Batman Begins

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 2:20 Long
A Preview by:
The Dude on the Right

Batman Begins
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Ken Watanabe, Katie Holmes
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Warner Bros.
Kiddie Movie:
Date Movie:
Gratuitous Sex:
Gratuitous Violence:
Memorable Scene:
Memorable Quote:
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

I hate to stereotype an actor, but the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the name Christian Bale is some Huey Lewis & The News playing, a diatribe about Huey’s music, and a woman being chased with a chainsaw. Such is the influence of Christian Bale from “American Psycho.” But how does that relate to “Batman Begins?” Well, it doesn’t, it’s just that’s the first thing I think of hearing the name Christian Bale.

Alright, this movie is a ways out, but it looks to return to the darkness that made the “Batman” with Michael Keaton one of my all time favorite movies. This one gives us a younger Bruce Wayne, a Bruce Wayne learning how to fight, learning there is a cave under the mansion, and learning to become Batman. He has his mission, keep Gotham City safe from the bad guys, and this one gives us one of the favorite comic book bad guys, The Scarecrow.

The story is there, the bad guy is there, as long as they don’t mess around too much with the Batman formula, this should be a good one. We’ll have to wait and see as things get a little closer.

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

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

MPAA Rated – PG
It’s 2:24 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

The Chronicles
of Narnia:
Prince Caspian
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Ben Barnes, Liam Neeson, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Georgie Henley, Anna Popplewell
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: Walt Disney Pictures
Release Date: 2008
Kiddie Movie: It’s very violent. I hope the 5 year olds are ready for it.
Date Movie: Only if she is a Narnia fan.
Gratuitous Sex: It’s from Disney. There’s a kiss. And it’s “PG” for battles and violence.
Gratuitous Violence: The Narnians pretty much slice and dice their way through the Telmarinina army.
Action: There’s some fighting and chasing.
Laughs: Nope.
Memorable Scene: I did like the collapsing battlefield.
Memorable Quote: None.
Directed By: Andrew Adamson

Okay, sure, they don’t actually show the decapitation portion of the decapitation, and all we really see on the ground is the top of the helmet, but for the life of me I assumed “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” was rated PG-13 and found it kind of odd the parents bringing in kids as young as about 5 years old to the movie. Then, when I’m doing my research on who played whom, I say to myself “Holy crap, that thing is only rated PG?” as I notice what the the MPAA rating is. Can you tell I’m sort of flabbergasted by the rating? I guess sometimes there are things, like the decisions the MPAA rating’s people make, that we are never meant to understand.

Now, since I never saw the first Narnia movie, the one about the lion, the witch, and bedroom furniture, and many of you know my stance on reading books (of which this movie series is based on those by C.S. Lewis), and since they didn’t really give us any back-story on the first film during the second, from what I can gather our four main characters, Lucy (Georgie Henley), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), Susan (Anna Popplewell), and Peter (William Moseley) were some kind of royalty/fighters when Narnia was having trouble with this crazy white witch looking to put down the big lion, and for whatever reason the four of them ended up back in London. But while they’re living their lives over the course of one year, we know, from the trailer, that it’s 1300 years later in Narnia, something has beaten down the Narnians, and there’s trouble afoot in the land of the Telmarines as Lord Miraz (Sergio Castellitto) wants to be king, with only Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) in his way.

So our good Prince escapes certain death by entering the land of Narnia, where, much to his surprise, some Narnians still exist, but he blows the big horn that summons our four heroes, who arrive just in the nick of time as the evil Telmarines are hell-bent on wiping out the Narnians, and Prince Caspian, once and for all.

The problem, though, for our heroes, is that one year is enough for Edmund, Susan, and Peter, to forget the magic that is Narnia, but Lucy still believes, which is a damn good thing because she seems to be the only one that thinks Aslan the lion, (voiced by Liam Neeson), is still alive, and that maybe the trees will wake up.

Fine, maybe I would have liked “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” more had I seen the first one, thereby understanding a little bit more about what is going on, but even as a movie I didn’t care for it that much on its own. I mean, how did our Narnias actually think they would be able to storm the castle? And how come the armies of the Telmarines seem to suck so bad? And what’s with crappy look of the epic battle scene, although I have to say the collapsing battlefield was pretty cool. And why did they seem to think they had to cast Prince Caspian as a pretty-boy wimp type rather than a pretty-boy warrior?

