In the week and a half it has been since the release of <i>The Social Network</i>, I have raved about the movie to everyone I know, yet I hesitate to say anything too substantial about the movie itself. It is best seen with fresh eyes and no expectations — except, of course, the expectation to be entertained by a movie about one of the defining developments of our generation. Most people who haven’t seen it yet refer to it as “the Facebook movie,” and while it is indeed about Facebook (which, let’s be honest, provides a good enough reason to go watch it), it is, above anything else, an excellent film, already dubbed “the best movie of the year” by numerous critics.
It’s never a good sign when you have difficulty remembering what happened in a movie soon after you leave the theater. And by soon, I mean before you hop on the subway after the film ends. I had been quite excited to watch <i>Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince</i>, the sixth movie in the series, especially after reading some very positive reviews. Perhaps they set my expectations too high; I should have known not to get my hopes up.
Looking for a feel-good, happy-go-lucky movie? You won’t find it in <i>Tokyo Sonata</i>, director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s latest film. But for what it lacks in fairy tale happy-ever-afters, <i>Sonata</i> more than makes up for it in its dark, subtle humor and highly perceptive look at the underground culture of unemployment in Japan and its impact on one seemingly typical family.
What would Valentine’s Day weekend be without a celebration of women? And I’m not just talking about getting your girlfriend or gal pals chocolates or flowers, or taking that cute girl from lab out for dinner. I’m talking about the<i> Vagina Monologues</i>, a production that has raised millions of dollars for anti-violence organizations over the past decade.
One of these days, when the bipolar weather gods deem Boston worthy of some warmth and sun, take a stroll across the Charles and meander your way to Kenmore Square’s Petit Robert Bistro, where customers munch on tasty French bistro fare at relatively affordable prices. PRB recently started its live jazz Sundays with the arrival of the spring season. On a recent sunshine-filled weekend, a friend and I decided to check this out and came away with both stomachs and ears satisfied.
A blizzard may keep me from going to class, but I refuse to let the elements hinder my food critiquing endeavors. So, I braved the cold on Monday night with a friend to try Myers+Chang, an Asian fusion “funky indie diner” in the South End. Run by owner and chef Joanne Chang and executive chef Matthew Barros, the place gives off an upscale yet casual, retro-modern feel, with mod off-white cushiony seats and pink, borderline-kitschy bar stools. Bright pink dragon designs adorn the glass exterior, and inside are red and white lights amidst white bauble lanterns. We were pleasantly charmed before the food even arrived by the playing music, which included Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” and Death Cab for Cutie’s “A Lack of Color.”
With Valentine’s Day looming around the corner, I thought I would try some restaurants that hopefully won’t break the bank while still maintaining a high level of quality. Sibling Rivalry, a self-proclaimed “modern American restaurant,” does just that. As you may surmise from its name, the restaurant is run by two siblings, Chefs David and Bob Kinkead, and each offers his own unique culinary creations on the menu. To add to the brotherly competition, they offer a special deal on Monday nights, two separate prix-fixe three-course menus for $35 each. The opportunity to be a judge, Iron-Chef-style, for a night? Sounds like my type of fun.
I decided to kick off my 2008 Boston Restaurant Week experience with lunch at Grotto with a couple friends. Grotto, one of Beacon Hill’s high-end Italian restaurants, looks unassuming enough from the outside; the restaurant is below street level and, like its name implies, is quite cave-like once you get past the heavy purple curtain at the entrance. Inside, the red brick walls are peppered with paintings done by local artists, and chandeliers and a fancy wall mirror juxtaposed against the red-piped ceiling (complete with greasy rag) give the place a funky, almost hip vibe. A glance around the small dining area made it clear that we were the youngest patrons there; perhaps Grotto entertains a younger crowd for dinner. The service, while not extraordinary, was decent, and the atmosphere relaxed, although a bit noisier than what I expected.
The evolution of MIT dining continues this term, as a hodgepodge of changes accompany the inevitable return of insatiably hungry students.