Tag Archives: Laughs

Sunday Show: Still Guarding The Galaxy

More action, more laughs and my enthusiasm gets cranked up yet another notch.

Dudes and dudettes, if this movie bombs I’m going to be extremely Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Poster-High-Res-570x844disappointed. Because, so far, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy looks to be a-frakkin’-mazing!

A science fiction/superhero mash up with some of Marvel Comics’ cosmic characters, Guardians is a relative newcomer to the comics scene. In fact, most of the members had been languishing in limbo until just a few years ago when several creators hauled the various characters out into the current Marvel Universe, dusted them off, polished ’em up and then sent them on to success.

But, enough of me yakkin’. If you haven’t seen it yet. . . What’s the matter with you? This is the second trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, starting Aug. 1, 2014.


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Dude Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

When I was training to be a newspaper reporter, I learned never to bury the lead. Which meant, always start with the most important stuff right up front.

Not in the second paragraph.

And certainly never in the third.

I am, however, willing to state here, in the fourth paragraph, uncategorically, that Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a fantastic, rip-roaring, rootin’-tootin’, bad-guy shooting, uplifting, side-splitting fantastically good movie.

I liked it, is what I’m trying to say.

I thought it would be difficult for any Marvel movie to surpass the wonder that is Marvel’s The Avengers, which I thought might have been one of the best movies of the decade at least. And, to be sure, CA: TWS, doesn’t surpass The Avengers, but it comes darn close.

Chris Evans returns as Steve Rogers, aka Captain America. Samuel L. Jackson is back as Nick Fury, while Scarlett Johansson also is back as Natasha Romanov, the Black Widow. They’re joined by Anthony Mackie, playing Sam Wilson, the Falcon, and a host of other folks, including Robert Redford as S.H.I.E.L.D. high-muckety-muck Alexander Pierce.

And they all — every single one of them — are fantastic in their role. The Black Widow, instead of being a girlfriend, or a pawn, or a sacrifice to make the male hero’s journey personal, is a formidable hero in her own right, facing down doubts and horrors from her past. She also benefits from the double-edged sword that is Captain America: She believes she can be better because Captain America believes she is better and she doesn’t want to let him down.

That’s only one of the things that makes Steve Rogers such a dangerous man.

Not only is the film well acted, but it’s filled with astonishing special effects, drastic fight scenes, Easter eggs too numerous to count (including the birth of at least two new villains, a certain tombstone near the end and namechecking the Sorcerer Supreme), and — believe it or not — an extended meditation on the idea of freedom versus security.

Following the events in New York, chronicled in Marvel’s The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. is all set to step out and take over world security. This eagerness is making Captain America a bit wary as it seems S.H.I.E.L.D. wants to start killing people before they actually commit a crime.

Should Americans and, by extension, the world give up their freedoms to become safer from a world that now contains super soldiers, aliens, gods and ten-foot-tall rampaging rage monsters?

Unfortunately, it’s not a question that will get answered in this movie, because it turns out that the entire operation has been compromised by Hydra, the bad guys from the first Cap film. Which means that the entire notion is, prima fascia, a bad idea. It sort of deflates the argument I was having in my head there, but I applaud the movie for at least bringing it up.

I’m also amazed by the actual change displayed in this movie. In most action series, there’s a set status quo and, once the movie is over, no matter what happened in the previous two hours, everything is back to the way it started. Not so in this movie.

Things change. Structures and organizations you thought were permanent fixtures of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been completely transformed.

And all this before the Winter Soldier hits the scene, himself stalking out of Captain America’s past with a secret that could shatter him without a fight.

So, yeah. It’s a great movie, not just a great superhero movie.

What I loved the most about this movie can be summed up in one amazing elevator ride.

Captain America is trying to leave the S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters after telling a powerful person no. He steps in the elevator. Two floors down, several men get on. Several floors after that, more rough and tough men come on. Eventually, the elevator is packed with roughboys and Captain America, who realizes what’s about to happen.

Instead of immediately smacking them all silly, Captain America first tries to settle the situation peacefully.

“Before we get started,” he says, “does anyone want to get out?”

The answer is no, so then he wipes the elevator floor with them in an amazing fight scene that’s worth the price of admission all by itself.

Go pay said price of admission and enjoy yourself. This is a fantastic movie for the family or anyone else who enjoys action movies with fun, adventure, laughs and a couple of moments of genuine sadness and deep emotion.

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Don’t Be That Guy

So, over the weekend, Barry was at his youngest daughter’s soccer game at the local Y. All set for an afternoon of fun and laughs, he nearly had his weekend spoiled by That Guy. You dudes know him. Here, let Barry explain.

That dad was there. The one no one wants to stand or sit next to. He’s the guy who’s screaming so loudly and so angrily that you’d think his livelihood was on the line and if one of his players messed up, he’d be out on the streets begging for scraps with which he’d bait his rat traps so he could eat.

I wanted to confront him. I really did.

At first, I only watched him scream and hurl invective at his players. Odds are, his little girl is not going to be the next Brandi Chastain or Hope Solo. All he accomplished with the yelling was looking like a bit of an ass and, more than likely although I’m pretty much guessing here, pushing his daughter away.

Fortunately, someone, his wife I think, tapped him on the arm to get his attention. They spoke for a bit. He didn’t look happy, but he did quiet down. A little. Enough so I could almost enjoy the game.

These are the guys that really drive me nuts. It’s as if they’re trying desperately to relive their own childhoods, address whatever sporting inadequacies they once had and correct them by making their child do what they couldn’t. This is no different than the Pop Warner football coach who’s trying to create a dynasty in 11-and-under football so he kicks off the kids who have never played before so he can stock his team with winners.

Youth sports is supposed to be just that: for the youth. These little dudes and little dudettes are joining a soccer team, or a basketball team, or baseball team or lacrosse, or whatever, so they can learn about the sport, exercise and have fun, and enjoy the company of their peers. It’s not so a dad can coach, imagining each night that he’s Vince Lombardi.

Once I had one of those dads on my daughter’s kindergarten soccer team. His tiny, tiny little girl was playing up a year, meaning she was a year younger than everyone else on any of the teams, and he just would not shut up. He yelled at his daughter all the time, completely undermining her confidence and actually making her cry. This went on for like three games until finally I snapped.

I got between him and the field and told him to shut his trap. He look at me dumbfounded and asked what he’d done. Right behind me his child was balling. I gestured at the poor kid out there sobbing and said, “Think about it. You know what you are doing.”

He looked me and his lip started to quiver. A grandfather of another girl came over and started chatting him up. Distracting him. The other moms gave me the thumbs up. He never came to another game. His wife brought their daughter to every practice and game after that. He developed into a great little player and actually scored a goal once.

I never said anything to his wife but she sat right next to me at the end of yet party and we talked about how awesome her little girl was. He sat across the room.

I didn’t tell that story so everyone could hear how awesome I am standing up for little kids. (although he is) I told it to you as an example of sorts.

Sometimes we get carried away, caught up in an exciting event and we can forget that the kids for whom we’re cheering are only little kids. And sometimes we don’t understand, in our excitement, that we’re doing more harm than good. And sometimes we need someone to step up and point a few things out. And sometimes, we have to be the one to do the stepping.

Either way, we all need to remember that youth sports are for the youth. Let’s let them have fun.

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