The Andromeda Strain

MPAA Rated – Unrated
It’s ?? Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

The Andromeda Strain
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Benjamin Bratt, Eric McCormack, Christa Miller, Daniel Dae Kim
MPAA Rated: Unrated
Released By: Universal Home Video
Kiddie Movie: Only if you want them to fear aliens.
Date Movie: She will probably snuggle with you.
Gratuitous Sex: Only a little talk.
Gratuitous Violence: There are some quality kills.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: A chuckle or two.
Memorable Scene: The “countdown to destruction” scene is stupid.
Memorable Quote: None.
Directed By: Mikael Salmom

Watching a “made for TV” movie on DVD is kind of weird, simply because the movie can’t fully flow as “commercial break” pauses are prevalent throughout, but I have to say that if you are looking for a decent “This is the end of mankind” kind of movie, in the spirit of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episodes, put the 2008 version of “The Andromeda Stain” on your list of DVD’s to watch. And sure, I hate to put the “Star Trek” reference in there, but like most TV shows, “The Andromeda Strain” gives you about two hours and thirty minutes of set-up, conflict, theories, and then is able to wrap up the solution for the devastating problem in about fifteen minutes. Such is TV sometimes.

Here’s the story…

A satellite crashes to Earth and suddenly a small town of people finds itself dead. Also finding themselves dead are the first military folks to find themselves in the town. It’s now time to bring in the scientists, including Dr. Stone (Benjamin Bratt in a role I kinda like him in), Dr. Noyce (Christa Miller in full “I have to overact” role), and a few more, seeming to have to fight, of course, with the government folks, especially General Mancheck (Andre Braugher), who don’t want to give the scientist folks the necessary information to solve what might be something to destroy mankind.

Low and behold, as the story plays out, “The Andromeda Strain” deals with all kinds of things, like wormholes and creatures at the bottom of the oceans, and as our scientist folks decipher all of the clues, damn, wouldn’t you know it, they are in a super-sealed bunker where a simple accident might also destroy humanity.

This DVD review will be quick because I will simply say that as much as “The Andromeda Strain” has lots of potential as a “here comes the end of humanity” movie, it so much loses itself in becoming totally predictable, especially as a “made for TV” movie (although being an A&E TV movie does allow for some quality kills), complete with a “self-destruct” sequence, with countdown music, when Dr. Stone, thankfully, is able to save the world with only a couple of seconds left before we are doomed.

I’d say you should rent it, but the extras on the DVD aren’t that spectacular, so maybe you should just wait for A&E to replay the mini-series, and find out why we might want to pay attention to what is really going on at the International Space Station.

This DVD gets 2 ½ stars out of 5.

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

DVD: It’s got some extra stuff, but unless you are a total sci-fi geek, you won’t care.

Bicentennial Man

MPAA Rated – PG
It’s 2:11 Long
A DVD Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Bicentennial Man
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Robin Williams, Embeth Davidtz, Sam Neill, Oliver Platt
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: Touchstone Pictures & Columbia Pictures
Kiddie Movie: Cute, but not too young.
Date Movie: She might get bored instead of snuggle.
Gratuitous Sex: Talking about it.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Some chuckles.
Memorable Scene: None.
Memorable Quote: None.
Directed By: Chris Columbus

Call me a sadist, call me boring, call me lazy, just don’t call me late for dinner. Anyway, as I’m watching “Bicentennial Man” on DVD, the movie came back to me in bits and pieces from the time I saw it in the theater. Unfortunately those bits and pieces didn’t get any better.

Anywho, if “Bicentennial Man” is any indication of “the very near future,” as it says at the beginning of the movie, I want no part of it. Why? Sure you’ve got some pretty cool cars, but no one seemed to watch TV anymore. What’s up with that? Oh well, at least I’ll have some cool android to clean the dude pad, I just hope it isn’t Andrew, the android in this movie. Just clean my kitchen, I don’t want conversation. For that I’ve got fake people in chat rooms on the internet.

