Blood on the Mountain


Rated: Unrated | Running Time: 93 Minutes
From: Virgil Films and Entertainment
Available on DVD and Digital HD:  February 21, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Blood on the Mountain - DocumentaryWell crap. Now I’m depressed. Don’t get me wrong, “Blood on the Mountain” is a fantastic documentary, but damn, the story it tell just sucks.

I’m not sure if that was the end intention of “Blood on the Mountain,” a documentary about the coal industry mostly centered around West Virginia, and I’m sure a lot of it is meant to raise awareness of the corporate and government atrocities associated with everything coal, but even for me there is only so much badness I can take.

“Blood on the Mountain” came pretty damn close to putting me over the edge.

The thing is I knew that the general aspect of coal mining sucked, I just didn’t realize it was this bad, nor how brainwashed most of the people involved seem to be. This hit me in some of the interviews where people would say things like, “We have all of these health issues, but it’s normal, we were in the coal mines.” Continue reading Blood on the Mountain

Rules Don’t Apply


Rated: PG-13 | Running Time: 127 Minutes
From: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Available on Digital HD: February 14, 2017
Available on Blu-ray & DVD: February 28, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Lily Collins as Marla in Rules Don't ApplyIs it wrong that I found Lily Collins’ acting refreshing and more enjoyable than that of Warren Beatty’s in “Rules Don’t Apply”? I mean, here’s Warren Beatty, screen legend and not really losing any steps, playing the eccentric Howard Hughes, but Lily was a spitfire as Marla, the wannabe actress looking for her big break in a Hughes’ movie.

All apologies to Warren, but that’s my feelings, and I’m sticking to them.

Let’s get to the movie…

Continue reading Rules Don’t Apply

The Dressmaker


Rated: R | Running Time: 119 Minutes
From: Broad Green Pictures
Available on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, and VOD:  December 27, 2016
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

The DressmakerIn terms of some extra weirdness, “The Dressmaker” is right up there with the best of them, especially in the dark comedy genre. I mean, eventually most of the townsfolk women are walking around dressed in “designer” dresses, which wouldn’t seem that odd except it’s the 1950’s in a dirt-road, little town in Australia. Then there is the town Sergeant (Hugo Weaving), traipsing around in all of the flashiness of a matador at a bull fight. Clothes, however, aren’t really what brings Tilly (Kate Winslet in all of her sassiness) back to her hometown. Nope, she has to find out the truth about her past, a past that tarnished her reputation and left her as the town pariah.

As it is Tilly returns to town with a flash, at the rugby game, dressed to the nines which thoroughly distracts the rugby dudes. Enter Teddy (Liam Hemsworth), one of the team members, who tells Tilly she is distracting everyone causing Tilly to change outfits to something even more distracting.

Continue reading The Dressmaker

The Dark Horse


Rated: R | Running Time: 124 Minutes
From: Broadgreen Pictures
Available on DVD, Digital HD, and VOD:  July 12, 2016
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Sometimes all you need to find is that purpose in life to overcome your personal challenges. Genesis Potini did just that. “The Dark Horse” tells that story.

Based on the true story, “The Dark Horse” weaves the history of Genesis Potini (in the movie played wonderfully by Cliff Curtis), a chess champion in New Zealand battling with mental illness who discovers his passion in teaching others the glory of chess, and in doing so is able to calm many of the demons in his head.

Continue reading The Dark Horse

Back in the Day


Rated: Not Rated | Running Time: 121 Minutes
From: Virgil Films
Available on Blu-ray and DVD: June 28, 2016
Get it via: Amazon | iTunes

Anthony (William Demeo) does it, he finally wins the boxing championship, and his life is now complete. What to do now? Anthony sits down with Larry Merchant (played by Larry Merchant) to tell his life story. His life story is “Back in the Day,” a fictional boxing movie like many others, mixed with overblown mafia stereotypes.

Well, crap, I could give you the story, but that’s really about it, and that’s too bad.

