Friday, May 30, 2008

Ben Week 48

My mom took most of these. That's right; Ben's at that big floppy hat age.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Writer's Room This Sunday!

Man, we just keep doing these things, don't we?


Peter Grosz (writer for The Colbert Report)
Brooke Van Poplin
Matt Ruby
Ed Murray (
Mike Drucker (23/
Jon Clarke (Yankee Pot

hosted by Mo Diggs

· Venue: Rififi/Cinema Classics
· Times: Sunday, June 1, 8:00 p.m.
· Address: 332 E 11th St between First and Second Aves East Village
· Price: $5
· Phone: 212-677-1027
· Travel: Subway: L to First Ave

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Van Halen

Friday we saw Van Halen at Madison Square Garden. The band was great and we had the worst seats in the house. We were all the way up and behind the stage so we saw the backs of the band. The slapback echo of the room swallowed most of David Lee Roth's words and half of Eddie's notes. And the screen, crucial to modern concerts, was completely hidden to us.

Still a great show. Maddog was in a different section and had a superior experience. They were tight and enthusiastic even with Eddie's son Wolfgang on bass (where was Michael Anthony? How do you make up with David Lee Roth then get pissed at Michael Anthony? You don't like the way he plays his whiskey bass?).

Eddie plays the solos from the albums note for note, even the ones that sound crazy and undisciplined. They even did a cover of "Crossroads" and Eddie played Clapton's solo note for note.

When you see Van Halen with Dave, it truly is a different band. Sammy may have sung Dave's songs on the road but Dave don't sing Sammy's. You're watching a band that broke up in 1985 and they don't mind that you know it.

So what's it like? Kind of like this:

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Review

I enjoyed Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. More importantly, I enjoyed my time watching it.

Was it everything I wanted from another Indy movie? No way. I wanted no cg, I wanted Sean Connery, I wanted John Rhys-Davies, I wanted a Frank Darabont script. But I'm not going to attack this movie for not living up to my fantasies.

I still wish they had made one in the late '90's. Ford was still kick-ass, even in bad movies like Air Force One, Speilberg was doing phenomenal work with Saving Private Ryan and Lucas had yet to go back to Star Wars. An Indy in his early 50's would have been fantastic with this one ten years later. All the side comments of how Indy spent the WWII era made me me regret that lost movie more.

It's nto perfect. I found the sci-fi a little hard to swallow. The tone was just wonkier than the others. But when I think about it, the tone varied wildly on all the sequels. Temple of Doom went too far into horror, Last Crusade too far into comedy, and Crystal Skull goes too far into sci-fi. The characterization in the script flat at times. It really seemed that David Koepp was gluing pieces from other scripts together into a cohesive whole. Also, things looked a little too clean. It didn't have the gritty integrity of other three films. I know all the films use big sets but somehow this one felt like it.

But I did like this one a lot. It didn't blow me away but I left satisfied. There were TONS of temples and traps, good fistfights and jokes that fit in the tone of the series (love the kid in the library!). Ford felt like Indy, Ray Winstone's character surprised me, Karen Allen's chemistry with Harrison was right from the start (and I loved the backstory!) John Hurt was tremendously underrated, and Shia LeBeouf and Cate Blanchett did their usual best. And who would have thought that "Young Indy" counted?

It's not the best movie of the last 19 years. It's not even the movie of the summer (Iron Man was better and why didn't I write a review for that?). But it is definitely worth seeing, and it absolutely holds its own within the franchise. I'm going again.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Harrison Ford Does the Circuit

Here he is on The Tonight Show last week. He is actually not grumpy!

Part 2:

Here he is on Letterman. The interview's not up but the bit afterwards (where he says nothing) is:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Reviews are In!

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull premiered for critics at the Cannes Film Festival and the notices are everywhere. So far most have the same message; not as good as Raiders but equal or better to Temple of Doom and Last Crusade. Which is all I wanted.

Here's Rotten Tomatoes round-up.

And here's what found.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Narnia review

I liked the book. I'm sure I'll like the movie. I did not like the figures.

Read why.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Harrison Ford Wishes George Lucas Happy Birthday!

I guess.

My wife says for me to tell you thanks again. You know, for the career and all. I could have stayed a carpenter. They make good money. By now, I’d be a foreman and those guys don’t have to do squat. Just sit back and make the young guys work. That’s the life. But I gotta run from cannibals and fight a Muppet because of you.

I’m done.


Harrison Ford

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

LEGO Indiana Jones movies

According to the old Indy widget on the wall, we've got 8 days until the opening of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. So let's talk about nothing else.

Here are new some new LEGO cg animated shorts. Looks like they'll be a fourth next week but these three are all smooth, clever and downright charming. If you've ever seen the Star Wars or Batman animations, you know what to expect.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Cleveland Smith

Say you love Indiana Jones but think it needs more Bruce Campbell? Then have I got a film for you.

Looks like this was made before Evil Dead when Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert used to make short films in Detroit. Considering it's at the level we make our shorts, it's great.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Ben Week 45

Renee's friend Jill came into town last weekend and brought her baby, Max. Max and Ben did things.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

TMNT is Bad!

Sunday night I did a bit about how bad the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is. Kumail followed me and bashed me for two minutes, defending the movie. Luckily, youtube has come to my rescue.

Case closed, Kumail.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Indiana Jones Toy Review

Last Thursday, Ben and I went from Astoria to Long Island to pick up the Indiana Jones toys as soon as they came out. We got almost all of them so I figured I should write a review.

Here it is.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Maurice LaMarche

Trafton and I stumbled over this clip last week. As you probably know, I think LaMarche is a genius at voice-overs. Unfortunately this isn't a voice-over. It's his Young Comedians spot which even he hates. He does great voices here but that's all he does. He said in an interview he always regretted going to L.A. instead of New York. He believed New York would have shaped his material. If this is the result I'm never going to L.A.

The bright spot is that after this clip, LaMarche became king of the voice-over world. Which proves comedy always finds a place for you.

Monday, May 05, 2008

New Play Cole Podcast!

A bitter, cynical and jaded Jon Clarke, Mike Drucker, Billy the Kid and John Knefel wade through a bitter, cynical and jaded Hollywood blockbuster. Nothing is good in this except a guy who looks like Trafton Crandall.


Friday, May 02, 2008

Don't Forget Writer's Room!


Adam Newman (The Tyra Banks Show)
Kumail Ali
Ed Murray (
Mike Drucker (23/
Jon Clarke (Yankee Pot
Keith Alberstadt (VH1)

hosted by Ross Hyzer

· Venue: Rififi/Cinema Classics
· Times: Sunday, May 4, 8:00 p.m.
· Address: 332 E 11th St between First and Second Aves East Village
· Price: $5
· Phone: 212-677-1027
· Travel: Subway: L to First Ave