Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Dukes See a Movie: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


From the get go this movie had me in knots with a pros and cons list. I kept vacillating from "this is a must see" to "you will see me in hell before you see me in a theater for this movie!" To help explain these extremes I will share with you my pros and cons list, cons first of course.

Cons

  • Not a single Swedish film had been properly remade up to this point.(e.g. Let the Right One In(Let Me In in the remake), Intermezzo (an Ingmar Bergman classic that was remade with Willie Nelson, yes that Willie Nelson). Following the Ingmar Bergman vein I will mention Virgin Spring which was later redone as a low budget slasher called Last House on the Left which destroyed the original idea and made the movie absolutely awful. I warn all of you to never see that movie. I didn't even finish watching it and that should tell you something since I have seen Red Sonja twice.)
  • In the beginning it was thought that Kristin Stewart of Twilight fame(read:shame) would be playing the role of gritty Lisbeth Salander.
hot member of football royalty
super crazy hacker lady














Can you see her making this type of change? I can't since she barely commits to acting in the scenes she is in. 
  • I haven't read the book yet. As much as pains me I have to admit I haven't had a chance to read the trilogy and I usually like to go into a movie having read the story it came from.
Pros

  • I am Swedish so therefore I have been trained to love Swedish things like meatballs, Bjorn Borg, IKEA, polka music and bikini teams. Since this is a part of me and this movie was filmed and set in Sweden I almost had no choice.
  • Kristin Stewart was not cast! I don't think I should have to explain this one.
  • This remake unlike the others was going to be an action epic rather than an art house flick that gets butchered in its Hollywoodization. 
  • Rooney Mara was cast as Lisbeth. I like her because both of her great grandfathers founded National Football League teams and her sister is a fine actor in her own right (I would recommend seeing Stone of Destiny if you would like to see her sister, or American Horror Story if you also happen to lack scruples).
So with this list in my mind I finally ended up leaning towards seeing this movie. (This shouldn't shock anyone since I will watch pretty much anything so when given the choice between go see a movie and don't go see a movie you can bet your buttons I will be going.) Since this movie was not one that would appeal to the majority of our movie going friends the three dukes without scruples/movie filter went solo.  

As the film starts we see Mikael Blomkvist(Daniel Craig), a disgraced journalist get hired by a rich man to find out what happened to his niece 40 years earlier. As he is searching through the records he finds something he much more sinister and nefarious than he could have imagined at the beginning. In an attempt to figure everything out that he needs he hires a research assistant named Lisbeth Salander who has had one of the roughest lives imaginable. She is considered unstable but she is also a brilliant researcher and computer hacker. Together they work towards finding out what happened to the niece.

This movie is in a roundabout way a simple whodunit story mingled with an odd couple cop movie but it does it in a way that is compelling, dark and slightly paranoid. even though the movie is nearly three hours long it keeps you engaged and you hardly notice the passage of time. Another great thing about this movie were the twists. A few things happened that I really did not see coming and I appreciate a movie that can do that.  There are a few scenes in this movie that are not for the faint of heart. It does have some graphic and disturbing images that managed to get every last one of the Dukes present to squirm( I may or may not have grabbed Coombsy's knee at some point).

While this movie was not as gritty and raw as the original I still really liked the way it was presented and the fact that it supposedly follows the book more closely than the first. If you want to see a high quality suspense movie and you don't have a tender tummy I would recommend this film to you.


Rating 4 stars

PS I thought this was an interesting tidbit. The main actors in the Swedish version of the film are currently starring in  the American version's main box office competition. Noomi Rapace (the original Lisbeth) was Madam Simza(the gypsy lady) in the most recent Sherlock Holmes film.  Michael Nyqvist (the original Mikael Blomkvist) was Hendricks(the main bad guy) in the most recent Mission Impossible. I felt that this was a cool fact and that is was something all of you should feel better for knowing.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Not All Christmas Songs Are Created Equal

As the holiday season was progressing I came to realize a very distressing fact. Some Christmas songs fill me with rage. In my opinion this is something that should not happen and probably doesn't happen to most people. It could be that I am more sensitive to it than others or I might just be plain crazy. In this post I will attempt to validate my feelings and explain my thoughts.
Some songs make me want to forcefully remove their smiles.
I decided the easiest way to do this was to list out the songs that bother me and explain why. I have a feeling that you might agree with me. If you don't I don't care because you are wrong and should feel bad for your opinion.

Homeless

As many of you know I was recently forced to sing this song in a ward play. Those of you that know this probably also heard me complain about how the song is a load of nonsense. The entire song is based on the premise that the Christ child was homeless. HE WASN'T HOMELESS!! At worst his parents hadn't made reservations. Any person who has read the book Jesus the Christ knows that staying in a stable or cave was quite common at that time if there was no room in the inn.  Mary and Joseph were out of town but in their normal home town they had a house.
Homeless
Not Homeless
 Basically my hatred for this song stems from its scriptural inaccuracies rather than the melody. I guess in my book I hate inaccuracies more than almost anything else in the world which leads me to...


Let Him In

This song makes me so mad! All of the other Dukes can attest to this since they heard me ranting about it during the Christmas performance of Kailey's choir (which sounded great but this song caused something black and loathsome to well up inside me.) This one is also rife with scriptural incorrectness. The song states that the innkeeper didn't let the young couple in because he didn't think they could afford it and he didn't want to try and make room for them. He was a business man! He would put as many people as possible in the inn! They probably had fire codes! Or other rules! He could have lost his license or even his business! Pff to this song and its stupid message. The innkeeper has no reason to feel bad. He did what he could .He even went out of his way to let them stay in his stable. The thought that he would be haunted for life for something like that is ridiculous and downright cruel.

It looks like the Forgotten Carols should have stayed that way because the first two songs on my list both come from that show. Stupid Michael McLean. I wouldn't mind telling him my feelings with a kick to the face.

Christmas Shoes

Do I really have to explain myself on this one? The song is a joke and should never had been written.  Since my momma is gonna meet Jesus tonight she needs new shoes because I am an idiot and I think she will be taken up by a tractor beam or something like that. Also if his Mom is passing away why is he not there with her?
These are the only Christmas shoes that I find acceptable to mention. Although if someone sings about them they can expect some quick retribution. (These are LeBron James shoes for the Christmas day game)
Although this songs popularity has waned over the years I still hear it from time to time. If you hear the song start and I am nearby beware since a storm is brewing, or like they say in Winterfell "Winter is Coming". (That is a super nerdy reference and you all are going to have to deal with it.)

Mary Did You Know

This one I am adding as a shout out to my mother and to my brother-in-law Gordon. While I am not a fan of this song it doesn't bother me nearly as much as it bothers them. Basically all of their dislike can be summed up like this. How could Mary not know after she had angelic visitors that told her these things. So yes she in fact did know so your line of rhetorical questions do not need to be asked so go ahead and hush up. Shhhh....Shhhh.

There are other songs out there that bother me but I felt that four would be plenty to get my point across. Also I feel that ruining four songs for you people is plenty of damage for this holiday season. Who knows maybe I will pick some more to rant about next December.  If there are any you feel I forgot or that at least deserve a mention. Let me know and I will tell you if I agree or not. Hopefully this post will go out as a warning to all the song writers out there. If your song is inaccurate or doesn't make sense I will hate you and let you know about it so be wary. I am watching...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Dukes See a Movie: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows


Sherlock Holmes has been an icon in entertainment for over 120 years and this latest version doesn't disappoint. I would like to quickly present a list of why I liked this movie.
  • First, this version included Moriarty who is by far the main nemesis of Sherlock.
  • Secondly they also added Mycroft Holmes(brilliantly played by Stephen Fry who happened to be the youngest member of the Baker Street Irregulars (you are welcome for that random tidbit))  who is Sherlock's older, smarter and lazier brother. 
  • This film is also Noomi Rapace's first film in English ( She starred in the Swedish version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.). She didn't even speak English a few years ago so that is pretty impressive.
  • While it didn't have the same level of action as the first one it maintained its ability to keep me engaged the entire time.
  • Robert Downey Jr. He was an excellent choice for this role and he is also the first male lead to be involved in two blockbuster franchises at the same time in about 30 years. (Sherlock and Iron Man) the last person to do this was Harrison Ford with Indiana Jones and Star Wars.
  • I like bullet points.
*Spoiler*
To start the film they decide to show the lack of any moral compass in Moriarty. He shows this in how he brutally kills the girl Sherlock had a relationship with just because she had feelings for him. Sherlock had caused several disruptions to Moriarty's plans but that is no reason for any sane person to kill a woman.

