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!!!

28 Weeks Later

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:31 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

28 Weeks Later
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Robert Carlyle, Imogen Poots, Mackintosh Muggleton, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Fox Atomic
Kiddie Movie: Only if you want them to have nightmares.
Date Movie: If she likes a gore-fest.
Gratuitous Sex: Some peeping-tom action.
Gratuitous Violence: Lots of killing, eating, and blowing shit up.
Action: Lots of running.
Laughs: Nope.
Memorable Scene: The helicopter.
Memorable Quote: Nothing really.
Directed By: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Produced By: Enrique Lopez-Lavigne, Andrew MacDonald, Allon Reich

Stupid sister. Now you’ve doomed us all.

I figured I would open this review of “28 Weeks Later” with those seven simple words. Why? I’ll get to that later.

Anyway, “28 Weeks Later” is the sequel to “28 Days Later,” and the rage virus is back. It isn’t supposed to be back because we have found out that Great Britain was, indeed, quarantined during the initial outbreak of rage (rage is a virus that make you like a zombie on speed, where you are either going to be feeding on people, or infecting them along the way), simply so that those where were infected would die of starvation. It’s now 28 weeks later, and a UN military/rebuilding force, led by the United States, has been dispatched to London to help rebuild the city and let people back in. Don (Robert Carlyle) can’t wait because after surviving the initial rage infestation, in which he presumed his wife was dead, well, his kids are coming back to live with him.

Enter Tammy (Imogen Poots) and Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton), Don’s kids.

Reunited with dad, the kids learn of mom’s supposed fate, but Andy is having a hard time dealing with the death of mom, and the fact he doesn’t have a picture of her, so our rambunctious kids flee the safety of the green zone (the safe area of London) to go back to the old homestead and get some things, including a picture, and low and behold, there is mom. Mom is alive, it seems, because although infected with the virus she doesn’t have the symptoms, namely the desire to eat people or vomit blood on them. The military finally round up the kids, pack up mom, and it’s back to the medical center.

Now dad finds out that mom is alive, and because he is still filled with guilt for leaving her to die the first time, he uses his high security clearance to visit, maybe ask for forgiveness, and it’s time for the virus to rear it’s ugly head again.

People are running from the infected, the infected are gaining their stronghold, so the military pulls out the “Code Red” order, pretty much meaning all the people they just let back into the city are going to get killed.

But wait, we’ve got Tammy and Andy to worry about, don’t we? Well, the good doctor Scarlet (Rose Byrne) thinks one of the kids might be the secret to finding a cure for the virus, now that mom is dead, and with the help of one of the soldiers, Doyle (Jeremy Renner), it’s off to the races to safety.

I suppose I’ve already given away too much of the story, but I don’t think it matters because, for the most part a lot of the scenes of the movie are telegraphed as it moves along. We know the rage virus is coming back, and it comes back through in an obvious way. We know the rage infected people run really fast trying to eat or infect other people. And we know there will be a group of survivors doing their best to stay one step ahead of the infected.

Me, I think I liked “28 Weeks Later” actually a little more than the original “28 Days Later,” even though there were a boatload of plot points that just seemed ludicrous, i.e., why wasn’t there 24 hour surveillance on mom? The rave infected folks were just as fun to watch as in the first film, you’ve got just as many stupid people who deserve to die in this one, and I have to say this movie had the best use of a helicopter in a movie, ever.

With that I’m giving “28 Weeks Later” 4 stars out of 5. Sure, the first film was a little more creepy with our hero waking up in the hospital only to find everyone gone, but this one had that helicopter.

And, oh yea, the stupid sister. Sure, it was necessary to set up the sequel, which might be called something like “280 Million Dead Later,” but thanks to her and her “promise” the rest of the world might be screwed.

