“On the Road” opens today — you can read my review here. It’s Walter Salles’ film version of the Jack Kerouac novel.
The promise of the open road . . . that was a fixture of American literature well before Kerouac. It goes back at least to HUCKLEBERRY FINN, the product of a country big enough to allow for completely new beginnings.
Road movies have become a staple of film, especially in the last 30 years, mainly in the United States but throughout the world as well. Today we take a look at some of them (above), some bad, most good — and feel free to suggest more.
In case you haven’t seen enough Super Bowl coverage in anticipation of Sunday’s big game, we thought we’d take a look at one of the bigger spectacles of NFL football: the cheerleaders. While the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens are battling on the gridiron, their cheerleaders will be facing off on the sidelines.
Which team’s cheer squad is better looking? Take a look through the gallery above, then make your pick in the poll below.
Turns out the iPad Mini isn’t quite so mini after all.
The new Mini, unveiled today during a media event in San Jose, is a bit larger and more expensive than some of its key competitors, particularly the Google Nexus 7, which starts at $199.
Apple’s Mini retails for $329 to start, and its 7.9 inch screen is slightly larger than the 7-inch tablets coming from Google and Amazon ($160).
Apple-watchers had predicted for some time that the company would release a device to compete with such smaller tablets as the Nexus 7 and Samsung’s Galaxy Note. Cupertino didn’t disappoint. Amid an applauding crowd, Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice president of international marketing, unveiled the new device.
“What else can we do to help customers find more ways to use iPad?” he rhetorically teased the crowd. He went on, “This isn’t just a shrunken down iPad.”
But, judging by the specs, it does seem to be. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The iPad is unwieldy in a single hand for most people. I own the Nexus 7 and can attest that it’s wonderful to read while doing things with the other hand like eating or even flipping through TV channels.
Despite listing impressive, though uncited statistics — CEO Tim Cook said iPads account for 91% of tablet web traffic — Apple seemed to tacitly acknowledge that Google’s tablet was a competitor. Schiller made numerous comparison’s between the two devices, noting the iPad has a bigger and better screen (though the device is bigger all together). While the iPad is the unquestioned tablet leader, the Android operating system — what Google, Samsung and numerous other devices run on — recently surpassed iOS in a survey by comScore.
Other highlights from today’s announcement:
A new 13-inch Macbook Pro with high-resolution display that weighs less than 3.5 pounds.
A new iMac, 80 percent thinner and eight pounds lighter, starting at $1,299. It will be built with ‘friction stir welding’ and ‘plasma deposition,’ both of which are actual techniques not developed by Apple
An update to the current iPad, giving it a faster chip.
I am heading upstairs shortly and will update after a hands on with the iPad Mini. [Update: Here is the hands-on]
Read all the new specs on the Apple products here.
Terrell Owens isn’t the only NFL great who’s having trouble unloading multimillion-dollar properties. John Madden, Tom Brady, Troy Aikman, Joe Montana, Kurt Warner and Terry Bradshaw were all included in a recent list of football players trying to sell high-end houses, or who sold them only after long waits.
When Brady wanted to return to his “California Cool” roots with a Los Angeles mansion, he had to drop the price of his Boston condo more than a million dollars before he was able to unload it. Brady and his model wife, Gisele Bundchen, had tried to sell the place in 2009 but the deal fell through. According to the property listing, the condo is a penthouse with “sweeping views of the Charles, landscaped roofdeck w/sky kitchen, grand living room w/vaulted ceiling & dual fireplaces.”
3) Troy Aikman.
Troy Aikman (AP)
The quarterback first listed the palace that he had built to live in with now ex-wife Rhonda Jordan Aikman for $24 million in 2010. But then he sold part of the land (and a cabana), and re-listed for $14 million. Still, no one has turned up to buy the nearly new mansion with its “custom arched glass doors with iron trim, … double story atrium, hub for a large dining room with fireplace and windows to the creekway view, coffered ceilinged study with the greenspace view, (and) family room with hand hewn beams,” not to mention the pool that looks like it belongs in an Italian villa.
4) Joe Montana
Joe Montana (Robert Deutch/USA Today)
If you’re looking for a little place in Wine Country to get away from it all, check out The Golden Great’s Golden State villa — it’s actually named Villa Montana — now “only” $35 million after a $14 million price cut. Villa Montana doesn’t have a living room, it has a “loggia.” It also has a guest house, a gate house, a caretaker’s residence, a gym, an “equestrian facility,” a full-size basketball court, a skeet-shooting range and an olive farm.
