Local filmmakers David Cypkin and Alfred Spellman, the duo behind the classic South Florida documentary Square Grouper, are at it again with SCREWBALL, a Miami-focused baseball movie about fraud and dishonesty that somehow isn’t about the Marlins.As a supporter of local art, I watched the film last night, and cannot convey to the viewers my disappointment with the film. The story was, in my opinion, ill-conceived and not worth the $3.99 I spent on the title. Luckily for Mssrs. Cypkin and Spellman, I had inadvertently watched a movie called “Screwball: The Ted Whitfield Story”, which was the first thing that came up on my Video on Demand. Thanks, Xfinity.

“Screwball: The Ted Whitfield Story” is a comedy about a wiffleball player named Ted that overcomes the odds to remain a whiffleball player named Ted. It is the kind of movie that Brian Doyle Murray shows up in toward the end for some reason, causing the person sitting next to you to say, “Hey, you know that’s Bill Murray’s brother?” Fortunately for Mr. Doyle Murray, he wasn’t actually in this movie and the actor was just the “Jump to Conclusions Guy” from Office Space. A man who is definitely not related to Bill Murray, I think.

Maybe they don’t look like each other. Is one of these guys the diabetes guy from China Syndrome? Anyway…
After watching Screwball: The Ted Whitfield Story for an hour and a half, I realized this wasn’t the movie I intended to watch, which isn’t even on Xfinity anyway. After spending another 30 minutes fiddling with my Roku and having to sign up for an account on something called Redbox Online, I finally was able to watch the actual “Screwball” movie. Brian Doyle Murray isn’t in it either.
Screwball tells the real tale of Pedro Bosch, a man with a Belizian medical degree who injected athletes and children with steroids for money. He is all of the Cuban guys that grew up in Miami in the 80’s and the type that has gotten into several arguments at a Pollo Tropical while his kid, who he only has for the weekend, shout whispers at him “can we just go?”. To make a long story short, Bosch scammed $4,000 from a guy named Porter Fisher, the kid that was bullied at your high school but now works out too much and tries to sell you something called Shakeology through Facebook messenger once a year (I’m still not interested, Jeremy!).
The conflict between Porter and Bosch eventually “took down” numerous steroid pumping baseball stars including Alex Rodriguez and other famous athletes I definitely heard of before the movie. And by “took down,” I mean it didn’t, because A-rod is doing just fine. He does seem like a weirdo though and, although this wasn’t mentioned in the movie, is definitely is the type of guy that has jerked off to videos of himself hitting homers.
Screwball has gotten a lot of attention for its use of children during the film’s reenactments, an effective and entertaining storytelling device that is unfortunately ethically undercut by a scene during the credits in which the child actors are shown actually playing baseball among themselves. During the film’s parting moments, there is a shot of the child that plays Porter Fisher throwing a ball with just absurdly poor form. Like, the worst throw ever filmed on camera. That the filmmakers would put such an embarrassing shot of this young man in the movie is shocking and we have heard that CPS has opened an investigation on the filmmakers.
Screwball is an entertaining movie that is more about the folks you see driving rented BMWs on the Rickenbacker than Major League Baseball. It deserves to be seen once it shows up on Xfinity or Netflix.
Grades:
Screwball: A
Screwball: The Tim Whitfield Story: C-
The Kid that Plays Porter’s Throwing Arm: F
Child Tim Elfrink’s Demon Red Beard: B+
Redbox Online’s Sign Up Process: F
This Article’s Photoshop: A+

