Tag Archives: john carter


29 May


1. MIB 3/Sony                                                Wknd/$   55.0            Total/$  55.0

2. The Avengers/Disney                               Wknd/$   36.8            Total/$ 513.5

3. Battleship/Universal                                Wknd/$   10.9            Total/$  44.4

4. The Dictator/Paramount                         Wknd/$    9.3            Total/$  41.1

5. Chernobyl Diaries/Warner                      Wknd/$    7.9            Total/$    7.9

6. Dark Shadows/Warners                           Wknd/$    7.5            Total/$  62.9

7. What To Expect When…/LGF                 Wknd/$    7.1             Total/$   22.1

8. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel/Fox     Wknd/$    6.4            Total/$   16.6

9. The Hunger Games/LionsGate               Wknd/$    2.3            Total/$ 395.3

10. Think Like a Man/SGem                        Wknd/$    1.4             Total/$  88.3


Men In Black 3 opens at number one and the good news is it’s better than MIB2.  The bad news is it’s still a movie that didn’t need to be made.  MIB is a very good comedy that still stands up thanks to a great premise, notable supporting characters, solid pacing and a catchy theme song.  It was also a complete story, not meant to have sequels.  At least none with Tommy Lee Jones anyway.  But god forbid you try a movie with just a black guy and a woman, so Linda Fiorentino was unceremoniously dumped and the horrific MIB2 came into being whose soullessness was shown by Tommy Lee Jones who, when asked during filming if he were okay replied, “My per diem check cleared, so I’m okay.” Given his total screen time here is about ten minutes I’d say he made limited involvement a prerequisite of coming back.  The saving grace of this movie is he isn’t missed thanks to James Brolin doing a spot-on impression of a younger, much more genial Tommy Lee Jones, putting Will Smith oddly into more of a straight man role.  You even get a nice joke explaining how the 40-something Brolin is supposed to be playing a 20-something Jones.  But sadly it’s not enough.  The freshness of the premise is gone, so the fun of seeing popular celebs “outed” as aliens no longer works. It doesn’t help that the most obvious choices are made (Lady Gaga, Tim Burton, Mick Jagger).  Even the joke that all supermodels are aliens falls flat (they’re from the planet Glamour, get it?  Yawn.)  The only display of imagination is the alien who can see all probabilities of time at once and his simultaneous joy over seeing The Mets win the World Series and pain over the darker outcomes is well done.  Clearly they had no imagination left over for the plot and let me join the chorus to point out that the end makes no sense at all and pretty much serves to unravel the first film and all the motivations of Tommy Lee Jones’s character.  Will Smith said he made this because he felt the public deserved a better film than the second.  Well, keep trying, ace. Or better yet, don’t.


The Avengers is finally down to number two and as you may or may not know the reason Samuel L. Jackson plays Nick Fury is because at the beginning of the 21st century Marvel Comics created a separate line called the “Ultimate Universe” which was modern interpretations of its classic characters.  Basically, it’s like if someone relaunched a soap opera so that it wouldn’t be burdened down with years of storylines, open to new interpretation and modernized.  Think if they instead remade Dallas, not about oil but the Ewings now run an empire like Microsoft.  Similarly, the Ultimate Spider-Man wasn’t a photographer, but a kid who helped work on The Daily Bugle’s website. Ultimate Captain America is more of hard-ass regular solider than he is a nice kid who just wanted to do the right thing and The Ultimate Red Skull is actually his son who hated that the US Government tried to turn him into his father and subsequently became a ruthless terrorist who began his career with Kennedy’s assassination. Ultimate Tony Stark not only has a brain tumor, but an older, blonde brother with the same genius.  Also in the Ultimate Universe they can kill characters off permanently.  Ultimate Cyclops, Wolverine, Daredevil, Professor X and even Peter Parker are all dead and are not coming back (the new Ultimate Spider-man is a half-black, half-Latino teenager named Miles Morales).  In this universe The Avengers are called “The Ultimates” (The Avengers are a nasty, black ops version of them) and work flat out for the government unlike the classic Avengers who were either a civilian force or reported to the UN. I personally read it as satire, so when Nick Fury who had always been an Italian American was made a black guy, drawn specifically to look like Samuel L. Jackson, it was clearly part of the joke.  The characters even discuss who would play them in movies and Fury says, “Samuel L. Jackson.”  Jackson didn’t approve this so instead smartly decided that to allow Marvel to continue made the deal that when the time came to bring the character into the movies the producers went with the him, which is why Nick Fury is not played by David Hassellhoff.  But to make matters even more convoluted, in the classic, painfully mercenary regular Marvel Universe they’ve introduced Nick Fury’s black son who of course loses an eye and subsequently decides to shave his head and go by dad’s name to coincide with the film.  Aren’t you glad you decided to have sex in high school instead of reading comics?


