Mad happy

•August 2, 2015 • Comments Off on Mad happy

Valerie Harper said she was never in a coma. Valerie, that’s Just Nice. But we worry about you, you know. [Stand up against comas.–Eds.]

Snoop Dogg had $422,000 in cash in his luggage as he boarded a plane in Italy. Snoop, that’s Just Nice. That kind of cash could buy you 844,000 cheap tacos. [Or 1,688,000 really cheap tacos.–Eds.]

And Tom Werner, producer of The Cosby Show, said he hopes people will still watch the show despite the Bill Cosby rape allegations. Tom, Go Take a Nap! There are a lot of new shows to watch! We don’t have time to watch old stuff again. [We don’t want to watch it because we didn’t like it.–Eds.]

Pixels (Movie Review)

•July 31, 2015 • Comments Off on Pixels (Movie Review)

I looked at the box office stats, and I saw Pixels debuted with $24.0Million but Ant-Man slightly edged that by about a $1Million. I threw my $5 at Pixels on student Thursday (you get a free 44oz. popcorn, too).

Proof I went to see Pixels.

Proof I went to see Pixels.

By the way, Ant-Man is just a guy.

Pixels was supposed to be the worst movie of the summer (that trailer for Bill Murray’s Rock the Kasbah looks colossally worse). It was supposed to be ridiculous, boyish, puerile, lame, stupid, hackish, dum-dum-dum-fooly-foolish.

Surprise! It’s all of that! And it’s awesome. How else can you make such an outlandish plot work unless you totally sell it. Kevin James becomes the President of the United States?! Doesn’t Mark Cuban have something to say about that?

Maybe it was the opening scenes that drew me in, giving me a strong sense of nostalgia for those ancient days when quarters seemed like gold doubloons because you could put them into a machine at an arcade and shoot down invaders from outer space. I immediately remembered the infamous Sluggo’s arcade where 14-year-old kids chain smoked, tugging on joysticks and slapping buttons while their mothers went shopping at the mall. I remembered that time when I was four and all the kids at the bowling alley were watching me set the record on Spy Hunter and I peed my pants because I didn’t want to stop chasing fame.

It was worth it, of course.

What is a pixel? It’s a cube of energy. And it’s a weapon. We don’t understand it, but we can harness its entirety and make nerds pew-pew it. “Let the nerds take over.”

Adam Sandler is just fine in the movie. I normally despise his hammy overacting, but he reels himself in when he could clearly be a joker daddy with some of the scenes. And Kevin James isn’t annoying, either!

The movie is actually filled with some pretty biting satire of modern politics, modern video games, social media, mass media, and conspiracy theorists. As a young man watches the alien invaders destroy the Taj Mahal, he quickly films it with his cell phone and just as quickly decides it would be better if he could be in it so he turns to get a selfie video. Who wouldn’t?

There’s plenty of good cameos, campy references to the pop culture of the 1980s, and a pretty sick burn of One Tree Hill. And we get a nice break from the action at a cocktail party that has a lot of funny moments.

I thought Peter Dinklage would be cringe-worthy as a mulleted dork, but he actually garners some sympathy by the end. Brian Cox and Sean Bean give nice over-the-top performances along the way, too.

I liked Pixels.

Pixie glass

•July 26, 2015 • Comments Off on Pixie glass

Michael Jackson wanted to play Jar-Jar Binks in the Star Wars movies in prosthetics and Thriller makeup, but George Lucas didn’t like the idea. George, Go Take a Nap! That would’ve been amazing to see a moonwalking Jar-Jar. [But the chair is not my son.–Eds.]

Sony Pictures Animation is planning to make an emoji movie. Sony Pictures Animation, that’s Quite Nice. We hope Michael Jackson gets to play one of the emojis, preferably 💯. [🎥.–Eds.]

And Tom Cruise said it would be fun to make a Top Gun sequel. Tom, that’s Just Nice. It’s always fun to make sequels. [We can’t wait for Pixels 2.–Eds.]

Ant-Man

•July 21, 2015 • Comments Off on Ant-Man

I must admit that I never got into comic books, so when I heard Paul Rudd would be Marvel’s Ant-Man, I had to read the Ant-Man Wikipedia entry just to make sure it wasn’t some total prank. Stupid me, he first appeared in 1962, no doubt capitalizing on those halcyon days when the young males across America were obsessed with ants, quantum theory, and microphilia in general.

I’m not the only one with a bit of disbelief. While I was waiting in line to see Terminator Genisys, a stranger pointed over to the Ant-Man poster and said, “Ant-Man?! Man, they’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel for these Marvel movies.”

But let’s not make a mountain out of an ant hill. The Ant-Man movie is the light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek, self-aware, almost campy movie that I wanted Avengers: Age of Ultron to be. Paul Rudd is the best casting of a Marvel hero since Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. Michael Douglas brings some class to the whole affair, Evangeline Lilly isn’t given a ton to work with but succeeds at being told she’s crucial yet largely relegated to behind-the-scenes work, and Michael Peña provides some nice laughs as a goofy and cocksure sidekick.

