Thursday, October 11, 2012

Five Reasons Why The Dukes Shouldn't Trust Women

After our wildly successful post about why women shouldn't trust us I felt like it needed a rebuttal. "Now hang on there partner", I can see you asking "didn't you write the last post?"  I did indeed write that post, but since no one else spoke up I decided that I would be the one to defend our honor. The last post was a gauntlet thrown and now I must stand for our honor and bandy words about (with myself) like a crisply performed riposte. So ladies prepare yourselves to be shocked and dismayed by the five reasons why The Dukes shouldn't trust women.

Shame on all of you who could even think of harming these poor innocent souls.
1. Ladies like to call into question Zac's heterosexuality

I don't know what it is but the womenfolk like to make assumptions about me. Now I am fine with some of them, like having them assume I am 6'4" because I seem tall-ish or even assuming I will know answers to random questions. Those assumptions are kind of nice because I like trivia and I really want to be 6'4", but from time to time other assumptions are made and they hurt(probably).

Here are a few facts about myself: I love musical theater and the opera, I enjoy singing, I like to wear the colors purple and pink, I have a ton of knowledge about colors and color schemes, I like to wear cuff links and pocket squares, I have held Coombsy's hand, but I also love the ladies and if I didn't hate dating so much I would probably have a girlfriend or something.

Look at that manly dancing

I bring this up because the other day I was at work minding my own business, writing a blog post. A student came up as they are wont to do and started asking questions. I was expecting "can you help me scan this?" or "where is the paper?". Instead I got "How many kids do you have?". That bummed me out a bit because it confirmed that I look old and like I am settled in a relationship. I told her no so then she asked me if I were married. Once again I said no and the lady fired right back with did I have a girlfriend. I said no and thought that was the end since she had started to turn away. Sadly she turned back and said "can I ask you a personal question?".

That blew my mind because I thought that all of them had been personal questions so I managed to get out a husky yet confused "yeah". At that moment I wasn't sure what to expect, but when the words "are you straight?" came out I realized that those words were clearly ones I had not expected. I said yes and she just responded with an "oh okay." and was on her way. I will admit I was wearing a pink shirt at that moment with a pink tie and matching cuff links, but I was also watching football. What was it about me that made her think I was gay?

No that isn't it...

Other ladies have also joked about it when I mention any of the things I listed above. I think I have figured out why the question comes up from time to time. It is because ladies can't believe that a man like me is still on the market. Well ladies you can bet your britches I am, and I like it that way.

Coombsy faces his Delilah

Many of you know that Coombsy loves basketball almost as much as he loves sleeping, and that is saying something. If he is ever late (he is always late) you can just assume that he fell asleep because his bed is "super comfy". I prefer to believe that it is because he has mono. Back to the original point... He loves basketball and actively seeks to play in as many games as possible. Who can blame him? He has a competitive advantage over the rest of the field. I don't mean his height or his speed, but rather his hair.

Let me set the scene. Image Coombsy is driving down the lane. You look down at the ball in his hand and then back up to his face. As he moves his hair starts to flow and you find yourself entranced. There is nothing you can do but stare and the graceful way it bounces to and fro. As you are watching the hair Coombsy has made his move past you and is now about to score an easy basket. You think about pushing him midair, but you don't want others to judge you as a poor sport so you let it happen. That is what happens when you play Coombsy for the first 50 or so times. I have finally built up immunity, but it takes time.

Imagine those locks bouncing at you. You are helpless!
For a while things were going along great for Coombsy and his hair. He played ball and played it well. He even made the transition over to dreadlocks and it worked for him. As with many men, when things were going well he went and got himself a girlfriend. She was (is) a nice girl and they had good times together. Sadly this woman would turn out to be his Delilah.

I am sure you all remember the story of Sampson. He was a man of incredible strength, but that strength depended on him not cutting his hair. As was wise to do Sampson didn't let the secret get out. He kept it close to his chest. He would have been fine except for a woman who decided that Sampson needed to go. She kept poking around asking him what his weakness was (and trying to trap him using that secret) until finally he gave in and told her the real deal. She took that knowledge and shaved him up and he ended up blind and in prison. It is a sad tale but it just is there to teach us that women are capable of making men to dumb things, especially when it comes to hair.

For some reason this lady friend decided that Coombsy would look better with short hair so she used her feminine wiles to get him to cut off his luxurious locks. Coombsy having been taken by the charms of a woman (they are quite powerful) did as he was told and ended up with a shorn scalp. That move cost him much more than hair in the end.

He went from Casanova to Mario in moments. 

Without his hair he lost his edge in basketball. Anyone could guard the new Coombsy. The first game out I had three blocks on him and I looked like an all-star. It is a sad tale, but let it stand as a lesson to you women out there. If you date Coombsy and ask him to cut his hair you are asking more than you can possibly imagine.

All the women want to marry Danny

For some reason Danny is a lady magnet. I mean who would have ever thought that a ginger of middling height would be so sought after? Okay fine there are a lot of reasons. He is a great guy and fun to be a round. I think it might be the childlike sense of wonder (or Peter Pan-edness if you prefer) that people enjoy. This has had some consequences in the past.

I won't delve too deeply or say too much, but there have been at least three clear cases of women going bananas for a taste of that sweet ginger. They didn't just want him for a moment, they wanted him for life. Unfortunately for them Danny was not looking for the same thing and it ended up getting pretty ugly.

