Movie: Evan Almighty

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

We first met Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) in 2003’s Bruce Almighty, in which he played Bruce’s (Jim Carrey) office rival at a local Buffalo, N.Y., television station. When Bruce lost his job to Evan, he blamed God, prompting the Almighty Himself to come down from the heavens to teach Bruce a lesson. Now, Evan is a United States congressman, and he’s about to get his very own visit from God (Morgan Freeman). And what does God want with Evan, pray tell? It’s pretty standard, really; He wants Evan to build an ark in anticipation of a great flood and He won’t take no for an answer. Thus it is that Evan becomes the modern counterpart to Noah, as he sets about building an arc, much to the dismay of his wife and kids. Co-starring John Goodman, Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls), Jonah Hill (Knocked Up; The 40-Year-Old Virgin) and Daily Show correspondent Ed Helms (not to mention a variety of elephants, giraffes and other members of the animal kingdom), Evan Almighty is laugh-out-loud funny, which is certainly the best thing the Bible has done for us lately.

Crazy Japanese Fun Time Yum Yum Candy Explosion!

Crunky Fun Time!

Regular readers may have noticed my recent obsession with Japanese goods and trends. And while I’ve tried to kick the habit, it’s really an insurmountable task as long as I continue to stumble across products like the Crunky Walking Bar. There’s nothing particularly special about this delicious treat, other than the fact that IT IS CALLED THE CRUNKY WALKING BAR. That is all.

 

 

Product: The Human Vending Machine

Insert Coin Here.

Just when we thought the products coming out of Japan couldn’t get any cooler – or, as the case may be, mind-blowingly useless – we came across the Human Vending Machine. Much to our dismay, no Human Vending Machines could be reached for comment, but evidently, the product is a cross between a vending machine and a newsstand, with the added benefit that, in this case, the vendor happens to be a pretty young girl rather than a smelly old man or a metal contraption. And at the end of the day, when it comes to buying a newspaper or a pack of cigarettes, isn’t that all that really matters?

 

Live From Springfield: The Simpsons Movie

Photo Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

If you don’t like The Simpsons, there is something very, very wrong with you, and you ought to consult a doctor immediately. Medical conditions notwithstanding, if you do nothing else this summer, you must go see The Simpsons Movie. Nerds have Star Trek and cool nerds have Star Wars, but the one thing we can all agree on is our common love and appreciation for The Simpsons. In the movie, Homer is charged with saving the world from an impending disaster that he is responsible for having created in the first place. Sounds like a classic in the making.

Movie: Fanastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben are as fantastic as ever in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the latest installment of the Marvel Comics-inspired films. In the sequel, the astronauts-turned-superheroes must face-off with a new enemy: the evil, intergalactic Silver Surfer, who has touched down on Earth with the intention of destroying the planet and anyone that stands in his way. As in the first film, expect some fancy, hi-tech special effects and a few hours of entertainment, but don’t lose too much sleep wondering whether the Silver Surfer will succeed in his efforts or whether the Fantastic Four will prevail and save the world. Something tells us they will.


Interview: Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington

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ONCE UPON A TIME, CHESTER BENNINGTON WAS BEST KNOWN AS THE LEAD SINGER OF LINKIN PARK AND THE CO-FOUNDER OF RENOWNED INK SHOP CLUB TATTOO. NO LONGER, AS HE STEPS INTO THE FASHION ARENA WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF A NEW LINE OF ETNIES SNEAKERS INSPIRED BY HIS LOVE FOR MUSIC, SKATEBOARDING AND TATTOOS. I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHAT WITH CHESTER ABOUT HIS LATEST VENTURE, HIS OWN TATS AND THE SOUNDTRACK TO HIS LIFE.  Continue reading

Movie: Live Free or Die Hard

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

After Sylvester Stallone brought retro back with last year’s Rocky Balboa, this summer, Bruce Willis, 52, is back as Average Joe-turned-hero John McClane in Live Free or Die Hard. In this, the fourth Die Hard flick, the plot has been updated to accommodate a post- 9/11 world, and focuses on a terrorist group that is using the Internet to wage war against the United States. Live Free or Die Hard boasts the same entertainment value of the first three Die Hard movies, but with better technology and action sequences. In short, failure to go see Live Free or Die Hard would be downright unpatriotic – and these days, that’s enough to land you an open-ended stay at Guantanamo.

 

Movie: Smokin’ Aces

Common and Jeremy Piven in Smokin' Aces (Photo: Universal Pictures)

Simply put, Smokin’ Aces is Pulp Fiction meets Saving Private Ryan – if the objective hadn’t been so much rescuing Private Ryan as it was tracking down and killing him. With an A-List cast, Smokin’ Aces features excellent performances by Ryan Reynolds (yes, we are as surprised as you to see Van Wilder coming into his own), Jeremy Piven (as Buddy “Aces” Israel, the powder-nosed, Vegas illusionist with a $1 million bounty on his head), Ray Liotta, Alicia Keys, Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia, Jason Bateman (who has a small but ingenious role), and even a cameo by Lost’s Matthew Fox. The long list of characters and complex web of relationships á la The Usual Suspects might seem confusing at first, but before you realize that you’re not totally sure what’s going on, the movie is over and it all makes sense. With everything you could possibly want – violence, drugs, hookers and mobsters – we venture to say Smokin’ Aces is one of the best movies we’ve seen all year.

