Friday, January 29, 2016

The New Contemporary — Art At Its Best

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love The Art Institute. From their charming collection of Modern Art to the always enjoyable Thorne Miniature Rooms, this amazing assortment of wonderful works is a true gift for anyone who visits. But what truly makes this institute a perfect place to spend your afternoon is the reopening of their contemporary galleries, also known as The New Contemporary.

Recently reopened in December, 2015, this gallery unveils the largest gift in the Art Institute’s 136-year history: 44 iconic works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and Roy Lichtenstein.

With 44 new paintings, sculptures, and photographs added to the museum’s collection of contemporary art, you now get a new depth and perspective to the Art Institute’s already amazing assortment, making this gallery the strongest of any art museum in the world.

So do yourself a favor and head on down to the Magnificent Mile and take a stroll through this amazing collection of art that us Chicagoans are so lucky to have in our own backyard.

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Girl On The Train – Great Book, Soon To Be A Movie

This past Fall I stumbled upon a really good book about a drunk girl who loses her job and rides the train downtown every day just so her roommate won't ask questions. Granted that doesn't sound too entertaining, but once this girl sees something troubling from the train, her curiosity and worries take her down a chilling and sobering adventure that kept me reading non-stop until I was done in a week. The book I'm talking about is The Girl On The Train, and now it's gonna be a movie.

Sure I was happy to here that it was becoming a major motion picture, but I really got excited when I found out Emily Blunt was playing the lead character. The first time I saw Emily was in the movie The Adjustment Bureau, which is a great movie, but that's a post for another day.

Anyway, with the release date set for October 7, 2016, that gives you plenty of time to pick up this beauty at the book store and give it a read before it comes out next Fall. And if you want to read a little more about the production of this film, check it out in this this article from Entertainment Weekly.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sun Fizz — A Milestone in Commercial Comedy

It was a Tuesday, which is when most of my Kick A Rock memories happen because Tuesdays are the day we meet. Nonetheless, our brainstorm  for the evening took us down a path of reminiscing about funny commercials from our youth.

Well, thanks to Tony, he reminded us all just how funny this Sprite commercial really was. With it's perfect parody of your traditional natural juice propaganda, and their use of child-friendly icons, it brilliantly points out that "image is nothing". As for "thirst is everything", I don't buy it. Besides, I never really cared for Sprite, or any cola for that matter. But as far as commercials are concerned, damn this one is hilarious!

Do you have a favorite commercial from your childhood? Let us know in the comments below. Would love to know what makes you chuckle.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Most City Flags Suck, But Chicago's Is A Work of Art

Let's face it, most people don't even know what their city's flag looks like. But, if you're ever in Chicago, you can't help but see that symbol of beauty proudly wave everywhere from buildings and bridges to bars and barbershops. Hands down it has to be one of the most beautiful flags ever created.

But, don't take my word for it. Roman Mars, presenter of one of the best Ted Talks I've ever watched, explains "Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you've never noticed." Both highly educational and delightfully funny, this 18 minute talk about vexillology (the study of flags) goes into detail about the five basic principles of flag design and why he believes they can be applied to just about anything.

So whether you're a budding designer or a dedicated Chicagoan, I highly recommend watching this enlightening talk about design and simplicity. It'll make you appreciate Chicago, and it's flag, a whole lot more.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Bloodline — Netflix Has Impressed Me Again

We've all been in that situation when you just don't know what to watch next on Netflix. And let's face it, you don't want to start something that sucks and later realize you just wasted hours, maybe days, watching a crappy show. Bloodline, on the other hand, is not that type of show. And as a matter of fact, turned out to be quite the unexpected thriller that left me excited for a second season.

This Netflix Original starring Kyle Chandler (Wolf of Wall Street, Early Edition) takes us on a journey of sibling rivalry, family secrets, and dark twists and turns that'll leave you second guessing yourself every step of the way. From the degenerate brother to the cheating little sister, it's hard to tell who's the good guy, who's the bad, and who's the sibling you can actually trust. Like the show's tagline says, "We're not bad people, but we did a bad thing."

