Cinema North Dakota: “Shotgun Wedding” with Minot’s Josh Duhamel (and also Jennifer Lopez) | February 22, 2023

First of all, you should know that Josh Duhamel doesn’t take his shirt off at all in Shotgun Wedding (Prime Video), not once.  Despite being wet for approximately 20% of the movie – it takes place on a Philippine island which he falls off of in the first thirty seconds – Josh Duhamel is clothed 100% of the time.  He removes his jacket at one point and you think, “Whoop, here we go,” and then nothing.  So, if you watch actionantic (that’s action and romantic mixed together, which I came up with myself) comedies, which Shotgun Wedding is, because you want to see Josh Duhamel with his shirt off, be prepared to be disappointed.

On the other hand, if you watch romaction (maybe that’s better) movies because you want to see Jennifer Lopez’s rockin’ body, then you, my friend, ARE IN LUCK.  JLo’s contract for Shotgun Wedding clearly required her to rip off a portion of her clothing every ten minutes, and with a lot of explosions and a robust cast of “Hey, that guy” character actors (Jennifer Coolidge, Lenny Kravitz, D’Arcy Carden, Cheech Marin, Steve Coulter, Sônia Braga, Callie Hernandez), the producers obviously couldn’t afford to have a single scene with her in a sweatshirt.

Here’s my review: Shotgun Wedding is pure entertainment.  I was entertained for the entire one hour and forty minutes.  I laughed out loud a bunch of times, and Kyle even went “Ha” once, which used up his allotted delight for the week because Kyle is not a laugher.  If I was sitting around folding laundry and Shotgun Wedding came on the TV, I would watch it again.  Is it the greatest romaction movie ever made?  No.  Is it the greatest romaction movie made in 2022?  In The Lost City Channing Tatum takes his shirt off so you tell me.  If you decide to peruse Shotgun Wedding because you’re in the mood for la cinema magnifique, well…you need to improve your critical understanding of previews because Shotgun Wedding does not hide its true self.  I mean, the movie poster has JLo with a cake knife in her belt and Josh Duhamel scratching the back of his head looking confused, which basically sums up the entire plot of the movie.

Here’s an extended plot summary: It’s the eve of Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Lopez’s destination wedding.  Josh, a newly-washed-up minor league baseball player (this is repeated throughout the film as a way to “Add depth to the character” and “Give JLo a reason to make silly faces” and “Allow Josh to hit a grenade with a chunk of wood shaped like a baseball bat so as to tie the whole thing back together”) has channeled all of his baseball energy into Pinteresting the crap out of the wedding.  Jennifer, on the other hand, isn’t into it because her dad is rich and could have paid a wedding planner to do all of the Pinteresting, and also because she wanted to elope since her parents are divorced and her mom wears her hair in a bun as proof that she is no longer happy.

Her dad (Cheech Marin) is rich, dating a yoga instructor (D’Arcy Carden) and has invited Jennifer Lopez’s ex (Lenny Kravitz) to the wedding because “He lives in Bali” and destination wedding guests are selected based on proximity. Lenny Kravitz shows up literally on top of the rehearsal dinner in a helicopter, decked out in what looks to be a set of pearls from a child’s dress-up box.  Everyone loves Lenny Kravitz because he is not wearing a shirt.

The wedding day arrives and JLo texts Josh something on the lines of “Something isn’t right, we need to talk.” Josh, as an adult with the ability to comprehend English, presumes she wants to call the whole thing off.  WRONG.  She just wants to apologize for trying to get him to stop glue-gunning fairy lights to pineapples (not a euphemism) so they can have some pre-wedding night hanky-hanky.  While they are arguing about something that could have been a text message, pirates invade the wedding and force all of the guests to stand in the pool until Cheech transfers over $40 million of his $60 million net worth (I guess they don’t teach “liquid assets” in pirate-ing school).  Instead, Jennifer Coolidge, playing Josh’s mom, gives everyone something better than money: comedy.  Also, Cheech says he’s not givin’ nobody nothin’ until they bring him his daughter.  Challenge accepted.

The rest of the movie is JLo and Josh running away from and inadvertently (and sometimes advertently) killing bad guys, and Jennifer Coolidge being Jennifer Coolidge.  There is quite a bit of fire, an inconsistent amount of blood, and a number of very concerning injuries that do not concern people at all.  JLo is the boss and brains behind the operation, having mastered the arts of ziplining, dress ripping, boat driving, and burning up people’s heads (not a euphemism) prior to her trip to the island.  For his own part, North Dakota’s favorite son treats all guns like they are loaded, even though anyone with a weapon likes to pump/rack it over and over and over prior to “firing it” into the crowd (spoiler: Despite a Star Wars-quantity of bullets flying around from what should be empty guns, only two people are minorly injured).  Also, there is a musical number.

