Sunday, August 13, 2017

Minimal MacLachlan, But Bowie Returns! Twin Peaks "The Return Part 14"


The Good: Good performances, Wonderful special effects, Awesome blending of reality and surrealism
The Bad: Virtually plotless, Some of the character leaps require real suspension of disbelief
The Basics: "The Return Part 14" meanders, but it does it so well most viewers will just recall how they fell in love with Twin Peaks instead of being bothered by the ambling!


As Twin Peaks rushes towards its conclusion for the new season, the show has exhausted the pleasant shock factor of revealing the return of characters from the original Twin Peaks (reviewed here!) and now it is in something of a "put up or shut up" place. The new season has to deliver on the promise of the disconnected threads seeded throughout the earlier episodes and move toward some sense of closure in the storylines of Dale Cooper and Cooper (Bob). As "The Return Part 14" begins, that burden seems like it is being lifted as the episode starts making concrete connections between the two main investigative bodies of the show - the F.B.I. and the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Department. Between that and the vintage footage in the episode, "The Return Part 14" puts more characters in touch with the fantastic elements of Twin Peaks than ever before.

"The Return Part 14" follows on "The Return Part 13" (reviewed here!), which managed to focus most of the plot's events on Twin Peaks and elevate the menace of the Bob-infested Cooper. "The Return Part 14" is cool in that is starts to link Doug Jones and Agent Cooper in new and interesting ways . . . through Diane. The sense that the episode is getting more concrete takes a weird turn when Director Cole discusses his Monica Bellucci-related dream.

FBI Director Cole calls Lucy Moran at the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Department. Truman informs Cole that they have found diary pages that might indicate there are two Coopers. Agent Rosenfield fills Agent Preston in on the Blue Rose investigations starting with the first case that Cole investigated with Philip Jeffries and involved a doppelganger. Diane arrives and claims that Cooper mentioned Briggs to her the last time they met. Diane reveals that her half-sister is Jane, married to Doug, living in Las Vegas. While describing his current dream, Cole and Rosenfeld recall a time Agent Cooper told them about one of his dreams. In Twin Peaks, Chad (the corrupt cop) is arrested and the Sheriffs make a trip out to Major Briggs' listening station, but they find the Jack Rabbit's Palace to be nothing more than a stump now.

Making the trek according to Garland's directions, the four encounter a woman from the surreal dimension and when a vortex opens above them, Andy is taken. There, he encounters The Giant and comes to understand that the woman on the ground is important. Andy comes out of the experience much stronger and articulate. Returning to the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Department, the mysterious woman is put in protective custody and she is mocked by the other two residents of the jail. Working security at the Great Northern, James learns from his co-worker, Freddy, that the younger man's hand is now gloved because The Fireman (The Giant) told him to after an experience with a vortex of his own. And at a bar, Sarah Palmer's dark side comes out when she is accosted by a drunken asshole.

It's hard not to get excited for anything these days that includes a surprise cameo by David Bowie and "The Return Part 14" is no exception. The archive footage that Lynch used to return younger versions of himself, Kyle MacLachlan and David Bowie to the screen makes for a delightful interlude in the middle of a weird dream sequence analysis.

"The Return Part 14" once again raises the level of surrealism in Twin Peaks as more people in the town encounter the extraordinary. The woman from the other place speaks in static and has no eyes, which is freaky. Andy disappearing when the vortex opens and seeing generally random images that he does not understand is deliberately unsettling. Andy makes for an interesting character to be teleported into the other dimension because he is a character who has, historically, had difficulty articulating thoughts and being taken seriously.

On the literal front, "The Return Part 14" suffers some because it pushes the boundaries of suspension of disbelief. Viewers are expected to believe that the two young ruffians from the original Twin Peaks both grew up to be in law enforcement?! Seriously?! Both Bobby and James became law abiding citizens - Briggs as a deputy sheriff and James working in private security. While James has only been seen in the new season of Twin Peaks before as a lurker and a singer, his sudden appearance in private security seems strange. Similarly, Bobby Briggs was a pretty literal, pragmatic, kid - how he came to accept the surrealism of his father's work makes much less sense than James completely buying Freddy's story. James was always characterized in the original as a dreamer, so his character arc for the twenty-five year leap makes less sense for his occupation, more sense for his acceptance of the fantastic.

Part of the magic of "The Return Part 14" is that the episode is almost over before it occurs to the viewer that Kyle MacLachlan has only appeared momentarily as part of Andy's out-of-world experience (as a visual implication of the two Coopers) and very briefly in the vintage footage that Bowie completely upstaged him in. It is fairly impressive that the show manages to go that long and be that engaging without its protagonist or antagonist.

On the acting front, Harry Goaz and Grace Zabriskie steal the show. "The Return Part 14" actually allows Goaz to play Andy as something more than a fool and that is refreshing to see. Zabriski manages to expertly transition with the most subtle of face movements. Zabriski plays Sarah Palmer and the moment Palmer is approached in a bar, all the viewer can think is "this is the woman who lived in the presence of the ultimate evil longer than anyone else" and Zabriski makes that idea pay off. The scene she is in includes a pretty wild special effects sequence, but it is the acting whereby Zabriski turns on a dime from horrifying to horrified to threatening with a change of her expression, mobility and voice is the true special effect of the episode.

"The Return Part 14" is an episode that feels smartly dense, but it starts to open cracks in the Twin Peaks universe. The Black Lodge was a mysterious alternate dimension with near-impossible entrance and exit points before. Cooper's escape from the Black Lodge earlier in the season is minimized some by Andy's easy transition to and from an alternate dimension and Freddy's story that indicates the same. The burden as "The Return Part 14" concludes is on David Lynch to explain why the Black Lodge was so difficult to escape from when the vortexes appear to be much more common than anyone knew before.

"The Return Part 14" gives viewers hope that Lynch might be able to pull it off.

For other works with Monica Belucci, please visit my reviews of:
SPECTRE
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
The Brothers Grimm
The Passion Of The Christ
The Matrix Revolutions
The Matrix Reloaded

8/10

For other television reviews, please visit my Television Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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For A Limited Time, A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts Were Oddly Fun!


