Sunday, January 31, 2010

Obama, Georgetown Overwhelm Duke

My season-ticket partner-in-crime Peter and I knew the Duke game had a good chance to be the game of the year. And although the action of the court didn't live up to the excitement of the Hoyas' 72-69 win over UConn earlier this month, it was definitely a thriller.

A blowout from the point Georgetown led 9-3 (with the Blue Devils never taking a lead), the home team went on to win 89-77, which will put the Hoyas into the top 10 come Monday.

They are looking good, and so were the dignitaries sitting just about 15 rows away from us: President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, advisor David Axelrod, and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Others sprinkled around the arena included NBAer Tracy McGrady, former Hoya coach John Thompson, Pardon the Interruption star Michael Wilbon, and D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, not to mention CBS commentators Clark Kellogg and Vern Lundquist.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ranking My Favorite NFL Teams From 1 to 32

As the season winds down to a New Orleans-Indianapolis Super Bowl (this list tells you who I'm cheering for), it seems like a good time to departmentalize the NFL teams.

I love lists, and somehow I've never made one showing how much I love (the Steelers) versus how much I despise (the Cowboys and Pats) the NFL's 32 teams.

Teams That I Despise

32. Dallas Cowboys
31. New England Patriots
30. Cincinnati Bengals
29. Cleveland Browns
28. Indianapolis Colts
27. Denver Broncos
26. Oakland Raiders
25. Philadelphia Eagles
24. Tennessee Titans
23. Miami Dolphins

Teams That Have No Effect on Me Whatsoever and Should Be Removed from the League
22. Houston Texans
21. Jacksonville Jaguars
20. Atlanta Falcons
19. Detroit Lions
18. New York Giants
17. New York Jets
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
15. Buffalo Bills

Teams That I Respect But Despise
14. Chicago Bears
13. Seattle Seahawks
12. San Francisco 49ers
11. Baltimore Ravens
10. San Diego Chargers

Teams That I Kind of Like
09. Green Bay Packers
08. Minnesota Vikings
07. Kansas City Chiefs
06. New Orleans Saints
05. Carolina Panthers
04. Arizona Cardinals

My Teams
03. Washington Redskins
02. St. Louis Rams
01. Pittsburgh Steelers

Random I know, but this is how my mind works when determining which games I want to watch each Sunday. "My teams" versus teams I despise would be a can't-miss match-up. Teams I "kind of like" playing against each other would be worth watching in under an hour on the digital video recorder. I would probably let Neon Deion Sanders and the crew at NFL Network (the new number-one post-game analysis TV outlet) tell me in under 3 minutes about the games played by teams that have no effect on me.

Where do your teams rank?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Music Reviews in 3 Words or Less: Volume 14

The Beach Boys - Friends (1968)
Underrated psych-pop landmark
Touchstones: The Beatles meet The Shins
****1/2 out of ***** stars

The Trouble With Sweeney - I Know You Destroy! (2003)
Indie emotional chamber
Touchstones: Butterglory meets Bright Eyes
****1/2 out of ***** stars

Tullycraft - Disenchanted Hearts Unite (2005)
Fast boy-girl twee
Touchstones: Beat Happening meets Pants Yell!
****1/2 out of ***** stars

Christopher Cross - The Very Best of (2002)
Ultimate yacht-rock collection
Touchstones: The Doobie Brothers meet Hall and Oates
**** out of ***** stars

The J. Geils Band - Freeze Frame (1981)
Caught in 1981
Touchstones: The Rolling Stones meet Prince
*** out of ***** stars

The Twilight Singers - Blackberry Belle (2003)
Worst GregDulli album
Touchstones: Afghan Whigs meet Leonard Cohen
**1/2 out of ***** stars

Ganglians - Ganglians (2009)
Boring BeachBoyNoise knockoffs
Touchstones: Animal Collective meets Te Folk Implosion
** out of ***** stars

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Two Rooms Adds to Everyman Theater's Growing Regional Authority

From 1982 through 1992, nearly 100 Westerners were kidnapped and held hostage by Lebanese Hezbollah clans. Playwright Lee Blessing (pictured below) clearly takes his inspiration from this horrifyingly drawn-out affair and turns it into a piece of theater that is both an educating history lesson and a moving love story.