Once again, the villain is actually science, or at least cutting-edge science. That’s because the technology that makes the Ant-Man possible, the Pym particle, could be used for a lot of good, but in the wrong hands, it will surely be used for a lot of bad. And you can tell immediately that Corey Stoll as Darren Cross is bad because he’s bald. He’s pretty monolithically bad, the only reason for which seems to be that Dr. Pym wouldn’t raise him as a surrogate father figure.

All of the summer blockbusters now require some throwaway side story about divorce and wanting to be better parents for their kids. I wish all those side stories would go subatomic and be lost forever, allowing for more time to “mount the thorax.”

Ant-Man can control ants, too! But he can’t until he learns how to clear his mind. So Hope van Dyne tells him to think of his daughter. Simple! Easy peasy, calabrese! He can’t fly, though, even though some ants can fly. This all becomes problematic when Yellowjacket shows up and can fly and shoot lasers. Lasers seem lame when Yellowjacket could’ve had cannons that transform living creatures into small piles of ectoplasmic goop.

As in Terminator Genisys, a total victory for the good guys includes blowing up a server farm. Good thing Darren Cross, just like Skynet, never heard of putting data way up high in The Cloud.

The final battle includes some imagery that almost made me wish I’d seen it in 3D, or at least after enjoying some medicinal tea. It hasn’t been this much fun to be small since Rick Moranis shrunk his kids.

Whakkamol

•July 19, 2015 • Comments Off on Whakkamol

Justin Bieber deleted a Twitter picture of his naked butt after thinking about a friend’s young daughter seeing it. Justin, Go Take a Nap! You can’t unTweet a Tweet! [We only Tweet drunk and naked.–Eds.]

Jesse Eisenberg said being screamed at by thousands of people at Comic-Con was like some kind of genocide. Jesse, Go Take a Nap! Being screamed at by thousands of people is absolutely nothing at all like the deliberate killing of a large number of people. [Comic-Con is giving genocide a bad name.–Eds.]

Some members of NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys will team up to make a zombie movie for SyFy set in a post-apocalyptic West. Some members of NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys, that’s Just Nice. The world needs more zombie movies, especially starring people who can’t act. [They can sing the zombies to death.–Eds.]

And Daniel Craig said he would not want to be an extra in Star Wars movies. Daniel, Go Take a Nap! Being in Star Wars movies is awesome, no matter how minor of a role you play. [Ask Jar-Jar.–Eds.]

Hickory Road BBQ (Lincoln)

•July 13, 2015 • Comments Off on Hickory Road BBQ (Lincoln)

It’s great to have a good barbecue option in Lincoln again. I’ve been missing Paul’s BBQ and Phat Jack’s is pretty out of the way for me. And although I do like Dickey’s for brisket, that’s about all they do well and I’d rather not support chain restaurants.

I was lucky enough to be invited for the soft opening with Delangio, who was unfortunately black-out drunk and didn’t remember eating everything, so we had to go back for lunch. At the soft opening I had the brisket with mashed potatoes and gravy and baked beans, while Delangio had the ribs with French fries and macaroni and cheese. The brisket is very good and I prefer it with the spicy BBQ sauce (which is nonetheless still pretty mild). The BBQ beans are good with some nice chunks of meat inside. And the mashed potatoes are made from real potatoes!

Delangio’s ribs were pretty good, although they were a little on the dry side. They were certainly meaty. The macaroni and cheese was generally unremarkable, and the French fries as well.

Fast forward to lunch and the whole menu was available, which seems like it features way too many options. I would think with barbecue, you’d want to keep it simple and focus on doing only a few things well. I am a sucker for hot beef plates, so I had to try theirs with the Brunswick Stew, making for a food coma type of afternoon.

The Brunswick Stew.

The Brunswick Stew.

The stew is a tomato-based olio of several different of their smoked meats and corn and a little bit of their BBQ sauce. I did enjoy the stew, but it was overall too sweet for me and I would prefer a more savory attempt. There certainly doesn’t need to be corn and BBQ sauce in it.

A brisket beef plate.

A brisket beef plate.

I found the hot beef plate to be by far too much food to eat for lunch, and I think smoked brisket is the wrong choice for the plate considering they also have a French dip with prime rib, which would be the better meat to serve with gravy. I was also disappointed to find a huge uncooked chunk of potato, which is at least proof the mashed potatoes are made fresh in house.

Hickory Road does a lot of things well, and should stick to those items. I would encourage them to pare down the menu, and Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS). That’s true for customers, as well. Stick with the basics like ribs or brisket and you will be completely satisfied.

Dodo Island

•July 12, 2015 • Comments Off on Dodo Island

Michael Douglas said that American actors are too asexual and not masculine enough to get leading roles. Michael, Go Take a Nap! Who cares what country lead actors come from as long as they show up, do the work, and go home? [Zac Efron is pretty macho.–Eds.]

Paula Deen posted a Tweet with a photo of her son in brown face to look like Ricky Ricardo. Paula, Go Take a Nap! That seems racist! [Sure does.–Eds.]

