Best Movie Dishes and Recipes

Feature Image Source: Leite’s Culinaria

Have ever watch a film that displays a dish and you find yourself drooling over the television screen? I do. All at the time. I may be a cinephile, but I also a massive foodie! I recently discovered a “Youtube-r” that creates some iconic dishes as seen on film and I couldn’t control my excitement. Thanks to Andrew Rea and his series: “Binging with Babish,” I am finally able to share the recipe of each dish without having to create it myself; which is good news for everyone because I can’t cook. So Skip the T.V Dinners (do people still eat those?) and check out some of my favorite dishes as seen on my favorite films.

Lets start with a cliche dishes from one of the most popular Disney/Pixar films: Ratatouille from Ratatouille (2007)

 

I initially saw this film thinking Ratatouille was the name of the rodent character, completely unaware of french cuisine. Ten years later and I have yet to prepare the dish (out of fear I would ruin it), however, I have tasted the dish and it just tastes like roasted tomatoes and peppers. I was imagining a flavor explosion of some kind, instead I was greeted with a bland taste. If you want to try and impress your significant other with plating skills, I recommend this recipe, although it may seem a bit complicated.

Julia Child Beef Bourguignon from Julie and Julia (2009)

 

I consider this to be my favorite dish of all time. In a way, this dish describes me as a simple girl with a hearty personality. I find any dish made from a dutch oven absolutely delicious. I previous tried to make this stew, but fail miserably; I guess because I used applewood smoked bacon and it gave the dish a different taste. I have yet to try Julia Child’s recipe and am very curious to taste it. If you grave something simple and scrumptious, try Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon. In the film, this dish launched the publication of Child’s cookbook. If I tried this dish, I would have published her cookbook too.

World’s Greatest Sandwich from Spanglish (2004)

 

One of the greatest bilingual films of all time, it demonstrates the plight of migrant women as she tries to acclimate into American society and prevent her daughter from being absorb by it. During the course of the film, she works for a Michelin star chef that creates the “world’s greatest sandwich,” which is a simple BLT with cheese and an egg, but it looks absolutely appetizing in the film. Although it is not the only dish created by the chef, it is the most simple and desirable meal to make.

Prison Sauce from Goodfellas (1990)

 

My favorite Martin Scorsese film of all time, Goodfellas focuses on Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta and his association to a mob in New York. This film feature various meals through out the film, but the one that is most prominent is sauce created in prison. Henry and other mobsters are briefly in jail where they enjoy a privilege lifestyle compare to the other inmates. They are able to gather together at a dinner table and prepare their own meals. The scene breaks down everyone’s role in preparing dinner, from cooking the meat to slicing the garlic really thin in order to dissolve in the pan. In the end, we have one character yell at another to not put too many onions in the sauce. A simple recipe that every cinephile drools over.

I recommend trying Andrew Rea’s take on each dish and experiencing it yourself.

What’s your favorite movie dish?

Sausage Party: An Existential Crisis

Feature Image Credit: Columbia Pictures (Source: IMDb)

I want to start of by saying that I will be mentioning certain elements from the film that may deemed to be controversial. I respect all point of views and this is simply an observation for entertainment purposes.

I am aware of the reputation Sausage Party (2016) has created for it self. Its offensive and explicit humor resinates with its audience in a negative way and it universally bashed by many critiques. However, many are too focused on the uncensored ending, that lack to understand the underlining meaning behind the plot as a metaphor for mortality.

Created by candid actor Seth Rogan, the film focuses grocery store items (mostly food) as they seek to “chosen” by the “gods” (humans) to be bought and expect a better life in the “great beyond” unknown of what lies ahead. Soon the sausage, Frank (Rogan) learns the horrifying truth that he will eventually become a meal. After warning his pals about their similar fate, the panicked perishables devise a plan to escape from their human enemies and embark on a search for meaning. Through out this journey, they witness massive deaths that make these characters question the very foundations of their life, including their beliefs.

They begin each morning with a song appreciating the gods for everything that they will do for these items once they reach the great beyond. A concept we conduct in a religion over the course of our life. Once the grocery items are picked, they learn the horrible truth about the great beyond: it is not what its projected to be. Since actors Seth Rogan and James Franco are outspoken atheist, I presume the film to be an alloy on religion.

Though out their existence, they were made to believe that the great beyond was a “magical” place were all fantasies and desires come true, instead of what it actually is, horror. Later on in the film, the sausage Frank learns that this myth was created to remove the fear of death and create desire to be chosen to pass on. This scene reminds me of Ricky Gervais’s 2009 film The Invention of Lying, about a man who develops the ability to lie in a universe that prides its self on honesty. His mother is on the verge of death and confesses to Gervais character that she is afraid of dying because of the unknown. He comforts her by creating a fantasy of life after death; telling her that she will be young once again and all her dreams would come true. This is exactly what occur in Sausage Party, the grocery items were told this lie to make death less horrific and implement the idea that there is something better waiting us.

Towards the ends with all the characters living life to the fullest as they wait their impending death, this made me think: metaphorically, aren’t we all grocery items unknowing waiting to be devoured?

The film ends with the character realizing they are not real and that their world is fabricated, which in turn reminds me of Descartes famous line: “I think there for I am.” Shouldn’t this concept apply to these characters?

Never be afraid to over analyze a film; it all part of being a cinephile!

 

The Room (2003)

Characterized as the Citizen Kane of bad films, this indie-cult sensation will remain as one of the most humorous films of all time.

Directed, written, produced, and staring aspiring actor, Tommy Wiseau, it’s centered on a melodramatic love triangle among amiable banker Johnny (Wiseau), his deceptive fiancée Lisa (Juliette Danielle), and his conflicted best friend Mark (Greg Sestero).

What is so significant about this film is its lack of plot, climax, character development, consistency, and pretty much everything a film needs to be successful. Because of its flaws and over dramatic performance, The Room instantly became ridiculed and a cult classic.

The film consist of: humorous characters, including Denny, whose relationship to the protagonist remains unclear but somehow keeps showing up in every scene; humorous lines, like “You are tearing me apart, Lisa;” humorous sets and humorous acting. 

After reading Greg Sestero memoir, The Disaster Artist: My life inside The Room, I learn that it wasn’t Wiseau’s intention to make a bad film although he claims the opposite. After not being able to obtain any acting gig in Hollywood and on the verge of self-destruction, Wiseau decided to take matters into his own hands and write a film to star in. Thinking it would demonstrate his talent to Hollywoods casting agents, Wiseau created a dramatic story about betrayal, which I assume was a reflection of Hollywood giving Wiseau the “cold shoulder.”

Unfortunately, like many other amateur projects, the film bombed and destroyed the little credibility Wiseau established in Hollywood. Today, Wiseau is remembered as heavy accent man that lives a secret life and wrote the “greatest” terrible film that is enjoyed all over the world.

My favorite pastime is attending a showing of The Room because it is the most fun I will ever have. Once there, the audience yells vulgar comments at the screen, mocks the characters by reciting their infamous lines, throws plastic spoons whenever a framed picture of a spoon appears, counts the times Wiseau’s character says hello, and claps along with the terrible soundtrack, among other things. Here is a clip of a screening just to give you a taste of the crowed that shares my outspoken personality (WARNING: YOU MAY WANT TO TURN DOWN YOUR VOLUME):

Video Credit: antisocialxgrl

There are even Youtubers like Pewdiepie who demonstrated his love for the film. But my favorite Youtube video criticizing this film was made by CinemaSins. For those of you who are not familiar, CinemaSins is a Youtube channel that has a series called “Everything Wrong With…” where they point out flaws and make humorous comments about it. My favorite comment in this video is narrator pointing out a character’s lack of compassion and not remembering that she has breast cancer. I seen this video at least a hundred times.

 

If you are looking for a laugh and a good time, I highly recommend attending a screening or at least watching the film on your time. It definitely satisfies the relief theory of humor.

Wedding Movie Favorites

Every girl wants to get married, even the punk/emo girl who thinks weddings are overrated, or the feminist that takes a stand against the wedding industrial complex. Women like Liz Lemon from 30 Rock who states, “Weddings [are] a giant industry that preys on gender stereotypes to make adult women spend a ton of money and act like selfish children. I mean have you seen Bridezillas?” Even she finally admitted that she does want a special day.