That face just screams "Marry ME!!"

Now that I think about it that really isn't a reason why we shouldn't trust women. It seems more like a reason why women shouldn't trust us. Oh no... Umm please ignore that part. PS congrats to Kailey for finally taming this man.

Women love to hate our movies

We love to watch movies. It is how we pass most of our time, and we will not apologize for it. For the most part you know that is what we are going to be doing and so there is no reason to be surprised. You have entered this world of your own free will and choice so therefore you should not be allowed to complain heartily about what you were forced to watch. Do I complain when I have been out shoe shopping for five hours? No I do not. Mainly because I make the choice beforehand not to go to something I will hate. If for some reason I do go I hold in my sad rage because I had a choice, and in the words of a wise old Templar "[I] ha[d] chosen poorly". I feel it should be same for the ladies. If they don't like the movie they should suffer in silence.

As you can see the ladies have not always treated us as the soft delicate creatures we are. It has left us emotionally scarred and unable to trust (untrue). We will do our best to overcome this because, dag nabbit, the world needs more Dukes.

*For those of you counting you are correct in that there are actually only four reasons on this list. For weeks I tried to think of five and I failed. I guess the facts have been made clear. We are worse to the ladies than they are to us.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: Hotel Transylvania

Adam Sandler has not had the best of luck movie-wise lately. He has put out such gems as That's My Boy, Jack and Jill, and Grown Ups and that only takes us back to 2010. I guess he had fallen under the curse that can come from being successful. When you do something well people will give you freer reign. As time moves on you get more and more freedom until you are answering to no one so there isn't anyone to tell you if something is stupid or a bad idea. The same thing happened to M. Night Shamalan. In the beginning his movies were good, but by the end he was the writer, director and producer for his movie The Happening and it was awful, straight up garbage. We need to have someone look at our work and give us another point of view or else we are doomed to have some mistakes. With this in mind I was wary of seeing this movie. Adam Sandler has had too much freedom and I really just hoped that this wasn't the case in this film.

As the film started I as struck by the visuals more than anything. The animators had done quite the job making the film look polished and more believable. I have to hand it to Sony Pictures Animation, they have put out a few quality movies in their short history. I enjoyed Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and also The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

I didn't have a good segue so...segway!

To start the movie out we see Count Dracula taking care of his baby girl. We find out that his wife was taken from them and so he wanted to make a place for his daughter that would be safe. He decides that this place should be a haven for all monsters so he builds a giant hotel that should be far out of the reach of all humans. If you haven't guessed the plot of the rest of the movie yet shame on you. As the daughter gets older she feels confined and wants to explore the world. The dad is overly protective and wants her to stay no matter what. To top it off a human manages to show up right in time to mess with the birthday party!

With the concept of this movie I felt there was so much more that they could have done to make it not just decent, but excellent. While this movie followed very common plot lines I still enjoyed it for the most part. I guess the movie did have some good morals for us to learn like not judging people before you know them. So I guess I learned to avoid prejudice or something. I will have to admit that Shrek did a better job at broaching that subject but oh well.

A better movie than the one I am writing about.

If my post feels a bit disjointed and rambly(new word) that is because I have been super bored writing this review. If I don't love it or hate it I just can't get any good emotion going. Maybe if I think about awesome that just makes me sad because I am doing this and not taming a panda dragon. Maybe if I think about things that make me sad or angry...ZAC SMASH!! ...that was a terrible plan! Now my shirt is all in tatters and this student center cleanup is going to be a doozy. I blame you Hotel Transylvania for not being good or bad enough to write about!

So if you have nothing better to do go ahead and see this movie, although I will warn you that Adam Sandler does have a brief moment where he raps. Not cool Sandler, not cool.

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: Dredd 3D

"I am the law." Never has there been a one line tag line that has encompassed the feel of an entire movie better that this one does. Dredd takes place in a future in which the world has been devastated by nuclear war and the country is a wasteland. The entire American population of 800 million is living inside a mega city that stretches from Boston to Washington DC (aptly named Mega City 1). The skyline is dominated by super skyscrapers, hundreds of stories high that are surrounding by the crumbling ruins of the old cities.

It is in this city that we find Judge Dredd. He works for the Hall of Justice as, you guessed it, a judge. It this cramped society, crime was running rampant and the old judicial system did not have the ability to keep order. So as a solution they streamlined the entire process. Now, the men and women of the Hall of Justice act as police, judge, jury and, if the judgment demands it, executioner. In this society Dredd is in fact "the law", and if I were in his shoes I would like saying it as well.

Yeah you are!
This movie is another in a long line of comic book adaptations and movie remakes. The character got his start in the late seventies in Great Britain in a serial called 2000 AD. He has been a super popular character for years over there and has had some struggles crossing over here. A major issue was with the 1995 film adaptation, Judge Dredd with Sylvester Stallone. It was a terrible movie, but to be completely honest if it is late at night and I see it on demand I will watch it and I will enjoy it, nothing will ever change that.

Many fans of the comic were upset by the movie because they took away the best parts of the character and decided to add some random character development. In the comics you never see Dredd's face. It was started as an unofficial guideline, but ended up being put down as an official rule for the artists to follow. The creator John Wagner explained it this way. "It sums up the facelessness of justice- justice has no soul. So it isn't necessary to see Dredd's face, and I don't want you to."  The first movie failed in that regard a ton. You see Stallone's face all over the place. If you really want an example I can show you a picture. I am warning you it isn't pretty.

