Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Review: The Hangover 2

I knew going into the theater to not expect much. I hate reading reviews for movies before I see them but I had read a couple because I was so excited for this movie. The Hangover was one of only a handful of movies that I absolutely loved the first time I watched it. I subconsciously knew the sequel would probably do no justice to the original. 

The plot was the exact same and I’d even go so far as to say the jokes were timed to occur at the same moments. Nothing about this sequel surprised or enlightened me. The cast that worked so seamlessly together were nothing more than washed out versions of their formal selves. Zach Galifianakis’s character, Alan, had a handful of funny one liners but nothing compared to the first movie. In other words, this film was predictable and boring. I found myself dozing wondering when they were going to “find” Ed Helm’s soon to be brother-in-law so I can go home to my comfy bed and go to sleep. The supporting cast brought nothing to the table. Mr.Chow didn’t really need a bigger role and his once funny accent just turned annoying real fast.

If you loved the first Hangover like me, nothing will probably stop you from seeing the second one. Hence why it was the highest grossing comedy on Memorial Day weekend even though not one good review has been written about it.  The film is bound to make billions of dollars and leave the fans disappointed. If Bradley Cooper was earnest in saying that this film tops the first one than his sexiness to me just dropped a hundred points. I could have written the plot for this movie while getting my wisdom teeth removed. Take the exact storyline of the first one, change the location to Bangkok, alter a couple of minor details (take away baby, add monkey)and ta-da! You have The Hangover II. Even Zach Galifinanakis couldn’t make this movie bearable. And that is saying a lot.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Party Girls Turned Moms

I’ve noticed a growing trend and I can’t help but find it disturbing. I have recently come upon my first year out of college and estimated a good third of the people I graduated with were either engaged/married/ pregnant/both. The same people who did body shots on top of the bar, gave a handy to the closest lacrosse player they could find and then found themselves calling their friend to get them while hiding in the bathroom of some 32 year old guy they picked up at Taco bell. The same people who never had a serious boyfriend through all four years of high school and played a game to see how many guys in the same fraternity they could sleep with. The girls you hung out with to basically feel better about your own love situation.

I leave for one year and what happens? They’re starting a family! With someone they met six months ago, fell head over heels in love with and ABSOLUTELY CANNOT WAIT to take the time to get to know them. These aren’t stupid girls. They should know it takes more than 6 months to even crack the surface on getting to know someone else. Their habits, rituals, annoying quirks. To get to know and actually ACCEPT these things is another 6 months. So now we’re working on a year of dating. And these people think they can bypass that and just jump right in? 

Perhaps there are other reasons one would choose to marry someone so quickly. Money…a place to live…money…being super needy…money…I’m all out of ideas. Maybe it’s an upstate New York thing. Marry the first acceptable suitor, crank out 2 to 3 kids, realize within the first 2 years it’s not going to work, stay an extra 5 until the youngest kid is in school, then have an affair. This sounds like I hate all upstate New Yorkers. And I most definitely do not. People down here do it too. But with the divorce rates sky high wouldn’t that make people want to stop and think a second. Why rush into things? What do we have to lose by just dating for a couple of years? Maybe moving in together? Not rushing into anything? The answer to that is: you will lose nothing and only gain insight into your relationship.

Bordering on being 23, it makes me feel old that people I know are already posting pictures of their wedding and their cute babies. As I let myself wallow in pity for a hot minute, I then realize 76% of these people will probably be divorced with a 7 year old child in a couple of years. I might sound cynical and I hope I’m wrong. But it’s an overwhelming thought to me to know someone for 6 months (or even a year) and marry or have a child with them. That’s a finalizing decision. Sure you can divorce, but there’s no giving back the kid (if you have any morals that is). 

I know I’m immature for my age. At times, selfish. I like to do things when I want to do them. I like to go out on the weekends, spend money, and not worry about anyone but myself. Hell, I think most 22/23 year olds would agree with me. This isn’t the 1950’s anymore. You don’t graduate high school, get married, have kids, and enjoy a lifetime of being a doting wife/mother. Although I know some of my friends who would probably prefer that lifestyle. 

So I guess my main thought throughout this whole blog/rant is…why? Why is it that people are in such a rush to grow old? Why would you want to be tied down so young? Someone please explain this to me. I’m all for being in a relationship. Even living with someone. But I don’t understand the rush to be an adult. I’m no Peter Pan, but I’d like to enjoy what little of my youth I have left. Check back with me this time next year. Then I’ll most certainly feel like an old lady.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Review: Smokin’ Al’s Famous BBQ Joint

"Barbecue The Way It Oughta Be!"

Location: 19 West Main St, Bay Shore, NY

It’s getting to be late spring which means the cravings have begun. The cravings for some good barbeque. Usually I’m the type of person who would rather BBQ at home so I know it will be delicious. But I wanted to be served and had heard great things about Smokin’ Al’s in Bay Shore. So me and my main squeeze headed there on Friday night. As soon as we jumped out of the truck, the enchanting smell of bbq wafted through the air, causing not only my mouth to water, but my stomach to loudly growl. It was time to do some damage.

