A Hollow Mockery of it’s Predecessor: Kingsman: The Golden Circle

I had the chance earlier today to sit down and watch Kingsman: The Golden Circle. For those unaware, this is a sequel to the hit spy movie Kingsman: The Secret Service that came out in 2014. Both films were directed by Matthew Vaughn, who is also a credited writer for both films. The Golden Circle stars Taron Egerton as Eggsy, and also features Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Pedro Pascal, Channing Tatum, Hanna Alström, Edward Holcroft, Halle Berry, and Sir Elton John.

Golden Circle’s story follows some time after the events of The Secret Service and while everything seems hunky dory for Eggsy after saving the world in the events of the first movie his whole world is thrown into chaos when a underworld criminal organization known only as the golden circle attacks the Kingsman and nearly wipes them out. Desperate Eggsy and the survivors turn to the Kingsman’s American counterpart, Statesman, for help in defeating this new menace.

Let’s get down into it. Did I enjoy this movie?

Barely.

I won’t mince words here, The Golden Circle was in many ways an enormous let down for me. The Secret Service was a breath of fresh air when it came out in 2014. It was a silly movie that seemed very intent on poking fun at all the old spy movie tropes while still telling a grounded story. The Golden Circle has seemingly lost it’s sense of fun and I’m not sure why, it’s not trying to become a serious spy film, it’s just doing wacky stuff for no good reason. The Secret Service was a movie that was utterly ridiculous at times, but the overall story made sense. Very little about The Golden Circle makes sense. Character motivation is all over the place, the story takes turns that are completely unnecessary for no reason other than Matthew Vaughn thought it was cool or something. The jokes are… well there are way fewer jokes, like I said, this film doesn’t have that same sense of fun it’s predecessor had.

If you aren’t into spoilers I get that and I won’t use any specifics but I think that there is one moment near the end of the film that perfectly points out what’s wrong with the film. A bad person is trying to explain their motivations and they state one, then immediately contradict themselves and give an entirely new motivation, also neither of these motivations is backed up by events of the film. Up until then the audience isn’t given much of any reason for why this person is behaving the way they are until they explain themselves at the end. It’s horrid.

Also there is a serious issue with characters in this movie. As you might’ve noticed when I mentioned the cast of the film, there are A LOT of people in this movie. That makes things hard to give each character the appropriate amount of screen time to develop their characters and have them be impactful in the world of the movie. The Golden Circle fails in nearly every aspect to do this. Way Way too much time is spent on weird side character that have no meaningful part to play, the entire side plot of Eggsy’s relationship with Tilde (Hanna Alström’s character) is unnecessary and distracting from the film. Somehow the main dynamic that worked so well from The Secret Service, the one between Harry Hard as played by Colin Firth and Eggsy, is screwed up in The Golden Circle, and that’s for two main reasons in my mind. First the movie spends the first half of its runtime trying to play this reversal of the relationship where Eggsy mentors and tries to lift up Harry and just none of it really works. Then when the dynamic seems to be shifting back to where it was Harry makes one of the most bizarre decisions of the film and the only reasoning that’s offered for it is “intuition”. Like at least in The Secret Service he had reaons for doing strange things!

The Golden Circle is an action movie and so I feel it’s a bit required to note if the action makes up for it’s clear problems with storytelling and characters. Nope, not really. The Secret Service had very fun and imaginative actions sequences with “the church scene” probably earning a spot as one of the all time great action sequences. The Golden Circle’s actions is the opposite. Uninspired and janky, with the exception of scenes involving Pedro Pascal’s character, Agent Whiskey. That stuff works pretty well, but only accounts for a small portion of the overall film so it can’t make up for other problems.

My gut instinct also wants to say that performances also felt like a pretty big problem, but part of me thinks that has less to do with the performers and more to do with the fact that this story makes no sense what so ever. It’s bad enough that I can’t make any real commentary on the performances other than Jeff Bridges sure likes doing the cowboy thing doesn’t he? I will say though, Sir Elton John absolutely kills it. He is beyond fantastic and I loved every single scene he was in. Far and away the best part of the whole thing.

Elton-John-Kingsman-760x428
The only person worth seeing in this movie.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle has a run time of two hours and twenty-one minutes and the best way for me to sum it up is waiting in frustration for next Elton John bit to come up. It’s predecessor was a wonderful action comedy and this movie fails to build on anything that made The Secret Service so enjoyable. I expect it to fail at the box office and I’m fine with that. I don’t need to see Kingsman three if this is what they have to offer.

