Thursday, May 31, 2012

Strengths and Weaknesses: I'll Have Another

Next Saturday, 3-year-old colt, I'll Have Another, can become the first horse since 1978 to win the coveted Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. We'll examine his chances of success in this installment of Strengths and Weaknesses:

I'll Have Another

  • Always puts the team on his back
  • Has twice as many legs as the world's fastest man
  • Able to be converted into glue
  • In talks with Nike to develop own horseshoe
  • Proud Chestnut-American
  • Pretty successful for a 3-year-old
  • Always finishes the race before his jockey
  • Only racehorse anyone in America knows the name of

  • Terrible at post-race interviews
  • 67% of the way to the Triple Crown, which is still an F
  • Name isn't so much a name as it is a sentence fragment
  • Has surprisingly little horse sense
  • Is a colt, which is the worst team in the NFL
  • Thinks Belmont Stakes are cuts of meat
  • Like NBA teams, doesn't try hard until the end
  • If he loses at Belmont, this entire post will be irrelevant in less than a week

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

FoW MTR: May 29

Gangster Squad

Rabbitt: I think I could like Gangster Squad. I won't sit here and say that I've seen everything Gosling has been in, but I haven't seen a  Gosling movie that I thought was terrible. This film is directed by Ruben Fleischer, who also directed Zombieland. The only other major film directing credit for Fleischer is 30 Minutes or Less, which I, along with most of America, did not see. It will be interesting to see his first go at a more serious film. More importantly, I'm interested to see how many Zombieland rules he can work into the script. Clearly, there will be ample opportunities for the double tap (rule #2). From the looks of things, Emma Stone (Zombieland alum) appears to be keeping up with her cardio (rule #1). Check. I'm not blown away by this one, but I think it could be solid. 

Hammock: Agreed all around. As I've said before, I always support movies comprised of actors and actresses who are paler than I am -- which means I'm obligated to see all Emma Stone (whose ear is in danger of having hair brushed over it) films. This, of course, is assuming she doesn't make a habit of going to the tanning bed. As for your assessment of Ryan Gosling movies, I'll take it one step further -- I think his movies, on average, are up there with the best the Hollywood A-list has to offer. I still can't believe Drive didn't get nominated for best picture.

The Campaign

HammockI have to admit, the wiener-licking goat line caught me off guard and made me LOL. What does that say about me as a person? I'm not sure. Bathroom humor is the second lowest form of comedy (ahead of Tyler Perry's Madea movies), but sometimes you can't help but laugh. I really don't know what to think of The Campaign. Will Ferrell and Zach Goljaiosiajasbvkas certainly have the ability to be funny, but sometimes silliness gets in the way. Of course, I love Step Brothers and it doesn't get much sillier than that. 

Side note: Looks like I finally won my five year can't-shave-your-beard battle with Zach Galifinakas. 

Another side note: Galifinakas is even harder to spell that McConaughey.

RabbittYou know what you are getting when you walk in the theater to see The Campaign. You will laugh, shake your head, cry -- maybe because you are laughing so hard... maybe because you paid $10 to see it. There will be no smoke or mirrors. One of the writers is from Eastbound and Down, which is pretty darn funny without many redeeming qualities. The director, Jay Roach, has directed a slew of comedies I didn't care for and one that I did -- Meet the Parents. He also directed the TV movie Game Change, a serious campaign movie for which Julianne Moore has received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Sarah Palin. I haven't seen it yet, but early reports indicate that they did not let him say wiener-licking goat in Game Change.

The Do-Deca-Pentathlon

RabbittThis seems like a decent idea for a TV episode, maybe even a two-episode season finale. But, I don't know how this movie can keep momentum going for a full length feature film. The Duplass brothers have come out with some good stuff recently with Jeff, Who Lives at Home and I've heard good things about Your Sister's Sister. I just don't see how this could possibly drag out for 90 minutes. The answer, obviously, is that there are 25 events including, but not limited to: racquetball, arm wrestling, ping pong, charity 5k, and everyone's favorite...the long jump.  In an unrelated story, I would be awesome at one of these. 

HammockYeah, I'm definitely not sold either. The Duplass brothers have been pretty successful with the whole dry humor/mumblecore thing, but this seems extra dry and extra mumbly. Also, this may be the first (American) movie trailer we've done on MTR where I didn't recognize at least one actor in the preview. I guess I'm just not up to snuff on do-deca-pentathletes. Speaking of, how exactly does do-dec-pentathlon equal 25 events? Dodeca means 12 and penta means 5. Wouldn't that be like 60 events? Those guys must be in better shape than they look.

