December 17th, 2002


Review time: Movies: Equilibrium and Solaris, Restaurants: Lamu and F&B.

Friday I went with penchantnyc to have dinner at the newly opened Lamu (the restaurant that was formerly Caffe Adulis - which is where we had planned on going) and see the movie Equilibrium. Tonight I saw Solaris with irnbruise and then went to dinner at F&B (citysearch listing: F&B), a European "Street" Food restaurant.


Equilibrium - Equilibrium was pretty good. It got pretty consistent bad reviews, with the notable exception of Roger Ebert, who felt it was pretty good. I agree with him - it's obviously low-budget, it's obviously not the best movie ever (in any aspect of film-making), but it was also fun, enjoyable, and had at least some semblance of intelligence, which is unusual for an action film.

The movie was a futuristic picture set in a totalitarian country, Libria. It's post-WWIII and in order to prevent another World War, they require everyone to take Prozium, which robs people of their emotions. There's a group of highly elite enforcement officials known as Clerics, who are trained in "gun-kata" (a martial art specializing in shooting people... yeah, seriously...) and who hunt down "Sense Offenders" and kill their asses. DEAD.

Well, as you can imagine, it was rich with cheese, but still managed to be fairly interesting, fairly exciting, and fun to watch. Of course, if you're lactose intolerant, the heavy cheese content may make it hard to stomach.

Solaris - Solaris is a remake (by Steven Soderbergh) of the three-hour long sci-fi film, Solaris (a Tarkovsky film), both of which are based off of the book Solaris by Stanislaw Lem. The tagline for the 2002 version is "There are some places man is not ready to go" - and one of those places is into any theater that's playing Solaris.

The movie is less than 2 hours long, but feels closer to 2 weeks long. It's slow. In fact, it's so slow, it makes a dead turtle coated in molasses that's been locked in a safe look like lightning. Greased lightning. The IMDB user rating was 6.9/10, and apparently they didn't actually watch the movie.

It's too bad - the concept behind it is very interesting, but the movie ruins it. George Clooney is pretty bad. Natascha McElhone is as unappealing as she's ever been in a movie, but at least was sort of not entirely crappy. The directing was painful - Soderbergh was trying to make a thoughtful, intellectual movie (I assume) but he failed. Boo.

Worth seeing if you need a nap.


Lamu - Lamu (pronounced "Lamu") is a mediterranean restaurant. It's got decent food, nice decor, and cute waitresses. It's a bit pricey. The waitresses were cute, though. That's all I have to say about it.

F&B - F&B is basically a gourmet hot dog restaurant. They have multiple types of hot dogs and other tubes of meat and meat-like substances, pommes frites, and all sorts of other things. They offer a bunch of different topping combinations on their dogs, most of them "fancy". They also supposedly make more authentic pommes frites than most places, using a double-fry cooking method. I'm not sure if they were more authentic (they were cut sort of like thick-cut french fries, for one), but they were good.

The hotdogs themselves were great - really nice quality hotdogs, with great and inventive topping combinations. I got a Great Dane ("traditional Danish Hot Dog with Remoulade, Danish Mustard, Apple Tomato Ketchup, Crisp Onions and Marinated Cucumber Slices") and a Top Dog ("Hot Dog with Traditional German Sauerkraut, smoked Bacon and Mustard"). Both were very good, and of course, as I mentioned before, the pommes frites were very good too.

Plus - the stuff is all pretty cheap (not that cheap for hotdogs, but they're generously topped, so shut up). Two thumbs up.
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Google's created a new variation on its search engine that's a product search - it doesn't sort by prices or anything, but it can help you find vendors that are selling a given item. It seems a bit rough right now, but it's an interesting idea and could be useful.