Peace out, hope you’re having a great day and you make some good choices like not seeing The Golden Circle. (Maybe try Wind River, it’s actually very good!)

The Best Burger in Provo: Me

The time has come for the thrilling conclusion of my quest to find the bets place to get a burger in Provo, Utah. While technically there are still other burger joints that exist in Provo, I only meant for this to be a summer thing, and we’re halfway through September now… so gotta wrap it up.

Why finish with me though? Do I really think that I have a shot of making a better burger than all of those establishments, most of which have been open longer than I’ve been alive? I mean yeah, kinda. I’m the only judge here and I know exactly what I would want on a burger right? I should be able to have a decent run at this. I know I won’t break any of my arbitrary rules about forgetting onions and never stacking tomatoes on top of each other. Yeah I might just have a shot at this.

So what did I make? I kept things pretty simple, 1/4 pound patty smashed onto a searing grill after liberally seasoning with salt and pepper. One single slice of American cheese melted on top of the patty, two long slices of pickles, a couple of thin slices of tomato placed precisely so that no overlap occurred, a small handful of iceberg lettuce to top it off. Oh yeah, also some A1 sauce and mustard to keep things good and messy. (I didn’t use ketchup since there is already tomato. Why ruin good tomatoes with ketchup?) All of this topped off on a nice ciabatta bun I picked up from my local grocery store. It sounds pretty decent right?

Right you are. Actually dead on the mark. The best way for me to describe what I ate was “pretty decent”. It couldn’t compare with some best burgers I had previous, but with pretty much everything else what I made stood its ground. It was nice and messy, none of the flavors were totally overbearing ( 2 pickle slices might’ve been a tad much though.) I was a bit nervous about using pre-packaged American cheese (Singles) but despite my own lactose intolerance it all worked out. At least I think it will, it’s only been about 20 minutes since I ate the thing I may come to regret that slice of cheese. Overall it was plenty good enough that I didn’t even bother to sit down at my dining table to enjoy it, I took my first bite standing up over my kitchen counter and by golly I finished that burger in the same spot.

It still wasn’t as good as a few of the others though. Why though? The best answer I can give at this moment would be that great burger joints like Tommy’s burgers, Mooyahs, Cubby’s, and Burger Supreme just use higher quality of meat then me. Probably higher quality of all the ingredients, except the bun. I got real nice buns. Also they know to the second how long those patties need to be cooked, I’m doing guesswork on my own and maybe another 20 to 30 seconds on the grill would’ve made the difference. I’ll probably try this again just to see if that’s the case, but for now I cannot claim that I make the best burger in Provo, even by my own judgement.

That title belongs solely to Tommy’s Burgers on 401 W 100 N near downtown Provo. If you ever find yourself in Provo you gotta take a minute to stop by that run down looking shack of a place to eat the best chili burger you may ever taste. Don’t worry about the year or two of your life span you’re gonna lose eating it, just bite in and embrace the joy of it all.

Thanks for going on this largely pointless journey, maybe I’ll do another one with something like pizza or tacos later, but for now I’m gonna go back to rambling about movies, games and the like. Just a touch of political op eds as well. Peace out folks!

  1. Tommy’s Burgers Double Cheeseburger with Chili.
  2. Mooyahs Custom Burger
  3. Cubby’s Gypsy Burger
  4. Burger Supreme’s Golden Burger
  5. Five Guys Double Bacon Burger
  6. JonnyT’s Bacon Cheeseburger
  7. Classic Smash from Smashburger
  8. Double-Double from In-N-Out
  9. Wendy’s Dave’s Double
  10. McDonald’s Big Mac
  11. Double Bacon Burger from BYU Creamery
  12. Pastrami Burger from JCW’s
  13. California Classic from Carl’s Junior
  14. BBQ Bacon Burger from CHOM
  15. Sonic’s SuperSONIC Bacon Double Cheeseburger

 

Best Burger in Provo: Mooyahs + Others

Alright, Summer over and I thought I’d be well done with this thing by now, but to my surprise there are an awful lot of burger places in Provo, Utah. As of this post I’ll have been to fourteen different burger joints and there are still at least a dozen to go. Frankly though I’m kind of done with this, especially since I’ve found a number of really good places and I haven’t been able to go back and eat at them because I always feel kind of guilty that I’m not going to a new place and being as thorough as I could be.  So I got three places for today, and then I’ll do one more before calling a wrap on Provo’s best burger.

The three places today each fall into their own categories. One place is really good. One is okay. One sucks.

