Heroes in a Half Shell

Last week I saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and had the good fortune to sit down with Megan Fox and Will Arnett for a little chat about it. I was a huge TMNT fan when I was kid. I loved the cartoons, the toys, the comic books, and when I was 10 the live action film came out in theaters. I remember it being awesome, in the literal sense of "awesome".  Considering how much I loved it when I was young(er) I was very skeptical of this new version and understandably so. When the film was over I was surprised by how much I didn't hate it. In fact, I kinda liked it. I won't be buying it on VHS and nearly wearing the tape out like I did with the first one but it's still worth a watch at some point. The turtles look great, they've got individual personalities that feel like they've been observing people and pop culture through a sewer-grate in New York since the mid 90's, and the film has a great sense of humor. There are lots of things to like about it. There's, of course, lots of stuff that's not that great too but you know who's not gonna care? 10 year olds... and their parents who want to bring their kids to an air-conditioned room this saturday so they'll be quiet for 2 hours.  Parents be warned: your kids will attempt to jump kick everything in your house when they get home from the theatre so hide the fragile stuff before you go.

Here's my interview with Megan and Will. Who, by the way, are both awesome. (just a heads up, the formatting gets a little funky on mobile devices.)


What I Think You Should Do This Weekend...

…why would you even listen to me? I don't know, I mean, who do I think I am?

Well, I'm a guy who saw Neighbors a few weeks ago, so there's that.

And in case you were wondering, I think you should go see it. I'm sure by now you know the premise but in case you have no Idea what I'm talking about - here's the trailer:

Still don't know what it's about? Here's the rundown: a young family buys a house and shortly thereafter a frat buys the house next door and moves in. One thing leads to another and soon the family is trying to get the frat shut down and frat is trying to make the family's lives hell.

You should know: It's very funny. Every escalation of the feud gets laughs, there's a comedic fight that comes close to rivaling the fight in Pineapple Express, and the party scenes are so kinetic and fun looking that it made me feel like I wish could go to one... but I know that if I could I'd be the weird old guy at a college frat party.

Character depth as well as plot development are rooted in of a multitude of fears that people of those transitional periods of their lives have- What do I do now? Does this mean anything? Are you really my friend? Am I old? Am I old now? What do I do if I sink every thing I have into a house and it becomes worthless? What do I do with this baby? 

 Lots has already been said about how perfect Zac Efron and Seth Rogen are in their roles, and they are. The roles seem tailor made for them. I'd give MVP to Rose Byrne though, she's really effing funny, there are a few scenes where she get laughs without even saying a word, and I really liked that her character isn't a generic "disapproving housewife" to Seth's character. Rose's character rolls up her proverbial sleeves, gets in there and does what needs to be done to try and get rid of the frat.

Go see it, let me know what you think.

 

If you find yourself in your home or car with about 45 minutes to kill - do your ears a favor and stream The Black Keys new album from iTunes or go to their website and follow the iTunes link there.

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I've been listening to it for a few days now and I'm really into it. It's like the perfect music for a night time drive. Windows down, if it's warm enough … and not raining. 

Danger Mouse is back as a producer. He has worked with the band a few times before but he also produced, one of my all time favorites, Broken Bells' first album. I bring it up because some dudes on NPR said you can hear a Broken Bells-esq quality to the songs, after hearing them say that and listening to the songs it does seem like those NPR guys may be a little bit right. Either that or those shady mother effers from NPR pulled a fast one on me.

Anyway, the songs sound great, there's quite a bit of variety on the album, a couple of tracks have kind of a spacey sound to them and I mean that in the best way possible, almost like a sexy, spacey quality. Those have been my favorites so far. Couldn't tell you what tracks specifically because to be honest, streaming the album has been kind of a pain in the ass. The only reason I say that is because you can't select which tracks to play, you just have to play it start to finish. As I said, if you've got 45 min, it's worth it. Album comes out on Tues.

 

Ok, I haven't seen Chef but friends of mine that I trust have seen it and really enjoyed it. So if food porn is your thing then by all means, go for it.  Written, directed and starring Jon Favreau - it's about a chef who quits his job to run his own food truck (I guess, I don't know, I haven't seen it, I just said that). It looks like it's got a good cast. I'm gonna try and check it out. I like Favreau (Swingers!) and despite being a super picky eater I'm fascinated by chefs. I mean hooked: Bordain's shows, his books, Top Chef, David Chang's Mind of a Chef, there was even a crazy Eric Ripert show on Esquire that I watched for a while. I'm off track - here's the trailer:

If you see it let me know what you think of it.

