Happy Thanksgiving! A New Turkey Day Tradition!

Brazeiros

With our kids grown and (at the moment) moved out, we have started a new way of celebrating Thanksgiving. This being the third year, it now qualifies as tradition. We go to Knoxville and have a big Thanksgiving lunch at Brazeiros.

Brazeiros

Brazeiros is a very nice churrascaria. A churrascaria is a Brazilian steakhouse, with an endless supply of meats brought to the table. Sadly these have become rather popular in the last decade. I mention sadly because a good churrascaria is amazing but a bad one will put you right off the concept. The difference appears to be the quality of the meats used. Top quality meats such as at Brazeiros (Knoxville) and Chima (Charlotte) ensure a top quality experience. Unfortunately many churrascarias use bargain basement meats (filet mignon that tastes like sawdust for example). The churrascaria on Norwegian Cruise Lines has a $20 upcharge and is just awful as is my local churrascaria, Brasilia.

Mockingjay 2

Every Thanksgiving, my wife and I drive to Knoxville, eat picanha, drink a caipirinha, and have papaya cream with chambord for dessert. We go to the movies afterward (The Hunger Games Mockingjay this year I think) and a motel for the evening. We go to Mckay’s, do some Christmas shopping Friday morning, and return home.

I hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving, with or without family.

Friday This ‘n’ That – Timing is Everything

#firstworldproblems

I love going to the movies. Currently, Friday is my day off and I like to spend the day at the movies. During the summer, things are great as movies start between 10 and 11 in the morning. I can get in three features before meeting my wife for dinner.

Unfortunately it’s not summer so two of the three theaters I frequent, Regal Biltmore Grande and Epic Theatre of Hendersonville, don’t even start their shows until 1 in the afternoon. Ditto the three I don’t go to, Carmike, Beaucatcher, and Asheville Brewing. Only Carolina Cinemas has morning showings, some as early as 11.

This is the absolute nitpickiest of nitpicky complaints.

Regal Cinemas

Biltmore Grande has a rather annoying schedule. The vast majority of their films run on a 1, 4, 7, and 10 rotation (as many theaters do). While this does mean that you can simply show up at the theater prior to one of these times and be pretty sure you’re okay, it really leaves out those of us who like to string together a marathon or even a double feature.

Carolina Cinemas

Again, Carolina Cinemas comes to the rescue. Their movies are scheduled at all different times so, if you know how long a movie is, you can plan a string of movies. This past Friday, for example, I could have gone to Biltmore Grand to go see The Visit at 130 and Crimson Peak at 4. Alternately I could have gone to The Carolina to see Crimson Peak at 1150, Sicario at 205, and Bridge of Spies at 420.

Friday This ‘n’ That – Violence in the Cinema Edition

I went to see Sicario the other day and enjoyed myself but there was an incident at the theater.

I actually missed about ten minutes in the middle of the movie as a fist fight broke out. One patron decided the theater was his personal living room and starting using his cellphone, another patron objected verbally, and shortly after, sound effects behind me are echoing what was onscreen.  I got up but several closer people had already separated them so I got management.

The incident was resolved quickly. After the movie finished and people started leaving, management was on hand to give out return passes. My wife was concerned when I told her but for all the talk of cinema violence, I have gone to the movies constantly for over four decades and have seen just this one fight and one drunk and disorderly a few years back.

I am refraining from naming the theater(s) involved as I would not want them to get a reputation over an incident. Violence is obviously unacceptable (on either part of the equation) but also

TURN OFF YOUR PHONE at the movies – everyone else paid for a ticket too. Act like an adult – don’t kick the chair in front of you because you want to put your feet up. Don’t talk during the feature. This is not your living room. If you are incapable of simple human decency, for goodness sakes, stay home.

 

Finding the Grail – Woohoo! New Theater in Asheville!

