Tipping Point: Our picks and pans
The Storyteller — Tales of Life and Music
I’m not sure there’s anyone out there in a position to have met Dave Grohl and then convey the experience via any form of media that hasn’t remarked on what a genuine and truly decent man he is. This quality shines through in “The Storyteller,” the memoir Grohl wrote during pandemic downtime. His voice is humble but picks up an assured confidence reflecting his real-time success and determination. The world fascinates Grohl through its possibilities, and his love and pursuit of music are the magic doorway through which he experiences it all. With Scream, Nirvana and Foo Fighters, Grohl has become one of the most successful rock stars ever — and yet this book demonstrates that he’s still a fan and capable of awe, and always learning. I wish some of the characters were more fully drawn, but I also realize why maybe the publisher didn’t want at 800-page book (although I would happily have read it).
— Rick Koster
The Gray Man
This is one good-looking movie. And I don’t just mean the fact that it stars Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, although there is that. I mean that directors Anthony and Joe Russo capture stunning images as a backdrop to the seemingly perpetual fight scenes. The opening sequence creates Bangkok New Year’s festivities that are vibrant, colorful and sophisticated. Each globe-trotting stop is treated as if a travel agent were trying to sell you a trip based on the amazing views (the only downsides to these locales to tourists: the gunfire and car chases). Too bad the script, culled from a novel of the same name, doesn’t feel more fresh. Old tropes are trotted out, and the characters all feel very familiar. Gosling plays an inmate who is let out of prison if he agrees to become an assassin for the CIA. Everyone he runs into seems to have questionable motives. News broke recently that “The Gray Man” is getting a sequel, so what the heck do I know?
– Kristina Dorsey
Roast Beef Cheddar Melt
190 Flanders Rd, East Lyme
Most of you have probably been in a bar fight where you administered a righteous beating and wanted to go back and apply more punishment but your friends dragged you away. That’s what it was (sorta) like last weekend when I tried the Roast Beef Cheddar Melt in Niantic’s Village Cafe. I wanted another. I wanted it NOW! But my wife pulled me to safety before I made a caloric fool of myself. Heaps of lean roast beef and gooey melted cheese, all butter-grilled in heavenly fashion. (It comes with sauteed onions; I asked they be left off.) For your side choice, I recommend the hand-cut, house-crafted fries. Great fun! I’ll fight anyone who tries to keep me from going back.
– Rick Koster