Saturday, January 24, 2009

Newsday Impulse, Januray 29th 2008 - "Soon to be Untraceable"

Lost in a sea of forgettable action/thriller movies, "Untraceable" has a plot that is a little too far-fetched and it is lacking the mystery, twists and turns to make it exciting enough for you to run out of the house and go see. It's not a bad movie, and Diane Lane puts on a good performance, as usual, but she is at the mercy of the screenwriter who was perhaps digging a little too deep on this one. A note to those who are squeamish: The methods used to kill people in this movie are a little grotesque, so be forewarned. Better advice: Skip the theater altogether and wait for this to come out on DVD.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Newsday Impulse, January 09, 2008 - "Got Beer?"

Erik, 22, Cold Spring Harbor

His pick: The Ginger Man, 11 E. 36th St., Manhattan, 212-532-3740;

If you're a beer lover like me, there is no doubt that you'll love The Ginger Man. Perhaps the best spot in Manhattan to grab a pint, it's just walking distance from Penn Station (well maybe not in January!). With 60-plus beers on tap, and more than 130 in the bottle, it's no wonder the place has received praise from some of the industry's best, including world renown beer critic, the late Michael Jackson, who said, "The Ginger Man is one of my favorite beer bars anywhere in the world." Of course, no bar worth its salt would be lacking good bar food! And it delivers with excellent, reasonably priced pub fare. Naturally, a place this good is no secret and it's always filled with interesting people. A word to the wise — it gets crowed quickly, especially weeknights.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Newsday Impulse, December 18, 2007 - "I am Legend?"

Will Smith is one of the few infallible actors in Hollywood — every movie he makes is good. “I Am Legend” made me question that theory. I have mixed feelings about the movie. I’m not going to say it was bad, but it could’ve been a lot better. The premise is a little far-fetched, but it’s the “dark seekers” that ruin it. Aside from them — and some contradictions in the plot — the movie was pretty good. As always, Smith does an amazing acting job. The shots of an empty Manhattan are amazing and chilling at the same time. The lack of computer-generated images (save for the dark seekers) and dialogue in the first half of the film is excellent. In the end, I think only Smith’s pure ability and charisma saved the movie. His record of infallibility continues.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Newsday Impulse, November 06, 2007 - "Jimmy Eat World - [Don't] "Chase This Light"

Music is subjective. Having said that, there is an aspect of music that is not really subjective. It comes down to talent. This album, while not horrible, definitely lacked talent. They may not define themselves as emo, but Jimmy Eat World certainly sounded like it on "Chase This Light." There was too much whining and not enough diversity or substance. The only song that could be called a stand-out would be "Gotta Be Somebody's Blues," which demonstrated some musical ability. The whole fast-paced, trying-too-hard-to-be-catchy thing just doesn't work for 40 minutes straight. Naturally, if you're a Jimmy Eat World fan you'll probably like the album. For the rest of us, downloading a song or two might be a better idea. In a word: forgettable.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Newsday Impulse, October 17th, 2007 - "The Bands Rule the Rock 45 Room"

As soon as I spotted the guy in the Hartford Whalers jersey and matching CCM hockey helmet at the bar, I knew it was going to be an interesting evening at The Rock 45 Room [Klub 45]. The $10 cover isn't too bad, considering you get to see at least three bands play. There's plenty of room, and the stage is decent, however, the 1950s "generic Irish pub" decor just doesn't inspire excitement. Regardless, this space isn't about elaborate furnishings, or sipping $15 martinis -- it's about the bands that play there. Various types of rock, mixed with an ample selection of beers on tap are always a surefire recipe for a good time. The bottom line -- what it really comes down to is that if the bands playing for the night are entertaining, it’s worth the $10.