Feb 28, 2010

Is It Worse To Live As A Monster, Or Die As A Good Man

The Crazies / Shutter Island
RC Theaters Movies 14 - Wilkes-Barre, PA
We took in a double feature on Saturday that included a remake of a classic George Romero horror flick from 1973 and the film adaptation of a Dennis Lehane psychological mystery novel.

The Crazies was originally written and directed in 1973 by zombie film icon George A. Romero.  It shares a lot of the same qualities as a zombie flick, but the threat doesn't come from the dead coming back to life to attack the living.  It instead comes from people who have been infected with a virus who have been driven mad and attack those who are healthy.  On the surface, this may seem like an unimportant detail, but it adds an element that isn't present in every zombie film.  A zombie is already dead, so shooting it in the head is just "deactivating" a body that's already dead, but if you shoot a person who's sick, you're killing them.  Now, imagine that the person you're shooting is a friend, or a family member, or your spouse, or your child.  The idea that you're killing someone who can't help themselves instead of helping to cure them is a whole different story compared to putting down a zombie.

This is a plot device that was done to perfection in 28 Days Later, and while the remake of The Crazies doesn't quite reach that level, it's a damn good film that lives up to, if not surpasses, the source material.

I haven't read the novel that Shutter Island is based on, but I might have to check it out because the movie was absolutely incredible.  Leonardo DiCaprio is gold in just about everything he does, and this film is no exception.

The story is set in the 1950's with two US Marshals traveling to an asylum as a part of their investigation on the disappearance of a woman who killed her children.  Anything more that I could say would run the risk of spoiling parts of the story, but the mystery unfolds with several very satisfying twists and turns, and the end result is the best movie I've seen in quite a while.  I strongly recommend it.

Feb 27, 2010

The BK Broiler

BK Broiler
Burger King (1990-2002)
The BK Broiler is one of my favorite fast food sandwiches that I've ever eaten.  It was reformulated a few times during its run, and was eventually replaced by the Chicken Whopper in 2002.  Although the Chicken Whopper is, in my opinion, a much catchier name, they changed something about the chicken patty, so the sandwich wasn't as tasty as the one that I fell in love with as a teenager.

The BK Broiler was added to the Burger King menu in February 1990.  It was a broiled chicken patty that was originally served on an oat bran roll with lettuce, tomato and a dill-ranch mayonnaise dressing.  Unlike most of the fast food chicken sandwiches I've had over the years, the chicken wasn't dry or rubbery.  It was tender, juicy and absolutely delicious.  It tasted like the kind of sandwich that you could get at Chick-fil-A, but at a fraction of the cost, and from a fast food chain that was much easier to find in my part of Pennsylvania.

I didn't try one of these when they first came out in 1990, but I ate a lot of them when I worked at Burger King as a teenager in 1995 and 1996.  I don't remember them having a special bun or sauce by that point.  I'm pretty sure we just used the Whopper buns and mayo, but I could be wrong.  When I made my own sandwiches for my break, I usually topped it with bacon, pickles, lettuce, tomato and just a little bit of mayo.  That wasn't the standard sandwich recipe, but anybody could order it like that if they wanted to.  Their motto was "have it your way" after all, and I'm sure the franchise owners were all happy to add whatever the upcharge was for bacon.

I really think they could make this successful if it was marketed correctly.  Even if they weren't committed to making it an everyday menu item, it could be a big hit if they made it a seasonal item and treated it with the same reverence in their advertisement that McDonald's has for their McRib and Shamrock Shake.
I lied about my age to work at Burger King when I was 15, so that slogan must have had an impact.
Actually, it's become somewhat of a lifestyle choice for me.
Sadly, the BK Broiler doesn't seem to be coming back any time soon, but it lives on through nerdy blogs like this.  There are also a few copycat recipes on the web.  I haven't tried any of them yet, but it's not a super complicated sandwich, so I'm thinking it wouldn't take too much trial and error to replicate it at home.  I'll have to give it a shot one of these days.

Feb 11, 2010

It's Snow Fair

Winters Avenue
West Hazleton, PA

Feb 10, 2010

Winter On Winters Avenue

Winters Avenue
West Hazleton, PA