A Cat in Paris

HammockI'm a cat-person. No, not like a genetically engineered feline-human hybrid -- I just love cats. It's no surprise, then, that A Cat in Paris strikes my fancy (feast?). I would imagine this movie also appeals to cats and let's face it, the feline community could really use something to bring them together after last year's tragic kitten race war.

RabbittWe already know that Paris in the morning is beautiful. Paris in the afternoon is charming.  Paris in the evening is enchanting.  But, Paris after midnight... is magic. This looks like a fun one. Apparently, David and I aren't the only ones who think so.  This is an Oscar-nominated film from 2012, losing out to Rango in the Best Animated Feature Film Category. I think the main takeaway here is that I need to visit Paris...but only if it is the one that is portrayed in the movies and Kanye/Jay-Z songs.

David and Stephan aren't really into do-deca-pentathlons, but are always up for some 2 on 2 hoops. Follow them on Twitter @david_hammock and @itsrabbitt or catch them on the AND1 Mixtape tour... in the stands.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Music Video Monday: Family Force 5 - Wobble

Music doesn't always have to be important like Pitchfork leads you to believe. Family Force 5 is proof of that. I was a pretty big fan of their debut album Business Up Front/Party in the Back and though I may have outgrown them on some levels, they're still good at making you wanna dance. So here's the latest video from the ATL's own Na Daddy, Chap Stique, Crouton, Fatty, and Soul Glow Activatur (yes, with a U) in all their crunk rock glory:

I'm pretty sure Wobble will never win any awards for songwriting or musical arrangement -- or even "best song about wobbling" -- but you have to respect FF5's enthusiasm and shamelessness. I like the part where the black guy sees all the white people dancing in the elevator and shakes his head in disapproval. That happens to me on the basketball court every time I go up for a lay up instead of dunking (which is always).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I'll Have Another & Bodemeister are both visibly upset at the lack of minorities in attendance at this year's Preakness Stakes

If you've followed the blog for a while, you're no doubt familiar with my transition from my "urban" hometown of Riverdale, GA to my "not-so-urban" current place of residence in Clayton, GA. The difference between the two cities is black and white. Literally. Now, there are good and bad aspects of both places, but I can't help but think the transition would have been easier if the two cities weren't such polar opposites. This need for a middle ground seems to be a common theme as it once again became apparent while watching the Preakness Stakes this past weekend.

Horse racing is most definitely a white man's sport. (Is it a sport? I guess it is for the horses.) Whenever the camera panned across the crowd, all I could see was a sea of pale faces. No black people anywhere. Not even a tanned-skin white person. The Preakness is truly a SWASPs only event. It's also an event that's declining in popularity. Once upon a time, horse racing was the third most popular sport in America, but as the years passed and the sport became increasingly synonymous with rich white people, it lost much of its fan base.

Even though I watched the Preakness Stakes and even though I'm certainly pale enough to fit in with the crowd, I don't much care for horse racing. Sure, the race itself is a fairly exciting two minutes, but all the pomp and circumstance is a little off-putting. Much like my current hometown, it's just too dang white. Perhaps I, and the rest of the nation, would like the event better if it had a little more of an urban flavor to it -- the same way I'd like Clayton better if it had a few of the appealing aspects of Riverdale thrown into the mix. But if the Preakness equates to Clayton, what event equates to Riverdale?


If you've lived in or near Atlanta, you're probably familiar with Freaknik, but in case you aren't, here's the rundown. Freaknik is basically the African-American equivalent to Spring Break in Panama City. Once a year, people (mostly black) would flock to Atlanta in droves for a week's worth of parties, concerts, dancing, and general tomfoolery. It's pretty much the opposite of the Preakness Stakes.

Now I don't have anything against either Preakness or Freaknik, but I wouldn't feel comfortable attending either event. I'd feel out of place at the horse track because I have no money; I'd feel out of place at Freaknik because I have no rhythm. Still, there are aspects of both events that I think I'd enjoy. Like I said before, the race itself at Preakness is entertaining and I know I could get a good pick-up basketball game at Freaknik. If only there was some way to combine the two events so I could have the best of both worlds and so I wouldn't stick out like a sore thumb middle-class white guy.

