Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: What to Expect When You're Expecting

I would like to write a quick disclaimer before I proceed with my review. If there is anyone out there reading that liked this movie I would recommend that you do not read this review because it could ruin our friendship. Consider yourselves warned. So here goes...

Wow, just wow. Not the good wow wherein you say "wow I just found five dollars in my laundry what a grand day this is turning out to be" but it is more akin to "wow I just lost my leg to a cannon ball on this golf course."

(Legal Fake Flashback)

The sun was shining high in the sky and a warm breeze was lazily flowing by from the East. I was lining up my chip on the ninth hole when I heard a strange noise and began to ponder. "What is that whistling sound? It sounds like a red tail hawk is trying to board a train." I decided to push the sound from my thoughts and focus on the shot since I had a small sum riding on the outcome of this game.

As I started to swing I felt a white heat in my leg and as I began to look down the moment seemed to freeze as I entered into shock. My mind refused to make sense of what I was seeing. My leg had seemingly disintegrated. The cannonball has reduced my knee into a hot red cloud of blood and bone fragments as the muscles were shredded into an unrecognizable heap of tissue and ligaments. As the moment slowly passed I was stunned by a searing pain as the nerve signals exploded in my brain as I fell to the ground screaming. It felt as if I were being tormented by the devil himself as I slowly faded into unconsciousness. That is how I feel about this movie except I had to face it without the sweet release of nothingness or fading into oblivion or unconsciousness.

I would still be doing this if it were not for good friends and the fact I had to go to work.
If that short story (which I wrote right after the movie while I was still full of the rage juices) isn't proof enough of how much I hated this movie I will go ahead and keep going using my favorite tool the bullet point.

  • This movie is overly crude. It throws in crass comments in places that they were clearly not needed. It was quite evident that they did it in an attempt to be funny but they failed miserably.
  • The movie taught me that women are only good for one thing. (actual line from the film) "I can't give you children which is the one thing women are supposed to do." 
  • The movie had random inconsistencies. There is a part where a girl is having a baby shower and her cousin isn't there but for some reason this same cousin has gone to visit the woman in the hospital. If you are close enough to see her in the hospital you would have clearly been invited to the baby shower that had hundreds of people in attendance. It is as if the writers decided halfway through the film that the needed to connect these characters somehow.
I had a flashback of the film and I just couldn't go on.

  • It was very poorly written. I didn't do my due diligence and research this film or else I would have seen this coming since the writers also wrote the new Freaky Friday.
  • The previews were all lies. To be honest the movie wasn't our choice but we figured we would go along because we had picked pretty much all the other movies we had seen this year and we felt we should let someone else choose. We had seen a few things in the previews that looked like they could be funny but they were not. It was all lies and may they all be thrust down to Hell for those lies!
  • It appeared that this movie was written by a bunch of three to thirteen year old boys. It was chock full of jokes about farts and peeing yourself and I don't find that super amusing. I am not even a very mature person but I just thought it was ridiculous and trite.
  • It had stupid side stories that didn't seem to fit in the movie and didn't help me care about the characters at all. Like with the story line of Dennis Quaid the race car driver and his relationship with his son. It was never resolved and its inclusion made no sense.  
 I think we all need a short break from my ranting so here goes another foray into the wonderful world of having your mind blown. Besides looking a lot alike both men pictured above have portrayed Gandalf. Ian McKellen of course played him in the trilogy from the last decade and John Huston portrayed the character in the 1977 animated version of the Hobbit. I wonder if having the beard got them the part or if being in the part granted them the beard.

Back to ranting

  • The film tried too hard to connect all of the characters (except the black ones those racists) and failed in having the movie make a lot of sense.
  • One of the kids looked like Droopy Dog.
  • The movie made fun of ugly kids which isn't something the kids can do much about.
  • The movie also taught us that it is okay for guys to be terrible at nurturing children. The movie mentioned the guys doing all of the following things: dropping babies, forgetting them at random locations, letting them eat cigarettes, having the kids suffer random head injuries and playing with dead animals. Why is it okay to portray men in this manner? Also why are they giving guys out there these terrible examples of parenthood?
  • The director also happened to direct the film Nanny McPhee.
  • There was little to no chemistry amongst the characters. Part of the problem there is that the film lacked a fluid and coherent story as well as any semblance of pace. I found myself rooting for bad things to happen to the characters just to see if I could still feel anything or to see if I truly had died inside.
Never see this movie. Even if you are offered ten grand or your freedom from a kidnapping you should never see this movie. After leaving the theater is a stupor I began to enter in to a blind rage. I said mean things to the people that liked the movie (I said that my taste was akin to Shakespeare and their taste was closer to Danielle Steele. Lucky for me they didn't really get it or they would have been quite offended) and for that I would like to apologize, but be warned if you recommend another movie like this one I will consider it an act of war.

