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  • Issue of
  • Nov 2-8, 2005
  • Vol. 26, No. 3

News & Views

Arts & Culture

  • The Scene
  • The Weather Man

    Cage’s David Spritz is a guy whose only success is in front of a green screen delivering the weather. When not churning out annoying TV news catchphrases, his off-camera life finds him socially inept, never getting it right, never kicking Lucy’s football, his every step a misstep. Director Gore Verbinski, in an attempt to channel Sideways, takes on too much, and tries to cover too much familial dysfunction and social commentary in one picture. But Weather Man delivers brief flurries of brilliance.
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  • The Scene
  • Capote

    Director Bennett Miller’s smart and absorbing film offers a discerning character study of the author as a ruthlessly manipulative but insightful writer. Vain, dishonest, and, at times, surprisingly sincere, Capote is a fascinating figure — but far from likeable. Films about famous writers tend to be dull affairs, concerned more with personal melodrama than artistic inspiration. Capote stands out with its depiction of the writer’s manners and method. We see Capote as he cajoles, charms and seduces his subjects into trusting him, knowing full well he’ll eventually betray them in print.
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  • The Scene
  • Saw II

    This twisted sequel offers up multiple head traumas, electrocution, some chemical poisoning, severe self-mutilation, flame broiled corpses, and a horrific hypodermic needle scene that will make you squirm in your seat. If Saw I was the low-budget cousin of Seven then Saw II is sort of like the half-witted love child of Silence of the Lambs and Cube.
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  • The Scene
  • The Squid and the Whale

    Writer-director Noah Baumbach’s acidic, bitterly smart and profoundly funny portrait of divorce is both brutally honest and humane, an intimate, small-scale masterpiece. It’s Brooklyn in 1986, and the cozy Park Slope home of the Berkman family is about to implode under the weight of its own dysfunction. Baumbach seems to be tapping a deeply personal vein. To what degree the onscreen turmoil mirrors Baumbach’s childhood is unclear, but the emotional chaos certainly seems to come from someplace refreshingly real.
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  • The Scene
  • Prime

    Prime is either a serious romantic comedy or a drama with comedic interludes; Uma Thurman is Rafi, a thirtysomething fashion photographer who eagerly pours out the messy details of her recent divorce to her therapist, Lisa (Meryl Streep). Both patient and analyst are excited by Rafi’s passionate fling with the soulful but much younger painter, David (Bryan Greenberg), giggling like a pair of junior high cheerleaders. What nobody is initially aware of, however, is that Lisa is David’s mother. The film argues that ultimately, in love, questions of race, religion, age and status are merely background static, even as the characters become terminally distracted by the din.
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  • The Scene
  • The Legend of Zorro

    It’s been over seven years since the last Zorro film, but absence has not made the heart grow fonder. Yet Legend of Zorro, while overlong and more than a little cheesy, is better than its predecessor in most ways. It’s not witty, sexy or cool, but it is a lot of fun.
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  • The Scene
  • G

    Just the very notion of a hip-hop retelling of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s glitzy Jazz Age tragedy The Great Gatsby is enough to raise the eyebrows. G could have been brilliantly groundbreaking — but it’s not. Fitzgerald is surely rolling in his grave.
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Food & Drink

  • Table and Bar
  • Sweetness and spice

    Bombay distinguishes itself with the word “grille.” You can watch the process through a window in the dining room. Grilled items are prepared in tandoors, deep clay ovens heated by charcoal fires. Most Indian restaurants use gas, which is cheaper, but can’t produce the flavor of a charcoal fire. Seekh kabob — minced lamb cooked on a skewer — tastes nothing like the Middle Eastern variation called shish kafta, because of its rich spice blend. Chicken malai is marinated in yogurt and spices, then grilled. There are three vegetarian kebabs, some with paneer, a mild homemade farmer’s cheese. This is a great place for carnivores and vegetarians to commingle; the entrée menu is about evenly split between the two. Wine, beer and liquor are offered.
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Music

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