They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

Yes, Chef!

We don't usually do Friday night movies, but this is at least the second one this year -- we saw Tomorrowland (DW) (LJ) back in May (and amusingly meatloaf sandwiches were in play then, too). Saturday the weather is not supposed to cooperate and we have company coming Sunday, so we really can't have a Saturday play day.

It's amazing how quickly you can be spoiled. The last two movies at the Holland 7 were in Theatre 5, which is the first to have the really nice recliners (DW) (LJ).

This morning, I heard a snippet on the radio that M-231, the new crossing of the Grand River halfway between Allendale and Grand Haven, was scheduled to open at 4pm Friday. Sure enough, as we drove west on M-45 towards Holland at 6:20pm, the new traffic lights were on, and there were a lot of cars heading north and south on the new road. So even though it was about 9:40pm and dark on the way home, we decided to take a side trip and run the seven mile length of M-231 from M-45 to M-104/I-96. For one thing, I wanted to see what exits they actually built. Originally there were supposed to be three. But after farbling around for over twenty years trying to decide to build this bypass, and after spending tons of money on the Detroit freeways, the state kept on getting cheap with M-231, just as they had with the promised South Beltline M-6. In the end there is one grade crossing intersection at Lincoln, which is convenient for us, and NO exits. I'll have to make the run in daylight and post some pictures. But it's a nice road. Just not the full US-31 bypass freeway originally envisioned.

Burnt [R]
Holland 7 Theatre 3, 7:00pm, 2×$9.50

Bradley Cooper is in all sorts of films, but it turns out I've never seen him in one. Sure, he voiced Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy and Mrs. Dr. Phil streamed Silver Linings Playlist Playbook once when I wasn't here -- so those don't count. No matter, he's got the look of a Rocco DiSpirito, who is a real life New York rock star chef.

We've kind of seen this movie before. Great chef has meltdown, suffers business failure and/or gets into drugs and alcohol and/or can't handle success, tries to put life together. Working on earning the elusive Michelin third star. Two movies which come to mind are Chef (DW) and The Hundred-Foot Journey (DW), the latter which also involved pursuit of Michelin stars. Or even Ratatouille (DW). (grin)

Never mind, we love chef/food movies. Goes along with all the cooking competition shows we watch. Burnt does a particularly decent job of showing the brigade in the kitchen -- what, you thought Chef actually made all the dishes he served? And also "the pass", where dishes are put together before being sent out for service. And this is a NICE kitchen.

As far as food goes, the Holland 7 has the best popcorn in town, but doesn't offer hot dogs or sandwiches or anything more substantial. It's after 7pm -- dinner time for us. So after popcorn, we had our smuggled in meatloaf sandwiches. Oh, yum. Yes, I like fine dining, but we eat pretty damn well at home, too, under the strict kitchen supervision of Chef Mrs. Dr. Phil. It amused me that just as a diner in the film was slicing through an egg laid across some entree, allowing the runny yolk to spread over everything, that bite of sandwich hit the hardboiled egg which had been embedded in the meatloaf. Mmm. Taste-o-vision...

The thing about Adam's Paris meltdown is that he hurt a lot of people he counted on. So there's plenty of agendas, plus one wicked application of that Klingon proverb, "bortaS bIr jablu'DI', reH QaQqu' nay'". (Revenge is a dish best served cold.) And Chef Adam's relationship with money is very casual -- broke one day with his credit cards canceled, the next day he's driving a really nice fancy motorcycle which he gives away. Huh? And there are a whole lot of the subplots of The Magnificent Seven Of The Kitchen which are barely explored or simply disappear. Even Adam's backstory is administered in fleeting little dibs and drabs. Oh wait, the running time is only 101 minutes. Yet another movie which could've done a lot more if they'd just added 20-30 minutes -- good minutes, not just padding.

You know, for example, that the really good young woman chef, played by Sienna Miller, who has a precocious daughter and loathes the self-important American chef... is going to fall for him. Though the best kiss in the movie isn't between them. Only the second best. (evil-grin)

Still, they managed a lot of restraint in the movie. It would've been easy to: (a) toss the chef and the girl into bed and/or (b) have a big lovers spat, (c) have chef fall completely off the wagon and fight like Rocky to get back up, etc. Instead there are a lot of plot areas left dangling -- Emma Thompson's role was kept low key, for example, as was the ex-girlfriend -- and I'll leave it up to you to decide whether this is a better exhibition of life or the director left too many Chechov's guns littering the film. Me? I kind of liked it. The more I wanted was depth, not chaos for chaos' sake.

Wikipedia mentions the film went through several name changes -- originally it was going to be called Chef, but that ended up being used by another movie. Opening day reviews don't sound spectacular -- 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Much of the criticism is center on Adam, calling him an unlikable character. Gordon Ramsay, on the other hand, loved it -- but I should note we saw his name, as well as Mario Batalli, in the credits.

In the end, Burnt is a very pretty movie. And though it is billed as a comedy-drama, I was glad they didn't take the comedy too seriously and make the whole thing a caricature. I do worry that Adam's solutions to getting the multiple monkeys from Paris off his back are not particularly useful for addicts, though they might think so, and probably shouldn't be taken too seriously.

We had a lovely evening, but this is not high cinema.


Trailers: Joy -- Jennifer Lawrence, who is in everything these days, Robert DeNiro and, oh look, it's Bradley Cooper. Young woman goes out into the world and it sounds like maybe her family doesn't believe she can make it, I guess. Love The Coopers -- John Goodman and Diane Keaton head a dysfunctional family heading into the holidays. Hilarity ensues, I guess. The always lovely Olivia Wilde is in this one. The Hateful Eight -- billed as Quentin Tarantino's 8th movie. It's a western. He's got me with Samuel L. Jackson, but then Kurt Russell is playing a badass bounty hunter. By The Sea -- huh, Brangelina. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are having a tough time. I can't quite tell if she's trying to commit suicide or he's trying to kill her. Don't care yet, either.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
Tags: highways, movies, reviews

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