12 West Spices Up Delaware’s Restaurant Scene

Written by | Scott Hall       •       Photos by | Dawn Hall Photography

 

12 - West - LR-3If you haven’t been to Delaware in the past year or so, you might be due for a visit. The restaurant and nightlife scene up north has really come around in recent years and newcomer – 12 West – is no exception.

Roughly 30 miles north of downtown Columbus, lies the charming town of Delaware, full of excellent places to shop for locally made products, antiques and produce at the farmer’s market. With a slew of places to grab a craft beer like ‘Barley Hopsters – World of Beer’, Delaware’s own microbrew ‘Staas Brewery’, and even a few 5 star restaurants like ‘1808 American Bistro’ and the new kids on the block ‘Son of Thurman’ (as in THE Thurman Café), Delaware isn’t just a sleepy historic town. Most recently, the city of Delaware was graced with a new restaurant boasting the moniker ‘12 West’ across its windows, accompanied by a tiny cactus icon. It was enough to peak anyone’s curiosity. So my wife and I wandered in.

 

12 - West - LR-7We were greeted by a friendly bartender, and were invited to sit anywhere we chose. The bar seemed like the perfect spot to belly up and get the down low on this new hot spot. So instead of reaching for the menu, I instead angled for a drink suggestion – dealer’s choice. He asked me if I like margaritas. “Who doesn’t?” I replied.

 

12 - West - LR-2The bartender informed me that he serves two kinds, but that one was a little more special because it is made from scratch, and not with the traditional mixers. I went with that. My wife ordered a tasty pineapple beer from a Pittsburgh brewery. Moments later, I was sampling one of the most memorable margaritas that ever found its way into my hand. Of course, I am not at liberty to discuss its entire, top-secret composition, but the flavor was in direct correlation to a house made sour mix of natural fresh juices (lemon, lime & orange), Cuervo, a few unnamed ingredients, and finally topped with some Grand Marnier. Worth. Every. Penny.

 

12 - West - LR-9“Any appetizers?” we were asked. Finally taking a minute to peruse the menu, we decided on the Nachos with Queso and Chorizo Dip. It was only $7.50 and came in a ceramic crock piled with green onions, cilantro, chorizo and the creamiest cheese that you could imagine. My guess is that it was made with several types of cheese, because there were so many flavors going on with each bite. Cheese perfection. The only downside was that as the cheese cooled down, the house-made nachos were not strong enough to lift the cheese without breaking. I suggest you eat it fast!

 

12 - West - LR-13For dinner, I ordered the steak enchiladas with rice and beans. My wife chose a couple of à la carte tacos: the carnitas and the cod. Each taco came with 12 West’s signature topping of pickled radishes, thinly sliced jalapeños, red cabbage, and queso fresco. They were both very tasty. The kind of flavor where you can not wait to finish the bite in your mouth so that you can take the next. And at prices ranging from a mere $2 to $3.50, it is easy to get a few different ones and pass them around your party.

 

12 - West - LR-4As for my meal, the rice and beans were a bit spicy for my taste. I am a self-admitted sissy when it comes to spice. My limit is Frank’s Red Hot and Sriracha. Anything beyond that, and I’m out. I felt that the enchiladas were a little on the thin side. There were two of them, they were very moderately priced, and the flavors were there, but I am the type of person that wants to sit for 20 minutes after I eat to make room for dessert.

All of the food I have sampled at 12 West has been enough to keep me coming back, and I have to say that even the 12 West Burger would hold its own in any burger competition. It has a patty blended with ground beef and chorizo, roasted pablano mayo, tomato, and avocado on a toasted roll. Delish.

 

12 West is a wonderful, little place with an excellent Mexican/American menu. The menu items are reasonably priced and you get decent portions. The atmosphere is very modern and the staff is beyond friendly. I had the opportunity to sit down with the owner, David DiStefano, and ask him a few questions.

Me: What brings you to Delaware?

David: Delaware is a great market. This area is seeing some major growth. It is very community-based and has that feel that you hope for as a business owner.

Me: From start to finish, describe the perfect meal at your restaurant.

David: It all starts with great friends! Then maybe an appetizer of the nachos and chorizo dip, even our tacos are great to share. For the main course, we have the Cowboy Ribeye. All of our wines are Spanish, so they are specifically made to accompany meals. I feel like they are the perfect thing to drink while you enjoy our foods.

Me: Are there any secret menu items?

