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July 31, 2008

The August 2008 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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Penelope Cruz in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Looks like Pineapple Express might be the best this month has to offer...

JULY 1

THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Jet Li is the mummy. And Maria Bello is Rachel Weisz.

WILL IT SUCK?
Probably the most notable replacement is actually behind the camera, with Rob Cohen (Stealth, xXx) taking over for Mummy 1 & 2 helmer Stephen Sommers who, in spite of all the suck he brought to Van Helsing, really seemed to have a knack for these films. Cohen has a knack for making Brett Ratner seem inspired.
Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (creators of Smallville, two of the 73 writers on Spider-Man 2) definitely have a knack for this sort of thing, so their writing will fight Cohen's direction.

And it's always fun to see Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh together (check out Twin Warriors if you ever get the chance).

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
This is, arguably, the last major action-adventure flick of the summer. $101mil.

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SWING VOTE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
One guy gets to decide the fate of a U.S. presidential election. No, not Karl Rove.

WILL IT SUCK?
Director's a newcomer and the co-screenwriter did Bad Company (the Chris Rock/Anthony Hopkins one) which bodes well for the we-hope-it'll-be-so-bad-it's-good Bangkok Dangerous, which he also wrote, but not so well for this.

Preliminary buzz, however, is pretty good, and I have to admit, choosing between Dennis Hopper and Kelsey Grammar's a tough call.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Not much competition. Costner plays to his base. $35mil.

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MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
A photographer stalks a serial killer who finds his victims on the NYC subway system.

WILL IT SUCK?
Good idea to combine Clive Barker (based on his short story) with director Ryuhei Kitamura (Azumi, Versus). Early buzz seems to think so, too.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Even Clive Barker is pissed about Lionsgate's half-assed release strategy. $1mil.

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FROZEN RIVER

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Single mom turns to immigrant smuggling across the Canadian border to make ends meet.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is good. Sundance gave it their Grand Jury Prize. And Melissa Leo and Michael O'Keefe are longtime favorites of mine.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
The Grand Jury Prize is no guarantee of box office (see Quinceanera, which won both Grand Jury and the Audience Award at Sundance 2006). $2mil.

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IN SEARCH OF A MIDNIGHT KISS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
A guy and a girl who met online hang out on New Year's Eve and will-they-or-won't-they kiss at midnight ensues.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is very good. Supposed to have a bit of an early Linklater vibe, which is not surprising given the executive producer.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Early Linklater didn't make much, either. $1mil.

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SIXTY SIX

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
British kid's Bar Mitzvah has to compete with the 1966 World Cup.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is good, which is remarkable given that it's from the director of Leonard Part 6, City Slickers 2 and Made of Honor. Co-writer also penned the upcoming adaptation of How to Lose Friends & Alienate People with Simon Pegg.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Selling itself as the next Billy Elliot, but that's unlikely. $2mil.

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JULY 8
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PINEAPPLE EXPRESS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Judd Apatow stoner comedy.

WILL IT SUCK?
And by Judd Apatow, I mean David Gordon Green (!?!). It will be interesting to see what the director of Snow Angels, All the Real Girls and George Washington does with much more genre-driven and, given that this is from the writers of Superbad, funny material. Early buzz is good.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Tropic Thunder will be a problem the following week, and even Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 will find some unsuspecting boyfriends dragged away, but overall it will be among the better-performing Apatow features. $85mil.

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THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS 2

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
The pants. They keep traveling.

WILL IT SUCK?
They've kept the screenwriter and switched out the director, which is fine with me since the direction was the main problem I had with the first one. Everyone else is the same. Just more famous now.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
The closest thing to competition (The House Bunny) doesn't open for two weeks. $47mil.

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HELL RIDE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Biker war.

WILL IT SUCK?
Quentin Tarantino recruits old school biker flick regular Larry Bishop to write and direct this one, giving him license to make it as sick as he wants. Early buzz is mixed.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
If Grindhouse couldn't cut it in wide release, I don't see this faring much better in limited. $4mil.

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BOTTLE SHOCK

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
True story of how California got on the wine map.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is mixed, with detractors feeling it's just too normal. Great cast - Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman, Dennis Farina, Freddy Rodriguez, Eliza Dushku, Bradley Whitford. Rickman won top acting honors at the Seattle Film Fest. Believe it or not, this is one of two movies about the same story this year.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a bit of an issue next week and Elegy could be an issue this week, but this is the most mainstream of those two, and buzz going back to Sundance won't hurt. $6mil.

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ELEGY

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Ben Kingsley falls for a younger woman (Penelope Cruz). Jealousy ensues.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is mixed for this adaptation of the Philip Roth novella The Dying Animal. Written by Nicholas Meyer, who also adapted Roth's The Human Stain but, more importantly, directed and co-wrote Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Also starring Patricia Clarkson and Peter Sarsgaard.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Penelope Cruz (not to mention Patricia Clarkson) show up again next week in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which has the added cache of Woody Allen. $4mil.

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JULY 15
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STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
More Star Wars shit.