Despite the fact that JLo and Josh reiterate the message of the movie every time they tear an item of clothing, I’m not exactly sure what that message is – maybe that not all marriages are perfect?  Or that marriage means you need to be yourself?  Or that grenades don’t fire until you lift the handle and count to five?  One of the most memorable lines to me was the most subtle: after running through the jungle, Jennifer and Josh find themselves in the resort kitchen surrounded by what should have been their wedding dinner.  Jennifer starts shoveling down what I think were chilled scallops (movie food is VERY IMPORTANT to me, I pay VERY CLOSE attention and I NOTICE when the actors just hold the food in their mouths or push it around their plates and don’t eat it) and Josh says something like, “How can you eat at a time like this?”  And she shoves a scallop in his mouth and says, “Here, you’re grumpy.”  Which was a very marriage-y thing to do.

I’m not giving anything away when I say the movie ends happily ever after for everyone (including the pineapples) except for the resort owners, who now have an insurance nightmare on their hands.  The credits has JLo both singing and dancing, which was pretty fun. I don’t have a ratings system, but if I did, I would give Shotgun Wedding 4 out of 5 ranch dressings.

The image above is, clearly, the movie poster for Shotgun Wedding.

This isn’t really news, but it IS a sweet story of paraprofessional Jackie Freitag, who helps her students get excited about music. (KFYR TV)

Fargo’s Tom and Wendy Folkestad are the FIRST North Dakotans to ever win the Publisher’s Clearing House grand weekly $10,000 prize. (Fargo Forum)

The line-up is set for the North Dakota State Fair, including Ludacris, T-Pain, Eric Church, Five Finger Death Punch, and Brad Paisley. (Minot Daily News)

If you’ve ever though, “Boy, I wish I could gain weight like a walk-on football player” well then here’s a recipe for you. (Fargo Forum)

West Fargo’s Johanna Loiseau was one of Rihanna’s backup dancers for the Super LVII Half-Time Show. (Fargo Forum)

Coming soon to Cinema North Dakota: End of the Rope, which was filmed in North Dakota and is the story of the Charles Bannon case. (US 103.3)

Watford City’s Mitch Haugeberg has been able to fund his family board game thanks to a very successful Kickstarter. (KFYR TV)

Students at Bismarck’s Wachter Middle School spent the day outside trying out kick sleds and snowshoes. (KFYR TV)

The Fargo-Moorhead Opera’s Young Artist Program recently put on three mini operas, entitled, “Love Bites.” (Fargo Forum)

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We are here to tell you your opinion | June 22, 2022

For those of you who don’t live in North Dakota, North Dakotans justify the fact that we deal with cold winters because the trade-off is absolutely glorious weather the rest of the year.  This spring, however, has been a little…inconsistently glorious…compared to others; and yesterday we celebrated the first day of summer with a preceding week that could best be described as “Windy as all get-out and hot as the sun.”

The air temperatures and speed seem to be North Dakota Normalizing (Is that a thing?  What do we normalize here – bars as both a dessert and a main dish?) to its expected perfection; but while it does, I thought I’d do a We Are Here to Tell You Your Opinion (click here if you don’t know what I’m talking about) on a few TV shows for you to consider watching when you’re inside taking a break from all the summer-ness.  All of these shows are pretty easy on the brain; let’s call them the Beach Watches of Television.


Kyle started Reacher (Amazon Prime) because he read the Jack Reacher book series by Lee Child and was excited for the television adaptation.  I started watching Reacher because Alan Ritchson is handsome and I wanted to look at him.  We ended up bingeing the entire first season over the period of a week, during which we learned 1) Alan Ritchson is from GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA which is obviously why he’s my brand; and 2) Reacher is a fun – if you consider gratuitous violence “fun” – action series similar to Criminal Minds, except that Jack Reacher is a nomadic vigilante supported by the law, instead of being the law itself.  Viewer beware: In addition to the violence, there are a couple of nudie scenes.  Here’s the trailer.


Full disclosure: I didn’t want to start watching Welcome to Flatch (Hulu) because it looked too cornball-y for me.  I only gave in because we had finished re-watching Derry Girls for the second time and I was feeling too jolly to start Ozark (it turns out I still feel too jolly to start Ozark, and now we’re the only people in the world who haven’t seen the finale).  After three episodes I was hooked on Flatch – which, as I figured, turned out to be cornball-y, but in the best possible way.  Flatch is a mockumentary about life in rural Kansas; specifically, as it centers around two wannabe wild and loose cousins, the town newspaper editor, and Father Joe, played by ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA’s Seann William Scott.  As is the case with almost every comedy about the Midwest, every character is lovable, every character has big dreams, and every character begins to fulfill (or actually fulfills) those big dreams in a lovable way.  Here’s the trailer.