The film continues with Watson (Jude Law) going to pick up Sherlock Holmes for his own bachelor partly. Sherlock is engaged in various random activities, including urban camouflage (hilarious). He has a giant wall of conspiracy that he believes is all tied to Professor Moriarty. After getting Sherlock dressed they head out and go to a stag club that is full of all sorts of depravity (any of which seems rather bland by today's standards). Sherlock as the best man was supposed to invite friends of the groom but as it happens he was there for business. Watson goes off and starts gambling like mad and Sherlock goes to visit a fortune teller (Noomi Rapace).   

Sherlock enters in and does his thing to wow her and while there he unmasks an assassin and the three of them engage in quite the fight. It involves flying through walls, windows and doors. It also has knife fights, slow-mo action, building scaling, the classic Sherlock fight breakdown and mad dashes for piles of money. All of the above help insure an entertaining ride.

After the botched bachelor party Sherlock gets Watson to his wedding slightly worse for wear. I don't think I should be giving away the entire movie so I am going to stop right here. All in all the film is quite entertaining and it lived up to the hopes I had for it. Four out of four dukes agree that this is a movie worth watching (not entirely true since only three of us were present but I will speak for him anyways. He is a ginger so I don't see him stopping me any time soon.).

Rating 4.5 Stars

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Dukes See a Few More Movies

Once again I find myself slacking when it comes to updating this blog. If I were to receive a grade it would be slacker jerkface (we go by our own, more entertaining grading system). This may shock some of you but we have seen some more movies since our last post. I decided the time for an update was clearly at hand, mainly because I have a ton of free time and access to a computer at my new job. Victory for me and by extension a victory for all of you readers out there.

Fall is usually rife with poorly written and poorly acted movies, but as die-hard movie goers we often overlook that simple fact. This year we took ourselves and our die-hardedness to see several movies including: Tucker and Dale vs Evil, the Three Musketeers, In Time, Immortals and the Muppets. I can tell you now that not all of them were winners, but a surprising number of them were either amazing or at least passable.



Tucker and Dale vs Evil


Man what a great movie. Rarely have I been dazzled so by a low budget fall indie film. I was in love from the get go. this can be attested by two of the dukes and a lady friend of ours. To understand this movie I feel like I need to give you a little bit of background about the genre of which it is poking fun.

In the past few decades there have been many horror films made about random college students heading out to the wild woods and either getting lost and murdered by hillbillies or randomly having hillbilly neighbors and subsequently being murdered by them. It is a staple of horror so in this film they decided to turn this idea on its head. 

As the movie starts we are introduced to a carload of college students heading to the woods to camp. Around the same time we meet Tucker and Dale(Who are excellently played by Alan Tudyk(A Knight's Tale) and Tyler Labine(Reaper)). They are two best friends who have recently acquired a "vacation home" near the college students camp. They have taken time this weekend to work on fixing the place up. Our two groups first meet at a gas station which is considered the last civilization for miles. On seeing the college girls Dale expresses interest in meeting them. After some coaching by Tucker, Dale heads over to make their acquaintance and unwittingly creeps the lot of them out. It was quite understandable since he was holding a giant scythe and had a strange grin on his face(Tucker's advice) as he asked if they were going camping.

Basically this bad first impression leads to a lot of wild and crazy misunderstandings as the story progresses. The next big one happens that first night. Tucker and Dale are just hoping to enjoy some night fishing on the nearby pond. The college students see the pond and decide the time is perfect for some skinny dipping. One of the girls climbs up some rocks and starts undressing. Dale doesn't want her to think they are peeking so they stay quiet. She sees them and completely freaks out. She falls and hits her head as she enters the water. Dale quickly follows in to rescue her. the rest of the girls friends see that she is hurt and in their boat and think she has been kidnapped which is affirmed in their minds when Dale yells out "We have your friend!"

So as the story progresses the college students start to have freak accident deaths that are blamed on Tucker and Dale. The Deaths really are the best part of this movie. They are hilarious and creative. Imagine death by tree impalement, death by wood-chipper, death by nailed board to the face, death by falling in a hole and getting impaled by your own makeshift weapon. How can that not be amazing?

I don't really want to give any more away so I won't. The movie has some more entertaining parts and a tidy conclusion. Ricky has purchased the movie so you can expect that we will be watching it again in the near future. If we like you we will probably give you an invite. If you don't get an invite go ahead and feel bad.

Rating 4.5 Stars

The Three Musketeers

I don't even want to talk about this one so I won't. Boo is the first word that comes to mind when I think back on this movie experience. I love the cast involved but somehow they managed to blow it. they made it way to campy and unrealistic with a lady who inexplicably seems to be a part of the matrix or something based on her wild moves and lack of dying.  If you want to watch the Three Musketeers just watch one of the older classics. If you want a specific recommendation ask me and I will tell you which one you should see. I am
pretty cool like that.

Rating 1.5 Stars

In Time 


I had fairly high hopes for this movie and sadly they were not fully met. the movie wasn't bad per say but is wasn't great. In the movie all currency is based on time. If you work you get paid in time, if you buy food you pay in time and so forth. Once you hit the age of 25 you stop aging but you only have one year of life left to you to be used for everything. If the time on your arm runs out you drop dead at that moment. Justin Timberlake lives in one of the poorer areas where time is hard to come by. He is all sad because he say his mom die right before he was able to give her some time. He later meets a man in a bar that had well over a century of time but he was sick of living and wanted to die. the wanna die man gave all his time to Mr. Timberlake and went off to die. Justin sees this time and decides he is going to take down the system or something.

He goes to Richburbia ( not the real name of the place in the movie but I like it) and tries to live the high life by what else? Gambling. I guess this proves that games of chance are life affirming. He meets a super rich dude and wins a thousand years of time. Take that The Man. Justin is then invited to a party where he it turn seduces the rich guys daughter, is forced to flee the feds and kidnaps the seduced daughter.

Time passes they get sick of hiding and become the Bonnie and Clyde/Robin Hood style time bandits. They are in love and take time and give to poor people. Yay. the movie wasn't bad but it wasn't very action-y and it dragged quite a bit in places.

Rating 3 Stars

The Immortals

Now we are getting into what the Dukes love, some good old fashion blood and violence. This movie seems to try and blend together 300 and Clash of the Titans. It has a lot of shirtless ripped men and gods who need to fight things. That is generally the basic idea. This film decided it needed to try and have and actual story and plot which in our eyes detracted from the movie. The more story it had meant less action. We aren't seeing this movie to feel fulfilled by the plot but rather we want to see people die in epic battle scenes. Don't get me wrong the battle scenes in the movie were sweet but we felt like there just weren't enough of them. IT is really quite easy to make us happy in an action movie. Less plot, more action.

Rating 2.5 Stars

The Muppets

Oh how I love the Muppets. They have brought me many years of joy and entertainment. If you don't like the Muppets you are a fool or you are dead inside ( I am looking at you Emily). It kind of surprised me when I found out that this was the first muppet movie to have been made in 11 years. That is more than half of Danny's girlfriend's age ( Kailey for those of you who don't know). This fact meant that there was a whole generation that had not experienced the joys of this goofy band of characters.

