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Tasty Food Videos, Will You Be My Valentine?

Tasty Food Videos, Will You Be My Valentine?

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I already have a human Valentine. He’s a keeper.  But, this year I want to profess my love for something a little different.  This year, my Valentine will be the mesmerizing videos that loop on Facebook.  I love the Tasty videos that feature melting cheese, perfectly sprinkled parsley and copious amounts of butter.   I planned on listing more ingredients found on the videos, but I spent all that time actually watching the videos.  So, without further ado, how do I love thee, Tasty Food Videos?  Let me count the ways!

  • I love how you are like watching the Food Network, but without the commercials and useless commentary.
  • I love how your nails are clean, but not intimidatingly well manicured

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  • I love how you have all the right kitchen utensils at your disposal and I have that tool, but can’t seem to find them.
  • I love how you give me the feeling of having made a meal but without all the calories and cleanup.
  • I love how you don’t judge me when I say, “I’ll watch one more.” *watches 10 more*
  • I love how you make hallowing out a pineapple look effortless, but in real life, it would require 12 stitches. 

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  • I love how you think the above brownie’s filling looks appealing.
  • I love how during the New Year’s resolution season, you pretended to care about caloric intake.
  • I love how now, you don’t seem to be too concerned about caloric intake.
  • I love how you understand my love for the versatile store-bought pizza dough
  • or store-bought puff pastries
  • or store-bought crescent dough
  • I love how you slow motion stir anything!
  • I love how you speed up all of the boring parts of cooking with a snap.
  • I love how you use cheesy garage band/ public domain music.

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  • I love how you try to get really fancy with pepperonis.
  • I love that I watch you turn pepperonis into roses, even though I know I will never, ever try to make those.
  • I love that you have a British cousin, named “Proper Tasty,” that makes things that I don’t understand.
  • Like turkey twizzlers.
  • And cheese and bean stuffed mashed potatoes.
  • I love how there is nothing you could cook, that I wouldn’t be mesmerized by.

The “oh yeah” at the end of your videos, I don’t love that.  I could do without that.


Guess What? You Don’t Need a Tiny House. NOBODY DOES.

Guess What? You Don’t Need a Tiny House. NOBODY DOES.

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Recently, I binge-watched a very big marathon of Tiny House Hunters, an HGTV program where, for the unitiated, a delusional person leads him- or herself to believe that living in the tiniest space possible is a truly fantastic idea. After watching nearly 16 thirty minute episodes in an almost three-day period, I’ve come to notice a few things and draw some conclusions, which I’m going to share with you RIGHT NOW.

1.  A staggering number of Tiny House Hunters are described by the show as “newly single.”
This cannot be by accident, and I deduct to mean the THH is either a.) going through a messy divorce where the spouse got the house, or b.) fresh out of a relationship where the significant other made all the money. Likely, however, a “newly single” THH — given the frequency in which a bossy, decision-making sister is part of this situation — denotes a late twenty-something bike courier whose parents want him out of the house and just happen to know someone who works for HGTV.

2. And most male Tiny House Hunters, at some point, are referred to as “swinging bachelors.”
What a double standard. It’s okay for your partying ex-frat bud to want to live in a shoebox, but not for Kaitlyn — who spends most of her Saturday evenings at some point holding her shoes and crying in the street — to want to find a smaller entertaining space. Never has an episode come back from commercial to the voice-over “Allison is a loose woman who wants someplace a little smaller than her apartment adjacent to the university.” A recent Tiny House Hunters set in Honolulu, Hawaii ended with the early-thirties-ish “partying bachelor” hosting a game of beer pong in his tiny, tiny kitchen, which made me almost cry tiny, tiny tears.

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3. In couples, only “newlyweds” want tiny houses.
You’ll never see a show open up with “Bill and Marisa have been married for twenty-two years and are ready to downgrade from their well-appointed ranch home in the Pine Glen neighborhood to a 650-square-foot loft.” That’s because anyone who’s been married more than two years will tell you that moving into a tiny house with a spouse is maybe, honestly, the most absurd thing you can do. Marriage is a game of balance, and moving into a large closet together is literally maybe the closest you can get to saying “I love you now, but I want to go ahead and expedite the steps leading to our inevitable divorce. At least we’ll get on TV!”

4. HGTV doesn’t make a lot of the fact that many of these people are ALSO going to have to purchase a full-price plot of land to live on in their tiny little shed. 
That’s because they know you’ll think these people are more ridiculous than you already do. Because why call the show Tiny House Hunters/Market-Raped Land Owners)? It’s so much less romantic. But the truth is that for the money you’re going to pay for the two mandatory acres you want with your tiny, awful house, you can find an actual tiny, awful house that already exists on two acres of land somewhere.

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5. Don’t act like you’re going to love a house on wheels because you can hook it up to a truck and tow it different places to live whenever you want.
You’re not ever going to do this, and it would cost you, like, six thousand dollars each time you wanted to do it. You’re going to sit in your little house surrounded by weeds until you decide to move. If you want a house you can move around, you should go on RV Home Hunters, which is not a show yet. Those are actual houses on wheels that you can go move around in.

6. I don’t believe any of these people are going to actually live in these places for any real amount of time. 
Look, a tiny house would be cute for a month of status updates “Love our new tiny house!” and “Something tells me Brad and his dogs are gonna love it here!” and “Great being closer to my new hubby in our tiny house!” (see: #3), but these things are at best a novelty weekend away from your actual home. Sure, it’s all fun for a month until you realize you’re pooping in the kitchen and you gave away all your shoes. Then you’re screwed. There’s a reason we haven’t seen any Tiny House Hunters: Where Are They Now? episodes. It’s because they’ve all realized they made terrible mistakes.

7. The show should realistically be called “Non-Connected, Stand-Alone Apartment Hunters.”
…because all these tiny houses really are apartmtents that aren’t connected to other apartments. If you want to live in a tiny little apartment so badly, hit me up. I lived in a bunch of them in my twenties and they were the worst. I couldn’t wait to get out of them. You think getting out of bed every morning and squeezing between your nightstand and a couch is great? Do you love trying to load all your clothes onto one low-weight-bearing closet rod until it rips out of the drywall and leaves everything in a heap on the ground? Have at it. But hey, maybe you’re different than me. See you at your next party! I’ll bring the tiny beers and leave my coat in the car since you have no place to put it.

 


Going Out On Top

Going Out On Top

With Peyton Manning hopefully probably maybe capping off his career Sunday with a Super Bowl win, he has the chance to join the pantheon of greats to go out on top.  John Elway, Ray Lewis, David Robinson, and many other athletes ended their illustrious careers with a championship.  I’ve never played professional sports, but as a lifelong sports fan I know there are few things more satisfying than seeing a great athlete close out their career with a championship.  The same can be said for great television shows.  Some shows provide seasons of great entertainment and then finish their runs strong with a satisfying conclusion.  Some shows hang around long after their peak and fail to regain their spunk.  Now we even see shows coming out of retirement a la Michael Jordan and Brett Favre.  Over the course of Manning’s career (he entered the league in 1998), television viewers have been treated to some of the best programming in television history.  Some shows got hot early in their runs and fizzled, while others were solid but never distinguishable.  Still there were some that managed to represent the highest level of achievement and find a way to go out on top.  Here are the top tv shows during this time period that were not only great, but were able to go out on top.

