Being There: Deluxe Edition

These days, it seems almost impossible to bring up “Being There” without some unimaginative goon coming along and comparing it to “Forrest Gump.” That’s unfortunate, because if, like me, you’ve got little patience for that particular Zemeckis opus, you may be inclined to skip “Being There” altogether. This would be a grave mistake. The big difference between the two films is that “Gump” wants to be an important film, but in doing so, it achieves the opposite. “Being There,” on the other hand, has no such aspirations and manages to become an important film because it isn’t trying so hard. And if you’ve never seen the film and think you know everything there is to know about Peter Sellers, then “Being There” will show you the actor as you’ve never seen him before.

Chance (Sellers) is a middle-aged man best described as “simple.” He’s seemingly spent his entire life living with and tending to the garden of a very rich man. Since the old man is dead at the start of the film, we’re given very little information about Chance. Where did he come from and how did he come to be in the employ/care of the old man? We never find out. Chance is the blankest of all slates, and his only real exposure to the outside world has come through the television. He seems to enjoy the news and “Captain Kangaroo” equally. But now that the old man has passed on, Chance is given no choice but to go out into the world on his own, for the very first time, and it’s a strange place that doesn’t necessarily work as it does on TV.

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Hell’s Kitchen returns with dysfunctional fun

Last night on FOX, Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” returned for Season 5. The winner of this season will earn $250K and the position of executive chef at Ramsay’s new restaurant at the Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. After 300 hopeful chefs were brought to the Hell’s Kitchen restaurant to find out who the 16 finalists would be, restaurant manager Jean Phillippe announced the names of those selected, and we were off to the races. And I have to say, it’s pretty clear that the criteria is not all based on cooking skills. Though they boasted that this was maybe the best class of talent the show has seen so far, you know that the producers and probably Ramsay himself prefer to have a few crazy contestants who wil boost ratings. After all, it’s a freaking reality show.

The first episode means one thing…the contestants each have to make their personal signature dish for Ramsay to taste. Carol went first, and made a roulade of veal that Ramsay said was “delicious.” This girl is already a contender. Wil, a 26 year old dude, was wearing a pride pin, something Ramsay asked about but I’m not sure quite understood. Anyway, Ramsay said Wil’s dish tasted better than it looked. Ji, a 33 year old who grew up in her dad’s restaurant, made a Miso Chilean sea bass, which Gordon loved. Robert, a 29 year old very large dude from New York City, also made Chilean sea bass, but wrapped it in some sort of potato thingy Read the rest of this entry »

  

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