Posted tagged ‘dinner and a movie’

Movie Night Meal: Cat’s Eye

October 15, 2010

Stephen King movies are generally hit-or-miss. And it seems that the more personal input King has in the movies, the worse they are (just compare Stanley Kubrick’s version of The Shining with the TV miniseries version that King wrote the script for). Cat’s Eye (1985, directed by Lewis Teague) has a screenplay by Stephen King and is actually three short films in one. The chapters are connected by a cat that wanders from story to story, as well as Drew Barrymore playing a different character in each section. Since the main focus is a cat, we made a bunch of smelly ol’ seafood.

Menu:

Albacore-Stuffed Tomatoes
Salmon Cakes*
Tuna Noodle Casserole
Crispy-Skinned Salmon Filets
Goldfish Crackers
Swedish Fish (for dessert)
*recipe below

The first short film, “Quitter’s Inc.” stars James Woods as a man trying to quit smoking. The self-help guru he hires uses an interesting form of persuasion: threatening to electrocute Woods’s wife and rape his retarded daughter (Barrymore) if he is caught having another cigarette. The second story, “The Ledge” is about a gambler who bets his wife’s lover (Robert Hays) that he can’t walk around the ledge of a skyscraper. Yeah, that’s about it. The third section, “The General,” is the most memorable for all of us who saw this movie as children on daytime TV; about a troll living inside the walls of a little girl’s bedroom. At night, the troll breaks through the wall to suck the breath from the girl (Barrymore) while she sleeps.

Some thoughts:

-Drew Barrymore was in her awkward Cindy Brady stage at this point in her career. The question is, how adorably coked-up was she during filming?

-If we’re ranking the stories, “The General” is the best, then “Quitter’s Inc.” with “The Ledge” way back in last place. After the first “whoa whoa whoa I’m about to fall!” scare, that’s all the story really is, over and over. But at least the pilot from Airplane! got a gig out of it.

-“The Ledge” also really shoehorns in a Barrymore appearance. She’s a hallucination that the cat sees in a TV screen. A hallucinating cat? Who was more fucked up during this thing, the cat or Drew?

-I think Barrymore was trying to win an Oscar by playing the retarded daughter in “Quitters Inc.” Unfortunately she was a little too Other Sister and not enough Rain Man.

-I liked how “The General” was a take on the old wives tale that cats suck the breath of babies while they are sleeping. Housewives in the ’50s needed an excuse for why their babies were dying of SIDS. I’m sure the fact that they were swigging martinis and sucking down Virginia Slims during the pregnancies had nothing to do with it.

-Some cameos from Stephen King characters, like Cujo and Christine.

-’80s movies had a lot of cunty mothers, and “The General” is no different. Candy Clark plays Barrymore’s mom who wants to murder the girl’s new pet cat. She sucks hardcore.

-I made it through this entire review without any pussy puns. Who’s proud of me?

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Movie Night Meal: The New Kids

May 30, 2010

Our most recent movie night was quite a doozy. The New Kids (1985, directed by Sean S. Cunningham) is pretty demented as far as cheesy ’80s teen thrillers go. The story revolves around a brother and sister, Abby (the sister, played by Aunt Becky Lori Loughlin) and Loren (the brother, played by nobody Shannon Presby), who go live with their aunt and uncle in Florida after their parents die. Said aunt and uncle run Funland, a carnival (slash gas station slash Santa’s workshop slash child labor sweatshop), where the siblings get jobs to help out. When Abby and Loren go to their new school, they become the target of the most sadistic set of high school bullies that ever existed, headed by an Andy Warhol-looking James Spader. Since the movie’s climactic battle scene takes place at Funland, we paired the movie with carnival food:

Corn Dogs*
Turkey Legs
Funnel Cakes
Candied Peanuts
Kettle Corn
Mike’s Hard Lemonade
*Recipe below

Although I knew The New Kids would be violent, I thought it would still be campy and fun (something like Red Dawn… or West Side Story). But in fact, it’s way darker than I was prepared for, but still fairly awesome. Some stray (and meandering) observations:

-This movie was written by Stephen Gyllenhaal, father of Maggie and Jake. Hopefully Stephen sexually harasses his children less than Abby and Loren’s dad does. Dad’s first lines in the movie are talking about Loren jerking off and telling Abby she has a “sexy little bod.” And remember, he is not the villain.