Well if you are sure...

He had this look on his face the entire time.
The best part is that he wore blue contacts for the role when in the comics they don't even know the color of his eyes so his normal brown eyes would have been just fine. Silly Hollywood. I guess enough time (17 years seems like enough) had passed and the powers that be felt a remake would be a good thing, and I find myself agreeing with them.

In this version the titular character is played by Karl Urban. You might remember him from his role in RED or his role as Bones in the new Star Trek movie. His chiseled jaw and even stubble made him a great person for a role that would require him to cover everything but his mouth and chin.

As the movie starts Dredd is tasked with taking a new recruit out into the field for a final exam. The recruit is a young mutant psychic. They are out on a normal case when it takes a turn towards mayhem. The building defenses go up and the two judges are forced to fight their way up the building. For those of you that say it is just like The Raid you are wrong and should feel bad for being wrong.

See even Zoidberg agrees with me.

For having a fairly limited budget by today's standards I thought they did a good job with the special effects. The movie uses the popular time slow down technique, but they actually come up with a reason as to why it is being used. Having that logic in there made me happy. Urban does a great job being the stalwart no-nonsense judge. He doesn't convey many emotions because he isn't conflicted by who he is and what he is doing. If you have nothing against violent images and you want to see a good shoot 'em up movie I would recommend this one. Also I would like to leave you with this message.

Rating: 4 stars

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: Resident Evil: Retribution

Well this was the reunion episode of the series. They were kinda tired from all the "writing" and they decided they would just reintroduce some of the old characters and creatures to make it easy, because writing new things is just too hard. I should have known what I was in for since the director clearly has a type of movie he loves to make. That type just happens to be crappy ones with lots of violence and nonexistent plots. I will give you a few examples here: Death Race, DOA Dead or Alive, The Three Musketeers (the crappy new one), Alien VS Predator, Mortal Combat (not terrible) and five Resident Evil films. I am sure there is a special place in Hell reserved for this man; Ricky claims it is right next to the man responsible for Skyline and I hope that for all eternity they are forced to watch each other's movies. Each moment of agony they suffer as they attempt to kill each other, without results since you can't murder corpses, is well deserved for the pain and suffering they have caused to me and my friends.

This is the intro to my nightmares.
As you already know there wasn't much of a plot so I will give you what I was thinking as the movie progressed.

Movie starts: "Hey that intro was kinda cool."
8 minutes in: "Oh look they are going to rescue Alice so they can get on with the rest of the story."
15 minutes in: "This rescue will be ending shortly."
35 minutes in: "Wow this rescue is taking longer than I thought."
40 minutes in: "Are those zombie Nazis?'
80 minutes in: "Hey look they are on the surface and Alice is fully rescued! Oh wait no she isn't. Stupid submarines."
90 minutes in: "This looks awesome they finally have gathered together as the last remnants of humanity to fight the infected! The evil army outside is huge and awesome looking! This is going to be fantastic!"
93 minutes in: "Wait those had better not be the credits. That cannot be the end of this! I got Skylined* again!"

*Skylined- To be Skylined is to be suckered into a movie with the promise of something decent. As the movie goes along you hate so many things about it, but at the end something happens that makes you think the movie might have found redemption. As you get your hopes up again and begin to believe anew the credits begin. It is the Rick roll of the movie world, but without the catchy song.

You never should give them up Rick, never.

I was so blown away that this had happened to me again that as the credits began to roll I began to laugh. Not a quiet gentle laugh, but one of those guffaws that come from deep in the belly. It was the only reaction that made sense to me at the time. I felt that if I didn't laugh I would be forced to rip up the row of seats we were on and use them to batter the screen until I collapsed in the shredded remains of the fabric, weeping for an end of terrible movies that I know will never come.  The movie was a constant barrage of poor acting, poor writing and stupid one liners. The only redeeming quality of the movie was the fact that Milla Jovovich is an attractive lady and things got shot.

Don't see this movie. I don't care if you have nothing better to do. It is not worth dying a little more on the inside just to kill some time.

Rating: 1 Star

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: Lawless

Before I get into the movie review there is something I need to tell you. Now I want you to know that this has nothing to do with you, it is all me. If that sounds kind of like a breakup you are right, but you are wrong about the implication. Yes I am going to be spending some time other places and with some other blogs. Just because I am joining Spencer and Nathan on Spitwads doesn't mean that I will care for this blog any less. I am still a Duke at heart and I want you to know that. Well that seems a little more melodramatic than I meant. The truth is the new blog is a blessing. It means that you all have access to more writers who happen to put together much better posts than I do. I will be posting the movie reviews in both places, but each one will also be getting original content in the form of my other random thoughts. I am sure that in time you will come to understand what I have done and forgive me. 

Any movie based on a true story is subject to artistic license. In this case the movie is based on a book called "The Wettest County in the World". This book just happens to be written by one of the descendants of the Bondurant brothers and who in the world would try and paint a better picture of their ancestors? Now I am not going to say that he purposefully put them in a better light to look more like the Han Solo version of rebels (I totally am), but it seems like a bit of a stretch to say that "when the law became corrupt, outlaws became heroes." like it does on the movie poster. What are they the modern day version of Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men? They clearly were in it for their own profit and not to improve life of the community.