This adaptation was updated and co-written by Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshal and How I Met Your Mother). I find him to be quite an amusing person and he is a huge muppets fan so he really wanted to do them justice.

the basic story in this movie is that the Muppet Show lot is going to be taken by an oil tycoon and destroyed if the Muppets can't be reunited and raise 10 million dollars. Jason Segel and his brother (who happens to be a muppet) are huge fans and they decide that they will help get the Muppets back together.

In classic muppet style songs are sung and dances spring up out of nowhere. Also it has an amazing number of hilarious cameos by NPH (Niel Patrick Harris Woo woo), Jim Parsons, James Carville and others.
I would recommend this movie to pretty much anyone and everyone. It is a good time Muppet style.

Rating 4.5 Stars

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Dukes are a bunch of no good cheaters

Bam! Great throw, good hold, awesome picture!


If you are friends with Moorman on Facebook you know that we recently took our annual trip up to Island Park, Idaho for some fun in the great outdoors, if you can call it that. There are a couple things which we do that are kind of traditions for us, they include the following:

  1. Firehole River in Yellowstone: We go swim in a freaking river! It's natures water slide, what more could you want?!
  2. Playhouse Play: So far we've attended two, both have been excellent, one included a groping incident. A must see (the play, not the groping) if you're in West Yellowstone during the summer.
  3. Bubble Gum Blowing Competition: Don't judge, it's intense. Next year we're going to have medals for the winners, unfortunately you can only compete if you're a Duke.
  4. Delicious Ice Cream: If you end up in West Yellowstone, and don't stop by Arrowleaf ice cream, you've shortchanged yourself and should be ashamed. Shame!
  5. Candy Store: When you get done with the Ice cream, you should wander on down the street to the candy store. It's got great fudge, and delicious taffy. Once again, if you don't go, you short change yourself and you fail. Fail!
  6. Rafting the snake: This is a new one as of this last trip. We're gonna probably keep it going. We take a raft down the Snake river. Pretty straight forward.
  7. Listening to the song Diane, by Therapy: This is a...different...tradition, to say the least, if you've heard the song you understand why, if you listen to the song, we hope you laugh as much as we did when that the first verse was over.
  8. Jumping on Ricky while he's trying to sleep: Since Ricky is the old man of the group, he usually goes to bed early, that being said, the rest of the Dukes see fit to jump on him once he's gone to bed, 3 out of 4 Dukes agree that this is a fun activity.
  9. Stargazing on the dock by the river: We enjoy a good stargazing experience down by the river, you can't see anything but the stars, and it's amazing.
  10. Cards: This is the whole point of this article, cards. Cards are played almost religiously while up at Island Park. Any and all games are welcome here. This last time we were up there the following games were played: Spoons, Settlers of Catan, Farmers Rummy, Pounce, and Killer Bunnies (oh how we played Killer Bunnies...over, and over again). We played a lot of these games multiple times, and that brings us to the title of the post...we as dukes, are terrible cheaters, and we are terribly good at cheating.
To illustrate how bad the cheating got, I will just start with the worst, and it's pretty bad. So we were about to start a game of Farmers Rummy, the parties present were the Dukes, Ricky's Grandma, St Brenda, McCall, and Matt. The game would have likely been a normal game where everybody played on the board, little to no cheating. However, Grandma decided to start the game off with two comments that would sink the game faster than that blasted iceberg did the Titanic, these comments were "There will be no cheating, and no laughing". Now if you know The Dukes, you know that we love both of those things, a lot.

So the game was afoot. The Dukes took up positions at the end of the table and immediately started trading cards under the table. First hand, Ricky laid down a fistful of kings, so many in fact, that the odds against him getting them are staggering . Second Hand we somehow ended up with a stack of cards, mostly wilds, which was passed around under the table. Eventually St Brenda got wise to the games and forced Ricky to switch spots, breaking him off from the group, and severely impairing his cheating ability. (Remember kids, if you're gonna cheat, cheat in groups). Eventually the game was coming to a close, Moorman had given up and gone to talk to his girlfriend, leaving Ricky to pass cards to McCall. Zac and Coombsy were scavenging a pile made up mostly of wilds like turkey vultures.The only completely useless cheater was Matt, he just failed, in ways that cannot be described. In the end the only people not cheating were Grandma, and St. Brenda. The game ended with Zac and Coombsy winning, amassing nearly a thousand points, leaving the rest of the group completely in the dust.

In the end the moral of this story is that if you play a game of cards with the Dukes, you're best chance is divide and conquer. If you can get them to turn on each other, you might stand a chance.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Dukes See a Movie: Make that 13 Movies



It has been a while since my fingers last graced these keys in an effort to bring you, the readers, my opinion as to why a movie was worth seeing or why I attempted to gouge out my own eyes. I really don't even have an excuse. "Were these past few months rather busy?" No, no they were not. "Did you break all the fingers on one hand in a bar fight?" Once again no, all my fingers have been fully functional. "Did something happen to your eyesight? Computer? Memory? " No on all accounts. The only explanation I have is that we were living up to our title as the Intrepid Dukes of Laziness.

So by way of apology I am going to quickly review all 13 movies that we have missed.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Full of ridiculous lapses in science but the sweet action scenes made it okay for me in the end.
Rating 3 stars

Super 8
Kids +Aliens+Spielberg=Good movie
Rating 4 stars

Bad Teacher (Zac Only)
I made a terrible choice in seeing this movie. It was like they tried to cross Office Space and Bad Santa but they failed miserably.
Rating 1.5 stars

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
All I can say is ta-da...ta-da... ta-da forever. ( 3 people at most will understand this.)
Rating 5 stars

Captain America: The First Avenger
If only I could be so ripped and fight Nazis.
Rating 4 stars

Cowboys and Aliens
Indiana Jones(the old crotchety version)+James Bond+Olivia Wilde(Ricky is obsessed)=good stuff
Rating 4 stars

Horrible Bosses
The cast in this movie was excellent. The bosses did such a great job at being the worst.
Rating 4 stars

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Andy Serkis(Gollum) makes one heck of an ape.
Rating 4 stars

Winnie the Pooh (Zac only)
What can I say I love my nieces.
Rating 3.5 stars

30 Minutes or Less
Some parts were really funny and others were super awkward.
Rating 2.5

Conan the Barbarian ( Zac and Ricky only. It was kind of a man date.)
Jason Momoa is one hardcore man and who doesn't love having a theater all to themselves.
Rating 3 stars

Contagion
STOP TOUCHING YOUR FACE AND BUILD A DANG BUNKER!!
Rating 3.5 stars

Attack the Block
Basically imagine Shaun of the Dead with wolfy-bear aliens and a bunch of hoodlum teenagers.
Rating 3.5 stars

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We gonna be twittering!

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen!






I'm here writing today because I'm bored. So very very bored. I've got absolutely nothing to do while my class watches a movie that I've already seen and I'm not interested in watching it again. This is how things go I guess. The main reason that I'm writing for the first time in a long while is simple, we've decided that we are going to start a Twitter account! That's right ladies and gentlemen we're branching out into social media, which is great idea considering that the last time we updated our blog was July, so we'll see how this goes. You should totally follow us because it's gonna rock! I think you need to do know our id name or something (I've never done the twitter before) anyways, its @intrepiddukes. I think that's what you need. Anyways, jump on the bandwagon, it's what we do!






Love always




Ricky

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Dukes See a Movie: The Green Lantern



Once again we found ourselves on a random Tuesday with nothing to do. What was our failsafe? A random movie. This time the only option we could see was Green Lantern. None of us were that excited for this movie. It hadn't been getting great reviews and we questioned the CGI suit. Why couldn't he just have a normal suit? It shouldn't be that hard to actually make one, but I digress. The thing I was looking forward to was seeing how the supporting cast did in their roles. I love Geoffrey Rush (Captain Barbosa in Pirates), Michael Clarke Duncan (Giant Black Guy in the Green Mile) and Mark Strong (Lord Blackwood in Sherlock Holmes).

