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History of the World, Part I

What, is that painting not accurate?

Mel Brooks once said, “Tragedy is when I cut my finger, comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.” Which explains why he made a comedy about people suffering throughout history, some much more than others. The title is a joke, there was no planned sequel despite the ‘coming attractions’ skit at the end. The movie is comprised of five segments set throughout history, told with your typical Mel Brooks humor and offensiveness. It takes balls for anyone, even a Jewish man, to do a cheerful musical segment about the Spanish Inquisition complete with synchronized swimming nuns who end up being the candles on a large menorah…it’s pretty ridiculous. Other than that there is a segment on cavemen, a short segment of Moses bringing the 15 10 Commandments down from the mountain, the Roman Empire, and the French Revolution.

My personal favorite is the segment on the Roman Empire, Empress Nympho has long been my favorite character of the movie, even when I was too young to know what a nympho was. My brother and I also used to often try to act out the ‘count the money’ flipping the bird scene, the problem was neither of us could flip the other off before they turned around so it just resulted in a lot of laughing-until-you-cry rolling around on the floor and asking what fool put a carpet on the wall.

Mel Brooks movies are definitely a relic of a time in cinema that has passed, so if you are easily offended I don’t recommend you watch this or Blazing Saddles (but his other stuff might be okay).

Narrated by Orson Welles and starring Mel Brooks in five roles, and frequent collaborators Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, and Cloris Leachman.

For the menu, I wanted to go with something from each time period, except the cavemen because i’m not doing paleo anything (feel free to harvest wild berries, I guess). After spending 30 minutes finding out that ancient Roman recipes all include honey, fish sauce, both, and ingredients that we do not use in the modern world, I gave up on being that specific.

Entree: During my headache-inducing search, I read that minestrone has roots in ancient Rome, which is good enough for me! This Farro Minestrone works well because Farro is an ancient grain.
Side: I thought this Tortilla Española would go good with the soup, you can call it Torquemada Española.
Dessert: Make this Peach Napoleon while talking like Maurice Chevalier. Au haw haw!
Drink: Miriam, wine!

posted: September 25, 2014
under: 80s, comedy, period piece
1 Comment on History of the World, Part I

Radio Days

 

Radio Days is a story about a young boy (Joe) and his Jewish-American family living in Rockaway Beach in the late 1930’s, and the radio programs they love. The story is narrated by adult Joe (aka Woody Allen) and intermingles stories about famous radio stars at the time.

I’m really not sure how I first saw this movie, I know I was very young and I don’t think it was on tv so maybe we rented it because we ran out of new horror movies to watch. To me, the scene I immediately think of when I think of this movie is Ruthie dancing to Carmen Miranda. I’m also pretty fond of the part where Sally, the cigarette/coat check girl who’s trying to break into the biz, witnesses a mob hit and the hit man takes her to his mom’s house so he can get more bullets to kill her with, and they talk about where he’s going to dump her body while his mom feeds Sally.

Starring Mia Farrow (Rosemary’s Baby, The Great Gatsby), Julie Kavner (Rhoda, Marge and her family on The Simpsons), Michael Tucker (LA Law, Tracey Takes On), Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride, Clueless), and Dianne Wiest (Law & Order, Parenthood). Dianne was also in Footloose with Kevin Bacon, thus our chain is complete.

It’s depression menu time! Luckily, depression-era food is pretty easy to veganize as meat and dairy were the expensive things that people were going without.

Entree: You’ve heard of Great Depression Cooking with Clara, right? Well, the first thing I thought of when putting together this menu was her recipe for pasta and peas (video). She does add parmesan cheese at the very end, but other than that the recipe is totally vegan. I normally don’t want to link to anything that isn’t 100% vegan, but I love Clara’s videos and you can make your own vegan parmesan.
Side: Hot water cornbread!
Dessert: I’m sure you’re thinking of wacky cake, but that’s obvious so let’s go with mock apple pie. I’ve never made one, but Ritz crackers are accidentally vegan (and if you still don’t want to eat them, many health food companies make the same kind of cracker, like Tree of Life).

posted: September 28, 2013
under: 80s, comedy, drama, kid friendly, period piece
1 Comment on Radio Days

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters:  the title explains the premise.  I love Ghostbusters.  When we were little, my brother and I would act out scenes with his friends in our attic.  I always had to be Dana explaining how the eggs cooked on the counter and I hated it because I wanted a cooler part.  I remember attempting to pull a sheet out from under a bunch of random stuff piled on the dining room table and we couldn’t even get ‘and the flowers are still standing’.  I still have our original Slimer toy and as you probably know, I named my cat Gozer (and then bought a Gozer action figure when it came out and made him pose with it for many pictures).