It's good to combine things
Enter Preaknik.

It would be an ambitious undertaking to be sure, but a combination horse race/urban festival certainly has its charms. Preaknik would have something for everyone: music, animals, gambling, dancing... the works. People of every color would come from far and wide to watch disc jockeys ride horses and bet on slam dunk contests. No more pretentious dress codes, no more riots -- just fun for everyone.

It doesn't happen often, but I think I've stumbled upon a great idea in Preaknik -- almost as great as Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Taco... which, coincidentally, is the official food of Preaknik.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Music Video Monday: Best Coast - Our Deal

Chloë Moretz: The umlaut adds five years

Nicki Minaj: Colorful language AND videos
I love Best Coast. I'm a sucker for good female rock vocals and I dig the lazy 60s lo-fi beach vibe, so I don't need a great video to supplement my Best Coast listening experience. I got one anyway. The video (below) for Our Deal is a ten-minute-long mini-movie in the tradition of West Side Story and The Outsiders, complete with a medley of Best Coast tunes and a bevy of young celebrities. Gotta love having Hit-Girl, Teen Wolf,  Maebe Funke, Childish Gambino, iCarly, and Shailene Woodley all in the same video -- especially when they're all decked out in retro-chic, gang-emblazoned jean jackets. Sure, it's a little disconcerting that then 14-year-old Chloë Moretz is in both a gang and an adult relationship, but growing up fast is kind of her thing. Anyway, if you've got ten minutes to spare and like good music and good acting, give this video a shot. If you don't like good music or good acting, but are easily entertained by bright colors, maybe Nicki Minaj's Starships video is for you. Oh Nicki Nick, you are one strange, scary Trinidadian-American woman. 

If you like what you heard, Best Coast's new album The Only Place came out last week. If you're planning on buying it at your local record store, tell them David from TKAA sent you for a 0% discount.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Worst Thing Ever

The following is a conversation with a friend about a very serious, surprisingly prevalent problem plaguing the modern world:

David: You know what sucks? When you fall asleep when it's still light outside, then wake up a few hours later and it's dark. Is there a name for that?

Tom: That depends. Are you tired now?

David: No, I'm wide awake.

Tom: I was afraid of that. That, my friend, is called Worst Thing Ever. It's a terrifying event in which the victim, tired from a long day, unwittingly falls asleep while the sun is still shining, only to wake up to a dark, unforgiving night sky. It's accompanied by an overwhelming to desire to kill oneself.

David: Yeah, totally. That's it. Is there a cure for Worst Thing Ever?

Tom: I'm afraid not. With the option of sleep eliminated by that demon of a nap you just took, the only thing you can do is try to keep calm and wait until the sun once again shines the light of hope through the windows of your house and into your cold, despondent heart.

David: I can't believe this is happening to me. I never thought I would be affected by Worst Thing Ever. What did I do to deserve this?

Tom: It's not your fault.

David: I know.

Tom: It's not your fault!

David: Hey, do you like apples?

Tom: Well now you're just quoting Good Will Hunting.

David: Is that another symptom?

Tom: How do you like them apples?!

David: Son of a biscuit, you stole my line.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Music Video Monday: May 14

This week's installment examines the douchiness of Maroon 5 and explores the joys of summertime in New Zealand:

Maroon 5 - Payphone

Payphones still exist? Hmm. Well, that still doesn't explain why Adam Levine doesn't use his cell phone. We could argue all day that it's broken or the battery's dead, but I'm not buying it. Levine seems like the kind of guy who has a spare just in case something happens to the first one and he needs to send an emergency tweet or call his tattoo artist to touch-up that gnarly tiger tat on his bicep. Yes, I'm implying that Adam Levine is kind of a douche. This assessment is due in part to his haircut, but mostly because he was mean to a friend of mine whose band once opened for Maroon 5. Apparently Levine used some vulgar language when my friend complemented his song writing, but I secretly think the lash out was a direct result of my friend's insistence that Burgundy 5 is a more fitting name for a rock/pop band.

