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Funkhouser

KSR’s take on recent non sports related happenings

Catching up with Netflix

Catching up with Netflix

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Good afternoon ladies and gents!  Another month has gone by, Christmas is less than six months away, and it’s time to dust off the old Netflix queue to see what you need to hurriedly watch before it goes away tomorrow.  It’s always a sad time looking at what I added to my list many months ago only to realize that it’s still there, unwatched, and will be gone tomorrow.  Of course the good news is that like any other worthwhile hoarding adventure, I can replace the stuff I’m losing with new stuff!  Here are some of the major titles leaving Netflix in July and some of the replacements: (for a full list of what’s coming and going in July, click here).

Leaving July 1:

Big Fish– It takes a unique set of skills to take a story like Big Fish and turn it into not only a watchable movie, but a good watchable movie.  Tim Burton proves to be just the right person to tell the story of serial embellisher Ed Bloom.  With a cast full of “oh I didn’t realize they were in this” celebrities (including, but not limited to, Steve Buscemi, Danny DeVito, and Miley Cyrus), Big Fish is a movie you should take advantage of before it’s gone.

The Last SamuraiThe Last Samurai is an example of how good pieces can come together to make a great movie.  The cast is full of solid actors such as Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, and Timothy Spall.  It’s a war movie set in Japan during the late 1800s built around honor, sacrifice, and redemption.  All of these pieces come together to make a really good movie to kick back and watch with a bowl of popcorn.

She’s All That– Teen movies aren’t unique to the 90’s, but there were a bunch that came out in the mid-to-late 90’s which redefined the teen movie genre.  She’s All That is the embodiment of the 90’s teen movie, from Freddie Prinze Jr.’s hair to the choreographed prom dance.  It’s perfectly cheesy and makes for a great trip down memory lane.

Super Troopers-This movie needs no introduction, it’s a classic.  The best thing about this movie leaving is that it will almost certainly be back as the sequel gets closer to being made.  If you haven’t watched Super Troopers then do yourself a favor, grab a liter of cola and watch it before Netflix pulls it.  (NSFW)

Arriving:

Grandma’s Boy (July 1)-To be honest, the new arrivals are a little disappointing this month.  Not many new movies and the older ones are fairly blah.  Grandma’s Boy lacks a lot of star power, but it does have all of those guys from the Adam Sandler movies plus Jonah Hill and the Ray’s mom from Everybody Loves Raymond.  It’s a good movie to just throw on when you have nothing better to do one afternoon.

Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (July 15)- I honestly have no idea what this is and had never heard of it until I looked up the new Netflix arrivals.  Naturally I go to IMDb and check out the synopsis and, well, I’ll just let you read it: Dr. Hess Green becomes cursed by a mysterious ancient African artifact and is overwhelmed with a new found thirst for blood.  He however is not a vampire.  Soon after his transformation he enters into a dangerous romance with Ganja Hightower that questions the very nature of love, addiction, sex, and status.  I honestly don’t know what to think but I am intrigued.

BoJack Horseman: Season 2 (July 18)-Netflix has shown a penchant for excellent original programming and BoJack Horseman is no exception.  The loveable has-been talking horse is back for another season of shenanigans which will thrill the masses.

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (July 31)-If you haven’t seen Wet Hot American Summer, I strongly recommend it.  Made in 2001, the film somehow got the following people together for a movie: Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Michael Ian Black, Christopher Meloni, Amy Poehler, and many others.  It’s ridiculous.  First Day of Camp is an eight-episode mini-series prequel to the movie with everyone reprising their roles.  It has the most potential of any of the July newcomers on Netflix.  (Briefly NSFW, especially if you’ve seen the movie)

 


Takeru Kobayashi, winner with 53 3/4 hot dogs eaten in 12 minutes
91st Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest - July 4, 2006
Coney Island
Brooklyn, New York United States
July 4, 2006
Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage.com

To license this image (9356229), contact WireImage.com

Funkhouser’s Guide to the 2015 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest

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Every year, when I think of the Fourth of July, there is only one true symbol of the festive day.  You can have your fireworks, you can have your bald eagle, and you can have your backyard BBQ.  I don’t want ’em.  The only thing that makes my Fourth of July complete is watching a man house 69 hot dogs and waterlogged buns in 10 minutes.  I want at Noon-o-clock sharp, the sounds of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” to slowly build in the background as our generation’s greatest orator, George Shea, rises on a scissor lift to greet the massive crowd on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island.  On that corner sits the Mecca of Mastication, Nathan’s Famous, a Coney Island landmark since 1916.  And every July 4th, 20 masters of salivation and gurgitation will stand forth and show if they can handle one of America’s most honored traditions, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.

The women’s competition will be at 10:50 on ESPN3.  The Men’s Competition will air on ESPN2/ESPN3 at Noon. There will also be a Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo camera on ESPN3.  I’m not sure what that’s going to be, but I hope they have a GoPro on every hot dog and they just starts eating cameras.

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Contest History

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The first Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog eating contest took place, according to legend, in 1916 as four immigrants had a hot dog eating contest to settle an argument on who was the most patriotic.  While that story would possibly be the greatest story ever told, the first recorded contest took place in 1972, where american Jason Schechter ate 14 hot dogs in three-and-a-half minutes.  His prize was a certificate for 40 more hot dogs.  It did not become an annual event until 1978 where Manel Hollenback and Kevin Sinclair ate 10 hot dogs and buns in six-and-a-half minutes.  Side note, Brian Cranston joked in a press conference that Walter White entered the 1978 Nathan’s Contest eating 38.5 dogs that year (which would have won by 28.5 dogs).  The first female champion captured the crown in 1984 when Germany’s Birgit Felden won with 9.5 hot dogs over a 10 minute span. She is now has a doctorate…

The number of hot dogs consumed each year rose through the year 2000 where Japanese competitor Kazutoyo Arai took down the event and world record for hot dogs eaten that year, throwing down 25 1/8 hot dogs.  The world, however, did not know what was in store in 2001 when a 128 lb. Japanese man named Takeru Kobayashi took the stage.  Kobayashi, as he’s known, ate 50 hot dogs, smashing the previous record set just the year before.  In second place that year was Eric “Badlands” Booker, who finished off 26 hot dogs. Kobayashi would reign supreme over the next five years including setting the record again in 2006 with a mark of 53 3/4 hot dogs (breaking his 2004 record of 53 1/2).