-I’m not sure about the representation of teenagers in this movie. When Loren and Abby’s parents leave town to die meet the President, the two teenagers invite all their friends over to… watch the news? If Stephen Gyllenhaal was drawing from real experiences, Maggie and Jake must have been fucking nerds.

-James Spader was known for playing preppy assholes in the ’80s, but before Pretty in Pink and Less Than Zero, he played Dutra in The New Kids. And instead of just being a dick, Dutra is legit evil. When Dutra decides he wants to bone Abby, he seems unfamiliar with the “no means no” mantra. You see, Dutra has a trademark: setting girls on fire. And then raping them. (Which for some reason seems to make more sense the other way around). Moral of the story, you don’t say no to Dutra.

-Spader’s gang is a riot. Not only does one of the dudes look exactly like Judah Friedlander, but their names are Dutra, Gid, Moonie, Gordo, and JoeBob. That’s one backwoods, horse-fucking group of names if I’ve ever heard one. Gid literally uses “You ever been to a dogfight?” as a pickup line.

-Eric Stoltz makes his first major film appearance as the innocent ginger who develops a crush on Abby. (A normal crush, not a rapey-pyro crush like Spader’s).

-When Abby and Loren get to their uncle’s house, nobody seems bothered that they are put to work and made to sleep in a dingy garage. The uncle is portrayed as “wacky” instead of what he is, “barely more normal than the dude that kidnapped Jaycee Dugard.”

-Two things this movie has plenty of: animal cruelty and Shannon Presby’s balls. I shit you not, when I was looking up YouTube videos of this movie, there’s a tribute vid of all of Loren’s crotch shots. Take a look, if you dare.

-Uncle Charlie constantly complains about Funland’s financial woes, and yet it was hard to feel sorry for him. Maybe if it wasn’t goddamn Santa Claus-themed; in the spring; in Florida, business wouldn’t be so bad.

-The movie’s climax is pretty incredible. After Abby rejects Dutra’s rapey suaveness, the gang follows her to Funland, where she and Loren have to fend off the bad guys one by one (not to give anything away, but death-by-rollercoaster may be involved). Loren quickly goes from bland white boy to Rambo in acid-washed jeans. Things get so over-the-top intense that you have to laugh at how happy and well-adjusted Abby and Loren are when it’s all over. Um, you just murdered an entire clique from your high school. Cool it with the smiles, kids.

-One thing people in the ’80s didn’t understand is that not every movie needs a theme song. Sometimes it fits (Footloose, The Breakfast Club, The Karate Kid). Sometimes movies even have two theme songs that work well (Top Gun, Flashdance). But most of the time, the tune is extremely questionable and doesn’t really makes sense in the movie (St. Elmo’s Fire, Caddyshack, Weird Science, The Neverending Story). Even Short Circuit had a theme song. That being said, it makes you wonder who thought putting this upbeat number in a movie about murderous adolescents was a good idea. (Song starts at 2:05, but notice that this clip also includes dad’s creepy sexual come-ons to his children, the longest training montage in a non-sports movie ever, and more of Loren’s balls).

-One last thing about our menu. Mike’s Hard Lemonade is super gross. They need to stop making ads trying to sell it to grown men and focus on their actual demographic: 15 year-old girls who just snuck out of the house and are probably about to give their first handjob.

