Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Superbad - Movie Review

Superbad (R) 114 minutes B
I was surprised to learn that Seth Rogan (Knocked Up) and Evan Goldberg (executive producer-Knocked Up) originally wrote the script for Superbad when they were in high school. They even named two of the main characters after themselves (Seth and Evan).

I'm sure it was written and re-written many times before its conception, but it's making me rethink some of those lyrics I wrote 16 years ago when I was heavily influenced by doom and gloom (my magnum opus back then was a song I wrote called, "Just Kill Me").

Anyway... Superbad is a coming of age film about three high school teenagers, but you don't have to be a teenager to enjoy this wildly entertaining film. With graduation looming, Seth (Jonah Hill), Evan (Michael Cera), and Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) decide that it's time to up the ante and end their high school career on a high note. Armed with a fake ID, and their teenage libido, the boys are determined to find love, sex and acceptance. Nice guys may finish last, but Superbad proves that even dorks get lucky sometimes.

The film seems to derail ever so slightly when it focuses too much on the crazy cops, and there's moments when Seth's loud mouth rants wear a little thin. But the film's tenderness, balanced with raunchiness ultimately equals an winning comedy. Eighteen year old Christopher Mintz-Plasse and ninteen year old Michael Cera deliver two of the best comedic performances of the year.

If you liked Fast times at Ridgemont High, American Pie, Dazed and Confused, The Forty Year Old Virgin, and/or Knocked Up... This is right up your alley!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bringing Sexy Back

The day of the five dollar lunch is becoming extinct. Unless your settling for mystery meat hamburgers and greasy fast food fries (which are curiously delicious when fresh), it's hard to find a decent lunch under five bucks.

Today I went to Chipotle for lunch. I knew that I would spend more than five dollars, but this place is becoming outrageously over priced. I ordered a chicken burrito with black beans (my usual), no sour cream, no guac, no beverage, and nothing out of the ordinary = $7.29. I remember a time when that same Chipotle burrito was $5.35... what the f*ck! And to add insult to injury, half the time they ignore my polite request for VERY LITTLE RICE PLEASE! Today she gave me pinto beans when I asked for black beans. One of these days I'm going to ask for African American beans... (aka "black" beans).

Hey, I know it's not easy to do what they do, and deal with the public. But I'm paying $7.29 for a burrito that is 70 percent rice, 30 percent everything else.

Anyway, I made it to the gym today. First time in months. At my age, I consider any physical activity that makes me sweat a "workout". Some of these activities include but are not limited to; yard work, housecleaning, speed walking, and washing my car.

I had a good workout today. As I was on the treadmill sweating like at fat man in hell and rocking out to my ipod, I was daydreaming about how I might bring sexy back. I have my moments... if I could loose a little of this gut, tone up, and get some clothes that enhance my good parts and hide the bad. I believe that I can bring sexy back... well, at least once in awhile.

I have cut down on my diet soda consumption by 30 percent, but I have increased my coffee consumption by 40 percent. What gives? I'm drinking a small cup of coffee about 3 or 4 times a week. Imagine how much I'll drink when the weather turns cold. I'm a little worried that it will stain my teeth. I can't bring sexy back with yellow (or should I say yellower) teeth.

And finally, I'm stoked about all the good magazines I've received in the mail lately. Writer's Digest, Sport Illustrated college football preview, Paste, and the Writer. I'm looking forward to crawling into bed with my magazines and my imagination (I'm a semi-famous writer and local celebrity that writes about sports and mass media). Problem is, I'm also a quarter of the way through a very good book (I Can't Believe I'm Still Single, a memoir by my BFF Eric Schaeffer), and I don't know if I'll get to bed early enough to read everything. The dirty dishes and the clutter will have wait another day.