 

DVD: The Messengers

PHOTO COURTESY OF COLUMBIA / SCREEN GEMS / GHOSTHOUSE PICTURES

Although this horror flick didn’t break any records when it was released in early 2007, The Messengers did hold down the top spot at the box office over Superbowl weekend and was generally popular among horror fans. The movie (which stars Dylan McDermott, Penelope Ann Miller and Kristen Stewart) tells the story of the Solomon family, and the events that transpire after forces of darkness begin to infiltrate their formerly tranquil North Dakota farm. Bonus footage on the DVD includes the standard featurette on the making of the film, interactive commentary with the actors and so on. And don’t be skeptical about the film’s fright factor just because it’s rated PG-13; kid-approved movies are allowed to be terrifying – they just can’t contain excessive nudity or profanity. Which totally makes perfect sense.

Movie: 28 Weeks Later

Photo courtesy of Fox Atomic

The sequel to 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later picks up six months after a deadly, blood borne virus was released from a London laboratory, devastating the city and transforming those infected into ferocious, murderous predators. Now, the U.S. Army has come to restore order, claiming to have eradicated the virus, but as the surviving refugees begin to return to the city it seems the nightmare has only just begun. A new cast of characters is led by Rose Byrne (Star Wars Episode II; Troy, Damages) and although 28 Weeks Later may seem like little more than a vaguely altered version of the first film, the story carries over quite well and suspense levels remain high. Don’t be surprised if this one sticks with you after you leave the theater, but be sure to remain seated until the final credits role – you wouldn’t want to miss another famous alternate ending.

TV: The Sarah Silverman Program

Photo by Marc Lecrueuil / Comedy Central

From a woman rivaled only by Borat when it comes to making jokes about all things taboo comes Comedy Central’s The Sarah Silverman Program. Oddly enough, Sarah Silverman plays a character named Sarah Silverman, and the show focuses around her daily life and the various kooky events and situations in which she finds herself. It may sound like a typical sitcom, but if you’re familiar with the comedic stylings of Ms. Silverman then you know this is no Friends rehash. In the premiere episode, Sarah has a run-in with the police after she ingests too much cough syrup and then proceeds to park her car in the middle of a playground. As in her full-length film, Jesus is Magic, Sarah takes every opportunity to incorporate songs with off-color lyrics into the show, and also shares the screen with some of the funniest people in the world of comedy today, most notably Brian Posehn, who plays one of Sarah’s gay neighbors. Whether she’s reading aloud from The Diary of Anne Frank for the talent portion of a children’s beauty contest, or taking in a homeless man, we love The Sarah Silverman Program, and if you have any sense of humor whatsoever, you will, too.
WWW.COMEDYCENTRAL.COM

(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN YRB MAGAZINE COPYRIGHT © 2007)

 

Product: Spray On Condoms

Illustration by Brian Romero for YRB Magazine

As if regular old condoms weren’t already an intrusive (albeit necessary) way to kill the moment, a German company recently developed a whole new way to ruin your sex life. Spray On Condoms are the next big (or small) thing in prophylactics, and while we can’t imagine it would be easier to fit a spray can in your wallet than a Trojan, the new product might prove to be the perfect choice for those seeking to maximize awkwardness in the bedroom. But before all you graff writers let your imaginations run wild, be advised that you don’t simply spray away to your heart’s content. Rather, insert the given organ into the aerosol can, push the button, and presto chango, you’re covered. Literally. According to the Institute for Condom Consultancy (yes, that is indeed a real organization), the new product takes only five seconds to “put on” and will protect you from contracting the clap just as effectively as good old rubbers. The Spray On Condom is still in testing, but is expected to hit stores sometime next year.

WWW.SPRAYKONDOM.DE

(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN YRB MAGAZINE. COPYRIGHT © 2007)

Product: Million Dollar Celly

Walking around with a chip on your shoulder because you have the dopest new celly on the block? Now you can hang your head in shame for having bought that Sidekick 3, Motorola Q, or LG Chocolate phone, because you should have copped Le Million Pièce Unique, the latest release from Geneva-based GoldVish Luxury Communications. The limited edition, 120-karat phone is assembled using 140 grams of solid gold, while the buttons and other details are finished with VVS1 top-quality diamonds. Oh yeah – it’s also criminally expensive, at a whopping one million dollars. So rock some protective eyewear to avoid being blinded by jewels and be careful if you plan to get blackout drunk – this is one phone that is just begging to be left in the backseat of a cab.
WWW.GOLDVISH.COM
(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN YRB MAGAZINE. COPYRIGHT © 2007)

 

Product: The Business Bib

Video chatting in the half-suit

Part of the appeal of working from home has always been that pants are optional. But with new technologies like webcams and video-conferencing, it’s becoming difficult to rock comfortable gear to the home office. That’s why the aptly named company Business Bibs has created a new product for those who want to appear professional without actually having to be professional. Seated in front of your webcam, the halfsuit allows you to look sharp and presentable to anyone who has you on telecast, even if you’re really rocking boxers on the low.
WWW.BUSINESSBIB.COM

(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN YRB MAGAZINE. COPYRIGHT © 2007)

Movie: Rescue Dawn

Photo courtesy of Gibraltar Films

This April, Christian Bale (American Psycho, The Machinist, Batman Begins) stars in Werner Herzog’s Rescue Dawn as U.S. Fighter pilot Dieter Dangler, whose plane is shot down over Laos during the Vietnam War. He is soon captured and subjected to extensive torture – as is the audience, during a difficult first hour that is virtually free of any dialogue whatsoever. The second half of this docu-drama focuses on Dieter’s stay in a prison camp — along with fellow POWs Gene (Jeremy Davies) and Duane (Steve Zahn) — where he devises and ultimately executes a complex escape plan. Rescue Dawn is not a Bruce Willis-style action flick, and it does not even begin to achieve the magnificence of its predecessors, Vietnam classics such as The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now. Bale, Zahn and Davies all give excellent performances against a visually stunning backdrop, but in every other sense Rescue Dawn simply comes up short.WWW.GIBRALTARFILMS.COM

(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN YRB MAGAZINE. COPYRIGHT © 2007)