12.24.15

WPRB’s Jon Solomon : The Man Behind A Holiday Tradition More Beloved Than Overpaying For Culturcide’s “Depressed Christmas”

Posted in Merry Fucking Christmas, Radio at 7:56 pm by

Jon Solomon‘s 24 annual 25 hour Xmas Marathon is in progress on WPRB. Christmasparticipants this year include a number of luminaries and rules of secrecy prevent us from mentioning exactly The Gotobeds who is taking part.

12.23.15

CSTB Holiday Cinema Rundown 2015

Posted in Cinema at 8:27 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE :  For a variety of personal reasons NONE OF WHICH ARE YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS, I only saw 3 theatrically released motion pictures in the last calendar year. It’s not that I’m uninterested in the medium nor do I subscribe to the contemporary sentiment that streaming films at home and/or watching thousands of hours of “appointment” television is a better use of time, either. When Hollywood starts making films are that are nearly as compelling as running Matt Harvey out of town, I promise you’ll have to throw me out of the multiplex. Possibly because I’ll be homeless at that point.

All of that said, there’s a number of films in wide release this Christmas season that I’m sure you’re curious about. And simply because I’ve not actually seen any of them is no reason to prevent me from weighing in — the nation’s pop critics do this stuff all the time without ever actually listening to what they’re writing about  — at least I hope that’s their excuse. – GC)

“The Big Short” (director, Adam McKay)

Supposedly this does for the housing/credit bubble of the early 2000’s what “Moneyball” did for baseball, the crucial difference being no one has to watch Philip Seymour Hoffman squeeze himself into an Oakland A’s uniform. Several of Hollywood’s most attractive actors are called upon to portray vastly overpaid jagbags, which has to be considered far less difficult than Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s task in “Moneyball”.  Nothing sounds like family fun time or sure-thing date night action quite like telling the inside story of the the credit default swap market, unless of course, you’re talking about…

“Concussion” (director,Peter Landesman)

From the looks of trailers that prominently feature Will Smith’s super fake Nigerian accent and explicit tales of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, this has Oscar-bait written all over it. Shame then, that the filmmakers have chosen to cast Luke Wilson as Roger Goodell when Aaron Eckhart has spent his entire goddamn existence preparing for this role. To say nothing of this guy!. Still, I am not without sympathy for the movie studio in this instance because lord knows the holiday results for this film would’ve been 100X better had they been allowed to re-use the title, “Brain Smashers : A Love Story”.

“Joy” (dir – David O. Russell).

This is the 3rd time Russell’s paired Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper and the 2nd time he’s combined Lawrence, Cooper and Robert De Niro (for an assault on the bank accounts of people with ferociously pedestrian tastes). Reportedly, the film chronicles the multi-decade saga of The Miracle Mop, as pioneered by Lawrence’s Joy Mangano. Given the staggering commercial and critical success of “Flash Of Genius” (in which Greg Kinnear tells the spine-tingling story of how the intermittent windshield wiper changed the automobile industry), the sky’s the limit for this. Especially if every available print is placed on a rocket ship aimed at Saturn.

“The Revenant” – (director, Alejandro G. Iñárritu)

Leo DiCaprio continues his dogged pursuit of adult male roles while playing the part of 1820’s frontiersman/fur trapper Hugh Glass. Keep in mind, this sounds an awful lot like “HUGE ASS”,  and sure enough, DiCaprio has a highly publicized encounter with a grizzly bear that the film’s producers have gone to great lengths to stress is not a rape. Regardless, 20th Century Fox didn’t get to where it is by making stupid decisions (a sister company’s hiring of Colin Cowherd aside) and they know all too well this sort of “will they or won’t they?” question will be hanging over the heads of DiCaprio and his furry co-star (above) right until Christmas Day. I can’t wait! Especially since I’m staying home.

12.22.15

Whitlock : I Gotta Be Me

Posted in Sports Journalism at 10:24 pm by

Jason Whitlock’s eventful but not entirely impactful return to ESPN was chronicled in detail by Deadspin’s Greg Howard, which the former is no doubt, still smarting over.  On Wednesday, Whitlock submitted to an interview with The Indianapolis Star’s Dana Hunsinger Benbow which mostly concerned Big Sexy’s most recent flame out in Bristol and subsequent resurfacing at Fox Sports 1.  “I can be more honest and transparent at Fox,” insists Whitlock, who if nothing else, can match Dino Costa stride for stride when it comes to believing his own bullshit.

Question: How did the ESPN website “The Undefeated” go from being your brainchild to you being pulled from the project?

Answer: Ha. Tough question to answer in a small space. A noncorporate, non-PC person trying to muster internal corporate support to do an ambitious, revolutionary project inside an establishment brand would make a great documentary. I just finished watching Netflix’s outstanding doc “Making a Murderer.” Mine would be called “Making a Scapegoat.” LOL. Seriously, I was the wrong fit at ESPN. Definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Q: How did your departure from ESPN go down? The company statement said it was your decision. True?

A: True. I wanted to leave ESPN when control of “The Undefeated” was taken from me. “The Undefeated” was the reason for me to work at ESPN. “The Undefeated” justified the sacrifice of my voice. I considered the possibility of staying at ESPN as a columnist and fill-in host at “Pardon the Interruption.” But at the end of the day, in order for me to reach my full potential, I need an environment that allows me to be me. … The executives at Fox Sports get and embrace me. Fox Sports allows me to be real.

