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REVIEW: “Sing Street” Will Put a Song in Your Heart… and Your iPod

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“I have just seen an instant classic.”

That’s what I said to myself as I left the theater, with the music and adrenaline of “Sing Street” still coursing through my veins.

It’s the kind of movie you want to turn around and see again, immediately. Right after you download the soundtrack. Yes, it’s that good.

Haven’t heard anything about it? I’m not surprised. I wouldn’t have known about this film either, except that my Regal Crown Club card finally paid off in the form of free tickets to an advanced screening. (Never mind the $25 popcorn.) Anyway, let’s watch!

Hooked yet? You will be.

Irish writer/director John Carney (“Once,” “Begin Again”) has conjured a nearly perfect coming-of-age tale set in 1980s Dublin. Think “The Commitments meets “Sixteen Candles meets “Footloose,” but all in one glorious package that manages to be both fresh and nostalgic at the same time. Drawing from his own teenage years at the real Synge Street school, Carney avoids the trap of creating a pure fluff piece by infusing the story with real heart.

A large part of that is due to the breakout talent and hero of Sing Street,” 16-year-old Ferdia Walsh-Peelo. As “Connor Lalor” navigates the tricky currents of a new school, family drama, and first love, Walsh-Peelo is heartbreakingly earnest, predictably awkward, and unexpectedly optimistic. Everything about his performance rings true. No small feat, considering that this is his acting debut.

Thanks to Carney’s non-actor, open casting approach, Walsh-Peelo is also joined by some equally promising new faces. Lucy Boynton is luminous as his love interest, “Raphina,” and Mark McKenna is quietly compelling as Conor’s songwriting partner, “Eamon.”

One of the most satisfying pairings, though, is anchored by the more experienced Jack Reynor (“Transformers:Age of Extinction”).  He shines as Conor’s older brother, “Brendan.”  Dealing with the angst of his own stalled dreams, Brendan tackles his brotherly mentoring role with gusto. Conor soaks up the advice like a ruddy-cheeked sponge, then begins to find his own way as his confidence grows.  Rarely do we see the underlying affection between two brothers played so simply and honestly,  so the relationship between Conor and Brendan is a lovely surprise.

The other undeniable star of “Sing Street” is the music.  While the story could have easily been told with the band only performing covers of ’80s hits,  Carney had a bigger vision for the film.  He collaborated with Scottish songwriter Gary Clark to craft 8 original tunes that not only add layers of light and shade to the storyline, but could be stand-alone chart toppers today.  From the gleefully retro “The Riddle of the Model,” to the Cure-tastic “Beautiful Sea,”  to the EMO ballad “To Find You,”  there’s something for everyone. Welcome to your summer soundtrack, people.

There are few darker notes to the plot, and the ending feels slightly of place, but in general “Sing Street” will leave you feeling as light and fizzy as a packet of Pop Rocks.

The movie poster reads: “Boy Meets Girl. Girl Unimpressed. Boy Starts Band.”  That’s it in a nutshell, of course, but happily, this film is so much more.

SING STREET opens in New York April 15th, and is in theaters nationwide on April 29th.

 

 

 

 

 

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Disney+ Series ‘Muppets Now’ Reveals Shocking Detail About The Swedish Chef

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Bork, Bork, Bork?!

If you haven’t taken the time to check out the new Disney+ series Muppets Now, stop reading and start streaming! The improv sitcom is an unscripted, segmented series in which our favorite fur-covered friends put together a digital show. Think The Muppet Show meets millennials. I watched the first episode, which became available for streaming as of July 31st, and I smiled through the entire thirty minutes. It’s cute and campy and reminds us all why we love The Muppets so much. I was enjoying the childhood nostalgia of seeing Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy and the rest of the gang when suddenly our favorite gibberish-spewing chef came on the screen to partake in a cooking challenge. Of course I was prepared to giggle at the Swedish Chef’s horrendous attempt at cooking but I was immediately distracted and could only focus on one shocking detail!

Credit: Muppets Now

Did you see it? Can you see what I was distracted by?! The stached Swede is wearing a wedding ring on his left hand! The Swedish Chef is married?!?!

Credit: Muppets Now

I mean, sure, it’s not surprising with the sexy foreign accent and killer eyebrows but still, I would have never guessed the chef had someone waiting at home for him! Since the chef is one of the few Muppets to actually feature human hands, I first thought the ring might have belonged to a neglectful puppeteer who forgot to take off their ring. But I did a quick Wikipedia search and apparently the Swedish Chef has been donning the gold ring since 2010 and is known to be married!

I guess there truly is a lid for every pot.

Muppets Now is now available for streaming on Disney+.

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Giant Asparagus Stalk Causes Quite The Stir On Social Media

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Who would have asparaguessed?

Over the weekend, photos of a giant asparagus plant began circulating Twitter with many users stunned to learn that the plant can grow to be the size of a small tree. I was one of those users because I’ve never seen an asparagus stem longer than a fork…I’ve never seen a bunch that wasn’t ridiculously overpriced either, might I add. The sad reality is that most of us eat things everyday with absolutely no idea as to how they are  grown and farmed. I can honestly say I was always more preoccupied by the thought of the funny smelling, post-asparagus-eating pee that it never occurred to me that these plants could become overgrown. And overgrown is a bit of an overstatement.

Credit: Twitter @girlfr0g

The stem in the picture looks to be over 8 feet tall. My pee would smell funny for a whole year after eating that. The photos have sparked a debate on Twitter with some saying the plants showcased are not asparagus but agave plants instead. While asparagus stems can grow to be about 5 feet tall, agave plants can grow much taller and even bloom flowers. I have zero interest in horticulture but plenty of interest in what’s funny so I just collected a few of the funniest reactions to the asparagus/agave photo here:

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‘The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ Parodied Dolly Parton To Create A Theme Song For All The ‘Karen’s’ Out There

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These “Karens” are workin’ 9 to 5 on our last nerve.

By now you probably know that the term “Karen” is typically reserved for white women who throw tantrums over things that don’t really require tantrum throwing. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the “Karens” have been especially vocal about not wanting to wear a mask usually citing constitutional freedom as the reason. Over the passed few weeks we have seen headlines about these women coughing on pro-maskers, verbally assaulting eye witnesses and even destroying property all to prove the point that they can and will do whatever they want. It’s annoying. Well, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert took the these suburban lemons and turned them into a hilarious pitcher of lemonade with a parody of the Dolly Parton classic “Jolene,” appropriately renamed “Karen.”

The PSA begins with actual news footage covering the stories of anti-maskers before cutting to a vintage clip of Parton in a pink jumpsuit with an anonymous singer belting out the altered lyrics which poke fun at all the angry scene makers. “You go on rants at Trader Joe’s, sit on the ground at the Costco, say wearing masks is the devil’s law,” the unseen singer croons. “Karen, Karen, Karen, Karen, please just wear a mask you big dumbass” she continues to implore.

Like all good satire, the video is hilarious but also contains an important message. The CDC as well as countless medical professionals have all agreed that wearing a mask is the best way to prevent the spread of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Wear a mask! And check out the funny video below!

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