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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

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The first trailer for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will be attached to every movie showing at the Marcus Majestic Cinema on Friday.
The first trailer for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will be attached to every movie showing at the Marcus Majestic Cinema on Friday.

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" trailer to play Friday at the Majestic

I don't know if you've heard, but they're making a new "Star Wars" movie. Several, actually, but the first one coming up is called "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." And after months of speculation, dramatic cast reveals, cryptic messages from director J.J. Abrams, a broken Harrison Ford and leaks – both small and apparently gigantic – it's finally time to see what this thing's going to look like.

Yesterday, Disney announced that a select few theaters across the nation would play the first preview for the guaranteed blockbuster on Friday. And right at the bottom of the list of 30 lucky theaters is the Marcus Majestic Cinema in Brookfield.

Good news, Milwaukee "Star Wars" fans; you'll be able to witness the power of a fully operational 88-second "The Force Awakens" trailer. Bad news, Majestic employees, your Black Friday shift just got a whole lot worse. 

The trailer will be attached to every single showing at the Marcus Majestic beginning Friday and continuing throughout the weekend, so no matter what movie you want to see, 88 seconds of "The Force Awakens" will be there. And I would bet the odds are very unlikely of them offering refunds to those simply buying a ticket for the trailer, so pick your movie wisely. 

It's quite the fanfare, but nothing particularly new for the "Star Wars" franchise. Back in 1998, the trailer for "The Phantom Menace" made its hotly anticipated premiere attached to screenings of "Wing Commander," "Meet Joe Black," "The Siege" and "The Waterboy." Ticket sales instantly improved for all of those movies, and even now, it's the only reason anybody particularly remembers "Wing Commander" or "Meet Joe Black." Well, other than this:

That's brilliant. 

I've generally been handling the new "Star Wars" with cautious optimism and a hefty scoop of cynicism (George Lucas can have that effect on film franchises), but I must admit: This is pretty cool.

Trailers for big movies don't typically make their premieres on the big screen anymore. …

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The cast of "Pitch Perfect" has some new co-stars for its sequel, namely Packer linebacker Clay Matthews.
The cast of "Pitch Perfect" has some new co-stars for its sequel, namely Packer linebacker Clay Matthews.

Packers trade out their helmets for harmonies in "Pitch Perfect 2" trailer

After dropping 50 points on back-to-back opponents, Clay Matthews and a few other Packers are moving on to a new hobby: dropping beats.

The trailer for "Pitch Perfect 2" – the sequel to 2012's surprise smash a cappella comedy hit that made the world fall in love with Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and beating and flipping cups in rhythmic fashion – came out this morning, sending the Barden Bellas to a global singing smackdown.

Not surprisingly, the movie looks pretty much hilarious, with the deep cast of sharp comic actors all returning. Kendrick is always a feisty on-screen charmer (even back in her "Twilight" days!), Wilson is just as good with a snappy, goofy joke as she is throwing herself down some stairs with entertainingly reckless abandon and seeing John Michael Higgins is never a sad sight.

There are a few new faces as well, including David Cross and Hailee Steinfeld of "True Grit," playing one of the group's new young recruits. If you think she looks a full decade younger than her co-stars, that's because she is actually a full decade younger than her co-stars. 

Among those new faces, however, is one very familiar to sports fans: Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, sans helmet (and sleeves). Matthews – flanked on both sides by fellow Packers TJ Lang, Josh Sitton, Don Barclay and David Bakhtiari – makes his appearance around the 1:06 mark in the trailer. Acute eyes may think they also spot Aaron Rodgers cheering in the background, but after going all Zapruder film on the a cappella clip, we've determined it's just a very tan, very convenient look-alike.

(Update: That's not just a look-alike; that's Aaron's brother and current Canadian Football League practice roster quarterback Jordan Rodgers.)

Bakhtiari was apparently the mastermind behind getting Clay and the offensive line – all fans of the first film – into "Pitch Perfect 2."