Q: Do you believe race in any way played a part in how things turned out for you at ESPN?

A: Uh boy. Really difficult question in this space. My race played a role in the sense that certain people want the American establishment challenged in an easy-to-dismiss, highly divisive fashion. Certain people and groups seem invested in convincing black people that black people are liberal. We’ve traditionally been conservative, church-going people. Certain people are working to keep black people and white people divided. A black voice that tries to point out the common ground between black people and white people, particularly poor and working-class black and white people, is viewed as dangerous. Martin Luther King was most dangerous when he started working to bring poor people of all colors together. I think my vision for “The Undefeated” conflicted with the goals of people invested in keeping poor people and religious people divided.

12.21.15

NYP’s Schwartz : Panthers’ Provocation Of Beckham Jr. Makes About As Much Sense As A Football Bat

Posted in Gridiron at 8:02 pm by

If you’re amongst those struggling to understand exactly what was behind Odell Beckham Jr.’s high profile meltdown at the Meadowlands Sunday, the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz claims to have it all figured out :


The Panthers carried a black baseball bat onto the field at MetLife Stadium for pregame warm-ups and, according to sources, one of their players swung it menacingly at Beckham and others made homophobic comments to the Giants receiver prior to the game.

On a video posted on the Giants’ Instagram account, Eli Manning is shown greeting his teammates in the pregame warm-ups, with a Panthers player not in uniform — practice squad safety Marcus Ball — in the background holding a black bat. There is also video from NFL Films showing Norman holding the bat in a pregame huddle.

Ball swung the bat menacingly at Beckham and Panthers players shouted anti-gay slurs at him, according to Giants sources.

The Panthers do not deny the existence of the bat, saying they have used it often before games as a “Bring the wood’’ sort of symbol. Cornerback Bene’ Benwikere, who was injured and did not play in the game, on Twitter explained that he carried the bat before last week’s game against the Falcons. Norman after that game said the bat symbolizes the secondary wanting to make big plays, like home runs.

12.20.15

Kilgore On The Giants’ “Gutless” Odell Beckham Jr.

Posted in Gridiron at 10:46 pm by

That WR Odell Beckham Jr. is one of professional football’s most electrifying players if not the best thing about watching the underachieving NY Giants has been long established. However, his behavior during Sunday’s 38-35 defeat to the still-undefeated Carolina Panthers raised the ire of the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore, who claims CB Josh Norman,”flustered Beckham past the point of petulance and into madness”, while calling the post-whistle, helmet-first spear of Norman, “a gutless, crazed act that should have disqualified him from the remainder of the game.”

Beckham’s spineless hit on Norman unnecessarily endangered another player. He is one of the most breathtaking players in the NFL, a star who possesses the kind of athleticism that drives millions to the couch each Sunday. His spearing of Norman was unpardonable. It is a big deal. The NFL has a tendency to over-punish, but it ought to throw everything it can within the rules of the collective bargaining agreement at Beckham. He should be fined and suspended to the hilt.

Beyond next week, which in a just world Beckham will not participate in, Beckham will be looked at in a different light than before Sunday. His one-handed catches are seared into the collective memory of NFL fans. Now there is another image right next to it, and it brands him as a coward who tried to injure an opponent when the other guy wasn’t even looking. Frustration so often reveals character, and that’s who Odell Beckham is.

12.18.15

The Fiver : Not Quite Done Trashing The FIFA Movie No One’s Seen

Posted in Cinema, Football, Merry Fucking Christmas at 9:40 pm by

The monumental box office bomb, “United Passions”, a big budget, FIFA-sactioned, well, story of FIFA was dismissed earlier this by the Guardian’s Jordan Hoffman as “pure corporate pamphleteering”, or if you prefer, “excrement”. Fast forward 6 months later, and Guardian colleagues Jacob Steinberg, Paul Doyle and Nick Miller take the occasion of The Fiver’s 2015 Christmas Awards to present said opus with “THE MICHAEL CAINE AWARD FOR TROUSERING A FAT CHEQUE IN EXCHANGE FOR DUBIOUS ART” :

“I have never seen the film,” said Michael Caine, so the legend goes, when asked about his role in ‘Jaws 4: The Revenge’, “but by all accounts it was terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.” That certainly sprang to mind when the Fifa-funded opus United Passions emerged from the very bowels of cinematic civilisation this year, with assorted rather well-credentialed artists attached to it, including Tim Roth, Gerard Depardieu and Dr Alan Gran … sorry, Sam Neill. One hopes they were paid handsomely for their troubles, something for which only the churlish and those expecting a warts-and-all portrayal of Fifa’s history from a film it paid for could possibly begrudge them, and also that they regard the experience with a little more happiness than the film’s director, Frédéric Auburtin. “Now I’m seen as bad as the guy who brought Aids to Africa or the guy who caused the financial crisis,” he wailed. “My name is all over [this mess] and apparently I am a propaganda guy making films for corrupt people.” Sounds about right, actually.

Spoiler Alert : Mike Francesa Talking About Star Wars Will Make You Want To Put Your Head In An Oven

Posted in Cinema, Sports Radio at 9:28 pm by

A real shame Malcom Tucker wasn’t available to sort out the confusion.