The Sound of Music – 45th Anniversary Edition

MPAA Rated – G
It’s 2:55 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

The Sound of Music
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer
MPAA Rated: G
Released By: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Kiddie Movie: Good for the whole family!
Date Movie: Unless she likes lots of violence and nudity.
Gratuitous Sex: Nope.
Gratuitous Violence: Hinted.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Some chuckles.
Memorable Scene: Yes, you can sing-a-long to everything.
Memorable Quote: Nothing stands out.
Directed By: Roger Wise

Generally I’m not a fan of Blu-ray extras. Why? Because many a time they are useless add-ons, too complicated to play, or just seem like they are put there to make you feel better for spending extra bucks. This is definitely not the case with the 45th Anniversary Edition of “The Sound of Music” because, for a change, I thought they were a great addition, a real reason to upgrade to the Blu-ray generation if you’ve been waiting to do so, and the movie looks great, too.

I don’t know if I really have to explain the story of “The Sound of Music,” but the basic of this classic is simply that it tells the adapted for stage and screen story of the Von Trapp family, living their lives in Austria at the time Hitler is starting his rise. Maria (Julie Andres) ends up out of the convent and at the household to take care of the Von Trapp children while Dad Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) attends to his Captain duties. Meanwhile, the good Captain is sweet on The Baroness (Eleanor Parker). While Maria works on taming the children and helping them learn to sing, she falls for the Captain, the Captain falls for her, the children love Maria, they become a family, and Hitler becomes a monster (though we don’t really see this part).

Torn between his duty and his family, we know how the good Captain wants to live his life, the Von Trapp singers woo a crowd, and freedom is right across the mountains.

Look, everyone knows this classic, even me, now, as for years I had never seen the movie in its entirety until I met my BFF (She loves the movie – and rightly so), and yes, even I think it’s a classic. Any other release of this movie would just lend itself to a “Yup, it’s a classic, go ahead and get the disc so you can watch it whenever the feeling strikes you,” but this Blu-ray release lends itself to, if you are any kind of fan of “The Sound of Music,” to full-blown Blu-rayness. For one, combine the Blu-ray player with your way-cool big screen that you are getting this Christmas, and this movie just looks great. It’s a scenic masterpiece to begin with, so put those aspects together and you’ll love the movie even more.

Along with its looking good-ness, the Blu-ray extras don’t stop there. Nope, you also get a sing-a-long track – adding the lyrics to all of the songs as the movie plays (Sure, you may think you know all of the words, but give it a shot!), a trivia track that gives you lots of little tidbits about the movie and the people involved, and some fun photos from while the movie was being made. Then, if that isn’t enough, there is a second Blu-ray disc with even more, like a very detailed “Making of” which also talks about the stage version, and also a nice feature on the Von Trapp family. Here is also where you will find more stuff about Rodgers and Hammerstein, screen tests, and more.

And yes, I know there is a basic DVD for those of you who still have one of those, so that’s nice, and it does give you some sing-a-long goodness along with some more, but for full 5 star out of 5-ness, the Blu-ray with your widescreen TV is really the way to go for this bundle.

And finally, for the uber-fan, the Collector’s Set gives you all of the DVD’s, but also the soundtrack, a 100 page scrapbook, a reproduction of the 1965 Souvenir program, and a letter of authenticity so you can bag to your “The Sound of Music” friends.

Look, in any case, if you have ever found yourself singing “The hills are alive, with the sound of music,” even in jest, this 45th Anniversary edition finally does a special release right by giving you tons of extras that you might actually watch, but most importantly, giving you a great looking version of the movie that yes, instead of renting, if you are a fan, you should really buy it.

I know I sound like a commercial, but for a change I really like a Blu-ray set, liked all of the extras even if I’m not an uber-fan of the movie, and think this release is really worth it for movie history.

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

Living The Hangover, Harry Potter, Oprah Gives Away Stuff, Getting Felt Up, and Who’s The Dancing Star?

By: The Dude on the Right

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Neither Stu Gotz nor I were in the audience for Oprah’s favorite things, but during this episode of our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast, we both agree that we wish were in the second group because really, if the choice is between a cruise and a car, we’re taking the car. But Oprah leaving us soon aside, Stu survived his weekend in Las Vegas, and a hangover, and I’m just worried about a lot of TV.

Yup, I’m wondering if “American Idol” can survive if it moves from Tuesday and Wednesday to Wednesday and Thursday, and I’m also wondering if Bristol Palin has the voting public to ruin Jennifer Gray’s night. Stu, meanwhile, remembered he didn’t like “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” that much, or at least the apprentice dude, and isn’t a fan of “Ramona and Beezus.” I laughed when I saw the WGN morning news folks miss seeing the bridge blow up, Stu is sort of indifferent about “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows,” and wouldn’t you know it, Saturday Night Live was funny, or at least a couple of skits.