The closing of Cinebarre left a bit of a movie void in Asheville. Asheville Pizza is now the only second-run theater and that’s way on the north side of town and has but a single screen. The Carmike and the fading Beaucatcher are out by the mall (ugh). Regal Biltmore Grande is out in the tony Biltmore Park area and is our fancy theater for the latest releases. Carolina Cinemas (south of Asheville) and the Fine Arts theater (downtown) are Asheville’s venues for art, foreign, and independent film.

Grail Moviehouse

 

Enter The Grail Moviehouse, a new two-screen, 250 seat theater in downtown Asheville.

THE GRAIL MOVIEHOUSE IS AN INDEPENDENT, LOCALLY OWNED THEATER,
SCREENING ART AND INDEPENDENT FILMS, LOCALLY PRODUCED CONTENT,
CLASSICS, AND A REGULAR ROTATION OF CINEMATIC SURPRISES.”

The Fine Arts theater downtown already shows art and foreign films but, with only two screens, there should be more than enough movies to go around. Of course I am most intrigued by The Grail Moviehouse’s intention to show classic movies. They have an ad for an old favorite on their website:

The Tingler

 

They have a nice two and a half minute sizzle reel showing the theater being built on their blog (accessible from the website). Concession-wise The Grail Moviehouse will have the necessary traditional favorites but they also plan to reach out to local venues to round out their menu.

I am very much looking forward to opening day sometime in 2016.

“Movies people love for people who love movies.”

That’s me!

 

Going Outback for Some Wild Ginger

Obviously I normally just blog about movie, it’s my reason for being. On Sunday I ate so well that I just felt like sharing my the yumminess I savored.

Wild Ginger

 

For lunch, we went to Wild Ginger, a VietNamese restaurant in Arden. They primarily serve Pho. to which I’m addicted. One of the reasons I love it is because it is so customizable.

“PHO is a Vietnamese Noodle Soup which is generally served with a choice of beef, chicken or vegetarian. The soup includes rice noodles and is often served with fresh basil or mint leaves, fresh lime and bean sprouts.”

The Pho, which is delicious by itself, is served with a bowl of fresh bean sprouts, basil leaves, lime wedges, and jalapeno slices so you can adjust the flavor of the soup to perfection. They also have chili sauce, sriracha, peanut sauce, and hoisin sauce.

The picture above is of the ridiculously diabetic-coma-inducing dessert Halo Halo. It consists of sweet beans, sugar palm, flan, corn flakes, and ice cream. If you have a Pho restaurant in your town, you should try some Pho but share the Halo Halo.

Outback Steakhouse

 

I typically despise chain restaurants for much the same reasons as I despise buffets: You invariably get lowest common denominator food. Is there any more generic, anti-Italian Italian restaurant than Olive Garden? Can you make seafood any blander than Red Lobster (yes, the biscuits are good but they are easily made at home)?

The exception for me though is Outback steakhouse. The benefit and deficit to a chain restaurant is that whatever you order is pretty much the same no matter which restaurant you order it in. The steaks at Outback are consistently cooked the way I like them (medium rare) and even their cheap steak is fairly decent.

I’d love to say that we went for steaks but my wife needed a drink. Neither my wife nor I are big drinkers (more than one a month, less than one a week). We both love the Wallaby Darned, basically Outback’s version of a Peach Bellini. Although it isn’t usually on the menu, we order it Down Under, which is Outback speak for ‘with an extra shot’.

I can’t speak for your Outback of course but the Hendersonville one is filled with the friendliest staff from the manager on down. We’re always seated promptly and taken very good care of. I normally take care of everyone so it’s nice to be pampered every once in a while and that’s the way I feel at my Hendersonville Outback.

Anyway back to movies tomorrow. Pardon the digression.

 

Double Indemnity – Two Days, Two Times, Twice the Indemnity!

I am very much enjoying the FREE film noir course offered online by Canvas and TCM. I don’t have cable so I am missing out on TCM’s Summer of Darkness every Friday but I have access to many of the Noir films through Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Netflix streaming (plus my beloved mother-in-law bought me a set for my birthday).