Two Rooms is the play, written in 1988, which opened this past week at the always-excellent Everyman Theater in Baltimore (which, if the three plays I've seen there are any indication, is quickly replacing DC's Woolly Mammoth, as the region's best theater).

Clinton Brandhagen plays Professor Michael Wells, who does a realistic job of taking us into the mind of a hostage. His descriptions of what he thinks about all day are profound. They make the audience wonder why our heads are so often buried in TV and computers rather than seeing, smelling, and absorbing the beauty of nature and the stories behind the objects that surround us everyday in our lives. (It would be interesting to one day see a play, perhaps by the clear and well-researched Blessing, that delves equally deeply into the mind of a terrorist on the other side of the aisle from the hostage.)

Dawn Ursula plays Lainie Wells, who is Michael's grieving wife back home in the U.S. She locks herself away most days in what used to be Michael's office. Ursula, like all the actors here, get the tone and emotional pull just right.

She is being tugged on from two sides to do "the right thing." Tim Getman is journalist Walker Harris, who befriends Lainie in an attempt to do more for her than what the government has offered. Getman walks the line well of being a likable idealistic reporter and a Pulitzer-seeking egotist. I related to his character well and thought he got the role just right.

Deborah Hazlett is coming at Lainie from the other direction as the secretive, move-slowly-and-diplomatically State Department official Ellen Van Oss. She provides the spot-on ammunition (and the play's very few uncomfortably humorous lines) for why those close to hostages must feel so empty and helpless.

Two Rooms focuses on the stark setting of both the hostage and his wife. The two rooms are virtually blank. The set is the sparsest one I've ever seen. But I left the theater full of imagery and wanting to get back to the essentials of life. A more natural, less consumeristic way of life. Blessing is clearly an under-known talent, and the four actors in Two Rooms serve him extremely well. Don't miss this play.

***** out of ***** stars

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Music Reviews in 3 Words or Less: Volume 13

Beulah - The Coast Is Never Clear (2002)
Large dark-happy hooks
Touchstones: Pavement meets Elephant 6 bands
***** out of ***** stars

Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac (1975)
Shimmering Mulholland majesty
Touchstones: Rilo Kiley meets Bob Welch
***** out of ***** stars

Frank Sinatra - Come Fly With Me (1958)
Mad Men swing
Touchstones: Harry Connick, Jr. meets Duke Ellington
***** out of ***** stars

Bettie Serveert - Dust Bunnies (1997)
Jangly, angular Amersterdamrock
Touchstones: Neil Young meets Blake Babies
****1/2 out of ***** stars

Three Dog Night - The Complete Hit Singles (2004)
1970s blue-eyed magic
Touchstones: Hall and Oates meets Harry Nilsson
****1/2 out of ***** stars

Death (USA) - ... For the Whole World to See (2009)
Detroit black power
Touchstones: Bad Brains meets The Stooges
****1/2 out of ***** stars

Frank Zappa - Absolutely Free (1967)
Psycho prune pop
Touchstones: Captain Beefheart meets Butthole Surfers
***1/2 out of ***** stars

Steve Martin - The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo (2009)
Accomplished, enjoyable bluegrass
Touchstones: Foggy Mountain Boys meets a really good bluegrass bar band
***1/2 out of ***** stars

The Flaming Lips - The Dark Side of the Moon (2009)
Squiggly cover album
Touchstones: Pink Floyd meets Dinosaur Jr.
***1/2 out of ***** stars

George Harrison - Extra Texture (1975)
Some beautiful moments
Touchstones: Eric Clapton meets Ravi Shankar
*** out of ***** stars

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Drag Me to Hell Scares Us Into the Next Decade

The 2000s didn't have an over-abundance of great horror movies. But there were some notables, including Jeepers Creepers, Wrong Turn, 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead, The Eye, Saw, Hostel, The Ring, Wolf Creek, The Devil's Rejects, and The Hills Have Eyes (see a solid all-time top 100 list of horror flicks here).

