Monthly Archives: January 2014

Which is Better: The Slot Machine or Movie That Inspired It?

Slot machines based upon movies are some of the most fun to play. But are they as fun as the movie which inspired them? We’ve got the answers to this rhetorical question, because that’s how we roll.

1. Gone With the Wind

This one’s easy. The movie is one of the most overrated in history. Besides, it doesn’t have bonus rounds or respins. Winner: The slot machine.

Gone With the Wind slot

Frankly, my dear, this one isn’t even close.

2. Iron Man

Disney is phasing out slot machines based upon Marvel characters, so enjoy this one while you can. While the video slot has some nice whiz-bang features, the movie’s still whiz-bangier. Winner: The movie.

Iron Man slot machine

Loud and sort of annoying, some phased-out games we won’t miss too much.

3. Grease

This match-up is closer than you’d think. This slot is really well done, with free spins, multipliers and cash bonuses galore. The video clips are sweet, and the music enhances the slot experience. Still, we’re giving the win to the movie. It’s “Grease.” Winner: The movie.

Grease slot machine

Who doesn’t long for the days when John Travolta didn’t have spray-on hair?

4. Joker’s Heist, Based Upon The Dark Knight

We barely remember the movie, but vividly remember the last time we played Joker’s Heist. (We won!) The bonus wheel bonus is truly a hoot. Winner: The slot machine.

Joker's Heist slot machine

Anarchy is overrated, especially if you have to clean up after it.

5. Footloose

The highlight of this video slot? The “Cut Loose Bonus” lets you choose the shoes you’d like to dance in. (Yawn.) The highlight of the “Footloose” movie? All of it. Winner: The movie.

Footloose slot machine

Kevin Bacon almost didn’t get the role in “Footloose.” The head of the studio didn’t think he was sexy enough.

6. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Another tough call. This game is an absolute blast, but we’ll always have a soft spot in our heart for the original. Winner: The movie, by a snozzberry.

Willy Wonka slot machine

Grandpa Joe free spins? How about acknowledging Grandpa Joe was a free-loader?

7. The Hangover

Don’t get us wrong, we loved the movie, but the “Hangover” slot is extremely entertaining, too. These two were neck-in-neck until we remembered the interactive Stun Gun Bonus, and that tipped the scales. Winner: The slot machine, but mostly because if the movies always won, this blog post would be even more boring.

Hangover slot

Plus, you get to play four games at once. Love it.

8. Ghostbusters

The movie’s a classic, but the slot machine isn’t. “Paranormal progressives”? Yeah, they clearly ran out of ideas at the slot machine factory. Winner: The movie.

Ghostbusters slot machine

The spirits didn’t move us.

9.  Jaws

They kind of just slapped the “Jaws” name on this slot machine, unfortunately. Winner: The movie.

Jaws slot machine

They’re gonna need a bigger boat, and a much better slot machine.

10. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Although strained in places (“Pick a pencil for credits!”), this slot is pretty solid. The video and sound clips are plentiful and provide a playful nod to the slacker classic. Winner: The movie.

Ferris Day off slot

Life moves pretty fast, something something we don’t remember and are too lazy to Google.

11. Wizard of Oz

You can only watch a movie so many times before it gets a little stale. The “Wizard of Oz” video slot is anything but. The bonuses are frequent, and when you hear that “You’re out of the woods, you’re out of the dark, you’re out of the night” refrain, you know you’re in the money. Winner: Sure, the movie has poppies, but ultimately, the slot machine.

Wizard of Oz

Did the movie have a progressive jackpot? Case closed.

12. Star Wars Trilogy

It wouldn’t matter how great this slot machine is, and it’s pretty great, we’re not saying it’s better than the movie because we don’t have enough hours in the day to argue with all the “Star Wars” nerds. And we are legion. Winner: The movies.

Star Wars

May the Biggs Darklighter and his porn star mustache be with you.

Oh, and Disney is taking away “Star Wars” slot machines, too. Talk about an evil empire. Read more.

Disagree with our assessments? We’d love to hear what you think. Just don’t type your comments in all caps. We’re sensitive.

Today’s Thing You Didn’t Know About Elvis and Las Vegas

Everybody knows Elvis Presley will always be associated with Las Vegas because of his years of performing here, but there’s something you probably didn’t know: His first Las Vegas residency was a flop.

Elvis first appeared in Las Vegas in 1956 at the New Frontier Hotel. He was 21 years old.

While Elvis was a hit with teens across the country, his performances in Las Vegas weren’t well received.