Video Source: Published by Liz09Lemon

I spent a ton of time thinking about how my wedding would be. I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to the wedding ideas. I would absolutely want Tony Bennett to sing at my wedding just as he did for Liz Lemon’s (Tina Fey) wedding. But a girl can only dream.

Since I, once again, have weddings on my mind, here is a (very) short list of films that fuel my desire for a wedding and makes me hopeful that someday I will find romance.

1. Made of Honor (2008)

made of honor

Promotional Poster Credit: Sony Picture (Image Source)

I am literally watching this film as I type. After traveling to Scotland, I realized that it the absolute, most beautiful location in the world. I wish to either be purposed to and/or marry in Scotland. This film is perfect if you dream of finding a Scottish Duke and become a duchess. The protagonist is played by McDreamy (Grey’s Anatomy reference) actor Patrick Dempsey as he becomes his best friend Hannah’s maid of honor.  The classic “guy-realizes-he-is-in-love-with-his-female-best-friend” film scenario. However predictable and cliche the film is, I love the aesthetics of the film and the Scottish scenery.

2. Bride Wars (2009)

bride wars

Promotional Poster Credit: 20th Century Fox (Image Source)

Two best friends, one wedding date, it’s a classy Battle Royal. When these two NYC best friends’ weddings are each accidentally schedule on the same day, they conduct some humorous, child-like tactics to see which girl will back down. I will say that the humor is not want entices me to watch this film, but the story line of a NYC theme wedding is inspiring and I can relate way too much to Kate Hudson’s character “Olivia.” Olivia is a corporate lawyer who is type A, competitive, and fierce; unfortunately characteristics I posses. The “June weddings at The Plaza” theme is one nearest and dearest to my heart and my good friend Mikaela. We are NYC crazy and dream of becoming a fashionista or an attorney in NYC. But I really hope this storyline never happens to us.

3.  Monster-in-Law (2005)

Monster-in-Law_poster

Promotional Poster Credit: New Line Cinema (Image Source)

Okay, first things first, I absolutely LOVE Jane Fonda! She is a QUEEN and an ICON. She is EVERYTHING and she is currently “killing it” with her Netflix series Grace and Frankie. What’s better than Jane Fonda? Jane Fonda as a “monster-in-law,” as she goes head-to-head with Jennifer Lopez character, “Charlie”. The chemistry between Charline and her Jane Fonda’s fictional son “Kevin,” played by handsome Michael Vartan, is one that I yearn for. However, the adorable couple’s chemistry is no match against Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez’s hilarious attraction. Similar to Bride Wars, Monster-in-law has both actresses portraying enemies and engage in petty acts of revenge but one I enjoy watching because of Jane Fonda and the warm California aesthetics.

Of course there are more wedding related films I enjoy to watch, such License to Wed (2007), American Wedding( 2003), My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997), My Big Fact Greek Wedding (2002), Our Family Wedding (2010), and so many more as guilt pleasure; however, the films ai mentioned above are the three that satisfy my desire for a dream wedding.

Interview with Dr. James Colon, Professor of Philosophy and Film

On Monday, I had the pleasure of sitting down with fellow cinephile, Dr. James Conlon, a Philosophy Professor at Mount Mary University, who has taught a course entitle, Philosophy and Film. I had the chance to discuss the association of philosophy and films and contemporary films. Check out the interview below.

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Dr. Conlon, thank you for meeting with me. First off, could you tell me about the course, Philosophy and Film?

Basically, what we do in the class is see a film together. I believe very much in communal viewing. I know that people today have private access to films but I like to see them with other…I mean not just with a friend; I like to see [films] in a public place. Plus, I think [films] are made to be seen on the big screen. Rather than have students see a film on their own and come [to class] and talk about it, I like to have them all see it together. Usually there is an hour after the film to talk about it. Then, we read an article on the film, and then we come and talk about it again. It is usually a film a week.

I try and get students interested in the philosophical questions that the film raises. For example, let me take the film like, Her (2013). That [film] is about whether you can fall in love with a computer, an operating system, and what would love would mean in that circumstance. Can a person be a person without a body? Samantha doesn’t have a body in that film. So, those are the kinds of films I choose. I think films are natural discussing points.