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Movie Night Meal: Big Trouble in Little China

April 21, 2010

We decided to go the ethnic route for this week’s movie night. No, we didn’t watch a foreign film (subtitles and drunks don’t really mesh). Instead, for Big Trouble in Little China (1986, directed by John Carpenter), we paired it with Chinese takeout. This movie was obviously supposed to be an Indiana Jones-type franchise character for Kurt Russell. He plays Jack Burton (the name of every 1980’s action hero), a truck driver who goes to the airport to pick up his buddy’s green-eyed fiancee from China. When the fiancee is kidnapped (and Kurt’s truck is stolen) by magical Chinese warriors, Kurt, Kim Cattrall, and a whole slew of friends go underground in Chinatown to help save the girl. While watching the movie, we partook in some cultural delicacies like:

Chow Mein
Lo Mein
Broccoli Beef
Honey Glazed Pork
Orange Chicken
Vegetable Fried Rice
Vegetable Wontons
Fortune Cookies

Topics of discussion:

-What is with Kurt Russell’s John Wayne impression? Was he doing it as a joke? I mean, he’s a good actor. Why did he decide not to be in this movie?

-In case you forget at any point that Kurt Russell plays a trucker… he wears an actual trucker hat. And not in an ironic, Ashton Kutcher-sorta way.

-Kim Catrall plays an even more annoying version of Lois Lane. Her first line in the movie is literally: “You know me. I stick my nose where it doesn’t belong.”

-There’s nothing worse than a movie that sets itself up for a sequel even though it’s far too bad to deserve one. We weren’t sure what the sequel was going to be. Big Trouble in Little Italy? “Ay! Why-a you-a gotta kid-a napp-a de ladies?”

-This movie has a severe case of too-many-characters-syndrome. For some reason there are three- count ’em, three!-damsel in distress characters: the green-eyed Asian chick, Kim Cattrall, and Kim Cattrall’s uglier friend. Kurt really only needs one sidekick, but he has a whole gang getting down on the “big trouble”, and the villain has so many henchmen it’s impossible to tell them apart (and not just because they’re Asian).

-I’m curious if this movie stirred up trouble with any Asian anti-defamation league. Because it’s certainly no Joy Luck Club when it comes to honest portrayals of Chinese people. I have to say, a little part of me dies every time I see an Asian person ordering a Chinese Chicken Salad (putting mandarin oranges on something doesn’t automatically make it Chinese. I’m more Chinese than a Chinese Chicken Salad and I’m Irish). Seeing James Hong, an actual Chinese-American actor, do an overly stereotypical Chinese accent as the villain was even more embarrassing than the salad dilemma.

-Let’s get to the real highlight of my movie night. For the first time in my life, I fulfilled a movie-inspired dream. You’ve seen it before, a million times, on TV and in movies, in Friends, Seinfeld, Woody Allen movies, and romantic comedies. A character (or characters), staying in for the night, eat Chinese food from white cardboard containers with chopsticks. They usually sit on the floor and share noodles (double-dipping chopsticks and everything). But nobody does this in real life. Every time I order Chinese food it comes in styrofoam or plastic. They always give me a fork, and I am rarely sitting on the floor or in bed while I’m eating it. I am surely not the only one who notices that this only happens in movies (there’s even an entire online forum about it: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/328531).

So once I saw that the Lo Mein came in a white cardboard box, I snatched that bitch up, plopped on the ground and went to town with some chopsticks.

I have officially gone Hollywood, and it tastes like delicious, delicious MSG.

Movie Night Meal: Leprechaun

March 23, 2010

Yes, friends. Another movie night, another Warwick Davis film. But this past week we had our reasons, as it was St. Patrick’s Day Week (yes, I celebrate the entire week). So naturally, we held a little viewing of Leprechaun. On the menu? Why, green food and Guinness, of course.