Battleship is down to number three and one must pity poor Taylor Kitsch because moving from TV to film is a tricky business.  You want to be in good movies, but you also have to grab the big money while you can.  Unfortuntely for every Bruce Willis scoring big with Die Hard there are millions of Blind Dates and Sunsets and other big releases that totally tanked for him when he made the move in the 80’s.  And then there’s George Clooney.  Can you say Batman & Robin?  Kitsch and his management are also trying the “swing for the fences” approach but all they have to show for it are not only the  two of the biggest busts of the year, but two of the most poorly marketed films.  Now, John Carter is not the worst movie ever made, but it surely is the worst marketed.  Battleship is a horrible movie (worse than Wolverine which also had Kitsch in it) that also had horrible marketing mainly because John Carter tanked in my opinion.  Taylor Kitsch is the star, but he’s tainted now so you can’t put him in the ads, which mean you can’t put the rest of the cast in the ads.  The problem?  The rest of the cast is white fucking hot right now.  Liam Neeson had a total middle-aged action hero career resurgence.  He’s not in the poster.  Brooklyn Decker is a swimsuit model currently the background on half the computers of men in America (Kate Upton has the other half).  She’s not in the poster. Alexander Skarsgard is the background on half the computers of women in America (Ryan Gosling  has the other half).  He’s not in the poster.  And Rhianna goes without saying.  Also, not in the poster.  Not a single one of them is to be seen in any print ad for this movie, because you can’t have them without the star and you apparently can’t have the star because he’s tainted.  How dumb is this line of thinking? That four actually famous people are countered by the failings of one semi-famous guy?  Proof once again, that Marketing as an actual degree you can learn alongside science and literature is a abomination.


The Dictator is down to number four followed by Chernobyl Diaries at number five and was there any doubt I’d overlook this?  First of all it’s supposed to be scary and as we all know I don’t do the scary. Secondly it’s painfully, painfully stupid in its very premise of kids on vacation who decide not to go to Moscow but Chernobyl.  What’s more entertaining than this movie is that there was another bad movie last year about Americans in Moscow when aliens invade, so I guess you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t.


Dark Shadows is down to number six and is it part of their divorce agreement that Helena Bonham-Carter still has to appear in Tim Burton’s crappy films?  There was a time this woman was an art house queen and now she just wears a lot of make-up and camps it up.  Hmmm, I guess that makes her the female Johnny Depp.


What To Expect When You’re Expecting is down to number seven and what does it say that Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez combined can’t get people in to see a movie?  It doesn’t matter if it’s good or not. They’ve made money on crap before.  Also here is Brooklyn Decker giving her two crappy movies in the top ten.  She and Taylor Kitsch now have something to talk about.  But who really suffers the most here is Elizabeth Banks because the clock is ticking on her time to ascend from supporting player to leading actress.  What’s ironic about this is that she was Betty Brant in all three Spider-man films.  Betty was Spider-man’s first real love interest, but that story never was in the films, jumping straight to Mary Jane.  She was robbed of her “Lois Lane” moment and everything else since then save The Hunger Games has tanked (The Next Three Days, Man on a Ledge, Zack & Miri Make a Porno, Our Idiot Brother, etc) and that ain’t her movie.  She’s going to be stuck talking dirty in Apatow’s slob comedies if something doesn’t come through soon.  Taylor Kitsch and Brooklyn Decker should save her a seat.


The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is down to number eight, followed by The Hunger Games at nine (bittersweet for Elizabeth Banks) and Think Like A Man closes out the top ten at ten.


