Tuesday, August 26, 2014

DVD - What's New Streaming and on DVD August 26

This week there are a few new choices for you to stream or shove in the DVD machine.   The next few weeks will have far more than this week, as the early summer movies will make their way out.

Keep in mind, we only feature major movies here, and not straight to DVD or TV shows making their way to DVD.  I will link you back to my original review (where applicable) to give you all the info you need to make the best decision before you rent, buy, or hit pay on your remote

New This Week

Blended -

Adam Sandler and this time he drug along Drew Barrymore again for more terrible comedy.  BTW - Comedies are supposed to be funny.

Belle -

This got marginal theater play, but was reviewed quite well. A timed piece about race and royalty. 

Jersey Shore Massacre -

I have no idea that this is, but the title is so bad, it must be terrible.


scott@wqmx.com

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

LOCAL GOLF - Dewsweepers Golf Course Review - Thunderbird Hills North

Course:  Thunderbird Hills North

Location:  Huron, Ohio

Directions:  Right on Rt. 2  - about 30 minutes west of Cleveland, 60 from Akron

Dewsweepers Tee Time Was:  642

Thunderbird Hills Website

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The Thunderbird Hills 36 hole complex is one of the real fun stops on the Dewsweeper Tour. We played and reviewed the newer South Course a few weeks ago, and this week we teed it up on the heritage North Course.  We love both of these 18's and they are very different.

The North Course is a tree lined mature golf course checking in at about 6,500 yards.  It has rolling fairways, wonderful greens, with few water hazards, and no sand.  But the the rough can be challenging especially when wet or damp. This is a course that plays uphill, and down, with undulated fairway lies, and relatively flat, but very nice greens.  This place, along with The South, is always in really nice shape and the pace of play is terrific.  This is worth a few minute drive.

We had a slight delay this week as some rain moved through early, but the course soaked it up well, and the course played really nicely. As much rain we we got, the greens still rolled pretty fast, and extremely well. 

It was fun to watch Joe Red play today. After he got off to a slow start, he simply hit the ball better and better as the round wore on.  After a few tough holes culminating on number 6, he then found his stroke and was piping the ball down the middle, and making good shots overall. He found the consistency that has been with him the past few weeks, and settled down and played good golf.  After a tough start shooting a 47 on the front, with all of the damage early, he threw down a 41 on the back for an 88 on the day. Not bad after stumbling out of the blocks.

Tex conversely got off to a good start and was playing some pretty good golf.  Driving the ball well, and making solid second shots.   Tex also has 8, 1 putts on the day, including a streak of 5 in a row on the front.  Also 11 putts on the front - sizzling!  But he like many started to find trouble on holes 9, 10, 11, 12.  A really rough stretch on this course, and the scoring got away from him.  But as you'll learn later, this is a tough stretch.  After Tex tossed down a solid 44 on the front, he found 53 on the back.  Mostly because of two really brutal holes. 10, and 12.  97 on the day. 

Beef's game is getting better all the time too. Beef had the highlight of the day, if not the season on #6, a short par 4.  After a bomb drive, he chipped in an eagle from about 50 yards (2).  He also had a beautiful 30 foot downhill daddy gagger putt on number 11 for a great birdie. Those helped erase a couple of tough holes, and helped him shoot a very nice 41/41 for 82 on the day. A solid round here.

I got off to a hot start. I birdied the first 2 holes, and was on my way.   I shot a fun 36 on the front, even par.  My first even round of the year.  On the back I fired a 43, for 79 on the day.  My big problem was like Tex, number 10.   I finished 7 over on the day, 4 on that one single hole for a brutal 8!  Then a horrible 3 putt on 11.  But I got hot and parred 5 of the last 6, and saved my round. 

Course highlights?  Number 7 a really tough par 4, long and doggy right, 405 yards.  Number 9, tough from every angle par 5, with a tiny green. Number 10 (the hardest par 4 we play all year).  400 tough drive to a raised high green, over mush to a blind pin on a huge green. BRUTAL HOLE (we were collectively 10 over on that hole).  Number 12 another tough par 5 with all kinds of trouble.  Number 13, a very tough driving par 4 400 yards to a raised green.  But there are three par 4's that make this able to score on.  Number 4, 6, and number 17 all drivable and both are there for scoring. But the key to this hole is the tough stretch from 7 through 13.  You must survive those holes in the middle.

This is a really fun place to play where you can score if you mange the course well and make good decisions.  The course is always nice, and the facilities are really strong. Service is terrific, and rates are very good.  And they do have a rewards card system that rewards repeated play.

Thunderbird Hills North. Great golf. Fine place to play, worth the drive. Play all 36!!

This week the tour rolls on and we head to Willoughby to play the fantastic Manakiki in the MetroParks.  Another one of the highlights of the tour.

