Showing posts with label food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food. Show all posts

Friday, September 4, 2015

"Straight Outta Compton" and The Week in Reviews

[I review the new movie "Straight Outta Compton" and two feel-good DVDs "Cupcakes" and "Razzle Dazzle." The Book of the Week is "Life From Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family and Forgiveness."  I also bring you up to date on "My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project" with "The Evil Dead."]

Straight Outta Compton

A true-to-life biopic about the rise to fame of the rap group N.W.A that revolutionized the world of music in the mid-80's.

Like many bands, N.W.A. (and, if you don't know what those initials stand for, I will let you click on the link to find out - I ain't sayin it) started out with a group of friends writing songs and making music together in a garage in the late 80's.  Here the garage is in the mean streets of Compton, California, where young black men are routinely harassed by the police and confronted daily with the harsh realities of poverty, gangs and discrimination.  With what's been going on in this country of late, this film seems particularly relevant. Some things never change.

Out of that culture came rage and out of that rage came N.W.A., Gangsta Rap and West Coast Hip Hop, a group and set of music sub-genres that changed the face of music forever, making Dr. Dre (real name: Andre Romelle Young), Ice-Cube (real name: O'Shea Jackson)  and Eazy-E (real name: Eric Lynn Wright) big stars. (Arabian Prince (Kim Renard Nazel) was the other original member and they were later joined by DJ Yeller (Antoine Carraby) and MC Ren (Lorenzo Jerald Patterson). 

Eazy-E, wonderfully played by Jason Mitchell, formed the group and started Ruthless Records. They pressed and marketed their first song "Boyz-n-the-Hood" themselves. The popularity of that song brought the group to the attention of Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti) who, seeing their potential, became their manager and brokered their first album, "Straight Outta Compton" with Priority Records, a company whose biggest star at that time was the California Raisins

The album took off and the band toured amidst many protests about the language and content of their music.  In Detroit, a riot ensued when they played their song "F**k the Police," after the police security detail specifically told them not to.  They were arrested but that only served to heighten their "gangsta" image and popularity.

The guys enjoyed the money and the glamour, but as these things do a rift formed in the band. Ice-Cube (played by O'Shea Jackson Jr.) became suspicious of Heller's business practices and his seeming favoritism toward Eazy and acrimoniously left to pursue a solo career. Likewise, Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins) eventually questioned the money and joined forces with Suge Knight (R. Marcos Taylor) to form Death Row Records where he produced records for up and coming rap stars Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg.

Left on his own without Ice or Dre, Eazy started to unravel and realized Heller did not have his best interests at heart and his health deteriorated.  But he was eventually able to make up with Ice-Cube and Dr. Dre and they all start talking about reviving N.W.A.  Alas, that was not to be.

You don't need to be a fan of rap music to enjoy this film.  This has all of the same elements as some of the best biopics about bands ("Love and Mercy," "Jersey Boys"). The band forms in someone's garage, the band cuts a record, the band makes it big, then the band falls apart, one of the members hits the skids and then they all reunite. 
That is not to make light of the power of this film or the environment that produced N.W.A or the impact the group had on the music world. It's to say that this film is a classic.  It has the power of "everyman," or should I say "everyband."  Everyone can relate to these guys and their drive to "be somebody."  They were no different from any young guys wanting to be creative and have some power in life, except they were young black men trying to make it in a world punctuated by the beating of Rodney King and L.A. riots.
This was a time when my kids were teens and pre-teens and though they were young suburban white kids, they embraced the music because this music was new and loud and shook the walls of propriety.  We Baby Boomers had Jimi Hendrix and The Doors. My kids had Ice-Cube and Dr. Dre.  And now I finally know the lyrics they were listening to.  Yikes.
Directed by F. Gary Gray, with an outstanding script by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff and produced by Dr. Dre, Ice-Cube and Eazy-E's widow Tomica Woods-Wright, this is an engrossing recreation of the times that inspired gangsta rap and it pulls no punches.  The young actors are brilliant and uncanny look-alikes of the real artists, which is particularly no surprise for the Ice-Cube character, since he is played by the real Ice-Cube's son.  The music and performances are right on and the set decoration creates the world that grew N.W.A.
Rosy the Reviewer says...another great biopic and another Best Film of the year for me.