However, in 2007, a man by the name of Joey Chestnut brought the title back to America with a performance of 66 hot dogs in front of the Coney Island crowd..  Since 2007, Chestnut has won eight consecutive Nathan’s Famous Contests and now holds the World Hot Dog Eating Record with a tally of 69 dogs in 10 minutes.  It is important to note that when Chestnut won in 2007 the time limit for the event was 12 minutes.  In 2007, Chestnut was eating 5.5 dogs per minute (DPM), while in 2013 the California native ate 6.9 DPM.

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One can not bring up Kobayashi without noting his bowing out of the competition in 2010. Major League Eating and the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE – the governing body of competitive eating) wanted the eating superstar to sign an exclusive contract that would keep him from competing in non-sanctioned events.  He showed up to the 2010 event wearing a black Free Kobi shirt.  He crashed the stage after the event, promptly getting arrested.  He has since been banned from the events and his image has been taken off the wall of fame at Nathan’s Famous.  In 2011, he held his own eating competition on a rooftop in New York, where he ate 69 hot dogs of his own.

In 2011, Major League Eating started putting on a Women’s Championship, as there were many women who wanted to shoot for the women’s eating record.  Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas had been hanging with the men since 2003, even coming in 2nd place overall in the 2005 contest.  Since the new women’s championship, she had won all three times, setting the women’s world record with 45 hot dogs in 10 minutes.  However, newcomer Miki Sudo defeated Sonya Thomas for the first ever women’s title change, throwing down 34 hot dogs, while Thomas had 27.75.

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Meet the Contestants

There are 20 competitors vying for the Mustard Yellow Title Belt (yep, that’s a thing).  Here are a few of the top competitors to watch out for this year:

Joey Chestnut

Joey “Jaws” Chestnut

Chestnut is the current, reigning and defending 8x Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Champion.  At the age of 31, he has a bachelors degree in civil engineering and even proposed to his girlfriend before competing in the 2014 Hot Dog Eating Contest  He is the #1 ranked eater in the world and holds over 30 World Eating Records, including certain ones set in recent years:

– 14lbs of Boysenberry Pie in 8 Minutes

– 2.1875 Galons of Chili in 6 Minutes

– 103 Krystal Burgers in 8 Minutes

– 24lbs of Poutine in 10 Minutes

– 121 Twinkies in 6 Minutes

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Matt Stonie

Matt “Megatoad” Stonie

At just 23, Stonie has taken the competitive eating game by storm, being the #2 Ranked Eater in the World.  In 2013, he defeated Joey Chestnut three times in Major League Eating Competitions.  This is his fifth year in the Nathan’s Famous Contest, and holds these world eating records in 2015:

– 14.5lbs of Birthday Cake in 8 Minutes

– 182 Strips of bacon in 5 Minutes

– 34 Pepperoni Rolls in 10 Minutes

-20lbs 13oz of Pumpkin Pie in 8 Minutes

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Tim “Eater X” Janus

Born with the given name “Tim Janus”, this eater goes by the name of Eater X during competition to “hide his inner torment.”  He is the #3 ranked eater in the world and won at the CitiField New York qualifier with 36 hot dogs in 10 minutes.  He placed third in last year’s contest as well.  He holds the distinction of being a contestant on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire who made it to the million dollar question.  Along with the following records, he is also the world burping champion, belching for 18.1 seconds.

– 141 Pieces of Nigiri Sushi in 6 Minutes

– 4 lbs. of Tiramisu in 6 minutes

– 10.5 lbs. of Ramen in 8 minutes

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Miki Sudo

Miki Sudo popped on to the eating scene out of no where.  On April 20, 2013, Sudo at 40 hot dogs in her Major League Eating debut, blowing the minds of onlookers.  Since then she has become the #4 eater in the world, winning the women’s title at the July 4th event in 2014, housing 34 dogs in the rain soaked event.  She looks to recapture the title in 2015, walking onto the stage also holding the world record in eating Kimchi with 8.5 lbs. eaten in six minutes.

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Erik Denmark

Erik “The Red” Denmark

Denmark is a Seattle native and won the Houston Qualifier with 29.5 hot dogs.  He is the #6th ranked eater in the world.  He tied for fourth last year, but looks to challenge for the title this year.  His bio from MLE says that he is “Major League Eating’s only known Boeing Executive”  Here are some of his eating marks from his career:

– 4 lbs. 15 oz. of Spot Shrimp in 12 minutes (World Record)

– 9.75 Native American Fry Breads in 8 Minutes

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Adrian “The Rabbit” Morgan

Morgan, out of New Orleans, enters his sixth consecutive Nathan’s Contest as the #7 Ranked eater in the world.  He placed 7th in last year’s competition with 29 dogs.  He won the Nashville qualifier at Tootsies, eating 33 hot dogs, more than last year on July 4th.  At 32 years old, he has had these milestones in the world of competitive eating:

– 20 Hard Boiled Eggs in 84 Seconds

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So there you have it.  Some of the top names in the field, along with others will vie to set a new world record, having to eat more than 70 hot dogs on the stage on the corner of Surf and Stillwell.

I now leave you with one more bit of George Shea, introducing the competitors from last year’s contest, as only he can do it:

There is talk of doing a live blog of the event as we did last year.  It all depends on some other events going on that day.  We will let you know via Twitter, Facebook and KSR once we know the plan.


