Archive | January, 2008

We’ll Always Have Remy

29 Jan

First I couldn’t get tickets to see the games live. Now I learn that Red Sox broadcasts on NESN will be missing a certain somethin’ somethin’ because Tina Cervasio is leaving the station at the end of March to spend more time with her family. Rumor has it, that means she’ll be joining the team at Fox 5 in New York. What a bummer. Well, best of luck to you, Tina. I’ll miss you.

See and Be Seen

28 Jan

Two PSAs for y’all …

See them: People always complain that they’re not interested in the Oscars because they haven’t seen many of the nominated films. Well, the AMC theater chain is hosting an all-day marathon showing of the nominees for Best Picture on February 23, the day before the Oscars are handed out, at theaters all over the country. That’s right: you can see Atonement, Juno, Michael Clayton, There Will Be Blood, and No Country for Old Men all in one day, one after another, and then you’ll be ready for the big show. It’ll cost you only $30, and when you buy your ticket, you’ll also get a large popcorn with unlimited refills. Score! (Thanks to Dan for the heads up.)

See him: I’d tell you that Love Is a Mix Tape was my favorite book of 2007, but considering I only read three, that’s probably not saying much. Still, Love was the first book I read start-to-finish in many years (too many, really), so that’s saying something significant about how good it is. And this Wednesday, the book’s author, Rob Sheffield, is going to be at Brookline Booksmith reading from and signing copies of his book. I’ll be there. If you’re looking for a great memoir about love, loss, and music, then come on down and meet Rob with me. The book is now out in paperback too, so you can buy your own copy.

All the Colors Came Out

27 Jan

Despite the weather outside, it was a beautiful day up in Reading today. I braved the elements so I could see U23D, which if you haven’t heard, is the 3D IMAX film that captures the U2 Vertigo tour in all its glory. And oh man, does it ever. From the very first frame to the last, you are right there in the action. I mean, I’ve seen U2 live before. Technically, I suppose you could say that was 3D. But wow. This was, to make the obvious reference, even better than the real thing. First of all, it’s a huge movie — in sight and sound. Bono is already a bigger-than-life figure, but this is crazy. And the bass literally shook the seats. Secondly, the camerawork is just amazing. Add in the 3D effects and you have a film experience that can’t be duplicated. The crowd shots look so layered. The stadium, so deep. There were times when I thought people seated in front of me were up and dancing, but they were really on screen and not in the theater. Sure there are some gratuitous guitar-in-camera shots (mostly courtesy of Adam Clayton), but really, this is a rock show filmed with a minimum of cheese. It’s the technology that makes it look even better, not anything the band is doing differently. For example, nearly every shot of Larry Mullen’s drum kit is impressive. The set list includes 14 songs, and all are performed with the typical gusto, but for me, “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own” and “Where the Streets Have No Name” were highlights. The band plays “The Fly” during its encore, and it’s notable, I think, more for the superimposed effects than for the music itself. If U23D doesn’t exactly duplicate the concert-going experience — I felt sort of wimpy just sitting there and not applauding or cheering or singing along — then that’s alright. It the next-best-thing to actually being there and it’s a damned cool experience. I fully intend to go back and see the new Rolling Stones film, Shine a Light, when it plays on the IMAX screen. (All this can be yours too. Click here to find a theater showing U23D.)

The Kids Are Back in Town

27 Jan

So not only are New Kids on the Block still hangin’ tough, but apparently they’re reuniting and going out on tour sometime this year. Seriously? Seriously. Ugh. This is just pathetic.

Today’s Best Person in the World

27 Jan

Happy birthday to Keith Olbermann, who has been one of my favorite television personalities for a long time. He turns 49 years young today, January 27. I credit Keith with getting me more interested in current events than I had been previously. Talking with him was one of the highlights of my trip to see the Sox at Spring Training last year. I love when he makes fun of Bill-o or Coultergeist, and his Special Comments have become must-see TV. (By the way, the comments have all been compiled in a new book, Truth and Consequences.) I still miss his “My Hometown” segments, which he would do each night in the pre-Monica Lewinsky days. So, in honor of this occasion and in keeping with a regular segment on his nightly show, Countdown (airing 8 p.m. weekdays on MSNBC), I’d like to name Keith today’s Best Person in the World. Here is a clip from last week that I enjoyed. I hope you will too. Keith Olbermann … today’s best person … in the world!