Russell Wilson said he and his girlfriend are abstaining from sex until marriage, and that God told him he had to lead her. Russell, that’s Just Nice. But it’s a fine line between hearing voices and hearing God. [God told us to look for different work.–Eds.]

And Peter O’Toole had sex with more than 1,000 women, according to a new biography. Peter, that’s Really Quite Nice. But that’s only about 20 different women for 50 years. [He’s no Wilt Chamberlain.–Eds.]

Terminator Genisys

•July 10, 2015 • Comments Off on Terminator Genisys

Really now, Terminator Genisys is not all that bad of a movie, definitely better than the third and fourth Terminator movies. The general malaise from other critics focuses on how the movie isn’t great, the acting is generally subpar, and the, as Britney Spears might call it, time-travel-speed Byzantine plot. If I were to give out ratings, I would throw out at least 2.2 out of 4.0 stars, and I would say it’s worth torrenting some night at home with some KFC chizza.

Most importantly, we learn that Emilia Clarke (pretty, for a girl) looks better in her natural hair color, Arnold Schwarzenegger can still deliver deadpan one liners and command uncomfortable laughter, and Jai Courtney is like a younger, poorer man’s Vin Diesel. We also learn that it’s possible to time-travel-speed in two directions, that robots can feel robot love, that humans can feel robot love, and that you sometimes have choices to make, while at other times your life is just a straight line from which you cannot deviate.

The evil villain, science, rears its ugly head in the form of the world’s first “killer app,” which over 1 billion people have pre-ordered on their various electronic devices. The app is called Genisys (probably after Peter Gabriel left), and it promises to finally, once and for all, do what the NSA has already done, which is to harvest every single bit of information onto a server that can later be used to send you coupons for Kohl’s.

Er, no, actually, Genisys has only one goal: after it finally uploads itself to the world like Lawnmower Man, it will fire off all of the world’s nuclear weapons, which somehow, inexplicably, are connected to Friendster via Ethernet cables. Even more inexplicably, all of the world’s nuclear missiles will only be able to kill 3 billion of the 7 billion people on the planet. I’m going to guess that the 4 billion survivors were all safely hidden away in their panic rooms or on their way back from truffle hunting on Mars.

How can the population of the Earth be so stupid as to willingly pay for such a horrible app that surely will not offer any in-game purchases? And what exactly is a Kardashian? Don’t worry, because there are at least two people who know what’s up and they are going to stop it all by blowing the servers up real good. Thank the heavens that Skynet was never smart enough to store Genisys in THE CLOUD, or at least have some backup tapes stored in a fire safe under the porch.

Thankfully, our heroes are straight (hetero), because they have to bone in order to make the real hero, John Connor. But Arnold might have to be there to watch. Awkward! Even if they were both gay, they likely could do some kind of mutual masturbation session and swap fluids.

As with most of the other summer blockbusters, there is no real fear that any of the main characters will die, because if they die, then the world would end and presumably the movie as well. And the new terminator model seems so indestructible that even though no conventional weapons can hurt it, the heroes keep firing conventional weapons at it for fun until Arnold figures on using magnets. Magnets! How do they work?!

Racketeer

•July 5, 2015 • Comments Off on Racketeer

Maria Manzano is retiring from Sesame Street after over 40 years on the show. Maria, that’s Quite Nice. But who’s going to run the Fix It Shop now? [Clearly Mr. Snuffleupagus.–Eds.]

Jeremy Renner said he doesn’t care whether anyone thinks he’s gay. Jeremy, that’s Just Nice. I don’t think you’re gay. [We do.–Eds.]

And Joey Chestnut finally lost the Nathan’s hot dog eating competition, only able to eat 60 hot dogs in 10 minutes, losing to Matt Stonie who ate 62. Joey, Go Take a Nap! You ate 69 hot dogs one year and dropped off by nine? [Maybe he just wasn’t feeling it.–Eds.]

Water log

•June 28, 2015 • Comments Off on Water log

Ewan McGregor said he would like to reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in some new Star Wars movies. Ewan, that’s Just Nice. I would like to be in the new Star Wars movies, too, but you don’t see me going around telling everyone about it. [You couldn’t stop talking about it at the last junket.–Eds.] {I was drunk.–Jack Jackson}

The Duquesne Brewing Company will make a special lager in honor of Joe Paterno. Duequesne Brewing Company, Go Take a Nap! You might as well throw some instructions on the label for proper showering and lathering techniques. [Maybe they’ll brew it with rhythmic slap, slap, slapping sounds.–Eds.]

Amy Schumer said she turned down The Daily Show because it would have been just for money and would have been too safe. Amy, Go Take a Nap! The only reason to do anything in the world is to make money. Then you can buy things. [It’s not safe to be on TV.–Eds.]

And Kanye West proclaimed himself to be the “greatest living rock star on the planet.” Kanye, that’s Just Nice. Gimme a call when you’re the greatest living rock star in the universe, because then you’ll have something. [We didn’t know he played rock.–Eds.]