Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Moonlight Motel Guest Reviews: Eric F. - Lay's Do Us a Flavor Contest is Back, and Time for Another Taste Test

Hi gang! We've got one of those awesome guest reviews today from our Boston correspondent of sorts, Eric F., who loves tasting new flavors of old classics and has once again tried all the new Lay's potato chip flavors for us from the latest Do Us a Flavor contest! Here's his review!

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2015



Ok, folks, it's that time of year again, when Lay's holds their "Do Us a Flavor" potato chip contest in which millions of chip lovers across the country submit flavors in hopes of getting selected as a finalist. Well, the wait is over, and this year's 4 finalist flavors are New York Reuben, Southern Biscuits and Gravy, Greektown Gyro and West Coast Truffle Fries. As with the previous year, I bought bags of all the flavors and did my little taste test. IMO these flavors are much more interesting than last year's picks, for the most part. So without further ado, here are my impressions of them. And once again, my sincere thanks to Monty for posting these mini-reviews on his site!

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First, I decided to try the flavor that many are calling the best of the bunch, Southern Biscuits and Gravy. The verdict: a very authentic gravy flavor, no question. Biscuits don't have a lot of taste in and of themselves, so the gravy taste was definitely the make-or-break of this chip. And they did a great job with it. I've only eaten gravy with turkey, but I can easily discern the gravy flavor here. It even has a little spiciness to it that enhances the chip. I'm skeptical as to whether this will be my own personal favorite of the 4, but it gets a thumbs-up from me without a doubt.





Next up, the New York Reuben. The verdict: Yumm, enough said. The dominant flavor is definitely the corned beef, with the sauerkraut and pickle flavors being more of an afterthought, but still definitely present. I've never had an actual reuben sandwich, but after eating this chip I certainly want to! Nicely done, Lay's.





Next up, Greektown Gyro, kettle cooked style. Meh. This one didn't do much for me. I'm guessing that the meat and tzatziki sauce are the most dominant flavors, and my palate did not accept them with open arms. I wouldn't buy this one again. Not terrible by any means, but it just didn't appeal to me.





And lastly, West Coast Truffle Fries, wavy style. Another meh for me. Basically, it's just a regular potato chip flavor with a bit of a spicy ring to it. Very unexciting and unoriginal. Somewhat tasty, but hardly worthy to be a finalist. I wouldn't buy this again.

So to conclude, I think this year's flavors are more "fun" than last year's, even if I wasn't blown away by all of them. But the New York Reuben is my choice for the winner hands-down. I better stock up on it in case it doesn't win though, because from what I've been reading, the Southern Biscuits and Gravy is also a big hit, and could very well win instead. Until next time, keep snackin'!

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Thanks a bunch for that awesome review, Eric!

Personally, I'd really be interested in trying that biscuits and gravy flavor! Texas is kinda separate from the official "South", and is more its own thing, but we do share a lot of things in common. I think biscuits and gravy are somewhat popular here too, ha. I know I enjoy them. And, yep, I've heard around myself that it just might be the winning flavor, but good luck to your pick too! - Monty


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Monty's Toy Box - A Look At My Funko Toys

If I'm sounding a bit subdued in my recent videos, it's because I had houseguests for the past month. Almost all clear in that department, but here's one more video I snuck off to my room to make.




If you can't read the word bubble that comes up, whenever I say DC Direct in the video, I meant to say Diamond Select. That's the company that makes the Back to the Future DeLorean toys.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Moonlight Movie Reviews - Terminator Genisys, Inside Out, and a few classics at the Drafthouse (part 3)

Why, oh why am I still using this title. Boy, was that a dumb idea!



Yeah, so, back when I reviewed Terminator Genisys, I was also overdue to review Inside Out, and I'd wanted to talk about all my latest Drafthouse screenings of classic films too, so I decided I'd hit them all at once.
That didn't work out.


I ended up running out of time just after reviewing one film. The same thing happened with what I ended up having to call "part 2". So, here we are, many weeks later, with part 3, to finally discuss those other Drafthouse screenings. Inside Out and Terminator still in the title. So pointless. I could have done the usual, just named each review accordingly. Hindsight is 20/20 though. Okay, so really, this is just my look back at the last several Drafthouse events and screenings I attended beyond the new releases.

And, no, I haven't seen "Ant Man" yet. I know, I know. I always catch these Marvel flicks on opening weekend, and I'm excited to see Ant Man, but my apartment has been full of houseguests over the past month. Things are just starting to get back to normal.

Anyway, it looks like we're going back to June with this, carrying up to whatever the last special screening was I went to. I'll get to it in a minute. As I was pretty busy over the last month, it's probably all from June. I'm gonna try not to take too long with this either. I mainly talk about this stuff to show some of the cool things they do over at the Alamo Drafthouse, especially screenings put on by "The Action Pack", whose hosts play games and give out a lot of freebies to turn a lot of their screenings into interactive experiences. It's always a really good time! Oh, and they do so many more EVERY MONTH than what I am able to attend. I'm lucky to make it out to one per month, but sometimes I do better than that. Sometimes, I do a bunch really close together, ha. Now, I think the first one of this latest bunch I'm gonna talk about would have to be...




Yes, the Queen Sing-Along! Now, my younger sis, the one I share an apartment with, is a Queen fanatic, so we had to go to this. Don't get me wrong, I think they're great too. I only know a handful of their songs though. Very different from my sis. So, I wasn't able to sing-along too much this time around, but I did what I could. At any rate, it was a mind-blowing, very impressive night of music, with some very interesting music videos delivering it. Oh, and we got free mustaches, ha. Plus other props that were used during the night. Glow sticks and stuff.

I look like that Muppet on Sesame Street that Grover was always pissing off when he was a waiter...


I gotta lose some weight before Wizard World. Damn.
Anyways, here are some highlights...








Yeah, that was a fun night! Plus, they had this bad boy in the lobby down there at the Slaughter Lane Alamo Drafthouse...


Yeah, that's that load lifter thingy from Aliens. Not bad! A replica, I assume, but not bad (I apologize if this was actually one used in the film, ha, I really have no idea).



Our next screening was for "The Burbs". It's a film that was way under-appreciated upon its release, if I remember correctly, but has found a big audience since then on television and home video. A truly great dark comedy. And, that Mrs. Rumsfield. Phew! Is this one on Blu-Ray yet? Because I need to pick it up! Anyway, surprisingly, I don't THINK this one was a quote-along. But, maybe I did go to a quote-along version before in the past, because I could swear I remember quoting along with the film at the Drafthouse before. Oh well, anyway, I'm pretty sure this was a straight-forward screening down at the Village Drafthouse, which is the one conveniently located closest to me. I'm afraid all I have are a few pics from the pre-show, which consist of a glimpse of the really cute waitress serving the people in front of us (we always seem to get a dude; harumph), Gremlins trailers, and this awful music video from the film version of "Dragnet", starring Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd. 







Phoebe Cates... Always nice...



The next screening I attended was a very special one indeed. It was the IFC presentation of my all-time favorite movie, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"!



This was a very big deal for me. It was the first time I'd be seeing this film on the big screen since its release in 1987, when I'm sure I saw it at least 4 times at the age of 11 or 12. I was instantly obsessed with that movie, and that first screening is still very fresh in my mind, even though I've seen the movie a million times since. It was the second VHS I ever purchased myself, only because I realized I had enough money for Bambi as well after saving up for Roger, and Bambi was released just a bit earlier. At least, that's how I remember it. Even now, my living room is decorated by the same cartoon short posters that adorned the walls of R.K. Maroon's office in the film, for 4 completely non-existent (in the real world) Roger Rabbit/Baby Herman cartoons. I really love this movie. And, I'm not even your standard Jessica Rabbit gawker. She's a great character, and I can't say she's visually unappealing, but you guys know I go more for the Little Mermaid teeny-bopper type, or TinkerBell's pixie-esque look, or, you know, big-eyed, magical Anime girls. Maybe if Jessica had a different voice... but then she wouldn't be Jessica! Nah, for me, I was sold immediately on the classic Hollywood setting, the concept of a world where cartoons and humans lived side-by-side, and the very fact that toons from so many different studios were brought together in this one movie. That was just amazing that they pulled that one off! The music was incredible too, all the acting, and directed by Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis. It was just my perfect movie. And, you know if such a world existed, I'd probably be married to a cartoon character right now, ha.

Anyway, we screened this one at the new South Lamar Drafthouse, a very cool theater with its own parking garage. I am not a fan of parking garages, but despite their steamy atmosphere and creep factor, I gotta say, super convenient! Only thing about the South Lamar Drafthouse... well, South Lamar is where Austin's most gorgeous women seem to be most plentiful outside the nightclub scene (granted, I've not really waked the U.T. campus yet), and the South Lamar Drafthouse is where they all flock on date night. For a single guy like me with absolutely no chance at ever finding romance, this can be the most frustrating Drafthouse to visit. Nothing worse than seeing other people on dates when you're alone in the world. Any theater has a high date night factor though. It's rough when that's your fave thing to do. This screening was on a Sunday afternoon, however, but in Austin, people are out on dates 24/7. 