The Naked and Famous - Young Blood

Since we're on the brink of Summer 2012, I thought I'd offer up one of my favorite songs from Summer 2011. It's an indisputable fact that summertime is the best time of the year and this Young Blood video really captures the carefree spirit of the season. Good to see that running, jumping, and smashing things is a tenet of summer even in the band's native New Zealand. I feel bad for the Kiwis though -- summer in the US means winter down there. Perhaps the Naked and Famous can create an equally good winter song for their countrymen to enjoy. Lord knows they need it -- it's gotta be torture being that close to Australia without having any marsupials of your own to enjoy.

Friday, May 11, 2012

FoW MTR: May 11

This week's Movie Trailer Rundown features a gang of aging action stars, some cringe-worthy manscaping, a shaggy Ben Affleck, and a murderous Matthew McConaughey. Let's get it started with...

The Expendables 2

Hammock: I can appreciate the premise. I mean, who doesn't like an all-star team? The first Expendables movie capitalized on the idea, bringing together some of the most prominent action stars of the last few decades to "shoot first, ask questions never" as a team.Expendables 2 promises more of the same, this time adding cult hero Chuck Norris to the mix. Seems like a natural step. So, why won't I be seeing this movie? Because I don't like action movies. More specifically, I don't enjoy movies that don't have a good story... unless they can really make me laugh. For those who of you who do love action movies, I'm sure this is right up your alley, but my alley is elsewhere. My alley is a place where heroes aren't impenetrable to bullets... or subtlety.

Rabbitt: Sly Stallone, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Jet Li... This is like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for action stars. I was completely unaware that Expendables 1 existed until this very moment. So, that should give a pretty good indication this will be the last I speak of the sequel. When is it ever a good idea to gallivant into battle on zip lines? Are they fighting the American Gladiators? Stallone shoots down a chopper with a motorcycle. That's cool. I'm pretty sure I saw Willis down a chopper with a police car in Live Free or Die Hard. Kind of a toss up as to which one has the higher degree of difficulty. Willis had to drive his bike most of the way while he was being shot at before diving out of the car. Stallone had to keep his bike from tipping over on the way to the ramp. One thing is for certain: both motorcycle takedowns look like an easier task than sitting through this movie.


Rabbitt: I miss Arrested Development. A lot. With Bateman and Arnett back on screen together, this seems like a sure thing from the outset. The list of story lines that could follow the opening clip that would turn me off from wanting to see this movie is a short list... but that list includes documentaries about male grooming tendencies. Sorry guys .I'll wait for theArrested Development reunion.

Hammock: I actually just finished watching Arrested Development in its entirety for like the tenth time and, like Stephan, my desire to see the new season is palpable. Imagine my excitement when I see two of the Bluth brothers in the same shot, then my disappointment when we find out this movie is about manscaping. COME ON! I actually kinda like Morgan Spurlock and I'm willing to bet there are parts of this movie I would enjoy, BUT I'm also pretty sure there will be parts that will make me queasy. Man parts. The risk simply outweighs the reward. Besides, I already know exactly what makes a man handsome... money. And mental math skills, of course.


Rabbitt: Ben Affleck may not always act in the greatest movies. To this day, a little part of me dies inside every time I think of Pearl Harbor. But, he very rarely leads us astray as a writer and/or director. His writing credits include Good Will Hunting, The Town, and Gone Baby Gone, the latter two of which he also directed. If you ever get the chance to watch The Town on Blu-ray, I highly recommend the special features and interviews with Ben, especially about the logistics of the shots at Fenway. It's really interesting stuff. Back to Argo, I think it looks really promising, despite Ben appearing as if he strolled on set straight from an occupy movement. If you want to sound like the wine/art aficionado in Midnight in Paris, make sure you check out the Wikipedia page for Argo of Greek Mythology before you attend the movie. Did you know the Argo was built by the shipwright Argus, and its crew, were specially protected by the goddess Hera. I challenge you to say that at the theater and not sound like a pretentious snob.

Hammock: It just might be a reverse reaction to the prevailing anti-Affleck sentiment over the last decade, but I've got a bit of a soft spot for Ben. Sure he's been in some crappy movies, but who hasn't? As Stephan points out, he's acted in some good ones too -- I'd add Dazed and Confused, the Jay and Silent Bob movies, and, what the heck, even Armageddon to Stephan's list. As for Argo, I majored in History, so I'm down for a movie about the Iranian Hostage Crisis. (I'm just slightly more down for a movie about man who fights crime dressed as a bat.) The talented cast leads me to believe that this movie will steer closer to Affleck's hits than his misses -- but even if it does bomb, he still gets to go home to Jennifer Garner at the end of the day. Do you like apples, Stephan?

