Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review: Blue Bell Krazy Kookie Dough

First off I am so sorry for the lack of updates. With the semester whining down here at TCU I am getting swamped with work so bear with me as updates will be scarce the next two weeks. I have to do something though so I am gunna do an easy and quick review.

Blue Bell - Krazy Kookie Dough

Being from Texas, the only ice cream I eat is Blue Bell. Dryers and Ben and Jerry's ain't got nothing on Blue Bell. They have been coming out with some new flavors as of recent and one of the best ones is Krazy Kookie Dough. Unfortunately it is only available in pints at the moment but definitely give it a try. It is cake batter ice cream with sugar cookie dough pieces. As you can see it looks like a Troll Doll took a play-dough dump in my ice cream. Thankfully it does not taste like that. This is delicious. The cake batter ice cream is creamy and rich. There are plenty of great sugar cookie dough pieces in it too, almost the perfect ratio. I bought this pint and loved it so much I ate it in one sitting. Oops. Great ice cream, good job Blue Bell.

Rating - 5/5 "It's the Bee's Knees"

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Review: Brunch at Brownstone

The Brownstone Special
Brunch is one of my favorite parts about Sundays. Eat a huge meal that combines breakfast and lunch, typically in buffet form. How could that meal like that be bad! I recently went to a restaurant in Fort Worth I like called Brownstone. I heard they offered brunch so I decided to give it a whirl. It was not a buffet but I'll take it.

What I got: The Brownstone Special

Bread Pudding French Toast

Brownstone, for those who have never been, is kind of an upscale southern-style restaurant. It is damn good too. Their brunch was no exception. The Brownstone special is a brisket and potato hash, Sunny-side up eggs, and a spicy chili. It was simple but so good. The potatoes were crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. The brisket was moist and flavorful, which is probably due to the bits of fat it still had left on it. The eggs were just how they should be with a hash like this. The bottom was solid but not burnt and the yolks were just runny enough. Enough heat was provided by the chili to give it some kick without overpowering the flavors of everything else. I also got a mimosa which was only $4 or so and had unlimited refills! It was not to watered down at all, maybe even a little on the strong side, which is the way it should be. I was with my girlfriend who got the Bread-pudding french toast. All I can say to that is wow. It was their bread pudding, sliced into sticks and deep fried. It was extremely sweet but absolutely delicious.

Rating 5/5- "It's the Bee's Knees!"

The quality was superb, the food was delicious, and the price was reasonable. Brownstone is slowly becoming a restaurant in Fort Worth I really enjoy. The atmosphere is homey and the service is good. I definitely recommend giving it a shot if one is ever in Fort Worth.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Review: Hanna

The trailer for this movie is one of those trailers that is so good it made me want to see this movie immediately. I was afraid it was going to be a flop and I would not get around to it but thankfully good word of mouth has helped it significantly and I got around to seeing it. Thank goodness I did because it is one of my favorite movies of the year so far, and that is saying a lot with all the great action movies that have come out.

The movie is about a teenage girl who was raised in a cabin in the middle of nowhere by her father, played by Eric Bana. She has been raised to be a killer and assassin because a woman in the CIA, played by Cate Blanchett, wants her and her father dead. The story unfolds with some small plot twists but with great direction.

 I was scared at first when I saw who the director was. Joe Wright, while a good director, has done more artsy movies like Atonement and Pride and Prejudice. Going into an action movie could be dangerous ground. Thankfully he kept his best skills at his side and made it into an artsy action film, and it really works. There are scenes in this movie that are beautiful to look at. The fight and action scenes are seamless and jaw dropping. These are some of the most badass fight scenes I have seen in a while, especially due to the fact most involve a teenage girl. The visuals are creepy at times but it helps with the movie.

Saoirse Ronan, who plays Hanna, does a fantastic job. She is ruthless in the fight scenes, yet emotional and vulnerable when she needs to be. Her look in this movie matches the visuals perfectly as well. Where the hell did Eric Bana come from? He is fantastic in the movie and I have always thought he was a great actor. Maybe this movie can help him comeback to the forefront. Cate Blanchett is the ruthless CIA agent who is just a downright bitch. By the end of the movie you truly despise her and hope Hanna knocks her out. At a point in the movie Cate Blanchett's character hires some german hit men. Their leader is played by Tom Hollander and is my favorite character in the movie. He is a very feminine german who has quirks that cause him to be downright creepy. The Chemical Brothers did the soundtrack and it blows any soundtrack I have heard the past few years out of the water. Unlike the Daft Punk soundtrack for Tron, This soundtrack flows with the movie so well that even at its highlights you barely notice it because it pulls you more into the movie. My only complaint is the end seems a tad rushed. There was plenty of room to flesh out the characters a bit more and explain things more but it is still great and the ending is ultimately satisfying.

Rating- 5/5 "It's the Bee's Knees"

I loved this movie. This takes the great action from the Bourne movies, the visuals of a Tim Burton movie, and the great soundtrack by The Chemical Brothers. I recommend this to anyone and everyone if only to watch Saoirse Ronan.

