Tag Archive | Top Ten List

Top Ten Reasons to See Hail Caesar!

Hail Caesar Movie Poster

Hey, do you enjoy movies directed by the Coen Brothers? I sure do. Fargo, No Country for Old Men, Burn After Reading; Love love love. Here is the thing though, about the Coen Brothers movies: when you try to explain the plot, they just take too fucking long to talk about. It is better to just go see them, if you are a fan at all. So, instead of writing a proper review, which would take me most of the remaining days of my life, I am just going to offer up a fun Top Ten List of stuff I liked about Hail Caesar!, a preview of which I saw earlier this week, and which you might like as well.

OK, here we go.

Fat Jonah Hill. You know how Jonah Hill was fat in Superbad, and everyone loved him? And then he got real thin and in-shape, but then everyone decided they liked him better when he was fat? Well, he’s fat again in this movie.

If you like Old/Classic Hollywood Films, say, from the ‘40s, you will dig that this film takes place inside the Hollywood film industry at that time.

Scarlet Johansson in Synchronized Swimming Scenes!

Did you know that Channing Tatum can sing and dance like Fred Astaire? I had no idea, but he is AMAZING!

Tilda Swinton as Identical Twin Gossip Columnists! Yes, I just typed that!

Alden Ehrenreich. Have you ever heard of this guy before? Me neither, but the story goes that he was “discovered” at age 14 at a Bar mitzvah attended by Steven Spielberg. Truth is stranger than fiction. He is terrific in Hail, Caesar! playing a Singing Cowboy Movie Star who gets hilariously miscast as a romantic lead in a straight drama.

Wait until you see Channing Tatum’s Character’s House. It is just insane, and I want to live in it.

Christopher Lambert, star of the most important ’80s genre pic ever, Highlander, has a brief supporting role, and shares a scene with the move’s primary lead actor, Josh Brolin. The fun thing about this onscreen pairing is that both actors are ex-husbands of actress Diane Lane! Trivia!

George Clooney was born to wear a Gladiator outfit and Roman Sandals!

The Submarine scene.

Hail, Caesar! hits theatres on February 5th, 2016!

Top Ten Memorable Moments of the 2014 R & R Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

R&R HOF P Gabriel Induction
Chris Martin Inducts Peter Gabriel. (Crappy Photos By Gail’s iPad!)

The Class of 2014 entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night and it was an evening full of magical moments, even for jaded, old-school, Rock Curmudgeon like me. The show went on for over 5 hours – and 90 minutes of that was just the E Street Band members giving their individual ‘Thank You’ speeches! A televised version of the ceremony will air on HBO on May 31st and I’m guessing that, to get it edited down to two hours, they’ll cut out all of the juiciest parts (Courtney Love being booed in front of her dead husband’s family, that was painful to experience). But I got see it all from a comfy seat in the Barclay’s Center. Here are a few moments that stand out.

Listed in the order they occurred:

That Peter Gabriel introductory montage was something else. He’s always been a musical genius (Six Words: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway), but the reminder of how much he’s done in his career was almost jarring. Because, wow. Peter Gabriel is awesome.

Chris Martin’s Induction speech for Gabriel was absolutely hilarious and man, does Martin look happy to be getting divorced.

After talking non-stop shit about each other in press for the past few months (it seems) all four original members of Kiss managed to not be total dicks to each other while accepting their awards (they were the only band to not have any kind of associated performance). I know that Gene thinks that Peter and Ace have no business being inducted along with him and Paul, but if he doesn’t understand that without those two that band would be residing in Nowheresville, he needs to pull his huge, ego-swollen head out of his ass.

I am pretty sure I had seen printed reports that Yusef Islam (FKA Cat Stevens) would not be appearing at the event, so no one was more blown away than me when he not only showed up, looking and sounding great, but also performed three of his classic songs including – wait for it – “Wild World” and “Peace Train”! Holy Effing Ess, “Peace Train.” I can’t even think about that song without losing my shit, so imagine what it was like to hear CAT FUCKING STEVENS perform it flawlessly, live in front of thousands of people. That’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment that you’ll never see again. I still can’t believe it happened, and I was there!