So I’m trying to take advantage of the city more.  You know, go see the sights and shit, which is why I’ve been not only to The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, but this weekend headed out to Brooklyn (again) to catch the exhibit dedicated to DJ Ralph McDaniels and his seminal show Video Music Box. I guess had to be in the tri-state area to know about it, but then again, that was all that mattered in the so-called “Golden Age of Hip-Hop” from the early 80’s to the early 90’s.  But know that anytime you watch some old footage from that time on MTV or VH1 they had to pay Ralph McDaniel’s for it, because he was ground zero of exposure for hip hop in NYC.  He even started a production company for shooting videos where Hype Williams started out.  The display was at the MoCada (Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts), located just off Atlantic in Brooklyn and appropriately enough there was some kind of African-American themed fair going on right there when I got off.  As you can imagine, it’s not a big space and was be divided up into three rooms.  The first was the large main room upon entry where there was a wall of text explaining the importance of Ralph McDaniels and Video Music Box along with artwork, benched and two monitors, one playing videos and the other playing a short documentary about the most legendary piece of phrasing in hip-hop history (it belongs to Rakim in case you were wondering).  This was followed by two smaller spaces one of which had my favorite exhibit of all time: an interactive program displaying the use of brand name champagne shout outs in hip-hop songs from the 80’s until now.  Cristal, Dom Perignon and Moet were the three most cited and it went from literally one or two in a year in the early 80’s to hundreds in the 90’s.  Apparently there’s another coming for all brand names and I’m personally dying to know how many fucking time Alize has been dropped.  Not to mention Gucci, Prada, etc.  Nonetheless the brevity of it was a bit disappointing. Given the medium was video, I’d have preferred fewer paintings and photographs (in which McDaniels ironically rarely appears) and more footage of those years.  There were also binders with articles and interviews but shouldn’t those also have been videos?  How exactly can you not have video interview with a man who was a pioneer in using videos to expand an art form?  Afterwards I went Carroll Gardens to drink in the middle of the day where one of my geek girls was tending bar.  That’s cultural, right?


1 Apr

1. The Hunger Games/LiongsGate            Wknd/$  61.1            Total/$ 251.0

2. Wrath of the Titans/Warners                Wknd/$  34.2            Total/$   34.2

3. Mirror Mirror/Relativity                        Wknd/$  19.0             Total/$   19.0

4. 21 Jump Street/Sony                               Wknd/$  15.0             Total/$   93.1

5. The Lorax/Universal                                Wknd/$   8.0             Total/$ 189.6

6. John Carter/Disney                                  Wknd/$   2.0             Total/$   66.2

7. Salmon Fishing In The Yemen/CBS      Wknd/$   1.3              Total/$     3.2

8. Act of Valor/Relativity                              Wknd/$   1.0             Total/$   67.8

9. A Thousand Words/Paramount              Wknd/$     .9             Total/$   16.5

10.Journey 2: Mysterious Island/WB         Wknd/$     .8              Total/$  98.5


The Hunger Games holds on to number one and if you think the success of these books along with Harry Potter and Twilight mean that people still read, think again. There’s a surprising number of morons who were upset that a characters depicted in the book as Black were actually played by a Black actors.  Now, if they could actually read (much less comprehend what they’re reading) this would not have been a problem, but like I said, people aren’t really reading if “Young Adult” novels are dominating the bestseller lists. I’m pretty sure real, grown up novels should require something above an 8th grade reading level.


Wrath of the Titans opens at number two and the very existence of this film is proof the wrath of an angry god upon those who made the first film so successful and caused a sequel.  The first was so bad it made people actually question the validity of 3D in spite of the money it made. You know how bad you have to be for that to happen?  In Hollywood?  Well, believe it or not this is even worse.  Seriously. It. Is. Bad.  I can’t remember the last time I wanted to walk out of a theater but that actually crossed my mind during Wrath of the Titans.  It commits the ultimate sin of not simply of being bad, but being boring!  You can be awful. We can have fun with awful.  But to literally put people to sleep (my stalwart companion, Geek Girl, took a nap) is unforgivable.  The first film took the classic Greek myth of Perseus and ruined it by adding on some nonsense about the downfall of the gods.  Not only do they recycle the same plot (they have to; Perseus really didn’t have more adventures) they make it even more about the end of the gods as if that were some kind of virtue.  What’s sad is that a somewhat interesting idea is lost, in that when the gods lose their power all the monsters they had imprisoned came free.  So basically this should have been 90 minutes (though it feels like hours) of Perseus killing monsters that have gotten loose.  But no, they go off into this inane and utterly uninteresting conceit on fathers and sons, like anyone in the world is in the theater to see that.  Not to mention by the first film’s own admission Zeus wasn’t much of a father.  Perseus was raised by a fisherman who was in fact killed by the gods (along with the rest of the family Perseus was raised with) so he’s got none of the attachment to Zeus that this film insists he has.  Then there’s the film’s central conceit that the gods lose their power when people pray to them, but what makes you pray faster than a bunch of monsters out running around?  There are no atheists in foxholes, the saying goes and I feel the same can be said about a village beset by a giant fire-breathing, two-heated dog.  I’m pretty sure Zeus, Apollo even fucking Dionysius (you wanna face a giant fire-breathing, tw-headed dog sober?) is getting dialed up when that happens.  Also the “big bad” in all this is the titan Cronus, the first king of the gods and father of Zeus, Hades and Poseidon.  Cronus was a god, not a monster and if they’re losing their power, where the hell is he getting his?  Especially given he has to drain Zeus to get free. And honestly, I wouldn’t be paying attention so much to plot if the action were any good.  The original Clash of the Titans in the 80’s was no great shakes, but it continues to be superior because at the very least it resulted in no crummy sequels.