In “Bicentennial Man” we get the story of Andrew (Robin Williams) the android. He’s bought by Sam Martin (Sam Neill), seemingly to help out around the house, but from the hint of one of the daughters it seemed more like Sam was just “keeping up with the Jones'” because all of her friend’s families already had an android. But Andrew is different, he has human qualities, like creativity and feelings, that his fellow androids lack, and for Sam it seems Andrew becomes kind of like the son he never had as Sam explains to Andrew how to save money, teaches Andrew about the birds and the bees, and is more like a dad to Andrew than an owner. But Andrew is a robot and he doesn’t like it, or maybe more importantly doesn’t like being alone. He wants to love, so he searches for another robot like him, doesn’t find one but does find Rupert (Oliver Platt), an inventor dude, who helps Andrew look human.

It’s a bunch of years later, Andrew now looks like Robin Williams, and he falls in love with Portia (like the car, complete with nice curves, only spelled differently), the granddaughter of one of Sam’s daughter who Andrew had a thing for years ago. Portia (Embeth Davidtz) has a problem though – how can you fall in love with a robot? Well, she does but can’t accept it, and it’s up to Andrew to prove to her that robots need people too. Thanks to Rupert figuring out a way for Andrew to have a, well, penis, well, Andrew and Portia live happily ever after. Enough about the story.

“Bicentennial Man” looks like it would be a cute movie for the kids, kinda like “Mrs. Doubtfire” if she were a robot in the future, but that is not this movie. This movie has the story of a robot searching for his true identity, searching to make his mark in life, and even searching for sex. Kinda adult fare for the kids, don’t ya think? And the movie’s over two hours long, and it feels it. At least on video you can hit the “pause” button.

Robin holds back a lot of humor in this role, and I think that’s too bad because “Bicentennial Man” had the potential to be a gut-buster of a film if it wanted to be. Instead it kept to the serious side most of the time, with an occasional joke of a robot not understanding human phrasing of sentences, and other more adult humor. I wanted it to be a fun movie for kids to see, but I can’t recommend you rent it unless one, you want to have to explain a little more about sex than you already have, and two, are ready for the kids to learn when to say “piece of shit.” If you see the video you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

In all honesty, I didn’t expect “Bicentennial Man” on video to be any better than “Bicentennial Man” in the theaters, and I stick to my rating. The premise was good, and the robot being Robin Williams gave the role potential, but it took Andrew nearly 200 years in his life and about two hours of movie time to figure out that because he was a robot, well, he would see everyone he ever loves die, forever. Kinda like “The Highlander” dude. Andrew finally realizes this isn’t how he wants to live his life and has Rupert make one more upgrade so he can grow old. He finally becomes human.

I give “Bicentennial Man” 2 stars out of 5. Watch how young the kids are if you rent it or else you’ll have some explaining to do, and the movie could have been so much more. Oh well.

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

American Pie 2

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:50 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

American Pie 2 – DVD Review
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Jason Biggs, Shannon Elizabeth, Alyson Haningan, Chris Klein, Natasha Lyonne, Eugene Levy, Seann William Scott, Tara Reid, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Eddie Kaye Thomas
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Universal Home Video
Kiddie Movie: Only if you want to explain why super glue can be funny.
Date Movie: Sure.
Gratuitous Sex: Lots of talk, a nipple or two, unfortunately none of them were Michelle’s nor Vicky’s.
Gratuitous Violence: Maybe shoving a trumpet up someone’s ass, but that’s about it.
Action: Only boys hoping they don’t get caught by potential lesbians.
Laughs: Just like the first movie.
Memorable Scene: Stiffler’s unrequested golden shower as well as Jim playing the trombone.
Memorable Quote: Jim at band camp: “My name is Petey and I have gigantic balls!” and Jim’s Dad: “Don’t forget your penis cream.”
Directed By: J.B Rogers

I’ve got a couple of questions for you. Did you like “American Pie?” You did. You’ll probably like “American Pie 2.” You didn’t like “American Pie?” Don’t rent or buy “American Pie 2.” It’s as simple as that.