As the movie starts you see some foolish aliens on an uncharted planet. While there they manage to release an unspeakable evil and gets their souls sucked out for good measure. The scene then shifts and we see Ryan Reynolds in his quintessential role, a very muscley slacker playboy that never takes life too seriously but that has a good heart. He is a test pilot and he likes to go beyond what many consider to be the limits.

As he is doing his pilot thing the great evil of Parallax is out and about in the universe sucking up souls. It runs into this purple Green Lantern alien who happened to be the one that locked the evil up in the first place. In their scuffle the purple guy is mortally wounded so he challenges his ring to find someone to take his spot as a Green Lantern. It so happens that the ring chooses Hal Jordan (Reynolds) as the new Green Lantern. Quick aside here I have heard a lot of complaints saying that the Green Lantern is black. Not true people, the original Lantern Alan Scott was white. The series was revived not that long after with Hal Jordan, another white dude. Later John Stewart was given a crack at being a lantern backup to Hal and this time he was black.  I guess I can understand the mix up a little since the Green Lantern seen in the Justice League is John. I just wanted it put out there that DC Comics is not racist for having a white Green Lantern. They could be for other things but not for their Lantern views.

Ok back to the story. Hal has the ring and he starts to train. He doesn't think he is worthy because he feels fear so he decides to abandon his training. Sinestro decides he is going to take some Lanterns and attack Parallax. It doesn't work at all. He comes back thoroughly defeated and claims they need to make a yellow fear ring to fight Parallax with his own power. While this is happening Hal reconsiders his quitting with the help of his hot lady friend Carol (Blake Lively).

Hal learns he can master his fear which is what the Green Lanterns apparently needed all along. All in all the movie was decent but it jumped from scene to scene often times without the proper set up. Also I love Ryan Reynolds but I cannot take him seriously for the life of me. When he is quoting his Green Lantern oath I couldn't help but chuckle even though it is supposed to be a serious moment.

*SPOILER*

During the credits there is a brief scene where Sinestro is seen putting on the Yellow Fear ring. We jokingly mentioned that he would be called the Yellow Candelabra because of the funky design on the ring. In that spirit we all picked colors and light sources. Danny loves green so he was just a normal green lantern. I became the Purple Maglite, Ricky became the Black Zippo and Coombsy was forced into the role of the Blue Dart. Since I am such a thorough person I decided to check and see if I could find pictures of different colored rings. As it turns out DC universe was way ahead of us and rings of the whole color spectrum already exist with their different powers and emotional sources. Man did that make me feel sheepish. Turns out by choosing purple I am an effing Star Sapphire and I am powered by love. Coombsy is powered by hope and Ricky fittingly is an important dead person brought to life by Nekron and the Black Hand to fight the other Lanterns and fulfill the Blackest Night Prophecy.

I hope you all feel like you learned something and have a little more nerd in you because I surely do.

Rating 3 stars

PS A certain lady when she heard the rating I was going to give exclaimed "But I loved the movie, Ryan Reynolds is so hot!" I will let you all know here and now that we don't rate our movies based on the amount of Ryan Reynolds's skin we see. We don't even let the attractive ladies affect our ratings (see Sucker Punch)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Stuff Coombsy Says and Does: Vegas Edition

As all of you are well aware of by now Coombsy is a goldmine for fantastic comments and wonderful acts of randomness. Whether it be the trips he takes or the races he may or may not hate Coombsy has always kept me entertained. This held true for the trip we took to Vegas in December '09. On this trip we were down a Duke (We were without Ricky. Darn you ADP and your blackout periods.) but we did our best to keep morale high and the misdemeanors low.
 
As we tramped and vagabonded our way across the strip we decided to stop off at the old Coca Cola World for a look around and a tray of refreshing beverages from around the world. It is here where our first Coombsyism makes its appearance. We had hammered our way through five continents and 14 countries when we reached our final drink. It was an Italian drink called Beverly. It was clear in appearance and from its smell it had some heady pine notes. (Quick aside, if I were a drinking man I know I would be one of those pretentious wine drinkers that thinks a trip to Napa Valley for the wine festival is the greatest vacation ever.) 
 
We didn't know what we were in for. Look at our adorable innocence.
 
 
We were looking forward to giving Beverly a go. We were in for quite a shock. As the liquid first touched my lips I knew something was wrong. My taste buds seemed to be rejecting my offering and my eyes were starting to water in rage. It was horrible. I felt like I was drinking a cup full of slightly sour dental floss. We all had the same reaction of revulsion and horror and what had occurred. We took back our tray of drinks and started to leave the store feeling subdued. As we went down the escalator Coombsy put into words what we all thought. "Stupid Beverly, just like a woman to let you down."  We all paused and as one looked and Coombsy and just started to laugh. Who can argue with a man like Coombsy? I surely couldn't at that moment. It was all I could do to keep standing and trying to breathe.
  
 
The second comment came not much later in that same day. For the first days of our trip we had been staying with Danny's sister and brother-in-law at their house. We were very grateful to them and their hospitality but on our last night we wanted to stay and one of the casinos because it is a must when you go to Vegas. Our room was booked with two queen beds. We had four people (myself, Coombsy, Danny and McKell) and so we were going to have to sleep two to a bed.  We were walking down the strip talking out our plan of action. We joked that sleeping with Coombsy would be the short end of the stick and he came back with this wonder "Well someone is going to have to man up and sleep with me." It was so great. Here we were on the strip in the middle of a busy day and Coombsy loudly busts out with his man up phrase. We had no fewer than 4 people turn and give us a weird look which is a pretty hard thing to accomplish in Vegas.
This was our "classy" hotel choice. I can't resist a place that might house a dragon.
 
As it turns out Danny ended up with Coombsy but I got the real short end of the stick. I spent my night huddled on the edge of the bed fending off wild blows from McKell's elbows cursing the decision to which we had come. We are all grateful though that I  can manage to drive well even on a few hours of restless slumber since I had a seven hour drive ahead of me in the morning and we didn't want to drive.
 
As the Vegas trip drew to a close we had come to appreciate Coombsy's stance on women and his desire to not be alone in a Vegas hotel bed. Never again will I be able to hear the name Beverly and not smile. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

the Dukes See a Movie: X Men First Class


As we first started hearing about this movie we were a little worried. In our opinion the X Men series hadn't been nearly as good as it should have been. X3 for example was pretty awful and caused a lot of rage to build up in our hearts. We are very forgiving when it comes to movies and are also eternal optimists. We waited to hear more about the movie before we gave up entirely on the franchise. The first step was the cast release. I think James McAvoy is a great actor (think Last King of Scotland rather than Wanted) and I was excited to see Kevin Bacon as a villain. Next came the previews and I was hooked, I knew I was going to see this movie. You won Hollywood, you always do. Ricky was still a little tentative in the weeks approaching the release but he put that aside and joined us for the movie.

The movie begins by showing us a little more about the early years of Charles Xavier (Professor X), Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) and Raven (Mystique). We knew from the earlier movies that Erik had been in a concentration camp and while trying to escape the guards his power over metal started to reveal itself. After the gate incident Erik is taken before a Nazi leader (Kevin Bacon) and he is forced to try and use his powers. He seems unable to so his mother is brought in. I don't want to ruin the movie so I won't go into too much detail about what happens. Erik is taken in by this man and is trained but he holds a grudge against him for what was done. Charles had life much easier. We see him growing up in a large estate with pretty much anything he could want. One night he hears a noise and he goes to investigate. What he finds is a young Raven looking for food. He takes her in and they become like brother and sister.

