Robin Hood....by IMTHATDUDE [review]

Robin Hood

This will be quick, unlike the movie.  I know there’s at least one woman reading this right now with jokes.  To you, I say… Whatever.  I was tired and it was a tough week.

Robin Hood, otherwise known as the next installment in the Russell Crowe/Ridley Scott series (previous collabos include Gladiator, American Gangster and Body of Lies).  This version of the Robin Hood legend is written by Brian Helgeland (Man on Fire, Mystic River), so you should expect you would be wise to expect a little less merriment from Robin Hood’s men. 

Max von Sydow (Minority Report, Shutter Island) who will forever be Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon, - what an awesome crappy movie.  I suggest you rent it.  Pure comedy.  Von Sydow is Sir Walter Loxley, Robin Loxley’s padre.

 Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons, Notes on a Scandel) is Marion Loxley

Oscar Isaac (Che: Part One, Body of Lies) is the young upstart, Prince John.

Mark Strong (RocknRolla, Sherlock Holmes) is Godfrey – Prince John’s trusted friend

Eileen Atkins (Gosford Park, Last Chance Harvey) Eleanor of Acquitaine

William Hurt (Syriana, A History of Violence) plays William Marshall (think Colin Powell, the advisor who served more than one administration)

Danny Huston (30 Days of Night, Clash of the Titans) is King Richard


Do you really need to know this?  He robs the rich and gives to the poor, falls in love with Marion in England back in ye olden dey, etc., etc.  A noble knight/archer in the king’s army who comes home from fighting for England and King Richard the Lion Heart, a cat with some serious over-compensation issues, should you decided to read up on him.  Or you could skip the labor of reading and watch one of the best movies I’ve seen in decades – The Lion in Winter (the original one with Katherine Hepburn and Peter O’Toole – yes, I laugh when I say that name, but he’s an awesome actor.)

Really, it’s Robin Hood, not The Death of Ivan Ilyich.”

Just be advised that this is an appreciably different take on the Robin Hood legend, but I don’t think it deviates so significantly that you don’t get the drift.  If I told you more, I’d be telling you the movie and you know I wouldn’t do that to you.

Good News: No Kevin Costner (although, I guess Auzzie accents officially pass for Brittish ones, now…?) no men in tights, no feather in his cap, and they incorporated some of the real proven historical aspects of this whole drama into the movie.

Bad News:  You can’t help but notice how much time you’re sitting there watching this movie.  That is never a good thing.  Run time: about 2:15/2:20.

The war/fight scenes were cool, but this is Ridley Scott so it’d be safe to assume that the guy who made Gladiator would produce some good battle scenes.  The dialogue was goodnice mixture of humor and wit, but something was missing.  So what was it?  The French call it a certain “I don’t know what.”(he says in his best Brooklyn-French accent… which, as it turns out, sounds a bit Hatian.  Go figure.)

Recommendation – go see it, why not.  It’s not like Iron Man 2’s any better.  I guess we’ll have to wait a while longer for the first DOPE summer movie; it’s only fair, since it’s not summer yet although you can’t tell that to the blancita that just walked by me in this coffeeshop – not that there’s anything wrong with that.

That Dude Gives this flick: 3


1. Curses.  I got GOT! 
2. Couldn’t be more under-whelmed./I gave them my hard earned cash for this clunker?
3. Not too shabby, I won’t ask for my money back.
4. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good./Worth the 12 bucks.
5. Why are you reading this and not seeing this movie? Jackass.


Iron Man 2....by IMTHATDUDE [review]

Iron Man 2

Smart money says Iron Man 2 will bring in close to $117M (domestic) this weekend, but that don’t mean it’s as good as the original.   The arguably upgraded cast doesn’t make it better either (despite the additions of Cheadle, Rockwell, Johansson, Garry Shandling, and Rourke).  Of course the primaries from the patently AWESOME original flick that set a new standard for action comic book movies, rivaled only by Christian Bale’s Batman flicks.  Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Leslie Bibb, Sam Jackson, and Jon Favreau are all back.  Don Cheadle pinch hits for Terrence Howard (I heard it was over bad bread, don’t know fo’ sho, but that’s what I had heard). 

Jon Favreau’s back behind the cameras again, but they went with a different writer - Justin Thoreaux Tropic Thunder – I have to say, I’m equally surprised by the move and the fact that Thoreaux had the nerve to pick the pen back up on this one.  Good thing he did, too – or I’d have no respect for the cat.  This was a decent script.  Not remotely as good as the first one, but it was above average.

