Saturday, May 30, 2015

Heads up! "Jaws" on the big screen!

Via Fathom events, and you have your choice of June 21 or June 24.

I got to see it at the Alex Theatre in Glendale a few years ago (blog post here), and it was a blast with a live audience. I also came within one raffle ticket number of winning a copy of the script autographed by screenwriter Carl Gottlieb, who was interviewed prior to the screening. That was a bummer, but I was able to get an autographed copy of his book The Jaws Log, so that took a lot of the sting out.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Another Kids in the Hall list: The best of Season 1 (Part 1)

Update: Just realized this was just the first disc of Season 1. Since this is already a long post, I'm going to go disc by disc (three per season, the fourth discs are extras).

With The Kids in the Hall on tour, the internet has been inundated with "top sketches" lists. Since I'm seeing the Kids next week, I thought I'd binge-watch the series and make my own top sketches lists, season by season. First up, of course, Season 1, along with video when available.

"Ballet" (Episode 1)
Mark as the matriarch of a dance academy and Kevin as her supposedly most-gifted student. Favorite part: when Mark utters, "And one more thing. I'm kidding," and bursts into laughter.

"Oh God, I need a drink."

"Crushing Your Heads (Parts 2 and 3)" (Episode 1)
The first sketch to take on one of the Kids favorite targets: corporate drones. In the first segment the Head Crusher flattens the heads of said drones and a bike messenger. In the second one (no video) he goes after a Ralphie Parker-like child who earns his enmity because the kid wants to be businessman when he grows up.

"I just renamed your firm Merrill, Lynch 
and the Flatheads!"

"Cause of Cancer" (Episode 1)
Dave announces that during rehearsals the Kids stumbled across the cause of cancer. Spoiler alert: it's a not very contrite Bruce.

"I'm sorry I caused all that throat cancer and 
all that bowel cancer. I was just on a roll."

"Sketch Comedy" (Episode 2)
A listless Dave explains the art of sketch comedy with a "what if" premise...that premise being what if a man (Scott) wakes up to discover that his chest had been colonized by Spain.

"I claim this chest for Mother Russia. 
Good morning!"

"Womyn" (Episode 2)
Pretty much on everyone's list of top Kids sketches. The guys are playing cards when Dave gets a little emotional, leading to each of the Kids getting in touch with their feminine sides.

"I just want to have a period, that's all. 
Just one a month, okay?"

"Citizen Kane" (Episode 3)
Dave is trying to remember the name of the movie he watched the night before. It's a classic about a newspaper tycoon played by Orson Welles, and there's a sled called Rosebud, but he's insistent it wasn't Citizen Kane, sending Kevin over the edge.

"You want a mortician! You want mortician!"

"Country Doctor" (Episode 4)
Dave as a country doc with no sense of urgency whatsoever, so much so that the wife (Kevin) of a dying farmer (Scott) has to save him herself by literally fighting off the Grim Reaper.

"You know, Mrs. Parker's expectin'. One of mine."

"Crushing Disco 1" (Episode 5)
Return of the Head Crusher, who mocks and head crushes the beautiful people (and wanna-be beautiful people) waiting to be admitted into a trendy club.

"Won't those flatheads be a sensation, eh?
They'll say Nancy, who's your head crusher?
 Me, by appointment only!"

"Running Faggot" (Episode 6)
Scott (the troupe's resident gay) plays the title character, a not-heterosexual folk hero who helps a young'un (Kevin) care for his puppy and then averts an Indian massacre - among other things - as he roams the old west, serenaded by Mark and Bruce.

"Godspeed through Texas, faggot."

"Flogging" (Episode 6)
A couple of uptight executives (Dave and Kevin) head to the gym to blow off some steam. It's not what you think. The title is literal. (No video). "No, I'm serious. Pack your things and be out in half an hour."

"Can I Keep Him?" (Episode 6)
A young boy (Bruce) adopts a stray businessman (Kevin), but eventually has to reluctantly return him to his own (corporate) world. One of Kevin's best performances.

"Mom, Mr. Stevenson is sick. He's off his martinis."

Now on to Season 2.

Friday, May 22, 2015

It's shaping up to be a film noir summer

As part of their "Summer of Darkness", TCM is presenting the online film noir course Into the Darkness: Investigation Film Noir. Pretty much dream school, as far as I'm concerned. And it's free! What are you waiting for? The class begins June 1 and runs through August 4.

Oh, and this is happening: Double Indemnity on the big screen.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Can you refreeze meat?