So our favorite characters are fresh out of their first year of college and they’re all looking to party for the next three months, as well as get laid, but when the cops bust Stifler’s summer, kick-off party it’s looking like a boring summer. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), though, is extra bummed because he ran into Vicky (Tara Reid) and again turns to his older brother for advice. The brother’s suggestion – rent a beach house for the summer, work during the day and party every night, and by the end of the summer you’ll have a life revelation. So our boys rent a house and work as painters.

Well, kinda like the first movie all of our characters have their problems. Jim (Jason Biggs) is worried because Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) is coming to visit and she’s hoping Jim has learned a little control. Jim, though, knows he still doesn’t have what it takes. Then you’ve got Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), still in love with Stifler’s mom, learning tantric sex to improve his lovemaking. Oz (Chris Klein) is in general okay but a little worried because Heather (Mena Suvari) is over in Europe. And you know what, screw it, I’m not going to explain to you their problems, I’m sure you’ve got your own, but do you get the jokes like you did in the original? Yes, you get the jokes you expect, you even get some that are a little more gross, and you also get the predictable story you probably want, too.

I won’t ruin any of the jokes, although if you did see the trailer for “American Pie 2” you know what Jim’s masturbation problem is this time. And true to form you get Jim’s Dad (Eugene Levy), perfect as the goofy dad who is a great dad and, well, now seems to just want Jim to sleep with Nadia.

Did our boys grow up any? Yes, but not nearly as much as the girls. Tara looks even better, and Alyson Haningan as Michelle is even more adorable in her slightly annoying way. There are some hilarious scenes, some gross scenes, and some boring scenes, but as sequels go “American Pie 2” does its best to keep you interested in the characters (although some you wonder why some are listed so high on the credits, like Mena who is barely on screen) while still has you looking forward to seeing two women get it on.

The DVD version is full of extras that are actually worth having a DVD player (see “Cool Things About the DVD” below), and it still holds up as a comedy about growing up.

I got what I expected and the DVD stuff was worthwhile, so I’m giving “American Pie 2” 4 stars out of 5. Shannon didn’t get naked this time, although, honestly, she’s lost a couple of notches in my book while Tara moved up a few (she didn’t get naked either), but that doesn’t compare to the extended scene of the two dudettes our heroes think are lesbians.

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


MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:21 Long
A DVD Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Gustaf Hammarsten, Paula Abdul, Ron Paul, Snoop Dog
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: 2009
Kiddie Movie: Please send them to bed.
Date Movie: If she liked Borat, she might like Bruno.
Gratuitous Sex: In way, crazy ways. And then some more.
Gratuitous Violence: Some whipping and ultimate fighting that turns into, well, nevermind.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Much better when you can fast-forward through the “movie” parts.
Memorable Scene: The hotel room with Diesel.
Memorable Quote: “It’s like riding a little horse.”
Directed By: Larry Charles

As sometimes I am lazy, after I let you know about the DVD, below is my original review of the movie “Bruno” when it hit theaters. Having seen the DVD, however, I have to say that:

As a movie, with plot, acting, scenery, etc., “Bruno” is still just dumb and probably deserves the Zero Stars my BFF wanted to give it.
On DVD the movie is so much better; I’m even saying 4 stars out of 5, instead of the 3 that I gave the theater version.
So I can hear you saying something like “How can the movie be better on DVD?”, and my simple answer is because you can easily fast-forward through most of the “plot” parts and just laugh at stupid people, and now add the extras on the DVD that give you way more people and things to laugh at. Yes, I still found the hotel room scene with Diesel a riot, but that’s not what we watch someone like “Bruno” for, do we? I don’t think so. I think we watch him for making ordinary people look like buffoons, the movie still has plenty of them to laugh at, but the DVD gives you another hour of buffoonery because, come on, who wouldn’t watch, in utter amazement, as baseball great Pete Rose is being interviewed by Bruno while sitting on a human chair, and when LaToya Jackson says “It’s like riding a little horse,” I almost spit my drink on my TV screen. The extended fashion show footage is great, the extended TV station footage is unbelievable, I am even more disturbed by parents who want their children to be in movies, and for great viewing pleasure, the interview with Hollywood Agent Lloyd Robinson is hilarious. There is also a commentary track where Sacha Baron Cohen and the director, Larry Charles, explain some of the scenes, but I’ll be honest with you, as funny as the movie can be, I didn’t want to spend another hour and a half re-watching it, again, to find out how dumb people really could be.

