Unsolicited Endorsements: XI

Because sometimes you just want friends to tell you about cool things… the Brew House team offers up its weekly mix of author-supported goodness.

Movie: Bottle Rocket 


I must confess: This is a cheap way to bring your attention to the trailer for the new Wes Anderson movie, “Moonrise Kingdom.”  In short, I have no idea what Moonrise Kingdom is about. Well, that’s not totally accurate. But just watch. You’re telling me you don’t want to see that movie.
But today, I want to go back in time and pay some attention to what still might be the best Wes Anderson piece of all time, “Bottle Rocket.” It came out before Tenenbaums, before Steve Zissou, and before Rushmore. It stars Luke and Owen Wilson (with short hair), and it features all the idiosyncratic humor of Wes Anderson — with none of the elaborate sets or grand storytelling. Haven’t seen it? Watch it this weekend. — Rustin Dodd
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Book: “Beyond the Phog: Untold Stories From Kansas Basketball’s Most Dominant Decade”

I know, I know, enough with the basketball books and movies already. I get it. But hey, it’s basketball season. So stop thinking about the economy and politics and work and everything else, pick up a nice middle-brow read, and enjoy. That’s what I decided to do a couple of weeks ago when I dove into “Beyond the Phog,” a series of recollections from former and present Kansas basketball players, as told to Jason King of ESPN.com and Jesse Newell* of KUSports.com.

*In the interest of full disclosure, Jesse Newell is a buddy and former colleague of mine.

This book isn’t for everyone, obviously. If you aren’t interested in Kansas or Big 12 Conference basketball, you probably won’t be too interested in reading about the Kansas tenures of Nick Bahe or Stephen Vinson. But if you are interested in either of the aforementioned topics, it’s a must-read. The stories from some of the Jayhawks’ brighter stars (Nick Collison, Drew Gooden, etc.) are predictably insightful and interesting. But it’s the stories from guys you wouldn’t have expected to give interviews in a book about KU basketball, like C.J. Giles and J.R. Giddens, that add the most intrigue. – Asher Fusco

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Memories: YouTube Home Movies

I went to a high school that was affectionately known as film school. This was for two reasons (neither of which have to do with a course that was actually presented there called “Film As Lit”).

Reason the first: We watched movies ALL THE TIME. The days didn’t just start with your garden variety announcements. They often started with video announcements that STUCO or some random club put together. Once classes commenced, more watching began. Even in my hardest course, probably Latin I in freshman year, we still watched multiple movies like “Spartacus” and “The Masada.” And if we had a substitute? We would pretty much watch

Reason the second: We made movies. I loved this part. I remember doing a mock newscast for a Speech class, a retelling of the Canterbury tales for English and a hilarious video announcement for a Valentine’s Day personal ad people could buy in the school newspaper. Unfortunately, these videos (yes, some of them were probably made on Hi-8 or VHS or some other silly product) have been lost to time. Luckily, that isn’t the case for everyone. Check out the embedded video of my friends’ video from a religion class. It gets really good at the 1:45 or so mark. – Mark Dent

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