Film Reviews

With Eat Drink Man Woman, it’s sure not gonna be McDonald’s.

Dinner and a movie was a weekend standard until the tab for two crept past $40. An evening better spent would be to pair up rented Netflixed or streamed movies with complementary edibles. Bon appetit!

In Psycho (l960), Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) calms a rain-soaked Marion Crane with cheese sandwiches and milk. He even discusses philosophy with her. Then he dresses as his mother and stabs Marion to death in her motel-room shower.

Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwiches and a glass of cold milk. To create the proper mood, trim the crusts from the bread using a big knife.

In Frenzy (1972), his next-to-last film, Hitchcock presents an inspired scene: A police inspector (Alec McCowan) discusses the fine points of a murder case while his wife (Vivien Merchant), a fledgling gourmand, prepares a fancy fish dish for her hubby to sup upon while the case is presented.

For lunch or dinner: Bouillabaisse or cioppino (because seafood can be expensive, and we’re doing DIY cuisine here, make a cheap mock cioppino with jarred spaghetti sauce and chunks of the best-priced, freshest filet or bits of shellfish you can afford).

In the opening scene of the marriage comedy Eat Drink Man Woman (1994), Chef Chu prepares an elaborate chicken salad from scratch, including selecting a (live) chicken.

Lunch: Chinese Chicken Salad (buy a takeout tray).

In Brokeback Mountain (2005), two cowpokes camping in the mountains eat far too many canned beans before they discover more interest in each other.

Dinner: Baked beans (add a drop of liquid smoke for campfire verisimilitude). Falling in love, optional.

Valentino: The Last Emperor (2011) is a wonderful documentary about the great clothing designer, whose sybaritic lifestyle involves amazing dinners and dinner guests, equally amazing, carrying on while nibbling esoteric foodstuffs.

Snack: The weirdest thing you can afford. I find that canned smoked oysters are great with crackers.

Vidal Sassoon: The Movie (2011) is another excellent documentary, here about the world’s most successful hairdresser and how, at 83 years old, he maintains his figure (yoga, raw food) and his fame.

Dinner: Vegetarian, duh. Check out the hot bars at Kokua Market, Whole Foods, Down to Earth, Kale’s Natural Foods, Umeke Market.

Hunger Pangs?

After seeing The Hunger Games, skip the Loco Moco and feast on 808SKATE owner Chuck Mitsui’s all-Island feature production, One Kine Day, now in wide and DVD release after its reception at the Honolulu International Film Festival (HIFF). The story of a 15-year-old skater who gets his girlfriend pregnant shows off Kailua at street level with all-local actors. Over at Kahala, the documentary Jiro Who Dreams of Sushi has won accolades for its succession drama of an 85-year-old master of a 10-seat sushi restaurant that has been awarded three Michelin stars. Hunger’s run-to-the-death-for-somebody-else’s-amusement format has been around since Moses, but was codified in a 1924 short story by Richard Connell, The Most Dangerous Game, which inspired several films (the 1932 version is a perfect bookend to King Kong). Death Race 2000 is very much worth watching (not the sequel) for the sight of nuclear-tipped Chevy Chevettes spinning doughnuts in the desert. It also has a set-up Hunger Games seems to have borrowed wholesale. Logan’s Run has the most risible costumes (the actors seem to have wandered away from the Playboy Club) and hands-down the best group sex scene in the genre. –Don Wallace