Thursday, April 22, 2010

movie and al asador?

a near perfect evening, as far as i'm concerned. last night K and i went and grabbed tacos al asador (el salvadorean tacos) and then headed to her adorable new house in the annex (more technically, seaton village) which is perfectly lovely and has a gorgeous, huge yard and is about twice as wide as lil' ugmo on a perfectly situated street. K suffers from a bit of "homebuyer's glasses" where you only see the negative things about your new home (and the accompanying dollar signs) but her house is so cute! K & J did so well for themselves.

i got a veggie burrito and an order of nachos that i tried valiantly to finish...but didn't succeed. isn't tacos al asador the best? i love the nachos there - corn chips piled high with chunks of avocado, crema, queso fresco, black beans, cilantro, and melted, velveeta/cheez whiz cheese. so good.

the burritos are hefty little rice, beans, and lettuce bombs that are super-filling - that place will never get old for me. i love it there.

we saw "the runaways" which, somewhat strangely, despite really decent reviews none of the menfolk in our lives wanted to see. it was actually, surprisingly good - i think i had low expectations (favorable reviews aside) - i just pictured it going really cheesy and low budget and appealing to a teen fan base (i think i was conflating it with kristin stewart's OTHER film endeavors.) it's directed by floria sigismondi (most well known as a photographer/artist and director of several outré videos for the likes of marilyn manson) - which i thought was a rather fitting match-up - the material is all about glam and feminine power and rock'n'roll sexuality and she does a fantastic job of conveying the textures and feel of the time and that glammy/punk-rock aesthetic. the texture and tones of the film and the scenes were all individually well shot and were composed in a way that made your eye want to linger - beautiful, washed out, hazy california 70s tones.

the focus is on dakota fanning's character, cherie currie's rise to fame, plucked from disaffected, small-town california ennui to be the frontwoman and lead singer of the runaways, a band that also featured joan jett (she wrote or co-wrote a lot of the runaways' songs), played by kristin stewart. the narrative arc of cherie's story is more predictable - small-town kid seduced by bowie and hollywood glam/decay, wanting to get out, corrupted by drugs, fading into obscurity - and therefore less interesting than jett's subsequent rise to fame. both of the lead performances are quite good, with fanning's glassy, doe-eyed and plump lipped flaxen lolita stylings playing off well against stewart's dark haired, slouched, mannish punk aesthetic. i always forget that kristin stewart is a decent actress - her ham-fisted turns in the "twilight" series can do that to you - it just goes to show you how much she must HATE that franchise - it comes through in her limp performance in the vampire flicks.

i thought the pacing of the film was a little off - K agreed that she wanted more of the initial set-up - fleshing out jett and curie's background a bit more and less montage-y, lingering scenes of their decline as they get eaten up by drugs, excess, and the rock'n'roll factory and the machinations of their manager and svengali, kim fowley, an exploitive, flamboyant, glittering puppetmaster, somewhat overplayed by michael shannon, who does a lot of scenery chewing.

there's a subtext about female empowerment and the dirtying up of female sexuality in the androgynous hedonism of the 70s that i wish could have been teased out more. the impact of the runaways and of girls rocking is touched on, but i wish it was a little more developed.

overall, i quite liked this flick - the set design, music choices, and costumes are fantastic and it's really entertaining. i'd give it a 7-7.5/10.

today is a busy day. a 1/2 day at work, followed by a doctor's appointment that the dotytron is meeting me for, and then we're going to our friends J & S's book launch for this book on foodies that they published through routledge and that i did a teeny tiny bit of research for.

then we're going to grab dinner either at mexitaco or la tortilleria and then a double header of dodgeball. this season we've gone back to playing in the rec league (instead of intermediate) with some friends of ours. i think it'll be a lot more fun...i got tired of playing with the death metal boozing babies.

busy busy busy!

i'll take pics of mexitaco or la tortilleria and review.


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