Coyote Ugly

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:41 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Coyote Ugly
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Piper Perabo, Adam Garcia, Maria Bello, Melanie Lynskey, Izabella Miko, Bridget Moynahan
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Touchstone Pictures
Release Date: 2000
Kiddie Movie: It’s really a chick flick disguised as a dude flick.
Date Movie: Not too young – they won’t get it.
Gratuitous Sex: No.
Gratuitous Violence: Some bar fighting.
Action: Not really.
Laughs: A line here and there.
Memorable Scene: Anytime the girls are dancing on the bar.
Memorable Quote: Nothing really.
Directed By: David McNally

I was hoodwinked. I was tricked. I was boondoggled. I went to see “Coyote Ugly.” Much like probably most every other guy who saw the trailer for “Coyote Ugly,” seeing hot babes dancing on a bar, spraying water, dressed pretty skimpily, well, my first reaction in seeing this was “I have got to see this movie.” It didn’t really matter what the plot was, it didn’t really matter about character development, it didn’t really matter about anything – I just wanted to see hot babes dancing on a bar, hopefully getting their t-shirts wet, and maybe even getting naked. Then I saw the rating – PG-13, and I got a little worried. But that didn’t stop me from eagerly wanting to see the movie – visions of babes on a bar still danced in my head. Then I saw the movie and felt betrayed, suckered, and hoodwinked – “Coyote Ugly” is a chick flick with hot babes dancing on a bar for good measure.

Hot babes aside, the story kinda goes like this: Violet (Piper Perabo) moves from her small New Jersey town to New York City searching for her dream as a songwriter. Her dreams get squashed when she finds out the meaning of “Unsolicited Material,” namely, you can’t send music to a record company without their asking. Her dreams shattered, her apartment vandalized, Violet is almost ready to give up except she has found a dude-friend, Kevin (Adam Garcia), who gives her a little bit of hope, and she overhears these hot babes in a diner talking about how much money they made and how one of them was leaving work at the bar. With opportunity knocking, Violet heads to Coyote Ugly – the bar, and looks for a job. Yes, she gets hired, yes, she has no idea what she is getting into, and yes, the love story develops. It’s also from her working at the bar that she begins to get over her stage fright, and just when her luck gets more crappy because she gets fired because of her idiot boyfriend, you can’t expect this movie to end this way and know that in the end she’ll get the dude and get to sing her song.

Yes, the story wrap-up was kind of quick, but it’s your basic girl-with-a-dream and a love story mixed in – hence, chick flick. Did the trailer say that? You know what, maybe it did – all I still remember from the trailer was hot babes dancing on a bar. The movie had that, too, but really it’s not a movie about hot babes, just one hot babe and her dream.

Is the movie bad – no, not really. Is the movie calculated – yea, you pretty much could figure out everything that was going to happen. Should you see it – well, it’s geared more for the upper-teen audience, so if your girlfriend wants to see a movie, suggest this one. She might squawk, saying all you want to see are hot babes dancing on a bar, and well, this will be true. But she’ll probably get a feel good movie and get past the scenes that tricked this dude into expecting more (or maybe less if you’re talking about clothing).

All in all I’m giving “Coyote Ugly” 3 stars out of 5. It holds its own as a story, John Goodman as Violet’s dad is pretty funny, especially when he finds out where she works, and even though not the movie I expected (I expected a story revolving around the 5 bartenders, their individual lives outside the bar, intertwined with their working in the bar) it wasn’t that bad.

