North Carolina Newspapers

    Friday, October 21, 1977 Weekender 3
Peking Gardens authentic
Bona fide Taiwan meals
1 ; 'iiit ,
Peking Garden offers good Oriental
food and a splendidly decorated interior.
It's also a "Gourmet's Choice" in the
Franklin Street Gourmet.
There is a restaurant in Chapel Hill where
you can eat your authentic Taiwanese meal
while looking at a fantastic mural of the
Great Wall of China, complete with ghosts
and gods. Or you can inspect a stained-glass
window portraying an artist and the dragon
he created. Or you can wonder at a
surrealistic landscape ofmountainsandsea.
The Peking Garden at 1404 E. Franklin
St. offers a wide variety of well-prepared
Chinese food for area Oriental cuisine buffs.
Owned by a group of three local Chinese
scientists, the Garden combines Eastern
food with one of the finer dining
atmospheres around Chapel Hill.
All styles of Chinese food are offered. The
Garden has five cooks, each specializing in
The Peking Garden
1404 E. Franklin St.
one type of food (Peking, Cantonese,
Shanghai, etc.). They are supervised by a
head chef with 43 years of kitchen
Prices vary from $4 to $15. The average
student will spend around $5, perhaps a bit
steep for those on extremely tight budgets.
Luncheon specials, running Monday
through Friday, are often good values and
'Kentucky Fried Movie' doesn't cut it
The current state of American film
comedies is depressing. Despite occasional
bright moments from Woody Allen or Lily
Tomlin, there have been very few American .
comedies in the past few years worth talking
about. Last year an abundance of poor
comedies appeared. Only one. The Big Bus,
was consistently funny. Most of the others
showed an appalling tendency to keep their
humor at a TV sit-com level, even when they
were being risque. People have gotten so
used to this third-fate wit by constant
Kentucky Fried Movie
The Last Remake of Beau Geste
exposure to it, that it's no wonder that
audiences respond to such rancid and stale
items as Silent Movie, Murder By Death and
The Pink Panther Strikes Again. Have
people lost the capacity for knowing when
they're being coddled and insulted?
Two current films are cases in point:
Kentucky Fried Movie and The Last
Remake of Beau Geste. They both repeat
tired old formulas with their own hit-or-miss
Kentucky Fried Movie is the worst of the
two. It is just another compilation of skits
that are shamelessly stupid and unfunny.
W here d id the producers of this thing get the
idea that we needed another Groove Tube,
especially since none of the humor here even
rises to the sophomoric level of that film? It's
not just that the jokes are tacky and tasteless
without being funny, everything that.
Kentucky Fried Movie spoofs has been
satirized to death already. Who wants to see
any more take-offs on Kung-Fu movies (the
one here entitled A Fistful of Yen), news
shows, disaster movies, Sensurround, sex
aids and television commercials?
The group who wrote, directed and
starred in the film (calling themselves the
Kentucky Fried Theater) overdo everything.
However, this film is earning plenty of
undeserved dollars at the box-office, which
means that the revue formula at work here
must be pleasing some people, regardless of
how puerile the humor is. Technically, the
film is an amateurish mess shaky cameras,
shots that don't match, washed out color,
clumsy camera placement but what can
you expect when there's no talent in front of
or behind the camera? The guest stars
(Donald Sutherland, Henry Gibson, Bill
Bixby) are made to look like fools, and the
people in the audience go home feeling like
their pocket has been picked.
Marty Feldman's film The Last Remake
of Beau Geste at least looks professional
because the actors are really not untalented.
But Feldman's concoction just doesn't click
because you're aware that he's just doing his
own version of the Mel Brooks parody. But
where Brooks is outrageous, Feldman is
simply silly. I'm sure the idea of spoofing a
grand adventure like Beau Geste seemed
irrestable. But most of the jokes and
situations are stale, from the Col. Geste's
scheming young wife (Ann-Margaret). to
Feldman's all-too-familiar bumbling
character of Digby Geste, brother to the
more dashing Beau (Michael York).
Much of the slapstick humor is forced
because Feldman and his co-scriptwriter
Chris Allen rely on too many Brooksian
jokes to get the needed laughs. Feldman is
not a genuine, energetic crazy like Brooks
Chapel Hill Alderman
I believe that students should actively participate m town government
If elected, I will encourage student involvement by circulating memos
to campus organnations informing them of all vacancies on town
boards and commissions
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he's more of a befuddled goofball.
Though he has charm, Feldman just
doesn't have the range to carry the film as
both actor and director. The timing of most
of the visual jokes is haphazard, and some of
the acting (James Earl Jones and Roy
Kinnear in particular) is ridiculous. The
much ballyhooed sequence in which
Feldman appears with Gary Cooper in the
original Beau Geste amounts to little more
than the splicing of the old black-and-white
film with new black-and-white film. It's easy
to tell the difference. The two don't even
appear in the same frame, which would have
been a clever feat.
There are a few funny bits, such as
Feldman deflating the old Universal Pictures
logo and Michael York's teeth literally
sparkling in the sun. Peter Ustinov is quite
humorous as the sadistic legion Commander
Markov, and Ann-Margret does quite nicely
as the scheming stepmother. But this hero
worship of Brooks has got to stop. Feldman,
like his fellow actor-director Gene Wilder,
needs to search out his own kind of comic
sense and perfect it.
merit inquiry. Checks and bank cards are
The owners recommend that a group of
six to eight people order a different dish and
share the food. Traditionally, Chinese food
is consumed at a leisurely pace, so plan
plenty of time for such a meal. Given 24
hours notice, the Garden will prepare special
dishes not on the menu for such groups.
The Peking Garden is beautifully
decorated inside. A large mural depicting
scenes from Chinese history covers two of
the walls. Another interesting feature is the
stained-glass picture which is actually cut
pieces of colored plexiglass. The achieved
effect is an Oriental atmosphere that is
tasteful, not tacky. In this respect, the
Garden is an excellent place to take a date.
Recently, the Peking Garden won a
"Gourmet's Choice" award from The
Franklin Street Gourmet. The food, service
and atmosphere are all consistently pleasing.
For a dining experience away from the world
of fast food and hamburgers, the Peking
Garden is a welcome break for local diners.
Save time
advertise in
the DTH
I Tobacco
ei . . r- i ii
inWin. J- cmwl. hill.
One of the finest
selections of pipes in
the southeast
House blend tobaccos
to satisfy
every taste
Open this Friday
and Saturday
until 7 p.m.
117 E. Franklin
Next to
the Intimate
om SxB(B
r ; 1 p
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