Posts posted by njskaguy33
This is a distressing story. Growing up in Bloomfield and with my mom growing up in West Orange, Pal's Cabin was always the go to place for family events. We had many a communion, confirmation and graduation dinner at Pal's and it was always a treat. Went there about 6 months ago for another family dinner, and you could tell the place was falling by the wayside. The food was pretty awful, the service was worse and while it was early in the evening, probably around 4:00, there was nobody in the place.
Still, I'd rather see somebody buy the restaurant and do a renovation rather than another convenience store. Sad day for the further gentrification of Essex County.
Stone Enjoy by 5.17.13 has been distributed. If you like IPAs you MUST go get this. Was lucky enough to grab one last night at Joe Canals in Lawrenceville but had to ask an employee for it who fetched it from a stockpile in the backroom. Looks like they are keeping it on the DL. Anyway it was excellent. $7.49/22oz.
Take a look:
My local has this on tap and it's phenomenal. I'm usually not a big fan of the Stone Enjoy By series, but they killed it on this one. A must have for IPA fans.
Glad to hear the Sam Adam IPL is good stuff. Seen alot of it in the local bodega, so I'll have to pick it up. I'm also an outside fan of Yuengling. Like many have said, it's a perfectly tasty bridge beer that everybody at the party can enjoy. Their Black and Tan is actually quite good. Much better than the Buds and Coors Lights that make up most "red solo cup soiree's".
And I agree with corzman, PBR is just fine if you have low funds and a high thirst, especially when it's $3 a pint at your after hockey bar.
Back from the dead!
Argo is another good example of a great movie that starts out with the payoff already known. Not sure of everybody else's opinion, but I thought Argo elevated Ben Affleck to the Robert Redford / Clint Eastwood level of actors turned directors.
Also, I still do the occasional film review, so here's a few of my recent ones. Les Mis should be getting a review tonight, but your enjoyment of Les Mis hinges on how much you enjoy muscials and the source material. I enjoyed it for what it is but if it weren't for Anne Hathaway's brilliant performance, it would have been a real disaster.
Speaking of beer, has anybody tried the Untappd iPhone / Android app? It sounds cheesy at first, but it's a cool way to "Check In" where you're drinking and more importantly, what. I like it because it helps me keep track of different brews when I'm out and rate them. That way, if I try something new and loved it, I can document it. You can also locate where a certain beer is nearby, so if I had the taste for an Old Chub, I could do a search and find where else somebody has checked it in. Pretty neat!
Also, has anybody tried the Founder Boltcutter? One of my neighborhood beer stores has it in stock, but it's $30 for a 22 oz bottle. Supposedly it's an anniversary brew and pretty hard to find.
To the poster from Colorado, Oskar Blues is amazing. They make a Scotch Ale that is out of this world. Also, I had the 21st Ammendment Back in Black and the one with space monkeys on the can the other day. Very tasty stuff.
Have a Goose Island Bourbon County Stout sitting at home. An unbelievable brew but you have to like that whiskey flavor in order to enjoy it. My local craft beer bar, PONY Bar on the Upper East Side, had Victory Hop Devil on a nitrogen pour. Imagine the smoothness of a Guiness with the hop of an IPA, and you've pretty much nailed it.
I had the same issue with Time Warner in NYC. The Devils feed was zoomed in psuedo-HD and the Isles feed was perfect. Like many others, I have a hard time listening to the opposing announcers, so I always take the Devils feed, even with all the issues. With the schedule so compressed and the Devils likely to spend some time on MSG+2, I hope this isn't the norm for this season.
Forgot this thread existed!
Just tried the Sam Adams White IPA last night. Really excellent, especially since this is the only time of year I like wheat beers. A good combination of wheat beer refreshment with an IPA funk. Well balanced and tasty. Also, I'm glad there's some love for Founders as you generally can't go wrong with them, in my opinion. A couple of people mentioned the Cherise which, if that's their cherry beer, it's the only one from the brewery I found terrible. The Dirty Bastard, Old Crumuggedon and Double IPA are fantastic.
