New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments 73: The Bounty Hunter

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What I loved about the movie Hitch was Kevin James’ dance practice sequence. Unfortunately none of Kevin James comic relief was present in director Andy Tenant’s 2010 feature, The Bounty Hunter. With the supporting cast including the likes of comic actors such as Jason Sudeikis, Jeff Garlin, and Christine Baranski, it didn’t really make me laugh much. But luckily, it wasn’t as bad as Tenant’s 2008 movie, Fool’s Gold. But, since today is her birthday, I figured I’d post about a film starring Jennifer Aniston…and New Jersey!!!

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Butler and Aniston in front of the Taj Mahal’s main escalators

There’s wacky hijinks galore as the former Friend plays Nicole Hurley, a reporter who is targeted by her ex-husband and bounty hunter Milo Boyd (Gerard Butler.) Hurley jumped bail and Milo is pursuing her in order to gain a big pay day. In the mean time we’re supposed to be on the edge of our seats to see if all this hot and heavy action will cause them to rekindle their romance.

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A vibrant shot of The Atlantic City Expressway

Considering the abundance of New Jersey appearances, I still couldn’t bring myself to love this film. I definitely didn’t hate it either. It had some real potential to be a fun time, but it’s ulterior motive to be a rom-com is what keeps it from getting to the next level. It’s no surprise that I dozed off toward the end of the film, but I saw enough of it to make the assessment that it was steaming with mediocrity.

Butler does shine as Milo though. His snarky attitude and arrogant overtones work as a scoundrel, a Han Solo-type of guy. Butler brought Milo to life in a realistic way, but all gets weird when we see his macho bravado is all a front and he’s still actually in love with his ex-wife played by Jennifer Aniston. As Hurley, Aniston seems like she’d rather be sunbathing on some exotic beach getting photographed by hidden TMZ photographers. Even with that said, it’s hard not to like her…or LOVE her. Especially when she’s handcuffed to the bed. YUUUUP! That’s in the movie!

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The film would like the viewer to believe that Monmouth Park Racetrack is in Atlantic City

If you’re familiar with Jersey and you’ve seen the film, you probably noticed that the horse racing scene took place at Monmouth Park. The sequence pulled me out of the film because it was made to seem as if the race track was actually in Atlantic City and a line in the film confirms it. It makes more sense to the viewer, after all, but the filmmakers probably assumed most viewers had no idea that the Monmouth Park race track is over 80 miles away from Atlantic City. That’s easily overlooked.

Making up for any of the negatives here are some gorgeous shots of A.C. In fact, The Bounty Hunter contains probably the best modern-day footage of the Atlantic City shoreline in movies. Most of the films I’ve covered here at The Sexy Armpit that have depicted A.C are much older and America’s playground was clearly nowhere near as impressive as it is now. If only Jersey had nicer weather year-round, A.C would be as big of a travel destination as Las Vegas. Look out for scenes in the Taj Mahal, the White House Sub Shop, the boardwalk, the A.C Expressway, and numerous mentions of The Borgata.

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 47: Hard Rock Cafe Atlantic City

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Art from a Hard Rock Cafe Atlantic City T-Shirt

The nation’s second most popular gambling city has a plan to eliminate their competition. Surrounding areas such as Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New York have attempted to give Atlantic City a run for its money. But just like Dr. Janosz Poha said about the impervious Vigo the Carpathian, these other second rate gambling establishments “are like the buzzing of flies to him.” Taking its cue from swank hotels like The Borgata, The Hard Rock plans to create one hell of an upscale experience to sucker people back to the city that Monopoly took its street names from. The $300 million dollar project will include a boutique hotel and casino similar to their Las Vegas location. Translation: another reason for your girlfriend to try and entice you to hop on the GSP to voluntarily insert wads of hard earned cash into those noisy mind control machines. Until their new complex is built, you can head over to the existing Hard Rock Cafe in Atlantic City which is located at The Trump Taj Mahal and features a Gibson guitar shaped bar. If you’ve never been there, grab some lunch before a concert. The Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich is recommended.

Today’s tee beats the hell out of the typical Hard Rock Cafe logo tees that you see everywhere. This shirt is colorful, elaborate, and captures both the gambling aspect of A.C as well as the skyline and elements of the shore where the restaurant is located. Ebay seller benk_store has this shirt up for sale.

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 11: Atlantic City

Let’s take a look at 3 different Atlantic City shirts for this weeks installment of NJ T-Shirt Tuesday. It’s being said that Atlantic City is hurting and people aren’t gambling as much due to the economy, but every time I’m down there it doesn’t look that way to me! The casino’s are typically jam packed, especially on the weekend or when there’s a great concert going on at The Borgata. If you don’t believe me, jump on the parkway and head down there yourself!

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The first shirt I found is a vintage ’70s black T-shirt that says “Atlantic City Board Walk Where the Stars Come Out.” It looks as if it was sold in one of those cheesy stores on the boardwalk that sells a bunch of crap and uses a hermit crab display as it’s way to sucker you into the store. Ahh, the Jersey Shore…classy. This one is available at Bonanzle. Oh, and don’t bother looking for the stars that supposedly come out to the A.C Boardwalk because no celebrity in their right mind would be roaming around the boardwalk, they’d be playing craps or in the lush suites at Harrah’s and The Borgata.

The next 2 offerings come from Retro Duck. I was pleased to see the unique designs on these old school decals as well as the various styles of shirts you can choose from.

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The orange long sleeve tee matched with this sunny A.C decal. Available here.

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The A.C Monkey is smokin’, drinkin’ and chillin’ and is available here.
RetroDuck has some cool designs for sure, but the unfortunate part about their site is that most of their shirt are created with custom ironed on decals. If you’re a t-shirt connoisseur like me, I’m sure you know all about the inevitable fate of these decals after several washings. Even with proper care and air drying, these babies are bound to deteriorate, but the decal is part of the appeal. I give credit to Retro Duck for selling these obscure vintage looking A.C shirts!

From Our NJ Friend Tommy Salami @ Pluck You Too!

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And I always thought it looked like an outline of George Washington, boy was I waay off!
Tommy Salami of Pluck You Too! is a movie blogger from NJ. He sent this masterpiece over to The Sexy Armpit so I had it blown up, framed, and hung in my living room. If you got a problem with that I’ll break your legs and throw you in the swamp next to The Borgata. Yeah, I didn’t think so you sonofabitch! I’m not sure where Tommy got this pic or if he actually created it himself, either way, it’s a classic! And, NO, we don’t ALL look like that here in New Jersey. Be sure to check out Tommy’s film commentary and his “Hump Day” column, it’s f’n spectacular. 
What are you lookin’ at ya pricks? Get the f–k outta heeyuh, there’s nuttin’ to see!

No Doubt Will Kick Off Tour in New Jersey!

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To the dismay of Anaheim, California, No Doubt will kick off their ’09 tour at the Borgata in Atlantic City NJ on 5/2! A day later, they’ll also be headlining the 2nd day of the Bamboozle music festival at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford NJ!

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To celebrate No Doubt picking NJ to start their trek, The Sexy Armpit has grabbed screen shots from the bands animated appearance on King of the Hill! The episode “Kidney Boy and Hamster Girl: A Love Story,” aired on May 13th, 2001.

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Gwen Stefani is hot even in animated form
The ‘toon version of No Doubt performed at Arlen High School’s prom. Throughout the episode, their songs “Ex-Girlfriend,” “Don’t Speak,” and “Bathwater,” can all be heard.

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Tom, Tony, and Adrian
No Doubt will also be appearing at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ on 6/26!

Chicago’s the Last Vegas Steals the Show in Atlantic City!

Chad Cherry of The Last Vegas
Chad Cherry, lead singer of the Last Vegas

On Friday Night March 6th, at the Borgata in Atlantic City NJ, the Last Vegas from Chicago easily upstaged Theory of a Deadman and Hinder. I could’ve left after the Last Vegas, that’s how good their performance was. I felt so revved up and satisfied; it was exactly how one should feel after seeing a kickass rock band live. The headliners, Motley Crue, were still to come! Waiting through the next two bands wasn’t easy. 