Let’s get the bad news out of the way. Sonic’s burgers suck. I had a SuperSONIC bacon double cheeseburger and absolutely no part of it was great, the patty is bland, the cardinal sin of stacking tomatoes on top of each other was committed, there were tons of onions despite my request for no onions, and the whole burger had a “wetness” to it. Not like how a burger feels wet when the juices and sauces roll down your hands as you bite in, but more of a soggy texture to the whole thing. Hard pass on ever eating a burger there again. (Shakes and drinks are still good though.)

What’s ok? Wendy’s is ok. The Fresh Never Frozen ™ patties are certainly noticeable, and most everything else about the burger was pretty enjoyable. Condiments were plentiful but not overbearing. (One slice of tomato! Novel thought!) the lettuces kind of sucked, but that’s pretty much expected at every fast food joint ever so I’ll partially excuse Wendy’s for this particular blunder. Other than that nothing stands out about Wendy’s. No identity crisis like the Big Mac, just a solid, competitive burger.

Ok now the great place. Mooyahs is a place that had been recommended to me much earlier in the summer, but when I went to try it out it was for whatever reason closed. Luckily for me though some new folks stepped in and brought the place back from the dead. Man am I glad about that one, because they’re burgers are dynamite. Rather than order one of their pre-planned burgers I opted this time to build my own out including two certified Angus beef patties, american cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, mustard, mayo and A1 sauce. All of this between a multi-grain bun.

I think the biggest takeaway I’m going to have from trying out these burger places is that it really makes an enormous difference what kind of meat you use in the bun. Like I knew it was important, but I definitely don’t think I realized how monumental of a difference it makes. You absolutely cannot have an exceptional burger without using good meat. Plain and simple. Mooyahs uses great meat and they use it well. Also the bun is amazing, but I’m kind of a sucker for a multi-grain or whole wheat bun. It’s just better than white bread ok? This seems silly to mention, but really if more burger places would just offer A1 sauce it would be spectacular. It’s that important. These things all come together though to make a wonderful and messy (not soggy) burger that is delicious with every bite. It’s one of the few burgers I got to the end of and felt both satisfied and sad that I had eaten the whole thing. A perfect feeling about burgers if you ask me.

Mooyahs is not without it’s flaws though. They didn’t have chili.

Peace out folks, make some good choices and have a great day!

  1. Tommy’s Burgers Double Cheeseburger with Chili.
  2. Mooyahs Custom Burger
  3. Cubby’s Gypsy Burger
  4. Burger Supreme’s Golden Burger
  5. Five Guys Double Bacon Burger
  6. Classic Smash from Smashburger
  7. Double-Double from In-N-Out
  8. Wendy’s Dave’s Double
  9. McDonald’s Big Mac
  10. Double Bacon Burger from BYU Creamery
  11. Pastrami Burger from JCW’s
  12. California Classic from Carl’s Junior
  13. BBQ Bacon Burger from CHOM
  14. Sonic’s SuperSONIC Bacon Double Cheeseburger

Nostalgic Eating

I need to start this blog post with a disclaimer. The burger place that I ate from for this post was Brigham Young University’s (BYU) own Creamery outlet. I’m not biased towards this establishment because I’m currently enrolled at BYU, rather I’m biased towards it because when I first attended BYU all the way back in Summer/Fall of 2011, I ate there a lot and have quite a few memories attached to the place, and even more memories attached to the burgers I ordered so frequently from there. I would think that aside from my mother’s roasted potatoes (they’re actually the best) and Delissio pizza (Pizza Tuesday for all the OG Magrath folks) the Double Bacon Burger from BYU’s Creamery evokes the most memories and feelings of any food. So at the end of this post when I place this burger on my personal power rankings, maybe just knock it down a spot or two to correct for my even more biased opinion that usual. Let’s get into it.

BYU has four Creamery outlets scattered throughout it’s campus and housing areas. For maximum nostalgia I went to the outlet I used to frequent back in 2011 located right next door to the Cannon Center, the cafeteria essentially. Surrounding the Creamery outlet are the Helamen Halls dormitories which I lived in back when I first left home and ventured out into the world. Stepping through those doors was like revisiting the past. Feelings of exhilaration, stress, fear, joy, and frustration flooded through my brain as I recalled what it was like when I was just nineteen years years old and desperately trying to figure out where I fit in the world of university life and the world at large. (I’m closer now, but still haven’t fully answered these questions.)