I guess I’ll expand a bit…

Continue reading Back in the Day

Bachelor Games


Rated: Not Rated | Running Time: 87 Minutes
From: Gravitas Ventures / Strike Films
Available on Digital Platforms July 8, 2016

The publicity material for “Bachelor Games” touted the movie as a horror-comedy. I understand the horror part, sort of, but I’m still waiting on the funny.

Let’s get to the basics…

A bunch of dudes get together for a bachelor party. Sounds like a fun time, right? Where are they headed? Vegas? The Bahamas? No, our group is heading to the Andes mountains in Argentina. Yup, they are on their way to a secluded town where they do some drinking, some drugs, and there is even a stripper. There is also local lore about “The Hunter” who protects the land. What are our boys going to do? Go hiking in the land of course!

Continue reading Bachelor Games

Kink

MPAA Rated – Not Rated
It’s 1:20 Long
A Review by:
Andy Labis

Kink
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Peter Acworth, Maitress Madeline, Tomcat, Five Star, John Magnum
MPAA Rated: Not Rated
Released By: Dark Sky Films
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Kiddie Movie: For the love of all things great and small, no. It’s got boobs, penises, bondage, flogging, and all kinds of fun for adults.
Date Movie: If she wants a look into the industry of making BDSM films.
Gratuitous Sex: There really isn’t any sex, except with machines.
Gratuitous Violence: Um, duh.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Some chuckles.
Memorable Scene: Learning how to step on a dick and not having it hurt too much.
Memorable Quote: My dream is to be a yoga teacher.
Directed By: Christina Voros

I liked “Kink.” There, I said it. Phew.

Now will my friends and relatives who read my site and think things like bondage and discipline, domination and submission, or sadism and masochicm (a.k.a. BDSM) are sick, disgusting, and the devil’s work, well, as one person says in the documentary, “just move on,” because it’s going to be hard to write this review without some risqué terms, and maybe a mention of a penis or boob.

Let’s get to it.

It’s not every documentary that has a line “Give me about five minutes. I’m putting together a glory hole,” but “Kink’ does. In the easiest way to put it this is a documentary about a website, kink.com, and it’s internet business of making movies for the BDSM crowd. As simple as that might be, it’s also a look at the personalities and people involved in the business, the seriousness in which they take their movie-making craft, and also a look into those that enjoy the BDSM lifestyle. It’s kind of like a “day in the life” look at what happens at kink.com, and let me tell you, a lot happens.

Opening up with a look around the offices of kink.com, we learn of its nondescript facade and how the building they took over, with it’s nooks, crannies, and various rooms, is pretty much perfect for all of the filming that goes on, and as we move along we are introduced to various directors, talent coordinators, and actors, or as they call them, models, in various stages of productions. There are the women who like the machines, and I’m not talking your run-of-the-mill vibrators, but picture an industrial type jig-saw fitted with a certain apparatus and set up so the woman can be tied up and, well, you get the picture. Then there are the dudes, looking to be dominated with the director telling the actress-model, “If you want to step on it…”, the dude saying “My dick?”, with the director’s quick retort “Of course.” Then she proceeds to show them both how it doesn’t hurt if you step on his penis a certain way.

The thing is as taboo as the topic of BDSM might be to some people, the documentary does show that this is a lifestyle for the people, one that translates into their business, and they don’t mess around because in the world of BDSM there are rules. You find out that in a twist of a thought the submissive is actually in charge of the dominating person because the “safe” word is the key. You find that there is a lot of coaching and maybe changing things on the fly if some of the models end up uncomfortable with certain scenarios, and even on the business side it’s all about statistics and sales because at their meeting we are finding that gang bang videos sales are up, but the machines are down quite a bit, and they want to figure out why because yes, for kink.com, it is a business and they want to keep their customers coming back.

Most of the scenes didn’t bother me, well, except a scene where I said “Ouch, she’s got his wang tied up in a rope!”, but what did start to turn me off about the movie was that most of the people kept justifying what they did and the lifestyle they enjoy. It seemed to get a little too preachy, and I think it would have been better had they toned that aspect down a bit, keeping most of it to what I mentioned before, “That if it isn’t for you, just move on.”, and get back to the filmmaking side.