WILL IT SUCK?
Well, Lucas isn't actually writing the screenplay, so chances for it to be good increase dramatically. Especially when you factor in that the guys who are writing the screenplay have episodes of The Tick, Angel and the short Troops to their collective credit.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
I think people are kind of burned out on Star Wars. $60mil.

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TROPIC THUNDER

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
It's amazing how enduring the Three Amigos narrative is. Here, actors playing soldiers must become soldiers.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is mixed. Ben Stiller is back behind the camera, co-writing with Idiocracy scribe Ethan Cohen and Iron Man 2 writer Justin Theroux.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
This is well-suited to take on the second frame of Pineapple Express and nothing else really challenges it going forward. $102mil.

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MIRRORS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Mirrors will fuck your shit up.

WILL IT SUCK?
Before you ask, yes, this is based on an Asian horror film. It's been adapted by writer/director Alexandre Aja (with co-writing partner Gregory Levasseur) so expect stylish gore.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Not much competition, but horror ain't exactly raking it in these days. $23mil.

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VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Penelope Cruz vs. Scarlett Johansson vs. Rebecca Hall (over Javier Bardem).

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is sick. IMDB has this as Woody Allen's highest rated film ever.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
No one seems to be sure if this is being released wide or not, but if it is, limited is a better bet. $12mil.

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FLY ME TO THE MOON

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Space Flies

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is actually pretty good, which is surprising considering that this looks like Space Chimps but with flies in 3D.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
I don't know that good buzz will necessarily help this do better than Space Chimps. $21mil.

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HENRY POOLE IS HERE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Religious face appears in this guy's wall and everyone starts seeing miracles, except the guy (Luke Wilson).

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is mixed and, I gotta say, the trailer looks pretty cheesy. Still, nice to see Adriana Barraza get some work.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Putting Luke Wilson in your indie is no guarantee of anything. $4mil.

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JULY 22
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DEATH RACE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Re-make of Death Race 2000. Or ultra-violent Cannonball Run remake, depending upon how you look at it.

WILL IT SUCK?
You know, if it weren't for Paul W. S. Anderson's involvement, I might be a little bit psyched, but he's basically one step above Uwe Boll. Also, I can see how Jason Statham was destined to be in this flick, but who did Joan Allen piss off?

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Probably about as well as any late August/early September Statham vehicle. $38mil.

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HOUSE BUNNY

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Ejected Playboy bunny (Anna Farris) goes all Extreme Makeover on a dorky sorority.

WILL IT SUCK?
This is from the writers behind Legally Blonde and 10 Things I Hate About You but it's from the director of Strange Wilderness. Good to see Kat Dennis up in here, though.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
There's another college movie coming out next week called College, but I think it's for a slightly hairier demographic. $28mil.

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THE LONGSHOTS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Ice Cube coaches his niece, the first girl to ever play in the Pop Warner football tournament (inspired by a true story).

WILL IT SUCK?
Fred Durst brings you this heartwarming comedy. Actually, Fred Durst has directed before. His The Education of Charlie Banks got some good reviews. The writers have brought you Akeelah and the Bee (whose Keke Palmer leads here as well) and a bunch of Prison Break eps. There is actually a little hope here.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
The only other family-friendly fare is the previous week's Fly Me to the Moon, whose 3D houseflies are no match for the Cube. $38mil.

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THE ROCKER

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Sort of like School of Rock, but without the school. Replace Jack Black with Rainn Wilson as the aging rocker amongst kids.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is kind of meh. From the director of The Full Monty and one of a dozen Simpsons writers and a Larry Sanders Show vet, so you'd expect more.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Rainn Wilson, like Andy Samberg before him about this same time last year, may not be ready to open a film yet. $14mil.

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HAMLET 2

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Down and out actor-turned-teacher (Steve Coogan) tries to save the drama department by putting on Hamlet 2, which includes a musical number called "Rock Me, Sexy Jesus."

WILL IT SUCK?
Did you read the pitch? It's already awesome. Actually, though, the early buzz is mixed, with audiences not as in love as critics. Co-writer/director Andrew Fleming hasn't really done anything interesting since Dick (1999), though co-writer Pam Brady has brought plenty of teh funny with her work on South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut and Team America: World Police.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
In pretty much any context, "Rock Me Sexy Jesus" is going to have limited appeal. $12mil.

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I SERVED THE KING OF ENGLAND

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Waiter pursues wealth during WWII Prague.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is good. From acclaimed Czech writer/director Jiri Menzel. Won a whole mess of Czech Lions (the main Czech film award).

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
When I say "acclaimed," I don't really mean "makes a whole bunch of money in the States." $1mil.

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JULY 29
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DISASTER MOVIE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
It's just never going to end, is it?

WILL IT SUCK?
This is the reason Kim Kardashian was at Comic-Con.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Unfortunately, if it makes $2 they can afford to make another one. $26mil.

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BABYLON A.D.

