Stupid or Lazy? Dogs or Bunnies? Boston Rob or Gary Busey?

By: The Dude on the Right

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Stu Gotz’s weekend involved bunny rabbits and mine involved a dog, so during this “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast we discuss animals. We also discuss being domestic, as the Dude household needs some windows treatments for privacy purposes, while Stu wants my opinion of a person he interacted with over the weekend, and if they were stupid or just lazy.

On the movie front, Stu lets everyone know if “Hop” is destined to be a classic, or at least if it’s any good, and I’m telling you that the movie “Babies” contains a lot of boobies, but not necessarily those you might originally be thinking about. Stu is looking for a Doctor Who coffee mug, I’m looking for a quieter dog, Stu didn’t watch something that had to do about “Burn Notice,” and I’m still wrapped into “Celebrity Apprentice” and “Survivor: Redemption Island.” All of that and more!

Thanks for listening!

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

Tron: Legacy

MPAA Rated – PG
It’s 2:05 Long
A Blu-ray Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Tron: Legacy
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Kiddie Movie: It’s a tad violent, so not too young.
Date Movie: Especially if she’s a little geeky.
Gratuitous Sex: Skimpy outfits, mostly.
Gratuitous Violence: It’s Disney and PG, so nothing horrible.
Action: Lots of chasing and running.
Laughs: Some snickers.
Memorable Scene: The Game Grid is cool.
Memorable Quote: Nothing stands out.
Directed By: Joseph Kosinski
Cool things about the Blu-ray? The “making of” stuff is nicely detailed so you don’t get the feeling it was just thrown together, but for shear interactive Tron-ness grab your iPad or laptop and use the Second Screen feature.

I barely remember the original “Tron.” Sure, I played the game on my Intellivision, but in my movie world, if my life depended on remembering any of the story, well, it’s a good thing that “Tron: Legacy” has a 5-Disc, 2-Movie combo pack that includes not just “Tron: Legacy” on Blu-ray, but the original “Tron” on Blu-ray as well, a Digital copy of “Tron: Legacy” for portability, a basic DVD of the new one and, if that weren’t enough, if you’ve popped for that new Blu-ray 3D TV and have been looking for an entertaining movie to watch on it, well, this set has one of those as well!  Yup, there is no excuse for you to not be assimilated into all things “Tron,” but so that this review isn’t too long, let’s pick up where the first movie left off…

In “Tron: Legacy” we find that it’s been a number of years since Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) disappeared from his son, Sam’s (Garrett Hedlund), life.  Sam has always been a rebellious son, even though technically in charge of ENCOM, his father’s company.  As it goes, after ruining a software release for ENCOM and posting bail, his father’s old confidante tracks down Sam and lets him know that he received a page, from Dad.  So Sam is on a quest to the old arcade, finds a trap door, gets sucked into the computer game Dad was sucked into, and when he realizes things aren’t well on the Grid (that’s the computer world), he also realizes he can save his Dad.

So, with the help of Quorra, a resident of The Grid, Sam is able to survive a bit, and eventually Sam, Kevin, and Quorra realize that Clu, who is now the “Ruler” of The Grid, is trying to build an army to enter our real world, take it over, and make it better.

Sure, it sounds a little confusing on paper, but even for me, who couldn’t remember a lick of most of the original, “Tron: Legacy” did a nice job of moving along and bringing you into the story.  There are some scenes that, if you aren’t watching it in 3D, will say “Come on, already!”, but in terms of entertainment in your living room, I liked “Tron: Legacy” and think you won’t even have to be a geek to like it.

Visually the movie is pretty stunning and part of me would love to run out and buy a 3D TV but damn, I still hate those glasses, even though I’m guessing it looks even better in 3D!  Acting-wise things are what they are, but you get some fun action and just some popcorn fun.  It’s 3 ½ stars out of 5 for “Tron: Legacy.”

Now in terms of the Blu-ray package and the various extras, gosh, where to start?  Well, in terms of normal stuff you get some pretty good looks at how things are made and that, even though technology has made the movie look a hell of lot better than the original, the challenges are still many to bring a movie about a fictional “game” universe to the big screen.  Some stuff is throw-away, I suppose, unless you are a Daft Punk fan and really want to watch the video of “Derezzed,” but in terms of shear movie interaction, Disney has included their “Second Screen” extra, which allows you to use your iPad or laptop to follow along with movie, synching the extra coolness, views, and tidbits for you on your device while you watch the movie.  It’s pretty cool, and a lot more fun than things just popping up on the TV screen.

