On Saturday night, G and I helped Tennis Star Suzie with her annual holiday get-together. You’ll remember last year G and I organized Sue’s “Christmas in Casablanca” party (last year’s funky invite here; last year’s pictures here). This year she was keen on a club theme. Below is the invite I did up (with the particulars removed of course). The party was GREAT fun. I think everyone had a blast with the dancing, food (catered this year via Pickle Barrel which was a brilliant move), casino and drinking.
Sadly, I’ve no pictures … yet … I did take the camera but (blond moment) forgot to put the data card in it … hehehehe. We did the party room up in two sections: a club room (lounge area and dance floor complete with disco ball of course) and a casino room. Set up was much easier this year than last so it afforded more pre-party drinking (Mumm’s Champagne) and eating (sushi) time.
The Kite Runner
Based on the wildly popular novel by Khaled Hosseini that everyone in the world – save me – has read, The Kite Runner is one-third a remounting of Annie (set in Afghanistan), one-third an episode of 24, and one-third The Pianist. Unfortunately, collectively these thirds don’t amount to much of a movie. At its core, The Kite Runner is a film about the ties that bind us all – ties of culture, of family, of duty. The strength in this movie is its opening third. The filming, the story and the acting of the boys Amir (Zekeria Ebrahimi) and his best friend, the son of his father’s servant, Hassen (Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada) are great. The story and acting slip however – moving from what could have been profound into mere sentimentality – as the movie moves to America and Amir realizes he has a debt to pay to his childhood friend and half-brother by returning to the Taliban-controlled Kabul to rescue his nephew. Homayon Ershadi, as Amir’s father, is outstanding, especially when he moves to America. The real challenge with the film is that it suffers a ‘you-can-see-it-all-coming-miles-away’ problem. When Amir carves the letters in the pomegranate tree with Hassen as children, we just know we’ll be revisiting that tree later in the film when Amir returns during the Taliban regime. So who’s to blame? The writer or the director? … For showing us what Afghanistan used to be like (and hopefully will one day be again), and for conveying the hope all immigrants have when leaving what they know for any new country to start again, my rating 5 out of 10.
D.J. Caruso directs this very good, very fun and occasionally very creepy homage to Hitchcock’s Rear Window, updated to the suburbs and the world of 2007. Disturbia stars Shia LeBeouf as Kale, a messed up teenager confined to home via electronic monitoring after assaulting his Spanish teacher. When his mom (Carrie-Ann Moss) disconnects his Xbox, email and TV, Kale takes to watching his neighbours to pass his 3-month sentence. In the process of spying, he comes across new girl on the block, Ashley (Sarah Roemer) and a creepy neighbour Robert (played by David Morse), whom he starts to suspect is a serial killer. What makes this film interesting is despite the fact you know what’s going to happen, you continue to watch, and more, feel a connection to the characters (Carrie-Anne Moss aside). Kudos to Caruso’s direction and the acting for this. And while there’s plenty of holes and leaps-of-faith in the storyline, the ride makes it all worth it. Caruso does a great job giving us a tongue-in-cheek updating of Hitchcock’s classic and will make you take a look at the teenagers and neighbours in your own quiet suburbia in a different light. My rating 8 out of 10.