Action junkie that I am, I took what passes for my free time to run out and see Iron Man 2 immediately – notwithstanding my own apparently well-founded intuition that it wouldn’t be able to measure up to the dopeness of its predecessor.  Scarlett Johansson next to Gwyneth Paltrow in tight business suits and stilettos… yes, that is fresh all by itself - My fight to resurrect the pervasive use of the terms “fresh” and “dope” continues.  Some people can’t let go of jheri curls or wearing their pants below their crotch despite having on cinched up belts – me, I have “fresh” and “dope.”


After defiantly admitting to the world press that he IS Iron Man, Tony Stark (RDJ) has been hauled in front of some dumb ass panel of Senators regarding the creation of and possession of the Iron Man “weapon.”  Stark, the billionaire CEO of the family’s weapons manufacturing and defense contract business, continues a seemingly spiraling downward pattern of recklessness as he brushes off the Senate panel (chaired by Sen. Stern (Shandling)) in a brazen display of flippancy and culminating in the verbal attitudinal equivalent of flipping the bird.  To her dismay, Pepper Potts (Paltrow), his trusted personal assistant, dormant love interest and conscience, nervously observes her friend’s self-destructive behavior – and by self-destructive, I mean more so than normal.  Colonel Rhodes (Cheadle), Stark’s best friend, is getting pissed with Tony’s behavior and has had just about enough.  He’s ready to take whatever steps are necessary to right the ship, if Stark can’t handle things – including resorting to a military style intervention.  For my legal heads or former residents of Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards – think Eminent Domain.

Meanwhile, Stark’s business rival, the hapless Justin Hammer – tired of constantly being upstaged - seeks any advantage available to snake away business from the Stark and to embarrass the man who has repeatedly given him a business bitch slaps him at every turn.

And if all that doesn’t grab you (and I doubt that it did)… there’s a big tatted up angry Russian genius ex-con named Ivan Vanko (Rourke) with a major grudge against Stark, Stark’s company, family and alter-ego.  But worse than all that… Vanko has a computer, a metal shop, street connects, and a tv.  Let Iron Man 2 tell it, the Department of Homeland Security aint sh!t.  Vanko decides to strike out at an unprepared Tony Stark and “make god bleed” so the “sharks will come.”

The movie, like everything else in life, only gets interesting when the “sharks” come out.  It took a little while but then the action and one-liners started to rain relentlessly.  As much as I love my action flicks with unnecessary violence, the random placing of innocent civilians in harms way, the random debris, collapsing buildings, the litany of bullets fired by otherwise accurate people that never seem to hit or damage the stars or the target of the bullets… ”Boom!  Explosive!”I have to admit, I do enjoy a good one… but I just didn’t care with IM2.  For example, there was this scene when one of the robots points a loaded gun at a little kid – fully prepared to merc him – I was a little hyped.  For one moment I was hoping they’d bust a cap in that stupid little brat, like ”Bloaw!  That’s what you get for not holding your mother’s hand, ya little bastard.” Just for a second… but, seriously, that would’ve brought a tiny bit of edge to an otherwise soft movie.  A little bit of edge would have been a welcome addition to this action-comedy; instead, it was like watching Rush Hour 3 (not I or II, but III) with robots and lasers.  Even still, I guess it was okay.  Hindsight: I wouldn’t run out to see it on day one, but it was aight.

The disappointing parts of this movie were probably all direction issues.  Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke were pretty lackluster.  I thought Rockwell… didn’t and Mickey Rourke (accent – very cool) literally howled at one point and it was entirely too unintentionally Black Dynamite.  In general, the lack of intensity in the film made it noticeably weaker than the first.

Now, let me tell you what was hot about it:

              1) Gwyneth Paltrow and

and Scarlett Johansson.  NIIIICE.

2) RDJ was being Robert Downey, Jr. – Born to play Tony Stark in the same way Matt Damon was genetically engineered to play Jason Bourne.

              3) Cheadle is THE most underrated actor in Hollywood.  Name one person more underrated than Don Cheadle… Go ahead… I’ll wait… You can’t.  Even if you could, you’d be wrong, so I’m just going to move on now.
              4) The double-entendre, sarcasm and sexual innuendo.  I really liked how the majority of the target audience (Mensa applicants, the lot of them) for this movie turned out to be too dumb to catch all of the jokes thrown at them. 
              5) The introduction of some more members of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the hints at undoubtedly upcoming the Avengers movie.

Aside: Shout out to Garry Shandling.  Just his facial expressions make me laugh.

Overall, it was pretty good in a “thank God it wasn’t Tropic Thunder” kind of way.  IM2 is a little too goofy for my liking (with respect to action movies), but it was good enough to not be a waste of money. 

PLEASE NOTE:  There is an easter egg waiting for you if you stay until after the credits finish rolling.  BUT… It is SOOOOOO not worth waiting for.  I suggest that you google it and save yourself the time and nuisance of waiting for it. I’d skip the IMAX experience and catch a MATinee experience instead. 

That Dude Gives Iron Man 2: 3


1. Curses.  I got GOT! 
2. Couldn’t be more under-whelmed./I gave them my hard earned cash for this clunker?
3. Not too shabby, I won’t ask for my money back.
4. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good./Worth the 12 bucks.
5. Why are you reading this and not seeing this movie? Jackass.


The Losers...by IMTHATDUDE [movie review]

The Losers

By now, most of you know that I’m a recovering Zoeholic

Six months sober.    Thank you, thank you.  It has been hard. No pun intended.  I just mean that she is everywhere these days – but she isn’t why I hustled to see the Losers.  Syke, nah.  She is EXACTLY why I hustled out to see the Losers and it was almost worth the effort.  In a season where moviegoers will be treated to such other intellectually stimulating and hard-hitting unoriginal films as the Expendables (with Stallone) and the A-Team (with Bradley Cooper), how does one choose which flick to risk throwing away your money?  Simple answer:  the one that boasts a repeatedly half-nekkid Zoe Saldana.  Hence, my stub. (Hmmm, okay, so I did intend that pun, but in fairness to me, I did also just see a movie a movie called the Losers because there was a half-nekkid woman in it, so... I think you see who you’re dealing with here.)  Aside:  Eff you, James Cameron.  Eff you for getting me to buy the Avatar Blu-ray/DVD Combo with no extras of anything on them.  You sadistic bastard.  Now, I have to wait until November to know how 10-feet tall blue Afro-Carribean-esque alien/human-hybrids bone.  Bloody hell!  Just for that, I’m going to wait at least 24 hours to see your next movie.  That is your punishment, my friend.  Deal with it.

Directed by Sylvain White (Stomp the Yard) and penned by the ever-intriguing Peter Berg (Very Bad Things, Friday Night Lights – big and small screen) and james Vanderbilt (Basic and the Rundown), the Losers is the big screen adaptation of a graphic novel by the same name – or so I had heard.  Full disclosure: I cain’t read!  The Losers stars my girl Zoe (Star trek, Avatar), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen, Taking Woodstock), Idris Elba (Obsessed, RocknRolla), Chris Evans (Fantastic 4, Street Kings), Columbus Short (Cadillac Records, Armored), Oscar Jaenada (Che: Part II), and Jason Patric (Narc, In the Valley of Elah). 


A bad ass band of military specialists headed by Clay (Morgan) have just been betrayed by the CIA on foreign soil after a botched mission.  Presumed dead – in this day and age, even CSI Bed Stuy would’ve known that they faked their own deaths [NOT A SPOILER.] – and biding their time until vengeance can be served upon those responsible, these misfits/outlaws meet up with the mysterious Aisha (Zoe), who offers to help get them back stateside for payback of the injustice done to them. 

Yada yada yada… the Losers find out who jukked them and this erratically entertaining pissed off ex-military crew take Aisha’s offer and go after Max (Patric), the CIA agent responsible for their predicament.

Long and short of it all - Max, the villain was only mildly entertaining (writing or directing issue, not really an acting one from what I could tell) and the plot twists were predictable, so much so that I thought maybe I was wrong and they did manage to shift away from the paradigmatic roadmap of archetypal character interplay.  Not sure I know what I just said, but it kind of sounded right in my mind for a second, so I’m going to leave it that way.  Of course, I was right… as usual.  No surprises in this movie, which is fine.  But all action movies have a twist or two – all GREAT action movies have at least one unforeseen twist that makes it impossible to properly gauge the course of the remainder of the film.  Here, for me, there was no such game changer. 

Sure, there’s a brief moment of Zoe side-boob, but that’s not nearly enough to raise this movie to the level of a movie like Iron Man.  But then again, it was kinda cool.  Fine.  This movie is a guilty pleasure flick.  Nothing about it was particularly awesome, but there was definite entertainment value.  I enjoyed it, even after they insulted my action moviegoer intelligence with their super-secret new weapon concept (the Snuke). The bad guy was weak despite shooting someone in the face, the plot was eh, but there’s enough of the explosions and comedy to make this acceptable – that, and Zoe make it worth seeing (DVD or time killer on a weekend).

DAMMIT!  I’m that dude and I’m a Zoeholic.  I’ve been sober for two sentences.

That Dude gives The Losers:  3 (I’m deducting a full point for the Snuke and the completely unintimidating villain.  If you see it, you will too.)


1. They make crap this pure?
2. Couldn’t be more under-whelmed.
3. Not too shabby, I won’t ask for my money back.
4. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good./Worth the 12 bucks.
5. Why are you reading this and not seeing this movie? Jackass.