We jump ahead a few years to 1962. Charles has just graduated from Oxford and is loving life. Erik on the other hand is chasing after the man he loathes. Raven is still with Charles but she isn't too happy about having to hide who she truly is. This may be as good a time as any to bring up eye candy. I think it had plenty for the ladies. I base my judgment on the comments coming from Lindsey and Stacy (mainly Lindsey) about how a scene would have been better had it been shirtless. Don't worry men you shouldn't feel left out at all. It has a very balanced level of eye candiness for both genders. Now back to the story... Eventually Charles and Erik are brought together and they become friends. Each one wants to bring together mutants so that they can be taught. As the plot moves along we see that while they start from the same point each has a much different goal and point of view on the relationship mutants and humans should have. Charles wants to try to work with the humans to better the world while Erik wants to show the humans that the mutants are superior in every way.

I don't want to ruin the story so all I will say is that the mutants are involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis and we see how Magneto and Professor X end up going their separate ways.

 As I left this movie I was very happy for several reasons.
  1. The acting was impeccable.
  2. The story was fantastic.
  3. It had one of the greatest cameos ever courtesy of Hugh Jackman.
  4. It gave the Dukes hope for the future of the franchise.
  5. I always like going to movies with friends so why wouldn't I be happy?
We the Dukes would like to recommend this movie to anyone looking for a well done action type movie.


4.5 stars

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Dukes See a Movie: Fast Five


Another Wednesday was upon us with nothing to do so we turned to our staple, the movie theater.  It seems that our motto is when in doubt watch something. This time we ended up seeing Fast Five. (See Pirates review to see our stance on overhyped movies and strung out franchises.) Usually this wouldn't have made our list of movies to see, but it managed to get decent rating from critics and the public so we decided to give it a try.

As the movie starts out you find out that all the main characters are on the run. As to why we don't know. That is mainly our fault since none of us had seen past the second movie. Personally I only ever saw the first one. Needless to say we were a little confused but we pushed past it in hopes of action. Paul Walker and his lady agree to do a job boosting some cars but it turns out that there was more behind it than just the cars. 100 million dollars more in fact. One of the cars belonged to a drug lord that was running the city of Rio de Janeiro. Inside the car was a chip that included information about all of the routes and locations of his fortune. Vin Diesel shows up and says they need a crew so they start gathering up people that had been in all of the Fast and the Furious movies.

Here is where Ricky and I hit a little snag. The Brazilian drug lord talks about how he would like to take the Portuguese approach to expansion which involves gifts and being nice as opposed to the Spanish model of violence. Ricky argues that the Spanish method works better because there are more people that speak Spanish. Here is my argument. Spain has a population of 46 million. Portugal has a population of 10.6 million. There are 431.6 million Spanish speakers in the world (according to Wikipedia) and there are 245.8 million Portuguese speakers in the world. Using a simple ratio there are 9.4 Spanish speakers in the world for every person in Spain but on the other hand there are 23.2 Portuguese speakers for every person in Portugal. Therefore the Portuguese method was more effective based on the ratio of each country's population compared to the total amount of people that speak each language. In other words Ricky and Spain can choke on those numbers.

Back to the movie. If you have seen any of the movies I am guessing they all have similar ideas. The main characters are bad but in a lovable rogue type of way. They do illegal things but they have semi-pure motives. In this particular one they are attempting to steal the drug lord's money while evading the Under Armour sporting Rock. They make a plan and are about to put it in motion when the Rock shows up talking about how they are ninnies for putting a tracker on his car because he is the man. This set up what we had been waiting for, a fight between the Rock and Vin Diesel.

Bald people are so angry. ( I am looking at you Spencer)

The fighting is intense but it ends with all the car jackers in custody. As they are heading out of town there is an ambush and the Rock loses his entire squad. Because of this loss he decides to help the criminals so that he can get revenge on the man who killed his men, the drug lord.

All in all I found this to be an enjoyable movie as long as you suspend your belief that the laws of physics apply in this  movie. It even had some decent Portuguese speaking which is nice for those of us that miss it from time to time. (Jordana Brewster spent part of her childhood in Brazil so that helps.) Sadly it doesn't have as much car racing and fighting as I was hoping, but it had a lot of eye candy for the men as well as for the ladies. That last part has pushed the Dukes to contemplate moving to Brazil because I can in all honesty say that it is a fairly accurate representation of that wonderful country.

Rating 3 stars

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Dukes See a Movie: House Bunny (The First Live Blog)

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen!


Here we have the majority of The Dukes (Zac, Moorman, and myself (Ricky)) and Mary Mo (Morgan) sitting in Morgans living room watching the movie House Bunny, and we've decided to live blog about it and see what happens. I honestly have never considered doing a live blog before so i'm just completely winging it, i'll like pass this off to Zac or Moorman shortly. The movie is a Happy Madison production which usually works for me, I'm not sure if I trust Mary Mo on this one though. So far we have the normal "look lots of hot girls" thing, and the hot girls are of course pretty ditzy, so that's par for the course on movies like that, but bonus points for having Shaquille O'Neil on the cameo. However i've decided that no man should wear a vest without a shirt, that is an incredible fashion faux pa. Oops, she just got kicked out of the mansion, hello first plot point. And the guy wearing a vest without a shirt just got attacked by a cat, that's why  you wear shirts. At this point i'm just rambling, but the movie has been pretty entertaining thus far. Apparently there is a code for unlawful spitting in california. She looks quite good for just getting out of prison. And Morgan is asleep. She's just stumbled across the sorority house and compared it to a mini-playboy mansion. I'm not sure how the sororities across America feel about this. So this one time i took a jackass and honeycomb to a brothel....Shooter McGavin just entered the movie, which makes me super happy, and Emma Watson, who is also an exceptionally good looking lady. And now she is talking like Batman, or at least how Abed talks when he's dressed as Batman. So the message so far, nerdy girls don't know how to do anything with boys, and playboy bunnies are idiots. I want an Abraham Lincoln mouse, I want one now. And here is Zac...

How come real car washes are never like this? If they were I would probably have a much cleaner car and a quicker path to hell. I also agree with the movie that people with body braces are just like the tinman from the Wizard of Oz and should be made fun of. Tom Hanks the younger is in this movie! (Think Orange County) New plot point is developing, hot bunny and Tom Jr. are gonna hook up. Quick side note college is really nothing like this and if it were no one would graduate and the world would come to a crashing halt. I LOVE KARAOKE AND YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SAY YES TO IT! I always knew my singing was sexy. Take that all you doubters.

New best line: Do you wanna get cut bitch?. Make me laugh. I should start using statements like "my heart is going to fall out of my head" but i don't think i could bring myself to be that stupid. Ok they just had a pig attack so that means we're all going to become proper girls and get all dressed and learn how to flirt. Also I have what I feel is a completely legitimate question...where do they get al the money for the makeover and clothes, and the sod they just put down in yard. I mean seriously, have you looked into prices for sod. I just did it and couldn't find anything, but i'm assuming it's not cheap. So yeah. All the girls are all hot now and they're dancing with all the old people so yay for volunteering. Well the battery is dying on this laptop that we're using so I'm gonna sign off and pass it to Zac, the movie is mildly interesting, I'm sure we'll finish the review later.

To answer Ricky's query about sod prices I know that in 2000 it cost around 750 dollars to sod a third acre. So he is right about how it isn't cheap. Why would someone willingly keep wearing a full body brace... They did not just pull out a Forrest Gump scene.  They did and it was super awesome and I will tell you why. One it is always fun riffing off of other movies and Tom Hanks the younger is there so it is okay. It doesn't matter that he is not in that scene so stop judging. Yay for stealing movie ideas! I have decided I hate laptop keyboards on account of my gorilla fingers. For all those interested we are having a sexy costume party this weekend because why shouldn't we? Lies! It said guys don't like girls that are too smart. I find that to be awesome so this movie can suck it.