I could go on and on, but I think, if you are a fan of the first Narnia movie you will probably like the continuing story, but for me, this version didn’t make me want to seek out the first one so I could catch up. It’s 2 ½ stars out of 5 from me, but if you are a Narnia fan, you will probably give it a few more stars. Oh yea, one more thing, what’s with the water dude actually being able to “eat” someone? I guess I have so much more to learn about Narnia, it’s just too bad I won’t read about it.

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

The A-Team

MPAA Rated – Unrated
It’s 1:59 Long
A Blu-ray Review by:
The Dude on the Right

The A-Team
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Sharlto Copley
MPAA Rated: Unrated Blu-ray
Released By: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Kiddie Movie: Not too young, but the boys will like the explosions.
Date Movie: Only if she likes explosions.
Gratuitous Sex: Mostly talk.
Gratuitous Violence: Lots of it, but on the PG-13 level.
Action: There’s a whole lot of chasing going on.
Laughs: Ehh.
Memorable Scene: Nothing really.
Memorable Quote: None really.
Directed By: Joe Carnahan
Cool Things About the Blu-ray It’s got some extra insight into the characters, how things were made, and some deleted stuff/bloopers that are, ehh.

When I was a kid I loved “The A-Team” and for the longest time I heard about them wanting to make a big-screen movie based on the series, but I figured that as long as there was some fun action, some goofy stunts, and not taking themselves too seriously that things might work out. As the trailers began to come out for the movie I was mildly excited because there seemed to be all of these. Sadly, though, in my assessment of the TV series I forgot about one necessity that made it work, and that was chemistry. In the TV show there was tons of it, carried a lot by Mr. T and George Peppard in the roles of Hannibal and B.A. respectively. Sadly, in the movie, chemistry seemed to have been an afterthought.

As it is, the movie version that hit the theaters and is now out on Blu-ray adapts itself for the 2000’s, shifting our heroes from Vietnam veterans to Gulf War veterans, but instead of diving right into the theme of the TV series, about veterans framed for a crime they didn’t commit and helping others who are innocent, the current version decides to focus on the early days, how the team came together, and the mission that set them up for their being framed. All along it’s just a bunch of explosions, followed by explosions, followed by a thin story, followed by explosions.

As things move along it’s to prison they all go, it’s breaking out of prison they next go, and then it’s to the boys working to track down who originally set them up who might be trying to sell some treasury plates (Hey, we can make money!) to the Arabs. So, of course, there’s this elaborate plan to stop the bad guys, lots of things blow up some more, and our heroes are heroes, only they still aren’t getting the credit, still are considered criminals even though they saved the world economy, and the movie ends setting up a sequel if this one makes enough money.

If you’ll notice, during this synopsis I didn’t mention of the players. I sort of did that on purpose because this version of “The A-Team” focuses more on the explosions and dumb story rather than the players involved, but the thing is, what made the TV series so enjoyable was the players, the interaction, and the chemistry.

For what it’s worth, the main players are Bradley Cooper as “Faceman,” Quinton “Rampage” Jackson as B.A., and Sharlto Copley as Murdock, and, oh yea, I almost forgot Liam Neeson as Hannibal, who I think was the worst of the mis-cast people. Look, I love Liam Neeson as an actor, but for me it always seems like a loner, an stand-off-ish kind of guy, and that seems to translate into the roles he plays. As Hannibal he just wasn’t fun, you didn’t seem him as the Colonel, and I just plain didn’t like him in that role.

As it is, if you want a movie with a lot of things blowing up in a hail of gunfire, go ahead and get “The A-Team,” but for characters with chemistry, with story, with actually caring about them, this isn’t the movie. It’s 2 stars out of 5 for the movie version of “The A-Team.”

As far as the Blu-ray extras, the set actually has an “Extended Untrated Cut” that I didn’t watch because, well, I didn’t really need to see anything else blow up. There is some more detailed explanations of the characters, which is nice, and I’m always liking seeing how various action scenes are done, so that is nice, too.