Soul Kitchen (2009)

I’m a person who is into movies/TV shows that involve cooking. Soul Kitchen is a like a 99 minute reality show that unfolds all the things that can go wrong while owning your restaurant!

Chef Zinos (Adam Bouskous) has been operating a run down restaurant, Soul Kitchen for sometime. He does have a good customer base despite his crappy menu and a dirty kitchen. He is also haunted by tax officials to pay his tax dues. His life gets worse when his girlfriend Lucia (Anna Bederke) moves to Shanghai. His goal is now to find a good chef and a manger to handle Soul Kitchen so that he can move to Shanghai too. In the most unexpected way he hires Chef Shayn (Birol Unel) who turns things around for him with some great menu changes. He now needs a manger to run the kitchen. Can his brother Illias (Moritz Bleibteru), an ex-convict, manage the newly re-vamped Soul Kitchen?

I was reminded of Gordon Ramsay‘s Kitchen Nightmares when I saw how Chef Shayn transforms the restaurant with an elegant menu. As an aspiring restaurant owner, I learnt that simple changes can go a long way in turning your restaurant! The film is not as gripping as Kitchen Nightmares or Hell’s Kitchen, but that’s what makes this different from reality television. The characters look like a bunch of losers with their laid back attitude, something you would not expect from people running a business. But with one determined person, things start looking up and these losers try to create a restaurant with a promising future.

Turkish-German director Fatih Akin (also directed Edge of Heaven) has made a random comic film (oh it’s in German btw) on kitchen adventures. I thought the film could have a better flow of events. I felt he just introduced some random events in between that disturbed the flow of the movie. I’m guessing he was trying to bring out the fact that life is filled with unexpected events. Isn’t that what makes our lives spicy?

My rating: 3/5

My favorite line:

Life is what happens to you while your busy making other plans.

Credits: Google Images

That’s what I am (2011)

8th grade. That’s the time when our character starts shaping up. In whatever timeline we are, some things never change in the 8th grade.There is always going to be that geek whom everyone doesn’t want to mingle with and that pretty girl with whom all the boys want to share a kiss with. Set in the 60’s, That’s what I am, is based on kids from the 8th grade, just before they blossom and reach high school!

Stanley (Alexander Walters) or Big G (G for ginger as he was a redhead), was one of the smartest kids in the school. But he was also one of the biggest geeks hanging out in the “geek corner”. Mr. Simon (Ed Harris), the English teacher, decided to pair up Andy (Chaise Ellison) with Stanley for a school project. Andy was frustrated with this choice and does not know what to do. He had no other option but to get the job done with Stanley. The film revolves around his narration of the happenings in the 8th grade at his school.

The film captures the kids very adeptly as they reach puberty. I think it was a very matured way to show that even the geekiest kid can be what he wants to be by maintaining his/her self respect and dignity. I enjoyed Ed Harris’s subdued characterization of Mr. Simon. I especially loved the part where Mr. Simon won a contest that involved describing world peace in 25 words or less and he just wrote an equation: Human Dignity + Compassion = Peace. The film is very crisp with some great lines by writer/director Michael Pavone.

Do watch this simplistic yet entertaining movie!

My rating: 3.5/5

My favorite line:

Life is about timing, opportunity and choices.

Credits: Google Images

Play the Game (2008)

Play the game poster

With a star cast comprising of some famous TV stars (Andy Griffith, Doris Roberts, Liz Sheridian, Marla Sokoloff and Paul Campbell) this movie looked interesting to me and I sure was not disappointed with Play the Game.

David (Paul Campbell) is a typical player who hasn’t been in a meaningful relationship with anyone and works at his dad’s dealership. He decides to visit his Grandpa Joe (Andy Griffith) after ages at the retirement home and as the two of them get close, both their lives undergo some major transformation. After meeting Julie (Marla Sokoloff), David starts believing that he might have a shot at a real relationship. Grandpa Joe on the other hand just lost his wife, and David wants him to go out and meet women. He teach him the games that he uses with women. Grandpa Joe soon meets two beautiful women Edna (Liz Sheridian) and Rose (Doris Roberts) and starts to use some of his grandson’s tricks! David on the other hand slowly gives into Grandpa Joe’s advice on love and relationships.

It’s quite entertaining to watch Grandpa Joe use David’s tricks and see their relationship grow on a very unexpected ground.

This movie is a good pick if you want to watch a cute and funny movie on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Relax and enjoy!

My rating: 3/5

Credits: Google Images