Movie (and a little TV) Minute

Posted in Movies on August 29, 2013 by nra314159

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Very fast paced and almost never slows down.  All the action remains comprehensible and it does a great job of building up suspense with enormous stakes (bad guys hijacking a satellite to start a nuclear war between Russia and the US).  Some parts, like with Tom Cruise’s wife, might’ve had more resonance if I’d seen the previous movies more recently, but that’s not why you’d watch a movie like this.

The Court Jester

Danny Kaye musical is a fun little movie and answers the age old question whether chalice from the palace or the vessel with the pestle contains the brew that is true.  Danny Kaye is a would-be revolutionary in medieval England and hijinks ensue when he infiltrates the palace of the evil usurper.  Finale showcases the result of the Munchkin Full Employment Act of 1953.

Let the Right One In

The most Swedish movie I’ve ever seen, makes me glad my ancestors left for the relative paradise of North Dakota.  Oskar is 12 and being bullied at school.  A new girl, Eli, has moved into his complex and she ‘has been 12 for a long time’.  Doesn’t sparkle though.  There’s a string of grisly murders and what passes for an upbeat ending in a Swedish movie.  It’s easy to root for Oskar, but the morality of his relationship with is a bit problematic.

The Reanimator

A med student finds a way to reanimate the recently dead, oddly enough there’s unforeseen consequences.  It’s a gory/creepy romp from animals to people to decapitation to mind control against the backdrop of the competitive world of medical research.

Cave Dwellers

Conan with a hang glider.  Besides the wholesale Conan borrowing, they manage to cram in some Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven and various Hercules movies.  Plus there’s barely any cave dwellers.


Santa vs. Satan.  Hopefully the NSA doesn’t see it, it really fleshes out the Santa’s surveillance state.  The creepiest bit being, when listening in on conversations he doesn’t  use headphones or speakers.  He has a set of giant lips.


This is a movie that couldn’t be made today, what with guns and bombs at a high school.  I’m a little surprised it could get made then since it dealt with teen suicide rather indelicately as well.  Film deals with Winona Ryder’s disillusionment with the ruling clique of 3 Heathers.  She teams up with an outsider, Christian Slater, but his plans seem to always end in murder then dressed up as suicide.  There’s plenty of black comedy, but it loses immediacy the farther away from high school you are.

Kolchak: The Night Stalker – The Werewolf

Kolchak is a bit of a proto-X Files from the seventies.  Carl Kolchak is a Chicago news reporter who seems to have a knack for stumbling onto stories that happen to be paranormal.  In episode ‘The Werewolf’ he’s assigned to write a story about a singles cruise, and it turns out one of passengers is the titular monster.  This episode showcases Kolchak’s persistence to get the scoop and the monster, including butting into the local authority figures.  Also if you need silver bullets on cruise ship, you’ll have to steal the buttons off captain’s dress uniform and melt them down.

Stomach Reviver

Posted in Cocktails on February 28, 2012 by nra314159

1.5 oz brandy

.5 oz Kummel

.25 oz Fernet Branca

.25 oz Angostura bitters

Stir and strain into a cocktail glass.  Garnish with a lemon twist.

Drink fast, when it’s ice cold there’s a lot of interplay between all the herbal flavors.  When it gets even a little warm it ends just really bitter.

Ramos Gin Fizz

Posted in Cocktails on February 28, 2012 by nra314159

1.5 oz gin

.5 oz lemon juice

3-4 drops orange flower water

1 tsp simple syrup

2 oz cream

1 egg white

Soda water

Shake first 6 ingredients hard with cracked ice.  Then shake a little bit more.  Pour into wine goblet.  Top with soda water and garnish with a flower blossom.

Careful with the orange flower water, it goes from pedestrian to spectacular to drinking dish soap in a hurry.  When it’s right it’s an drink with pretty much everything going for it, balance and texture with a lot of depth of flavor.

Pick Me Up

Posted in Cocktails on February 28, 2012 by nra314159

1 oz brandy

.25 oz Cointreau

1 dash Pernod

1 dash orange juice

3 oz sparkling wine

Shake and strain.  Top with sparkling wine.  Garnish with a lemon twist.

Not bad, but a French 75 would be better.

Hair of the Dog

Posted in Cocktails on February 28, 2012 by nra314159

2 oz scotch

.5 oz cream

1 tsp honey

Shake with shaved ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Use a blended scotch for this.  I tried Glennkinchie since it has honey overtones and honey and cream are easy to mix with but it just had a rough edge that needed a bit of smoothing.

Eye Opener

Posted in Cocktails on February 28, 2012 by nra314159

1.5 oz light rum

.25 oz Pernod

.25 oz curacao

.5 tsp sugar

1 tsp egg yolk

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

The egg adds some interesting texture, but it’s mostly about how well curacao and Pernod/absinthe get along.  They get along pretty well.


Posted in Cocktails on February 28, 2012 by nra314159

1.5 oz vodka

3 oz beef bouillon

1-3 dashes Worcestershire sauce

1 dash A1 sauce

1 dash Tabasco sauce

1 dash Angostura bitters

Celery salt

Shake and strain into glass rimmed with celery salt.  Garnish with a lemon squeeze.

I find this much preferable to the Bloody Mary, though the words salty, spicy and beefy aren’t usually used to describe a cocktail.


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