Turkey day is coming, so we’re also wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to you, yours, and others!

And as always, thanks for listening! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Stu Needs a Keg Fridge, Good and Bad Movies, Bears in the Super Bowl, and Did Blossom Ever Get Naked?

By: The Dude on the Right

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As Stu Gotz and I eagerly await what Apple has up their sleeve with their cryptic announcement of “Tomorrow is just another day. That you’ll never forget.”, to be, well, announced tomorrow at 10AM EST, (I’m guessing it’s The Beatles catalog, just in time for the Holidays, or streaming TV, or cloud based iTunes, or free iPhones to the people who send the most e-mails to Bill Gates telling him to buy an iPhone, but that’s just my guesses), we get back to pondering more important things, like our respective weekends which means it’s time for another podcast episode of Stu & The Dude’s Weekend Wrap-Up!

Me, I saw the movie “Unstoppable” and actually liked it, and I tell Stu why. Stu, he saw “Megamind” and actually didn’t like it, and Stu tells me why. We reminisce about a keg fridge and the scariness of getting some CO2, Stu tries to calm my hopes that the Chicago Bears will be going to the Super Bowl, and did you know that “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows” opens this weekend?

Stu is liking the Blossom girl (Mayim Bialik) on “The Big Bang Theory” and wonders if she ever got naked, I had some alone time from my BFF, Stu knows a lot about tee-pees, and wouldn’t you know it, “Burn Notice” and “Psych” are back, much to the delight of Stu.

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


MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:39 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: 11/12/2010
Kiddie Movie: Not too you, they might not like trains anymore.
Date Movie: She might get suspenseful and snuggle.
Gratuitous Sex: None.
Gratuitous Violence: Things get run over by the train.
Action: It’s mostly a thriller and suspense film rather than action, although it still is action.
Laughs: There are a couple of one-liners to make you chuckle.
Memorable Scene: Frank and Will getting to know each other in the train.
Memorable Quote: Oh my God! Galvin, you asshole!
Directed By: Tony Scott
Produced By: Julie Yorn, Tony Scott, Mimi Rogers, Eric McLeod, Alex Young

I saw the trailer for “Unstoppable.” Yup, there he was, Denzel, in all of his Denzellness, as a train engineer, and there it was, a train, with no one at the controls, set on a collision course for releasing toxic stuff into a large town. Yup, I also get it, there’s a newbie involved, in this case Captain Kirk, I mean Chris Pine, and somehow they will save the town, and maybe one of them might die. And finally, yup, I thought, “How exciting can this movie be? “ As it would be, I had no desire to really see this movie, but when my BFF had something to do and I had some free time, the choice was “Unstoppable” and Denzel or “Morning Glory” and Harrison (Ford that is). I can’t really say anything about the romantic comedy movie, but I will say that “Unstoppable” was a thrilling movie, my fingernails are bitten, and simply, “Who knew?”

The plot is simple: Two oafs in the rail yard don’t follow protocol and one of the trains ends up rolling down the track with no one in the cab to stop it, and, oh yea, the safety mechanism off because of our oafs. As Rosario Dawson tries to figure out what is going on (she plays the rail yard manager), she also finds out that there is volatile liquid being transported and a rather large Pennsylvania town in its path. Meanwhile, Will (Pine) and Frank (Washington), find themselves on a different train, with Will being the newbie, being trained by Frank (Who knew there was so much to learn about driving a train, but the movie shows that a hell of a lot goes into being an engineer instead of just hanging out in that cab, tooting the horn, and waving at traffic stopped at the crossing?). As luck would have it for the town, Frank’s train is on the same track as the rogue train, and, oh why am I bothering telling you any of the plot?

Look, for a fun time at the movie, and a movie that is pretty much non-stop in thrilldom and excitement, you can fare a lot worse than “Unstoppable.” Tony Scott keeps the action going at a nice pace, and in a weird way, what really makes this movie work is the cinematography, which nicely builds the suspense of the movie from start to finish. I mean, we pretty much know how things are going to turn out from the minute our oafs screw up by not hitching the air brakes, about the only question would be if any of our stars bite the dust. There is enough back-story to make you interested in the characters just enough, you can find yourself despising the corporate morons, and sure, there is some unbelievability and over-the-top-ed-ness about the film, but in the end you can sit back, relax, and know that the town is safe because Denzel is at the helm!

So, for a nice thrill ride during an evening at the theater, and I know this sounds weird, but go ahead and see a movie about a train. “Unstoppable was fun, Denzel and Chris had great rapport, I nibbled my fingernails off even though I knew the basic ending, and it’s 4 stars out of 5 for “Unstoppable.” Yes, I couldn’t believe it myself that it was that much fun.