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

28 Days Later

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:48 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

28 Days Later
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Burns
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Fox Searchlight
Kiddie Movie: Nope.
Date Movie: She might get frightnened and snuggle.
Gratuitous Sex: Some army dudes are lonely.
Gratuitous Violence: Lots of blood and gore.
Action: Zombies chasing humans.
Laughs: There is a chuckle or two.
Memorable Scene: Nothing totally stands out.
Memorable Quote: Nah.
Directed By: Danny Boyle
Produced By: Andrew Macdonald

Some people were touting “28 Days Later” as the scariest horror movie of all time, or at least at a really scary movie. Well, I don’t know about either of those claims, but it was a really creepy movie that would have been better had they asked Roger Ebert how they should end it.

Anyway, the movie goes like this. Some no good animal activists think it would be a good idea to free some monkeys from a test facility. What they don’t know is that these monkeys are infected with some kind of virus called “rage.” Pretty much if you transmit some bodily fluid, you become a ravenous zombie attacking all of those around you. We break to the next scene where our main dude, Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes up in a hospital bed only to find the place ransacked and no one around. Alright, that’s not too bizarre, but now he’s walking the streets of London only no one is there. He goes to a church, it’s starting to be nighttime, and in the church he encounters his first zombies. Running for his life, he gets rescued by Selena (Naomie Harris) and Mark (Noah Huntley). They explain to him what the deal is, of course he doesn’t believe them, so they make their way to his old homestead where he finds his parents dead, killing themselves instead of becoming rage victims. Another attack ensues, our heroes are on the run, less one member, (It’s explained that if your friend gets infected there’s no helping them, so pretty much you have to kill them on the spot or risk getting “rage” yourself), and it’s now a search if anyone is still normal.

Our heroes find a father and daughter, Frank (Brendan Gleeson) and Hannah (Megan Burns), holed up in a high rise apartment, and find that Frank has a little portable radio that has picked up a broadcast stating there is a safe place run by the military. It’s now a road trip, and eventually they find the outpost, and even though it’s true they have a secure outpost, things aren’t so secure for our heroes.

But it is there where an interesting plot twist is revealed, that possibly the island of Great Britain has actually been quarantined, that “rage” hasn’t spread across the world, and that they are just waiting for all of the zombies to die from starvation. Low and behold, that seems to be the case since Jim looks up and sees an airplane flying overhead. Now I know I’m giving some things away, but it sets up why Ebert had a better ending than the happy go lucky ending I got. The ending originally in theaters (there is a second ending now attached to the movie after the credits end, a less happy ending, but not as creative as Ebert’s) has Jim, Selena and Hannah in a house on a hillside putting together a lot of fabric spelling out the word “Hello” so the military planes that occasionally fly over would see them. The plane does see them, and it ends at that. Ebert proposes that the jet circles around and blast our heroes to bits. I thought that would have been great, after all, how can you be so sure the infected zombies didn’t learn how to spell?

In the end “28 Days Later” is a great, spooky movie that doesn’t give you the payoff of really being shocked. You’re at a scary movie to begin with, why does the ending have to be happy? Screw the focus groups, blow them to bits! It’s 3 1/2 stars our of 5.

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

28 Days

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:43 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

28 Days
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Viggo Mortensen, Steve Buscemi
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Columbia Pictures
Kiddie Movie: Most of the humor is adult oriented. Leave them at home.
Date Movie: It’s a good movie for the both of you.
Gratuitous Sex: Nothing gratuitous.
Gratuitous Violence: Not really violence, but a pretty depressing scene is in there.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Some chuckles and cute spots.
Memorable Scene: I’d tell you, but it would really spoil it.
Memorable Quote: Too many to write down.
Directed By: Betty Thomas
Produced By: Jenno Topping

Can you make a movie about an alcoholic that can treat the subject with a little bit of laughter, with a little bit of seriousness, and get a point across without being preachy? Yes, and the answer is the movie “28 Days.”

