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Friday LinkFrogging - 8/20/10

Some things in life are just inevitable.   

Death.   

Taxes.   

Kids returning to school.   

Partisan politics.   

Child stars turning into adult train wrecks.   

And bad Michael Bay movies.   

Why the laundry list?  Good question.   

The answer is simple.   

This week's cheesecake selection was one of those foregone inevitablilities.    

Say hello to Jennifer Aniston.   

Yeah, I know.   

I've had the picture in the file since The Bounty Hunter died stillborn in the theaters.  Nobody makes a middling romantic comedyquite like Ms. Aniston these days.  She's clinging to the fraying ends of her Rachel persona for all she's worth.  She still wants to be there with you.  She is willing to be there in a partial naked, but never really showing anything kind of way.  She wants to be there for you the way Meg Ryan was before she had plastic surgery at the hands of the Joker.  

That's what makes today's release of The Switch so interesting.  Its not necessarily a romantic comedy.  Its kind of dark, like The Good Girl.  Her co-star is Jason Bateman, a long time friend who she hasn't been romantically linked with (at least not as of this writing).  In the grand scheme of things, The Switch is what passes for a daring choice by Ms. Aniston.  The big question is whether or not audiences will buy it.   

I think not.   

Still, its release gave me a chance to post the picture and get that monkey off our backs.   

On to the links.

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Posted in: Gonzo

Strikeforce: Houston Predictions

Two months after their last major card saw The Fall of Fedor and five weeks after middleweight champion Jake Shields vacated the belt to sign with the UFC, Strikeforce heads to Texas with the hopes of making some new stars to anchor the promotion.  A core of young talent is what kept the company moving as higher-profile outfits like Affliction and EliteXC fell by the wayside.  Now that the spotlight is on Strikeforce as America's top UFC alternative, they'll need new stars to keep that mantle.

Strikeforce: Houston offers a few candidates for the next big thing: a cocky former Olympian, an active Army Ranger and a former professional wrestler trying to go legit.  On a card where only one man, former lightweight champion KJ Noons, can boast a previous record of success within the company, this show is all about making a name for yourself - and hopefully making a name for Strikeforce in the process.

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Posted in: Sports

Strikeforce Comes to Houston

We love us some MMA here at GonzoGeek. That's why we're extremely excited about covering this weekend's Strikeforce Houston show live from theToyota Center on Saturday night. I will be in attendance and blogging live from the show. Matt and I will have our predictions for the fights up shortly.  I'm also trying to squeeze in a peek at the upcoming EA Sports MMA video game tomorrow. Just last night, KJ Noons, local guy and MMA fighter, threw out the fi...

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Posted in: Sports

We're Looking Forward To...MONSTERS

Six years ago NASA discovered the possibility of alien life within our solar system. A probe was launched to collect samples, but crashed upon re-entry over Central America. Soon after, new life forms began to appear and grow. In an effort to stem the destruction that resulted, half of Mexico was quarantined as an INFECTED ZONE. Today, the American and Mexican military still struggle to contain the massive creatures... Our story begins when a jaded US journalist (McNairy) begrudgingly agrees to find his boss’ daughter, a shaken American tourist (Able) and escort her through the infected zone to the safety of the US border.

Immigration subtext anyone?

Boy, this sounds right up our alley doesn't it?

There's no mention of luchadores, but they could be in the movie...right?

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Posted in: Movies

Friday LinkFrogging - 8/13/10

Fools' gold out of their mines
The girls are soaking wet
No tounge's drier than mine
I'll come when I get back

“Yah mule, yah!” – Yosemite Sam

Carrot? Stick? CHEESCAKE! It makes every day feel like Friday.

When Bruce first re-handed me the reigns of this august institution, Blake Lively was gonna be our girl. She had ‘geek cred, given her‘Green Lantern’ casting, and had recently caught the full attention of yours truly while sitting on the Comic-Con panel for same. A quick internet search and….nothin’.  Well, not nothin’, but nothing that looked better than the Comic-Con pics themselves.

But then the wonders of the interwebz reminded me that the live-action movie adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’ graphic novels opens this week, and who did my roving eye espy?: Ms. Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

MEW plays Ramona Flowers, the potential siren to Michael Cera’s good-guy-trapped-in-a-world-he-only-partially-made title character. But it’s hardly her first turn through GG-friendly territory. Since graduating from Disney’s ‘Sky High,’ she has appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Death Proof’ and as Bruce Willis’ daughter in ‘Live Free or Die Hard.’ Like your films more dramatic? Try her turns in ‘Factory Girl’ and Robert Kennedy pic ‘Bobby’ on for size.

And lest the casual geek decide that this whole 'Scott Pilgrim....' thing is just a bunch of greasy kid stuff, it should be pointed out that director/co-writer Edgar Wright's previous credits include 'Shaun Of The Dead' and 'Hot Fuzz.'

And now, if our new hostess will please pull the curtain…

On to the Links. Walk this way.

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Posted in: Gonzo

The Thunders Conundrum…

Perhaps it’s one of music’s ultimate “you had to be there” situations. How else to explain not just the gap between image and reality regarding the man himself, but the paucity of evidence of post-New York Dolls musical direction, vision…hell, even quality. I’ve been listening and looking for a while now and I have yet to find the single performance that makes me go “wow!” the way you’d hope something from the great Johnny Thunders might. Sometimes he could play and the band was awful, sometimes the other way around. Often the material or its overall performance just sounded tired.

And yet almost everyone whose music I love name-checks him somehow or another. So who am I to doubt? Many of them were there. I wasn’t.

