Movie one liners

A surprisingly moving docu-drama based on the final days of Jim Jones’ and his followers. It really bothers me that I never knew that it was as much murder as mass suicide. Very, very sad, but informative.  Jonestown: Paradise Lost – 7 mangoes

I read this book in college during a crime and punishment class but had never seen the movie. Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon are phenomenal. A fair and compassionate look at the death penalty.  Dead Man Walking – 7 mangoes

A bit of a formulaic and choppy spy/action/thriller, but an easy enough to watch movie. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – 5 mangoes

A kind of funny and silly romantic comedy with some awkward cheating that kind of ruined bits for me, but with a happy ending. I’m always supportive of an elopement!  The Big Wedding – 6 mangoes

If you love Lifetime Movies (who doesn’t) and true crime (yes, please), this movie was a creepy drama based on the Lizzie Borden story. Christina Ricci was cold and heartless, but otherwise it was a little blah.  Lizzie Borden Took an Ax – 5 mangoes

I didn’t expect to like this movie, I haven’t read the book, but it was actually a little bit worse than I expected. I found the narrative to be disjointed, the characters hard to understand and empathize with, and it felt like an adult movie that had been cast with kids as a gimmick.  Visuals weren’t bad, though.  Ender’s Game – 4 mangoes

 

 

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Casa Navarro, Dallas TX

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This little place takes me back to my young teenage years when I first was branching out into the culinary world and discovered Casa Navarro’s “bean soup” (or, basically, charro beans). Pinto beans slow cooked in broth with pork meat and fat, jalapenos, onions, and spices.

I loved Casa Navarro and was excited to come across it again the last time we were in Dallas. Luckily, they’ve held strong over the past 15 years, and the bean soup was just as delicious!

C had carne asada tacos, I had tilapia tacos, and the food was fresh, tasty, and just the right amount of spicy. Yummy (although, not warm) salsa, and the famous bean soup rounded out our meal.

Casa Navarro is locally owned and probably more Tex-Mex than Mexican food style. But don’t judge Tex-Mex by the ubiquitous El Fenix and El Chico. These are some good eats!

C and K’s rating of Casa Navarro: 8/10 mangoes

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I Read This On The Internet – One of a Kind

This is a really lovely story focusing specifically on the struggles a young family has in getting a diagnosis for their son with an incredibly rare genetic disorder, and more broadly on the way that social media and informed families are changing the face of medicine and research. Lovely read (click the image below to be taken to The New Yorker).

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Minali Enterprises, Dallas TX

C and I were in the market for a (very) used car, on a tight budget, but wanting something that would last a while and would be a good commuter car.

We scoured craigslist ads to be met with people that didn’t return phone calls, had cars much dirtier and stinkier and more damaged than we were prepared to deal with, and were all around getting discouraged.

We stumbled across a dealer ad on craigslist (I didn’t know it was a dealer until I called the poor guy at 10pm at home!) and decided, in our desperation, to drive across town to Dallas and see why their car was listed at such a great price.

Best decision we ever made.

Andy (owner) and Jovan (salesperson) at Minali Enterprises, a little dealer on Denton Dr. and Walnut Hill, were WONDERFUL. If you have been to a car dealership you know all about the long waits, the bait and switch when it comes to their online inventory, the upselling, etc. We experienced none of that at Minali. Jovan was very honest about the condition of the car, and Andy was polite, friendly, helpful, and went out of his way to make sure we were happy with our purchase.

20140726_155853I never felt pressured.

I never noticed Andy or Jovan talking to C exclusively, or treating me like the “little lady.”

The car they listed online was the car we saw, drove, and bought, without any hassle.

The prices were very fair with what we were seeing online, and lower than big dealerships.

We took the car to our mechanic to have it looked over, and he confirmed everything Jovan had already told us. No surprises.

We already told them to keep an eye out for a Prius, and we will definitely buy from them on our next car.

10 mangoes.

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Inside Llewyn Davis, 2013

Inside Llewyn Davis was a darkly funny movie, dark enough that you aren’t entirely sure you’re supposed to be laughing, but you think you are because Justin Timberlake is being kind of over-the-top. My mood during watching is summed up pretty well by this screen shot:

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I’m not sure if I’m Llewyn or the cat, probably both. Or maybe that girl in the back, I don’t know. Strong points for characters and funny bits and great music. Points off for a certain scene with the cat and overall weirdness and not really understanding why no one likes this guy’s music.

(Since this review contains very little useful information, here’s a very brief synopsis: Llewyn is a struggling musician that seems pretty amazing, honestly, but he’s a total jerk and is depressed pretty much all the time, and sabotages all his relationships, and here’s a few days in his life. Enjoy.)

K’s rating of Inside Llewyn Davis: 5/10 mangoes

C’s rating of Inside Llewyn Davis: 7/10 mangoes

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Edelweiss German Restaurant, Fort Worth

I wouldn’t say that C and I are connoisseurs of German cuisine. I have about 5 different establishments under my belt, tops. But, 2 out of those 5 were decent, and 2 were downright tasty (don’t even ask about the other one). So although I can’t really tell you if something is “authentically German” (although in FW, TX, probably not) or if it’ll be like your momma used to make (I don’t know your momma), I can tell you if I liked it! And that is valuable information.

photo 1We drive by Edelweiss on a pretty regular basis, but it’s a bit on the pricey side so we hadn’t made it a priority to go. When they offered a Groupon, though, I was on it, and C and I finally got a chance to try it out.

Pro: there was plenty of seating and quick service.

Con: it was a bit dilapidated and you only hope they keep the kitchen up better than the rest of the place.

photo 3Pro: the braised pork ribs were juicy and delicious

Con: the accordion player hung around our table so long, said ribs got cold

Pro: the accordion player was pretty talented

Con: he talked more than he played

photo 4Pro: the portions are HUGE!

Con: the portions are HUGE!

Pro: we liked pretty much everything we tried – the ribs, the potato pancakes with apple sauce, the pickled red cabbage and sauerkraut, the sausages, the jaeger schnitzel (I realize pictures of juicy meat do not photograph particularly well. Sorry.)

Con: although we liked it, we didn’t love it

All in all, it was a fun little stop, but the prices are probably a little too high for us to go back much. Suggestion to the owner: cut back on the quantity (by half! at least!) and make it a little more affordable!

C and K’s rating of Edelweiss: 7/10 mangoes

 

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I read this on the internet – True Crime, The New Yorker

If you haven’t heard yet, The New Yorker has given free online access to it’s content since 2007. Yay! Longform.com listed some of their favorite available articles and I read this one first:

2008 WROCLAW  FOT. LUKASZ GIZA / AGENCJA GAZETATrue Crime tells the story of one Krystian Bala, a Polish man that commits a murder, publishes its details in a disturbing novel he writes years later, and the policeman that hunts him down. Engrossing, if disturbing, story.  As of publishing (2008), Krystian was awaiting a retrial. According to wiki, he was found guilty in his second trial as well and there is an option for a movie based on the New Yorker article.

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