Thursday, June 5, 2008

I am not an animal...

As promised, I went to a late showing of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Almost Washed-Up Has Beens (and in the case of Shia LaBeouf, “Never Was”). I disliked it so much, I saw it again on Saturday with my son and some friends. Its now 4 hours of my life I’ll never get back, so I feel doubly qualified to give you a brief review.

It wasn’t real good. Not awful either. 2 ½ stars.

As I’ve said to a few of you, it reminded me of the oldies concerts on PBS; its fun to watch these groups try to re-live the glory days of their youth, but they’re a few steps behind and a little off-key. So, too, the cast of Indiana Jones. Add in a convoluted story line and Shia LaBeouf (his best days were in “Even Stevens” of the “Battle for Shaker Heights”), and it’s not a cocktail for disaster, but definitely an appetizer for trouble.

As an aside, the years in Lee, Massachusetts have been kind to Karen Allen, but not so much for John Hurt; he looked better in “The Elephant Man” and made more sense.

Unfortunately, the movie was just the “essence” of an Indiana Jones movie, and didn’t do too much for me. I had high hopes, given that the critics have been pushing a three-star rating. Then again, the critics loved “Children of Men” too. For more on my opinion on the current state of movies, check out some very early posting of mine in January and February 2007.

The fun thing about this iteration was watching for the little inside jokes or tribute, “shout-outs” to earlier Spielberg or Lucas movies. (Semi-spoiler alert) From the “American Graffiti” beginning, to the “Close Encounters” ending, with everything in between, it was fun to see what might pop up next. As much fun as that was, the movie was missing the great “a-ha!” moments and when it’s all said and done, there’s nothing left to say and there’s nothing left to do. I wasn’t real sad it was over.

I am loco for “Boloco”, a local burrito chain with a location in Natick. Really good value for the money, and quality fresh-made burritos. After a recent mis-step when they put sour cream in my burrito (I like sour cream on my burrito about as much as Harry Callahan like ketchup on a hot dog) and a few other little things, I reached out to the management to share my concerns (sounds so polite, right?) They responded in a proper way, with a refund and a credit, and I am pleased to report that 1) they have straightened things out, and 2) as much as I enjoy the burritos, I enjoy free burritos even more. They did right by me, and deserve to get credit for it.
I wish “Fresh City” would re-evaluate their menu and price structure; talk about over-priced and poor price to value ratio. I’ve noticed the very few times I’ve been there in recent months that the crowds have thinned and I have to believe their numbers are down. With so many other places giving better value (Boloco and Panera Bread among them), they must be thinking about new ideas. Here’s one-lower your prices. By the way, stay away from the cinnamon pita chips. First, cinnamon stimulates the appetite, so you end up spending more money and 2) you ever see anyone use the tongs to pick up those chips? Think about it. Bathrooms at the House of Roy were cleaner than those chip baskets.

You’ve been a great audience. Enjoy the Eurythmics.


Anonymous said...

My problem with Fresh City is that they don't what they are. Too many choices. Can't be all things to all people.

When does Chipotle open in Shoppers World?

Anonymous said...

Visted Boloco last night with my wife and kids, based partially on your recommendation of price-to-value. I'd been there before and liked it, but hadn't been back.

While Boloco's portions are smaller than Fresh City (compare the size of the burritos, for example), I would argue that the latter's portions are too large. And more of something that is already not great doesn't make it better.

Boloco's food last night was great, just enough, and the price was right too. Where can a family of four get a quick bite for supper for under $25 these days (and I don't count the usual fast food joints like McD's or BK as options here)? I also noticed that the food was carefully prepared. It looked to me that the guy from whom I picked up our order really cared that the food was delivered to us as ordered and that he wanted us to be pleased with our food.

Two thumbs up for Boloco from me.