 

Well there you go, I think you should do 1 or all 3 of these things.  And call your mom on Sunday. 

5 Reasons Why Kevin Spacey Kicks Ass.

These days most of us know Kevin as Frank Underwood from House of Cards, we've all spent roughly 26 hours watching it on Netflix. If you haven't watched it yet quit stalling and join the human race.  Also, if Kevin Spacey is ONLY the dude from House of Cards to you, Google him. He's won a Tony, 2 Oscars and he's been nominated for Grammy and multiple Emmys. 

Reason #1

He's in the next Call of Duty! This game looks exciting as hell and I'm super excited to play it. Now, do me a favor and listen to Spacey's monologue again. 

Really listen to it.

Yes, the writing seems a little dramatic but it's a bad guy bent on world domination in a video game so we expect it to be that way. But Spacey crushes it, he makes something that could feel very flat and one dimensional feel fully realized and nuanced.

Movie stars doing voices in video games is nothing new: Ed Harris, Gary Oldman, John Goodman, Sam Jackson, Ray Liotta - the list goes on. Ellen Page did some mo-cap for a game, Kiefer Sutherland is reportedly doing a little mo-cap for his performance as Snake (hot button topic, I know) but this fall we'll get Kevin Spacey starring in a Call of Duty game! So many questions! Can we play as Kevin Spacey? Can we shoot at Kevin Spacey? Will Frank Underwood play Kevin Spacey's game in a scene of House of Cards?

Reason #2

Aside from being the guy who's always talking to the camera on that Netflix show he's also seriously respected in the theatre world. He's done some of the greats by Ibsen, O'Neill, and even won a Tony in '91 for Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers. He's also been the Artistic Director at The Old Vic Theatre in London for just over a decade. In 2011 Spacey and his troupe of British and American actors put on a production of Shakespeare's Richard III, directed by Sam Mendes, and then took it on the road for 10 months. This play is a monster, Richard (Spacey, obviously) is on stage for like 95% of the production and has physical maladies like none other - a hunchback, a club foot, and an effed up hand (I believe that's the technical term.) Full disclosure: I have only seen clips of the performance but even without having seen the full show I know what a beast this play is because I've read it. I also know Spacey got rave reviews because I have access to the internet.

I appreciate the magic of live theatre so … respect, Kevin Spacey. If you're a diehard theatre junkie you can go to Kevinspacey.com and watch Now: The Film, Now In the Wings on a World Stage which documents the production, the company, and their travels. Here's the trailer.

In the trailer Kevin said he hasn't worked with Sam Mendes in a decade, since American Beauty. That brings us to.

Reason #3

He is a boss actor. Remember American Beauty? Sure we all make fun of the trash-bag-blowing-in-the-wind scene but Spacey was solid, he won his second Oscar for it. American Beauty capped off a 5 year period of really outstanding film work by Spacey. It started with Swimming with Sharks, then The Usual Suspects (for which he won his first Oscar), Se7en and LA Confidential (clinching his second Oscar). If you haven't seen any of these films I suggest you watch them - they're fantastic.

Reason #4

Spacey does great impressions- I'm just gonna throw this out there, one of my favorite SNL sketches: 

I had to get that video from Russia's youtube.

Reason #5

He's a great talk show guest. He does some impressions, he tells a good story, and every now and then he'll sing a little something - like on Fallon last week.

There you go. 5 reasons why, for the time being, I'm buying whatever Kevin Spacey is selling.

However, if I meet him and he's a jerk I'll burn this post to the ground and never look back.

 

ugh...

Well, I had a whole post about some of the geeky headlines from the last few days.

It had the Avengers dinner photo that RDJ tweeted. I wittily noticed that they all ate all of their food, Sam Jackson isn't paying attention and Mark Ruffalo didn't lean in enough prompting Joss to call him out on twitter. 

I had the photo of the cast of Star Wars. I said that while it's all very exciting that the original gang is back together my favorite thing about the photo was that it looked like a photo from a Star Wars coffee table book that came out 30 years ago.

