Posts Tagged ‘review’

9781468309539_custom-3017ecd8c12010d07be9a2d310dbf290db729ba2-s2-c85While I was a student at NYU, I was involved in one of the best student television productions of all of NYU-TV history. That’s right, On The Cusp. Started by Boaz Frankel, On The Cusp was NYU’s own late night style talk show. It was a blast being involved in the production of this show and we took it very seriously. Whether it was filming on-the-street segments or calling publicists to book big name guests, we worked together to make it happen. Soon, we had famous faces appearing on the show, from Paul Rudd and Phillip Seymour Hoffman to Grover and the cast of Avenue Q. I had an opportunity to film a segment with my favorite author who was in town promoting his book which was certainly a highlight for me. His name is Edward Carey, and he has just released a brand new book called Heap House which is the first in the Iremonger Trilogy aimed at children. I highly recommend you start by reading his novel Observatory Mansions and then Alva and Irva: The Twins Who Saved A City.  In addition to being a writer he is also a visual artist. You can find his illustrations throughout his books and when I met him, he brought with him the sculpture that he made for Alva and Irva, photographs of which are included in that book but to see it in person was amazing. I have so much respect for Edward and I encourage you to pick up his books. But… you don’t have to take my word for it.

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10424259_10103004280469659_3866994420354283130_nWithin the first five minutes of watching Joss Wheden’s film, In Your Eyes, I was completely hooked and immersed in the story. While there are certain edits I would have made to the film, it is beautifully breathtaking, one of the best things I have seen in a while and a perfect date night movie. Romantic, funny, with a hint of supernatural. Two people connected in the most unusual way. It’s not to be missed.

The film premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and then it was announced that it would also be available on Vimeo. So I immediately rented the film and watched it. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I started to try explaining it to friends who asked me what it was about but my summary always ended with, “you just have to watch it.”

About a week after viewing the film I got an email with the subject line: THANK YOU! from In Your Eyes and the following text:

“Dear Evan,
Hello!
Thank you for watching IN YOUR EYES!
Joss and the team would like to thank you for supporting the film. We’re thrilled to be able to share it with fans and movie lovers like you. This helps independent projects find their audience in new and exciting ways.
We’d like to send you a token of our gratitude for your support. Would you please reply to this email with the best (snail mail) address to send it to?”

I was surprised that they wanted to send me a reward for watching the film. I replied and about a month passed.

Yesterday, to my surprise, I received a box in the mail. Inside was a note and an Apple TV thanking me again for watching the film. I couldn’t believe it. Did everyone get one? What was the motive behind it? I imagine that those who received the same gift turned immediately to social media (as I did) to mention the gift and the film. It’s a great idea, if you have the budget for it. And it works. I want to tell everyone about this film. I want to watch everything Joss Wheden does now. Similar to the characters in the film, I feel more connected to the cast and crew of this film, never having met any of them. Bravo!

 

ae63fbf49c3a11e382d3128752274a93_8There has been a serious lack of blogs here lately, and that’s partly because I have been working on my MA thesis. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been having fun, exploring the city, attending movie screenings and all that other glamorous stuff. I just haven’t been writing about it.

On Saturday, we met up with friends in Brooklyn and ventured out to Red Hook, Brooklyn (easier with a car) to go to Hometown BBQ for dinner. Now, you have to understand that it is because of my family that the tofu industry is booming. Growing up, I ate a lot of it.  At one point I began eating chicken and then fish, but never red meat. Today, there are times when I crave it and Saturday night was one such occasion. I like the atmosphere of Hometown BAR-B-QUE, but since there isn’t table service, you have to 1) keep an eye out for a table to open up when you are in line for food or 2) fight someone else in line for a seat once you get your food. We chose option 2. We managed to come to an agreement and share the open table space with the family of five but the four of us were squeezed into a table space meant for two. It wasn’t comfortable but it sure was delicious. Pulled pork, brisket and ribs were displayed on the tray in front of us along with some of the sides we chose to sample. The sticky sauce was my favorite, giving the meat a sweet kick. The sides were tasty but nothing to write home about.

Would I go back? Sure, just as long as we could get a ride there and it is during the week when finding a place to enjoy the meal isn’t such a hassle. We walked by Crab House after dinner and that place looks really neat too. Also, Steve’s Key Lime Pies is there which I’d love to try. Summer can’t come fast enough.

In other news, I’m really looking forward to my trip to Portland next month!! More soon.

ImageEver since I first laid eyes on Dirt Candy the Cookbook I knew that a trip to the restaurant was in order. The graphic novel/cookbook is humorously illustrated while being educational and filled with some really cool recipes. Amanda Cohen is a lot of fun too, and that fun shines in Dirt Candy’s dishes which are also delightfully delicious. Last night, Lauren and I got to try some of them and we can’t wait to go back.

Walking into Dirt Candy you immediately feel at home. A cozy space, tucked away from the East Village street with 18 seats, I expected the atmosphere to be noisier. It wasn’t. It was a really peaceful dining experience. There’s also something really comforting about Amanda being there, clearly very involved in nightly operations and keeping a smooth flow of diners. Here’s my interview with Amanda which I recently did for our blog at work. If I haven’t convinced you yet, let’s give a rundown of the dishes we tried last night.

Our meal began with a delicious snack, Jalapeno Hush Puppies served with the most delicious maple butter. The heat of the hush puppies combined with the sweetness of the butter was perfection. That was a real treat.

For appetizers, we chose the Mushroom and the Cabbage. The mushroom consisted of portobello mousse, truffled toast, and pear and fennel compote. Unlike anything I have tasted before. Highly recommended. The cabbage was also really good, chinese kohlrabi salad, purple cabbage wontons, sichuan walnuts.

For the main course, Corn and Cauliflower. The corn consisting of stone ground grits, corn cream,pickled shiitakes, huitlacoche, tempura poached egg. This was melt-in-your-mouth goodness. I ate everything. The cauliflower was tasty too, buttermilk battered cauliflower, waffles, horseradish and wild arugula.

For dessert I had to try the Rosemary Eggplant Tiramisu especially after the photos I’ve seen and things I’ve read about it. I was not disappointed and the rosemary cotton candy was awesome.

Do yourself a favor and make a reservation. Every bite last night was a burst of flavors. I can’t wait to go back.

A neighbor of ours who loves to read and always shares his recommendations once told me about this fabulous book, Cloud Atlas. After he gave me a quick summary of the novel I decided to purchase the ebook and recently began reading it knowing that I would be seeing the film adaptation soon. I’m not too far into the book and had I been when I saw the movie last night, I might not have liked it as much as I did.I wanted to give the film some time to mull in my mind and now I can’t get it out.

I’m always leery when I hear that a movie exceeds the 90-120 minute mark and Cloud Atlas clocks in at 164 minutes. If I made it through Avatar, I could make it through this.  Jim Broadbent can do no wrong and Tom Hanks for me will always be “Tom Hanks” on screen no matter how much makeup, fake dentures or facial hair you slap on him to make him look old.  The rest of the cast is also excellent and almost everyone appears throughout the film in different skins. The film is directed by (yes, three directors) Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer and Andy Wachowski and they pull off the storytelling beautifully. The weaving (ahem, not Hugo Weaving, although he is quite good in the film) of all of the characters and places in time flows as smoothly as the waters that Adam Ewing sails. It’s an impressive feat. The jumping back and forth will bother some moviegoers but not once did it bother me.

I really don’t want to say too much more about the film.  I’m anxious to see it again though and that is definitely a sign of its power. For now, I will savor the book.