...And this is the point where Morgan's laptop lost power and we were unable to rouse her from her slumber to charge it up. I guess that makes it a sad day for all you readers because we are not going to finish this review. Blame Morgan if you must cast blame somewhere.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Dukes See a Movie:Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides


We the Dukes have never claimed to be above hyped up movies and strung out film franchises, and now that the formalities are out of the way I can get down to reviewing this movie. Pirates of the Caribbean has been one of my favorite rides at Disneyland for several decades now. (The mid nineties until now at least) Not because it was the best but because in the heat of the summer it is a nice ride to just relax and cool down. Plus the line is never super long. If you had asked me a decade or so ago if an 8 minute ride at Disneyland could be made into four well made and enjoyable movies I would have bet everything against it and I would have been right. Pirates two and three were pretty dang terrible movies. With that sour taste still linger in our mouths and minds we still somehow ended up going to see this movie.

It was my hope that with the removal of dead weight (Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley and their awful love story garbage) and the addition of some new faces (mainly Ian McShane because he can act whereas Penelope Cruz cannot. Okay that was mean; she does a great job in her Spanish films so I take some of it back. Some.) that this series could be rejuvinated. So with this is mind we went in to watch Johnny Depp pirate it up once more.

The movie starts with Gibbs (mutton chopped drunkard from the other movies) being put on trial in London as Jack Sparrow. It just so happens that the real Jack Sparrow has taken the place of the judge and he manages to get the two of them out of the courtroom whole. While riding out of town Gibbs asks if it is true that Jack is putting together a crew to sail to the fountain of youth. Jack claims he isn't but he means to find out who is behind the sullying of his name.

A few daring escapes and fights later we now know that Penelope Cruz was the one acting like Jack and that there are three crews attempting to find the Fountain. They are as follows: Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and his crew of zombies and a captive clergyman and a captive Jack Sparrow, the English privateers captained by a one legged Barbosa, and the Spanish. To use the fountain's power several things are needed. They are two silver chalices from the ship of Ponce De Leon and a mermaid tear.

So the bulk of the movie is the three groups trying to get the items before the others and the fighting between them. A couple things about this movie bothered me. I shall make a list of them since I love lists.
  1. The new characters were very poorly developed at times. I felt nothing for the clergyman and most of the new crews.
  2. This one is actually a branch off of the first one. There is a love story involving the clergyman and a mermaid but the movie doesn't make me care about them at all. When you think he is dead you feel nothing, nothing at all for him. I would feel more for a man who lost his sandwich than I do for this man. The mermaid was a little better but not by much.
  3. When the mermaid is on land she has legs. They don't seem to work but the muscles are too well toned and developed for that to be the case. I think she was just lazy and wanted to be carried.
  4. Last of all was the random magic that Blackbeard possessed. His sword could control his ship and other ships as well. I don't mind that he can do that but I do mind that it never tells you how he came by that power. If there is to be magic I demand an explanation as to why it is there. They explained all the other random things in this movie series but not this and that bothers me.
To be fair I didn't mind this movie. I thought it was better than the 2nd and 3rd movies. I don't feel like I wasted several hours of my life but it isn't one I will see again in the theater. From what I hear they have an agreement to make a total of 8 Pirates movies. I don't know how I feel about that but if I know the Dukes we will probably end up seeing them anyways.

Rating 3 stars

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Stuff Coombsy Says...and Does: Travel Edition

Coombsy is one loveable rogue. It is an undeniable fact, nay a law of nature. Part of this charm comes from the fact that we are never quite sure what he is going to do. Today I am going to share two stories with you to help prove my point.

For years Coombsy fought the idea of owning a cell phone. He thought it would "put him on the grid" so to speak and he wanted none of that. It made getting a hold of him a little bit harder but because it was Coombsy we did it anyways. There came a day where several attempts to reach him at home failed. Sad of heart and downtrodden the Dukes waited for another day to try again. the next day came but with the same results. Coombsy was nowhere to be found. It was causing a mild sense of panic for those of us who were in dire need of a Coombsy fix. The fear and worry got to the point where we were willing to ask his family if they knew what had happened to him, but alas they were as in the dark as we were.

Hours turned to days and days turned into a few more days until finally Coombsy magically appeared with an incredibly random reason for his absence.  HE HAD GONE THE GRAND CANYON BY HIMSELF. That is right, he randomly got the idea that it was something he wanted to see so he got in his car and left. He went and told no one. Not the Dukes, not his family, no one. The best part is he did all this without a cell phone or a real reason to go.

He looks like the type of man that doesn't want the government all up in his business.

Later on in his life Coombsy had finally given in to society and was the owner of a cell phone. He also decided it was time to visit his brother up in Oregon. Don't worry we were well aware of this trip. He went up and enjoyed himself for several days. Sadly the time came for him to come home and rejoin the daily grind.

Coombsy, our intrepid traveler, got up early in the morning and headed for home. I think now is a good time for me to let you in on a condition Coombsy has been suffering with for years. His sense of direction is completely backwards. It usually just manifests itself in him incorrectly saying whether he is going down or up to a certain place (one of my pet peeves). This day however would have far more dire results.

He was traveling a fair clip and thought to himself that he was making great time. For hours it continued on this way. "Surely I must be nearing Boise now" (To get back to Salt Lake from Oregon you either go through Boise or Winnemucca and you never should go to Winnemucca unless you want to be a part of the Winnemucca Run-a-mucca bike rally.) As he thought those fateful words this is what he saw.
That's right he was in Seattle. He had driven for hours in the completely wrong direction. Needless to say he was not a happy camper. After a brief stop at a gas station to look at a map to double check his locale he made his lonely sojourn back south. Like any sane person he couldn't face the entire drive in one go so he spent another night with his brother.
These are the things that make Coombsy Coombsy and in my opinion that is what he gets for constantly saying going down to Logan and going up to Provo.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Dukes See a Movie: Thor


 In rating and reviewing this movie I must admit some bias. My Dad was born in Sweden and because of this I am a fan of almost all things Scandinavian: Swedish meatballs, IKEA, The Swedish Chef, Bjorn Borg, ABBA and the Swedish Bikini Team. I have also been known to call to my native Gods for some “Viking Power” to smite my enemies or more likely to win at a game of air hockey. So with all of these things swaying my vote I will do my best to be an impartial judge of this movie. 


Going into this movie I was hoping for the best but I was a little nervous for a few reasons. The first reason being the fact that Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter) was directing the movie. Don't get me wrong I have enjoyed many of the films he has directed but he had almost exclusively dealt in all things Shakespearean. I didn't know how that would translate to an action film.  Second I wasn't sure how Chris Hemsworth would do as Thor since his biggest role to date had been him as James T. Kirk's father in the most recent Star Trek movie. Luckily for myself and the millions of others who went to see the movie both played out their roles very well.


The movie starts with a quick glimpse of Thor and Loki as children while they are being told that one day one of them would be king and that it is quite a responsibility. It quickly changes to show an adult Thor full of swagger heading up to his father Odin to be crowned king. As he is about to receive this honor one of the vaults holding their enemies greatest weapons is attacked. The guardian takes care of the problem but the situation leads to Thor showing off his impetuous nature. Thor demands that they go to war with the frost giants. He claims it is to put them in their place but it is more so he can gain personal glory in combat. Odin tells him that by no means can he leave Asgard(their home) to fight. Thor being himself leaves with his friends and brother and attacks the Frost Giants. Because of this attack war is declared and Odin banishes Thor to Earth and strips him of his power. He does send down Mjolnir(Thor's battle hammer) and says that whosoever has the right heart...or something...with be able to wield the power of Thor. While he is gone Loki starts plotting to take over the kingdom which is totally what the God of mischief would do.


