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Showing posts from May, 2014

Nerdgasm of the Week: 5 Plot Details About 'Jurassic World'

Entertainment Weekly is on Rumor Patrol and confirmed the leaked deets on the dino sequel that stomps into theaters next summer. Crafted PR stunt? Who knows? One thing's for sure: I'm liking where director Colin Trevorrow is taking this... 1.   Jurassic World  picks up 22 years after the original  Jurassic Park . 2.  It takes place in a luxury zoo/park on Isla Nublar that allows 20,000 visitors each day to see dinosaurs roam the earth. 3.  But people are already growing bored by the experience, and the park is looking for ways to spice — and splice — things up with a new genetically-enhanced dino. “We imagined a teenager texting his girlfriend with his back to a T-Rex behind protective glass. For us, that image captured the way much of the audience feels about the movies themselves. ‘We’ve seen CG dinosaurs. What else you got?’” 4.  The new breed of dinosaur is “bigger, louder, with more teeth,” but it’s not some “mutant freak.” “We aren’t doing anything here t

Patton Oswalt Tweets About The UCSB Shootings. And Nails It.

Basically, what he said: Let it sink in. Let it stay with you. Print it out. Tape it to your desk at work. Hang it from the rearview mirror in your car. Post it on your refrigerator. Because even though tweets have an average lifespan of 7 seconds ( and we tend to move on and get distracted by the next click-baiting headline ), this particular one should last well until something improves within this country. Consider this a sad memento to hold on to. And remember that devastated father's plea: "Not one more." @TheFirstEcho

CLASS OF '14: The 2014 Summer Playlist, Vol. 1

Break out the Speedos and fire up the grill.  Sure, Memorial Day weekend may have kicked off summer, but the following playlist is keeping up the momentum. These 20 tunes will be blaring from coast to coast, especially when I embark on a 6-city-12-day road trip at the end of June ( hello Chicago, Columbus, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, and New York )...more on that later. Let's get started, shall we? 1. "Rude" by Magic! - I feel for the girl's father on the receiving end of this song, a whiny guy's plea for a blessing that'll never happen if he keeps up the crooning. 2. "Problem" by Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea - The pop culture pundits have already called this rumpshaker the Song of the Summer, and who can blame them? 3. "First Love" by Jennifer Lopez - Give it a few listens, and you'll be sucked into the Max Martin-produced soundscapes that are somewhat reminiscent of Xtina's 2012 underrated "Your Bod

The Summer of 1999 Possibly Had The Best Playlist Ever (15 Songs That Turn 15 This Year)

Before Y2K panic fully set in, the summer months of 1999 treated us to enough ear "candy" to last us well into the new "millennium." Having completed my freshman year at Boston University, I got through a summer in which I participated in local community theater, grieved over the final episode of Melrose Place , briefly worked as a debt collector, became employed by the New Rochelle Public Library on a measly $7 an hour, and traveled to West Coast for the first time in my life -- thanks to the following playlist. And yes, all of these songs are now 15 years old. You're welcome . 1. "I Want It That Way" by Backstreet Boys: Why an airport setting? Who cares? At least Kevin got his solo. And nearly two decades later, we're still trying to figure out which "way" they want it. 2. "Sometimes" by Britney Spears 3. "Genie in a Bottle" by Christina Aguilera 4. "No Scrubs" by TLC 5. "Candy" b

An Open Letter to Macy's: The 'Gift' That Keeps on Screwing Me

Hello Macy's, I recently paid a visit to your Beverly Center location here in Los Angeles to purchase a wedding gift for a dear friend. Luckily I saw that the $80 Cuisinart stir-fry pan listed on her registry was in stock at my nearest location, and I was happy to stop by on my way home from work and make the purchase in person. Once the transaction was made, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a "gift" for giving a gift: a coupon good for $20 off my next Macy's purchase of $50 or more! Naturally, there was a list of restrictions (quite a long list), but I thought: what the hell, I'll come back and buy something for myself (I'm in need of a new summer wardrobe). And two days later I did return, this time to the Westfield Culver City location. I spent a full two hours trying on clothes, working up a sweat in the fitting room, and trying to find something that would meet the coupon requirements. After three failed attempts to make a purchase with the

Pop Culture Rant of the Week: The Slow and Painful Death of 'Glee'

Last night's season 5 finale of Glee  closed yet another chapter in the musical trials and tribulations of a group of chorus kids who miraculously achieved all of their dreams in less than a year while living in spacious apartments in the Big Apple (such is the magic of television). The final number of the season's last episode, a so-so cover of Bastille's Top 40 hit "Pompeii," ended with the show's resident star, Rachel Berry, blatantly breaking the fourth wall and glancing at the camera (as seen at the 3:03 mark below). Of course there have been times when characters' lines of sight have met the home audience's, particularly in the middle of a showstopping performance, but this seemed different. This was an invite for the paltry 2 million viewers who still watch this show to prepare for the beginning of the end, to follow Rachel and some of her pitch-perfect pals one more time as they change locations once again. (Hello Los Angeles!) It was

'Garden State': 10 Years Later, And I Still Don't Hate It

Zach Braff is about to release Wish I Was Here , his directorial "thematic follow-up" to 2004's Garden State , a movie that resonated with many twentysomethings back in its time, including yours truly. And to celebrate Garden 's upcoming 10th anniversary later this summer, I wanted to revisit the feelings and experiences I had when this film was originally released. There appears to be much disdain for Garden State now. People who loved the film a decade ago balk at it now, calling it a pretentious piece of woe-is-me crap about self-involved youth. But isn't being in your 20s all about being preoccupied with trivial concerns? Are these recent criticisms simply a result of a group of people growing up and looking back on a time they don't really want to remember? Watching it again, the movie holds up quite well. There are nuances and details you may not have picked up on the first time around. Just like Jesse David Fox did when he wrote his Vulture piec

Theme Song of the Month: May 2014

Who knew the chilled-out rockers of Coldplay would team up with the likes of EDM superstar Avicii? Their respective record labels, that's for sure. And now we get to listen to the results and bask in the glow of this collaboration...or should we call it a conscious coupling? Truthfully, I was tempted to slot in here "Problem," Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea's new single, but I just couldn't resist the anthemic chorus of this: @ @TheFirstEcho