LATEST FEATURES

Plates & Pints: BabboIn a city replete with Italian options, Mario Batali's Greenwich Village eatery still stands above the rest

An Italian restaurant in New York City isn’t exactly a novel idea. Walking around the sundry neighborhoods of the five boroughs, one can trip and fall over one ristorante and land right in another cucina. So what is it that separates one eatery from another? It comes down to quality – of ingredients, preparation, ambiance, and service. And Mario Batali’s Babbo offers all of these in spades.

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The Grunion Run Groomsmen Shop 2012 VideoThe final part of our collaboration with the L.A.-based groomsmen label

You might remember something about a lookbook we’re pretty proud of that was posted recently here on Handlebar. Well, we put together a little something else that day, too, and this is the result.

The final chapter of our first (and hopefully not last) collaboration with The Grunion Run comes in the form of the video you see above. And while dashing, debonair fellows like Carey Grant and George Clooney have set a high standard for style in film, we really think that we’ve been able to push the bar even higher with this short clip.

Just kidding.

But it does feature some supremely dapper groomsmen attire and a lot of laughs. Here’s hoping that you enjoy our lookbook video as much as we did making it. Watch it above, then take a peek at a few goofy outtakes from the shoot after the jump.

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The Verdict: SavagesOliver Stone's latest fails to deliver on the promise of its all-star cast and intriguing premise

I WALKED INTO Savages with pretty tempered expectations. The movie opened nearly two weeks ago, and I’ll admit that the middling reviews it’s been receiving almost prevented me from seeing it. It’s not that the story of a weird California love/pot triangle seemed uninteresting or lacking in shock value. It was more the idea that a movie with such a ridiculous storyline could somehow manage to miss the entertainment value mark.

Savages has all of the elements of a truly entertaining film. Its lead actors, Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson, are two up and coming young actors with some solid acting chops. There are explosions, scenes of graphic torture, Salma Hayek in low-cut dresses, and some pretty decent dialogue for a movie where the protagonists spend a somewhat absurd amount of the film cracking lame marijuana puns. Benecio del Toro and John Travolta give great performances as a cartel enforcer and crooked DEA agent, respectively, and Blake Lively even manages to shed a bit of that Gossip Girl image of hers. Any other director would be able to take material like that and sculpt it into something worth paying money to go see. The problem is that Oliver Stone is not just any other director.

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The Verdict: Channel OrangeOur track-by-track review of Frank Ocean's instant classic

SO HAVE YOU HEARD that Frank Ocean is bisexual? Of course you have. A couple of weeks ago, everyone from your Great Aunt Gertrude to Beyonce was talking about the crooner’s unexpected revelation. How will the more conservative figures in the hip hop community respond to this? Did he just come out of the closet as a marketing tactic? Is he dating Anderson Cooper? Those, to name a few, were just a few of the thousands of questions being argued into the ground both online and off.

Just a few days later, though, all the debates and deliberations came to a screeching halt. Last Monday, Ocean changed the conversation by dropping yet another stunner: his jaw-dropping debut album, Channel Orange. It’s a career-making record, one that will elevate the New Orleans native from an underground favorite to a fully-fledged superstar.

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Trolling The All-Star GameSure, it matters now. But does anybody really care?

AS MUCH AS IT PAINS ME TO ADMIT IT, I watched every minute of Major League Baseball’s All-Star festivities. This isn’t a reflection on the quality of the event so much as the absolute dearth of other sports options. Aside from the first few weeks after the Super Bowl, there is no worse time on the professional sports calendar than early July. The resurgent NBA just wrapped up a stellar championship series, leaving major sport diehards to sift through the athletic dregs. I would sooner watch a Mob Wives marathon than sit through another week of Wimbledon highlights, Dwight Howard trade analysis, and Bounty-Gate.

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