To be honest I think that the director's background in Shakespeare helped this movie in a good number of ways. I think it led to better character development and it blended the action in with the comedy very well. All the supporting actors did a great job as well to make me love this movie (almost as much as I love Bjorn Borg. He is the real reason why I started wearing a headband for tennis.).
He even kind of looks like Thor.
So to wrap things up I really enjoyed this movie. The acting was great, the directing was well done and there were some rather funny lines that kept this movie a lighthearted affair. There has been talk of a Thor 2 and 3 and personally I hope it happens so I won't feel as out of place when I bust out my Viking costume and start to pillage the surrounding countryside. I also will be able to use new phrases to show I am surprised or outraged like "by Odin's beard!" or "by the ghosts of Valhalla!" or "by Loki's slacks!"(ok so all of them didn't work but it is a work in progress).


Rating 4.5 stars

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Dukes See a Movie: Red Riding Hood

 
One random Wednesday not so long ago we had a choice, watch the Conspirator or Red Riding Hood, who knew that one simple choice would lead us to such suffering and senseless pain. Seven friends made their way into the theater not knowing they had all made a decision that they would come to regret for all the remaining days of their lives.
 
When we first saw the preview we thought to ourselves that it was an attempt to get the Twilight crowd excited about something new. As time progressed we saw a few more clips of the show and a couple of things started to turn our way of thinking around.  To be honest I think Amanda Seyfried is hot and that Gary Oldman is a great actor. Those are the things that pushed me through the theater doors. that and an ill conceived notion on mine and Lindsey's part that we didn't have to be a part of the voting for what movie we should go and see.
 
In the end this movie turned out to be a teenage love triangle full of angst and emo-ishness. Amanda loves some wood cutter dude but she is betrothed to a blacksmith dude.  Red (I will refer to Amanda as Red, the woodcutter as Axe and the blacksmith as Anvil from here on out) decides that she is going to run away with Axe but before she can do that Red finds out that her sister has been killed by the werewolf so her running away is being postponed by mourning and such.
 
To get back at the beast they bring in a famous werewolf hunter, Gary Oldman. (I think I will call him Bane) To be honest I don't even want to tell you about the rest of the movie it was that blah. Instead I will tell you where the movie failed and how it should feel bad for what it has done.
 
  • It actually used the phrases "my, what big eyes you have" and all that crap. Why would anyone put that in a movie that they would like people to take seriously?
  • The forest was full of spike trees (see poster) and not a single person got impaled. Why would you have spike trees if they aren't going to actually do anything? I would have even settled for a gash or small cut.
  • They decided that in a tiny medieval village freak dancing would not be out of place at all. What the crap were they thinking? You can't freak dance to a lute and flutes.
  • Bane brought a giant metal elephant with him. Turns out it was a 15 ton Roman torture device. There is no way he would have brought that up in the mountains when there are thousands of portable torture devices and methods.
  • I didn't like Axe or Anvil. I wanted them both to be eaten.
  • I thought the sets were decent and the music worked for the most part. (I had to say one nice thing)
Well that is enough ranting for me. This movie attempted to be a lot of things: horror, fantasy, mystery, suspense and a love/angst story, but it didn't manage to do any one of these things well.

Rating 1.5 stars

Monday, May 9, 2011

Stuff Coombsy Says...and Does

Coombsy is a man that everyone loves. If you don't like Coombsy you have no reason or right to live. Part of his inherent charm stems from his generally mellow demeanor and winning smile, but the best part of this man about town is his uncanny ability to say something incredibly random or to do something that would leave the sagest of men baffled. It is because of this great gift I have decided to start a section dedicated to Coombsy and his incredible randomness.
How can you not love that face?
For this inaugural story I thought I would share one short phrase that Coombsy will never be able to live down. That phrase is "I hate black people." Just so all of you are aware Coombsy is not racist but is rather far from it.  This is how the events of that night occurred.
 
In was a fine weekday evening and the dukes were having a nice relaxing time shooting the breeze and watching television. As we often do we were making fun of the shows and also some ridiculous commercials. It was during one such commercial break that Coombsy uttered those ill fated words. 

This is what happened from my perspective. The commercial showed a group of black people sitting down and enjoying a meal. I looked over and saw a strange look on Coombsy's face. I didn't think much of it and went back to watching the commercial. I wasn't very fond of the commercial but I ignored it for the most part until Coombsy blurted out I hate black people. We all stopped, looked at him and just started to laugh. He seemed puzzled but then it dawned on him what he had just said and gave us a sheepish grin.(See picture above) He proceeded to tell us his side of the story.

Coombsy did present a solid case about what he meant to say albeit in a rather frantic manner. As it so happened the commercial was full of racial stereotypes including fried chicken and watermelon among other things. While he was seeing these things he thought to himself that black people must hate this commercial because of how the community was portrayed. Coombsy thought it was a valid point for discussion and decided he would bring it up. Sadly his mind didn't give his mouth the full message. My guess is that part of his original thought is still wandering about his body looking for escape.


So in the future whenever you hear us say Coombsy hates black people you will understand that the truth of the matter is that he doesn't hate black people but his vocal chords might.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Dukes Start a Firm

As many of you may have noticed by this point, we’re kind of a movie based group of guys. Lots of quotes from movies, lots of ideas from movies, lots of time spent watching movies. So recently when Zac and I were watching a movie called the Green Street Hooligans (4 out of 5 stars) we learned about a lifestyle that we had never even heard about before, that of soccer firms. Now for those of you who aren’t intimately familiar with the details of soccer in Great Britain, a familiarity I did not have before watching this movie (honestly I still don’t have it); one thing that they apparently do over there is create what are called firms. A firm is basically a gang that goes to the soccer games and afterwards organizes fights with the other team’s firm. In the movie it’s portrayed as an extremely violent group of guys, with some people even dying during the brawls and random bystanders having their head bashed into the dinner table because they couldn’t keep their girlfriend quiet while one of the members of a firm was trying to have conversation (legitimate reason for a beating right?). These firms aren’t quite a gang like you would normally think of it because what you get with gangs like the Mafia (Russian or Cosa Nostra whichever you prefer) or the Bloods and the Crips is an almost businesslike attitude. They sell drugs, pimp out prostitutes, and collect protection money among other lucrative activities. What you have with a soccer firm is essentially super-fans with some anger issues. So as Zac and I were watching this movie, we both independently came to the same completely logical, rational and safe decision: The Utah Jazz needs a firm, and we’re going to be it.


I'd imagine this is what the members of the firm will look like
Becoming the firm for the Utah Jazz was the only possible conclusion after watching this movie. The Jazz already have a home crowd that, up until last season, was notoriously the most loud, and angry crowd out there. We’ll be the enforcers of this crowd. It will be our job to walk around the Energy Solutions Arena and its surrounding areas and intimidate fans of the other teams with physical threats, loud jeers, and hurtful comments about how their team is nowhere near as magnificent as ours. We will be known throughout the country (and Canada) as the most semi-violent, well-read, sometimes-angry firm out there.



As far as membership is concerned, all are welcome to join us! However at this time we are in need of an independently wealthy benefactor to pay for our court side season tickets, our first class plane tickets and court side away tickets, and also cover any fines and/or court fees that are the result of celebrating/mourning the wins/losses. We will be known as “The West-side Boys” (T-shirts and hats will be provided) due to the fact that original membership all lives on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley.

What we lack in name-making creativity we will supplement with a pure, unbridled rage in support of our basketball team. Every win will be celebrated with looting, riots, and torching of multiple cars; all losses will be mourned similarly. We will leave a wake of destruction and happiness wherever we tread. At home we will defend our abode and support our team while viciously demeaning the visiting team. On the road we will invade their home court like the crusaders of old (the ones who won, not the ones who died slow painful deaths in the desert from dehydration and scorpion stings). We will conquer their women and pillage their nacho stands in the name of the Jazz!