Drag Me to Hell rounded out the decade nicely at the end of last year. This movie is very scary. My heart is still racing 30 minutes after it ended. And that's no surprise, since it was directed by Sam Raimi, of such classics as Evil Dead II, Army of Darkness, and Spider-Man.

Alison Lohman plays Christine Brown, a loan officer who "shames" an old gypsy woman losing the mortgage on her house. The woman is downright nasty about this situation. She stalks and attacks Christine several times early in the film. Lohman does a good job of alternating between strong career woman and vulnerable former farm girl. She reminds me of a poor-man's Naomi Watts, with a Drew Barrymore voice, and may have a promising future.

Her boyfriend is played well by Justin Long, quickly becoming a veteran of the horror genre after his fantastic turns in Jeepers Creepers 1 and 2 (not to mention a lengthy resume in top-notch comedy films).

The old-woman scenes carry the first half of the movie, and a terrifying exorcism as well as the train-station scene offer enough twists to keep the pace up for the second half.

Here's to hoping Drag Me to Hell is a sign of good (or at least evil) things to come in the 2010s.

**** out of ***** stars

Monday, January 18, 2010

Avatar Blows Our Sci-fi Minds

I saw Avatar in RealD 3D last night as it was winning the Golden Globe for picture of the year. I agree that it's a deserving insta-classic.

My complaints are minor: Trite and cliched dialog. Arguably overlong action sequences. A lack of deep acting chops. Awful music (especially the song during the end credits) that mirrors ultra-creative Director James Cameron's painful Titanic soundtrack.

Other than that: Whoa! Avatar is a mind-bending sociological statement in the style of all the best science-fiction classics. It seems there are two types of people in the world: those who love sci-fi and those who hate sci-fi. That is the line that ultimately determines how much one likes this movie. Even still, anyone who likes The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, E.T., Planet of the Apes, King Kong '76, and Lost (movies and a TV show that have allowed sci-fi haters to come to our side) should find something to enjoy about this surprisingly sensual thriller.

The hero has competing forces of a mining corporation, the military, scientists who create avatars and are making some huge technological leaps, and a potential life mate (who just happens to be from a different species) weighing on him as tries to save a future world and its inhabitants from the same kinds of greedy invaders who are rampaging our own world. The environmental, war, and big business metaphors sprinkled liberally and without shame are the essence of great sci-fi stories.

It will be interesting to see what the stuffy Academy Award judges will do about this movie, but there's no doubt among the rest of us that this is the movie of the year.

***** out of ***** stars

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Star Trek Takes Special Effects Where Most Movies Fear to Tread

I have never been a Trekkie and have never seen any of the first 10 movies. The most I've delved in were the first few TV episodes from the 1960s. That said, I really liked those few episodes I saw. One had something to do with a monkey, I recall.

So, with not much baggage going into this 2-hour-plus endeavor, the latest installment, simply called Star Trek, is really good.

Unknowns Chris Pine as a swashbuckling Captain James T. Kirk and Zachary Quinto (Heroes and 24) as the smart and powerful Spock are excellent as dueling buddies ala Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. They both bring emotion and feeling to characters who very well could have been cold. In fact, the entire crew of the USS Enterprise wins the audience over by the end.

Eric Bana (Black Hawk Down, Funny People) plays tattoo-faced bad-guy Nero with a refreshing non-Darth Vader, normal-guy voice. And the special effects, for once in a modern movie, don't detract from the story. There are a lot of cool silent-but-still-massive explosions and interesting uses of sound (or lack thereof) for the many sci-fi violence moments.

Nicely directed by J.J. Abrams of Lost fame. And anytime you can cast Winona Ryder as an old whore, you must be doing something right.

**** out of ***** stars

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Federer and Nadal and the "Greatest Tennis Match Ever Played"

As Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal awaited their third straight Wimbledon final, they sat together (but apart) in the locker room while it rained outside. L. Jon Wertheim watched them and wrote a book, Strokes of Genius: Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played, about this legendary 2008 match.

At this point, "their differences were glaringly apparent. Federer radiated calm. He sat on the bench smiling and cracking cocktail-party jokes." He drank a Pepsi and ate pasta primavera about two hours before the match was to begin. Now, at what was supposed to be match time, "he munched one of his beloved Kit Kat chocolate bars" that the locker-room attendants had stocked at his request.