David: (Chuckling) Actually, yes. We have a Mexican hot dog. It is a Chicago-style, natural casing hot dog wrapped in bacon, deep fried and topped with avocado, tomato, roasted jalapeños, and topped with sour cream. We also have a jumbo shrimp grilled burrito that is pretty tasty.

Me: Now for the hard one. What was your favorite childhood cartoon?

David: Easy. Hong Kong Phooey.

 

12 West Williams Street

Delaware, Ohio 43015

Hours: Mon – Thu: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Sun: 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Phone: 740-417-8156

This article appears courtesy of Now It’s Dark Magazine where Scott Hall is an entertainment writer.

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Catch a Burger on the ‘Flip Side’

Flip Side - Color - LR-5If you are like me, you have undoubtedly outgrown the fast food burger. They are bland, uninspired and all around questionable when it comes to their origins. Don’t get me wrong, a Baconator™ will fill you up and it is ‘kinda’ tasty. However, nothing can compare to the freshness of a locally owned joint that goes out of their way to find trustworthy, local farms that have naturally processed offerings. About three years ago I went to California for some official stuff (use your imagination). While driving down the Sunset Strip, I saw the familiar glow of a giant, yellow, inviting arrow directing my attention to a small, white structure. That was the site of my first ‘In-N-Out Burger’ experience. It was fresh. Juicy. Flavorful. Alien for that matter. That burger changed my life and set me on a perpetuating quest to find the next best burger. I am fully aware that this establishment is also a chain restaurant. After talking with the manager for about 15 minutes it all became apparent why I have never had it so good. I explained why they need to expand into the Flip Side - Color - LR-3Eastern states and let the rest of our great nation have a taste of these creations. His answer to me was very simple and quite respectable. “Well” he said, “Our company has a long-standing relationship with certain sources for local meats and produce. If we were to open up a chain out East, we would have to either find another source or freeze what we are getting and ship it out to those locations. Either option would change the taste and integrity of the brand we have built.” So I shook his hand, bought a t-shirt and returned back to Ohio. Enlightened.

Flip Side - Color - LR-7Upon my return, I felt like an alcoholic that had sobered up. I was thinking more clearly when distinguishing my culinary choices. Every chance I got, I implemented Yelp, UrbanSpoon and good ol’ word of mouth to locate new places to find a good burger. This led me to a few really great spots, right here in Ohio. Well as of last month, while trekking the side streets of Easton Town Center,  I caught the infectious scent of searing meat. Much like the characters from an episode of  Tom & Jerry, I floated along the trail until I found myself at the door of ‘Flip Side.’

Flip Side - Color - LR-8My nose led me right up to the concrete bar where I proceeded to order an appetizer of BBQ beef brisket macaroni and cheese, a side of truffle oil fries and the “Forester Burger.” Being an American, I love anything with BBQ sauce on it, and the macaroni and cheese is no exception. It was THE creamiest cheese sauce that has ever graced pasta. The fries, with the addition of truffle oil and grana padano cheese and a mix of spices made them a staple of every meal for me from that moment on. Then came the burger. It was a thick hunk of grass-fed beef that was drowning in its own juices. Atop the meat lay a perfectly rationed portion of caramelized onions, wild mushrooms, tempura battered shiitake mushrooms and a thick slice of provolone cheese to hold everything in place. On the plate I found the top of my Flip Side - Color - LR-9bun aside pickle slices, a few leaves of lettuce, tomato slices and a little ramekin of seasoned truffle aioli. I assembled the rest of the toppings. It was messy. It was tasty. It left me full, but somehow wanting just one more bite. The bartender knew what he was doing when he handed me a stack of napkins and said, “You will definitely need these.”

Flip Side - Color - LR-11

‘Flip Side’ is a very cool spot to visit. The décor is rustic Americana with a decent beer and wine selection. The reflected mood of the establishment is enjoyment with a focus on imaginative Millennial cuisine. It doesn’t just stop at beef burgers, either. You can get a lamb burger, ground shrimp burger, bison burger and vegetarian burger. ‘Flip Side’ will not disappoint. Did I mention that you can get a slice of pie blended into a milkshake for dessert? Because you totally can.

Flip Side is located at 3945 Easton Station in Columbus. 614-472-3547.  flipsideburger.com.