I had links to stories about the Netflix Daredevil series (it'll take place in the MCU, big whoop now) and Zack Snyder being confirmed to direct a Justice League movie for after Superman Vs Batman for 2018 (it'll make a billion dollars even if it's only half good).

One of the stories I was most excited about was that Seth MacFarlane and Jonathan Ames are going to be doing a comedy series for Starz starring Patrick Stewart about a British journalist who comes to America to take over, television, I guess. Ames was responsible for Bored to Death on HBO, a show I really enjoyed. Starz was responsible for Party Down, another show I really enjoyed. So I'm really looking forward to this seeing how this comes together. I made a joke about how MacFarlane and Stewart are working together so frequently Ian Mckellen is start getting jealous.

And finally, I was trying to embed a video of Martin Freeman (Fargo, Sherlock) giving people advice. It was funny if you like Freeman. Anyway I was trying to embed the video from GQ's blog when the whole thing went a awry and the entire post deleted itself because I moved my fingers wrong on a fucking Apple mouse. So now you have this; an angry, bitter, dejected description of what could have been. Hope you enjoyed it.

I won't let you beat me!!

That was exhausting.

This is what I'm excited for this weekend: John Oliver…HBO…done.

Look, I'm not going to lie to you; I can't stomach the 24 hour news networks. 

But that puts me in a bit of a sticky predicament because I'm a well rounded adult who sometimes has to engage in non-popculture-centric conversations with other adults. It's rough, I know.

Being that I don't have desk job where I can browse for talking points on the internet all day, or even take my medicine with a hard dose of CNN (honestly, I've stopped caring about that plane) I have to get my news from other, easier to digest sources:
1) Twitter
2) Listening to NPR while either: showering, cooking breakfast, driving (but even then I don't care about the revival of a long dormant interpretive dance company - or something equally obscure you'll hear about if you listen for more then 20 min.)
3) Because sometimes I can't handle the medicine without a bit of sugar I really like comedy shows that present news while making fun of the usual way news is presented i.e. The Daily Show, The Colbert Report (I'm gonna miss it) and Real Time with Bill Maher.
4) The Week Magazine (like Reader's Digest for news)

This weekend I think I'll be adding a new, more British-y, source of news to follow:

What's that you say? You don't know who John Oliver is? Well, he's British, which you should have picked up on. He loves America. He used to work for The Daily Show. Not only did he work for the show doing countless killer field pieces since '06 but when Jon Stewart took last summer off to shoot his film John Oliver filled in. He got good, real good. How good?  Step into the time machine and take a trip all the way back to 2013 to see for yourself:

And of course, who could forget the origin of the Carlos Danger dance break...

It was only a matter of time before someone snapped him up and HBO seems like a good home for him.

Word on the street is that his first guest will be former NSA Director General Keith Alexander. Obviously lots of hot button topics there that'll make you seem totally smart when you bring them up while picking up some coffee with co-workers on Monday morning.

So Sunday night get the most out of your borrowed HBOGO subscription (hell, you'll already have it open from watching GoT), get informed (kind of, I guess), and show this guy some love.

Holy. Shit.

Remember how crazy we all thought Tom Cruise (settle down now) was when we saw pictures of him hanging of the side of the Burj Khalifa while shooting MI:4? Well these guys just made him look like a punk.

I saw this on Mashable today and I had to share it. I've been skydiving before but there's something about even the idea of jumping off a building that makes me feel faint. 

But god bless GoPro and Red Bull for making people do insane things and recording it for the rest of us to watch.

Here's my skydiving experience from a while back. 

What I'm Listening To: Jack White

Friggin' Jack White, man. 
I'm a big fan of this guy. The White Stripes, obviously. The Raconteurs, of course. The Dead Weather, yup. Blunderbuss, YES - quit questioning my commitment already!

Lazaretto is a killer song and I love that he recorded it to vinyl, in mono, in front of the fans who showed up to watch him play on Record Store Day and those fans were able to buy the song 4 hours later. 

What I really love about Jack White is that he's an incredible foil to all the over produced, created by committee music flooding the world. He has a way of making the music feel like a visceral experience and that's not something that lots of music does these days.

Welcome to my blog!

So, I have a blog now… I'm that guy. I don't really know what I'll be posting but there's a good chance it'll be about stuff including, but not limited to:  things I'm in to, things I find fun or funny,  nonsense.