MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 2:42 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Kiddie Movie: Lots of people and Na’vi get killed. Hire a sitter.
Date Movie: It’s got a love story and lots of Na’vi butts and the dudes get quality violence.
Gratuitous Sex: There is some jungle love and the Na’vi are in skimpy, jungle outfits.
Gratuitous Violence: Arrows are pretty brutal when they go right into your chest.
Action: There’s running, jumping, and flying bird-things.
Laughs: There’s some chuckles.
Memorable Scene: Pandora is cool.
Memorable Quote: “I’m probably just talking to a tree right now, but…”
Directed By: James Cameron

I will never admit how many times I actually went to the theater to see “Titanic,” but let’s just say that I went at least one time by myself, went to see it with a group of friends who hadn’t seen the movie yet, and then, well, I went, umm, never mind. Since “Avatar” and “Titanic” are both by James Cameron I thought I would mention my weird desire to see “Titanic” multiple times because as much as I liked “Avatar,” I suppose I would like to see it one more time, but not in 3-D, in order to compare the 3-D and 2-D versions, and sure, when it comes out on Blu-ray, I can see myself watching it again, but for me, as much as I enjoyed the movie, and I know it sounds cliché, it’s no “Titanic.”

Let’s start with the story…

“Avatar” takes us down the road a bit, into the future, at a world called Pandora. Pandora is occupied by these really tall, and really fit, blue creatures called the Na’vi. The problem for the Na’vi is that Pandora has a mineral called unobtanium, us Earthlings want it, but the Na’vi are content to be one with Mother Pandora, hunting with bows and arrows, while we have flying machines and bullets. As it would be, us humans, we suck, and rather than actually work with these people whose land we invaded, the corporate dopes decide to just bring in the bulldozers and gunships to move the un-cooperating “savages.”

Enter Jake Sully (Sam Worthington). He’s a marine who lost his ability to walk on Earth, but since his brother was a scientist and was going to be a part of the Avatar program on Na’vi (sorry, I forgot to mention a small group of scientists using these hybrid creatures, Avatars, that the humans can control while plugged into this MRI-looking device – kind of like being in The Matrix but not – to easier investigate Pandora and try to live with, and understand, the Na’vi), well, Jake gets to become part of the scientific expedition. As things would have it Jake gets indoctrinated into the Na’vi world, (Most people compare it to “Dances With Wolves” but I felt a weird connection to “The Air Up There” for whatever reason), and his mission/feelings, especially because he is now in love with a tall, blue chick, Neytire (Zoe Saldana), deviate from the operation the Colonel (Stephen Lang) wants him to take on, namely infiltrate the Na’vi and learn their weaknesses, and the scientific mission that the good Doctor is leading them on (Sigourney Weaver – still great), namely not to have sex with them. But, alas, it’s time for the corporate meanies to further invade the land, and Jake has to take sides. Guess which side he ends up on?

Okay, so the story is pretty straightforward, and the acting is up there on being good enough for this kind of movie, but what transcends this movie from just a basic story of foreign invaders overtaking the locals, intertwined with a love story, is, well, The James Cameron Effect. Yup, a James Cameron movie can’t just be a movie for the sake of it, it needs to be an experience, and as technology advances so does his vision, and he takes everything to a level that movies now have to achieve. How? Well, in “Titanic” he made you feel like you were actually there, on the Titanic, and in “Avatar,” dammit, you are on Pandora, in all of its mythical and glowy splendor, and it looks scary real for being a fictitious place.

Yup, technology and filmmaking has advanced, thanks in part to the visions of James Cameron, and as you get sucked into the story there will probably come a minute or two of simply being in awe of the world of Pandora, probably wishing you had a jellyfish-looking thing land on you hand or that you could scale mountains that seemed to hover over the land, and it is reasons like this why a movie like “Avatar” really needs to be seen on the biggest screen you can find, just maybe not in 3-D, yet.

Now, I have to admit that I haven’t seen the 2-D version of the movie yet so I can’t really compare, but as cool as the 3-D effect is, and maybe it’s because I’m weird, but for me the times the 3-D looks the best seem to be in the “landscape” shots rather than the close-ups because they don’t look real, yet. How to explain? Hmm, I guess the easiest thing I can say is that during a close-up the main action looks in 3-D and in focus, but if I shift my eyes to the background it doesn’t come into focus like things do in real life. I guess I’m just a visual person and when a movie looks in 3-D I want it to act the same as my eyesight, i.e., look behind the actor and see what’s behind them, but it doesn’t work. I know, that probably doesn’t make much sense, but the effect is close, just still not “real.”

Okay, so let’s combine everything…

In comparison to “Titanic,” I would say there just wasn’t something that totally clicked with the story in “Avatar” that would make me want to see it again, and even again, and enjoy it each time, and as I think about it, maybe it was because Jake didn’t make the ultimate sacrifice for his newfound love, like Jack did, or even the other way around. I guess the easiest thing to say is that the movie ended exactly as I thought it would, in a sappier way, and that doesn’t make it different. I’m not saying it’s not good, because I don’t want to explain how it ends, but it’s just a normal Hollywood ending, rather than the main dude drowning, which now that I think about it, really made the ending of “Titanic” just a little different. In the end, though, “Avatar” is totally a must-see movie, if you like movies, and as I was wavering on just giving it 4 stars out of 5, the more I think about the awesomeness of Pandora, that’s worth an extra star. So, it’s 5 stars out of 5, and after telling my BFF that she probably doesn’t need to see it until it comes to Blu-ray, now I’m wondering if I should try to change her mind, if only so I can see it on a normal screen to fully compare the two. Hmm?