The First Trailer for “I Am Chris Farley” Will Make You Laugh and Cry

The First Trailer for “I Am Chris Farley” Will Make You Laugh and Cry

Chris-Farley

Today, BuzzFeed released their exclusive first look at the trailer of  I Am Chris Farley, the upcoming documentary about the beloved comedian who died of a drug overdose in 1997. The film opens in select theaters on July 31 and makes a television debut on Spike on August 10 followed by a VOD release on August 11. In the film, Saturday Night Live alums David Spade, Dan Aykroyd, Lorne Michaels, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, and more reflect on the comedian’s life and legacy. The film tracks Farley from his early days in Madison, Wisconsin and at Marquette University, through his work at Second City, Saturday Night Live and in films such as Tommy Boy and Black Sheep. Directed by filmmakers Brent Hodge and Derik Murray of A Brony Tale and I Am Evel Knievel fame, the documentary incorporates clips of both Farley’s early and most famous work, but also highlights home movies provided by Farley’s family including his four siblings who were involved in the production.  The film will be a fascinating watch for fans who want to learn more about Farley’s life and work from the perspectives of those who knew him best.

 

 


Aqua Teen Hunger Force Forever

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Forever

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There was never a point growing up when I watched late night shows.  I never silently kept vigil waiting to sneak a Letterman monologue.  I can’t say I’ve ever laughed at anything I’ve heard Leno say.  The staid monologues and requisite celebrity interviews never did much to entertain me no matter who’s hosted the show.  There was never anything I remember about late night TV that was attention grabbing, that is until [adult swim] started airing in 2001.

The line up of original programming for adult swim was amazing.  Space Ghost, Coast to CoastThe Brak ShowSealab 2021Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, and a little show called Aqua Teen Hunger Force.  A truly bizarre show about a group of three anthropomorphic food item roommates; Frylock (a box of fries), Master Shake (a milkshake), and Meatwad (a wad of meat).  They did stuff, sometimes.  Other times, they didn’t do much at all.  It was truly a show about nothing; the weird, violent, cartoon equivalent of Seinfeld.

I’m writing about Aqua Teen because after 15 years (15 years!!) it’s starting it’s final season.  When Aqua Teen first started to air, I had to go watch it at Stith’s house because I didn’t have cable; now I have an app on my phone that streams it to me wherever I am.  Aqua Teen has weathered a technological boom, a programming renaissance, and a thousand other developments.  Unlike other long-tenured shows such as The Simpsons, ATHF has no plot and airs at midnight on cable.  It’s the most absurd, hilarious, weird thing on TV.  It’s amazing.

ATHF is everything that is best about TV.  It’s topical when it wants to be, yet still nonsensical and low brow enough to be laugh out loud funny.  It’s 100x more subtle in its humor than Family Guy, all without making much narrative sense.  It even predicted the ‘limited series’ approach so popular in the age of American Horror Story and True Detective, naming each of the last seasons something different; Aqua Unit Patrol SquadAqua Something, You Know WhateverAqua TV Show Show, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force Forever.

What other TV show has spawned a movie whose marketing was so viral that it turned into the most ridiculous bomb threat story and shut down an entire city?  Everything about ATHF is ridiculous, from the amazing cast of secondary characters to the experimentation in form to the fact that it is still as good as it was in 2001.

The first episode of the last season aired last Sunday, and another will air tonight at Midnight.  This isn’t a review of that episode, after all a 12 minute show doesn’t call out for a recap (though, if I had one sentence:  ATHF and a spicy sausage-link, cat version of Abe Lincoln attempt to rescue Meatwad’s mouth from a rogue claymation animator).  Just know that if you ever loved adult swim, if you loved ATHF but have been away, or if you need something to do later while lounging off the vape sweats awash in a Jack in the Box Munchie Meal, ATHF is there for you, amigo.  Let’s commence the jigglin’!


Where Do the Undrafted Go? The Top Overseas Basketball Leagues

Where Do the Undrafted Go? The Top Overseas Basketball Leagues

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Hello, friends. Did you enjoy the draft last night? I certainly did. But not because I’m a basketball fan – although I am – but because I love watching clocks tick down to zero. There is no finer night on television for that (since Guy Fieri’s FOX game show Minute to Win It was canceled).

Friends, if you’re like me, your mind races when you’re watching Andy Katz or Jalen Rose blather on about what team’s going to pick who and who’s still good in the draft pool, last night I began wondering about those who don’t get drafted. Sure, we often hear about players “playing overseas,” but what and where are these leagues? I did some research and am pleased to answer that question for you today. Behold; here are the top overseas basketball leagues. You’re welcome. And have a great weekend.

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5. ACB League – Spain
One of the most premiere leagues outside the United States, Spain’s ACB League has brought us names like Ricky Rubio Pau and Marc Gasol and Jose Calderon. Barcelona and Madrid traditionally have the strongest ACB League teams, having between them taken six of the last seven league championships. Players in the ACB League get good looks from NBA brass and a good showing could be a ticket to the American bigs.

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4. LNB Pro A – France
This French Basketball League began in 1921 and consists of eighteen distinct clubs, including Paris-Levallois (Paris), Strasbourg (Strasbourg), Le Mans (Pontiac), Boulogne-sur-Mer (Bologna by the Sea), Dijon (Mustard) and Nancy (Grace), among others. Tony Parker and Boris Diaw began their professional basketball careers playing for this league, in which there is no known translation for the English colloquialism “hit the showers” and popular halftime entertainment includes an act called “Vous Avez Une Femme Sexy, No?” (You have a sexy wife, no?) which consists of four fifty year-old Frenchmen chain-smoking and hitting on women in the audience.

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3. Liga Nacional de Básquet – Argentina
Manu Ginobili is one of the most famous names to come from Argentina’s Liga Nacional de Básquet, (“National Basket Legs”), which features sixteen teams in its top division and is one of the world’s foremost exporters of soybean oil. During the Falklands War, National Basket Legs was defeated by the British but remains a viable opportunity for undrafted college basketball players in 2015. Argentinian professional basketball players are often at a disadvantage as their uniforms include traditional gaucho wear as ponchos and thick-woven cotton trousers called bombachas, which can make getting up and down the court difficult, and which is why Manu Ginobili still falls down so much.

