Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I want balls in my face! Bridesmaids: A movie review

With only a few days left before Ashley takes off on her European adventure, we decided to take in one last girly flick at Varsity VIP theatres last night. One of our favorite reasons for choosing this location is its proximity to our respective homes. And the fact that we can sit in a small, intimate theatre and have a glass (or a bottle in our case) of wine. If you haven’t seen a movie here yet, don’t delay. It’s well worth the price of admission.

Bridesmaids was a hilarious comedic romp through the trials and tribulations of Annie (Kristin Wiig), a down on her luck girl that has had to face failure in every aspect of her life. From being a sometimes booty call to the king of assholes, Ted, (Jon Hamm) to shutting down her dream; owning and running her own cakery. Annie has always been able to lean on her lifelong friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) and share everything with her until Lillian gets engaged.

Struggling with her own life and this new world Lillian has entered; Annie tries to be happy for her friend but has difficulty dealing with the change that showcases how different they actually are.

Helen (Rose Byrne) is Lillian’s new friend and is the obvious threat to Annie and her place in Lillian’s life. Helen is everything Annie is not, at least on the surface. This causes a rift between the two friends and the immediate power struggle and comedy for viewers, ensues.

Kristin Wiig was perfect for this role (she co-wrote it) and was able to mold Annie to the perfectly flawed, self-destructive character she is. Annie is so unhappy with who she is and doesn’t realizes her own self worth, that she can’t believe that a kind and cute Officer Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd) can actually show real affection for her.

As with most Judd Apatow comedies, there is a formula, but this estrogen fueled film differs in its delivery and clever use of crude characters Megan (Melissa McCarthy) which isn’t typically a role played by a female.

Bridesmaids was just a fun flick to watch, with or without wine. And just proves that Kristin Wiig is very girl crush worthy.

Images from Google

Friday, May 13, 2011

We drank, we fought, we made our ancestors proud! – A THOR Review

Without a doubt, this is going to be a Super Summer. The endless list of Blockbuster Comic Book flicks set to release over the next few months is more than enough to get our nerd blood pumping and we were thrilled to get off to a mighty good start last night at the Scotiabank Theatre.

If you haven’t noticed, our movie outings carefully avoid any and all 3D experiences. Without going into too big of a rant, a certain stubborn redhead refuses to accept this new trend of unnecessary 3D action. But alas, a careless planning mistake that neither of these City Girls were responsible for armed us with a pair of 3D glasses and a couple of colourful curse words and landed us at the 3D screening of THOR.

The Mighty (attractive) Thor (Chris Hemsworth), a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war with a race of icy Frost Giants (really), is cast down to Earth by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and forced to live among humans as punishment. Stripped of his godly powers and his bulging ego, Thor gets the mortal treatment by throwing back beers with Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard), cooking eggs with astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and somehow learns what it takes to be a true hero.

The film itself didn’t seem very long and if you want to deeply critique the plot, we could list for you the underdeveloped characters and the one dimensional connections they create with each other. But that’s not what this kind of movie is about, the Marvel Universe exists outside of structured plotlines and relies more on the epic adventure these heroes take us on. An adventure that is heavy with brotherly betrayal, government cover-ups, and electrifying combat.

Even though the 3D effects were slightly campy during the opening Asgard scenes and the quick action cuts ended up being a little blurry, the overall digital aesthetic of the various city shots and the Bifröst Bridge were breathtaking.

Hemsworth proves he has a solid grip on the bold and charming portrayal of the Norse God, from hammering out obnoxious one liners to walking around without a shirt on. Combined with the comedic relief of Darcy (Kat Dennings), the movie actually presents a lot of amusing scenes and laugh out loud moments threaded in among the action and drama.

And for all the fangirls out there, Veronica’s deep mid-movie sigh passionately confirms that Thor knows how to wear a pair of jeans and does he ever wear them well!

With appearances of S.H.I.E.L.D, seen previously in Iron man, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and the traditional nerdtastic sneak peak after the credits, Thor further foreshadows the anticipated Avengers flick slated for 2012. Next up: Captain America (July)!

Images from Google Images

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bacon and Sundried Tomato Pasta with Spinach

I confess that my weakness is and always will be pasta; any size, shape or colour. My love affair with the mighty noodle started in childhood when my mom would always put an Asian spin on classic Italian dishes.

As I grew up and started finding my way around the kitchen, I started experimenting with various dishes and adding my own touches and tastes to tried and true recipes. This is a new one. I’ve taken things readily available and made it into something fresh, tasty and best of all, simple.

For this recipe you will need:
• 1 lb of Farfalle
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 4 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1 lb of bacon
• ½ cup julienned sundried tomatoes,
packed in oil

• 5 ounces baby spinach leaves
• 1 cup heavy cream, more if needed to thin out the sauce
• 1 tbsp butter
• 2 tbsp reserved bacon grease
• 1 tbsp chopped chives
• 1 tbsp chopped oregano
• Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Don’t forget to salt the water! I love farfalle. It has so many nooks and crannies and crevices for the sauce to cling to. I also just love saying farfalle. Try it, you’ll love saying it too!

Cut the bacon into 1 inch pieces and put into a skillet on medium heat.

Cook until most of the fat has rendered (that’s such a funny word, rendered. Yes, I am weird) but not overly crisp.

You want the bacon to still be soft. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon pieces to a plate lined with paper towel to drain excess fat. Pour off most of the grease, reserving about 2 tablespoons (those bits stuck to the bottom is going to impart such flavour to the sauce).

On medium heat, add the diced onion and garlic and butter.

Cook until onion is translucent. Don’t forget to add salt and pepper. Next, throw in the sundried tomatoes, once heated through, pour in the cream.

Season the sauce according to your taste. Just a note, some brands of sundried tomatoes are salty so you’ll want to taste before adding in any more salt.

Next, add in the spinach leaves and toss then dump in most of the cooked farfalle, you’ll want to have enough to coat everything.

Now throw in your chopped chives and oregano (I got mine from my garden) and toss.

Do this quickly as you only want the spinach to wilt.

Grab the nearest plate and fork and serve.

Inhale the plate in front of you, repeat.

images (c)citygirlscapes