Ghostbusters is a classic story of boy meets girl, girl gets possessed by a demon and turns into a hellhound…okay, so that’s not even close to the entire story, but sometimes I feel a little silly trying to explain the plots of movies that everyone has seen.  I will say that I enjoy the fact that when Louis is possessed, he becomes an unkempt, drooling mess and when Dana becomes possessed, she gets a flowing outfit and takes the time to heavily contour her face.

As for the sequel, I really enjoy it but it gets pretty mixed reviews overall.  Rick Moranis has been doing interviews for his new album and when someone asked him about Ghostbusters III, he dissed the sequel, which made me sad.  All I have to say to you haters is 1.  Carpathian Kitten Loss and 2.  Peter McNichol.  I will say that the baby-on-the-ledge scene is incredibly stupid.  I will also say that the DOS game that came out for both movies were really hard and ruined my childhood.

Starring Harold Ramis (who is actually more famous for writing movies like this one, Caddyshack, SCTV, and Animal House), Dan Akroyd (SNL, Blues Brothers), Bill Murray (SNL, Caddyshack, Zombieland), Ernie Hudson (Oz, Law & Order), Sigourney Weaver (Alien(s), The Cabin in the Woods, Copycat), Rick Moranis (Honey I ____ed the Kids, Little Shop of Horrors, retired from acting), and William Atherton (Bio-Dome, Die Hard, has no dick).

Optional appetizer:  if you have the ability to find it and the desire, Sophie’s Kitchen makes smoked salmon, and i’m sure the brie won’t be too warm.

Entrees:  Take the last of your petty cash and have a Chinese food feast!

Dessert:  The only specialty baking pan I own is a twinkie pan, in this instance I would fill the twinkies with straight Ricemellow.

Beverage:  No matter what you eat or don’t eat the next time you watch Ghostbusters, you absolutely have to make your own Ectocooler.  A lot of people on the interwebs say that Hi-C’s Orange Lavaburst is almost identical to the original Ectocooler if you mix it with tangerine juice, but it’s yellow so you still have to tint it green to really get the proper ambiance.

 

 

 

 

posted: September 21, 2013
under: 80s, comedy, kid friendly, sci-fi
1 Comment on Ghostbusters

Pretty In Pink

If I had to wear a dress like that, i’d have permanent bitchface too.

I don’t usually do this, but i’m going to complain about Pretty In Pink.  I used to say it was my favorite Brat Pack movie, and then I saw Some Kind of Wonderful and it slid down to number two.  Now, I think I might straight-up hate it.  Every time I watch it, I like it a little less and this last time I spent half of the movie yelling at it.  I find all three of the main characters completely loathsome and if I could jump into my tv and smack them all, I would.  They’re all whiny douchebags in their own way, Andie’s shrill crying, Duckie’s way past cute and balls deep into annoying, and Blane could be replaced with a wet towel and no one would notice.  Also, how are they going to tell us that Andie is some amazing fashionista when everything she wears I could’ve pulled right out of my mom’s closet, and then her big ‘creation’ looks like THAT?

The eternal question of ‘Duckie or Blane’ is bullshit, because the answer is:  Steff.  You take Steff up to his super fancy hotel room that his dad is paying for and you hate fuck the shit out of him.  And then when he passes out you shave off that feathered hair because, why, James Spader?  Why was your hair bad in almost every movie you made all the way up to Stargate?

The supporting cast is awesome though.  Iona, Dad, Benny, Steff, Jenna, and Simon are all great.  And I like Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy, just not in these roles.  If you’ve ever seen Teen Movie, I think the character that parodies Duckie really isn’t much of a stretch.   I might be biased though because I had my own Duckie in high school, and yes I went to prom with him but only because he guilted me into it and I had the flu and then he took me over to a friend’s house so I could watch them play video games in a basement and that’s why I wouldn’t be your girlfriend, dick.

Starring Molly Ringwald (80’s queen, The Secret Life of the American Teenager), Andrew McCarthy (Lipstick Jungle, Weekend At Mannequin’s), Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men), Annie Potts (Ghostbusters, Joan of Arcadia), Harry Dean Stanton (Big Love, The Avengers) James Spader (Boston Legal, Stargate), and Kate Vernon (BSG, Malcom X).