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Children of Diesel

WILL IT SUCK?
Don't get me wrong. I love Hate as much as the next guy. And that film's director, Mathieu Kassovitz, was great in Munich. But his American directorial debut, Gothika, wasn't Hate. This probably isn't, either. Although it is cool to note that parkour champ David Belle choreographed some fights for stars Vin Diesel and Michelle Yeoh.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Likely to suffer the same fate as dystopian debacles Ultraviolet and Doomsday. $24mil.

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TRAITOR

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
The Cheadle Identity

WILL IT SUCK?
I could watch Guy Pearce chase Don Cheadle all day (and with Neal McDonough and Jeff Daniels on board, another six hours, at least), but I wish this wasn't from the co-writer of The Day After Tomorrow. I couldn't watch that all day.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
One hopes Cheadle could win a weekend against Diesel, crappy comedy and more crappy comedy. $28mil.

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COLLEGE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Three pre-froshes have themselves a little R-rated adventure during a weekend college visit.

WILL IT SUCK?
Looks to be as generic as its title. Also looks like it desperately wants to Superbad. The only interesting thing about this movie is that it was directed by a woman, which is rare in the teen-boys-trying-to-get-laid genre.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
There's no lack of stupid comedy around. $5mil.

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SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Western/Samurai mash-up.

WILL IT SUCK?
Critics are split, but audiences seem to like it. From Audition maestro Takashi Miike, with a cameo by Miike fanboy Quentin Tarantino.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Not much competition, but not much draw, either. I doubt this is going to get the buzz of Audition. $500,000.

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YEAR OF THE FISH

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Rotoscope-y Cinderella tale set in NYC Chinatown.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is good. Won the Audience Award at the Boston Film Fest.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Don't think anyone will hear about this. $250,000.

Next Month: This fall doesn't waste any time getting interesting.

The Commander-In-Chief Test


[via Rumproast]

July 30, 2008

We're Looking For Bloggers

Are you familiar with the series of tubes the recently indicted Ted Stevens refers to as the Internet? We're looking for some online scribblers to help us out. More after the jump.

Write us at mail@freewilliamsburg.com. We're looking for bloggers who live in the neighborhood to cover local events, music, pop culture, and all other things not related to Lindsay Lohan. Experience with MovableType and Photoshop are definitely a plus. Clips are helpful.

Tapes 'n Tapes At Soundfix

After the McCarren Park show next Thursday, Tapes 'n Tapes will be doing a free acoustic show at Soundfix:

Tapes 'n Tapes
Free Acoustic In-store // After party
10:30 PM
Sound Fix, 110 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY


Tapes 'n Tapes - Hang Them All

Harry Shearer: Turd Blossom Special

July 29, 2008

Viral Marketing or Dead Monster?

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This bird-dog-rat thing supposedly washed ashore in Montauk. Smells suspicious to us. Gawker has the scoop.

New Bodega Sells Hipness Instead of Jamaican Beef Patties

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New bars and venues open constantly in this neighborhood--it almost feels like the community board consists of a solitary robot with a giant rubber "Approved" stamp for liquor license applications. To which I say "Huzzah!" because papa needs his sweet, sweet booze.

Anyway, today we take a look at a new music venue in Bushwick called Bodega (1089 Broadway), which is run by those hip souls over at Chiefmag. The space holds 300 people and used to be an actual bodega--one which used to sell crack I am told, which goes great with beef patties and Boar's Head turkey sandwiches.

Most bands they host are of the Todd P variety, including Japanther, The Death Set, Ninjasonik, etc. Shows are usually in the $5-$6 range, perfect for the club's young, eight-people-to-a-loft crowd.

In related news, I was perusing an interview that Chief did with The Teenagers and I read this:

Where in Brooklyn did you check out?
Quentin: We walked through Williamsburg, down Bedford. Everyone looked like they were out of a video or something. It was weird. I felt really uncomfortable because everyone was so hot.

Keep it up, you sexy ass Williamsburgers.

July 28, 2008

Most Crowded Pool Party Ever

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Photo by Aaron Cansler


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Photo by Agaton Strom

Sunday's McCarren Park Pool Party was the scene to end all scenes. Seriously, the press line was down the block and from most accounts the regular line ended somewhere in Dumbo. Hipsters, twelve-year-olds, Kirsten Dunst--everyone and their mother was there. Even the rain couldn't stop the event from being filled to capacity.

The Ting Tings got the crowd jumping, causing even diehard concertgoers to throw their usual Williamsburg concert etiquette to the wind. Black Moth Super Rainbow, not so much. Then came the main event. MGMT played a solid set of cosmic Bowie-esque pop, which was appreciated by the hordes of latecomers standing dejectedly outside of the pool's fences.

Hopefully next week's free show with the Black Lips, Deerhunter and Tall Firs won't be such an overcrowded zoo. Also, hopefully I won't be hung over from free Dewar's when I write that day's post.

Plenty of photos after the jump ...