Leprechaun (1993, directed by Mark Jones) is a horror movie about an evil leprechaun (Davis) doing all he can (which includes skateboard-riding, ear-biting, and general tomfoolery) to steal back his gold coins from Jennifer Aniston and the retards she hangs out with. Our green-themed menu (color-wise. We don’t give a shit about the environment) was:

Garden Salad
Spinach & Artichoke Tortilla Chips
Guacamole
Green-dyed Shells & Cheese
Twice-Baked Pesto Potaotes*
Guinness
*recipe below

I remember being so scared of Leprechaun as a kid that I got nervous when kids in school even talked about the movie. I hadn’t even seen anything besides the VHS cover, but that was enough for me. Through the years (now that I am manly and macho and no longer afraid of horror movies), I’ve caught the movie in bits and pieces, but this was the first time I watched it from beginning to end. Some lasting impressions:

-The minute I saw Jennifer Aniston and her big bangs, I knew she would mention a shopping mall within her first five minutes on screen. Turns out it happens about 40 seconds in. Yay for malls being the only way to characterize teenage girls in 1980’s and ’90s movies (see also: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids).

-I must admit that Warwick Davis is infinitely less awesome as Leprechaun (wait, did he have a name?) than he was as Willow. I think Leppy simply had a weaker character arc, I hate to say.

-Bad movie cliche #2: Aniston’s character bonds with her love interest by painting the house, and what do you know? They get strategically-placed paint all over their clothes and upper-arms! Man, if I could count the number of times I’ve painted a room with someone while falling in love with them, it would be… once. And even then, we skipped the falling in love part.

-Mark Holton (Francis from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure) plays said love interest’s co-worker, and Wikipedia labels his character as “autistic.” I’m not sure if that’s what the story was going for, but I can see it.

-Am I missing something or are leprechauns known to be evil? I thought they were just troublemakers. Then again, the Bavarian Ministry thought that guy with the weird mustache ranting at the beer hall was just a troublemaker, and he ended up being Hitler.

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Movie Night Meal: Willow

February 27, 2010

Every few weeks, I get together with some of my favorite drunks friends to watch a cheesy movie and eat some food that fits that particular movie’s theme. In the past we’ve done Drop Dead Fred with kid food (PB&J sandwiches, Sloppy Joe’s, mac & cheese), Phantasm with ball-shaped foods (Swedish meatballs, sweet & sour meatballs, cheese balls, bon bons), Road House with barbecue (pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad), and the amazing-beyond-words The Room with macho food (Salisbury steak, beef & cheddar mac).

Our most recent viewing was Willow with miniature foods.

Willow (1988, directed by Ron Howard) stars Warwick Davis as a dwarf who saves a baby princess from goblins, wicked queens, two-headed monsters, and bitchy redheads.

The menu included:

Sliders*
Mini Chicken Pot Pies
Mini Quesadillas
Mini Ravioli
Doughnut Holes
Coronitas
*recipe below

The movie was far less cheesy than I expected (or remembered) it to be, and aside from the obvious and tasteless midget jokes, we were hard-pressed to make fun of the movie throughout. Some things I did notice:

-Warwick Davis is pretty awesome. If Peter Dinklage can play non-elf/goblin/troll/leprechaun roles, why don’t we see more of Warwick (minus makeup) in movies today?

-Val Kilmer has some seriously luxurious hair in this movie. That shit had shimmer and shine.

-Joanne Whalley’s character has possibly the world’s quickest turnaround in this movie. She goes from megabitch of the century, doing all she can to kill a baby, to suddenly becoming the movie’s heroine once she gets a few winks from Val. Who knew that getting some Kilmer lovin’ was the cure for infanticidal tendencies?

-Why do the Brownies (played by Kevin Pollack and another dude) have stereotypical Mexican accents? That was weird.

-The ’80s special effects were pretty gnarly, but this was the first movie to use a “morphing” effect (that’s right, it wasn’t Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” music video).

-On a side note, 7-ounce bottles of Coronitas are ideal for making small-handed gentlemen feel manly.

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