I think most people just go to [see] films for entertainment, they don’t realize the ways in which film is working on them to get them to believe certain things and to understand what the film is getting them to think. I try to make sure they become more conscience of that and I think a good way to do that is by talking about [films] with others.

What are some ways an audience can experience or understand a film?

 One way to try to understand a film is to see who the creator is and see what other works that creator has done, but also who wrote the script. Films are a very complex art. It is important to understand all the pieces. The visuals, the dialogue, the music, how are they integrated in the meaning of the film? Students will sometimes say to me, well…don’t you ever go to the movies just for fun?’ And I say, that’s the only reason I go to the movies. Nobody has more fun at the movies than I do. The fun is only increased the more you understand what is happening in front of you. I do not like special effects, I think pure cinema as people in front of a camera. I don’t need strong in animated film, I have never been attracted to it. I can see its beauty, but I think the power of cinema is the power of real people and the camera, not digital.

You mentioned Her (2012) as one of the film you see in that course, what others films are seen in that course?

I try give students, not just a contemporary experience, but classical experiences. We watch Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanor (1989), for example. In terms of a 30’s, 40’s films, we watch Max Ophüls, Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948). Even though our film experience, unfortunately, is very Americanized, “Hollywoodized,” I think it’s very important to see films from other countries. For example, the Spanish film, Talk to Her (2002), even though the subtitling is often off-putting to students, I think it’s good for students to get used to it, because once you get used to it, it’s very second natured. A film that I end the class with the Italian film, Cinema Paradiso (1989), which is a great film about film.   

I am currently writing a series about some of my favorite directors on my blog, so I wanted to ask you, what are some of your favorite directors and why?

I guess I’m interest in directors who write their own stuff. I particular like the Swedish director, Ingmar Bergman. Right now, I am interested in Richard Linklater.

What is a current film you have seen that you would recommend and why?

Manchester by Sea (2016) was a film that affected me. The notion of whether there are things one can’t recover from, whether there are things that one can’t forgive oneself for, and what that says about a meaningful life. I think it was interestingly against the American grain of sense that one can recover from anything and that there is always a bright side. I thought that that film dealt with stuff that American cinema often doesn’t deal with and it was tragic in a beautiful way.

Who did you think deserve the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year, La La Land or Moonlight?

I think La La Land in some ways was tragic too, but not in the deep way that Moonlight was, and I know that part of its appeal was that everybody has a song and dance in them, but Ryan Gosling can’t dance nor can Emma Stone. I thought Moonlight was a much better film. I was intrigue by La La Land’s [effort] to bring back the musical [genre] but I didn’t think it was at the stature of the other films.

 I wrote a post about Moonlight as being a revolutionary film because it tackles new concepts, what are some films that you find revolutions that tackle new concepts, new ideas, or new writing or directing styles?

Well, take something like Alien (1979), I mean you have a powerful woman, action figure, that’s a new concept in film, so that’s exciting and interesting. I mean precisely because we see the black experience primarily through white eyes. Seeing black film makers, themselves, is exciting. What counts as revolutionary depends on what your revolting against, in some sense La La Land was a revolt against the “super, action figure, 3-D, Hollywood” stuff, but in another way it was very much in the Hollywood tradition.

Absolutely, well my blog is called The Cinephile, which refers to a person that is found of films…

 Well, Phil is the Greek word for love

Right, Cine, film and phile, love. Overall, would you consider yourself to be a “cinephile?”

I am certain passionate about films. If I don’t see a film once a week in the theater, I start to get “antsy.” Would that count as a [characteristic of a] cinephile?

Absolutely. So, as a “cinephile,” this can be a difficult to as a “cinephile,” what is your favorite film?

That’s a hard question. I mean usually, the way I start the film class, as a mode of introduction to each other, I ask them to give me: the film they most recently saw in the theater, the film they have seen the most times, and then the film that they would consider their most cherished film. The last time I did that, I think I gave The Wizard of Oz as my most favorite film, because it is about film. Dorothy goes from her black-in-white world to cinematic world of Oz and why leaves it, I’ll never know. So, I think the film is about film, about woman, and leadership. That is the film I choose, but whether that will change next week, I’m not sure.

