Straight Outta Compton

My extremely short review of the Straight Outta Compton movie.

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If you were into NWA the way this white suburban kid was in high school, or you want to see a pretty entertaining and actually quite relevant flick, I give Straight Outta Compton a rating of, “Damn, that shit was dope.”

I second Zaron Burnett III’s review we posted this week over on The Bunny.

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Entourage … Oof

I watched the Entourage movie so you will never, ever have to.

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Watched the Entourage movie. Has the writer ever met an actual woman before? Every female in that movie, with maybe one tiny exception, was only there to sleep with, complicate, forgive or ruin a man’s life. Oh, and the gay guy was a nag. I’m not one who thinks every movie should be viewed through the lens of a gender studies thesis or a Jezebel post. Pop movies are supposed to be entertaining, and that’s it. I don’t have my Bechdel questionnaire on my lap when I go to the Arclight. But when women are used as props, and they’re just dumb, it gets old quick. I wanted to love Entourage like bubblegum, but it went down like a can of warm Monster.

 

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I am in this Video, and I Still Don’t Know What True Detective Season 2 is about

A few Playboy editors, including some random bald guy, try to explain the characters and plot of True Detective Season 2 (and have a hard time doing so). 

Last year HBO premiered True Detective, which immediately became a hit with an intriguing mystery, incredible performances and a script that was smart and original. True Detective Season 2 has basically been seven episodes of people trying to solve an indecipherable mystery while living the most depressing lives in human existence. No one on the Internet seems to understand what’s happening on True Detective, so the Playboy.com staff – including some random bald guy who might look familiar to you – joined forces to try to explain the plot.

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Is it Good? Sir Hare

A review of the Sir Hare bald head care product.

The metrosexual minute, which somehow dovetailed into this hipster era through which we all must endure, has produced its fair share of grooming products for the well-coiffed. But it has created precious few products, of quality, for the non-coiffed among us. Which is to say, for those of us unable to coif because we have no hair.

No doubt sensing my existential head angst, Tony from Sir Hare recently sent me this product for review:

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Right away I dug its over-the-top old-timey-ness. The small brown bottle looks like something sold off the back of a traveling snake-oil salesman’s horse cart. Then there’s the monocled, mustachioed, dapper rabbit who looks like he voted for Taft, lending an air of leporidae credibility. The word GENTLEMAN appears in all caps on the side. The back labeling says it’s a “World Famous Head Shaving Oil,”  as if there could ever be one. Sir Hare, says the bottle, “smells like heaven.” Whoever designed and approved this packaging has a wonderful confidence and sense of humor.

Gentleman, it turns out, is one of four brands of Sir Hare, along with Beach Bum, Lumberjack and Purist, which I can only assume is a bottle air. (J/K – it’s not.) One bottle of each will run you $14.99 on the website.

I opened my bottle of Gentleman for a whiff, and it smelled like the olden days, even though I have no idea what the olden days smelled like. There’s a note of tea and also something else — old musical instruments maybe? (Maybe heaven smells like tea and old musical instruments.) In any case, it was both pleasant and manly.

The shower is where I shave. I rubbed a few drops in my head stubble and gave it a rip. Sir Hare performed as advertised, providing a smooth, fragrant, moisturizing shave.

And now the question … the big question … the only one that matters:

Sir Hare: Is it good?

It is.

Sir Hare is good.

This is a truly glorious and shiny day for my people.

For more “Is It Good?” Reviews, go here.

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Is it Good? Saint Martha

Joe Donatelli reviews Saint Martha in Los Angels and answers the question, “Is it good?”

Saint Martha Restaurant in Los Angeles's Koreatown I never get excited about brisket. It is a source of perpetual disappointment. Sometimes I order it at restaurants. And sometimes it gets trotted out during a press dinner. I bite in hopeful. I swallow disappointed. Not enough flavor. Too dry. It just tastes like generic meat to me. Perhaps I’m not sophisticated enough to enjoy the subtlety of a well-cooked brisket, but my palate does not do subtlety. I like rich, bold flavor.

The brisket at Saint Martha (740 S. Western, Los Angeles) is the best I’ve ever had. I told the sommelier those exact words while I was eating it. The sommelier’s job is to suggest wine, but I felt like I had to tell someone. “I’ve never seen Joe this excited about brisket before,” my wife told sommelier Mary Thompson, who had only come by to fill my wine glass, thereby giving Thompson a complete and totally unnecessary appreciation of my history with the dish.

Chef Nick Erven’s brisket was unlike any other I’ve had. It was soft and a little fatty, and it was covered in a sweet and tangy sauce and topped with veggies a la Korean street taco. It paired wonderfully with the pinot noir Thompson selected. On the way out I wanted to tell people coming in, “Get the brisket or you won’t have lived a complete life.”

Saint Martha—brisket maker of my dreams—is named after the patron saint of cooks and servants. The Koreatown restaurant is run by the same people who run Tart, the Fairfax restaurant where diners can jump in the pool for half-off their brunch. Saint Martha faces a nondescript parking lot, and so its interior steals a page from restaurants like Melisse: If the view stinks, don’t give the customer a stinky view. Saint Martha has no windows, pushing the customer’s focus to the art, each other, and, of course, the food.

Seaweed Doritos from Saint Martha Restaurant in LA

My wife Jen and I enjoyed an array of creative dishes, including the seaweed sea urchin “tataki” with avocado mousse, hearts of palm and seaweed Doritos (that’s them on the right—they were great); octopus with Koshihikari rice, sauce nero, lardo and espelette; steak and oyster tartare with champagne sabayon and bone marrow beignets; and diver scallops with black trumpet mushrooms, endive, white yam puree and smoked dulse.

The brisket was the grand finale. Growing full, I forced myself to stop eating, and our server wrapped the precious remainder in a tinfoil swan, which I lovingly placed in the backseat of the car for the ride home. I wondered if I should buckle it in. I didn’t want anything to happen to it. “Drive carefully,” I told my wife.

I finished it off at lunch the next day.

And now the question…the big question…the only one that matters.

Saint Martha: Is it good?

It is.

Saint Martha is good.

Have I mentioned the brisket?

Follow Joe Donatelli on Facebook and Twitter.

All images stolen from the Saint Martha website

For more “Is It Good?” Reviews, go here.

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