Rating 0 Stars and may God have mercy on your souls.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: The Raven

Is this another sequel to the crow?

Once upon a late night dreary, while we pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious points of random Batman lore,
While we quibbled, nearly fighting, suddenly there came a prompting,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at our theater door.
`'Tis some visitor,' we muttered, `tapping at our theater door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled us - filled us with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of our hearts, We stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at our theater door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at our theater door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'

Presently our souls grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said we, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness we implore;
But the fact is we were quibbling, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at our theater door,
That we scarce were sure we heard you' - here we opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long we stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only words there spoken were the whispered words, `This movie blows!'
This we whispered, and an echo murmured back the words, `This movie blows!'
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all our souls within us burning,
Soon again we heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said we, `surely that is something at our theater row;
Let us see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let our hearts be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

Then, we thought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' we cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of the film before!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this film before!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said we, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, we implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said we, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell these souls with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
 They shall see a movie that shall wash out this painful memory with blood and gore -
Clasp a rare and brilliant film whom the angels named in days a fore?'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' We shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave our loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out our hearts, and take thy form from off our door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

That was my attempt to use the words of Edgar Allen Poe and my own to tell you how much I hated this movie. There is almost nothing about this movie I didn't hate. The night started of grand with a great dinner at Goodwood Barbecue, but as we left we should have paid heed to the omens around us that warned us the movie would be a disaster. I came in expecting nothing and somehow I left super disappointed.

I should have noticed the fact that John Cusack was starring int he film and as we all know he has been phoning it in since the early 90's. Also he lost 20 pounds for the role but for some reason he grew out a goatee even though Poe never had more than a mustache a possibly a bit of a van dyke during a couple of his different phases.

Note the lack of a goatee on the one with talent.
Also the actors that they got to star in the movie were not the first choices. Ewan McGregor was supposed to be Edgar Allan Poe and Jeremy Renner was to be Inspector Fields. That would have helped the movie a bit but you still can't overcome terrible writing. The dialogue was very wooden and poor and the delivery didn't help in that at all.  The characters would randomly get angry without cause and when I thought that they should lose control they were rather placid.

The movie was so boring. It was all we could do to not yell at the screen, but I can assure you that had we been alone in the theater we would have been shouting up a storm. In the end there were only two characters I cared about even a little. A pet raccoon and Emily (Alice Eve) and she is only included because I think she is attractive. Actually I changed my mind! I don't care about her! I just remembered that she was playing a piece of music on the piano by Claude Debussy even though he wouldn't be born for another thirteen years from the time the film supposedly took place.

Also since the movie is based on Edgar Allan Poe you would think they would check their facts but nooooo, fact checking is just too darn hard. An example is when he gets asked if he had ever written a story involving a sailor and he replies that he hasn't. I literally read a story by Poe last week that involved a sailor called Descent in the Maelstrom and that is not the only one he has written about them. Grrrr! Consider my hackles officially raised. One more thing! Poe never signed his work Edgar Allan Poe because Allan was the name of his step-father and he hated the man! GRAAHHH!! ZAC SMASH!!!!!

Sorry about that. As soon as I find a replacement shirt I will get back to the review. Okay now that I am freshly shirted here I go.

Also this was in the movie! Okay it wasn't exactly the same thing, but the mask that Poe wears at the masquerade ball reminded me of this snickers mask a lot. Why would you make something that looks like this? That is ridiculous and you should be ashamed for what you have done.

Tell me that isn't what it looks like.

When I first heard about this project I was excited because it was an original idea that seemed to have a lot of potential. As the opening drew nearer I started to lose faith because of what I was seeing and what the critics were saying. This movie made me oh so very sad, even though I learned that if you are poisoned you don't just have a second wind you actually can have up to six or seven winds. Also coffins from the 1840's are airtight even if you think you can see a sliver of light coming through it is only there to fool you.  Never see this movie. If you do see it you can't say I didn't warn you, but you still can come to me and I will comfort you and we can wallow in our sadness together. But hey at least it wasn't Skyline.

Rating 1.5 Stars

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: The Avengers

I really am not sure how I should go about reviewing this movie. There is so much about it I loved I don't know if I have the patience to actually write them all down in an amusing and educational manner (to be honest none of my posts do that). Well since I just got hit with a magical bout of drive and gumption here goes (in bullet form).
  • I heart Joss Whedon. I am not the type of Whedonite that proclaims he is a minor deity, or that everything he touches turns into gold or gains the ability to fly (although I would totally see that movie: Coming to a theater near you in the summer of 2014 Peter Midas). I am the type of fan however that believes he has come up with some great shows and that he deserved a shot with a large budget mainstream movie.
  • I have enjoyed all of the movies involving the Avengers characters leading up to this. What about the Ang Lee Hulk movie you ask. Well don't ask because to me it never happened. For all that is holy don't talk about it. I would like to be able to sleep at night without crying first.
What did I ever do to wrong you?

  • Joss Whedon is a perfect choice for ensemble casts. Yes I did in fact just put in another bullet point for Joss Whedon. Deal with it. Go watch Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog and get back to me. 
  • I am a fan of most of the cast. I have loved Chris Evans since he was in the movie The Losers. He made me so happy in that film. Chris Hemsworth is a great Thor and I also loved him in Cabin in the Woods (produced by Joss Whedon. Bam!). He also happens to have the arms I dream of having. Robert Downey Jr has been involved in two great film franchises in recent years so how could I not love him (Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes). Tom Hiddleston is a fine actor and can portray an excellent villain. The rest of the cast is also good but this bullet point is getting really long.
  • It paid homage to the myriad of comic books that have been written about these characters in very subtle ways. For example the way Thor had no sleeves at the beginning is consistent with the way he was shown in the early comics. It also has him with no cape on the Helicarrier which pays tribute to his appearance in the Ultimate Comics. 
Art Break!

    • Each character in the film was given a chance to develop and a chance to deliver some great one liners.
    • I also love the fact that there will be three of these movies. As Ricky put it this trilogy could possibly be the Star Wars of our generation. Not in future impact on the film industry but more in popularity and scope.
    Have I already mentioned his arms?

    In the end all I can say is I loved this movie and I am super excited that there are 30 minutes of film that had been cut that will be on the DVD. If you haven't seen this movie you really should.

    Rating 5 stars

      Thursday, May 10, 2012

      Things the Dukes Hate: Part 3

      I am a happy man and as a whole The Dukes are a happy group (see photo above). That being said there is still quite a bit out there that can get us all hot and bothered. I must admit I made a mistake in the last hate posts. I mainly focused on what I hate and sadly all I did was give people the perfect way to make me hulk out. All I get these days are texts with terrible directions or numbers like 117%! What have I done to deserve such pain! I will not make the same mistake twice so now I will focus more on the group as a whole or the other Dukes (take that you jerks). So for starters we certainly hate...


      "Didn't you do that last time? Are you so lazy that you just recycle your old posts?" Are things you are probably asking yourself and the answer to both would be a solid yes. Yes I did mention them in the last hate post and yes I am lazy, but this time I am going to focus on a different aspect of why they are so hated amongst us. If you were asked to list one thing the Dukes like movies would probably be near the top of the list because we are nothing if not predictable. We go to a movie pretty much every week and we are often at the latest showing. Part of the reason we go so late is because sleep is overrated and we are also big fans of dinner. The main reason though (not really) is that the later showings have a smaller number of children present or at least that is how it should be.

      I get so mad when I go to a late movie and I see some couple dragging in their 7 children that range from 6 months to seven years old. I will now list the reasons why.
      • They should be in bed! Children need to have a quality schedule to make sure they get the most out of life and have a chance to succeed! Looks like you hate your children as much as I do and want them to fail so they can repeat your mistakes. Deep breaths, deep breaths. Okay I am good.
      • Most of the movies we see are either PG-13 or rated R because that is what comes out these days, but they are not appropriate for kids. When I see them come in to a movie like Cabin in Woods I know they are going to have nightmares for months. 
      • These kids make so much noise. I am fine with laughter and some quiet comments but the crying I cannot stand. The worst part is the parents that bring their kids are not the type that will take them out when they cry so who knows how long the outburst will last. Probably as long as I will be ranting about it after.
      • They have tiny hands. Enough said.
      Just watch your backs is all I am saying.

      Ricky hates people that care too much in non-competitive sports

      This past winter the Dukes all decided to take part in church basketball. We had the option to go with a competitive or non-competitive league and for obvious reasons we chose the latter (we wanted to win without too much running). We had good times but there were a few occasions when people just took it all too seriously.

       It was a fine Saturday morning and the Man Wave had come out in full force (we called out fans the Man Wave). Things were going well until we started winning. That didn't make the guy in the Wade jersey too happy. He started shoving people in plays and swearing and doing silly things. The rest of his team was fine. They were still having a good time. A person like that just ruins the mood of everyone. We were there to have fun, we didn't really care if we won or lost we just wanted to enjoy the great sport of basketball. At one point this guy lost his head and came flying into me on a drive. I am built like a tractor so I didn't budge an inch  while he on the other hand went flying back.

      He should have kept his emotions in check but because he did not he ended up with a sprained neck and a bruised ego. Let that be a lesson for all of you. It is a game! We are playing for fun! Losing the game doesn't mean that society is going to crumble and you will go nowhere in life! Harrumph.

      That was a moving screen!

       Danny hates it when plans get changed

      Having plans change in never fun. With us the culprit is generally Mother Nature so we don't have a person to blame. That doesn't matter to Danny though because he will manage to complain about the change for hours on end. We all love Danny and that won't change. I am just writing this to show that this really gets on his nerves.

      Last year we had planned a trip up to Lava Hot Springs. It is a trip we like to make several times a year and we always have a great time. This time the weather gods had something else in store for us. The entire route up was being bombarded by snowstorms and as the drivers Ricky and I decided that we didn't want to drive through it since we felt it would be unsafe. When Danny heard the news he was understandably sad, but 8 hours later after we had been engaged in our alternate plans for some time he was still bringing it up. If you want to get to Danny just tell him we aren't going to do what we planned.

      Coombsy hates monkey thumbs

      This is an argument that has been ongoing in our group for over a year now. Coombsy claimed that monkeys and chimps do not have opposable thumbs. Even after being shown incontrovertible proof that they do (Wikipedia probably) he still won't back down. I will admit the conversations are entertaining, but his opposition to this makes no sense unless he has some deep seated hatred of monkey thumbs. Maybe a monkey stole his wallet or cheated at poker. I don't know but I wish I knew the back story to his irrational hatred of this Pan Troglodytes digit. 

      Although Coombsy might have a point

      So after looking over this list I can tell that I still have the most irrational hatreds out of any of us, but who knows what I will dig up in the future. If any of you can dish the dirt on things they hate or are afraid of I would be most grateful.

      After all these words of anger I feel that we need to have a moment where we can just remember life is good and that we should be happy that we live in the same world as these dogs.

      Now that is what I call being content.

      Tuesday, May 8, 2012

      The Dukes See a Movie: Pirates! Band of Misfits

      Oh, better far to live and die
      Under the brave black flag I fly,
      Than play a sanctimonious part,
      With a pirate head and a pirate heart.
      Away to the cheating world go you,
      Where pirates all are well-to-do;
      But I’ll be true to the song I sing,
      And live and die a Pirate King.

      For I am a Pirate King!
      And it is, it is a glorious thing
      To be a Pirate King!...
      Oh wait this isn't a review for the Pirates of Penzance (although I do feel I should start reviewing musicals).  I guess I just got carried away by the word Pirate so here goes the real review. Ahoy there matey! 'Tis I the captain of your journey through this barnacle strewn bounty of a film. It is a grand adventure for old salt dogs and land lubbers alike. Oh sweet mercy I did it again! I swear that is the last time I flip into some random persona.

      I have been looking forward to this movie for months. I like pirates and I like Aardman Animation (Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run). Seeing as how this is a kid's movie it had a fairly simple plot. The Pirate Captain (voiced by Hugh Grant) wants to win the pirate of the year award. He has entered before and has never come close. His crew loves him and they want to help him win. As they engage in a series of failed ransacking attempts they land on the ship that is carrying Charles Darwin and some of his research. Darwin sees that the Pirate Captain has a dodo bird that he has mistaken for a parrot.

      She is just big boned!

      Darwin convinces him to show the bird off at the annual scientist of year awards by telling him he will receive a great treasure. As the plot progresses the Pirate captain faces a decision of what is most important to him. He makes a mistake and he works to rectify it. I admit I left it a bit vague, but I didn't want to ruin two movie plots in a row.

      This movie is a lot of fun for children and adults alike. There is a lot of humor that will go over the kid's heads but will have the adults in stitches (I have never used that wording before and I don't think I like it. I apologize.) even though some of the wording changed in the transition from the United Kingdom to the US. As it turns out the British enjoy crude humor even more than we do. Also they changed a couple of the voice actors in the transition. The best part is that IMDB for a while completely removed the British actors from the movie page even though they were the originals. That is just classic us. Go USA!

