Sunday, June 26, 2011

For a Limited Time Only - My Favorite Fast Food Burgers

Oh fast food....It's my Achilles heel and I'm an even bigger sucker for the limited time offers. I think we were all suckered in as kids when McDonald's would have the Happy Meal offer with those awesome Muppet Babies toys in them. I still remember going to Subway in the early 90's to get my Terminator 2 meal. It was just an Italian BMT combo with a collectible cup. But it didn't matter to me because 1) Terminator 2 was awesome, 2) it had a collectible cup, and 3) it was on for a limited time only. I think I went back to that Subway another 5 times before it was over. The T2 meal was just the beginning of my love affair with short time deals. Here are my 5 favorite limited time only meals.

#5 - Burger Bundles (Burger King)

Yes, those are just sliders and yes, every single restaurant serves them but in the 80's nobody really served the slider yet. Plus, I was 8 year old when these came out and they were small like me so I was all over them. I'm sure they tasted like garbage but for kids it's all about the presentation.

#4 - Chilli Meltdown Burger (Dairy Queen)

Coming in at over 9000 calories was the 1/2 pound Chilli Meltdown Burger from DQ. This was sold for a brief period in the summer of 2008 and it quickly became a favorite of mine. It was just a double cheeseburger with onions and chilli but it was messy and so very good. Dairy Queen doesn't have it on their menu anymore; however, since they have chilli you would think that they could still make you this heart attack in a bun.

#3 - Hockey Hero Sandwich aka. Super Hero Burger (McDonalds)

I could probably fill a list of ten limited edition items from McDonald's. This one hasn't been offered since 1995 and in the US it was known as the Super Hero Burger. It was used as a promotional tie in for the movie "Batman Forever" and here in Canada it was called the Hockey Hero Sandwich because of a tie in with the NHL. This beast featured three patties and two pieces of cheese on a larger hoagie bun. It's a shame it hasn't been back since.

#2 - Bacon Mushroom Melt (Wendy's)

Oh Wendy's, why can't you offer this melted cheesy goodness all year? Unlike the previous three burgers, this one is still offered at least once a year for a limited time only. This has all the ingredients of a good burger; cheese, bacon, and mushrooms. Oh and it's messy and pretty much the perfect burger.

#1 - McRib (McDonald's)

You know the saying "the customer is always right"? Well why do you think McDonald's is so successful? They know what their customers want and they market the hell out of it. My wife's cousin operates a McDonald's and I remember asking him a few years ago, "when are they bringing back the McRib"? He said to me "they won't bring it back since it's a terrible product". Move head six months and not only was it back but some locations were even sold out of this processed pork delight. The McRib will never win any culinary awards but you have to admit that you have a soft spot for this BBQ soaked greasy delight.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

So there's going to be a Moneyball movie...

The trailer came out earlier this week for the long-delayed movie based on the 2003 book by Michael Lewis. If you're not a baseball geek like myself, it will help you to know that it's about Oakland A's GM Billy Beane and how he revolutionized baseball by taking a more analytical look at building teams rather than opening up the cheque book like some of the AL juggernaut's like the Yankees and Red Sox. Since the A's operated (and still do) on a shoestring budget Beane became somewhat of a legend by thinking outside the box just to compete with the big boys.
The book is fairly in-depth on how they scouted players differently and looked at different tangibles in players that other teams wouldn't look at. The point I want to make is that the book is great; however, I don't know how it will translate into a movie. I'm not saying this as one of those people who can't imagine a certain actor portraying their favorite character. Check out the trailer below:

If you're into baseball it looks pretty good right? In saying that there are a few things to consider about this MLB season:
1) Four of the six MLB division leaders all spend over $90million a year on salaries. While Oakland spends $58 million. The other two division leaders, Cleveland and Texas both spend just over $60million each.
2) The Oakland As are terrible this year. They currently sit in the basement of the AL West with a .452 winning percentage. The positive news is that they're only 5 games back of their frugal cousins, the Texas Rangers.

I guess what I'm getting at is, is the Moneyball story still relevant? This movie movie comes out on September 23 which will be right in the middle of the MLB season. If the A's can make some ground it could be a nice story; however if the Phillies and the Red Sox are dominating the playoffs this could show that nothing has changed.