Everybody Loves Raymond (1997-2005)

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For the last five years of its run, Everybody Loves Raymond was a top 10 rated program and was a regular among Emmy nominations.  Despite its strong standing in the ratings, Raymond had been slipping in viewers for a few years and the end had become inevitable.  Though the overall ratings for the final season didn’t increase much, the final episode eclipsed it’s best ratings averages while also bringing home the Emmy for Best Comedy.  Really when looking at it like that it’s not wholly different than Peyton’s last couple of years.

The Sopranos (1999-2007)

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HBO is known for putting out high quality shows, and The Sopranos represents the pinnacle of that group.  During its run from 1999-2007, Sopranos ushered in an era of television storytelling which eventually led to other big hits such as The Wire and Breaking Bad.  The run for Sopranos was not unlike Peyton’s career.  After a dip in ratings production through its last couple seasons, Sopranos had one final bright spot when the finale brought in the second highest views for the entire series while also bringing home an Emmy for  Best Drama in 2007.

Seinfeld (1989-1998)

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Seinfeld enjoyed almost all of its run in the pre-Peyton era, but the last season in 1998 was arguably the best of its nine year run.  Season nine of Seinfeld received an unprecedented bump in popularity.  It was number one in the Nielsen ratings for 1997-98 year, achieved its highest Nielsen rating in the show’s entire run (21.7), and had a 15% higher viewer count than its next highest count.  The Seinfeld finale drew in 76 million viewers, more than double its normal viewer base.  NBC tried so hard to get Jerry Seinfeld to return, they offered him $5 million an episode (over $100 million total).  Seinfeld definitely went out on top.

Breaking Bad (2008-2013)

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If one were to compile a list of the most anticipated final seasons in television history, there is an argument to be made for Breaking Bad to be on the top of that list.  The AMC drama about a teacher-turned-drug lord captured America’s attention with gritty storytelling and fantastic acting performances.  For my money, the last season of Breaking Bad is probably the best season of television I have seen.  The final season received a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, 99/100 on Metacritic, and an IMDb average of 9.4/1o.  The ratings for the last eight episodes of season five doubled from 2.93 (million) to 5.92 and brought in 10.28 in the finale.  Breaking Bad also cleaned up at the Emmy’s, bringing in Best Drama and Best Actor after its finale while also serving as the catalyst for modern day binge watching on Netflix.  Not a bad way to go out.

What other shows deserve to be on this list?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 


Survey Says… An Interview With Lexington’s Own Family Feud Winner

Survey Says… An Interview With Lexington’s Own Family Feud Winner

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Family Feud has been one of America’s most popular game shows over the years, ranking up in the top three with Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!.  “The Feud” debuted on July 12, 1976 with Richard Dawson as the host. Since the beginning of the program, it has had three separate runs with six different hosts (Dawson, Combs, Anderson, Karn, O’Hurley, Harvey).  Arguably, Family Feud is currently in its most popular run with current host Steve Harvey, as the show has been shaped with a more risqué survey base in order to elicit dirty and hilarious responses.

Mary Margaret Pendleton is not a stranger to Kentucky Sports Radio, or trivia competition.  She has appeared twice on the radio show as part of two different “Shannon vs. KSR Women” Trivia Contests.  Her record is 1-1 against “The Dude”, and she is looking forward to the possibility of having the rubber match in a future iteration of the contest.  Until that happens, Mary has been sharpening her game show skills by appearing on Family Feud with four other members of her Pendleton family.  Mary took on the competition with her husband Chris, brother-in-law Britton, sister-in-law Liz and father-in-law Clay last summer with episodes having recently aired over the past couple of weeks.  I recently caught up with Mary, whom I have known for quite some time, and got to ask her some questions I’ve always wanted to know about the ever-popular game show staple.

Richmond: Walk me a little bit through the casting process to be on Family Feud.

Mary Margaret Pendleton: It was about this time last year that we heard Family Feud was holding auditions in Louisville. It was the week my husband and his twin brother were turning 30, so I thought it would be fun to email the show and see if we could get an audition. I sent a picture of our family and wrote a little bit about us, and emailed the contact person for the audition. They responded and gave us a time to show up for the audition. The auditions were at the Convention Center in downtown Louisville and when we showed up, it was packed! The auditions consisted of two families being called and playing a mock round of the game. The crew from Family Feud emphasized that they were looking for enthusiasm over anything else, not necessarily who won the mock round of the game. I think we were one of the last families to be called, we were sweaty and a bit tired, but we did our best. After our “round,” the producer gave us a slip of paper saying they liked us and we needed to stick around. I’d say they gave this slip of paper to about a third of the families that auditioned. We then waited around a bit and the executive producer of the show interviewed us on camera and said we’d receive a postcard within six weeks if we were selected to be on the show.

R: What is day of episode taping like?  How many families are waiting to play, where do you wait when your episode isn’t being taped?

MMP: The show tapes in Atlanta, and it was a great experience! We were flown to Atlanta on a Sunday in July and were in studio on Monday, July 20th and Tuesday, July 21st. There are ~8 families there each day that could be on the show. If you’re not one of the families on the show, you sit in the studio audience or in a green room stocked with food and snacks. :) The days we were there they taped either 4 or 5 shows per day. The first day there was a family from Ohio that kept winning, they ended up winning the car by winning their fifth episode. So, on Monday we didn’t get on the show. Tuesday, we were the first episode that was filmed. We played the Phillips family from Chicago first and the Stowers family from Georgia second. Each day before filming, you play a practice round in front of the producers and they set the lineup for the day. You don’t find out you’re going to be on the show until right before filming, so we were excited when they tapped us on the shoulder for the first episode on Tuesday.

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R: Were you able to have other family members with you there at the taping?

MMP: We had 8-10 friends and family in the studio audience but we were under strict instructions not to make eye contact with them or acknowledge them if we saw them outside the studio during filming. It was kind of awkward because everyone shared one restroom so you literally had to pretend you didn’t know people even though they were right beside you. They collect your cell phones when you first arrive, so the contestants and the studio audience members don’t have cell phones while they’re taping or waiting to tape.

R: In your first episode, to be honest, the Phillips family did a lot of the heavy lifting, winning all four of the head to head match-ups at the podium.  What is the strategy in getting all of the steals you had to win the game?

MMP: We definitely tried to win at the podium, they just beat us at the buzzer! However, it worked out well because we were able to steal almost every question. In watching copious amounts of Family Feud over the last few months, it seems like the team who wins the buzzer and choose to play the question has the advantage, since they can get all the “easy” answers. However, on our first episode we got lucky because the Phillips family left some answers on the board that weren’t too hard for us to come up with.

R: Family Feud today is more known for ridiculous answers than the actual game itself.  Britton had what I think is a classic moment in mishearing what Steve Harvey said when reading a question:

R: Did you have any other funny moments from the episode that didn’t make air?

MMP: There’s a hype guy named Ruben who gets the audience pumped up and plays Steve Harvey during the practice rounds before filming begins. He is hilarious! There were tons of funny moments that didn’t make air because so much gets edited.

