Sunday, May 31, 2009

Three Failures

I kinda skipped over the last few movie experiments at Netflix, but it occurs to me that I should record the failures along with the successes, so here goes:

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge - This Bollywood film was one of a batch I queued in response to Jean's curiosity regarding the field. I got it by scanning best-of lists and picking a few. Unfortunately, while the plot was familiar (arranged marriage, love on the way), it seemed dated and trite, so Jean was unable to overcome her resistance to musicals to plod through the movie. I didn't really want to see it without her, so fail.

Chop Shop - This was a streaming offering, another film by Ramin Bahrani, who did 'Man Push Cart', which was bleak, bleak. This one seemed to have a slightly more upbeat mode, but there were clouds on the horizon, and we couldn't bring ourselves to watch to the finish, given how MPS ended, abruptly and ugly.

The Science of Sleep - This is a movie written/directed by Michel Gondry. He co-wrote 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' with Charlie Kaufman, and directed that film too. We loved ESotSM, but it seems that without a collaborator, Gondry is prone to wander all over the map. TSoS is a jumble, meant to capture the dream life of the main character, and how his fantasies bleed over into his reality. In fact, while I had little trouble determining when his mind was overwriting reality, it still seemed like a buncha 'just because'. And the ending was entirely too WTF for my tastes. We watched the whole thing on the strength of the previous movie, even while asking ourselves if it was worth continuing. I'd have to recommend against it.

On the bright side, I've been streaming Red Dwarf, which I watched on PBS in Ohio a couple decades ago. Very fun, silly British Sci Fi comedy.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

E'njoni Cafe

Jean, Renee and I went to E'njoni Cafe today to celebrate Jean's and my birthday. Her birthday trails mine by exactly three weeks (we're otherwise exactly the same age), so we have a celebration together.

The food was very good! Let me get that out of the way first thing. Renee ordered the Sega Tibs, I got the Alitcha Dorho and a yam and peanut soup (sooo good!) and Jean ordered a three vegetable combination. They were all served together family-style on a large, lovely ceramic platter. Or rather on a large sheet of injera, resting in turn on the platter. There were other nibbles, but all was very tasty.

This is a family owned business, and the husband came over and talked with us for several minutes. He's lived in America for (I think) 32 years now, and was very happy to talk to us about his business and his efforts to get wider recognition. So here you go, fella!

Seriously, from Tualatin, it's around 20-30 minutes to get there, but finding it was easy, and parking was not difficult to find. Still, I wish there was an Ethiopean/Eritrean restaurant closer to home.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Flavor

Anyone know if there will be an importer carrying Pepsi Shiso here this summer? Maybe I should check at Uwajimaya...

Anyway, sad that it's slated to be Japan only. It sounds tasty!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Recent Movies

I failed to note the last Netflix movie Jean and I watched. It was Young @ Heart, a documentary about a senior choral group which sings pop songs including punk rock. It was very good.

The other movie I should mention was not viewed with Jean. I was over at Tom's last night for the monthly gathering (more like quarterly for me), and he was gracious enough to screen his copy of Chandni Chowk to China, a Bollywood version of a Hong Kong martial arts movie. It was laugh out loud hilarious, replete with most every cliche from martial arts movies past. Thanks, Tom!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Star Trek

This morning I went to the IMAX showing of the new J.J. Abrams Star Trek at Bridgeport Village. I took the morning off as vacation time to give this to myself as a birthday present. How could I resist since the Friday opening hit on my birthday exactly? I don't usually do anything to celebrate on my actual birthday, preferring to combine my and Jean's celebrations on her birthday, since it is so close to mine.

In any case, this was a fun movie, no question. I'm not sure it is really Star Trek, but if you just think of it as a fun, busy, explodey scifi movie, then you'll be fine. I'll probably see it in a theater again (without the IMAX premium), but I'm already looking forward to where they take the franchise after this reboot.

The Visitor

The Visitor, another story of immigrants facing hard luck in America. This one was a Netflix streaming movie. I give it three stars.


I just finished Moonraker tonight. I've been taking it at an easy pace, a chapter a night or less, so about a month has passed since I bought it. I really enjoyed reading a chapter a night before coming to bed. And I will say that following the chronology, it is in fact the best book so far. I'm looking forward to the next one, Diamonds Are Forever.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

More Music

And a short album, The Blues Book by Booker Ervin.

Legion of Boom

Grabbed a copy of Legion of Boom (The Crystal Method) from eMusic after Brent let me sample it. These are the guys responsible for the theme to House.