Friday, June 26, 2015

Time For Turtles and Fairy Tales

Started today with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles In Time. The last of the 90's Turtles movies also has the most unusual premise. The Turtles and April O'Neal are sent back in time by a strange Japanese scepter. They land in feudal Japan, where a warlord may be receiving a shipment of guns from a nasty English soldier to help him quell a peasant rebellion. The locals regard the Turtles as friendly demons...and April as a not-so-friendly witch! While April spars with a familiar member of the Englishman's troop, the Turtles try to figure out where the scepter went and help the young woman in charge of the rebellion make sure those guns never end up in enemy hands.

By the time this one came out in the mid-90's, the shine had long been off the Turtles franchise. This was a failure with fans and critics alike. I'm inclined to disagree. I found the change of scenery to be a breath of fresh air and liked seeing the Turtles interact with a part of world history that isn't often discussed outside of Japan. The big problems here are occasionally stiff dialogue, some too-goofy situations (like the warlords in the bar towards the end) that clash with the history, and the lousy special effects. The Turtles' costumes look like they were rented from a cheap store in their native New York.

If you're a fan of the Turtles and are willing to go a little outside of the sewer with them, give this one a shot. If you can get around the poor special effects and the clashing tones, it's not really as bad as most people claim it is.

I made Chocolate Muffins from the Alton Brown baking book I'm Just Here for More Food. I replaced the white sugar with brown sugar and vanilla extract with peppermint extract (I was out of vanilla) and added dark-chocolate chips. Otherwise, this came out very well, moist and delicious and quite chocolate-y.

Work was a lot busier today than it was earlier in the week. Next week is the beginning of the month; some people may have gotten their money already. Thankfully, there were no really major problems. My relief was on time, and I got out quickly.

Mixed feelings on next week's schedule. On one hand, I have tons of hours and only one day off, Monday, which I could use considering my low bank account. On the other hand, I'm not thrilled with a late night on Tuesday, or working 10 to 4 on the Fourth of July. I'll get to see the fireworks...but I'll miss Oaklyn's parade and both farm markets.

I didn't have a huge grocery trip, but I did need a few things, starting with a major baking restock - white flour, cocoa. Needed cheese and canned black beans after last night's dinner. Found shrimp and crab cakes with manager's coupons. Took advantage of a sale on chicken to grab a package of drumsticks at a decent price.

When I got in, I had shrimp and leftovers for dinner while watching the Fairie Tale Theatre version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Vincent Price (as the Magic Mirror) narrates this very traditional take on the Grimm's story. Elizabeth MacGovern is the lovely lass who runs afoul of her vain stepmother (Vanessa Redgrave) and hides out with seven very funny dwarves. Meanwhile, a handsome prince (Rex Smith) has been hearing stories about this beauty from the smitten dwarves, and would like to meet her...if her jealous stepmother will give her the chance....

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