5) Kurt Warner
Kurt Warner (Matt York/AP)
Brett Favre used to call him “Pop” Warner after the little kids’ football league, but there’s nothing little about the 6″2, 200-pound-plus retired quarterback, or about the 11,329-square-foot estate he’s selling in Paradise Valley, Az., for $5 million. The house is modern, with a foyer that looks kind of like the deck of a very stylish spaceship. On the market since June 2011, the house appeared on HGTV’s Celebrity Homes: Holiday Decorating with the Stars, exposure that Bradshaw’s agent hoped would help sell it. So far, no such luck.
6) Terry Bradshaw
Terry Bradshaw (AP Photo/Jim Palmer)
1978 MVP Terry Bradshaw, known to younger fans as the co-host of Fox NFL Sunday, is trying to sell two houses, a $9.95 million farmhouse on 744 acres in Oklahoma, and a $1.3 million place in a Florida golf course community. In addition to the 8,600-square-foot farmhouse, the Oklahoma property has a covered arena and three horse barns. The 5,049-square-foot Florida house was custom built in 2007, but has never been lived in. Bradshaw has cut the price of the Florida home twice.
Boston Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine during Tuesday night's 4-3 victory over the Mariners. (Getty Images)
This hasn’t been a banner season for the Boston Red Sox and first-year manager Bobby Valentine. The Red Sox and their $173 million payroll were never a factor. By August, they had fallen far out of the American League playoff race.
The afternoon after the Red Sox snapped a 7-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over Seattle, Valentine, a lifelong Stamford resident who served as the city’s public safety director last year, did a spot on WEEI’s Big Show in Boston.
Things began pleasantly enough until, just three minutes into the interview, host Glen Ordway asked Valentine — the subject of an unflattering Sports Illustrated cover story that had just hit newsstands – if he was “checking out” of this season early.
Valentine responded with disgust: “If I were there, I’d punch you in the mouth.”
(He later told reporters before the Sox’ Wednesday night game in Seattle that the threat wasn’t serious.)
Surprisingly enough, the interview continued for another 20 minutes with more nuggets from a clearly frustrated manager who’s speeding past the breaking point.
Neil Young’s rockabilly phase. U2 doing disco. Bruce Springsteen singing about sunshine and rainbows. Elvis Presley’s standup act. The Velvet Underground making an album without anyone from the Velvet Underground.
Nobody’s perfect. But perfection is the least we expect from our favorite rock stars.
Unfortunately, having the biggest producers, most expensive studios and lavish major label per diems at their disposal doesn’t always add up to greatness.
We look at some of the biggest recorded blunders by acts with otherwise impeccable reputations — the albums that are better left buried deep in the bargain bins.
What do you consider the biggest duds by your favorite bands?
“The New Normal” has its share of sap and stereotypes. But it’s also sweet and, yes funny. (Nene Leakes, y’all!)
The sitcom, part of NBC’s new fall lineup, is scheduled to make its debut at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 11. But the first episode is already online (and viewable below, in its entirety).
The show has already incited a One Million Moms boycott and was dropped by a Salt Lake City NBC affiliate because of “explicit” content. This was before anyone had actually seen it, by the way. (Of course it was. We can’t let logic get in the way of censorship!)
It focuses on a gay couple, played by Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha, who decide to have a baby via a surrogate (Georgia King). She, in turn, has fled her cheating boyfriend and bigoted mother (an over-the-top Ellen Barkin) to pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer, sitcom-precocious daughter in tow.
Much of the first episode was broad and cutesy, and there was no real mention of the immense cost of using a surrogate or why they don’t consider adoption. (Ahem.) The initial character introductions are also a bit predictable. Dad-to-be Bryan (Rannells) is stereotypically fussy and flamboyant; David (Bartha) is stereotypically not, chugging beer and watching sports.
Sure, there are all kinds of gay guys. I know some that love sports and hate clothes and guzzle beer. (Not me, by the way. Or Scott, in case you’re wondering.) But it just seems too convenient.
Still, there are some funny one-liners:
“Sweetie, you know you can’t return a baby to Barney’s.”
“I faint at the site of vaginas. They’re like tarantula faces.”
And one simple truth uttered by surrogate Goldie during a pivotal hospital scene struck a chord with me. I’ve often used variations on it in my blog.
“A family is a family. And love is love.”
The opening scene shows Bryan recording a video diary for the couple’s baby. He tears up a bit referring to himself as “daddy.”
I admit, it got to me. That moment of realization was something that hit me, too. Fatherhood — which for so long seemed like such a faraway dream meant for other people with other lives and other responsibilities — was actually, really, honestly going to happen. It’s like winning the lottery, eating your favorite food, hearing your favorite song, hugging your mom and your boyfriend and the entire world all at once.
I think I’ll give “The New Normal” a shot. It’s exciting to see people, relationships and situations on the small screen that seem so familiar. Plus, Nene Leakes, y’all!