Tyler Connolly from Theory of a Deadman
Tyler Connolly, lead singer from Theory of a Deadman

With only a few above average songs, Theory of a Deadman was passable. They seem to play by the book with no shenanigans. I always considered them a much cooler version of Nickleback. No offense to the legions of Nickleback fans, but perhaps you should make the switch? You went from Starbucks to Dunkin’ Donuts, Myspace to Facebook, so how about Nickleback to Theory of a Deadman?

The climate in rock music for the past few years seems to be fueled by ’80s rock, which makes sense. Considering the rock music that was immensely popular when these newer bands moving up the ranks were growing up, they most likely were listening to stuff like Warrant and Slaughter. **Rob Mason has hopefully saved Warrant from Jani Lane’s tarnished rep. I don’t care what you say, “Down Boys” is phenomenal.
When Austin Winkler asked the audience to yell “Up All Night” I was certain that a cover of Slaughter’s “Up All Night” was to follow. I’m sure there’s 50 other songs in existence with the same title, but when I hear it, I think of Slaughter’s. Unfortunately, Hinder’s song “Up All Night,” is completely unrelated to Slaughter’s and not a quarter as good. 
Hinder’s heart is in the right place, but their attempt at capturing the party rock type atmosphere of the ’80s era ultimately fails, for me at least. For fraternities around the country, Hinder’s a huge WIN. To say that I don’t like their music wouldn’t be totally accurate, since they did perform one or two songs that I thoroughly enjoyed. But judging by their lax performance, they seem to show signs that they’ve already been bestowed a “best band award.” These guys scored a hit, had Emanuele Chriqui in their video, and now they’ve feel like they’ve “made it?” Give me a break! You’re still FNG’s as far as I’m concerned. Take some pointers from the Last Vegas and Buckcherry. If I ever have kids, will they reach their 30s and be going to see opening acts who were inspired by bands like Fall Out Boy and Tokio Hotel? Oh that’s so sad. 
And now for an exlusive peek into the contents of my personal letter to Austin Winkler, lead singer of Hinder:

Austin Winkler of Hinder
Dear Mr. Winkler,
You’re clearly seeing the effects of the rock and roll lifestyle. Singing all those mindless songs about drinking, and getting stoned (i.e “Get Stoned”) will take it’s toll. Life imitates art as they say. Unless you’re in the gym constantly “working on your fitness,” then you’re going to get a nice big beer gut. Oh what do you know, you already have one! oops. I couldn’t stop thinking that if Peter Delouise played a washed up, drunken rock star, who sported a bob haircut in a real life biopic on the Lifetime channel, it might be about you. Put the beer down, step away from the Nascar race on your 70 inch LCD, and get your ass to the gym.
You need to work hard to connect with the audience. Humble yourself. Remember, you are opening for MOTLEY CRUE. You are eons away from ever being as big as the legendary Motley Crue. Be mindful that many of the people in the audience have no idea who you are. Plenty of fans of ’80s rock swore off listening to new music when grunge rolled around. It’s your job to win them back! Stop writing generic, ’80s style music. Show us why you’re not just a bunch of guys who “thought it would be cool to be in a band.”
Lucky for us, there’s bands out there like the Last Vegas who really “get it.” They grabbed my attention forcefully and didn’t let go their entire set. The Last Vegas was rocking our buts off way before they won the Guitar Center On Stage contest. After seeing them live it’s obvious why they’ve captured the opening spot on Crue Fest this year. The band plays energized, dirty, old school rock and roll. They’ve got some ACDC thump, and a little GNR swagger. 

