武侠 『Swordsmen』(2011)

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In Time (2011)

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In Time is a prime example of a movie concept which had so much potential, but just didn’t quite deliver.  Before I watched it, I believed it had the potential of to make an Inception or Matrix like impact on the world.  However, it seemed as though the director of In Time didn’t know if he really wanted an action-packed movie or not, and so the film just fizzled into the finish line.

It’s not surprising that I like the concept so much since I am a big fan of Andrew Niccol, and Gattaca is one of my all-time favorite movies.  The problem with In Time was its attempt to be an heart-pounding action-centered film, when it really should have been a heart-pounding dramatic tale with action supporting it between scenes.  Instead, it couldn’t compete with other action movies of the year, and didn’t delve deep enough into the social issues which the drama was based around.

Some of the shockingly anti-climactic events of the movie didn’t really help its cause either, such as what happens when the time keeper finally catches Will Salas and the time keeper’s history is revealed.  Also, the duo breaks into banks to “give time away.”  But the banks were so shabby and unguarded, it only brings up the question of why wouldn’t people have broken in if all a person needed to do was drive a truck through the glass windows and through the paper thin walls.

The Robin Hood-esque storyline and the issues of gentrification combined with the futuristic concept of “time” being a currency were great ideas.  But they just didn’t come together in this film.  In Time is something that most people will watch and leave thinking, “That could’ve been a great movie, if only…”

Friends With Benefits (2011)

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Momofuku Noodle Bar

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I tagged this with Japanese, but it’s really another experiment in Asian fusion cuisine.  I have never found a fusion restaurant that I liked, but I kept hearing rave reviews about this place.  When describing the ramen at Momofuku, my co-worker said that it was like “Japan married Texas and had a baby.”  But after dining here for an early dinner, it only further reaffirmed my belief that more traditional dishes are far superior to fusion food.

We split an order of Oyster buns and each got the Momofuku Ramen.  The Oyster buns were like a variant of the Pork/Lamb Burgers they have at Xi’an Famous Foods, but not nearly as savory.  We got it for the Old Bay taste, which there were hints of; however I drowned those out with hot sauce, which I felt dramatically improved the bun.  It’s never a good thing when the dish is improved just by covering all of its original flavor with hot sauce.

The ramen was definitely different.  At first bite I thought it was amazing.  Well, the actual ramen was not that great, but the meat and the broth were so mouth-wateringly delicious.  Strangely though, after eating a little more, the delicious flavor of the meat had already lost its appeal.  I think this is one of those situations where they created too much of a positive high with the first bite, which couldn’t be maintained through the course of the meal.  My partner in crime seemed to be more disappointed than me; I at least enjoyed the first few moments of eating the ramen, whereas I don’t think she enjoyed any of it.  In fact, she didn’t even finish, and we ended up going around the corner to S’mac to get some quality mac & cheese.

Compounding the “different” taste of the ramen here with it’s price tag, I don’t think I’ll find myself dining here again.  Totto Ramen is still cheaper and better, and if you love meaty ramen, Totto Ramen serves a special ramen bowl right now which is a monster of a meal.  Better in terms of quality, quantity, and financially.  Personally, I still think Ippudo NY is the best ramen around Manhattan and it’s only two blocks away from Momofuku Noodle Bar.

Little Black Book (2004)

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I had intended to watch this movie when it first came out, but I didn’t and completely forgot about it, until today.  Finally, after discussing some Brittany Murphy movies, and seeing this pop up on Netflix’s recommended movies, we decided to sit down and watch it.  I remember this was supposed be a romantic comedy, but in the end, I didn’t think it was really funny at all.

The entire film was just a series of stupid events stemming from people’s lack of faith in their partners.  Though I can understand the desire for one to know everything about their partner’s past, it usually seems unnecessary to delve deeply into their relationship history.  With no suspicion and no problems, why would one go out of their way to cause so much heartache to one another?  I don’t understand why they would go out of their way to destroy their happy lives.  Although it seems that she wasn’t truly happy to begin with, it seems so illogical and tedious to go to such great lengths just to be honest with oneself.  Perhaps I just think differently from the average person.

I am reminded of a line from Minority Report which cycled through my head as I watched.  “Dig up the past, all you get is dirty.”  Well, that’s exactly what happens in this movie.  An hour and fifteen minutes of digging and getting really dirty, then about a half hour of what turns out to be a kind of quality ending.  Despite the nice ending, it was not enough to save this movie.  Despite being watchable and not utterly horrible, I don’t believe this is a movie that I’ll ever revisit again for any reason.