Most of it hadn’t changed through the last several years. I still followed the same routine I did back in 2011. I order my burger, take a seat and begin by watching the fry cook lay my patties and bacon on the grill, it’s still really satisfying to this day to watch your burger being cooked right in front of your eyes. Once the cook has made the flip on my patty I allow myself a moment of just being a guy and shamelessly check out the cute girl making milkshakes for someone else. Some things just can’t be helped. To be fair to myself I’m actually somewhat aware of how long I can check her out before it gets weird. (Anything longer than like 2 seconds is weird imo.) Despite that I still have a brief internal debate about whether or not checking her out makes me shallow. I decided that it wasn’t since I don’t believe there is anything wrong with appreciating beautiful things, just so long as you don’t give priority or favors to people just because they’re good looking.

Finally my burger is off the grill and I get to watch as all the condiments are placed on and the final product is wrapped up and placed in a plain brown paper bag and passed to me over the counter. I never eat the burger there, instead I get back in my car and drive home where I can viciously consume my burger without fear of judgement from others. The burger order itself hasn’t changed since 2011. Two patties with two strips of bacon combined with lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, mayo all crammed in a plain white bun to ensure the whole thing is an absolute mess to try and consume.

There were a couple of subtle differences though, instead of using my student I.D. linked to a meal plan my mother payed for I used cash, and as I waited for my burger I listened to Frank Sinatra, an artist I wouldn’t have touched with a twenty-foot pole when I was nineteen and just discovering hip-hop and rap for myself.

Once I’m home it only takes seconds to unwrap and dig in to my burger. That first bite is almost euphoric. I can feel all of my stress and worries dissolve away as the flood of nostalgia pours into my brain. This burger was my primary way of dealing with stress when I first left home and it did a fantastic job at that.

Then the rose-tinted glasses fell off.

Something’s not quite right. Its dry. Like really dry. What’s going on? There are burger juices running down my fingers, there’s sauce for days on this thing, even if the patty was a bit dry I shouldn’t be noticing it this much. I am though. The actual burger is really really dry. Was it always this way and I just didn’t have the palette before to notice this problem? I don’t know, and frankly it doesn’t matter. The burger could’ve been a piece of heaven itself before and it wouldn’t change what it is now. That is a burger that did everything except one thing right, but the part they screwed up has had an effect on the whole thing. This is super disappointing because the everything else in the burger really felt like it was going right, it’s nice and messy, none of the sauces are overpowering the other, the bacon is nice and fatty, they even got it right by only putting one slice of tomato on!

Gah, this sucks. The woefully dry patty is actually dragging the whole burger down to Davy Jones locker with it. I expected to be putting this burger near the top of my list due almost entirely to it’s nostalgic value to me. Instead I’m stretching myself just trying to justify it as a middle of the pack competitor. Regardless, that’s where the Double Bacon Burger from BYU’s Creamery sits. Just below average. Thanks for reading, peace out and make some good choices y’all..

Provo Burger Power Rankings August 9th, 2017 Edition:

  1. Tommy’s Burgers Double Cheeseburger with Chili.
  2. Cubby’s Gypsy Burger
  3. Burger Supreme’s Golden Burger
  4. Five Guys Double Bacon Burger
  5. Classic Smash from Smashburger
  6. McDonald’s Big Mac
  7. Double-Double from In-N-Out
  8. Double Bacon Burger from BYU Creamery
  9. Pastrami Burger from JCW’s
  10. California Classic from Carl’s Junior
  11. BBQ Bacon Burger from CHOM

 

Da Big Mac

I don’t think anyone would or could even argue that McDonald’s is a classic American institution. The golden arches are a fundamental piece on how both American’s and the rest of world look at American culture. I’m sure a rousing discussion about how a fast food chain influenced the culture of the most powerful nation in the world sounds fascinating to you, but I’m not here to do anything like that. I’m here to ask a much simpler question. Does McDonald’s have the best burger in Provo? It’s a long shot I know, but it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t give it a fair chance.

Right off the bat there’s some difficulty in trying to figure out where McDonald’s ranks amongst Provo’s burgers. Which burger do I even eat? Do I try one of McDonald’s relatively new burgers with the signature crafted burgers or stay with the classic sandwich that has come to define the chain? If you read the title you pretty much already know which choice I made, but I do feel some need to justify that decision. I’ve had the signature crafted burgers. They’re not impressive, and frankly they have very little to do with what McDonald’s is at its core, tasty food served wicked fast that you know will eventually claim your life. That’s what it means to eat McDonald’s and the Big Mac is the heart of it all.