R: Despite losing each round at the buzzer, you did prevail and win the main game.  How did you decide who would take on the famous Fast Money round?

MMP: In preparing for the show, Chris and I would watch Family Feud episodes and practice the Fast Money round in our living room (dorky, I know). We would stand up by the TV and listen to Steve to get the feeling of being under pressure and on the show. It is WAY different when the lights are on you and the studio audience is right in front of you (probably 200 people). Chris and I had a pretty good chemistry with our answers, so the team decided we would be the ones to play!

R: Is there really a sound-proof booth where you wait for the first person to finish playing Fast Money?

MMP: Chris said it was just putting on headphones backstage with loud music playing while I was giving my answers. Funny enough, the sound was “Hey Jealousy” by the Gin Blossoms so he was pleasantly surprised.

R: After you won $20,000 in the first episode, how long is the turnaround between that and your next episode?  Did that take the pressure off for episode two?

MMP: The second episode was filmed right after the first one, there was probably a 20 minute break for Steve Harvey to change suits (he wears a different suit for every episode) so we waited in the green room. We were pretty excited from the first episode, so yes, it took the pressure off. Our goal was to win one show and one Fast Money so we were just excited to be there. I will note that I was 6 months pregnant and my feet were hurting pretty badly so I wasn’t too disappointed to not win the second show.

R: What is Steve Harvey like when the cameras are off?  Is he still as charming and funny as it seems on TV?

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MMP: Steve Harvey was awesome, really friendly and had everyone cracking up. He asked us about where we from, what we did for jobs, and spent about 30 minutes with each family. He is a little saltier when the cameras aren’t rolling, but those moments were some of my favorite from the whole experience because he’s so hilarious. During the commercial breaks, he takes questions from the studio audience and does kind of a motivational talk, so he really invests a lot in the people there.

R: You mentioned losing in the second episode. What is the exit process like, once you’re finally off the show?

MMP: Once you lose, you are given a $500 debit card from a sponsor and you go to the side of the stage while the other team plays Fast Money. We were excited for the Stowers family because they were very deserving and were so glad to be there. They went on to appear on four more episodes and were one question away from winning the car. After the show ended, we were taken to the green room to sign a bunch of papers and they got our tax information since we won money. You are told any winnings will be mailed within 90 days of the show’s air date. The producers and all the staff were super to work with and made the whole two days awesome. We ate lunch in the green room and then a shuttle took us back to our hotel and we flew out later that night.


We’d like to thank Mary Margaret Pendleton for helping us with her interview.  If you’ve ever been on a game show or reality television, we would love to talk to you about the process.  Shoot us an email at funkhouserksr@gmail.com

 


How Louisville’s Self-Imposed Ban Could Benefit Us All.  A Look at Five Television and Hollywood Franchises That Deserve a Self-Imposed Ban.

How Louisville’s Self-Imposed Ban Could Benefit Us All. A Look at Five Television and Hollywood Franchises That Deserve a Self-Imposed Ban.

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On Friday, The University of Louisville held a somber press conference to announce a self-imposed ban on post season play for the 2015 men’s basketball team after reviewing credible evidence from an ongoing NCAA investigation into claims that escorts were provided to recruits in exchange for thousands of dollars.  Addressing the media, coach Rick Pitino, flanked by athletic director, Tom Jurich, and University of Louisville President, James Ramsey, said that the decision, while hard, was made in “the best interest” of the University, program and fans.  This announcement may be a huge disappointment for anyone who supports Louisville men’s basketball, but the punishment is meant to prevent further damage to the Cardinal brand.

This proactive and “decisive” approach to self-sanctioning which is intended to reduce further harsher punishment in the future, might actually be a good idea, one that some television and film executives should have engaged in long ago.  Today I look at five television and movie franchises that should have protected their brand, by looking out for the “best interest” of audiences by self-imposing bans on further episodes or installments, while using actual quotes taken out of context from the recent University of Louisville press conference.

 

The Fast and the Furious

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Movies:  8
The Fast and the Furious (2001), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), The Fast and the Furious:  Tokyo Drift (2006) , Fast and Furious (2009), Fast Five (2011), Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Furious 7 (2015), Fast 8 (2017)

Self Imposed Ban:  Next Years Model

If you’re looking for a 1995 Metallic Green Mitsubishi Eclipse, complete with racing stripes, a nitrous oxide booster, oversized rear spoiler, neon undercarriage lighting, extra large exhaust pipes and the Mitsubishi decal on the back window (just so you know it’s really a Mitsubishi), I’m almost certain Auto Trader has one on page 34.  I know you’re yearning to become a Street Outlaw, but trust me, save your money and do the right thing:  pop in that DVD of the original Fast and Furious movie.  It’s action-packed with heart-pumping, adrenaline-fueled car chases, which will fulfill your need for speed, but it’s weak plot involving a well planned heist gone awry, incredibly attractive friends, shady and vengeful drug cartels, the Yakuza, and Vin Diesel, might leave you running on fumes after it’s over.  The first movie was predictable and average at best, however, any movie building their franchise around the bald-headed gravelly-voiced actor Vin Diesel, “comes as a complete shock to me!”  It’s certainly thrilling to see cars race about at break neck speeds, jumping off ramps and performing ridiculous moves, but let’s be honest and call this movie what it really is:  Hot Wheels for Adults!  Fortunately for fans of the franchise, you’re in luck, there are three more Fast & Furious movies in the works (they make them every 2-3 years).  Unfortunately, for the rest of us, Hollywood executives should have pulled the emergency brake a long time ago.

 

The Simpsons

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Seasons:  27
Movies:  1
1989 – Present

Self Imposed Ban:  Eight is Enough

It’s “painful” for me to have to include one of the greatest televisions shows of all time on this list. Since their crudely drawn debut in the late 80’s, serving as buffers between commercials and live actions for the Tracey Ullman Show, I’ve been a fan.  The Simpsons landed their own show in 1989 and began airing hilarious and sometimes controversial episodes regularly on Fox.  The show became a huge success and with phrases like, “D’oh!”, “Don’t have a Cow Man!”, and “Excellent!” entering our American lexicon, it’s still a pop culture phenomenon making it the longest running American sitcom in TV history.  While still widely popular, their strongest work was only limited to Seasons 1 through 8.  Regrettably The Simpsons went on to air 19 more seasons, and even a feature film.  With each new episode, it became apparent that the producers cared less about great storytelling and impeccable comedic timing, and more about the D’oh ($$$).  But such is life, and we all need to “move past denying it happened and we need to deal with it”.