I was quite pleased with the casting of this movie for the most part. The only one I was worried about was Shia LaBeouf. He has always just come across as super whiny and just about the worst thing ever. In Transformers he seemed to feel entitled to everything because he had done something noble once. I helped an old lady across the street the other day and I don't think I deserve some huge reward or howdy do about it. Same thing goes for his characters in Wall Street (awful movie) and Indiana Jones (awfuler movie). In all honesty I miss the young LaBeouf from Holes. Why can't he be more like that?

What do you know? Age IS related to douchiness in his case. 
I hold the rest of the cast in a much higher regard. I am a huge Tom Hardy fan and that made me super excited for this movie. The best news for me is that the filming for this took place at the same time as filming for The Dark Knight Rises so he was still all huge and bulky. We also were going to see Guy Pearce as a crazed lawman in from Chicago and Jessica Chastain as a former dancer looking for some quiet. Gary Oldman is a part of the cast as well, but he appears in the movie so briefly I think they just had an agreement that if they could use his name in the marketing they would throw fistfuls of money at him.

Ah the joys of being a name prostitute
With all the cast in place I was hoping for a good story. As the movie starts we see the three Bondurant brothers working together as moonshine makers and small time bootleggers during the Prohibition Era. Shia is the youngest and whiniest brother (big surprise there). Tom is the middle brother, but he is in charge of the operation due to his levelheadedness and supposed invincibility. The oldest brother is a drunken brawler who at times is not dependable.

Things are going along just fine until a new deputy, who also happens to be an OCD sociopath, comes into town and demands that he and the other officials need a cut of the bootlegging profits or they will be shut down. That is a quite shady, but is it really surprising that someone would try to take advantage of people doing something illegal? Well that whole thing didn't make the non-murderable Bondurant very happy, and he made his feeling known.

Kinda like this but outside and more old timey
So the movie goes on and the two sides to battle and one comes out the victor. I enjoyed the movie overall, but there were a few places where I felt the story dragged a little. There were some very good action scenes and also some moments that made me laugh. There was even a scene that I swear took place near Hogwarts. If you were to guess what scene and you said the one where Harry has to face the dementors on a frozen lake you would be correct.

Still not 100% sure which movie this came from
Rating 4 Stars

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: The Expendables 2

If a movie ever had a chance to give you chest hair this one would be in the top five for sure. Almost every actor in this movie could be considered a man's man and when you put them all together pure awesomeness in the form of violence is sure to come out. As you go down the casting list each name is as manly as the next. Just reading the names made it seem like a grizzly bear was riding a laser beam shooting Abraham Lincoln while holding an American flag. It is the sort of experience that can do nothing but pump you up. I case you don't believe me read some of the actors and a few things they have been in.

  • Sylvester Stallone- Rocky I-VI (or six hundred), Rambo I-IV (The Bloodening), Judge Dredd (he is the law!), Cliffhanger (who knew John Lithgow could play a villain?).
  • Jason Statham- Transporter I-III (watch how you drive after seeing these), Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and any other movie where they needed a tough street savvy British guy.
  • Jet Li- This man is a martial arts legend. All of you should watch these movies: Once Upon a Time in China I-III, Tai-Chi Master, Fist of Legend, The One, Hero, and the other 38 movies he has been in.
  • Dolph Lundgren- I have a soft spot in my heart for this giant Swede, partly because I too am a giant Swede. He was Drago in Rocky IV (he must break you), he was also He-Man in Masters of the Universe.
  • Chuck Norris- I don't know where to begin with this man. In his professional fighting career he fought for ten years and at the end he retired as undefeated Professional Full-Contact Middleweight Champion and was fighter of the year several times. Watch him in Lone Wolf McQuade, Way of the Dragon and Missing in Action I-III. Oh he was also the first westerner to ever be awarded with the 8th degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do.
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme- He has one of the greatest nicknames out there "The Muscles from Brussels". So many fighters out there would give up almost anything for a nickname like that. See him in Bloodsport (even though Bolo Yeung has the better pecs), Kickboxer, Lionheart, Universal Soldier and Street Fighter.
  • Bruce Willis- Die Hard I-IV (soon to add V: Die the Harderest) and any other role with a tough cop/retired military (The Fifth Element, The Siege, Hart's War, Tears of the Sun, Hostage, Sin City, and more).
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger- The former Mr. Universe became the go to guy for action movies. Everyone out there has heard at least one of his corny one liners, but most people haven't had the joy of seeing him in his first role as Hercules in Hercules in New York. It is so bad it is awesome, but only see it once. Other titles include: Conan the Barbarian and Destroyer, Terminator I-II (III didn't happen), Commando, Predator, Total Recall and a billion others.
  • Terry Crews- The really muscly guy in the new Old Spice Commercials. Maybe the Longest Yard can be put on here or I guess there is Terminator Salvation. He was in the NFL for about six years so that counts maybe. I think they felt they needed a black action star and I guess they didn't want Fred Williamson which saddens me. I like Terry Crews but we could have had Black Caesar.
  •   Randy Couture- MMA legend. First champion to hold belts in two weight classes in the UFC.
You see it too don't you?

Just reading over the previous part almost gave me a black eye. Now for the actual review. The first Expendables movie was just one large pile of action that they tried to claim had a plot because you saw Mickey Rourke cry. This one didn't try to put together a plot with actual character development so that made it much better. I was not going into this looking for a story. I wanted random violence and explosions and boy did it deliver.