Here are other courses The Dewsweepers have played and reviewed recently.

Scores 

Wynn  -  79
Beef  -  82
Joe Red  -  88
Tex  -  97




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW - The Giver

Here comes a great example of a really good and successful book that school kids love becoming a movie. And shouldn't have.

This 1993 book has been, and is a favorite of many. But this is a great example of a movie that gets lost in translation  - big time.   Sometimes the mind can simply paint a better picture than Hollywood, and that's certainly the case here.  Although this really didn't, and won't fine a gigantic audience, it will find a dedicated one as loyalties can run deep when remembering a favorite book.

This is in the future. After "The Ruin."   Society has been reborn by the Elders, and now "sameness" is the way of life.  Everyone is exactly equal and live the exact same life, in the exact same house, and clothes.  And all memories of the past are erased from society. Daily injections are given to make everyone numb, and without emotion.  There is no disagreement, no conflict, or drama, music or anything really great.  Everyone dresses the same.  No feelings, no sex, no love.  Families are arranged, including raising children not born by the raising parents.  In short, life really stinks.

The only wrinkle is, that one person is chosen to store all of the memories of the past in their mind, and he must keep to himself.  Why? I'm not really sure why, since the Elders are so bent on making sure that no one ever knows about it.  But  The Giver (Jeff Bridges) is that man. And his job is to transfer and share all of the memories of the worlds past to his new and younger protege' Jonus (Brenton Thwaites).   But can someone who knows nothing except "sameness" and literal total equality handle the fact the world was once a far more conflicted and complicated place?  And what will he do with all that secret info?  Will he attempt to share it with the world and restore the beauty once known?

First off, this is boring for the most part. And it is a bit disturbing to see in front of you what actual and literal total equality would look like.  This is filmed in a black and white, and gray settings, with large CG sets and backdrops. This is yet another look at a horrible and gloomy future, that will make anyone want to not have children  - starting today.

But in its defense, this may actually be far more relevant today than when it was written 20 years ago. With the NSA scandal, and all of our privacy seemingly under siege by various government agencies and foreign governments, it does strike a uncomfortable chord within.  This shows what happens when all privacy is lost, and and or surrendered to the government, and what they then choose to do with it. And that's an eye opener for sure.

But in the end, it still may be better to view this in your minds eye while reading the book, as opposed to watching it play out on the big screen.   In addition to Bridges, Katie Holmes stars, Taylor Swift with a small part, and somehow they managed convince Meryl Streep to do this as the Head Elder.  But even if you put makeup on a frog, it's still a frog. And big stars can not save this.   

The Giver.  Some things should just be left alone, like this book.


DVD - New to Streaming and DVD This Week August 19

Short list this week of new DVD and streaming choices for you.  Both will look great on your home theater system.  And both are relatively tame except for the very young.

Keep in mind we only feature major motion pictures here and not TV series making it's way to DVD, games, or straight to video releases.  Where applicable, I will link you back to my original review from the box office run, to help you make an informed decision before you commit time and money into the movie.

New This Week

The Amazing Spiderman 2

We simply can not seem to get enough Spiderman, no matter who is starring in it or directing.  Could look very nice on your huge screen and surround sound for an evening of fun.

The Quiet Ones

Strange and out there spooky movie that had a moment of tow that can jolt.  Not fabulous, but not a wash out either.


scott@wqmx.com

Saturday, August 16, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW - The Expendables 3

This version of this series, and this entire series is by no means perfect. But so what?  This and they are complete escapism. So let's pop some popcorn.

The Expendables 3 in many ways is not a whole lot different that the first two.  And then again, it is very different.  The same basic cast is back, Stallone, Statham, Li, Schwarzenegger, Crews, Lundgren, Coutre, and others.  But this time they bring along, Kelsey Grammar, Harrison Ford, Antonio Bandaras, Wesley Snipes and even Mel Gibson.   So about every single former action movie hero is in this movie. There was also rumors that this will be the final one, but I'm guessing not, as this is set up well for more.

What they have done is pretty darn smart.  They have always made fun of their own ages, and that's part of its "charm."   It's never taken too seriously.  But now they have cultivated a new and younger band of Expendables who have newer and more relevant skill sets to help our band of mercenary doo-gooders fight the "off the books" cases they take on.  They include but are not limited to MMA Champion, Rhonda Rousey.  It nice awareness that there has to be a changing of the guard at some part.  We now have the largest band of Expendables we have ever had.

The plot is not really important for this article, as it is a popcorn movie.  This is what it is. It's action packed, it has violence, and long action scenes.  This is not a movie for everyone for sure.  But from a movie making standpoint, this series is pretty savvy. They know who their audience is, and they are looking forward to who they want it to be.  Always humor mixed in with the action, and always self depreciating humor. 