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Posted in: Music

Lollapalooza 2010: Day Three and Festival Recap

I knew from the beginning that my overall opinion of this year's Lollapalooza would rely on Sunday, and the last day of the festival did not disappoint.

Set I Loved The Most: (tie) Mumford & Sons, Frightened Rabbit and The National. Total cop-out here, I am aware. I loved all three for different variations of the same reason: they all played "up" for the festival setting.

Mumford & Sons were one of my most anticipated acts as it was the first time I was seeing them live, and their energy was incredible. For a mid-afternoon set in the baking sun after some morning showers, they had most of the large crowd bouncing and clapping along with every song.

Like their fellow UKers, Frightened Rabbit also had the crowd bouncing and seemed genuinely awed by the size of their audience (this is a theme with most of the bands i liked this weekend, but take note that the operative word is "genuine", not "awe"). They told stories and bantered between songs, but also played those songs with just enough variety to make it feel like a live show and not just a performance of a CD.

The National understands the difference between a show and a performance more than most, and their penultimate set at dusk on the last day was another example of how the moody, contemptuous dirges on their albums become cathartic anthems in front of a crowd. Like the songs themselves, the set built to a crescendo when lead singer Matt Benninger walked out into the crowd to belt out "Mr. November" amidst a swirl of screaming fans. This concludes my one-paragraph impression of a music journalist (just kidding, music journalists hate everything).

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Posted in: Music

Lollapalooza 2010: Day Two

I am already on a train to Day Three so yesterday's recap will be brief.

Saturday was not Friday. Does that make sense? It didn't have the ridiculous pop star headliner or the accompanying crazies, and so by proxy it didn't seem like Day Two had the same buzz (where buzz is a combination of excitement and the desperate need to be looked at). That's not a bad thing.

What Saturday did have is a collection of great sets from some grittier bands than Friday, including Against Me!, Spoon and Gogol Bordello.

Set I Loved The Most: Gogol Bordello.  I knew I needed to see them after missing their last appearance in '08 (I was seeing The Black Keys).  I also kinda figured I would enjoy the set.  On both cases, I underestimated.  I don't know how I've waited so long to see their "gypsy punk" act live.  The whole set was like a shot of adrenaline on a hot afternoon, and a sea (well, ok, I pretty big lake) of people were all bouncing, clapping and dancing to the music.  A couple of kids near me were doing that idiotic punk/ska kick-dance that has a real name that I'm not even bothering to look up on Google, but it quickly gave way to a big group of people dancing a makeshift Hora along to the beat.  The songs blended together (partially because I only know the songs off their Super Taranta! album), but it felt like one long party in the Chicago sun.  I've enjoyed a lot of sets this weekend, but Gogol Bordello was anexperience.

Set I Would Skip On Second Thought: The Morning Benders and Skybox.  All of my Saturday morning choices - MyNameIsJohnMichael, the Morning Benders, Skybox and Harlem were mildly disappointing, although the first and last of that list were definitely the best.  I might have enjoyed them more if I looked into material beyond what was sampled on the Lollapalooza website, or if I pushed up further instead of hanging near the back of the crowd, but at the same time, I could have slept longer, showed up in time for Against Me! and been none the wiser.

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Posted in: Music

Lollapalooza 2010, Day One

Lollapalooza is more than just a music festival:  it's a social experiment.  You can see how 50,000 different people per day would answer the question "how would you dress yourself if 49,999 judgmental people were going to be looking at you all day?”  Music festivals are like sporting events in how they bring huge groups together, except sports give you an excuse to make poor decisions on how you leave the house as long as you’re showing a logo or a team color. 

Of course, some of day one’s ridiculous clothing choices can be attributed to Lady Gaga.  Friday was all about Gaga, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.  Her name was on everyone’s lips– she came up twice during some mid-day acts I saw, both times to mixed reactions – and the majority of the crowd was there for her. You could tell that she was the marquee act in the eyes of the promoters, too, thanks to her elaborate stage setup and the fireworks during the set – two things I noticed from across the park where I was watching a solid show from the opposing headliner, The Strokes. 

I think you go to Lollapalooza assuming the acts you want to see will be good, so as long as they don’t disappoint, your opinion of the day is determined by the acts you were unsure of going in.  By that logic, Friday was a good day.

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Posted in: Music

Friday LinkFrogging - 8/6/10

Welcome to August dear reader(s).

Kids getting ready to go back to school.

The NFL is back in training camp.

And, infectious summer pop songs getting stuck in your head.

Its a tradition.  It happens every year.  Some bright poppy song transcends its inate mediocrity to become the anthem for the summer.

Katrina, I'm looking at you.

And, I'm looking at this week's cheesecake.

Say hello to Katy Perry.

Ms. Perry's hit "California Gurls" has been everywhere this summer.  Maybe its the appearance of Snoop Dogg representin' as a blunted out Willy Wonka that put that one over the top.  Maybe it was the whipped cream bra.  Maybe it was naked cloud lounging.  Whatever the reason, this one won't go away.

Or will it?

Turns out the Beach Boys aren't pleased and they were planning to sue Ms. Perry, specifically over her use of the phrase "wish they all could be California Girls."

Shit!  Now they're gonna sue us.

Mike Love, you're an asshole.

The story has been updated, and now the Beach Boys aren't planning to sue, provided they get proper "credit" (and one would assume the royalties that would follow).

Did I mention that Mike Love was an asshole?

On to the links.

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Posted in: Gonzo
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