By Scott Hall (Courtesy of NowItsDarkMag.com)

Photos by Dawn Hall of http://www.DawnHallPhoto.com

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Would You Like Popcorn With That? – Earth to Echo

“Earth to Echo” is the first feature-length film directed by, Dave Green. It stars, Teo Halm (Alex), Brian ‘Astro’ Bradley (Tuck) and, Reese Hartwig (Munch). It has a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes and is rated PG for some action and peril, and mild language.

“Earth to Echo” is a family-friendly sci-fi movie where three best friends answer the extraneous distress call of a visitor from another planet. With the imminent threat of losing their town to corporate expansion and feeling that they have nothing to lose, the three embark on an adventure worthy of any, Steven Spielberg fan. They eventually uncover Echo’s purpose for visiting our planet along with an impending danger that keeps them on the run in this zestful tale of intergalactic camaraderie.

You have seen the fireworks. You have attended the parade. You have had all the barbecue that you can stomach. What is the next move for you this weekend? Round up the little rascals and take the family to see “Earth to Echo”. It is a great movie that everyone in your family will enjoy watching from beginning to end. This film is very topical (every 10-year-old has a cell phone, right?), so your kids will definitely be able to identify with the heroes of the story. There is great character development as well as an interesting story that will recapture your inner child. Overall, this is a very well-rounded movie and a very strong freshman film for director, Dave Green.

This is also very nostalgic movie that will seem familiar to you. “Earth to Echo” tells a story that parallels many of the great “group of friends on an adventure” movies that we hold dear. In “Earth to Echo” Turk, Alex and Munch are moving away from one another because their town is being demolished, just like “The Goonies”. The boys decode a secret message and find out that an alien is trying to direct them, just like in “Explorers”. An alien comes to earth and befriends children while a government agency is out to find and dissect him, just like in “E. T.”. The boys sell their parents a ruse so they can sneak out and investigate a strange occurrence, like they did in “Stand by Me”. There is even a scene where Munch’s phone rings and the ringtone is “Everyday” by Buddy Holly. The boys document their adventure on film, as they do in “Super 8”. Not to mention that “Echo” looks just like the little cute UFO from “Batteries Not Included”. “Earth to Echo” just may be the next movie to wear the crown that these film greats once donned.

One complaint that I probably have about the movie is that the ending was a little uninspired. Sure, it has a happy ending that you probably saw coming from the very beginning, but there was a lack of emotion all around during what should have been the defining moment of the story. It was not a bad ending, just a little off the mark after all of the buildup. They do wrap it all up nicely with making things fall into place. There is definitely a larger message that the story gets across regarding the importance of good friends, no matter where they are in the universe.

I don’t feel that “Echo” saw very much screen time. He crash-landed on Earth and needs the boys to carry him around while he collects parts to rebuild his ship. So, for this reason, he is shielded inside of a capsule (or stuffed in a book bag) for most of the movie. Everyone is on the run for the duration of the picture, too. This makes it hard for them to just “hang out”, I realize, but I would have like to see more “Echo”. The few scenes where he actually is out and about are pretty cool. He has a very cute likeness and seems highly marketable. I know that my daughter, Morgan has already asked me for one if we see him in the store because he would be a cute pet.

“Earth to Echo” is a solid 4 out of 5 popped kernels on my scale. It is a very enjoyable movie with a great cast of newcomers that I am sure we will be seeing more of in the coming years.

Popcorn Rating 4 out of 5

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Would You Like Popcorn With That? – The Amazing Spider-Man 2

 

the-amazing-spider-man-2-poster-imax“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” was directed by, Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man and 500 Days of Summer). It stars Andrew Garfield (Spider-Man/Peter Parker), Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy), Jamie Foxx (Max Dillon/Electro), Dane DeHaan (Harry Osborn/Green Goblin) and Sally Field (Aunt May). It has a runtime of 2 Hours and 22 minutes and is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence.

 

“Spider-Man” is about the dual life that, Peter Parker chooses to live. As, Peter Parker, he is happily in love with, Gwen Stacy and getting ready to graduate high school. He is unable to enjoy his youth and any of the things that he cherishes due to the alter ego that he has adapted. Spider-Man faces more than just personal problems in this magnificent movie. He also encounters, Electro, virtual nobody turned villain, and the Green Goblin to name a couple.