Mirror, Mirror opens at number three and when are people going to stop giving Tarsem Singh money to make movies?  As you recall, he, Michael Bay and Zack Synder all went to film school together and while he’s most talented of the three, that’s not saying much given he shares their complete and utter disregard for a story in favor of visuals. By my count he only has one hit and that was The Cell with Jennifer Lopez  12 years ago so I’m trying to figure out why he’s now making movies with Julia Roberts now.  Granted, the failure of Immortals was only a few months ago, but his only other film was The Fall which was another display of exceptional visuals and “Script?  What script?” that no one saw.  I’m thinking Julia Roberts is doing what other superstars like Bruce Willis do in that they don’t work with strong directors on their more mainstream, “just a paycheck” projects so they don’t have anyone who can bother them while they’re making easy money.  Julia Roberts can’t fire Steven Soderbergh, but if she has a disagreement with Tarsem Singh, guess who’s going to win?  But even if someone other than Tarsem Singh had directed this I wouldn’t be seeing it because I don’t go to see Julia Roberts movies either.  She sucks. Always has, always will.  I will, however be seeing the other Snow White film, Snow White & The Hunstman, even though it doesn’t make sense that someone as beautiful as Charlize Theron would be threatened by pug-faced Kristen Stewart.  The one good thing I can say about this one is it does make sense that Lily Collins would threaten Julia Roberts.  There honestly is no comparison.


21 Jump Street is down to number four and this is actually Channing Tatum’s second hit this year as The Vow made $169M worldwide off a budget of $30M, which means this big block of wood is about to hit superstar status.  So much for your Masters in Drama from Yale, sucker!


The Lorax is down to number five, followed by John Carter at number six and thanks to overseas returns this has made its production budget back, so perhaps Disney was premature declaring it an abject failure. Granted, it’s still going to lose money, but it’s not the massive bomb it appeared to be.  Though my schadenfreude over the crap marketing and title change remains intact.


Salmon Fishing in the Yemen goes wide and enters the top ten at number seven and will someone please let the casting directors of Hollywood know that Ewan McGregor is no longer 30?  Trainspotting was 16 fucking years ago!  He’s fucking 40 now so why are all his leading ladies either in their 20’s?  Scarlett Johansson (The Island), Eva Green (Perfect Sense) and now here, Emily Blunt.  God forbid the other woman in this film, Kirsten Scott Thomas who is actually in her 40’s touch him.  That aside, my primarily lack of interest in this film stems from its director, Lasse Hallstrom, who makes nothing but schmaltzy treacle under the banner of a quality indie film director thanks to the masterpiece that was My Life as A Dog 20 years ago.  Clearly that was the exception to the rule as the man is so untalented he took a story about chocolate in France with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche (in red pumps!) as lovers and left it sexless and tasteless. The idea (from a novel of the same name) that fly fishing would build bridges between nations is a nice once, but it would take a delicate touch not to make schmaltz and they unfortunately hired the king of trite sentimentality to do it.


Act of Valor, A Thousand Words and Journey 2: Mysterious Island finish out the top ten at eight, nine and ten respectively and they all made a million dollars or less showing you how weak this weekend was in terms of box office returns.  Yeah, you can blame March Madness, but exactly who among that audience would really be at these movies anyway?