“This was like the best freaking Ultra ever,” said a still fucked up Willy Gort Monday morning. “The music, man. It was just so…you know, intense!” he told the tree to whom he was speaking. The tree had no comment.Ultra is the premier EDM Music Festival (“EDM” stands for Electronic Dance Music, meaning I guess that should just say ED Music Festival, or EDM Festival, neither of which looks correct to me, and one of which looks like it would be Erectile Dysfunction Music Festival–I digress).
Ultra, the EDM Festival, took place on Virginia Beach this weekend and was a complete disaster according to everyone except the five City of Miami Commissioners in attendance, all of whom report having had a real “lit” time after being slipped “something funny” by Greg “Dirtboi” Grungerstan, an Ultra lobbyist and part-time DJ.
“The City of Miami is a great friend and partner to Ultra, and I was glad to share the positive vibes and drugs, I mean, just positive vibes and not drugs, with them. Good save, Dirtboi. They’ll put you on the main stage soon,” he told a nearby tree who also declined to comment for this article.
While many have been critical of the City’s plan to move the Erectile Dysfunction festival to Virginia Beach, an area surrounded by protected wildlife that lacks the infrastructure to deal with 60,000 people trying to navigate the only road to the festival, the City of Miami Commissioners in attendance see the festival as overall a positive event for Miami.
“Ultra brings a wonderful mixture of sweaty Europeans on drugs and sweaty locals selling drugs together every year,” said Commissioner Joe Carollo as he stuck a neon pacifier in his mouth and waiting for a sick beat to drop. “I can’t wait for next year. It’s gonna be fire.”
By Bernard Ng-Mann

Is that?…. Could it be?… Oh, my God, Jean-Paul, it is…that’s Michael Tilson Thomas!If you’re anything like us, and you’re not, then you too have found yourself in the unenviable position of spotting Michael Tilson Thomas, the devilishly handsome artistic director of the New World Symphony, in public without being quite Howard Shore to approach a man of such class, charm, and erudite sophistication in order to ask for a selfie or some other bullshit.
Well, readers, it’s time to stop Haydn behind a plant hoping MTT doesn’t see you fanboying over seeing him in public. The Plantain offers this Howard Shore-fire (it’s not lame if we use that joke twice, shut up) Listz of suggestions on how to best Handel meeting your musical and sexual idol with respect and grace.
Step 1: Congratulate yourself for knowing who Michael Tilson Thomas is and recognizing him by his ageless face. You are a member of Miami’s intellectual elite, which is probably saying something, albeit less than it would in other cities Michael Tilson Thomas frequents.
Step 2: Don’t be nervous! Michael Tilson Thomas is more afraid of you than you are of him. The classical music enthusiast community in Miami is very small, so being approached by someone who recognizes him that he does not already know may put Michael Tilson Thomas on edge. Accordingly, approach Michael Tilson Thomas slowly with open palms to assure him that you mean no harm and aren’t a process server or something.
Step 3: Assess the situation. There is literally no situation in which it is inappropriate to approach Michael Tilson Thomas. Whether he is sitting alone at a table working on a composition, at the airport Karajan a complete set of Bottegga Veneta luggage, chatting with a group of well-dressed Europeans, or sneaking off for a Shake Shack hoping no one recognizes him or, if they do, mistakes him for Jeff Goldblum, you should feel free to approach him.
A common question people like you often ask is whether it is appropriate to approach Michael Tilson Thomas if he is in the bathroom. The answer is it would be perfectly acceptable, however, Michael Tilson Thomas has not “used” a bathroom in a conventional sense since the early 1980’s and, even now, the only time he has been seen inside a bathroom is while on a private architectural tour by his good friend Frank Gehry.
Step 4: Dress appropriately. While there is no exact style guide to approaching Michael Tilson Thomas, experience dictates that the color blue calms his nerves and the color orange sends him into a sexual rage.
Step 5: Know what to say: Michael Tilson Thomas is a renowned conversationalist who can speak masterfully on nearly any topic. But he isn’t going to want to waste all of his wit and charm on any old schmuck. Show him you are worthy of his attention by name-dropping a classical composer or two, but make sure it’s not someone basic like Beethoven or Mozart. Pick someone a little more obscure and less Austrohungarian like Alexander Scriabin or Maurice Ravel to let Michael Tilson Thomas know you are one of him.
Step 6: Let him know you are a fan. From its days in the backroom of an H&M to its present location at Soundscape Park, the New World Symphony has entertained thousands of underdressed patrons over the years. Let MTT know you were one of them by complimenting a performance you’ve enjoyed. If you can’t remember any specific performance, that’s okay, since they sort of run together for him too. Just make sure you don’t bring up those “PULSE EDM” nights because he doesn’t much care for them and only begrudgingly allows them at the insistence of the NWS Board.
Step 7: When in doubt compliment his poodles. Michael Tilson Thomas can nearly always be seen towing around a few dogs. When approaching the star while he is accompanied by his dogs bend down and say “Who’s the pretty boy? Who’s the pretty boy? You are! Yes, you are! Yes, you are!” a few times before turning your attention to the poodles. Doing this will put MTT at ease because he will know that you think he is a very pretty boy, yes he is, yes he is.
Step 8: Don’t take up too much of his time. Michael Tilson Thomas appreciates his fans, but also has a call with Tokyo in about 3-minutes and really has to go. He hopes you understand.

No one likes Art, a study finds. Not a single god-damn person. A surprising revelation given the seemingly immense worldwide popularity of Art and the millions of people attending Art Basel in Miami this week. A survey among Art Basel attendees released today found that despite over 98% of them responding “Yes” to the generalized question of “Hey, do you like Art?”, 100% of those respondents confessed upon additional questioning that they thought Art was stupid and boring and that they just use Art Basel as an excuse to dress-up and go somewhere. “Art is sort of gay,” said David Rubenstein-Smith of his bisexual cousin Arthur Totorro. “And he and I always talk about how awful attending someone’s gallery exhibit is.”

The study found that despite universal hatred for Art, attendance at Art Basel is at all time highs because attendees like the secondary benefits of attending Art events, particularly: exuding the impression of being cultured, European accents, drugs, not feeling like all you did this week was watch twenty episodes of Get Shorty, the possibility of sex, complaining about traffic, selfies, and also drugs. Those, as well as the chance of running into Adrian Brody, the study found, are the only reasons people attend Art Basal every year. Not because they enjoy Art, which they don’t, because Art is stupid.

When confronted with the results of the survey, 24-year-old Christina Delmonico rejected its conclusion, stating that she “always loved Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” as well as other pieces she could totally name but doesn’t want to, but quickly conceded that Art is sort of overrated and pretentious and that she only went to a couple of satellite Art Basel exhibits so she could say that she was doing something when people asked her if she was doing anything for Art Basel.

One of the events Ms. Delmonico attended was the “Overlord Hempmaker” exhibit at the Euphoric Gallery/Café/Clothing Store on Collins. The gallery featured original (but highly derivative) street-inspired collages by “Overlord Hempmaker”, an up-and-coming local artist better known as Daniel Schwartzman, son of real-estate developer Hershel Schwartzman, who owns the Euphoric Gallery.  “The pieces are meant to speak to the struggle of being a minority in this country,” explained Mr. Schwartzman as he vaped. When asked what inspired him to become an artist, the 27-year-old said that he always felt the need to express himself, but mostly he liked all the drugs and women that come from being a famous artist. 

The Plantain asked Art historian Barbara Dunkin whether people always hated Art or if it was a new cultural development. “People never really loved Art, but they certainly liked it a little more before TV and the internet came along. Before 1950, you have to remember, the only activity people were allowed to do was stare at Art or die of Typhoid Fever.” As more and more better options for entertainment became available, the world stopped having to pretend that staring at a painting for more than 10 seconds was fun or emotional, which she admits it never was. “But people have always loved drugs and having people think they are cultured, so Art continues to maintain a veneer of popularity.”

The City of Miami voted unanimously to kick the Ultra Music Festival out of Bayfront Park. The electronic music festival has attracted techno music lovers, dendrophiliacs, and drug enthusiasts from all over the world to Bayfront Park since 2001, but in recent years has become a source of blinding rage for downtown property owners who believe the three-day music festival attracts far too many young people having a great time to the City and could potentially be “bad for their investment.”The Commission was adamant that electronic music was not “real music like when I was a kid” and passed a unanimous resolution to “tell those kids to turn that noise down, dagnabbit!”
At the hearing, Commissioner Joe “Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” Carollo told his constituents that he would work to save Bayfront Park so the community could continue to enjoy its ‘concrete and broken water fountain’ design, however the Commissioners eventually decided the City-owned waterfront land was probably best suited for another rarely used stadium.
The idea of “why not build a stadium?” originated when Marlins’ owner Derek Jeter suggested during public comment that the waterfront property would be the perfect spot for a new new super deluxe Marlins Park.
“I believe a new stadium will revitalize the team and improve attendance to Marlins games in a way that the last stadium you gave us just hasn’t been able to,” said the former All-Star as he signed an autograph to several starstruck city officials.

AT&T released a statement Monday morning that it had fired an employee who had mistakenly issued rapper Pitbull a 786-area code number at one of its Miami stores.

The incident went viral after a customer tweeted a video of a perplexed and angry Pitbull, who bills himself as “Mr. 305,” rejecting the offensive area code. “What is 786? Is that New York? I’m Mr. 305!” shouted a frustrated Pitbull at the 22-year-old store clerk. 

Tensions escalated after the clerk suggested the singer change his moniker to “Mr. 786”, a proposition that not only angered the superstar singer, but also Geraldo Arroyo, a local businessman who uses the title to promote his Kendall-based used electronics and furniture rental business. “The ordeal has been very upsetting,” said Mr. Arroyo before offering to rent us a Blu-Ray player for only $8.99 a month.

At one point during the video Pitbull approaches the store clerk for what appeared to be the initiation of a well-deserved beat down, but in a stunning display of forbearance, the gracious singer simply sternly requests to speak to his manager. The video concludes with the singer pacing around the store shaking his head in disbelief for several minutes as he waited for the store’s shift supervisor to return from her meal-break at the Jamba Juice next door.

In its statement, AT&T reports that it has issued Pitbull a 305 area code, and confirms that it had fired the employee and would be using the incident as a “teaching moment” for store managers. The Plantain reached out to Daniel Tellerman, the AT&T employee who lost his job because, who says he holds no hard feelings toward Pitbull and reports that he has taken a new job at a sports-ticketing agency. “I’m really excited for what the future holds,” said Mr. Tellerman. “Dale!”

Update: The Plantain has learned that Mr. Tellerman has been fired from his job for offering to sell Daddy Yankee New York Mets season tickets. “I’m Daddy Yankee!” said the die-hard Orioles fan in a statement to the Plantain.

By Manuel Del Fango IV

MIAMI IS WEIRD, BUY THE SHIRT

The Florida Department of Health has issued an advisory to Miami-Dade Residents warning them not to swim at certain beaches, including Golden Beach, Sunny Isles, Surfside, North Shore, 53rd Street in Miami Beach, Haulover South and Crandon North, due to dangerous levels of feces found in the water. Department investigators believe the fecal matter was caused after the entirety of DJ Khaled’s furniture line was tossed to sea.The furniture, which features embossed lions and more gold than a Donald Trump shower, can be purchased at El Dorado Furniture, an acid trip of a retail establishment described by some as “the most Miami store ever.” The DJ Khaled line of furniture, whose signature piece is a gold colored upholstered love seats and a pair of spray painted lion statues, has been widely mocked by bloggers, most of whom have decorated every home they have ever lived in with cheap Ikea furniture. “It’s just so tacky. What type of adult would want that in their house?” typed one 30-year-old blogger while sitting underneath a cheaply framed Doors poster he has had hanging since High School.
The furniture was reportedly tossed into the Atlantic Ocean following a bet between two El Dorado employees about whether it would sink. “We didn’t realize how much fun it is to toss sofas into the ocean,” said an anonymous El Dorado employee. “It all floats, by the way, but before we knew it we had dumped it all. Our manager Carlos was so pissed.”
The Plantain asked Department of Health representatives how discarded sofas could result in an increase level of fecal particles found in our oceans: “Oh, it’s because the furniture looks like shit.” “This is sort of a mean spirited joke, if you ask me,” said the Official.
The Plantain reached out to DJ Khaled for comment, but he was too busy being more successful than we are to comment.
By They

