Did you even consider going to see “The Lone Ranger” this weekend?

The big movie news over the weekend was twofold. First there was joy in Universal-land with “Despicable Me 2” as it brought in some $142 million over the long 4th of July weekend, a new record for a an animated film over the long, 5-day opening. Hooray! And then there was “The Lone Ranger.” Yup. you know the movie, at least I’m thinking you’ve heard of it. The one with Johnny Depp. He plays Tonto. And there is something about a train over a bridge and it blowing up? Yea, that’s the one. Well, it appears people heard of it, but for the most part no one went to see it as the news for Disney was bad with the movie only making about $48.9 million. Now, that seems like a lot of money, but the budget rumors say the movie cost anywhere between $215 and $250 million to put together, and when all is said and done after worldwide stuff and video it might break even, but if there were Disney dreams of replacing the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise with something new, they seem to be squashed.

Me, I relaxed a bit this weekend, working on some long-term projects, so I have to say that I didn’t even think of going to see “The Lone Ranger.” Well, there was that and the fact that the movie just didn’t look that good in the trailers, but as this weekend is over, and we get back to our normal schedule, I’m plighting: Did you even consider going to see “The Lone Ranger” this weekend?

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

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 2:16 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Pirates of the Caribbean:
On Stranger Tides
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Keith Richards
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: The Walt Disney Studios
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Kiddie Movie: Not too young, the mermaids are mean.
Date Movie: Only if she is an uber-fan.
Gratuitous Sex: Lots of boobs almost popping out of tops is about it.
Gratuitous Violence: Lots of it – in pirate sstyle.
Action: There’s a lot of chasing going on.
Laughs: Not really, except for Jack Sparrow’s goofiness.
Memorable Scene: The mean mermaids.
Memorable Quote: Nothing really.
Directed By: Rob Marshall
Produced By: Jerry Bruckheimer
Cool things about the Blu-ray: Unless you pop for the 5-disc set, which includes tons of extras, the only coolness for the basic version is it looks cool, and the Disney Second Screen . The 5-disc includes a 3D and a lot more.

I’ve generally liked most of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, what with Jack Sparrow bouncing around and acting goofy, so I was partly anticipating watching the “On Stranger Tides” version, but I was a little worried that the story might have been getting old.  Sadly, for me, it has.

Let’s start with the story…

Back is Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, hoping to avoid jail time by escaping as only Jack Sparrow can.  Alas, things are mysterious on the high seas again, with this time the quest being the proverbial Fountain of Youth.  Yup, there’s a map, evil pirates, and let’s throw in Penelope Cruz as Angelica in the mix for good measure, and you pretty much get 2+ hours of the search for said Fountain.

Sure, there are dastardly deeds going on, and with any good pirate quest there are twists and turns, but other than Jack Sparrow searching for the Fountain of Youth, you don’t need to know too much more about this movie, especially since, after about 5 minutes, it turns into an action-fest where the story takes a back seat to the bombastic action on the screen, make that the storage area behind the back seat, to the action. Yup, there are people chasing, people being chased, fights between pirate ship crews, fights between, well, you know what, it doesn’t matter, because for me it got boring, tired, and old really fast.

Yup, Jack Sparrow clumsily waddles around, somehow he gets out of jam after jam, and maybe Angelica and Jack have a thing for each other, but this movie was really missing something, and I think that relates to the original movie with Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom being a great side story to that of Jack Sparrow’s antics.

Look, the movie will look great on your big screen, and will sound great through your audio system, but this one is all about the action and not about any story.  And if you think you might want keep the kids awake for the ride, this is a hard PG-13 in my opinion, with some of the scariest mermaids I’ve ever seen (forget Little Mermaid love for this one), and the kiddies might end up with some nightmares and hate Ariel for life.

In the end it’s 1 ½ stars for “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” Oddly enough I really wanted more of a story.