Also, Ommegang makes a damn good beer. I've tried most of the line, including the Witte, Rare Vos, Hennepin, Abby Alle and Three Philosophers. The Abby Ale is probably my favorite but the Rare Vos is an excellent everyday brew. Medium bodied, excellent flavor. One of those beers I could drink alot of with no problem.
Any Allagash fans here? The Black is ridiculous and the White is pretty damn good as well.
One quick note on the ads, I noticed the bottom one navigates you away from njdevs as opposed to opening the site in a new window. The top ad opens in a new window but not the bottom. Would just be nice to not lose the site when clickign the ad, but if it's a condition of the ad program, no biggie!
While I don't have a Twitter, my podcast does if you want to give it a follow. @devscast for those interested. We're quiet now but we pick things up nicely when the season starts. I'll keep an eye on the notifications and re-follow when I see it.
Hmmm...just may have to see it at Lincoln Center when I finally check it out next week thanks to all the ringing endorsements!
These retrospectives are fantastic! Thanks for giving us some interesting reading in the off-season.
On the subject of the actual movie, I'm going to see it tonight, and am SO PUMPED! I'm a huge fan of this trilogy, and am sad to see it end, although it's certainly better than it being watered down by an indefinite amount of sequels.
Everyone I've ever talked to disagrees with me about this, but I have always thought that Batman Begins is a better movie than The Dark Knight (though it is also a great movie). I just felt like Begins had a deeper, more complex plot with more drama and emotion than TDK. Once again, not that TDK was lacking in those areas, just thought Begins was better. Oh, and the actress who played Rachael Dawes in TDK was not very good IMO.
My main issue in Batman Begins is how the first third of it feels nothing like a Batman movie. It works to get the taste of the Schumacher disasters out of our mouths and truly reinvent the character, but there something to be said for the jump in tone from the first third to the second. My other gripe with Batman Begins is the villian of Ras Agul is pretty terrible. Like I said in the reviews, Nolan is all about working within a theme but his dedication to that theme sometimes gets in the way of the movie's fun. Agreed, Batman Begins is quite good, 8 out of 10 for me, but I think TDK is bigger and better in pretty much every aspect, including the Rachel Dawes character.
...OK, the difference between Katie Holmes and Maggie Gylenthnal isn't too huge, but Maggie had a slightly better script to work with and better characterization. Edge to TDK in that one.
I'm going to see this probably next week or the week after. The theaters in NYC are jam packed, so I'll wait for the initial buzz to die down. In the meantime, I did a "review retrospective" of each of the six Batman films leading up to this one, so if you'ld like my take on each movie, here you go! Man, I should start posting these reviews here again. It's where I got my start doing them!
The Dark Knight (finishing this tonight)
Soeaking of people we were shocked to see go, I remember being pretty blindsided by Gionta going to Montreal. I mentioned this somewhere on Page 2, but I see Parise as only a notch or two above Gio in terms of "shock value" and damage to the franchise. I'll leave the advanced sabermetrics to those far better at it, but a quick glace at the biggies show the following:
Gionta (not counting 01-02 when he played half in NJ, half in Albany)
6 seasons as a Devil
Parise (not counting 10-11 when he missed all but 13 games)
6 seasons as a Devil
Now, it's obvious Parise is a different caliber player than Gionta, but how much of one is he really? Is it that much different? When Gio left, there were some upset people but now that Zach's gone, the entire board is aflame with outrage. Is he really worht that much rage? How about this comparison:
Playoff Gionta (again, not counting 01-02)
67 games as a Devil
61 games played
Sure, it's a small sample size, but those stats are almost dead even, yet when Gio left there was suprise and hurt but now that Zach is gone, we have posters pissing on Parise jerseys. And yes, Parise was our captain but Gio wore the A. I guess it just goes to show how much he meant to us on an emotional level. We had man crushes on him and he broke up with us. That's fair! But when you look at it objectively, as many of my non-Devil fan friends have come up to me and said, it's not the worst thing in the world to happen to the organization. It sucks, no doubt about it, but it's something that can be overcome.