 

Terminator

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Movies:  5
The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), Rise of the Machines (2003), Salvation (2009), Genisys (2015)
Television:  3 Seasons
The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Self Imposed Ban:  The Second Coming

“I’ll be back!”  That’s meant as a promise rather than a threat, since the Terminator franchise, like the killing machines it spawned, keeps getting rebooted.  Skynet became self-aware around 1987 after the success of the first movie, of the potential cash cow this franchise could become, thus dazzling audiences with incredible special effects with each sequel.  The role of the killing machine in the original Terminator ironically almost starred O.J. Simpson, however Arnold Schwarzenegger ultimately landed the role, and while only uttering 18 lines of dialogue, the indestructible robot solidified him as a Hollywood star.  However, as more sequels were made, audiences began to scratch their heads with the various alternate paradoxes and multiple timelines portrayed in the Terminator universe.  You’ll need to call Stephen Hawking to come over for some Netflix and chill just to explain the theories of time travel.  Whichever robot Skynet sends back in time to attack it’s intended target, one thing’s for sure, “it’s never easy for the people who don’t deserve this” and get caught in the crossfire.

 

The Big Bang Theory

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Seasons:  9
Self Imposed Ban:  From Creation

Scientists commonly refer to the origins and expansion of our known universe as the Big Bang theory. This hypothesis is both widely accepted as the prevailing theory of the birth of our universe and yet heavily debated among many, much like the television show which shares its namesake.  The shows premise involves a couple of nerds and various other geeky type characters, who despite their severe introversion and socially-awkward nature, befriend an attractive waitress, who (and get this) happens to be an aspiring actress and who just happens to live next door in their apartment complex.  The show’s popularity has always been a mystery to me.  I tried to watch it once, but it was “a night of extreme pain” and “I didn’t want to go through it anymore.”  Billed as a smart comedy, each episode, just like deep dark space itself, sucks the life out of you.  It took 13.7 billion years to create the universe, and only 9 seasons to end it.

 

Pirates of the Caribbean

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Movies: 5
Pirates of the Caribbean:  The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Pirates of the Caribbean:  Dead Man’s Chest (2006), Pirates of the Caribbean:  At World’s End (2007), Pirates of the Caribbean:  On Stranger Tides (2011), Pirates of the Caribbean:  Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

Self Imposed Ban:  Chest Fever

Get your mind out of the gutter, “Yo Ho Ho” is simply a sea shanty that life-like animatronic buccaneer’s chant in the gallows of the Pirates of the Caribbean amusement ride located at Disneyland.  This ride also has the distinction of serving as the inspiration for the aforementioned successful film franchise.  Not many films can claim to be the tenth highest grossing movies of all time and in the same rum-scented breath say they pulled enough source material for 5 plot-lines from the upgraded exoskeletons of Chuck E. Cheese and friends.  Sit right back and I’ll tell you a tale, a tale of a fateful trip, reminiscent of a “punishment I thought I would never see.”  What began as a fun enjoyable journey, quickly veered off course inducing sea sickness among critics everywhere.  Despite an all-star cast of actors, including Johnny Depp, who portrays the memorable Captain Jack Sparrow, the franchise simply became lost at sea after the sequel, Dead Man’s Chest.  Watching the films that follow, feels like you’ve been “hit over the head with a sledgehammer.”

 

 


We Who Are About to Laugh, Salute You!

We Who Are About to Laugh, Salute You!

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(Very mild spoilers ahead)

About half an hour into the Coen Brothers latest joyride, Hail, Caesar!, Josh Brolin’s character, studio exec & fixer Eddie Mannix, sits in his car brooding before he goes to rescue a damsel actress in minor distress.  In that moment, Mannix is considering his career, his home life, having a cigarette (which his wife has forbidden him from doing), and all of the other crazy occurrences that are his daily existence.  It’s a rare contemplative moment in an otherwise bonkers and non-stop action / heist / comedy film, and it is in those instances that it becomes clear just how on their game the Coens’ are at the moment.  Hail, Caesar! truly is a deliriously funny, incredible delight of a film.

The movie itself is structured mainly as a loose series of Old Hollywood vignettes structured around the day-to-day job of Mannix.  As an executive at Capital Pictures, a giant motion picture studio, Mannix spends his day stopping actresses from being photographed off the lot, arranging for unwed pregnant actresses to hide, and consulting with a bevy of religious figures on the portrayal of Jesus in his newest picture (the eponymous ‘Hail, Caesar!’).  Each of these escapades just adds to his general sense of exhaustion and, with an offer for a cushy Lockheed desk job, it’s a chore to justify why he’s doing what he does to his wife.  Thank goodness for us that he does!

With all of this insanity swirling about, the real caper begins when a mysterious set of extras kidnap the studio’s biggest star, Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), off of the set of ‘Hail, Caesar!’  Drugged and dragged from the set, Whitlock wakes up in a gorgeous Malibu mansion surrounded by a cabal of communist screenwriters all of whom teach him the finer points of the capitalist system of which he is a major part.  This part of the movie is absolutely Screwball Clooney at this best.  The Coens’ know exactly how to write and direct Clooney to his maximum comedic potential, and it works wonders here.

Once the Communists call in the ransom, for a hefty sum of $100,000, everything starts to come together.  That Joel and Ethan Coen are able to take all of the story lines (there are a few!) and weave them all together seamlessly should serve as no surprise to anyone who has seen a few of their movies, but it’s really beautiful nonetheless.  It all works because of their writing and direction, and also because of their immaculate casting.

Again, no real epiphany that the Coens’ have an amazing cast.  There are excellent turns here from, of course, Brolin and Clooney but also Scarlett Johansson as a single, pregnant, aquatically gifted actress; Jonah Hill as the most trustworthy man in Hollywood; Channing Tatum as Gene Kelly in ‘Anchors Aweigh;’ Tilda Swinton in a great double role as a pair of sisters, one a serious reporter, the other a tabloid journalist; Ralph Fiennes as a patient, persistent British Director.  They’re all great.  The real standout, though, is (relative) newcomer Alden Ehrenreich who plays a singin’ cowpoke named Hobie Doyle.  In the absolute highlight performance of the film, Hobie sings, ropes, connives, and pronounces his way into your heart.  The absolute joy with which he performs in this role is infectious and one can only hope that Ehrenreich is in every movie ever from now on.

All in all, Hail, Caesar! is a thoroughly enjoyable and fun romp around the Hollywood’s “Golden” Age.  It has an amazing cast, incredible song and dance numbers (and a great synchronized swimming routine!), and enough plot to keep you engaged the whole way through. It may not have the most cohesive story or be a harrowing meditation on life in the way that say No Country for Old Men is, but I dare say if you’re looking to laugh, or if you’re eyes grow wide at the site of spectacle, there’s not better place to be this weekend than watching Hail, Caesar!


Excerpts from the NCAA Rules on Fouls and Violations

Excerpts from the NCAA Rules on Fouls and Violations

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“Fair is foul and foul is fair;
Hover through the fog and filthy air.”
William Shakespeare, Macbeth

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Hello, friends. How are you? Oh, I know how you are. You’re all, I’m sure, rightfully frustrated with the state of our Wildcats currently – and perhaps confused about some of the questionable calls and confusing fouls of late. That’s why I thought I’d go to the source today to see what the NCAA Rulebook has to say about fouls and penalties during game play. Now I’m not saying they’re outdated or confusing, but these are some Actual Excerpts from the NCAA Rulebook About Fouls for you to look at yourself. Make your own decisions. Hopefully you can glean something from it and, as always, have a great weekend.

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Personal Fouls, Article 2.

A player shall not contact an opponent with his hand
Unless contact is only with the opponent’s hand while it is on the ball
And it is incidental to an attempt to play the ball.