Imagine this for 103 minutes

The best part is that no one took it too seriously. For example Chuck Norris made a Chuck Norris joke about himself and several of his old movies were referenced. When he first shows up on screen they say "hey we heard that you had been bitten by a cobra" Chuck responds back with "yeah I was. After five days of excruciating pain the cobra died." That is classic. Dolph Lundgren gets in on the self-ridicule when they make a remark that his character has an advanced degree in chemical engineering and that he left his Fulbright scholarship to MIT to be a bouncer to impress a girl. The truth is that in real life he does have a master's degree in chemical engineering but he left MIT to be a bodyguard for his girlfriend at the time. There also is a part where Arnold says "I'll be back" and Bruce says "you've been back enough I'll be back" to which Arnold responds "Yippee Ki Yay".  During that same scene the two of them steal a Smart car and make fun of it and rip off the doors. That is now one of my life goals.
This will happen!
I won't go into the plot very much because there isn't much of one and really who cares. All I will say is the bad guy is Jean-Claude Van Damme and he does a spinning jump kick to Stallone's face. Twice. The actors are also in really good shape for being the age of many retirees in this country. I hope I can have those muscles when I am that age. Maybe if I watch this movie enough the manliness will rub off and I will succeed in that goal. A guy can dream at least.

Rating 3.75 stars.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: The Campaign

This movie is one that I was not quite sure about. As I get older I seem to become more jaded about the political system. The smear campaigns, the whisper campaigns and the focus on facts that have nothing to do with the political office cheapen the process. It has gotten to the point that we are aren't voting based on policy, but strictly on who we think beats fewer baby seals and who isn't secretly a Satanist. It is ridiculous and because of this I didn't know how I would handle this movie, and its theme of dirty campaigning.

I also was a little worried because Will Ferrell's movies can be hit and miss. He enjoys the crude humor, but at times it goes too far for my tastes. It also stars Zach Galifianakis who can be quite funny at times. I was freaked out by the lack of beard since he has had it forever. It might be because I feel betrayed when people shave, it also could be the fact that people trust guys with beards (actual study this time not random nonsense spawned from my mind).

You can't help but trust that face.

So feeling betrayed and confused by both the actors on screen and country I live in I went to see this movie.

The End

No seriously nothing much stood out to me about this film. It had its funny moments, but they weren't so amazing that I can still quote the lines for hours (or even minutes). The acting was decent, but it didn't stand out. The best role for me was that of Dylan McDermott. He plays a soulless campaign manager who during the race switches sides. Having seen him recently in the show American Horror Story (which was pretty awesome) I was glad to see him branch out and succeed.

Two screen legends also had roles in this movie as the Koch brothers...oh wait I mean the Motch brothers. Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow are uninspired in their roles as two devious rich brothers who use their wealth to manipulate the political system for their advantage. They are blatantly based on the Koch brothers, who for good reasons were none too pleased with the portrayal.

According to the Internet they also eat babies and might be cthulhu.

In the end I didn't hate the movie but I can't think of a ton to say for it. If you pass a redbox and want a movie you might as well get this one. Although if you only want to see one rated R comedy this year I would say skip this and go see Ted instead.

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: Total Recall

It is official; Hollywood has run out of original ideas. I had been gradually losing hope as we were faced with movie after movie that had been done before in some fashion, but this was the final straw. I am still not quite sure why this movie was remade. The original with Schwarzenegger was made a mere 22 years ago and has actually held up quite well. Sure some of the graphics could be better, but as a whole it isn't something that feels out of place now. The original had a budget of 65 million for goodness sakes. That was a ton of money for a movie and it shows in its production values.

The original idea came from a story by Philip K. Dick called "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale". This is actually the second movie adaptation from a Philip K. Dick story that Colin Farrell has fielded. As you may or may not know the first was Minority Report, which incidentally was originally planned as a sequel to the 1990 Total Recall. They had to scrap those plans because the company that held the rights to Total Recall refused to give them up. Once again my love for random trivia shines through. You are welcome, maybe?

My unofficial nickname that no one has even heard of or ever used.

As the story starts we see Douglas Quaid (in the first draft his name was Douglas Quail. His name was changed due to the fact that the original was being filmed during the Bush administration and his VP was named Dan Quayle.) trudging along as a factory worker. He seems to feel like something is missing, even though he has a super loving attractive wife and good friends. He lives in a place called the Colony and they are considered inferior to the people living in the Republic of New Britain or something like that (the original is on Mars).It an attempt to seek what he is missing he goes in for a procedure to implant fake memories in his mind.

As they are starting the procedure something goes wrong and the machine is unhooked and a large group of soldiers come in and attempt to subdue him. From there a lot of running and escaping happens.

But sadly there isn't any of this.

I think it does not bode well for the movie when I am rooting for the villains, but come on they made that choice super hard. The supposed heroes are Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel whereas the bad guys are Bryan Cranston and Kate Beckinsale. I am sorry but the bad guys are much better actors and they are more likable in general.  I would have been fine had the movie had ended with evil rising triumphant. I hadn't completely turned to the dark side though because I was also fine with the fact that good came out on top.

In the end if you want to see a Total Recall movie and you can only watch one, make it the original. However if you have all the time in the world and you want to see both of them I won't be the one to tell you not to.