Nadal, on the other hand, stretched, paced, and "fiddled with the tight bands of tape below his knees, worn to prevent the patellar tendinitis that had bothered him in the past." He rifled through his rackets over and over and ritualistically "lowered and raised his socks until they were precisely the same height."

Once they were finally called to the court, with the rain stopped, Nadal sat in his courtside chair and sipped from each of his two bottles of water, arranging the bottles so their labels would face towards the side of the court he would occupy. Meanwhile, Federer waited for him to get on the court for some warmup time. Federer's girlfriend (now wife), Mirka Vavrinec, watched Nadal "and muttered, 'Oh, come on.'"

In the weeks leading up to this match, Federer was almost never seen unless his was on the court, while Nadal could be spotted walking to the courts from his rental, shopping at Tesco, and lingering after his matches at the All England Club.

The differences in these two players help make this a great read. It may not be a Borg/McEnroe/Conners-type tale, but it's about as good as tennis legends get these days.

Margaret Atwood's All-Wet Science Fiction

I love a good apocalypse novel, but from reading the first few dozen pages of Margaret Atwood's new The Year of the Flood, this doesn't make the grade.

Toby is the young girl protagonist who watches out from her building at an abandoned wasteland years after some sort of flood has removed most of the humans from earth (although the animals and plants seem to have done alright). She dreams of other kids she once knew and wonders if she is the only person left on the planet. Apparently, for a time, she worked at a "SeksMart," although I'm not sure if this was before or after the "flood." Actually, I'm not sure if she was a prostitute, a trapeze artist, or a worker at a human-meat burger joint. She could shoot a rifle though, and nails a boar when it encroaches on her garden.

The Year of the Flood seems to be written in a style that captures the current moment of intense environmentalism that society is caught up in, but it's awfully slow and meandering from the start. Apparently, it later details an eco-cult called God's Gardeners, but I didn't have the patience to read on. And, unfortunately, just because Atwood, a member of the Green Party of Canada, has written some good sci-fi over the years (the Arthur C. Clarke sci-fi award winner The Handmaid's Tale) doesn't give her a free pass. She needed to add a little fun to this apocalyptic mix.

Give me Kim Stanley Robinson's end-days fiction any day instead.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Update: So Yes, Mom, I Was on TV Yesterday

OK, so I did end up being on TV yesterday (realizing this post is mainly for my mom, but, really, which of my articles isn't for my mom).

The World Resources Institute's Environmental Stories to Watch aired on C-SPAN2 from 7 to 8 p.m. EST on Thursday and again from 4 to 5 a.m. today. It features me introducing my non-profit's president, Jonathan Lash, as he walks reporters through what they might expect to cover over the upcoming months and year.

Much of it is about post-Copenhagen climate issues, what Congress will do to pass a climate bill (if anything), and some information on the EPA, forests and Chesapeake Bay water issues.

It was probably the most successful event I've had the pleasure of organizing in my 5+ years at WRI. There were more than 80 people in the room at the National Press Club, including reporters from Politico, The Guardian (UK), Reuters, TV, BBC World News Tonight, Bloomberg News, National Journal, Climatewire/New York Times, National Geographic, Voice of America, Agence France Press, Kyodo News, Gannett, McClatchey News, Public Radio International, and many others.

Watch it on C-SPAN2 (I speak for the first 4 or 5 minutes, mom).

Listen to an interview on WAMU 88.5 FM in D.C.

Or read a summary at

WRI's own Web site has some nifty features on the event as well.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm On TV Tomorrow: Find Out About the Next Hot Environmental Issues

Hey all, catch me on C-SPAN in the morning. I'll be the guy introducing the president of my organization, Jonathan Lash, at the World Resources Institute's annual "environmental stories to watch" press briefing at the National Press Club here in D.C.

Interest is higher than ever this year -- being freshly back from the Copenhagen climate talks and all -- and it looks like the turnout for both journalists and some of our corporate funders will be impressive.

I thought this was going to be aired live, but now I understand it will be aired later. I'll send more details soon.