Personal Fouls Article 13
A secondary defender as defined in Rule 4-35
cannot establish initial legal guarding position in the restricted area
for the purpose of drawing a player control foul/charge
when defending a player who is in control of the ball
or who has released the ball for a pass or try.

Guarding, Section 17

A secondary defender cannot establish initial legal guarding position
in the Restricted Area for the purposes of drawing a player control foul
or charge on a player who is in control of the ball.

Personal Fouls, Article 15

Though elbows be knownt to swing, and swing they will
Such contact outside of swinging, be it illegal, not incidental
Shall be known as foul.

Class B Technical Infractions, Article 17

Alack! What heinous sin to slap
As a farmer wouldst the hide of a fattened sow
The backboard – ‘tis most foul!
Go to sit with thy sour face!

Class B Technical Infractions, Article 20

To wave, to wave with skimble-shamble hands
A-front your foe’s perturbed eyes
Is foul! And such your team shall be chastened;
To wit: one unobstructed shot!

Administrative Technical Fouls, Article 8c

You! Atop your lofty seat! Halt!
At once expel your horn! The game is commenced!
And command thy Doctor Pepper to thy side
It shall not rest upon this court.
Two passes toward the basket for your rival!

Violations, Section 8

Ho there, dribbler! You violator! For you have ceased
And dribbled once more; stop at once.
This impudence shall overturn your possession.

Class A Unsporting Technical Infractions, Article 1b

My ears! Oh, my ears!
You shame my mother, she is but just and loving!
My eyes are wont to be God’s perfect vessels
They will need no favour from science!
I will not make lecherous intentions with myself!
To the locker room, you villain! Away!


A Case For Baskets: A Definitive Ranking Of The Supporting Characters From FX’s New Series

A Case For Baskets: A Definitive Ranking Of The Supporting Characters From FX’s New Series

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Baskets is the show you want Zack Galifianakis and Louis C.K. to make. It’s weird. It’s good. But, it’s not totally depressing. Galifianakis is eccentric. He approaches intolerable but never quite touches it. Baskets is a gorgeous comedy. The end of the pilot is a beautiful image of glitter, manure and the dying embers of Chip Baskets’ dignity. But, the show is much more than Galifianakis and the looming specter of Louis C.K.’s troubles. The heart of the show lies in its supporting characters. Some characters are more likable than others.  So, reapply your creepy clown makeup and roundup your best rubber nose and check out our favorite supporting characters from the first two episodes of Baskets.

7. Penelope

Baskets7You saw this one coming. Penelope is the worst. I believe if she were honest with herself, she would even rank herself last. Penelope, Chip Basket’s wife, looks like she would smell like cigarette smoke and funky, expensive cheese.   She is painfully indifferent to Chip. She is about as classy as her unwashed foot in the restaurant chair. She doesn’t approve of Chip’s “Cloon” profession, but I don’t approve of her sassy French attitude, so we’re even.

 

6. Dale Baskets

Baskets6Dale is Chip’s twin. (Props to any mother of twins who named her offspring Chip and Dale.) Dale gives Galifinakis the opportunity to have double the screen time, thus double the absurdity. That might read snarky, but it’s not intentional. As the saying goes, “Galifianakis is going to Galifianakis” so you might as well write another character into the script to give him another weird avenue to explore.

 

 

5. Martha Brooks

Baskets5Martha has a real strong Napoleon Dynamite vibe going on. It might be her unexplained arm injury or the fact that she has endless amounts of time to drive around someone who is being a real jerk to her. Either way, she can be difficult to watch. Somewhere, in an alternate universe there is the same show, but where someone is playing Martha as “the straight man.” I think I would like that show better.

 

 

4. Eddie

Baskets4All of Eddie’s character development comes from his frayed collar. All those hanging threads tell me more about his personality than any monologue ever could. Eddie is just a good ol’ boy. He likes to drink his coffee out of a toilet mug and he’s totally cool with that. You can knock all those frames off of his wall during your rodeo clown interview and he wont bat an eyelash. Eddie speaks for all of us when Baskets explains that he went to France for clown school. His flawless delivery of “Whuuuuttt” encapsulates all of our feelings about any of Chip Baskets’ life choices.

 

3. Jugs

Baskets3I’m mentally prepared to never see Jugs in another episode. He will forever be serving curly fries at the local Arby’s in my heart. As I watch Baskets, my mind wanders to thoughts like “do people really go to clown school in France” and “Are there women in the world like the woman Louie Anderson is portraying?” The show magnifies people’s peculiarities. I do, however, think there are real people like Jugs in the world. There are people who say “Mad Clown Love” and mean it. There are people who mimic Medusa’s hairstyles and who choose the clown posse as a way of life.   In Baskets, there is a blend of believable eccentricities and peculiarities for the sake of comedy. I appreciate that.

 

2. Mrs. Baskets

Baskets2The best minute of all of January was when Mrs. Baskets gave the commentary to her photo album to Martha. From her fascination with Costco juices to her unexplained fertility (she has two sets of twins), Mrs. Baskets, played by Louie Anderson, is why Baskets needs to be green lighted for unlimited seasons. When Galifianakis is on screen, it seems like he is aware of his quirks and he thrives off of the awkwardness. Louie Anderson seems more comfortable. He’s not being weird to be funny. He’s being Mrs. Baskets, showing off her sons who “run through women, like I run through cheese.”

There’s a real wonderful distinction there that is hard to pinpoint. When you see it, you will know.

  1. Kato Kaelin

Baskets1Name one guest appearance that would be a better celebrity to sing the national anthem at a low-budget rodeo. You can’t. That’s why he’s number one.

 

We are just two episodes in and there will be more characters to love and more characters that will make you cringe.  All I know for certain is that they will definitely fall somewhere in between the definitive ranking benchmarks of Penelope and Kato Kaelin.


Hey Watch This: Decent Movie & TV Trailers You May Have Missed

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Mornin’, Everyone. There’s a lot of media out there. A LOT. And while Twitter and Facebook are pretty good about pointing out the good stuff, the stuff that’s going to be pretty big, it can’t always hit everything. Some trailers, some first looks, they just slip under the door.

So while the Harry Potter universe-resident Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the shoot-em-up supervillain movie Suicide Squad are getting their fair amount of press these days, I thought I’d drop in with some trailers — both for films and TV shows — that might be best served on your radar these days.

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Everybody Wants Some (April 15)

Director Richard Linklater, who historically makes movies which are either completely great (School of Rock, Boyhood) or almost undecipherable (A Scanner Darkly, Waking Life), seems poised to return to Dazed and Confused-level fun with a Dazed and Confused-style film set in the early eighties. While I wish he’d set it just a couple of years later (this version of the eighties still looks very seventies-y), it nonetheless looks like a lot of fun and possibly another cult hit for Linklater.

