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Thursday, December 22, 2011

DRAGON GIRL, TOM, ED, MELANIE AND MY RAINBOW


I've read the book by Stieg Larsson, saw the first version, a Swedish film entitled (in Swedish), Men Who Hate Women, but in the U.S. was called The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (TGWTDT, Rotten Tomatoes 85%), with Michael Nyqvist (who now is the villain in the following Tom Cruise film) and Noomi Rapace (as that dragon girl on the left and more fashionable photo below, now in the latest Sherlock Holmes),  and just went to the American remake (Rotten Tomatoes 84%) starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara (to the right), and remain somewhat confused, mostly because the ending of this repeat was somewhat different from the book and movie #1.  Larsson wrote a trilogy, and no doubt two more films (all three of the Swedish versions have already been shown) will be produced.

As is becoming the norm, Scarlet Johansson was originally considered to be that Dragon Girl, but Mara (shown below in a Vogue shoot) played a small role in Fincher's (he directed this Dragon Girl movie) The Social Network, and will now become famous.



TGWTDT, all of 153 minutes long, will not do particularly well at the box office because it is R rated, and deservedly so.  The movie of the week should be the slightly longer than two hour Mission Impossible:  Ghost Protocol (or  MI#4, Rotten Tomatoes 90%) with Tom Cruise (to the left).  Loved the movie, for it was like returning to the original with a lot of masks, but, mostly because a portion of the Kremlin was destroyed (and I well remember Red Square in Moscow), I have yet been to Dubai, where the Burg Dubai (tallest building in the world--shown above to the left and below) also starrred, and spent some time in Mumbai (I was there when it was called Bombay).  There was a really happy ending.



Earlier in the week on what would have been my 49th year wedding anniversary and Ed Jurkens' 94th birthday eve, we had dinner at DK Steakhouse in Waikiki.  After Ed's wife Frances passed away some years ago, Pearl and I now and then invited Ed to join us for our anniversary dinner.  Since Pearl passed away, Ed and I have now dined at all the prominent steakhouses in Honolulu, DK's being the only one we had missed.  Ed here enjoying his Old Fashion (I had a gin martini), specifically made to his special instructions:


We had a perfect sunset and mostly talked about his recent safari to South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, and my around the world adventure.  I almost zoomed down to join him because the timing was ideal and I had always wanted to step on my antipode, Botswana, more specifically, the Kalahari Desert.  By the way, if you live in the continental USA, your antipode is in some ocean:


I had the standard escargots bourguignons...


...fabulous, followed by a Caesar salad...


...which was okay, but not spectacular.  Note my three wines:  Corbieres Rouge Reserve La Demoiselle (France), Rail 2 Rail Zinfandel (Lodi, California) and Dona Paula Malbec (Argentina).  I then splurged on a Japanese Wagyu beef...


...which was very, very, very disappointing.  Any blue plate Costco rib eye is at least twice as good as this piece of beef.  Ed had the chef's degustation, is shown here with our interface, Gail...


..and was startled by two desserts, one being for being almost 94:


I'm not sure what my dessert was:


Two days ago, the finals of the X-Factor...


...which was won by Melanie Amaro (Josh Krajcik, burrito maker, next to her on top, was second, and Chris Rene, former garbage collector and drug addict, was #3):


Those are mentor, Simon Cowell on the left, and announcer, Steve Jones, congratulating Melanie.  I thought a the surprise of the series was Hawaii's own Nicole Scherzinger, one of the four judges:


Then, this morning I woke up to this rainbow:


The end of the rainbow is almost exactly where Pearl passed away.

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