Watch Joss Whedon Talk ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and Much More at The Film Society of Lincoln Center

Last Friday, Joss Whedon’s absolutely delightful adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing finally had its theatrical premiere. The black-and-white comedy about a merry war betwixt lovers is a fresh, sexy, charming, and energetic revisiting of the classic story that took Whedon out of his massive budget studio film world. Shot over the course of twelve days  in his own home, his Much Ado is populated with brilliant actors from Alexis Denisof to Clark Gregg and Amy Acker who we’ve seen rotating around his universe of television and film for years now.

And last week, to celebrate the release, Whedon took to The Film Society of Lincoln Center to talk about his fantastic new project. If you were lucky enough to have been in the audience, the floor was open for questions, which Whedon happily answered wonderfully—but if not, now you can watch the 36-minute conversation online. So whether or not you’re a scholar of the bard or just the biggest Firefly fan, check out Whedon’s evening at Film Linc and head to cinemas now to see Much Ado
 
Enjoy the conversation below.
 

NYC’s Best Bars For Watching March Madness

For sports fans, March is arguably the best month on the calendar. Besides baseball’s spring training and NBA and NHL teams’ push for the playoffs, the college basketball season culminates with a massive 68-team tournament beginning March 19th. It’s pretty much all the excitement of a full season compressed into three weeks, providing a sobering reminder that all those games you sat through the previous four months were virtually meaningless.

Seasoned fans know that getting the full March Madness experience involves two key elements: betting on the games and drinking. The two are closely related. The NCAA tournament comprises dozens of games, the outcomes of which can turn in a few tenths of a second. If you have money on the line, watching your team’s fortunes change that quickly will require something stiff to calm you down. And as the tournament progresses, inevitably you will find yourself knocked out of the running in your office pool when Norfolk State improbably upsets Kansas. That makes it even more crucial to find the right bar in which to lament your lost entry fee, cheer on your alma mater, and endure the rest of the marathon-like event with fellow fans.

There’s no shortage of venues showing the games, but many involve navigating through crowds of drunken alums and lists of watered-down beers that smell like an old pair of Chuck Taylors. Fortunately some hoops-friendly bars have plenty to offer even for those who don’t care to stay glued to the flat screens – like inventive pub fare, unusual cocktails, and a soundtrack that goes beyond Jock Jams Volume IV. Here are enough to sustain you to the Final Four. 

For Overall Atmosphere

Snap adds some sporting flair to an otherwise forgettable stretch of West 14th Street. With wallpaper depicting bare-knuckle boxers and mustachioed baseball players, the vibe harks back to a time long before the NCAA tournament’s birth. For those who prefer modern touches (or who are just too lazy to look up at the TV screens), Snap’s bar has a 20-foot-long score ticker built into it.

A welcome oasis in the Upper East Side’s bar scene, Bounce Sporting Club offers a lounge atmosphere, while managing to remain all about the basketball. Among other creative concoctions on the extensive cocktail list is the Hot Streak, a riff on a margarita featuring tequila infused with jalapeno.

Billing itself as an “upscale sports restaurant and lounge,” The Royal is a recent addition to Union Square. The idea is to dial up the sophistication beyond what you’d expect in other sports bars or even other kinds of bars in the neighborhood: Along with its 45 TVs, it brings a DJ, bottle service and even a surprisingly wide selection of gluten-free menu items.

For Food and Drinks

Mulholland’s has four other kinds of wings, but there’s no sense in trekking over to the Williamburg spot if you’re not going to try the Scorching Death variety. If you have even greater disdain for your arteries than your mouth and throat, the menu also has chili cheese nachos served on waffle fries and fried pickles. Then cool off with one of 22 tap beers on the patio, which thankfully has a TV.

In the shadow of City Hall stands Manhattan Proper, where you can dine on white truffle lobster ravioli while doing your best to suffer University of Florida fans. Fans of the classics can stick to the Proper Wings and Proper Burger. Just make sure to wash them down with a seasonal cocktail like the Revolver, which somehow seamlessly matches Bulleit rye and Kahlua.

With 40 flat screens, The Ainsworth is the best bet to catch the games in Chelsea. The sports theme makes the bar something of an anomaly in the neighborhood, but with six different kinds of sliders (including lobster and barbecue pulled pork), the menu will stand up well when the Elite 8 rolls around and you can’t take one more buffalo wing.

For Activities Other Than Watching Basketball

Unfortunately there are short periods during the tournament when no games are going on or—gasp—the ones that are being played just aren’t that exciting. If you’re worried about down time, put your name on the list for The Whiskey Brooklyn’s shuffleboard table, which promises stiffer competition than most 1-vs-16 seed matchups. Skee-Ball and video cornhole are also available while you wait for your turn.

