Rain Gutter Guards at a SCUBA Show, Mattresses, Little Things, and Loving Survivor.

By: The Dude on the Right

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I watched an episode of “Chuck!” Yup, I’m catching up on my TV viewing, and during this episode of our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast, I let Stu Gotz know what I think about the girl with the black hair. I also let Stu know that “Survivor: Redemption Island” is great, and that I’m seeing how they will be working to finish up “Smallville,” at least for me.

Stu, meanwhile, spent the weekend SCUBAing, or at least talking about SCUBA, at a local convention. He found it odd some of the items being peddled at the show, but I put things in perspective for him. He did get out to see some of “Gnomeo and Juliet,” had a great meal at The Capital Grille in Rosemont thanks to it being Chicago Restaurant week (it ends Feb 27th) in, well, Chicago(land), and saw a movie on DVD called “Trailer Park Boys: The Movie” and is curious what I might thing of it.

We’re celebrating President’s Day, a little thing makes my wife happy, Stu sings the “Hail to the Chief” version from the movie “Dave,” and it would be nice if the rain rain would go away away.

Thanks for listening!

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

Eminem was Robbed, Bad Bowling, Movies and TV Shows, and the Drop and Give Me App Explained.

By: The Dude on the Right

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During this episode of our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast, we find out that Stu Gotz isn’t that good of a bowler, and he doesn’t know how to watch The Grammy Awards, either. As such, I have to give him the scoop on how Eminem was robbed, but I don’t do a great job at explaining Cee Lo Green to him. I do, however, give him a fantastic explanation of my latest iPhone app called “Drop and Give Me,” and he is actually impressed that I already able to do fifteen push-ups.

As far as explaining also goes, Stu does his best to sell “Just Go With It,” a movie both he and Mama Gotz enjoyed, while I do my best to warn Stu to watch “The King’s Speech” in a well-lit room. We find that Mama Gotz didn’t read my review of “When in Rome,” we both enjoyed the latest “30 Rock” and the fact that Jack Donaghy now has a Canadian baby, and neither of us can really figure out what “I Am Number Four” is about from the trailers.

All of that and more, and thanks for listening!

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

You Again

MPAA Rated – PG
It’s 1:45 Long A Blu-ray Review by:
The Dude on the Right

You Again
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman, Betty White
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: February 8, 2011
Kiddie Movie: Okay for slightly older girls.
Date Movie: If it’s mom watching with her daughter, sure.
Gratuitous Sex: Betty White is old and horny.
Gratuitous Violence: Slapstick.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Slapstick.
Memorable Scene: Nothing.
Memorable Quote: None.
Directed By: Andy Fickman

As I was thinking more and more about the movie “You Again,” which is really more thought than I should be giving it in my mind, other than the initial viewing and writing my review, I kept trying to figure out who the target audience would be. I mean, it had girls bickering, which is sometimes fun, although the movie is only rated PG, and in afterthought it’s mostly harmless slapstick. But, the bickering is between twenty-something women, and sure, also older ,mom-something women, which makes me wonder if the pre-teen and younger teen crowd would enjoy it, which I think is sort of the target market because older teen girls and, well, everyone else might just be bored. Then I thought maybe the market is a woman like my sister, where, well, she’s a market all to herself. Then I wondered if there was a way to make the movie more enjoyable. Then I wondered how Betty White got involved. Then I stopped wondering and told myself to just give the synopsis for the movie, my final rating, and be done with it.

So here goes.

“You Again” gives you Kristen Bell. She plays Marnie, a twenty-something girl who was the pimple-faced, braces-wearing girl that would get picked on in high school. Low and behold she has turned into a lovely girl, working her way up the public relations corporate ladder. Of course, in high school, there was her nemesis, Joanna (Odette Yustman), and she also had the good-looking jock, older brother, who happens to be marrying Joanna, and Marnie is horrified. So, as Marnie is re-living her high school horrors, she isn’t buying the “New” Joanna, the sweet, caring, and humanitarian one that her brother is marrying, so she is hell-bent on exposing Joanna for the high school bully she was.