More Blood

26 Jan

I went with Barry today to see There Will Be Blood and I’ve gotta say, I still think the movie is, ahem, bloody great. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say I’ve now sat through this two-hour-and-forty-minute-long movie twice and I could certainly stand to do it again. And again. I can’t quite explain it, but I feel the same way about P.T. Anderson’s other epic-length movies, particularly Magnolia, in that I can watch them over and over and they never get tired. Here, Daniel Day-Lewis is just incredible, that music is awesome, the screenplay is great, the cinematography is breathtaking … it’s all just amazing. Even on a second viewing, the film didn’t drag or anything. And, despite how many times I’ve repeated or used that milkshake line in recent weeks, it still works in context. Yeah, I really do like this movie. Have you seen it yet? No? Well, what are you waiting for? Go! Go now!

I’ve Got Nothing

26 Jan

Today is one of my least favorite days of the year. It’s the day when I get my hopes up that maybe this will be the year I actually get through and am able to buy some Red Sox tickets — but instead I’m let down and ticketless. And every year it’s the same old story: I wake up early, log onto at exactly the right time, pick a game I really want to see (this year it was May 17 vs the Milwaukee Brewers), and then wait. And wait. And wait. And watch the Virtual Waiting Room refresh every 30 seconds. Refresh again. And again. And simultaneously, I’m calling on my cell and my home phone, and hearing a busy signal or that nice recording telling me that “All signals are busy right now. Please try again.” And I know that all over the Boston area people are having the same experience as me. And finally, when I’ve had enough I just shut down the computer and walk away, a defeated man. Again. When I try some time later, of course tickets for the game I wanted to see are all gone. Really and seriously, I just want to know: how does someone like myself get tickets the day they go on sale? Why must I get shut out every year? When will the Sox figure out a way to put tickets on sale so that brokers are the ones that get screwed, not nice guys like me? I just want two tickets to one game. Is that asking so much?

And to add to the frustration, tickets for Gavin Degraw’s March 1 show at the Paradise also went on sale today, and I was otherwise occupied the minute they went on sale, so when I called and logged on three hours later they were all gone. (No surprise there, though, given the small venue and the fact that I tried too late.) SO, I’m completely ticketless today for the events I wanted to see. That sucks.

There Will Be Oscars

22 Jan

Oscar nominations this morning were basically as expected (for me, at least), but four things in particular are worth mentioning:

1. Tommy Lee Jones’ nomination for In the Valley of Elah was an awesome surprise. I liked the movie, and Jones’ performance in it is one of the best of the year. I said it when I saw the movie and I’m saying it now. Jones totally deserves his spot on the list. Even if he had to take the spot from Ryan Gosling or Denzel Washington.

2. That there is no nomination for Jonny Greenwood’s score for There Will Be Blood is just a crime. Music is as integral a part of that movie as Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance, and it too deserved to be recognized. Blood would still be great without the score, but it’s even better with it. [Update: Apparently, the score was not eligible. Who knew?]

3. Overjoyed that Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova got a nomination for “Falling Slowly,” the song from Once. But jeez, the rest of that category is just embarrassing. Nothing from Hairspray or Into the Wild?? Hopefully “Falling Slowly” will be a lock to win now. As it should be anyway. (And in a perfect world, Once would also have been nominated for Best Picture.)

4. Norbit: 1, Hairspray: 0. That’s just wrong on so many levels, even if Norbit‘s nom is for makeup (no surprise, I guess).

You know, some people make a big deal about how “no one’s seen (or heard of) the nominated films.” Well, whose problem is that? The films nominated are very good. Go see them! Especially There Will Be Blood. I may actually go see it for a second time this weekend. And I guess I’m going to have to go see Atonement now after all, even though I really don’t have much interest.

But in the meantime, I’m rooting for most anything Blood-related. And so should you.

They Might Be Giants …

20 Jan

… but we can beat ’em. After all, we did just that three weeks ago.

Hey, the Pats have to beat up on someone in the Super Bowl. It might as well be a team from New York.

Some Thing Stupid

19 Jan

So here’s my question: if some random monster was on the attack in your city, and you were running for your life, and you were filming everything on your camcorder, and it was nighttime … at what point do you turn the camcorder off and just run like hell?

That’s the question I found myself asking multiple times during Cloverfield, the new flick from the J. J. Abrams factory.

Essentially, Cloverfield is Godzilla crossed with The Blair Witch Project.

It’s a horror movie for the YouTube generation. Continue reading

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