Since I mostly write about movies and sports I'm obviously going to check out the movie; however, I do hope the general public will give this David  vs. Goliath battle a chance.

p.s. Obviously, I haven't seen the movie yet but I can't help but wonder why this wasn't turned into a TV show instead. This screams HBO to me.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

In Tim We Trust

Well, yours truly nailed the hammer on the head last round (see here). Not only did I predict the Bruins were going to win but I also predicted that they were going to win in 7 games. I'm mostly impressed with the fact that I called for the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup at the beginning of the playoffs (see here), yes I said that they would be playing the Sharks but going 9-5 in playoff predictions is pretty damn good.

Here are some of my thoughts from the Finals:
- Tim Thomas was awesome! The man became a legend after this series and punched his ticket into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the process. He also has the coolest moustache of all time.

- If it wasn't for Thomas I have to say that Brad Marchand probably would've been my second pick for the Conn Smythe Trophy. He was clutch for the Bruins scoring 10 goals and has earned himself a nice fat raise for next year since he's an RFA this summer. He earned $660K this season, so look for his salary to more than double next season.

- It was great to see a franchise like the Bruins win their first Cup since 1972. They have such a great history and they definitely deserved to win. The Canucks had a great season as well but at the end of the day it was easy to point to the Bruins and say they were the better team.

- What does this mean for the Canucks? Well, they have a long summer ahead of them to reflect on what went wrong. They were close and are probably still Cup favorites for next season as long as they can re-sign Kevin Bieksa.

CBC has started a tradition of running player cards where all the players announce where they're from and who their favorite players were growing up. This has become one of my favorite things to watch during the Finals.

The 2011/12 NHL season can't start soon enough. My name is Bryce Crittenden and I'm from Medicine Hat, Alberta and my favorite player growing up was Brett Hull.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Goonies + Cloverfield + Close Encounters = Super 8

One of my most anticipated movies this summer (see here) was the J.J. Abrams directed "Super 8". As I mentioned earlier the trailer had a lot movie nerds like me buzzing this last year since so little was revealed about the film in the preview. Since we live in a world where trailers pretty much give entire plots away it was nice to go into a film not knowing what to expect.

I had the privilege of seeing a preview screening a few days before it opened. I'm not going to ruin the entire movie but the basic plot revolves around a group of friends in junior high who get together to film a zombie movie. While filming at a train station they're witness to a crash that nearly kills them and unleashes a mysterious creature on the town. Of course before long people and objects around their small town start to go missing.

Even though you don't see it in the trailer you do end up seeing the creature. Yes they did a great job on the visual effects but ultimately this movie really isn't about the mysterious beast. In fact some of the moments that reveal it later in the film are probably the weakest moments of the movie.

This movie is all about growing up. Several of the main children characters in the film (played great by Elle Fanning, Joel Courtney, and Riley Griffiths) have different obstacles and realities that they have to face. Not only are they forced to grow up quickly but so do some of the adult characters played by the underrated Kyle Chandler and Ron Eldard.

The movie takes place during the summer of 1979. Steven Spielberg was one of the producers and it truly feels like you're watching something from him like "ET" or "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". For those like me who grew up in the 70's and 80's this movie will be extra touching for you. The scenes that I enjoyed the most  were with the group of kids as they made their movie. As a movie fan my whole life I couldn't help bu think back to a time when all I wanted to do was make a movie. As a matter of fact when I was a teenager I had looked into going to several film schools.

I never did go to film school or make movies for a living but after watching this movie it made me realize that it's never too late to follow your dream. Yes, we all grow up but that doesn't mean that you should never stop chasing your goals. Thank you Mr. Abrams and Mr. Spielberg for not only making an original Summer movie but thank you for reminding this film nerd why he's so passionate about movies.

Super 8 - A-

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tim Capello Rocks!

I've been on quite the 80's movie kick lately and I watched "The Lost Boys" for the first time the other night. I've seen a ton of movies but for some strange reason I had never seen this tale of 80's teen vampire angst before.

About 20 minutes into the movie we're treated to concert scene that is so great that I could never do the scene any justice describing it to you. Enjoy!

That sweaty saxophonist rocking the cod piece is none other than Tim Capello. The guy is a legend in the music world having played in Tina Turner's band for years.

There's a lot to love about this scene but I laugh the most at the two guys thrashing away to the sexy notes coming from Capello's saxophone. We need more saxophone players that look like 80's WWF superstars.