Olympus Has Fallen (Movie Review #2)

I must say first that I am a strong preacher of the need to practice suspension of disbelief. If you can’t suspend disbelief you will not enjoy many movies. I have no problem suspending disbelief for movies be they sci-fi, fantasy, or even action.

That being said, there are limits. There are limits, friends. Olympus Has Fallen goes beyond those limits. The entire setup for the movie is ridiculous scenario after ridiculous scenario, stacked beyond the ceiling. You have to accept that our military is incompetant, that the secret service is incompetant, and that foreign terrorists are just far smarter than we are.

Now I know that some of you liked this movie! I am not judging you. I have a bit of a “sore spot” concerning movies that stack ridiculous scenarios like this. If you don’t have a problem seeing past that, then I can see how this would be a great action movie.

The writing in this movie was bad. The acting in this movie (besides Gerard and Morgan Freeman of course) is bad. There are also some very bad casting decisions. The Vice President is terrible, the Secretary of Defense is absolutely laughably awful. The explosions were good! However, action could not save this movie.

This movie continues to stack ridiculous scenarios all the way to the end. Just absolutely unbelievable scenarios. Look, if you want to make a realistic movie then I am going to expect some level of realism. I am not putting spoilers here, but trust me when I say that there is nothing to spoil. The Morgan Freeman rule finally finds its contradiction. Well, unless you can look past all the plot contrivances. If you can look past that and the bad acting and the bad dialog and the bad casting then I salute you! There really was some good action here. I just couldnt really enjoy it.

*The Morgan Freeman Rule – Any movie with Morgan Freeman will turn out to be (at the very least) entertaining.

Glutton for Punishment: (you want a high score) 0/5 – No. I can’t see this again.
Plot: 1/5 – Fail.
Special Effects: 3/5 – Explosions were nice!
Acting: 2/5 – Not good. Not.. good. The writing was also very poor. Morgan Freeman gets a four.
Man Score: 4/5 – Guns, Explosions, Violence! If you can ignore all the stupid garbage, it’s all here.
Overall: 1.5/5 – I could not suspend enough disbelief and Morgan Freeman couldn’t save this movie. If you need a guy flick, Redbox or Vudu it.

Restaurant Review #4: Cheddar’s Casual Cafe

Three cheers for chicken tenders and sweet tea! Look, Cheddar’s is not a fine dining restaurant. And yes, it is super busy. That being said, you need to go here for reasonable priced food and lots of it.

They have a superb lunch special (two items for $6, three for $7) which I really want to try, but I wanted to first experience several things on the menu. I am ready to talk about those things now.

First, lets get the negative out of the way. If I was just reviewing the service, it would be a worse review. It’s not that great right now. However, cut them some slack. It is a madhouse in there and I salute those servers for keeping a smile on their face when confronted with non-stop pandemonium.

Second, the burger did not blow my mind. But for only $5, I would say it is pretty good. The Montecristo is an experience, but let me recommend splitting it with someone. You can’t eat more than half of that thing without hating yourself or paying a heavy price (or both). It is a ham cheese and turkey sandwich in a batter (think funnel cake) and deep fried, covered in powdered sugar, and served with raspberry preserves. Yes it is as good AND as bad as that sounds. Again, split it with someone.

Third, the cheesesteak was merely ‘eh’. It wasn’t that great. The cheese sticks were also mediocre. Standard frozen fare in that regard.

NOW, on to the good stuff. The chicken tenders are AMAZING. They are huge, and for $6 you get four gigantic ones and some fries. You can also get them buffalo style (yes please). They are enough to eat AND take home. So, basically, two meals for six bucks. Man. I kid you not, they are so good. Probably the best chicken tenders I have had anywhere and I have had chicken tenders EVERYWHERE.