Entrée:  You can make a stir fry, or a curry, but you have to use mock duck (found in cans at your local Asian grocery) and for my menu I decided on this Spicy Mock Duck Sloppy Joes.

Side:  Something has to be pink, so how about pink (from beets) mashed potatoes?

Dessert:  Since we are to be reminded over and over that Andie is poor and therefore everyone rich hates her, we are going to make a wacky cake, and Andie doesn’t like eggs anyway.

posted: September 20, 2013
under: 80s, comedy, drama, teen
1 Comment on Pretty In Pink

The Goonies

 

The Goonies is one of the most beloved 80’s movies of all time that i’m sure you’ve all seen 5-500 times, but for the sake of putting down words:  Some douchebuckets are going to tear these kids’ houses down so they can expand their country club, and after finding a treasure map in Mikey’s basement they decide to go find this treasure because what else are you going to do on what is possibly your last day together?  Play Scattergories?  Not tie your brother to a chair with his own workout equipment?  Pass!

Of course, there can’t be a treasure hunt without a family of murdering criminals and the deformed guy they keep in the basement, older brothers, stupid jocks, and bats.  But it’s all worth it for the badass pirate ship!  Did you know that the pirate ship was 100% real?  All of the inside shots were also from the ship, not a set.  When the movie was finished, it was demolished because no one wanted to take it home.  I have never been so disappointed in the human race as when I learned that no one wanted a FREE PIRATE SHIP.

The song that Cyndi Lauper wrote for the movie was turned into one of her epic, wrestler-filled videos:

 

Starring Corey Feldman (all of those other awesome 80’s movies, Ascension Millennium), Sean Astin (some movies about walking, Rudy), Josh Brolin (Planet Terror, Jonah Hex, Men In Black 3), Anne Ramsey (Throw Mama From the Train, Scrooged), Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix, The Sopranos), and Robert Davi (Die Hard, Profiler).

Entrees:  Mouth may have been an idiot, but he had the right idea in asking for (Seitan) Scallopini and Fettuccine.  If you expect to run around in underground tunnels all day, you need to carbo-load.

Desserts:  You can make easy Rocky Road Brownies, or you can make your own Baby Ruths to throw at people.  P.S.  I love it so much that someone made vegan Baby Ruths in homage to The Goonies, specifically.

Normally I don’t ask for specific comments, but please leave your favorite Goonies quotes in the comments so I can quote back at you and we can nerd nerd nerd.

 

posted: September 18, 2013
under: 80s, action, comedy, kid friendly
6 Comments on The Goonies

Parenthood

 

I get claustrophobic just looking at that many people in one frame.

Parenthood is a movie in which Steve Martin is convinced that he has the most fucked up kids of all time and therefore has very low self-esteem as a father.  Throughout the movie we see that his three siblings all have their own issues with parenting, despite outward appearances. I think the lesson is that raising kids suck no matter who the parents are or what problems the kids do or don’t have.

Also this is the 80’s so there are jokes about vibrators and blowjobs and one of the kids problems is that he masturbates all day (but as Keanu says, “That’s just what little dudes do.”).  Don’t worry, most of those jokes will go right over your kids head!

I know I am kind of phoning this one in but you will have to take my word for it that Parenthood is a very funny movie and even though I watched one whole episode, I can tell it’s way better than the tv show.

Starring Steve Martin (The Jerk, Planes Trains & Automobiles, happy feet), Mary Steenburgen (Back To The Future III, Wilfred), Dianne Wiest (The Lost Boys, Edward Scissorhands), Rick Moranis (Ghostbusters, Little Shop of Horrors), Tom Hulce (Amadeus, The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope, Pecker), Keanu Reeves (who?), and Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line, Earthlings).

And here is a mini-reunion of the kids in the film:

Entree: Please remember to put your retainer in a safe place, aka not on the table, before you eat a pizza (more cheese is better to properly mimic the kind of pizza you would get at Showbiz, five pounds of grease is optional).
Side: Luckily, no one ever made me play second base…or go to a ball game at all…but I hear that soft pretzels are very popular baseball game foods!
Dessert: Cowboy Gil – as in GUIL-ty – cookies.

posted: September 16, 2013
under: 80s, comedy, kid friendly
2 Comments on Parenthood

Drop Dead Fred

 

Meet Lizzie, an emotionally repressed woman who lets her mother control her life and looks like a life-sized American Girl Doll.  She is so used to submitting to other people that she ends up in a relationship with a man who treats her like dirt, leaves her for Bridget Fonda, and all she wants in life is to get him back.  She moves back in with her mother, into her unchanged childhood room, where she discovers the box that housed her childhood imaginary friend, Fred.  She untapes the box and nothing happens.  End of movie.  Just kidding, he pops right out and declares that he will help Lizzie do whatever will make her happy, which she thinks is getting her douchebag boyfriend, Charles, back.  Throughout the movie, we see flashbacks of Fred and miniLizzie battling Mega Bitch, aka Lizzie’s overbearing mother.