“28 Days” stars Sandra Bullock as Gwen. She’s a tad out of control, a happy-go-lucky drunk who mostly has been just lucky. Always partying, waking up wondering how she got there and then cracking open a beer, she’s a party girl with a party lifestyle. She’s out of control and she doesn’t know it. But it’s the morning of her sister’s wedding, she’s running late, grabs her boyfriend and a couple of drinks and ruins her sister’s big day. Wouldn’t that be enough? Nope. Let’s add being drunk, stealing a limo to go buy a new wedding cake, and crashing said limo into someone’s living room. That’s enough to land you in jail or rehab and Gwen opts for rehab. She hasn’t hit rock-bottom yet, that comes a few days into rehab, but eventually she sees the world around her and realizes it’s hers to fix, with a little help from her new friends.

I won’t go into the days at rehab because I think most of that is better found out in the movie-going experience, but the movie does give a comical edge to rehab to keep the movie light, while still throwing in some total seriousness to have you connect a little more with the problems the patients are all facing. And Sandra Bullock with the rest of the cast do this well.

This review is a short one other that to say that “28 Days” is a great movie. I loved Sandra Bullock’s portrayal as Gwen and her transition from party-girl to taking responsibility for what she does. It took a subject that is tough to talk about without either sounding preachy or condescending, or totally making a joke out of it or being so depressing you just want a drink, and made a nice movie that both entertains and tells a story. In the end it’s 4 stars out of 5. I really liked the movie and Sandra is quickly becoming one of my favoritist actresses.

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

27 Dresses

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:47 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

27 Dresses
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Malin Akerman, Judy Greer, Edward Burns
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Fox 2000 Pictures
Kiddie Movie: The girls might like the frilly dresses but the boys will hate you forever.
Date Movie: It’s really a dudette night out flick.
Gratuitous Sex: There’s some gettingit on but no nudity.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nope.
Laughs: Probably more for the ladies.
Memorable Scene: In the bar singing"Benny and the Jets."
Memorable Quote: "That selfish whore."
Directed By: Anne Flether
Produced By: Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber, Jonathan Glickman

I’m still trying to figure out what went wrong. See, there I am, waiting for the trailers to start, munching on a giant pretzel, when three hot dudettes walk in with no rings on that special finger. It’s single ladies morning out! This might be it, my dream of picking up women in the movie theater. One, I’m sitting by myself at the movie “27 Dresses”; Two, I’ve got on my raggedy, white sweatshirt; Three, I haven’t shaved in two days; and four, this morning, when I woke up, resigned to the sweatshirt and not shaving, well, there was no extra effort made to make my hair look nice either. It must have taken all that they had not to just jump me right there in the theater, or maybe they were lesbians. In any case I was still sitting by myself, watching the movie.

Anyway, as far as “27 Dresses,” if you saw the trailer you pretty much saw the movie, and trust me, there are no surprises at all in the movie. Kathering Heigl plays Jane. All of her life she has been the perfect bridesmaid, able to organize every wedding to perfection, even able to juggle two weddings going on at the same time. She’s in love with her boss, George (Edward Burns), but can never muster the nerve to let him know about her feelings and when she finally does get the nerve, well, enter Jane’s sister, Tess (Malin Akerman). Of course George and Tess hit it off, and now Jane is planning Tess’ wedding to the man that she is in love with. But enter Kevin (James Marsden). He’s a writer for the society section of the newspaper, reporting on weddings, and after finding Jane’s calendar book realizes there is an interesting story about her.

Yea, you can already guess a bunch of things, namely that Kevin and Jane are meant to hook up, Jane realizes George isn’t the man for her, Tess is a bitch, and everyone lives happily ever after.

Look, “27 Dresses” is a cookie-cutter movie about the wedding thing, about the girl looking for her true love, and dudes, do yourself a favor by letting your dudettes have a dudette night out when she wants to see this movie. I can get sucked into many a romantic comedy, and as great as Katherine Heigl is in her role of Jane, this movie has absolutely no testosterone quotient, even with Malin Akerman wearing low-cut tops. Sure, I did chuckle at some moments, but this movie is really one for the ladies.

