It was excellent. With an opening like that, how could we not do dessert? I did a chocolate green tea "molten" cake- crispy/fluffy chocolate cake with chocolate and green tea goo inside, slathered in more chocolate and green tea goo. Delicious, but Minna's was more visually remarkable- "Chocolate Maki".
Maki, as in a maki roll of sushi. Instead of seaweed, it was a chocolate-almond shell. Instead of rice and fish, it was filled with a chocolate mousse. The wasabi was replaced with a pistachio sauce, and the ginger was replaced with slices of melon. The entire thing did a very good job of looking like a serving of sushi, but was pure confection.
Like I said, delicious.
Afterwards, we settled in for one of my favorite Westerns- High Plains Drifter. For those unfamiliar, it's a story of selfish, greedy, small people getting what they deserve, from our anti-hero, played dryly by Clint Eastwood. I love everything about the film, especially the way it builds and holds its mood. Dialog is sparse, and used to fill in the backstory. Most of the plot is carried by the actions of the characters. A lot of work is done with facial expressions. None of the characters, including our "hero" are particularly likable (the opening involves him killing three people and raping a woman), and even so there's a sensitivity that carries the movie.
Well crafted despicable people are fascinating to me as characters. To have someone shallow and reprehensible that somehow, the audience can still identify with takes a great deal of talent. It's too easy to alienate the audience. Look at the love/hate extremes you get with shows like "Seinfeld" and "Arrested Development". Shallow, empty people, but somehow fascinating.
High Plains Drifter, for me, has the same sort of core. There's only one character in the film with any redeeming qualities. Since the film focuses on most of these scum being brought low through their own inadequacies, there's a sense of divine retribution.
At any rate- have a trailer: