X-Men: Days of Future Past: Water Gate Salad Recipe

Year Released: 2014
Directed by: Bryan Singer, Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen
(PG-13, 131 min.)
Genre: Action and Adventure, Science Fiction and Fantasy

“Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it's done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves.” Brendan Behan

To Brendan Behan's astute appraisal of critics, I would add that they seem either astonishingly easy to impress with hi tech pabulum or willfully blind to stylish elegance. Despite the ooing and aahing of conventional critics and audiences alike, this film does not stir me enough to even write an original review. 

Maybe I am being lazy or it has just been a rough week, but I will let the others take it from here. Our first critic seemed a fellow traveller, but that was just a tease.

And truly, such massive superhero fatigue has set in by now between all the various Batman and Superman and Avengers movies that the prospect of spending two-plus hours with these mutants inspired a shrug and a bit of dread...

 Except, of course, this film is a “wonderful surprise” to Christy Lemire, who ultimately concludes

The results are both dazzling and intimate, clever and — during one tour-de-force sequence — spectacularly funny. –Christy Lemire

And just as at least one critic of Jeff Goldblum’s 1986 The Fly saw existential depth in the cheesy Sci Fi remake, so many critics see in this latest X-Men a depth that is invisible to Different Drummer:

 Perhaps more than any other superhero franchise, X-Men captures the overlapping fantasies of being unique yet not alone, and of being a hero but also being saved.  –Lisa Kennedy

Ambitious and epic in scale and intimate in execution, X-Men: Days of Future Past seals the deal on the slow-burn comeback started by clever prequel X-Men: First Class and pulpy spin-off The Wolverine. –Gary Dowell

Continuing to be the most original and resonant of the Marvel superhero franchises, the X-men return in the capable hands of director Bryan Singer, who again stirs plenty of meaty subtext beneath the thrilling action.  –Rich Cline

At least one guy refrains from gilding the lily and takes it on its own terms:

It's more like a Roger Moore James Bond movie, maybe even Moonraker but I say that as a Bond fan who appreciates the blatant outrageousness of Moonraker. If Moonraker sounds like an insult, then Days of Future Past is at least Octopussy.  –Fred Topel

And several saw humor that somehow got right past me:

The effects are as incredible as you might expect, and the cast delivers that mix of superhero and tongue in cheek that works so well for a modern audience. –Aine O’Connor

It lives. It breathes. It has a sense of humor. It is very probably the best comic book movie since Singer gave us X2: X-Men United back in 2003.  –Ken Hanke

The following, who do not suffer foolish films gladly, are my kind of people. We, however, are definitely in the minority here:

A double whammy for those suffering both superhero and time-travel fatigue. –Matt Pais

An overplotted conglomeration of events that I found diverting, yet meaningless and emotionally uninvolving.  –John Serba

Amongst the flying robots and the claws coming out and the ceaseless wisecracks, there isn't really much of a human story to grab on to. –Dave Berry

The most astoundingly okay movie so far this year - which is apparently all it takes to earn high praise these days.  –Steve Blodrowski

…as though screenwriter Simon Kinberg feared that if he ever stopped drilling home his messages about peace, love and social panic, we might think we were simply in the theater to have fun. It's like discovering your box of Milk Duds is really chocolate-covered vitamins.  –Amy Nicholson

There's no zip, no driving force, no personality to these movies, other than what the overqualified actors manage to squeeze out of their individual scenes. –Josh Larson

On a final note, my precocious 9 year old grandson Weston, an X-Man aficionado, loved it because “I am the only one here (I think he meant our little group not the whole audience) who really understands what is happening,” thus inadvertently restricting it to a fan cult phenomenon.

And that would sum it up for me, except that the 9 year old the fan boy mentality seems to have taken over a large portion of the so-called critics as well.

–Kathy Borich, et al


 Film-Loving Foodie  

Seeing as this X-Men films time travels back to the 70s, with President Richard Nixon playing a small role, this 70s classic recipe has to be the perfect accompaniment.  Actually, Rebecca Crump’s nostalgia that goes along with her recipe is as good or better than the “Pistachio Pineapple Delight” nicknamed “Watergate Salad” by an enterprising Chicago food editor:

Even if I couldn’t see the dogwood blooming in the front yard, trace my name in the pollen on my car or hear the whoosh of the air conditioner kicking on before 10 a.m., I’d know it was springtime in the South, because the Jell-O Pistachio Pudding’s almost sold out at Walmart.

Reach for a box, and the church ladies start swarming, like angry bees guarding fresh honeysuckle.

They know you can’t have Easter here without a big bowl of Watergate Salad, and you can’t have Watergate Salad without pistachio pudding.

I started eating Watergate Salad long before I knew it had a proper name. Mama always called it Green Stuff. I’d watch as the pistachio pudding mix turned the Cool Whip a soft shade of Easter egg-green while Mama folded them into the crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows and pecans. She’d keep an all-purpose batch in the fridge all spring and most of the summer. It was a cold side, a quick snack and a cheap alternative to ice cream.

So, how did it get that name? When Kraft introduced the recipe in 1975 to help sell its new pistachio pudding mix, it was called Pistachio Pineapple Delight. Supposedly, a Chicago food editor thought it needed a more memorable name and printed it in the paper as Watergate Salad. People called requesting the recipe by that name until Kraft finally changed it.

As salads go, this one is far from the ideal. There’s Cool Whip instead of arugula and marshmallows where the cherry tomatoes should be. But it can pass for dessert in a pinch, and that’s something a wedge of iceberg with Ranch dressing just can’t do. –Rebecca Crup

Water Gate Salad

Slightly adapted from the Kraft Foods original recipe.

From Rebecca Crump (Ezra Pound Cake)

Makes 10 servings (about 1/2 cup each)






1.Grab a large bowl, add the first four ingredients, and stir them together.

2. Fold in the whipped topping.

Refrigerate the salad for 1 hour before serving.

Ezra Ound Cake.com