Archive for June, 2008

American Teen

If you haven’t already seen it, here’s the trailer for “American Teen.”  Shit looks high-larious/amazing.

You know that line from “Juno” where Juno explains the attraction between a jock and an outcast?  Turns out, totally true.

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The Plot: The story of a robot that looks like Johnny Five and talks like a mogwai.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Yes. Very much so. Although I think it will be hard for anything to compare to the wonder that was Ratatouille, this sounds like it’s going to be great. It’s already got a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is the highest of anything so far this year. If you want to see a movie this weekend, make this a priority.

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

The release of Wall-E is getting me wet. Oh no!

The Plot: I don’t really know. But there’s guns and explosions and an emaciated Angelina Jolie.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Hm…to be honest, it looks pretty fun. The negative reviews thus far (ahem, Austin Chronicle), while trying to criticize, seem to be highlighting the more appealing points of summer movies. That it’s ridiculous, unbelievable, filled with special effects, and is aimed at thirteen year old boys (read: twenty-five year old men who still act like thirteen year old boys). Maybe it’s my fondness for Angelina Jolie, or people with spaghetti string arms, bit I’m going to say that this looks like a fun evening at the cinema.

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


Angelina Jolie.

The Plot: A documentary about blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Yes. Dalton Trumbo gave us the scripts for films like Spartacus and Roman Holiday, but was a member of the anti-fascist Popular Front in the 1930’s. The documentary is directed by Peter Askin (Company Man) and features interviews with Joan Allen, Paul Giamatti, Kirk and Michael Douglas and Donald Sutherland.

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


Gunnin’ For That #1 Spot
The Plot: A basketball documentary by Beastie Boy Adam Yaunch.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Probably not. Reviews thus far are pretty mixed, and the Beastie’s previous documentary – Awesome I Fuckin’ Shot That – was more of a rental.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: AMC Loew’s Village VII.


Finding Amanda
The Plot: Mattew Broderick plays a compulsive gambler who is sent to Vegas to convince his stripper neice to go to rehab.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Probably worth renting. Writer/director Peter Tolan has written a lot of crap (Bedazzled, America’s Sweethearts, Just Like Heaven, Stealing Harvard, Guess Who – wow that’s a long list) but he also is a writer and co-creator for the awesome show Rescue Me. This looks a lot darker than the other crap he’s made, and Matthew Broderick is great in darker material.

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

Otherwise, Clue is the midnight movie tonight at the Landmark Sunshine and the IFC Center is playing Mad Max.

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Thank you CASFS Blog:

A small California biotech company, Epicyte, in 2001 announced the development of genetically engineered corn which contained a spermicide which made the semen of men who ate it sterile. At the time Epicyte had a joint venture agreement to spread its technology with DuPont and Syngenta, two of the sponsors of the Svalbard Doomsday Seed Vault. Epicyte was since acquired by a North Carolina biotech company. Astonishing to learn was that Epicyte had developed its spermicidal GMO corn with research funds from the US Department of Agriculture, the same USDA which, despite worldwide opposition, continued to finance the development of Terminator technology, now held by Monsanto. More here.
Now do you want labels on your GMO foods? Click here to get active.

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This Friday, Celebrate Brooklyn will warmly welcome hipster band Cold War Kids. The show will take place in the Prospect Park Bandshell, is free, and will begin at 7:00 PM.

The only reason I know about Cold War Kids is because I once had a subscription to Rolling Stone Magazine and I believe they once called them the best band or the hottest band, or some other kind of superlative relating to their inevitable rise to fame and awesomeness in the coming year. That was a few years ago.

Nevertheless, the reason I am going to go see them is because their name reminds me of a Billy Joel lyric from the song Leningrad:

And cold war kids were hard to kill
Under their desk in an air raid drill
Haven’t they heard we won the war
What do they keep on fighting for?

It’s really quite a lovely song. And thus I believe Cold War Kids will be a lovely band, who obviously need our support given the likelihood of their having recurring thermonuclear war nightmares.

Some other important information: According to the band’s Wikipedia page, “Cold War Kids are keen backers of organic farming.”

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Two days ago, it was the first day of summer. This is usually about the time we all start wetting our pants about prospective tomato and summer squash ratatouilles. However, before we do that, let’s take a minute and  pay homage to some of the wonderful spring bounty from the last couple months. It deserves it.