Speaking of shows I didn’t want to watch, when Jared Keeso, one of the creators of Letterkenny (a show about a town in Canada that Kyle LOVED because it reminds him of home, and I thought was pretty funny for about 10 of its 61 – and counting – episodes), announced he was making a spinoff about the fifth-most annoying character on Letterkenny, I was a hard pass.  I can’t remember how Kyle talked me into Shoresy (Hulu), but I’m pretty sure I agreed to it because I secretly wanted to scroll my phone for an hour.  I’m glad I actually paid attention because Shoresy is all of the silliness of Letterkenny with the added bonus of character development and a storyline.  Shoresy is about a Canadian men’s league team that is about to fold because they have lost all of their paying fans – and so the character of Shoresy (who is the king of hockey chirps and also cries at the drop of a hat) convinces the owner to keep it going with the promise that “they never lose a game.”  If you like hockey and bros, I think you’d be hard-pressed not to like ShoresyHere’s the trailer; head’s up, there’s a bad word in it.


Kyle and I will watch basically anything by Taika Waititi, which is how we came to find Reservation Dogs (Hulu).  Reservation Dogs is a half-hour comedy-ish that follows four teenage friends on a reservation in rural Oklahoma.  Taika Waititi does a great job developing interesting characters, and the show is worth it just to see the four leads interact with one another as they deal with a host of lighthearted, and also not-at-all-funny problems, such as the death of the fifth member of their group.  I was going to try and give an example using quotes from the show but there are A LOT of swears in Reservation Dogs, so here is a link to a scene where Bear – one of the teens – meets his haphazard spirit guide for the first time.  Also, here is the trailer; although I’m not sure it best represents the overall storyline (the part where they steal the chip truck is the first scene of the show and is kind of a MacGuffin).


Kyle and I knew we were going to watch Somebody Somewhere (HBO) basically no matter what because it was written by EAST GRAND FORKS, MINNESOTA’s Paul Thureen and stars Bridget Everett, and we like both of those things.  Despite the fact that Bridget is a comedian, I’m not sure I’d call Somebody Somewhere a comedy; it’s a gentle, friendly look at some serious issues in small-town Kansas (Kansas is having a real entertainment-based renaissance, apparently).  The whole thing is like watching some of your perfectly pleasant acquaintances live their lives for a few months.  It’s such easy watching that we didn’t even realize we reached the end of the first season until we couldn’t find any more episodes.  Here’s the trailer.

The photo above doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but Kyle made that sign for our seven-year-old’s lemonade stand, and Seven made a sign that said, “Beer J/K Lemonade,” and both of them were pretty proud of themselves.

This week’s news has a Rendezvous and a Wagon Train.  Read on.

Tomorrow is the first day of the Santee-Lucky Mound Pow Wow in Parshall – check it out. (KX Net)

This is in here entirely for me to tell Kyle because he’s going to want to go: Fort Union is holding the 39th Annual Rendezvous. (KFYR TV)

Minot’s father-son duo David and Dayson Dannewitz received the North Dakota Highway Patrol Colonel’s Award for Excellence for helping clear two troopers out of the snow during the April Blizzard. (KX Net)

Westward, Ho!  Participants from 21 states and two countries are traveling as a part of the 53rd annual Fort Seward Wagon Train, which goes from Jamestown to Montpelier (and back again) this week. (Jamestown Sun)

Grand Forks’ Lily Goehring was one of twelve contestants performing on last night’s episode of Dancing with Myself. (Fargo Forum)

Bismarck’s Allison Keller dyed her hair blue in order to get her students to return their library books. (KFYR TV)

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We are here to tell you your opinion | June 24, 2021

When we were first married, Kyle and I went to the movie theater so often that we took it upon ourselves to create a movie review website, called We Are Here To Tell You Your Opinion.  This website was not borne out of altruism or a desire for fame; rather, we are both oldest children, and it is our God-given right to tell people what to do.  It’s important to understand that absolutely no one in the history of cinema had or has ever asked, “Hey, I wonder what Amanda and Kyle thought of The Grey?”  Nevertheless, we diligently reviewed every single movie for our fives of viewers until our babies came along and we traded our theater time for stare-at-these-fascinating-creatures-in-sleepless-stupors time.

Now we have much more energy and streaming services but very little motivation to set up the tripod and make a review video.  However, we still feel it’s important to share our unsolicited opinions with everyone, and so here are a few of the TV shows (and two-ish movies) we watched over the past year, and we think you should, too:

 WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS / Hulu: What We Do In the Shadows is a mockumentary (or maybe it’s real, what do I know) about a coven of quirky vampires living relatively out in the open in Staten Island – think of it as The Office meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets some other TV show with an R Rating.  If you like stupid, non-fart-based humor, What We Do In the Shadows is awesome because it’s an honest-to-goodness (very NSFW) comedy.  One of my favorite lines:

NANDOR THE RELENTLESS: “Listen to me, little man.  From Panera Bread you came, and to Panera Bread you shall return.”

