Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Dukes make random crap up: A disclaimer

As this blog becomes more popular (at least that is what we are telling ourselves is happening) we struggle to find ways to better entertain our followers, or the people who randomly stumble across this lovely piece internet by searching Google for “Red Sonja, Impregnated” (really happened). One idea came from our new friend Morgan. Due to the fact that she travels quite a bit, she has decided to take pictures of random strangers in the airport, send them to us, and then allows us to invent stories of who they are, and where they are going. Yes this is kind of creepy and yes if she gets caught taking the pictures she may have a difficult time explaining herself, but for you dear reader, we are willing to take those risks. Please be advised, however, that we do not actually know the people in the pictures, and the stories we make up about them are completely fictional. Any resemblance to an actual person or occurrence is a coincidence. Also at this time we would like to open the flood gates and invite anyone to send in pictures to our email:, and we will happily make up stories about them as well. Just include “the Dukes make random crap up” in the subject line. We deny any responsibility for what happens during the taking of the pictures, and no inappropriate pictures please. Thanks!

The Dukes

This man is obviously a hired assassin. Note the way he walks through an airport with no luggage whatsoever, the reason for this can only be one of three things: 1. He will pick up his instruments of death and his assignment when he lands at his destination, 2. His body is his weapon or 3. He actually works at the airport and isn’t flying anywhere. I’d tend to lean towards number 2. This man has obviously been trained but none other than the drunken master himself: Jackie Freakin Chan. Some people may say that Mr. Chan has lost his touch, when you look at movies like “The Spy Next Door” and “The Tuxedo”. The man in this picture however, would not take kindly to you dishonoring his sensei in such a manner. It is obvious by the way he carries himself that he is willing to kill, without second thought or remorse. Each muscle in this man’s body teems with power, aching to be released in some violent manner, be that removing and insurgent’s spine like The Predator, or killing a corporate enemy by flicking his spleen repeatedly with his pinky finger. This man will take any job if the price is right. Based on his clothing choice I would say that he is currently preparing to fly down to Brazil, most likely to take out the leader of some pansy environmentalist movement who has his hemp panties in a wad over the destruction of the Amazon or some other myth like that. Note the black pants that will blend in well as he wades through the rivers and bogs, the teal shirt meshing in with the water’s surface as he prepares to use the anaconda he just killed with his teeth as a bullwhip. This man will be able to sneak up on Hippy McTreehugger easily (due to the fact that Hippy has chained himself to the tree) He will then proceed to choke Mr. McTreehugger to death with said chain. After completing his contract he will disappear into the shadows of the canopy, making bird calls as he goes to cover up any sound he may make, the loudest of which would only be a whisper to even the most highly trained human ear. He will return to his quaint apartment where his will wait until the phone rings with another job, another person who needs to be removed from the face of the earth, painfully if possible. His name is Tyler, but the few witnesses that have seen his work and survived know him only as “Death, in business casual”.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Dukes See a Movie: Battle: Los Angeles.

At least it wasn't Skyline.

That single sentence should tell you what I feel about this show. While it wasn't the worst movie that I have ever seen, it did not live up to my expectations. However, sitting here in my basement, looking at the poster for this show, and contemplating the loss of an hour of sleep for stupid daylight savings time, I don't quite understand why my hopes were as high as they were.

Battle: Los Angeles (heretofore known as BLA) is an alien invasion movie. Given our recent history with these kind of movies (Skyline being chief among them) I was looking forward to an entertaining take on this old idea. BLA was a promising option, the previews showed what looked to be a combination of Black Hawk Down and Independence Day. I must say it was both intriguing and exciting. Unfortunately the movie did not live up to the expectations which I had for it.