So, in the end, I’ve got to say that in terms of movie-packaging, Disney did a great job with “Tron: Legacy,” especially if you opt for the 5-disc package.

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

Your Highness is High, Storms are Low, TV is On, and Bikes are Ridden.

By: The Dude on the Right

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Storms didn’t materialize where I live, Stu rode a bike, and during this episode of the “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast there is a lot of talk about TV. Yup, I’m still a fan of “Celebrity Apprentice” even though most of the celebrities are idiots, I’m still a fan of “American Idol” even though the judges are idiots, and I’m still a fan of “Survivor: Redemption Island” even though most of the contestants are idiots, and I tell Stu why. Stu, meanwhile, had a quiet weekend alone with the Gotz children as Mama Gotz was away, and with the nice weather Stu went bike riding with his kids. Mama Gotz apparently had a brain fart, “forgetting” all of the goings on that went on during a trip to New Orleans, because Stu had no stories to tell from her, but the both of us had a story to tell as we were of the minority of folks who went to see “Your Highness” over the weekend.

Stu says that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I” comes out on Blu-ray this week, I say that “Scream 4” and “Rio” hit the theaters this week, I say I had a nice time at a confirmation party, and Stu says, “’nuff said.” And such is another podcast episode!

Thanks for listening!

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

Tangled

MPAA Rated – PG
It’s 1:40 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Tangled
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: The voices of: Mandy Moore & Zachary Levi
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 29, 2011
Kiddie Movie: Not too young, but definite girls.
Date Movie: Mom and Dad can watch it nicely with the kids.
Gratuitous Sex: There is some love, but it’s Disney-safe.
Gratuitous Violence: Cartoon.
Action: Some chasing and scenes of peril.
Laughs: Nothing gut-busting, but cute enough.
Memorable Scene: Nothing was super-special.
Memorable Quote: Nothing really.
Cool things about the Blu-ray? Other than the picture looking cool, and the DVD copy for on-the-go, it’s pretty much a movie for the movie. The “making of” segment might be cute for the kids, but the other extras seem to be thrown on there for the sake of having extras.

As I was watching “Tangled,” it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, Disney is starting to shift the vision of a Princess to the modern times, and I’m thinking it’s a smart thing. I will explain this a little more at the end of this review, but let’s get to the story first.

“Tangled” tells a tale loosely based on the “Rapunzel” story from the Brothers Grimm. Gone is the family that gives their baby to Dame Gothel and in its place is a Princess with magic hair, being kidnapped by Mother Gothel. It seems Mother Gothel, years ago, found a plant that, when she sang to it, would keep her young, but now that the power was transferred to Rapunzel through the Queen drinking flower broth and giving birth to Rapunzel, it seems the magic power is now in Rapunzel’s hair.

Okay, so Mom Gothel kidnaps Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) and keeps her in a tower for her selfish self, but Rapunzel is getting older, wanting to explore the world, and Mom keeps her at bay by convincing her the world is a bad place. Enter a dude who is far from a Prince, namely Flynn (voiced by Zachary Levi), who finds Rapunzel while on the run after stealing the Princess’ tiara from the castle. And so, yup, adventure ensues as Rapunzel convinces Flynn to take her out of the tower and to the town to see the flying lights, Flynn obliges so that she’ll give him the tiara back, and wouldn’t you know it, our happy couple falls in love.

It’s a nice story, you pretty much know how things will end up, after all it is a Disney movie, but what is great about “Tangled” is that it is smartly written, and rather than just being a princessy Princess, Rapunzel has spunk, yet at times is still just a girl at heart, and the movie does a fantastic job of showing this. Sure, she wants to be pretty, but Rapunzel’s not afraid to get her feet wet or wield a wicked frying pan.

Probably okay for younger boys (they’ll like the Flynn and horse characters), and the girls will relate and love Rapunzel, so I say it’s nice to see Disney taking what could have just been a generic Princess character and turn her into a girl that today’s youngins can relate to.

With that it’s 4 stars out of 5 for “Tangled.” I enjoyed it, it’s a movie I think most can enjoy, and if Disney can keep with this trend of movie I think it might have a future in keeping the Princess motif, but making her a 2010 kind of girl.

