Match


Rated: R | Running Time: 92 Minutes
On Digital Download and DVD August 11, 2015

I will always admit that as a fan of Star Trek, and more importantly for this  review, Star Trek: The Next Generation, the challenge for me in seeing Patrick Stewart in any other movie is to separate him from his role as Jean-Luc, Piccard that is, from The Next Generation franchise. It was not very difficult when the movie “Match” started, mostly because he was spouting advice to a bunch of ballet dancers, but oh, that Jean-Luc, I mean Patrick Stewart accent! It is so awesome, as is he, in being able to transform you instantly into the role he is in, and for this movie it’s a very good thing because two of the roles in the movie were perfect, while one character, okay, Matthew Lillard, maybe sidelined by the actual role he was playing, lagged a bit. Continue reading Match

The Salvation


Rated: R | Running Time: 92 Minutes
On Blu-Ray and DVD August 4th

Ahh, an homage to the classic western and revenge movie genres, which generally means there aren’t many surprises, and yet I found myself not multi-tasking while watching “The Salvation.” How did that happen? Well, I’m not really sure, especially since, at the beginning of the film, I was worried that somehow I missed in the press release that the movie was going to be in Danish with English subtitles because our lead character, Jon (Mads Mikkelsen), is greeting his wife and child at the train station, speaking in foreign tongue, and the subtitles started rolling. Luckily she and the boy get murdered by the bad guys, everyone is back to speaking English in the wild west, and the movie could get to the good stuff like sweeping, gorgeous landscape shots, townsfolk scared of the brutal thugs, and Jon doing what he does best, kill the bad people.

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Maybe My Dad Hid the Puzzle Piece

Do you attribute unexplained, Earthly experiences to dead people?

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A little while ago a friend of mine’s mother passed away, and much like many things in the lives of people we know these days, I found out about it on Facebook. I felt for him as you could feel his grief in his postings, but you could also see the love around him to help him through.

His grief reminded me a little of when my mom passed away back in 2008 and the love of the people around me who helped me through, especially my then girlfriend and now wife, but as this passing occurred near June 6th, what would be my father’s birthday were he still alive, I had also been thinking of my dad a lot. With those thoughts floating around my head, an incident happened that really solidified my dad continuing to influence things around me, maybe even from beyond the grave. Continue reading Maybe My Dad Hid the Puzzle Piece

Where Was Your Flag on the 4th of July?

Where was your flag on the 4th of July?

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I’m not a bad American. I love this country. I’m just a bad rememberer. The thing is that on the 4th of July the reminders were everywhere so how I forget remains a mystery. One of my friends posted on Facebook how she went for a five mile run and was sad because there were so few flags being flown, other people were sharing pictures of flags, taking pictures of flags, changing their profile pictures to flags, and the night before my wife said, “You didn’t put out the flag.” I replied, “That’s because it’s not the 4th of July, yet. I’ll put it out tomorrow.” I said this with all of the conviction in the world, confident in my ability to remember the next day to fly our flag.

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The Family Man

Preview Only
Rated: PG-13 | Running Time: 125 Minutes
From: Universal Pictures

Jack Campbell (Nicolas Cage) is a big-shot businessman, thinking he has everything but still wondering what his life would be like if he had married his college sweetheart, Kate (Tea Leoni). Then one day he finds out as he wakes up in her bed, married, with kids, and trying to figure out if his life was better as the big-shot businessman or is better in suburbia.

This looks like a cute movie, especially as Jack tries to forget his big-shot lifestyle for life as a tire salesman. You’ll get the conflicting story of is it better to have money and no real love or better to have real love and not so much money, but if it’s done right it can work without getting to sappy. I’ll try to be there for Tea Leoni as I’m not a big fan of Cage, but this time it looks like this might just be a really good role for him.