The movie starts out with what is interpreted as a meteor shower heading towards earth, however these are not meteors at all but are in fact: ALIENS! (Scary I know) BLA follows a Marine unit that is assigned to pick up a group of civilians that are stuck behind enemy lines in a police station. They make it to the police station after losing half of their unit to a ambush that relied heavily upon a dog named Glen (it's not as entertaining or creative as it sounds). After making it to the police station they locate the civilians and load their injured into a helicopter which is then blown up by the aliens. The unit is then tasked with finding a way to get themselves and the civilians they have "saved" back to the forward operating base which is located at the Santa Monica Airport. Chaos and fighting ensue with more marines and a couple civilians dying. The marines make it back to the airport to find it destroyed. The Staff Sergent gives a wonderful speach, where one minute he names the soldier's names and serial numbers that have died while under his command, and how important they were to him, and in the next breathe says that none of that matters now (not the most motivational thing to say to the men that you're most likely going to lead to their all-to-soon deaths but whatever). The Marines then make it to a pickup zone where some helicopter miraculously survives picking them up and takes them almost to the rendezvous point, at which point the Marines figure out what they need to do to defeat the aliens, jump out of the copter in a very "all for one, one for all" moment and go about bringing that to pass.

In the end there were a few reasons that I was disappointed in this film. The first was the script. I could have written a better script for this movie, and if you've read any of this blog you know just how powerful of a statement that is. The actors that starred in this movie are quite good and all have had parts in other movies where they have done quite excellent work, the fact that everything they seemed to say in this movie was some trite gibberish leads me to believe that the writers didn't have enough experience or guts to try something new. The second thing that bothered me was the fact that this movie covered every cliche in both the sci-fi and military movie book. From the aforementioned motivational speech by the commander with something to prove, to the "yay we blew it up, oh dear there was something bigger under it" situation. Finally we have the ever present "we are the only military group in the entire world that can figure out how to defeat the aliens, and then succesfully accomplish said defeat". Why there is only a small group of elite soldiers that can scrape together the brains and the brawn to succeed in defeating an alien invasion is beyond me, but that always seems to be the case. Those were my three main issues, Zac had a different point of view that was irritating to him, and that was the fact that in the little mini-newscasts that it would show from time to time on a tv or something, the newsticker (which personally I don't think anyone pays attention to in real life or in the movies) said that the Dow Jones had dropped by 5,000 points or something. However the Dow Jones has a fail-safe that will prevent any further trading if it goes down by 1,050 points before 2:30 pm and since the attack took place in the morning, said fail-safe would have been tripped and there would have been no further trading. Why Zac noticed this is beyond me, but the fact remains that perfection is found in the details. Let this be a warning to all directors out there, the Dukes are watching the Details. (Zac will now be referred to as "The Duke of Details")

In conclusion, if you're looking for a decent movie, that has enough action to keep you entertained for two hours, and every cliche that you can ever think of, go see BLA. If you're looking for emmy award winning writing, and something ground breaking in the realm of military films, go see something else. However for once I would like someone to recognize that even though we defeat the aliens, we're still screwed.

2.5 stars

The Dukes See a Movie: Rango

This past weekend the dukes went and saw Rango, the first animated feature film by George Lucas's company Industrial Light and Magic. Right off the bat I had three reasons to love this movie.
  1. The aforementioned fact that it is George Lucas's company. (I love me some Star Wars and Indiana Jones. the original trilogies on both accounts)
  2. They didn't offer this movie in 3D. I am sick of 3D movies and it seems that every single movie that is animated is advertised saying "Hey look at our fancypants movie in 3D. That means it must be a winner of a film."
  3. Two words. Johnny Depp. He has never made a movie worse, pretty much he is the bacon of men. Add either one to a recipe and it is bound to improve.
It was with this favorable outlook that I made my way into the theater. As the movie started I knew we had made a good choice in going to see this movie. It had a mariachi band made up of owls singing the tale of Rango. Pretty much that is the best variety of non human mariachi players you can find.
I mean look at how adorable they are in their little hats.

They look like they are having so much fun. I guess they don't know they have just been replaced by birds.