Poolparty10

Photo by AS

Poolparty7

Photo by AS

Poolparty5

Photo by AS

Poolparty8

Photo by AS

Poolparty2

Photo by AC

Poolparty12

Photo by AS

Poolparty4

Photo by AC

Poolparty1

Photo by AC

Poolpartydodgeball

Photo by AC

July 25, 2008

THIS WEEKEND: Atlas Sound & El Guincho, Ghostland Observatory, and MGMT

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Bradford Cox of Atlas Sound

TONIGHT

Atlas Sound with El Guincho at South Street Seaport
From Village Voice

Choking reflections, terminal isolation, solemn nostalgia--TGIF! Deerhunter front man Bradford Cox's solo endeavor is less beastly MBV maelstrom, more half-assed bubble-noise diary soundtrack. It's troubled background music; bring your favorite conversation starters. As you breathe in East River toxins down on Pier 17, "River Card" won't inspire the happiest of hours: "River's bottom dark and blue: Why do I love you? You'll drown me." Next $5 Bud in a Pepsi cup is on me. With El Guincho.
Doors: 7pm, FREE
More information at RiverToRiver

also tonight, Philip Glass Ensemble at Celebrate Brooklyn

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Ghostland Observatory

ON SATURDAY

Ghostland Observatory at Prospect Park Bandshell
with Jealous Girlfriends and Bear Hands
From Flavorpill

Austin duo Ghostland Observatory fuse sprawling, futuristic electro with spastic, Rapture-style rock for a sound that's been described as "a robot making love to a tree." On their third full-length record, Robotique Majestique, the duo's dance-y, Klaxons-esque sound gets an even poppier makeover. Yet their shows are where the real magic happens — just check last year's live DVD for proof. They're becoming a regular institution in Austin, the home of essential music fest SXSW, winning the Austin American-Statesman's "Band of the Year" nod for 2007. Tonight, they roll into NYC alongside buzzworthy rockers the Jealous Girlfriends and Bear Hands.
Doors: 7pm, $3
More information at Celebrate Brooklyn

also on Saturday: Big River Project: The Music of Johnny Cash

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MGMT

ON SUNDAY

MGMT, Black Moth Super Rainbow. and the Ting Tings At McCarren Park
From Flavorpill

It's been too long since we've had a good, weird pop band like Brooklyn's MGMT. Founded by Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser in a prankish mood, the group leaps between extremes -- gigantic earnestness and eccentric nonsense; psychedelic overdrive and wounded prisms -- leaving you wondering whether it's the product of geniuses or goofballs. That they might be both is what makes them so exciting. Garlanded with a Columbia Records contract, the band's debut, Oracular Spectacular, packages glam-inflected mega-pop in producer Dave Fridmann's typically lush, stretchable sonic architecture. The band hits today's pool party alongside psych-noiseniks Black Moth Super Rainbow and hyperactive UK dance-rockers the Ting Tings.
Doors: 2pm, FREE
More information at mccarrenpark.com

Sonic Youth At McCarren Park: Tickets At Noon

Grab 'em while they last at mccarrenpark.com.

Top Chef Shooting In Williamsburg

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From NY Observer

It's more or less an open secret, but we've learned that the Top Chef cast has definitely been living for about two weeks now in a terraced duplex penthouse in Williamsburg overlooking McCarren Park. So far, the chefs have pretty much kept to themselves, said an extremely well-placed source, leaving around 8 or 9 in the mornings for a soundstage in Greenpoint and coming straight back in the evenings....

Though the source would not say which of the two "identical" parkview penthouses the cast is living in, a 1,368-square-foot, 16th-floor unit was sold in April for $1.4 million, according to StreetEasy. (Meanwhile the neighboring unit, 16A, is in contract for $1.295 million.)

According to the duplex floor plans on the 20 Bayard Web site, the first floor has an open-air kitchen, foyer, eating area and living room--with a balcony--and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking McCarren Park and Manhattan. ...

So far the cast has remained pretty incognito. Few people from neighboring buildings were even aware Top Chef was shooting in Williamsburg.

“No way,” said the cashier at Urban Rustic, an organic market down the street, who is a fan of the show. “That’s awesome.”

So will the cast do any shopping there?

“That would be cool, but I doubt it," the cashier said. "They usually give them a budget.”

July 24, 2008

Rush Play 'Tom Saywer" On Rock Band

From Comedy Central

So, when Rush was backstage at The Colbert Report last week, they played "Tom Sawyer" on Rock Band and now there's video of it. I kind of expected it to be a funny demonstration of how unlike playing real instruments Rock Band really is, with these three seasoned pros failing the song about 30 seconds in.

Heath Ledger's Posthumous Nautical Bar

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Five Leaves Bar

Coming to Greenpoint soon. From Down by the Hipster

This small space on the corner of Bedford and Lorimer is tentatively called The Five Leaves, and will be opened by one of Heath Ledger's close friends. The late actor, who's last movie is obviously doing pretty well, was a key backer of the the project and was going to be a full partner. His untimely death put the project in jeopardy, but his father became executor of the estate and because he knew how much the project meant to heath, he released the funds to finish construction. The name Five Leaves is a working name, and comes from Swan cigarette papers that tell you when there are just five left in a package. A bit later, we will take you inside the nautically themed cafe and bar.
More pictures here.