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

The Cooler

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:41 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

The Cooler
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: William H. Macy, Maria Bello, Alec Baldwin, Shawn Hatosy, Ron Livingston
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Lions Gate Films
Release Date: 2003
Kiddie Movie: Definitely not.
Date Movie: It’s good for the both of you.
Gratuitous Sex: Lots of it. Yea! But a little too real. Boo! Personally, I didn’t need to see William H. Macy’s butt, but hey, like I said, it was too real.
Gratuitous Violence: There are some quality beatings.
Action: No real chase scenes.
Laughs: Quite a few.
Memorable Scene: I would have to say the Shelly/Mikey sit down in the back room. Especially when Shelly punches Mikey’s girlfriend in the pregnant belly.
Memorable Quote: Lots of them, but Shelly questioning Bernie, as they looked at a hooker walking away, asking “I’d bet you’d like to birdie that hole?” gives you a good sense of the film.
Directed By: Wayne Kramer

Now I know why I always lose money in Vegas. I think all of my friends are coolers. Yea, that’s got to be it, because when I’m gambling by myself it always seems I’m ahead, but if one of them is around, or comes by me to say “Hi”, my luck changes in an instant. Yea, that’s got to be the reason. That or the fact that maybe I’m just a cooler. Or maybe it’s just that the house always has the edge. Oh well, in any case there’s a movie out called “The Cooler” and it’s fantastic.

“The Cooler” gives us the story of Bernie Lootz played brilliantly by William H. Macy (and might I make a little aside saying that Macy is one lucky guy – not only is he blessed with being a talented actor, he also gets to feel up Maria Bello in the movie). He is a sad-sack, and also, what is known in the casino world, as a cooler. Pretty much if you are on a hot streak at the casino, if a cooler comes around you, sits next to you for a hand, maybe throws some dice, your luck changes in an instant. You would think that anyone with that talent would be well worth any amount of money to a casino owner, but sadly for Bernie, he is in the debt of owner Shelly (Alec Baldwin) so he’s pretty much working for nothing. It’s his last week working for Shelly, his debt finally paid, and Bernie’s looking to get the hell out of town because rather than be happy with his talent, it drives him crazy, especially because he’s unlucky, too.

Then one day he tries to make waitress Natalie’s (Bello) life a little better, and oddly enough they get together. Bernie’s not that smooth with the ladies, so Natalie helps him along, reassuring him that she’s had worse, and slowly they both fall in love. This is not good for Shelly because a Bernie in love brings lady luck to his side, and suddenly his cooler powers turn to, well, warmer powers, because now everyone starts winning in his presence. This is doubly bad for Shelly because financial backer Nicky (Arthur Nascarella) and his consultant Larry (Ron Livingston) are looking to transform the Shangri-La into a flashy casino for the Vegas strip. Shelly, on the other hand, prefers old-school casinos, where you could break someone’s kneecaps if they try to cheat.

But Bernie’s good fortune takes a bad turn when he runs into his estranged son Mikey (Shawn Hatosy) and his pregnant girlfriend. Bernie gives him some dough to help with the coming grandchild, then finds Mikey in trouble with Shelly. Being the good dad, Bernie agrees to take Mikey’s debt, meaning he’s going to be working for Shelly a while longer. Shelly also takes the lead by subtly suggesting that, for her own sake if you get what I mean, Natalie should get out of Bernie’s life.

Does Bernie end up with Natalie? Can Shelly convince Nicky and Larry to leave the casino alone? Will ‘N Sync ever record another album now that Joey Fatone is becoming a gigantic movie star (he plays a lounge singer in “The Cooler”)? Well, the first two questions are answered, the last, well, only time will tell.

“The Cooler” just has fabulous acting by everyone involved, and couple that with a great dramatic story and you get a fantastic movie. Alec Baldwin played a slimy character in “The Cat in the Hat” and I thought he sucked. In “The Cooler” as Shelly, Alec makes up for that mistake one hundred fold. You loathe him for some of his actions, yet inside the man there is a twisted sense of caring for his friends, namely his dealing with aging crooner, Buddy, played by Paul Sorvino. Macy continues to be one of the most solid actors out there, and Maria Bello is fabulous in her portrayal as Natalie, a giant acting leap from the last movie I saw her in, as Liz, the owner of Coyote Ugly (although I did like her in that movie also, this one really lets her talents shine). This is truly an adult movie, with some sex scenes between Bernie and Natalie that present sex in a real light, and some quality violence that really shows how things probably were in the casino industry. It’s 5 stars out of 5 for “The Cooler.”