Now obviously, because Fred has Lizzie’s best interests at heart, he really doesn’t want her to get back with Charles and ruins every attempt.  Because Lizzie is stupid, she doesn’t take the hint and instead decides to take her mother’s advice and starts taking pills to get rid of Fred and gets back together with Charles.  Although it’s supposed to be a comedy, this movie is psychological as all get out.  To quote the Entertainment Weekly review, “The creature who is visible only to the woman is like a poltergeist energy of her repressed self, a problematic ego container into which her powers of assertion and creativity were poured and stored.”  Is Fred really real, or is he Lizzie’s way of asserting herself?  You’ll have to watch the movie to find out!  The most important thing this movie taught me is that if someone breaks your heart, you should wipe a fresh booger on their face.

 

If this is making you wonder, “What happened to Phoebe Cates?”, she married Kevin Kline, had two kids, and then retired (save one movie in 2001) to raise her kids and do other things.  Or maybe she really hated Princes Caraboo and it soured her on acting for life.

Starring Phoebe Cates (Gremlins, Fast Times at Ridgemont High), Rik Mayall (The Young Ones), Marsha Mason (The Goodbye Girl, The Middle), Tim Matheson (Animal House, Van Wilder, The West Wing), Briget Fonda (Jackie Brown, Single White Female), and Carrie Fisher (um, you know).

Entree:  I’ve come down with a bad case of cornflake (crusted seitan) disease!

Side:  Lizzie declares she is going to make Charles The Most Romantic Salad Ever.  I don’t know what she was putting in it, but I think something called Aphrodisiac Salad works.

Dessert:  No, we are not making pants pie.  If you like coffee and booze, there’s a recipe for Manhattan Mud Pie in Vegan Pie In The Sky, but for something simple that looks like mud, stick with Chocolate Pudding Pie.

posted: September 12, 2013
under: 80s, comedy, kid friendly
4 Comments on Drop Dead Fred

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

 

Who Framed Roger Rabbit is just as funny and entertaining as it was when I was a kid.  Unlike a lot of 80’s special effects, toons hold up extremely well!  Okay, time to pretend that someone reading this hasn’t seen it (I guess if you’re pretty young there’s a chance that you haven’t).

It’s the 1940’s, and toons are real!  They act in cartoons just like humans act in human movies.  Humans and toons get along great, until…someone frames a loveable rabbit for murder.  Then shit starts going south.  There’s some guy named Judge Doom (gee, you think he’s a bad guy?) who wants to dip all of the bad toons in…Dip, which is like acid for toons.  Roger manages to attach himself to a private detective who loves drinking and has the opposite feeling about toons.  Obviously there are some bumps along the way, and a lot of wacky hijinks because it’s half cartoon, but it will probably be okay in the end.

Even though the movie is rated PG, Judge Doom scares the paaaaaaaaaaants off of me, to this day.  Specifically this scene.  I try to tell myself that it’s because Christopher Lloyd is such a wonderful actor and not because i’m a huge baby.  But you know who the best characters in the movies are?

 

Aw yeah, look at those fly motherlovers.  The hyenas from The Lion King wish they were that cool and funny.

Starring Bob Hoskins (Mermaids, Hook), the aforementioned Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future, Clue), Joanna Cassidy (Body of Proof, Bladerunner), and Charles Fleischer (Rango, lots of other voice work).

 

Entree:  I actually had a surprising amount of trouble finding a savory carrot recipe that wasn’t just like, glazed carrots.  But look, a carrot cashew loaf!

Side:  The bar scenes with Roger are fantastic, and bar food is delightful, especially without all of the smoke and incredibly drunk people.  Bacon wrapped dates, anyone?