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

Due Date

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

Due Date
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan, Jamie Foxx, Juliette Lewis
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Warner Bros.
Release Date: November 5, 2010
Kiddie Movie: Oh no, please leave them at home.
Date Movie: My BFF liked it – yours might, too.
Gratuitous Sex: “Sort of” is probably the best way to put it.
Gratuitous Violence: Slapstick, and a gunshot.
Action: There’s some chasing by the Mexican border police.
Laughs: Lots of them, and many that hit you out of thin air.
Memorable Scene: I would say either the scene with the little kid, or the scene with the dog.
Memorable Quote: Too many to list.
Directed By: Todd Phillips

There was an instant comparison to “The Hangover” when “Due Date” was going to be released, mostly because the commercials for the movie stated something like “From the people who brought you ‘The Hangover,” but let me say this, even thought “Due Date” is a funny movie, unlike “The Hangover,” which, in the stretches of your mind you can actually, almost believe, most everything that happened could happen, there are a number of scenes in “Due Date” where even I couldn’t suspend reality, and for that “Due Date” is no “The Hangover.”

That said, it is funny.

Let’s get to the story…

Robert Downey Jr. is Peter. He’s a business traveler with the good looking wife Sarah (Michelle Monaghan), and they live in Los Angeles. There he is, away on a trip to Atlanta, or somewhere thereabouts, and Sarah is pregnant, ready to pop as it would be, and he’s looking forward to coming home to be there at the birth of their child. He makes his way to the airport when who does he run in to? Well, it’s Ethan (Zach Galifianakis). Ethan is quite the character, on his way to Hollywood, and through a comedy of errors, yup, Peter is booted from his flight, has no ID, and who comes to his aid? Well, it’s Ethan, again. Yup, it’s part Ethan’s fault for Peter’s trouble, Ethan feels a tad guilty (or maybe he just wants a friend), and our two polar opposites are now on a cross-country drive to the wonderful west coast.

So, sure, along the way, since this is a comedy after all, there are a lot of hilarities ensuing, maybe some drug use, and Mexican cops who are anything but clean. We find out a lot about Ethan, especially since in the world of Chatty Charlie’s he’s right up there with the best of them, and Peter really just wants to get to L.A. and sometimes his temper gets in the way.

Yup, it’s a buddy movie, and the other comparison people are making is to “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,” only this movie doesn’t have any pillows (Thinking about it, it almost would have been a nice little tribute by the movie makers to make a nod to that scene, but hey, that’s just me), instead we get Jamie Foxx as Darryl, who may or may not be the father of Sarah’s child, we get Juliette Lewis who is a pretty funny pot dealer, and we get a scene where probably each and every one of us would like to “discipline” a child in the manner Peter does, only we know we would probably end up in jail.

I really liked “Due Date,” and really don’t want to give away any of the jokes because when they hit they usually come out of left field, and are better left to be served up in the moment, but the one scene I will ruin, and it’s the scene that took me out of the movie, was when Peter gets arrested by some Mexican border police dudes, and then Ethan steals not only the border police vehicle, but also is able to hitch up the trailer the police are keeping Peter in, and bring Peter along for the ride. This is the scene that, for me, took all plausibility of the movie out of reality (Okay, it wasn’t the only scene,) although, I will state, that a number of people in the theater did find the ensuing police chase funny.

In the end “Due Date” made me laugh, and made me laugh hard at times. There were some slow moments, maybe things got a little too serious at times, but for the scenes where Peter disciplines the child, and that dog, I have to recommend “Due Date.” And mucho credit to the duo of Downey Jr and Galifianakis because they really pulled off the “buddy” comedy well, thus putting Robert Downey Jr. up there, in my book, as the world’s second greatest actor. (Michael Keaton will always be the first). I liked it, my BFF liked it, and for a fun, adult trip to the movies, I says it’s a 3 1/2 star flick out of 5.

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

A Scrubbed Shuttle, Wax On, Funny Movies, Stupid People and Doggie Diet Pills

By: The Dude on the Right

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Stu Gotz is back! Hooray! Yup, Stu is back from Florida for our "Weekend Wrap-Up!" podcast, and he tells me all about his failed attempt to see a space shuttle launch. Luckily for the podcast it did lend for some good storytellin’, and speaking of storytellin’, a smell of freshly waxed floors over the weekend made me reminisce of college days where I was relegated to cleaning the fraternity house kitchen while the floor crew got sloshed. Ah, college days!

But as weekends do go, I let Stu know that "Due Date" is a pretty funny movie and he should go and see it, Stu told me that "Date Night" is a pretty funny movie and I should add it to my Netflix queue, Stu is sucked into "Supernatural" on TV while I"m sucked back into "Smallville," and Stu has a story of stupid people in Spain.

And speaking of stupid people, Milo had a quick trip to a vet on Sunday where I found that yes, people are lazy and stupid, especially when I saw a pharmaceutical ad for doggie diet pills. How lazy is that?