Just in case any of you haven’t had a Big Mac before I’ll run you through the ingredients. I won’t make you look up the Big Mac rap to try and remember, especially since even though that song shares a name with the sandwich it actually has nothing to do with a Big Mac, pop culture fact of the day. A Big Mac features in no particular order, a three-piece sesame seed bun, two beef patties, two slices of cheese, iceberg lettuce, pickles, onions and lastly the famous “special sauce” which everyone knows is some variant or form of thousand island dressing. I’ll note here that when I eat Big Macs I actually keep the onions in, for some odd reason I don’t notice those awful things when I eat a Big Mac and having a little bit of onion in your diet can’t hurt right?

I think the reason I don’t notice the onions is that every time I eat a Big Mac I’m stunned that it’s actually a pretty good burger. Every single time I eat one of these things I always think that it’s all going to go wrong. That it’ll be way too bready with the super unnecessary third part to a bun, that having only the special sauce won’t be enough to provide a full array of flavors, or that someone has stacked four pickles on top of each other just to ruin my day. It always turns out that none of those things happen though, I barely even notice the third part of the bun, the special sauce total works on it’s own and only very rarely does someone screw up enough to stack even three pickles on top of each other let alone four.

I’m not saying that the Big Mac does everything right here, in fact far from it. What I’m saying is that the Big Mac doesn’t really do anything wrong and those two things are very different, ask literally any person who has been involved with sports and they’ll describe what it means to be playing to win and playing to not lose. In the case of the Big Mac what I mean is that it feels like all the decisions around the Big Mac involve the question, “how can me make sure this burger isn’t bad?” And while that’s probably the right mindset for a chain that tries to pump these out in less than a minute, it’s absolutely impossible to make a “best burger” with this mindset. Everything about the Big Mac screams, “this works, but it’s not ideal.” This creates a burger that is ultimately uninspiring, middle of the pack and only famous because of the place that sells it. Near the beginning of this post I remarked that the Big Mac was the heart of what makes McDonald’s McDonald’s and I stand by that statement, with some minor adjustments (slightly larger patty, cutting back on iceberg lettuce, properly toasting the buns, etc.) there really is room for the Big Mac to be an all time great burger, but because of where it’s sold it will never be that way. I don’t know why but that makes me just a little bid sad.

Thanks for reading.

Burger Power Rankings:

  1. Tommy’s Burgers Double Cheeseburger w/ Chili.
  2. Cubby’s Gypsy Burger
  3. Burger Supreme’s Golden Burger
  4. Five Guys Double Bacon Burger
  5. Classic Smash from Smashburger
  6. McDonald’s Big Mac
  7. Double-Double from In-N-Out
  8. Pastrami Burger from JCW’s
  9. California Classic from Carl’s Junior
  10. BBQ Bacon Burger from CHOM

Movie Time with JonnyT: Atomic Blonde

Atomic Blonde is a film directed by David Leitch and stars Charlize Theron and James McAvoy.

In short: Not a fan. Story is beyond bad. Like bad bad bad. No good action can redeem this hot mess.

To elaborate, Atomic Blonde has some really great moments. Okay one really really good moment, for those who have already seen the film, the staircase sequence. It’s one of the best fight scenes I’ve seen in a long time, but a single scene does not a movie make ya know? This one marvelous moment wasn’t enough to compensate for the total and unapologetic mess the story and characters were.

I say unapologetic here because I really think the movie thought it was being very clever and smart with all of the mystery and double crosses and it sorta makes sense at first, but then you start to think about it and it’s just makes absolutely no sense. It’s like the actual characters were changing their motivations and behaviors as the audience learned plot details. Like it feels like a paper you’d write after downing like four or five red bulls and furiously mashing at a keyboard for eight hours through the night. It all made sense as you were writing it, but when you go back through it you realize that it’s all over the place and doesn’t have any consistency to it. It’s a hot mess that only loosely represents what you were actually trying to achieve.

Now I should clarify, my first impression was that the performances in this film were lackluster, but the more I think about it the issue of the characters is really on the writing. It’s not that they didn’t try their best to make their characters believable it’s just the actual actions and words they spoke made no sense. Like if Charlize Theron is gonna convince me that she’s a top notch spy her accent game needs to be better, but that again is really on the story and not her if you ask me.

