Saturday, June 23, 2012

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Let The Dukes in Your House

We Dukes fancy ourselves as honorable fellows, but there are a few situations where we are not to be trusted. I have highlighted in the past why ladies shouldn't trust us and today I want to warn all our potential friends out there of another one of our terrible habits. We make terrible house guests. You may be thinking to yourself "harrumph. I have had The Dukes over many times and nothing has gone wrong." If that is the case I say to you just wait. Your time will come. You are more likely to stop the inexorable march towards death than stop what is coming at our hands. It will be an accident (probably). We will feel sorry for it (possibly), but here are five reasons why The Dukes should not be let in your house.

We straight up stomped that house to its death.

1. Zac has a vendetta against decks

I don't like decks and I don't trust decks. They are wobbly and unstable and they want to murder me. Also they are a lot of work. "Look at me I need to be water proofed and stained every year so I look good. If you don't I will succumb to some sort of rot and look less than awesome Mwahahaha!!" They are jerks and must be dealt with. We have been feuding for years but our battle recently came to a head.

We had had an enjoyable afternoon swimming and we needed to kill some time before we went to our dinner reservation.  We decided that we would spend this time lounging at a friend's house. The scene was idyllic. The sun was shining high, as were our spirits. There was much frolicking and jumping on of tramps. We were ready for a breather so we decided to head into the house by way of a staircase/deck combo that led us to the second floor. With the feelings I have towards decks I should have thought this though and gone in through the front door, but I decided to spit in the face of fate and she decided to strike back. 

I had managed to navigate the staircase and I was feeling invincible. In a weak moment of false immortality I took my gaze from my foot placement and there I met my downfall. One misplaced step and my hefty weight met a weak board and I felt myself falling.  Oh dark hubris why did you bring upon me this fate!? Why couldn't I have just looked down?! There is some good that comes from this tale. As it turns out I have the reflexes of a highly trained ninja. As I found the floor of the deck rushing up to meet me I managed to throw out my hands and catch myself as my knee was passing the floorboards. If that hadn't happened I would have ended up on a concrete slab one level below. Sadly I did not make it entirely unscathed.

Drink it in.

Touché deck you win this round, but a warning to all of my friends out there with decks I will have my revenge!

2.  We will take any opportunity we can to scare or surprise you.

This shouldn't be a shocker but we Dukes can be jerks and we will scare you whenever and however we can. When Danny and I worked at the bank together we were terrible most of the time. Danny once jumped out at a very pregnant lady while dressed as the Hulk. He didn't even know her yet since he was still in training. I made a girl hit her head on the underside of a counter because I decided to sneak up behind her(I still feel bad about that). Letting us into your home is just inviting us to find new ways to frighten you. 

Look at those sadistic grins

One great example involves our good friend Morgan (who has not been replaced). She invited us to her home and was a gracious host. In return we managed to get the keypad combo to her door just so we could scare her. We had been told that she was on her way home and that we should meet her there at 7. Instead of doing as we were told we decided to go early to set up shop. We got there at 6:30 and we entered the home. Her dog Gracie greeted us at the door as old friends and we started to plot.

In order to help you understand the story you need some background. Morgan is afraid of finding random people in her hotel room, bedroom, bathroom etc. We knew this and decided to play on that fear. We hunkered down in the living room, turned off the light and began to wait. Soon we could see headlights coming off in the distance. We heard the car door shut and her shoes began to clack against the pavement, marking her approach. Her frame darkened the doorway and she slowly began unlocking the door. The door swung open and we could see her silhouetted there. Mustering up my best devil voice, I growled from the darkness "Welcome Home".

Morgan responded with one classic line, "Oh Sh*t". She sounded so forlorn, as if all hope had been lost. She knew that this was going to be the end of the road for her. (At least I imagine that is what she was thinking) Sadly the moment was ruined by us because we all began to giggle. I don't know if we will ever top that scare but I also don't know if Morgan will ever truly forgive us either.

3. The Dukes + Furniture = Disaster

We are incredibly hard on furniture. Part of it is the fact we use it so much, but another part is that we apparently don't know how to use it like adults either.

This is how you use one of these, right?

No one has felt the sting of our poor furniture etiquette more than my own parents. A few years back I went through a strange furniture buying kick. I still lived at home but apparently I wanted to have more stuff. During one of these stuff getting quests I ended up purchasing a couch for the man cave. It was one I looking forward to sitting on quite a bit. Unfortunately (mainly for my parents) the couch did not fit down the stairs, but being such good people my parents said "take our reclining couch downstairs instead. We will leave your couch up here in the family room in its place." Bad move Mom and Dad.