Oh well, go see it, keep the little kids at home because it’s got some gratuitous violence and they would probably have to pee a couple of times during the movie, and just enjoy some quality time with your honey.

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

You Again

Here’s a bit from The Dude on the Right’s Blu-ray review of “You Again”

… Meanwhile, there’s mom, Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis), who is trying to instill the “Let bygones be bygones” attitude in her daughter, up until the point that Ramona (Sigourney Weaver) comes into the picture as Joanna’s aunt, because, well, Joanna’s parents are both dead. And, oh yes, there’s Betty White as Grandma Bunny, in a movie that decides a horn-dog grandma is the best way to use her. …

You Again

MPAA Rated – PG
It’s 1:45 Long A Blu-ray Review by:
The Dude on the Right

You Again
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman, Betty White
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: February 8, 2011
Kiddie Movie: Okay for slightly older girls.
Date Movie: If it’s mom watching with her daughter, sure.
Gratuitous Sex: Betty White is old and horny.
Gratuitous Violence: Slapstick.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Slapstick.
Memorable Scene: Nothing.
Memorable Quote: None.
Directed By: Andy Fickman

As I was thinking more and more about the movie “You Again,” which is really more thought than I should be giving it in my mind, other than the initial viewing and writing my review, I kept trying to figure out who the target audience would be. I mean, it had girls bickering, which is sometimes fun, although the movie is only rated PG, and in afterthought it’s mostly harmless slapstick. But, the bickering is between twenty-something women, and sure, also older ,mom-something women, which makes me wonder if the pre-teen and younger teen crowd would enjoy it, which I think is sort of the target market because older teen girls and, well, everyone else might just be bored. Then I thought maybe the market is a woman like my sister, where, well, she’s a market all to herself. Then I wondered if there was a way to make the movie more enjoyable. Then I wondered how Betty White got involved. Then I stopped wondering and told myself to just give the synopsis for the movie, my final rating, and be done with it.

So here goes.

“You Again” gives you Kristen Bell. She plays Marnie, a twenty-something girl who was the pimple-faced, braces-wearing girl that would get picked on in high school. Low and behold she has turned into a lovely girl, working her way up the public relations corporate ladder. Of course, in high school, there was her nemesis, Joanna (Odette Yustman), and she also had the good-looking jock, older brother, who happens to be marrying Joanna, and Marnie is horrified. So, as Marnie is re-living her high school horrors, she isn’t buying the “New” Joanna, the sweet, caring, and humanitarian one that her brother is marrying, so she is hell-bent on exposing Joanna for the high school bully she was.

Meanwhile, there’s mom, Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis), who is trying to instill the “Let bygones be bygones” attitude in her daughter, up until the point that Ramona (Sigourney Weaver) comes into the picture as Joanna’s aunt, because, well, Joanna’s parents are both dead. And, oh yes, there’s Betty White as Grandma Bunny, in a movie that decides a horn-dog grandma is the best way to use her.

And so, hilarity is supposed to ensue as Marnie plots her ways to split up her brother and Joanna, as Marnie still has the hots for her brother’s friend, and Gail and Ramona ramp up their rivalry to the obligatory “pool fight” scene, where, of course, they make up.

Look, the movie is pretty harmless, and although not a movie that would be my cup of tea, I still try to enjoy a movie for whom they are aimed at, and this movie just can’t seem to figure it out. There’s the goofiness that might appeal to the younger girls, but there a subtle mean-ness that if done in a little more adult manner could get some older teen girls liking it. So, I suppose, if my niece were about 12, and my sister wanted something to watch with her, I’d say it was fine, but it’s still not stretching any movie boundaries, the gags are generic, and in the end I’m going to give “You Again” 2 stars out of 5.

Now, as far as the Blu-ray and extras, they are pretty much throw-away extras that don’t help the movie and don’t give extra laughs. The “Blooper Dance Party” doesn’t really have any funny bloopers, the deleted scenes were better left that way, and about the only thing that did make me grin was the “Funny or Die” spoof interview.

I guess I just wanted more from the likes of the experience of the cast, but it just didn’t make it.

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

Alien: Resurrection

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:49 Long
A Preview by:
The Dude on the Right

Alien: Resurrection
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: 11/26/1997
Directed By: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Produced By: Bill Badalato, Gordon Carroll, David Giler, Walter Hill

Back for round 4, “Alien Resurrection” has that deep mystic with one of the scariest monsters to keep hitting the big screen. From what I can gather the story line kinda goes like this – Sigourney Weaver is back as Ripley, sort of. With all of the cloning stories going around, seems like this is the perfect outlet, so Ripley is a clone of Ripley, except supposedly mixed in her DNA is some Alien DNA so Ripley is just confused. The underlying problem seems to be there is a newborn Alien on a ship, and in the tradition of mama Alien, does some pretty cool damage when killing the victims. Winona Ryder plays a, hmm, a mercenary, enigmatic mechanic, bad-ass? Personally, I don’t care what Winona plays because I’ve always liked her and will probably go to see the movie just for her, who supposedly buffed up for the role. Like previous Alien films, this one no doubt will have some quality kills, that whole scary spaceship setting, and might even head for earth. Should be a winner because the Alien series has always been full of some pretty cool action, even if the story lines sometimes weren’t the greatest.