Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:56 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainnent
Kiddie Movie: It’s better for the older kiddies.
Date Movie: My BFF liked it, so go ahead and snuggle.
Gratuitous Sex: The Princess wears some skimpy outfits is about it.
Gratuitous Violence: There’s a lot of swordplay and people getting stabbed.
Action: Lots of chasing and running around.
Laughs: A chuckle here and there.
Memorable Scene: Whenever the dagger gets used.
Memorable Quote: Nothing.
Directed By: Mike Newell
Blu-ray Cool Things: The deleted scene is useless, but for film buffs the “CineExplore: The Sands of Time” is kind of like a visual commentary track.

I guess I hate to put it this way, but it seems that “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” is a dudette flick. I say this simply by viewing it with my fiancé, whom, after we finished the movie, simply said “It was under two hours. It had a happy ending. I liked it.” Yup, my fiancé has a pretty simple scale for her liking of movies, and yes, she does have to actually like the movie, but as the credits started to roll, and I looked at her and said “Ehh,” she stated her case based on her ratings scale, I said “Really, you liked it?” and she replied “Yes I did.” Hmm?

So let’s start with the story… Jake Gyllenhaal is Dastan. He’s a little kid in the land of Persia and in a showing of courage, the King decides to adopt him, making him that adopted brother, and Prince, of Persia. He has two other brothers and they actually seem to get along in that brotherly way, and all is well with the kingdom. As the story goes the soldiers come across the land of Alamut, a holy land pretty much left alone in the kingdom, but through a “spy” it seems the Alamutians might be running weapons to the enemies of the Persians. Looking to strike while the iron is hot, with a bit of surprise, the boys, and the King’s brother, Nizam (Ben Kingsley), decide to attack, and in doing so Dastan ends up with this dagger. There is much rejoicing, it is deemed that Dastan should marry Tamina, the Princess/rulerish dudette of Alamut, but then the King dies from a poisoned cloak thing.

Well, Dastan is framed for the King’s death, he runs off with Tamina and decides he has to clear his name and also finds out that the dagger has this magic sand that can turn back time a bit. He learns of the true nature of the sand from Tamina, how it came to be, and the resulting problem should the sand fall into the wrong hands.

And so, for the remainder of the movie, Dastan and Tamina go through adventure after adventure in their quest to prove the good name of our hero, and secure the sand from the bad people.

Look, the movie is grandiose in scale, looks beautiful, but for me just seemed to keep getting itself too complicated in the treachery, the mysticism, and the 3-D-ness effects that were there for the movie in the theater, and maybe will be there for the 3-D TV’s in the future, but for even the Blu-ray scenes it was like wasted screen time when we get it, snakes fly at you in 3-D but don’t do it on my current flat screen.

Jake Gyllenhaal is good enough as Prince Dastan, Gemma Arterton is snippy and pretty as the Princess Tamina, and the film looks great, but I just kept sitting there on my couch waiting for the movie get to its ending, an ending that I thought went too far back in time, but then again, I guess it had to in order for the happy ending. I can see the kids liking it, I can see the dudes being okay with it, but for me it seemed about a 2 star movie that wanted to be a lot more than it ended up being For my BFF, though, she liked the story, it was under two hours, and had a happy ending and felt it was about a 3 1/2 star movie. I’ll average them together and round up to finally give the movie 3 stars out of 5. What do I know?

As far as the Blu-ray kinds of stuff, I still am trying to figure out why the Blu-ray version has a deleted scene that does nothing, really, but show some cut off heads on a platter. It does, though, for movie buffs, give an interesting, kind of “commentary” track, where if you watch the movie via the “Bonus Features” menu, there will be this dagger that shows up every now and then that if you use your remote, you can get a boat-load of “making of,” “how did they do that,” and tidbits about the movie. It’s kind of cool, at least the first couple of times, but it does get a little tedious waiting for the “dagger” to do it’s magic every time – I suggest using the index to see the things you really want to learn about quicker.

All in all a decent film to watch with your more adult children, or go ahead, snuggle with your honey on the couch while she checks out Jake’s abs, but for me the movie got lost in a lot of grandioseness that actually took away from the story.

Movie Rental Mania, Bears Talk, Oprah Talk, Brad Pitt and Suits of Meat.

By: The Dude on the Right

Download and ListenDownload the Podcast!

The Chicago Bears season opener came along, and during this “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast, I give Stu Gotz my excuse as to why I missed the most magical game of the season, at least so far. Sure, I blame my BFF (Get well my Love!), but what man doesn’t?

Blame-game aside, we dissect the Bears’ win that should have really been a loss, and we also dissect the MTV Video Music Awards, or at least wonder about music these days and who might still be around in ten years. Stu’s Little Gotz made a little movie, “Prince of Persia” passes my BFF’s movie test, Stu’s RV is stored for the winter, and I may mock it, but part of me wishes I were in Oprah’s studio audience today because who wouldn’t want a free trip to Australia!

All of that, I’m looking forward to Jimmy Johnson on “Survivor: Nicaragua,” and did Mama Gotz ‘mile high club’ Brad Pitt? I think part of Stu hopes so because then he can search out Jessica Alba.

Thanks for listening! I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

10 Things I Hate About You

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:37 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

10 Things I Hate About You
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Kiddie Movie: Nah, it’s really for the older teen crowd.
Date Movie: Okay, even though I like the movie, it’s probably more for the teen girls.
Gratuitous Sex: Actually some pretty frank talk.
Gratuitous Violence: Some Fighting.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Lots throughout, in the teen genre kind of way.
Memorable Scene: I would have to say the well-timed punch.
Memorable Quote: Kat to Bianca: “I warned him that if he told anyone, the cheerleading squad would find out how tiny his dick is.”
Directed By: Gil Junger
Blu-Ray Cool Things: The extras are kind of lame, but get it for the Blu-ray because it does look better.

“10 Things I Hate About You” is one of those movies that I can somehow watch over and over again, and for whatever reason, even though I’m ten years older than when it was originally released, I still enjoy it.

The story, hey, it’s simple, you know, based on that Shakespeare dude and his story “The Taming of the Shrew.” In this one we’ve got Julia Stiles as Kat. She’s the rebellious teen, weary of the boys, and with a younger sister, Bianca (Larisa Oleynik), she who wants to be able to date boys, and be kind of cool, and be unrebellious. But here comes Patrick (Heath Ledger). He’s the transfer student, kind of mysterious, and with a multitude of twists and turns, Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) wants to date Bianca but can’t because Bianca isn’t allowed to date because her sister, Kat, doesn’t date, so it’s time for Patrick to date Kat, thus allowing Bianca to date, thus allowing Cameron to find happiness with Bianca.

Okay, I made that a little more complicated than it should be, but pretty much “10 Things I Hate About You” is about kids in high school, and I think, as the years go on, the story pretty much plays out the same.

So what sets this movie apart from other teen movies? Well, for one, look at the list of people starring in this movie, from the great Heath Ledger in the movie that really launched his career, to Julia Stiles who has become one of the premier female actresses, to Alison Janney, a staple of experienced actress. But what really makes the movie stand out is that the writing was smart, witty, and adult enough for teens to get without being condescending.

In any case, I still liked “10 Things…” after watching it again over the years, and again for this review for that matter, and after all of these years I still think the movie holds up, so, with that, it’s a solid 4 stars out of 5.

Now, the reason for this review is because the movie has made it to the 10 year mark, and they put it on Blu-ray and “Anniversary Edition” DVD. The problem is that for this special edition, there isn’t that much special about it. I mean, there is a little bit of a retrospective and looking back featurette, some deleted scenes, and the standard commentary track, but really, this DVD is just for having the movie for having the movie sake, and sure, everything looks better on Blu-ray.

30 Days of Night

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:53 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

30 Days of Night
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George
MPAA Rated: R
Distributed By: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Kiddie Movie: Only if you want them having nightmares for a month or so.
Date Movie: It’s good for the both of you to snuggle up on the couch and be afraid.
Gratuitous Sex: None.
Gratuitous Violence: Lots of it, with blood and more.
Action: Vampires chase people, a lot.
Laughs: Nah.
Memorable Scene: The scene with the tractor/trencher was fun.
Memorable Quote: The lead vampire: "God? No God."
Directed By: David Slade
Cool Things About the DVD: You get the standard commentary, but it is really cool seeing how the movie is actually made.

What a great concept: A vampire movie where the vampires finally got smart enough to realize that if they go above the Arctic Circle, say some towns in Alaska, that they won’t have to worry about the dreaded sunrise for a while. Such is the basic premise of the movie “30 Days of Night,” and here’s some more about the story.

The town is Barrow, Alaska, and when winter comes they get 30 days of no sunlight and with the crappy weather they are pretty much cut off from the rest of the world, sans telephone and internet communication. The townsfolk are usually able to ride out the darkness, only this time strange things are afoot in the town. First it is found out that someone has stolen all of the satellite phones and burned them, then the dogs are killed, then the main communication center is taken out, and a stranger shows up at the local diner looking for some raw meat. Sheriff Eben (Josh Hartnett) thinks something might be up, and with his estranged wife, Stella (Melissa George), trapped in town because she crashed her car before time was up, suddenly people are getting their blood sucked out, they realize a swarm of vampires descend on the town, and a small group of survivors have to figure out how to stick it out for the next 29 or so days.

As you can figure, it’s bad enough to try and keep your sanity through 30 days of no sunlight, hell, seasonal affective disorder sucks here in Chicago during the winter, but some of our survivors can’t take it any more, venture out of their shelter only to be ravaged by the vampires, while Eben and Stella, of course, realize they still love each other.

What works for “30 Days of Night,” and makes it different from some of the recent “blood-thirsty” movies, is that we get back to vampires being smart rather than people being infested with some “rage” disease. We also don’t get people who are that stupid, but rather work to be able to survive. The other thing is that in the vampire realm, these are some kick-ass monsters.

I thought Josh Hartnett did well as the Sheriff torn between love, saving himself, and saving what’s left of the townspeople, Melissa George is fine enough as the wife back in love, but the vampires steal this movie. The movie isn’t PG-13’d so the violence and gore is up there with the best of them, and if you’re looking for a nice horror movie to snuggle with your honey during an evening, “30 Days of Night” is a good one. The concept is great though the movie plays out maybe one “I can’t take it anymore” scene too many. It’s 4 stars out of 5.

As far as DVD extras, the movie is full of lots of “How we made this movie” features, most that give you a great insight into all of the work that really takes place getting a movie made, especially a movie that takes place in the dark in a small Alaskan town. That said, if you’re a fan of horror movies, “30 Days of Night” will make a good addition to your DVD collection.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

A Teepee, Crappy Movies, Broccoli, iPads, and Sushi.

By: The Dude on the Right

Download and ListenDownload the Podcast!

I was worried that Stu Gotz was kicked out of the Gotz household, but during this edition of our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast, I find out that Stu just wanted to build a teepee! Yup, Stu is getting in touch with his American Indian heritage, even though he has none, and he put up a big ol’ wigwam in the Gotz yard. The kids love it, but I worry he doesn’t see the future picture of Mama Gotz saying “You’re sleeping in the teepee tonight!”, especially with Stu not being that great at negotiating skills with his kids involving a piece of broccoli and an iPad.

Neither of us saw a movie in the theater, but that didn’t stop us from catching up on DVD stuff with Stu and Mama Gotz watching “2012” and “Heartbreak Kid,” while I watched “My Life in Ruins” with my BFF, and both of us thought it was all over the place, and kind of stupid, although in her world it still wasn’t that bad because it was under two hours with a happy ending.

I ate Sushi, a Little Gotz ate broccoli, Stu didn’t watch TV, and I’m recommending “The Real Housewives of Washington D.C.” What has happened to me?

And, yes, I realize “Deep Impact” was an asteroid movie. The movie I was thinking about was “Dante’s Peak.”

Thanks for listening!

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

When in Rome

I can usually like a romantic comedy, heck, I can even usually like a movie with "magic forces at work", but during my review of the Blu-ray release of "When in Rome," you’ll find out that event he cuteness of Kristen Bell, nor the acting ability of Danny De Vito, couldn’t help. There are a lot better romantic comedies out there, heck, even some you’ve probably already seen before, and maybe a tween might like this, but neither my BFF, nor myself, could find much to like about this one.

Secure Your Domain, Movies All Over the Place, 3-D Sucks Except for Maybe Toy Story,Frontierville, and Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon!

By: The Dude on the Right

Download and ListenDownload the Podcast!

Was “Prince of Persia” any good? Should you rent “When in Rome?” Why am I sort of watching “Burn Notice?” Well, you will find out the answers to all of these questions, and more, during this episode of the “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast!

As the podcast starts, though, my weekend was lazing, at least Sunday, and I reminisce with Stu Gotz about the first album I ever bought, Queen’s “Night at the Opera,” while he actually reels me in to a bad joke about Oprah that he heard while officiating the nuptuals of a couple in love. We do discuss TV, because it’s what we do, and Stu finally caught up on the MTV Movie Awards and realizes he’s old, while I was half-interested in “Burn Notice,” although sadly Zynga’s latest game for Facebook, Frontierville, has caught my attention. There is an abundance of movie-talk, also, with my early Blu-ray review of “When In Rome,” Stu went into a theater for “Prince of Persia,” he watched a Netflix movie I had but never watched called “500 Days of Summer,” and Stu is not excited about 3-D movies, anymore, except maybe the upcoming “Toy Story 3.”

Stu wonders when I’m getting a new iPhone, I’m wondering why weddings cost so much, Stu recommends a tuxedo place, and there’s a good lesson as to why you should secure your domain name for as long as possible, especially when the police are involved.

How do we fit so much into 20 minutes of podcasting? No commercials! Actually, I don’t know how, but we do, so sit back, have a listen, and feel free to weigh in with what you think!

Thanks for listening!

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Congrats to The W.G.N.!, iPad Touching, A Birthday Lunch Idea, TV Talk, and No Lyle Lovett

By: The Dude on the Right

Download and ListenDownload the Podcast!

Congrats to The W.G.N. for graduating college, but sadly for me, as I tell Stu during our "Weekend Wrap-Up!" Podcast, is that The W.G.N.’s ceremony didn’t include Lyle Lovett getting an honorary degree so the only excitement for me, other than him graduating of course, was an annoying Asian lady with bad perfume who kept fanning herself. His graduating did give me a chance to actually see my "Make Me Smile" app on an iPad, and Stu and Mama Gotz also got to play with an iPad, too, but Stu was disappointed by the iPad’s lack of Java support so unfortunately it’s "No iPad for Mama Gotz" (she really needs Java, and Stu thinks Steve Jobs should get on the stick and implement it, not counting the fact that Mama Gotz couldn’t play Treasure Isle on Facebook because it doesn’t have Flash, either).

Technology aside, Stu saw a movie called "Gentlemen Broncos" via his Netflix and gives his rundown of the movie, and he is still liking the new Doctor Who, while I re-bailed on "Survivor" when Colby got booted, thankfully I suppose because I would have been pissed because Russell didn’t win again even though he may be the best Survivor player, ever, again.

Stu saw the Chicago Cubs and got the kids a bear, My BFF had a birthday which led Stu to a inform me of a failed opportunity for me to treat her to lunch at Fry’s Electronics, I’m cheering on Brett Michaels for the Celebrity Apprentice finale, and we both wonder who Holly Robinson Peete is.

Thanks for listening!

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

The C-Word, The Blackhawks, The Treasure Isle, The Kick-Ass, The Great Lake Pizza, and The More!

By: The Dude on the Right

Download and ListenDownload the Podcast!

Hide the kids, put on the headphones, and don’t play this “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast at work because Stu Gotz can’t stand a star that is dancing (psst, it’s Kate Gosselin) and uses language that only an 11 year old girl would use, that is if the 11 year old girl was in a movie called “Kick-Ass.” Me, I tell Stu some of the words that the 11 year old girl uses, and also if the movie is any good (I loved it). Also along the movie front, Stu, for reasons I’m still not sure, watched “The Yearling” with Gregory Peck and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, and I’m really getting worried about Stu.

We also chat a bit about the Chicago Blackhawks as they are in the race for The Stanley Cup, Stu gives his “expert” opinion about Ke$ha while I explain my desire to be a Ke$ha back-up dancer, I fill Stu in on a pizza joint in Chicago called Great Lake that has the “best” pizza in America (somehow I compare it to seeing an artsy movie), both of us are now addicted to Zynga’s latest Facebook creation, Treasure Isle, and I wonder if Stu, being the dive-dork that he is, has seen the video of the octopus that stole some dude’s camera that is propogating the Twitter universe (hey, go ahead and follow me at @dudeonright). Also, there’s a dirty Starbuck’s bathroom, and it’s in the Andersonville neighborhood in Chicago in case you want to avoid it.

All of that and more, if all of that’s not enough. Thanks for listening!

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Pirate Radio

I really wanted to like "Pirate Radio" more than I did, so during my Blu-ray review of the movie I try to disect it. Okay, I really don’t, mostly I just give a synopsis of the movie and a brief idea of what to expect on the Blu-ray. Mostly I think I didn’t like it that much because the humor was more along the intellectual, dry kind, and when I was watching the movie I wasn’t in the "thinking mode." Check out the review anyway, it might give you some insight if you might like the movie.