Double Indemnity

 

I will however shell out the bucks to catch the classic Double Indemnity on the big screen. TCM is bringing it back through Fathom Events on Sunday, July 19th and Monday, July 20th (their normal Wednesday shows had a conflict with another Fathom program). Showtimes are at 2 and 7 p.m. local time.

Double Indemnity

 

In my area this will be playing at Carolina Cinemas in Asheville and the Regal Hollywood 20 in Greenville.

FREE March Movies at the Carolina

Carolina Cinemas

Every Tuesday at 8 p.m., the Asheville Film Society puts on a FREE movie at the Carolina in theater 6. Membership is not necessary to attend.

While membership is not necessary, it is only $10 for the year. Membership gives you a $1 off the price of your movie ticket Monday through Thursday (used to be every day sigh) and FREE refills on any size popcorn.

Thursday Horror Picture Show

Every Thursday night at 8, Ken Hanke & Justin Souther put on an absolutely FREE horror movie in movie theater 6.

Carolina vs. Carmike – Two theaters enter, one theater leaves!

Recently, Carmike Cinemas introduced their 2015 refillable popcorn bucket. It costs $20 and refills throughout the year are $4. This is a great deal for them as the bucket costs them probably a buck and popcorn costs essentially nothing so the $4 is pure profit.

Carmike Popcorn

 

Is this a good deal for moviegoers? Possibly but only if you go exclusively to Carmike and always need a popcorn fix. Let’s compare this to Carolina Cinemas. If you purchase an Asheville Film Society membership for $10 (half the bucket price at Carmike), you get FREE refills all year long on any size popcorn that you purchase at Carolina AND $1 off any movie ticket at Carolina all year long. Add to that, that at Carolina you get FREE refills on soda any size and your day at the movies is made.

Obviously this is another of my rants about why you should go to Carolina Cinemas but wait there’s more!

Carolina Cinemas

Every Tuesday at 8 p.m., the Asheville Film Society puts on a FREE movie at the Carolina in theater 6. Membership is not necessary to attend.

Thursday Horror Picture Show

 

Every Thursday night at 8, Ken Hanke & Justin Souther put on an absolutely FREE horror movie in movie theater 6.

FREE September Movies at The Carolina

Carolina Cinemas

 

Every Tuesday at 8 p.m., the Asheville Film Society puts on a FREE movie at the Carolina in theater 6. Membership is not necessary to attend. Arrive early as they have gotten very crowded.

9/2 Counsellor at Law (1933, William Wyler)

9/9 Every Day’s A Holiday (1965, James Hill)

9/16 The Last Days of Disco (1998, Whit Stillman)

9/23 Love Me Tonight (1932, Rouben Mamoulian)

9/30 Help! (1965, Richard Lester)

Thursday Horror Picture Show

 

Every Thursday night at 8, Ken Hanke & Justin Souther put on a FREE horror movie. This used to be in the cinema lounge but has become so popular that it has been moved to theater 6.

The Neanderthal Man

9/4 The Neanderthal Man (1953, E.A. DuPont)

9/11 *September’s horror has not yet been posted but go anyway!

9/18

9/25

FREE April Movies at The Carolina

Carolina Cinemas

 

Every Tuesday at 8 p.m., the Asheville Film Society puts on a FREE movie at the Carolina in theater 6. Membership is not necessary to attend. Arrive early as they have gotten very crowded.

4/1 The White Sheik (1952, Federico Fellini)

4/8 Shanghai Express (1932, Josef von Sternberg)

4/15 Monte Carlo (1930, Ernst Lubitsch)

4/22 The Devils (1971, Ken Russell)

4/29 A Hard Day’s Night (1964, Richard Lester)

Thursday Horror Picture Show

 

Every Thursday night at 8, Ken Hanke & Justin Souther put on a FREE horror movie in Carolina’s cinema lounge.

4/3 Spider Baby (1968, Jack Hill)

4/10 Werewolf of London (1935, Stuart Walker)

4/17 Fear No Evil (1981, Frank LaLoggia)

4/24 Eyes Without a Face (1960, Georges Franju)