1What is wrong with the above picture?  I’m not sure.  I just can’t put my finger on it.  All the food seems to be on the table and ready for eating.  The table has been set for six…and there are six diners ready – and one or two downright anxious – to chow down.  Oh, wait.  I got it. Lulu has TWO rice bowls.  That’s it.

Anyway, yesterday. in keeping with this week’s weather theme – Hot! – Akemi decided to host a hot pot party with her friends.  What, pray tell, is a hot pot party?  Well, all you need a heat source, pot of hot soup –

1And various edibles for cooking:


Home made dumplings
Home made dumplings

Also, if you’re Akemi, made a little prepared side dish of my favorite mapo tofu:

1Akemi and her friends had a grand time, spending a couple of hours sitting, chatting, and eating.  For my part, I got fed up waiting for those damn dumplings to cook, polished off three bowls of the mapo tofu with rice, then retreated to the kitchen where I washed some dishes, dried them, dropped and shattered the brittlest glass pot I own, swept, and vacuumed.

Great news for Cookie Monster compliments of blog regular Keith who discovered a website with a free-to-watch copy of the 1977 superhero classic movie: Abar, the First Superman.  Bless his malevolent little heart.

Beware his righteous stare!

And so, after our Supermovie of the Week Club reconvenes for this Monday’s review and discussion of the 2012 Spiderman rehash, we’ll be moving on/back to Abar, the First Black Superman.

The week following, we’re going to mix things up with a movie of YOUR choice.  This blog is open to your suggestions until tomorrow night at which point we’ll put it to a vote.  So far, recommended titles include The Fifth Element, Battlefield Earth, and something written by Carl Binder (which, by process elimination, would be Pocahontas).

Hey, my friend, talented writer, and occasional blog lurker, Kellie, has just self-published her first novel!  Check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Darkling-ebook/dp/B00DMNZIEA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372533098&sr=1-1


PBMom writes: “Update on Woody’s son: They have moved him out of ICU to what could be considered a step-up unit. He’ll be observed there and then he will have one more transfer to another floor and then after that DISCHARGE!! Amazing. Just a reminder for everyone to sign up to be organ transplant donors and to let your family know your wishes (and better yet put it in a Living Will). Although you life might be at its end, your organs can give life to others, others like Woody’s son.”

Answer: Great to hear!  Thanks for this.

Keith wrote: “Also, I could have sworn that he did a League of Extraordinary Gentleman review but I can’t find it. So what’s the deal? That counts as a superhero film, doesn’t it?”

Answer: Nope, Cookie Monster never reviewed it because – again, nope – it isn’t really a superhero movie.  It’s a comic book movie to be sure but not really a superhero movie.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t force him to watch it!

Tam Dixon writes: “Any luck picking out a gift?”

Answer: Not yet.  I was entertaining the notion of signing him up for one of those Bacon of the Month clubs but have reconsidered.  Surely I can find something awesome in L.A.

dasndanger writes: “The 10 WTF moments froze up on me, and I only got through the first five. However, it did make me realize why sometimes I hate lists like this – not only because each entry is on a separate, advertisement and/or link-laden page, but also because the stuff they nit-pick is usually incredibly petty. It just feels like they’re trying to hard.”

Answer: To which nitpick are you referring?  Superman magically spinning the world backwards so he can turn back time and undead Lois Lane?  Or the fact that a subway full of commuters discover Spiderman’s secret identity in Spiderman 2, but this inconvenient fact is simply swept under the logic rug and immediately forgotten?

dasndanger also writes: “I really wish you liked corn, Joe.”

Answer: Who says I don’t like corn?  The corn soup at Fuel/Refuel was my absolute favorite.

Mike from Canada writes: “I just noticed your reading Wool.
I downloaded the set for my Kindle a while back but then forgot all about it. What’s it like?”

Answer: Interesting premise.

Mike from Canada also writes: “And third vote: No Country for Old Men.”

Answer: Actually, Baron Destructo already reviewed No Country for Old Men for this blog.  You can check out his thoughts here (http://josephmallozzi.com/2008/02/06/february-6-2008-cookie-monster-reviews-snakes-on-a-plane-baron-destructo-reviews-no-country-for-old-men/) as well as Cookie Monster’s take on Snakes on a Plane.

23 thoughts on “June 30, 2013: Hotpot! Movies! Kellie’s book! And the Mailbag!

  1. Akemi’s party looked great, and that food looks delicious (as usual).

    Again, that movie – eep.

    Great news on Woody’s son!

  2. Some thought Battlefield Earth was the worst movie ever but I watched it quite a few times. Battle LA is a great movie, too. Battleship was a great movie, too that hired a real-life war veteran to play the part.of Mick (Gregory D. Gadson). Lots of good trivia about that movie. Battleship did not get good reviews either.

    Was Lulu keeping the seat warm for her boyfriend Ivon?