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The Wave (US Release March 4)

I feel like we’e known each other a long time, so it probably comes as no surprise that you know how much I enjoy Norwegian disaster movies. There’s nothing that thrills me more than a bunch of Norwegians running around like crazy. That’s why The Wave looks pretty exciting; Fridtjov Såheim  and Kristoffer Joner, your favorite actors, star as citizens of a small town in a Norwegian fjord which floods catastrophically via tidal wave every so many years. The kicker of The Wave, however, is that once that sets in motion the entire town has only ten minutes to get out of dodge, and they all know it. Advance word on this one is that it’s pretty solid as far as Scandinavian blockbusters go.

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Miles Ahead (April 1)

I include Miles Ahead today not because it’s a small movie you might miss — you’ll definitely hear a lot about it in the coming months — but because a.) the trailer only dropped this morning, and b.) a large portion of the outdoor filming actually took place in Cincinnati last year. So if you’ve ever wondered what Don Cheadle would look like beebopping and scatting around a CGI-doctored Over the Rhine, you’re in luck. Also, I have it on good authority that Cheadle and Ewen McGregor were fixtures at the Horseshoe Casino poker room during that time. Color me interested in this; I had no idea Miles Davis was so volatile. That title’s really dumb, though.

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Animals (HBO, This Friday Night Feb. 5)

I’m kind of lukewarm on indie golden boys The Duplass Brothers. For everything they do that I really enjoy (Safety Not Guaranteed, The Skeleton Twins) they do something that I find brutally insufferable (Togetherness, Baghead). But there’s no denying the strength of this voice cast, which includes Aziz Ansari, Scott Aukerman, Jon Lovitz, Nick Kroll, Adam Scott, Molly Shannon, Marc Maron, Danny McBride, Kerry Kinney, Horatio Sanz and Jenny Slate among many, many others. The problem is that HBO has slid it into its “late Friday night” slot, where Angry Boys and Funny or Die Presents and a host of other past HBO comedies in which didn’t have full confidence have gone. My gut says that if this was really great they’d have it on a Sunday night, but still…that cast. It’s probably worth at least a look.

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The Characters (Netflix, March 11)

I’d argue that when sketch comedy is inspired and done right, it’s one of my favorite art forms. It takes a lot of skill to write a truly great sketch. That’s why Netflix’s new experiment The Characters is at least interesting on paper. Instead of hiring a show from a known comedy troupe (like IFC did with the canceled The Birthday Boys, which I still maintain was better than people thought), they took an all-star team of mostly unknown but sound sketch comedy actors and threw them together to create their own show. The standouts, from looking at the cast list, would seem to be Orange is the New Black’s Lauren Lapkus and former one-year SNL’er Tim Robinson — who I think should have been given more of a chance — but the trailer shows some promise and I love that Netflix is confident enough in its programming now to do things like this. It’s why Netflix is quickly becoming the country’s best “network,” and it could work if for no other reason to give some new funny people some good exposure.


OK, Campers, Rise and Shine!

OK, Campers, Rise and Shine!

Happy Groundhog Day!  At some point this morning (this post was written Monday night) the world’s most celebrated groundhog, Punxsatawney Phil predicted the fate of winter for the world.  Regardless of his prediction (I’m cool if winter ends early), today we raise our glasses to not only the groundhog, but to the entire Sciuridae family.  The members of this scientific family of rodents have left an indelible mark in pop culture history.  Here are some of the most lasting and timeless cameos of the groundhog family:

Groundhogs:

Groundhog Day

groundhog day

The Bill Murray classic tells the story of a weatherman (Phil) who wakes up each day to find he’s stuck on the same day, Groundhog Day.  Directed by Harold Ramis, Groundhog Day is one the essential Murray films, and shows just how important it is to embrace life with a positive attitude rather than try to manipulate people and be bitter.

Mr. Woodchuck- Full House

mr. woodchuck

The T.G.I.F staple Full House was full of schtick.  Each character had their own catchphrase or style unique to them.  Joey Gladstone was no different and one of his trademarks was his pupper, Mr. Woodchuck.  Best known as the sidekick on Joey’s children’s t.v. show, Ranger Joe, Mr. Woodchuck was a pun machine, always finding a way to reference his favorite thing in the world…wood.  With the Full House reboot, Fuller House, coming to Netflix later this month, one can only hope to see the return of Mr. Woodchuck.

Squirrels:

Squirrel on water skis

This is old, but I really don’t ever get tired of seeing it pop up.

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Rocky

Rocky

Not the boxer, but the flying squirrel from the classic cartoon Rocky and Bulwinkle.  Rocky was the brains of the duo who often had to thwart the evil schemes of Boris and Natasha.  Since 1959, Rocky and his moose friend have been teaching kids all-American values and to not trust people with Russian accents no matter what their disguise is.  So perhaps this particular lesson is a little dated, but anyone who watches The Americans know that Russian spies are tricky.

The Mississippi Squirrel Revival

I’ll just leave this here:

Chipmunks

Chip ‘n’ Dale

chip and dale

The Rescue Rangers are two of Disney’s classic characters.  Not unlike Rocky and Bulwinkle in their “smart one, dumb one” partnership, Chip and Dale went on to open their own detective agency called Rescue Rangers, which dominated the Disney Channel for a solid two seasons.  While Chip and Dale are certainly important characters in their own right, try not to confuse them with these Chippendales:

Chippendales

Gophers (not actually part of the Sciuridae family, but how many of you really know the difference?)

Caddyshack Gopher

caddyshack

Bill Murray has made a career out of his partnerships with rodents (really, Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, Space Jam).  In Caddyshack Murray is obsessed groundskeeper Carl Spackler who is hunting a fairway destroying gopher.  Spackler’s attempts to rid the golf course of the menace become increasingly intense and is one of the reasons the movie is the comedy classic it is today.

Robin Williams and the invention of golf

This is very NSFW (language), but it helps explain the origins of golf as well as the gopher’s influence on the sport.

 


Morning Monologue – Submitted For Your Approval

Morning Monologue – Submitted For Your Approval

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This is somewhat of a self-incriminating story, but it is one that has to be told ever so often.  Going back to when I was about 10 years old, I would like to think that I had a bit of an active imagination.  I liked to create stories and scenarios.  I would play basketball by myself, but pretend that I was an entire 5v5 basketball game (Rock n’ Jock Celebrity edition, of course) and even kept stats on a spreadsheet I made on the computer.  Literally, I would score a basket, walk over to the piece of paper, and mark the basket and assist for Roger McDowell and Da Brat, respectively.

But there was one such creative event that if it were to happen today, we probably would have gotten in so much trouble by the PC-Police.  A friend of mine (who will remain nameless, until I tag her on Facebook) and I came up with an idea in church to write our own Christmas pageant.  We presented said idea to the Sunday School teacher, who thought this would be a good learning experience about the story of the birth of Jesus, script-writing and production.  I don’t know if they knew it would turn into what it did.  Let’s just say Christopher Nolan was a few years behind us when it came to world in a world in a world.

