Review Club #7 – Chef

Chef-Movie

 

Up first, we have Abbi, from over at abbiosbiston:

Chef (2014)

Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) has been the Head Chef at a famous Los Angeles restaurant for years so when he’s about to be reviewed by critic, Ramsay Michael (Oliver Platt) he’s quite excited and looking forward to testing out a new menu. Unfortunately the owner, Riva (Dustin Hoffman) isn’t having any of it and insists that Carl stick to the tried and true regular menu. Ramsay is less than impressed and takes to Twitter to express his lack of enthusiasm which sparks off a social media war that ends in Carl not only becoming a viral sensation for all the wrong reasons but also losing his job. With nothing to do and nowhere to go Carl’s ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) offers him the opportunity to spend some time with his son, Percy (Emjay Alexander) and to meet up with her other ex-husband (Robert Downey Jr) to discuss the possibility of starting a food truck. As the possibility becomes a reality Carl takes off across the country with his trusty sous chef, Martin (John Leguizamo) and Percy in tow. Along the journey not only will Carl reconnect with Percy but he’ll also rediscover his passion for food and why he started cooking in the first place.

There were some absolutely great things about Chef. I thought Favreau gave a heartfelt and charming performance and the relationship between him and Alexander came across as genuine. It was a joy to watch their bond strengthening and them learning from each other. I also always love John Leguizamo and again he doesn’t disappoint in a strong supporting role. At the same time it is a beautiful love letter to food and cooking from the heart and the way the delicious treats on display are filmed are bordering on pornographic. Do not watch this if you are on diet or hungry (I was bother).

On the other hand it’s a somewhat slow meandering story with very limited conflict that never really goes beyond just being sweet and heartwarming. Sometimes everyone needs to watch a movie like that but ultimately it’s probably not going to be remembered within a couple of years. I also felt like Scarlett Johansson was a bit lost playing Favreau’s potential love interest.

Definitely worth a watch but probably with a sandwich in one and and your remote control in the other.

3.5/5

 

Up next is Rob, from MovieRob:

I have always been a fan of Jon Favreau and his movies. He is a great writer and director and knows how to create characters and stories that we can relate to and want to keep watching.

Favreau is the perfect example of what an actor/writer/director should be and do when making a movie. He researched this kind of role so intensely that he even was willing to put himself through a lot of training in order to appear as an expert chef…and it shows

The characters in this movie seemed very real and it is quite easy to relate to them.

The most realistic part was the father-son relationship between Favreau and Emjay Anthony. Their connection is described perfectly throughout the movie and it works extremely well from a sentimental perspective.

The one thing that made me lose a bit of confidence in this movie was the character played by Sofia Vergara. I love her on Modern Family, but here she seems too out of her element and the film suffers whenever her character appears or is discussed.

BTW, that grilled cheese sandwich seems really really tasty 🙂

8/10

 

As for mine… I’m so sorry, but I just couldn’t make myself watch it. I want to see it, but I have to be totally in the mood for a film like this, and I guess I just wasn’t. Thank you so much to Abbi and Rob though, for bringing their pieces to the table.

Join us in twoweeks for when we review Maggie. I promise to watch this one!

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Mel’s 5 Second Review: Iron Man

Iron Man
(2008) Robert Downey Jr, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leslie Bibb, Shaun Toub, Faran Tahir, Clark Gregg, Bill Smitrovich, Jon Favreau and Paul Bettany

Iron Man

Totally awesome! While I’d never imagined Robert Downey Jr (one of my favorite actors) as a superhero before this, he did a terrific job. The story, while not what I’d expected, was great, and not cheezy like some superhero movies. I even enjoyed Gwyneth Paltrow, who I don’t usually care for. Might I add that she looks surprisingly stunning as a red head? All the acting was incredible, I was glued to my seat the entire time, even when I had to pee so bad it almost hurt. I didn’t want to miss a moment. Of course I added it to my collection. Oh, and make sure to stay for the credits. There’s an extra goody at the end! I give it a solid 9.5/10.

This movie is currently streaming on Netflix. Enjoy!

M.