Adam Arling of the Last Vegas
Guitarist Adam Arling of the Last Vegas
Frontman Chad Cherry is the real deal. He exudes rock and roll and never for a moment looks like a wannabe as he struts and jumps all over the stage. Cherry’s strong voice is the center of attention. There were moments when his voice recalled Tom Kiefer’s of Cinderella. 
check them out at TheLastVegas.com

Nikki Sixx
Bassist Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue

Motley seemed to be having sound problems during their performance. Nikki and Vince kept looking over to the sound guys and giving the “UP” signs. It was basically the same set as their show at PNC Bank Arts Center in the summer. You can watch 2 videos I shot from that show on The Sexy Armpit Youtube page. Motley added “Jailhouse Rock” and “White Trash Circus” into their set. 

Conspicuous by it’s absence was Tommy’s Titty Cam. Instead, he handed out his bottle of Jaeger, and told everyone to take a sip and pass it back. Nice of you to share Tommy, but who the hell wants to drink out of a bottle that 10 people have already taken swigs from? That’s nasty. I don’t even drink the wine in church! The bottle got confiscated by security anyway, probably so the guard could bring the bottle home and sell it on ebay…douchebag. At that point Tommy went into how thankful he was for some stuff, and how we should all be thankful and blah blah, and then stepped back over to his kit. Where did Motley go? 
There’s always a bunch of young kids in the audience at recent Crue shows. Damn Guitar Hero and Rock Band for making raunchy rock and roll a family affair. Did the people at the Borgata warn the band ahead of time that they couldn’t do the Titty cam? Most likely, but that was the least of my worries. I was more amused by Vince Neil who thinks that Crue song lyrics are interchangeable and should be sang anywhere from 1-5 seconds later than they are supposed to be. Ahh, it was still Crue, and it still rocked, so the rest doesn’t really matter now does it?

Nikki Sixx Loves Barack Obama
Nikki Sixx was “Baracking out”
One band, Endeverafter, would’ve been perfect for this show. They’re definitely one of my favorite rock bands so check them out if you’ve never heard of them! Endeverafter.com

Kid Rock Rocked The Borgata in Atlantic City

On February 13th, I had to forego my viewing of the new Friday the 13th film since I already had plans to go with a couple of friends to the Kid Rock concert at the Borgata in Atlantic City. I’m not one to pass up a kickass rock show, especially since I’ve seen Kid Rock twice and he’s thoroughly entertaining. Rock’s Twisted Brown Trucker Band deliver the goods like a punch in the face. They made me want to mosh during “Bawitaba” but the crowd was pretty lame, and Rock’s fans have grown older. I was a junior or senior in high school when Kid Rock jettisoned to fame, and that was over 10 years ago!

Rock never quits during his performances and it’s clear that he loves what he does and he’s proud of the music he’s created. Between songs Rock relayed that his friend once told him that 30 million people watch American Idol, so he performs for …”the 270 million people who DON’T watch that bullshit!” Throughout the show Rock was the center of attention, although members of his band came up and joined him for vocal solos, guitar shreds, duets, and even a sax solo. Through his music and his stage show, Rock conveys his love for many types of music as hints of other famous songs creep into their set. During the concert, Rock’s band played hints of AC/DC’s “Back in Black,” he sang “Cat Scratch Fever” while pounding the drums, and Rock even crooned his rendition of “Good Ol’ Boys,” the Dukes of Hazzard Theme Song, which I even caught on video:

Here’s Part 1 of clips I shot at the concert:

Part 2:

Sexy Armpit Excursion: The Water Club, Atlantic City N.J

For the big Dark Knight weekend we had the pleasure of staying at The Water Club at the Borgata in Atlantic City. When I first walked in I noticed how grandiose the design was. It’s huge, but sparsely decorated, which I enjoy. I’m a fan of big open spaces and super high ceilings what can I say? The folks at the front desk tended to our every need. They even asked if they could make dinner reservations for us, and we actually took them up on their offer. We went to Wolfgang Puck’s American Grille in the Borgata. You would think I’m the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase with all this, but I’m far from it! I had the Almond Crusted Salmon with Horseradish Potato Puree and red wine reduction. That’s just a fancy schmancy way of saying Salmon topped with Almonds and mashed potatoes. As you could imagine, the presentation of the entrée was excellent and the meal was superb.
When we got into our room I saw an interactive plasma hanging on the wall that welcomed us by name. It had all of the visitor info and check out info as well. The room was decorated in beige and brown earth tones. I expected no less than a Cisco IP phone on the desk and leather pillows against the headboard. The room featured the most comfortable bed and pillows which were as good if not better than the Borgata’s.
As if you haven’t had enough Batman already, I had an Adam West sighting on the trip. This time he wasn’t in person, he was starring in a Password slot machine game. In other Batman news it’ll be Joker week at Eclectorama! Go check it out and continue on your high from The Dark Knight! I also had to basically beat a couple of guys off the new Indiana Jones (pictured below) machines with a stick to get to play one for 5 minutes. And lose most of my money in the process. We also got comp tickets to see a live version of The Wedding Singer. This was a show on Broadway but now it’s over at Harrah’s Resort until the end of August. There’s no big name actors in it but I thought it would be fun to see since I am a fan of the movie and a total ’80s freak. The transition from screen to stage wasn’t an easy one for The Wedding Singer. There plenty of ’80s references and a few really good one liners but it almost seemed like it was better off as a movie. The play is made up of original songs written for the stage show which all fell short and were not catchy at all. Two songs from the film appeared such as the humorous delivery of “Somebody Kill Me Please,” which wound up getting alot of laughs because of the way the actor playing Robbie actually “sang” the song instead of screamed it ala angry Adam Sandler. The other was “I Want To Grow Old With You.” If you plan on seeing this show, I warn you of the abomination that is the guy who played the Billy Idol impersonator. His part was “Billy Idol impersonator” and he wasn’t convincing at all…but the Tina Turner impersonator on the other hand, went over big! It’s worth seeing only if you got a comp ticket offer like we did.

Live Review: Velvet Revolver at the Borgata in Atlantic City, N.J 8.25.2007

In 2003, Velvet Revolver released Set Me Free on the Incredible Hulk Soundtrack, and since then I was completely sold. After the release of their first album Contraband, It blew my mind how a band could be exactly what I was craving for so long. Mixing Scott Weiland from STP, the former GNR guys, and Dave Kushner from Wasted Youth, it was a winning combo. Scott brought the flair while the band incorporated the straightforward rock and roll. Contraband sold tons of records and their follow up Libertad, sounds nothing like what a follow up usually does. The album was produced by Brendan O’Brien and prominently features the signature hard rock sound of the STP/GNR mash up.

Witnessing the power and musicianship of Velvet Revolver in concert was unbelievable. On Saturday August 25th, VR opened fire at the Borgata in Atlantic City with a couple of rocking new songs from Libertad including Let It Roll, and She Mine. From there, Velvet Revolver blasted through their set with some tracks from Contraband like Sucker Train Blues, Do it For The Kids, and the awesome Superhuman. Slash never loses his touch, and he proved it by shredding on She Builds Quick Machines, the first single they released from Libertad. Do any of you ever feel inadequate, sort of like the Wayne and Garth “We’re not worthy” chant? That’s how I felt when Slash played his guitar behind his head.

Recently I read an article with members of VR where they claimed they wouldn’t be doing too many GNR or STP songs on this tour. Boy was I excited when I found out they were lying! They incorporated three songs from each of their respective former bands. I flipped when they played STP’s Vasoline, Interstate Love Song, and Sex Type Thing. And I completley freaked out when I heard the intro’s to GNR’s Patience, It’s so Easy, and one of my all time favorite songs Mr. Brownstone. Regardless of the trash talking between Velvet Revolver and Axl’s present form of GNR, Scot Weiland pays a helluva tribute to Axl when they’re performing these songs. He sounds so much like him, you get the impression that he loves the music GNR created.

I could’ve done without the cover of Pink Floyd’s downer Wish You Were Here, but that would be my only complaint. As if they really needed to, Velvet Revolver yet again won over all the fans in attendance that night. They play like they have something to prove and that’s the mark of a kick-ass rock band. VR sent us home with Slither, and I went home with a horrible case of rock neck.