The title of the movie is Wrong. And it’s just weird. The closest comparison I can make to another movie is Napoleon Dynamite. Only weirder and more somber.
The basic premise is that main character, Dolph, wakes up one morning to find his dog missing. Right from the get-go, Dolph is strange, his neighbor is strange, his gardener is strange, and every other character and situation are strange. From beginning to end.
Some weirdness takes place for comedic or emotional effect. The rest is sheerly for the sake of it, like the constant, pounding rain in Dolph’s indoor office. Like everything else, it is never explained or addressed. We are just supposed to accept the indoor rain.
There are some familiar faces, if that adds to the legitimacy of the film for you.
There’s a bit of mystery, magic, delusion, and I hate to overuse the word “weird,” but it’s simply the best description.
I don’t want to get into any details, because discovering the surreal quirks as each scene unfolds is likely the only enjoyment you’ll get from this movie. It’s part of the collection of films the Alamo Drafthouse owns, so there are plenty of opportunities to see it in Austin if you go in the next couple weeks.
I’ll leave you with this clip and you can decide for yourself whether you want to see it. Maybe surrealism is your thing.
Did you watch the Super Bowl last night? I did, sorta. I watched the halftime show and commercials and messed around on Twitter the rest of the time. The thing I was most interested in was Justin Timberlake’s performance at the DIRECTV party Saturday night. Not much video available yet, but here’s a peek at what went on.
Oh, to have attended that show. But at least I got to attend Beyonce’s halftime show from my living room.
All the high energy dancing and fierceness that we want to see from Beyonce. Loved the Destiny’s Child reunion on stage and appreciated that Beyonce gave them both a turn in the middle. Beyonce always looks flawless and gives a great performance. And after the presidential inauguration lip-synching scandal, it was guaranteed that she would sing live for the show and bring her A-game. It was Alicia Keys that really won me over though, with her understated, note-perfect anthem, her piano on the field with her.
Overall, the commercials were much better this year than in previous years. I watched as many as I could in advance because I love commercials that much, but there were still tons I hadn’t seen yet. Here are the ones I found to be the most notable.
Mercedes-Benz. Selling one’s soul to the devil for a luxury car? Great concept.
Samsung Mobile. The next big thing. Love the casting. Really love the tagline.
Got Milk? This national campaign has been going on for years and has utilized so many celebrities. This extended version was done on such a grand scale, how can you not love it?
Best Buy. I was really looking forward to this one. What a disappointment. Amy Poehler deserved better material than this.
Budweiser. Not gonna lie. This one made me cry.
Dodge Ram Trucks. God Made a Farmer. Voiced by Paul Harvey, this was simply beautiful.
Volkswagen. I’m always watching the VW commercials closely, because they were historically so good at advertising. Before they got bad, that is. When I was an advertising student in college we talked about VW a lot, and their campaigns were truly groundbreaking. Companies like Apple and Target have employed similar methods, but VW was first. Anyway, this one cracks me up.
Toyota RAV4. This “wish granted” commercial features the car quite a bit for such a kooky, nontraditional car ad. Brilliant.
Doritos. This fan-made commercial is my favorite of the night. I’ve already watched it more times than I want to admit.
Calvin Klein. This was an absurd ad to air at this time and I loved it. I’m not sure if it was targeted more towards women or gay men, but it created plenty of buzz on social media.
Taco Bell. Viva Young might be a funny concept, but this wasn’t done well. I’m not sure what age group the young target is here, but only the truly immature would find this comical. It’s mostly just an overused cliche.
GoDaddy. I’m glad I changed my hosting a long time ago. I don’t mind their normal sexist Super Bowl ads, because it creates buzz and works for them. They are HUGE compared to other hosting companies. But this is so poorly done and so gross that it offends me. Not as a woman, but creatively. It’s just garbage.
Pistachios. This ad starring Psy is another part of this wacky campaign featuring bizarre celebrities. It’s silly and well, nutty. Perfect.
Coca Cola has such a polished advertising legacy. They always get it right, whether they are doing sexy commercials, funny, family-oriented, edgy, you name it. This two-part ad is just pure fun and let viewers determine the outcome of the race.
Oh, yeah. And the Ravens won. So happy for Baltimore!
Ugh. Have I talked about how good the new Bruno Mars album is? I can’t even take it. Like his first album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, the newly released Unorthodox Jukebox contains ten songs, with one reggae number, a couple upbeat tunes, and a slew of romantic ballads. His lyric writing has improved a bit since the first album. His style has evolved in that he and his band are dressing more casually, trading in the retro suits for regular clothes and his pompadour has given way to a small afro.
And that voice. Damnnnnn. Just keeps getting better.
Listen to this live version of “When I Was Your Man,” one of the best songs on the new album.
Yessss! My precioussss is back. I’ve been waiting years for The Hobbit to hit theaters. Did you see it yet? Do you need a reminder of what it’s all about? Here’s the trailer:
I haven’t read The Hobbit since I was about twelve, so I barely remember the story. And since it’s being split into three movies, I have even less of a grasp. I purposely stayed away from all news, reviews, and spoilers of any kind. It was almost like a brand new story for me. Almost.