 

I cannot stress this enough, but IMAX 3D was the ideal format for this movie. The very first few minutes of the movie had me dodging things that were not really there. My stomach felt as though I were plummeting down the first hill of an amusement park rollercoaster. You ARE “Spider-Man”. Slinging your webs to regain altitude and creating a fulcrum that propels your body higher into the air; changing direction and vaulting from building to building with seamless gesturing. From the clever camera angles and the amazing depth, the director really makes you feel as though you are the one behind the web-laden mask. As I looked around the darkened room, I saw many faintly lit faces ducking obstacles and leaning in their seats as the hero made his way through the city’s skyline. This kind of immersed feeling was present throughout the duration of the entire movie, and I veritably LOVED all 142 minutes of it.

 

This movie unquestionably breaks the mold as far as sequels go. History shows that it is extremely difficult to make a film that has the same impact as the first. There are only a few that come to mind where the sophomore attempts have approximated their predecessors. “Spider-Man 2” surpassed the first movie on every level in ways that I would never have thought possible. The character development and overall emotional attachment is far stronger in this sequel. The presence of danger and character turmoil is well orchestrated and will leave you wondering what is forthcoming from one scene to the next. Not to spoil anything, but there are so many twists in this movie that you will be constantly asking yourself, “Did that really just happen”? “Spider-Man” raises the proverbial bar for what is possible with a sequel. My expectations for the next movie are sky high.

 

If you are a long-time fan of, “Spider-Man”, beyond the film, then you are in for a handful of great treats. You will recognize a few of the side characters by their names, giving you a glimpse of what Marvel has in store for future installments of the franchise’s amazing films. From petty thieves to Oscorp employees, there are several signs that point to what a third movie might hold. As a matter of fact, if you are a self-proclaimed nerd, like me, and have a smartphone with the “Shazam” app installed, there is an absolutely “sinister” surprise waiting for you after the movie as the credits begin to roll. Just press the button and behold the gifts on your screen.

 

On a personal level, “Spider-Man 2” really hit a home run, for me. The summer blockbuster season started early this year. Beyond a doubt, this movie merits the 5 out of 5 popped kernels on my scale. It is light-hearted enough to take your mature children to and holds enough excitement to keep any adult entertained. Please do yourself a favor and go see it in 3D if at all possible. While the movie holds its own, it is that much more exciting when you are part of the action.

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“Son of Thurman” Invades Delaware, Ohio!

Thurman - LR-4With over 3,200 likes on their Facebook page even before opening their doors, the brand new “Son of Thurman” restaurant is a veritable force to be reckoned with. The popular brand has decided to branch out into new territory and give the folks North of Columbus a taste of what a burger can be. If you have ever been to the original “Thurman Café”, then you know that food this good is worth the drive and takes time to prepare. You probably also know that it is no coincidence that there is a line to visit the popular spot which wraps around the street corner on any given day. If you are a connoisseur of pub food and have never visited the 72-year-old original location, I highly recommend you try it out.

Thurman - LR-5The “Son of Thurman” has an enormous selection of gourmet burgers. One burger, “The Jaeger” is served open-faced with sautéed mushrooms and onions along with a good slathering of French onion dip. Another flagship burger is “The Thurman Burger” (Pictured) which comes with a pile of ham, sautéed mushrooms and onions, mozzarella and American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, banana peppers and mayo all layered atop a massive, fresh beef patty. Is your mouth watering yet?

The “Thurman” name is synonymous with a massive culinary masterpiece bearing the intimidating name, “The Thurmanator”.  Here is the list of the burger’s constituents as they are arranged: Bottom bun, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle, banana peppers, 12 ounce burger, bacon, cheddar, another 12 ounce burger, sautéed mushrooms & onions, ham, mozzarella & American cheese, top bun served with fries. This burger is so unbelievably large, that it was featured as a challenge on The Travel Channel’s hit series “Man Vs. Food”. You will notice heads turning as someone from the wait staff carries one of these monsters out of the kitchen to deliver it to the victim…. I mean customer.

Not into burgers? “Son of Thurman” offers much more. The appetizers range from $1.99 for coleslaw to $6.49 for the delicious Thurman cordon bleu bites. Their menu also boasts a large selection of chicken sandwiches, reubens, jumbo wings with 11 different sauces, enormous toasted subs, pizza thins, gyros and even a kid’s menu. For you non-meat-eaters, they even have an extensive variety of salads. The one thing you will not find on the menu is dessert. After countless visits where I never clear my plate, I realize that it is because nobody will ever have the room. If you leave here hungry, it is your own fault.

Thurman - LR-3

I had an opportunity to sit down with, Chris DeVol (the owner) and ask him a few questions about the restaurant. Here is how it went down.