But it's more than that. Stallone and crew have figured out and found a niche. Since superhero movies are all the rage,they are cashing in on this trend without many even noticing.  This is a superhero movie where people are actually the superheros and not some flying robot, or web shooting kid, or the like.  The story lines are not the "end of times" themed so many computer generated action flicks are either.  They have a plot line that is exaggerated for sure, but it's not the end of the world.  And being honest, the violence is on par with most of the other superhero movies that are thought safer.  Certainly no worse.  The language is surprisingly tame, and somehow they figure out how to get everyone on camera.

Should be noted too, these always have an August release date to allow all of the other animated movies, superhero movies, and early summer releases to blow over and clear out, so they can clean up and they do.  That is really smart. For many, me included, these are guilty pleasure movies that take no time to make social commentary, or try to change the world, or to dazzle us with as many computer animation tricks the geeks can come up with.  Sure, this is actiony but it's honest. And this is straight forward. If you like action movies, this is amazingly refreshing as it is more like the action movies once were a=made

The Expendables 3. This is fast paced and fun.  A guilty pleasure movie series that somehow remains relevant and fun.  Look for 4.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW - Let's Be Cops

Goodness! Here comes a "comedy" that pushes about every button that really shouldn't be pushed and it's called, Let's Be Cops.

If you've seen the previews for this movie, you've seen pretty much the entire movie that may give  you a laugh or two.  If you think that this is going to be raunchier than the trailer, it is, but not much. But in addition to not being really original or funny, it pushes the envelope of decent taste by taking police work lightly.  The Police Academy movies 30 years ago dealt with this for a while, but I think we feel differently about our first responders now than we did then.

This is about two buddies in Los Angeles who are roommates and on the wrong track in life.  They are going nowhere, and need something to put them on a more mature path in life.  So they decide to go to a costume party dressed as cops. They find out that people think they are actual cops, and decide to impersonate cops. They even buy a police car off E-bay, and go on patrol.

There motive at first is to smoke weed on busts, and go to sorority houses to look at sisters.  They are living a high life, until the somehow find themselves in the middle of a gang-and corrupt cops arms running scheme.  Now they are involved and the danger is real.  Will they get caught? And will they survive?

In addition to not really being funny or original, this just flat out looks dated.  This is clearly intended for 20 year old's with its 90's sound track and its younger "stars."  This is loaded with recreational drug usage and enough profanity to go around.  And it also looks like 100 other movies that have come before it, and the next 100 that will come later. This is forgettable, and simply snoozable.  I love a good comedy, and even a raunchy one that's done well, but I had a hard time staying awake here, especially at the start.

Let's Be Cops.  Save your money.


MOVIE REVIEW - The 100 Foot Journey

The summer movie season is in full swing, with plenty of animation and action. And a nice little movie that will get lost in it all, is The 100 Foot Journey.

This is a little independent movie starring the wonderful Helen Mirren and a very nice supporting cast that takes us on a journey we have not been on before. Anytime we see a truly original story it always gets high marks with me.  This is a nice movie, that overall lacks the real fun charm of many independent movies, but in the end, is pretty darn good and nice distraction at the theaters right now.

This is the story of an Indian family who chooses to leave India due to political unrest.  They are in the restaurant business and want to open an Indian cuisine eatery in the middle of rural France.  But they have a few problems.  First, they are somewhat low on money, and there may not be any real market for true Indian food there. They also choose to buy an old  restaurant right across the cobblestone road from an amazing established French restaurant that is run by Madame Mallory (Mirren).  She is a judgmental perfectionist with a sizable pole in a certain area, who is consumed with the success of her place. It is her whole life.  She wants no part of the new Indian place, or it's family running it.

Our story centers though around the young Indian Chef, Hassan, (Manish Dayal) who could possibly be the best chef in all of Europe if he can just get a break.  Will be be discovered?  And will these two opposing restaurants be able to exist in harmony?   And what can both sides learn from each other that has nothing to do with the food business at all? 

This is really very well done, with a real nice mix of subtle comedy, and a very nice dose of old school romantic comedy tossed in.  This introduces us to a slew of very likable characters that are fresh and bright. Also, except for Mirren, there are a whole bunch of fresh acting faces here that gives this a nice feel of real.  Especially in the case of Charlotte Le Bon, who plays an insanely likable love interest of Hassan.  She is wonderfully flawed and incredibly real and authentic. She is pivotal to making this really nice.

This movie is a bit too long, and there are a few draggy points where it suddenly looses its charm.  Being honest, I was nervous that halfway through they were going to blow this, but it rebounds and ends up being the movie that it should.  This is made by the same producers that gave us the wonderful Chocolat a few years ago, and this does have the same feel.  A comedy of sorts, with still a some backbone and soul.

The 100 Foot Journey.  This will get lost in the summer shuffle, but this is pretty darn good, and fresh.