The Good: Good flavor, Affordable, Easy to prepare
The Bad: Packaging/environmental impact, Not terribly nutritious.
The Basics: The A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts are a lot of fun, even if they are best when heated . . . which can be unsettling for those who love root beer!


Every now and then when I see a new product hit the shelves of my local grocery store, I just say to myself "I'm going to wait this one out." I live in a comparatively small community and as a result, new products are often slow to catch on. The net result is, many new products hit the shelves and hit the clearance rack there disproportionately fast. The Kellogg's A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts were a product that, when I first saw them in our store, I said "I give it three months." Well, last week, it was three months and boom! . . . there they were on the clearance rack at 40% off. And I was still eager to try them!

The A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts are a Pop Tart that are somewhat undermined by their own concept. These are a Pop Tart that taste best warmed . . . which is pretty much the opposite of its intended flavor, root beer (which is generally better cold). Despite that weird contrast, the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts end up being pretty good.

Basics

Kellogg’s Pop Tarts are toaster pastries, which are basically semi-hard flat bread pouches filled with a flavored filling. The filling has the consistency of peanut butter and some, like the Limited Edition A&W Root Beer flavor, come with frosting on them. The frosting is hard and on the A&W Root Beer flavored Pop Tarts has a lighter frosting swirl that is akin to the foam atop one's mug of root beer.

A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts come in a box of eight with the Pop Tarts paired up in thin foil pouches. The foil pouch helps to protect the Pop Tart and keep it fresh.

Ease Of Preparation

Pop Tarts are one of the easiest foods in the world to prepare. Simply tear open the foil pouch and pull a Pop Tart out to eat it. It is truly that simple. Of course, you should dispose of the foil wrapper in an environmentally appropriate manner. Outside that, preparation is unnecessary as Pop Tarts taste great at room temperature, though these Pop Tarts definitely have more flavor when heated.

But, for those who like them hot – which makes the filling more like a warm pie – A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts may be heated in a toaster, toaster oven or microwave. I actually like heating the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts in the microwave for thirty seconds because it makes the corners softer and makes the pastry a little less dry.

Taste

A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts smell surprisingly neutral. Their coating has a more generic chocolate scent to it than the scent of root beer, which surprised me. Regardless, these are a Pop Tarts flavor that is only truly aromatic when it is warmed.

At room temperature, the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts taste like a sweet pie crust. The bready portion of the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts is sweet, only slightly dry in its flavor, but not distinct or clearly root beer flavor. The root beer flavor comes out only through the filling. The filling is a very true root beer flavor - dry, earthy, sweet and with an odd element to its flavor that actually insinuates fizz! Plain and unheated, the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts taste like a bready version of what they are supposed to; root beer.

Served warm, the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts are aromatic and inviting with a weird root beer scented steam. In the mouth, they burst with dry, sweet, root beer flavor, managing to overcome the simple dry cake flavor of the pastry shell. The center seems to flavor the entire pastry when served warm, so the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts taste like a lot of hot root beer!

Regardless of temperature, the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts have a slightly dry aftertaste to them, though it does not last long after one has consumed the last of them.

Nutrition

A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts are not the worst option as a component of a breakfast. A single pastry is considered a serving, which is weird given that they come sealed as two-packs. One A&W Root Beer Pop Tart has 200 calories, 45 of which are from fat! With 5 grams fat, one A&W Root Beer Pop Tart gives you 8% of your RDA of fat and 7% of your RDA of sodium. The 36 grams of carbohydrates provide 12% of your daily recommended intake! On the plus side, this flavor Pop Tart does have 10% of your RDA of Vitamin A, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Iron and Vitamin B6, which makes it more nutritious than some juices!

While there is not a lot to laud in the nutrition department, the ingredients in the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts are not actually bad. Made primarily of Enriched Flour, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, it is actually a surprise how the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts are not worse in the nutrition department than they are! The ingredient list quickly becomes a chemistry equation after gelatin.

There are notations that the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts contain wheat and soy ingredients. They are not marked as Kosher, though I am not certain why that is.

Storage/Clean-Up

A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts are very easy to clean up. Simply throw away the foil wrapper in an appropriate place, brush up the crumbs and you are done! Kept in their foil wrappers, A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts will remain fresh for a while; the ones we bought last week have an expiration date of September 20, 2017.

Overall

A&W Root Beer Limited Edition Pop Tarts are good, if not especially good for you, but for a breakfast pastry, they hit on just the right side of weird and delicious, especially when heated, to be worth recommending.

For other Pop Tarts, be sure to check out my reviews of:
Vanilla Latte Pop Tarts
Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts
Frosted Chocolate Peanut Butter

6.5/10

For other food reviews, please visit my Food Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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Sunday, August 6, 2017

"The Return Part 13" Solidifies The Focus On Twin Peaks!


The Good: Good acting, Moments of character, Good ending, Most of the episode's mood
The Bad: Somewhat aimless plot for the latter half
The Basics: "The Return Part 13" mixes wonderfully concrete elements in Cooper and Dougie's stories with somewhat pointless Twin Peaks scenes.


As the new season of Twin Peaks enters its final third, the story is well-beyond the novelty of the prior cast members appearing and the show is committed to actually resolving the massive plot threads it began many episodes prior. "The Return Part 13" does a lot of things that are necessary to achieve that goal, most notably, returning Cooper to the narrative. As well, Richard Horne becomes relevant as he ends up in the same time and place as Cooper.

"The Return Part 13" picks up after "The Return Part 12" (reviewed here!), which was delightful in that it included the return on-screen of Audrey Horne, played by Sherilyn Fenn. Given the delight that fans had at her return, "The Return Part 13" had a lot to live up to. "The Return Part 13" does a good job of blending surreal and weird elements with concrete ties of elements and characters in the Twin Peaks universe. Unfortunately, it feels like David Lynch had half an episode and had to fill out the back half, so he threw in a ton of homages to the original Twin Peaks, including Big Ed's return to the narrative and James Hurley performing the song he sang back in the day with Donna.

At Lucky 7 Insurance, the Mitchum Brothers bring Dougie back, where they present Bud Mullins with a lot of expensive gifts for paying out his their claim. Cooper's agent at the firm, Anthony, is given a day to take care of Dougie. Dougie returns home to find that the Mitchum brothers have bought a gym set for his son and Janie is quite amorous to him. In Western Montana, Cooper arrives to confront Ray, who attempted to kill him. Cooper is given the opportunity to arm wrestle to take over Ray's territory and insists on Ray's life instead. When Cooper wins the match and kills the boss, he interrogates Ray about the scheme to murder him. Cooper asks Ray for the coordinates that Ray was given.

In South Dakota, the police discover that Dougie Jones is supposed to be both an escaped convict and a missing F.B.I. agent. The insurance agent approaches a police officer on the take for a poison to kill Dougie. When the time comes for the agent to attempt to kill Dougie, though, he breaks down and is unable to go through with it. At the RR Diner in Twin Peaks, Shelly gets a call from her daughter before Norma is visited by the man she is seeing, who has franchised her diner. Audrey confronts her husband with an identity crisis that he is unhelpful in resolving.

Kyle MacLachlan is amazing in "The Return Part 13." MacLachlan's arm wrestling scene is an impressive feat. MacLachlan embodies Bob with a vicious streak and a power that is impressive. His physical restraint in the scene is contrasted brilliantly by the very active physical performance of the man who plays Ray's boss. MacLachlan's role as Dougie is minimal in "The Return Part 13," but he continues to play him as appropriately stiff and out-of-touch as Dale Cooper slowly becomes conscious within Dougie's body. MacLachlan commits to a face-plant into a glass door as Dougie that is unsettling for its realism.

While the performances and moments of character - when they exist - are quite good, the plot goes from being delightfully focused and possessing a sense that the show is working to tie together important plot elements, "The Return Part 13" becomes aimless in its second half. Sure, it's nice to see Big Ed (though Everett McGill looks like "David Lynch pulled me out of retirement to eat a fucking cup of soup?!" over the closing credits) again and the reunion of Dr. Jacoby and Nadine is delightful for the sheer volume of crazy in the scene's subtext. While James may be stuck in his past, the viewer is not and we need something more than just to be trapped in Twin Peaks.

David Lynch starts "The Return Part 13" strong, but seems unable or unwilling to keep the focus and intensity of the first half of the episode in the second half.

For other works with Everett McGill, please visit my reviews of:
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Twin Peaks
Licence To Kill
Dune

7/10

For other television reviews, please visit my Television Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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Marginally Disappointing, Green & Black's Pure Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Chocolate Bars Do Not Live Up!


The Good: Good flavor, Decent ingredients, Good corporate ethics
The Bad: Expensive, Not at all indicative of a true caramel flavor
The Basics: Green & Black's Pure Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel chocolate bars are more like chocolate toffee bars than salted caramel bars.


I have been enthusiastically going through a little slipcase of chocolate bars I recently got in. The packaging for the Green & Black's chocolate bars instantly intrigued me when I saw them at my local discount store. Tonight, I decided to take a break from my work to enjoy the Green & Black's Pure Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel chocolate bars from the slipcase of chocolate I bought. Unfortunately, the Green & Black's Pure Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel chocolate bars did not quite live up to my expectations or hopes for what a good caramel chocolate bar could be . . . especially for one with dark chocolate.

Basics

Green & Black's Pure Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel chocolate bars are one and three-eights inch by one and five-eighths inch rectangles of chocolate that are about three-sixteenths of an inch thick and connected side by side and in rows, to form a bar of ten segments. Each bar comes unified in a foil wrapper. The foil-wrapped chocolate bar is sealed in a cardboard package.

Each chocolate bar is sold in a way that it is easy to segment and control portions. In this form, the 3.17 oz. bar, the chocolate bar represents two and a half servings. Each bar appears solid (the Caramel flakes and sea salt are embedded, as opposed to acting like a filling) and is stamped with the Green & Black's logo.

Ease Of Preparation

These are candy, so preparing them is as simple as opening the cardboard and then opening the foil wrapper from around the actual chocolate. There is no trick to eating Green & Black's Pure Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel chocolate bars.

Taste

The Green & Black's Pure Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel bars have a strong cocoa aroma. The dark chocolate scent is pleasant and inviting for anyone who loves dark chocolate. The aromatic nature of the dark chocolate is uncommon, but very basic.

In the mouth, the Pure Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel bars are dry, with little salty flecks. The sea salt in the Green & Black's Pure Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel chocolate bars manifests more as a crispy texture than an actual flavor. There is almost no hint of caramel in the flavor palate of these candy bars.

The Green & Black's Pure Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel chocolate bar have a strong, dry aftertaste that lasts in the mouth for several minutes after the last of the bar is consumed.

Nutrition

These are candy, so they are not overly nutritious. That said, the Green & Black's Pure Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel chocolate bars are made of generally good ingredients, justifying their expense. The primary ingredients are bittersweet chocolate, organic raw cane sugar and organic glucose syrup. There is nothing unpronounceable in these candies.

A serving from the Green & Black's Pure Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel chocolate bars is considered four rectangles from the overall bar, which is a somewhat silly serving size for a bar that is segmented into ten pieces (as that means one whole bar is two and a half servings). From four squares, one takes in 210 calories, including 150 calories of fat. There are 70 mg sodium and 2 grams protein in each serving. There is a decent amount Iron (20% RDA) in each bar, but no significant quantities of any other major nutrients. The biggest nutritional detraction in the Green & Black's Pure Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel are the 17 grams of fat per serving and the 50% RDA of saturated fat that comes from the 10 grams of saturated fat!

These are not Vegan-compliant, nor are they recommended for anyone with a nut allergy as they are manufactured on machinery that processes tree nuts. They are not specifically marked as kosher (I'm not sure why), but Green & Black's uses sustainable cocoa farming for their cocoa, which is nice! They do have an allergy warning for wheat and milk.

Storage/Clean-up

The bars of these Green & Black's Pure Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel chocolate bars remain fresh for quite some time. The bars we picked up last month had an expiration date of October 10, 2017, though they will certainly not last that long as I will have consumed mine well before then! One assumes that if they are kept in a cool, dry environment they will not melt or go bad. It is hard to imagine just what it would take for these to go bad outside melting and refreezing.

As for cleanup, just throw the packaging away when you're done! These chocolate bars are made such that there is no real cleanup needed, unless one is eating them in a hot environment. Under that circumstance, it is likely one would need to wash their hands, though these bars do not melt as easily as cheap or milk chocolates. When this chocolate melts into most fabrics, it will stain.

Overall

Green & Black's Pure Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel chocolate bars are interesting, but lack a strong caramel flavor to sell the promise of the bars

For other Green & Black's chocolate reviews, please check out:
Pure Milk Chocolate Sea Salt chocolate bar
Pure Dark Chocolate Raspberry & Hazelnut chocolate bar
Pure Dark Chocolate Sea Salt chocolate bars

4/10

For other chocolate reviews, please visit my Chocolate Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

American Gods "A Prayer For Mad Sweeney"


The Good: Fine direction, Decent acting
The Bad: Forced elements pertaining to direction, Dull characters, Disappointing plot, Kills the season's momentum.
The Basics: "A Prayer For Mad Sweeney" takes a divergence in the American Gods story to pay lip service to Mad Sweeney's story and conflict.


As much as I came to appreciate the first season of American Gods, the truth is that it is a show that requires some faith to invest in and it is a wildly erratic season. The eight-episode season meanders for four episodes, gets a purpose in its fifth episode, has strong rising action in its sixth episode and then takes a radical detour for its seventh episode. "A Prayer For Mad Sweeney" is the seventh episode and it diverges significantly from the tone of the a-plot of its prior episode.

"A Prayer For Mad Sweeney" picks up the Laura Moon subplot from "A Murder Of Gods" (reviewed here!) instead of continuing the throw down that Mr. Wednesday began in that episode with Mr. World. Laura Moon was the recipient of an entire backstory episode - "Git Gone" (reviewed here!) - earlier in the season and the fact that she gets a second episode focused on her family and her is surprising. Despite the title, "A Prayer For Mad Sweeney" is much more a Laura Moon (and her family) story than it is one that truly develops Mad Sweeney.

In the morgue, Anubis reconstructs a body while Mr. Ibis offers him a drink. Ibis sets to writing the Coming To America story starting in 1721. He writes about the people shipped off to America with the sentence of "transportation," people condemned to indentured servitude in the Colonies. His story flashes back to the story of Essie MacGowan. Essie MacGowan grows up in Ireland, hearing stories about the supernatural creatures like banshees and leprechauns. She is raised to leave cream and bread for the leprechauns and her donations are accepted by the enchanted folk, including Mad Sweeney.

Essie MacGowan's story continues with her getting sentenced to seven years transportation after her lover, the young master of the house where she works, denies that he gave her a necklace, making her appear to be a thief. Essie escapes her sentence by seducing the captain of the ship she was being transported on. Essie marries the captain, but then robs him and flees. After years of shoplifting, Essie is caught in London and sentenced to death. The influence of Mad Sweeney and a pregnancy allow her to escape death with transportation again, this time she ends up in the colonies. While Essie's story is being relayed, Laura, Mad Sweeney and Salim go on Laura's detour until she releases Salim to follow his quest to find the Djinn. Laura and Mad Sweeney steal an ice cream truck.

"A Prayer For Mad Sweeney" is heavy with Emily Browning, who plays both Essie MacGowan and Laura Moon. Browning infuses Essie with more innate passion than Laura has possessed. Ironically, Essie becomes colder and more methodical than Laura as she develops from an apparent innocent into an outright thief. Browning makes the transition well, though she is relegated to playing Laura as cold and snotty in her non-Essie scenes in "A Prayer For Mad Sweeney."

Browning does fine as Essie, but like Laura, Essie is not a particularly interesting character. Indeed, much of Essie's story is overwhelmed with a blaring, retro-pop soundtrack and were that and the narration from Ibis not present through much of her story, its inherent boring quality would be far more evident. Essie MacGowan is a woman who is raised with a faith and when it lapses, she suffers; it's a simple story and it is vastly overstated in "A Prayer For Mad Sweeney."

Pablo Schreiber is fine in his distant supporting role of Mad Sweeney. Mad Sweeney is proven to be both bound by gratitude and belief and near-immortal in "A Prayer For Mad Sweeney," which seems to imply that leprechauns like him are some form of divine, like Vulcan, Odin, and others in American Gods.

Fundamentally, Laura Moon is not a particularly interesting character in American Gods an fleshing out the story of a character who begins as a pretty strong atheist with a family backstory that is very much one of belief does not make Laura more engaging. Like Shadow Moon, Laura has found herself rather abruptly thrust into a world packed with divine beings and creatures and given that she is pursuing a full resurrection, she just seems snotty in "A Prayer For Mad Sweeney." In fact, "A Prayer For Mad Sweeney" implies that Mad Sweeney feels indebted to Essie MacGowan's family for his continued existence and in conflict with Wednesday's wishes for Laura. The episode does not explore that aspect enough to be truly satisfying, though.

The result is an episode that tries to force viewers to care about some of its (until now, generally) peripheral characters and it makes the attempt with inorganic tricks and without a satisfying sense of development.

For other episodes that are deep character studies, please check out my reviews of:
"Duet" - Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
"Alex"- Supergirl
"Step In The Arena" - Luke Cage

3/10

For other television season and episode reviews, please visit my Television Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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Monday, July 31, 2017

July 2017 End Of The Month Report!

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July was an interesting month for us - it was feast or famine. Our output was admittedly erratic - we did a show, got a new canine member of our family, and had a huge new set of trading cards to process, all of which cut into our reviewing time. That said, we reviewed a bunch of the new Hallmark ornaments for this year, a new Netflix television series, most of the first season episodes of American Gods and several new films in theaters. It has been a pretty exciting month for us and we're pleased to say we have some really awesome reviews coming up in the pipeline!

We are adapting the Amazon product links as we reference old reviews now. Most of the links have been properly converted and the reviews now have the right products associated with them. We appreciate our readers sticking with us through Amazon reconfiguring, which is likely to be ongoing for a bit longer!

This month, we picked up one new follower on Twitter, but no new subscribers! We are always trying to get people to become regular readers and subscribe, so if you enjoy what you're reading on the blog, please subscribe by clicking on the right side of the blog to get updates with each posting. As well, if you read a review that really affects you, be sure to "share" it! PLEASE share a link to the blog, not the content of the article; this keeps people coming to the site and, hopefully, liking what they find once they are here! We're slowly growing our readership, so sharing and subscribing to the blog is an important way you can help! If you’re subscribing, please tell your friends about the blog!

In July, we updated the index pages every few days, keeping them quite useful to our readers. The primary Index Page, is usually updated daily and lets you know what the featured review is and has an up-to-the-day tally of how many reviews have been reviewed in each category! Check it out and feel free to use that as it is a much more useful and organized index to the reviews I've written!

If you enjoy the reviews, please consider clicking on the links in the reviews and purchasing items. We really appreciate all the purchases made through the blog as that keeps us going. As back to school shopping begins, if you're going shopping online, please come through the blog to to it. Thank you so much!

At the end of July 2017, I have reviewed the following:
590 - Book Reviews
with specialized index pages for:
Fiction
Star Trek Books
Nonfiction
Graphic Novels
Magazines
959 - Music (Album and Singles) Reviews
with specialized index pages for:
Music Reviews By Rating (Best To Worst)
Music Reviews In Alphabetical Order
3277- - Movie and Television Reviews
with specialized index pages for:
Movies By Rating (Best Movie to Worst)
Movies In Alphabetical Order
Best Picture Oscar Winner Film Reviews
Television Reviews
The Star Trek Review Index Page (All Star Trek Reviews In Order)!
The Star Trek Review Index Page (All Star Trek Reviews From The Best Of The Franchise To The Worst!)!
The Doctor Who Review Index Page (All Doctor Who Reviews In Order)!
The Doctor Who Review Index Page (All Doctor Who Reviews From The Best Of The Franchise To The Worst!)!
240 - Trading and Gaming Card Reviews
Gaming Cards Reviews
Star Trek Gaming Cards Reviews
Star Wars Gaming Cards Reviews
The Lord Of The Rings Trading Card Game Reviews
Other Gaming Cards Reviews
Trading Cards Reviews
918 - Toy and Christmas Ornament Reviews
with specialized pages for:
Ornament Reviews
Star Trek Toys
Star Wars Toys
Lord Of The Rings Toys
Buffy The Vampire Slayer/Angel Toys
Comic Book, Movie, Television Toys
Plush and Other Toys
1032 - Food, Drink, And Restaurant Reviews
with specialized index pages for:
Drinks
Candy
Cereal
Cheese and Meats
Ice Cream
Other Food
275 - Pet Product Reviews
Cat Product Reviews
Dog Product Reviews
Rabbit Product Reviews
114 - Travel Reviews
Destinations Reviews
Hotels Reviews
225 - Health And Beauty Product Reviews
213 - Home, Garden, Appliance and Tool Reviews
108 - Electronics, Computers, Computer Games and Software Reviews
62 - Other Product Reviews

The Featured Reviews For The Month of July is my review of: 2017 Ursula The Little Mermaid Ornament!
Check it out!


The month of July was packed with new, highly-read reviews, especially because of Hallmark's ornament preview weekend and the Twin Peaks revival! For July, the Top Ten Reviews of the month were:
10. "The Bone Orchard" - American Gods
9. 2017 Lavender Luxe Limited Edition Barbie Hallmark Ornament
8. Travelers - Season 1
7. "The Return Part 10" - Twin Peaks
6. "The Doctor Falls" - Doctor Who
5. "The Return Part 12" - Twin Peaks
4. "The Return Part 11" - Twin Peaks
3. Glow - Season 1
2. You Get Me
1. Friends From College - Season 1

I pride myself on being an exceptionally fair reviewer, but one who is very discriminating. I believe that most reviewers are far too biased toward both what is current and toward unduly praising things. I tend to believe most things actually are average and they ought to follows something around a Bell Curve. Mine is a little lopsided, but not as lopsided as most reviewers I know (who would probably have peak numbers between ten and seven)!

For my reviews, the current count is:
10s - 331 reviews
9s - 521 reviews
8s - 1006 reviews
7s - 1117 reviews
6s - 1048 reviews
5s - 1324 reviews
4s - 992 reviews
3s - 777 reviews
2s - 379 reviews
1s - 251 reviews
0s - 121 reviews
No rating - 140 articles/postings

There was a decent amount of movement this month, but no new additions to the all time Top Ten Reviews! At the end of July 2017, the most popular reviews/articles are:
10. Oz The Great And Powerful
9. The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bone
8. Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events - Season 1
7. Warm Bodies
6. Iron Man 3
5. Now You See Me
4. Tyler Perry's Temptation
3. The Burden Of Being Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2. The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
1. Man Of Steel

Thank you again, so much, for reading! Please share links to the blog with friends and spread the word!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Audrey Horne Returns!!!!!!!! "The Return Part 12" Brings Back A Twin Peaks Favorite!


The Good: Audrey Horne returns, Character development, Good performances, Plot threads are decent, Surprisingly funny, Ties together a number of previously incongruent moments
The Bad: One or two bits that still feel pointless and disconnected.
The Basics: "The Return Part 12" has most of the past Twin Peaks being smart in an episode that has almost no Kyle MacLachlan!


Twin Peaks returning to television has been a truly mixed blessing. The idea that the show might wrap up the twenty-five year old mystery of "what the hell happened after Agent Cooper was lost in the Black Lodge and Bob, with Cooper's face, made it out into out world" was a compelling one. But the concept has had an execution that is much more crowded than it is direct. Unlike the original Twin Peaks featuring disparate plotlines that did not have anything to do with Laura Palmer's murder, the incongruent elements of the new Twin Peaks seem widely unattached to the main plot. Viewers are further isolated from the original Twin Peaks by the fact that much of the action in the new season of Twin Peaks does not occur within the town of Twin Peaks.

"The Return Part 12" picks up after "The Return Part 11" (reviewed here!) and it continues the story with greater focus on answering the questions about the alternate planes of existence that Dale Cooper disappeared into. "The Return Part 12" takes a long time to get back to Cooper, but there is the sense in many of the scenes leading up to his appearance that people are working toward finding him or understanding what truly happened to him.

At the Mayfair, Gordon, Albert, and Tammy have wine and Albert informs Preston about Project Blue Book's end. Tammy is offered a position on Gordon and Albert's U.F.O.-related task force before Diane heads to the meeting. Diane is deputized by Gordon with the potential that she might learn the truth of what happened to Agent Cooper. In Twin Peaks, Sarah Palmer freaks out at the grocery store, claiming people are coming and in the trailer park, Carl exhibits compassion on one of his residents by releasing him from next month's rent.

Sheriff Truman visits Ben Horne and tells him about his grandson's hit and run. Horne takes financial responsibility for Miriam's treatment and laments his loss of his childhood bicycle. Albert meets with Gordon again and the two try to figure out what Diane is involved in. Cooper's assassins take out the warden. And Audrey takes to task the man who is supposed to find Billy.

"The Return Part 12" has a strong science fiction beginning. Dale Cooper, it turns out, was part of a top secret FBI task force pertaining to the Blue Rose Task Force, an investigatory body looking into U.F.O. cases that were unsatisfactorily investigated during Project Blue Book. Twin Peaks has had a pretty strong fantasy undertone to it when it was not a literal forensics drama or melodramatic soap opera, so the turn into explicit science fiction is an intriguing twist.

The inclusion of Diane into the Blue Rose Task Force seems like a thematic nod back to the Bookhouse Boys in the original Twin Peaks (when Agent Cooper was able to accompany the secret society). Gordon including Diane in the task force seems like a case of "keep your enemies closer," though and Gordon and Albert play it cool with Diane in a way likely to excite fans. It is refreshing when the follow-up scene comes up to see that Gordon and Albert are actually on top of things - especially given how Gordon usually appears like a bumbling moron.

Equally exciting to fans is how Benjamin Horne evolves in "The Return Part 12." Benjamin Horne spent the original Twin Peaks as a schemer, then a man suffering from a nervous breakdown before getting his skull cracked in. Apparently, all that horribleness left Benjamin a better person because in "The Return Part 12," he is contemplative, responsible, and he recognizes the horrible nature of his grandson immediately.

David Lynch takes his time with drawing out his scenes in "The Return Part 12." Gordon's date taking her time to leave is distractingly long. "The Return Part 12" is particularly melancholy for its moment with David Lynch looking sadly at Miguel Ferrer and it would be completely unsurprising if an eventual commentary track reveals that Ferrer told Lynch on the day of shooting this scene that he was ill (Ferrer died only a few months ago, before the first episode of the new Twin Peaks aired). The moment is especially poignant now and it is tough not to watch that portion of the episode and choke up.

But then "The Return Part 12" takes a right turn as Sherilyn Fenn pops back up as Audrey Horne! Fenn is part of a scene that answers a number of questions about previously incongruent elements in the new Twin Peaks season and fills in huge gaps in Horne's story. Fenn leaps upon playing the adult Audrey in a compelling way that still has the sarcasm and anger of the young woman she once played and the odd balance of dramatically advancing and maintaining the character is expertly handled by Fenn.

"The Return Part 12" finds just the right balance between answering questions and raising new one, progressing the story and continuing the mysterious feel. While there are still elements of the new Twin Peaks that feel forced for their weirdness - the exit of Gordon's mistress standing right out - most of the episode works incredibly well and fleshes out the story magnificently.

For other works with Grace Zabriskie, please visit my reviews of:
Santa Clarita Diet - Season 1
The Judge
The Grudge
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
FernGully: The Last Rainforest
Twin Peaks

9.5/10

For other television reviews, please visit my Television Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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It Could Use More Marshmallows: Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows Cereal!


The Good: Surprisingly decent vitamins and minerals, Neat idea
The Bad: Generically sugary flavor, Not enough marshmallows to sell the concept
The Basics: Kellogg’s Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows cereal is a neat idea, but it fails to live up to its promise.


My wife is a huge fan of Froot Loops and Lucky Charms. I've seen her, in the past, remove the cereal pieces from her Lucky Charms and eat the milk-soaked marshmallows as a breakfast treat. So, when I found Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows at my local discount store, I was super-excited to bring it home to her. My wife quickly came to love the Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows cereal and I've been sampling it.

In contrast with my wife, I found the Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows cereal to be a good idea with a less-than-ideal execution. I found the cereal wanting on the marshmallow component and the fruity promise of the cereal seemed lacking.

Basics

Kellogg’s Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows cereal is the standard Froot Loops cereal with additional pieces added to the mix. The standard Froot Loops are blue, purple, green, orange, yellow and green and are approximately 5/8” in diameter. The standard pieces are augmented by tiny marshmallows that are in the shape of fruit and Toucan Sam.

The standard box of Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows cereal is 12.6 oz. That represents approximately twelve servings and I got eleven servings out of my box.

Ease Of Preparation

Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows cereal is a breakfast cereal, so this is one of the low-impact breakfast options as far as preparation goes! Simply open the box of Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows cereal, pour out a one cup serving (I recommend actually using a measuring cup, especially if you are monitoring your intake) and add 1/2 cup of milk to it. I have discovered, as part of getting healthy, that one of the biggest challenges one might have with breakfast cereal is actually eating the serving size recommended by the manufacturer.

