Archive for April, 2008

Before McCarren Park becomes a sweaty pile of back-tattooed hipsters, it is a nice place with pretty blossoms.

The view on Sunday.

The view in a few weeks.

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Many of you may know that Brooklyn Skeptic absolutely worships fresh, locally grown, organic produce delivered right into our neighborhoods by a nearby CSA. In fact, I wrote a fuckload about it last year.

If you, too, want to be overcome with ridiculous emotions about vegetables and dirt and stuff, now is the time to sign up for your neighborhood CSA. You have to sign up before the season starts in order to secure your share, so the farmer knows exactly how many tasty beets and sandy spinaches and twisty garlic scapes to grow. So get on it, bitches!

Just Food, an organization that supports sustainable food systems in NYC, has a handy list of all New York City CSAs, arranged by borough and then by neighborhood.

And good news to Bushwickers! Even though you live in a crap-hole, you can now become part of a CSA too! Make the Road NY started a Bushwick CSA. If you want to join, email csa.bushwick[at]gmail.com.

These are purple potatoes I got in my CSA share last summer. Can you believe that?

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Our friends at Chief Magazine wanted to share this event with the highly esteemed readers of Brooklyn Skeptic, obvious taste-makers for the borough.

ChiefMag.com enthusiastically presents Best and Brightest: The Chief Spring Showcase, a group exhibition of five talented and accomplished photographers ripped from the interview catalogue of ChiefMag.com. To kick off this seasonal showcase series, Chief is exhibiting work by photographers Jaimie Warren, Santiago Mostyn, Maxim Ryazansky, Brad Troemel, and Jeff Barnett-Winsby.

Opening Reception! Open bar!
Fresh jams from DJ Rev McFly and DJ Teenwolf

Friday, May 2
7:00 – 11:00 PM

281 North 7th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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This past Sunday, ImaginaryDomain and I attended the Rolls Royce of New York-based Springtime craft fairs: Bust Magazine‘s Spring Fling Craftacular. Packed like bobbins into the Warsaw, crafty types hawked their wares to young Brooklyn women.

Bust throws these Craftaculars every year in December, at which I generally tend to stock up on pirate stationary and song-bird ornaments. The first year I went, the fair was larger, but still at Warsaw, with vendors filling up every available corner of the venue. The fair last weekend was smaller, leaving the side rooms as a space for breathing, and later for a Prom-themed dance. I didn’t go to that because I can only handle exactly one hipster “Prom” in my entire life (I’m looking at you, Union Pool).

I missed the 2007 Winter Craftacular because, in a total rookie move, I went to the venue’s address in Brooklyn, rather than in Manhattan, where the event was actually taking place. Yes, I’m dumb. Whatever.

Having made it to the fair this time around, I was totally pleased. Upon arrival, I was showered with free swag, cheap drinks, and even cheaper pierogies. And as always, the craft vendors lived up to the most stringent twee standards. My favorite this time around was Brookadelphia, purveyors of really neat acrylic jewelry. I got a BKLYN necklace (duh). Check out their website to see (or buy) more of their pieces. I’m partial to the typography and the antlers.

Brookadelphia: Totally badass.

So, in conclusion, Bust craft fairs always rule, although they are sneaky and switch boroughs all the time. And seriously, boys who like adorable DIY girls should really check this shit out. There were like four men there, one of whom was my boyfriend. Thus, it is the perfect place to meet people with whom you may get your crafty freak on. Unless you’re a straight girl…in which case you may enjoy an alarming variety of twee merchandise to satisfy your estrogen-fueled cravings.

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Baby Mama

The Plot: Amy Poehler has Tina Fay’s baby. Greg Kinnear smiles.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: No. I saw this earlier in the week with fellow BS’ers johnbaptisedme and disco fries. We all agreed that it wasn’t particularly good. Now I love me some Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. I also love me some Kinnear. So how that triumverate of awesomeness managed to fuck this movie up is beyond me. There are times when you feel like you’re watching a Meg Ryan comedy (notice how Tina Fey orders food in the exact same way) and the cookie-cutter ending is so boring and PG that it makes you want to barf.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Cobble Hill Cinemas, United Artists on Court Street and BAM (seriously, BAM?).


Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay

The Plot: Harold and Kumar are mistaken for terrorists.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Advance reviews are good so far, and if you found the first one amusing then chances are this is going to be more of the same (weed, naked people and light social commentary). This might be a good companion piece to Errol Morris’ Standard Operating Procedure (below).

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Cobble Hill Cinemas, United Artists on Court Street.


The Plot: Ewan McGregor and Hugh Jackman have sex with hookers.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: No. This was scheduled to be released a while ago, and has been pushed back until now. It was written by the same guy who wrote Godsend and Live Free or Die Hard. While the fourth Die Hard wasn’t a bad movie, I don’t think anyone was talking about how well scripted it was (You just killed a helicopter with a car!).  

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: United Artists on Court Street.


The Plot: Burt Reynolds mumbles things about poker.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: No. I can’t even figure out where it’s playing (but it is apparently going to open somewhere). Even the movie’s website doesn’t know (but the trailer looks terrible). That’s not a good sign. The film stars Burt Reynolds and Bret Harrison, who is on CW’s Reaper and I believe is Zach Braff’s slightly less annoying cousin.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: No clue.

Bret Harrison: Acting with Hair Gel.

Roman De Gare

The Plot: A popular writer who is seeking characters for her new novel becomes obsessed with a recently escaped serial killer.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Yes. This movie is getting great reviews, and writer/director Claude Lelouch has already made some fantastic films including the Oscar Winning Un Homme Et Une Femme. He’s been making movies since the early sixties, and Roman De Gare is already being hailed as one of his best.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: The Angelika.

Standard Operating Procedure

The Plot: Errol Morris’ new documentary about suspected terrorists at Abu Ghraib.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Yes. I’ve only seen one Errol Morris documentary, but fellow Brooklyn Skeptic discofries is a longtime fan, and I’m sure she can attest that Standard Operating Procedure will be a riveting piece of documentary filmmaking (also, Danny Elfman did the score!).

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: The Angelika.

Then She Found Me

The Plot: Helen Hunt has a nervous breakdown.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: I’m going to say no, but I don’t like Helen Hunt, and I never have. The idea that she adapted, directed and stars in a movie makes me terrified. The film also stars Bette Midler, Colin Firth, Ben Shenkman and Matthew Broderick.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: The Landmark Sunshine.

Also, The Visitor is expanding to BAM, the Sunshine is playing the relatively new Control as their midnight movie tomorrow night and the IFC Center is playing Harmony Korine’s Gummo as their midnight movie.

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The Forbidden Kingdom:

The Plot: Some time traveling kid winds up in ancient China and has to fight an evil king with the help of Jackie Chan and Jet Li. 

Is it worth eleven dollars?: No. Putting actors like this together always seems a little forced, like when Pacino and Deniro starred in Heat (and the upcoming Righteous Kill). Just because the two of them are action stars doesn’t mean they’ll play well off each other. Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren weren’t that great in Universal Soldier, were they? Oh yeah, they were. Tango and Cash? Fine, fuck it, this is going to be the greatest movie ever.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: The Pavilion and the United Artists on Court Street.

88 Minutes:

The Plot: Al Pacino runs around and yells a lot. 

Is it worth eleven dollars?: No. This is getting the worst reviews of the year. Who knew that Al Pacino would turn into such a one-trick pony. And if your pony started yelling out obscenities in a raspy voice while staring blankly into space, you’d probably take it out back and shoot it. I’m just saying.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: United Artists on Court Street.


Forgetting Sarah Marshall:

The Plot: A guy gets dumped, goes on a vacation to Hawaii, and finds that she’s at the same resort with her new boyfriend.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: There are a bunch of us here at Brooklyn Skeptic who are Judd Apatow whores (but classy whores who didn’t see Drillbit Taylor and won’t kiss on the mouth). This looks like a return to good natured, crass romantic comedies for the Apatow group. Also, the film stars Paul Rudd. I think a lot of us have decided that we would let Rudd perform open heart surgery on us just as long as he was smiling.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Pavilion, Cobble Hill Cinemas and the United Artists on Court Street. 