July 23, 2008

Williamsburg's Best Pizza Joint, Brick Oven Gallery, Closes

From our comments.

Hi All. Brick Oven Gallery had its last day and served its last pizza on 7.20.08. My Uncle owns the place so I would know. We ended on a good note with all of our regular customers there to help us mark the day. It was sort of bittersweet. We hopefully will be relocating within a month. We just wanted everyone to know we officially closed and are absolutely no longer at 33 Havemeyer St. Thank you to all of our loyal customers and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Beirut: Studio 104 Maison de Radio France, 2007

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Aquarium Drunkard just posted a great Beirut show that aired on Radio France. The quality is superb, and there are some surprises including a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." Grab the whole concert here.

July 22, 2008

Sonic Youth To Close Out McCarren Park Pool Concert Series

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Sonic Youth at McCarren in '07, image c/o Flickr

Looks like it will be the last concert, um, EVER at McCarren Park Pool—*weep*—but Sonic Youth has just announced a show on August 30th. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon.

There have been petitions floating around at the Pool Parties to keep the venue as a concert space, but we're not holding our breath. Looks like the kiddie urinal is on its way. The good news is the free shows may be transferred to Bushwick Inlet Park in 2009.

Also just announced, The Felice Brothers are headlining a free JellyNYC Pool Party with Langhorne Slim, Eli "Paperboy" Reed & The True Loves, Deer Tick, and DJ Kool Kear on August 10th.

More information at www.mccarrenpark.com

Who Knew?

Freewilliamsburg founder Robert Lanham is one of the most influential and "visible" New Yorkers on the interweb. Of course, the people who generated the list live in Vancouver. Hilarious. See the full list at NowPublic.com

“Visibility and connectedness define today’s elite,” said Leonard Brody, CEO of NowPublic. “Today, there are innumerable new ways for one’s voice to be heard. The goal of the MostPublic Index is to measure who is currently most effective in broadcasting their own personal brand online, as well as identify emerging players.”
Julia Allison is going to be pissed she didn't make the list.

Devendra Banhart: "Carmensita" (With Natalie Portman)

July 21, 2008

Insurance Company Rules

[hat tip Rumproast]

July 18, 2008

Deerhoof, Siren Festival, PS1, and Liars

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Deerhoof's Satomi Matsuzaki

On Friday

DEERHOOF / METROPOLIS ENSEMBLE: THE RITE: REMIXED
Prospect Park Bandshell
Doors 6pm, $3
More information at Celebrate Brooklyn.

Celebrate Brooklyn & Wordless Music present DEERHOOF / METROPOLIS ENSEMBLE: THE RITE: REMIXED The mercurial experimentalists DEERHOOF, “the most creative band in indie rock today,” (LA Weekly) forge a distinctive sound out of sophisticated improvisation, fierce dissonance, and weirdly catchy melodies. They’re paired here, via the forward thinking Wordless Music Series, with a world premiere by METROPOLIS ENSEMBLE, led by Artistic Director/Conductor Andrew Cyr. The Rite: Remixed is a collaboration with composers and live electronics producer/performers Ryan Francis, Leo Leite, and Ricardo Romaneiro, who re-conceptualize Stravinsky’s monumental The Rite of Spring through the lens of the latest sounds and technology from electronica. The work combines keyboards and laptops with huge percussion and brass ensembles to create a futuristic, rhythm-inspired sonic tableau.

On Saturday

Its always too crowded, too hot, and the sound sucks, but THE SIREN FESTIVAL begins at noon. This year Malkmus and Broken Social Scene are the big names, but we're most excited about The Dodos who, all sources say, put on a great live show.
at Coney Island
noon - 9pm, FREE
more information at the Village Voice website

Also on Saturday:
Warm Up feat. Danton Eepron w/ Au Revoir Simone, Dorit Chrysler, and Egill Saabjornsson & Flis
PS1 Contemporary Art Center
3-9pm, $10

From Flavorpill

This week's Warm Up provides yet another reason to hop a tugboat to Long Island City (as if you needed one). Curated by style-for-the-people outpost agnes b., the electro-leaning bill toes the line between dance music and pure pop, with an oddball spirit that befits the avant-garde surroundings. Theremin player Dorit Chrysler presents an engaging concoction of new composition, balladry, and electronic meandering, while Au Revoir Simone steer things in a more hummable direction with the aid of a few Casiotone keyboards. London DJ Danton Eeprom, meanwhile, brings Warm Up back to its disco-house comfort zone.

more information at the PS1 website


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On Sunday

LIARS, FUCK BUTTONS, AND TEAM ROBESPIERRE AT MCCARREN POOL
Doors open at 2pm, FREE
(provided they don't find anymore bodies)

From Flavorpill:

Noise isn't supposed to be this pretty. Sure, My Bloody Valentine, Jesu, and a whole mess of pedal-pushers have shown that's not necessarily true, but Fuck Buttons take the concept to a whole new stratosphere. "Bright Tomorrow" had the blogs beside themselves -- a simple, shimmering keyboard melody that boils over into a Yellow Swans-ish barrage of screams and hiss. Working a similar balance between substance and skronk, be it through the triumphant psych-stomp of last year's self-titled album or the urban tribalism and doom-dub of They Were Wrong and Drum's Not Dead, the headlining Liars reinvent themselves more convincingly than any other indie-rock band around

more information at mccarrenpark.com

Kristen Schaal Talks Cougars On The Daily Show

In case you missed it, this is hilarious:

July 17, 2008

Decomposed Body Found at McCarren Park Pool

WTF? From ABC News

Police are trying to identify a badly decomposed body found Thursday morning inside a shed at a Brooklyn pool.