 Well I guess I should get on with the actual story. We meet Rango as he is pretending to direct and act in a scene with a bunch of plastic oddities like a palm tree, a wind up fish and a headless barbie torso. A few seconds later you find out that he is in a terrarium in the back of a station wagon cruising down the highway in the middle of the desert. Quick as a flash the cars on the road are forced to swerve and in the chaos Rango is launched from the vehicle and winds up in the desert. An armadillo that has a tire mark on his stomach give our intrepid hero a task to follow his shadow until he finds Dirt. (This is how all good tasks begin)

So he walks. As it turns out Dirt is a township on the brink of disaster. Our hero meets a girl named Beans (her father loved beans and as it turns out he died after getting super drunk and falling down a mine shaft) and she tells him that the giant water spigot that gave the town life has run dry and it hasn't rained in quite a while. Rango sees this town as his chance to actually use his acting skills (Remember the opening scene?). He claims to be one bad mofo and makes up a story about how he killed seven outlaw brothers with one bullet.

After a few strange mishaps he accidentally takes out a hawk and is given the post of town sheriff. Needless to say he is about as good at his job as I would be if I were asked to compete in the high jump. (For those of you that aren't quite sure who I am just know that I cannot jump worth a darn. You would be lucky to slide a piece of paper under my foot as I "leave" the ground in my aerial pursuits.) His biggest mistake came when he directed some would be bank robbers to the bank where all the water is stored. The next day as you might imagine all the water is gone.

Rango feels bad for what he has done and he creates a posse to search after the thieves. When they finally meet up with them they find that there is a huge band of rodents with whom they will have to contend. I did learn one awesome fact at this point. Bats blow up like fighter jets when they hit canyon walls. This came about in a pretty intense chase scene where the posse is trying to run with the giant water jug strapped to a wagon.

In the end Rango is shown to be a fake. He meets up with Clint Eastwood in a golf cart and learns that he can be a hero and he does just that. He finds out why the water has stopped and he undoes all the damage that an old tortoise had done. I found this film to be very entertaining and very well animated. I hope that ILM decides to do another animated feature soon. One the whole it made me laugh and I enjoyed the fact that none of the characters could be considered cuddly (the owls are adorable not cuddly). Way to stick it to the man. We have had our fill of cute. It was time for something like Rango.

Notice how uncuddly they are. I love it.

Strangely enough all of the Dukes liked the movie so I can't rant about how one person has poor taste. Although there is a certain Duchess that has the same taste in movies as she does in food. She didn't like the movie but she likes peanut butter and mustard sandwiches. What is wrong with her?

Rating: 4 stars

A Rebuttal To The Rebuttal

Et Tu Brute

Twilight: A Rebuttal

While we as Dukes are often in complete agreement about nearly all matters, moving and acting as one, there are some points where we differ. One of these points was brought to light with a recent poll question posted by Zac. The question was “which of the following movies based on a book series is your favorite”. While the options were all exceptional I chose to vote, multiple times and from different computers, for Twilight. My reasons for doing this were twofold:

1. To irritate Zac: While Zac’s hatred for the Twilight ‘saga’ ,as it had been named, is known throughout the land; I continually find myself rooting for it, if for no other reason than to watch his pupils dilate with rage. For me, Twilight is the CJ Miles of books. Though in reality it is terrible literature and hardly succeeds in what is trying to do, I find myself cheering for it for no other reason other than to laugh as Zac threatens me. (Threats which will one day, likely quite soon after he reads this post, come to pass) While I understand that this is not a valid reason and is honestly quite a blaring weak spot in my moral fiber I cannot help but laugh to myself, even has he mercilessly beats me to a pulp. Edward is not a name that you will be able to use Zac, not now.

Twilight: 1 Zac: 0

2. Cultural aspect: Here we have a series of books that no one really took seriously when it was first suggested (Stephanie Meyer had to go through nine different publishing companies before she found one that would risk it) This series has literally changed the face of modern culture. This book series which has been so reviled, has single handedly created a new section at Barnes and Noble, now for any who may so desire, they can find all their abnormal romance needs in the “teen paranormal romance” section. For that we all owe a great debt of gratitude to this grand book series. Out of the other options (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, and James Bond) which series has been able to mold an entire subculture of tweens? Which of those series has made more teenage girls cry? Which of those series has allowed more middle aged women to look longingly at underage men without legal repercussions? None of them. Not a single one. While Twilight has done all of those things, without hardly batting an eye. Kudos to you Twilight.