Rating 2.75 stars


I can't believe I forgot to mention my biggest beef with this movie which happens to be the science. For workers to get from one side of the world to the other they travel through the center of the Earth on a thing called the Fall. It is supposedly a just an object free falling from one side to the other. In the movie we are told that it takes 17 minutes to get from one side to the other. That would clearly not be the case. To make it in 17 minutes they would have to be traveling at an average speed over 28,000 miles per hour. It is not possible for it to average that speed from a free fall at least according to real science and not terrible movie science.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: The Dark Knight Rises

I'm Batman

Batman!! Woo for Batman!! Yay for Christian Bale! Hooray for Christopher Nolan! Huzzah for life! As you can probably tell I have been super excited for this movie to come out. I loved the first two movies of the trilogy and I knew this one would find a place in my heart. As soon as the box office dust settled for the Dark Knight, speculation began as to who would be in the third installment and what characters they would play. I will have to admit I was heavily involved in such speculation myself. When it was announced that Tom Hardy was going to play Bane I will have to admit that I may have squealed like school girl. I am a Tom Hardy fan and have been since I saw him in Bronson. I knew he could bulk up to be the proper Bane and that he could also give him great depth of character. Both he and Christian Bale are very good at physically transforming for their roles.

I wish I had that dedication (and muscle tone).

The others that they announced just added to my excitement. I thought Anne Hathaway was a great choice to be the new catwoman and I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt. When it was announced that he would join the cast I had no idea what role he would play. A part of me thought that he might be Azrael. For those of you who don't know Azrael was a comic book character that fills in for Batman when he gets his back broken by Bane. You can see why this was a tantalizing thought in my head. Bane was already cast and Nolan likes to make his films dark so it seemed like a good fit. It turns out I was wrong, but hey even I can't get them all right (or most of them).

This movie actually caused quite the rift amongst the Dukes. Okay it was actually one Duke talking crazy and the rest of us trying to beat him down with words and logic. Ricky was sure that they were going to kill Batman in this movie. I knew that there was no way since Warner Bros wasn't about to kill a lucrative character no matter what the director wanted to do. I know in the comics he dies a few times, but he always was brought back in ridiculous ways like a lazarus pit. Nolan's films were too firmly footed in a gritty reality to have something so strangely fantastical and mystical like that to exist.

Although I could totally see it with this Batman.

Our argument spanned the space of many months and a lot of innocent bystanders were dragged in. We would be at a restaurant bantering loudly and we would drag our server into the discussion. We even made our coworkers choose sides. It was quite the affair and I feel that I should apologize to some of them (but not Josh because he chose poorly and sided with Ricky, shame on you Josh.).

So as you can see I had incredibly high hopes going into this movie. I loved the cast and the other movies that made up the trilogy. The only thing I didn't like was the fact that I had to wait for the movie to be released. To prepare I watched everything I could that related to this movie in some way including: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Inception, The Prestige, Newsies and several others.

They may have ended up jumbling together in my mind.

 To not cheat those of you who haven't seen the movie I will refrain from adding spoilers (probably). The movie takes place eight years after the death of Harvey Dent. During those years Bruce Wayne has become a recluse and Batman has not been seen on the streets. Because of the Dent act that is in place the streets are the cleanest they have been in years, at least they appear to be. There is some unrest in the city and people (Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt) attempt to get both Bruce Wayne and Batman back on the scene.

Batman comes back and so does Bruce Wayne. While this is going on there is quite the plot to undermine Bruce Wayne's power and Bane enters the picture. I will stop with my telling of the plot and allow you to see it without anything given away. The story is great and the movie is well paced. It left us with quite the sense of completion and Nolan did not let us down at all. Tom Hardy somehow made me like him even more.

This is on my desk right now.

I really enjoyed this movie and *spoiler alert*  I totally beat Ricky in our argument! Take that good sir.

Rating 5 stars

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: The Amazing Spider-Man

I have something I need to confess to you readers. I thought I had already done a review on this movie. I was going about life content knowing that I was only four movie reviews behind when in fact I was five behind, which turns out is one too many for me. I guess I can handle my laziness to a point, but the moment I get five movies back I feel it has gone too far. Since I thought I had already written this post it is going to be a tough one to write. Nobody likes having to do something over, unless you count having to redo a pie eating contest or something along those lines. Even though I never actually did any work on it my mind feels like it is being cheated and it isn't happy about it. So if you feel this review is subpar you can hush up because re-dos (even fake ones) are almost never as good as the original.

Hey look at that natural segue into discussing this reboot of a movie. Man I am good at this whole writing thing (source: not found). When I heard that they were rebooting Spider-Man a mere five years after Spider-Man 3 I shook my head in shame at the world that we live in. I will admit it I am quite the fan of Sam Raimi. He can partially be credited for giving the world Bruce Campbell and that makes you a hero in my book.

A hero I say!

  The Spider-Man movies that Sam Raimi created proved to the world that comic book movies did not have to be a joke. We don't count the third one because that wasn't his fault. They forced him to add more villains and to include a lot of the things that made the movie less than great (see: emo dancing). So with all of that in mind I didn't see why they felt it was necessary to remake the movie so soon. I mean there were talks of a Spider-Man 4 up until January of 2010.