Killer Joe

Hammock From Magic Mike to Killer Joe goes Matthew McConaughey. Before I get into Killer Joe, I'd like to point out that McConaughey is the single most difficult Hollywood last name to spell. Okay, there are some tough foreign-sounding ones that I can't even begin to try, but it seems like I should be able to get a handle on McConaughey. I can't. (Segue alert!) I also couldn't get a handle on this trailer for Killer Joe. Who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? Isn't that girl a little too young for Matthew McConaughey? Wait, I seem to remember him mentioning something about that before... (start at the 1:05 mark).

Rabbitt: Instead of watching Killer Joe or Magic Mike, I'd rather watch Killa Mike. At least Killa Mike clarifies, "over 18 only cause baby I'm no perv." Take notes, McConaughey. Looks like you'll have to be at least 17 to get in to this one anyway as Killer Joe has an NC-17 rating as of the release of this trailer. I would normally say that I imagine they'll be cutting some scenes to try to get an R rating but I just read in EW that they will not be cutting any scenes and will release with the NC-17 rating. So, that shows what I know. One thing I do know is that I won't be seeing this one.

Neither David nor Stephan believe in taking their shirts off in public as much as Matthew “However you spell it.” But who does? Follow them on Twitter anyways @david_hammock and@itsrabbitt.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pet Peeves

Everyone has those one or two things that get on their nerves... I have a few more than that. Here are some of my pet peeves:

1. It's either gonna be really good or really bad. 

Divorce Cab For Cutie = really okay new album
I hear this one all the time. Something along the lines of: "I can't believe Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard got divorced. Omg, I wonder how that will affect the next Death Cab For Cutie album. It's either gonna be really good or really bad."

Or, you know, it could fall somewhere in between. Most things do. I think this cliche should be reserved for the rare occasions when it's actually true. Something like: "Whoa, did you hear that Hitler and Mother Teresa are having a baby together? Man, that kid is either gonna be really good or really bad." I would accept that.

2. When you hold the door open for someone and they don't say thank you or acknowledge you in any way.

It's a nice gesture—sparing a few seconds of your time to make life a little easier for your fellow man. Unfortunately, your fellow man doesn't see it that way. He walks silently through the entryway as if the portal opened by way of door magic. It's not that I want to slam the door in his face; it's just that—well yeah, I kinda do. Of course, a drastic move like this is either a really good idea or a really bad one.

3. When you need to get someone's attention discreetly so you whisper their name, but they answer you in their normal voiceor louder—thus ruining your attempt at discretion.

It goes something like this:

You and your friend, Chad, are meeting up with Chad's girlfriend. When you get there, Chad's girlfriend has brought along her friend, whom you've met several times before. Embarrassingly, you can't remember her name. The four of you are now standing together and it's going to be awkward if it gets out that you don't remember her name. Luckily, the two girls are chatting fervently between themselves, so you have time to inconspicuously ask Chad the girl's name. You whisper, "psst, Chad" but much to your chagrin, Chad who was only half-paying attention to the girls' conversationresponds to you in a completely audible voice: "WHAT?" Chad is your friend and it was obvious you were trying to be discreet, yet Chad has now blown your cover and the girls are staring at you and if you don't think quickly, you're going to look like an idiot—an idiot who still doesn't know the girl's name.

I can't tell you how many times something like this has happened to me. Be on the lookout for this phenomenon; it happens more often than you think.

4. I'm not a b*tch, I just speak the truth.

Anyone who has to point out that they're not a b*tch is probably a b*tch.

5. Attributing quotes to people who obviously didn't say them.

"To thine own self be true."
I see this all the time on Facebook or Twitter under a person's "favorite quotes" section: insightful, poetic quotes get attributed to ghetto rappers or mindless actors who clearly never said anything of the sort. Here's an example:

You know you're in love when you don't want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.  ~ Lil Wayne

Yeah, I'm sure the man who wants to 'pick the world up and drop it on your effing head' is the same man who's responsible for this darling sentiment. Makes perfect sense. Of course the offenders here are usually teenage girls, wholet's face itare the source of most of my pet peeves.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Music Video Monday: May 7

This week's installment of Music Video Monday includes a first look at "adult" Bieber and a trip to Iceland:

