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Is it ethical for a man with a bionic eye to play baseball? This is the question I was asked approximately 45,000 times from Thursday to Saturday by CBS in a promo for some new show which, despite repeated admonishments to watch, I never caught the name of.
When talk about a new stadium for Philadelphia first came up in the mid-90's, conventional wisdom was that the city would build a new stadium for Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies, leaving the Eagles to play in a renovated Veterans Stadium.
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Sean William Scott doesn't want to be known just as Stifler. In Bulletproof Monk, he tries to do just that.
The 26-year-old became a cult hero with his role as Steve Stifler in 1999's American Pie, which was a runaway hit and spawned a 2001 sequel. A third installment is in post-production.
In Monk, however, Scott plays Kar, a wisecracking action hero. It's a big departure from his roles as Stifler and in Road Trip.
"There's a limit to how much comedic roles you can do," he said. "You know when you're getting fingers up your ass [in Road Trip], this could be a career-ender... I just went in there and proved that I could do it."
Scott said that his role in the film was a chance to explore a different role and to test his limits in acting and athleticism. According to the crew, he passed those tests with flying colors.
"Sean is great when he's playing that funny guy who's confident but makes mistakes," producer Chuck Segal said. "He was perfect for the role."
It wasn't easy for Scott, however.
"I got really overwhelmed sometimes," he said. "With Bulletproof Monk, there was a huge workload and huge responsibility... the hardest part was trying to be cool. I'm the athletic guy from Minnesota, I have no suave at all."
Although he had a role in 2000's Final Destination, this was the first action movie for Scott. He also co-stars with The Rock in Welcome to the Jungle, set for later this year.
One of the other reasons he took this role was the chance to work with Chow Yun-Fat, who he had seen in both his American and his overseas films.
"He said one of the nicest things to me. He goes, 'You're a very good boy Sean, I don't want to hear four years from now that you're not the same person.' I was like, 'I'll never let you down Yun-Fat!' "
The only remorse he had with the film was his relationship with Jaime King, who plays his romantic interest.
"I was like the big brother," Scott said. "I had established myself as the nice guy who would do anything, and I screwed myself. I was like, 'Yeah, I'll go grocery shopping, do laundry.' "
King, a former Revlon model, laughed at his admission.
"I was talking to him the other night," she said. "He was like, 'I should have just tried to date you when I had the chance. Everyone told me to.' "
As for Bulletproof Monk, Scott has just one request.
"Girls, see the movie," he said. "I'm not the guy from American Pie"
There are two ways you can look at Bulletproof Monk: On the one hand, Chow Yun-Fat finally gets to do some comedy for the first time in an American movie. On the other hand, the movie is Bulletproof Monk.
University City and Center City are great -- but there's only so much Stephen Starr, Smokey Joe's and Art Museum you can take. Philadelphia isn't just the 2nd Street clubs and Rittenhouse Square. There's a whole city out there, one that's bustling with excitement and plenty of things to do.
From the Franklin Mills Mall -- only a couple feet inside the city in the Northeast -- to the Frank Rizzo mural at 9th and Montrose Streets in South "Fluffyia," there's plenty of places where you can see, shop, eat and relax.
So go on, don't be shy -- go forth into the Philadelphia you've never seen before.
I think we all know by now that New Jersey just can't stack up to Philadelphia in general, and that trend is no different when it comes to real Italian flava. Check out the Italian market for the best food in Philly, and it's not just Italian anymore: every ethnic group is represented. Former mayor Frank Rizzo is still God here, the patron Saint of South Philly watches over his Italian brethren. It's not just the boot anymore: Philly's nu-soul movement got its start in SP. Touch this Illa-Fifth Dynamite.
Landmarks: Mummers Museum, Rizzo mural, Italian market, Pat's and Geno's
Most happening block: Broad and Siegel
The Roots' lead MC, Black Thought, may call himself a South Philly Soldier, but he doesn't have the balls to name himself after a corner in South Philly, like Beanie Siegel, who took on the nickname for the corner of Broad and Siegel. Gossip around the Street office: the rapper was shot on that very same corner.
Place to eat:
Villa di Roma
936 S. 9th Street
Located in the middle of the Italian Market, Villa di Roma is the kind of restaurant that might not let you order dessert if you don't finish your vegetables. The decor ain't much, but Villa Roma is a place you can come back to, a homey place, serving large portions of cheap but good traditional Italian-American dishes.
Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial
719 Catharine St.
This division of the Philadelphia Museum of Art may not have any Rocky steps, but it does offer tuition-free art classes for adults and children on everything from ceramics to photography. An attached art gallery shows off student work.
Penn folk, go beyond yonder Main Street and explore the non-yuppiefied areas of this community. As one of Philly's many post-industrial sites, the attitude of this neighborhood is still working class, and you are bound to still see a few Starter jackets roaming its hills.
Landmarks: Andorra Shopping Center, Main Street, Roxborough High School
Pat's and Geno's are overrated:
Don't believe the hype. At the intersection of Henry Ave and Walnut Lane, you can find the true mecca of Philly Cheesesteaks. D'Alessandro's and Chubby's offer the city's best duo of steaks, and as an added bonus, during Saturdays in the fall, you can watch the Roxborough Eagles' Pee-Wee football games across the street.