You Might Have Missed
(And Some You Will Be Glad You Did)

Cupcakes  (2013)

Six friends in Tel Aviv record a song on a mobile phone and find, to their shock, that it is the Israeli entry in the UniverSong Competition.

A group of friends are obsessed with the UniverSong competition, a sort of "Israel's Got Talent" and Eurovision combo.  They get together every year to watch the competition together. When Anat's love leaves her, the friends write her a song to cheer her up.  The song gets entered in the UniverSong competition and starts to get a lot of press. None of them really wants to do it but eventually each comes up with a reason to venture outside their comfort zones: Kerin, the timid blogger; Anat, the baker and mother whose husband left her; Efrat, the aspiring musician; Yael, the former beauty queen turned lawyer; Dana, the overworked political aid; and Ofer, a gay kindergarten teacher with a closeted boyfriend.

The UniverSong (based on the popular Eurovision contest) competition seeks the most popular song from across the globe and the various countries vote.  So even though the friends are reluctant to do this, the UniverSong machine kicks in trying to mold them into an ABBA-like group (ABBA won Eurovision), but eventually they realize they are being exploited and not being true to themselves. 

This is a musical comedy with fun songs and performances that is as sweet a confection as, well, cupcakes, but not sickeningly so. The soundtrack uses songs that have won Univision contests in the past including the freakish American win one year with "You Light Up My Life."

This is director Eytan Fox's satire on Eurovision.  Fox is a celebrated Israeli director who was born in New York City but moved to Israel when he was two. Eurovison is not very well-known to American audiences but it is a big deal in other countries.  Fox remembers his family and friends gathering together to watch when Israel first entered in 1973.  This is his take on remembering what it used to be like in Israel when neighbors all knew and helped each other.  He laments that it's not like that in Israel anymore.  But this is also a statement on how silly the Eurovision competition has become and how when something is sweet and pure (cupcakes), it's not long until someone tries to pervert it for their own gain. 

Rosy the Reviewer says...this is feel good movie about the power of friendship.  If you liked "Mama Mia," you might like this.

Razzle Dazzle (2007)

Mr. Jonathan (Ben Miller) is a politically active dance teacher who wants to do something important with his dance troupe but he also wants to win the Sanosafe Troupe Spectacular competition.

Mr. Jonathan has interesting ideas about how to choreograph meaningful dances. He wants to highlight political causes so in rehearsal he asks his girls how they would move if they were enslaved by a multinational corporation or if they were ants being oppressed and forced to make sneakers.  You get the idea. 

His biggest competition is Miss Elizabeth (Jane Hall) who wants to win at any cost.  She's not quite Abby Lee Miller but close and, yes, there are Dance Moms, one particularly obsessed with her daughter winning. Justine (Kerry Armstrong) is living out her own dance ambitions through her daughter, Tennille.  Other pushy Moms bribe judges and go to outrageous lengths for their children to get ahead.  These Dance Moms make the "Dance Moms" on TV look like saints.

The office manager (Denise Roberts) for Mr. Jonathan's dance school runs the Happy Valley Foster Home and decides who to foster by whether they can dance or not and the mostly mute goth costumer, Marianne (Tara Morice), has some questionable ideas such as employing a gas mask on one of the children that makes her pass out.

Mr. Jonathan can't stand that Miss Elizabeth keeps winning all of the competitions with her standard routines, in his eyes, boring and meaningless.  He decides that his winning piece will be about Afghan women under the Taliban, not a popular idea with the Moms.

Mr. Jonathan's bid to win is being filmed by a documentary crew so we are in mockumentary mode in the Christopher Guest tradition.  Think "This is Spinal Tap," meets Australian Dance Moms.  We see the rehearsals, the preparations and the private moments as they prepare for the big competition.

This is a funny faux documentary written and directed by Darren Ashton, and it's a biting but delightful send up of dance teachers and competitions. It's the age old story of the underdogs overcoming adversity to win but in a fun way.

