Top Chef: No Greasy Tacos

Top Chef: Miami
Latin Lunch

What I find hilarious about this show is when someone states that they have all this experience for whatever they are going to do for one of the challenges, and then they bomb. This time, it was Hung living somewhere for three years so he was going to be the expert, but he ended up in the bottom four. Casey commented that she lives near the border in Texas so she knows what she is doing, but that didn’t work out for her either. Oh silly people.

Also, even though the elimination challenge centered around Latin food, which has a wide variety, it just left me craving greasy tacos. No one made anything greasy, but this episode left me starving for them!

Quickfire Challenge

The guest judge for this episode was Maria Frumpkin, pastry chef and owner of Duo Restaurant in Miami. She was from Argentina and had a very thick accent. The task was to take 90 minutes to create a dish using a frozen pie crust. Here is who made what:

  • Hung – Banana, Rum & Chocolate Pie with Spicy Peanuts
  • Howie – Peach Tart Tatin with Black Pepper & Balsamic Sabayon
  • Joey – Trio of Tarts: Berry Cream with Balsamic Vinegar; Roasted Mango Puree with Rum; Warm Apple Compote
  • CJ – Duo: Duck Lollipop Encrusted with Pistachios & Pie Crust; Duck Tart with Cabbage, Tomato, & Arugula Puree
  • Tre – Fennel and Apple Tart Tatin
  • Brian – Vegetarian Tart with Arugula Pesto, Seafood Tart with Celeriac Puree, Chorizo Tart with Pepper Jack Cheese; Fruit Tart with Grand Marnier
  • Sara M – Braised Swiss Chard and Rabbit Stew: Prosciutto Wrapped Rabbit; Goat Cheese, Feta & Fig Tart
  • Lia – Pork Tenderloin with Artichoke & Chorizo Tart
  • Dale – Spinach & Salmon En Croute; Strawberry, Pear & Saffron Tart

We didn’t see Sara N (again) or Casey’s dishes. They must not have been memorable enough to show. This is the second show in a row where her quickfire dish wasn’t shown. I don’t see this boding well for Sara N if she can’t even make the final edit.

Continue reading Top Chef: No Greasy Tacos

TV Shows: Week of July 22

I didn’t think anything good premiered last week so I didn’t post anything, but then realized that Mad Men started last week. TV critics are loving this show. I’m going to check out a rerun tonight since I forgot to start recording it and then catch up with the second episode on Thursday. I’ll check out Damages since FX shows intrigued me. I also like Glenn Close. I have a soft spot for the super goofy Who Wants to Be a Superhero so I’ll be checking that out again this season. It is good to watch on the computer while I’m doing other things.

New Shows

Mad Men
Channel: AMC
Time: 10/9C
Premiered: Thursday, July 19
Trailer: Flash

It takes place in an advertising firm in 1960’s New York with all the non-politically correct and sexist things that went on back then.

The Kill Point
Channel: Spike
Time: 9/8c
Premieres: Sunday, July 22
Trailer: Flash

John Leguizamo tries to pull off a bank heist that goes wrong and Donnie Wahlberg is the hostage negotiator.

Saving Grace
Channel: TNT
Time: 10/9c
Premieres: Monday, July 23
Trailer: Windows Media

Holly Hunter is an Oklahoma City detective who lives a hard life and runs into a cigarette-smoking, spitting angel.

Damages
Channel: FX
Time: 10/9c
Premieres: Tuesday, July 24
Trailer: Flash

Glenn Close plays a New York litigator who has a young protege to train, but something goes horrible wrong with her protege months later. The series follows what led up to that point.

Returning Shows

Who Wants to Be a Superhero
Channel: SCI
Time: 9/8c
Premieres: Thursday, July 26
Trailer: Flash

Last Season: Feedback was the overall winner who had a comic made with his superhero creation, an action figure and he starred in a fabulous Saturday-night original Sci-Fi movie. I hope it had a great title.

This Season: Ten more hopefuls try to win Stan Lee over with their own superhero creation. They get the same winnings as last year. Stan Lee also promises to interact with the contestants more than just talking to them on a big tv screen.

Sources: TV Guide , Entertainment Weekly, Futon Critic

Kinky

I meant to do this earlier in the summer, but I was being lazy with my music. At least it is still summer! I think Kinky is the perfect summer band. Their sound and the dancing just fit.

Kinky

Band Members
Gilberto Cerezo
Ulises Lozano
Carlos Chairez
Omar Gongora
Cesar Pliego

Website
Kinky Music

Formed
Monterrey, Mexico 1998

Label
Nettwerk

Kinky is five guys from Monterrey, Mexico. They are an electronic band that have a mix mash of all sorts of instruments, including stand-up bass, accordian and cowbell. Almost all of their songs are sung in Spanish. When they veer into English, the lyrics don’t flow as well. They should really stick to Spanish since it doesn’t matter what they are saying, but how it all sounds together. They are also always fun to dance to.

Album: Kinky

I discovered this band from one of my CMJ cds. The song on the cd was Cornman. It was so weird and bizarre, but grew on me. The rest of the CD was equally catchy. Various songs from the album were used in movie trailers, Nip/Tuck trailers, and commercials. They were also played in the background during tv shows too. They were everywhere, except no one probably knew who they were while listening to them.

I saw them at the Bite of Oregon with a bunch of people that probably had no idea who they were, but just wandered over to their stage. They were highly entertaining and won over some fans. I loved the stand-up electric bass played by the guy in the cowboy hat who would spit his cigarette up in the air when he was done and then run off to light another one.

If you like these songs, then you will enjoy the rest of the album. My favorite songs on the album:

Song: Mas
I still associate this song with Nip/Tuck when they used it as the trailer for the first season. It is a simple song singing about wanting more and more with a thumping bass line. It makes you want to dance. weee!

Song: Soun That Mi Primer Amor
The crazy electronic voice contrasts nicely with the sweet singing of the chorus. From what I can tell in poor translations, the song is somewhat a love song, but also seems to involve alcohol. Maybe drunk love?

Song: Cornman
I have found out that this song is about a vendor that does backflips. I just know that I try to sing along, even though I have no idea of the Spanish words. I can sing the chorus since it is in English. :)

Song: Anorexic Freaks
A fluff song, but has more electronic singing that I enjoy. I feel its about models, but who knows!

P.S. For those that don’t have the password to the Random Song post, but need it, send me an email. If I know you, you’ll get it. :)

Top Chef: Three Tiny Bites

Top Chef: Miami
Cooking by the Numbers

Over the weekend, I watched the Top Chef marathon from the first season and was so glad while watching it that they got rid of the team concept since I liked seeing how the chefs worked on their dishes individually. Then in this episode, they had to split into teams. Oh no! At least they just had to decide on a similar ingredient and then could figure out how to prepare it their own way for their own little dish. It was the right combination of individual and team work. I still hope they stay away from the team work idea though for the rest of the season.

Quickfire Challenge

Before they went into the team concept though, they had to make it through the quickfire challenge. The guest judge for the quickfire challenge was Jamie Walker who is a Global Master Mixologist for Bombay Sapphire Gin. He makes cocktails and pairs them with food. I did not know these jobs even exist!

Jamie made a bunch of cocktails with the gin and each chef would draw knives to see which cocktail they were to work with and create an appetizer dish that matched it. Finally the show took pictures of the quickfire challenge too so I can share those while talking about them. Yeah!

Continue reading Top Chef: Three Tiny Bites

Brick

Brick

Directed: Rian Johnson
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas

Detective story taking place in a high school and shot as a film noir.

It takes a moment to get into the rhythm of the movie. None of the high school kids act like normal teenagers. They all talk as if they are in a film noir movie from the ’30s or in a David Lynch film. The Twin Peaks kids talked like this at times. While watching the movie, I would forget they were teenagers, but there were moments that would bring me back to that, and made me laugh. Some times it would be something simple such as walking through high school, though no one was ever in class. Other times, it was when a drug kingpin was being domineering right before his mom showed up and offered all the other kids orange juice and cookies. Hilarious.

A girl is murdered and the main character is trying to find out who did it and why. The mystery wasn’t the main point of the story for me, since I really didn’t like what I saw of the girl character so I didn’t care if she died or why. That would lead me to think that I wouldn’t really need to watch the rest of the movie, but it pulled me in with the oddness of it described above.

I also loved the fights. The main guy had the most awesome and original fight scenes. They were highly entertaining. My favorites was when he would throw his whole body into a punch, which has to be seen. I also loved how he got one guy to quit chasing him in the halls of the high school. Quick thinking and a very painful result.

Rating: B+

The Machinist

The Machinist

Directed: Brad Anderson
Starring: Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Christian Bale looks super freaky thin as a guy who hasn’t slept in over a year. Is he seeing things due to sleep deprivation? Or are people really after him?

Please please please please do not ever allow Christian Bale to lose 63 pounds for a movie role. He looks like an extremely skinny 12-year-old boy that has developed no muscles. The more weight he loses in the movie, the more you can see his skeleton showing through his back, rib cage, and his face. It is highly disturbing. It disturbs others in the movie too, and most of them think he’s on drugs. He gets tested at his drill-press job after he injures another co-worker by mistake. I would have thought after a year of not sleeping, he would have done that sooner.

Continue reading The Machinist

Transformers

I loved Transformers as a kid, so I was very suspicious of Michael Bay and his wacky live action movie idea from the get-go. However, after seeing some trailers and what not, we went to see it on the 4th of July.

The story breaks from canon, but you aren’t really watching this movie for the plot. Shia LeBeouf is selling his late grandfather’s possessions to buy a new car. His new car turns out to be Bumblebee and his grandfather was an explorer who went to the North Pole and accidentally found Megatron. Megatron had crashed there thousands of years prior and was incapacitated in the ice. The US government extracted Megatron and built the Hoover Dam around him to conceal his presence, along with some life giving cube that Megatron was chasing that also crashed here. Crazy government cover-ups!

Well, fast forward a bit, the other Transformers finally figure out that Megatron and the cube are on Earth and come here to find them and battle it out. There are tons of fights between the good Autobots and evil Decepticons and a Spec Ops team headed up by the guy from the TV show Las Vegas. The movie also has a lot of dorky jokes and doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is good, because it’s about giant tranforming robots from another planet.

In all seriousness, the movie is handled pretty well…though it does seem like a 2.5 hour car commercial which may annoy some people. Also, the camera moves around like crazy during the battles, so it made me a little sick after a while. Other than that, I really have no complaints. The action was awesome, Megan Fox was hawt like teh fire, and nobody was all that annoying. I’m also very happy that they made my favorite Transformer of all-time, Starscream, into a total badass. My favorite scene in the movie was towards the end, the Spec Ops team called in an airstrike and Starscream, who transforms into an F22 fighter jet, goes after the planes as they’re trying to bomb Megatron.

I think it’s somewhere in between 4 and 5 stars, but edging towards the high side of that…I definitely recommend going to see it!