Monthly Archives: February 2012

Razzie Nominees for 2011

WORST PICTURE

“Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star”

“Jack & Jill”

“New Year’s Eve”

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

“Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1”

Snubs:

“Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked,” “The Smurfs,” “The Green Lantern,”

“The Human Centipede II,” “Conan the Barbarian”

Who SHOULD win:

“Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star”

Who will win:

“Jack & Jill”

WORST ACTOR

Russell Brand (“Arthur”)

Nicolas Cage (“Drive Angry 3-D,” “Trespass” and “Season of the Witch”)

Taylor Lautner (“Abduction” and “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1”

Adam Sandler (“Jack & Jill” and “Just Go with It”)

Nick Swardson (“Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star”)

Snubs:

Ryan Reynolds (“The Green Lantern”)

Neil Patrick Harris (“The Smurfs”)

Jason Mormoa (“Conan the Barbarian”)

Russel Brand (“Hop”)

Kevin James (“Zookeeper”)

Who SHOULD win:

Nicolas Cage

Who will win:

Adam Sandler

WORST ACTRESS

Martin Lawrence (“Big Momma’s House 3”)

Adam Sandler (“Jack & Jill”)

Kristen Stewart (“Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1)

Sarah Palin (“The Undefeated”)

Sarah Jessica Parker (“New Year’s Eve” and “I Don’t Know How She Does It”)

Who SHOULD win:

Adam Sandler

Who WILL win:

Adam Sandler

WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Patrick Dempsey (“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”)

James Franco (“Your Highness”)

Ken Jeong (“Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” Big Momma’s House 3” and “Zookeeper”)

Al Pacino (“Jack & Jill”)

Nick Swardson (“Jack & Jill” and “Just Go with It”)

Snubs:

Hank Azaria (“The Smurfs”)

Who SHOULD win:

Hank Azaria

Who WILL win:

Al Pacino even though every review I read of that movie praised his performance

WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Katie Holmes (“Jack & Jill”)

Brandon T. Jackson (“Big Momma’s House 3”)

Nicole Kidman (“Just Go with It”)

David Spade (“Jack & Jill”)

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (“Transformers: Dark of the Moom”)

Who SHOULD win:

Nicole Kidman

Who will win:

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

WORST SCREEN ENSEMBLE

Entire cast of “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star”

Entire cast of “Jack & Jill”

Entire cast of “New Years Eve”

Entire cast of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

Entire cast of “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1”

Snubs:

Entire cast of “Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked”

Entire cast of “The Smurfs”

Entire cast of “Zookeeper”

Who SHOULD win:

Entire cast of “New Year’s Eve”

Who WILL win:

Entire cast of “New Year’s Eve”

WORST DIRECTOR

Michael Bay (“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”)

Garry Marshall (“New Year’s Eve”

Tom Brady (“Buck Larson: Born to Be a Star”)

Bill Condon (“Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1”

Dennis Dugan (“Jack & Jill” and “Just Go with It”)

Snubs:

Tom Six (“The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence”)

Raja Gosnell (“The Smurfs”)

Mike Mitchell (“Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked”)

Who SHOULD win:

Dennis Dugan

Who will win:

Bill Condon

WORST REMAKE, RIP-OFF or SEQUEL

“Arthur”

“Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star”

“The Hangover: Part 2”

“Jack & Jill”

“Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1”

Snubs:

“Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked”

“The Smurfs”

“Conan the Barbarian”

“The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence”

Who SHOULD win:

“Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked”

Who WILL win:

“Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1”

WORST SCREEN COUPLE

Nicolas Cage & Anyone Sharing the Screen with Him in Any of His Three 2011 Movies

Shia LeBeouf & The Underwear Model (aka Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”)

Adam Sandler & EITHER Jennifer Aniston OR Brooklyn Decker (“Just Go with It”)

Adam Sandler and EITHER Katie Holmes, Al Pacino OR Adam Sandler (“Jack & Jill”)

Krtisten Stewart & EITHER Taylor Lautner OR Robert Pattinson / Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part I”)

Snubs

Any animated rodent and EITHER any other animated rodent OR any human character forced to share a screen with them (“Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked”)

Any little blue monstrosity plus EITHER any other little blue monstrosity OR Neil Patrick Harris (“The Smurfs”)

Kevin James plus EITHER any animal forced to share screen time with him OR Rosario Dawson AND Leslie Bibb (“Zookeeper”)

Who SHOULD win:

Any little blue monstrosity plus EITHER any other little blue monstrosity OR Neil Patrick Harris (“The Smurfs”)

Who WILL win:

Adam Sandler and EITHER Katie Holmes, Al Pacino OR Adam Sandler (“Jack & Jill”)

WORST SCREENPLAY

“Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star”

“Jack & Jill”

“New Year’s Eve”

“Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1”

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

Snubs:

“Big Momma’s House 3”

“Your Highness”

“Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked”

“The Smurfs”

“Zookeeper”

Who SHOULD win:

“Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star”

Who WILL win:

“New Year’s Eve”

Categories: entertainment, movies | Leave a comment

UM sports round up

Boxing cub returns to UM, can now train on campus. They hope to take on UF and FSU within the academic year

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UM Ice hockey team honored by Fla. Panthers. I didn’t even know UM had a hockey team, but congratulations anyway!

 

Hurricane’s start season with 3 game sweep against Rutgers (Baseball)

 

Sportsfest just ended: Stanford Residential College won (SRC represent!)

Categories: news, South Florida, UM news | Leave a comment

Muted Future Ambitions

I’m probably going to get myself in trouble for saying this, but I moved to Baltimore in December of 2008 for the express purpose of attaining a Master of Fine Arts degree in “Creative Writing & Publishing Arts” from the University of Baltimore.

I was attracted to the fact that wasn’t your “standard-average MFA.” I liked the practical editorial experience of working on a print\electronic journal and their focus on “getting your work published.” I had no interest in graphic design component of it, but I figured it would be useful should I ever have to lay out an actual magazine.

However, I’ve come to realize that as valuable as that experience would be, it isn’t worth saddling myself with debt just so I can repeat courses in “creating a journal.” You see, I already took part in the creation of not one but two journals – The Sand Canyon Review (2000, Crafton Hills College, print) and Dune Shack (2003, University of Miami, online).

I won’t count my time as a writer for The Miami Hurricane (2003-2004), The Baltimore Guardian (2011-2012) or Ignore magazine (2004-2007) as none of those would be considered “literary” writing. Note: this is not to say that I haven’t done any literary writing in the years since graduating from UM, it just hasn’t been my primary focus lately…kind of like getting that MFA I came to Baltimore for.

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A lack of love at “Have a Heart” march

I normally don’t cover events in Baltimore County, but as a semi-employed journalist (who spent the past year working without pay) I feel it is important to stand with people who are struggling to stay in their homes. That’s why I joined approximately 20 other people at the Hunt Valley light rail station this afternoon for a press conference on behalf of a family facing foreclosure.

Unfortunately, I got to the event, which was more of a photo-op than a press conference, just as homeowner Tia Cordoni was finishing up remarks her remarks. I thought this was a tad odd since the event announcement said “meet up at 2:30pm, march begins at 3pm,” and I arrived at 2:34pm.

When she finished, she posed for another round of photos with her family. I really wanted to like her as she is effective speaker with a natural media presence… but I couldn’t shake the feeling I was listening to a stump speech.

She then hands the floor over to the event organizer, a young woman in her mid-20s, who calls everyone to “huddle up” and then asked if I everyone had a “chant sheet.” A man starts passing out pink slips of paper. I tried getting his attention a few times, but he never gave me one. She then decides we need a “run through” of the first chant. She turns to the man beside her and has him bark out the chant.

“Pre-da-tory len-ders – Crim-in-al off-en-ders!”

She ruffles her pretty face a bit: “a little madder.”

PREDATORY LENDERSCRIMINAL OFFENDERS!!!”

“Good, NOW, you sound angry,” she said with a broad smile. She then turns around and asks the group: “Did everyone drive here?”

I tried to tell her “no,” but the man who was leading the chant beat me to it. She volunteers to drive him…but not me, even though I was standing directly in front of her. Her next question: “does everyone know how to get to the bank? Good.”

She then goes over the basics of what they will once they get to the bank, telling us to be quick with getting into the lobby with our signs and immediately begin our chants, “before they shut the doors in our faces.”

“Let’s go,” Ms. Cordoni said impatiently (the camera was not on her at the time), and even though the march wasn’t slated to begin for another twelve minutes, she began the mile long trek….to their cars parked 10 feet away.

I, however, am left standing alone in the back of the now empty station as I hear a series of car doors slamming in front of me. Alone and abandoned… the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day.