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2. CSKA Moscow –Russia
Former NBA All-Star Andrei Kirilenko still currently plays in Russia’s Central Sports Army Club Moscow, known as CSKA, where ruthless efficiency is the order of the day. Every pass is a straight shot to the numbers and the league champions are rewarded with a regulation-size bowl of traditional pickle-water-and-cabbage soup called solyanka with a cup of milk while the losers must move giant rocks and face the jeers of children. But CSKA Moscow’s motto says it all: “Basketball is strong for men, win with pride and muscle arms or die alone in sadness with no one who loves you.” It’s a very long motto.

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1. National Basketball League – Japan
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(Japan basketball make happy cheering kitty for trophy and smiles.)


How Mystery Show Follows The One Rule For Entertainment

How Mystery Show Follows The One Rule For Entertainment

 

One Rule

Today, there are fewer rules that govern what entertainment looks like. Amazon and Netflix can unload an entire series in one enormous dump. Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell are permitted to go full Lifetime in A Deadly Adoption. Pixar is free to animate a children’s movie without a princess, a prince or even a villain in Inside Out.   Just like the Little Caesar’s commercial says, “there is one rule!” The one rule for entertainment: Tell a good story.

Enter Starlee Kine and her new podcast, Mystery Show. Each week Starlee solves an unsolvable mystery (meaning, it can’t be Googled.) For example, one episode tackles the elusive height of Jake Gyllenhaal. A friend of the host, watched Source Code, and noticed that Jake looked “kindof short” and sometimes he looked “really tall.”  During the podcast, Starlee hunts down the clues until the mystery is solved.

I can hear you thinking, “Well that doesn’t seem interesting at all.”

It doesn’t sound interesting, but the story Starlee tells actually is interesting. Throughout the thirty-eight minute episode, she and her friends track down Gyllenhaal. Eventually, she talks to Jake in what turns out to be the one of my favorite celebrity interviews ever. In case you hadn’t picked up on it, Jake Gyllenhaal is adorable and you’d be surprised about how much you care about Mr. Gyllenhaal’s height.  

I think this would be a good point to address Starlee’s name. It’s unusual isn’t it? As a rule, if a parent names their child a cutesy name, inevitably the child will turn out to be a hellion. Starlee is the exception that proves the rule. She is as a sweet as the day is long and her show reflects her bright outlook. Usually, when people are free to create what they want, the story gets darker, the violence gets murderier and viewers spend more time watching footage of eerie infrastructure. (I’m talking to you True Detective Season Two.) This is not the case with Mystery Show; each episode incorporates wonderful little moments when Ms. Kine is genuine and lovely.

The sweetest moment is during the Britney Spears episode. During her search, Starlee has to talk to a customer service representative. I don’t want to tell you too much about the conversation, because I want it to brighten your day as much as it did mine. (I rewrote that multiple times to be less cheesy. It couldn’t be helped.)

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I need this mystery to be solved immediately.

Aside from being truly genuine, Mystery Show at its core deals with “the unknowability of certain things in this age of information.” I am very interested in this “unknowability.” I tend to get extremely frustrated when I can’t solve a mystery with a few Google searches. For example, while watching the Daredevil series on Netflix, I noticed something was amiss. During one of the scenes in the Nelson & Murdock office, there is a coffee pot with creamer and sugar AND BREADCRUMBS (!?)   I don’t remember what was going on in this scene mainly because I was furiously searching “why are there breadcrumbs in Daredevil?”

It is quite possible that I will never know the answer to this question.   In this age of information, there are just some things that we were never meant to know. Starlee Kine’s Mystery Show plans to make sure that happens less often.

What is your unsolvable mystery?


Not Their Fault: Why “A Deadly Adoption” Didn’t Work (and Why It Should Have)

Not Their Fault: Why “A Deadly Adoption” Didn’t Work (and Why It Should Have)

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On Saturday the Lifetime network — as part of its celebration of 25 years scaring white middle and upper class Lands’ End customers out of their minds — aired a film called A Deadly Adoption, on paper no different than their usual schlocky, sensational Saturday night film fare. The difference in A Deadly Adoption, however, lie in its two leads: in lieu of ex-soap stars or aged teen celebrities, it featured comedians Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig,.

You had to have heard of it; word of it spread far and wide back in April when the news was leaked that Lifetime had a surprise Wiig/Farrell film in the works, and after the leak we were made to believe that Lifetime shut it down. It wasn’t meant to be revealed and, now that it had been outed, the gag was dead. Gawker, in fact, hinted that the reason it was leaked had something to do with Ferrell following his agent in the CAA exodus of March, leaving a bitter taste in mouths at CAA and prompting them to spoil something for him.

But Lifetime thought over their position on the film and decided to run A Deadly Adoption anyway. So they put a trailer together and let the media embrace the idea and run with it. Why not, right? Still funny, right?

Unfortunately, A Deadly Adoption was a horrible, terribly humorless exercise. But it wasn’t Lifetime’s, Ferrell’s or Wiig’s fault. Here was the problem with the joke, which should have worked: We all knew it was coming. The reason you didn’t think it was funny was because you expected it to be funny.

We knew A Deadly Adoption was on its way, we’d seen the trailers, and we had a good three weeks to imagine what hilarious treats were in store for us when it actually aired on Saturday. Would Will Ferrell be playing one of his patented straight-faced lunatics? Would Wiig be playing the loony housewife with one of her textbook affectations? Oh, this would be wonderful, right? What an amazing night of comedy this would be!

No. Instead of the comedic feast we’d imagined, we got exactly what we knew it was going to be — a legitimate Lifetime movie simply anchored by two comedians. The only thing truly funny about it was our imagined perceptions that these two people knew how absurd what they were doing was; for some, that would be enough to stupidly declare A Deadly Adoption a success and treat everyone else like they didn’t get the joke — but the reality was that there was no joke.

There was no joke because the joke was supposed to be the ridiculous surprise of Wiig and Farrell straightforwardly starring in a Lifetime movie. And had news of the movie not leaked ahead of time, this joke would have worked in spades. Let’s imagine the scenarios.

1.) You get a confused text from a friend at 8:30 on Saturday night that Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig are on the Lifetime channel, but they’re not being funny, they’re just in a movie. This would be completely ludicrous and confusing, and there’s no way you wouldn’t have turned to that channel immediately, and texted other friends about it.

