If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!

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Shirley Temple Soda Pop Review

Met up in Portland with my friends Mountain Was Here and his roommate, and we went bopping around, eating at a food truck and happening upon a store which, I was informed, had a fine soda selection. Perusing it, I didn’t find the soda I was looking for, but I saw “Hollywood’s Original Shirley Temple Soda Pop” (made, apparently, by the Shirley Temple Soda Company of Portland), in its 80’s retro teal and pink can, and figured I’d go for it.

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Onward and Upward

Jurassic World, by not having Samuel L. Jackson, can never be quite as good as Jurassic Park, since it has Samuel L. Jackson.

As of this writing, If You Want the Gravy… has seen 8,504 views for calendar year 2015, officially topping the 8,498 views we received in all of 2014 (though we didn’t start until late January). To be fair, some of those views were me indvartently clocking views while reveling in my accomplishments, but barring a severe drought of views, the record will be absolutely beaten before the month is out.

Now, as for what to expect in the coming days. As noted previously, I’m on a vacation (for my cousin’s wedding, and you should totally check out his movie blog) and won’t be home until well into June, limiting my ability to see movies and the time I have to write. But between now and the end of June, here are a few things you can expect to see:

  • A review of the obscure 1961 film The Sand Castle, which I have long sought and which is finally available for online viewing (and from a stable source);
  • My Cannes wrap-up, where I reflect on the winners, on the receptions accorded the competitors vs. my initial impressions, and where I delve into the Un Certain Regard films and special screenings;
  • Possibly a review of Tomorrowland (at this point I’m more interested in picking apart its apparent failings);
  • A review of Jurassic World;
  • Reviews of Aloha (which looks remarkably lame), Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Love & Mercy, possibly Saint Laurent, Spy, Ted 2, and hopefully Dope;
  • More soda reviews;
  • And lastly, the Six-Month Film Awards.

And, if we’re lucky, that won’t be all.

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Rachel’s Ginger Beer Review

I’ve been on a trip to the PNW, and while in Seattle made a trip down to the Pike’s Place market, and came across the RGB store. Returning the following day, I decided the time was ripe for another soda review–I always like to highlight beverages that most of the world hasn’t heard of, and since I’VE never heard of this, I’m not sure how many have, outside of the Seattle area.

Since bottled RGB is only available on rather hefty (and pricey) growlers, I opted to just get a cup of it and review it promptly.

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Dewshine Review


Mountain Dew being infamously sugary (46 grams a serving, is it?), I was rather curious when this clear, real sugar-based variant became available. And while the Dew has never been one of my favorites, I figured this was worth adding to my list. It’s been properly chilled–let’s see if they reinvented themselves or basically just made Sprite.

Smells like (teen) Sprite.

Tastes a little more like Dew–it’s got a bit of that heavy, syrupy taste–but so far, pretty much your standard lemon-lime taste.

Also, this particular bottle at least has gone very flat. Like, distractingly so. I haven’t even had this for that long, so I’m not sure what happened.

This has 42 grams of sugar. Sugar, to be fair, not HFCS, but still. 

Not bad, but I can see why this hasn’t really taken off. I can’t really recommend it except to Dew-Hards and completists.

I’ve got three more bottles of this. Lucky me.

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MAD MAX FURY ROAD: Oscar contender?

I’ve shared this elsewhere online and figured I’d put it up here.

Once upon a time I’d have thought it a fantasy. A genre film in the tradition of a cult series known as much for its punkish aesthetic as for its action? Not bloody likely.

That was then. This is now.

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Clouds of Sils Maria, if nothing else, is a superb acting showcase for one actress long regarded as brilliant and one long dismissed as a lightweight, but who is reinventing herself as an accomplished performer. It provides less and more problematic material for a third actress who has done consistently solid work, but whose treatment by Hollywood is decidedly troubling.

What it doesn’t provide, beyond individual scenes that compel, is a real point or a thesis that doesn’t feel like All About Eve mixed with faint, coincidental hints of Birdman, while falling prey to one of my greatest pet peeves in fiction. But let’s start from the beginning.

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MAD MAX FURY ROAD Final Review – *****

“As the world fell, each of us, in our own way, was broken. It was hard to know who was more crazy–me, or everyone else.” (Source)

When I first came out of Fury Road, I wasn’t sure what to think, nor did I know how the critics would respond to it. The critics spoke–and were nearly unanimous in their praise. But I knew I had to see it again for myself, to see if I would be swept up in the chorus of praise, or if, in sorrow, I would have to admit the film I had so longed to see, the film so many deemed a masterpiece, was in fact unworthy of its laurels.

But you see those five stars at the top of the page. You know how this story ends.

I’ll say it now–Fury Road is the best film in at least 18 months, and the best summer blockbuster in five years. I delighted at George Miller’s “mastermind” billing in the trailers, but it was absolutely justified. He draws on aspects of the original trilogy, from small touches (the little music box, for one) to primary themes–the damning social critique of Mad Max, the relentless brutality of The Road Warrior, and the post-apocalyptic grotesquerie of Beyond Thunderdome. Here, working with a budget far greater than the budgets of the originals combined, he has crafted a film which draws from and, in my opinion, exceeds them.

He, and an incredibly talented team, have made a masterpiece.

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