We weren’t just playing the parts in the Christmas pageant, we were playing fictional characters playing the roles of the parts in the Christmas Pageant.  A real SNL sketch come to life.   The role of Joseph was played by your favorite Harley riding, shark jumping, bad boy… you guessed it… Arthur Fonzarelli.  The Three Wise Men were portrayed by three famous politicians (I believe), but I definitely remember one of which was Bill Clinton.  Our modern take on the events was filled with “jokes” based off things we had seen on TV at the time.  When Mary was telling people that the angel Gabriel told her that she was to be with child, someone handed her a phone and told her to call 1-800-CHARTER, because clearly she was crazy.  Lastly, I, having way to deep of a voice for my age, played every 10-year old child of 1995’s favorite television personality, The Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling, as the pageant’s narrator. (We came up with this ourselves, mind you…)  I even believe I started the Christmas pageant with the line “Submitted For Your Approval”.

The show got some pretty big laughs, more-so for some of the things that went wrong, like our Fonz not being overly skilled on the Bicycle we dressed up to be his Harley.  But, it got laughs nonetheless.  It will forever live on in infamy at our church, and has never been attempted since.

I told you this story, mainly because every time I see a reference to Rod Serling, it brings me back to one of the most creative/ridiculous things I’ve ever been a part of.  So enjoy Colbert’s “Twilight Zone: Just The Twists”

 

 


Bill Murray Stars in Mission: Impossible – Ghostface Killah Protocol

Bill Murray Stars in Mission: Impossible – Ghostface Killah Protocol

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“Good morning Mr. Murray.  Before he was jailed, notorious mastermind, Martin Shkreli, the villainous pharmaceutical Barron and overall douchy person had in his possession a mysterious and most desirable item: the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan’s masterpiece, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.  Mr. Shkreli who is being investigated by the FBI for securities fraud for swindling investors, running a Ponzi scheme, and being a general prick to society, has recently been released by police and is currently out on bail awaiting trial.  Word has reached us through diplomatic channels that Shkreli is devising a devious plot to ensnare and embarrass members of the Wu-Tang Clan and thereby using the album as leverage for an apology.  In spite of this trap, your mission Bill, if you choose to accept it, is to infiltrate the apartment of Martin Shkreli, steal that album and bring it to safety.  The Secretary has obtained knowledge, through taunting videos made by Shkreli himself, that he has threatened to possibly destroy Wu-Tang’s tour de force.  Therefore, we must stop him at all costs.  As always, should you or any member of the Wu-Tang Clan be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.  Good luck Bill.  This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds.”

Cut to an ordinary apartment somewhere in an undisclosed location, where venerated actor Bill Murray waits for the members of Wu-Tang Clan to plan their mission:  RZA, GZA “The Genius”, Method Man “Johnny Blaze”, Raekwon “The Chef”, Ghostface Killah “Tony Starks”, Inspectah Deck, U-God “Golden Arms”, Masta Killa “Noodles”, and Cappadonna, (RIP ODB).  As he wipes the steam from the bathroom mirror, he stares intensly at his reflection and experiences a flashback to when he was drawn into this situation.  The episode begins with the sale of one of the rarest items in the world, the sole copy of  Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, a CD recorded by the New York hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan (You know Wu-Tang! You know Wu-Tang!)

Photo Courtesy of The Guardian

Photo Courtesy of The Guardian

If you’re not familiar with the rest of this strange tale and how it involves the actor Bill Murray, let’s catch you up to speed.  Crafted over six years and completed in 2014, the unique double album contains 31 tracks which have never been released to the public.  Only some potential buyers have heard the tracks; some saying it’s Wu-Tang’s pièce de résistance.  RZA put the record up for auction, and in late 2015 it sold for a whopping $2.0 million dollars to an unidentified private collector, making it the most expensive album ever sold.  As you might expect due to the unprecedented nature of the sale, a contract between Wu-Tang Clan and the buyer was drawn up – within that legal document, there was a really intriguing clause:

“The buying party agrees that Once Upon A Time In Shaolin cannot be commercially exploited, as defined by previously agreed-upon language, until the year 2103, although the buying party may release the album for free or play it at listening parties during that time.  The buying party also agrees that, at any time during the stipulated 88 year period, the seller may legally plan and attempt to execute one (1) heist or caper to steal back Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, which if successful, would return all ownership rights to the seller.  Said heist or caper can only be undertaken by currently active members of the Wu-Tang Clan and/ or actor Bill Murray, with no legal repercussions.

The buyer was later identified as none other than Martin Shkreli aka “Pharma Bro”.  Not familiar?  Well, he happens to be one of the most reviled men in America.  Before the public learned of his Wu-Tang purchase, Shkreli made the news for raising the price of a drug called Daraprim, a medication  used to treat HIV/AIDS and cancer patients by 5000%, from its original price of $13.50 a pill to $700.

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Martin Shkreli.  Some people just want to see the world burn.

Recently in the news, Pharma Bro, sipping wine and flanked by hooded goons has been publicly taunting Wu-Tang member and rapper of Shakespearian proportion, Ghostface Killah, making general threats to destroy the coveted album as well as demanding a 500 word personal apology from the rapper himself for insulting him and calling him names.  It’s unclear of the megalomaniac’s real end game here.  Is he simply trying to get further publicity while awaiting what appears to be pretty solid fraud case against him?  Or is he really the greatest supervillain of all time, a real life Lex Luthor, trying to bait Bill Murray and Wu-Tang Clan into stealing the album in spectacular fashion complete with false disguises, spy gadgetry, T.C’s multicolored Hughes helicopter, and Steve Zissou’s submarine?  Maybe this is this all an elaborate hoax?  The truth is, it may be all of those reasons.  Regardless of his diabolical plans, Shkreli needs to remember one thing, Bill Murray is a legend and “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing To **** Wit”.


The Wrong Camp, Brother!

The Wrong Camp, Brother!

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When you dedicate yourself to liking an actor or actress, you will inevitably come across a movie or two that is not worth their talents.  That’s how I’m going to explain how I found myself renting Mojave on Amazon.  Oscar Isaac is a great actor and has been on one hell of a tear.  Inside Llewyn DavisA Most Violent YearEx MachinaShow Me a Hero, and a little movie called Star Wars: The Force Awakens have all showcased Isaac’s immense talent and have been extremely well regarded.  And he is, without a doubt, the most entertaining part of this movie.

Written and directed by William Monahan (he of Kingdom of Heaven and The Departed screen writing fame), Mojave tells the the decidedly inane story of a world famous actor named Thomas (played with aching ineptitude by Garrett Hedland) who, whilst apparently in the throes of a wicked bout of Affluenza, decides to drive into the desert, get wasted, and die in some manner or another.  He drinks a bunch, yells at coyotes, and wrecks his sweet ride on purpose; all in the name of artistic angst, which he apparently feels quite strongly.

While on his lost weekend he meets up with a weirdo, Shakespeare quoting, potential murderer named Jack (Oscar Isaac).  They have a wee chat by the fire driving Thomas to then promptly attack Jack, knocking him out, taking his gun, etc.  A thing you apparently do when you’re in the desert.  Thomas finds himself in even more of a predicament when he then mistakes a park ranger for Jack, and kills him with Jack’s rifle.  The rest of the movie is a whirlwind of action as these two are pitted against one another in a game of cat and mouse that could only have been birthed in a desert (where all great things happen, you know).