2.) Social media, with no prior awareness of the film, suddenly explodes with the realization that, despite its lack of humor or parody, Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig are inexplicably appearing in a Lifetime movie. This would become Lifetime’s Too Many Cooks, as it were — its weird surprise on an unsuspecting public. And that would have been brilliant. Good one, Lifetime!

3.) You are a person who watches Lifetime every Saturday night and one night you..wait, no, this scenario is just making me sad. You weren’t the target for this joke. If anything, you might have been the butt of this joke.

Unfortunately, A Deadly Adoption — had it been executed according to plan — would have been a memorable prank. But as it was destined to be a Lifetime movie played straight, now suddenly with four weeks of lead-up for fans of Ferrell and Wiig to anticipate its moves, it was like a joke with no punch line. Ferrell and co-producer Adam McKay are no strangers to this technique (See: Casa De Mi Padre, the duo’s slow-burn Mexican anti-comedy), but that was expected. A Deadly Adoption shouldn’t have been expected. The fact that it was ruined everything.

Blame it on the internet.


Spoiler Alert!

Spoiler Alert!

In a few hours Sometime later than now, Jamal Murray is going to officially announce where he will be playing his college basketball.  As of now most signs point to Oregon being that team because he wants to win a lot really likes The Goonies and Julian Salyer.  The official decision has not been made yet and there is still time for him to see the light and pick Kentucky.  It wouldn’t be the first time a recruit has had a last second change of heart (for positive UK examples see: Jones, Terrence; for negative see: 2015 recruiting class, almost all of them).  In the world of television and movies, plot twists are quite common.  To help encourage Murray to pick UK, here is a list of the last minute twists he can become a part of (as the title indicates, spoiler alert for everything that follows):

The Usual Suspects

Who is Keyser Söze?  I won’t reveal their identity, but this is the essential question at the heart of The Usual Suspects.  Kevin Spacey leads a top notch cast in a story which keeps viewers guessing until the very end.  The final revelation, and its ensuing unraveling, is one of the best plot twists ever. (Following clip NSFW)

The Departed

The following dialogue occurred when Martin Scorsese and the writers were planning the final scenes of The Departed:

Writer 1: What should we do about character A?

Scorsese:  Kill him

Writer 2: I really like how character B’s story is progressing, how should it end?

Scorsese: Kill him

Writer 3: I think you’re killing off too many characters Marty, maybe we should make sure characters C, D, E, and have a more complex ending.

Scorsese:

 

Battlestar Galactica

I love Battlestar Galactica for a lot of reasons, but for the purpose of this post I will only talk about the ending.  For four seasons, the last remnants of the human race rely on the Battlestar Galactica to evade extermination by the Cylons.  During their flight they look for Earth, a mythical haven, to escape the Cylons and rebuild civilization.  After finding Earth destroyed and eventually defeating the Cylons, the ship lands on a planet they call “New Earth”.  The final ten minutes then unfolds and gives a clear meaning to the oft-used phrase on the show: “all this has happened before and will happen again.”

Boy Meets World

For anyone who grew up in the nineties (at least most of us normal people), Boy Meets World was a regular part of our Friday nights.  While typically a formulaic and predictable sitcom, there was the occasional episode which threw viewers for a loop.  The best of these was the episode “And Then There Was Shawn”, a murder mystery episode.  There are several pop culture references throughout the episode, including a South Park nod, and contemporary scream queen Jennifer Love Hewitt.  Audiences were shocked by who turned out to be the John Adams High killer.

Breaking Bad/Malcolm in the Middle

The most shocking of all these twists came weeks after the Breaking Bad finale.  Leaked footage showed that the events which unfolded over the course of Breaking Bad were nothing more than a dream for Hal, Malcolm’s dad from Malcolm in the Middle.  This revelation sent a shockwave through audiences, making many question whether they could ever believe anything they saw on tv again.

Inception

Many viewers believe that the spinning top at the end of Inception indicates that main character Dom (Leonardo DiCaprio) was in a dream world at the end of the movie.  That would be quite a twist indeed.  Those who believe that, however, are wrong.  The top wobbles!

 


ABC’s Sunday Funday… Sure, Why Not?

ABC’s Sunday Funday… Sure, Why Not?

Celebrity Family Feud

I thought my DVR was going to start spouting off smoke by the end of Sunday night.  Between the end of the US Open, Food Network Star, True Detective S2, Ballers, and Cuthroat Kitchen, that should have been enough to put the machine into a coma.  However, it was ABC’s Sunday Funday lineup that both sent the DVR over the top, as well as may have been some of the most fun television that night.

Celebrity Family Feud returned on Sunday for the first time since 2008, when NBC thought it was a good idea to have Al Roker host the program.  You know the Family Feud franchise was already in trouble because in 2008, J. Peterman himself, John O’Hurley was the permanent host of the daytime version, and he wasn’t good enough to carry the torch to the primetime, celebrity edition.  In 2010, Steve Harvey took over the helm to Family Feud, and has brought it back to the powerhouse that it used to be during the Dawson/Combs days.

Harvey’s Feud has become known for it’s ridiculous, dirty answer bating questions, but that is also what is making the program so successful.  So, it was no surprise when the first survey out of the gate on Sunday was, “Name Something A Nude Magician Might Pull A Rabbit Out Of”.  Within the first three minutes of the episode, you get every good moment out of a Steve Harvey Feud episode.  Blackish’s Anthony Anderson’s mom answers the question with “His Nuts”.  Steve puts on his, “what the hell did you just say” face, and the hilarity ensues.  The entirety of the Anthony Anderson/Toni Braxton portion of the show is what Steve Harvey Celebrity Family Feud episode should be.  The second half, Monica Potter vs. Curtis Stone, would have existed better during the Al Roker season.  Potter’s family was pretty entertaining, but god help Curtis Stone.  Curtis was so bad at the game, and when someone you like is playing Celebrity Family Feud, and they’re terrible, you just feel so bad for them.  He was so bad.