Meanwhile, there’s mom, Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis), who is trying to instill the “Let bygones be bygones” attitude in her daughter, up until the point that Ramona (Sigourney Weaver) comes into the picture as Joanna’s aunt, because, well, Joanna’s parents are both dead. And, oh yes, there’s Betty White as Grandma Bunny, in a movie that decides a horn-dog grandma is the best way to use her.

And so, hilarity is supposed to ensue as Marnie plots her ways to split up her brother and Joanna, as Marnie still has the hots for her brother’s friend, and Gail and Ramona ramp up their rivalry to the obligatory “pool fight” scene, where, of course, they make up.

Look, the movie is pretty harmless, and although not a movie that would be my cup of tea, I still try to enjoy a movie for whom they are aimed at, and this movie just can’t seem to figure it out. There’s the goofiness that might appeal to the younger girls, but there a subtle mean-ness that if done in a little more adult manner could get some older teen girls liking it. So, I suppose, if my niece were about 12, and my sister wanted something to watch with her, I’d say it was fine, but it’s still not stretching any movie boundaries, the gags are generic, and in the end I’m going to give “You Again” 2 stars out of 5.

Now, as far as the Blu-ray and extras, they are pretty much throw-away extras that don’t help the movie and don’t give extra laughs. The “Blooper Dance Party” doesn’t really have any funny bloopers, the deleted scenes were better left that way, and about the only thing that did make me grin was the “Funny or Die” spoof interview.

I guess I just wanted more from the likes of the experience of the cast, but it just didn’t make it.

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

A Super Bowl Breakdown, AOL On the Comeback, Movies to Watch – Not, and Here Comes Spring?

By: The Dude on the Right

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The Chicago Blizzard is over, the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl, and 2011 isn’t looking any better for Christina Aguilera than 2010 was, so during this episode of our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast, Stu Gotz and I break it all down.

We’ve got talk about the commercials shown during the big game, both the good and the bad, and oddly enough this conversations turns into a little bit of talk about the resurgence of AOL, what with them buying the Huffington Post and all. We also discuss the Black Eyed Peas and whether they are bad, or was it just the sound people, and a Super Bowl weekend discussion wouldn’t be complete without a breakdown of the game. Well, we don’t really talk about it.

Stu saw an obscure movie called “1900,” I watched “Eat. Pray. Love” with my BFF, Stu wonders why “Yogi Bear” is still in theaters, I might see “Just Got With It” this weekend, and Stu is looking for someone elses opinion about “Supernatural.”

It was a big weekend, both of us survived the Blizzard of 2011, neither of us are looking forward to the zero degree weather on the Chicago horizon, but both of us are excited about pitchers and catchers getting ready to report, although sadly it does mean that both the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians will be mathematically eliminated from The World Series in about two months.

Thanks for listening!

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

Chicago Blizzard Watch 2011, New TV Shows, New DVDs, New Movies, and Upcoming New iPads.

By: The Dude on the Right

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With the mother-of-all snowstorms bearing down, Stu Gotz and I are on "Chicago Blizzard Watch 2011" for this episode of the "Weekend Wrap-Up!" podcast, not that it might help you much, but at least Stu lets you know that if you have kids, "Open Season 3" might help them survive.

During this episode we talk a lot about the weather because, well, we live in the Chicago area, that and Mama Gotz might be trapped out of town, but we also do talk movies, congratulating Natalie Portman on her SAG award and wondering if it will mean an OSCAR for her, my previewing the release of "You Again" on DVD and Blu-ray on February 8th, Stu’s recommendation of "Open Season 3" as I mentioned earlier, and neither of us are too excited about "Sanctum" nor "The Roommate" opening this weekend. We also talk a bit about TV, with both of complaining about our non-TiVo DVR’s, Stu giving "Fairly Legal" one more episode, my really like "American Idol" and almost looking forward to "Mr. Sunshine," and both of us wondering who actually watched the Pro Bowl over the weekend.

I’m looking for the iPad 2, Stu is amazed at how thing the new iPod touches are, I’m wishing my BFF a speedy recovery from her cold, and for the utter enjoyment of it all, both of us sort of wish Carol Mosley Braun could somehow win the mayor’s race in Chicago, granted it would probably drive the city into a disaster zone but the soundbite vault could grow exponentially.

Thanks for listening!

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

Secretariat

MPAA Rated – PG
It’s 2:03 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Secretariat
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Diane Lane, John Malkovich
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Kiddie Movie: Not too young, it’s kind of drama-driven with cool horse scenes.
Date Movie: It’s a nice story for both of you.
Gratuitous Sex: Nope.
Gratuitous Violence: Nope.
Action: The horse racing scenes are fantastic, even if you do already know the outcome.
Laughs: John Malkovich is a hoot.
Memorable Scene: Penny getting all “horse whisperer” with Secretariat.
Memorable Quote: Nothing totally stands out.
Directed By: Randall Wallace
Cool Things about the Blu-ray?: I actually liked one of the deleted scenes for a change, the interview with Penny Chenery makes you just want to stop by and have tea with her, and the technical stuff was cool. You also get the audio commentary and a detailed look at Secretariat the horse, not the movie.

I remember when “Secretariat” was coming to the theaters. I saw the trailer and in my head simply said, “Didn’t I already see this story before, with ‘Seabiscuit?’” I mean, that was a movie about a horse, how different could this be?

Boy, was I wrong.

Whereas “Seabiscuit” was a movie about a horse that also had Tobey Maguire in it, “Secretariat” is a movie about a strong women, Penny Chenery, that also has a horse in it, and had I known that, I might have actually gone to see the movie in the theater, because really, all I thought from the commercials was that I was going to see a movie about a horse, and that’s too bad. Luckily I caught the Blu-ray because yup, “Secretariat” is just as good as “Seabiscuit,” just in a different way.

In a nutshell, the story of Secretariat is one about a woman, Penny Chenery, played in the movie by the stunning and super-talented Diane Lane. As the movie opens we learn of how Penny is being called to the family horse farm as her father has taken ill and things are in peril, namely they might lose the farm. Penny is married at the time, with a few kids and a loving husband, but this is the late 1960’s/early 1970’s, and women aren’t supposed to be the owners/managers of the horses, nope, they’re supposed to be there, supporting their man. But Penny is strong and sees her calling, and in this calling comes a horse, a racehorse with the potential to accomplish the rare feat, winning horse racing Triple Crown.

So, leaving her family behind, Penny works the horse farm, but she also needs some help if Secretariat is to become a champion, and she finds that help in the quirky horse trainer Lucien Laurin, played funningly by John Malkovich.

And so, as the movie goes, we know the outcome, that Secretariat will win, but in the course we see how Penny overcomes the challenges of being a women in a man’s sport, of being away from her children who are growing up in the peace and love movement, and in believing in herself, and Secretariat, so much, that she is willing to risk everything for the family legacy she believes in.

As a movie “Secretariat” is great. It looks beautiful, the horse racing scenes are phenomenal, Diane Lane, John Malkovich, and the rest of the cast is great, and the story is truly one of inspiration, especially for women. But, and I give this only as a word of subtle warning, for me “Secretariat” plays more like a drama than a fun-filled family movie so I’m worried if the little one will be able to stick with it. It is only rated PG, so it’s safe for them, but not having kids, I wasn’t able to test it.

So, it does look good, the story is great, and in the end, as a full-blown movie I’ve got to give “Secretariat” 4 stars, but as a drama there are some slow parts, some deep parts, which might not really be what you are expecting. But then again, I was expecting another “Seabiscuit” and got something different, so go ahead and get this one, and watch it on your big screen in all of its Blu-ray glory!

As far as extras, I have to say that “Secretariat” isn’t overloaded with tons of stuff you probably won’t watch, but there are a couple of things I liked. Yup, there’s the standard audio commentary by the Director, Randall Wallace, but as much as I liked the movie, I really didn’t want to spend another two hours for any director insight. Instead I did watch the Deleted Scenes, and actually thought the directors Alternate Opening was better than the movie opening, but then the rest of the deleted scenes were, like normal, better off deleted. I did like the “Choreographing the Races,” because, well, technical stuff always gets me some how, but the extra I really liked, almost surprisingly to me, was the “A Director’s Inspiration: A Conversation With The Real Penny Chenery.” It was fascinating hearing her take on the movie, how some things were slightly different, and how some parts of her life, or changes to some scenes, she actually wishes might have made the film. She just seems like a fun lady to hang out with, and it showed in the interview. And, if you want to learn more about Secretariat, the Heart of A Champion bonus will help you out.

All in all I liked “Secretariat” the movie, actually liked some of the bonus features, so in the Blu-ray world, I say go ahead and watch a great story about a strong woman. And, oh yea, there’s a horse mixed into the movie, too.

Packers or Steelers, Bears or Horses, Secretariats or Inceptions, Oprah or Secrets?

By: The Dude on the Right

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With the Chicago Bears losing the NFC Championship Game yesterday, I find myself torn as to if I should cheer on the Pittsburgh Steelers or Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl, and during this episode of our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast, I work out my issues with Stu Gotz. Both of us, with our wealth of football knowledge, give our analysis of the Bears loss and if Jay Cutler is to blame, but the other question now is who’s having the Super Bowl party, and which one am I going to?

It was also a weekend for movies with me watching “Secretariat,” which comes out on DVD and Blu-ray tomorrow, and generally liking the movie. I give Stu my quick breakdown, with my full review coming shortly, and on the other side of the coin, Stu saw “Alpha and Omega” and gives his reasons for not liking the movie. Stu also saw “Inception,” and he liked it, so we’ve got that going for us.

I hung out during the football game with The Dude on the Left and other friends, Stu dropped the kids off at a birthday party at a bowling alley on a second floor and that had us both reminiscing about the old Peterson Bowl in Chicago, I cleaned my balls, Stu has seen two movies nominated for a Razzie, and Oprah has a secret, well, at least she had a secret about a half-sister when we recorded the podcast but as of this typing the secret is out.

Thanks for listening!

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

Thank God for Steven Tyler!

Okay, I have to admit I was very worried about my American Idol.  I mean, with the failed Ellen experiment over, no hope for Paula Abdul returning, and Simon Cowell heading out of town, or at least to another show, all that was left was top dog Randy Jackson from the old guard.  Would Simon’s snide remarks be missed?  How many times would Randy say “Dog?” No Paula Abdul nuttiness, or at least Ellen thinking she could be nutty?  Would I care?

Turns out I did care, as this was probably the first time in a few years I actually enjoyed the auditions, although it did get off to a rocky start.

Yup, there she was, some girl who auditioned a few years ago and somehow the “Does she ever stop smiling?” Jennifer Lopez remembered her.  The girl wasn’t that good, if Simon were there I’m thinking he would have blasted her, or at least given her the big “No,” but oddly enough the three judges let her through, with J-Lo and Randy basing their judginess on her previous audition and the fact she made it to Hollywood.  Steven Tyler thought she was a flower that would blossom, and then, as I began to see it, Steven Tyler is really the reason to watch American Idol right now.

Sure, Jennifer Lopez is working the “sweetness, oh I don’t want to say ‘No’ but I have to” act to the hilt, and many times Randy just seems to be sitting back, analyzing a contestant like they were a business proposal, but there is Steven, goofy face for goofy singer, getting into the groove with the good singers, slinging wacky anecdotes, and so far, at least for one show, just seeming to have a great time, and even when he tells someone to go back home because they aren’t very good, somehow it just sounds nice.