Today I took my nephew to the movies to watch the 14th and latest AirBud film The Endless Filibarker. While the film is largely simplistic in how it deals with the election process, it certainly provides a good foundation for those children who want to understand how the government works.We start the film with card-carrying Democrat, Skip who decides to have his dog (Buddy of course) run in the Senate Republican Primary against Rick Scott as a joke. Floridians allow Buddy on the ballot due to a mix of wanting to see an adorable Golden Retriever on the debate stage, having a good sense of humor, and well, because Florida.
>This is how Florida elected the nation’s second non-human Senator
The Joke isn’t funny long though. The night before the primary Scott chokes trying to swallow an alligator whole leaving the canine candidate as the Republican nominee. Skip now exhausted from driving Buddy up and down the state to attend debates and fundraisers is relieved thinking that the Senate Seat is now safely blue since no one would vote for a dog over an incumbent astronaut senator. Skip overestimated Florida.
Rick Scott had apparently paid for his attack ads ahead of time, and once the President officially endorsed Buddy the PAC’s backing Scott backed Buddy. Come election day Democrats, figuring the seat was safe, decided to stay home rather than brave what they assumed were long lines. The ones that did show up thought it would be funny to vote for an adorable Golden Retriever.
This is how Florida elected the nation’s second non-human senator (Strom Thurmond being elected to the Senate in 1954 a half a century after crash-landing on Earth). Skip obviously feels guilty, he cost his personal hero Bill Nelson the seat, but he tries to downplay his guilt by convincing himself that at least a non-voter is better than someone like Scott. While the nation and especially Skip are reeling the other shoe drops.
On his first day in office, a bill making it illegal to be poor (I mean hey it’s a kids movie after all) makes it to the floor, and Buddy fervently backs it. In-fact every Buddy backs every conservative effort while blocking every bill from the right. It turns out that Skip had left CSPAN playing for Buddy every day while he was at work. Buddy had learned to make sounds vaguely similar to Aye and Nay and was voting his conscience.
Feeling betrayed Skip did what he could to pull Buddy left. He took Buddy to underpasses so he could see homeless individuals sharing what little they had with their dogs. This leads to a flashback which takes far too long, where we go and see that Buddy was a shelter dog, who skip rescued. The way Buddy saw it he pawed his way up from the pound to be a sitting US Senator in the nations largest swing state. If anyone dog or human was poor, it was due to laziness.
>This is conveyed to the audience through a weird twist on 20 questions that has McConnel asking moral questions to Buddy who responds in either his ‘Aye’ or ‘Nay’.
This all culminates in a huge argument which is overheard by Mitch McConnel (which is among the film’s most baffling cameos) who has Skip fired from being Buddy’s Deputy Chief of Staff. The mix of losing his new political job as well as burning his savings taking Buddy on the campaign trail means that he now qualifies as poor thus triggering his arrest. Since Skip is a Dreamer (Totally unmentioned and unpredictable, normally I’d assume it’s a twist but the film treats it as though the audience is already supposed to know?) this means he’s to be deported. ICE carries him away.
When McConnel tells Buddy he feels conflicted but ultimately decides it’s the right move. This is conveyed to the audience through a weird twist on 20 questions that has McConnel asking moral questions to Buddy who responds in either his ‘Aye’ or ‘Nay’. Buddy’s biggest concern is getting himself emancipated since Skip is still technically his owner. Buddy heads down to the ICE detention center.
At the detention center in Homestead Buddy sees people being held in cages and begins to have flashbacks to his time in the pound. He remembers all the times he was hit, laughed at, and of course the tiny cages he was thrown in. Seeing people go through each in order (Can you say “Preachy”?). Buddy takes off full sprint in a panic. Of course, he ends up right in front of where Skip is being held.
Skip helps to calm him down. He starts petting buddy and tells him “Don’t worry everything is gonna be alright. I’m here now, It’ll all be okay”. We flashback to Skip holding Buddy, when they first meet in the pound. From here we go into a montage of all the times Skip did what he could to take care of Buddy, nursing him when he was sick and hurt, cleaning up after him, training him, and playing with him, and of course always turning on the TV for him when he had to go to work.
Again Buddy is conflicted but ultimately presents Skip with the emancipation papers, albeit tearfully. Skip, of course, signs them and Buddy is on his way giving a tearful glance.
What we see after this is a clear rip-off of the Reese Witherspoon film Sweet Home Alabama. Buddy turns his emancipation papers in and goes to the Senate floor. The Democrats teamed up with two of the more swayable republican Senators have put forward a bill that would reduce the offenses of the anti-poverty law from a misdemeanor to a civil offense. Which would mean, that it wouldn’t trigger jail-time or in Skip’s case, deportation.
Buddy is all set to vote the bill down when an aide comes running in with his emancipation papers. Skip had signed them, but Buddy never did. Once again looking back at all the good times he and Skip had. Buddy, refuses to sign and instead votes in favor of the bill. Neutering the enforcement of Mitch McConnel’s Screw-the-Poor Law, and Allowing for Skip to stay in the US. Skip is instantly released and for some reason in D.C. and allowed to run onto the Senate Floor to celebrate with Buddy. The film ends with Buddy working on a bill that will establish and cement a permanent path to citizenship.
Overall the movie is preachy, very predictable and borrows heavily (copies) from other better movies. That being said, the dog is cute, the actors capable and it manages to teach politics and the political process to children. What more could you want out of a movie about a dog senator?
Skip is played by Oscar Isaac and the film features cameos by Rick Scott, Bill Nelson, Mitch McConnel, Hideo Kojima and President Trump.
Overall I give Airbud 14: the Endless Filibarker 2 paws up.
Written by Marcos Garcia
Glasses Designed by Freepik