With that, if you like the jokes of “Bruno” and “Borat,” go ahead and get the DVD. I didn’t see the Blu-ray version so I can’t say that it’s necessary for your viewing pleasure, but being able to jump from joke to joke, in a more rapid-fire format, makes the movie that much better. 4 stars out of 5 for the DVD, 3 stars if you are just watching the “movie” portion.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! And here’s my original review when “Bruno” was in the theater… L8R!!!

As my BFF and I were leaving “Bruno” I overheard a dude who was also leaving say to his friend “I don’t even know what to say about that,” to which his friend said he found the movie hilarious. Then my BFF said to me, “That movie was horrible… Zero stars… but you were laughing so hard I thought you were going to pee your pants.” Yup, I’m a sucker for a “talking” penis joke, and I did laugh a lot, but I also have to agree with my BFF when she said, “Bruno is no Borat.” I guess I’ll start with the loose story…

Bruno is another character created by Sacha Baron Cohen from his “Ali G” days, a gay fashion-meister who desires to be as well known as one of Austria’s other kin (there is a off color joke in there). Sadly for Bruno he is kicked out of the fashion world when an interview goes horribly wrong, and now, jilted by his lover, Diesel, he decides to head to the United States, with his assistant’s assistant, Lutz, to conquer America, only America isn’t ready for his brand of conquering.

Okay, why am I spending a lot of time on the story? It is there, but it’s not really why we want to see “Bruno,” is it? Probably not. I’m thinking most people are heading to see this movie to watch common people, and a celebrity-ish type or two, get tricked into a fake interview/situation by Bruno, the way we loved seeing people skewered by Borat, but for this one, for the most part, it’s too easy to bait people on the homophobia aspect, or even the “outrageousness” of using people as stools and trying to get Paula Abdul to eat sushi off a naked man. I have to say that this time I spent more time saying “Yup, the National Guard dudes knew they were in on some kind of joke,” and “How hard is it, really, to stir up a group of ultimate fighting fans when you start making out with the other dude in the ring?” Sure, seeing the gay-bashing by the fighting fans is sad, but not nearly as much as when Borat stirred up the anti-Semitism at the bar in the previous movie.

And yet I laughed, was disgusted at people (the parents peddling their kids to make them stars should have the local DCFS folks radars going off), and just couldn’t believe Ron Paul’s people didn’t investigate the release they were signing to get let Bruno interview him.

I can hear you asking me, “Alright, dude, just tell me if I should see the damn movie?” Well, I want to give the movie a better rating than 3 stars, but I just can’t, and it’s not because I didn’t laugh a lot because I did, and it’s not because Sacha Baron Cohen doesn’t make great use of people who just don’t have a clue, because he does. I suppose part of the thing is that the movie seems almost too easy, like I said before, but I think it’s also because the “utterly disturbing yet funny as hell” shocking scene in the movie happened too early in the film for me, leaving the rest of the film as just one little skit after another. Hmm, how to put this without giving it away? Okay, remember in “Borat” (I’m assuming you already saw it) when you were just starting to get bored with how foolish Borat was making people seem and then there was the gross-out, nude fighting scene with the obese dude and naked men running through the convention bringing you right back into the laughter? Well, for “Bruno,” that scene happens early in the film, and although there is a bondage scene in the middle of the film, it doesn’t compare, so for most of the movie it’s just another foolish person/situation followed by another foolish person/situation.

I do understand why my BFF didn’t like this movie at all, and she probably knows why I did, but unlike “Borat,” “Bruno” doesn’t seem to have the cross-over appeal to draw in more than people like me who will nearly pee their pants just at the site of a exercise bicycle with a dildo attached to it. As such, I’m sticking with my 3 stars out of 5 (for the movie only).