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you are a Christopher Guest fan and like "Dance Moms" or "So You Think You Can Dance," you will love this little film.

***My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project***

294 to go!

The Evil Dead (1981)

Five college students travel to a cabin in the woods of Tennessee only to discover their little vacation involves demons
A shaky camera moves ominously fast across a swamp and a forest floor.
Next we see five college students - Ashley (Bruce Campbell), Scotty, Cheryl, Linda and Shelly in a car singing and kidding around and wearing really terrible early 80's clothes.  We know they are college students because one of them is wearing a sweatshirt that says "Michigan State." As they head to the cabin, they cross a bridge with a sign that says, "Dangerous Bridge," and one wheel of the car sinks into the weak boards of the bridge.  Not a good sign.  Either is the ominous music.
They make their way down a heavily wooded road accompanied by eerie music until they get to a rundown cabin where a porch swing is banging against the wall of the cabin.  They struggle to find the keys to open the door.
"Don't go in there!" (That's me talking to the screen from my armchair).
They inspect the cabin and settle in for the night but not before a clock stops working, a strange force takes control of one of the girl's hands while she is writing and a trap door starts to open by itself.
I would say those are all things that would make me say, "Time to leave."
When the door to the cellar opens to the sound of symphonic music and cymbals, one of the guys decides it's a good idea to go down there.  Huh?
"Don't go down there!" (Me again).
But of course he does.  When he doesn't come back, Ashley goes looking for him and encounters a closed door.
"Don't go in there." (I can't help it).
But of course he does.  Turns out Scotty has found a recording of a past occupant of the cabin, a professor who was studying "The Book of the Dead."  They play the recording and the professor says in the recording that his wife had become possessed and then he recites an incantation.
Well, folks, that incantation was not good. All hell breaks out now as one by one, the students turn into demons and make Ashley's night a living hell.
Horror films work on our basic fears:  dark basements, locked doors, the occult, unexplained noises, thunder and lightning, fog, dark woods - and it's all here along with incredible blood and gore.  However, there is a scene where one of the girls is raped by a tree and that doesn't really fall into my basic fears category.
In 1979 a group of Detroit friends raised $375,000 to make a horror film about five college students possessed by demons.  They wanted to make a film that was "the ultimate experience in grueling terror."  I'm not so sure about the terror part because it was so over the top it was laughable at times, but it was certainly gory.  Stands as one of the early "Don't go in there" films that inspired others.

Why it's a Must See:  "This 'ultimate experience in grueling horror,' as it immodeslty bills itself in the end credits, changed the history of its genre.  Sam Raimi took the gore of Italian horror movies and mixed it with a proudly juvenile sense of humor -- making its teenage heroes so vapidly wholesome that we cannot wait...for them to die or be zombiefied.  Such self-consciousness would subsequently come to dominate screen horror...Today, it is hard to see anything but comedy...but we must remember that in 1982 the film had the same terrifying effect on audiences as The Blair Witch Project seventeen years later..."
---"1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die"
Rosy the Reviewer says...girls as ghouls and gratuitous gore.  Glorious. If you liked "The Blair Witch Project," this one is kinda like that so you might like it, but again, this one is very campy and very gory.

***Book of the Week***

Life from Scratch by Sasha Martin (2015)

A food blogger with an unhappy childhood seeks to cook a meal from every country in the world as a way to heal.

Growing up with an eccentric mother who eventually couldn't take care of Martin and her brother, Martin lived in a series of foster homes and eventually under the guardianship of her mother's friends, who moved to Europe, where Martin spent her formative years. She did not adapt well to her new family and changing environments, and when a tragedy entered her young life, it fell apart.  But the one thing that was a constant was her memories of cooking with her mother and her love of food. 

Later in life when she had reconnected with her mother, but was at loose ends after the birth of her child and haunted by her past, seeing the movie "Babette's Feast" and a gift of spice jars from around the world gave her the idea to cook food from every country in the world.  She embarked on that journey, eventually starting a popular food blog, "Global Table Adventure."  She gained some peace from that, learning to reach out and enjoy a sense of community.

