Reviews: Movie, Recipe and Book

February 8, 2008 at 1:48 pm (Movie Reviews)

We watched Mr. Brooks on Saturday. The movie stars Kevin Costner and Demi Moore, and to a lesser extent, Marg Hegelberger from CSI. But none of her CSI skills transferred over. I think the movie was marketed oddly when it came out in theatres because I was far more entertained than I thought I would be based on the previews.

Mr. Brooks is addicted to murder and William Hurt plays his inner-alter-ego. It is relatively sophisticated and adult, and I was most impressed with its ability to make me care for a murderer and actually become interested in his personal growth. And, as I pointed out to Tom, Demi Moore is still pretty hot. He heartily agreed. I recommend this movie.

On the flip side, we also watched Epic Movie – one of those silly spoof movies. Well, I only watched half while I was eating dinner, but I listened to the other half and Tom seemed to be enjoying it. As with most spoof movies, I think you’ll find it more interesting if you’ve seen the inspired movies, in this case, primarily Chronicles of Narnia and X-Men, but it had its moments. It also had Stiffler’s Mom in it as the Ice Bitch, and she’s very entertaining. I would suggest watching this if it was on HBO or someone else spent the $4 to rent it.

Thankfully, a whole bunch of movies were released this week, so hopefully the drought is over. On my anticipated list is the second Elizabeth movie with Cate Blanchett – I heard the movie itself wasn’t that good but her performance was, and those costumes….need I say more.

On Tuesday night I made this Baked Chicken. As the recipe promised, it was super easy and only required salt, pepper and olive oil. The recipe called for using a whole, cut up chicken but that was pricier than chicken quarters, so I used those and cut my own legs and backs. I did pretty well, if I do say so myself. I guess you watch Alton cut chickens up long enough and you figure out how to do it.

Anyway, it only took about 45 minutes to cook, maybe less since I was using dark meat which is very forgiving. The skin took on a nice crispy-ness and it wasn’t oily. I thought I might have used too much salt and pepper, but Tom like the amount so in the future I will do ours separately. I served it with Parsley Smashed Potatoes and peas. Quick and delightful.

I finished reading The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory. It was a good book and has been made into a movie starring Scarlett Johansen, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana, coming Spring 2008. The book did a nice job of explaining, through the characters, the complexities of the English court and the politics it took for Henry IIIV to overthrow the Pope and how Anne Boleyn prodded him into replacing Queen Katherine with her (which, in hindsight, not such a good precedent).

One of the first adult novels I ever read was by Philippa Gregory and it was probably about 15 years ago. At the time I thought it was the coolest book ever because it dealt with taboo topics in a historical setting. Since, at the time, I loved historical books of all sorts, and I was reading an “adult” novel with taboo themes (ooh, sex, incest, which craft), I was in heaven. But after about three years and several more of her books, I gave her up as being a little pretentious, wordy, and, I hate to admit it, a little sleazy. So it was with great trepidation that I read this book, but I gave it a shot because so often I see the movie before I read the book and then the book never has the same satisfaction. I’m happy to report that this book was not sleazy, the research was thorough and the storytelling tight.

Since the writer’s strike, I’ve been reading more often at night and thankfully have been reading some decent books.

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