As far as the Blu-ray and DVD, I almost hate to say it but you’re pretty much getting this version for the movie, with a smattering of extras. The deleted scenes were pretty much better off cut, sure, you could probably sing along to the extended songs, and the alternate openings were better as alternates. The “Untangled: The Making of a Fairy Tale” is nice enough, probably better for the kids with the banter of Zachary and Mandy, but for me, loving the technical aspects of making films like this, the funniest part was the scene with the women trying to decide the best looking characature for Flynn.

Get the Blu-ray because it looks good, and just enjoy the movie as a smart movie that moves the concept of the Princess nicely into the 2010’s.

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

A Home Opener Tale, Bubble Tea, Tangles, Diaries, and Goodbye Richard Hatch.

By: The Dude on the Right

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It’s a rainy day, and it’s a Monday, and it’s another episode our our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast. Rainy days are also mentioned because Stu Gotz went to the Chicago Cubs home opener, telling some tales of losing baseball and trips to Greektown, while I made a trip to Oak Brook Mall with tales of weird clothes and finding a place with bubble tea in Downer’s Grove called Bello Tea. Stu’s weekend wasn’t all about baseball, as he also breaks down the movie “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules,” while, for what it’s worth, we also give you the breakdown of the Disney movie “Tangled” from an adult dude point of view.

Richard Hatch is gone from “Celebrity Apprentice,” Stu says I should watch “Break Out Kings” on A&E, I’m fighting some kind of cold, and we still can’t decide if Saturday Night Live is good again.

Thanks for listening!

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

Comfortable Socks, American Idol, Celebrity Apprentice, New Jersey, and Movies Nobody Saw.

By: The Dude on the Right

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I’m sick of winter, and during this episode of our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast Stu Gotz and I discuss how, with the Chicago Cubs home opener coming up, we have a pretty good idea that the weather will suck for it, mostly because it usually does. We are both watching TV and I dissect “American Idol” for him, and how I think the judges wasted their “Save,” while he and Mama Gotz are hoping that “V” comes back next season and Stu is eagerly awaiting “Doctor Who.”

I saw people celebrating “Wear Your Pajamas” day, Stu had to buy comfortable socks, I’m loving this season of “Celebrity Apprentice,” and we discuss a bunch of movies we didn’t see. All of that and more!

Thanks for listening!

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

A Bachelor Party Survivor, Men in Propeller Hats, Too Much Sex, and “30 Rock” Spoofs Housewives.

By: The Dude on the Right

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Spring has sprung! That means little girls are patiently waiting to frolic in the flowers while men go on bachelor party adventures! Well, some men go, in this case Stu Gotz, and it was for our pal, The Dude on the Left! Me, I stayed back to hold down the fort, but during this episode of our "Weekend Wrap-Up!" podcast, Stu tells some tales of old men trying to be young again, at least those tales he could tell.

Yup, Stu returned from a trip with the boys to Cubs Spring Training, and as I hear about it I’m sad I missed it, well, at least the Cubs Spring Training games part. Me, meanwhile, I was hanging in downtown Chicago with my BFF, seeing men in propeller hats,women with orange hair, and later snuggling with her as we watched "Love & Other Drugs" where I agreed with her that there was actually too much unnecessary sex in the movie, and neither of us could figure out why the brother had a storyline.

I taught my wife about procrastinating, Stu saw "Gran Torino," and both Stu and I watched "30 Rock," thought not together, with me having an even bigger appreciation for the episode, the fan of "The Real Housewives…" that I am.

Thanks for listening!

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

127 Hours

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:34 Long
A Blu-ray Review by:
The Dude on the Right

127 Hours
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: James Franco
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Kiddie Movie: It’s really adult. Put them to bed.
Date Movie: You can both snuggle and get through the arm cutting scene together.
Gratuitous Sex: Nah, but promiscuity.
Gratuitous Violence: Just him cutting off his arm.
Action: Nope.
Laughs: Nah.
Memorable Scene: I got weepy at the ending even though I knew he was going to be rescued.
Memorable Quote: Nothing really.
Directed By: Danny Boyle
Cool things about the Blu-ray? The deleted scenes and alternate ending are forgetable and tedious, but to get an idea of what was going on while Aron was trapped, watch the “Search & Rescue” feature.

