This week's Friday Afternoon Debauch was a movie at Ronnie's Wehrenberg Theatre and dinner at The King and I, a Thai restaurant on South Grand in the city.
Dinner can be quickly summed up. I had a nice appetizer of corn cakes (little fritter things with actual kernels of corn in them), accompanied by a dipping sauce full of onion and cucumber chunks in a very spicy, sweet brine. The main course was pork Panang curry, with green and red bell peppers, basil leaves, and red curry paste in coconut milk. I ordered it medium spicy and sweated out about two glassfuls of water. And I washed it all down with the interesting "Thai iced tea" that The King and I serves - full-flavored, reddish tea, mixed with condensed milk to make a peculiar orange-tinted drink.
The King & I won my custom at the expense of the Sekisui sushi bar on Grand & Arsenal, which refused to honor a coupon I had purchased with that location in mind. Turns out I hadn't read the fine print closely enough; the Sekisui restaurant to which the coupon directed me is in Clayton, and is no longer affiliated with the one on Grand, and I didn't feel like investing another road trip in tonight's dinner so I walked to the Thai place instead. A craving for unagi will only get me so far; when Thai iced tea is in the offing, I can change my plans in the blink of an eye.
This week's movie - actually my first movie in several weeks - was a spooky sci-fi flick titled Knowing, with Nicolas Cage. It's a nice little end-of-the-world movie that makes a bit more effort than the average blockbuster to provide a well-rounded, human story with deep emotions, good dialogue, and room for a variety of interpretations (including some that Christians might sympathize with). The special effects are nothing special, but the film is visually beautiful and does a good job stimulating feelings of suspense, dread, shock, horror, sadness, and hope. It also has a gorgeous soundtrack that makes ironic use of Holst's The Planets, moving references to Beethoven's Eighth Symphony, and really quite interesting sounds of its own, courtesy of composer Marco Beltrami. The director, who deserves credit for establishing a remarkable overall style, is Alex Proyas, late of I, Robot and The Crow.