"Though I may not have secured a new future, I'd secured something much better by filling those empty spice jars nearly four years ago. Cooking the world has opened my eyes to other ways of being, loving, and mothering.  Most importantly, it has taught me to savor the present moment...There's an ease to not knowing what will come next -- an ease I never could have felt before."

This book joins the many with recipes interspersed among the text. 
However, what sets this apart is her quest to prepare and eat a meal from every country and sharing many of those recipes. "Kabeli Palau" from Afghanistan; Bulgarian "Kompot;" Samoan Chocolate & Orange Coconut Rice Pudding." She shares her search for the sometimes strange ingredients and her successes and failures with the recipes. That quest and blogging about it helped her to express herself and to heal her sadness and regrets about the past and is the strongest part of the book. Unfortunately, it doesn't start until two-thirds of the way through.  I hate to say it, but some of the earlier parts of the book lumber a bit under Martin's rather slow-paced and sometimes melodramatic narrative.

However, I totally relate to her project and how her blog helped her at a time of change and stress. My blog has also helped me as I make my way through my "1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project" and this strange realm called retirement.

So this is a strong entry in the memoir plus recipes genre and the self-help world of food as healer.  Hopefully it will spur others to find an interesting project that will help them express themselves and find a sense of community and peace.

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you like your memoirs with recipes, you will probably like this book.  Now stop me before cooking my way around the world becomes my next big project!

Thanks for Reading!

That's it for this week.

See you Tuesday for

"Make Someone Happy"


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Note:  Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). 



Find the page for the movie, click on "Explore More" on the right side panel and then scroll down to "External Reviews."  Look for "Rosy the Reviewer" on the list. Or if you are using a mobile device, look for "Critics Reviews." Click on that and you will find me alphabetically under "Rosy the Reviewer."



Friday, December 6, 2013

Retirement: Good Days and Bad Days and The Week in Reviews

[I review the movies "Philomena," "All is Bright," "Winter of Frozen Dreams," "Just Like a Woman" and Stacy Keach's memoir.]

But first

We all have good days and bad days.

Retirement is no different, except with all of that time on your hands, the bad days really hurt.

Here are some examples of what I mean:

Good Day:  Your adult child called just to say "I love you."
Bad Day:    Your adult child said, "I love you" after asking you for money to
                   bail him out of jail.

Good Day:  Your adult children are all home for Christmas.
Bad Day:    For your Christmas present, your adult children all chipped in for a
                  week's stay for you at the Rose of Sharon Retirement Home.

Good Day:   Your wine guzzling poodle jumps up on your lap for just a cuddle,
                    not wine.
Bad Day:      Forget that.  Ain't happenin'

Good Day:     You found a volunteer opportunity.
Bad Day:       It involves adult diapers.

Good Day:   You've been to the gym and are feeling a bit slimmer.
Bad Day:      Lane Bryant called.  You left your purchase on the counter.

Good Day:   The Christmas tree is up and you didn't get into a big fight with
                    Hubby over the lights.
Bad Day:      HUGE fight with Hubby over the lights.

Good Day:   You have three darling dogs whose cavorting amuses you.
Bad Day:     Three dogs are a pack and their cavorting knocked you down the

