Friday, July 26, 2013

Hollywood's coolest looking throne rooms

Last week the 2013 Emmy nominations were announced. Leading the way was American Horror Story (there’s more than a few of my co-workers obsessed with this show) with 17 nominations.

Right behind AHS was Game of Thrones with 16 nominations.

I tend to watch TV shows once they are in syndication, several years after everyone has gone crazy about it. For that reason, I have yet to watch an episode of Game of Thrones, so I can’t throw in my two cents on the nominations.

I may not know Game of Thrones, but I know all about throne rooms on TV and in the movies.

In celebration (kind of?) of Game of Thrones’ Emmy nominations, here’s a look at some of the best throne rooms I’ve seen.

The connection may be a stretch, but it’s a fun list, so take a look.

The throne room in 2012's Snow White (the one with Julia Roberts as the evil queen) was decent enough. It was relatively simple, but the giant clam-like gold throne made it memorable.

That thing's got to weigh a ton, literally -- assuming the Queen didn't go cheap and the throne is actual gold.

The movie itself left a lot to be desired from an entertainment standpoint, but visually it was impressive. The costuming was fun and intricate. Maybe that's why they chose to keep the throne room more simplistic.

Another throne room dedicated to royalty was King Randor and Queen Marlena's throne room in the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon series in the 1980's.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

6 Things to Expect from The Wolverine

Tomorrow is the big day. I'm not going to be seeing it until next week, but The Wolverine opens in theatres, nation-wide Friday.

Hugh Jackman has said, while promoting the movie, that it's not so much 'Wolverine 2' but a fresh movie, taking place after the original X-Men trilogy. That's probably a good idea since X-Men Origins: Wolverine didn't make a lot of impact at the box office.

Jackman's previous work in the X-Men franchise had me sold already, so I'd go see it even if it wasn't stellar, but I have hopes that it will be. Thanks to Jackman, we know this won't be a Wolverine - Part 2, so what exactly can we expect?

Here are 6 things I'm pretty confident we can count on:

6. an awesome Silver Samurai

If the still photos and the previews are any indication, Silver Samurai will be an epic villain, more intimidating than in the comics and formidable than in the animated series.

He almost looks like a larger, robotic version of the character we've seen in previous incarnations.

I'm all for a couple of changes for the big screen as long as it's an improvement.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

7 Super Heroes Who Deserve Their Own Movie

The Wolverine, which is sure to be yet another awesome super hero movie, will be released in theatres July 26.

It's interesting to note that, counting his cameo in X-Men: First Class, this will be the sixth time that Hugh Jackman appears on the big screen as Wolverine.

To put that into perspective, Christian Bale suited up to play Batman just three times, Tobey Maguire appeared in three Spider-Man movies, Christopher Reeve played Superman in four movies, and Sean Connery played James Bond in six movies.

Roger Moore beats them all out, starring in seven James Bond movies.

I don't know if those lists are impressive or just an example of Hollywood's habit of finding a formula and sticking with it.

There are literally dozens of characters to choose from in D.C. and Marvel's libraries, yet there's always a focus on the same core group of super heroes. When an actor or director gets bored and calls it quits, they just do a reboot with a new actor in the role of Batman, Superman or Spider-Man.

With a vast list of characters to choose from, it's kind of disappointing that more super heroes aren't featured in their own movies on the big screen. Here's a list of seven super heroes I'd like to see become a priority:

7. Ms. Marvel

With a name like Ms. Marvel, you’d think that the character would be a priority for Marvel Comics. That’s not the case though.

Her legacy has basically been that her powers were absorbed by Rogue.

Exploring her back story could create a fresh super hero movie if done right.

A hot, powerful blonde in a tight, black outfit – how could that movie not at least break even?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Miller and Kasper - experienced.

If you forgot to celebrate National Ice Cream Day (it was on Sunday...sorry folks), here's the next best thing: tomorrow national hot dog day. If you're intending to celebrate accordingly, there are a few options for you.

Kangaroo Express (find your location here) is celebrating by offering .25 cent hot dogs. Hard to beat that deal, huh?

If you're looking for more of a sit-down experience, try stopping by Miller and Kasper's hot dog shop in Gastonia.

I was intrigued after reading about the new shop in the Gaston Gazette, so I stopped in for a bite last week.

It's located in the heart of Gastonia's downtown at 101 W. Main Street.

It's a small, old school-style diner, with about a dozen stools for counter seating. There are some freebie newsletters and magazines to read while you eat. Of course, if you have your smart phone or an e-reader, you don't really need the freebies.

Since it's not the largest shop, there are only a few hot dog options on their menu, as well as a few sandwich specials. However, you can order whatever kind of hot dog you want and use the standard hot dog toppings they offer, customizing your own meal.

I wasn't up for trying most of their toppings, so I "Reggie's Favorite" with just ketchup and bacon along with a small, glass bottle of Coke for $0.75.

