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Look, are you gonna tell me you’re from Jersey? Cause if you’re gonna tell me you’re from Jersey, I don’t think I can handle it. But if you’re gonna tell me that Stiles from 1985’s Teen Wolf is from New Jersey, now that’s more like it! Yes, it’s true! Jerry Levine hails from New Brunswick, NJ! HEY LEMONADE GIVE ME FIVE MAN!

I should’ve known all along. The outlandish friend. That guy who brings the party everywhere he goes. You know him. He has an endless array of witty comments, an infinite collection of quippy t-shirts, and he’s a legendary urban surfer. A guy with that description must be from New Jersey. Reason being – if he was from California he wouldn’t have to surf on top of his best friend’s father’s hardware store delivery van. We all need a Larry Dallas type in our life. He’s the type of friend who pushes the limits. He helps us live life to the fullest. And he never has any money. Same with Stiles. In fact, we may think he was even an honorary Goonie at some point: “Never Say Die!”

Stiles was a character who we might never have been acquainted with if not for Damone and Spicoli from Fast Times. More modern, a bit more refined, Stiles was a hero amongst many of us kids when Teen Wolf came out. Sure Scott Howard was cool, but Stiles had that natural charisma. He had the cool shades, the funny story about the shop teacher, and the always chic “What Are You Looking At Dicknose” t-shirt.

Scott needed the wolf to be cool, while Stiles just acted whatever way he wanted to at any given moment. He didn’t care if people hated his red pants or if the whole basketball team viewed him as an annoyance and wondered why he was hanging out in their locker rooms after the games, even if he was supposedly just trying to score some cash. At parties, Stiles was the master of ceremonies. Or if Dana Barrett ran into him she might say “You don’t act like a zany best friend, more like a game show host…”

Stiles is the type of friend who goes to great lengths to bring you a keg…of beer. And these. He will also dump jello down a former Playboy Playmate’s shirt and make Chubby eat it all out. That sounds like bowls of fun. Who wouldn’t want to be friends with Stiles? In fact, we all probably have a friend like Stiles already. If you do, go right now and see if he needs help sniffing out his stash in the garage.

*Jerry Levine graduated Highland Park High School in Highland Park, NJ

*Thank MTV for making me specify “1985’s Teen Wolf.” Ridiculous! Cancel that shit.

Pirates of The Caribbean: On Jersey Tides


Avast all these negative reviews! The critics are scallywags! Aye, if you’re a swashbuckler yourself then I’ll stake my last swig of rum that you won’t be disappointed in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Grab your wench and make way for the theater!

The fast paced, action packed opening scene includes Captain Jack Sparrow salivating over a pastry. Pirates eat pastries, and wash them down with rum it’s simple as that. They also get advice from Keith Richards, and yes, he’s back! Depp is also back in top form as Captain Jack Sparrow, a character I never get bored of watching. This time the journey involved the fountain of youth, and standing in the way is Blackbeard (Ian McShane). On Stranger Tides allows Sparrow to be funny, heroic, and yet still underhanded because after all, he’s a pirate! I even drew a comparison to Teen Wolf of all films. Sparrow balanced atop moving carriages through a town during the opening sequence just like Styles did on top of Howard’s Hardware van. Styles was a bit of a pirate wasn’t he?

In a twist that I found pretty damn cool, we find out that Captain Jack corrupted a young girl while she was in a convent years back and now she’s out for revenge. Penelope Crews plays the spunky Angelica, a fiery female pirate who was once spoiled by Sparrow. Depp and Crews chemistry was the highlight of the film and I’d like to see more of it in this series. With Depp pushing 50 and Crews pushing 40, both actors look like they went through a real life fountain of youth. Crews was a perfect casting choice to help extend this franchise and I do hope to see her in future installments. HINT: If you wait until after the credits role you’ll see a clip featuring Angelica and who she might set her eyes on in the next film.

As for the 3-D effect, it was not overdone. I forgot I even had the IMAX 3-D glasses on for the majority of the movie. I thought it would be a sword jabbing fest. Like in most 3-D movies that feature swords, they only jutted out toward the audience a few times. The half underwater scenes were superb. You know those scenes when only half the camera is submerged underwater? In this film that effect seemed so real that it made me feel like I was actually underwater. But beware, you will need your sea legs for one scene though. Captain Jack and Barbossa meet inside of Ponce de Leon’s ship which is stuck up on top of a mountain. As they attempt to duel they realize that the ship begins to sway back and forth as they move. This balancing act scene may indeed make you sea sick and they aren’t even in the ocean!

Entertainment Weekly reviewer Owen Gleiberman writes in his review that he had began to wish that “…Russell Brand had been handed the role of Jack Sparrow.” Wow, what a moronic comment. If you want a movie that’s a total mockery then you can get Brand. Swapping Brand for Depp is an insult. Depp is an infinitely skilled actor while Brand is a decent comedian who only half of the U.S can tolerate.

I don’t know what critics are expecting out of these movies. I got everything I expected and more out of the film. They’ll rant and rave about how amazing Toy Story 3 was, yet pan an adventurous and highly entertaining Pirate film with Johnny Depp. Doesn’t make sense. Will the Pirates franchise ever release another film as good as the first one? I doubt it, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be a close second, which is what On Stranger Tides is. And for those critics who complained that it was too much like the other films, I disagree. There were so many aspects of this installment that set it apart from the rest. First off, the mermaids were ridiculously awesome and their scenes will take you by surprise. These are not the Daryl Hannah type of mermaid you’re accustomed to. All the excitement is accented by the outstanding musical score. I didn’t think it was possible to improve upon the rousing musical score of these films, but they did. Hans Zimmer contributes another stellar soundtrack.

Read about Pirate activity in NJ:

Transformation Fascination

The other day I had a revelation. I realized that since I was a kid I always enjoyed watching the transformation of a character in TV or movies. I can’t say for sure which transformation I witnessed the earliest but I know that it’s all derived from the Jekyll & Hyde theme. There’s always been cartoons like Looney Tunes, O.G Readmore, and others that have featured characters transforming into and evil one. In other instances a hero would transform from a normal everyday person into a Superhero like Clark Kent running into a phone booth to come out as Superman. Those montages always had great appeal to me so I searched You Tube to feature some of the best transformations right here. There’s many more so feel free to leave a comment with some of your favorites!

Probably one of the most memorable transformations belongs to the Incredible Hulk:

Here’s what happens when Barbara Gordon opens her secret revolving wall…

I can’t leave out Michael J. Fox’s “changes” in Teen Wolf. Also, Michael Jackson’s transformation into the werewolf in Thriller is classic.

The forming of Voltron!

Prince Adam becomes He-Man: