Magic Mike XXL(opens July 1) – Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello star with all of those lovely abs in the sequel to Magic Mike. Three years after Mike (Channing Tatum) bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game he finds himself missing the excitement of being on the stage. He and the remaining Kings of Tampa hit the road to Myrtle Beach to put on one last blow-out performance at a stripper convention. If anything like the first movie, the eye candy is worth the price of admission. But just.
Terminator Genisys (opens July 1) – He’s baaaaack. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in this reboot to the Terminator series. In the year 2020 John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance against Skynet, sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect his mother, Sarah (Emilia Clarke), from a Terminator assassin. An unexpected turn of events creates an altered timeline and instead of a scared waitress, Sarah is a skilled fighter and has a Terminator guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger) by her side. Terminator Genisys is supposed to be the first of the start of a new trilogy. With a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 40% it remains to be seen whether the sixty-seven year old Schwarzenegger has what it takes to credibly star in an action flick and draw theater goers into the theater.
Zoo (June 30) – Based on the novel of the same name by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. Violent animal attacks upon humans are occurring all over the world. Jackson Oz, an American zoologist who offers safaris in Africa, begins to notice the animals’ strange behavior and takes it upon himself to solve the reason why before these attacks become more coordinated and ferocious.
I had the opportunity this weekend to bookend the movies Saint Laurent and Dior and I. Both movies give an interesting peek behind the haute couture curtain and between the two of them portray three periods in fashion: the fifties when Dior launched his label, the late sixties and early seventies when Saint Laurent was at his peak and present day during the period that Raf Simons takes over the helm as creative director at Dior.
I liked them both – having been in both the Dior and YSL showrooms in Paris to buy the collections (but not behind the scenes in the ateliers) it was a fascinating look at a rarely seen side of the fashion industry. Dior and I is a documentary and chronicles the development of Raf’s first collection for Dior interspersed with flashbacks to the early days of the house. Saint Laurent is film based on real events (but takes some liberties) and focuses on the period in which Yves was at his peak.
There is strong connection between the houses: Saint Laurent become the head designer of the house of Christian Dior in 1957 (at the age of 21) upon the death of Dior. His first collection for the house is credited with saving the house while at the same time catapulting him to stardom. Saint Laurent’s later collections were not as well received and (if you believe the rumors) Marcel Boussac, the owner of the house of Dior, arranged his conscription in the army so that he could replace Saint Laurent at Dior. If you are interested in fashion I recommend seeing them (but beware Saint Laurent runs a bit long . . . ).
The Rag & Bone sample sale is back – it starts this Wednesday June 24th at 10:30am and runs through Sunday June 28th. 410 W 16th St in New York (Chelsea Market).
Ted 2(opens June 26th) – Newlywed couple Ted and Tami-Lynn want to have a baby, but in order to qualify to be a parent, Ted will have to prove he’s a person in a court of law. In 2012 Seth MacFarlane racked up half a billion dollars by having a cute bear talk shit to Mark Wahlberg. Will he get lightning to strike twice? Let me know as I probably won’t be first in line.
Big Game (opens June 26th) – A timid Finnish boy serving a rite of passage by spending the night alone in the forest must protect the President of the United States (Samuel L. Jackson) from terrorists who have shot down Air Force One in order to hunt the most powerful man on the planet. The movie has a great cast – in addition to Samuel L. Jackson the movie stars Victor Barber, Felicity Huffman, Jim Broadbent and Ted Levine. Maybe they can rescue what sounds like a movie I have seen many times before.
Humans (June 28, AMC) – A new AI concept. Robots are among us, tasked with simple jobs like babysitting and house cleaning. They’re part of the family. They look mighty convincing, too. Of course, every machine malfunctions every so often…
Some of my favorites in Hell’s Kitchen. The first three are all located on the corner of Tenth Avenue and 47th Street.
