Tag: Oliver Platt


May 24th, 2014 — 9:40pm

**** Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 1.17.07 AM

Chef-rm This is an extremely well done movie about food and much more. Chef Carl Casper is played by Jon Favreau who write the screenplay, directed and coproduced the movie) is the famous chef of a well know restaurant in Los Angeles. He finds himself at odds with owner of the restaurant (Dustin Hoffman) who wants him to prepare and serve his standards rather then be newly creative on the day that famous food reviewer Ramsey Michel (Oliver Platt) will be visiting the restaurant. The critic pans the Chef for being unimaginative and at an expected repeat visit, Casper quits rather be then be forced to stifle his creativity once again. This ultimately leads to foodie road trip in a food truck with Casper, Percy (Emjay Anthony) his 10-year-old son and Martin, a staff cook who formerly worked for him(John Leguizamo). We see the great passion that the deposed chef has for food and it’s preparation but also see the tender father son relationship which is played out by the son wanting to learn about food and the father who really puts him to work but teaches him his love and skill of this genre. Sofia Vergara has never looked better as the beautiful but very caring ex-wife. Scarlett Johansson likewise is very appealing as the empathic hostess at his previous restaurant. The road trip starts off in Miami where the food truck is put together and we can almost taste the Cuban food, which becomes an important part of the menu of the truck. The Cuban music beat becomes the pulse of this film and the face of it is Cuban musician Jose C. Hernandez who plays the father of Casper’s ex-wife and the grandfather of the boy. His playing is a recurrent strong part of the wonderful musical background of this story. We also experience the great music and atmosphere of New Orleans which is the next stop on this trip. The food truck becomes very popular here and we are shown the familiar views of this great city while the musical beat goes on. Perhaps characterizing the chef’s relationship with his son, as he buys him the famous product from the Café Du Mundo, he says to him, “ Eat it slowly, you are never going to taste your first beignet again.” Next stop was Austin, Texas where the food truck also achieved great popularity while the music of Gary Clark Jr. played on. Final stop was back home in Los Angeles where this food truck and it’s great crew held their own against other food trucks in downtown LA. Aside from the great screenplay and very fine acting by an outstanding cast, especially Mr. Fareau who is on screen most of the time, there are three non-human stars of this movie. We have already highlighted the music. Of course there is the food and Los Angeles chef Roy Choi should be included in the kudos since he was the food consultant and there were many mouthwatering scenes of very appealing food. The third star was modern technology, particularly social media and the cell phone with constant tweeting. It was tweets that spread the word about the food critic’s views, the counter arguments of the chef and the popularity of the gallivanting food truck. Also the movie was topped off with a few weeks of one second per day video clips posted on the Internet, put all together by Percy the Chef’s young son which summed up his affection for his dad and the journey on which this movie had taken us all. (2014)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama

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September 8th, 2010 — 3:00am

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– rm – This Woody Allanesque movie set in New York City written and directed by Nicole Holofcener deserves more than the nearly empty movie theatre that we saw it in on weekend evening. It is a slice of life movie that doesn’t go anywhere except that some of the characters seem to be a little better off at the end of the movie than they were at the beginning and the viewer has had an insightful 90 minutes into these people laced with some humor. A husband and wife own an upscale furniture store in Manhattan where they buy furniture of deceased people at low prices and sell high. The wife (Elizabeth Keener) is a do gooder by nature and tries to slip twenty dollar bills to street people or those that look like street people much to the chagrin of their 15 year old daughter ( Sarah Steele) who is struggling with her acne and her desire for expensive jeans. Oliver Platt is the teddy bear type husband who while devoted to his family does have a slight itch. There is a crabby elderly woman next door played by veteran actress Ann Morgan Guilbert, who is nearly 80 herself, in a standout performance. She has two contrasting granddaughters who visit regularly to take care of her. Mary ( Amanda Peet) is the older by five years who makes no bones about the factthat she is waiting for her grandmother die and insensitively will say so as well as other things that are best left unsaid. Rebecca (Rebecca Hall) is the sweeter grandchild who is good and loyal to her grandmother. As noted the story really doesn’t go any place but we felt good when it was over as we walked out of our empty movie theater. (2010)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Comedy, Drama

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