      Rating: 4 stars

      Tuesday, May 1, 2012

      The Dukes See a Movie: Cabin in the Woods

      Even giants enjoy Rubik's cubes

      Fresh off the mind numbing blahness we experienced with Wrath of the Titans (It really wasn't that bad) we decided we needed something to cleanse our desensitized palates. I have a soft spot in my heart for Joss Whedon and we hadn't seen a good slasher/horror film in a while. This may make me a terrible person (it does), but I am a fan of violent movies (not torture porn like the Saw movies though) and I heard that this one fit the bill and boy did it ever.

      As I was getting started on this blog post I kept thinking of how I could write a review without giving away the movie but I realized I couldn't. So to all of you who have not seen the movie and would like to you should stop reading now because I am going to give away everything. Not most things but everything. Minds will be blown and robots will gain emotions. That is how much I will be giving away. If you are still reading do not blame me if you feel cheated I warned you I will even throw this in for good measure.


      There I got that out of the way. This movie is not in any way your traditional horror film. It turns the whole genre on its head kind of like Shaun of the Dead with zombie movies, and Tucker and Dale vs Evil with hillbilly murder movies. It also has the makings to have quite the cult following like Evil Dead 2 and Dead Alive. 

      As the movie starts we see five friends as they gather together for a trip up to a cabin in the woods (hence the title of the movie). They each fit into one of the stereotypical categories that we always see in horror movies. We have the Whore, Athlete, Scholar, Fool and Virgin. (If you have seen a horror movie in the last twenty years you can attest to this list)

      The cast of approximately 4 billion movies

      While this is going on it pulls away to a large facility that seems to be prepping for the camping trip of these five people as well.  As they start to discuss what is happening we find out that there are facilities like this one is many different countries. They state that many have already failed but they still have a chance between them and Japan to make sure it is completed. At this time you are still unsure as to what they are trying to do.

      Back with the group of friends they have passed their token scary gas station attendant that warned them about the cabin and they start settling in. It seems cozy but there are a few random items that give it that creepy feel such as a stuffed wolf head that is baring its fangs, a super creepy painting of an animal being butchered and a one way mirror underneath said painting. 

      Back in the facility you hear the two guys in charge of the project start taking bets on how the kids are going to die and you finally get a glimpse as to what they are trying to do. According to them there are things called ancients deep underground and to appease them there need to be sacrifices made. In the US it happens to be the five character types we listed above but the virgin is an optional kill as long as she is the last one to die. It doesn't what country succeeds in the sacrifice as long as it happens. There are many different ways that the kids can die and so in an effort to lighten what they are doing they bet.

      Death by Unicorn would be my preferred method.

      Back in the house the kids are upstairs having a good time when out of nowhere the cellar door pops open and of course they go down to investigate. The cellar is full of all sorts of odds and ends. They start peeking through things and finally a girl starts reading out of a diary. She reads the passage and she ends it by reading the Latin phrase which we all know is a bad sign. As she finishes we see a zombie family start rising from the ground. Back in the control room the bets are over and as it turns out maintenance and Ronald the intern both won with their pick of the redneck torture family! 

      Things in the cabin start to progress as different gases and things are pumped into the house to make them act more like their stereotypes because no one in real life would act as stupid as the characters in these movies do without some mind altering agent. The Athlete and Whore go outside and start engaging in hanky-panky and as this happens the whore gets taken in out by redneck zombie number one.

      One by one the characters start dying until the only one left is the Virgin and since she doesn't need to die the gods are appeased... but wait what is that? It isn't over yet? The Fool somehow survived his back stab wound and is once again numbered amongst the living. In an attempt to hide they enter in the graves of the redneck family and they discover something shocking. There is a random power box in there. The fool manages to get the top open and they see it is an elevator and they start heading down. 

      See totally not dead.

      Their compartment is one of many cubes in a maze of constantly moving blocks. Each cube holds its own horror from the blackboard list plus some others that were not mentioned. The operators see them in there and bring the cube down so they can finish them off. As they are being escorted out the dismembered hand of one of the zombies stabs a guard and the Fool and the Virgin manage to escape. In an attempt to increase the mayhem they start releasing all of the creatures and it turns into a bloodbath as all the guards and members of the staff start getting knocked off by all the random monsters.

      So to wrap up in the end the Fool doesn't get killed and since Japan had failed as well the ancients were released and so as the movie ends you know that the world is also at an end. I am sorry that I didn't go off on many tangents with this one but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I do however have some random trivia for you. The Latin that she reads is grammatically incorrect in that it is not conjugated correctly. For all you grammar nerds out there I will even include what is said in the first sentence (Dolor supervivo caro) and what it should be (Dolor supervivit carnem). No need to thank me.

      I really enjoyed this movie. It was very well made and Joss Whedon lived up to my expectations. 

      Rating: 4.5 Stars