Stranger Things Season 2 — Comic-Con “Thriller” Trailer

The 2017 Comic-Con International ends today, and, as always, the event was packed with teasers, trailers, and sneak peaks. Among he most anticipated was this trailer for the second season of Stranger Things.

It doesn’t disappoint.

We’re back in the 80s again, a year after the action of last summer’s breakout hit.

Arcades! Dragon’s Lair! Reagan/Bush! Winona Ryder! Ghostbusters! Thriller! Shorts that were actually, you know, short.

It even has Memphis sheets!*

Sequels are always tricky. Can the Stranger Things recapture the charm and magic of the original?

We’ll find out on 27 October 2017, when Netflix will make the whole series available for streaming.

To Be Stuck Here Inside of Mobile, with These Memphis Sheets Again

*Well, sort of. The sheets you can see at the 3:03 mark are certainly reminiscent of the Memphis designs that were ubiquitous in the mid-80s, but I don’t think they’re the original item. This is just another subtle Stranger Things 80s homage.

You can see real Memphis sheets on Grady’s bed at the beginning of this scene from 1985’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. (AKA the gay one.)

Memphis,” btw, doesn’t have anything to do with the city in Egypt. It was the name of a Milan design group, and had a style that heavily influenced New Wave graphics. Apparently, it’s making a comeback this year.

Being able to spread important, potentially life-changing information like this is what makes blogging so rewarding.

2017 Cookery Project — Balsamic Glazed Salmon and Herb Roasted Potatoes

Balsamic Glazed Salmon and Herb Roasted Potatoes

Balsamic Glazed Salmon and Herb Roasted Potatoes

The Balsamic Glazed Salmon recipe came from good old reliable Cooking Classy. The glaze combined balsamic vinegar, white wine, honey, Dijon mustard, rosemary, and garlic,* cooked down to a syruppy (Syrup-py? Syrupy? Syrup-like? Viscous? Whatever.) consistency, and spooned over the finished salmon. Simple.

Making the Herb Roasted Potatoes, from a Serious Eats article modestly titled “How to Roast the Best Potatoes of Your Life,” was more complicated.

I peeled the potatoes and cut them into large cubes, which I boiled in water, with salt and baking soda. While the potatoes were boiling I infused olive oil with—you’ll never guess—minced rosemary and garlic. After the potatoes had boiled for 10 minutes, I drained them, let the steam for a bit, and then put them in a plastic container and coated them with the infused olive oil. In adding the olive oil, I used a strainer, and reserved the garlic and rosemary for later.

I then baked the potatoes for 45 minutes, flipping them every once in a while. When they were done, I put them in a bowl and mixed in the reserved garlic and rosemary. I finished with Maldon Sea Salt flakes, and they were ready to go.

I’ve decided to start rating these experiments on a five-star scale, The boldface entry is my evaluation of the current dish.

★ Disaster. Inedible. Poisoned the cat.
★★ OK, but once is enough.
★★★ Mixed results. Something went wrong, but might try this again.
★★★★ Good, but lacks that special something.
★★★★★ Excellent. Goes into my “This is a winner” file.

Of course, this whole ratings scheme is sort of a cheat, because I only post notes about experiments that have been successful. Might have to re-think the whole thing.

*It occurs to me that almost everything I cook these days combines balsamic vinegar, white wine, honey, Dijon mustard, rosemary, and garlic. Add chocolate, salt, shallots, and raspberries, and you’ve got my 10 Basic Food Groups.

The Vivien Leigh Collection — Movie Auction of the Year

Vivien Leigh won Academy Awards for playing Scarlett O’Hara and Blanche DuBois, two of the all-time great women’s movie roles.

Now, 50 years after her death, what remains of her estate is being offered at auction by Sotheby’s London. The full auction catalogue has not yet been posted, but you can see a small sample at the auction site.

From the press release: “Passed down through Vivien’s family, the collection comprises paintings, jewellery, couture, books, furniture, porcelain, objets d’art and further items celebrating all aspects of her life, from the pre-war years in London, to Hollywood and beyond, up to her death in 1967. Myriad pieces drawn from the city and country homes Vivien shared with her husband Laurence Oliver [sic] will give a new perspective on Vivien, from her appreciation of art and patronage of Modern British artists, to her passion for books and fondness for entertaining and interior design.”

Included in the sale will be Vivien Leigh’s personal copy of Gone with the Wind, given to her by the author Margaret Mitchell.

As Blanche DuBois, Leigh puts her faith in the kindness of strangers in A Streetcar Named Desire.

As Scarlett O’Hara, Leigh rises from despair in Gone with the Wind.

The auction for “Vivien: The Vivien Leigh Collection” will take place on 26 Sep 2017 at Sotheby’s London.

A Wrinkle In Time — First Trailer

The movie won’t reach theatres until next Spring, but this weekend attendees at the D23 Expo got an early peak at Disney’s adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic novel, A Wrinkle In Time.

D23 is the official fan club for The Walt Disney Company, and the D23 Expo is its biennial exposition event.

You can never judge a movie based on its trailer—see, for instance, Ghost in the Shell, which had me all hot and bothered for weeks—but I’m lowering my previous high hopes for this project. Sorry, but Oprah Winfrey looks laugh-out-loud ridiculous here.

A Wrinkle in Time is scheduled to open on 9 March 2018.

Is That the Sydney Opera House on Your Head, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

What to Eat While Watching Westeros Plunge into a Devastating War

Dragon Fruit, of course.

It’s fairly obvious how it got its name. Dragon Fruit is native to Mexico, but now grows everywhere from the Canary Islands to Southeast Asia. Here’s a look inside:

The internal appearance and texture resemble Kiwi Fruit, but to me, Dragon Fruit is more bland and less sweet.

Despite my preference for Kiwi Fruit, I’ll be eating Dragon Fruit tonight, because Game of Thrones  is all about the dragons.

Now, if one of the characters was named “Daenerys, Mother of Kiwis,” it would be a different matter altogether.

Can’t believe I never got around to posting the second trailer for this series of Game of Thrones. Better late, and all that….

Lady Macbeth Trailer

First of all, no, it’s not the Scottish play, the name of which must never be mentioned.

This Lady Macbeth is an adaptation of Nikolai Leskov’s 1865 novel, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. It finally opened in five US theatres this weekend, after making the rounds on the festival circuit and getting rave reviews in the UK. The Tomatometer has it at 89%.

The movie has gotten high praise, especially for what’s been called “an amazing performance” by Florence Pugh, who plays Katherine. At 21, it’s only her second feature film.

What first drew my attention to Lady Macbeth was the subheading for Eric Kohn’s IndieWire review: “Imagine Alfred Hitchcock directing Wuthering Heights and you’ll get an idea of William Oldroyd’s tense period drama.” Pretty irresistible.

More theatres will be added in the weeks to come.