Of course, well, thank you so much for you time and answers.  

Thank you.

Dr. Conlon gave a meaningful understand of the definition of a “cinephile.” He also was able to provide us with philosophical insight about films and recommend some beautiful films for our entertainment. I hope you go and check out the films mentioned. Dr. Conlon and I really hope you enjoy reading this insightful interview that comes to show how the passion for film can be found in any field.

 

About the Professor

profile_conlon-jamesJames Conlon, Ph.D is a Professor of Philosophy at Mount Mary University. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Seattle University in 1970; M.A. in Philosophy at Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI in 1974; amd his Ph.D. in Philosophy at Marquette University, in 1975. He has an article in the Internternational Journal of Philosophy entitled, “Against Ineffability, in 2010. He is a member of American Philosophical Association and the Society for the Philosophical Study of the Contemporary Visual Arts.

 

 

 

 

Romantic Films Right for You!

Romance can be found in every film you have ever seen, but there are some that execute and give this genre justice. Here are some of my picks from the Romance sub genres in order to specifically find the right one for you.

Historical Romance 

Young victoria

Promotional Poster Credit: Momentum Pictures (Image Source)

My pick for a Historical Romance film would be the 2009 film The Young Victoria, it stars Emily Blunt as Queen Victoria, the only legitimate heir of King William and it set in my favorite historical period and location, England in the early 1800s. The film centers on the inseparable duo; Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, as they try to overcome the obstacles of leading a country and marriage. This films captures the true and substantial love between Victoria and Albert, as Albert becomes the only person that understand Victoria and essentially agrees to follow her until the end of his life. This film is a tearjerker, so I highly recommend having tissues.

Romantic Drama

Atonement_UK_poster

Promotional Poster Credit: Universal Pictures (Image Source)

For this category, I pick the powerful 2007 film, Atonement. Another British period film, only this one is set in the Second World War. Based on the book by Ian McEwan and staring Keira Knightly, the film reminds me of morality and how mistakes have the ability to change people’s lives forever. I first saw this film during my semester abroad in London, and I can’t stop thinking about it. It is a powerful film that will definitely resinate with you.

Chick Flick

Movie_poster_a_cinderella_story

Promotional Poster Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures (Image Source)

This film stars my teen idol, Hilary Duff and filmed during a time when Disney produced excellent movies and not Selena Gomez garbage. I think this film stands out for me as a teen chick flick,  because it is the classic love story with comedy and the appropriate use of technology. The story is a re-interpretation of a modern Cinderella story. Hillary Duff plays the timid, intelligent girl, all my friends could relate too, who finds a heartthrob that loves her for her personality without knowing her looks.

Romantic Comedy

Clueless

Promotional Poster Credit: Paramount Pictures (Image Source)

A classic and personal favorite, Clueless (1995) stars Alice Silverstone in one of the most quotable films right next to Mean Girls (2004). Centered on the day of the life of a shallow, preppy, rich girl, Cher, who tries to achieve some good deeds and overcome high school. Follow Cher in her ultimate quest as a matchmaker for her teachers, friends, and eventually herself. Without a solid plot, this is film will still guarantee a laugh out loud moment with every “As if,” and “Whatever.”

Romantic Thriller

Nocturnal_Animals_Poster

Promotional Poster Credit: Focus Features (Image Source)

Director and Fashion Designer, Tom Ford is back from his successful drama, A Single Man, to director a romance thriller, Nocturnal Animals (2016). The plot focuses on successful, Los Angeles, art gallery owner who confronts some dark truths about her past after receiving a manuscript written by her first husband, who she has not seen in years.  This psychological film will leave you with nightmares and anxiety. This powerful film emphasizes on the tragic side of love and how overwhelming it can become.

Bromance 

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Promotional Poster Credit: Paramount Pictures (Image Source)

If you are like me, you enjoy a good bromance film. One that gives this sub genre justice, would be the 1998 film, A Night at the Roxbury. It focuses on bromance between two brothers as they unsuccessfully try to fit into the Los Angeles night club scene. What lacks in plot makes up in humor and becomes such a quotable movie. Quotes that I still use with my friends today, such as “Emilio.” Another great 90’s film that will make you laugh out loud and add to your collection.