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Movie Beat: "Ratchet and Clank" movie surprisingly charming
by JENNIFFER WARDELL
Apr 29, 2016 | 364 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Rated PG for action and some rude humor

Written by T.J. Fixman, Kevin Munroe, Gerry Swallow

Directed by Kevin Munroe, Jericca Cleland

Starring James Arnold Taylor, David Kaye, Jim Ward, Rosario Dawson, Paul Giametti, John Goodman, Armin Shimerman, Bella Thorne, Sylvester Stallone and more

Grade: 

A great script can't save a terrible movie, but it can make a decent one surprisingly entertaining.

"Ratchet and Clank," based on a long-running series of PlayStation video games, turns a predictable nobody-turned-hero plot into a quirky, fun space adventure with some surprisingly clever moments. You won't need to know anything about the games to be entertained, and if you do know about the games you should still enjoy this new, respectful take on a familiar universe.

For those of us in the first category, the movie starts with a young alien named Ratchet who dreams of joining the Galactic Rangers. When he run into Clank, a small robot with the knowledge of a big problem, he ends up getting sucked into an adventure bigger than he ever imagined. As is expected with this kind of story, he also gains some friends and learns some life lessons in the process.

What's unexpected is the movie's balance of humor, balanced perfectly between too smart for kids and too dumb for adults. The first sign of this comes early on, when the usual dramatic space shot comes with a subtitle that says "Dramatic villainous monologue in..." followed by the requisite countdown. A subtle Wilhelm Scream joke, an entertaining costume malfunction that isn't even slightly naughty, and an amusing discussion about the proper adjective for the resident mad scientist are only a small sampling of the treats that follow.

For those who are familiar with the games, Ratchet's origin story here falls in line with his origin in the 2016 reboot of the game (which is different than it was in previously established games). The plot is similar to the reboot game as well, though naturally condensed due to the different run times (video games play out over a much longer time). There's also a few changes to the ending, though both contain the expected sequel hook.

Ratchet, Clank and Captain Quark are all voiced by the same actors as in the video games, and the rest of the voice cast is sprinkled with some surprisingly famous names. My favorites are Paul Giametti as Chairman Drek, Rosario Dawson as Elaris, and Armin Shimerman as Dr. Nefarious. Everyone sounds like they're having a ton of fun, but at the same time they never let the movie devolve into a joke. Part of the secret of "Ratchet and Clank" is that it's not just trying to make you laugh – these characters are having an adventure. Each of them just happens to have a good sense of humor and a wonderful turn of phrase.

It's not destined to become a classic – as I said, the plot is predictable even if you have no experience with the games. But it manages to be a lot of fun, full of bright, flashing adventure for kids and clever wordplay for adults, and that's a benchmark that puts it above a lot of kids' movies that have come out in the past several years.

On the most basic level, it's an entertaining hour and a half you won't regret having experienced when it's over. And sometimes, that's all you want out of a movie.   

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Davis coach has stake in his softball cancer benefit
Apr 29, 2016 | 173 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Davis assistant softball coach Steve Drott is hosting his sixth Red and White softball game to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphona Society’s efforts to support patients and their families.

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Davis assistant softball coach Steve Drott is hosting his sixth Red and White softball game to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphona Society’s efforts to support patients and their families. Courtesy photo
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By CATHERINE GARRETT
Clipper sportswriter

 KAYSVILLE--Davis High assistant softball coach Steve Drott knows a little something about battling cancer. The 53-year-old has been undergoing weekly chemotherapy for the last seven and a half years to fight the blood cancer, multiple myeloma, for which there is no cure.

In 2010, Drott, who was then at Woods Cross High, organized a charity event to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society around a regularly-scheduled region softball game. The two teams wore red and white uniforms to symbolize “Red Blood Cells” for leukemia and “White Blood Cells” for lymphoma. Now in its sixth year, the event has raised more than $65,000 – including $22,000 from the 2015 game.

This year’s softball game will feature Davis hosting Woods Cross on Friday, May 6 at 4 p.m. Free food and drinks will be served to the public with donations accepted and raffle prizes awarded. 

“This is the culmination of three weeks of fundraising for ‘Pennies for Patients,” Drott said. “Come out and watch a meaningful event.”

Drott has been coaching softball and volleyball in Utah since 1993, when he began at Kearns High. In 2007, he assisted at Woods Cross in both of those sports and was there through 2012, when he came over to Davis.

It was in the fall of 2008 when Drott, with no indication that his health was in jeopardy, went in for a random blood pressure check and was discovered to be completely anemic. Four days later, he underwent a bone marrow biopsy procedure and was immediately started on heavy chemotherapy. 

In March 2008, he contracted pneumonia and his organs shut down, leaving him in a coma. After a few weeks, the doctors felt there was nothing more that could be done but Drott’s wife, JoLynn, refused to let them pull the plug. That night, a decision was made to clean his blood and Drott began to stablilize. The procedure was repeated and he slowly improved while re-learning how to eat and walk again.

Weekly chemotherapy since kept him going until last spring when the effects of the treatments stopped working, so a bone marrow transplant was needed. Since that operation in November, Drott said his cancer has been “knocked back 92 percent” and now he endures a lightened chemo load every week.

Drott said he feels like a new man being back teaching biology at Davis High. He’s trying to help educate 

his students about cancer, particularly blood cancers which currently afflicts six students at the school. “These kids are seeing it here firsthand,” he said.

“Doctors never thought I’d still be here,” Drott said. “I’m not going to let this beat me. I have this put in front of me and I have to battle. Sometimes you lose and you’re sick as a dog and have to go to the hospital. But, I’m 11-0 so far and this hasn’t beat me yet.”

And this annual fundraiser is aimed at helping others in their own cancer battles.

 

 

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