For the purposes of my reviews, and my regular consumption, I only use skim milk (fat free) milk with cereal.

Taste

Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows smell vaguely fruity, with a decent, sugary quality to it. There is a faint berry and lemon aroma to the Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows.

On the flavor front, dry Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows cereal is incredibly sweet. There is almost no genuine fruit flavor to the Froot Loops and the overwhelmingly sugary flavor finishes dry and like corn meal. The Fruity Shaped Marshmallows do not add a more fruity flavor to the palate; they just make the cereal even more sugar-flavored.

Covered in milk, the Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows are sugary for the first few bites, but after the milk sits for a moment or two on the cereal, the cereal takes on a very basic puffed corn flavor. There is nothing truly fruity in the flavor, even after the milk is added. Even the marshmallows do not carry much in the way of flavor. The Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows does not taste bad, but it does not taste very distinct and it does not have a lot of marshmallows in it.

The Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows leave a slightly sweet aftertaste in the mouth, but it does not last for very long in the mouth.

Nutrition

Kellogg’s Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows cereal is surprisingly nutritious on its own and with skim milk! Made primarily of sugar, corn flour blend and wheat flour. The Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows ingredient list degenerates into a chemistry equation after “gelatin.” This cereal has some preservatives in it and it also has a separate list of vitamins and minerals, which means that this is a cereal that has nutrients sprayed onto it. That makes it very important to drink the milk after one has consumed the actual cereal.

A single serving of Kellogg’s Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows cereal is 29 grams, 1 cup. In that serving, there are 110 calories, with 5 calories coming from fat. There is no saturated or no trans fats in this cereal, nor is there any cholesterol. With 115 mg of sodium and two grams of dietary fiber, this is actually a really good dietary choice for those striving to improve heart health. With a gram of protein and 30 mg potassium, Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows has more going for it on the dietary front than one might suspect. On its own, this cereal has significant percentages of eight vitamins and minerals.

Storage/Cleanup

Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows is a cereal, so as long as it is kept sealed in its box, it ought to remain fresh for quite some time. The box we purchased last week at our local discount store had an expiration date of December 30, 2017. Obviously, when you are done pouring the cereal from the box, fold down the plastic inner wrap to help maintain the cereal’s freshness.

Cleaning up after Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows cereal is simple as well. Simply brush away crumbs left by it and you are done! It is that simple! This is a cereal that barely discolors the milk added to it, but because you should drink that up to get all the vitamins and minerals Kellogg’s added to the cereal, that shouldn’t be an issue with staining.

Overall

Froot Loops With Fruity Shaped Marshmallows cereal is all right, but it does not accurately convey a fruit flavor and it does not delight consumers with a sufficient volume of marshmallows to be a true blend of Froot Loops and Lucky Charms.

For other Kellogg's cereals, please be sure to check out my reviews of:
Cinnabon Cereal
Frosted Flakes Chocolate
Krave Double Chocolate

4/10

For other food reviews, please visit my Food Review Index Page for an organized listing of all the food reviews I have written!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets Dazzles, But Fails To Pop.


The Good: Decent direction, Good themes, Wonderful special effects
The Bad: Mediocre plot and characters, Some huge technical gaps
The Basics: Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is a beautiful film that never quite manages to excite as much as it seems it should.


This summer, there have been very few films I have gotten excited about based upon the previews. One of the few I went into with virtually no outside knowledge of was Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets. I saw a preview trailer for Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets and it looked intriguing. I knew that the film was based upon a graphic novel, but after reading The Coldest City (reviewed here!) to prepare myself for Atomic Blonde, I opted not to prepare myself for watching the movie by reading the graphic novel first. So, when I sat down to Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, all I was armed with was the information from the preview trailer and the knowledge that the opening-weekend grosses for the film were less-than-stellar.

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is a film by Luc Besson and about halfway through watching the movie, I got to thinking that The Fifth Element (reviewed here!) took a long time to find its audience. The Fifth Element is generally considered a film that was produced before its time and I highly suspect that Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets suffers from a similar problem. When Star Wars (reviewed here!) was first released and illustrated a populated universe, many critics were flummoxed; films that have tried to create similarly creative and alien-filled galaxies seem to stumble in a similar way. Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is very packed with creatures, devices and backstory, but outside the setting and themes, I found it virtually impossible to emotionally invest in the film.

Starting in 1975 with the first modules of the International Space Station being placed in Earth's orbit, the ISS expands over hundreds of years. The ISS is the site of first contact with aliens in 2150 and hundreds of years later, the station has been expanded to the point that its mass is no longer sustainable in orbit. It becomes known as Alpha Station and sent away from Earth. On the planet Mul, the peaceful, pearl-farming aliens are thriving and celebrating the environmental renewal when the planet is bombarded by massive pieces of military hardware and alien ships. Major Valerian awakens in a virtual reality program having just dreamed of Mul's destruction. Valerian, a law enforcement officer, and his partner (both on the job and in his personal life) Laureline, are tasked with recovering a Mul converter on the planet Kyrean. En route to the extra-dimensional Big Market on Kyrean, Valerian learns that he has been the recipient of external brainwaves, suggesting to him that he just received memories of Mul's destruction.

At the Big Market, Valerian and Laureline encounter the gangster Igon Siruss, who illegally obtained the converter. Valerian is in the process of stealing the converter when he recognizes the would-be buyers of the technology as people from Mul. After narrowly escaping with the super-valuable converter (which is the creature that made pearls on Mul), Laureline and Valerian journey to Alpha Station to defend the military leader of the humans. On Alpha Station, the pair learns that there is a growing irradiated zone on Alpha Station that threatens all life there. When the security council's meeting is attacked and Commander Filitt is captured, Valerian and Laureline go on a journey through Alpha Station to recover the military leader and in the process, they uncover a massive conspiracy surrounding the destruction of the planet Mul.

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is a tough film to unpack; the spectacle of the movie is near-complete. Indeed, the only bad effect that I noticed was that when characters pet the Mul converter, the hand motions/creature movements do not quite line up. The special effects element of Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets are immersive and, occasionally, overwhelming.

