CASUAL GENTLEMENT AT THE MOVIES: “Olympus Has Fallen”

Welcome to the first edition of Casual Gentlemen at the Movies… You have chosen wisely.  Movie tickets are ridiculously expensive these days and were here to help you get the most bang for your buck.  Casual Gentlemen at the Movies is not a movie review in the traditional sense, instead, it exist to make sure you know what you’re getting into and whether, straight up, you should go see a movie.

We’re her to talk violence and laughter and nudity, explosions and car chases, slick shots and cool locations, great acting and even better special effects.  All the things that really draw you to the movies.

Our first film is the bloody, high concept action extravaganza, Olympus Has Fallen.  It’s been out for quite a while, but maybe it passed you by.  Or you’re still debating whether to go or not.  Well, lucky for you, the Casual Gentlemen have all the answers.  Let us break it down for you.

Olympus-Has-Fallen-Quad-Poster-UK

You know exactly what you’re getting with this film… it’s Die Hard at the White House.  Plain and simple.  The supporting cast is surprisingly strong for a generic action/thriller, featuring the talents of Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo, and Dylan McDermott.  But let’s be serious, you’re here to watch Gerard Butler blow shit up.  And, oh, does he deliver.  I haven’t see him kick this much ass since Corliolanus (what up, Shakespeare).  Rom-Coms are all fine and good, Gerard, but its so much more fun to watch you stab North Korean terrorists in the head.

And there are a surprising number of knives to the brain.  It’s sort of this movie’s thing.

Bottom Line: As far as action movies go, Olympus Has Fallen is better than most.  Bullets fly with abandon and a solid, high concept premise carries the film through some of it more tired and uneven character moments.  Go see it.

FRDAY FIVE! “Calvin and Hobbes” Snowmen

Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring for 2013… but apparently Mother Nature hasn’t gotten the message.  Historic winter storms continue to rock most of the United States, dumping record amounts of snow (much to the Weather Channel’s delight!).  Fortunately, with tons of snow, come tons of snowmen — I even saw one, tiny, emaciated snow…man?… on the streets of New York!

This week Friday Five! celebrates snowmen by honoring Bill Watterson and the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, whose titular heroes create some of the most hilarious and memorable snowmen to ever grace the white, wintry landscape… real or fictional.  So, whether you’re snowed in, going crazy, or laughing at the rest of us (shut up, California), these panels are sure to entertain your brain and warm your heart.

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FRIDAY FIVE! 2012’s Guilty Television Pleasures

Television’s greatest programming routinely challenges our society, our beliefs and our fears.  Well crafted TV shows can make us think and inspire us.  Maybe even adjust our moral compass…  Yeah, right.  Whatever.  Sometimes you just want to flop on the couch, slack-jawed, beer at the ready, and let waves of pleasure wash over your stress-addled brain!  I know I do!

This Friday Five! brings you the top five guilty TV pleasures from 2012.  There is just one rule: NO REALITY SHOWS!  I cannot condone any of that.  Remember, I said waves of PLEASURE… I watched Here Comes Honey Boo Boo once and all I felt was a soul-shattering darkness.  I immediately took a shower and donated to Children International.

All the (scripted) shows on this list are awesome in their own demented way and I highly recommend you indulge in at least one or two — they just aren’t likely to show up on the family Christmas wish-list any time soon.

So enjoy!  And as you delve into television’s darker desires… imagine what shows must have been turned down!  *shudder*

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Nick Hates Karaoke Stars

Karaoke is not a place for you to put on display your amazing singing talent. Go sit in front of your webcam and post a poor quality video of yourself singing or audition for American Idol if you want to do that. Karaoke is a place for me and my already drunken friends to go get even more drunk and sing out of key rock ballads because that shit is hilarious. The last thing I want is someone going up and singing a beautifully moving rendition of Celine Dion’s classic “My Heart Will Go On”. I’m here to have fun, not wallow in the pain of knowing that Rose would never again find a love as pure and true as Jack’s. Continue reading

FRIDAY FIVE! Best Fictional Academic Institutions

And now, the FRIDAY FIVE!

In keeping with September’s “School” theme (Thanks, Jeanne!), this week will feature the Top 5 Fictional Academic Institutions.  While not all of these grand establishments are known for their rigorous dedication to learning, some are sure to strengthen your mind (and body) and every last one is, without a doubt, an awesome place to hang out.