Also side note, I know that Charlize Theron is like a really attractive woman, but that doesn’t mean the movie needs to try and shove that in my face at every possible moment that it can. She’s a spy, maybe she could try blending in and not wearing really fancy and skimpy dresses kinda like the other spy characters? Nah right I forgot, young men my age and younger aren’t gonna see it if we don’t show off how hot Charlize is, it’s not like there was another action movie that she was in where she wore outfits that blended in well with the rest of the cast and I don’t know… maybe she cut off all her hair too? I’m sure that movie wouldn’t make any money.

Last thing before I wrap up non-spoiler thoughts territory. Neon lights, Cigarettes, 80’s Music, They’re like cool and an essential part of the aesthetic of the film, I get it. You can overdo these things though. Just saying.

Remember a while back when I talked about how Baby Driver made style over substance work?  Atomic Blonde is a great example of why that rarely happens. Atomic Blonde wants to be John Wick and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy at the same time and ends up being neither. I recommend a hard pass until this movie comes to something like Netflix and you don’t have anything better to do with an afternoon. Peace.

OK SPOILER TIME

Story point that makes no bloody sense #1: Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is revealed at the end to have been working for the CIA the entire time. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? Like I get why they did it, apparently in the original graphic novel, Lorraine is actually working for the KGB the whole time and since it’s an American film we couldn’t have that ending, even though it makes like 1000x more sense, but you could’ve tried to to like alter the rest of the plot to make the ending work instead of just tacking it on and expecting audiences to roll with it because “Murica” or something.

Story point that makes no bloody sense #2: Percival not only acquires the list and finds out that Lorraine is the double agent satchel, but then makes a call to MI6, and like doesn’t bring it up. Like I get that he really loves his life in Berlin, but couldn’t he sell the list to the Russians, kill Lorraine and then with the hard proof that she’s the double agent prove that she was the one that leaked it to the Russians? The photos Delphine (The french girl) took you say? Oh yeah, because he couldn’t just stroll in and kill her whenever he wanted to oh wait that is already what he did in the movie and it would have made total sense to the higher ups if he again said Lorraine did it since she had a connection to say the least with Delphine. Percival only does what he does the way he does it because it allows the opportunity for Lorraine (the protagonist) to later outplay him. Not at all because it’s actually a smart thing to do.

The Best Burger in Provo: CHOM

Hey just cause I went out to Canada last weekend doesn’t mean I forgot about my true quest in life, to find the best burger in a small city in the middle of Utah. Ahh a truly grand destiny.

CHOM is a restaurant located just a few blocks north of Provo’s city center temple and features a potato bun in place of a normal one. Don’t ask me what the difference is because I don’t really know. It’s not the taste though. I ordered a BBQ bacon burger because it has three of my favorite words in it’s name.

First the good stuff about the burger, which is actually quite a bit. The best part of this burger was undoubtedly the BBQ sauce. It was just everything you could’ve wanted out of a BBQ sauce on a burger without overwhelming any other flavors. I also really enjoyed the use of fry sauce on this burger, even though at first I was skeptical about it since historically fry sauce has not panned out well on burgers in my mind. Like I mentioned earlier the potato bun the burger was on wasn’t really any different to me than an ordinary bun so it ended up feeling more like a gimmick than a feature in my mind. It’s not a major issue though.

Rather the major issue with the BBQ bacon burger was arguably the most important part of the burger, the actual patty. To say the least about this patty would be that it was disappointing. To elaborate further, the patty from CHOM tasted like the cheap frozen burgers you buy at the supermarket in packs of twenty or forty. It’s flavor was bland, the texture leaving many things to be desired and ultimately the patty as a whole was not enjoyable. This felt particularity bad to me since the rest of the burger was pretty spot on. It’s like everything was going so well and then just this one thing went so wrong that it derailed the whole operation. Just kinda sad really.

So to CHOM may I make a recommendation, change your beef supplier. I’m sure they’re lovely people and a pleasure to work with, but what they’re selling you isn’t up to snuff and I think that if you just make that little adjustment that makes me sad to one that makes me really really happy.

Just my thoughts though. I hope you enjoyed reading my ramblings and I hope you’re having a great day, peace out and make good choices everyone!

Current burger power ranking:

  1. Tommy’s Burgers Double Cheeseburger w/ Chili.
  2. Cubby’s Gypsy Burger
  3. Burger Supreme’s Golden Burger
  4. Five Guys Double Bacon Burger
  5. Classic Smash from Smashburger
  6. Double-Double from In-N-Out
  7. Pastrami Burger from JCW’s
  8. California Classic from Carl’s Junior
  9. BBQ Bacon Burger from CHOM

 

Movie Time with JonnyT: Lion

So just this past week the film Lion (directed by Garth Davis) went up on US Netflix. It was one of those movies that I had always meant to get around to seeing, I heard so much good stuff about it, but I never seemed to be able to find the time to actually sit down and watch it. With it’s arrival on Netflix though I really didn’t have a reason to not see it.