This out of chronological order, but it was so great to see Art Garfunkel induct Stevens. I love that guy.

Linda Ronstadt is an artist whose music I grew up loving back when AM Radio was a thing you listened to. Ronstadt is now retired and no longer travels due to symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, but many talented ladies of rock were there to pay her tribute including Bonnie Raitt, Emmy Lou Harris, Stevie Nicks and Sheryl Crow. Carrie Underwood also performed a stunning version of “Different Drum” (written by Mike Nesmith of The Monkees. Way.) that knocked my socks off. She may have the stage presence of a shoe, but her voice has gotten completely insane since she won American Idol.

I was charmed by Bruce Springsteen’s Induction speech for his longtime musical companions, The E Street Band. They seem like a great family of musicians. Also, Max Weinberg is hot. Also, thank you E Street Band acceptance speeches for providing an excellent opportunity for me to make a much-needed trip to the Ladies Room.

My fondness for the music of Hall and Oates is pretty much restricted to “War Baby Son of Zorro” and, if forced to cite a more recent title, “Method of Modern Love,” on which I enjoy the part where Daryl Hall spells the song’s title. The thing is, despite the fact that songs like “Maneater” and “Sara Smile” serve as very, very effective emetic, their band is one of the tightest live bands I’ve ever seen, and Daryl Hall still ranks among the best voices in rock. I really enjoyed their performance.

I can’t even remember who said in their speech that the “Greatest pop song ever written was Beethoven’s 9th,” but that person was 100% correct.

Joan Jett Performs with Nirvana
Joan Jett Performs with Nirvana

Nirvana’s Induction started at 11:45 PM, but it was so worth waiting for, not only to see Joan Jett front the band for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and the surprise performance of “All Apologies” as sung by teen singing sensation, Lorde, but also to hear David Grohl drop the F-Bomb at least four times. He is my new Hero.

Top Ten Things I Love About Bobby Van’s Grill

Bobby Vans Grill Interior
I Love This Place (Photo Courtesy Bobby Van’s Grill)

It’s been more than a year since our previous review of Bobby Van’s Grill on West 50th Street, so it was a special treat to be invited back again for another taste of what we here at The Gig consider to be the Best Filet Mignon in Manhattan. Just being serious. Here are a few of the reasons why this surely won’t be our last visit to this Midtown gem.

First of all, the place is gorgeous. Bobby Van’s is an old school steakhouse fitted out in warm woods, polished brass fixtures and classic lighting moderated by decorative glass shades. As soon as you enter the restaurant, which is fronted by a spectacular long bar, you feel comfortable and welcome, but also like you are in for a very special dining experience.

Which brings us to  service that is exceptional on every level. Our waiter and additional wait staff were all friendly and attentive, but also confident and invested in making sure each customer has a memorable meal at Bobby Van’s. General Manager Paul Modica even stopped by our table to make sure we were being taken care of. Paul, who has a professional background like something out of a movie, also entertained us briefly with engaging stories of his impressive career in the restaurant business, which began when he was just 14 years old. Paul is the coolest.

Warm Crispy Artichoke Salad

Among an exhaustive list of tempting appetizers and salads, the Warm, Crispy Artichoke Salad ($15.95) stands out — served as a portion generous enough to split with your dining companion, but also hearty enough to satisfy as a main dish at a lunch visit. These lightly battered and quick fried, tender artichoke hearts mixed with frisee greens are tossed with tangy Parmesan cheese and then garnished with another slice of cheese. This is a very special salad the likes of which I’ve not encountered at other steakhouse restaurants.

Brussels Sprouts

When it comes to choosing your accompanying vegetable side dishes you will not have an easy time of it, as there are so many good things to try. On this visit we opted for the Brussels Sprouts, which are sauteed in garlic, rosemary and olive oil before being lightly braise and crisped  with a quick trip to the oven, for an elegant presentation.

Creamed Spinach

And if you’re going for Classic Steakhouse Meal sides all the way, their Creamed Spinach cannot be topped.

