Sunday, June 01, 2008

Some Completely Opinionated Reviews

Two Movies:

Sweeney Todd

Wow, I can't say enough in regards to my incredible disappointment with this movie - it
sucked. I know the story and even I felt...unfulfilled....with the advancement of the 'plot.' The characters were cardboard cut-outs without any substance whatsoever (honestly, Helena Bonham-Carter is a terrible actress - I don't want to see the gigantic amount of mental processes happening in her face before she arranges it for the camera.) There was no sense of anyone acting with the other person in the room - it felt like a series of one-man shows that happened to be occurring at the same time. Oh, and let's just get the 'singing' portion out of the way- whoever green-lit Mssrs. Depp & Rickman & Ms. Bonham-Carter's 'singing' should be forced to listen to the soundtrack every. single. day. of their miserable lives. I seriously thought that there would be no way Depp & Rickman could ever embarrass themselves on-screen, but they did. And what was with the over-the-top graphic violence? It lent NOTHING to the movie and was merely anticlimactic.
My disappointment is overwhelming- I had seen a production of this musical at the Goodspeed Opera House about 12 years ago that was far, far more adept at achieving what this movie completely failed to do. On stage, the lighting was more medieval and effective, the set was sparse, so the actors were able to flesh out their characters without distraction, and nothing could compare with the actor who played the judge (a dead ringer for Christopher Lee) singing about his ward Joanna while shirtless & flagellating himself in a sexual/religious frenzy. That production was as meaty & juicy as that story could ever get - all without the tiresome glam-goth 'moodiness' of Burton's movie. Z-

Indiana Jones and the Thing with the Crystal...and stuff...

To paraphrase the Perilous One, it's a 'popcorn chomper' - it's got a lot of action, but kinda fizzles towards the end. The story takes place in the 1950s, with a visual nod to 'The Wild One' - there seemed to be a lot of nods-to-another-movie throughout, but I couldn't place my finger on the rest. There's greasers & hot rods, cold war intrigue, Yale, commies, nuclear testing and....sigh...aliens. The plot was not fancy or particularly interesting, the basis of it along these lines- old civilizations could NEVER had this technology without the help of aliens!’ theory, which always annoys me. But the plot didn't really matter- really. It was an action movie, plain and simple, and Cate Blanchett was magnificent (when is she not?) - John Hurt's role could have been played by anyone, sadly enough. I would have been happy if only Ford (looking good!) and Blanchett were in the movie. A few downers included the old 'revive-an-old-romance' ploy, a Disney-esque 'surprise' that a ten-year-old could have figured out.
All-in-all, it was an Indiana Jones movie, so just see it and enjoy! B-

Places to Eat & Drink:

Captain Scott's Lobster Dock
80 Hamilton St., New London

Oh, if you love seafood, this place is for you! It's located between a marina & the railroad tracks in Downtown New London. All the food is incredibly fresh, cooked well and you can eat outside at one of their tables. It's also very clean and the staff, who really hustle, are super nice. I sampled the fish & chips, and you can opt to have red potatoes (grown locally) instead of fries- both the fish & potatoes were amazingly tasty & cooked perfectly. A coworker had the lobster bisque-in-a-boule & found it to be very tasty, we sampled the onion rings (also good and as a rule, I don't really like them), another coworker has the grilled cheese & tomato sandwich, which she liked, and we also tried some really good ice cream. Non of the food was greasy, smelly, or tasted like the cooking oil had been harvested from an '88 Buick. The big draw is apparently the hot lobster roll, which everyone raves about, so I guess that means a return trip soon! The lines can be long, but they move fairly quickly. I highly recommend this place!

The Cove, Rte. 1, Mystic

This used to be a good place to get crab cakes, fish & chips, etc., but it's become horrifically bad. Bad food, bad environment and I'd like to know where all the crows that used to hang out there went to....

Opus on Main Street

This restaurant has opened on the site of the former Victorian Lady restaurant. Bernie & I decide to check out the Adult Martini Bar as it was their grand opening. Oddly, the place still has many of the original fixtures, which is a bit of a time-trip if you had frequented the Victorian Lady in the past. We popped in at 10PM last night, and there was pretty much no one in the restaurant and a couple of folks at the bar on that side (we realized that the kitchen was probably closing, hence no diners.) We made our way to the other side and...we were the only customers. Not promising, but in retrospect, it was like having our own private bartender and nice bar. The idea of that bar is attract the 30+ crowd, as the owners and bar staff know that every single spot in town is generally taken over by the college students. Very irritating that there's no place to get a nice drink at night anymore. So, I'm very enthusiastic about that idea. It has a nice atmosphere, but for some weird reason, the lights were on full blast, but they were dimmed at our request. We then turned our attention to the 'martini menu', which features many lovely types of cocktails and an actual martini. There were no prices on the menu, which was a bit disconcerting, but we gamely ordered our first round: I had a Creamsicle, Bernie had a Kaffir Lime. Oh my. HUGE glasses (I would say the drinks were doubles) and they were delicious. I'm not one for sugary, cloying drinks, and these were delightfully subtle & tasty. The Creamsicle was a frothy, light version of the ice cream, and the Kaffir lime was chilled to perfection and lightly lime-flavored. Bernie then sampled a Sapphiretini, which was Bombay Sapphire gin, orange juice and cranberry; I had an enormous glass of Belvedere, to cleanse my palate. Again, what could have been an acidic nightmare of a drink was both light and tasty. We then decided we needed to try more, so I ordered the Key Lime & Bernie had the Blueberry Pie. The Key Lime was a little sweeter than the Kaffir Lime cocktail (probably due to the Midori liqueur) and the blueberry pie tasted faintly of sweet blueberry, just not overpowering. We also looked at the menu, which looked similar to the fare the Victorian Lady used to offer: steaks, fish, mainly American cuisine with some nice finishes. The bartender, Bill, told us that Thursday, Friday & Saturday were the best days to go, he recommended we have dinner instead lunch, and he highly recommended the steaks. They had just had a private party in there that evening comprised of 65 people, so the lack of patrons was definitely understandable. Apparently, this restaurant was reviewed twice by someone who did not give it good marks - Bill told us the reviewer had come in on the 3rd day they were open, for lunch (which would hardly give anyone a chance to succeed, it would seem to me) and then returned, again for lunch, on a day they had to fire the chef. Oy. We are definitely going to try dinner there, and we hope we can entice some other 30+ peoples to enjoy the lounge.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Thanks for the review of Opus. I need to go there and try it out. We must support local places that are good (how many cocktails did you all have??) And were the prices okay?