Tehuitzingo Deli – this grocery store underwent a reservation last year and now has a more prominent food counter (it was a bit hard to find before). Amazing tacos. 695 Tenth Ave (x 47). http://www.tehuitzingo.net
Tulcingo del Valle – Great Pueblan sauces (try both pipian and mole) from this restaurant that has been family-owned for the past eleven years. 665 Tenth Ave (x 47). http://www.tulcingorestaurant.com
Anejo – From Top Chef Angelo Sosa. Great magaritas – more traditional and not overly sweet. One of the best deals at this restaurant is their weekend brunch: three drinks, an entree for $29. Perfect for when you have a lazy weekend day (as not much gets done after three afternoon cocktails). 668 Tenth Ave (x 47). http://anejonyc.com
Ponche Taqueria – Highlights are the tacos and tortas. I like the mole also. And I always start with the Nachos Verde – for some reason I can’t get enough of them. 420 W. 49th St. http://www.ponchetaqueriacantinanewyork.com
David Chang opened his new casual fine restaurant Fuku this week to general acclaim and hour-long lines around the block. He aims to do with the fried chicken sandwich at Fuku what Danny Meyer did with the burger at Shake Shack. I haven’t been yet but plan to go this weekend – early to hopefully avoid the lines. Eater NY had few on-scene write-ups and first impressions you can find here: http://ny.eater.com/fuku-first-look-chicken-sandwich-review
Deutschland 83 (June 17th, Sundance) – an eight-part thriller, Deutschland 83 is Germany’s answer to The Americans — a Cold War thriller set amid the nuclear paranoia of 1983. According to reviews, the series captures well the mood of the divided city of Berlin, with the backdrop of the United States and the dying Soviet Union playing chicken with the threat of nuclear war.
True Detective (June 21st, HBO) – The hotly anticipated second season of the hit show debuts next weekend with a new cast and new storyline created by Nic Pizzolatto (who also wrote and created the first season). Taylor Kitsch stars as a war veteran and motorcycle cop who enlists two detectives (played by Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams) to help investigate a strange crime in California. Vince Vaughn also stars. If the review from Stephen Marche of Esquire is an indication the second season will be as popular as the first: http://www.esquire.com//tv/reviews/true-detective-season-2
Ballers (June 21st, HBO) – stars Dwayne Johnson (who seems to be everywhere these days with two movies currently in theaters) as a Spencer Strassmore, a retired football player well as a financial manager. This “Entourage for athletes” series would not normally be my type of show but the previews with the fast cars and fast money are strangely compelling.
Owen, the men’s and women’s fashion boutique located in the Meatpacking district is discontinuing its mens business and is discounting all spring summer styles 70% from designers that include Philip Lim, Acne, Alexander Wang and Tim Coppens. Shop the store at 809 Washington Street in New York or from the comfort of your own home online: http://owennyc.com/men-sale
The Overnight(opens June 19) – Written and directed by Patrick Brice, The Overnight stars Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godréche as two couples who have a wild night of drinking and debauchery after their children go to bed following a playdate. The dysfunctions of one couple threaten to destabilize the other.
Infinitely Polar Bear (opens June 19) – Mark Ruffalo stars as Cameron, a man whose breakdown from a bipolar disorder forces him to leave his family. When his wife (Zoe Saldana) decides to go to business school in New York they decide that he will move back in to take care of their two daughters. I haven’t seen the film but I can imagine the scenes that come next . . .
I saw Spy yesterday and my patience with Melissa McCarthy movies finally paid off. I have been a fan for a long time – not as far back as Gilmore Girls but definitely as far back as Samantha Who? in 2007. After suffering through recent movies like Identity Thiefand Tammy I was pleased to see that Spy is a vehicle that plays to her comedic strengths. Spy teams her again with writer/producer Paul Feig and has a great cast which includes Jude Law, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham, Bobby Cannavale and Allison Janney. Her funniest movie since Bridesmaids.
Last chance! – The Vince sample sale ends this weekend – last day is Sunday June 7 (10am – 5PM) – at Chelsea Market (75 Ninth Ave, New York). As of yesterday the men’s assortments included leather jackets for $279 down from $1,250, sweaters from $69 to $99, knits from $29 to $49, woven shirts $59, jeans $69 and shorts $59.
Jurassic World (opens June 12) – Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park (1993), Isla Nublar now features the fully functioning dinosaur theme park originally envisioned by John Hammond. In need of a new attraction, with visitor rates declining, the park’s geneticists create a hybrid dinosaur. Shockingly, the hybrid escapes, goes on a rampage and needs to be contained. Jurassic World stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio and B.D. Wong.
Live From New York! (opens June 12) – “Saturday Night Live” has been reflecting and influencing life in the United States for 40 years. Live From New York! explores the early years of “Saturday Night Live” through its evolution into a comedy institution. The film encompassing decades of American politics, media, tragedy, and popular culture as seen through SNL’s irreverent filter. Archival footage is interwoven with stolen moments and exclusive commentary from SNL legends, journalists, hosts, musical guests and crew.