Get the Blu-ray for the action, and also, don’t worry too much about the extras.  There is a blooper reel that is pretty lame in blooper reel standards, and the Blu-ray does have the Disney Second Screen feature which is kind of neat if you are really interested in how the movie is made, and, oh yea, I suppose maybe better for the kiddies than the actual movie is the LEGO Animated Shorts, but unless you go balls out for the 5-Disc Combo pack complete with 3D, you’re getting the Blu-ray to be blasted onto your back wall with action.

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

How to Be a Bad Dad, Congrats South Park Dudes, and The Key to a Great Mojito.

By: The Dude on the Right

Download and ListenDownload the Podcast!

Our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast is back after a week hiatus, and Stu Gotz admits that he is a bad father. Well, he’s not a bad dad all of the time, but the Queen Mary docked in California has a tour, and he took his little ones on it. He also saw some movies, and doesn’t like “Rango” but does like the new “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” Me, my congratulations go out to a multitude of folks, namely Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks for beating LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, the boys of South Park for their Broadway play “The Book of Mormon” that won a bunch of Tony Awards, and Rick Bayless who, as luck would have it, posted his recipe for a Watermelon Mojito, and it is delicious (and yes, do yourself a favor and find the D’Aristi rum from Yucatan – it makes it very yummy!) and my new, favorite, summertime drink.

All of that and more, and thanks for listening!

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


MPAA Rated – R
It’s 2:04 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Jordi Molla, Ray Liotta, Paul Reubens
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: New Line Cinema
Release Date: 2001
Kiddie Movie: Unless you want them to be drug dealers, or users. Actually, maybe you should bring them – it might scare them straight.
Date Movie: She might get frightened and hold your hand.
Gratuitous Sex: Some.
Gratuitous Violence: Some pretty gratuitous violence.
Action: Not really, it’s more of a drama.
Laughs: Not really.
Memorable Scene: Most of the movie is a scene.
Memorable Quote: None.
Directed By: Ted Demme

After seeing “Blow” I almost think I can be a drug dealer. Granted I wouldn’t have the guts to get started in the first place, but it was a nice lesson in things to and not to do if you plan on dealing drugs. But first, let’s give you a brief rundown of the story.

In “Blow” you’ve got Johnny Depp playing the real-life drug dealer George Jung. George is one of those guys who just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and in the end at the wrong place at the wrong time. Through the story we get to see George finding himself on a beach in California with his buddy Tuna (Ethan Suplee). Life is well, especially with their being able to hang out with a bunch of stewardesses, and getting high. Paid a visit by another buddy, George realizes that there is a market for good pot on the east coast, hooks up with Derek (Paul Reubens) who can get the pot, but the trick is getting it there. Good for him his girlfriend is a stewardess because their luggage doesn’t get checked at the airport so they are the perfect carriers.

As his east coast business grows, well, George eventually gets caught and winds up doing some jail time. Lucky for him, though, that he ends up meeting Diego (Jordi Molla) who tells George to get to the big time he has to meet Pablo Escabar (Cliff Curtis) and that the real money is in cocaine. George works it big-time, and life is good. But, of course, it’s not. He marries a dudette named Mirtha (Penelope Cruz), gets stabbed in the back by his supposed friends, and loses everything. If only he could make one more run he could get back on his feet and take his daughter away. Oh, if only.

“Blow” is a really good movie, complete with quality violence, a lovely story, it keeps things at a good clip so you don’t really get bored at seeing all of the fun George is having with his life, and Ray Liotta continues to show that he is a top-notch actor. Too much money, too many drugs, and George falls into the same pitfalls as you would think – all roads lead to jail. Too bad George didn’t head some of the following rules (at least we know them now): Don’t get high on your own supply; Women are evil, especially those that, when you comment to them that they should quit doing cocaine because they are pregnant, well, they say that at least they quit smoking; Spend the extra money and launder your money through the United States, or at least a less volatile country, and maybe set up a Swiss bank account rather than store it is said volatile country; Even if you get shot, don’t give up the name of your middleman because your partner will stab you in the back and undercut you; If you clean up your act, don’t attend a party thrown by your wife which is attended by all of your old drug buddies; and, if after a whole bunch of years you run into an old buddy saying he can get you that one last run, one last big score, well, odds are he’s now working for the Feds. Just some rules to live by as a drug dealer.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a good drama with a pretty depressing story, “Blow” just might be the movie for you. Johnny Depp kicks ass as George, showing a weird innocence at mostly just being amazed at what he has been able to do. I give “Blow” 4 stars out of 5.