Mac and Cheese

Look at this Macaroni and Cheese. Just look at it. Bobby Van’s serves an authentic baked Macaroni and Cheese, created with two different kinds of White Cheddar (English and American) plus Parmesan cheeses and topped with bread crumbs and seasonings. This dish is culinary perfection in a white ramekin.

Filet Mignon

Here it is, the star of our show: The Filet Migon! You can see the masterful result of perfect cooking in the lightly charred and caramelized crust on the filet’s exterior, which reveals a perfect, juicy medium pink inside (medium rare is also recommended, depending on your preference). At approximately 16 ounces pre-cooked weight, this steak is a bargain at $49.95.   Bobby Van’s signature Filet is so flavorful, buttery tender and outrageously delicious that it tastes perfect on its own, though a side of rich Bearnaise sauce comes with the entree. You may want to also try…

Bobby Vans Steak Sauce

Bobby Van’s Original Homemade Steak Sauce, just to change it up and keep your palate amused. A little bit sweet, a little bit tangy, so so so good.

21 Layer Crepe Cake

OK, it’s time for dessert and that means just one thing: 21 Layer Crepe Cake! Trust me, this pastry treat tastes even better than it looks — and it looks pretty great! You can see in this photo how whipped cream-like custard is layered between stacks of tender crepes to create a dessert that is both decadent and yet light. While Bobby Van’s does procure these cakes from an outside vendor, they make it their own with garnishes of  mint leaves, fresh sliced Strawberries and tart Raspberry Coulis. This is a must have on any visit and is perfect to share after an indulgent meal.

Finally, we love the value of a visit to Bobby Van’s Grill. Considering the high quality, consistently delicious food and generous portions of all their dishes, the prices are quite reasonable, and the menu is so extensive and varied that you can find dining choices to suit  any budget. We recommend that you consider Bobby Van’s Grill to be a desired destination for all celebratory events as well as just a rewarding weeknight  break from the grind!

Bobby Van’s Grill is located 135 West 50th Street (Between 6th and 7th Avenues), New York, NY 10020, and is convenient to many subways including the 1, N and R Trains. Hours are Monday to Friday: 11:30 AM – 11 PM, Saturday and Sunday: 4:00 PM – 11:00 PM. Phone (212) 957-5050 for Reservations.

Ten Surprising Facts About Sochi And Winter Olympics Past

2014 Winter Olympics: Olympic Torch Goes To Space and 10 Other Sochi Facts
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Video Clip of the Week: Milk Music, “No, Nothing, My Shelter”

Ten Things I thought about while watching the Video for Milk Music’s video for “No, Nothing, My Shelter”:

    1. My Favorite Pair of Black Ankle Boots
    2. Burning Man
    3. The Joshua Tree (Album)
    4. Joshua Trees
    5. Those Hilariously Awful Student Films We Made Back in College
    6. College in General
    7. The Stage Make Up of Various Members of Kiss
    8. The Desert
    9. All Desert Scenes From Breaking Bad
    10. Drugs

Like The Beatles before them, Milk Music has decided to stop doing live performances. Here is their statement to that effect:

“We, Milk Music, have decided to not plan anymore live performances for the foreseeable future. This is an artistic decision and should not reflect on our existence as a musical group. We’re currently exploring the wonders of video, as well as recording our next record, Mystic 100’s, a possible double album of intense beauty. A series of videos shall follow it’s release”

So, it’s not like you have nothing to look forward to. Enjoy!

Top Ten Reasons Why The Hangover Part III Is Not As Horrible as You Might Expect

Hangover 3 Movie Poster

10. Knowing there won’t be a Hangover 4.

9. That Big House in Mexico with the Infinity Pool: I want to live there.

8. Danzig’s “Mother 93” on the soundtrack. Appropriate.

7. “Cut the Grey Wire.”

6. Two Words: Pig Masks.

5. Giraffe Scene, Pre-decapitation.

4. Coke-fueled orgy in a hotel suite sound tracked by Black Sabbath: Yes.

3. “Because of the Ink…that went inside you.”

2. Melissa McCarthy as Cassie the Pawn Shop employee. Priceless.

1. Bradley Cooper: Gorgeous for Days.