This is what a pack of dogs looks like.
What constitutes a good or a bad day for you? 
Well, sometimes we can't control how the day is going to go. 
But here is something you can count on. 
Rosy the Reviewer's
Week in Reviews.
***In Theatres Now***
The true story of an Irish woman, who as a young girl became pregnant, gave birth in a convent and was forced to give up her son.  Fifty years later, with the help of a disgraced journalist, she goes in search of him.
Steve Coogan is not that well-known in the U.S. but is a huge star in the UK, known mostly for his comedic work.  Here he wrote the screenplay (based on a true story) and plays it mostly straight. 
But this is Dame Judy's show.  Supposedly Dame Judy's eyesight is failing and she has to have her scripts read to her.  Whatever is going on with her eyes, it doesn't affect what she can do with them to rip at your heart strings. If you can keep from crying, especially if you are a mother, you have it over me. Have your hankies handy.  Loved it!
Rosy the Reviewer says...Ring!  Ring!  Dame Judy.  Oscar calling. 
Movies You Might Have Missed
And some you will be glad you did!
(I see the bad ones so you don't have to)
Dennis is out on parole and bands together with old friend Rene to sell Christmas trees so he can buy his estranged daughter a piano.
A small film that didn't have much impact on me, probably because I am not a big Paul Giamatti fan.  Hubby liked it better than I did.
Rosy the Reviewer says...I give it just a couple of Christmas trees.
A college girl turns to prostitution and things don't go well.
A low-budget Thora Birch vehicle (remember her from American Beauty?") that is all very frozen and dreamy and a step way down for Birch from "American Beauty."  It proves once again, I must not put films in my DVD queue based on a preview.  Repeat after me.  "I must not put films in my DVD queue based on a preview."
Rosy the Reviewer says...I usually like films about the underbelly of life but as Charles Barkley used to say, this one is "Turible, Turible, Turible."
Marilyn (Sienna Miller) loses her job and comes home to a cheating husband so decides to hit the road and enter a belly dancing contest in Santa Fe.  She is joined by her friend, Mona, who has a secret.
Think of this as a belly-dancing "Thelma and Louise," without the suicide at the end (and if I just spoiled "Thelma and Louise" for you, where have you been?)

And for every woman who thinks her mother-in-law is a dragon, get a load of this one. 
I couldn't help but wonder how Sienna Miller avoided becoming a big star like Julia Roberts.  She has the looks and the acting chops.  I also couldn't help but remember that her then boyfriend Jude Law cheated on her with the babysitter.  Jude, you idiot!
Rosy the Reviewer says...a fun diversion especially if you like belly dancing. 
***Book of the Week***

All in All:  An Actor's Life On and Off the Stage by Stacy Keach (2013)
This acting memoir begins with Keach's arrest for cocaine possession and then backtracks to his early life and career.
Though Keach has had acting success in films such as "Fat City" and "American History X" and as Mike Hammer in the TV series of the same name, he never attained superstardom.  He clearly preferred the stage and dreamed of being the next Olivier.  He is candid about his drug addiction, which could perhaps explain why his career didn't reach the heights but the book is surprisingly dry.
Rosy the Reviewer of Keach might enjoy this, but acting students should take note.  He has a whole chapter on acting techniques at the end of the book.


Hooray, hooray.  "Come Dine With Me" has come to the U.S!
Come Dine With Me is a British competition TV program where 4 or 5 strangers get together at each other's houses to cook each other a full meal - appetizer, main course and dessert.  After the meal, the visitors rate the meal on a scale of 1-10.  Naturally the groups of people are disparate and often over the top, lots of alcohol is consumed and sometimes there are costumes which is all part of the fun, and the voice over commentary by Dave Lamb is hilarious.
Now Lifetime is offering its version, which if the first episode is any indication is a Canadian import.  It mirrors the British version down to the theme music, but I miss Dave Lamb's commentary.  Also the British version is usually 30 minute segments over five nights and here we have all five nights wrapped into one hour.  One thing on the positive side, it moves quickly.  On the negative side, there is not as much coverage of the actual cooking as we see in the British version.
Rosy the Reviewer says...Foodies and fans of humorous reality TV will love this! 

That's it for this week.
See you Tuesday!

Thanks for reading!
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Retirement as a Real Housewife

[I review the movies "Glorious 39," "The Brass Teapot," "Beware of Mr. Baker," and review a few good books.]

But first
Retirement as a Real Housewife

I was emptying the dishwasher for the seventh day in a row, something Hubby used to help with when I was working.  I realized that now that I am retired and Hubby is still toiling in the fields of employment, many more household tasks have fallen to me.  So as I stood by the dishwasher, a clean coffee cup in one hand and a grater in the other, a little thought bubble appeared over my head:  "After a 40 year career with only the usual few weeks off, even to have my children - Am I now a housewife?"