The Life Before Her Eyes:

The Plot: A woman deals with the guilt of surviving a school shooting.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: From what I’ve heard, no. Two friends went to see an advance screening of this on Tuesday, and neither particularly liked it. The film was directed by Vadim Perelman, who also directed The House of Sand and Fog and is writing and directing his own adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (which is rumored to be starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie).

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Landmark Sunshine.

Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?:

The Plot: Morgan Spurlock travels to the Middle East to find Osama Bin Laden and talk to people about the war on terror.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Early reviews aren’t too good actually. Park Slope resident Morgan Spurlock has made a  pretty big name for himself over the past couple of years, between his documentary Super Size Me and his television show 30 Days. Yet his current film, which he spent quite some time filmin and even left his pregnant wife (in her third trimester) to go and make, is currently sitting at 31% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Cobble Hill Cinemas, Pavilion, BAM.

Zombie Strippers:

The Plot: I think it’s all in the title.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: You pretty much know exactly what you’re getting into with this film. The early reviews aren’t great, but did you expect them to be? In any case, this movie, which stars porn star Jenna Jameson and Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) won’t be out for long before being released on DVD.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: AMC Empire 25.

Otherwise, there’s a midnight screening of Blade Runner tonight at the Landmark Sunshine as well as El Topo is playing at midnight at IFC Center.

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Remember that time you had a crush on that tasty morsel of potential life mate, and you found out that they hated your face, plunging you into an abyss of despair?  Then remember how Blackbeard the pirate broke into your house and kidnapped your family, and you were like “well I’m bummed, but boy, talk about gaining a little perspective.”  This is kind of like that. 

So just remember if you get fired for trolling for the perfect, gently-used futon on craigslist, at least a black hole didn’t get hungry, and eat your galaxy for breakfast.

I have a hankering for neurotic 20-somethings

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As though to further prove the point that print media has shuffled off to obsolenscence, the New York Times reports today on the scourge plaguing modern Americans: toothbrushes whose ergonomic designs render them too girthy for their toothbrush holders.

Come on now.

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Welcome back to Movies for Substance Abusers. In this week’s post, we’ll discuss Prom Night. Why did a group of twenty-somethings decide to attend a screening of a PG-13 slasher movie that looked absolutely awful? Some questions are better left unanswered.

Movie: Prom Night

When: Friday, 10:10 pm

Substances Abused: A few beers, a 40oz. of something called Silver Thunder.

Wow, what a useless piece of shit this movie was. I mean, I knew it was going to be bad, but I was hoping it would at least be amusing. The plot is pretty simple. A teacher is obsessed with a student, kills her family, goes to jail and then escapes on prom night. The killer is played by Jonathan Schaech, a criminal also guilty of stealing Peter Gallagher’s eyebrows. Lately Jonathan’s career is doing swimingly between this, Road House 2: Last Call and the brilliantly titled 8mm 2 (seriously, who knew they made a sequel to 8mm?). The killer gets a room at the same hotel as the kids, and starts killing people left and right. There are no twists or plot developments beyond this. The kids, including the protagonist played by Brittany Snow, made me long for the in-depth character development in I Know What You Did Last Summer.

The theater was surprising quiet for a late night screening of a shitty horror movie. Some of us were talking during the boring parts, and the people behind us threatened to call an usher. By the end of the movie, everyone was talking, including the jerks behind us. People were shouting at the screen, making fun of the ridiculously stupid dialogue and the lack of anything particularly scary. I didn’t realize until after I’d bought my ticket that this movie was only PG-13. They would pull away every time someone got stabbed, there was no nudity, and when they did show blood it looked less like someone had been stabbed and more like someone had spilled a single ketchup packet on the victim. We tried to dull our bloodlust with alcohol, taking a swig of booze every time someone said the word “prom,” but it was no use. This movie sucked on every level. Stay away. I would guess that either Road House 2 or 8mm 2 is a better bet.