According to Epicurious, the surprising answer is yes. But there are caveats. Article is here.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Mega list: L.A. oldest restaurants

Via Eater L.A., it's The Los Angeles Beat's "master list" of the oldest surviving restaurants in Los Angeles (and a few in Orange County). In nine-point type it came out to nineteen copy and pasted pages. I'm kind of appalled how few I've been to and am thinking about making it a mission to hit as many of the other ones as possible.  The ones I've actually been to:
  • Fair Oaks Pharmacy & Soda Fountain (South Pasadena) - several times, and they have a great joke section of the gift shop.
  • Greenblatt's Delicatessen (West Hollywood) - I'm not really a deli place, I think I ended up their after a nearby screening or some other event.
  • El Coyote (Los Angeles) - It was a go-to place when I was temping in Hollywood and my boss would decide she was taking me to lunch. Both of us could get stuffed for twenty bucks. El Coyote is your basic rice and beans combo hot plate Mexican place. Good food, although I've heard terrible things about their margaritas.
  • Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner (Buena Park) - Part of Knott's Berry Farm. Great greasy fried chicken and berry pie.
  • Lawry's Prime Rib (Beverly Hills) - Years ago with some co-workers.
  • The Derby (Arcadia) - A number of times with relatives (my family's from Arcadia). Once co-owned by jockey George Woolf, who planned to make it his next career after retiring from horse racing, before his tragic death in a racing accident. The restaurant has maintained its horse racing theme with a spectacular collection of memorabilia. I recommend the bacon-wrapped filet mignon.
  • Sycamore Inn (Rancho Cucamonga) - The go-to place for company lunches at a place I worked for in Ontario years ago. I think it was owned by our company President's father-in-law or something like that. Don't remember much about the food.
  • The Smoke House Restaurant (Burbank) - Again, a place I went to years ago, so I don't remember much about it. It's adjacent to the Warner Bros. lot, so I've drove past it countless times when I live in Hollywood.
  • The Apple Pan (West L.A.) - Went there once with the Brother. We were seated pretty quickly, but there were a lot of people standing around waiting for a vacancy and I'm not sure how long I'd be willing to wait. The food was great and I blogged about it here.
  • Factor's Famous Deli (West L.A.) - Again, not a deli person. Someone else picked it. 
  • Bob's Big Boy (Burbank) - If I had to pick a favorite burger place, it would probably be Bob's. In addition to the classic burgers, they have great onion rings and their Thousand Island dressing is also legendary. There were a lot more Bob's when I was growing up; today the only ones I still know about in Southern Cal are Burbank, Downey and Rowland Heights (off the 60 Freeway). When I lived in Hollywood I used to go to the one on Wilshire, but it closed down to make way for a car dealership lot, so I had to start going over the hill to Burbank. There isn't one in my area - hard to believe I haven't had their food in almost three years. May have to head out to Downey one of these days.
  • Miceli's (Hollywood) - One of my bosses took me there for lunch one day, warning me that the waitstaff were probably older than both of us combined. She was right. There's also another location over the hill on Cahuenga, near Universal Studios.
  • The Hat (Alhambra) - When I lived in San Dimas I used to go to the one in Walnut. Great, greasy pastrami and onion rings. One of those places that gives you so much food you feel like you're going to bust, but the food's so good it's hard to leave any on the plate.
  • Taylor's Steakhouse (Downtown L.A.) - I've been to the one in La Canada once, for my brother's birthday dinner. Exceptional food and service.
  • McDonald's (Downey) - Like a lot of people, I've eaten at countless McDonald's. I'm not sure if I've ever been to this location, maybe I'll swing by to check out the old-time architecture when I'm in Downey for a Big Boy.
  • Art's Delicatessen (Studio City) - See previous comments about delis and places I've eaten at once. Hugely popular with the entertainment industry crowd.
  • Lucy's El Adobe Cafe (Hollywood) - Across the street from Paramount Studios in a not-great part of Hollywood. A place that I've wound up at a couple times at the suggestion of other people. Okay food from what I remember.
  • Clearman's Northwoods Inn (San Gabriel) - I've raved about this place before. It's my family's favorite go-to place for any special occasion. Amazing food and service. Known for their cabbage salad and cheese bread. They sell the cheese spread at their restaurants and if you grill it, it tastes exactly like at the restaurant. They were selling it at Ralphs for a while, but I haven't seen it lately. If you find it at the store, it's totally worth the price. I haven't been to the other locations on the list (Covina and La Mirada) but I checked them off anyway.
  • Gardens of Taxco (West Hollywood) - Went there a few times years ago because I had a friend who was crazy about this place. There was always a wait and they would serve extremely potent margaritas in the lobby while you waited, so a lot of people were bombed before they were even seated.
  • Rainbow Bar & Grill (West Hollywood) - Went there years ago to see local bands I can't even remember. Don't really remember it being a restaurant rather than a club. But I was there, so I checked it off.
  • El Compadre (Hollywood) - Went for lunch with some co-workers once. Don't remember being wowed by it, despite my love for Mexican food.
  • Moffet's Chicken Pie Shop (Arcadia) - Have taken out some food items but haven't eaten there, so I'm including it in this list but not checking it off. Their sit-down menu looks delicious.
  • Gladstone's (Pacific Palisades) - Great food, great location, right on the beach on PCH.
So much yum.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday, May 8, 2015