MPAA Rated – PG
It’s 1:51 Long
A Blu-ray Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: Twentieth Century FoxHome Entertainment
Kiddie Movie: Maybe girls who want to fly, but it’s kind of slow.
Date Movie: My BFF fell asleep.
Gratuitous Sex: There are undertones of Amelia being a lesbian but it turns out she is a hussy. Sadly there isn’t too much hussy-dom
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: There is a chuckle or two.
Memorable Scene: Sadly it’s on the “Deleted Scenes” section of the Blu-ray.
Memorable Quote: “You missed it, though. It’s over there.”
Directed By: Mira Nair
Cool Thinks About the DVD: The Blu-ray extras give some in-depth looks at the making of, and are probably a better synopsis of the movie without sitting through the nearly two hour movie.

As I was watching the extras on the Blu-ray of “Amelia” there was a deleted scene that I liked. I thought it encompassed the spirit of Amelia Earhart, it was short, to the point, and funny, and there it was, on the “Deleted Scene” portion of the Blu-ray. I guess such is my end liking of “Amelia.” Let’s get to the story, first.

“Amelia” doesn’t give many people what they might want from an a movie about Amelia Earhart (played by Hilary Swank), namely the crazy theories as to what really ended up happening to Amelia. Sure, there is the ending, recreating the extent of what people seem to know, and it’s pretty simple in the end run, but this movie is really about the life of Amelia, her passion for flying, her love life, and some of the issues a woman might have, being strong-willed in the time when flying was supposed to be mostly for men. The problem is that the movie was so over the place, trying to tell so much of her story that for the most part I was just bored and wondered how they were going to bring the movie back to its core – Amelia Earhart. The movie at times would shift to more about George Putnam (Richard Gere), her husband, than Amelia, then it would shift to Gene Vidal (Ewan McGregor), the dude she had a fling with, and then you would learn something else about Amelia. As my BFF said to me as we were watching it, “This movie is just all over the place.”

The thing is, I wanted to like “Amelia,” I really did. It was one of those movies that when it came to the theaters I thought it would have been a nice to see on the big screen, I think both Hilary Swank and Richard Gere can be great on screen, so I was somewhat excited when I popped the Blu-ray into the player at the dude-pad and snuggled with my BFF, but when she fell asleep, and I kept looking at the counter on the Blu-ray player, I knew there was trouble. It was like the movie couldn’t figure if it wanted to be a straight biopic, if it wanted to be a nice period piece, or if it wanted to just look beautiful (and it did, so I will say, that for the beautifulness of the scenery, it’s a good film), but in the end my BFF had it right, the movie was just all over the place, and for me it didn’t stick to its core, what I thought would have really made the movie, and that was the spirit brought by Amelia Earhart, in the deleted scene “Arrival in Wales.”

I guess if you are looking for a movie that looks beautiful I would recommend “Amelia,” and it does give some looks at the life of the aviatrix, and it is a safe movie, being only rated PG, but things are slow, so be ready for it, and maybe you’ll like the movie more than I did. 1 ½ stars out of 5 stars for “Amelia.”

As far as extras, there are quite a few, many that actually give a better look at the life of Amelia Earhart more than the actual “making” of the movie, and like I said, there is one deleted scene, “Arrival in Wales,” that I thought was perfect, told the story, showed the spunk, and had the rest of the movie kept to the core of that scene, I think I would have loved the film.

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

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipettes

DVD Rated – Unrated
It’s 1:05 Long
A Review by:
Stu Gotz

Alvin and the Chipmunks:
The Chipettes
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Avlin, Simon, Theodore, Brittany, Jeanette, Eleanor, and Dave
MPAA Rated: Unrated, but it’s for kids.
Released By: Paramount Home Entertainment
Kiddie Movie: It’s definitely for them.
Date Movie: Only if she’s the mother of your children.
Gratuitous Sex: Umm, no.
Gratuitous Violence: Cartoonish.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Mostly for the kids.
Memorable Scene: None.
Memorable Quote: None.
Cool Things About the DVD: It’s really just set for the six episodes which is actually probably perfect for kids anyway.