Categories: adventures, Baltimore, holidays, news, protests | Leave a comment

One month out

It has been one month since my ouster from The Baltimore Guardian.

I never went to Florida or South Carolina (train tickets cost money), but I might cover Occupy Our Home’s “Have a Heart: Eviction Defense March” in Hunt Valley on Tuesday (I could use the news writing experience…even if I was just at HVTC last Tuesday).

Beyond that, I don’t know. I sort of miss having a separate place I can post reviews to, but The Guardian was such a pain to post – make that attempt to post to. The problem is, I’m not sure where else to send them as local art\theatre stories have a very limited geographically salable range. Sure, I could still write about TV and\or movies, but I’ve found that covering beats gets old – fast.

As I stated in my previous post, maybe it’s time for a “change of venue:” after all, DC, NYC, and Philadelphia all have active arts scenes. Maybe I can cover courts or stocks… or maybe I should just go out and get a real job.

Categories: Baltimore Guardian, entertainment, job hunting, news, ramblings, writing | 1 Comment

Migraines, movies and more

I arrived at The National Pinball Museum at 2:35pm. I had a little trouble finding it at first since it is not actually IN Power Plant Live as their website states, but around the corner from it.

The building itself is very narrow, wedged between two bars. The sign above the door still reads “The Chocolate Factory,” but there is a small printed sign on the window with the museum’s name and hours on it.

The first thing you notice upon entering isn’t the tables painted like “bumpers” or the framed news clippings on the wall – it’s the noise. The incessant racket of banging, beeping and assorted other sound effects that you would expect at a video arcade. You can’t hear it from the outside due to the ambient din of city traffic.

The first floor houses the museum store, a timeline showing the founding and closing of various pinball machine manufacturers and a permanent gallery showing its early history from roots in an 1877 French billiards game known as “Bagatelle,” the wooden barroom games of the 1900s and a collection of several (non-playable) machines showing the evolution of the current game over the past century.

As mentioned above, the 2nd floor is their main gallery level with 41 machines ranging from relatively simple designs from the 1920s to “golden age of pinball” of the late-40s-60s as well as a collection of more recent models (1980s-late-90s). There is no attempt to organize the machines by age or manufacturer, nor any attempt at context beyond two pieces of wall text.

I’m not normally a fan of pinball, but I swiped my play card in one of the machines anyway… and nothing happened. Then as I went to try again, a worker comes by, rolls his eyes and presses the “start” button on the front of the machine. I thought I heard him mumble something about me as he walked away, but it was impossible to tell with the noise level on that level.

I lost relatively quickly, and then tried other machines with similar results. I left the museum with a massive migraine and full hour of playtime remaining on my card. I head over to the Barnes & Noble at the “other” Power Plant complex, hoping to relax with a magazine and small coffee before heading off for my next destination with a slightly lessened headache.

I got to the Maryland Science Center about 10 minutes before my movie was to begin. I was hoping for their “Fridays After 5” promotion, but the film, The Secret of Life on Earth, began at 5pm. The movie itself was often pretty to look at, but I got the distinct feeling most of it was stock footage; the narration by Patrick Stewart was excellent, even if the script he was reading from dumbed down and painfully generic.

Thankfully, the film is only 38 minutes long and I made my way back to the circulator. The next bus screen on the sign read “16 minutes” and I was starting to get cold so I decided to find something to eat in the PPL complex and take the subway back to Bolton Hill.

Categories: adventures, art, attractions, Baltimore, Charm CityCirculator, entertainment, metro subway, movies, transportation | Leave a comment

Some Disenchanting evening

According to the internet, there are 9 so-called “alignments.” I’m a “good-neutral,” who often finds himself stuck in a “Chaotic-neutral” world. Tonight was one of those times: far from being my best night, yet not quite bad enough to be the worst night of my life either – chaotic…but neutral.

I took a shower and left the apartment around 4:45, I arrived at the light rail just after 5pm. I tried buying a ticket, but the machine was having trouble reading my Smartcard. I cancelled the transaction, tried again and suddenly it worked – same machine, same card, different result. I think I’ve just disproved that line about the “definition of insanity.”

I cross the tracks to the southbound platform just as a northbound train was approaching the station. Less then a minute later, another northbound train arrived. A few seconds after the third northbound left, I finally heard the southbound train pull around the corner.

I arrived at the Inner Harbor at 5:27pm. I had just over an hour and a half until game time – too much for fast food, but barely enough for sit down meal. I decided to go with the sit down meal anyway, and my mental calculations were correct – I left the restaurant with only ten minutes to get to the arena before the game started.