Authorities say the gruesome discovery was made just before 10 a.m. at the McCarren Park Pool on Lorimer Avenue between Bayard Street and Driggs Avenue in Williamsburg.

Parks workers told police a foul odor had been coming from a shed at the pool for months. The workers reportedly found the body when they went to the shed to retrieve some equipment.

It is not known precisely how long the body had been inside the shed. The area is said to be frequented by homeless people.

Rachel Maddow May Get Her Own MSBNC Show

Clearly, it's because we recommended her. From NY Times.

“At some point, I don’t know when, she should have a show,” said Phil Griffin, hours before he was promoted on Wednesday to president of MSNBC. “She’s on the short list. It’s a very short list. She’s at the top.”

Absolut Zach, Part 3

They just keep getting more retarded. In case you missed it, here's parts I and II. Thanks Kevin.

July 16, 2008

Obama Addresses New Yorker Cartoon

We're glad to see Obama addressing the elephant in the room and stand up for the Muslim community. Apparently it's news to America, but not all Muslims are terrorists. In case you missed it, here was Barry Blitt's response yesterday.

July 15, 2008

Learning How To Use The Email

[Thanks Rumproast]

July 14, 2008

Feist Counts to 1,2,3,4 On Sesame Street

July 11, 2008

Brazilian Girls, Todd P's Midsummer Party & The Breeders

chichacoffee3.jpg
Chicha Libre

Friday at the Prospect Park Bandshell:

BRAZILIAN GIRLS WITH CHICHA LIBRE AND TICKLAH.
Doors open at 7pm, Admission: $3

Brazilian Girls always put on a good show, but Chicha Libre sounds like a lot of fun too. You have to love a band named after corn liquor.

Chicha Libre plays a mixture of latin rhythms, surf music and psychedelic pop inspired by Peruvian music from the Amazon. The Brooklyn-based band mixes up covers of forgotten Chicha classics with French-tinged originals, re-interpretation of 70's pop classics as well as cumbia versions of pieces by Satie and Ravel. Chicha is the name of a corn-based liquor favored by the Incas in pre-colombian days. Chicha is also the name of a South American music craze which started out in the early 70's in the Peruvian Amazon.

More information at Celebrate Brooklyn

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High Places

On Saturday at the Yard

TODD P PRESENTS A MID-SUMMER OUTDOOR PARTY
With Oneida, High Places, Titus Andronicus, Ponytail, Vivian Girls, Abe Vigoda and many more. Full line-up here.
Doors: 12pm, All Ages, Admission: $10

From Flavorpill

Ever the DIY adventurer, indie-music and party promoter Todd P pops out in the middle of a fairly minimal season (he's reportedly been focusing on "other things") with a sensational lineup of experimental/electronica/dancy-pants bands. Headlining the performance, nu-jazz psychedelic musicians Oneida skronk alongside the power-pop Shy Child, the wildly alternative antics of Ponytail, garage punk from Titus Andronicus, and the electronic/Caribbean pop of High Places. Depending on which way the weather goes, you may find yourself drenched in a mix of sweats (not all your own), but a Todd P party of this magnitude is not to be missed.

More information at the Yard's website. Set times at Todd P's website.

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The Breeders

And on Sunday at McCarren Park Pool

A FREE POOL PARTY WITH THE THE BREEDERS, MATT + KIM, AND THE WHIP
Doors open at 2pm, Admission: FREE!, Now featuring food by our friends at Two Boots

More information at www.mccarrenpark.com

Motorized Dolphin!

July 10, 2008

Straight Talk Express Stumbles Over Pill

Why Obama's FISA Vote Is Really Depressing

Is it just us, or should the wonderful Rachel Maddow be given Keith Olbermann's job? We like Countdown but Olbermann's got the charm of a more smirky Joe Isuzu with a severe addiction to dollar store hair gel.

July 09, 2008

Mo' Monet, Mo' Problems

This is the most retarded video we have ever seen. And we refuse to admit to liking it. Because it's wrong. [NSFW]

July 08, 2008

Obama's Plane Scare

Now, Obama's plane scare makes sense. Freak accident or cunning political sabotage?! You decide. From Political Punch

This was not Obama's regular campaign plane, which is being overhauled. It was a loaner, having previously been used by Sen. Hillary Clinton.

July 07, 2008

The Human Mirror

July 02, 2008

The July 2008 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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The Wackness

Just to be original, I'd try to tell you that there's something more interesting happening this month than The Dark Knight, but that would be a lie.

