Friday, February 17, 2012

On Hiatus

Well, like so many TV shows do, I am going to put this blog on hiatus. I haven't been keeping up with it like I should, and I have to many others out there to keep track of. (And I don't think that many people actually read it anyway.) If you do happen to stumble on this blog, how about checking out my other blogs out there in the world of the internet (I will post a list below). I will probably resurrect this one later on, when things in my life settle down a bit, but for now, happy surfing. :-)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs

OK, when it first started, I was not a fan of Iron Chef America. I have since come over to the dark side and watch it every chance I get (except for the ones with Bobby Flay, sorry dude). When I first heard about The Next Iron Chef, I knew it was a show I would like as I love other cooking competition shows such as The Next FoodNetwork Star and Top Chef. And now we have the Super Chefs.

The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs has some of my favorite cooking celebs going against each other, and I'm loving every minute of it. The first episode did not disappoint. The 10 competing chefs are taken out in the middle of nowhere, split into five teams, and told to cook dishes using a suckling pig and open fire. (Pretty cool that one of them even found stuff growing around the lake to use.) Two of my favorites, Chef Anne Burrell and Chef Robert Irvine, were teamed up and I really like them together. (It helps that they are 'rivals' on another FoodNetwork show, The Worst Cook in America).

This episode saw Chef Spike Mendelsohn being sent home after a head-to-head elimination battle with his teammate Chef Marcus Samuelsson. (Sad part is, he's the one who picked Samuelsson for his team.) But, there is no shame in being beaten by someone with that man's reputation and standing in the culinary world. The secret ingredient in this battle was fresh diver scallops, something all chefs seem to love to cook with. Chef Samuelsson took a risk by making 2 dishes on the plate instead of just the required one; risky because you are basically judged against yourself and not just your opponent. But, the risk paid off....this time.

The second episode took the remaining 9 chefs to a ballpark where they had to reimagine ballpark fare. Let me tell you, there were some pretty good things cooked up on this one. And I have to admit, Chef Alex Guarnaschelli deserved the win she got on this one. (Not a big fan of hers, but even I know good creative food when I see it.)

Chef Robert Irvine made what he called a Hotburg, a combination of ground up hot dogs and ground beef. It looked so good, and the judges loved it. (I so wish they would put the recipes for this show online. I love this stuff they come up with.) He probably would have been OK, but he put some pickled radishes on the dish that did not go over well and put him in the elimination challenge with Chef Michael Chiarello whose runny, poorly separated egg did not go over well at all. (Chef Samuelsson, who made 4 dishes this time, was again told about taking such a risk and that next time, it would not bode well for him.)

The secret ingredient for the elimination challenge was peanuts, something I would think they would love to see. I've seen so many dishes made with peanuts on various FoodNetwork shows, that it seems like everyone would find it to be a simple and versatile ingredient. Well, maybe I was wrong. The chefs did not seem happy.

Chef Chiarello made a homemade pasta with a peanut pesto and a tomato salad. The only use of the peanuts was in the pesto and sprinkled on top of the pasta; the salad was completely devoid of peanuts. Chef Irvine made a peanut crusted halibut with a peanut hummus and a peanut sauce (something else in that sauce as well, but it escapes me). The judges loved both but were a bit miffed at the lack of peanuts in the pasta dish (come on, only in the pesto???) and the thickness of the hummus.

In the end, they opted to send Chef Irvine home due to the thickness of that hummus, a decision that I think was totally unfair. They had no complaints about the taste of anything on his plate, no complaints about the presentation or use of the secret ingredient. It was just that they (well, two of them anyway) felt the hummus was too thick. If you ask me, that is less of a problem than the lack of use of the secret ingredient, but then, nobody's asking me are they?

So, that's the first two episodes. I'm still miffed about Chef Irvine going home on the hummus. Just not fair. But, who am I to question the Iron Chef Judges (especially Michael Symon, whom I adore)? Can't wait to see what next week's episode brings. Chef Irvine was my original pick as the next Iron Chef, but who knows now. I like Anne Burrell, and she has the experience being the sous chef for Mario Batali on the show, but Geoffrey Zakarian isn't one to count out either. Guess we'll see.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Green Hornet

I had heard plenty of bad reviews about this movie over the past several months, so when the hubs and I finally decided to rent the DVD, I had pretty low expectations. Boy, was I disappointed....or should I say pleased???

This movie was not the huge BOMB I'd been led to believe. Sure, there were a couple scenes that could have been shortened a bit...OK, a good bit...but all-in-all, it was actually a pretty fun flick. I have to say I'm tired of all the 3D stuff (seems everything is coming out in 3D now), and since I watched it on DVD, that was all lost anyway. But the movie itself was pretty good.

Now, I'm not going to say Seth Rogen will ever win an Oscar or anything, but who cares. He had a lot of fun with this movie, and I think that's why so many were disappointed in it. With all the big comic book movies out there now, people went in expecting the usual: lots of special effects, huge story line, BIG heroes, etc. This wasn't like that. This movie took the comic book hero genre into another direction. It made it a bit less serious, a bit more fun.

Seth Rogen did a good job as the partying Britt Reid who, after the death of his father and a whole bunch of other stuff, becomes The Green Hornet. Of course, he could not have done that without Kato (played by Jay Chou), a character who is really the main fighter/hero-type in this movie. With his fighting ability and brains (the man built an espresso machine from scratch, not to mention the car, the weapons, etc), the duo becomes...well...dynamic.