For years to the name “West-side Boys” will be synonymous the three things: The Utah Jazz, The smell of burning rubber, and blazing nacho carts.

 
 

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Dukes See a Movie: Arthur


I am guessing most of our readers have not seen the original so I won't spend a ton of time comparing the two. (I apologize if you have seen the original Dudley Moore version but you can't blame me for my assumption.) The only thing I will say is that in the original his mother and nanny are played by dudes. By dudes I mean it is his father and butler rather than mother and nanny.

Russell Brand plays a loveable drunk who also happens to be the sole heir to an incredibly large business empire. He enjoys his life of wild parties and nonstop fun but his mother (called Vivian by Brand) can see that the shareholders are afraid of what the future holds with someone so irresponsible at the helm of the company.

In order to fix that his mother gives him an ultimatum. Marry Jennifer Garner (who will in truth control the company) or be cut off from the family fortune. Brand finds himself in a bit of a quandary seeing as how he met and started falling for a girl who happens to be quite odd herself.

The movie which was quite funny also had quite a few serious issues laced throughout. I will mention three of them.
                                                                                 *SPOILER ALERT*
  1. Alcoholism- Brand is seen in nearly every scene drinking some sort of alcohol. Most of the time he handles it well but you can see how it debilitates him. It shows Brand attempting to go to an AA meeting and having it not go very well.  Later on he gives it another go for the woman he loves and it shows him earning his 6 months sober coin.
  2. Death- In the film it tells us that Brand lost his father when he was quite young and that pushed him closer to his nanny. Sadly in the film the nanny Hobson (Helen Mirren) gets quite sick and is unable to work. Her sickness led him to find some modicum of self dependence but he falls to pieces when she dies and he no longer has someone to take care of him.
  3. Mother Son Relationships- His mother isn't really the loving type so that also helped push him closer to his nanny. Brand never is able to feel comfortable around his mother since she is constantly pushing him to do what she wants. This gets a little better when Brand changes his life and stands up to her.
Well enough with the serious stuff. This movie really is a comedy and it is one of the rare ones where the comedy continually felt fresh. As pointed out by Nathan most comedies these days start to feel old partway through the movie. This one didn't feel that way partly because of the writing and also Brand's comedic timing. A few of the gems involved a giraffe and a monocle, his fear of horses and story time at a bookstore. When all was said and done I enjoyed this movie.

Rating 3.5 stars.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Dukes See A Movie: Hanna

 

As was mentioned in the review for Your Highness there was a recent divide among The Dukes over the attendance to the aforementioned movie. While my standards and reasoning for not attending Your Highness with Zac and Coombsy are nowhere near as laudable as Zac made them out be (seriously, ask Zac why I didn’t see it and let me know what he says) they were still enough to push me to do something which I have never done before in my entire life: See a movie by myself.


My first thought was “Who am I going to make fun of this movie with?” because after seeing previews and reading the plot to this movie, I was completely prepared to lampoon it to the briny depths. The premise seemed absurd, and appeared to be no more than a rehashed coming of age story about a little girl growing up and so forth. The previews honestly did absolutely nothing for me. I was not planning on seeing this movie at all, but then this opportunity arose (it was playing at the same time as Your Highness) and I took it; and was once again shown that more often than not, I have no idea what in the hell I’m talking about.

The movie starts with Hanna, a teenage girl, in the middle of nowhere hunting a caribou or something. After killing the caribou she is busy doing the post killing stuff (gutting, skinning, preparing and so forth) when she is viciously attacked by a strange man. They spar for a while, with Hanna finally getting the best of him. The man turns out to be her father and the two of them live in the middle of the frozen tundra (it never really says where that I can recall) For all intents and purposes it appears that Hanna’s father is training her to be a survivalist/killer, which you actually find out is exactly what he is doing. Filling her brain with knowledge (he reads to her from the encyclopedia every night) and not much else (when she asks what music is, instead of explaining it by possibly singing, humming or whistling, he turns to the entry for music in the encyclopedia and reads it to her). Eventually Hanna tells her father that she is ready, the audience is still in the dark about what she is ready for, but her father pulls out a radio transmitter which, when turned on, will notify an agency of the US government (it never really calls it the CIA, but it’s kind of assumed) who will then apparently come to find them. Hanna activates the transmitter while her father leaves before the people come to find them. They have plans to meet up at a later point after different goals have apparently been accomplished. The movie kind of continues from there, Hanna is picked up by the agency, escapes her initial holding cell, and is chased around by said agency. It has a very Sci-fi/action-adventure feel to it, but mixed it with it is a coming of age story that actually works, add a dash of “twisted version of little red riding hood” and you’ve got yourself a pretty entertaining movie.

This movie had a bit of everything, good story, interesting plot, and some exceptionally well choreographed fight scenes. I honestly enjoyed watching Hanna transition into the real world, even though more often than not I’m not a huge fan of this “watch a girl learn and grow” films. It was interesting to see how the portrayed her first interactions with someone other than her father, and also how she reacted to the world, with her first experiences with music and so forth. It also helps when part of that transition is her flipping a kid who tried to kiss her for the first time on his back, then apologizing and thanking him for a nice evening. The reason that she is hiding from the CIA, err, sorry, “Unnamed Agency” is kind of obvious as it’s been used in multiple movies, but it’s still a fun ride. Kate Blanchet does an excellent job being a heartless woman, and Saoirse Ronan provided an excellent show as being a little psychotic girl with no real world experience.

One thing that I feel I should mention in regards to this movie is that I purchased the soundtrack. I never do that. I’m actually kind of anti-movie soundtracks. While I appreciate the importance of music in movies (I know exactly what it will sound like when a shark tries to eat me now, thanks to Jaws) I’ve never been the type to go buy the soundtrack. This movie, however, had one of the best sound tracks I’ve ever heard, done incredibly well by The Chemical Brothers. When there is about to be a fight or an exciting scene, you feel it through the music more than anything. The song “The Devil is in the details” gets in your head and will not leave, which is kind of creepy when you associate it with the movie and the guy who whistles it.

All in all Hanna was a pleasant surprise. Would I purchase it, probably not, but would I see it again, in a heartbeat.

4 out of 5 stars


-Ricky

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This Blog is Awesome: Or Why You Should Follow This Blog

That movie is and example of what will happen if you do not follow us. Zac will dress up in a panda costume and terrorize you at work and at home.

Ladies and Gentlemen for a couple months now we’ve been trying to provide a solid piece of entertainment here. This blog was the brain child of bad Chinese food and too much caffeine with a little friendly nudge from Chris Adams. We decided to spread the joy that is us through the internet, with stories that we have and reviews of movies we’ve seen. Honestly I think that I’ve enjoyed it more than anyone else, however, in recent days and weeks we’ve noticed a disturbing trend. While we have quite a few visits from different people, we don’t have that many followers. We appreciate those who have made the commitment to follow us, I know that it has been a rollercoaster of emotions and we appreciate your stability.

That being said, shame on those of you who read and do not take the time to click the follow button!

Reading the blog but not following it is like jumping out of a plane without a parachute. Sure you get the thrill that those who jump with the parachute get, but you lose the safety of knowing that we know who you are; which is safety indeed.

As an incentive to encourage people to follow our blog, we promise to do something crazy (pronounced: ku-RAY-zee) once we have 100 followers. This crazy (continue with pronunciation instructions previously given) thing will likely be either Zac cutting his hair and me dyeing mine. However these are negotiable we’re always open to suggestion. Now that is the positive reinforcement. If we do not get the 100 followers shortly, then we will begin with the negative reinforcement which may include shooting hostages (albeit the only two hostages we have are Moorman and Coombsy but you’ve got to start somewhere) also there may be other negative repercussions. So please take us seriously.

Yay for following the Intrepid Dukes!