It will be interesting to see the next couple of epsiodes.  The match-ups include: NFL’s AFC vs NFC, Dancing with the Stars vs. The Bachelor/ette, Dr. Phil vs. Garry and Penny Marshall, Kevin McHale (not that one, the one from Glee) vs. Fred Willard (that one).  According to game show experts, BuzzerBlog, Family Feud debuted to 8.5 million viewers, on a night that had all the aforementioned programs on at the same time.  That’s a good start, and Steve Harvey’s Feud will continue to bring the people back.

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battle-bots

ABC also brought back Battlebots to its Sunday Funday lineup and it proved to be pretty awesome as well.  Battlebots ran for four seasons from 2000-2002 on Comedy Central, and while the premise of the show is the same, the production value put in for this series is straight out of ESPN.  From the lights, the camera angles, everything… this is top notch entertainment value, for a program about robots that fight one another.  The SportsCenter style set helps give this program legitimacy.

Also regarding production value, ABC’s new version of Battlebots is hosted by three Fox Sports anchors.  Molly McGrath is your presenter, she opens the show and lays down the introduction to what this show is all about.  Chris Rose, most well known from being the host of Best Damn Sports Show, is your “play-by-play” man while retired UFC fighter, Kenny “KenFlo” Florian is your color comentator.  Also on hand to help bring the show to you are former “Attack of the Show” correspondent Allison Haslip and NASA Systems Engineer/Mohawk Guy, Bobak Ferdowski.  Rounding out the cast are the judges: Special Effects Artist Fon Davis, NASA Astronaut Leland Melvin, and Nerdist correspondent Jessica Chobot.

Now that the introductions are out of the way, let’s get to the battles.  To be the top robot in Battlebots, it will have to survive five fights over the series.  There are 24 robots in the tournament, with the 12 winners, and four wild card entrants advancing to the round of 16.  Every match after that will be an elimination round.  My initial concern with the program was that it was an hour long show, but they were only going to show four, three minute fights.  That leaves 48 minutes of filler and commercials to round out the program, but it all flew by pretty quickly.  It helps that Rose, Florian and McGrath are able to speak about all of these different teams and robots as though they are following the Warriors vs Cavs in the NBA Tournament.  The amount of research and preparation that has gone into this program shows.

In all four fights that aired on Sunday, every one had a great deal of action.  Even if one robot incapacitated another in the opening seconds, it still pushed it around and caused just utter destruction, using the traps of the arena to its advantage.  I found it interesting that some of the robots get to have little drone robots.  I’m sure there are rules to what these smaller robots can/can’t do, but when a flamethrowing one was destroyed by a bot with a giant blade, a huge explosion occurred, and ABC sat back and said, yep this is going to be good.  I am certainly looking forward to the next episodes of Battlebots.

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Did you catch “Sunday Funday” this past week?   What did you think about it?


Summer Movie Checklist

 

Now that it’s officially summer, you can look forward to months of sun, pools, popsicles, camping, baseball, cookouts and classic summer movies! Here are the films I’m moving to the top of my Netflix queue this summer:

1. Heavyweights (1995)

2. Adventureland (2009)

3. Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

4. The Parent Trap (1961/1998)

5. Dirty Dancing (1987)

6. Now and Then (1995)

7. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

8. Jaws (1975)

9. National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

10. The Sandlot (1993)

 

Did I miss your favorite summer movie? Tell me in the comments below!


A Less Than Golden State

A Less Than Golden State

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Nothing says ‘Happy Father’s Day’ quite like beating a kid’s Dad.  In front of him.  While also threatening to graphically assault his father’s rear while his mother’s corpse looks on.  Heady stuff, but not if you’re the latest iteration of the Drunk, Bent, but My Heart’s (not exactly) in the Right Place cop played by Colin Farrell.  Welcome to the second season of the critically acclaimed HBO series True Detective–I miss Rust Cohle already.

If you’ll recall, the first season was the swamp set, metaphysical jamboree with MC McConaughey playing the Lovecraft lyre.  Sure, it ended up being a pretty typical cop show.  Women assaulted, endlessly, as the plot engine.  One main bad guy, propped up by “the system”, who ended up being a lot less Cthulhu and a lot more Deliverance.   But the way the story was dressed, with endless philosophical rants by a far-out McConaughey, the half-joking, half-badass every-cop in Woody Harrelson, the super bizarre, not-particularly-important allusions to Lovecraft;  it made a rather run of the mill, “country folk are weird” cop story pretty interesting!  It was a show that had atmosphere, so much so that it obscured any other weaknesses the show may have had.

After watching the premier of Season 2, aside from a few interesting things like the excellent cast (and a fun, against-type role from Vince Vaughn), it doesn’t seem to have much atmosphere.

The set-up for the story is a missing City Planner who is supposed to be aiding a local crime boss, Frank (Vince Vaughn) set up some sort of land-grab scam having to do with building a railroad.  Frank has–by way of a favor shown in a strange flashback–a crooked cop, Ray (Colin Farrell), in his pocket who helps him out with some of his dirty work (Not the dad beat-ups, those are extracurricular!).  We also get to spend time with a couple of other cops, Ani (Rachel McAdams) and Paul (Taylor Kitsch), who really connect to everything at the end of the episode when [SPOILER ALERT] the City Planner is found dead.

The set-up and the execution of the story and characters is supposed to, I think, feel a lot more noir than it ends up feeling.  There are lots of shots of California and beaches, lots of seedy bars and casinos, lots of lingering shots on the faces of people who look like they hate themselves and the world around them.  These are interspersed with shots of infrastructure (the supposed theme of the season) with an overlay of noir jazz.  It’s the seedy side to California that directors love to show us, the flip side to the coin of paradise.

The thing is, that’s the only side of the coin the director seems to want to show.  This first episode was absolutely bereft of anything approaching fun, or humor, or anything besides bleak depression and anger.  I get that these people have it bad, that things aren’t going their way, that it’s tough to be a crooked cop, in a crooked city.  But geez, can’t you crack a joke or smile once in a while?  I found myself inadvertently laughing at several parts; Ani’s weirdo guru father who looks like Don Draper 40 years later;  the way Paul’s cheeks were flapping as he did his midnight ride;  Paul’s ability to slow down from 100 mph to a stop on a motorcycle without being thrown into the ocean.  If they could’ve played up any of these overly serious, silly moments for humor, it would’ve helped.