The hot dog wasn't the best I've ever had, but it was tasty, especially with the addition of the crispy bacon. The taste stays with you for a while. It was still with me by supper time. That's the mark of a good hot dog!

Related Content:
Oscar Mayer's Bacon Hot Dogs - reviewed.
National Macaroon Day
Charlotte Cupcakes - Polka Dot Bake Shop
Charlotte Cupcakes - Wow Factor Cakes
Charlotte Cupcakes - Cupcrazed

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Charlotte Cupcakes - Polka Dot Bake Shop

Unlike the rest of the cupcake shops I’ve tried this year, Polka Dot Bake Shop was one place I’ve been before.

I first tried one of their mini-cupcakes at the 2012 Taste of Charlotte. After trying that mini red velvet cupcake, I went back for a second. Damn, they were good! When it came time for my birthday celebration, I chose Polka Dot Bake Shop cupcakes over a cake.

I don’t remember what kind of cupcakes I had, but red velvet was one of them.

When I went in this time around, they thankfully had red velvet as one of the options.

Once again, it didn’t disappoint. I got a few other cupcakes this time though: key lime, gluten free banana and chocolate salted caramel.

Key Lime

I tried the key lime cupcake first. It was moist and fluffy, with a definite kick of lime. The frosting was amazing. It was thick and flavorful.

Biting into this cupcake there’s a sour taste at first, but then a sugary sweetness kicks in. Then, the taste turns back to sour when you hit the lime center. There’s about a dime-sized bit of lime filling in the key lime cupcake.

The unique roller coaster ride of flavors was fun to experience. Most cupcakes have one taste to it and that’s it. Even when they combine flavors, most cupcakes don’t switch tastes in the middle of a bite.

This Polka Dot key lime cupcake seemed liked something that could be found in the Wonka factory if it existed. The ever-changing-flavored cupcake!

Seriously, though, this key lime gets a thumbs up…or, in this case, a three and a half cupcake rating.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Some 'Should Be' Sequels

Each year you can hear the grumblings of movie-goers who are upset, saying, 'It's the summer of sequels.'

I don't know if 2013 is the summer of sequels, but July certainly seems to be. Despicable Me 2 is dominating the box office. Grown Ups 2 fell flat at theatres and even flatter with the critics after opening last week. Red 2 is coming this Friday and The Smurfs 2 will be out at the end of the month.

Sometimes it is annoying to see sequel after sequel on the posters in the hallways of the movie theatres. However, some characters and stories deserve several installments.

How anyone decided that Grown Ups was one of them is beyond me, but there are a few sequels that I'm still waiting on. Take a look at my list of some 'should be' sequels.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010)

After Nicholas Cage proved he could draw with the two National Treasure movies, he took on the role of a mentoring wizard in The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

The movie did make money, but only because of the foreign gross. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice made $63 million in the U.S. and $152 million in other countries, making the worldwide total $215 million.

The budget for the film was $150 million.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Charlotte Cupcakes - Wow Factor Cakes

This week I went to a new cupcake shop to Charlotte: Wow Factor Cakes.

The business has been around for years, but they've only done weddings and private events. There wasn't a physical bakery location that was open to the public.

It's located on Park Road, right by Toast, another restaurant I've been hearing a lot about, but that's another story for another day.

There wasn't an incredibly large selection of cupcakes to choose from. There's a display case and a cash register near the front of the store, while a large velvet curtain and a few stackable shelves block the rest of the store, where several bakers are busy baking and designing, presumably wedding cakes.

There's enough of a selection of flavors to choose from though. I picked out three cupcakes, but I was tempted by the Cake Pops that Wow Factor offers. They are cake chunks covered in chocolate or white chocolate and placed on top of a stick. Cake suckers! Who would've come up with something like this? The people at the Minnesota State Fair may have. They put everything on a stick there.

Back to the cupcakes though. I bought a strawberry, an cappuccino and a butterscotch cupcake.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Charlotte Cupcakes - Cupcrazed

As far as I know, Cupcrazed, out of Fort Mill, SC, is the only cupcake shop in the Charlotte area that was once featured on Food Network's Cupcake Wars and Cupcake Champions.

They had a Sunday special that they'd posted on their Facebook page, so I made the trip and got some. With several interesting flavors to choose from, I couldn't pick just one or two. I had to get four cupcakes.

Blueberry Pancake

This cupcake was the reason I went to Cuprazed in the first place. I saw a photo of it on their Facebook page and my jaw dropped. I'm pretty sure I let out a few comments of disbelief at my the phone I was looking at the Cupcrazed Facebook page on.

Blueberry pancake as a flavor of a cupcake??! I had to try it first. Wow! It really did taste just like blueberry pancakes.

There was almost a taste of blueberry muffin in the cupcake too. It tasted incredible! The blueberry syrup on top was the perfect accent to the cupcake and the frosting.

The funny thing is that I don't usually order pancakes with blueberry syrup.

I'm a maple man all the way. However, the homemade blueberry syrup that Cupcrazed drizzled on this cupcake was incredible!