Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hollywood Bites Reviews: "Yogi Bear," and Picnic Pockets

It's getting to be the time when people start compiling lists to mark the year that's past. Awards are handed out, successes are heralded, the best and brightest are toasted, but it also means we have a chance to reflect on the low points of the last twelve months.

With Oscar races just beginning to be handicapped, 'tis the season to ordain which films were the worst of 2010.

While we'll never fully recover from the horror of "Sex and the City 2," littered with puns like "Lawrence of my labia," we think the battle royale for the top spot is ultimately between Julie Taymor's ghastly adaption of "The Tempest" and Warner Brothers update of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon "Yogi Bear," opening on Friday.

Since both have so much wrong with them, it's hard to narrow the argument, we've decided the real question at hand is this: What's worse, attempting to make something noble, high-brow and artistic and turning it into a meandering, nonsensical bore that transported us back to the nap time also known as 10th grade English class, or taking a beloved childhood treasure and making it a screeching, blathering disaster that insults the intelligence of children and adults alike and defiles the memory of a cartoon adored since 1958?

Word to the wise; don't screw around with childhood memories! "Yogi Bear" is our official choice for Worst Film of 2010.

A 3D mix of live action and CGI animation, the film follows Yogi (voiced by Dan Aykroyd), Boo-Boo (Justin Timberlake), Ranger Jones with a serious Just For Men dye job (Tom Cavanaugh, who some may remember from the TV show "Ed") and his obligatory love interest, Rachel (Anna Faris, who one of our fellow journalists thought decided to play the role as if she had special needs) as they fight to save Jellystone Park from an evil mayor who’d like to see it sold to loggers.

You know you're in trouble about 20 minutes into the 82 minute movie (including credits, which makes us wonder if it even fully qualifies as a feature film) when you realize you'd rather be watching "Meet the Deedles," a 1998 romp about surfer park rangers defending Yellowstone from a demented former ranger (played by Dennis Hopper), because at least then you'd get to ogle a shirtless Paul Walker and/or bikini-clad A.J. Langer.

Even worse than Alvin and his "Squeakquel," can someone please explain why Justin Timberlake signed on to this mess? From terrible direction, laughably flat CGI, horrific writing and appalling acting, this is a career Boo-Boo for all concerned.

written for NBC's Popcorn Biz

It's been pouring rain in LA this week, which I love but is definitely not pic-a-nic weather. The other day I was craving a taste of summer and came up with these super fast and delicious little bundles of joy which require no more work than pulling a Yogi and going the lazy route by making a quick trip to Trader Joe's.

Picnic Pockets

serves four
1 package Trader Joe's potato salad
1 package Trader Joe's pulled BBQ chicken
1/4 cup cilantro
1 package Sonoma carb-cutting torillas
2 limes, quartered
butter flavored cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a bowl, combine potato salad, BBQ chicken, and cilantro. Mound small handfuls (about 1/4-1/2 cup) of filling into center of tortilla. Fold ends and sides over filling to create a sealed, rectangular package.

Place pockets on a lightly greased sheet pan and spray with cooking spray.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until puffed, golden and slightly crisp. Serve with lime wedges.

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