Saturday, October 22, 2016

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is fun but no more

As I've written earlier that I would, I had to catch this second film adaptation of the wonderful Jack Reacher novels from Lee Child.  I entered the theater vaguely aware of the bad reviews but fully prepared to love the movie.

I didn't.  I had fun and don't regret seeing it, but the film never fully clicked.

The individual parts generally worked.  The plot moved along quickly.  Tom Cruise handled the Reacher role reasonably well, speaking little and staying within character.  Cobie Smulders stole the show and should get more leading roles.  Danika Yarosh did well.

It just didn't quite come together the way I wanted it to.  I think the fault may have been the film's decision to make Reacher more human, less perfect, less effective.  Reacher isn't a conventional character.  He wins fights.  He kicks ass against overwhelming odds.  The movie should have let him be the character that Child writes.  Instead, they added vulnerabilities that did not, to my taste, help the movie.

Still, I had a fun time.  If you're looking for light action entertainment, check it out.

Friday, October 21, 2016

No wolverine movie has yet been all that I've wanted

but this trailer makes me hopeful for the next one.

(Warning:  It's a violent Red Band trailer.)

I love how ragged this Logan is.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sarah and Ben on swings in the sky

Earlier tonight, a group of us went to the North Carolina State Fair for our annual visit to this rather amazing American and North Carolinian institution.  I must confess to loving it in all of its excess.

It's late, so I'll write my usual State Fair food sampling report another day.  Until then, this picture of Sarah and Ben on the swings ride--you might have to look closely to find them--will have to hold you.

If you're having trouble spotting them, click the image to see a larger version.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Trump on the peaceful transition of power

From the debate earlier tonight:

Chris Wallace: But, sir, there is a tradition in this country, in fact, one of the prides of this country is the peaceful transition of power and no matter how hard fought a campaign is that at the end of the campaign, that the loser concedes to the winner. Not saying you're necessarily going to be the loser or the winner, but that the loser concedes to the winner and the country comes together in part for the good of the country. Are you saying you're not prepared now to commit to that principle?
Donald Trump: What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense, okay?
No, it's not okay.  It's really not.

Chris Wallace is a Fox News reporter, and even he was clearly incredulous at this declaration from Trump.

If you lose, you don't fight the election results; you concede and move on with your life.

At this point, Trump is so consistently outrageous that people joke about his behavior, shrug, and seem to accept it.  We should not.  We must not.

The only sure way to keep Trump from becoming the next President of the United States is by voting for Hillary Clinton.

I am voting for Hillary Clinton.

You should, too.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Time to give Lee Child some money

If you're in the mood for fun entertainment you can't put down, plan to get a copy of Lee Child's new Jack Reacher novel, Night School, on November 7.

While you're planning your amusements, you might as well schedule a trip to the theater this weekend to see the new Reacher movie, Never Go Back.

Yes, I'm doing both.

You can thank me later.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Holden at eight weeks

He was and remains the world's cutest dog.

That was 13 years and two months ago.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Oro satisfies and comforts

Eating at Oro is like settling into a comfortable table at a home where everyone's a really good cook and the meal is full of your comfort-food favorites.  Except the home is on a corner in busy downtown Raleigh, the room is elegant, and truffles were probably not a staple of the mac-and-cheese you grew up with.  On a cool fall night, Oro was a perfect place to be, and I suspect it will grow only more desirable as the days shorten and turn colder.

Our large group sampled quite a few of the dishes on offer, including the truffle mac & cheese, the grilled Caesar salad, the roasted corn risotto, the gnocchi with pesto cream sauce and pear slices, the New York strip, the braised beef short ribs, the pork belly tacos, and the grilled octopus.  (Hey, I said we ate quite a few!)

For most of us, there wasn't a bad bite in the meal.  A couple found the pork belly and pineapple salsa a bit too much, and a couple didn't try the octopus, but they were the outliers; most of us tried and liked everything.

Their truffle mac & cheese has headed the menu for a long time, and with cause:  it's a perfect rendering of a classic dish, and it has truffles.  What's not to like?  The pesto cream sauce was an unusual touch, and the gnocchi were on the heavy side, but I loved the dish.

The desserts were good but not, to my taste, up to the savories.  I don't think any will steer you wrong.  The headliner is their campfires, in which you roast your own marshmallows at your table.

Executive chef and owner Chris Hylton is not breaking new ground with his dishes--I would love to see him go wild with an outre tasting menu, just to experience his vision unrestrained by commercial requirements--but he and the team in the kitchen are doing all of the items on the menu with skill.  The result is high-end comfort food that lets you enjoy a wonderfully tasty and comforting meal.

I have now eaten at Oro on multiple occasions, and I have enjoyed every single meal.  I recommend it highly.


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