For dudettes the movie is probably 4 stars out of 5, for dudes it’s more like 1 star out of 5. Average them together gives the movie 2 ½ stars out of 5, but for Katherine Heigl doing a great job in her leading role, and the spitfire nature of her friend and co-worker, Casey (Judy Greer), I’ll add ½ star giving “27 Dresses” 3 stars out of 5.

The movie doesn’t try to trick you into anything it isn’t, so I suppose going in you will get everything you expect, even a nice montage of Jane trying on her 27 bridesmaid’s dresses. Katherine Heigl, though, deserves more than a cookie-cutter wedding movie.

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

2 Fast 2 Furious

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:54 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

2 Fast 2 Furious
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Cole Hauser, Eva Mendes, Ludacris
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Universal Pictures
Distributed By: thefastandthefurious.com
Kiddie Movie: Keep it to the teenagers.
Date Movie: Only if she likes fast cars and fast women.
Gratuitous Sex: Women in sexy clothes.
Gratuitous Violence: A scary scene with a rat, and a dude gets run over by a truck.
Action: Lots of car chases.
Laughs: Quite a few, especially the “give me a break” type.
Memorable Scene: The “Dukes of Hazard” jump.
Memorable Quote: Too many one-liners to list.
Directed By: John Singleton
Produced By: Neal H. Moritz

I didn’t want to like the movie because my hero, Vin, wasn’t a part of it. I wondered how you can make a sequel to “The Fast and The Furious” without the star of the original, but I guess the franchise isn’t about the actors, it’s about having a pretty mindless story and fast cars. Dammit, I liked “2 Fast 2 Furious.”

This time we’re in Miami and our cop-buddy Brian (Paul Walker) is off of the police force because he let Dominick get away in the first movie. Go figure, he’s trying to make money street racing around Miami. And go figure, the feds need Brian’s help to take out the drug kingpin. So what do they do? Well, they arrest Brian, give him a deal that they’ll clear his record if he helps them, and offer to pair him up with a nerd cop. Brian knows he needs somebody who can really help so it’s off to Barstow to recruit his old “friend who hates him now because he blames Brian for his getting busted by the cops and getting sent to jail” Roman (Tyrese). Yea, they beat each other up, but then they’re best friends again. And, oh yea, Roman’s in because if he helps he’ll get his record cleared.

So, with the help of Monica (Eva Mendes), the federal agent who’s infiltrated the kingpin’s trust (looking hot didn’t hurt), Brian and Roman get involved in a try-out to be the ones who get to carry the kingpin’s cash to the drop-off point. Guess what? They win. Alright, so our new hero, Brian, is falling for Monica, Roman figures this might get in the way, but they’ve all got a job to do, except that Monica overhears the henchman saying how instead of $100,000 when they deliver the cash, it’s a couple of bullets to the head instead. But you can’t stop the gig now, not when the bad guys would get away, so our boys make a plan to get the bad guys caught and keep the money. Well, their plans don’t go as smoothly as the figured so we get some “Dukes of Hazard” action. Ah, who cares about the story, is the car racing cool? It’s alright, pretty much the same as the original, although this time a lot more cop cars are involved and most of them get destroyed.

Every now and then I like to catch a movie that doesn’t make you think, all you need to do is sit back and let the one-liners and chase scenes fly amidst a pretty mindless story. And the hot bodies don’t hurt either. “2 Fast 2 Furious” gives you just that. No one’s winning any acting awards for this one, although Tyrese probably stole the show in terms of comedic element, and Eva Mendes looks fabulous in a bikini, but you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into when you buy you’re ticket for this movie, and you will get pretty much all of it. With that it’s 3 1/2 stars out of 5 for “2 Fast 2 Furious.” Take it for what it’s worth.

