Netflix “on demand” or whatever they might call it is pretty cool. It allows me to watch video on my Xbox360 (thanks bin). It downloads pretty near instantly. It does not, however, have a huge library currently. Even the “late night Cinemax” section is pretty lame. It has forced me to dig a bit deeper, search for hidden gems. The best things I’ve watched have been Death Proof, Get Carter (the 70’s version with Michael Caine), New York Doll, and Dig. Last night I watched Vanishing Point from ’71. Kurt Russell’s character in Death Proof references it and The Commodore had recommended it, so I gave it a shot. Interesting film, to be sure.
There is very little dialogue in it, nearly all of it unimportant. Cleavon Little is pretty near horrible as a blind DJ, Barry Newman is wooden and stolid as the lead. The plot is odd, stunted, disregarded. Sadly, even the young lady who is nude for her entire 5 minutes of film time and rides a motorcycle around in the desert is not all that pretty. IMDB tells us that after this credit as Nude Motorcycle Rider she became a wardrobe consultant…odd. But wow…it is shot beautifully. John Alonzo really nails the look of western Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. The vistas of lonely roads with that white Challenger roaring down them are as American as apple pie and violence. The action scenes are well done, the stunt work clearly harrowing. I enjoyed myself through nearly the whole thing. I’d recommend it to car buffs, fans of odd 70’s cinema, and of course car chase fans.
I netflixed a documentary last night called New York Doll which is about The New York Dolls, and most specifically their bass player Arthur “Killer” Kane. It’s surprisingly funny, tender, sad, and uplifting. To anyone interested in the Dolls or that era of music I’d give to a very high recommendation. Click here for the website.
bin, Scoobs and myself tried out the new Mediterranean food joint in Reno last night. The decor is pretty bad inside and out, and the ambiance is nothing special but the food…well…dang if the food isn’t pretty good. We had a wonderful hummus with some plain but garlicky naan to start. bin had a falafel which totally confounded me. I’ll readily admit that I’m no expert on this type of food but I associate the word falafel with meat. It isn’t. I’m sure I’m not telling any of my loyal readers anything new, but a falafel is fried chickpeas or fava beans, usually wrapped in a pita-type bread. She was quite fond of her meal. Scoobs had the veggie appetizer combo which consisted of little dishes of babaganoush, kalamta olives, falafel (still not meat), more hummus, and rice stuffed grape leaves. I tried the gyro platter which I was pretty pleased with. The entire meal was solid, tasty, and inexpensive. Not anything earth shattering, but well done. I’d suggest you give it a try if you are into that sort of thing.
Oh, and as a bonus we got to meet Chef Maurice, the culinary mastermind behind Naan & Kabob. Awesome ponytail.
Here is a link.
(Update: Falafel is *still* not meat.)
I was raised with an abject fear of drugs. Between school, church, and home I was convinced that one puff of marijuana was going to leave you dying on skid row. Or something. Despite the healthy skepticism I had about everything else I’m not sure why this was left to stand…but it did. Odd. Regardless, I’ve just finished reading Martin Torgoff’s marvelous Can’t Find My Way Home: America in the Great Stoned Age, 1945-2000. It’s a great book. An important book. It tells the story of drugs in America, the good, the bad, the ugly, the mundane. I wish that every drug “policy” person in America could read this, digest it. I wish that every high school student in America could read this as well. Check it out.
Gritty. Totally gritty.