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Tag Archive | "Jon Favreau"

Get Ready for a Cinematic Feast


Manish Dayal and Helen Mirren star in "The Hundred-Foot Journey."

Manish Dayal and Helen Mirren star in “The Hundred-Foot Journey.”

Jon Favreau’s summer hit, “Chef,” is proving to be merely an appetizer for a full cinematic feast for food lovers.

Next on the menu is “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” which features Oscar-winner Helen Mirren as the owner of Michelin-starred French restaurant who becomes upset when an Indian family opens a restaurant across the street from her place. The food flies as cultures clash, but Mirren soon realizes that the young chef can help her take her restaurant to the next level. If you’ve seen the preview, you’ve seen most of the movie — and what does that matter? The food scenes alone have made many of us hungry for more.

“The Hundred-Foot Journey,” produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, opens locally on Friday at a number of theaters, including Santikos Palladium IMAX and the Silverado theaters.

But the movie industry hasn’t finished serving us food films. Later this summer, we can expect “The Trip to Italy.” Steve Coogan and Rob Byrdon embark on a road trip across Italy in a film that features six meals in six different areas. Yes, the food looks as good as the comedic scenes. Better still, the pedigree of the film is very good. Director Michael Winterbottom and Coogan (“Philomena”) teamed up on the outrageous “Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story.” Hopes are high for this comedy basted with plenty of Italian food and scenery.

Several release dates for “The Trip to Italy” have been announced, but when the film will finally reach San Antonio is anyone’s guess.

Also in the works is a film called “Adam Jones,” in which Bradley Cooper plays a chef who tries to assemble the best kitchen crew ever. Uma Thurman, Emma Thompson, Sienna Miller, Lily James and Jamie Dornan are part of the cast. The original title of the film was “The Chef,” but the success of Favreau’s movie led to a change. No preview of the film exists yet, but here’s a promotional clip announcing the fact that Cooper is learning his kitchen skills from bad boy chef Gordon Ramsey. No release date has been mentioned on imdb.com.

If you’ve been to the Bijou recently, you’ve probably seen a preview for “Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon.” This documentary is filled with stories about the famous folks he’s represented, including Jimi Hendrix, Michael Douglas, Mike Meyers, the director of the film, and more. But you might have forgotten in all the motion and noise of the preview that Gordon coined the term “celebrity chef” and represented Emeril Lagasse, Charlie Trotter, Paul Prudhomme and Wolfgang Puck, among others. So this qualifies, even if food isn’t foremost.

No word yet on when “Supermensch” will arrive, but look for it in the next few months.

And if you haven’t seen “Chef” yet, it’s still playing at the Bijou.

 

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‘Chef’ a Feel-Good Film for Foodies


Jon Favreau and Emjay Anthony in "Chef."

Jon Favreau and Emjay Anthony in “Chef.”

Jon Favreau’s latest movie, “Chef,” is opening today in San Antonio, offering some fine cinematic fare food-lovers should enjoy.

It’s not without its flaws — some characters are cliched and the storyline is often predictable. This doesn’t mean “Chef” isn’t enjoyable. The kitchen scenes, replete with bandaged burns and cut fingers, lots of bro horseplay and language, do show the realities of preparing food — even bad restaurant food — for crowds. The film also gives us a stereotypical overbearing owner (Dustin Hoffman) to hate and a wonderful performance by Emjay Anthony as Casper’s 11-year-old son, Percy. It is Percy who introduces Casper to the perils of Twitter and handy aspects of other social media — some of funniest parts of the movie — while his obvious yearning for connection with his dad tugs at the heart.

Chef Jon Favreau pic 1The story: Chef Carl Casper (Favreau) loudly quits his restaurant job in Los Angeles for not wanting to make French onion soup and molten lava cake, etc., for a food blogger/critic; chef throws self-indulgent tantrum in the dining room telling food critic how much criticism hurts; chef buys a food truck in Miami with help from his ex’s rich and eccentric first husband, a hilarious cameo by Robert Downey Jr.; and finally, Casper reconnects with son, himself and maybe even his sultry (and kind) ex, the lovely Sofia Vergara.

Kitchen scenes are pretty realistic —  women aren’t  included. Female roles in this movie are relegated to cheerleaders and moral (and financial) supporters. Also, we’d mention that no self-respecting food critic announces to a chef when they are planning a serious review visit. Seriously.

The film also offers fabulous shots of food, notably the spread the Casper prepares in his (dumpy) apartment after he quits; the creation of his food truck Cuban sandwiches. Watching Casper’s face as he slices off bits of a lovely roast pork with faithful co-cook and friend, played by John Leguizamo, makes you want to reach out and get a slice.

You’ll appreciate that an actor took the time to learn to slice with a chef’s knife real fast. And, enjoy all of the stops the El Jefe Cubanos food truck makes on its way back to LA from Miami, including one at Franklin Barbecue in Austin. The music is great, too.

“Chef” has some good scenes, food scenes and laughs, as well as an interesting twist at the end, which we certainly won’t divulge here.

 “Chef” is playing at the Bijou, Alamo Drafthouse Park North and more. Check listings for times and places.

 

 

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