If you don’t like seeing dudes with penises, and I’m not talking a lazy, boring, limp penis, but porn penises being teased or stepped on, or naked women, and sure, they might be naked, but they also probably have nipple clamps or are hanging upside-down by their ankles and chained with a collar with giant vibrator between her legs, well, this movie probably isn’t for you. However, if you want a pretty decent documentary about a company dedicated to BDSM movies, may I highly recommend “Kink.” Maybe get Howard Stern to do the on-screen interviews to really find what makes the people tick, and I could see this getting a solid 4 stars at the look into BDSM movie-making, but with too many stock answers of how they are good people and BDSM isn’t bad, I’ve got to drop it to 3 1/2 stars.

That’s it for this one! L8R!!

The Overnighters

MPAA Rated – Not Rated
It’s 1:30 Long
A Review by:
Andy Labis

The Overnighters
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Jay Reinke
MPAA Rated: Not Rated
Released By: Drafthouse Films
Video Release Date: February 3, 2015
Kiddie Movie: Nah, it’s about a lot of down-and-out people.
Date Movie: If she’s interested in a good documentary and not something mushy.
Gratuitous Sex: Some talk of sex offenders, but nothing graphic.
Gratuitous Violence: Just one person trying to get the Reverend off of their property and threatening to shoot him.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Ehh.
Memorable Scene: The reveal by Rev. Jay of something from his past.
Memorable Quote: “A man with no teeth and living with his daughter calling other people trash.
Directed By: Jesse Moss
Cool things about the DVD: Some of the deleted scenes actually should have been left in the film, and the extended interview with Rev. Jay is actually interesting.

The OvernightersThe stories were out there: Move to North Dakota! There are tons of jobs, waitresses are making $15+ dollars an hour, and you can easily find a job making over $100k a year! While some of this may be true, when stories like this get published what happens? Tens of thousands of people, mostly out of work, consider moving to North Dakota to find work. Here’s the problem. While there are jobs, there aren’t that many, and it’s North Dakota. The fracking boom has come mostly to smaller towns that don’t have the resources to accommodate such a giant influx of folks, many of whom are down on their luck, have questionable pasts, and think that North Dakota, or in the case of the documentary “The Overnighters,” Williston, North Dakota, is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. “The Overnighters” focuses on these people, the ones not getting the jobs, as well as Rev. Jay Reinke, a pastor in Williston who opened his church to those who couldn’t find a place to say, much to the dismay of the town, especially when the questionable pasts of those seeking shelter came to light.

As the documentary opens we see the Reverend waking up the people he has sheltered for the night. Most of them are men, those who came by bus or train are sleeping throughout the complex, in hallways and rooms, while those with cars would sleep in the parking lot, and the documentary begins to key in on a few of them with Rev. Jay, trying to help them through the transition to find a job. He advises them to clean up, cut their hair, get a resume together, and keep trying, but challenges await most of them, especially as background checks reveal criminal records, but more importantly for the documentary, people on the sex offender list.

We see Rev. Jay’s family who is trying to do the Christian thing and help everyone they can, but you can see the strain the situation is placing on them as well. The key to this story is the town of Williston, torn by wanting to be good Christians, yet wanting to keep their small-town feel, worried about crime, and trying to keep their children safe.

Progressing through the documentary we learn that the Reverend is housing men with sex offender pasts, both in the church and in his home, and while some might be a blip on a record that follows them for life, others are not so seemingly insignificant, and when the local paper brings this to light, the blow-back for Reinke is insurmountable, especially as he is harboring some of his own secrets.

What I loved about this documentary was that it really showed the flip side to the stories of the boom of North Dakota. You see the people and some you root for, but many you question because at one instance they seem like people just trying to restart their lives, but then you see them slip into being assholes again. The thing is this even happens with Rev. Jay when one minute he seems like the great-natured guy, just trying to help, but, and sure every story has two sides, from the commentary by some of the people he helps, there are times even his motives seem questionable. There is an extra with a detailed follow-up interview with Reverend Jay when he addresses this, mostly in a manner consistent with his personality shown in the film.

There are a few times the documentary drags, but other than that “The Overnighters” is a fantastic look at the other side of the North Dakota story. Sure, those with a little bit of a better plan than the people just “showing up” and thinking millions await them probably have a decent chance of the good jobs, but it’s this other side people don’t hear about.

