Hi everyone! So I skipped a week, and there was really no reason for it other than the fact that school and work are starting to get hectic. So, sorry to everyone that tries to keep up with me. Because I skipped a week, though, I’ll be doing something a little different. I’ve watched about four movies since I last posted and made one kick-ass meal, so instead of focusing on one movie, I’ll be doing short reviews for all four movies and talking about my dish.
Like any other college student, I’m constantly broke and, with as busy as I’ve been, lacking the motivation to make something out of the ordinary. Luckily, the weather has been getting cooler and my pantry was stocked full of canned and fresh veggies, so I decided to make a vegetable stew. I was nervous about the flavor though, since I’ve tried this whole tossing together random vegetables before with the outcome being seriously bland and boring. That being said, I read a few blogs and articles and got some ideas on how to do it the right way. Here’s what you’ll need:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium potatoes diced
4 celery stalks
1/2 large white onion chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
2 cans worth of water
1 can green beans
1 can pinto beans
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
3/4 cup red wine (I used a cheap cabernet)
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
In a large stock pot, sautee the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onions become translucent. Turn down the heat and add the majority of your wine, saving a splash to throw in before serving. Cook the wine down for a few minutes then add all other ingredients. Cook on low heat for about 4-5 hours. Mix in the last bit of red wine to it and serve.
I was really worried that this wasn’t going to turn out. I got tips from other sites, but didn’t follow a specific recipe, so I was nervous that it was going to be bland. I was totally surprised with how good it was! I cannot wait to do this again, and it’s perfect that it’s getting colder. It’s one of those dishes that you can just prep and forget. I went home on a lunch break from work to throw this together and it was ready by the time I got home later that night. The Boyfriend was also impressed. I really think that the wine had a lot to do with it. I’ve always wanted to cook with red wine, but never found a recipe that stuck out to me, so it was nice to just experiment. And it’s an experiment that turned out for the better. With all of the vegetables and how thick cut they were, it was really hearty and just perfect for a lazy cold day to watch movies. Once again, I’m so excited to do this again, and it’s an extremely cheap meal that made enough for a few days worth of leftovers.
The Movies followed by The Critiques:
1. The Thing – I thought it would be appropriate to follow up my last post where I watched The Thing from 1982 by watching The Thing from 2011. This is a prequel to the original where it explains the finding of the alien organism and what happens to the Norwegian scientists who find it, all leading up to the events of the original movie.
The Critique: I thought this was a very good installment. I prefer the original, though, and I’ll tell you why. Other than the fact that John Carpenter is a better story-teller, I like the original because the fact that the movie could start after this major happening and just jump right in, but still give you the information you need as the story progresses is far more interesting to me than the story that we’re given in the prequel. I think that the prequel did a fine job, especially set and continuity-wise, there was nothing cheesy or stupid about it, except for one scene that makes me cringe. There’s a scene where Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character is discovering that the cells of the parasite have the ability to replicate normal human cells. I don’t blame the director, because I don’t exactly see any other way to do it, but the looking-through-the-microscope “health class” film animation along with a bad execution of dialogue on top, just makes me cringe. I just wasn’t a fan of how the story was told, because it’s a story I’ve seen a thousand times before. Group discovers thing, thing causes chaos, horror ensues. Yes, the original was almost exactly the same story, however there was more complexity to it. Still a good watch though, I recommend it.
2. The Fault in Our Stars – A drama about two teens who meet in a cancer support group and fall in love. They deal with the typical troubles of young love with the added stresses of sickness and being in the grips of death.
The Critique: I was in the mood to watch a romantic drama or a romantic comedy. It’s been forever since I’ve sat down to watch one and I just felt like I needed that cheese in my life. This movie definitely delivered. I’m not saying it was cheesy. As with most movies largely focused on romance, I find that the first chunk of the movie is almost unbearable to watch. This movie was no different. When the two main characters meet – God! I almost couldn’t watch, there was so much awkwardness surrounding their introduction. I get that they’re teens and that life is awkward in general, but come on! I liked that there were surprises throughout, I won’t spoil anything, but it kept me interested the entire time. All in all, this movie was good. I have not read the book, so I don’t know if it’s a really easy read, but this movie turned out to be a movie that I didn’t have to do a lot of thinking during. I could just shut my brain off and let the sadness surround me, that was great for what I wanted. And, yes, I bawled at the end.
3. Life After Beth – This is a comedy that focuses on a guy mourning the death of his girlfriend, when one day she miraculously comes back from the grave. Hilarity ensues.
The Critique: So, if you’re looking for an unconventional zombie movie, then look no further. This is so much different than I thought that it would be, and so much funnier. It stars Aubrey Plaza as Beth, Dane Dehaan as Zach (the boyfriend) and John C. Riley and Molly Shannon as Beth’s outrageous parents. I like all of the components of this movie, and it honestly surprised me that it turned out to be a full-fledged zombie movie. My only disappointments were that if you like questions to be answered, then forget it. It didn’t upset me that much, because everything else really distracts you from the fact that the “Why?” is never answered, but I would still like to know, and I’m sure you will too. Definitely recommend watching this, though!
4. Sex Tape – Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz play a married couple in this comedy who’s sex life is on the decline since the birth of their kids. They have an idea to spice things up, and make a video of themselves having sex that they plan to delete immediately. Of course, there wouldn’t be a movie if the video didn’t get shared with all of the couple’s friends, family and acquaintances, which leads to a race against the clock to keep their personal and professional relationships from being ruined.
The Critique: This movie is garbage. Plain and simple, I did not like it. I rented it despite the less than great reviews that I had heard, because I love Jason Segal and in my head, I thought that if he was in it, there’s no way it wouldn’t be funny. It is so not funny though! The writing is bad, beyond bad, and I feel like the whole movie is just an excuse to get Cameron Diaz naked as much as possible. I have no problem with crude humor by any means, but none of this was executed well. The only part of this movie that I actually liked was the fact that Rob Lowe is in it and he basically plays the same character that he plays in Parks and Rec, which is such a likable character. The scene where Diaz and Segal go over to Lowe’s house it probably the only part of the movie that actually made me chuckle. And I would probably just watch that scene again, because it’s ok. Other than that, don’t waste your time. Everything you’ve heard is correct, it’s just plain bad.
All right, there will probably be another post during this week, so check in and see what’s cooking!