Self High-Five: Ten Times Ten to the Tenth

bill bodkin celebrates 10 columns … it only took four months … yeah

Oh, the autumnal winds are rolling in and providing a beautiful landscape for the pop culture world of the one-year-plus-old-life of the B&B. Wow, that was a flowery sentence. But it’s true. One year ago, this site was just starting out. Now, a year later, we’ve had the likes of Chunk from The Goonies, Mick Foley, John Easdale of Dramarama and American Idol‘s Antonella Barba featured on the site.

Why do I mention this? Because I am super-excited about the future of this blog. We’ve had a series of super-awesome pieces from Brent Johnson, and as we speak, we’re piecing together some very cool Halloween-themed posts as well as starting to roll out some more local band pieces. Very exciting times!

Now, onto my week in pop culture…

Movie: The Social Network
This blurb will never do the justice that Brent Johnson did for this movie. But, here goes. The Social Network absolutely blew me away. This drama, which was crafted so beautifully in every cinematic aspect, is based on something that happened with in the past decade. Usually, when recent history is attempted to be put on film, the end result is either a diluted interpretation of the original event or the production takes so long that the event’s relevance is lost on audience. The Social Network is current, it’s vibrant, it’s alive. It has all the intensity of a thriller — an atmosphere created through Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor’s score. The acting is Oscar-worthy, with bravura performances coming from Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake. The Social Network is a must-see “generational” film that I’m sure this site will be talking a lot about when Oscar season rolls around.

Music: “Barbra Streisand” by Duck Sauce
Let’s not split hairs here. This song is kind of silly … but in the best possible way. It’s a two-word song — just a monotone exclamation of “Barbra Streistrand!” backed by a really groovy, quasi-disco, quasi-house beat. It’s a simple song, but it’s definitely a step up from the simple, knucklehead guilty pleasure “G6” by Far East Movement. That song is just a little too simple and a little too meatheaded. “Barbra Streisand” has a little more polish, a little more pedigree. Maybe this has to do with the band, Duck Sauce, comprised of renowned DJs Armand Van Helden and A-Trak. Maybe the fact the video features megastars like Kanye and Farrell. Or maybe it’s because the song has a crazy, throwback feel that’s reminiscent of that cool British dance sound we got in the late ’90s. Or maybe because it’s the New York urban groove that makes hipsters want to dance with their iPods in the streets of Brooklyn. Whatever it is, Duck Sauce has created one hell of a fun tune.

Food: Distrito
On Saturday night, I ventured into the city of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, for the bachelor party of one Mr. John Mendoza. At his request we went to the popular Mexican restaurant, Distrito. Owned by the Garces Restaurant Group, Distrito is a 250 seat, two-level pink lucha libre-inspired restaurant that specializes in “small plates.” Yes, Mexican tapas. It’s no secret that I’m ambivalent about tapas. I do love the opportunity to sample different dishes with a lively group of foodies, but I really love to eat, and tapas doesn’t give you the chance to stuff your face. And yes, I do love to stuff my face. Irregardless, the fare at Distrito is muy, muy bueno. Culinary creativity and freshness are apparent as soon as the first “small plate” lands on your table. My favorite dishes were the Espites, which is a combination of fresh, sweet corn, chipotle sauce and Mexican cheese. I’ve had versions of this dish on the cob, but Distrito serves it parfait styles. Dios mio! This is absolutely out-of-this-world delicious. The other dish that knocked my socks off was the spare rib flatbread. It’s so tasty and perfect for tapas. This dish flew around the table as it was a huge hit for the party. Also kudos to Distrito for serving Mexican Coca-Cola. It was that good. Also big ups to Distrito for the entire wall of luchador masks which lines the wall leading to second floor.

Television: Law and Awful
After the bachelor party (the next night), I returned home to dinner at my future in-laws. Not being football people, I missed out on the 49ers/Eagles game and instead checked out one of NBC’s latest crime dramas- Law & Order: Los Angeles. And frankly, it was awful. I watched two episodes — and both were overly convoluted, overwrought and stiffly acted pieces of tripe. I’ve seen almost every version of Law & Order (minus the short-lived series about judges) and I’ve come to expect and tolerate the series’ penchant for ridiculous plot twists and almost impossible conclusions. Yet it’s always been the dynamic acting that saves it. However, L&O: LA desperately lacks good acting. First, the main detective is Skeet Ulrich. That’s right, Skeet Ulrich. Star of Chill Factor. In this series, he blandly sweats his way through tense situations and sleepwalks through the supposed witty banter between him and his oddly mustachioed Peter Sarsgaard look-a-like partner played by Corey Stoll (the only good actor on the show). Then there’s also DA’s played on alternating weeks by Alfred Molina and Terence Howard. Molina, as always, is solid, but the dialogue he’s given is really weak. I mean, weaker than Prince of Persia or Sorcerer’s Apprentice weak. And what’s up with comb-over crew cut hairstyle? As for Terence Howard, the once promising actor has been downgraded to a next-to-tears goody two-shoes. I mean, he nearly weeps in every scene. The Verdict: After two episodes of this new series it makes me wonder why NBC would cancel the original Law & Order, which was getting a little long in the tooth, with a half-baked and subpar replacement.

Video: The Multi Product Commercial
I’ve mentioned this a few times before, but I am a part of the up-and-coming video production/sketch comedy group, Therefore Productions. On Tuesday, the latest video from the group, The Multi Product Commercial was released. The premise of the sketch is a
60-second spec ad that centers on the fictional scenario that during an economic downturn advertisers combined their efforts into one all-encompassing commercial. The sketch has been picked up on various blogs like The Gawker, The Awesomer and New York Magazine’s Vulture site. If you haven’t checked it out, click on this link to look at it. I know this is shameless shilling, but the cast and crew (outside of me) really, really poured their hearts into this. I am very proud of these guys, as they are weeks away from moving into a new office in Tribeca. Yes, these dynamic creatives are living the dream and I can envision great things for them. And yes, this photo is me in a giant Pop Tart box.

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site’s podcast, The BreakCast.┬áHe is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites

1 COMMENT

  1. Actually, last nights episode of Law and Order:LA was superior to the first two and the acting was solid from the entire cast. I agree that Terrence Howard is a drama-queen and the only real weak link on the show. Unfortunately, I thnk the ratings will be lower due to the rescue of the miners in Chile being aired on ABC and CNN.

    The first two episodes of LOLA were rushed to air and it showed. They had to do major recasting due to the diva antics of Wanda De Jesus and this made editing difficult. The first two eppys were very CSI Miami-esque whereas this episode was far more compelling. I say give it time to develop and the stronger scripts to surface.