A Las Vegas Sun reviewer, Bill Willard, wrote, “For the teenagers, the long, tall Memphis lad is a whiz; for the average Vegas spender or show-goer, a bore. His musical sound with a combo of three is uncouth, matching to a great extent the lyric content of his nonsensical songs.” Ouch.

Elvis New Frontier hotel

Elvis at the New Frontier in 1956. He did better with the ladies than audiences.

One of the few positive aspects of his stint at the New Frontier was the song he discovered while making the rounds with his fellow performers. While at the Sahara, he saw Freddie Bell and the Bellboys perform “Hound Dog.”

Elvis liked the song so much, he recorded it, and the rest is history. Here’s the song before Elvis made it his own.

Due to the less-than-stellar reception of his first appearances in Las Vegas, it would be 13 years before he took to the stage in Sin City again.

In 1969, Elvis began a run at The International hotel, which would become the Las Vegas Hilton, then the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, now just LVH. For seven years, he performed to sold-out crowds.

Here’s an artist’s take on what Elvis would look like if he were still performing in Las Vegas today. See more.


If only.

For the record, tickets to The King’s dinner show were $17.50, made all the more amazing by the fact that price included a steak or lobster, too.

Three Surprisingly Good Desserts at Carlos’n Charlie’s at Flamingo

We should probably get this out of the way up front: Carlos’n Charlie’s at the Flamingo isn’t about the food. It’s about the hooch and the party, plain and simple. We’re also fans of the restaurant’s irreverent sense of humor.

Even though the food isn’t intended to be the star of the show, it’s pretty good, and we’ve never had a disappointing meal there. (Try the Parmesan & Swiss Chicken and you’ll be a fan for life.)

Here are three Carlos’n Charlie’s desserts are well worth a try.

1. Chocolate Cake

It’s chocolate and it’s cake. It’s also right up our alley.

Carlos'n Charlie's Chocolate Cake

Sugar intensifies the effects of alcohol. So, yes, please.

2. Banana Chimichanga

The Banana Chimichanga dish at Carlos’n Charlie’s has bananas, so it must be healthy. And that’s the story we’re sticking to.

Banana chimichanga

The ice cream contains vanilla beans, which are vegetables. Told you it was healthy.

3. Awesome Brownie

Our favorite Carlos’n Charlie’s dessert is meant to be shared.

Awesome brownie

Oh, mommy.

The full menu can be viewed on the establishment’s official site.

Our best tip for when you try these great Carlos’n Charlie’s desserts? Order a side of treadmill.

Casino Arcades: Where Las Vegas Gets a Little Creepy

We get that, for many, Las Vegas is a family destination. So, what’s one to do with kids, then?

Casinos have long understood the demand for diversions for kids, and accordingly, many have video arcades. This is where Las Vegas starts to get a little creepy. Why? Have you visited a casino video arcade lately?

Wheel of Fortune arcade game

Thought you were in a casino for a second, didn’t you? Nope, casino arcade.

Whether intentional or not, casino arcades are filled with games strikingly similar to casino games, both in appearance and in the way the games are played.

Put money in, spin a wheel, get a prize based upon luck. Arcade games may pay in tickets rather than cash (the tickets are then traded for merchandise), but the difference is a subtle one.

Casino arcade game

Arcade game or casino Big Six wheel?

These same casinos espousing a public commitment to responsible gaming are at the same time providing games indistinguishable from their casino counterparts.

Casino arcade game

Starting to see a pattern here? The word “jackpot” seems vaguely familiar.

Conspiracy theorists might assert these games are training kids to be future gamblers. Even if they’re not, a fine line is being walked here.

Kids playing slots

These kids aren’t in an arcade. They’re in a casino. Security does a good job of ensuring this doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen.

So, what do you think?

Are casino arcades good clean fun, like the kind you can find at any Chuck E. Cheese? (It should be noted Chuck E. Cheese has been accused of providing “casino-style gambling devices” to children from time to time.) Or is something more insidious afoot? Are kids being groomed to be future casino customers?


Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq Announces Slew of Acts, Starting With Elvis Costello & The Roots

Brooklyn Bowl, a new bowling and concert venue at The Linq on the Las Vegas Strip, has announced its opening act: Elvis Costello & The Roots.

Elvis Costello Questlove

Singer Elvis Costello and one Root. Specifically, Questlove.

The group, featuring the house band for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” will play March 15-16, 2014 at the as-yet-unopened, 2,000-capacity venue. Elvis Costello & The Roots did a recent album collaboration, “Wise Up Ghost,” which we were able to endure about 30 seconds of, but it may just not be our thing. Here’s a sample.

While the 32 bowling lanes are sure to keep things lively at Brooklyn Bowl, the slate of acts is shaping up to be impressive.