I cannot stress this enough.

THIS

MOVIE 

DESTROYED

ME

Lion is an emotional roller coaster of pain, suffering, loneliness, fear and dread that somehow also manages to absolve the viewer of all of these feelings at the same time.

For those unaware, Lion is the story of Saroo, a young child (age 5) in India who due to unfortunate circumstances becomes separated from his family. Unknowingly thousands of miles from home Saroo goes through terrible events and eventually is adopted by a family in Australia. twenty some odd years later Saroo finds himself being inexplicably  drawn back towards India and attempts to reunite with his lost biological family. That is the absolute bare bones summary, and I cannot do this story justice unless I go for a 5000+ word write-up. Just see it.

That’s really all I have to say. Just watch this movie. It’s one of those films that you can use a measurement to find out if someone you know is a sociopath, because if this movie doesn’t make you choke up at least once there are some wires that just aren’t connecting up your noggin. For those curious I was nice and choked up at least three different times throughout the film. Just so you know. Definitely not a sociopath.

Ok so it’s a movie so I have to mention a couple of things because I just can’t not say things.

Performance wise everyone hear kills it. both Dev Patel and Sunny Pawar, playing Saroo as an adult and child respectively are just incredible, but it would also feel very unfair to not mention Nicole Kidman’s performance as Sue Brierley, Saroo’s adopted mother. Also there’s this bit in the middle where Google Earth is used intensely and I get that some people might feel like it sorta pulls away because we’re almost trained to be aware of any real products we see in films and be critical of their inclusion, but I really didn’t’ think it detracted much at all.

Ok I’m done. Watch this movie, have a good cry, I promise you’ll be better for it. Make some good choices and peace out!

 

 

Best Burger in Provo: Part 8

So originally I had planned on talking about McDonald’s for this post, but… uh…. I had an absolutely amazing burger just yesterday that I feel compelled to talk about.

That burger came from Tommy’s Burgers at 401 W and 100 N. In Provo. Obviously.

What I had was a double cheeseburger done “Texas” style including bacon, pickles, tomato and mayo. Oh also it was a chili burger, so there was chili on top. Ya know what, I actually took a decent picture of this so I’ll just let you look at it’s majesty.

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Would ya just look at that? Simple, beautiful, perfection. Presented pretty much exactly the way I would want a burger presented to me. “Here’s a thing of fries, I wrapped your burger up, go nuts my dude.”

If you can’t tell yet, I REALLY liked this burger. It sounds silly to say now, but the first bite I took of this thing I could already tell that I was dealing with another level of burger. Like I just knew this wasn’t gonna be a regular burger for me and it really wasn’t.

Before I gush more about how delicious this thing was, I do want to note something I thought was interesting. The pickles and tomato slice? Ya see how they’re below the patty on this? I don’t see that with the majority of burgers I eat, and I gotta say I think it’s a better way to do things. Why are we putting the condiments on top? Is it just because that’s the way we’ve always done things? I know that anytime I make burgers in the future I’ll be throwing them down below.

Back to gushing. How did I not know that chili was exactly what I wanted on a burger until just now? It totally makes sense, it gets extra tomato flavor in there so you can forgo ketchup, allows one to enjoy the onion flavor without having to really deal with the dumb things, and oh yeah makes a burger wicked messy, something that I appreciate quite a bit. The beef was also really good, as well as the bacon, which wasn’t crunchy but also not soft enough that the whole strip came out when you took a bite of it. Finally the single slice of cheese is a really nice touch. I heard on Binging with Babish’s video on the Krabby Patty (check this guy out his channel is awesome.) about how a single slice of cheese is the way to go on a burger and I have to agree. It gives you the cheesy texture and taste without taking away from the rest of the burger. Smart stuff.

Here I’d normally say something to tone back my praise and let you know that the burger wasn’t perfect. I don’t really have anything though. Part of me is tempted to just call it here and name Tommy’s Burgers the best burger in Provo. That wouldn’t be very fair through since I only learned about this place yesterday and there are probably a bunch of joints like this that I just haven’t heard about yet. For now though I can certainly say that this double-chili-cheeseburger is a tier above everything else I’ve had and will be a front runner until further notice. I gotta find more places like this. Have a great day folks, peace out and make some good choices!