26 Mar

1. The Hunger Games/LiongsGate            Wknd/$ 155.0           Total/$ 155.0

2. 21 Jump Street/Sony                                Wknd/$  21.3            Total/$    71.1

3. The Lorax/Universal                                Wknd/$  13.1             Total/$ 177.3

4. John Carter/Disney                                  Wknd/$   5.0             Total/$   62.3

5. Act of Valor/Relativity                              Wknd/$    2.1            Total/$   65.9

6. Project X/Warners                                     Wknd/$    2.0           Total/$   51.8

7. A Thousand Words/Paramount              Wknd/$    1.9            Total/$   14.9

8. October Baby/Goldcrest                           Wknd/$    1.7            Total/$     1.7

9. Safe House/Universal                                Wknd/$    1.4            Total/$  122.6

10.Journey 2: Mysterious Island/WB            Wknd/$    1.4          Total/$    97.2


The Hunger Games opens at number one and I have no interest in this on any level. Not the books and certainly not the movie.  Why? I simply can’t get beyond it being kids.  Seriously. I can handle my adult-on-adult arena violence just fine, but you tell me children are being forced to fight to the death and I’m out.  This is essentially the same premise as the successful Battle Royale manga (Japanese comics) series from Japan and I got through maybe four pages of that in its all its bloody black-and-white glory before putting it down.  It also spawned a film that I will never see.  I don’t even care that it’s 20-somethings playing teenagers, it’s still kids.  So you have fun.  I’ll be over here waiting for The Avengers to come out.


21 Jump Street is down to number two and I was getting perilously close to actually seeing this—but then I think of looking at Jonah Hill for 90 minutes and the feeling goes away.


The Lorax is down to number three, followed by John Carter at number four, and Disney has already written this off as a flop despite the fact that it’s doing well overseas.  It’d be hysterical to find out director Andrew Stanton had no control over overseas marketing. That would put the final nail in the coffin of him ever having this much control over a live-action film again.  But you know what?  Given he directed Finding Nemo and Wall-E, I don’t want him wasting another second with live action.  This needs to die and go away as quickly as possible, so stop it, France!


Act of Valor actually holds at number five and has made 3x its cost meaning it’s not only profitable, but pretty much guarantees a sequel.  Unsurprisingly this hasn’t done well at all overseas. Actually, I’m surprised they even tried. How on earth could you sell what is basically an unvarnished celebration of the US Military in other countries?  Yeah, Transformers, Top Gun, Battleground LA, etc were all celebrations too, but those were hidden behind drama and aliens.  This might as well be called “How We Kick Your Asses All Over The World, Foreigners.” Even Captain America was a superhero WWII movie more than anything.


Project X is down to number six, followed by A Thousand Words at number seven and to show you the bullshit about disparate ages between men and women crosses color lines, Eddie Murphy is 50 and playing his wife in this is Kerry Washington (the girl you call when Nia Long is busy) who is 35.  And don’t tell me Eddie doesn’t look his age. That’s not the point. Angela Bassett (who was once his love interest in the miserable A Vampire in Brooklyn) doesn’t look her age either, but she’s not being given a job playing his wife.  Though in this case it may be a mercy.


Opening at number eight is October Baby, yet another one of those Christian movies that shows up in the top ten from time to time. Last year it was Christian Cops and earlier this year it was Christian Firefighters.  This one is Christian…Children?  I dunno.   Basically it’s one long anti-abortion ad.  I won’t call it “pro-life” because that’s bullshit. People who fight the death penalty are “pro-life.”  This is about an adopted girl who discovers that her medical problems are the result of being the survivor of an attempted abortion by her biological mother.  Wow. Could you stack the deck any more than that?  “Abortion is so evil, even when it doesn’t happen a life is still damaged!” Sigh. I’m not even remotely surprised this was made in my hometown of Birmingham.  Keep it classy, Alabama!  Normally, I really don’t care about these movies, because everybody deserves something made for them.  I’m also glad these people have finally made their own so they can stop bitching about how horrible Hollywood is and stop that hypocritical bullshit where they edit out movies they’re clearly interested in under the guise of “inappropriate material.”  Funny how they care so much  about their morality so much they’ll edit a film that isn’t theirs but don’t care so much about morality they simply won’t give it up altogether.  That’s taking a stand for your beliefs. Cutting the nudity out of Titanic is not. Oh, and “cleaning up” a movie almost never requires taking out the violence.


Safe House is down to number nine, followed by Journey 2: Mysterious Island this stunningly has made a shitload of money.  With a $79M budget it made $97M stateside and a whopping  $207 million internationally, showing we don’t need the military to take over the world. We’ve already done it with our crappy movies.


