The Film/DVD: I am a big sucker for Akira Kurosawa. I've seen six movies he wrote and directed - The Seven Samurai, The Hidden Fortress, Throne of Blood, Stray Dog, Rashomon, and Yojimbo - but I love all of them. And after watching Ran on Tuesday, he's batting seven for seven. It's got a more theatrical tone, which might turn some people off, but considering it's based on King Lear and a Japanese folk legend, the long takes and far shots make a lot of sense to ground it in a more theatrical, less cinematic context. But there's still a lot of great cinematic technique: the battles are epic and there are some really breathtaking moments (especially in the final 15-20 minutes) that could only be done in cinema. I'm sure I'll eventually find a Kurosawa film I don't like, but I'm going to be enjoying myself while I look for it.
The TV Series: I got Veronica Mars, Season 3 out of the library (slight aside: the public library is a LOT more hip than it was when I was a kid), and have started devouring it in large chunks, like I had the previous seasons. This season, though, is rubbing me the wrong way. Unneccessarily updated theme music, a meandering plot, and a ridiculous romantic subplot. There's still clever dialogue, and Kirsten Bell & Enrico Colantoni are stellar as usual, but it's definitely much lower on the quality scale. After the first season, I thought to myself, "Why on earth did this series get cancelled?!?" About 1/4 into the final season, though, I'm starting to see the faults. I still don't think it was bad enough to cancel, though. Just not great any more.
The Food: I wanted to have sushi while I watched Ran because, well, I sometimes get odd cravings that I cannot explain nor deny. So I ordered a few small dishes, one of which I'd never ordered before: spider roll. Soft-shell crab, mayonnaise, cucumber, and avocado rolled up in a delicious rice roll. I'd never had soft-shell crab before, and it was definitely a new experience - like eating a whole shrimp if the shell was more edible - but in the end, spider rolls go in the "awesome" column. And there are only three columns in my sushi rankings: "aweseome", "excellent", and "fair". I have yet to find a sushi I did not like.