Haystack of onions..another winning app
The restaurant was smaller with tables that we pretty close together. We were a little worried about the wait seeing that we didn’t have a reservation and it was 7pm on a Friday night. We got seated right away and we a little perplexed to not find any alcoholic beverages on the menu. Our hunger overruled that minuscule detail and we started out with an appetizer of nachos with brisket. 

We did realize later that the people around us were drinking and that’s when we realized there was a small bar at the back of the restaurant. That is nice to know for next time. Right around the time we were handed our drinks, we noticed a bunch of people were coming in. The place was packed but even then I don’t think anybody waited more than 15 minutes to be seated. 

Tell me these don't look deadly
No less than ten minutes later, a heaping mound of heart attack inducing nachos were set in front of us. Piled high with cheese, sour cream, and brisket; it was actually difficult to find the chips underneath. The brisket was hot and melted in your mouth. The cheeses were generously heaped onto the chips allowing my eating methods to be a bit messy. We dove into the nachos with the anxiousness of a 13 year old boy who just discovered Playboy. I knew the nachos were going to be a bit much but I couldn’t help myself.

Conversation stalled for ten minutes as we both ate our weight in cheese and deliciousness. It was then we realized…we both got a full meal. With two sides. And cornbread. There was no way this stomach was going to stretch any more.

Loove the separate bowl for the beans
After we stopped gorging ourselves with nachos, our meals were brought out. And let me just say…the size of these meals easily could have fed a small village. My pulled chicken was moist to perfection. The cornbread was fluffy and not grainy at all, which is the secret to success. The French fries were perfection in grease with just the right amount of salt and crispiness. My beans were superb (and were put in a separate little bowl as to not mix with my other food which earned BIG points in my book). The meal was perfect but I could only manage a couple of bites of each before my stomach threatened to internally explode.

The nice lady packed up both our meals and handed us WARM (yes..warm) wet naps to clean ourselves with. I have never been handed a warm wet nap and let me say..I thoroughly enjoyed it. After we cleaned the debris of beans and ribs off our face, we paid the bill and were on our way. 

I will definitely be making my presence known at Smoki’ Al’s again. The service was excellent, the food overrode my expectations and then some and the prices were very reasonable. If you are looking for some BBQ to start off the summer, I highly suggest making a trip to Smokin’ Al’s.

Rating: A

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Secretive Childhood Movies

I grew up in a bubble of my own making. I thought the movies I saw when I was younger were made exclusively for me. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I realized other people had seen the same movies as me. Here is a list of some of the movies I went through childhood believing were made just for me.

Problem Child 1 & 2 – I absolutely loved these movies. I had a huge crush on Junior (the ginger kid) and thought all his crazy antics were hilarious. Plus Michael Richards as the Bow Tie Killer was brilliant. The first movie came out when I was two so I can only assume my parents rented the VHS to fill a Saturday night. I didn’t think anyone else had ever seen this movie until recently when I saw it on sale on DVD. 

Willow –I watched this at my grandpa’s house and loved the midgets. It took me years to find out this was a real movie and it was called Willow. For some reason I just thought it was one of those super long TV movies the History Channel plays to take up time.

He-Man –My dad taped this off the TV for my older brother. Turns out I became obsessed with it and watched it numerous times a day. To the point where both my parents can recite the whole movie. A really odd movie for a 4 year old girl to love (violence, blood, a really young Courtney Cox) but I was under the impression I was marrying He-Man. I was under the impression and still am, that no one knows of this movie.

Power Rangers- I didn’t necessarily think nobody else knew about this movie. But in my mind, I was the pink ranger and everyone else was an amateur. The super cute white ranger had to be my boyfriend.(You know, the one with the grimy ponytail who turned out to be a criminal years later). 

A Christmas Story – Another classic my dad taped off the TV onto our trusty VCR. I can practically recite the early ‘90s commercials along with the movie. It took me a couple of years to figure out what exactly Ralphie said when he dropped the tool box. I didn’t know anyone knew about this movie until they started playing it for 24hrs on TNT.

Loser –A horrible late ‘90s comedy with Jason Biggs wearing a disgusting wig. I remember this movie only bc it was one of the first movies I was allowed to go see with my friends without a parent. There was an atrocious plot and the acting was painful. Hopefully I’m correct in assuming no one else paid good money to see this movie.

Heavyweights-The Best movie ever about the chubby kid from Mighty Ducks whose parents send him to a fat camp. This came out after Mighty Ducks and had some of the same actors in it. As a child who very much enjoyed eating, I begged my mom to send me to fat camp. After all, I thought fat camp was just a place where chubby kids went to get chubbier. With massive pig outs and sweet activities like The Blob. I guess I was wrong. I kind of still wish I was cast in the movie though.

Hook-Wow, the third one on the list that was taped off the TV. My dad knew hits before I did. I loved this movie (even though Hook scared me) and had no idea Robin Williams and Julia Roberts were such big stars. I distinctly remember thinking Hook was made for me and everyone else got to see Peter Pan. I was a demented child.