Archive for August, 2007

Resurrecting the Champ

The recently released flick about a homeless Orange County boxer isn’t getting the greatest of reviews. Even the positive praise seems to come with a caveat about how the film is telepic material, albeit a pretty good telepic material, with a cheesy execution.

Rotten Tomatoes (a fantastic review aggregator) is giving it a fresh rating of 62% positive reviews on the Tomatometer. However, the Cream of the Crop critics agree that it stinks on ice – giving a gracious 42% positive reviews. Words and phrases like “mundane”, “overwrought”, “speechy” and “one-sided Hollywood claptrap” are bandied about.

Sounds like a real fun evening at the movies no? For those interested The Register just ran an article on the homeless Santa Ana man named The Champ – the same man portrayed by Samuel L Jackson in the film. The article, I am willing to bet, is better than the movie.

Have you seen Resurrecting the Champ? Did you like it?

Garden Gossip

On Sunday I dropped a not-so-subtle clue about the possible hoteliers moving into the new Anaheim Garden Walk. On Tuesday our friends over at Mice Age gave a much more detailed account of The Mouse’s possible hotel plans for the The Walk.

Click here to read the relevant portion of their article (scroll down to the “GardenWalk Talk” heading).

So what do you think about this taste of what’s possibly on the horizon for the Resort? I am certain all of this plays a role in the current zoning kafuffle between the city and Mousechwitz. Just where all these alleged plans fit in with the housing/third-gate dust up, remains to be detailed. As of now, the issue lies in the hands of the voters (and the massive marketing machines behind the campaigns on both sides).

On which side of the great divide do you fall? Are you stuck in the middle or do you even care?

Walking is only HALF as much fun as running.

Get ready for road closures in Anaheim. Disneyland’s Half Marathon will take place on September 3rd, 2007. You can expect early-morning to late-morning road closures in the areas surrounding the resort as runners take to the streets for the Happiest Race on Earth.

If you’re planning on driving in Anaheim on Labor Day, you may want to steer clear of the resort entirely. If you are certifiable and planning on visiting the Parks, then prepare yourself for Half Marathon madness – which is basically taking over both parks, Angel Stadium and portions of Ball Rd, Cerritos Blvd, and Disneyland Drive.

If you just want to be a spectator, word is the best spot is at Downtown Disney near the finish line. Parking will be entirely up to you (good luck). The race starts at 6 AM. So don’t be late if you wanna watch all the sweaty Disneyphiles charging through the streets.

For those who are less ambitions, there is also a 5k family run that doesn’t leave the confines of Disneyland’s property at 7 am the day before the marathon. Full information about all the running events at the resort this weekend can be found at Disney’s Wide World of Sports web site.

Lauren Conrad: Representin’

[Click to Engorge]

OC native Lauren Conrad (LC if your nasty) showed up to the Teen Choice Awards looking like a cocktail waitress at Caesars Palace. The best part is, the dress is a little something she “designed” herself. The ensemble isn’t bad, but Lord it isn’t good. ((gag))

Is this the best Orange County can do these days? It’d be great to see someone halfway competent emerge to represent our fine communities. Gwen Stefani has been carrying the torch for a while now and she’s an excellent example of style, talent and OC-cool. However, when we do see fresh faces in the spotlight it’d be nice if they at least pretended not to be, you know, soulless vapid sacks of silicone.

The doubters may have to eat their words.

It may be tough to imagine, but the Anaheim Garden Walk is actually going to open one day. Allegedly that day is fast approaching: Spring 2008. The whole site is under heavy construction (finally) and Excel Realty Holdings has updated the tenant list with the latest confirmed occupants.

The notable names are: Abercrombie & Fitch, Holister, Mac, H&M, Marble Slab, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, M&S Grill, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic, PF Chang’s, California Pizza Kitchen, The Cheesecake Factory, Tommy Bahama, Bath & Body Works, Aveda, Harley Davidson, US Olympic Shops, Chico’s, Kay Jewelers, Rocky, Mountain Chocolate Factory, AMF Bowling, 24 Hr Fitness, and Johnny Rockets.