Claim to fame:
First Union USPRO Championship Bike Race
Sunday, June 9th
At the beginning of every summer, the First Union National Championship Bike Race takes over Manayunk, and riders are forced to climb "The Wall," one of the area's many vertical streets. And for those of us who don't want to bike up this mini-Everest, there's plenty of room for happy drunken rooting on the sidewalks.
While some may avoid this neighborhood, we can assure you that North Philly's bad rep is undeserved. Temple University is as integrated with a neighborhood as you can get, and has some of the most interesting sites in the city. As for the area, don't sweat it.
The Shoe Museum
The Shoe Museum, hosted at Temple University's School of Podiatric Medicine, offers a whimsical look at the world of shoes. Really. It has about 800 pairs of shoes, and admission is free -- you just need to schedule an appointment in advance.
The Association de Musicos Latino
2726 N. 6th Street
The Association de Musicos Latino Americanos is the intellectual center of all Latin American music in Philadelphia. It's a great place to dance to, hear or buy any Latin music you just can't get out of your head.
The Philadelphia High School for Girls
1400 W. Olney Ave.
The Philadelphia High School for Girls is not only the alma mater of Penn President Judith Rodin, but also rapper Eve. They didn't go there at the same time, though (natch).
Shibe Park (21st and Lehigh), later renamed Connie Mack Stadium, was the home of the Phillies and A's for the first half of the 20th century. On October 1, 1970, the Phillies played the last game before moving into the Vet and the fans literally tore the stadium apart. The Deliverance Evangelistic Church now stands there.
While not too many Germans still live there, this former-revolutionary war stomping ground is now a full urbanized zone. It's one of the few places where you'll see graffiti and George Washington's old summer home on the same block.
Landmarks: Market Square, Historic Rittenhouse Town, Chelten Avenue
Place to Eat:
The Rib Crib
6333 Germantown Ave
For the past 30 years, The Rib Crib has had some of the most sought after meats in the city. Being voted Best of Philly in 1999 and 2002, they are serious about the art of barbequing. Just be prepared to take a number and wait your turn.
Let's see, since it was settled in the 1680's, its streets have hosted the first anti-slavery protest in America, it was the birthplace of author Louise May Alcott, and it withstood important battles during the Revolutionary war. Witness the history first hand every October at the reenactment of the Battle of Germantown at Cliveden Manor (6401 Germantown).
The Great Northeast. An area so different than the rest of the city that, in the 1980's, there were talks of a secession. Now that's become just a running joke in Northeast Philly, where there's nothing but rowhomes and the pizza is plentiful.
Most notorious road:
In terms of accidents per year, the most dangerous road in the country is Roosevelt Boulevard, Route 1 in the Northeast. The 12-lane highway also has the second (Red Lion Road) and third (Grant Ave.) most dangerous intersections.
6300 Frankford Ave.
The Far Northeast is zoned totally residential, so the bars are in strip malls and aren't that good. For our money, Tony's Place not only has a great bar selection -- but has the best pizza in the city, bar none.
The smell hits you as soon as you walk in. It's the smell of the sweat of a thousand fighters, the spilled beer and cigar smoke of ten thousand fans. It's the smell that's been lingering for the past 41 years at the Blue Horizon, Philadelphia's renowned boxing venue.
Some journalists tell us the story from the most straightforward angle possible. But others tell us the real story, and go behind the facts to tell us why we should care. Nathaniel Popkin is one of the latter. His Song of the City: An Intimate History of the American Urban Landscape is a brilliant piece of nonfiction, going behind the scenes of Philadelphia to describe why the American city is not in decline -- rather, it is thriving more than ever.
Last week on CNN, Miguel Nunez and Vivica A. Fox were promoting the movie Juwanna Mann. A viewer called in, asking Nunez about how he survives as a Latino actor. Nunez's reply was simply, "Dude, I'm black."
If Marilyn Manson and Orgy had a lovechild, it would be Professional Murder
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is not just a landmark in animation, it is a
landmark in film. The animation is beautiful, the storyline is impressive--the
movie is amazing.
It seems that the music industry has reached a point where the nu-metal bands
are as formulaic as boy bands. Who besides an Ozzfest veteran, who can
really tell the difference between Static-X, Slipknot, Mudvayne, and Drowning
Pool? I mean, besides counting the number of members in the band.
Hey kids! Did you like the 80's? Do you still play The Legend of Zelda on your
old Nintendo? Do you remember and cherish G.I. Joe, He-Man, Star Wars,
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures, Mr. T, and Wildwood, N.J.? Then
(http://www.x-entertainment.com) is for you.
How does one review a film like Scary Movie 2? If I was reviewing the first one, I
could talk about how it breaks new ground in showing how screwed up the
MPAA ratings system is. I could also call it an occasionally funny satire of the
teen slasher genre.
There exist many unwritten rules of film. One says that if a film has a different title than what was originally intended, it is not a good film.
* * (two stars)
* * (two stars)