"All the guys that really have the money, are too old to party and get dirty... too old to turn the women on, too old to have a fast car and drive it."
- Porno for Pyros

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Interview - Movie Review

Interview (R) 83 minutes C+
Starring Steve Buscemi, Sienna Miller, Tara Elders, Molly Griffith, Robert Hines, and Jackson Loo

Interview is an intriguing two character film that is slightly disjointed and requires a bit of patience. It seems more fitting for the stage than the big screen, but it does manage to entertain, and even get a few laughs.

Imagine former CBS news anchor Dan Rather is assigned to do a fluff piece on Britney Spears. Throw in some sexual tension, booze, drugs and manic mood swings, and what you have is an intriguing but frustrating film called Interview.

I'm starring down the barrel of another work week. My goals this week is to clean my desk, do some work I've been putting off, and go to the driving range. Last weekend I had a very depressing golf outing. It was one of those terrible rounds that I can't seem to shake. The only thing that will make it go away is to go out there and play better.

I've always been very competitive and a pretty good athlete. But the last few years I haven't kept myself in shape, and my mental game has eluded me from time to time. When I was younger I dedicated myself to sports (mainly football and basketball), but now it's hard to dedicate myself to anything other than eating (hmmm... eating is a sport).

It sounds crazy, but I could've played in the NFL, I truly believe that. But somewhere along the way life happened and here I am... Actually, life didn't happen, I was just chickenshit. My low self esteem has really f*cked me in a lot of ways. I could have accomplished so much more in life if I hadn't been afraid to try. Many times I was just afraid of embarrassing myself.

Oh well... We live we learn, It's water under the bridge now... Some Christians claim that god has a plan for everyone, and everything that happens, happens for a reason. Sometimes I wonder what his plan is for me? Then I thank my lucky stars that I've made it this far... that I have my health (knock on wood), my family, a roof over my head, a job, etc... So maybe his plan is for me is to always strive for something better... but always be mediocre. I don't know...I guess we'll see.

"The longer you stay in one place, the greater your chances of disillusionment."
-Art Spander

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum - Movie Review & Eric Schaeffer at the Tattered Cover

The Bourne Ultimatum (PG-13) 111 minutes C+
"Still Bourne"

Starring Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Chris Cooper, Brian Cox, Joan Allen, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, and Albert Finney

If you like action you'll love this film. It is no easy feat to make a series of three films, and have each one better than its' predecessor. I thought that the second film (Bourne Supremacy) was better than the first film (Bourne Identity), although both are very good. Bourne Ultimatum has been touted as the best sequel and one of the best films of the year. So perhaps my expectations were a little high...

The Bourne Ultimatum is a non-stop thrill ride without heart. I'm not saying I want some cheesy love story incorporated into the plot, but this latest edition is nothing more than see Bourne run, see Bourne kick some ass, see Bourne run some more. And really... how many windows can this man jump through? Car crashes he can survive? Roof tops he can jump from? All without major injury... I expect this from Batman or Spiderman, but not Jason Bourne.

This isn't a bad film by any means, but the bar was set pretty high with the first two Bourne films. Frankly, at times I was a little bored... Matt Damon is a great actor, but it might be time to put Bourne to rest...


In other news... Last night was truly memorable. I met triple threat (writer, director, actor) Eric Schaeffer. Mr Schaeffer has written, directed and/or acted in over 30 films and television shows. Most notably- Spanglish, One Night at McCool's, If Lucy Fell, and Starved (TV series).

He has written a new memoir called I Can't Believe I'm Still Single, and last night I was lucky enough not only to catch his reading at the Tattered Cover, but also be filmed for his new documentary. Actually the entire audience was filmed, but I did get a chance to talk to Mr. Schaeffer about some of his favorite films and Woody Allen. You see, we're BFF now (Best F*cking Friends).

Anyway, he is the most down to earth celebrity I've ever met, and is second only to Jennifer Weiner for best reading I've ever attended.

After briefly discussing Woody Allen's groundbreaking 2002 film Husbands and Wives (my personal favorite), Mr. Schaeffer shook my hand (twice), thanked me for coming and thanked me for asking "great" questions.