Angry Wade’s stays just on the right side of being a traditional ballcap-and-greek letter-filled sports bar. While the Cobble Hill staple features four TVs behind the bar—which runs nearly the entire length of the room—many patrons come to play pool or darts, munch on free popcorn, or hold forth on the provocative, ever-changing artwork on the walls.

If you’re able to round up a critical mass of fellow alumni, Firefly has a party room with a private bar to keep you away from fans of those hateful other 67 teams. The bar also has a DJ spinning three nights a week.

[Check out the BlackBook New York Guide; Discover the latest parties & openings with the weekly BlackBook Happenings email.]

‘Firefly’ Reunion Special Airs Tomorrow Night

Attention, nerds! Your presence is needed tomorrow (Sunday) evening at 10p.m. on the Science Channel for Browncoats Unite, the Firefly 10th anniversary special. You remember Firefly? That show that aired only one season in 2002 but has legions of obsessed fans? 

The special is a one-hour taping of a cast reunion at San Diego Comic Con.The reunion included creator Joss Whedon and actors Nathan Fillion, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, Adam Baldwin, Morena Baccarin, Alan Tudyk, Gina Torres and Jewel Staite. (No Christina Hendricks? POOP.)

Fillion, who is currently on the show Castle, told the New York Post in anticipation of the special that his role on Firefly was the best he has ever had as an actor.  “It was my first time truly being in love with my work,” Fillion said. “It’s the bar to which we compare every job.”

You can watch a clip of Browncoats Unite on Entertainment Weekly‘s site.

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.

Don’t Share Your Netflix Password With Friends

I’m basically what you’d call a philanthropist. I believe in my fellow man. And that’s why, when my poor friend who is poor bemoaned the expensive monthly fee for a Netflix account, allowing her to instantly stream all of the movies and TV shows she wants (within reason, of course—still waiting for 227 to become available), I said, “Oh, my dear girl! Please, take my password! And don’t make fun of me for using the title of a Joni Mitchell song as my Netflix password!” You know what? IT WAS A MISTAKE.

Last night I got home from a long day at work and wanted nothing more than to lay in my bed with a glass of wine and my laptop and catch up on all of the Ingmar Bergman films episodes of Ally McBeal in my queue. (What? Don’t act like you’re too good for that dancing baby or Vonda Shepard.) And lo and behold: my Instant Queue was suddenly empty. What’s worse? Netflix was now telling me that I would love Farscape, Dollhouse, and Highlander because my friend has been busy as hell watching all of Firefly. (That’s Highlander the television show, you guys. How embarrassing.)

I’m assuming that the deleted queue was some sort of glitch (probably the Netflix admins catching on to how many different computers are accessing my account), but that’s small potatoes next to the fact that the site thinks I have terrible taste. Oh, how I long for a Cerebral British Drama or a Dramatic Comedy Featuring a Strong Female Lead! 

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

Nathan Fillion Explains To Redditors What Being An Actor Is

There must be a lot of moments when being a celebrity is very weird, like when a fan follows you into a bathroom stall looking for an autograph while you’re trying to take a shit. For Nathan Fillion — he of Castle, Firefly, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog, and just about everything else that geeks like — this includes strange requests like taking pictures of himself holding twine.

Fillion descended into the wild and weird threads of Reddit on Thursday for God only knows what reason and answered a bunch of questions about what Joss Whedon’s scalp feels like and what Adam Baldwin smells like. You know, important stuff. And then a Redditor claiming to post on behalf of The Bloggess bloger Jenny Lawson asked why, a year ago, Fillion ignored her request to take a picture of himself holding twine.

Via Crushable, here is how he responded:

Sigh. Please understand. I’m an actor. I act, tell stories, all for a living. My job is not to respond to every demand placed upon me from an audience on the Internet. I don’t do those things because I don’t feel it’s right to ask. I don’t ask those things of my gardener, the guy at the car wash, or the kid who bags my groceries. Why ask it of someone because they are an actor? Is that being fair? The argument could be made that its only one request, but then how many people would be unhappy that it wasn’t their request I responded to? Not all actors care about things like this, but I do. It’s just a product of my experience. The more people push, the meaner it gets, the more uncomfortable it is for me. Thank you for letting me get that off my chest. I hope we can all put it in the past with no hard feelings. I don’t have any.

I’ll agree with Crushable that his response was "classy as hell" in addition to justified. It’s sad that Fillion even had to explain to people — not just The Bloggess or her intermediary, but everyone — why such weirdo requests are annoying at best and inappropriate at worst.

Then again, he did tell another Reddit he would be willing to do his/her voicemail message. Consistency, Nathan Fillion. Consistency!