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

Here Comes Normal Saving Time, The Elections or Over – Sort of, Gobble-Gobble, and I’m Working on Less

By: The Dude on the Right

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I haven’t done a Thursday podcast in a long time, and with Stu M.I.A., or at least in the state where Miami is, and since I didn’t do a “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast on Monday, I figured I would do a Thursday podcast! Sure, I probably could have tried to get a hold of the W.G.N., or the M.F.N. for this one, or one of my newly in-lawed N.’s, but I’m flying solo.

In my solo-ness, back in the day, or even as soon as a couple of years ago, I would have been excited by the upcoming change from Daylight Saving Time back to Normal Saving Time, but with Milo the wonder-dog, I’m figuring the switch will just mean one more hour to get stuff done rather than the extra hour of sleep I would like.

I also give some election analysis, don’t really give a preview of the upcoming movies this weekend, namely “Megamind” and “Due Date,” only mention them in passing and my hoping to see “Due Date” with My BFF, a.k.a. my wife, and did you realize that Thanksgiving is only in three weeks?

Finally, thanks to a book called “The Power of Less,” I’m on working on being a little less, complete with 15 minutes on my exercise bike, everyday, during November, and so far I’m four days in, with 26 more to go!

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

I’m Married, Seeing RED, Riding Gators, Bye Bye Walkman, Are Naked Men the Devil, and The Bears. Still. Suck.

By: The Dude on the Right

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This episode of Stu & The Dude’s "Weekend Wrap-Up!" podcast opens with my introducing Stu Gotz to a new tune brought to light with some of the current scandals going on in Chicago and Cook County, IL. Yup, we have corruption, and we also have good music! Another place that had good music was my wedding where Stu got to meet our biggest fan, and she didn’t even slap him! Yup, that’s right, I married my BFF, and now the debate is whether I should refer to her as my BFF or my wife. The debate rages on!

As other things go, though, it was a weekend and it was time to wrap up, and Stu gives tales of taking his kids to shoot pumpkins and happily didn’t have the decision to make if the Little Gotz’s should ride an alligator while I’m still watching the Chicago Bears even though I don’t really know why. Stu is teaching his kids to read about wizards, I tell Stu a news story about a case of nude, mistaken identity causing a bunch of people to leap to their deaths, and who knew the Walkman was still being made? Well, it isn’t any more as Sony has officially retired the cassette player, but I bring the podcast full circle explaining to Stu how I owe my marriage to a Walkman! And, oh yea, Stu seems upset that Microsoft won’t be making Windows XP anymore, and I can’t figure out why. I mean, I know why Microsoft is stopping their stuff, but I still don’t know why Stu seems sad.

There’s a World Series with the Giants and Rangers that most no one cares about, I went to another Confirmation, Stu saw the movie "Red" and liked it, and I’m still basking in the glow of marriage-ness!

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

A Solo Dude No More, Brett Favre’s Little Quarterback, and Watch Out for That Google Car!

By: The Dude on the Right

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I’m flying solo for this episode of the Stu & The Dude “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast, and with my upcoming wedding I don’t go into too many news topics, like how Google has a car that drives itself and that reminded me of “Demolition Man,” and I’m not going in search of photos of Brett Favre’s little quarterback for fear it might be wearing a little Jet’s helmet, or worse yet, a cheesehead.

But, I do reminisce a bit about my upcoming nuptials, and how I’m still amazed that my BFF actually wanted to meet me, let alone marry me, especially after some of our early e-mail correspondence.

It’s a quick podcast because I’ve got a wedding to finish planning, but as always…

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

RIP Stephen Cannell, Goodbye Jimmy Johnson, The Karate Kid, and Organized Chaos!

By: The Dude on the Right

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As this podcast episode of our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” kicks off, I play “Name That TV Theme Song” with Stu Gotz in homage to the passing of Stephen Cannell, TV series creator extraordinaire. And as I start with some TV talk, Stu kicks right into his wondering more about “The Event” and its likeness to “Flash Forward,” and not liking “Nikita” that much. Me, I’m sad that Jimmy Johnson got booted from “Survivor: Nicaragua,” but I’ll get over it as “The Real Housewives of D.C.” is finishing up and “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” comes back.

On the movie front, Stu, for reasons I still don’t understand, watched the original “Karate Kid” via Netflix, while I give a 5 star rating to “The Social Network” and agree with all of the Oscar buzz that is beginning to float around for the movie. The Gotz Children learned about fire safety, I learned the value of organized chaos at Nordstrom’s shoe department, Stu questions the proper way to pay for a magazine subscription, and with the Chicago Bears’ loss, Stu is laughing his ass off while I’m just wondering why anyone would want to take a snap with that offense sucking so bad.

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