You can find out more about what Jonathan will discuss here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Top 40 Rock Albums of 2009

I apologize ahead of time to the editors of Rolling Stone, who are quickly driving me away from their magazine by devoting 40 pages of every issue to a coverage of U2, Green Day, the Stones, Bob Dylan, and Bruce. Nothing against any of those artists, but you won't find any of their albums in this list (although Green Day and Springsteen had releases in 2009 that were very, very solid). My list proclaims: "Out with the old and in with the new." There are a ton of promising new artists included here that help go to show that rock is far from dead ...

40. Mates of State - Re-Arrange Us
39. Little Joy (pictured) - Little Joy
38. Ben Kweller - Changing Horses
37. Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish I Were an Eagle
36. Ben Lee - Rebirth of Venus
35. God Help the Girl - God Help the Girl
34. Absentee - Victory Shorts
33. Tiny Masters of Today - Skeletons
32. Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Pains of Being Pure at Heart
31. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

30. Phish - Joy
29. Pearl Jam - Backspacer
28. M. Ward - Hold Time
27. Doug Gillard - Call From Restricted
26. The Boy Least Likely To - The Law of the Playground
25. Japanese Motors - Japanese Motors
24. Kaiser Chiefs (pictured) - Off With Their Heads
23. Tahiti 80 - Activity Center
22. Tinted Windows - Tinted Windows
21. Wilco - Wilco (The Album)

20. Tegan & Sara - Sainthood
19. Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk
18. Meat Puppets - Sewn Together
17. Julian Casablancas - Phrazes for the Young
16. Girls (pictured) - Album
15. Echo and the Bunnymen - The Fountain
14. Weezer - Raditude
13. Telekinesis! - Telekinesis!
12. Sonic Youth - The Eternal
11. I Was a King - I Was a King

10. Dinosaur Jr. - Farm
09. Boston Spaceships - Planets Are Blasted
08. Apollo Ghosts - Hastings Sunrise
07. Ladyhawke - Ladyhawke
06. The Thermals - Now We Can See
05. Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - Outer South
04. Brendan Benson - My Old, Familiar Friend
03. Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You
02. Darlings - Yeah I Know
01. Avett Brothers (pictured) - I and Love and You

Best Music of 2009: Odds and Ends

Best Live Show:
Wilco at Wolftrap in Virginia on July 8

Best Reissues:
The Beatles remastered 13 albums

Best Single:
Girls - "Lust for Life"

Best Debut Album:
Darlings - Yeah I Know

Most Anticipated Reunion for 2010:

Steelers Go From Super Bowl to See-Ya-Next-Year

I was going to write a season-ender on my Pittsburgh Steelers, who were eliminated from making the playoffs in the last week of the regular season. But since one of my favorite blogs, Steelers Gab, summed up the highs and lows so well, here it is in their words:

The Good:

Big Ben Goes Wild - Roethlisberger became one of the best QB’s in the NFL in 2009. He set a franchise record with 4328 yards, 26 TD’s and 12 picks.

Rookie Pass Catcher – Mike Wallace was the rookie of the year for the Steelers, with 39 catches for 756 yards and 6 touchdowns.

The Bad:

Going the Other Way on Defense - A Steelers defense that put together one of the best seasons in NFL history while winning the Super Bowl the year before, this season they allowed too many big plays, and a healthy Troy Polamalu and Aaron Smith will help in 2010.

Kick Coverage – It became routine to see a returner lick his chops coming to play the Steelers, usually because it meant a score was coming.

The Ugly:

Blowing Leads - It almost became funny how this team week in and week out would look great for three quarters, then become a totally different team in the fourth quarter.

A Bust? – It’s just two years, but the vibe seems to point to WR Limas Sweed being a wasted draft pick, with his Steeler career in serious doubt.

Friday, January 1, 2010

George Clooney's Top 15 Movies

Clooney is probably tied for my favorite actor these days along with Jeff "Lebowski" Bridges. So it was a thrill to meet him while he filmed his TV show K Street at Chief Ike's Mambo Room several years ago. And it looks like he's set to return to D.C. soon with a film called Farragut North (an area downtown) slated for release in 2011.

