Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Spain On The Road Again|
Actors: Gwyneth Paltrow, Mario Batali, Mark Bittman, Claudia Bassols
Director: Charles Pinsky
Genres: Indie & Art House, Special Interests, Documentary
Get ready for the road trip of a lifetime — From the seaside cliffs of Mallorca to the bustling tapas bars and majestic museums of Barcelona, this is the ultimate road trip across Spain. Academy Award®-winning actress Gwyne... more »
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As Woody Allen said: "What I wouldn't give for a large sock
APC Reviews | USA | 07/14/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
""Spain...On the Road Again" answers the question that did not need to be asked: "What if we made an ELEVEN (11) hour version of 'Sideways', except instead of having two guys driving around California wine country with two beautiful girls, one blonde and elegant one dark and lively, we instead had them drive around Spain?" Oh, and what if instead of it being poignant, funny, endearing, touching and frequently hilarious it was instead self-indulgent, meandering, contrived, aimless and annoying? Oh, and rather than them driving around in a charming old Saab junker while eating and drinking in merely very nice restaurants and wineries they instead drove around in a $100,000 Mercedes convertible while eating in only the very best restaurants? And, oh yeah, another difference, they could also endlessly express vague, meandering opinions that, while displaying a lot of experience with wealthy celeb status consumption, were witless and consistently betrayed a Cliff Notes knowledge of the world around them.
Gwyneth Paltrow is rather touching in a vague, beautiful soccer mom kind of way, although the voyeurism of getting to see her in "real" life wears thin after a short while, and Mario Batali is just being Mario. Claudia Bassols, the Catalan actress pulled in to give Paltrow a gal pal on the trip, is charming and bravely bears her thankless task of escorting Mark Bittman, the food and wine writer from the New York Times. Bittman, the major flaw in the "casting" of this magnum homage to shallow self importance, may have thought that he was channeling a toxic know it all version of Thomas Haden Church's character from "Sideways". But mostly he brings to mind Woody Allen's line from"Annie Hall" when, trapped behind a pontificating self-anointed film "expert" while waiting on line he says "What I wouldn't give for a large sock with horse manure in it!" My feeling exactly. But instead all I had was the remote to turn off this interminable journey of wandering Hamptons-ites.
Bittman embodies the sort of top of the food chain, know it all, been everywhere and eaten everything, toxic, New York foodie snob behavior that is so insufferable to those who have made their lives outside the realm of Manhattan and Long Island. To every simple joy embraced by others he brings the sulphur if his self regard and baseball card collection of past facts, travels and meals. Whatever you are doing, whatever you are, whatever joy fills your life, it's just another catalog entry for Bittman. He is a one man de-joying machine, relating everything he encounters to other similar catalog entries in his collection of past snobistic experiences. The program could have featured just Mario, who we know can cook and has an at least entertaining ego, with Paltrow, who is lovely and kind of endearing in her not terribly bright but aristocratic self absorption, and cut the whole thing to "just" three hours, mostly of cooking and foods, and it would have been a decent program. As it is, you are being asked to be bear being trapped with these people on a VERY long vacation, from which there is only one escape, the eject button.
Spain: Not Just Tapas, People!
Bodhisatva Baby | Sparks, NV United States | 11/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm nearly going blind watching this show as our antenna does not pick up PBS very well, but I am still addicted! Don't be fooled by the title "Spain". Yes, this takes place in Spain, but it is very much in the format of Mark Bittman's culinary explorations around the world, also aired on PBS. Bittman is a brilliant, self-abasing, mildly abusive food critic for the New York Times, & he is one of the four travelers on this sorta wacky foodie expedition across Spain. No, it's not an insider's Spanish travel guide (though a Spanish actress does join them & offer some bizarre dieting advice), but you're never meant to think it is. They do take some side trips away from food & mussels eaten straight out of the ocean (& wine, so much wine) to do interesting things one can only do in Spain. But mostly it's about eating in Spain & talking about eating in Spain. It might remind you of a college road trip, only with far more fascinating people & a better car (a convertible Mercedes, whereas mine was a Ford Tempo constantly on the verge of dying). Also the food is much better than your college road trips, but the conversation just as meandering & nonsensical & fun. I cannot wait until this comes out on DVD so I can actually see the food & the countryside! Pathetic, yes, I know. I didn't even like Gwyneth Paltrow before I saw this show, & now I think she's just charming & would love to scarf down a paella pan & a plate of french fries with her. We would also need some of that fantastic Spanish wine they keep raving about, & Mark Bittman to make dry assertions, Mario to wax poetic about EVERYTHING, & Claudia to tell us that olive oil cannot possibly make us fat."
Don't listen to the one star guy.....
Stefano | California | 11/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This series is a travelouge not a documentry. It's primary aim is to entertain and explore, albeit on a cursory level, some of the fine cuisine Spain has to offer. I think the guy who gave this series one star should tune into National Geographic. There he can get just the facts.
I suggest purchasing this series if you enjoy a more casual, entertaining and relaxed way of learning a few things Spain."
A huge letdown
I Love NY | New York City | 12/29/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I had such high hopes for this series. The ingredients looked wonderful. I've really liked previous TV work by Batali and Bittman. Spain is one of my all-time favorite destinations, so I even bought a new DVR just so that I could catch every episode when it ran on PBS. Well, the DVR came in handy as I ended up doing some fast-forwarding once I got used to the episode structure. Holy cow it was dull! The banter between the four was irritating and appeared forced. I guess Mercedes Benz expected a lot of camera time, having provided a couple of high end cars for the show. We ended up with extended shots of the cars being driven around Spain at really slow speeds.
Anthony Bourdain is the king of food travel TV, and if you caught his Spain episode, you will get far more out of his one hour show than you will get out of the 13 hours of this hugely disappointing durge."