Dessert:  Hopefully no one will take blackmail photos of you while you eat these peppermint patty bars.  Alternately, you can make this peppermint patty cake.

posted: September 4, 2013
under: 80s, comedy, kid friendly
5 Comments on Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Romancing The Stone

A romantic tale of Michael Douglas delivering a baby in the pouring rain.  Okay, not really, but that’s what it looks like, right?

Joan Wilder is living the sweet life in New York City: she’s a successful romance novelist, has a cat and a fireplace, and the most impressive mini-booze bottle collection you’ve ever seen. If only she could find love in an 80’s movie with ‘romancing’ in the title…

Joan returns from handing over her latest manuscript to find her apartment has been ransacked and her sister has been kidnapped and if she wants to get her un-napped, she has to bring a treasure map to Colombia. It’s always something.  Of course, as soon as she gets to Colombia shit starts going wrong and who will help her but an attractive guy with a machete?  This guy?

Romancing The Stone (and its sequel, Jewel of the Nile) is one of those movies that was able to cash in on the popularity of Indiana Jones, but with more romance and dancing and a little bit less snakes (but more crocodiles).  For some reason, studio executives were convinced that the movie was going to flop, so they fired Robert Zemeckis from directing Cocoon.  But Romancing the Stone did great, so Zemeckis went off and made a little film called Back to the Future instead.  The sequel didn’t receive as good of reviews as Romancing the Stone, but it’s still okay to watch if you like the first one and don’t mind hearing Danny DeVito saying ‘towelhead’ because it was the 80’s and that was still okay to say in a movie.  A third installment was planned but never went anywhere, but Kathleen, Michael, and Danny all got back together for The War of the Roses.

Starring Michael Douglas (Fatal Attraction, The American President), Kathleen Turner (Serial Mom, The Virgin Suicides), Danny DeVito (Always Sunny, Throw Mama From The Train), Holland Taylor (Two and A Half Men, The L Word), and Mary Ellen Trainor (Roswell, Lethal Weapon Series).

 

Thanks to Joan’s ridiculous expectations of romance due to her career, I googled more versions of ‘sexy food’ and ‘most romantic meal ever’ than i’d care to admit and yes, there were a lot of clams.  Gross!

Entrée:  Most everyone seems to agree that fondue is very romantic/sexy.  If you have Vegan Artisan Cheese, Miyoko has a recipe using the cheeses in her book.  Dip whatever you want in there!

Dessert:  Ignite the flames of passion with this spicy mexican chocolate cake. Or unbutton your pants and pass out in a delightful, carby food coma.  Whichever works best for you!

 

posted: September 2, 2013
under: 80s, action, comedy, romance
8 Comments on Romancing The Stone

Uncle Buck’s Breakfast Club

Ain’t no party like a pancake party cause a pancake party don’t stop! Unless you run out of syrup.

For this week’s double feature, we’re taking the literal title of The Breakfast Club and the party that that Buck throws for his niece and nephew and smoosh! Since they’re both 80’s films and semi-family friendly (nudity free and what not), they work well together.

I feel a little ridiculous pretending that you don’t know about The Breakfast Club, or the Brat Pack and who all of those people are. So we’ll talk about Uncle Buck!

Buck is a total slob, slacker, loser, whatever you want to call him. But when his brother’s father-in-law has a heart attack, he has to drop everything to take care of his nieces and nephew for awhile. Unfortunately, his teenage niece is a total moody hosebeast who dates a guy named Bug. Fortunately, Buck is the kind of guy who carries a hatchet around in his car and doesn’t take guff from any damn teenagers. They grow, they learn, they bowl, Buck punches a clown in the face…it’s a warm and fuzzy family movie in the end.

Starring John Candy (Spaceballs, SCTV), Garrett M. Brown (Big Love, Roswell), Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne, Big Bang Theory), and tiny babies Gaby Hoffman (Now and Then, 200 Cigarettes) and Macaulay Culkin (Party Monster, Saved!, some movie you’ve probably never heard of called Home Alone).

Entree: In an attempt to be a little morre creative than suggesting simple pancakes, I give you a crepe cake!
Side one: “You should see the (avocado) toast, I couldn’t even get it through the door.”
Side two: For Buck’s cigars, or for those potheads in the library, Smoky Maple Sausages.
Dessert…ish: Obviously with a crepe cake you don’t really need a dessert, and this menu is kind of lacking in vegetables, so a green smoothie seems like a good idea.

posted: October 21, 2012
under: 80s, comedy, kid friendly, teen
3 Comments on Uncle Buck’s Breakfast Club

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