15. Intolerable Cruelty (2003)
14. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)
13. Leatherheads (2008)
12. Ocean's Twelve (2004)
11. Syriana (2005)
10. Good Night and Good Luck (2005)
09. The Perfect Storm (2000)
08. From Dusk till Dawn (1996)
07. Michael Clayton (2007)
06. O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000)
05. Up in the Air (2009)
04. Burn After Reading (2008)
03. Ocean's Eleven (2001)
02. Three Kings (1999)
01. Out of Sight (1998)

St. Louis: The New Hollywood East?

Having lived in and around the St. Louis area for all but the last 10.5 years of my life, I must make an addendum to my last post, the review of Up in the Air.

Not only was the story great, but it was fun to watch as several recognizable landmarks popped up throughout the film. There aren't many films made there in the dead-center of the country, so anytime historical anecdotes from George Clooney about Lambert Field or shots of the Cheshire Inn (right next to the world's largest Amoco sign) sneak into a movie, it's a treat for me.

Wikipedia gives the details: "Missouri and St. Louis leaders provided about $4 million in tax credits for the $25 million film. Producers set up a St. Louis, Missouri Filming began in St. Louis on March 3, 2009 and continued through the end of April. production office January 5, 2009. The film includes 80 different sets at 50 locations throughout the St. Louis area, including Lambert-St. Louis International Airport Concourse C and Concourse D (which played the part of several airports around the country), the Mansion House apartments in downtown St. Louis, Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, Hilton St. Louis Airport, the Cheshire Inn, the GenAmerica building, Renaissance Grand Hotel, Maplewood United Methodist Church and Affton High School. The film was shot at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport for five days, twenty hours each day."

Maybe in the sequel, Clooney will stop in at Imo's Pizza, Vintage Vinyl, and a Cardinals' baseball game.

Up in the Air Deserves Lofty Praise

In a down economy, the last thing anybody wants to go to the movies to see is a bunch of people getting fired. Lucky for the great new film Up in the Air, George Clooney finesses us through the ordeal.

This is a film fit to our times but with Brat Pack sensibilities (back when flying was fun). Clooney lives his life in the air gathering frequent-flier perks. He loves the freedom of his lifestyle, which most people would view as soul-deadening and airport-contaminated. But when he meets the sultry-eyed Vera Farmiga (The Departed, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas), his heart may finally have met it's match. Throw in the young hotshot Anna Kendrick as the person who could upend Clooney's entire career, and his entire worldview is shaken.

The many cameos are uniformly great, and they include Jason Bateman, Sam Elliot, Danny McBride, and The Hangover's Zach Galifianakis.

Jason Reitman is on a serious roll as perhaps the greatest director of the 2000s, with Thank You For Smoking and Juno already under his belt. Up in the Air continues this streak of catching our collective sensibilities at the right time and place, and this film will no doubt make an impression this upcoming awards season.

****1/2 out ***** stars

The Proposal for the New Year

What a way to start the new year! After a late night eating Brazilian meats at Fogo de Chao downtown and partying at Morgan and Marisa's house, what better way to waste the next day than to watch part of a Jennifer Aniston marathon on Lifetime followed by a Sandra Bullock flick?

The Proposal is as formulaic as romance comedies get, yet it is surprisingly not awful. Bullock and Ryan Reynolds save a bad script with their likability and chemistry. She enters "cougar" territory by winning him over by the end (sorry if this is a spoiler, but someone would have to be an alien to not see it coming) after starting off as his cold-blooded boss at their publishing company.

The casting of Reynolds' Alaskan family is a bit of as head-scratcher. Craig T. Nelson and Mary Steenburgen are a couple of my least-favorite actors. Betty White does as much as possible with a dumb role, the scene in which she Indian dances in the snow with Bullock being Exhibit A.

But Oscar Nunez from The Office is wonderful as the deliciously awkward jack-of-all-trades (including Chippendale-like dancer) in the small Alaska town where most of the action takes place.

Reynolds, it should be noted, is building a pretty decent little repertoire, including Dick, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, National Lampoon's Van Wilder, and Definitely, Maybe. Should be interesting to see how he fares in the future.

**1/2 out of ***** stars