And one more thing. I firmly believe the fans can be as pissed off as they want about this. Nobody can or should tell you how to feel. You feel like booing him on the 11th, boo away. I just find the universal outrage absolutely fascinating. Maybe it's just the exposure of the internet or how easily it is to be caught up in the anger, but I've never seen Devil fan backlash like this before. This trumps the Gomez defection, which still remains, in my opinion, the biggest FU a player has ever done to this franchise.
Zach did not bring us a Cup, strung us along leading the entire fanbase (and likely management as well) to think he would resign for a year...and OUT THE DOOR! As someone else pointed out, we owe him NOTHING. I will boo until my voice is gone...
Agreed we don't owe him a heros welcome, but like CR wisely stated, it's not like he did anything "wrong". I don't remember him once saying, "I'm re-signing with NJ" and if he did, feel free to correct me. He made statements about his upcoming decision, but it was us as fans who took every quote and overanalyzed it to death. And how can you blame us! He's an extraordinary talent that happened to fall into our laps and every Devil fan wanted him locked up for life. The intense emotion surrounding his departure stems from our shattered expectations, expectations that we conjured up in our own heads.
As for not doing anything for the team, he gave his heart and soul every shift, even when we were last in leauge and getting routed by basement dwellers. Like Lou said, he was a prototypical Devil and while you won't see me sporting my Parise jersey anytime soon, I wont be burning it in effigy either. To me, his departure ranks a notch or two above Gionta leaving for Montreal, simply because Parise is a more talented player. But in terms of how much they "screwed over the organization", they are pretty much on par in not at all. Parise is a loss, but it's a loss we can recover from.
Did you get a chance to watch it yet
Not just yet, Zubs! Between playoff hockey and other movies I need to watch / review, just haven't had a chance. It's on the list!
Matt Greene's responses were great.
Question: What should they be listening to?
Greene: Something with words, not just fist pumping.
Well played, sir. Well played.
Speaking of hundred million dollar blockbusters.....
New Movie Review
When The Avengers project was first announced after the success of 2008's Iron Man, comic book fans rejoiced. This wasn't going to be some slapdash tale of a super team fighting baddies. This was going to be something more, something larger than life. Three films followed: Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America. Having seen all these movies, Captain in August of last year, I realized The Avengers could be a smashing success, so long as they two things right. One, give the team a very strong antagonist and two, build the team in a natural way without wasting time on individual character development. That's what the movies were for. Now, over a billion dollars in box office sales later, I can safely say director Joss Whedon and company did just that and so much more. The Avengers isn't just the best summer opening film I've seen in years, it's one of the best superhero movies ever made.
Forgive the plot summation as I imagine 90% of you have seen this already, but here goes. Loki, brother of Thor, has snagged control of the mystical Tesseract, an artifact that holds near limitless power. His aim? To become the ruler of all rulers, starting with the pitiful mortals than inhabit planet Earth. In response to this new threat, S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) activates the "Avenger Initiative", bringing together Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the newly thawed Captain America (Chris Evans), Mr. Anger Management Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and billionaire playboy Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Together, with the help of some of the lesser known Avengers crew, such as Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), the team works to stop Loki's extraterrestrial forces from invading planet Earth.
The biggest success of the film is the natural development of the Avengers team. Rather than everybody coming together for the common good, there's some drama on the squad. Tony Stark and Captain America face off, Thor finds us Earthlings surprisingly petty and Hulk is just trying to keep from getting pissed. There's natural tension here, expertly woven in Joss Whedon's fantastic screenplay. This tension helps give us something to care about, making the team cohesion even more exciting in the film's third act. It's also worth noting that the previous movies are not required viewing to enjoy this, but if you haven't seen at least the Iron Man flicks, the characters may come off a little flat. Of course, this is done by design and Whedon does a great job on focusing on the characters developed in the films and leaving the other members of the team to true supporting roles. In fact, you could call this Iron Man 2.5, but that's a wise choice as Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark is easily the strongest character in the troupe.
