The Black Dahlia

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 2:01 Long
A Preview by:
The Dude on the Right

The Black Dahlia
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Aaron Eckhart, Scarlett Johansson, Hilary Swank
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Universal Pictures
Release Date: 2006
Directed By: Brian De Palma

He’s got the reputation. He’s got Academy Award winner Hilary Swank. He’s got up-and-quickly-comer Scarlett Johansson. And he’s got Josh Hartnett. Okay, hopefully Brian De Palma pulls the best out of Josh Hartnett, but the movie does have an interesting story to start, about what the film site says is “Inspired by the most notorious unsolved murder in California history.”

It’s the 1940’s and Bucky (Josh Hartnett) and Lee (Aaron Eckhart) are police officers. They’ve been assigned to cover the death of an actress, Elizabeth Short (Mia Kirshner), whose body has pretty much been mutilated, in the largest sense of the word, and there are tons of twists and turns that seem to involve everyone’s life. Some people are good, some people are dirty, and some people are totally obsessed, but isn’t every good murder mystery supposed to do just that?

Nothing against Josh Hartnett, but the trailer isn’t looking too promising for him, amongst the other casts in the lead roles, but I’ll still try to bump this up on my “must see” list because of Scarlett and Hilary.

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

40 Days and 40 Nights

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:34 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

40 Days and 40 Nights
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Shannyn Sossamon, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Keegan Connor Tracy, Emmanuelle Vaugier
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Mirimax
Kiddie Movie: Leave them at home, please.
Date Movie: She might think it’s cute, or be afraid she might lose her edge.
Gratuitous Sex: Lots of it, and lots of boobs.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Quite a few.
Memorable Scene: I think it was day 38, or maybe 39. I couldn’t keep track of that nor how many boobs they showed.
Memorable Quote: “Did she just Xerox her ass?”
Directed By: Michael Lehmann
Produced By: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Michael London

Okay, I like the movie. Yes, I’ll say it again, I like the movie. The movie is “40 Days and 40 Nights,” and I’ll give you that the story has its faults, but hey, it does show that it is sometimes just as hard for a guy to get over a girl, even if he has turned into a bit of a sex-crazed stud, as the other way around. And maybe, just maybe, a guy needs to prove to himself that he can stay in control, even when the girl of his dreams tempts him to break his promise to himself. Alright, here we go…

In “40 Days and 40 Nights” Matt (Josh Hartnett) gets dumped by his too-hot-for-him girlfriend, Nicole (Vinessa Shaw), mostly because she seems to get sick of Matt videotaping them everywhere they are. In the meantime, Matt keeps his sexual activities at their peak, the only problem is that he keeps getting hallucinations just as things are about to spurt. His brother, the priest in training, doesn’t really have any advice for him, and then in a quick conversation with the Pastor of the parish, well, Matt decides that it is sex that is keeping him from giving up Nicole, so along with Lent, well, Matt goes for 40 days and 40 nights without sex. And not just sex. We’re talking about any physical contact, including self-gratification. Ask any guy – it’s not that easy.

Well, as Matt begins his journey, tossing out the porn, and now building model cars and doing a lot of laundry, well, it is at the laundromat that Matt meets Erica (Shannyn Sossamon). Matt does his best to ignore her and not have any real conversation, but there is an attraction he can’t deny. Long story short, Matt thinks Erica might be the girl of his dreams, Erica doesn’t understand why Matt doesn’t try to sleep with her, and then she finds out his Lenten plans. She doesn’t get it at first, especially since Matt’s friends and colleagues have set up a betting pool on the internet about when Matt will cave to his sexual urges, but she lets Matt grow. Hooray!

So we have Matt trying to convince Erica this is something he really needs to do, if at least for his own pride; we have lots of hot girls coming on to Matt trying to get him to break his vow; we have various people in the betting pool trying their darndest, using porn, Viagra, and any other means possible, to get Matt to cave in so they can win the money, and we have a movie with a lot of cheap laughs, some things you don’t really want to see (like Matt with a boner at an inopportune time), and a scene most every guy can enjoy as Matt gets to his final days and all he can see anymore are women with no clothes on (that means a lot of boobies).

Yes, “40 Days and 40 Nights” is pretty dorky because most every guy I know would have caved by, well, it only took Kramer a few minutes in the “Seinfeld” episode that dealt with the same subject, but the prospect of 40 days and nights without any touching, that’s a challenge for any man. And in a cute scene where some of the women seem hell-bent on getting Matt to cave, well, their reason isn’t for the money, it’s because one of the last strongholds a woman has over a man is denying him sex, and if Matt can overcome this, then other men will be able to as well, and women will have lost their edge.

On a movie scale, I give “40 Days and 40 Nights” 3 ½ stars as long as you don’t take things too seriously. And I was going to leave the rating at that except I haven’t seen that much gratuitous and beautiful use of boobs in a movie in a long time. That in itself is enough for another star. It’s 4 ½ stars out of 5 for “40 Days and 40 Nights.” Hey, I’m a guy.

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

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!!!