Being a fan of The Office (UK), I loved that Martin Freeman plays the young Bilbo Baggins. He’s so likable and is kind of hobbity looking anyway. Perfect. It was so good to be back in The Shire. Just as green and lovely as I’d remembered.
Now, if you are into dwarves (and who isn’t?) this is the movie for you. Remember how gruff and brave Gimli was in Lord of the Rings?
Ha ha. Funny. Well we get thirteen dwarves and they. are. AWESOME. They are like little Ron Swansons, all macho facial hair and bravado. I’ll have to watch a few more times to learn them all by name, but I can tell you that I love them all. Dwarf-lover, right here, yo.
I’m not going to spoil the movie for you, as my policy is to only spoil TV shows. Just go see it. On the big screen. Even if you claim not to be into the whole Tolkien thing…do it. We are very lucky to be living RIGHT NOW while these movies are happening. Don’t squander this good fortune.
My takeaway is that The Hobbit is less sophisticated in storyline and execution than Lord of the Rings. Still dark and scary, but less so. It’s a little silly and maybe more kid-friendly. There are more “creature scenes” with lots of time devoted to trolls, orcs, goblins, and of course, Gollum.
It’s interesting that Peter Jackson ended up doing all the movies. I wonder if he would have done The Hobbit first, had he known. Personally, I’m glad to have them in this order, the more complicated story coming first. It’s clear that LOTR was Jackson’s true passion project.
If I have to give a criticism, and this is the common complaint, it’s that it was just too long. In order to stretch the book into three movies, the scenes feel extended beyond what is natural. I’m not complaining, because I’m happy to get as many movies as I can out of this franchise, but this could have been done in two movies.
The Salt Lick is so famous that it almost seems silly to blog about it. But it would be sillier to ignore it, right? And the truth is, I love it there and go at least once a year. Or twice. It’s a spot I like to bring my guests from out of town and it’s always a hit.
You can’t beat the setting. The drive to Driftwood is long enough to feel like a journey, but short enough to not require much advance planning. The 15-ish mile road trip lands you in a homey expanse filled with trees, a long twig fence and that awesome barbecue smell.
The seating capacity is HUGE, yet there can still be a pretty long wait on weekend nights. They keep the masses entertained with live music, snacks, and plenty of comfy spots to sprawl out with your friends. You can bring coolers of beer or buy beer there, which comes in a bucket of ice.
Once you’re finally inside, things move quickly. You order some combination of meats and sides and your food arrives in minutes. They are constantly cranking out mass quantities of their few standard dishes. So all your waiting is done outside. Once you order, Bam! It’s ready.
The main plate gives you choices of three of the four meats and all the sides. The meat choices are brisket, sausage, ribs, and turkey. (I always skip the sausage.) The sides are all ridiculous. Cole slaw and potato salad, neither of which are mayo-based. The beans are even good. I could just come for the sides. But damn, the turkey. So moist and wonderful.
They’ll also bring you thick Texas toast, and fresh onions and pickles to make little barbecue sandwiches.
And even though you’re full, there’s always room to share a blackberry cobbler a la mode. Because it’s too good to pass up.
If you haven’t seen Adam Richman’s visit to The Salt Lick, it’s worth a watch. They get into the barbecue particulars like the wood, the smoke, the dry rubs, and burnt ends.
Barbecue is serious business in Texas. Everyone has an opinion and there is a lot of barbecue knowledge among the foodies in Austin. I’m not so passionate, and I’d certainly never attempt to cook anything like this, but I am so happy that places like this exist.
Have you checked out Jerry Seinfeld’s new web series? I am totally obsessed. The premise is right there in the title. Jerry picks up a fellow comedian and they go get coffee, bullshitting and making each other laugh for roughly eleven minutes. Each episode features a different classic car, and Jerry gives a few fun facts about the car in the opening. I assumed they were all gems from his famous car collection, but only a couple actually were his. The rest were rentals.
I’ve also loved the Seinfeld outtakes where Jerry breaks into laughter while shooting. This series feels like that all that time. Plus, there are lots of beautiful shots of coffee and espresso. It makes me crave a really good cup.
Alec Baldwin is a favorite of mine. He and Jerry have lunch and banter with the waitress. All the episodes are good, but the one I’ve embedded here features Larry David. The rapport he and Jerry still have together is so great. I believe they are comic soul mates, and this is as close to a new Seinfeld episode as you are going to get.
Enjoy. You can catch the rest of the episodes here. Check out Ricky Gervais, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Colin Quinn and more.
Have you watched this video from Psy? It is the greatest thing that has happened to me in 2012. The South Korean rapper’s song has taken the world by storm, earning over 58 million hits in just six weeks on YouTube. And he has stolen my heart.
The song is as infectious as the colorful video. I hope you enjoy his funny horsey choreography as much as I do. This is how I dance now. Forever.
Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite part.