With everything I had learned leading up to this I couldn't help but compare the two. As per my usual I will give you my findings in bullet points. I will refer to each movie by their year of release.
  • Casting- This one was kind of a tossup. In the original I loved J.K. Simmons as the editor of the Daily Bugle. I also like Willem Dafoe and James Franco, but I thought that the leads in the new film had greater chemistry. That is mainly a knock on Kirsten Dunst and her major unlikeability (I don't that I used a fake word). I also heart Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans from the new one. Winner 2012.
  • Directing- Sam Raimi has been given some flak because his trilogy seems cheesy in places, but if you look at the comics that makes sense. The comic books are incredibly cheesy, I mean you couldn't find cheesier dialogue if you tried (probably not true). He stays very faithful to the original story. On the other hand if you look at the job Marc Webb did I wouldn't call it bad, but I wouldn't call it great either. There was nothing truly memorable about what he did. It seemed like he just wanted to play it safe, which makes it hard for him to join the ranks of the great superhero directors like Joss Whedon and Christopher Nolan. Winner 2002    
The real winners

  • Are we sure I didn't already write this review? Everything I look up seems familiar like I have already done this. Have I jumped into a different dimension? One where I didn't finish the review? Sweet mercy that means I found the one time line with a lazier version of me. I didn't think such a thing was possible but I can see no other explanation for what is happening.
  • Sorry about that, time to get back to the review...I take that back I feel like the newer lazier me wouldn't so instead I will end with this comparison. 2002 budget 139 million. 2012 budget 230 million. 2002 worldwide gross 821 million. 2012 worldwide gross 552 million. Winner 2012
That gives the 2002 version the victory since it won 2-1 in arbitrary categories I picked out of thin air. That is what I call an airtight case for sure. So in the end I did enjoy the movie and I felt that for the most part it was well done. I think we all learned something today. We learned that I have a man crush on Bruce Campbell.  Also that I should never write a review in my head twice because I will invariably never write anything about the actually story the second time through.

Rating 3.75 stars

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: Ted

Going in to this movie I did not know what to expect. I hoped it would be enjoyable because I am a fan of Mark Walhberg and Mila Kunis. I was a little worried as well because this was the first time Seth Macfarlane had ever made a movie, let alone a live action anything. It did have a few other things going for it as well like the supporting cast. Man was that a quality supporting cast. They had Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton, Tom Skerritt (as himself) and Tom J. Jones (as himself). They had Flash Gordon in this movie playing himself. How awesome is that?!

Woo!! Tom Jones!!

So in my mind I went in excited about the cast, but a little worried about everything else. The moment the movie started I could feel all my worries starting to slip away as I listened to the dulcet tones of Patrick Stewart as he said the follow line "Now if there's one thing you can be sure of, it's that nothing is more powerful than a young boy's wish. Except an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has machine guns AND missiles. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine." With that line the movie had appealed to the boy inside me and he had accepted their offering. So my adult self was pushed to the back, and was not allowed to participate in the viewing of this movie.

The movie starts out with a young boy who has no friends at all. For Christmas he gets a teddy bear and that night he wishes on a star that his bear were real. After the narrator mentions the power of wishes and helicopters we see the young John wake up and meet his recently life-infused bear. As you might suspect the boy freaks out as do his parents when they are introduced to this creature. Can you imagine what you would do if you saw a teddy bear and it spoke to you? Unless it was a teddy ruxpin bear I would attempt to destroy it so it couldn't eat my soul. That might just be me though. I saw a terrible show when I was a child about a possessed teddy bear and I have never been the same.

How I see all teddy bears.

Flash forward 26 years. John (Mark Wahlberg) and the bear Ted have both grown up. They still are best friends, but now they are adult slackers. They drink, smoke pot and watch TV most of the time (I think I should get a prize because I only do one of the three). John has been dating Lori (Mila Kunis) for the past four years. She is starting to get a little fed up with the lack of change in their relationship and she wants to take it to the next level, but she feels like that is impossible if John continues to spend all his free time with Ted.

In the end I really quite enjoyed this movie. This isn't the type of movie that makes you think (see above where I talk about the boy in me being in charge of the movie viewing). It doesn't have a lot of shocking twist and turns or important morals, but I did not expect it to. To best describe the movie it felt like Family Guy back when Seth Macfarlane still cared about it and wasn't in it just because Fox won't let anything popular die. You could tell that he put all of his creative energy in this project and it showed in the quality of the work. So if you do not mind crude humor this might be one for you, but if you have a higher moral code (good for you if you do) then this movie is a no go.

Rating 4 stars

Monday, July 30, 2012

Things That Slightly Annoy Me (better known as Things I Hate)

Recently I have been in a great mood. I thought I had purged my soul of all my troubles through handy lists on this blog. I wandered through this world happy and carefree, not for a moment did I think that I would once again end up in this wallowing pit of torment and despair. A hellish place stoked by the fire of rage that burns and swells in my heart. It is while in this place that I begin to recall things in this life that have done me wrong and will continue to do me wrong until I have finally been placed in the cold ground for my eternal slumber. (Wow that was dark. To undo some of that somberness look at this emoticon crab. (\/)!_!(\/) ) So without further ado here are a few things that drive me to be mildly annoyed...I mean things I hate.

Randomly Losing a Button

It might just be because I happened to lose a button 10 minutes ago but this really peeves me. Why are buttons so darn flimsy and poorly attached?! It is because the fashion industry has some nefarious plot afoot that involves slowly degrading the mental stability of all the people who wear shirts in an attempt to overthrow all the world powers so they can form a mega society called Pantsopolis? I say yes, that is the only reason I can see for flimsy buttons. Having reattached dozens of buttons to different articles of clothing I know that it isn't that hard to make sure they are firmly affixed so nothing else makes sense.

