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Movie Review: Dinner Rush

Story: I looked in the LOBO archives to check when I last saw a film and was shocked to see I has sent a review out early morning on September 11th. It feels like a very long time since I entered a theater. It is good to be back.

Lovingly directed by restaurateur (it was filmed in his own place) Bob Giraldi, this homage to the food business and changing times was a fine choice for my first film since September 11th. Giraldi is known mostly for his work in video (Michael Jackson's Beat it) and TV commercials. His directorial and life experience is obvious in the way he chooses to depict both the frenetic energy in the kitchen as compared to the sepia toned dining area. The film takes place in essentially one night. It has multiple story lines about mob influence, bookmaking, art, family, succession and trendiness. It questions traditional values versus new paradigms. My favorite line was 'When did eating become a Broadway show? (For me that was the day I went out and bought a George Forman grill and cooked at home.) There were also many laughs ... at both ourselves and others.

Acting: Danny Aiello has played this part often and he nails it again. Everyone else is also somewhat stereotyped but I enjoyed seeing so many New York types depicted.

Critters: One lobster that does not last very long.

Food: Food glorious food - everywhere, in every scene. Do not go to this film hungry. You will not make it through the entire film. Preferably go see it in a theater near an Italian restaurant.

Visual Art: Art is a big part of one table's discussions. Very funny.

Blatant Product Placement: Just some restaurants in Tribeca that are inaccessible since September 11th. For those of you not familiar with NYC, Tribeca (the triangle below Canal Street) is mostly off limits these days to foot traffic and businesses are hurting. I think I will try to eat in one of them this week to offer support. The restaurant's employees stand by the police barricades with little signs that say, we are open, begging you to cross the line and help them out.

Soundtrack: Appropriate and subtle (I like that).

Opening Titles: Black and white.

Theater Audience: Pretty crowded with a west side Chelsea crowd. We all gasped when the WTC was shown at the beginning of the film. Some of the dialogue is startling. Things that would have been just part of the film take on another meaning since the attack of the 11th.

Squirm Scale: I always squirm when lobsters are put into boiling water.

Predictability Level: High...but I didn't care.

Oscar Worthy: No

Nit Picking: I am not in a nit picking mode right now.

Big Screen or Rental: Either would be fine. Other wonderful food movies to rent would be Babette's Feast, Big Night, and Eat Drink, Man Woman.

Length: 100 minutes. I recently came across a wonderful quote by Alfred Hitchcock. The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.