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.