"David and his affinity for social media, reaching out to other people with weird direct messages and replies, …

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Seth MacFarlane made a surprise appearance last weekend at Lucille's Piano Bar & Grill.
Seth MacFarlane made a surprise appearance last weekend at Lucille's Piano Bar & Grill.

Seth MacFarlane drops by Lucille's to perform a few songs

If you happened to be at Lucille’s Piano Bar last Saturday night, you got more of a show that you were probably expecting.

"Family Guy" and "Ted" creator (as well as the writer-director-star behind "A Million Ways to Die in the West," but let’s choose to forget that right now) Seth MacFarlane took a break from "Ted 2" and took the stage at Lucille’s this past weekend to drink, do a little dance and perform a couple of classic songs. Several patrons captured the showman’s impromptu performance of Frank Sinatra’s "Luck Be A Lady" on video, as well as MacFarlane poking fun at the pianist for riding the struggle bus through the classic tune.

The pianist, Steve Watts, later commented on Facebook, "He called me out on it, rightfully so." According to Watts, however, he redeemed himself with MacFarlane with the rest of the one-time Academy Awards host’s setlist, including "New York, New York," "The Love Boat" theme and "an off-the-beaten-path Barry Manilow song."

Now, you’re probably thinking, "Seth MacFarlane was in Milwaukee this past weekend? Well, that’s almost as random as that one time when ‘Family Guy’ cut to a completely random, probably off-color pop culture reference joke." But there’s actually some rationale for this seemingly random celebrity sighting.

According to eyewitness accounts, MacFarlane was at Lucille's with actress Jessica Szohr and her family celebrating her mother's birthday. MacFarlane is reportedly dating the former "Gossip Girl" star – as well as the star of "Piranha 3-D," the greatest cinematic achievement in the history of the medium – who also happens to be a Menomonee Falls native. The full video shows Szohr participated in the surprise gig as well, doing a fun little dance with MacFarlane in the song's opening.

The tune's a little rough, but I think we can all agree it's better than his original ditty "We Saw Your Boobs" at the Oscars …

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Thrillist came up with a local's guide to the best eating and drinking in Milwaukee. You agree?
Thrillist came up with a local's guide to the best eating and drinking in Milwaukee. You agree?

Thrillist runs down Milwaukee's best bars, restaurants and breweries

Almost immediately after publishing a list of the nine best reasons to visit Wisconsin last week, Thrillist and author Jay Phillips – according to his bio, a Southeastern Wisconsinite for three decades – headed back to the listicle well, this time prattling off a "local's guide to the best eating and drinking in Milwaukee.

As for the dining portion of the local's guide (which, at only six entries, is a touch on the skimpy side), Phillips gathers a list of picks both predictable and just odd. As far as comfort food goes, Comet Cafe – including a shout out to its Bay View sister Honeypie – is an easy pick, and while there are plenty of small plate places that merit a reference, his pick of Odd Duck won't ruffle anyone's feathers. Some might argue about the author picking Oscar's over its burger brethren AJ Bombers, Sobelman's and Solly's, but they're all solid choices. 

He wraps up his food picks with Morel (sure), Bavette La Boucherie (sure) and Triskele's ( ... ). As far as local hot spots go, I'm not quite sure Triskele's applies (Phillips admits it's an underrated spot). To be fair, I haven't tried the food – and the mac and cheese with sausage pictured with Phillips' blurb does look food coma-worthy – but there would seem to be other places more deserving (Ristorante perhaps? Or Buckley's? Le Reve for the desserts?). Plus, considering he already used one of his scant six picks on a comfort food place, it'd be nice to show off the variety of restaurants.

As for the bars and breweries section of the listicle, as you'd expect from a "professional beer peddler," they're pretty much on point. For the bars, Foundation, Bryant's, Wolski's, Nomad and County Clare all make appearances, along with Uber Tap Room, Burnhearts, Palm Tavern, Franky's Newport Lounge, Paddy's Irish Pub and the Landmark 1850 Inn out near Mitchell Airport. 

On the brewery side of things, it's the expected assortment of Sprecher, Miller, Lakefront and Milwaukee Brewing Co., with…

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