The story of Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is far less-impressive than the effects, though the themes of the film are decent and experimental in a way similar to those of The Fifth Element. The characters are a mix of engaging and very obvious archetypes. Valerian is a young Han Solo, cocksure, womanizing, and by-the-book; Laureline is efficient, ethical and able to use judgement as opposed to simply following the rules. But Laureline is also the character who explores the nature of love in Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets.

Dane DeHaan spends Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets delivering a performance that is identical to a young version of a well-known actor . . . I haven't been able to place it, but the entire time I was watching the film, I felt like I was watching someone else. Valerian is not poorly portrayed, but DeHaan plays him like himself playing the other actor playing the role. Cara Delevingne is good as Laureline, but Eric Lampaert's brief time on screen seems like Lampaert playing Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow for Thaziit and Ethan Hawke appears to be impersonating Mark McGrath for his part of Jolly The Pimp. Rihanna is surprisingly undistracting in the role of Bubble.

Despite the themes and the special effects, Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is a startling average science fiction action movie. While the film might age well, its time is not quite there yet and the film seems more like an academic exercise than a truly impressive and unique story of its own.

For other films currently in theaters, please check out my reviews of:
Atomic Blonde
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Baby Driver
Transformers: The Last Knight
Wonder Woman

4.5/10

For other movie reviews, please check out my Film Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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Zuke's Clean Berry Crisp Z-Bones Prove An Unfortunate Point!


The Good: Decent ingredients, Dental benefits
The Bad: Benny lost interest in them very fast, Environmental impact of the packaging.
The Basics: Benny's initial interest in the Zuke’s Clean Berry Crisp Z-Bones faded ridiculously quickly, making for a less-impressive treat than I initially thought.


When a new pet joins my family, my wife and I do everything we can to make that animal feel welcome and loved. One of the ways we do that is providing the new addition with treats and foods that meet their preferences. As a reviewer, I get psyched about the new treats and foods my animals get to try and with Benny, our new four year-old English Setter, I have been excited about seeing what he likes. The thing is, Benny has been a member of our family for less than a month now and my wife warned me almost immediately that I should let him get comfortable here before using him too much for reviews. This point was truly driven home to me with the Zuke's Clean Berry Crisp Z-Bones.

Zuke's Clean Berry Crisp Z-Bones were one of the first treats Benny responded positively to in his first week with us. I picked up one of the Clean Berry Crisp Z-Bones on a lark at my local discount store and we gave Benny one when he came in from pooping early on. I figured it might be a good reinforcement tool for him and he devoured the first one with enthusiasm that he had not shown any other treat at the time. So, after I got back from my recent trip, I figured a good way to show Benny that I was still his new guy (and give him affection) was by stocking up on the one treat that I knew he liked and giving it to him as a positive reinforcement treat.

Sadly, Benny has been utterly indifferent to the Zuke's Clean Berry Crisp Z-Bones since that first one.

Basics

The Zuke's Clean Berry Crisp Z-Bones are a treat that is in the same snack niche as Greenies. Made to look like a dark brown-red bone, much like Greenies - save that Greenies are green, the Zuke’s Large Clean Berry Crisp Z-Bones is supposed to be difficult for the dog to chew, which helps them scrape the plaque and tartar off their teeth. When Benny actually consumed the Clean Berry Crisp Z-Bones, they did actually clean his teeth like they were supposed to. But, just like the dental floss that remains unused in my medicine cabinet, the key to the effectiveness of this product is getting the consumer to actually use them . . . and Benny hasn't wanted any of the other Clean Berry Crisp Z-Bones I have opened up for him.

Clean Berry Crisp Z-Bones left me ultimately unimpressed because Benny could not be enticed into trying them again. The Clean Berry Crisp Z-Bones Treats are brownish-red and shaped like a bone, though they are flat and have the brand name embossed on the side. It is 3 1/2” long and 1 3/8” wide at its widest point and 3/4" thick. Each Regular Clean Berry Crisp Z-Bones 1.5 oz. treat comes individually as a wrapped bone-shaped treat and it would be reasonably priced at $1.00/ea., if he would only consume them.

Ease Of Preparation

The red pressed potato flour and glycerine "bone" is designed to help fight plaque and tartar build-up by having a texture to it and being very hard. The bone-shaped treat is smooth until the dog bites into it and fractures it. Then it becomes very mealy and the texture helps remove matter from a dog's mouth. Because the bone is too big to simply be swallowed, the Clean Berry Crisp Z-Bones effectively brushes the dog's teeth and tongue using friction whenever the dog bites into it to split it and swallows it, dragging the bolus across their tongue . . . if a dog actually can be coaxed into consuming it.

Preparing the treat for consumption is very easy; simply unwrap the individually-wrapped bone treat and give it to your dog. I highly recommend having water nearby for the dog to drink as they eat the Clean Berry Crisp Z-Bone!

Benny’s Reaction

Benny ate one. He refuses to eat another one. And I've given him the option several times in the last two weeks.

Nutrition

These treats would not be bad for dogs if only the dog would eat them. The package recommends that dog owners have clean drinking water available to their dog when they feed them this treat. This treat is a dietary supplement, not a full meal. Clean Berry Crisp Z-Bones in the regular size have at least 9.5% crude protein, 1% crude fat, and no more than 5% crude fiber and 20% moisture, so those looking out for their dog's specific dietary needs, that might help. They are made primarily of potato flour, peas, and tapioca. There are not a lot of preservatives, so these treats are actually very natural! The bone we picked up two weeks ago had a December 10, 2017 expiration date.

Overall

The Zuke’s Clean Berry Crisp Z-Bone is a good idea, but one that flops because Benny cannot be enticed into using them.

For other dog treat reviews, please check out my takes on:
I And Love And You Chicken + Duck Recipe Nice Jerky Bites
Pedigree Filet Mignon & Bacon Flavor Stackerz
Purina Busy Real Beefhide Rollhide

2/10

For other pet product reviews, please click here to visit my index page on the subject!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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