Monday, October 27, 2008

Movies this weekend - Tit for Tat

I saw Zidane and I've Loved You So Long this weekend. One so boring we took the time to sort out the peanut m&m's that fell into the popcorn bag mid-movie and the other so enthralling, I haven't stopped thinking about it.

Despite being completely excited to see a movie on the amazing football player, Zinedine Yazid Zidane aka Zizou, all excitement soon dissolved after the first 15 minutes of the movie when we realized that there would be no dialogue for the entire 95 min film. It was literally one ordinary football match played from beginning to end interspersed with Mogwai songs and closeups of Zindane's feet, wrists and sweaty brow. A missed opportunity on a player whose career has been so marred in controversy and is ripe for a documentary but apparently not this one since it was ultimately a total bore.

I've Loved You So Long was fantastic and I have not stopped thinking about it since I left the theatre. This is writer/director Philippe Claudel's film debut and the lyrical tones and pace of the movie can clearly be attributed to his first career as a novelist. The film tells the tale of two sisters reuniting after the older sister has been in prison for the last 15 years. Both actresses are amazing (in fact the whole cast is incredible) and it would be a shame if Kirstin Scott Thomas was not nominated for an Oscar. The movie does an incredible job of showing the bond between siblings in a devastating and breathtaking way. Every detail, from the ambers in a bonfire to the shadows running across Scott's face are entrancing, beautiful and make the film that more rich. Highly recommended.


Kind of Explains How I Feel About Halloween

Photo courtesy of JA


Monday, October 20, 2008

Vendy Awards

I hit the Vendy Awards on Saturday in Dumbo courtesy of a very generous friend. The field had been narrowed down to the Top 5 street vendors and the Top 3 Dessert Trucks. We hit all 5 vendors with the exceptions of the Pupusas (which I love but have had many times) and the Calexico truck (again, I love but have had many times and the line was loooong). We didn't try the ice cream truck and we both have had the Dessert Truck so we went for the Treats truck instead. It was a bit chilly by the water that evening but all the food was tasty and I am defintely going to have to start seeking out the Kwik Meal cart in Midtown now. Nominees and Winner after the jump.

Winners in bold!
Food: Heavenly Delights, Biryani Cart, Kwik Meal, Soler Dominican, and Calexico.
Dessert: Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, Dessert Truck, Treats Truck


Weekend Fall Fun- Wineries, Orchards, Art and Foliage Abound


Friday, October 17, 2008

This says it all.


MGMT- The Youth Video

One of my favorite songs on MGMT's album now has a pretty cute, sequined video.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

File This Under- Must See

La Belle Personne - Directed by Christophe Honore, it follows a sixteen-year-old girl who joins a new school and falls in love with a professor - romantic agony ensues. It also features songs by Nick Drake. You can watch the french trailer here.



I know people hate on a changed/Auto Tuned Kanye West but I for one am open and dare I say, excited to check out his new album, 808's & Heartbreak. The Fader has a rundown of the LA listening party here.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Recent Restaurant Visits

I have hit a bunch of new restaurants lately or rather new-to-me places.

General Greene (Fort Greene) - I have been wanting to try this place since it got across the board positive reviews and while I didn't hit the dinner menu which has has been much talked- about, I did try the brunch. And it was okay. If I was in the neighborhood and was meeting someone, I would try it again. Not bad but nothing great. The brunch menu is somewhat limited with largely just variations on baked eggs.
Five Leaves (Greenpoint) - After giving it a big thumbs down on my first visit I was persuaded by a friend to try it again for brunch and I am glad I did. The food and service was far better. I went with the Big Breakkie (eggs, toasts, potatoes and two sides of your choice: Avocado & sausage were mine). I would definitely return for brunch, dinner might still give me pause.

Char 4 (Cobble Hill) - This one of my favorite new spots in the hood. I have been here three times since it opened. They have great cocktails and the staff is extremely helpful and friendly. While it might not be the best BBQ you have ever had, it's tasteful upscale BBQ that doesn't disappoint. The scallops were particularly good.

Chavelas (Prospect Heights) - This is another favorite find. Extremely small and quick to fill up, but worth the often short wait. This authentic Mexican restaurant does a great brunch with lots of options, I will definitely be coming back for dinner.

AQ Cafe (Midtown) - I went here with a couple friends last night and it was decent. There isn't much in that area that isn't insanely expensive or just plain bad so it was a nice, quick haven for the in between. An off shoot of Aquavit, the cafe also specializes in Swedish cuisines but sticks closer to sandwiches, soups and salads. The hot meatball sandwich was great.

(Photo courtesy of NY Mag)


Greenwood Cemetary Tour

Some friends and I hit the Greenwood Cemetery for an evening walking tour. It was fun to see some of the amazing structures but the tour guide was a bit long winded and had us running for an early exit (until we were told the patrol dogs were out!)


Rachel Getting Married & The Wrestler

I saw two movies this weekend, Rachel Getting Married and The Wrestler. I REALLY wanted to love both but I actually thought both were just alright. Maybe my expectations were too high especially for the latter and there were definitely some strong performances in both but I wasn't in love with either.

Rachel Getting Married was extremely well acted with stand out performances from Anne Hathaway and the actress, who plays her sister Rachel, Rosemarie DeWitt. It just seemed unnecessarily long to me and failed to keep me from looking at my watch.

The Wrestler was a movie I was extremely excited for, having read the script a few months back and loved it. While this might just be a case of the book being better than the movie syndrome, I wasn't pulled into the story that way I was in the script, again maybe because I knew what was coming but the film as a whole just fell a bit flat for me despite a great job done by lead actor, Mickey Rourke.

There are lots of great movies I still need to see and more to come as the studios pump out their Oscar fodder in the coming months.