When The Dude on the Right handed me a copy of “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipettes” I gave him a raised eyebrow look. Before I could follow my look with a rude comment, the Dude cut me off and said, “Maybe have your kids watch it and tell me what they think?” So that is exactly what I did. Later that day I popped the movie into Mama Gotz’s in-headrest car DVD player (Hmm… How come she gets all the cool stuff, and I drive a truck?) and let the kids have at it on the way to and from Tae Kwon Do practice.

So what did the Little Gotz’s think of “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipettes?” I’ll get to that later. First let me tell you a little about the DVD. The DVD is 6 episodes of the mid-80’s TV show “Alvin and the Chipmunks.” For this special six-pack of special episodes, three female chipmunks mirror Alvin and the boys, with similar personality, dress, and body attributes. Brittany is like Alvin and Jeanette is… Well… Does anyone really know any of the chipmunks besides Alvin? There is a smart chipmunk chick and a chubbier one, the girl’s misadventures coincide with the boy’s misadventures, and if you’ve seen one episode, well, you’ve seen them all. Predictable mayhem occurs. Dave almost looses his wits and by episode’s end, all is well (just like in Star Trek).

So who the heck is this movie for, and why now? I think most people can recall the squeaky-voiced cartoon from the 80’s era of upturned-collared Polo shirts? For those who can’t, the Chipmunks have actually been around since the late 1950’s. Yes, they did exist before that Earl guy made the movie with them. Anyway, the squeaky boys are back (again), and this time they are joined by equally annoying-for-adults female chipmunks. Why? Personally I think it’s to cash in on the whole High School Musical, Hanna Montana, and iCarly craze. Right now kids, starting at far too young of an age in my opinion, are totally hooked on the High School Musical craze and such. This is all fine where and when it is age appropriate, but let me ask you, do you want your 6 or 7 year old coming home singing the Vacation song and wanting to dress like a tart? Not me! So maybe “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipettes” could be a more age appropriate DVD title to turn your youngerl kids on to.

They key to this though is will little kids like it?? The first day I had “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipettes” in Mama Gotz’s car DVD player our littlest one wanted to bring it into the house and keep on watching it when the car ride was over. I think that’s a good sign. After about a week I again asked the Gotz’ boys what they thought about “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipettes.” The 4 going on 5 year old gave me a double finger gesture. No he didn’t flip me the “bird.” He extended his thumbs, but I think that is a copyrighted gesture so I can’t quote him on that. Our oldest boy, now six, said he liked it a lot, though I did notice he tended to watch the episodes and pressed scene skip when the chipmunk music videos came on.

The bottom line, a.k.a. is it worth your money? As an adult I can deal with the chipmunks in small doses, such as I am. My 5 & 6 year olds both liked the episodes, but split their vote on the music videos with the younger Gotz liking everything. I think “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipettes” is a great age-appropriate alternative to the High School Musical and Montana stuff that is on TV, and in my opinion, also turning girls into tarts and boys into, well, not football players, so for me “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipettes” is money well spent. 4 stars out of 5.
I’m Stu Gotz. ‘nuff said.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Here’s a bit from The Dude on the Right’s Blu-ray review of “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time”

…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?…

Read the full review here.

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.

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!!!

The Princess and the Frog

Not having kids, and even though I sometimes act like I’m 12, I am still a dude, so for my Blu-ray review of "The Princess and the Frog" I do my best to try to relate to the movie as a little girl, but I just can’t. The singing and dancing is fun enough, it looks good in the old-school animation kind of way, and the story is nice, but I’m a dude, I’m not dreaming of kissing a frog to find my Prince, and even though the dopey alligator was kind of funny, this is really a Blu-ray for the little girls, or the big girls still thinking that maybe they should kiss that frog because the cad they are with sure isn’t a Prince.