  3. I think League of Extraordinary Gentleman is as much a super hero movie as Hellboy. I mean, it’s basically 1800’s Avengers. The team all has super powers. It’s more of a superhero movie than Condorman.

    But the point is moot if movie options are open beyond strictly super hero films. I nominate The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

  4. I enjoyed watching The Fifth Element, Mila rocked those bands they put on her.
    I looked at Amazon for Kellies book, it is on Kindle, I dont have one, but it does look like a good read, and several positive comments already. Way to go!!
    Glad to hear good things about Woody’s son!
    ~~and so you are having dumplings for breakfast…did they ever get done?

  5. You, Joe – I thought you said something about corn being a waste of…something or the other. Something like ’empty calories’, but not that. Whatever you said I just figured you steer clear of all corn. It was a while ago, so maybe my memory is a bit fuzzy…or just wrong. It won’t be the first time. 😛

    And yes, the main thing I was referring to on those 10 WTF moments is the Spider-Man identity thing. This is a HUGE problem I have with modern films, and film critics: the demand for realism. I LOVED the whole ‘we’ll keep your identity secret’ thing – it was pure fantasy…in a freakin’ superhero movie. It’s not like I really think there’s a dude out there swinging on webs and scaling walls with sticky fingers, so why can’t I ‘believe’ that the people on the train would keep their word? Let me have this one thing! Let me believe – if just for that moment – that people can be noble and do the right thing. That’s why I watch movies in the first place – to forget this terrible world and dream of another. (If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a bit of a cynical idealist, probably one of the reasons I loved that literary epitome of an oxymoron, Elric, so freakin’ much! Good and evil, order and chaos, always looking for the balance and never quite finding it until it’s too late…yeah. What a head shrink could do with that, eh? 😉 )

    Speaking of which, Inspector Lewis just came on and I really need my [final!! Waaaaaahh!) Hathaway fix!!! Next time we speak, perhaps we should address my obsession with tall, thin fantasy men of wan complexion and broody temperament 😉 …)


  6. I nominate Cube, or Nothing, with David Hewlett. Also highly recommend Man from Earth.

  7. As promised, here’s a few pics from my recent trip to Vancouver and to Whitehorse and Inuvik/Tuktoyaktuk above the Arctic Circle.

    These are a couple from the Amazon exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium, a butterfly and a Blue Fronted Amazon parrot:

    From Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Gardens:

    Chasing the Midnight Sun:

    Arriving in Tuktoyaktuk!

    Wading in the Arctic Ocean. Yes, it was cold!

    Eating muktuk (whale blubber) in Inuvik. It was somewhat challenging.

    Yes, I WAS above the Arctic Circle. I have the certificate to prove it!

    From Kluane National Park near Whitehorse:

    Super Moon over Whitehorse, YT:

    Finally, the video that I made at the Vancouver Aquarium. It was done on my iPhone, so it is what it is!

    I have another vid I’m working on of the flight to Tuk. I’ll post it later.
    Hope you enjoyed these!

  8. Also worth noting there’s quite an extensive free preview of Kellies book on Amazon Joe.

    I’ll admit, I haven’t bought into the Kindle, the whole digital book thing. Still prefer the good old fashioned way of reading lol


    Have you heard of Battle of Los Angeles? You know, that mockbuster movie done. I thought it was one of the worse films I’ve ever seen, the Camera work, effects and in a way the acting was laughable.

    Currently averaging a 2.1 out of 10 too. It’s a good lesson for any budding director on how not to make a movie lol

  9. *Currently averaging a 2.1 out of 10 on imdb too

    Opps. Forgot to put imdb in there lol

    Anyway I haven’t seen a mockbuster movie that I actually would consider decent on Syfy, though there are some funny/amusing random movies that are done that are pretty good.

  10. Fifth Element & Battlefield Earth are excellent choices for CM. May I also recommend Mortal Combat (and sequels) and Dungeons&Dragons.

  11. gift ideas for Martin: How about an assortment of Weird Food Items of the day? What about finding some of those beans that you eat and it changes your taste buds and have a selection of foods to test it out? How about a Tote Bag or a back pack that you have his full name stiched on it to put all his stuff in to carry around town? an electronic photo frame which you could download some pictures of you guys from the past to remind him of the good times you guys had together. make him an “audition” reel of your favorite Martin moments like an actor would to submit for an audition. i remember his acting debut on SGA….not bad as Beckett’s brother. The Scottish accent could use some work.

  12. Great news about Woody’s son!

    The hot pot looks interesting. I’ve been considering doing that for awhile. It looks like Akemi used one of those portable propane burners to keep it hot? I’ll have to invest in one of them.

    The Toxic Avenger was THE movie to watch among my friends when I was a teenager. Partially because it was filmed in my home state, but mostly because of the awesome. It is the singular film that turned me onto low budget, giggle worthy horror.