 And if so, am I a "Real Housewife?"

Though many of you may disapprove of such reality shows, I have the feeling most of you have heard of this franchise:  "The Real Housewives of Orange County" started it all, followed by "Atlanta," "New York," New Jersey,: "Beverly Hills," and "Miami."  There was even one in Vancouver, B.C. which I tried desperately to find, but it was not available in the U.S. and I found one in Sweden called "Swedish Hollywood Housewives," which featured one of Paul Anka's wives (saw some of it in Sweden).  If you crave a little more background, click here.

Anyway, again, as I let my mind wander while putting the dishes away, I wondered if my retirement would encourage my slipping into a meaningless life full of shopping, plastic surgery and flipping tables, just like the "Real Housewives." Would I be the star of my own life in  "The Retired Housewives of Snohomish County?" 

Do I fit the profile?

Let's see....

Blonde:  Yep (and it ain't easy). 
(Though not all of the Housewives are blonde, the exceedingly high proportion of those who are, makes that one of the important criteria.)

Speaking of proportions...

Advanced plastic surgery, especially lips and you-know-whats: Nope (not yet anyway).

Rich:  Nope, not likely either.

Skinny Bitch:  Not the skinny part, anyway.

Thrives on drama and attention:  I suppose. 
There were some exciting days at the library trying to explain to the same customer over and over why the drinking fountain didn't squirt the water higher or getting the homeless guy, who took a sponge bath every Monday night at closing, to come out so we could lock up. "Yoohoo, Mister."  Knock, knock, knock.  "We really want to go home." 
Or the "not all there woman" who thinks celebrities, including President Obama, are having sex on her bed and it's driving her even further around the bend eventually leading her to punch a library customer in the nose. 
Ah, libraries, dusty bastions of books and quiet.  NOT!

Revels in gossip:  I do revel in gossip about people I will never meet, such as celebrities, which I think is OK, but I don't approve of it when it comes to my friends.  But did you hear about...?  Just kidding.

Excessive Shopping:  Guilty as charged. 
With three closets full of clothes that I will probably never wear again, this is my Achilles Heel and puts me right there in the "Real Housewife" sphere,  but so far, since I have retired, I haven't been to the mall once.  Somehow my urge to shop is balanced by the horror I feel when I check the bank account and look at those platform sneakers I just had to have. 

Flips furniture over:  Though there were moments in the library when I wanted to flip the reference desk when a customer asked for his library card number for the 30th day in the row or when a customer rushes up to the desk, says she is in a big hurry and can I please look up the meaning of life on the computer really quick, but I managed to fight off the urge.  But good thing I retired when I did.

Is known to dress up little dogs in costumes:  Oops.


Tarquin as Scarlet O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind."

Tarquin as Melanie in "Gone with the Wind."

Tarquin as Baby Huey.

Tarquin as "Little Tiny Tim" in "A Christmas Carol."
Tarquin shows his Huskies pride as he prepares to attend a University of Washington football game.

But what sets me apart from a Real Housewife is, I don't just dress up the little dogs.
I dress up ALL of the dogs!

Here is Fred as an intellectual.
And Mildred as a Fashionista wearing a Beatles T-shirt, trendy red leather boots and a fetching Fascinator.

Despite my penchant for dressing up my dogs, not sure if I really fit the "Real Housewives" criteria.  However, Andy Cohen, Executive VP of Development and Talent at Bravo said in addition to being wealthy, the main things he looks for when casting a "Real Housewife" is being strong and having a point of view.  I think I qualify there. 
So no starring role in "The Retired Housewives of Snohomish County," but I am the star in my own life which consists of films, food, fashion and fun!

Speaking of which, here is Rosy the Reviewer's Week in Reviews:


An interesting British Film about a young woman who uncovers a plot by her father to avert plunging England into WWII by appeasing the Nazis.  Downton Abbey fans will recognized Hugh Bonneville and if you are a fan of British actors in general, they are practically all in this film!  A bit weak in places, but it definitely pulls you in.
Rosy the Reviewer says... Recommended for the acting and the ambience.