DERRY GIRLS / Netflix: Kyle and I went through a little phase where we only watched European TV shows and movies because we are very continental.  We aren’t, however, continental enough to watch Derry Girls without subtitles because we can’t understand the actors’ Irish accents.  Derry Girls is a comedy about a group of teenager-y teenagers going to Catholic School in Northern Ireland in the 1990’s.  Think of it as What We Do in the Shadows, but without vampires or a documentary crew.  (Also, Kyle pointed out to me that Northern Ireland is not on the continent, so I guess I’m really not continental enough.)  We put on an episode for my parents whenever they come to visit.  I don’t know if they like it, but Kyle and I do and that’s all that matters.  A favorite line:

SISTER MICHAEL, during an assembly in which she announces an upcoming field trip to Paris: “Sadly, I am unable to come on this one as I despise the French.”

And also,

ERIN: “Macaulay Culkin isn’t a Protestant, ma!”

CALL MY AGENT / Netflix: This is a French show (once again, subtitles) about a French talent agency.  The talent agents in the show “represent” real French actors – and Sigourney Weaver – and it’s a relatively delightful semi-soap opera about the drama of dramatics.  If you are like the aforementioned Sister Michael and despise the French, this show will make you hate them a little less.  A great line:

CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG: “Officially I love the movie, but there’s no way I will act in it.  Is that clear?”

THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW / Amazon: Kyle and I binged The Andy Griffith Show because 1) the episodes were thirty minutes long and we’ll basically watch anything that’s not an hour; and 2) we were working a lot at night and we needed something on in the background.  Andy Griffith is great because every episode ends up where it began and half of the storylines repeat themselves.  Plus, there’s wholesome homespun wisdom, ridiculous sexism, and behind-the-scenes adultery – what a hoot!  A representative line:

AUNT BEA: “Opie, you haven’t finished your milk.  We can’t put it back in the cow, you know.”

BLOW THE MAN DOWN / Amazon: This is a movie about two Maine sisters who need to cover up a murder following the death of their mother.  Blow the Man Down is billed as a comedy, but it’s definitely a drama.  The movie is great because the acting is great; it carries any of the plot missteps.  As a bonus, each act of the story is marked by a man singing a sea shanty.  I can’t give you a quote because none of the lines make sense out of context, so instead I’ll tell you that I wasn’t going to include any movies on this list for length and Kyle said, “But what about Blow the Man Down or Hunt for the Wilderpeople?” which should tell you how much we liked it.  (By the way, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is the story of a foster boy and his reluctant foster father on the run from the law.  Take two minutes and watch the preview; it’s a pretty accurate representation of the tone of the film.  It’s adorable if you like movies about precocious children.)

TED LASSO / Apple TV+:  Kyle and I happened upon free seven-day trial of Apple TV+ and saw that Ted Lasso was only thirty minutes; and since we’ll watch anything that’s a half-hour we gave it a shot and ended up cancelling all of our plans so that we could finish the entire first season in two days.  Ted Lasso is the story of an American football coach who is brought to London to lead an English soccer team, which is a ridiculous premise for what is the sweetest show on television.  I honestly can’t think of a person who wouldn’t like this show.  Everyone is nice, even the mean people.  It’s like watching a hug.  Here’s an example:

WALTON: “Do you believe in ghosts?”
TED: “I do, but more importantly, I believe they need to believe in themselves.”


TED: “Congrats, you both just met a cool person!”


TED: “You beating yourself up is like Woody Allen playing the clarinet. I don’t want to hear it.”

The photo above is a screenshot from We Are Here To Tell You Your Opinion.  And speaking of cool people, this week’s news is about home starter kits, quitting smoking, and Celebrate Myles Day.  Read on.

The Wahpeton Women’s Literary Club have been packing up $600 “home starter kits” – which include stuff like kitchen items, toiletries, linens, lightbulbs – to give to formerly-homeless families transitioning into housing. (Wahpeton Daily News)

North Dakota now has its first Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator – a Roosevelt Park Zoo veterinarian named Dr. Wood. (KX Net)

The North Dakota Council of the Arts is looking to install permanent art pieces in eight rural – in nature, not in a city or town – sites in North Dakota. (KX Net)

The Osgood Hornbacher’s celebrated “Celebrate Myles Day” on June 22 after a Facebook post about the bagger went viral. (Fargo Forum)

New York pop artist Michael Albert will be traveling to twelve cities in North Dakota to teach people how to create collages, courtesy of the James Memorial Art Center and the Williston Community Library. (Williston Herald)

There is a new trail in Medora to help visitors check out the sights. (Dickinson Press)

In good news, over 1,000 North Dakotans quit smoking every year, which is higher than the national average. (KX Net)