Monday, January 10, 2011

The Dukes See a Movie: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Having seen the movie twice and also being the only duke to have recently read the book I was given the task of reviewing this movie. In the third installment of the Chronicles of Narnia we see the return of the two youngest Pevensie children to Narnia. The movie starts with Edmund and Lucy living with their Aunt and Uncle in wartime England. They desperately want out and their incredibly annoying cousin Eustace (skillfully portrayed by Will Poulter-Son of Rambow ) does nothing to lessen these feelings.

One day while arguing a painting comes to life and engulfs the three of them in water. When they break the surface of the water the find themselves in Narnia and are quickly rescued by a passing ship. On the ship we are reintroduced to several characters from the second film, namely Prince Caspian and Reepicheep (voiced by Simon Pegg) the warrior mouse. The children discover that Caspian is on a quest to find his father’s old advisors, a group of seven lords.

While on their search they discover that for years people were being given as sacrifices to a strange green mist. The quest then changes from a quest to find the seven lords to one of finding a way to stop and destroy the misty stuff by gathering the seven Lord’s swords and putting them on Aslan’s table. The mist it turns out is evil, not only that but it is an evil that feeds on your feelings and can haunt you with your deepest fears and darkest desires. For Danny it would be to have people discover that he isn’t a natural red-head and he does in fact have a soul.

So Lucy has to face her desire to be just like her older sister Susan. Edmund in tormented by images of the White Witch and the idea that he has always been in another man’s shadow, whether it be his older brother or his friend Caspian. While the others are struggling internally Eustace manages to turn himself into a dragon through greed. This may just be me, but being turned into a dragon would be super sweet. I don’t know why it bothered the kid so much.

So to make a long story short they manage to recover the swords and put them on the table and safe the people. Woo. In the process the siblings learn that they were brought to Narnia this time not to help the Narnians in their struggles, but rather to learn more about themselves. Eustace stops being a douche having realized the error of his rather douchelike ways.

In the end a select few of them (the only ones mentioned by name in this post) make it to Aslan’s country and have a touching scene rife with religious context. Lucy is told she will never return to Narnia and she asks Aslan if she will ever see him again. He tells her that he resides in our world as well but with a different name. It was at this point that I leaned over and said “and that name is Jesus”.

All in all I liked the movie and think they did a good job in keeping true to the original text while managing to keep me entertained and fairly focused for 113 minutes.

3 ½ stars

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Vertical Limit

A few days back I accepted an invite from the one and only Bryan Farnsworth to join him and some others (Nathan, Nicole, Spencer and McKell) in a day of sledding adventures. I donned some pants(for only the third time of the season) and some under armour in anticipation of this event. Having gone down the hill a few times I noticed Spencer Hansen attempting to take a jump. I thought to myself “that looks like a great idea, I should try as well.” I joined him on that part of the hill and I started my mental and physical preparations. I limbered up and found my Chi. (At least I assume that is what I found)

After I decided it was time, the infamous McKell Strong (she is infamous for her desire to tame and undermine the integrity of this the most honest and righteous blog you could ever hope to find) took up the role of camera person. I started with a gentle rocking motion just to get me started and then I was off. You could never hope to see better sledding form. My toes were pointed and my back was arched. I took to this sledding run like a golfer to a putt. I sized up the jump and lined up my path accordingly. As I approached I could tell my line was perfect and I was coming in with breakneck speed. Then I hit the jump. It was like an angel had taken flight in an attempt to reach heaven.

But wait what was this? A mistake. On hitting the ramp I forgot to lean forward so I could keep my balance. Here I was flying through the air like a rag doll while the sled went careening in its own direction. My legs were trying their best to go over my head and my back and neck were on the downward trend.

BAM! I made impact with the ground. After a second of disorientation I remembered there were girls watching so I turned around and gave the all clear signal I then decided to give myself a quick check to make sure I was actually ok. In a moment I realized I had lost quite a bit on impact. I had lost my glasses both shoes and my remaining shreds of dignity. After the feeling returned to my legs I proceeded to gather my things so I could make the lonely sojourn up the hill. To my surprise I saw that my left shoe had tried to make a run for it and had ended up some 50 feet away.

It was a glorious day in that I once again survived my encounter with encroaching old age with only a bruise or two. I do give you fair warning though. Once you hit 25 your body will try and give up and you and tell you that you are no longer indestructible. Your body is telling the truth, but on occasion it will feel sorry for you and let one stupid decision slide by.

I have included the video of my jump in hopes that either you will heed my warnings and listen to your body or you will think it is super bad–a and go try it for yourself. If you look in the top left corner of the video at the end you might notice a black dot. That is the shoe that tried to run out on me.


Friday, January 7, 2011

The Dukes See a Movie: The Season of The Witch or How Danny was impregnated by a demon.

The Season of The Witch, starring Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman, as crusaders helped us discover something very interesting tonight. Danny has been impregnated by a demon. How is this possible you may ask. First and foremost, one must understand that gingers have no souls. That being said, they fall as easy pray for demons seeking "friends with benefits". Normal people on the other hand have what can be called a "soul barrier" which keeps them from falling prey to the wiles of any netherbeast. In one scene in the movie, there is what may be called a "demon birth" where in the girl who was possessed is *spoiler alert* released from the demons possesion. At this point you see her lying naked on floor (no you don't see anything) covered in ectoplasmic matter (thank you Ghostbusters). After discussing this point with The Dukes, we decided that was demon placenta. Danny on the other hand said "no, demon placental matter would be black" to which Ricky responded "how would you know?" and so it began. Danny's farts began to hurt and we came to the medical conclusion, that they were "butt contractions" and that Danny had been impregnated by a demon. Danny took this news stoically to say the least. Upon discussing the plans for birthing, Danny voiced his concern about getting placental matter on the back seat. Also voiced was the concern of who would raise the demon baby, once Danny jumped ship. Ricky was named the godfather of the child. All in all it was an exceptionally average movie. Though the action was scarce, it succeeded in keeping our attention for the whole 90 minutes. If you're looking to burn five bucks and night of your life, it's worth it. If your looking for a resurrection of Nicolas Cage's carreer you'll have to wait until "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengance"

2 1/2 stars

- The Dukes

If you look closely, you can see the father of Danny's baby.