For the first little while it seemed like a dream come true. We could fit all four Dukes on the one couch, or four of anybody if we had company. We would watch movie after movie and life was good. Gradually I think that we as a whole began to forget who the couch belonged to and we treated it as our own. The first casualty was the back left corner. Danny really liked to lean back on whatever piece of furniture he was sitting in, but with this couch it just caused it to break after a time. This was no biggie though. We just propped up the corner with a tub, a piece of particle board, and an exercise ball (take that Macgyver).

We were trucking along just fine after this minor speed bump until a late night movie led to a late night pinch war that involved Coombsy, Danny, McKell and I (Ricky is super glad that he wasn't a part of this one). The pinches were brutal and somehow it led to the destruction of one of the leg rests (I am looking at you Coombsy). Once again we managed to pull together a last minute solution, in this case we used a small garbage can to prop up the leg rest. I think you are a smart readership so I am pretty sure you can figure out what happened next. If you guessed that gypsies did it, you have been talking to me way too much.  So in the end the couch died a slow death at the hands of the people who had professed to love it.

So you know, be careful when people love you.

4. Once we have access to your house we may never leave

At times we Dukes have been compared to parasites, and sadly that isn't far from the truth. If we find something we like we will attach ourselves to it and we will only let go when that thing has died, become broken or completely lost its function. This attachment can happen with pretty much any noun you can think of, and woe be unto that person, place or thing.

Early in the life of our friendship we were constantly at Ricky's house. We were there a minimum of three times a week. Ricky's parents are great people, but I think after a few months of this they went on vacation just so they wouldn't have to see us anymore. Did the fact that Ricky and his family had gone on vacation change how often we were at his house? No it did not. If anything we were there even more since Danny had been asked to house sit. The only thing that changed was the time of night we finally went to bed and the amount of joyrides we took in vehicles we did not own (we only went on one in Ricky's old van).

This just goes to show you that even fleeing the state isn't enough to get rid of us. We will be waiting right where you left us when you return so we can continue to suck the life out of you.

5. We mark our territory

This doesn't mean that if we enter your house we will make like dogs and start peeing on things (I can't promise that Coombsy won't though), it just means that we will start leaving traces of ourselves in your house. Once again I will bring up Morgan. If you go in her house you will be able to find a copy of our main page photo. She didn't ask for it, but we decided she needed it. It was our effort to claim her home as our own. You never know when we will strike or what form our claim will take, just that it will happen.

Coming soon to inside your house.

 In summation it is clear that we are adorable and the epitome of awesomeness, but you need to decide for yourself if we are really worth all the trouble we cause. If you decide we are not I may cry myself to sleep but I won't begrudge you your well-reasoned opinion. If you decide to toss the dice and stick it out I pray that our visits turn out better than it did for this Brazilian family whose home I tore down with my bare hands.

Just think of it as an extended camping trip

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: Snow White and the Huntsman

Mirror Mirror above the sink am I as handsome as I think? If the answer isn't "dang skippy you are" I don't want to hear it. Following the great Hollywood tradition of having several similarly themed movies come out around the same time we have had two adaptations of Snow White this year. The first was Mirror Mirror which according to sources (I didn't see it because I don't hate myself enough) was a terrible movie with flat acting and nothing memorable at all. The second is one that I actually wanted to see because it seemed like a darker twist on the classic tale. Not darker than the original story because man those Germans like their fairy tales dark. I mean in the original the Queen has quite the gruesome end. As punishment for her wicked ways, a pair of heated iron shoes are brought forth with tongs and placed before the Queen. She is then forced to step into the iron shoes and to dance until she drops dead. Who in the world thinks that is a good ending to tell a child?

I was intrigued by this movie because it looked action-y and it had Chris Hemsworth in it and I am an official member of the I want Chris Hemsworthesque arms fan club (No such club exists but I really do want arms that look like his). I was rather leery though at the thought of seeing a movie with Kristen Stewart in it because from what I have seen of Twilight her acting consisted of being moody and whiny and not closing her mouth because she is a vapid purposeless character. (Tell me how you really feel about it Zac)

My guess is that the Twilight series is 10 hours of this.

So was with these conflicting feeling roiling in my chest that we headed to the theater to see Snow White and the Huntsman. As much as it pains me to say this I didn't hate Kristen Stewart in this movie and I think she did a passable job(actually it was better than passable but I couldn't bring myself to saying that) as Snow White and she made us actually care about her plight. I still love Chris Hemsworth but I was a little confused why they gave him a Scottish accent. The acting was well done from all the characters and the imagery of the contrasting nature of good and evil were very well done. The dark foreboding forest was very dark and very foreboding while the sanctuary was very green and vibrant. It did seem like they did take it one step too far with the random Pixie creatures climbing out of the birds.