The plot, and what happens to Thomas, don’t really matter all that much to your enjoyment of the movie–if there’s any to be had. This is the only thing I’ve ever seen Garrett Hedlund in and he’s not great.  It would be a much better movie if an actor more capable had played the role, or if it had been treated with a little less self-serious, existential dread.  The dialogue, too, was just atrocious.  Completely overly wrought and presented in a way that doesn’t resemble the way that anyone in the world talks at all.

That being said, some of the lines delivered by Oscar Isaac, who seems to totally commit to the role, do come off as really funny.  There’s an especially good 10 minutes where Isaac delivers all of the lines to a dog that he has basically kidnapped and, in that context, it’s actually really hilarious.  Isaac isn’t the only fun part either.  There are some strange and funny performances from Walter Goggins as Thomas’s agent and also by Mark Wahlberg who, for some reason, agreed to be in this movie.  Wahlberg is hilarious as Norman, Thomas’s business partner, and ex-coke dealer, and a Chinese food & hooker aficionado.  You can’t help but laugh out loud when Norman walks half clothed onto his balcony and screams “I OWN HALF A CLAM HOUSE IN NORMAN’S PORT” to no one in particular.

Unfortunately, all of these fun weird things are ruined whenever Hedlund hits the screen again.  In this role he’s both boring and annoying, a combination that does the movie no favors.  When the inevitable head-to-head final confrontation of Mojave occurs, you’re well beyond caring what happens, if you’re not more engrossed in your phone at that point.  Needless to say, it seems like Monahan could have done amazing things with this cast that he was handed for this movie.  Unfortunately, brother, that’s just not the case.


Here’s the Best Hebrew/African/Pop/Tropical/Funk You’ll Hear All Day

Here’s the Best Hebrew/African/Pop/Tropical/Funk You’ll Hear All Day

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Winter blues got you down?  Although you’re sheltered from the bitter cold and biting winds, you may be feeling a little unhappy, maybe even a little restless because you’re trapped inside, with a roommate or two annoying wonderful children who demand constant love and attention along with never-ending requests for snacks and sugary drinks.  We all feel the cabin fever setting in, and it’s only natural to find ways to avoid succumbing to the temporary insanity.  But whatever you do, no matter how exotic it sounds, don’t accept a free assignment as a caretaker of a deserted and isolated hotel built upon the remains of an Native American burial ground.  More importantly, don’t take your family!  Palindromes are always a dead giveaway.

Like you, I was trapped in my house for three days last weekend, and what started out as a fun and exciting family bonding experience, spiraled into complete madness.  It didn’t take long before I had to isolate myself from the screams and constant territorial infighting.  Despondent and reclusive now – because a man can only play who’s making that smell, engage in dysfunctional board game marathons, or watch episodes of Cupcake Wars for so long – I sat motionless, in a dark room with my hands perched upon home row: out of ideas, out of beer and out of time.

Snap out of it for God’s-sake.  “Auribus Teneo Lupum!”

Hope is not lost.  While rummaging through desk drawers looking for some scissors, I found an iTunes gift card – everything changed from that moment.  So cheer up, I’m going to share the remedy that helped me shake off the blues and energized me to become a productive member of society again.  Research shows that music is effective in treating seasonal affective disorder and getting your ass off that chair, out of those sweats and into some pants.  What better way to warm yourself up than hearing some funky bass licks, melodic radiant guitar riffs, lyrics that flow between English and Hebrew, and multilayered percussions.  This is the type of music that immediately gets your body moving, and the band that’s the antidote to your winter induced apathy and stagnation is Fool’s Gold.

Fool’s Gold; not to be confused with Dan Fogelberg’s original backup band from the 70’s, is a multicultural collective based out of Los Angeles.  No Matt Jones didn’t discover them last week after Rob Lowe handed him a CD from the trunk of his car with the words ROB’S JAM written in black Sharpie.  Fool’s Gold formed in 2007 and their sound is warm and lush.  It’ll be just what you need to put one foot in the shower.  With an international vibe, Fool’s Gold draws inspiration from African pop, specifically King Sunny Ade’s Nigerian rhythmic Juju music and the Afro-beat sounds of Fela Kuti.  While you may be unfamiliar with Ade and Kuti, you’re probably more familiar with their influence on Western musicians like Ry Cooder and Afro-fusion/roots bands such as:  Vampire Weekend, Matisyahu, Franz Ferdinand, and Damon Albarn.

Although I had long enjoyed their 2009 debut self-titled album Fool’s Gold with such standout tracks as “Surprise Hotel” and “Nadine”, it wasn’t until I recently visited iTunes that I realized that Fool’s Gold had released their third album entitled Flying Lessons in May 2015.  I immediately purchased it, and friends, it does not disappoint.  I found myself moving, bouncing and drumming along even while toiling in the most mundane of tasks.

If there’s one complaint I have about Flying Lessons, it would be that I didn’t want it to end.  I feel the same way about this album as I do about a vacations:  you want them to continue even after they’re over.  But unlike vacations, with music you can just hit the replay button and the sounds take you back, stirring memories and sounds of better days.  While action-packed, the shortest song coming in at 3:42 minutes is the catchy “Lady of the Lake”.   There are longer songs, however, such as the six minute aptly titled “Break the Cycle” with a funky baseline reminiscent of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea.  You know what they say, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” so go play Fool’s Gold – I guarantee you’ll be feelin’ fine.  If you’re not pulled into the groove after listening to them, then you’re buried underneath the avalanche of your own crapulence, or worse yet, I fear you’re already dead.

eyes

www.foolsgoldla.com


KSR After Dark is Here!

KSR After Dark is Here!

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If you haven’t been to the site in a while you may have missed the recent launch of Kentucky Sports Radio’s premier add-on subscription service KSR After Dark, a members-only look at scouting information and Wildcat news brought to you in a fashion heretofore unseen on the G-rated “family” Kentucky Sports Radio site. It’s not too late to begin receiving this premium content at a discounted introductory rate. Why, just look at what you missed this past week alone!

-A special episode of The Matt Jones Podcast with a shirtless Tony Vanetti

-Drew Franklin’s five part adult series The Wettest, Dirtiest Tin Roof Bar Floors

-Tyler Thompson’s expletive-laden review of Mississippi State’s Humphrey Coliseum

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-Nick Roush navigates a steamy underworld of erotic intrigue to bring you an early preview of the 2017 Wildcats’ offensive line

-KSR Grindhouse Presents Library Footstabber IV: The Gooey Messimal System

-Jerry Tipton defines laissez-faire and other hot, sexy French words

The Bruce Pearl Sweats Through a Van Heusen Shirt Hour

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-Alan Cutler uses a laser pointer to highlight and interpret Derek Willis’ tattoos while fanning himself exaggeratedly

-The late night heat of Jump Balls with host Doug Shows

-Former Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale interviews five-star UK commit Malik Monk

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You really can’t beat the value of KSR After Dark at only $24.99 a month. Plus, ordering today guarantees you both a life-sized Ryan Lemond body pillow and an exclusive set of titillatingly scented bathroom accoutrement including “News & Shampoos,” “Shannon: the Lube” and “Hairy Raisers.” This extra content for the discerning gentleman or lady will be just what you need when settling in for the night. It’s fun, wild and guaranteed to get your Tom Creaned. Don’t miss out — subscribe to KSR After Dark today!