Oh and Record Store Day is tomorrow, April 16th. Go check out your local Record Store!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Review: x2!! The Source Code and Your Highness

A treat in store for you people! Two movie reviews for the price of one! I saw two movies this weekend. One was awesome and I recommend, the other.... not so much. Can you guess which one is which?! Time to find out!

The Source Code

I will admit, I see movies for the sole reason of me liking the actors involved. The Source Code was one of those movies. Ever sense October Sky I have enjoyed Jake Gyllenhaal. He just always struck me as a laid back, casual kinda guy. After the disaster action movie that was Prince of Persia I was wondering how he would take this action movie. Well, he did a great job. He is easily the best part about this movie. He goes from being confused, to angry, to confused, to clever within minuets. There was not one point in the movie were I questioned his characters intentions and believability and that is critical to this film. 

There is lots to like here besides Jake though. The story is awesome. It drops you right in leaving you confused for the first bit and letting you put the pieces together while helping you along the way. Right when you think you have it figured out, something changes and you go back to guessing. My butt was on the edge of my seat the whole movie. I was worried at first that the whole going-back-eight-minuets-over-and-over-again thing was going to get old but thankfully they stop it right before it does. There are also some clever set pieces and some good dialogue. Unfortunately some acting from the minor characters who share this dialogue is pretty bad and the special effects are uneven as well. Some scenes like the explosions are great while others, like Jake jumping from the train, are horrible. 

Rating 4/5 "It's Just Swell"

I enjoyed it and would gladly see it again. It makes a great date movie for anyone who wants one. It has the action for the males and there is a romance swept in for the girls. Not to mention Jake is so dreamy.

Your Highness

Dumbest movie ever. That could be my whole review because this is the dumbest movie I have ever seen. Goodburger looks like Shindler's List compared to this. The story is your typical Knights Tale.... kind of. The story is not good, I will say that. The weed references as well are so forced and unrelated to the story it's sad. They are really milking the success of Pineapple Express. What made that movie funny though was it was a drug war action movie, which just happened to star two potheads. This movie is just a horrible knight who likes to smoke now and again. 

Now do not let my ranting make you think this movie was complete garbage (it was close). Danny Mcbride has some random one liners which are funny, but only because they stick out so much in the stories dialogue. They will be talking in old english then Mcbride's character will just say something like "F$*% that". Shock laughs but laughs nonetheless. James Franco is also funny only because he plays his character so serious the whole movie, seeming oblivious. Oh and there is a great shot of Natalie Portman's butt too, which explains why she has been trending on Yahoo Search all weekend. 

I was sad to see Damian Lewis, who most will know as Winters (the ginger) from Band of Brothers, in here as well. I have always liked this guy's acting and I am sad to see he had to stoop so low for a role. He needs to be noticed. 

Rating 2/5 -"It's Not Worth It"

Cannot recommend it. If you like your comedies really dumb you might like it.... maybe. I woudl just wait tell your stoner friend buys it because its about weed and borrow his copy. 

Hope I steer y'all in the right direction! Has anyone seen Hanna yet? I wanna see that really bad. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Review: Taco Bell Cheesy Double Decker Taco

Once again Taco Bell has managed to come out with a promotional item that seems so simple and obvious, I can guarantee  people probably thought this was already on the menu. Is is really that hard Taco Bell? I mean bring back some of your old promotions. All you did was add freaking nacho cheese to a double decker taco?! I really hope this "add-sauce-BAM-new-item" thing does not become a trend. Taco Bell's ability to come up with crafty seasonal items is one of the best things about the place. Anyways, regardless of my complaining about the originality of the promotion, it is still a pretty good item.

The Cheesy Double Decker Taco is, as described by the Taco bell website, a flour tortilla filled with beans and nacho cheese sauce wrapped around a classic crunchy taco. Like I said above, it pretty unexciting. That being said, the item itself is not half bad. When I was a kid I used to love the double decker tacos. They were the best of both worlds! I got a taco and a bean burrito in one bite. Eventually they got kinda pricey and I stopped getting them. Now I think the traditional one is at around $1.50 or so. Still not a lot but  there are more exciting things on the menu for that much. Hell, the Cheesy Gordita Crunch (In my opinion Taco Bells crown jewel) is only $1.99 at my Taco Bell. This double decker however is only $.89. That is $.61 cheaper then the original, and they add cheese sauce. I hope I am not the only one who thinks this shows how cheap it really is to make the food at Taco Bell where they can afford to add something and drop the price by almost half. 

Rating 3/5 -"It's just meh"

It is good on a basic level. I mean if you like Taco Bell's tacos and like beans and cheese, you will probably enjoy it. And for $.89 cents it is a good bargain item for what is given. I think a regular taco costs the same amount actually.... Anyhow don't go out of your way to get it but next time your at The Bell you mine as well add it on to what you get to try it. 

Oh and Taco Bell, go back to the glory days of promotional items. I will list my favorite three of yesteryear below.

1. The 3,5,and 7 layer nachos
2. The Bacon Club Chalupa
3. Okay I don't remember what it is called but it was a burrito that had steak, red tortilla strips, and a bunch of other stuff and was so good. I think I went to taco bell everyday that month because of it. 