If you’re like me, sometimes you like your “alone” time. What if that “alone” time stretched out a little longer, say, 5ish days? Sure, that might be nice if the version was “Alone at a resort where a cute dudette (or dude as might be your case) was serving drinks.” But what if that “alone” time also included limited food and water? “Great, I need a cleanse!” Nope, sorry, not that kind of limited food and water, we’re talking a thermos of water, and that’s pretty much it for the 5ish days, and hey, why not toss in your arm being trapped between a giant boulder and rock wall? Doesn’t sound like that much fun anymore, does it? Well, “127 Hours” gives us the story of Aron Ralston, a dude who, if you remember the story, had that happen to him, and instead of being “easily” rescued, well, it pretty much came down to cutting off his forearm or dying. He’s alive and well, less one forearm and hand.

Now you might also be saying something like “Why in God’s green earth would I want to watch a movie about some dude trapped in the mountains, where he has to cut off his arm? And is it really graphic when he cuts off his arm, or do we just know it happens? Tell me dude!” Well, I’m telling you that “127 Hours” is a great film – of a story of part stupidity, part inspiration, and part of it might have you reflect a bit on your life and the things you might wish you could do, regret things you did, or maybe inspire you, if you had 5 days with just yourself and a small bottle of water to process your mortality.

Look, the movie’s pretty deep, but there is some fun at the beginning where Aron (in the movie played fabulously by James Franco) sets out on his journey and runs into a couple of girls on the hiking trails, so don’t be too freaked out by the subject matter and yes, although not the most pleasant of scenes, I think most people can get through the point where Aron has to cut off his arm, albeit you might have to watch between your fingers because your hands are covering your eyes. James Franco does great, the reflective, and sometimes losing his mind scenes are very well done, and damn, this movie looks beautiful, even if a lot of it takes place in a crevice.

As a movie it’s 4 1/2 stars out of 5 for “127 Hours.” But what about the Blu-ray? Well, I’ll tell you.

It’s got deleted scenes and an alternate ending. Personally I suggest skipping them, and I’m glad they went with the theatrical ending because the alternate one just dragged on and on and would have killed my getting weepy, even though I knew the dude was going to be rescued, because my thoughts would have shifted to “I get it, already.” There’s also a commentary track with the Director, which is normal fare, but I found fascinating the little feature called “Search & Rescue,” sort of a little documentary about that actual things that were going on to get Aron rescued. There is, also, a very detailed look at the making of the movie (damn, that crevice looks real even though it was fake for the movie), which was nice, but I’m still sticking with the “Search and Rescue” as the must-see extra on the Blu-ray.

So yes, even if the subject matter sounds weird, bland, or lousy, I’m telling you that it’s not the case. Put the movie on your widescreen, turn the volume a little, and get weepy at the end even though you know the dude is getting rescued and will be alright.

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

Zach is Funny, Class is Not. Paul Looks Funny, Mars did Not. O.H. will Win, I.L.L. will Not.

By: The Dude on the Right

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I had Gmail issues and want to blame Google for e-mail woes, but during this episode of our “Weekend Wrap-Up!”
podcast
, Stu Gotz isn’t buying it, and he’s probably right, it was my fault. What was Stu’s fault, though, was watching some made for TV movie called “Class,” a product of The Hallmark Channel, which is so right up Stu’s alley. Not.Neither of us saw movies at the theater, though we both think “Battle: Los Angeles” looks cool in a campy kind of way, and also think, and it appears America agrees, that “Mars Needs Moms” looked stupid. On the upcoming movie front, it turns out the upcoming movie, “Paul,” that I mention during the podcast, will not be good for kids as it’s rated R for language and drug use.

I was in a parade and heard bad sexual innuendo jokes, Stu relaxed, The Apprentice and Survivor are great, and in preparation for March Madness I teach Stu how to cheer for The Ohio State University Buckeyes (O. H. – I. O.), and the University of Illinois Fighting Illinoisans (I.L.L. – I.N.I.). Go Bucks!

All of that, our analysis of Saturday Night Live, and more!

Thanks for listening!

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

Bambi

MPAA Rated – G
It’s 1:10 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Bambi
Blu-ray Diamond Edition
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Bambi, Thumper, Flower, and all of Bambi’s friends.
MPAA Rated: G
Released By: Walt Disney Studios
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Kiddie Movie: It’s for the youngin’s.
Date Movie: If you’re watching it as a family, or she’s a Disney fanatic.
Gratuitous Sex: Um, no.
Gratuitous Violence: There is some peril, but nothing gratuitous.
Action: Some chasing and running around.
Laughs: Cute for the kids.
Memorable Scene: Nothing stood out.
Memorable Quote: Nah.
Cool things about the Blu-ray: There is some basic stuff, some deleted scene stuff, and some games for the kids, but for total coolness bust out your iPad or computer and sync things up using the Second Screen feature. It will take “Bambi” from a dated 1940’s animated movie into the 2010’s.

I don’t remember ever seeing “Bambi” when I was a youngin’. I don’t think it’s because I had bad parents, because I vaguely remember seeing Pinocchio, but I think it was more because when I was growing up, before the time of video, Disney would stagger re-releases into the theater, and I was 8 years old by the time it came out again in 1975. With that, it was with some anticipation as I plopped myself on the couch to watch “Bambi,” and yes, this movie probably isn’t geared for me, and yes, it wasn’t even exciting for my wife, but I can see its place in movie history, and as a parent, you’re going to have to be the one to judge because, as kids seem to get older quicker, I’m thinking “Bambi” is almost skewing itself to the 3 to 4 year olds, although, with the interactive Disney Second Screen feature, your 5 year old with their iPad might enjoy learning a whole boat-load of stuff about Disney animation.

I guess I’ll start with the story before I get to what might be the most feature-packed Blu-ray I’ve ever seen.

The story is simple: It’s the story of a young deer, Bambi, and the intrusion of man on nature. The movie opens with introductory scenes of the animal “friends” Bambi will have growing up, and then, there’s Bambi, a newborn, with his mom. At first Bambi is an unsure little deer, hanging with his friends, but then as winter comes to pass, and the friends in the forest grow up, wouldn’t you know it but love enters the picture, too. In the meantime man is intruding more and more on the forest and momma deer has to warn Bambi of the dangers out there, and in deer nation, the elder statesman is there to help the group.

And so, yup, there is peril as momma deer takes a bullet, man sets the forest on fire, and Bambi learns he is much more than just a timid little deer – that he might be destined for greatness.

The thing is, as entertaining as this story sort of sounds, in this day and age of multitasking and mind-overload, I found the movie a tad boring, even through the music movements, although I know, from being little once, that there was a time in movie-land that things like an orchestra building to a crescendo can create excitement, but I don’t think it works so well today, at least it didn’t here, or at least for me.

And this is where the Disney folks are seeing that interactivity might be the way to go with the youngin’s of today because, as a movie, I’m thinking the kids might be bored with a straight sitting of “Bambi,” but with a computer to play along with, even I almost got trapped into watching the movie a couple of times.

First off, the Blu-ray Diamond Edition includes some nice little extras like a missing scene, some extra music, and looks kick-butt between the Blu-ray and a decent widescreen TV, but the package add-ons don’t stop there. Nope, for just Blu-ray goodness, there is a fantastic “Inside Walt’s Story Meeting” feature that, rather than just a boring commentary track, shifts things around with video, taking you through the entire process of how a movie like Bambi goes from concept to the final story. There is also some game-play for the kids, though from my experience the Blu-ray games never play as well as the computer version, but they are there for you to play with your kids.

The winner though, for this Blu-ray package, is the Disney Second Screen feature. Now I did have a little bit of an issue syncing it with my laptop, but I’m guessing if you have an iPad it is probably pretty easy to do. Pretty much, what happens, is as the movie plays on your TV, on your computer or iPad, there is an interactiveness that plays along exactly with the movie. You get extra art-work, tile games, bonus information about the scene, and loads of things that, for the kids of the 2010’s, will probably get them through a lovely orchestral maneuver and into the next scene. It was really kind of fascinating, and for the older movies like a Bambi, will probably be the wave of the future to keep them fresh.

So, as a movie I have to say that I didn’t cry, I almost found “Bambi” kind of boring when I was just watching it solo, but when I was playing around with the extra features on the Blu-ray, especially the “Story Meeting” and Second Screen, I was getting sucked right back into it. With that, when I just saw the movie I was almost hesitant to write a review because it was starting to be a simple “I give ‘Bambi’ 2 stars,” even if it is still unbelievable to me the animation detail of a movie from back in the 1940’s, as my wife pointed out the scenes with reflections in the water, but with the extra features, wow, it’s 4 ½ stars out of 5 for the “Bambi” Diamond Edition. I almost dismissed the extras as basic extras, but I’m glad I played around with them because they brought a little more magic to a movie that well, seems a little dated.

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