The part that wasn't as well done was the writing. Some of the lines were trite or even just straight up ridiculous. Like the part during the showdown between the Queen and Snow White when Snow White says "you can't have my heart". In all honesty I said out loud in the theater "seriously?!" when she said that line. (I am sure strangers hate us in their showing)  I also had an issue with the speech that Snow White gives to rally the troops. It wasn't memorable or very inspiring at all. Speeches are where the writers are supposed to shine because that is the part that they are trying to get the most emotion out of the audience so we will feel like we are a part of whatever the group is about to undertake. All great movies nail the speech part.

I feel bad for all of the little people in Hollywood not named Peter Dinklage because now they are losing all their roles to regular actors that are just being CGIed into little people. I never wanted to see a three foot Ian McShane but now I can never un-see it.

And now neither can you.

It created quite the stir amongst the little community and even had Warwick Davis comparing the shrinking down of actors to black face. I don't know if I would take it that far, but I do think it is a shame that they didn't even give them a chance.

Overall I thought the movie was decent. It had good acting and nice effects, but if it had had decent writing it could have been great. In the words of some random guy I read on the internet I say that this is what Lord of the Rings could have been if Peter Jackson hadn't cared about every single detail. On a strange side note Viggo Mortensen was almost cast as the Huntsman and that would have been a great tie in to the previous quote.

Rating 3.5 Stars

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Dukes Get Behind on Movie Reviews and Cram Three in One

Either we see too many movies or I am too lazy. I am inclined to think it is a little of column A and a whole lot of column B. Because of this shameful combo I once again find myself behind on my movie reviews. I could blame a swollen knee but what does that have to with typing? Nothing at all but I am doing my darndest to find some excuse. You want to know who is to blame? Gypsies. It is always their fault.

Dark Shadows is one more movie where Johnny Depp wears pale makeup and Tim Burton calls on his friends to be in another movie. Don't get me wrong I enjoy Tim Burton movies and as I have stated many times on this blog I love Johnny Depp. I will once again say he is the bacon of actors since he makes all of the things he is in better.

He doesn't like the sun much.

The issue many people had with this movie is that they took it too seriously. It was meant to be a breezy comedy, something whimsical and lighthearted. They were attempting to take the soap opera feel of the original series and change it up a little. I enjoyed the movie and thought that it was well acted and it had decent writing. The screenplay was done by Seth Grahame-Smith who also happens to be the author of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

I also am a fan of Eva Green because she is incredibly attractive and a good actress to boot. The main issue I had with the movie was the random adding of a werewolf to the story. It didn't need to be included and it added nothing to the plot. There also were a few goofs that could have easily been avoided. In the movie while the setting is supposedly 1760 they mention the state of Maine even though at the time it was actually part of the territory of Massachusetts. Maine wasn't a state until 1820. Also while the movie was in 1972 they mention two songs that wouldn't be out for another year.

Rating 3.5 Stars


Bears!! That is pretty much the only thing this movie had going for it. The only reason it even had that was the fact that I claimed there would be a bear in the movie before it started and I was right. The movie seemed to want to be a "lost footage" film in how the camera work was super shaky. Also they didn't give me any likable characters. We had two angry brothers, a girl named Boobs (I am assuming that is her name because that is where the camera focused at least half the time), her friend Boring McBoringpants, a dirty hippie couple and the ex military guy Uri (he gets a real name because I liked his accent).

This movie could have been something special but in the end it just turned into a normal zombie movie. It also seemed like the makers were trying to make a video game because they just kept introducing new levels like, the coliseum, or the catacombs, or the creepy lunchroom. Nothing in the movie surprised me or caused me to jump at all. The only surprise was the bear that popped out of one of the rooms.


Rating 2 Stars

After Men in Black 2 came out I didn't think that a third movie was such a good idea. The second one wasn't good and I was afraid the third one would be the same. After looking into the film (It had a budget of 375 million!!) I thought I would at least give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised. The movie wasn't as childish or over the top as the second one, although it did have its moments (the stupid funeral at the beginning and the stupid use of a stupid alien language).

I thought it was well acted and that Josh Brolin did a great job as a young K. He nailed it. I also thought that Jemaine Clement did a fine job as the bad guy Boris the Animal. There were a few issues with what they had shown of 1969. For some reason they got two of the country flags wrong, Spain and Papua New Guinea. (I will be honest I didn't know that about both flags off the top of my head, just that of Spain so thank you internet)

 Rating 3.5 stars