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

A History of Violence

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:36 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

A History of Violence
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris, Maria Bello
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: New Line Cinema
Kiddie Movie: For goodness sake, leave them at home.
Date Movie: Only if she can handle a lot of gore.
Gratuitous Sex: Very intense and, frontal nudity, and Viggo’s butt.
Gratuitous Violence: Some of the best quality kills I’ve seen in a long time.
Action: Not too much chasing.
Laughs: A great scene at the end that it probably isn’t appropriate to laugh, but I laughed my ass off.
Memorable Scene: The scene in the front yard with Tom Stall and Carl.
Memorable Quote: I’m not saying who said it, but it’s simply the line “How do fuck that up?”
Directed By: David Cronenberg
Produced By: Chris Bender, David Cronenberg, J.C. Spink

As I was leaving “A History of Violence” my initial reaction was simply “Holy crap!” mostly because it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a movie that had such brutal violence, intense sex, sort of disappointing nudity, appreciation for the cheerleader fantasy, creepy characters, laugh-out-loud moments, and perfectly cast characters. Such was my take on “A History of Violence.”

The premise of the story goes like this…

Viggo Mortensen is Tom Stall. He runs Stall’s Diner in a quiet, little, Midwestern town where other than bullies picking on other kids, there really isn’t much violence happening. He’s got a loving, hot wife in Edie (Maria Bello), and a nerdy son, Jack (Asthon Holmes), the latter of whom keeps getting picked on by the high school bully. Things are their normal, quiet, self, until these two bad guys, who have been on a killing spree since they left the west coast, show up at Stall’s Diner. They’re threatening the few people there, planning to take advantage of the waitress, when Tom springs into action. The next thing we know the two bad dudes are dead, or at least we’re pretty sure since one of them doesn’t have much of his face left as his jaw is kind of bouncing up and down in a pool of blood, and Tom is a hero. Of course the television crews show up, and now Tom Stall is on every news channel as a hero.

The next thing we know, Carl (Ed Harris), a creepy, mob-looking kind of guy with a bad eye, shows up in the diner, telling Tom that Tom is really a mob guy from Philly named Joey. Tom looks at him like he’s nuts, Edie is creeped out by the dude, especially when they find out from their local sheriff that Carl isn’t just a mob-looking kind of guy, but is a mob guy, and at this point we’ve got a lot of questions.


Is Tom really Joey or is this just a case of mistaken identity? Will Tom’s family pay for this mistaken identity if that’s what it is? Will Jack get some balls? How did Carl get such a messed up face to begin with? How did they clean up all of that blood so quickly? How in the hell can nudity be disappointing?

Well I’m not giving you the answer to any of those questions except the last. First off, God bless Maria Bello for not being afraid to take her clothes off, and she really doesn’t have any reason to be afraid because she’s pretty hot. But, the full-frontal nudity scene for me, was slightly disappointing, because it came at a time I was really conflicted about the scene that just preceded it. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Wrapping this up, “A History of Violence” has some of the best quality kills in a long time, so if you’re not one for blood and guts getting everywhere, stay away. Also, if sex in cinema makes you sick, this is definitely not for you. But if any of that entices you, along with a really quality thriller where Viggo Mortensen does a fantastic job as the small-town Tom, Maria Bello shows Edie wondering if Tom really is who he says he is fabulously, and Ed Harris is as creepy as I’ve ever seen him just saying the word “Joey.”

I really had a great time at “A History of Violence,” but do understand if this movie isn’t for you. But it was for me, and I wasn’t afraid to laugh out loud, even though it seemed a little inappropriate, during a scene towards the end of the film. 4 ½ stars out of 5 for “A History of Violence.”

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