I got to the ticket counter at exactly 7pm, by the time I got past security the pre-game introductions had already started. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a problem, but the Blast players are introduced in the dark through a lighted logo with flares shooting out of the “B” and the “T.” This means I’m trying to find my seat in the dark. Fortunately, it was in the first row and on the end (yes, this will be important later) so it wasn’t too difficult to find after the “event staff” shone his pen light along the row. When the lights came on, I found out I was the only person sitting in the section and the one across the aisle from me was completely vacant.

The game started out with both teams scoring a goal in the first minute of play. Obviously, the diminished weekday crowd went nuts for the home goal, and it was followed by several others over the course of the quarter. After each goal, the cheerleaders would throw Snickers Mini™ bars into the audience, they handed me after the third goal (no sense throwing it since I was the only person in the section).

I left my seat to look for something to eat, but the majority of their concession stands were closed due to the “diminished crowd.” But I was assured that the ones that were open had exactly the same “if not better” menus than the ones that were closed.

The only problem with that statement is it isn’t remotely true. I was looking for nachos and the one stand that was open didn’t sell them. I finally just ended up buying just a bottled soda…for $4.25. I literally shell shocked by the price:

“O-o-one soda costs f-f-four s-s-s-seventy-five.? …ONE soda…?”

“Four TWENTY-five,” she corrected.

“I feel b-better now…no, actually I don’t,” I sighed.

“No, I mean you owe me $4.25 for the soda,” she said removing the lid (yes, this is also important).

I return to my seat, the guy with the “spirit drum” was standing directly in front of it. The second I sit down, the Blast score their 9th goal of the night, and the spirit guy sighs, reluctantly pulls out his spirit stick and half-heartedly shakes it before putting it back in his pocket. He then pulls out his Blast towel and twirled it around his head once before putting it back in his pocket. Then just as a group of kids passes by, he takes the rubber mallet out of his pocket and…

BAM!!!!

I jump in my seat spilling my soda all over me. The kids seeing this surround my seat point and laugh at me shouting taunts like: “dumbass,” “Pant-shitter,” “you’re a fucking pussy!”

I felt like I was back in 3rd grade, except I knew if I said anything to them I’d have 6 sets of parents on my ass like *snaps finger* for being the “monster” who dared to hurt an 8-yr old’s feelings.

As they leave, I try to collect myself and one of the cheerleaders came by with the free Snickers Mimi™ bar to celebrate the goal. It wasn’t much, but she was pretty and smiled at me in a nominally friendly way.

When I left about midway through the 4th quarter, the score was 22-2, and as I was waiting for the light rail to arrive I could hear the announcer shouting about another goal for the Blast as the final score for the night to 24-4.

Categories: adventures, attractions, Baltimore, entertainment, light rail, sports, transportation | Leave a comment

Exploring Federal Hill

When I first moved to Baltimore in December of 2009, I wrote a whole series of stories about places that were accessible via Metro Subway\Light Rail. I did a similar series after the Charm City Circulator opened over a year later, and today I’m one more to that list: Federal Hill.

I’ve been to Federal Hill before, but it was during one of their many festivals. I wanted to see what the street looked like when it wasn’t overtaken by food tents, giant stages and throngs of tourists (not that there is anything wrong with any of those things).

Unlike Baltimore’s other tourist neighborhoods, Federal Hill is beautiful and charming without being overly touristy like Inner Harbor and Fell’s Point or tacky and plastic like Hampden. This isn’t to say it doesn’t have its fair share of chain restaurants, vacant storefronts and foreclosed homes like the rest of the city, but they do a fairly good job of keeping those out of their so-called “Main Streets” (in their case: Charles, Light and Cross).

My first priority when I disembarked from the circulator was to find someplace to eat. However, most of the places were either bars and thus not open until 4pm or they were too expensive; I steadfastly refused to eat at one of those ubiquitous chain sandwich shops.

After lunch, I began walking around. Their main streets form a sort of “U” shape, and host a wide variety of shops. I considered stopping for coffee, but it was too hot for that. I considered getting ice cream, but I thought better of that as well. I also didn’t need any new clothes…so I returned to the circulator stop at Cross Street Market and began the trek back towards Midtown.

Categories: adventures, Baltimore, Charm CityCirculator, Federal Hill, neighborhoods, writing | Leave a comment

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