You know they are up to no good.


I don't know if it is just the strangely tight pants or the wool hats in summer but I hate hipsters with a passion. I think it has a lot to do with their attitude towards everything. Hipsters are people who often describe themselves as having liked something before it was cool. I disagree with this description though. Liking something before someone else doesn't make you a hipster. What makes you a hipster is thinking that because something has become popular or mainstream it has suddenly become less awesome.

Foe, thy name is hipster.

I will admit that I have seen more movies than I can count (many of them foreign or indie films) and have read authors that many people have never read or even hear about. Does that make me a hipster? No it does not and if you say otherwise I will find you and we will have a nice discussion as to why you never want to be caught between Rock and Hard Place (those are the names I have given my arms). In this situation I could be only be considered a hipster if I said something along the lines of "I am not a fan of superhero movies these days because they are too mainstream. I only watch the ones that were made in the early nineties or before because I liked this type of movie before it was cool."

I should be ashamed to admit I have seen all of these, but strangely I am not.

So remember folks it is okay to like something before it is has gained popularity, but it is not okay to stop liking something just because other people are now fans. So to all of you mustache wearing, Pitchfork reading, Pabst Blue Ribbon drinking, lenseless glasses wearing, "I liked this before it was cool" saying jerks. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Do you even know what you look like in your man capris? You should do something because you like it, not because you think it will make you some sort of elitist. Also you should not do anything "ironically" because that makes no sense at all. I give you this warning so that you may change your ways. If you do not there will be a reckoning and a mighty hand of judgment shall surely find you.

Friends don't let friends become hipsters.

Things that mildly irritate Ricky,

It’s kind of sad that my picture is on top of this blog, but this feels like a guest post. I want to thank Zac for keeping it going, he is a more committed man than I am (Ladies you’re always whining about commitment, Zac is your man!). In regards to things that irritate me I need to start with a new word that I created, that word is fakangry. The word is pronounced by saying “fake angry” really quickly, while trying to avoid sounding like your using the f-word, which even with my language being as bad as it is remains too crass for me. Fakangry is exactly what the pronunciation sounds like; it is a state of faking anger. I constantly live in this state. I’m never really angry, I just enjoy yelling.

While the main portion of this post is a list of things that irritates us, I’ve decided to add two things that just get me all fakangry and that I really enjoy yelling at. Those two things are Memphis, and relationships on televisions shows.


How Memphis currently looks

I need to start by saying that I’ve never been to Memphis, I’m sure it’s pretty city, the pictures I’ve burned have been very beautiful, even before the fire took them. That being said I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many people from Memphis, and without a doubt, they are the most frustratingly irritating people with whom you can speak. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s the water, maybe it’s the location, and the weather could have an effect. I’m not really sure what it is to be honest, but one thing that I can speak to with surety is that every time I have a conversation with someone from Memphis it typically ends with me wanting to reach through the phone, pull them to my location and then mercilessly beat them to death with my magic teleporter phone which conveniently doubles as a large blunt object.

Now I am fully aware that there are idiots everywhere. I’m sure that too many whom I have had dealings with, I am the idiot. Memphis though, Memphis seems to be the epicenter for idiocy. I’m sure there are smart people there, but I cannot say how many because in my opinion, anyone with enough brain cells to form the word ‘run’ would remove themselves from Memphis as fast as humanly possible.

All I have to say is Memphis is likely a beautiful town and I hope it burns to the freaking ground.

How I wish Memphis looked

Romantic Relationships on Television shows:

We watch a lot of TV. I will never deny this. I’ve seen more movies and TV shows than any person should, but that’s how things go sometimes and there is nothing to do about it (if you suggest go outside you’re wrong). One common thread through nearly every TV show is the romantic plot line. All too often they introduce two characters who we, as the audience, know are perfect for each other, but who take forever to figure it out, if the ever do at all. A good example of this is Psych, one of my preferred TV shows. The main character, Shawn Spencer and one of the Detectives he typically works with, Juliet O’Hara, spend the first I don’t know how many seasons (ask Zac[Zac here to say it was episode 10 of season 5 that they officially hooked up]) dancing around each other. One episode Shawn is on the verge of confessing his undying love but then he sees her with another man, in another Juliet is about to tell Shawn she wants to bear his children, but then she gets kidnapped and so on and so forth until finally the writers cannot fathom another way to plausibly keep the two separated and give into our pleading that they be permitted to be together and make beautiful and funny children.

About damn time!

I understand the importance of these relationships for the show.  They make sense. They keep the viewer coming back, hell they keep me coming back. That being said, they drive me absolutely insane. Never do I yell more at a television set then when these relationships are not functioning the way that I want them to function, because everyone who knows me knows that how I want things to go is the best way for them to go. Now reading back on this paragraph I see how this could be construed as me being a woman, a fact that Coombsy will gleefully point out (if he ever read the blog), but unfortunately for him, I know he feels the exact same way about these relationships, because deep down, everyone does.

In the end these two things don’t matter. They won’t matter in a year, a month, or a week. I’ll send this email to Zac, he will post it, and I will forget about it. They really don’t affect my life in any long term sense at all. Hell they don’t affect it in a short term sense. Though if you want to see what I mean when I say fakangry, mention either of this to me, then take cover because I will throw whatever is in my immediate vicinity.