I do admit that part of me misses Simon Cowell because quite frankly, some of these people really need someone just to crush their hopes and dreams so they can get on with their lives rather than getting let go with some glimmer of hope that they could be that girl who makes it through again, but all in all, I’ve got to give a big hug to the new trio, because even when they say “No,” it’s like a big “We’re sorry but you suck,” group hug.

The producers weren’t too annoying with the “background” spots before a singer, they didn’t give some of the overly annoying people too much time, you can already see some standouts where, with a makeover, have a great shot at stardom (but sorry one dude, your nose is huge), and if the auditions continue like this first episode, American Idol will be back on my “Must see” TV viewing list.

And Steven Tyler, thank you – I hope your act doesn’t get old.

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

Is Ricky Gervais Mean, Will the Chicago Bears be in The Super Bowl, and Would the Dalai Lama be Offended?

By: The Dude on the Right

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I forgot to give a “Happy Birthday” shout-out to the world’s fantastical niece, as well as wish Steve Jobs from Apple a “Get well soon” during this episode of our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast, but at least Stu Gotz was somehow able to fit an f-bomb and Dalai Lama into the same sentence, and such is how it goes sometimes for a podcast!

In the meantime, though, Stu and I talk football, with me ready to book my ticket to see the Chicago Bears in Dallas for the Super Bowl, but Stu thinking there might be some trouble as the Green Bay Packers come to the wonderful turf of Soldier Field. We also give our analysis of Ricky Gervais and his handling of The Golden Globes, because, well, Stu and I are the experts when it comes to award show hosting, and I also give Stu the prediction that Jake Gyllenhaal will end up with Anne Hathaway soon, now that he is busted up with Taylor Swift, but hey, only time will tell.

We are both excited about TV starting back up again, with new episodes of “Chuck,” “House,” “Glee,” the NBC Thursday night lineup, and of course “American Idol,” Stu was okay with “Salt” but not “The Bounty Hunter,” I think Stu is a cheap-ass for bitching about reading a free newspaper, and neither of us are really excited about the upcoming movies of “The Company Men” nor “No Strings Attached.” At least we have the Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers in the ultimate game of “Winner goes to the Super Bowl!” Hopefully next Monday will be an elation podcast of “We’re going to the Super Bowl!,” but we’ll talk about it for sure.

Thanks for listening!

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

Beer-Snobbery, Understanding Women, Lots of Movie Talk, and Stu Likes Boobs!

By: The Dude on the Right

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Stu Gotz is back! Yup, Stu Gotz is back for our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast, but sadly, sound effects are not. Yup, I’ve got some technical difficulties with an upgrade of my Podcast software and bad testing on my part, but that doesn’t stop Stu and I from recollecting things that have gone on while Stu was away with the Gotz family. Stu, it seems saw a lot of movies, so I do my best to move Stu’s various synopsi along while he tells you if you should see “Black Swan,” “Tron: Legacy,” and “Gulliver’s Travels.”

Since Stu was gone, I was wondering how the Little Gotz’s fared being away for Christmas and if Santa was able to find their boat, and Stu was happy to report that the boys enjoyed Christmas, even without snow, and that Santa made it to the boat to keep the kids happy.

Me, meanwhile, being newly married, am trying to understand women, and who better to ask for advice than Stu!

We talk about “Dinner for Schmucks,” Stu hopes to convice Mama Gotz to see “The Green Hornet” with him while I have to work on convincing My BFF to come with me to “The Dilemma,” we are both looking forward to “Chuck” coming back and think the new Paula Abdul show sucks. Yes, we do talk a little about the shooting in Arizona, but that’s too serious for the two of us so I tell Stu about some bat-shit crazy women on “The Bachelor” and work to convince Stu that the Chicago Bears will be in the Super Bowl.

Stu tells of beer-snobbery, I tell of Idol-aprehensiveness, and Stu likes boobs. Yup, Stu is back.

Thanks for listening!

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