Justin Bieber - Boyfriend

I'm not one to wanna hate on The Biebs, but the kid has gotta meet me halfway. The gold shoes, the earrings, the Jimmy Neutron haircut; you look like giant tool, Justin... and not a cool tool like a chainsaw... like a plunger. The song itself is okay I guess, though I wouldn't suggest likening oneself to Buzz Lightyear as a way to impress the ladies. I dunno, maybe that line has an implied Woody innuendo that I'm just not smart enough to get. Could be, because Mr. Bieber does seem to be following in the footsteps of another Justin, Mr. Timberlake, who said Bye Bye Bye to *NSYNC and his boy band image to don a more adult persona. Of course, Bieber is [Buzz] light years away from being taken seriously as an adult artist and that trend will continue until he can release a song that doesn't contain the word swaggy.

Of Monsters and Men - Little Talks

Finally, an Icelandic band with a name that's not hard to spell. (I'm looking at you, Quarashi.) Little Talks has been out for a few months now, but I just recently saw the video. Fantastic. Or as they say in Iceland: Björk. I love the animation style, which reminds me a little bit of Smashing Pumpkins' eminent Tonight, Tonight video. So, is this what Iceland is like? I had written it off as evil after seeing D2: The Mighty Ducks as a youngster, but now I'm thinking there's more to the country than Gunner Stahl and Wolf "The Dentist" Stansson. Now I doubt I'll be making any trips to Iceland because I'm not a fan of cold weather, but if Of Monsters and Men ever teams up with fellow Icelanders Sigur Rós for a concert around these parts, I'm there.

Friday, May 4, 2012

FoW MTR: May 4

By David Hammock, Stephan Rabbitt, & T.S. Oldman

Hick Movie

Hammock: I love Chloe Moretz. I think she's a great young actress and Hit-Girl is a personal hero of mine. However, this trailer made me cringe. Sure, the cringe was partly brought on by Blake Lively's horrific accent, but mostly it was due to Moretz's portrayal of an unabashed Lolita. What is she, 14? She's been playing foul-mouthed and precocious for a few years now, but none of her other roles were disturbing like this. Even worse, look closely at the credits and you'll notice that her parents are co-producers of the film. This make the Moretzes the first set of parents in the world to think, "Our little girl isn't growing up fast enough."

 Acting wise: Chloe never disappoints. From 500 Days of Summer to Kick-Ass to Hugo, kid is nothing but talented. She has made a mockery of the achievements of my first fifteen years of life and shows no signs of letting me gain ground anytime soon. Although, I checked her wiki and there was no mention of Math Olympic champion so we may have that on her, David. I'm with you all the way on this one. I'm sure she will be just as great as she always is... but that was just uncomfortable to watch. Maybe not Womb-uncomfortable. But uncomfortable, nonetheless. Nice catch on the co-producers, by the way. Additional freeze-framing indicates that she may want to do a slightly more thorough pros and cons list prior to embarking on such adventures.

Piranha 3DD


Rabbitt: Katrina Bowden, my love. You have to read the script before signing on to do these things. So, the piranhas are in the water park? No big deal, go to American Adventures instead. The piranhas are in the pond? Okay, get out of the pond. The piranhas are in the bathtub? Not cool. The piranhas are in 3DD?! Who wants to pay $10 to sit in a theater and have giant, mutant piranhas flying at them in 3DD? I'm not feeling great about the outcome of this one. It appears the only defenses are Ving Rhames' leg and Gary Busey's appetite. But don’t worry though; the lifeguards are lifeguard-certified strippers. Anyone up for a lap pool dance?

: I'm not 100% sure Katrina Bowden can read, Stephan. This theory stems from this photograph of her sporting the foam finger of a university with a propensity for illiteracy. While you ponder what's wrong with me for focusing on the foam finger in that picture, I'll ponder why anyone would want to see this motion picture. Maybe it's because some moviegoers possess an ability that I do not: the ability to ignore stupidity and just enjoy the aesthetics. The picture of Miss Bowden is proof that this is not always a bad thing.