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

Corpse Bride

MPAA Rated – PG
It’s 1:16 Long
A Preview by:
The Dude on the Right

Corpse Bride
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: The voices of: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Watson
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: Warner Bros.
Release Date: 2005
Directed By: Tim Burton, Mike Johnson

This movie has the feel of “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” animated like that, and looks pretty cool. Pretty much there is this dude, Victor (Johnny Depp), who is set to get married. He seems to get sort of cold feet, ends up in a graveyard setting, and suddenly this corpse comes out of the ground thinking Victor is going to marry him.

It’s from Tim Burton and looks pretty cool. I’ll try to give an update as we get closer to the release date and another trailer or two comes out.

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

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

MPAA Rated – PG
It’s 1:55 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, Anna Sophia Robb, Christopher Lee, Missi Pyle
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: Warner Bros.
Release Date: 2005
Kiddie Movie: It’s pretty good for everyone.
Date Movie: They might like it, too.
Gratuitous Sex: Really, what do you think?
Gratuitous Violence: No.
Action: Some fun action scenes.
Laughs: There are good chuckles for adults and kids.
Memorable Scene: Technology has made the factory even that more enjoyable.
Memorable Quote: Nothing really stands out.
Directed By: Tim Burton

I was worried that with “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” I would be totally disappointed in the movie because of my love for “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” My worry was unfounded, although I do have one major gripe, which I’ll get to later. Let’s get to it…

The story is pretty much the same as “Willy Wonka,” with a little more of a backstory. This time we learn why Willy Wonka got into the chocolate business, his family issues as a little boy, and why the Oompa Loompa’s are working in the factory instead of people. Once again Willy offers up a tour of his factory to some lucky children who find the magic tickets, and our kids are the same. You of course get poor kid Charlie, the fat slob Augustus, the TV addicted genius Mike, the gum-chewing Violet, and the spoiled brat Veruca. Along with them come their parents, who are just as wacky as their kids.

So, you get the kids touring the factory, and yes, Augustus falls in the chocolate river, Violet turns into a blueberry, and Mike gets put inside a TV. Different, though I actually liked it better, was Veruca’s fate, mostly because the animals were so cute. Different, also, was the way they worked the ending, but I’m sticking that the “Willy Wonka” ending was a little better and more poignant.

The main difference between the “Willy Wonka” version and the “Charlie” version is mostly the technological advances that give the “Charlie” version a slight advantage. The factory is fantastic, the Bucket’s homestead is oddly angular, and the elevator is pretty cool. I will also add that the folks playing the other kids and their parents were fantastic. However, this movie would have easily been 4 ½ stars except for one thing – the Oompa Loompa songs were horrible. When I asked Stu about this movie, he said the same thing, that the Oompa Loompa songs were unintelligible. And that is way too bad.

What they did, rather than the campy “Oompa Loompa Doom-pa-de-do” songs, was rework them into extravagant musical numbers with the instruments overpowering the lyrics, so much so that you really couldn’t understand the lesson the Oompa Loompa’s were trying to convey about the actions of kids, how eating too much is bad, chewing too much candy is gross, being spoiled is the parent’s fault, and watching too much TV rots your brain.

The way they did the Oompa Loompa’s was interesting, and overall I enjoyed the movie, the characters, and even though Johnny Depp was pretty creepy, he even won me over. I just don’t understand how you can make this movie and screw up the Oompa Loompa songs, and that’s enough for me to drop my rating to 3 ½ stars out of 5. I understand they couldn’t just copy the way the songs were done in the “Willy Wonka” version, but they should have been able to come up with something better than they did.

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