Twilight: 2 Zac: 0

In conclusion I would like to place the following disclaimer on this article:

Yes I have read all of the Twilight books, and yes I have seen the movies. In my personal opinion the books were borderline decent, not well written, but still entertaining, and the movies were an atrocity (If I had voted my actual conscience on the poll and not just to irritate the readers and skew the results I would have said James Bond, because who in the hell doesn’t like James Bond, no one, that’s who. If you don’t, you’re a communist) However as always I must play the devil’s advocate and defend my position, whether or not I agree with it in any way shape or form. I hope that all who read this realize that this post is not an actual reflection of my opinion and is a satire. I love Zac and cry with him when he cries and rage with him when he rages about the loss of his middle name. One day it will be returned my friend, in the mean time you can just plan on naming your first son after your dearest friend: Coombsy. (It has to be Coombsy though; you can’t name him Cameron, because that is a dumb name)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Dukes See a Movie: Red Sonja

Last Wednesday we were passing time in our realm of Dukehood (otherwise known as Zac’s man cave) pondering how we were going to spend the rest of our night. Ideas of basketball and television were thrown around, seeing as how it was the middle of the week, we didn’t have any extravagant plans. We settled on searching the wonderful world of Comcast on Demand. After sifting through what was mostly garbage wrapped in more garbage we stumbled upon a movie that made two of the four Dukes quake in fear and rage: Red Sonja

As soon as this title came up both Coombsy and Zac reviled against the abomination, screaming all sorts of vulgar epitaphs in opposition to the validity of this movie as anything but rubbish, with Zac even going so far as to say it was the worst Five dollars he’s ever spent (and he has purchased a KFC Double Down) However our roots run deep in the belief of MST3K, and I was able to convince the rest of the group to watch Red Sonja, stating that we would be able to rip the movie to shreds laughing maniacally as we comically mangled what was being detested as one of the worst movies the two had ever seen. How I overestimated our abilities, and underestimated the power of this fell beast most foul.

The event started out in grand fashion; with our rapier wit we disemboweled this train wreck of a movie, shifting from one scene to the next picking out parts, characters, and lines like an African Lion picks out a weak or infirm water buffalo; we were unstoppable. We noticed things, like the fact than every character that wasn’t an absolute idiot, or at the very least was never definitively proven to be an absolute idiot, had an awesome hat or head piece, whereas the characters which repeatedly showed themselves the fool, were relegated to the realm of headpieceless…ness. We laughed as the main character, a ginger, stumbled through both her lines as well as her terribly choreographed fight scenes, like a drunk might stumble through a crowded...umm...area. And we cheered as Arnold Schwarzenegger basked in his own muscley glory, with little to no definitive purpose in the movie as a whole.

Unfortunately the triumph we felt from this brilliant discovery was short lived. As the movie dragged on I could feel what little was left of my soul being sucked out, my quick wit and cherubic attitude was slowly being worn away into anger and disillusionment. Despite all my boastings of the opposite happening, we were losing everything of which we were proud and held dear to this ghastly atrocity.

Coombsy left half way through the movie simply stating “I can’t take anymore of this” I tried to emasculate him with comments like “Don’t be a pansy, we can totally beat this movie” and “pansy” but inside I knew he was doing what was right, I knew that there was no way that we could succeed against a monster such as this, a monster the likes of which I had never before nor ever since, seen. Secretly I envied Coombsy’s courage to accept, nay, embrace, the inevitable. There were moments that I mumbled courageous words, mostly to myself, along the lines of “I’m gonna leave in a couple minutes” and “I’m tired, that’s why I’m not leaving” but in truth the movie had taken my will, I was Red Sonja’s, in mind, body and spirit, and try as I might, there was nothing that I could do about it.

After 89 minutes of torture, pain, and incomprehensible mental anguish, the movie mercifully ended. I was left in somewhat of a stupor, not knowing what to say, where to go, what to think. My world had been shattered in the time it takes to enjoy a decent meal. I desperately searched for someone to blame, someone had to pay for my suffering, but there was no culpable party but myself. I had attempted the impossible, and had paid the ultimate price.