The rest of the cast does a fine job in the roles given. Hemsworth is likeable as the Asgardian Thor, Mike Ruffalo is an excellent choice to replace Edward Norton's Hulk and even Captain America, I character I found one noted in his feature length, develops nicely thanks to his run ins with Tony Stark. Loki is also a very smart choice as the main villain. Given his familial back story with Thor, his conquest has weight, especially given the events of their feature film. Again, those who haven't seen Thor may find Loki to a bit over the top, but I found the antagonist interesting and gripping. Even Sam Jackson, who only made small appearances in the credit scenes of the original movies, find plenty to work with as the devious but well meaning Nick Fury. The cast is unilaterally well chosen and work great together.
Of course, this is a summer action movie. Most filmgoers aren't looking for a slice of life drama, they're looking for heart stopping action. Marvel movies are known for their big bangs and The Avengers is no exception. Literally every fifteen minutes, something awesome is happening, whether it's the surprising reveal of the Avengers base or Iron Man screaming along the Manhattan skyline. Everything culminates in the third act, which is essentially one long battle sequence and while you might find yourself tiring after the twentieth minute, Whedon brings you right back to the action with more kick-assery. The film also features some classic Joss Whedon humor. Full of quips and jokes, the levity in The Avengers always works and gives the film a very distinct feel.
In short, The Avengers is just that. Fun. Fun characters doing awesome things in defense of our petty little planet, Joss Whedon's first major studio film is a stylish and exciting homerun. Usually around this time, I start looking at the summer lineup with a hint of dismay. Loud movies made by money hungry studios, all searching for their piece of the hot weather audience. These movies are usually dumb and fitfully entertaining, a perfect opportunity to get in out of the heat and turn your brain off for two hours. Joss Whedon's Avengers redefines that stereotype, providing an intelligent, honest and fully enjoyable film going experience everybody should see on the big screen. Last year, I had some mental guidelines for the success of this Marvel mashup and thanks to smart writing, good direction and an excellent cast, The Avengers more than lives up to the hype.
Score - 9 out of 10
Randomly watched an independent movie called "Another Earth". It was brilliant in my opinion, not really a sci fi movie but more of a drama. I recommend it if you are ever bored one night.
Another Earth got very good reviews, just missed it when it was out in theaters. Looking forward to seeing it soon1
This thread has been revitalized with brilliance. Not mine, of course.
Fascinating stuff, as always. Loving your work on the blog and the podcast!
So, anybody get out to see this little independent art-house movie called "Avengers" this weekend?
I did. I enjoyed it. Good mix of action and humor. Storyline was about what I was expecting, though.
It'd be nice to see this "little engine that could" turn a profit, but I have my doubts.
Hilarious. Have plans to see it next week. Really looking forward to it! Going to see that animated Pirates movie with the lady this week. Ahhh, the things you do when you're in love but reviews have actually been good, so I'm looking forward to it!
I just saw 5-Year Engagement. Funny, but also thought-provoking. Definitely not the chick-flick romantic comedy you might think it will be when you see the title.
Good to hear. The posters makes it looks exactly that, but I'm glad to hear it has more than the standard rom-com beats and gags. May have to check it out at some point.
It's funny, I'm a self admitted hop head and I don't mind the over-hopping, so long as the beer is still tasty. I think the over-hopping is more of a home brewer mistake as I've yet to have a craft that I felt violently overdid it, to the point I couldn't enjoy it. Still, to each their own.
On the the Founders debate, I'm a huge fan because I love how aggressive they are but they have some missteps, the Cherise in particular. I also love Belgians and now the weather is getting warmer, I'm all about my Belgian brews and German hefeweizens. I had a Westmalle Tripel two weeks ago and it was phenomenal.