The preshow to this one, I gotta say, was perfectly selected. Here are some highlights (and the screening of the film itself was just amazing).












Love that last set! I totally remember those commercials! Especially the Diet Coke one with its exclusive Roger animation and Eddie interactions. I guess the McD's one had exclusive animation too! I still have one or two of those cups somewhere! And, yeah, still have my Roger Rabbit doll staring at me right now from up on a shelf. Mine was the non-talking version, but they looked exactly the same except for one having a pullstring in his back.


Okay, I've got two more special, retro Drafthouse screenings to talk about, so let's get to this so that I can get to bed at a godly hour and finally wrap up this "part 3" article that really just turned out to be three separate articles for the most part. Ugh. Ha. I'm going to start this next one with another look at my new set of Goonies action figures from Funco, which I recently did a video review on...


Yep, I finally got Sloth, and I shelled out for the SDCC exclusive Superman shirt Sloth, because that's how it should be. Price wasn't all that bad, either. I just wish he was taller and they hadn't stretched the Supes logo. But, I digress. Incidentally, I have the full set of Roger Rabbit figures like these too, and they're not Funko Reaction figs, they're actually from back in the day. Sadly, I think they're still at my mom's house. Maybe I'll find them in my next haul.

Obviously, the next movie I attended, again, with my younger sis (to be clear again, comic strip Monty has no siblings, but I actually have two sisters and am the middle child), was Steven Spielberg's 80's classic, "The Goonies", and this is truly another of my all-time favorite films. Hence the action figure set.

This was a full on quote-along, so The Action Pack set us up with some awesome freebies and let us loose for one heck of a night hunting pirate treasure, ogling Andy, and eating Drafthouse pizza and Baby Ruth candy bars! 



There's my sis in her Mama Fratelli "Kids Suck" T-shirt, with one of our hosts from the evening as he passed out freebies before the show. These were some of the best freebies I can recall getting so far, too!  A pirate eye patch (not made of cheap paper!), a wooden train whistle (for the scene when Andy plays the bones), and a mini Baby Ruth! Often we get 4 interaction freebies, but not of this quality!




The show began with our hosts in full-on Goonies attire as Andy and One-Eyed Willy...




And, of course, the expected Truffle Shuffle competition featuring select audience members...




Then, we settled in for one of the greatest movies ever!




Now, here are some preshow tidbits for ya...




Aw, Roddy...


Aw, Andre too...


 Oh, Weird Al singing Rocky Road! Always had a thing for the girl on the left!









Ugh, watching Chunk singing and dancing on Kids Incorporated is just painful!



Good times!


Which brings us to the most recent Drafthouse special screening I attended. Got a call from a friend I hadn't seen in quite a while recently, Justin, who used to work with me at my current day job. His favorite film, the comedy classic "Caddyshack" was screening at the Drafthouse, and he invited me to come along. Of course, I never turn down a Drafthouse invite, unless I'm broke, ha.


It was a "Caddyshack Movie Party" from The Action Pack, and it was a hoot! Again, some really nice freebies, though placing our free Baby Ruth in a cup of water sorta made it a bit too gross to eat. Still, free silly putty and golf style stress balls! Nice! Justin even took part in the preshow golf swing competition. And, honestly, I think I'd only seen Caddyshack in its entirety once before, if that much! It was a genuinely awesome comedy. Not to mention, Cindy Morgan is just... wow. Definitely added that one to my "Blu-Rays To Get" list. Here are some preshow highlights!








Yep, that was lots of fun, all those Drafthouse events were, and I'm sure we had to miss out on some awesome ones. You literally have to check their website every week if you don't want to miss anything, and you have to have a pretty open schedule too. The fact that I work on Saturdays means I usually have to miss the great Disney screenings and Cartoon Cereal Parties, which is really annoying! Sometimes, those are just plain too early also. At least, those Disney ones, which are usually only during the Kids Camp. 9am... hmm... a bit early for pizza, and if I go there, I gotta get their pizza and/or wings. I just gotta! Well, that's it for now, gang. Till next time! Hopefully, I'll make it out to Ant-Man before it's gone! Somehow, I managed to see Inside Out three times already, ha.