Go See Neil Patrick Harris Ride a Unicorn on Mushrooms
Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Dirs: John Hurwitz & Hayden Scholssberg, Now Playing
John Hurwitz’s and Hayden Scholssberg’s Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay is possibly the most anticipated sequel in years—at least for those who love that sweet, sweet cheebah.
The 10:20 show was sold out so I milled about Union Square, made a superfluous purchase at Virgin Records and got some footage on my blackberry of a gang of kids who looked EXACTLY like a crew from Boyz in the Hood. They sported flattops, cross colors and stonewashed jeans—one of them was even carrying a boom box decorated in fluorescent puffy paint. Little did I know it was only the first of several glimpses back to the ’90s that night.
The theater was filling up fast. To my delight, a kind stoner said the seat next to him—in that critical row with the bar—was free. Not until a full five minutes later, after I set down all my bags, arranged my snacks in the cup holders and happily threw my feet up on the bar did he remember that the seat was in fact taken. He was so high he forgot his girlfriend was in the restroom. I finally settled in a much less clutch seat as the previews started. A few thoughts thereupon:
What Happens in Vegas looks like a total piece of shit.
In the new Judd Apatow film, The Pineapple Express, James Franco and Seth Rogen share a wonderful moment as Franco opens a bag of weed for Rogen. He exclaims: “It smells like God’s vagina!”
As the lights went down the popcorn fights got less aggressive and several high fives were exchanged, reminding me why I had come. Could this possibly top Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle? One can only hope.
The film picks up exactly where White Castle left off—moments after the boys return from their 40-slider-a-piece feast at White Castle.
The duo is taking off to Amsterdam to smoke a shit ton of weed and find Maria, Harold’s crush. On the plane an elderly white woman in a flowered dress eyes Kumar nervously. While in the restroom Harold is interrupted by Kumar who reveals a bag of weed and a “smokeless bong” stashed down his pants. Harold storms out, leaving the door ajar, scared grandma looks back to see Kumar bent over lighting his device—to which she screams, “Terrorists!”
So the boys are sent to Guantanamo Bay for about three minutes, almost have to eat Big Bob’s “cock meat sandwich” but are saved in the nick of time by real terrorists. They escape easily and discover a boat full of Cuban refugees conveniently heading to Miami about five yards from the prison, and in moments they roll up to their buddies’ “bottomless” party in Miami (where all the girls and guys have no pants on, and yes you see everything). Their pal throws them the keys to his tacky yellow convertible and lends them some cheeseball Miami beach duds as they make their way to Texas where Kumar’s ex is to wed an old friend of Harold’s—who could possibly help them get out of trouble.
A couple words worth mentioning that I haven’t heard since the ’90s: “choade” and “blumpkin.” The latter I will not elaborate upon and am actually embarrassed to even know what it means.
The dynamic duo have their fair share of adventure along the way; they flag down a car blaring Ice Cube’s “Check Yourself” and the driver is none other than NPH (Neil Patrick Harris). I thought it would be hard to top his cameo in the first film. A quick recap: Harold and Kumar stop to pick up NPH who is hitchhiking in Jersey. He enters the car on ecstasy, and either really was on it, or is a hardcore method actor because I’ll be damned if it wasn’t an earth shattering performance. As Harold and Kumar fight over finding burgers, NPH remarks, “ I’d like some burgers—fur burgers.” NPH steals Harold’s car, which results in the boys stumbling upon a cheetah in the woods, getting high with it and then riding the big cat through the woods and into the street. They are dumped by the side of the road and moments later their car passes by, NPH hanging out the sunroof in dark glasses with two nude women. NPH then snorts a line of blow off of the girls’ behinds. Is it even possible to top that? And if so, how? I’ll tell you. By eating an entire bag of mushrooms and—while talking to a cop at a checkpoint—seeing a unicorn run by several times, then seeing himself on the unicorn and saying some weird shit, then riding off into an invisible hole in the sky. NPH also shares a story about a failed but steamy romance with Whoopi Goldberg’s stand-in, which concludes with:, “Every time I see a bag of Hershey’s kisses my balls get so wet.” They visit a whorehouse where NPH is known as “Longhorn”. He goes out in a blaze of glory after branding the prostitute’s ass with an NPH stamp as the Madame (Beverly D’Angelo) blows him away with her shotgun. In mourning the boys listen to Boyz 2 Men’s “End of the Road” during which I had a full-fledged flashback to a seventh grade school dance where I was wearing a maroon crushed velvet dress and a choker. Thank you, Neil Patrick Harris.
Debra Bricker Balken’s Harold Rosenberg: A Critic’s LifeBy David Carrier
MAY 2022 | Books
Born in Brooklyn to a relatively poor family, Harold Rosenberg spent a couple of years at City College and briefly attended law school. In the 1930s he wrote poetry and worked as an editor. Then during World War Two, because he had an injured leg, and wasnt drafted, Rosenberg lived in Washington, DC and worked for the Office of War Information.
Aubrey Beardsley, 150 Years YoungBy Ann McCoy
OCT 2022 | ArtSeen
The exhibition title, Aubrey Beardsley, 150 Years Young, refers to Beardsleys (18721898) birth 150 years ago, and the freshness of his work today. He was a consumptive who died at the tragically early age of twenty-five, and here we see the scope of his early genius.
Arcmanoro Niles: You Know I used to Love You but Now I Dont Think I Can: There Aint No Right Way to Say Goodbye AgainBy Tennae Maki
DEC 22–JAN 23 | ArtSeen
Arcmanoro Niles begins each work of art with a problem he wants to solve. His skill as a painter is technical, his intention deeply personal. In his exhibition, You Know I Used to Love You but Now I Dont Think I Can: There Aint No Right Way to Say Goodbye Again, he presents his ongoing investigation into what might seem like a forgone question: how can one articulate feeling in place of meaning?
To Gina With LoveBy Sam Kahn
SEPT 2022 | Theater
Sam Kahn pens a love letter to playwright Gina Gionfriddo, charting her career, inner world of her plays, and the influence she had over his life and writing.