Have you watched Bloodline? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sicario: Bloody. Gritty. Downright Mad.

Simply put, Sicarcio translated means "hitman" in Spanish. Don't worry, I didn't give anything away, as they tell you this at the beginning of the movie. But, had I known this flick would tell the tale of the grittiest, bloodiest, downright craziest hitman working with the U.S. government, I would have watched it a lot sooner.

Now, sure this movie stars Emily Blunt, and going into it I thought for sure she would steel the show. But Emily's no hitman. However, put a badass like Benicio Del Toro in that role and you have yourself one hell of a performance that brings back memories of his phenomenal display of madness that goes back to his days as Fenster in The Usual Suspects.

So get your butt to the nearest Redbox, or rent it from your favorite streaming site, and settle in for a two-hour adventure of lies, cover-ups and revenge.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The X-Files is Back,
and I Can't Wait!

Whether you grew up watching The X-Files, or just started on Netflix, the beloved Chris Carter is reinvigorating this spooktacular show with a six episode special on Fox. And it all goes down on Sunday, January 24th.

If you've never seen the show, or the two movies Fight The Future and I Want to Believe, it's still worth the time to check out the show that chilled so many with tales of aliens, monsters, spooks and specters over a decade ago.

So mark your calendars, check your local listing, or sign up for Hulu, and get ready for a fun ride with your two favorite FBI agents Mulder and Scully.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Electric Boogaloo... Not The Sequel, The Documentary

Ever watch a really bad movie from the 70s or 80s and think to yourself, "What the HELL were they thinking!?!" Then you have to watch this documentary about the two men, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, who started Cannon Films and unknowingly changed the movie industry as we know it.

Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films is an amazing explanation of the who, why, and what the hell, to how movies like Death Wish, Delta Force, Masters of the Universe, and the god-awful SuperMan IV came to life. It's a delightful deep dive into the maniacal masterminds who were more concerned about quantity over quality when it came to making films.

Now do yourself a favor and pop some popcorn, get on your couch, and go directly to Netflix to watch this great film about bad movies. You won't be bored, trust me.

Joy... What a Pleasant Surprise

I go to the movies a lot. And sometimes, I've seen everything I want to see and have to pick something that just looks okay. Well, luckily for me I was delightfully surprised by the movie Joy. Not only did this film entertain me, it introduced me to the life and success of Joy Mangano, the self-made millionaire who created her own business empire.

For those who don't know, Mangano was a divorced mother of three in the early 90s when she invented the Miracle Mop, and with it, became an overnight success. Now, take a great success story like that and combine it with Director David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle) and you get an inspirational film that reminds us to never give up no matter how much the world around you tries to keep you down.

So if you find yourself looking for a good, inspirational flick to watch, ignore the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and put this one on the top of your list. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

CBGB — I should have watched this movie sooner!

Wow, this flick came out in 2013 and I am just getting around to watching it now? Not only does it star Alan Rickman, one of my favorite British actors, but it's an epic depiction of one of the most kick-ass bars that ever existed in New York.

Now, if you're a fan of old school punk, then CBGB is a movie that you have to watch. It's a fun film that follows the life of Hilly Kristal, the creator and owner of a Country, Bluegrass and Blues club that ended up becoming the birthplace of an underground rock 'n roll scene known as PUNK!

So do yourself a favor. Stop what you're doing and put this bad boy in your Netflix queue so you have something to watch the next time you're bored on a Saturday night. You're welcome.

Birth of the Living Dead...
yes please!

There's not much to say about this pleasant shockumentary about the creation of one of the greatest zombie films ever made. Simply put, it's amazingly entertaining. Especially for those who are fans of Night of The Living Dead!

As one of my top picks for things to watch on Netflix, Birth of the Living Dead offers an exciting glimpse at how this gritty flick came to be. From the history of how George A. Romero started his career in film, to the unfortunate mistake that allowed this pic to be listed in the Public Domain, you won't be disappointed by everything it has to offer.

And best of all, it's only an hour and sixteen minutes long. So the next time you can't decide what to watch on Netflix, why not give this little number a try.