It could end up being a good show, it’s always hard to judge from one episode.  The central mystery might, again, intoxicate viewers, there might be an otherworldly performance from one of these spectacular leads, there might be more amazing technical work (though not a given without Cary Fukunaga) from this season.  If not, if the show begins to trend towards the center and doesn’t offer any of the strange and wonderful flourishes it did last season, then you can always switch over to Netflix and watch Chinatown instead.


KSR’s Guide to SEC-Related Summer Beach Reading

KSR’s Guide to SEC-Related Summer Beach Reading

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Hello, friends. How’s your summer going? Hot enough for you? Ha, ha! I’m kidding; but seriously is it hot enough for you? What’s your exact threshold for heat and how much is your body able to stand? I hope it does not exceed that temperature this summer.

Friends, it’s vacation time in the Bluegrass and, much like our own Matt and Drew over the past couple of weeks, I’m sure many of you are pondering and making plans for your own summer getaways. And nothing goes hand-in-hand more than sitting on the beach than summer beach reading. This year there’s certainly no shortage of SEC-related books to catch up on – why, since last year alone we’ve seen paperbacks emerge by or about familiar names like Nick Saban (Nick Saban Vs. College Football), Paul Finebaum (My Conference Can Beat Your Conference) and our own Cal (Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out). So where should you point your eyes in the summer of 2015 to stay abreast of all the latest SEC literature? Look no further than KSR’s guide to SEC-Related Summer Beach Reading for all your answers. And I’ll see you next week. Have a great vacation, gang.

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Title: Finding a Home in Basketball
Author: Anthony Grant
Date of release: April 2, 2015 (Memento Publishing)
Synopsis: Anthony Grant reflects on finding his ideal job and surrounding himself with people he can respect and cherish.
Excerpt: “As the final buzzer sounded on our final regular-season game against Florida I looked up at the scoreboard and knew that, even though we lost, I was where I belonged. I was among the people who loved me and I knew I would stay here forever. March 12 may not have been a great day but I knew that March 13, March 14 and March 15 would still come and I would still be happy. Yes, nothing bad could ever happen on March 15. What could possibly happen on March 15, 2015 that would make this dream job less perfect? Nothing, probably.”

——–

Title: Crazy from the Heart
Author: Will Muschamp
Date of Release: May 3, 2015 (Dandelion Books)
Synopsis: The wildly outspoken former Florida football coach details his personal strategies for success both in football and in life.
Excerpt: “A lot of people call how I react to certain situations ‘crazy,’ but I’m just a man, like any man, who goes to his work each day and does his best, screaming at referees and sidelines reporters and shrieking while I throw air-punches. And, just like any man, after work I come home and cut the eyes out of all my magazines for a collage of fear that I’m going to send to my enemies and then go downstairs to have a tea party with my cats and roll myself in saran wrap so my secrets don’t escape.”

———-

Title: Winning by Design
Author: Frank Martin
Date of Release: June 2, 2015 (Hammer and Grain Press)
Synopsis: The South Carolina basketball coach details his rise from his early days as a high school coach in Miami to his experiences coaching collegiate basketball.
Excerpt: “I worked for what I’ve accomplished and I refuse to let anyone take it away from me. In this world there will always be those who want what you have and they’ll always be watching you, peering at you from behind your back. Just the other day I was out with my family and saw a man watching me while my back was turned. He was wearing a vest, a shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a sideways baseball cap. I could feel him judging me. Every time I looked back he was watching. Finally I turned and flew at him, bringing him to the ground in a furious explosion of plaster and metal, his arms and legs both broken off and lying on the ground and his expressionless face looking up at me, cracked and broken into a thousand pieces. And that’s why I’m not allowed in TJ Maxx anymore.”

———

Title: My Way
Date of Release: June 18, 2015 (Oxham Books)
Synopsis: Former NBA player and coach Avery Johnson writes on his personal style of coaching and how his methods can mean high accomplishments in the college basketball world.
Excerpt: “Every meeting with another person is the opportunity to make a connection. It’s important to remember this. When I’m at a dinner with someone I haven’t met, I go to great lengths to make a connection. First I hop up onto the table, and then I walk across the tablecloth to where the new person is sitting. Sometimes this can take forever, because it might seem like miles to me, and the salt and pepper shakers look like mountains and forks and knives are dangerous spikes, and falling food crumbs from other diners might fall from the sky and crush me at any moment. Then I hop up on a thimble with a toothpick for a sword and have a conversation with my new friend, but I have to yell really loud just so he can hear me, and also hope he doesn’t set his napkin on me.”

———-

Title: Cooking With Kevin
Date of Release: July 7, 2015
Synopsis: Vanderbilt basketball coach Kevin Stallings shares some of his favorite recipes.
Excerpt: “…and some beef tips, some orange juice and butter, banana pudding, bacon, peppermint candy, ketchup, imitation crab meat, pork chops, potato wedges, beans, croutons, chocolate pie and macaroni, then put it all in the blender and mix it all up and eat it in a big serving bowl with a giant spoon. It’s both delicious and you’ve cleaned out your refrigerator again. It’s win-win.”


How To Explain Periscope To Your Parents

How To Explain Periscope To Your Parents

How To Explain Periscope To Your Parents

Did you hear that?

That was the sound of the Periscope App reaching its tipping point.  We have reached the point where the new networking tool has caught on like wildfire (or maybe the moment has already passed.  Pop Culture relevance is extremely fleeting.)

Regardless of Periscope’s relevance, I’ll bet that your mother and father have heard murmurs and references to the new app.  Even George Stephanopoulos, on ABC’s Good Morning America, talked about the newfangled app and he is the most stereotypical dad that I can recall.  I would also wager that your parents have little to no experience with what the app and just assume it’s a crappy movie made by Kelsey Grammer in the 90s.

