Archive for December, 2009

24
Dec
09

Marketing > Logic

Got to see the trailer for the Karate Kid remake coming out in summer 2010 and these are my thoughts:

  • Karate is a martial art of Japanese origin, though the trailer shows the film takes place in China.  Internet sleuthing shows that the original name was Kung Fu Kid.  I guess Hollywood figures the draw of Will Smith’s kid won’t pull audiences in like a recognizable brand name.
  • With that said, it looks decent enough.  Jackie Chan is a shadow of himself, but he looks like a good fit for the Mr. Miyagi role.
  • Who’s going to have a better career, Ralph Macchio or Jaden Smith?  The Karate Kid catapulted Macchio to short-lived stardom and My Cousin Vinny.  Will it do the same for little Smith?  He’s got connections and genetics up the wazoo to make it, whether he’s got talent or not.  I figure we’ll be seeing a whole lot more of him for years to come.
21
Dec
09

Top movies of 2009

I guess if I had to sum up the year in movies, it would be that some familiar names returned and showed audiences that they still got it.  Except for Pixar, who can do no wrong.

Inglourious Basterds – Quentin Tarantino once again proves he is a master at building scenes up to thrilling climaxes.  I will be very disappointed if Christoph Waltz doesn’t get an Oscar for his turn as Hans Landa a.k.a. the Jew Hunter.

District 9 – Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi commentary on segregation was a breath of fresh air amidst all the reboots, remakes and recyclable entertainment littering the cinemas.

The Hangover – Glad to see director Todd Philips regain his “Old School” form, not to mention the reappearance of The Dan Band.  Is there a better wedding band in all the land?

Up – Pixar does it again with a delightful adventure about an old man, a boy scout, talking dogs and a floating house.

Avatar – James Cameron creates his own technology to film space marines battling aliens once again.  All is right with the world.  While the story isn’t anything remarkable, the visuals are amazing.  The line between live action and computer animation has officially been blurred.

Star Trek – It’s not often that I can say “Look! A reboot done the right way!”

(500) Days of Summer – Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel navigate the modern relationship on film.  Bonus points for Hall & Oates!

Zombieland – “Sometimes you just need to enjoy the little things,” like bashing zombies, searching for Twinkies and Bill Murray cameos.

**Movies I still want to see that could be added to the list: The Hurt Locker, Up in the Air, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Sherlock Holmes

15
Dec
09

God bless encased meats

The Chicago-style hot dog never clicked with me.  I think the relish, tomato and pickle on top of the usual toppings make eating it a messy affair, not to mention add nothing to the taste of the hot dog.  However, there is one Chicago hot dog establishment I would make a point of eating at if given the chance.  I had the opportunity to eat at the venerable Hot Doug’s the other week and I do believe encased meats is the greatest combination of words in the English language, as the staff shirt pictured above says.  Described to me as the creation of a chef who burned out and just wanted to make hot dogs, Hot Doug’s does not disappoint.

The menu is divided into two parts.  One half is made up of hot dogs named after celebrities.  These are the standard encased meats like hot dogs, bratwurst, polish sausage, etc.  The other part of the menu is comprised of special encased meats made in-house.  I got to try the Teuben (a reuben in hot dog form), the calabrese pork sausage with calabrese pepper dijonnaise and cascina pecorino cheese (good and spicy though I’d take more cheese and less dijonnaise) and the foie gras and sauternes duck sausage with truffle aioli, foie gras mousse and sel gris (most unlikely place to taste foie gras for the first time – salty!) to go with fries and a Coke.  I also had a standard Chicago-style hot dog for good measure, but it just reaffirmed how I felt about it.

If you plan on eating at Hot Doug’s, be prepared to wait in line and bring lots of money.  The special dogs start at $7.50 but they are definitely worth it.

11
Dec
09

Back on the wagon

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a series that I really enjoyed because it so deftly managed to combine dysfunctional friendships, smart comedy and glorious trainwrecks into a 30 minute episode.  I was all over the DVD releases and prepared to watch them ad nauseum until I had memorized all the lines.  However, I couldn’t bring myself to watch the season 3 DVDs.  Whether it was due to what was going on in my life at the time or if I felt the show was getting stale, I just wasn’t interested in watching anymore.

I was recently shown the season 4 finale, “The Nightman Cometh” (a musical of all things) and I feel retarded for turning my back on the gang.  “The Nightman Cometh” is Charlie’s highly inappropriate opus about child rape that he wrote in an attempt to win over The Waitress’ heart.  It seems the musical was well received, and rightly so, as the gang has taken to the road for live performances.  I’m eagerly awaiting my copy of season 4 to arrive and chances are I’ll be singing about the Dayman the next time you see me.

04
Dec
09

Glad I didn’t get that wolf shirt

Never heard of this particular publication but Paste Magazine has a nice spread on the Evolution of the Hipster over the last decade.  It’s nice to see what hipsters have ruined for the rest of us over the last couple of years.  Thanks for nothing!