Ensemble, C’est Tout (Claude Berri – 2007) C+

A predictable romantic drama of sorts. Somehow though, it is much better than a similar American one would’ve been. It avoids lots of pitfalls and cliches in this type of movies and focuses on the characters. One example, in an America romantic comedy Philibert would’ve been the gay best friend whose sole purpose is to give useless advise to Franck and act chipper.


Tsotsi (Gavin Hood – 2005) B+

Not sure why I was not as enchanted by this film as I expected to be. In all respects it is very good. The life in the slums of South Africa is depicted realistically, the acting is excellent, even the ending was a bit unexpected and hopeful. Somehow, I just did not connect to it I guess. Could be because of the character himself -Tsotsi- who remained unlikable throughout the whole movie. 

Wolf Creek (Greg McLean – 2005) C-

Well, Greg McLean is a talented guy. He can make a good movie and has a skill in creating a chilling ambiance in an arid landscape. That much is clear from Wolf Creek and that is about the only positive thing there is. The film itself is pointless and nauseating. The violence is not a product of the story, it IS the story: Backpackers (especially the female) get tortured and killed in the Outback. Period.

The Island (Michael Bay – 2005) C+

You know, I thought this one was going to be so much worse. I watched because it was on HBO and Johansson looked especially good in it. I really did enjoy the first 30-45 minutes here. It was cool looking, interesting and creepy. Only if someone like Paul Verhoeven was directing, the rest of this flick could’ve been almost as good. Think of all the futuristic ‘Insurance Policy’ commercials he would’ve inserted here. Unfortunately, the last 45 minutes is full of chaotic, incomprehensible and impossible action sequences.

Have you tried the Dragon yet?

Dragon Fruit 

 Looks like an alien pod, a futuristic grenade or maybe an egg a dragon would lay. Doesn’t it. Well it’s neither. If you have not seen this before, behold the Dragon Fruit. I had seen it at my local grocery store a few times and always wanted to buy it just because it looks so damn cool. I wanted to see how it looks inside and find out if it tasted as good as it looked. Unfortunately, it always had a price tag of something like $3 – $4 EACH. For the sorry specimens the grocery store usually had (see, no one buys them), I never felt like I’d get my money’s worth.

 This past weekend I was shopping for some ingredients for a Thai meal at a local Asian grocery store and here they were. A box full of Dragon Fruit with specimens that looked like they just got off the plane from Singapore or Puerto Rico or wherever the grow them (could be California I guess). The price? $2.99 per POUND. I picked two of them up and stuck them in the fridge where they waited to be served as a conclusion to my Thai dinner alongside dessert.

Dragon Fruit2

 The fruit reminded me most of the ubiquitous Kiwifruit. It looked real pretty and had these tiny seeds inside. The taste was pretty mild, a little tangy and a little sweet. Overall though, I was a bit disappointed (I am not crazy about Kiwi either). I was hoping for something like a Passion Fruit on steroids, bursting with flavor. Who knows? Maybe the samples I got needed more ripening or something. I probably will not buy Dragon Fruit again, unless they were priced something like $0.50/lb, or if I want to impress some friends with this cool-looking fruit.

 Here it is served with a delicious steamed fresh coconut pudding. It went very well with it, because the pudding was very flavorful and sweet. The fruit provided a nice counter balance with its mild slightly tangy taste.

Dragon Fruit with Coconut Pudding