NFT Radar: Mee Sum Pastry

Mee Sum Pastry is one of the only places worth braving Pike Place Market for even if it’s the height of tourist season. They make killer Hum Bow for under $3 each in BBQ Pork, Vegetarian, Chicken and Curry Beef flavors. Their fillings are sweet and savory and the buns are chewy and delightful. If you have a big appetite, add a Crab Rangoon or a couple of Sesame Balls to your order. Find a nice seat in the park and watch the Hobo Theatre while you munch. This is one of the most satisfying and cheap downtown lunches possible. Hum Buns are the cheeseburgers of China and you’ll want another one before you finish the last bite of the one you have. As a LOLCat might say, “Om nom nom nom.”

1526 Pike Pl 98101

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

Watchmen Watched

Yes I’m one of those nerds who loves and deems Watchmen the greatest graphic novel of all time. And yes, I’m a little biased in that I already think Zak Snyder isn’t a very good filmmaker. So I was never going to LOVE a movie adaptation. But I’m pleased to report that I wasn’t horribly disappointed. This was no Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy experience for me. Zak Snyder isn’t terribly inspired or original but he knows how to pick source material. Dawn of the Dead is a good story. It didn’t need to be told again but he did and people liked it. 300 is a bloody, violent orgy and, embedded right wing messages aside, he pulled off the violence with flying colors.

It’s like that with the Watchmen. His opening credits are a bit heavy-handed and on-the-nose. Some of his music choices are so literal that I could have sworn McG produced this thing. But if you get a handful of pretty decent actors, you don’t change the dialog and you keep the visuals true to the comic book, it’s hard to screw up. (Filmmakers who’ve tackled the Punisher story, take note.)

One of my biggest fears going into this was the acting. I’d only seen most of the leads in one or two things and no one had ever really stood out for me before. Patrick Wilson was great in Little Children but I had no way of knowing he WASN’T the Prom King, you know? (Incidentally, Jackie Earl Haley was ALSO in Little Children as a repentant child molester so he was the only one I was sure could harness the darkness.) Richard Dean Morgan has made a career of being the dead dad so he already had flashback experience, but could he pull off the necessary antagonism the Comedian required? Apparently, yes. They all could. Everyone not only LOOKED like their ink and paper counterparts, but they nailed the characters. Some critics have said that Malin Akerman’s Laurie is on the stiff side but I always felt that way about Laurie in the book. She IS the eye candy of the group. If she weren’t a masked avenger, she would be finding some other way to get back at her mother and it would probably involve slinky clothing. Even if it was an accident on Akerman’s part, Laurie was definitely Laurie.

So there was no squid monster. I didn’t really miss it. There was no pirate comic. I KIND of missed it, but at two hours and forty minutes, the movie didn’t need to be any longer. All the major points were hit. They didn’t cut any of the Dr. Manhattan story which is my absolute favorite part of the book. They boiled down Laurie’s relationship with her mother (something for the ladies!) to a few shorthand scenes. The essence of Ozymandias was there even if the circumstances changed a little. I was very happy to see Bubastis, his mutant kitty. Even if her presence wasn’t explained, it was a nice nod to the fans.

There were a few places it could have been tightened. There was a tiny bit of flashback review which always burns my bacon. Hello! We can remember what happened 20 minutes ago. While we’re consolidating backstory, Brugos noted that Rorschach’s could have nipped a wee bit for the theatrical release. They could always put it back in for the extended edition DVD. People who have never read the book are probably going to think it’s too long. It’s hard to say what they will think otherwise. It’s dark and slick. It’s probably the most faithful adaptation you can get out of a big-budget blockbuster. The book is better, but when is that not the case? I didn’t want to claw my eyes out and I may even want to see it again. That should mean a lot coming from a comic book jerk like me.