Archive for the ‘summer’ Category

Summer of Suckage

After seeing Transformers this July, I thought to myself, wasn’t there a time when I liked movies like this? Didn’t I jump up and down in the aisles after seeing Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? Didn’t I scream with joy when I saw Jurassic Park? I killed a man and went to jail for seven years (good behavior!) just to get a ticket to Independence Day on opening night. Was it worth it? Yes. It was. But it seems I’m becoming harder to please. It takes more than a group of robots duking it out and Orlando Bloom romancing Keira Knightley in the middle of a pirate skirmish to excite me. How sad that with age, it seems, the heart may shrink to a size even Orlando Bloom’s bravado can not penetrate.

But I think that it’s more than just simple coronary problems. This has not been a good summer for movies. Every summer a new batch of event films comes out. Their existence is as reliable (and profitable) as Christmas. First the teaser trailer comes out. Then the trailer comes out. Then the corporate tie-ins start. This year, the Simpsons Movie started an endless cross-promotion with Burger King, ironically lambasting Krusty Burger (which I had assumed started out as a satire of disgusting fast-food chains like Burger King). Shrek 3 started advertising with McDonald’s. If only Ratatouille had done some advertising with Taco Bell.

Then there’s the actual product placement within the movies. While some movies luckily avoid this (it would be hard to put a Big Mac in Pirates of the Caribbean 3, although at this point, it wouldn’t surprise me), some rub your face in it shamelessly. Did we need to see four hundred shots of each car label shining gloriously in Transformers? Did we need to mention Bed, Bath and Beyond and what a wonderful store it is in Disturbia? Hell, even Knocked Up gave that porn site of celebrity nude pictures a good boost in sales (although I don’t think that advertising was paid for).

And then finally, after all of this, there are the movies themselves. There were three “blockbuster” movies this summer that I can confidantly say that I enjoyed. These were: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Knocked Up and Ratatouille (whether one can even count the second two as blockbusters is questionable). Most of the others simply felt forced and trite. This was often reflected in their box office earnings, which would be incredibly high for the first weekend, before people found out that the movie royally sucked, and then would plummet lower than Davey Jones’ locker.

There are a lot of people (many of whom are friends as well as writers for this blog) who disagree with me on the movies I list above. And it’s true, maybe I’m just a heartless shell of a man, left too badly scorned by the likes of Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer. Or maybe my eyes are getting too weak to follow the four thousand cuts-per-minute editing style that is so common these days. Maybe I’m turning into the guy who doesn’t think that they make movies “the way they used to” anymore. But honestly, if I was and still am satisfied with Independence Day and Jurassic Park, are my standards really that high in the first place?

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As many of you already know, Brooklyn Skeptic is chock-full of rabid bocce enthusiasts. This means that we like to get down with the balls & court several times per week. We’ve got needs, you know?

Up until recently, our bocce playing arenas were limited to two bars – Floyd NY and Union Hall. But what happens when a normally free game ends up costing like $50 in beer money? Or when the bartender knows you better than your own family? Or when there are seas of douchebags teeming over the court, their high heels and guido-boots pockmarking the delicate surface? Or when it’s like 6:00 in the morning?

Well, in that case, you haul your ass to Target, pick up your very own set of bocce balls and head over to Carroll Park. The park has two regulation size bocce courts which are like twice as wide and another 20 feet longer than the indoor courts. The extra space and the inability for the balls to roll lead to some creative hurling methods. Additionally, the courts are filled with STD-infected sand, not dissimilar to what you might find on the banks of the mighty Gowanus. You’ll love it.

After we played in the lower STD court, we realized that there is a really nice, fenced-in court just above it. It’s all smooth and raked. Maybe you should try that one out. I’m still picking syringes out of my flip-flops from the other one.

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….discovering something that thousands of people before me already know about.

Wow, it’s been a long time since I quoted The Simpsons. But there you go.

BrooklynSkeptic has recently unearthed MORE free summer concerts at the MLK Jr. Concert Series!

Where? Wingate Field, Brooklyn
Who? Oh, nobody important, just a little group called BOYZ II MEN!! I don’t know about you, but that is certainly enough to make me hunt down my seventh grade crush and ask him to stiff-arm slow dance with me. j/k, mooseknucks. I’m down on bended knee.

Catch Boyz II Men (though it’s important to remember that they still think of themselves as a legitimate group, they’re down to 3 members, and who knows how their cooleyhighcanharmonize without Michael McCary – who, I just learned from Wikipedia, left the group because of chronic back pain from scoliosis. So sad!) with special guest Ruben Studdard (he’s getting around this summer!) July 23.

And don’t miss out on old skool night tonight! Featuring MC Hammer, Slick Rick, Doug E Fresh, and MC Lyte! Oh shit! I remember so clearly buying MC Lyte’s cassingle and feeling so fucking cool. That show will be the shit, no doubt. Boyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!


7/16: Gospel night with Fred Hammond
7/23: Boyz II Men!!!!
7/30: Caribbean night with The Mighty Sparrow, Machel Montano, Morgan Heritage
8/6: Lauryn Hill, Sean Kingston
8/13: Mystery Night(??)
8/20: Classic soul with The O’Jay’s and The Spinners (that will be a fun one)

Meanwhile, over at the Seaside Summer Concerts….

Where? Asser Levy/Seaside Park in Coney Island!!! Across the street from the NY Aquarium.

Who? The highlight of this show is the B52s on 8/9. Also AIR SUPPLY on 7/19, if you’re into that sort of thing. And I’m pretty sure you are.

7/12: Tommy James & The Shondells, Jay Black
7/19: Billy Ocean, Air Supply
7/26: The Turtles, Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals, The Zombies, Country Joe McDonald
8/2: Mystery Night
8/9: B52s
8/16: Mystery Night again!!
8/23: salsa by the sea with Gilberto Santa Rosa

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