JULY 4

HANCOCK

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

Alcoholic superhero gets PR makeover.

WILL IT SUCK?

Dude, how awesome would it be if this turned out to be a Herbie Hancock bio-pic with Will Smith in the lead, and all this superhero stuff was just a scam?

I think the mock-superhero genre is played out (the death knell was My Super Ex-Girlfriend). The only thing that gives me hope here is the combo of underrated helmer Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, The Kingdom) and X-Files vet writer Vince Gilligan and Vincent Ngo, who wrote a couple of those kick-ass BMW shorts back in the day.

Early buzz is mixed with audiences taking a shine while critics bring up the specter of Last Action Hero.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

Will Smith with July 4th weekend all to himself? I don't care if the marketing campaign can't make up it's mind as to what kind of movie this is, he'll pwn that shit. $192mil.

-------------------------------------

THE WACKNESS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

Kid grows up in New York dealing dope to his therapist while dating the therapist's daughter.

WILL IT SUCK?

It's not the second coming of Rushmore or anything, but it's a good, hip, indie coming-of-age flick. More here.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

Been building good buzz since Sundance. $10mil.

-------------------------------------

GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

Doc about the life and work of that weird-looking muppet. No, wait.

WILL IT SUCK?

Writer/director Alex Gibney is one busy motherfucker. Fresh off a Best Doc Oscar for Taxi to the Dark Side, he's back with this Sundance pleaser. Early buzz is good.


HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

Always nice to have name recognition for your doc. $3mil.

-------------------------------------

kabluey.jpg

KABLUEY

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

Guy dresses up as big, blue corporate mascot. There's more to it than that, but that's the most interesting part.

WILL IT SUCK?

Early buzz is very strong. Honestly, just watching that guy run around in that blue suit has gotta be good for at least a half an hour.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

Do not, do not, do not open your indie comedy against the one high profile indie comedy of the summer. $2mil.

-------------------------------------

DIMINISHED CAPACITY

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

The good news is Cooper's (Matthew Broderick) uncle Rollie (Alan Alda) has a baseball card worth a fortune. The bad news is Rollie's Alzheimer's-impaired, and Cooper's not doing too well remembering things either. Sweet family comedy ensues.

WILL IT SUCK?

Early buzz is fairly good, with Cubs fans singled out as particular beneficiaries of its appeal. Has a great supporting cast, with Virginia Madsen, Bobby Canavale, Dylan Baker and Louis C.K.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

What I said before about indie comedies taking on The Wackness still applies, though this at least has name actors. $3mil.

-------------------------------------
JULY 11
-------------------------------------

HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

Del Toro's back. And this time he's got an Oscar nod.

WILL IT SUCK?

Hellboy creator Mike Mignola is actually sharing story credit this time with the now Oscar-nominated (and were it a Best Foreign Film loss to any other movie than Lives of Others I would have said "robbed") writer/director Guillermo Del Toro. Also, this is no longer in the hands of the thankfully defunct Revolution Studios. That alone might make all the difference.

I wasn't a huge fan of the original, but I'm very curious to see what a Pan's Labrynth-empowered Del Toro brings to the table.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

You do not want to be between Hancock and Dark Knight. But I suppose it's better than opening against them. $74mil.

-------------------------------------

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

Live action 3-D version of the Jules Verne classic.

WILL IT SUCK?

There's some very preliminary buzz that's good, but, you know, theme park ride good. From the director of some Xena eps.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

Probably the one film likely to do worse than Hellboy II but better than Meet Dave. $31mil.

-------------------------------------

MEET DAVE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

As explained more clearly by the flick's original title Starship Dave, spaceship takes on the form of a human and walks around New York City being funny.

WILL IT SUCK?

From the director of Good Burger and Norbit. Trailer looks like it's gonna hurt. A lot.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

Even Space Chimps is gonna give this a run for its money. $15mil.

-------------------------------------

garden-party.jpg

GARDEN PARTY

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

A bunch of yoots try to make their way in big, sleazy L.A.

WILL IT SUCK?

In spite of a trailer that makes it look like a mid-season replacement on Fox, early buzz is good.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

Tricky because the presumptive target audience doesn't go to art house flicks. $1mil.

-------------------------------------

AUGUST

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

It was only a matter of time before we had a personal drama set against the backdrop of the Dot Com Bust.

WILL IT SUCK?

Early buzz has this about as dull as writer Howard A. Rodman's Joe Gould's Secret. But, hey, Jason Calcanis as himself!

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

Indie Josh Hartnett is a difficult draw with even good reviews. $3mil.

-------------------------------------
JULY 18
-------------------------------------

dark-knight-joker-knife.jpg

THE DARK KNIGHT

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

Joker Begins

WILL IT SUCK?