Asparagus. Always makes its appearance at the start of spring. It’s totally the star of first course plates and scrambled eggs with leftovers for a couple months and then you don’t hear about it again till next spring. Whatevs, thats cool with me, yo. This spring’s fave asparagus preparation (besides grilling them encased in prosciutto, which always rules) was to blanch them in boiling salted water in small batches for 2 minutes, shocking them in an ice bath (to preserve the bright color and stop the cooking) and then warming them back up in butter. ‘Course in the picture we did something different. We used them to prepare a parsley sauce (for scallops) and a leek soup. The parsley sauce is the green puree in the bowl on the left. To make it you simply take the blanched asparagus (after chilling), and blend them with cleaned parsley, adding a touch of cream and seasoning.

Rhubarb. Was also the shizzle. Those tangy celery-on-acid stalks are unusually intimidating (you just never know wtf to do with rhubarb) but this season they were used to make a really funky sauce with French brut apple cider (6% alcohol) from Normandy. We simply stewed some chopped rhubarb in about half the bottle (drank the rest) and added a spoonful o’ sugar. Then we just blended the living hell out of it and it became that smooth beige sauce you see in the bowl on the right. Really good match with that parsley-asparagus sauce.

Radishes. We ate them with unsalted butter and some sea salt. Yeah, its really good with some white wine. Alternatively, thinly sliced radish is a nice accompaniment some raw sashimi (think thin slices of yellowtail nicely arranged on a plate) if you drizzle some fresh lime and lemon juice around it and season it properly. That crunch is hard to beat.

Scallops. Spring is a great time for diver scallops caught off the Long Island coast (Brooklyn is on Long Island, remember?) These should be so fresh that you can eat them raw. You’ll know when you smell their sweet, sea smell and they have just the perfect moisture content that they kind of bounce back at you when you squeeze them. A trip to the Union Square Farmers’ Market (where the fish stand is really top-quality) yielded some of those scallops, as well as a monkfish fillet, some red onions and a bunch o’ cilantro. Large shrimp and calamari were purchased at Whole Foods (Where Hot People Shop) as well as some limes. This turned in just about an hour into an exquisite citrusy concoction of seafood that just hit the spot.

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I failed you my millions and millions of fevered Skep-Pics fans.

First off, I was in Florida for a while. And I had all these fun in the sun pics, which I spared you because I didn’t want to rub it in our collective reader’s beautiful faces. Then there was this extravagant loss of a precious collection of Brooklyn pics, like the one I posted last time, which were lost.

Enough of excuses. Let’s just have a new Skep-Pic from my personal archives.

Prospect Heights Alley

Prospect Heights

Also I will take this time to self promote. I have a new portfolio-style book of my work available. Take a look at a short preview, buy a copy, and be able to tell people that you know me back when I was still a pauper.

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The Love Guru
The Plot: Mike Myers juggles midgets, goofy accents and dick jokes while simultaneously beating a stampede of dead horses.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: No. The trailer for this, which I’m sure contains most of the funny jokes from the film, is painfully unfunny (with the exception of Justin Timberlake doing a Québécois accent). When your coworkers start spitting out catchphrases from this movie, it will be better to have not seen it and not know what they’re referencing. Trust me.

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

Get Smart
The Plot: Steve Carell steps in for Don Adams as Maxwell Smart.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Probably not, sadly. Although if you want to see a comedy this weekend, my guess is that this will be a hell of a lot funnier than The Love Guru. Steve Carell seems like a pretty good choice to play the bumbling super spy, and with cameos from Bill Murray, Patrick Warburton and James Caan, it’s probably pretty entertaining. And the Rock isn’t the Rock anymore, nor is he Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Now he’s just Dwayne Johnson. I think that’s cause for celebration.

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




Kit Kittredge: An American Girl
The Plot: A little girl in the depression.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: I don’t really know anything about this. It’s barely getting a release though, so probably not. Unless you’re a ten year old.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Clearview Ziegfeld on 54th Street.




Brick Lane
The Plot: A young woman from Bangladesh moves to England and into an arranged marriage.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: If you’re my mom. I say this because we saw a trailer for it together and she whispered to me that she wanted to see it. So if you’re like my mom, or really want to be more like my mom (and why shouldn’t you?) then you should check this out.

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



Full Grown Men
The Plot: Two losers try to re-capture their youth by taking a road trip to an amusement park.

Is it worth eleven dollars?: Yes. This looks great and is already getting some fantastic reviews. It doesn’t start until next Wednesday, but is definitely worth checking out. Matt McGrath and Judah Friedlander star as the titular pair. The film also stars Alan Cumming, Debbie Harry and Amy Sedaris.

Where is it playing in Brooklyn/New York?: Starts Wednesday the 25th of June at Cinema Village.

Mongol is opening at BAM and Cobble Hill Cinemas, and Tarsem’s The Fall is opening at Brooklyn Heights Cinemas. Grease is the midnight movie at the Landmark Sunshine tomorrow night, and Woody Allen’s Sleeper is playing at midnight tomorrow at the IFC Center.

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