Class is now in session.  Join us after the jump to see if your favorite school made the list.  And be sure to leave a comment or idea for next month’s theme.  Remember, participation is 50% of your grade!

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Dark Knight Rises – The Batman Movie We Deserve AND The Batman Movie We Need Right Now

Author’s Note: I have decided to write this review/critique/discussion of The Dark Knight Rises with the only mention of the tragedy in Colorado being this note. I do not want the monster who committed that atrocity of being the subject of my or any readers of this blogs discussion except to condemn it, voice an opinion that I believe he should suffer the fullest extent of the law, and be afforded pity for his inability to cope with reality. I don’t believe he should control the cultural discussion the way he has, and I believe that allowing him to stop me from writing this would be tantamount to giving the brand of terrorism he perpetrated. Much of my prayer and meditations will be with the family of those who were affected by this tragedy, and if any of them are reading this, I am very sorry for your loss. I want to discuss this movie in a sometimes comedic way, and I hope that you do not take it as disrespectful or irreverent, because that is not the intention. With that said, I hope all of you enjoy this article.

Let inaugurate this column with this: The Dark Knight Rises is an AMAZING film, and I will get to my gushing, love-filled review of it in a second. But I need to say something, and I want to preface my next statement by saying I’m a huge Batman fan. Not the biggest (I’m sure there’s someone out there who carved the bat-symbol into their chest and prances around all Silence of the Lambs-style), but I did wear a Batman costume to school at least once a week from Pre-Kindergarten-1st grade, and to this day I get the urge to growl “I’m Batman” whenever I’m asked for a name at a coffee shop. That being said, I have a confession to make: I’m no longer impressed by The Dark Knight.

When it first came out, I was thrilled. I thoroughly loved The Dark Knight, feeling (obliviously) that it was indeed the Batman movie I so richly deserved after the awesome set-up of Batman Begins. I have no idea when the honeymoon ended; maybe it was a growing ennui brought on from repeated viewings, or from me picking every tasty morsel of bat-goodness from the bat-carcass (I promise, I’m working on my bat-hyphen problem) of the film, but it happened and I felt my love for The Dark Knight grow tepid. I’ve gone over in my head (over and over until I get the bat-spins) all the problems with The Dark Knight: the Joker’s almost omniscient ability to read the future right up to the very end of the film; the fact that the only choice Batman is allowed to make in the movie is to not kill the Joker (because the Joker makes every other decision for him); or the fact that Christopher Nolan, despite his groundbreaking cinematic achievements, decides to follow the trend of killing off/never bringing back a villain for a sequel (except for Cillian Murphy’s Scarecrow, the only villain-skein that runs throughout this trilogy). Heath Ledger is the shining bat-light in The Dark Knight, and I might feel differently had Heath Ledger been able to come back for a sequel, but alas his tragic death left a pair of clown-shoes no one could fill.

But my digression done, let me open up the flood gates: The Dark Knight Rises is amazing. Truly amazing. More amazing than The Amazing Spider-Man by far, and I feel a worthy competitor for the title of best comic movie ever, right next to The Avengers (they are both amazing in different ways). What sets The Dark Knight Rises apart from The Avengers is that while they are both excellent comic book movies, The Dark Knight Rises is an excellent FILM. It is a piece of art, and while it lacks spandex-ed super heroes CGI-ing bad guys through buildings and running amok through awesome set-pieces, it succeeds in concluding a Trilogy in a way that George Lucas could only hope to hire someone to imagine for him.

THE REST OF THIS IS CHOCK FULL OF SPOILERS! DO NOT READ AFTER THE JUMP IF YOU A) HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE AND/OR B) DON’T LIKE PEOPLE DISCUSSING FACTS (IF IT’S A, GO OUT AND WATCH THE MOVIE. DON’T WORRY. I’LL WAIT. IF IT’S B, I’M PRETTY SURE YOU HAVE ROCK TO GO HIDE UNDER).

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Casual Gentlemen Podcast Episode One!

Hey guys check out the first ever episode of the the new and improved Casual Gentlemen Podcast! In this episode we discuss R. Kelly’s veganism, we listen in on some top secret audio recordings, and we enjoy a noir fable.  Check it out below!

Casual Gentlemen Podcast Episode 1