A Spirited Selection of Upscale New York Sports Bars to Watch (the Giants Win) the Super Bowl

On Sunday, the most important sporting event in the world will be held, assuming by "world" you mean "United States." This year’s Super Bowl is particularly significant, as it pits the Giants of East Rutherford, New Jersey New York against the Patriots of Foxborough, Massachusetts New England, two of the biggest television advertising markets most historically rich cities in the country. A list of Boston sports bars can be found here. As for my fair city, New York is filled with sports bars, but there are a handful of particularly upscale joints that break the lager-and-wings mold with fancy cocktails and haute cuisine – particularly important if you’re trying to make a date of it. Here are a few of our favorites. 

Bounce Sporting Club – Downtown

This upscale sports lounge attracts fans from far and wide with artisinal cocktails, delicious food, and more TVs than you can shake a thunderstick at.  In honor of the home team, order a Blueberi Bounce cocktail, which is made with Stoli Blueberi vodka, fresh lemon, smashed blueberries, and ginger ale.

Bounce Sporting Club – Uptown

The original location of Bounce strikes the perfect balance between clubhouse and fancy restaurant. If you wanted to watch the game and your better half was counting on date night, this is your spot. 

Snap

The sports bar reimagined as a nightclub. Clubby feel, football-leather banquettes, and sophisticated sips abound. 

The Ainsworth

This posh Chelsea sports bar has 40 flat screen TVs, along with miso duck spring rolls and 100-ounce beer tubes.

Warren 77

Sean Avery and Beatrice bloodlines make this about as trendy as sports bars get. Plenty of fun even if the Giants lose, not that there’s any chance of that happening. 

The Windsor

British-accented sports pub has Guinness-battered fish and chips and porn star martinis. Also, sports. 

The Fulton

Sophisticated sports bar way downtown goes the gastropub route with a killer menu and craft beers from here to eternity. 

Firefly

Proving that fancy sports bar is not an oxymoron. Big screens and quality burgers will make you cheer. 

40/40

Party like a rap star while watching sports stars at Jay-Z’s super club. 

Village Pourhouse

This East Village sports mecca gets rowdy, but that’s to be expected when you’ve got 50 bottles and 24 draft beers going at any given time. A nice, comfy hang. 

[Photo: q1077.com]

New York: The Best Places to Watch the Gold Medal Hockey Game

On Sunday, Americans will trick themselves into caring about hockey one last time, when their Olympic men’s hockey team will go up against either Slovakia or Canada in the gold medal game. Since we all know it will be Canada, this means a rematch of the game that suddenly ignited U.S. interest in hockey for the first time since the word ‘mom’ wasn’t attached to the end of it. Now that Sunday is suddenly Game Day, the question is, where is the ideal spot in New York to cheer on a bunch of guys you’ve never heard of before?

As a Canadian, I’ve been watching all my games at a location that will remain secret, so I can maximize my chances of securing a spot in front of the big screen. But if I wasn’t going to Location X, I’d be watching the game at all of these locations, simultaneously.

Cheer on Team U.S.A. at Warren 77, but if owner Sean Avery is in the house, you might want to keep your chants to a murmur. He’s Canadian and he can kick your ass. Sixteen high-definition big screens line the walls at Firefly in Nolita. You might have to wrastle a screen away from an clueless NCAA aficionado, but those guys generally fall somewhere in the ‘pussy’ category. We kind of hate to say it, because there’s nothing less hockey than the American South, but Southern Hospitality on the Upper East Side is always a raucous good time when it comes to sports, as are the various Brother Jimmy’s locations across the city. The loudest and most grating U-S-A chants will be busting down the walls of The Village Pourhouse. If you’re a Canadian, sneak in there incognito, stare pompousness directly in the eye, and then spit in it when your home team wins. Sorry, but it’s inevitable.

Las Vegas: Top 5 Late-Night Eats

imageYour stomach does not know or care what time it is.

1. Mr. Lucky’s (Off-Strip East) – The food is merely adequate, but it’s the most convenient — and lively — pit stop between parties. 2. Firefly (Off-Strip East) – This noisy, dimly lit tapas joint serves small plates and specialty sangrias to a crowd of trendy, chatty locals until 2 a.m. 3. Fix (Strip: Central) – Fix’s organic-feeling, wood-lined setting contrasts with the prettified people picking at glammed-up diner food like Kobe beef chili cheese fries.

4. Social House (Strip: Central) – Need to eat but want to keep on partying? Enjoy the Strip-side view over martinis and sushi until the wee hours. 5. Smith & Wollensky (Strip: Central) – Craving a T-bone at midnight? The S&W’s Sidewalk café can accommodate, right down to the creamed spinach and mashed potatoes.