Anyways thats all for now! Does anyone else have anything they miss from Taco Bell?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review: Double Dutch Style!

I am going to review two burgers from Dutch's today for you all so enjoy!

Hickory BBQ Bacon
Round 1: Hickory BBQ & Bacon

This burger is as simple as it sounds. It is hickory BBQ sauce, bacon, american cheese, and thousand island dressing. I got mine with lettuce and tomato because I like veggies on my burger. It makes me feel like I am eating healthier. Anyways I am a pretty big fan of BBQ sauce on burgers, but for some reason I do not really love this burger. As with every Dutch's burger, the burger and bun are both top of the line. The bacon is crispy and thick and the american cheese adds some notable richness. The problem with this burger is the sauces. The combo between the sweetness of the Thousand Island and the Hickory BBQ is too much. It is like trying to combine the Ying and the Ying. There is too much sweetness and tanginess with nothing to balance it out. Also it is just the sauce and meat, so the burger is a bit too boring. I have added fries to this before and that does a lot to help it. If they popped an onion ring on this thing it would definitely go up on my rating. Anyways if you love BBQ sauce you might like it. Plenty of my friends think this is the best one but for me it is just too sweet.

Rating 3/5 "It's Just Meh"

Second Burger: The Texana

The second burger reviewed here today is the Texana. It is avocado, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickle, and ranch dressing. So the staples here are all fantastic as expected from Dutch's. The thing that separates this from the others is actually the lightness of it. As far as the burgers go it is definitely the least heavy with maybe the exception of the original Dutch (which I will be reviewing soon). The avocado is noticeable and adds some great creaminess to it. If you get the burger and think there is no avocado, check the top bun, it is typically hidden under the lettuce. The ranch adds some good flavor as well. I am actually not a huge fan of the ranch at Dutch's because it is so watery but on this burger that plays to its advantage. It adds flavor while keeping it light. I will warn it is a messy burger. The avocado and ranch seem to drip everywhere so have napkins ready. Between the creaminess of the avocado and ranch and the sourness from the pickles, the flavors here blend really well. Definitely worth getting multiple times.

Rating 4/5 "It's Just Swell"

That is all for today folks. Should have a new Taco Bell review up this weekend. Word on the street is they are releasing a new item Thursday!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Music Review: Emery - We Do What We Want

I will admit, when I first heard this CD I dismissed it as not being as good as their last. I am not sure if it was high expectations or the fact their second vocalist, Devin Shelton, left but I had some preconceived notions about this album. The fact Emery could use their two singers, switch off, and harmonize without me being able to hear the difference between the two was amazing. It was honestly one of the best parts of the band for me. Needless to say, even with Devin gone, Emery carries on with style. This album, after a few listens, is as good as anything they have ever put out. It is a perfect combination of everything they have done right from their past releases. The slower tempo songs from The Question, the hard edginess from While Broken Hearts Prevail, the soaring vocals from The Weaks End, and even the quirkiness from my I'm Only a Man. Emery has done it AGAIN!

Emery- We Do What We Want
The album starts off hard with The Cheval Glass. Right from the start it is obvious the band has gone a little more hard rock with their sound. They of course pull it off. Not all the songs are like this though. A few have more of a pop-rock type sound to them, while the last two are actually much slower songs. The vocals are fantastic. Toby has stepped up his game with the screaming, delivering some of the most intense screams of any Emery album. Josh has also done a good job picking up some vocal duties. The dual layered vocals are present but they are definitely weaker then with Devin. Honestly after about three listens you forget about that and accept the new Emery. I mean hey, the vocals are still better then most bands anyways.

The guitars are good, but so long are the random quirky guitar duals that were so prevalent in While Broken Hearts Prevail. The keyboard and drums do plenty to make up anything lost with Devin's departure. The keys as always help change the moods of the songs right when they need to. The drumming is fantastic and frantic. Actually the songs are pretty frantic. Every song starts off in one direction and then changes directions....... multiple times. This makes repeat listens extremely enjoyable. Even after twenty spins I cannot predict where these songs are heading.

The lyrics as always are top notch. Emery delivers some of their most emotional and mature lyrics to date, which says a lot. Lyrics have always been a strong point for the band. With my personal favorite song, The Curse of Perfect Days, Toby sings about getting old and loosing a loved one. My girlfriend (who hates any kind of screaming in music) cried during the song. The lyrics are powerful. The last two slow songs are both bursting with emotion. The first of the two, I Never Got to See the West Coast, is about suicide, plain and simple. No metaphors, no secrets, it is about suicide. It is the best song on the subject matter sense Blink-182's Adam's Song in my opinion. The last, Fix Me, is actually one of the most spiritual songs Emery has ever written. It provided a nice surprise and I was happy to see they are fully capable of writing a pseudo-worship song.

Rating 5/5 "It's the Bee's Knees"

After I repeated listens I am in love with this album. There is not a bad song on it. Emery has now shown they can adapt to major change. It is the most diverse album musically for the band, but it is still all Emery. Devin, you will be missed but I am so excited to see where this iteration of Emery goes next.

If you have not heard any of Emery's music, do it now. They have not released a bad album to date.