A message to my BFF - Rock on dude! I can't wait to read your book and see the documentary... hopefully at Sundance!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

No Reservations - Movie Review

No Reservations (PG) 103 minutes B-
Starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin, Bob Balaban, Jenny Wade, Brian F. O'Byrne, and Patricia Clarkson

If you have seen any previews or read anything about this film, it is not hard to figure out what happens. This movie doesn't pull any punches, but it is consistently entertaining.

Catherine Zeta-Jones plays Kate, an uptight, no none sense Manhattan chef who basically needs to get laid. VoilĂ !- Enter Nick Palmer (Aaron Eckhart), a rival chef who is asked to fill in part time while Kate is on leave. You know what happens next, the other cooks like Nick better, Kate and Nick piss and moan about whose in charge, they love to hate each other, yadayadayada...

There is a little more to the story that I'm not telling you, but because of the basic plot, I don't want to give away too much here. Despite lacking any sort of "edginess", No Reservations is likable, features appealing characters, and maintains a steady flow. If your looking for a wholesome, entertaining, mainstream Hollywood romantic comedy this film is a safe bet.
In other news, I finally finished reading the book Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs last night. It was a frustrating read because certain parts were brilliant, witty, and laugh-out-loud funny! While other times I was extremely bored and even insulted. I have to hand it to Mr. Klosterman (the author), I like his style, and he's a smart guy, but sometimes he just went on and on about things I could give a rat's ass about.

"Money can't buy friends, but it can get you a better class of enemy."
-Spike Milligan

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Carved In Stone, A Concert & Coffee Festival

Last night Starbucks hosted the first ever Carved In Stone concert festival at Red Rocks. The line up featured Ryan Adams, Lucinda Williams, Old 97's, DeVotchka, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, and the December Question. With special guest appearances by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and some Starbuck's guy who grow up in Denver and went to East High School.

In my mind, I clearly expected this to be the concert event of the summer. Red Rocks, a dreamy summer night, and great music... it had all the makings of an unforgettable evening. But once again I am the victim of expectations... well, sorta.

We arrived at Red Rocks shortly after 6pm, upon entering the amphitheatre we were offered free samples of blueberry frappuccinos - OH MY GOD! I'd never had a frappuccinos, and they were to die for! Yum!

We then proceeded to find a good place to sit and caught the tale end of one of the opening bands... I'm not sure what band it was but they weren't bad. Moments after they were done, the Old 97's took the stage. Lead Singer Rhett Miller's flight got delayed so he didn't show up until half way through his band's set. The Old 97's played a short, but solid set minus any of Rhett Miller's solo stuff :-(

DeVotchka was decent. I think I like them better in the small venues where their eccentric sound can fill a room and engulf you in their trance. Next was Lucinda Williams. Oh Lucinda... Most people around us seemed disappointed and bored with Lucinda. Having never seen her live, I'm not sure what her concerts are normally like, but initially she seemed sort of introspective and middling. It was like having a first date with a beautiful woman and when she arrives she's already drunk. But eventually she sobers up and your glad you came.

There was such an energy of anticipation for Williams and Adams, yet neither seemed interested in putting on any sort of grandiose spectacle. Both were a little more mellow and melancholy than I expected, yet they still delivered the goods.

Adams showed off more of his vocal abilities, and his band (the Cardinals) was superb! The extended jams sounded great, and everything he played sounded smooth. Adams sounded mature and rational, and I have to admit, I was hoping for a little more sporadic, rock-your-balls-off type stuff... i.e Halloween Head or something from the RocknRoll album. But when you're Ryan Adams or Lucinda Williams, you can pretty much play whatever you feel like playing. Even if that means, No Come Pick Me Up, No New York New York, No Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, No Can't Let Go. Which is actually kind of cool because you get to hear the deeper cuts, and personal favorites.

All in all it wasn't the concert event of the summer, but it was a damn good time! An exquisite summer night at red rocks, cold beers, coffee, my loved one, good friends, great people watching, and plenty of laughs.

The only other thing missing was... More cowbell!