British Actress Juno Temple seems to be everywhere these days.  She was in "Glorious 39" (above) and stars in this indy dark comedy about a struggling couple who find a magic teapot that dispenses money every time they or anyone else feels pain.  Much pain ensues. 
Rosy the Reviewer says...Highly recommended, especially if you like movies like "Eating Raoul."
A profile of drummer Ginger Baker, who was most famously a member of the band Cream.  He's one angry guy. 
Rosy the Reviewer says...Highly recommended documentary, especially if you are a fan of Cream or "The Golden Age of Rock and Roll."
Haven't been out to eat much this last week.  I am still working on my plan to dine at every fine restaurant in Seattle from A-Z but, though I made it to F, they kept opening new restaurants that started with a letter from A-E, so now I am working my way through the neighborhoods instead. 
So in lieu of a restaurant review here is my recipe for the best chicken wings (and they are baked not fried so calorie friendly:
You can use split chicken wings or whole ones, it works both ways.  Use about 2 and a half pounds, and though the recipe calls for you to puncture the wings with a knife all over, not sure that's really necessary.  Guess that would help hold onto the sauce.  Cover a rimmed cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with foil, put a wire rack on top of that.  Place the wings on the wire rack, sprinkle with salt and put in a 425 degree pre-heated oven for 35 minutes, turning once.  Then broil them for 7 minutes on high, turning once. 
Then toss with your favorite sauce.  
 I do Buffalo wings by melting 2T butter and whisking in 1/2 c. buffalo sauce such as Frank's and 2T distilled white vinegar.  Toss the wings in the sauce along with 1/4c. blue cheese dip.  Yum!
The other sauce I like is the sweeter Thai sauce:  Mix 1/2 Thai sweet chili sauce with grated peel from one lime and 1t. fish sauce.  Toss with the wings and some French-fried onions.
For more sauces, this came from the January 2013 issue of Good Housekeeping and if you want to get that article?  The Library of course!
Nothing to report.  I look like hell.
I have three books to recommend this week:
Shoreh is an Iranian actress who was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in "House of Sand and Fog, one of my favorite films.
Rosy the Reviewer says...It drags a bit but is recommended for her account of life in Iran under the Shah and his ouster by the Khomeini and how one becomes an actress in Iran.
This is similar to Richard Templar's "The Rules of Life," which I also liked.  And if you are a fan of Bucket Lists, you will probably like this. Jones and Templar are both Brits, so very British in his prose, such as giving yourself a Boxing Day once per month.  He uses Boxing Day as a metaphor for having one day per month where you do whatever you like, without planning, just going with what presents itself.  He adds a Now List Day, which is one day per month you work on your Bucket List, and a Goals List Day where you work on the top three things on your "Wish List" - those things you wish for that would make your life better.  He is very list oriented, but I liked his approach as I continue my quest for the meaning of life.  For more information, check out his website.
Rosy the Reviewer says...If you are on a similar quest or just want to fix what's wrong with your life, give this one a look.

Here is the true-life account of the film "Heavenly Creatures," another favorite film. (Both Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey came to the forefront in this film.  Winslet has reached superstar status and Lynskey has been in "Two and a Half Men" for the last 10 years, but I am also seeing her more and more in recent films). 
Anyway, back to the book.  Two teen girls in New Zealand kill one of the girl's mothers as part of their elaborate scheme to not be separated and to live a beautiful and fantastical life together.  One of the girls grew up to be best-selling author, Anne Perry.
Rosy the Reviewer says...If you like true crime, this is a good one.
More Fun:
Saw The Fixx at The Triple Door last Thursday.  A really great performance from a band that has been rocking since the 1980's.  And The Triple Door is a great venue for seeing bands.  Feels like a nightclub but big enough to feel you are seeing a concert. 
Rosy the Reviewer says...If The Fixx performs near you, go see them. You will enjoy it.
Well, that's my Week in Reviews. 
Now back to being a regular housewife.
But before I go, here's one more for the road.
Mildred as Joan Crawford!
Disclaimer:  This blog in no way disparages housewives, only "Real Housewives."