Local filmmaker and Twitter personality, Billy Corben, took the stage at the Bayfront Park Amphitheater last night to play an acoustic set of songs from Smashing Pumpkins’ 1993 album Siamese Dream. Marketed simply as “Billy Corben Performs Songs From Siamese Dream”, tickets quickly sold out as scores of yuppie Gen-Xers reasonably assumed the show would actually feature Smashing Pumpkins’ front man Billy Corgan.

“I thought it was a typo!”, explained 36-year-old graphic designer Debora Hoffman. “Do you know how difficult it was for me to find a sitter? Tickets were $125.00! I don’t get it, who the fuck is Billy Corben anyway?”

Mr. Corben, of course, is the controversial filmmaker behind Miami-centric documentaries like Cocaine Cowboys 2 and Square Grouper. Known more for his sharp wit than his musical chops, the 40-year-old local performed Smashing Pumpkins’ classic shoegazing album in its entirety with a sort of off-tune nebbish charm that would have been kind of endearing if it weren’t so god-damn infuriating.

“That was the worst concert I have been to in my entire life,” said Ms. Hoffman. “It wouldn’t have even been so bad if he would have just sung the fucking songs, but he kept interrupting himself to make jokes about Carlos Alvarez.”

When asked to comment, Mr. Corben admitted that the show was misleadingly marketed to maximize ticket sales, telling the Plantain that he needed the money to fund a documentary he is working on about the Miami roots of 2LiveCrew’s front man Luther Campbell. The documentary, tentatively called “Uncle Luke, I Am Your Father”, is scheduled to be released in August.

On Friday evening, Weezer took the stage at the West Palm Beach Amphitheater to play a collection of hits and remind longtime fans in the audience that the passage of time stops for no one and that they too will someday die.

“I wasn’t expecting to have such a strong reaction to the show,” said 32-year-old attorney and longtime Weezer fan Jason Ireland, “but as I watched the band play through “The Sweater Song” and “Say it Ain’t So” for what must be the 100,000th time, I realized that every aspect of my youth was over and that I would eventually cease to exist.”

“I first saw Weezer at this very venue in 2002. As I was watching the band last night I realized it’s been 16 years since that show. That’s such a long, man. I couldn’t help wonder how much longer it would be until my mother dies. I mean, she isn’t sick or anything, but time just passes so quickly. Weezer taught me that.”
When asked to comment on the actual performance, Mr. Ireland reported that the band was “solid” and “looked like they were having fun on stage,” but noted that in 2002 he remembers the band creating a level of excitement in him that just didn’t compare to last night’s performance.
“Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to be there. But 16 years ago I was frenetic with excited energy. I remember running around the pit and being covered in other peoples’ sweat. By the end of that night, I didn’t even have any voice left to tell my mom about the show when she picked me up. As I casually sang along to Undone last night I knew that my happiest days were over. I will never be teenager at a concert happy again, and I guess I just need to learn to accept that.”

Speaking to the Plantain following the show, Weezer’s lead singer Rivers Cuomo said that Mr. Ireland’s reaction is a common one among Weezer’s older fans. “We all have to just accept that our time is finite and nothing lasts forever,” said the 48-year-old singer who will be singing songs about high school girls not liking him all summer with 80’s alt-rock icons Pixies.