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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Where's Olive?

After consuming some quite tasty carne asada, or at least my version of the same, and getting the kids to bed last night serendipitous timing while channel surfing brought to to "Little Miss Sunshine." When this movie came out in 2006 it started off as a bit of a sleeper. I can remember recommend it to others while it was still in the theater and most people had yet to hear of it.
While I am neither a Greek nor theater scholar I do believe the Greek tragedy involves ill will befalling a hero, or heroine in his or her attempt to achieve a goal, a conquest or other significant achievement. Little Miss to me is the modern equivalent of a Greek tragedy. Olive, our heroine, is the ray of sunshine to a very disfunctional family whose fates seem to conspire to keep Olive from her goal: performing in and winning the Little Miss Sunshine. While her big brother, parents, uncle and grandfather all her their bags of crap they keep dragging out, Olive maintains her positive outlook.
The line "Where's Olive" is one of the many one-liners, joining "Welcome to hell" and "Go hug Mom" from Dwayne who is silent by choice delivering his dialogue on a small spiral notepad. A very good technique from the director and/or screenwriter to add a significant piece to this film.
Excellent casting, acting, writing and direction if you have not seen Little Miss Sunshine find it on HBO and TiVo it or get it on Netflix--better yet buy it and make it one of your annual viewings. Caution, for those who have not seen it, as charming as it may seem with little Olive as the lead there is significant foul language--particularly in scenes with Alan Arkin dialogue.
Rating: Wide Awake

Regarding that carne asada....some skirt steak pounded flat with salt, pepper, garlic powder, chipolte chili powder, a little olive oil, "daddy-q" sauce, balsamic vinegar, grilled quickly over very hot coals; simple, delicious!
Tonight a large pork loin roast, 3 lbs, I'm slow cooking on the grill for about an hour and a half to two hours. Over night rub of most of the above, coated with balsamic, dijon and olive oil. Will baste with an apple/bourbon version of the homemade sauce to get nice sticky crust as it slowly cooks. Oh, plus a few cups of icey bourbon for the grill master while cooking!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Iron Man and Indiana Jones

Thankfully we have Tuesday nights! Leslie and I have been to the movies more times in the last several weeks than in past....let's see Blaire is 8...past eight or nine years. Having spent the last several years taking eight or nine days to see a movie on DVD watching about twelve minutes at a time before dozing off it is great to sit in comfy chair in a dark theater with some salty popcorn, a cool drink, a great big screen, great sound and watch a good movie. The past two week we saw Indiana Jones and the Something of Something and Iron Man. Both were very good movies, let's start with Indy.

Leslie loves Harrison Ford and the Indiana Jones series. She met Indy in 1981 when he was chasing around the jungle with Karen Allen. She did not meet me until about 1992 or 1993, Harrison was first, I got that. We saw Harry last week still chasing around with Karen Allen, this time in Peru and the jungles of South America. The beauty of this fantastic tale? It is the Indiana Jones franchise from beginning to end. It is kitchy, it has the predictable one-liners, it has Ford doing a great job being Indiana Jones. Hold on to your hat chase sequences and hold your breath escapes by Ford are just as fun to watch today as they were over 25 years ago. It was it is and that is an Indiana Jones movie; made for thirteen year old boys and everyone loves it. Bravo!

Rating: Comfy on the couch If you are adamant about the sound and big screen and you don't have a home theater system like Shaquille go see it at the theater, otherwise DVD will do you fine. Get the first three in the series from Netflix and have an Indy marathon.

Iron Man was great. I am not much on comic book movies, Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Aquaman, wait that was just a fictional movie in the fictional series "Entourage" on HB); so I have stayed away from the Marvel Comics that have been redone by Hollywood. I typically do not like movies from comics, probably because when I was a kid I was a comic book wussy. I did not like the action comics, I liked the comedic comics, Archie, Richie Rich, the stupid ones. I had heard some good reviews on Iron Man but it was not until friend Chuck was in town from Houston and we were having dinner that he mentioned he and wife Michelle had seen Iron Man and liked it that I put it in the Date Night movie rotation. Leslie was game so off we went. Wow, what a great movie. Directed by Jon Favreau ("you're so money" guy in the classic "Swingers", classic being a loose term as a lot of my friends really like it and I never really did, back to Iron Man) the movie is not the typical comic book movie. For one, while it is a bit fantastic at times it is not suspend all belief type fantastic. Secondly the special effects are done very well so they are not annoyingly special effects. Thirdly the acting is very good. And on I go, the writing is well done as well. I, we, liked this movie very much--especially Leslie who loves action movies. Where Indy is kitchy and corny this one keeps you glued to your seat. It was a pleasure to watch Robert Downey Jr. turn in another great performance, and hey spending time looking at Gweneth Paltrow does not ruin any movie. There are two bad guys and both are chilling in their evil. Jeff Bridges has plenty of roles where he is the kind of off-beat, goofy guy but shows again he can play bad guy real, real well. When the guy took our ticket (our Tuesday night guy, about 60 years old and always happy) he said, "best movie we have playing..." he was right.

Rating: Wide Awake see this movie!

On the home DVD front we saw the first two Bourne movies, Leslie slept through most of the first one, I slept through most of the second one, didn't seem like we missed much. Can't wait to get the third one from Netflix this week! zzzzzzzzzz