I even liked Cameron Diaz's character Lenore Case. She didn't end up with either of the main characters, even though they both had a "thing" for her, and I like that. I'm so tired of the typical formula of the strong woman who falls for someone and gets all mushy and stuff. Case is a strong intelligent woman who helps the guys out without throwing herself at either of them. Way to go!

I really wish this movie would spawn a sequel, but I have a feeling it won't. It wasn't a huge hit after all, and most reviews were bad. But, I would watch it again myself, and probably will. And if you like a bit of comedy with your action, I'd highly recommend it. (FYI: the scenes when they bring out the knock out gun for the first time....TOTAL HILARITY.)

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Well, let's relaunch this little blog about movies, TV and whatever with a bit of a blast from the past.

This week, I have rediscovered the movie "Labyrinth." I say 'rediscovered' because even though I have been a fan since it first came out back in 1986, and I have owned it on DVD for several years, I can't remember the last time I actually sat down and watched it. Life has a way of jumping in and keeping you from having the time to actually sit back and enjoy some of your favorite things. This week, I was really in the mood to watch this movie, so life just had to take a little break.

For fans of Jim Henson, this movie is a treat with some wonderful puppet work. (Check out the 15ft tall puppet called Humongous. WOW!) To this day, I'm amazed by the work Henson and his cohorts created back then. He was a visionary genius surrounded by visionary geniuses. What a combination.

For fans of fantasy, this movie is packed with goblins and creatures of all kinds. Monsters, both good and bad, walk the paths of the huge labyrinth that lead to the Goblin City and the wall's of the Goblin King's castle. The story flows well with a main character who is both damsel-in-distress and heroine, and a villain who is scary and a bit sad all at the same time. You want him to lose, and yet you feel sorry for him as he seems a bit lonely, surrounded by so many creatures that both fear and worship him.

For fans of David Bowie, this movie is a treat for the eyes and ears. I can't see anyone else playing this part. His eyes convey the pain he feels, even as he inflicts pain. And his voice...well, it IS David Bowie. In the scene where Sarah is running around the room of stairs trying to get to her brother, you can hear the pain and regret in Jareth's voice. You can see the sadness in his eyes. That scene gets to me every time I see it.

This movie has held up well over the years. It's one of those movies that take you through the gamut of emotions. It's true that you will find yourself laughing, cringing in fear, cheering and even singing & dancing (or at least wanting to). If you have kids, it's a great one to share with them as well.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pernell Roberts (1928 - 2010)

Actor Pernell Roberts died Sunday at the age of 81. I loved watching Roberts on the TV series "Trapper John, M.D." when I was a kid. While most of my friends had 'goo-goo' eyes for his costar, Gregory Harrison, I liked Roberts. Guess I had a thing for older men.

Of course, many people know Roberts more for his role as Adam Cartwright in "Bonanza," which I used to watch in reruns as a kid as well.

Roberts was born in May of 1928 in Waycross, Georgia, an area many members of my family also call home. He used to visit the area often many years ago when his mother was in a local nursing home, and even came into the bait shop where my sister-in-law worked to purchase his fishing license. He was a friendly, unassuming man, and if you ask me, one of the handsomest men to ever grace the television screen.

Roberts was proceeded in death in 1989 by his only son, Jonathan, who was killed in a motorcycle accident.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Julie & Julia

OK, after nearly 7 months down, I have decided to resurrect this blog. Why not? I only have 3 others I'm trying to keep going, what's one more? ;-)

The hubs and I recently watched the movie Julie & Julia, and I have to say it was both wonderful and a disappointment. Let me explain.

The movie is of course based on the book by Julie Powell as well as the book "My Life in France" by Julia Child. The movie is often very fun, poignant and thought provoking. You laugh, you cry and you really, really want to start cooking...and eating. The food looks so marvelous. Yummy!!

The sections of the movie about Julia and her start are wonderful. Merle Streep did such a good job in the part of the iconic chef, it was hard to separate her from the character. She sounded like her, moved like her, even looked a bit like her. Her Golden Globe win last night is very much well-deserved.

Amy Adams also did a great job as Julie Powell, the author of the "Julie & Julia Project" blog, as well as the book. She went through the gambit of emotions Julie must have felt during that hectic year; sadness, frustration, happiness, disappointment. I had no problem with her performance at all. The problem I did have was with that part of the story.

OK, Julie Powell really took an interesting idea and ran with it. And for some reason, it really caught on, making her blog one of the most popular out there. Then the book and movie of course. But, if at the time she was anything like she was portrayed in this movie, she was a bit whiny really. That was the disappointing part. I did feel for her somewhat, but not as much as I would have liked.

This is a good movie, and one I would recommend wholeheartedly. But, I wonder what a movie just about Julia Child, starring Merle Streep of course, would have been like. There are a couple details that I would love to have more information about, things that were hinted at in the movie but not fully covered. I guess I will just have to put Child's book on my reading list.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Take A Final Bow, Ed.

Ed McMahon died early this morning in Los Angeles. He was 86.

I grew up watching Ed on the Tonight Show and Star Search (the precursor to American Idol and America's Got Talent). My mom worked graveyard shift, so I could stay up without her knowing and laugh along with Ed and Johnny, and boy did I laugh. They were a riot.

My mother and I both were fans of Star Search, and one of my fondest memories is sitting in front of the TV with her, trying to guess who was going to win in each category. We were fans of Sawyer Brown back then. (Remember? They got their start on that show.)

Ed McMahon and Johnny Carson made a great late-night team, and now they are back together.