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

Get Him to the Greek

May was a long month and I needed to laugh. Thankfully Judd Apatow produced another funny movie, this time “Get Him to the Greek,” and yup, oh my God, it’s actually a movie review a new movie! In any case, it’s an adult film, in much the same way “The 40 Year Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up” are adult films, and this one takes the rock star life to just a slightly higher level than actual reality, and hilarity ensues. Yup, I’m giving it 4 1/2 stars, and if you like any of the Judd Apatow touched stuff, this one ranks up there with the best of them.

Reviews of Movies You’ve Seen, I’m Watching The Bachelorette, No Dr. Who, and Happy Birthday Jacques Cousteau!

By: The Dude on the Right

Download and ListenDownload the Podcast!

I finally saw “Iron Man 2,” and Stu Gotz finally saw “Iron Man 2,” so a month after it came out, during this episode of our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast, we tell you if you liked it when you already saw it. Me, I also saw “The Blind Side” and let Stu know if he should catch it, while Stu at least also saw something current, namely “Shrek Forever After” and comments on how it stacks up in the “Shrek” series.

There is also TV on our podcast menu as Stu is confused about why there didn’t seem to be a new “Dr. Who” episode (any help is appreciated as Stu is too lazy to actually find out), I was one of the few people watching “The Bachelorette” instead of the Chicago Blackhawks going for The Stanley Cup, and now that “American Idol” is pretty much done forever, especially with the failed Ellen experiment and Simon Cowell leaving, I’m looking forward to “America’s Got Talent” this summer.

Stu saw cars crash at a demolition derby, I got creeped out by people with germs, Stu says you can get a free movie rental from Redbox, and I give my tribute to John Denver and Jacques Cousteau all in one (Jacques would be 100 years old this month, and John, well, he’d be something like 66, but they’re both still dead)! Aye, Calypso!

Thanks for listening!

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

The C-Word, The Blackhawks, The Treasure Isle, The Kick-Ass, The Great Lake Pizza, and The More!

By: The Dude on the Right

Download and ListenDownload the Podcast!

Hide the kids, put on the headphones, and don’t play this “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast at work because Stu Gotz can’t stand a star that is dancing (psst, it’s Kate Gosselin) and uses language that only an 11 year old girl would use, that is if the 11 year old girl was in a movie called “Kick-Ass.” Me, I tell Stu some of the words that the 11 year old girl uses, and also if the movie is any good (I loved it). Also along the movie front, Stu, for reasons I’m still not sure, watched “The Yearling” with Gregory Peck and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, and I’m really getting worried about Stu.

We also chat a bit about the Chicago Blackhawks as they are in the race for The Stanley Cup, Stu gives his “expert” opinion about Ke$ha while I explain my desire to be a Ke$ha back-up dancer, I fill Stu in on a pizza joint in Chicago called Great Lake that has the “best” pizza in America (somehow I compare it to seeing an artsy movie), both of us are now addicted to Zynga’s latest Facebook creation, Treasure Isle, and I wonder if Stu, being the dive-dork that he is, has seen the video of the octopus that stole some dude’s camera that is propogating the Twitter universe (hey, go ahead and follow me at @dudeonright). Also, there’s a dirty Starbuck’s bathroom, and it’s in the Andersonville neighborhood in Chicago in case you want to avoid it.

All of that and more, if all of that’s not enough. Thanks for listening!

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

Pirate Radio

I really wanted to like "Pirate Radio" more than I did, so during my Blu-ray review of the movie I try to disect it. Okay, I really don’t, mostly I just give a synopsis of the movie and a brief idea of what to expect on the Blu-ray. Mostly I think I didn’t like it that much because the humor was more along the intellectual, dry kind, and when I was watching the movie I wasn’t in the "thinking mode." Check out the review anyway, it might give you some insight if you might like the movie.