  13. I just bought The Fifth Element on Blu-Ray so bring it on! One of my all-time favourite movies!

    I’ve managed to avoid Battlefield Earth for all these years. Please don’t make me watch it!!!!! 🙁

    I agree with others that have said that League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen should be considered a superhero movie. Likewise, we should also watch Blade.

    It’s a tricky decision to make . . . do I suggest some of my favourite movies to get the Cookie Monster treatment? Or should I stick to bad movies?

    Bugger it! Here’s my two favourite movies. I watch both several times a year:

    The Dish – Base on true events (and the exception that proves the rule that movies based on true events are always crap):


    Pleasantville – This movie always makes me feel good. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just the glorious sight of Reese Witherspoon in a poodle skirt and bobby socks.


    The Dish hasn’t been seen much outside of Australia so I’d love for it to be the movie of the week and maybe get some more fans.

    Pleasantville had a much wider release and fanbase but I’m sure many blog regulars probably haven’t seen it and they should!

    Throwing in some more “out there” movies:

    Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension


    Big Trouble In Little China


    Dark Star

  14. What a wonderful looking meal! I can see why Akemi is considering Chopped. Loved the picture and caption of Lulu!!!!

    I’m glad Woody’s son is doing well. I can’t imagine the stress he and his family are dealing with. Sending prayers to his family!

    Bacon of the Month Club sounds yummy. Good luck finding something.

    I found a good muffin recipe and I’ve eaten the whole batch myself. Good thing I have a fast metabolism! These babies are dipped in butter and sugar after they are baked. So decadent and easy to make: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/french-breakfast-puffs-recipe/index.html

    Loved the pictures gforce! It looked like a great vacation. Strange seeing the beach picture and it looking cold. I’m used to Florida beaches.

    Please reconsider The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. My favorite scene was where the bad guy grabbed Mina and she went on vampie on him. The other characters just look at her with awe, respect and little horror. After she delicately composes herself, Tom Sawyer says “Boy. They told me European women had funny ways.”

  15. 😳 My code stuck. I hope it doesn’t screw up all the other posts. Sorry in advance!

  16. @Randonmness

    I avoided ebooks for a long time myself. Now I don’t think I could live without my Kindle. Then again, you don’t have to turn off a physical book when the plane is landing, so there is that.

  17. Oh! Oh! Big Trouble in Little China! I cast all of my votes for that one. If you haven’t seen it, you really should watch it immediatelyl. Well, maybe not you, das, there are no tall thin pale dudes in that one. And I can’t recall whether or not you like Kurt Russell.

  18. @line noise, oh yes I have seen both the Dish and Pleasantville several times. Enjoyed them alot. They have been on tv here many times.FL. Thanks for bringing them up. The League was good also, (spoiler sort of) except I was sad at the end.
    Joe its the dumpling thing again, what was inside them??

  19. Suggestions:
    Dune – original movie with Kyle McLachlan
    Fifth Element
    The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
    Scorpion King
    The Forbidden Kingdom
    We’re no Angels – original with Humphrey Bogart

    Please not Battlefield Earth – Poor Cookie should not suffer that. Or us either.

    The picture of dinner and friends is great.
    Lulu, steals the show as usual.

    The book looks interesting…and kindle version is only $2.99.
    Got it!

  20. I’m glad to hear about Woody’s son. I’d be dead if it wasn’t for modern medicine and anti-biotics. Regardless of the many problems we face, I think we are very fortunate to be alive at this time. We (Industrialized Western society) have it very good. I’m still waiting for the promise of any movie any time I want, although it’s getting very close. (I’m not counting pirate sites)

    When I was young the only way you could have a film collection was to actually have a film collection. You needed to have a projector and buy the reels. Some were in 16mm, some only in 35. There wasn’t a great choice and they were generally very expensive for reportedly poor quality. This was not something I could afford to do. Then VHS came out, but I didn’t like the quality. Laser discs came out about the same time, but I had chosen to have children instead of a movie collection. Now we have blu-ray. And like I said, life is good.

    After suggesting the Fifth Element, O Brother Where Art Thou and No Country For Old Men, I went to watch one of them and surprise, all three had vanished. Needless to say, this made me somewhat annoyed. This is why I don’t like to loan out my movies and books. They have a tendency to not come back, and I never remember until I go to look for them. I suspect my children, since they are the only ones who borrow my movies and books. I could kidnap their cats and ransom them back, but then I would have to deal with their cats. My son’s cat is the reason why I almost died and my daughter’s cat had a tendency to get poop stuck to her bum, then spread it all over my house.
    So never mind.

    I lent a pristine copy of the book “Skene’s Elements of Yacht Design” to a friend once and he returned it looking like it had been dropped in a puddle and put through a shredder. And the dust cover was missing. He didn’t even have the decency to look embarrassed or invite me to go sailing. Harrumph.

    Argle bargle. I’ve been waiting for days to get that in a something I wrote, I just couldn’t wait any longer.

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