and ostracized...The film style was documentary which pulled you right in to this story.  The story itself was inspired by the Apartheid and the immigration "problem" since then with Zimbabweans coming into the black ghettos of South Africa in the 90s.  If you're squeamish with gore and blood, this isn't the movie for you.  If you're ready to see a film that makes you think and feel, please go.  And bring me back a baby alien.

Julie & Julia - My expectations were not exceptionally high for this movie.  I knew it'd be good, but I didn't know how good it would be!  Meryl Streep.  Holy moly.  The last movie I saw her in was Mama Mia.  And well, the director must have told her to act like that...because this woman is SO talented it's ridiculous.  She NAILED Julia Child.  Mannerisms, tone of voice, expressions, everything.  Not only did she copy Julia, she created such a lovable character!  Amy Adams was also good, but was totally outdone by Meryl.  I also loved the husbands of the movie, Stanley Tucci, and that other guy (whoops, forgot).  The characters were wonderfully written and played to perfection.  I highly recommend this movie.

Inglourious Basterds - Best movie of the summer in my opinion (District 9 is a close 2nd).  If anyone can rewrite history, it's Quentin Tarrantino.  As much as a prick he can be, he really is brilliant.  Most of the movie has subtitles and I'm so glad they cast native speakers for these roles, it's hard to read sometimes cause you're caught up in the actor, and you have to remember to read as well.  If its any indication on how good it was, I saw it Friday night, and Saturday I wanted to see it again.