The Dark Knight Rises

Hammock: Here it is. The release of the highly anticipated third and final film in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is finally near. The third trailer is pretty fun to watch as we get a good look at some of the new characters and gadgets, but I can't help but wonder if The Dark Knight Rises will live up to the hype. The Dark Knight (the second Batman film) is the rare sequel that surpasses its predecessor and I don't think I'm being pessimistic to think that it probably won't happen again. While I don't think we have a Spider-Man scenario on our hands, where the first two movies were great and the last one was pretty bad, I'm worried The Dark Knight Rises is doomed to disappoint a little due to impossibly high standards. Of course, this didn't stop The Return of the King. While I'm excited for the film, I'll try to temper my expectations, though I don't see how it can be less-than-great with Nolan at the helm.
Rabbitt: The epic conclusion. This trailer feels epic, doesn't it? I should take a page out of David's book and not get my hopes up too high for this one, but I can't. I'm so excited that I just can't hide it. Jessie Spano, anyone? Poor Jessie. Anyway, on top of Batman's new toys, we get an extended look at our main newcomers Anne Hathaway and JGL. On the bright side, JGL looks decidedly less shiny than when we last saw him in the trailer for Looper, as David pointed out. However, it looks like Batman and Gotham are in heaps of trouble. Planes are being hijacked, dangerous criminals are on the loose, bridges are crumbling and, most importantly, no one in this wretched excuse for a football league seems to be able to tackle Hines Ward. Is this city even worth defending if that is the best football they have to offer? Maybe Batman should relocate to the south.

This Is 40

RabbittTSSorry Stephan, I’m jumping in on this one. You’re too nice of a guy (unless Channing Tatum is involved) and I can’t sit idly by while no one at FoW pours out enough vitriol on this trailer. I’m not joking when I say this is the most depressing trailer I've ever seen. The Schindler’s List trailer is more hopeful. The painstakingly obvious attempt at irony  by using “We Are Young” by fun., only makes me angry (I hate fun.). Were people clamoring for this? Did people really want to watch another two hours of the most depressing married couple ever captured on film? Seriously, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann were detestable inKnocked Up.  Combined with What to Expect When You’re ExpectingThis is 40 has pretty much let me know that life ends at the big 4-0. Maybe instead of wasting their time drafting anti “gay marriage” legislation, legislators should just make watching this movie mandatory and no one will ever want to get married to anyone, ever.

Hammock: Didn't Judd Apatow already show us what happens when you turn 40? 
You lose your virginity, right? Guess this is a different 40. So this is a "sort of" sequel to Knocked Up, which I thought was pretty good, but it centers around Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann instead of Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl. As T.S. will gladly tell you, these aren't necessarily the most likable characters in the Apatow universe, so I'm not sure I want to go down this road. Maybe we can check in with Steve Carell, the now 50-year-old virgin, instead? I'm hoping the two little girls aren't too old to still be cute, because they were one of my favorite parts of the last movie. Ultimately, I'm torn on this one; I generally like Apatow films, but I can only take so much genitalia in a two-hour period. See Stephan, I told you I'd be the first one to mention genitalia on the MTR!

David Hammock and Stephan Rabbitt have applied to help tutor Katrina Bowden in spelling and arithmetic. TS Oldman is still thirteen long years away from the end of life as Judd Apatow portrays it. You can follow them on Twitter 
@david_hammock@itsrabbitt, & @TSOldman.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Strengths and Weaknesses: The Avengers

The Avengers opens in theaters this weekend, bringing with it a veritable who's who of Marvel superheroes. Of course, even superheroes have their faults, some of which we'll take a look at in this installment of Strengths and Weaknesses.

The Avengers

  • Movie should make enough money at the box office to eliminate the national debt
  • Have all the makings of a great boy band
  • Wisely included Samuel L. Jackson so they don't look racist
  • Know the value of teamwork, but ignore that and focus on the value of superpowers
  • Now that the movie is finally out, maybe I won't have to sit through three Avengers promos every time there's a commercial break on TV
  • All five sides of Captain America's star are equal sizes, which, if you've ever tried to draw a star, is really hard to accomplish
  • All members would probably win the Hunger Games... except maybe Hawkeye
  • Movie will help bide time until The Dark Knight Rises comes out in July

  • I don't like the Hulk even when he's not angry
  • Only one woman to cook for all those hungry superheroes
  • Thor has a god complex
  • Hawkeye still troubled from his time spent as a doctor during the Korean War
  • Only Scarlett Johansson needs to be wearing tights and latex
  • From far away, Captain America's shield looks like a giant target
  • Iron Man doesn't have a secret identity... or a twitter account
  • Superhero tax bracket is a real killer