Once again, it’s wonderful how the TV season never really ends and this week it was Bent, the second most horribly marketed product of the year (#1 of course being John Carter).  You wouldn’t know it by any of the commercials or ads on buses or phone booths, but this is essentially a romantic comedy about a contractor and the woman he’s working for. Now the review I read was not kind. It complained of all the clichés present and they are definitely here.  She’s an uptight lawyer with a cute 10-year-old daughter, slutty sister and a husband in jail for insider trading. Seriously. Not an original concept to be seen, but we’re not done.  He’s a laid back, surfing, skirt-chasing, recovering addict (gambling which isn’t as messy or unappealing as drugs or booze) contractor with a wacky dad and wacky construction crew.  But if clichés made a show bad then both Modern Family and Arrested Development are bad because they’re just about wacky families. It’s the execution that matters, because there’s no such thing as a new idea and the execution is not bad on this show. One thing that won me over immediately was a) no laugh track, which slows down the jokes to wait for the audience to laugh and b) everyone has a brain.  While the exchanges aren’t a Modern Family or even Happy Endings level of swiftness, they’re still a cut above your average sitcom.  Even the WASPy Ralph Bellamy doctor boyfriend meant to be the rival (like I said, not a cliché left unturned) gives as good as he gets.  And the cast is solid with TV vets young and old including Arrested Development’s own Jeffery Tambour, Curb Your Enthusiasm’s JB Smoove and Friday Night Lights Jesse Plemons.  Not that you’d know this from one of the worse promotions ever.  I mean, what the fuck is that title supposed to mean!?!  Given he’s a contractor shouldn’t it have been a play on that, like “Under Construction” or something?  And honestly, this is barely a 90-minute movie plot, much less something that runs indefinitely. Unless the joke was going to be that he never finishes her house like Elton on Murphy Brown.  But honestly, this was doomed the moment they cast Amanda Peet as the lead.  No matter how prestigious or a seeming sure thing the project may be, if she’s in it, it’s not gonna work.  The only way it could have been more fated for failure is if they’d cast Rena Sofer.


So I broke with my usual tradition or drinking at home alone and accomplishing nothing of what I set out to do and went out on Saturday night.  Into the wilds of Brooklyn.  And when I mean “wilds” I mean the fucking wilds as I wound up on the G train at one point.  One of the geek girls I met while working at St. Mark’s Comics is now in a band (basically she’s doing all the shit you’re supposed to do in your 20’s) where she plays the saw. Yes, the saw. It sounds like a Theremin and if you don’t know what that is do an internet search and watch some science fiction movies from the 50’s ‘cause I don’t have the time.  I get invites all the time, but this time I decided to get off my ass and support one of my friends (this doesn’t mean I’m going to do it for you).  Of course when I finally decide to do this I learn it’s in Greenpoint.  Not even Williamsburg, but Greenpoint.  Since we were headed out that way my friend and I decided to have dinner out there first.  This lead to an internet search for something nearby and comforting. I’m not going to be testing the waters of exotic in Brooklyn.  I chose Mabel’s Stackhouse, which is a bbq place in Williamsburg with some decent reviews, but me being me forgot to get the right stop before I left home. Once on the L I decided the best thing to do would be to get off on the stop where all the young people got off.  Sure enough when I saw everyone under 30 to exiting the train, I followed and the restaurant was only a few blocks away.  I’m not a connoisseur of BBQ, but I am southern so that makes my opinion more valid than 99% of everyone else above the Mason Dixon line and this was some good stuff. Definitely better than my first go round at Southern Hospitality, the place backed by Justin Timberlake.  I got the rib platter and it was tender and came easily off the bone.  The size was a little small, but I’m about portion control these days so it worked out. After dinner we got one of cars that are now legally allowed to pick you up which is a good thing because there are no fucking cabs to be found and we were headed into the wastelands.  The club was actually a bar whose backroom had the tables removed and pool table pushed into the corner. There was no elevated bandstand putting the bands flat on the floor to perform.  Because I’m old I was immediately disappointed I didn’t have anywhere to sit. Not to mention you’re killing your opportunity to have people order drinks.  The bands were supposed to start at 8:30 and my friend’s band was third up, which means they’d be lucky to be on at 11:30 which about when they went up and I was pleasantly surprised by them being good. It’s always a gamble to see a friend’s band because if they suck (and they usually do) what do you say? “Um, you were really…on stage…playing.”  But they were energetic, tight and the songs actually had melody.  Oh, and they had a saw.  But more than anything, this frees me from ever having to see them again. My obligation has been met.  Still, this doesn’t mean I’m going to see you.