Here’s the full schedule of acts so far:

googie March 8-9 — Bowlive featuring Soulive with special guests
googie March 14 — The Roots
googie March 15-16 — Elvis Costello and The Roots
googie March 19 — Brett Dennen
googie March 20-22 — Cake
googie March 20-22 — Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
googie March 23 — Local Natives
googie March 26-29, April 2-5, 9-12 — Galactic
googie March 29-30 — Lettuce
googie April 5-6, 19-20 — Robert Randolph & the Family Band
googie April 10 — Bonobo
googie April 12 — Big Gigantic
googie April 14 — The Naked and Famous / The 1975, with the White Lies
googie April 15 — The Green
googie April 16-19 — Trombone Shorty
googie April 17 — Chance the Rapper
googie April 18-20 — Phil Lesh & Friends
googie April 20 — The Infamous Stringdusters
googie April 24-26 — O.A.R.
googie April 25-26, May 2-3 — Gogol Bordello
googie May 1-3 — Primus
googie May 5 — Twenty One Pilots
googie May 8-10 — Jane’s Addiction
googie May 22-25 — Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk & Soul Rebels Brass Band
googie May 29-31 — Tedeschi Trucks Band
googie May 29-31 — Soulive
googie June 5 — Black Label Society
googie June 10-11 — Thievery Corporation
googie June 13-14 — Steve Winwood
googie August 7 — Chromeo
googie August 29-31 — The Avett Brothers

Brooklyn Bowl is three stories tall, about four times the size of the Brooklyn Bowl in, you know, Brooklyn. Bonus: There will be five, count ’em, five bars.

Here’s a look at the Brooklyn Bowl space inside The Linq back in Feb. of 2013, when it was a blank slate.

Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas

This is just one part of the 80,000-square-foot space. Yeah, flipping huge.

You can see the opening in the ceiling, allowing for upper-level viewing of the entertainment.

Brooklyn Bowl

No, it’s not a sun roof. It’s even better.

Brooklyn Bowl is expected to be similar to its New York counterpart (see below), including leather couches in the bowling lane area.

Brooklyn Bowl

Liquor and comfy couches? We’re so there.

Dining will be provided by Blue Ribbon Restaurants, an award-winning, New York-based restaurant group.

Brooklyn Bowl’s Web site is pretty sparce at this point, so your best bet for updates is to follow Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas on the Twitters. The Linq has a fancy new Web site, so check it out.

Grabbing Some Mexican at Downtown Container Park’s Pinches Tacos

The quirky Container Park has quickly (and somewhat surprisingly) become one of our favorite haunts in downtown Las Vegas.

Downtown Container Park

Another thing that’s a must-do in Las Vegas.

We love the hooch, the atmosphere, the eclectic mix of shops, and even the food. Our go-to restaurant at the Downtown Container Park is Pinches Tacos, a Mexican joint with reasonable prices and reliably satisfying food.

Pinches Tacos

We did not make this up.

All your favorite Mexican dishes are covered, including tacos, burritos, tortas, enchiladas, taquitos and quesadillas.

Pinches Tacos

Simple but effective.

Pinches Tacos is faring very well on Yelp, which is always a good sign.

The name of the place is said to be based on folklore. It’s believed one of the uncles in the Pinches family hung out with Pancho Villa. The legend is that when Pancho Villa would get hungry, he’d shout, “Cook, bring me some tacos!” In Spanish, though, probably. And “Pinche” is Spanish for “cook.” Oh, just play along, it makes for a charming story.

Pinches Tacos Las Vegas

Mas, por favor.

Expect a bit of a wait on Friday and Saturday nights, and because the restaurants at the Downtown Container Park (they’re actually inside shipping containers), they sometimes run out of your favorite things.

That means grab an order or five of the Mexican Corn on the Cob, often called “street corn,” because supplies are limited, and it’s delicious.

Mexican corn on the cob

They’ll take it off the cob for you, if you ask nicely.

Otherwise, a pretty awesome evening can be had with a cocktail at The Boozery, a photo op with the giant, fire-spewing praying mantis (see below), and some comida rica at Pinches Tacos.

Container Park mantis

We weren’t kidding about the mantis thing.

Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for Zappos CEO and bazillionaire Tony Hsieh. During our Pinches Tacos visit, we saw him at a neighboring restaurant, Pork & Beans, doing his downtown visionary thing.

Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh, doing what Tony Hsieh does. Colliding, or whatever.

We’ve got a few more photos, but honestly, who can take decent photos when your hands are slathered with butter from the street corn at Pinches Tacos?

Pinches Tacos at Downtown Container Park

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