Also of note, the cheese fries! I get those everywhere too and at cheddar’s you get a HUGE portion for only $6. For the cost of a half portion at other places you get enough cheese fries for 6 people (easy). Absolutely tons of cheese and bacon, you cannot go wrong with this appetizer. Honorable mention to the potato skins, which are cooked perfectly but for me rank just below some other places.

So, if you go with some friends and you start off with cheese fries and then split a couple chicken tender baskets you will spend next to nothing and be totally full and satisfied. My highest recommendation. Also, the sweet tea is killer.

Price: $-$$ (this place is very economical)
Value: High – You get a ton for your money at Cheddar’s! See the last paragraph of my review.
Service: 3/5 – Service is a bit slow, but cut them some slack. They are super duper busy. It is worth putting up with the slow service!
Decor: Nothing to talk about
Overall: 4/5 – Can’t beat this place for inexpensive tasty food!

Takes a licking and… breaks

Review Type: Stuff
Reviewed: Thermos Sipp™ Water Hydration Bottle

This is an example of a review that would have been completely different if posted only a few hours ago. I am speaking of my Thermos SIPP bottle. It promised to keep hot things hot for 12 hours and cold things cold for 24. It very nearly lived up to those claims. This is was without a doubt the best thermos I ever had…

Double insulated, vacuum sealed, push button, carrying handle, it ticked all of the buttons. You put ice in it, ten hours later it still had ice in it. Unbelievable. Was it $24 and therefore kind of high for a thermos? Yes. Yes indeed. Was it worth every penny? No. Was it worth every penny before I smashed the dang thing on the ground accidentally? Yes. Am I really frustrated that I cannot just go to Target and get another one right now and pretend this never happened? …

Yes.

Get one of these thermoses. They are metal, slick, and they work. Don’t drop them on the ground. They aren’t the type of plastic (apparently) that can handle that. At all. Now only the two little elastic bands hold my lid on, and I am not confident of the seal. Oh, sad day. Sad day indeed. And yes, I am going to Target after work and I am getting another one. If Target doesn’t have them any more, I am sure my lamentations will be heard throughout my blogs tomorrow.

Efficiency: 5/5 (keeps hot stuff hot and cold stuff cold, for a LONG time)
Style: 5/5 (slickest thermos I have ever seen)
Ability to handle being dropped in a parking lot from maybe 3 feet in the air: 0/5 (the lid shatters)

Restaurant Review #3: Interim

I have been putting off this review for some time, mainly because I am torn on the amount of stars. I have decided I am giving it four stars because the experiences I have had there have been largely positive. They have great atmosphere, quality food, and good service.

The pork shank is absolutely delicious, though a mammoth portion that is quite intimidating to eat. My friend got it on my last visit (a birthday celebration) and she just stared at it, then me, wondering how to eat it. I have had it myself, and it is probably my second favorite item on the menu.

The duck at Interim is great. I should have gotten it. I knew that I would love it, and I have had it before, but this time I decided to get risotto. Oh, risotto. I blame this decision on the countless cooking shows (I am looking at you, Gordon Ramsay) I have watched featuring this dish.

The steak at Interim? Perfectly cooked and seasoned. Another entree I should have gotten. The risotto? Oh, risotto. It was creamy, yes, but it was… I do not want to say bland, because it wasn’t bland, but rather just lacking the punch of flavor that every other entree I have had at Interim has featured. Disappointed was I, and I would only give three stars if I was basing my review on that item alone.

Fortunately, I am not! The sides at Interim are great, the appetizers (such as the scallops) are succulent, and overall you cannot go wrong with dining there.

Just don’t get the risotto.

Price: $$$+ (you are probably spending $30+ per person)
Deliciousness: 4/5 – 
A 2 for the risotto.
Service: 4/5 – Excellent.
Decor: 3/5 – Nice understated decor.
Wow-factor: 3/5 – That pork shank is a thing to behold.
Overall: 4/5 – If you want to have a nice dining experience and you have some cash to spend, you would do well to go to Interim.