There is also a theater, a couple of bars and spa moving in and still there are many vacancies. You can bet the people at Simon Property Group (formerly The Mills) who operate The Block @ Orange, are holding their breath right about now. The redevelopment section of their web site doesn’t mention anything on the horizon for The Block. They’re either crazy or in denial.

The whole Garden Walk project is in phased development, so don’t expect it all to open at once – especially those three planned hotels. You won’t see those in action for several years – and you might be surprised at who some of the rumored potential tenants are **cough**cough**insertyourfavoritecoperategianthere**cough**cough**.

So the grand opening might not be quite as grand as you’d think, but at this point the long delayed development is probably lucky to be opening at all.

New Ducks Jerseys Again?

Howdy all, I know its been a while since I have written a post here at the Metroblog, but having my head buried back into the books will do that to a person.

However there has been one rumor that has been circulating on the internet regarding the Anaheim Ducks: They will have new jerseys when the Stanley Cup champs hit the ice and begin their 2008 campaign.

The entire NHL is switching from the old style floppy jerseys to ones made by Reebok that have a sleek appearance to them.

According to one site the new Ducks jerseys may replace the “Anaheim Ducks” on the front to a simple webbed “D” logo. I’m not sure if the jersey will still have Anaheim on them. The Kings launched their new jerseys and it has their crown in the middle with Los Angeles along the bottom, maybe Anaheim will do the same? For the record, the jersey better have Anaheim on them, don’t get me started on what happened when the owner across the street on Katella started messing with long team names.

A supposed spy picture of the new jersey after the jump. If anyone has any more details, or if anyone with the Ducks would like to confirm or deny this, leave a message in the comments.

I Love Sushi

Well, I actually don’t love sushi, but I do loves me some Japanese food.

But, if you are a fan of either, be sure to check out I Love Sushi on Harbor Blvd. in Costa Mesa. We were there right after it opened at 5pm on Sunday, and the sushi bar was already totally full. That is always a good sign.

We all liked our dishes, although I have to say my teriyaki chicken was a bit on the anemic side. Other than that, the sesame chicken, tempura and various sushi rolls were devoured with pleasure.

Saturday Brunch with Sue Ann Jaffarian

I had brunch on Saturday with my friend Sue Ann Jaffarian, author of the Odelia Grey mystery series, at the Harbor House Cafe in Sunset Beach. While updating one another on the little dramas currently invading our lives, I tried the Harbor House’s Belmont Omelette, a huge creation stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes, and covered with a mild cheddar. The omelette was served with home fries that were disappointing in their lack of texture. Overall the food and service were fine. Not great. Not bad. Just fine. Oddly, what I remember as the standout item served was the toast – good, thick slices of wheat toast that stood up well to butter (as opposed to the shingles served at many restaurants that collapse at the sight of a little butter).

Afterwards I tagged along while Sue Ann wandered through Seal Beach researching the area for the novel she’s currently working on. It was a hot, crowded summer day at the beach with the city lots near the pier crowded with people crawling through them hoping to find a parking spot. As usual one of the parking pass machines was broken with a crude note directing people to one of the other machines. As much as I enjoy the beach, roasting on the sand on a hot day is not my idea of a good time. Luckily, Sue Ann was more interested in driving the neighborhood to get its feel and stopping for coffee at Bogart’s to continue our conversation from brunch.

But We’ve Got Better Clothes

I have dubbed August “Musical Theater” month for myself, as I went and saw Wicked in LA a couple weeks ago, and saw Mamma Mia yesterday.

Aaaaand, I just have to say that Orange County totally dresses better than LA. LA was funky but not in a good way, while OC was fairly classy and upscale.

What makes that worse for LA was that Mamma Mia was a Sunday matinee whilst Wicked was a weekend night performance, and we still kicked butt.

Knott’s Berry Farm has relocated their entire park!

Last Week Zac Efron was at Disneyland. This last weekend, Leonardo DiCaprio was at Knott’s Berry Farm. If Spencer Pratt shows up at Adventure City it will be an amusement park celebutard trifecta.

More interesting than the fact that Leo was actually at Knott’s, was the fact that TMZ reports the historic park is located in L.A. – you know, right next to other L.A. landmarks, like Angels Stadium and the Huntington Beach Pier.

Pffft! Whatevs.

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