Orange is the New Black(season 3 releases on June 12 by Netflix) – for the few of you who have not yet seen OITNB binge on seasons 1 and 2 now. The first season was ground-breaking in many ways, the second was good – let’s see if writer and producer Jenji Kohan (Weeds) can keep it up for season 3. And for those of you not in the know OITNB is the story of Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a straight-ish WASP-y woman in her thirties who is sentenced to prison after being convicted of a decade-old crime of transporting money for her drug-dealing girlfriend
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (June 13 BBC America) – Harry Potter meets Pride and Prejudice? A tale of magicians helping 18th-century England defeat Napoleon, full of wizardly spells and political intrigue. The show is based on Susanna Clarke’s 2004 bestseller, and pairs the gallant young Jonathan Strange (Bertie Carvel) with Mr. Norrell (Eddie Marsan), the grumpy coot from the York Society of Magicians.
Controversy is swirling around both the future of the restaurant (will the restaurant owners lose their lease?) as well as the physical space which Aby Rosen, the owner of the Seagram Building (which houses the restaurant) is attempting to renovate.
Completed in 1958 the Seagram Building was hailed as hailed as a modern architectural masterpiece. The structure was designed by Mies van der Rohe and the lobby and other internal aspects of the building (including the Four Seasons restaurant) was designed by Philip Johnson. The building, the headquarters for the Seagram company, was the world’s most expensive skyscraper at the time it was completed ($36MM) due to the use of expensive, high-quality materials and lavish interior decoration including bronze, travertine and marble.
Located at 375 Park Avenue, the Seagram Building set the architectural style of New York skyscrapers for several decades. It was the first building of its kind to have a set back from the street and incorporate a public plaza at the front of the building. One interesting fact about the building – Mies van der Rohe hated the look of inconsistently drawn window shades on the front of buildings so he specified window shades that can only be operated in three positions: fully open, halfway open, fully closed.
The Four Seasons restaurant’s lease is up next summer. Julian Niccolini and Alex von Bidder who have presided over the restaurant for over 40 years are variously said to be scouting downtown locations and taking over the space at 280 Park Avenue. Is it a negotiating tactic? Hard to say but Aby Rosen, the building owner says they are out, “I love the guys but their time has passed, and sometimes something great needs to go.”
At the same time as the lease negotiations (or lack thereof) have been ongoing, Mr Rosen has proposed renovations of the space to New York City’s Landmark Preservation Committee. Most of these were rejected at the hearing which included testimony from 18 people speaking out against the changes. Phyllis Lambert, 88 (a daughter of Samuel Bronfman, the founder of the Seagram Company) who helped create the building said RFR’s proposed changes would “do irreparable damage to the two great rooms.”
Whatever happens with the Four Seasons restaurant and the physical space it currently occupies it is clear that an era is coming to an end. Even if the space remains unchanged, it looks like the current restauranteurs are out and looking for new space. There is something magical about the Four Seasons – the building, the restaurant’s design, the food, the ambience, the patrons – that is bound to be lost in the transition.
Spy (opens June 5) – Stars Melissa McCarthy with Rose Byrne, Jason Statham and was directed and written by Paul Feig. Melissa McCarthy plays a desk-bound CIA analyst volunteers to go undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent diabolical global disaster. I love Melissa McCarthy. I think she is an amazing comic. Why does she always seem to get stuck in bad films? Excepting Bridesmaids of course? Let’s hope this one bucks the trend.
Love & Mercy (opens June 5) – Stars John Cusack and Paul Dano in a biopic of Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson (Paul plays the young Wilson and John the older Wilson). The movie focuses on two periods of Wilson’s life; following the younger Wilson as he focuses on the creation of the album “Pet Sounds” and the single “Good Vibrations” and the older Wilson as he attempts to escape the influence of a manipulative doctor (played by Paul Giamatti) with the help of a car saleswoman (played by Elizabeth Banks).
Entourage (opens June 3) – it has been over 10 years since Vinnie Chase and his boys Eric, Turtle and Johnny appeared on the small screen and the world has changed dramatically. Is there still a place for them? Or will this movie feel like an aged period piece? Entourage the movie was directed by Doug Ellin who created the original series and stars Jeremy Piven, Adrian Grenier, Scott Caan, Kevin Dillon, Kevin Connolly, Debi Mazar and Jerry Ferrara.
Sense8 (Netflix releases the 12 episode season on June 5) – Sense8 tells the story of eight total strangers from different parts of the world who find out they can infiltrate one another’s body. They feel each other’s pain, share skills and recognize when one is in danger. Netflix has had a few misses (see my recent post on Grace & Frankie) but mostly hits. Should be worth a test drive – and maybe next weekend’s binge watching.