PS. If you find yourself in Provo and want to check this place out, yes it’s that tiny shack on the corner with barely enough room for a grill in it.

Current power rankings of burgers:

  1. Tommy’s Burgers Double Cheeseburger w/ Chili.
  2. Cubby’s Gypsy Burger
  3. Burger Supreme’s Golden Burger
  4. Five Guys Double Bacon Burger
  5. Classic Smash from Smashburger
  6. Double-Double from In-N-Out
  7. Pastrami Burger from JCW’s
  8. California Classic from Carl’s Junior

Movie Time with JonnyT: Spiderman: Homecoming

Spiderman: Homecoming is the newest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that debuted on July 7th, it is directed by Jon Watts and stars Tom Holland as the titular character.

Everything I’m about to say in a nutshell: It’s was ok, needs more screen time with some characters, less of others and there is a bit too much action that ends up bogging it all down. Also some nice things.

So I wanted to take a minute to elaborate/articulate on the specific things (not going into spoilers don’t worry) that I felt really weighed down the newest iteration of the friendly neighborhood superheros film career. I’m doing this partly because I’m see a bit too much of near blind praise for it, also it’s a movie I saw, of course I want to talk about it. What on earth else am I supposed to do with this blog? Talk about MY life? LUL PASS

For me the biggest problem is that a lot of the minor characters fell entirely flat, because they just weren’t on screen enough to evolve past being tropes or plot devices, so it’s one-hundred percent not the fault of the performances. The worst instance of this in my mind is Zendaya as Michelle. Her character appears on screen, drops a one-liner that makes fun of whatever is going on, and then she disappears for another twenty minutes until the next punchline needs to be delivered.

Uhh….. what? Like I get what they’re going for, something like a very smart, snarky and kinda aloof person that keeps Peter’s optimism in check. Instead I felt like it was just an apathetic jerk who gets to exist because the writers had some good jokes they wanted put in the movie. Would’ve been nice if she had something else to do other than drop those punchlines.

Also remember all the hype and excitement when they announced that Donald Glover was gonna be in this movie? Yeah he’s got a whole two scenes and is never more than a plot device. I just feel like if you’re gonna make a big deal about bringing someone on they should at least have more to do then telling the hero where they go next. I don’t know about you, but if I got Donald Glover into my movie and made a fuss about it, I’d probably have him do more than tell the hero where to go next. Just me though.

Giving these characters more to do doesn’t even have to stretch the runtime. (which is a bit too long.) you can just cut back on the Happy (Jon Favreau’s character) shenanigans. Like when did Marvel decide to take Happy from regular dude that Tony Stark bounced ideas off of to the bumbling moron seen in Homecoming? Just really unimpressive stuff in my mind.

Next up the film needed some trimming at the beginning and the midpoint. There is a sequence that occurs a bit before the half way point as I remember that’s just really long and even though it lets us see how powerful Vulture is as a bad guy and its great, it could’ve been like half the length is was. Also the first like three minutes are this vlog styled thing where Peter records some of the events of Civil War from his point of view, and while it’s kinda cute it doesn’t really add anything to the movie so you could’ve just cut it all out.

Also while were at it, can we cut the Stan Lee cameos? Please? They stopped being good after like Spiderman 2.

There are some really good things in this movie as well. Namely Michael Keaton brings the absolute best villain portrayal yet seen in the Marvel films. (OUT OF THE WAY LOKI!) It was almost stunning to have a bad guy in which I understood who they were as a person, his motivations and why he wanted to fight Spiderman.

Tom Holland also continues to be a brilliant Spiderman. Sorry Toby and Andrew, but Tom’s got the both of you beat on pretty much all fronts. #Sorrynotsorry

Spiderman: Homecoming tries to break away from the typical Marvel formula, even if it’s not as far as I would’ve liked them too. At least they’re trying new things, even though they didn’t work as well this time. I haven’t lost faith in the MCU because of this movie, I’ll see if they can actually do anything interesting with Thor before I throw in the towel entirely on them.

I can’t recommend that you go out of your way to see this movie though. If your friends invite you to check it out on Tuesday cheap night, you won’t regret it, but you don’t need to make it a point to see this one. Thanks for reading, have a great day and make some good choices (Maybe like following me on Twitter/Instagram? Hmm… that doesn’t feel very right. Oh well shameless self promotion is the way we do things these days.)