This documentary shows people doing a lot of soul-searching, losing even more, like their families, by even coming to North Dakota, and a Reverend who has his own demons that he can’t come to grips with. It’s a great look at the town reaction, those who don’t have it so easy, and the challenges faced when the “boomtown” event happens because not everyone is happy about it. It’s 4 stars out of 5 for “The Overnighters.” I guess I would have liked a few success stories on people who really made it, though there was the one dude who was excited because he was actually going to have someone to supervise. Other than the little blurb of “What is happening now,” a little more follow-up on some of the characters might have been nice. Also there is some “niceness” about the documentary, although one of the outtakes, “I Used to Stay Here,” really shows the flip-side and the volatility that can be there. I think I might have like to have seen a little more of that.

That’s it for this one! L8R!!

Grabbers

MPAA Rated – Not rate.
It’s 1:34 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Grabbers
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley
MPAA Rated: Not rated.
Released By: IFC Films
Release Date: November 12, 2013
Kiddie Movie: I think the young teen boys would find it funny, though there is some gratuitous, alien violence and drinking.
Date Movie: If she likes quirky, horror movies.
Gratuitous Sex: Nah.
Gratuitous Violence: Just the alien octopus kind.
Action: There’s a lot of running and chasing.
Laughs: It’s got plenty.
Memorable Scene: Figuring out how drunk you need to be to kill the aliens.
Memorable Quote: “It’s always the quiet places where the weird shit happens.”
Directed By: Jon Wright

Watching “Grabbers,” in addition to being entertained, I have to say I was almost shocked because this wasn’t some cheaply made, looks like a fake “We’re going to get eaten by this giant octopus thing that is actually an alien” movie that you might find on the late-night horror channel. Nope, this movie had some decent effects with the monsters, and sure, some dorkiness was involved, but it was all in good fun!

The movie opens with a meteor through the night sky and something splashing into the sea off the coast of Ireland. We are immediately pulled into the sinister nature of the movie when a fisherman finds his buddy getting impaled and pulled into the sea, and then, as is the case with many an alien-horror-kinda-comedy movie, strange things become afoot in the small village, that of course, will be shut off from the rest of the world by a storm thereby leaving the locals to fight the alien invasion/monsters on their own.

Enter Lisa (Ruth Bradley). She’s the new police officer in the fishing village and is learning the ropes by the fun, usually drunk officer O’Shea (Richard Coyle). Not much happens in this town, but when a whale washes on shore looking like it went through a blender, a lobsterman catches what looks like an octopus that subsequently attacks him, and a quirky scientist realizes said “octopus” is really an alien, we know our little town is in peril. And, of course, with this being a horrorish film, there is no “I must send this out on the internet to show the world” moment. Nope, instead it’s our heroes beating the monster and trying to set it on fire.

Oddly enough our heroes discover the alien can travel on land if it’s raining (of course a giant storm is coming), and also the weakness of the aliens who normally survive on water and human blood, but oddly enough, are allergic to blood with a high enough alcohol content. Lucky for the human race the aliens started their journey in Ireland, where the stereotypical, Irish drunkards are plentiful, thereby not letting the aliens get a stranglehold on us, but to save the town, our officers do have to organize a party for the locals at the pub, which, of course, isn’t too difficult.

Look, “Grabbers” is exactly what it sets out to be, and is highly entertaining at it. It’s got some dorky moments (think decapitations by the aliens), it’s got drunk, Irish people, it’s got the goody-two-shoes girl who discovers alcohol, and it’s got a good time for those in search of a decent “alien octopus discovers it shouldn’t have landed in Ireland” horror movie kind of way. Is the movie “Oscar” gold? Of course not, but if you want some good, horror fun, that might give you a shock or two with a surprise impaling, “Grabbers” is a great find. It’s 4 stars out of 5 for “Grabbers,” being exactly what it is trying to be, and not being too low-budget looking to turn it into too many “Oh, come on!” moments.