Scott: Obviously, “The Thurman Café” is a huge success. When did you realize that it was time to expand?

Chris: It was actually over ten years ago, but it was only about two years ago that I started to really plan it.

Scott: How did you decide to put the new store in Delaware?

Chris: I had considered a few different areas, but Delaware really stands out because it is so unique in many ways. There seems to be a general migration from Downtown Columbus to the Delaware area. Delaware really has a lot of character that other communities don’t have. The locals here are so loyal.

Scott: Are there any plans to add additional locations to the “Thurman” family of restaurants?

Chris: (Laughing explosively) HA! Ask me again in a few weeks.

Scott: Do you have any menu items that cannot be found at the original restaurant?

Chris: Yes. We actually have a couple of appetizers that are exclusive to this location. One of them is a pizza roll.

Scott: What is your perfect meal here at “Son of Thurman”?

Chris: Easy. “The Johnny Burger” (a ¾ lb. bleu cheese burger with loads of bacon, horseradish cheese and a splash of tequila cooked in. No lettuce, tomato or mayo because “Johnny” doesn’t eat salad) with mushrooms, a plate of fries and a Labatt Blue draught.

Scott: I just ate and I could go for that! Ok, here’s one just for fun. If you had to relive a day over and over like, Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day” and you had to watch the same movie for eternity, what would that movie be?

Chris: (Without hesitation and the best “game face” I have ever witnessed) “Goodfellas”.

“Son of Thurman” is located at 5 N. Sandusky Street in Downtown Delaware, Ohio. Do yourself a favor and schedule a family trip. It is a very inviting atmosphere and has a great staff to make sure that your visit is pleasant.

• Location – ★★★★★ There is plenty of parking around back, and Delaware is a beautiful town.

• Speed of Service – ★★★★ Don’t show up here if you have somewhere to be in an hour. Expect a wait. Good food takes time, and these guys do it right.

• Plate Appeal – ★★★★ The plates are not meant to look pretty, but they are dressed to impress and overflowing with great food.

• Value – ★★★★★ Twice the price of McDonalds – Infinitely better tasting.

• Friendliness of the staff – ★★★★★ Our server was very friendly and accommodating.

Photo Credits: Dawn Hall from http://www.DawnHallPhoto.com

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Would You Like Popcorn With That? – The Lego Movie

“The Lego Movie” is BRICK-TASTIC!.

the-lego-movie-poster-full-photo“The Lego Movie” was directed by duo, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (21 Jump Street & Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs). It stars the voice talents of, Chris Pratt (Emmet), Morgan Freeman (Vitruvius), Will Ferrell (Lord/President Business, Elizabeth Banks (WyldStyle) and Will Arnett (Batman). It has a runtime of 1 Hour and 40 minutes and is rated PG for mild action and rude humor.

“The Lego Movie” puts ordinary, Emmet (Pratt) in the role of the chosen one as prophesized by, Vitruvius (Freeman) during a duel with, Lord Business (Ferrell). Lord Business takes control of an all-powerful weapon that will force the Lego universe to remain segregated and in perfect order. Emmet must learn to think outside the box in order to help his band of “master builders” in order to fulfill the prophecy and return the universe and its people to their full creative potential.

It is absolutely amazing to grow up playing with Legos and see them turned into a feature-length motion picture. The Lego toys, cartoons and video games play a very prominent role in playtime with my family. Yes…even Duplo sometimes. There have been few toys that have stood the test of time like Legos. After 56 years, they still have their own aisle in the department stores, the aforementioned video games and cartoons, amusement parks, their own stores, countless apparel items, backpacks and…well…you get the picture. The next logical step is motion picture releases, and I am 100% fine with that if the subsequent films are half as good as their predecessor. “The Lego Movie” is literally a perfect movie to relive your childhood while sharing the love with your own children.

There are a lot of virtues addressed in the film. Early in the movie, conformity is sold as the most important thing a person can achieve. Emmet starts his day based on a set of written instructions meant to turn everyone ordinary. Imagination, friendship, teamwork and acceptance all play a huge part in the overall message portrayed by the directing team. Emmet is thrown into situations where he must use his own creativity to escape dangerous situations. At one time, he saves the day by building a double-decker couch – Not a weapon, not a flying machine or a tank, but much to the disapproval of his cohorts, a double-decker couch.