While my mother’s emoji game is strong, sometimes it can be difficult to explain new technology to your parents. Here are a few commonly asked questions to help you explain the basics of Periscope.

What is it?

Periscope allows you to film what is going on around you and broadcast it to all of your Twitter followers.   The “host” announces that a session is live and while you are filming, followers can comment on what they are viewing and send virtual “hearts.”

Why would anyone do that?

While this subject is the topic of much debate, the main appeal of Periscope is stated in its slogan, “Explore the world through someone else’s eyes.”

Another perk is that the video footage disappears after twenty-four hours.

How can Periscope be used?

  • Businesses can use it to introduce new merchandise or services
  • “Visiting” faraway museums and other tourist locations
  • To experience festivals or capture other newsworthy scenes

How will Periscope probably be used?

  • Someone is going to film a live birth, you have been warned
  • Cross Fit
  • “Fridge Tours” – An inspection of the contents of your fridge and analysis of what those items say about you
  • More Cross Fit
  • Stuff you will regret in the morning

Why would do we need this app?

Short answer: We probably don’t.

As we know, the necessity of an app doesn’t influence whether it is successful or not (I’m looking at you Facebook.)  The success of an app is dependent on whether the masses find it easy to share images of what they are eating AND to view big moments in our history.

I think Periscope will do that.  I’m not sure how successful the app will be, but I’m betting it’s somewhere between Google+ and Twitter (that’s a pretty wide gap.)

 

 

 

 


An epic and unexpected night with The Rolling Stones

An epic and unexpected night with The Rolling Stones

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I should start this post with a disclaimer: I am not a music person. I am especially not an oldies person. While most of my friends listened to oldies with their parents in the car growing up, I listened to talk radio, 104.5 (the CAT!), or whatever gospel station my babysitter had on. I went through the typical indie rock phase in college and folk phase when I moved to Nashville, but for the most part, the radio in my car stays on 90’s on 9 or ESPN.

So, with all of that in mind, when The Rolling Stones announced they were coming to Nashville, I was excited because they’re legends, but I wasn’t bouncing off the walls like a lot of people, including my husband. He bought tickets and as we headed downtown, I looked forward to a fun night, but didn’t have huge expectations.

Even if I had, the Stones would have exceeded them. Here’s why:

They made a mockery of the old jokes

Everyone likes to make jokes about how old the Stones are. And they are old, ranging from ages 68-74. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are 71, two years older than my dad, a fact that provided blistering perspective throughout the night.

Pardon the cliche, but The Rolling Stones have gathered no moss. Jagger bounced around the stage like a kid hopped up on Mountain Dew. Richards, the original Captain Jack Sparrow of #TeamNF, prowled around like a bag of bones bound together with silk scarves. Guitarist Ronnie Wood, the youngest at 68, struck pose after pose in skinny pants and glittery sneakers. The only band member who looked his age was drummer Charlie Watts, who wore a simple t-shirt and dad jeans and looked like he dropped in from the set of “Empty Nest.” But he still rocked it. They all did, for two and a half hours, and as someone less than half their age, I want their energy; it was so infectious and in-your-face that after only a few songs, I felt guilty for complaining about being tired from the walk over the pedestrian bridge.

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Each song made me want more

Going in to the night, I thought I could name a few handfuls of Stones songs (once again, music novice here). As is with most classic rock groups, I knew more than I thought I did. This wasn’t just my first Stones concert, it was my first stadium concert, so experiencing the songs I’ve heard for years in movies, life, etc. in a larger than life setting was pretty amazing. (Also interesting: this was the first rock concert ever at LP Field.) The set picked up steam as it rolled on, starting with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” taking a Music City detour with Brad Paisley joining in on “Dead Flowers,” and finishing with “Brown Sugar” before a sweet encore of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” featuring the Belmont choir, and, of course, “Satisfaction.” The show ended around midnight, but the good vibes kept me bouncing on the long walk home.

The backup solo on Gimme Shelter is downright chilling

A few years ago, I saw “Twenty Feet from Stardom,” an excellent documentary about backup singers. If you haven’t seen it, it’s on Netflix and deserves a night of your time. One of the best parts was the story of Merry Clayton, a backup singer who performed the iconic solo on “Gimme Shelter.” Clayton was very pregnant at the time and got a call to do the part in the middle of the night. She walked into the studios in her pajamas with curlers in her hair and absolutely nailed it. The audio is chilling.

Merry doesn’t perform with the Stones anymore, but Lisa Fischer made her proud, belting out the verse and giving LP Field goosebumps on a night “hotter than a monkey’s bum,” according to Jagger. Speaking of…

We should all want moves like Jagger

There’s a reason Adam Levine coined that phrase and a reason it’s now stuck in your head (sorry). Everyone knows about Mick Jagger’s moves, but to fully appreciate them, you need to see them in person. At 71, Jagger is still effortlessly cool, wiggling around the stage in a tight black t-shirt, pants, and a blouse that he uses more like a boa. He’s incapable of standing still, constantly pumping his arms to the crowd, clapping, kicking, and scooting across the stage. Just watching him is exhausting. I never thought I’d say this in my entire life, but Mick Jagger is still hot, and if that sentence makes you want to throw up, well, sorry (not sorry). Watch him slither around the stage for two and a half hours and then we’ll talk.

The crowd was a show in itself

I expected that the crowd would be a good mix of generations, but seeing the Stones’ original fans come out for the show was almost as entertaining as the show itself. From late afternoon on, they walked around Broadway in vintage fringe like giddy schoolkids, and at the concert, they seemed high on nostalgia (or whatever else hung in the air at LP Field). The Stones play like they did back in the day and their older fans tried to party like it too, which means there are probably quite a few hungover baby boomers around town today. (I see your Advil and raise you some Gatorade.)

The rest of the crowd was made up of all ages, everyone excited and grateful for the chance to see the Stones before they’re gone; however, by the end of the night, Mick, Keith, Charlie, and Ronnie made it very clear they’re still alive and kicking. In fact, they showed us they still do it better than anyone.