In the end I view watching Red Sonja as a learning experience, but allow me to share with you all that there is to be learned from this movie and save you, dear reader, from having to pay a price of my folly. The lesson is simply this: Fun hats cannot save a movie.

I beg of you to avoid this movie at all costs. Treat it as you would a leper; attach a little bell to it and every time you hear said bell, run for your life. For those of you who feel that I am being overly dramatic about the whole situation, watch Red Sonja for yourself, and feel its wrath.

0 out of 5 stars.


I would like to take a moment to let everyone know just how I feel about how things went down. I WARNED HIM THAT IT WAS ONE OF THE WORST MOVIES EVER MADE!!! Ok now I feel a little bit better. In my own life Red Sonja stands out as one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. I was an innocent young lad who made the mistake of buying a movie on a whim and boy did I pay for it. Red Sonja had faded to a dull throb in the back of my mind but that fateful night the pain returned with extra vigor.

Never watch this movie. Ever. If given the option of death by fire ants or watch Red Sonja, tell them to bring on the ants. I give you this advise as the only man living to have seen the movie twice. Please don't repeat my mistake. I promise you it isn't worth the suffering.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How Twilight Nearly Destroyed Our Blog and My Life.

Recently we had a poll asking what was your favorite book series turned into a movie series. I included some obvious options including the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. I also had some dark horse candidates in James Bond and the Chronicles of Narnia. It was my fifth option that caused me such grief. Taken in one of my flights of fancy I thought it would be amusing if I included Twilight in the poll. "There is no way it will even get one vote" I boldly declared. "Do we even have any female followers?" was my next quip.

Here is where things took a turn towards darkness. After a few days I decided to look up the results of the poll. I am not ashamed to admit that I openly wept at what I saw. Here I was a writer and developer for a decidely male blog (all of the contributors are male and so our content and opinions are somewhat biased in that sense.) and I see something nearly as evil as Gargamel punching a cute puppy for being cute... Twilight was in a tie for the lead with LOTR.

This may have been taken on my mission but even then I knew it was meant for other things. Its destiny was to be a visual representation of my battered spirits after the Twilight news.

How could this have happened? Did I misjudge the makeup of our readership? Why did I have to include Twilight as an option? What do I do now? In times of trial why does my mind only think in short clipped questions? All of these things and more ran rampant through my mind. After a few hours of crying and power napping I had made up my mind on one thing. I would give the people what they wanted regardless of what it did to my soul.

But what to do to make our Twilight fans happy? I decided that every post I did from that point on would include vampires or sparkly people. I started growing out my hair and got to the point where I could pull off some wicked emo hair. (To be honest I still can. I haven't had a haircut in 8+ months) I started watching and reading all things angsty and teenagey. All of this I did for a readership that had snuck up on me. They were destroying my sense of self and sucking me into their world of apathy and boredom.

This is what I was becoming...well a slightly more handsome and enjoyable version.
 As I was ready to finally succumb to this sad, sad life I looked at the poll results one more time. Never have you seen a happier man. LOTR had pulled into a 67 percent lead that it would never relinquish. I have never been more grateful for a handful of votes. The moment I saw the results I brushed the hair out of my eyes,smiled and hugged a random passerby. He got kinda weirded out and my explanation didn't seem to help my case at all but I had to share my joy with someone.

I would like to point out that this experience taught me a few things:
  • First never put Twilight in a poll.
  • Second I can't let our readers push me around
  • And third I need to kill Ricky for being the cause of all the Twilight votes. Don't think I don't know it was you. You best hide because one day soon I am coming for you. I mean it you should be quaking in fear as you read this.
So in conclusion I would just like to say that my hair is getting pretty long and that I hate Twilight for what they have done to the name Edward and for destroying vampire stories and movies for years to come. If you were expecting some kind of well thought out summary with a touching quote or personal story you are probably reading the wrong blog.