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

Dealin’ With Idiots

MPAA Rated – Not Rated
It’s 1:27 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Dealin’ With Idiots
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Jeff Garlin, Nia Vardalos, Bob Odenkirk, Gina Gershon, Timothy Olyphant, J.B. Smoove, Jami Gertz
MPAA Rated: Not rated.
Released By: IFC Films
Release Date: November 12, 2013
Kiddie Movie: Lots of adult humor and some swearing. Put them to bed.
Date Movie: My wife liked the parts she didn’t sleep through.
Gratuitous Sex: Nothing gratuitous.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: I chuckled and laughed from start to finish.
Memorable Scene: Hans running the bases.
Memorable Quote: She’s just a big bowl of “Dear God!”
Directed By: Jeff Garlin
Cool things about the DVD: Nothing.

During “Dealin’ With Idiots” there is a point in the movie when one of the characters is intrigued that Max (Jeff Garlin) will be making a documentary about their little league baseball team, even though Max’s intention is to make a comedy based on the various “characaters/parents” at his son’s events. The thing is, after watching the movie, it might as well have been a documentary instead of a comedy because sure, maybe the character antics are dialed up a notch or two, but if you have ever been to a little league game lately, or heard the stories, I’m guessing the difference between the “real” and the “comedy” isn’t much different.

Let’s get to the movie…

Max is a comedian. He’s kind of famous, or at least he says he is up there in the top twenty of comedians. He’s also having some father/son bonding by hanging with his son, Jack (Max Wright), at his little league games and practices. While in the stands, watching the various parents, he sees comedy gold in a movie based on the parents. With his new-found inspiration, Max decides he needs to do his research by interviewing the various parents, finding out what makes them tick so to speak, all the while reflecting in a series of “moments” with his own father, about raising a son and baseball.

Max begins his research, and we are taken deeper into the lives of the parents and the coaches, finding out things like Coach Ted (J.B. Smoove) lives quirkingly in a trailer park with his own odd groups of friends and their “book” club, that Coach Jimbo (Bob Odenkirk) runs a printing shop and doesn’t follow his own coaching advice, and Hezekiah (Steve Agee) decides to do research of his own in order to write his own movie about little league baseball. I’d say it would be easy to round out the rest of the “idiots,” but that might ruin the movie.  Let’s just says there are lesbians with wonderful parenting advice (Mom: “What does mommy always tell you?” Son: “Go big or go home?” Mom: “Don’t fuck up.”, a “She’s just a big bowl of ‘Dear God’” nanny, the self-proclaimed “Team Mom” who keeps asking for donations and doesn’t know her husband subscribes to S.O.F. (Soldier of Fortune), and Marty (the always great Fred Willard) who has the coolest chair ever, shaped like a baseball mitt. And, of course, there is the normal mom, Max’s wife Ava (Nia Vardalos), who becomes just like the rest of them when it’s time for the game that can take the team to the playoffs.

The movie plays out like a Christopher Guest mockumentary (think “Best in Show”), with Max “interviewing” everyone, but it also has a touching side with the moments of Max and his father (Timothy Olyphant), and with that comment, if you like the “Best in Show” style of humor, or “Curb Your Enthusiasm” for that matter, you will probably like the movie. Me, I found it a quirky and funny look at the nuttiness that can be the parents involved with their children and their sports, and I’m also thinking if you like baseball, and you aren’t one of the “idiots” at your kid’s events, you will find the movie funny. If, however, you are the “idiot,” you will probably wonder, “What’s so funny?”

My wife, who was dead tired and fell asleep while we watched the movie, said, “What I saw was pretty good.” Me, I kept laughing and chuckling throughout the entire film, trying not to wake her. I was originally going to go with 3 ½ stars out of 5, but then I remembered one scene with Hans (Robert  de Keyser) and it made me remember a time we almost got our buddy, Big Cooter, to run around a baseball field during a game, and I’ve got to up the rating a bit. With that it’s 4 stars out of 5 for “Dealin’ With Idiots.” Hopefully you’re not one of the “idiots.”

And, oh yea, I almost forgot the antics of the nutty assistant (there’s an extra scene at the end of the credits – kind of weird), so yes, it’s a solid 4 stars for me.

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