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

Family Guy: Something, Something, Something, Dark Side


Rated: Unrated | Running Time: 54 Minutes
From: 20th Century Fox Home Video

As the last few months have gone by I am slowly becoming a fan of “Family Guy.” Okay, I’m actually becoming a fan of half of “Family Guy” because here in Chicago they replay episodes at 10PM on WGN and my TV is generally on timer, set to go off at around 10:15PM.  So, as I’m drifting off to la-la land, I’m catching half an episode, but for the most part I am loving half the episode.  As such, being the half-fan that I am, and also being a huge fan of “Star Wars,” I was, I suppose, 3/4 interested in seeing “Something, Something, Something, Darkside,” Seth McFarlane’s and the Family Guy folk’s look at “The Empire Strikes Back.”  At the end of it all, and watching the episode twice (I’ll explain that in the DVD stuff), I can say I was 100% happy.

So pretty much we get the power going out in the Griffin home and the family wants to hear a story. “Black Snake Moan” doesn’t seem to foot the bill, so Peter begins the tale of “The Empire Strikes Back.”  Now I could go into the entire story, but please, we all know the story of “The Empire Strikes Back” (that’s the one with Lando Calrissian being introduced, the one where Luke finds Yoda in the swamp place, and where Luke gets his hand cut off in the “cloud” city). But this is a “Family Guy” episode, with the comical stylings of a “Family Guy” episode, so all of the “Star Wars” characters are portrayed by “Family Guy” characters, and it’s funny, yet oddly true to the “Star Wars” story, as hell.

Yup, Peter is Han Solo, Lois is Princess Leia, and Chris is Luke.  Then you get Stewie as a hilarious Darth Vader, Cleveland Brown as R2-D2, and even Meg gets some screen time as the space slug.  Incorporate them all, and yup, you get some “Family Guy” hilarity infused into the realm of “Star Wars,” and I loved it all.

Now, being a new fan of “Family Guy,” I will admit not having seen the predecessor to “Something, Something, Something, Dark Side” called “Blue Harvest,” which paid homage to the first “Star Wars” film, “A New Hope” (and yes, I know that’s actually Episode IV), so for most Family Guy fans I guess the “Something…” episode can just be some rehashing, but for me, it was fresh, it was new, and it reinforced my newfound love for the “Family Guy” clan.

I guess you can tell I really liked “Something, Something, Something, Dark Side,” so yup, it’s 5 stars out of 5 for the Blu-ray, and even better were some of the extras on the Blu-ray that I’m thinking a lot of “Family Guy” fans will love.  You get some commentary if you want it, you get a really great look at a lot of the work that actually goes into making an animated show, and for me, yes, I actually watched the entire episode again, in “Pop-Up” mode, where little balloons pop up during the episode giving tons of fun facts as well as keeping track of just how many different voice Seth McFarlane does for the episode.  Lots of fun, you get some swearing, so go ahead and get the Blu-ray for your adult, viewing pleasure!

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

Failure to Launch


Rated: PG-13 | Running Time: 97 Minutes
From: Paramount Pictures

Sometimes, as a movie reviewer, I find myself in the minority of movie reviewers, and such I find myself again in regards to the movie “Failure to Launch,” because, well, I actually liked the movie. First, let’s get to the movie itself…

“Failure to Launch” gives us Matthew McConaughey as Tripp. Tripp is in his 30’s and lives at home with parents Al (Terry Bradshaw) and Sue (Kathy Bates). This may sound odd, but with his utter fear of commitment, and the fact that his mom still makes him breakfast, washes his clothes, cleans his room, and they let him have his friends over, it’s actually a pretty sweet set-up. I mention the fear of commitment part because even though Tripp is good with the ladies, once he sees that look in their eyes that they want a more meaningful relationship, well, Tripp then takes them back to “his” place where once the girls find out he still lives at home, well, they’re out of there quicker than shit through a goose.