“The Lego Movie” is full of great action, drama, nostalgia and plenty of comedy. It is not just for kids by any means. Liam Neeson plays the right-hand man to, Lord Business, Good Cop/Bad Cop. Depending on his mood at any given time, Good Cop/Bad Cop’s head will spin around revealing either a friendly, fun-loving fellow or a harsh, servant of the law at the flip of a switch. Every time that Bad Cop gets angry, he throws tantrums that eventually lead to a great running gag in the movie. Bad Cop kicks chairs. No matter where he is, he will find a chair and kick it. You know what? It gets funnier every time he does it, too.

I am going to give “The Lego Movie” 5 out of 5 popped kernels. You and your entire family will enjoy it. I must warn you, however, by the time the movie is over, you will find yourself singing the soundtrack’s infectious refrain, “Everything is Awesome!” It has become a morning anthem around my house (and I’m okay with that).

Popcorn Rating 5 out of 5

Lego QR Code

 

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Would You Like Popcorn With That? – The Nut Job

“The Nut Job” is good for what it is.

The Nut Job Poster“The Nut Job” was directed by, Peter Lepeniotis who is virtually an unknown, but has worked as an animator on Toy Story 2 and a handful of other well known pictures. It stars the voice talents of, Will Arnett (Surly), Liam Neeson (Raccoon), Katherine Heigl (Andie), Brendan Fraser (Grayson) and Maya Rudolph (Precious). It has a runtime of 1 Hour and 26 minutes and is rated PG for mild action and rude humor.

“The Nut Job” is another one of those kooky, computer animated animal movies filled to the brim with sight gags and run-of-the-mill shenanigans. It focuses on the careless, Surly (Arnett) – a rambunctious squirrel that has been ousted by his clan of fellow woodland creatures. Along with his best friend, Buddy (a rat with very little to say), Surly is always out for number one and has a ton of schemes to ensure that he will always get what he needs at any cost. Surly takes his friendships and fellow animals for granted as he is faced with some very tough decisions in this movie. His alliances and personal emotions fall under fire as he is banished from the park to live in the city by, Raccoon (Neeson). His sentence is carried out after inadvertently setting fire to the large oak tree which provides shelter and food storage for the rest of the animals of the park.

Surly is a very resourceful character. He is a fast-thinker and can turn a bad situation around through the avenues of his cunning and quick wit. While he tries to be a loner, he relies heavily on the actions of, Buddy and everyone else that he encounters. There are a lot of entertaining scenes that involve a guard dog, Precious (Rudolph) and, Surly that became a very valuable asset for this movie. They start off as instant enemies until the tables turn in Surly’s favor once he finds a way to manipulate the dog. Things get even funnier after they become friends.

Nobody can beat Disney/Pixar when it comes to this kind of movie. “The Nut Job” has so many studio credits before the film that I had no idea who to blame or thank for bringing it to theatres. That being said, they somehow all came together to pull off some wonderful details. I often look beyond the story and its characters at things like the background scenery and textures of everyday objects. There were so many unbelievably realistic things on that screen that I actually googled a few props afterward to see if they really existed. One scene took place in a defunct retail nut shop. In this shop were coin-op rides and several 50s era vending machines. I believe one of them was a cowboy and one was a robot. They each looked like something right out of an episode of “American Restoration” and had such a realistic look about them. The city was also a wonder to behold. You never realize just how many different surfaces there are until you see a work of art that someone had to meticulously recreate for a movie.

I have been a bit burnt out on animated animal movies over the past few years. This one felt a lot like “Over the Hedge”, but with a lot less panache. While it was mildly enjoyable, I feel like they could have taken more time making the characters feel important and a lot less mindlessness. Take, for instance, the onslaught of “fart jokes” that seemed to take over many of the conversations in the movie. Once might be funny, but this movie had more toots than the famed bean scene from “Blazing Saddles”.

Aside from the snowballing success of Disney’s “Frozen” (pun intended – oh yes I did), the cinemas have been a bit shy of having anything that you could take your children to see. “The Nut Job” may not be the best thing to hit the theatres this year, but if you are itching to take the fam out for an enjoyable flick this weekend, it will be good enough to entertain you all. The kids will definitely enjoy it. My daughter has already asked if we can buy it when it comes out on blu-ray and wanted me to tell you all how funny it is when the dog shakes her butt. So there. You have been informed.

I am going to give “The Nut Job” 3 out of 5 popped kernels. It could have been more than it was, but it was still an enjoyable feature.

Popcorn Rating 3 out of 5

The Nut Job QR Code

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