Monday, June 14, 2010

dinner and a movie: Babies

The backstory:
As soon as I saw the trailer, I wanted to see this movie.

The basics: The documentary cameras follow the four babies through the early stages of development. It's an insight into life and raising children in San Francisco; Tokyo; Opuwo, Namibia; and Bayanchandmani, Mongolia.

My thoughts: Babies was quite a bit like spending time with actual babies. It was sometimes boring and monotonous, but then a baby would do something so adorable or hilarious it made it all worthwhile. There was no narrative arc, and some scenes lasted longer than others. I found myself enjoying the Namibian baby the least because I know so little about their culture. There are no subtitles for the stories, so I was left lost (like a baby) with the other languages. I was hoping for more insight into the other cultures. I'm fascinated by differing gender roles and social customs around the world, and while I could infer some of these, I would have loved a little explanation. There were also times I could have used less explanation, such as the scene where we learn what happens to baby poop when they don't wear diapers (as they don't in Namibia). The film felt long at 79 minutes. It was certainly interesting, but the execution fell short for me. Ultimately, I wish there more, be it storyline, representation of themes, or having insight to the cultures and traditions beyond their surface.

The verdict: With another classic case of the trailer being more compelling of the film, it's interesting enough to see, but this documentary is perfect for renting.

Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
Length: 79 minutes
Release date: It's in theaters now, but there's no date for a dvd release yet.
Source: I paid to see it at the Spectrum 8 Theatres.

After the film, I strolled down to my favorite restaurant, New World Bistro Bar, for dinner. I started with the martini special, which was fresh, Bing cherries muddled with lime juice and a dash of simple syrup then shaken with vodka. It was fresh and delicious!

For my appetizer, I had an oyster and monkfish stew. It was rich, creamy, balanced, delicious and surprisingly not too heavy. The stew also had potatoes, bacon and cilantro. In every bite, I tasted the seafood. The stew was divine. I was glad I ordered a light entree to pair with it.

For dinner, I stuck with an old favorite: the arugula salad with grilled chimichurri salmon. I had another cherry martini too, but I asked for the second one with gin instead of vodka. It was slightly more delicious, but I also tend to find gin more delicious than vodka.

Sound delicious? Check out the picture of the cherry martini and oyster monkfish stew:

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  1. Oh my heavens, it's another two hours until my lunchtime here, and now all I want is a cherry martini and that stew! The documentary: will go on my Netflix list eventually.

  2. That does sound interesting. I don't think I'd like to see it at the cinema though - I'm going to see if I can put it on my DVD queue - thanks for letting me know about it.

  3. I really think this movie looks cute but yeah I think I'll rent it now :)


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