Well, Mom and Dad are getting a little tired of Tripp still living at home, and they find out about this service, or dudette as you will, who will let you pay her to get your kid moved out. Enter Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker), said dudette. Yup, she gets hired to get Tripp to move out, and she things are going smoothly until, well, I know, you can guess it, she starts falling for Tripp. But she has a job to do, especially since she’s getting paid for it, so she keeps trying to work Tripp, who, in the meantime, is, of course, falling for Paula. With that Tripp knows it’s time to end the relationship, so he invites Paula “home,” except when Paula “finds out” Tripp lives at home, Paula throws a wrench into Tripp’s break-up plans by, well, not breaking up with him. Tripp is in new waters, Paula does the one thing she’s not supposed to do as part of her job, namely sleep with client’s son, but the movie must move along. In the meantime, one of Tripp’s buddies is falling for Paula’s friend, Kit (Zooey Deschanel), to give us a subplot.

Yes you can probably guess how things go, I mean, it’s pretty straightforward. You can guess that Tripp will find out Paula was hired by his parents to get him to move out of the house, and of course, this will not have a good ending. You can guess it will be revealed why Tripp still lives at home. You can also guess that Mom, Dad, Kit, and the friends, all connive a ways to get Tripp and Paula back together. And yes, you can probably guess that all live happily ever after.

Critics seem to be bashing this film because it is so predictable but sometimes predictable can be fun. Other critics are bashing that we really don’t need to see Terry Bradshaw’s butt, and even though I agree, I would rather have seen Zooey’s, I found the scene pretty funny. Still other critics just consider all of the characters, except maybe Kit, as complete idiots. Me, I laughed, and really, that’s all I wanted to do. I’m not saying “Failure to Launch” will make it into the annals of a “Sleepless in Seattle” romantic comedy, but I wasn’t the only one laughing in the theater so I don’t think I’m alone in liking it for what it was.

There are worse movies out there, and I’ll bet some dudes, as they get dragged to the theater to see this movie, whose relationships might be near the ending stage, might actually figure that Tripp has a pretty good set-up living at home. They might even wish they lived at home, too, so they could take their date home after the movie, sleep with them, have them figure out he lives with his parents, and they break up with him. You know what Tripp gets the morning after a break-up? A fantastic breakfast from Mom, he steals the sports’ section from Dad, and Mom cleans his room. Not too bad.

Nothing great, nothing horrible. I’d say pay for a matinee and it’s a solid DVD rental. With that, as opposed to most critics who seem to really not like this movie, I’m giving “Failure to Launch” 3 ½ stars out of 5.

That’s it for this one! L8R!!!

The Challenge of the Dust Collector

I suppose I got it from my father. I’m not talking about my wonderful good looks, nor my nose, but my love of knick-knacks. You know knick-knacks? If you type “knick-knack” into Google you get: “a small worthless object, especially a household ornament,” with wonderful synonyms like: “trinket, novelty, gewgaw, bibelot, ornament, trifle, bauble, gimcrack, curio, tchotchke, memento, souvenir, kickshaw.” My wife simply calls them dust collectors, so I guess, I’m a dust collector, although looking at the synonyms I’m thinking of shifting to calling them bibelot if only because then it sounds fancy.

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Late Phases: Night of the Lone Wolf

 

MPAA Rated – Not Rated
It’s 1:36 Long
A Review by:
Andy Labis

The more I think about it, the more perfect “Late Phases: Night of the Lone Wolf” was, especially in the realm of the old-school, and I mean this with all due respect, cheesy, werewolf movie. First there is the title, or at least the “Night of the Lone Wolf” part. Sure there’s the solo werewolf at the start, but by the end there are multiple wolves. Maybe I’m misunderstanding the title and our hero is the lone wolf, but I just couldn’t get past the fact that our main werewolf all of a sudden decided to go on a biting spree and instantly we have a pack of werewolves.

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Believe Me

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:33 Long
A Review by:
Andy Labis

I know. I read the press release for “Believe Me.” And yes, I know the synopsis mentioned a group of college kids who figured out a great way to make a quick buck, namely by scamming Christians to donating money to their phony-baloney charity, and then said kids would realize the true meaning of being good people. And finally, I know that’s what the movie ends up being about, but I so wanted it to flip directions and be a full parody of Christian fundraising. Instead, yes, our foursome realized the error of their ways and became good people again, until, “I, um.”

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