Grade: D-

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Chaos Theory:

The Plot: Uptight suburbanite decides to embrace chaos.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Probably not. Advance reviews aren’t great, and the director’s last effort, Pretty Persuasion, was a big mess of a movie. That being said, the trailer is amusing and dark, and Ryan Reynolds can be very funny when given the proper material. I doubt this will expand much however.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: The Landmark Sunshine.

Street Kings:

The Plot: Keanu Reeves is a pissed off LAPD officer who exposes some police corruption, cleans up the streets, plays by his own rules and…other cop clichés.

Is it worth eleven dollars? I’m actually going to say yes. If you like movies about corrupt cops, this is probably going to satisfy you. It’s based on a James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia) story and from director David Ayer (Harsh Times, and writer of Training Day). So the people behind this movie certainly know their material. With a backup cast that includes Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie, Cedric the Entertainer, Common and Jay Mohr (!), I think this is going to be a kick ass cop movie for the whole corrupt, gun-toting, drug dealing family.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Park Slope Pavilion, United Artists on Court Street.

Prom Night:

The Plot: Murderer kills students on prom night.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Uh…yes? Tell me what would be more entertaining than sneaking beer into a theater on Friday and watching a bunch of annoying teens get stalked by a serial killer? Nothing. That’s what.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Park Slope Pavilion, United Artists on Court Street.

Smart People:

The Plot: A professor has health problems, has his half brother move in with him and starts dating a doctor.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: It’s hard to say. Parts of it look exactly like Sideways. Instead of Paul Giamatti as a failing writer, we have Dennis Quaid as a depressed Carnegie Mellon English professor. Instead of Thomas Haden Church as the crass and selfish best friend, we have…uh…Thomas Haden Church as the crass, selfish adopted brother. Also, here are a few things that we can determine about Smart People just based on the poster art (below).

  1. Smart People have facial hair.
  2. Smart People dress like they’re in the seventies, often wearing schoolgirl outfits, corduroy and tweed.
  3. Smart People make goofy expressions.
  4. Smart People like Scrabble. But unless they’re hitting some double word scores or triple letter scores, they should realize that the words “smart” and “people” aren’t worth a whole lot of points. Not so smart now, are you?

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Park Slope Pavilion and Cobble Hill Cinemas.

Dark Matter:

The Plot: Chinese astrophysics student comes to study in America. Things go wrong.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: At the very least, this sounds intriguing. It is an indie movie (and it looks it) that drew the attention of both Aidan Quinn and Meryl Streep. The film hasn’t gotten a whole lot of press thus far, but here are some spoilers (SPOILERS!) that might make one believe that the film will get a bit more attention after this weekend.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: CC Village Cinemas East in Manhattan.

The Visitor:

The Plot: A middle-aged teacher befriends an illegal alien who teaches him to play the African drum.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: The Visitor is from the director of The Station Agent and stars Richard Jenkins. Jenkins is an actor who you’ve probably identified as “ohh…that guy!” in several thousand movies. He has worked with everyone from The Farrelly Brothers to David O. Russell and is finally becoming a leading man (strangely in a drama instead of a comedy). Advance reviews are great.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Landmark Sunshine.

Richard Jenkins. That guy.

Young @ Heart:

The Plot: Old people sing rock songs.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Apparently this is a good documentary. It’s about old people singing songs by The Ramones, Coldplay, The Clash, etc. I’m a little skeptical (hence, the site name). Once you get over the gimmick of old people singing songs, is there really that much more to this movie? Won’t it play like an extended version of the grandma in The Wedding Singer singing Rapper’s Delight?

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Union Square.

Pink Floyd’s The Wall is playing at the Landmark Sunshine tomorrow night at midnight, and the Dogma 6 film Julien Donkey-Boy is playing at the IFC Center tomorrow night at midnight. Planet B-Boy has also opened at BAM.

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