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