Chris Nolan is one of the most solid writer/directors working today, and on this joint he's joined by his brother, who wrote the short story for Memento and co-wrote The Prestige. Begins' David Goyer has story credit again. The cast has expanded to include what looks to be a glorious if tragic swan song performance by Ledger, backed by Aaron Eckhart, a Katie Holmes-replacing Maggie Gyllenhaal, Eric Roberts, Anthony Michael Hall, Nestor "Eyebrows" Carbonell, Michael "Spawn" Jai White, William Fichtner, Nicky Katt and last, but not least, Tommy "Tiny" Lister.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

This will own the rest of the summer. $256mil.

-------------------------------------

MAMMA MIA!

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

Movie version of the ABBA-riffic musical.

WILL IT SUCK?

Very hard to say. Newbie (at least to feature film) writer and director. And who knows what Pierce Brosnan sounds like when he croons?

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

Clearly Universal's counting on a repeat of Streep's Prada appeal, and given the success of Sex and the City, that's a decent bet. $89mil.

-------------------------------------

SPACE CHIMPS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

I suppose the only confusion the title might create is the impression that the chimps are from outer space as opposed to Earth chimps sent into space. So, to clarify, it's the latter.

WILL IT SUCK?

From the writers of Racing Stripes and Happily N'Ever After so, my goodness, yes.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

You have to have a lot of faith in your kids film to open it against Batman. Or none at all. $20mil.

-------------------------------------
JULY 25
-------------------------------------

STEP BROTHERS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are the title.

WILL IT SUCK?

Understand, there are good Will Ferrell movies and bad Will Ferrell movies. Some of the better ones (Anchorman, Talladega Nights, The Landlord) were co-written by Ferrell and Adam McKay and directed by McKay. So was this one. It's also interesting to see Reilly get a story credit here, as it's interesting to watch him re-invent himself as the Big Budget Comedy Sidekick instead of his previous gig as the Low Budget Drama Guy Who Gets Shit On.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

Some of the better performing Ferrell flicks have also been Ferrell/McKay outings. $112mil.

-------------------------------------

xfiles.jpg

THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

Mulder! Scully! Aaah!

WILL IT SUCK?

They've got Chris Carter directing and co-writing with long-time X-Files scribe Frank Spotnitz, so it's coming from the heart. It's also a stand-alone, monster-of-the-week ep, which should suffer less from convolution. And it's got Xzibit. What more do you want?

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

For better or worse, X-Files is its own thing and doesn't really suffer from competition. And the residual audience is stronger than you might think, especially if they don't have to deal with the mythology which, by the end, had become a mess. $84mil.

-------------------------------------

AMERICAN TEEN

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

Doc profiling several teens at a midwestern high school.

WILL IT SUCK?

It's very good. Infectious even. More here.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

The The Wackness of summer docs. $7mil.

-------------------------------------

BOY A

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

Kid commits horrible crime. After he gets out of jail, tries to start over as an adult. You can guess how well that goes.

WILL IT SUCK?

Early buzz is good. From the writing/directing team behind Intermission. Apparently on British TV first, as it was nominated for a bunch of BAFTA TV awards, taking home Best Actor and Best Director.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

Not much to make this stand out. $1mil.

-------------------------------------

BRIDESHEAD REVISITED

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

Remember when you were talking about Brideshead and I was all, "Let's revisit that later." I wasn't bullshitting.

WILL IT SUCK?

I'm more psyched than I probably should be given my lack of enthusiasm for literary adaptations. But when you put Michael Gambon, Emma Thompson and Matthew "If this doesn't break him, Watchmen will" Goode in the same flick, I pay attention. Not to mention that one of the scribes here penned the 400-hour-plus-but-you-should-see-it-anyway BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth and the other co-wrote The Last King of Scotland. The director has done loads of British TV (Cracker, Touching Evil) and last year's Becoming Jane.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

Once it hits wider release, look for this to be the August counterpunch to all the suck. $11mil.

-------------------------------------

A THOUSAND YEARS OF GOOD PRAYERS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?

The latest from Wayne Wang has a father (Henry O) visiting his daughter in the States as she goes through a divorce.

WILL IT SUCK?

Director Wayne Wang started out great guns with The Joy Luck Club and Smoke then took the express to Suckville with limp romantic comedies like Maid in Manhattan and Last Holiday. This appears to be a return to form.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?

Nobody else has been paying attention to the career trajectory of Wayne Wang. $2mil.

Next Month: Another Star Wars movie! Yeah, I can't get psyched about that, either.

July 01, 2008

The Pandering Continues

We were never under the delusion that Obama was going to be the perfect candidate. There have always been way too many Obamamaniacs who swear his poop smells like peach cobbler. Still, we had guarded optimism that the tremendous amount of faith people have instilled in him would cause him to rise to the occasion. Then this happened. Then this. Then, he voiced support for the Supreme Court's decision to overturn DC's ban on handguns.

Now, he's expressing the desire to expand Bush's faith based programs. Faith-based, of course being a euphemism for Christian. We're still glad that Hillary isn't the nominee. As Rumproast pointed out, she was beginning to look as conservative Joe Leiberman before the general election was even underway. Still, we were hoping to proudly support Obama in November. Sadly, we'll be holding our noses.

What Clark Really Said

Via Rumproast

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