VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Kindergarten Cop (1990)

Clio: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

When we watched this, our expectations weren’t that high. Neither of us had seen it, and we don’t like children.

But the children didn’t hurt this movie. It was light-hearted and entertaining. An overall pass, for sure. And at least we’re now slightly more in sync with pop movie culture.

There was definitely some idiotic writing… Worse than you’d expect even from a low-grade National Lampoon type comedy. But also, this was 22 years ago, and that shit passed muster way more back then.

We found out the quotes from that prank call mp3 we have were from this movie, and that was good for extra laughs. (Basically, there is a set of prank calls made using Arnold Schwarzenegger samples.)  So I was saying a couple lines before they were said … Even though I’d never seen the movie. (“I’m a cop, you idiot!”)

Bullshit censorship: In post-911 versions, they’ve removed the line where Ahhnold calls the kids terrorists. FUCKING RIDICULOUS BULLSHIT. More political-based semantic shift.

Directed by Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters 1-2, Junior, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Stripes).
Written by Murray Salem (this is the only thing he wrote, but he has acted in 11 things, none of which we have seen).
Arnold Schwarzenegger as Detective John Kimble.
Penelope Ann Miller (The Shadow, Adventures In Babysitting, Big Top Pee-Wee) as Joyce Palmieri / Rachel Crisp.
Pamela Reed (Bob Roberts, 3 eps of Simpsons, Junior, Parks And Recreation) as Detective Phoebe O’Hara.
Linda Hunt (Management in Carnivale!) as the principal.
Richard Tyson (Kingpin, There’s Something About Mary, Me, Myself & Irene) as Cullen Crisp, Sr..
Carroll Baker (The Watcher In The Woods, How The West Was Won) as the mother of the criminal.
Cathy Moriarty (But I’m A Cheerleader) as Sylvester’s Mother.
Tom Kurlander (Flatliners, Young Guns 2, Gross Anatomy) as the guy who told the criminal where his wife was hiding.
Alix Koromzay (Mimic, Ghost In The Machine) as Cindy, the witness.
One of the 5 year olds was Odette Annable, who went on to become a hot chick in Cloverfield and Walk Hard… Creepy.
Heidi Swedberg (Susan in Seinfeld, Galaxy Quest) as Joshua’s Mother. She did not get killed by poison envelopes in this movie. We also did not even notice it was her.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099938/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: How To Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008)

Clio: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 6.5/10 IMDB.

A moderately funny movie where Simon Pegg plays an asshole celebrity journalist who wants to shake things up. Watch this for the Simon Pegg Vs. Megan Fox Vs. Kirsten Dunst love triangle. This movie is pretty predictable, and not that special. I’d only recommend it if you are a fan of the actors. In that case, it is serviceable and worth a few laughs.

Directed by Robert B. Weide (producer and director on Curb Your Enthusiasm), and based on a book by Toby Young–Who was subsequently banned from the set as he was reportedly annoying actors and interrupting the director as he tried to direct scenes.

Simon Pegg plays the main character, with Kirsten Dunst as the co-worker, and Megan Fox as the movie star. Jeff Bridges (The Dude!) as the magazine editor. Gillian Anderson (Scully in X Files…officially hotter now than ever) as the publicist.  Danny Huston (Poseiden in Clash Of The Titans remake, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Number 23) as the douche. Also, the landlord lady–Mariam Margoyles–was in Harry Potter (Professor Pomono Spout).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0455538/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Django Unchained (2012)

Clio: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native ratings: 4.1/5 stars Netflix, 8.6/10 IMDB (Top 250: #44).

I’m not going to write a long review for this one. Suffice to say, Quentin Tarantino ALWAYS delivers (except Jackie Brown, which was still good, but technically a disappointment).

This movie does for white-on-black slavery in the mid-1800s what Inglorious Basterds did for German-on-jew genocide in the mid-1900s. Ultraviolent fan-service at its best.

My only complaint was the rap song. Everything was so mid-1800s. Hearing a modern song in the middle of that was a bit jarring. But I also understand it’s a way to imprint the movie as being made in the present.

Jamie Foxx has come so far since In Living Color! I’m so glad Will Smith passed on this! And Samuel J. Jackson has never played a character with as little dignity as his character in this movie. Leonardo DiCaprio was good, too (of course). I wish I’d noticed Russ Tamblyn (the professor from Twin Peaks)! It’s also funny that Jonah Hill was in this (but only with a bag over his head). Tarantino movies always have random hilarity in them, so it makes sense that Hill would have a place in one.

Wilhelm scream? Yes.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1853728/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (2012)

Clio: 3.2/5 stars, 7.8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 4.0/5 stars Netflix, 8.1/10 IMDB (top 250: #238).

Good, but a bit depressing. It definitely made me remember high school, and how it felt to be in high school. Despite having the unrealistic aspects most high school movies have (like having actors older than their characters), this had a lot of realism in terms of depicting the emotional feeling of being trapped in high school life.  There were definitely strong emotions and impressions in this movie.

However, this movie is not as poignant as it thinks it is. Cynically, I view it as a slice of life with an “enjoy life” message. SOME coming-of-age, SOME dealing with serious issues. It was still done very well, and was still thought-provoking. I can see why IMDB has this in the top 250 movies, though it wouldn’t be in my personal top 250, and I expect it to fall out of the top 250 once it stops being “new”.It did have good music.

But still, as a cynic, the most I really get out of it is, “Shit happens. Live your life in a way that makes you happy anyway.” Which I already knew… As a nerd coming-of-age fantasy, I’d rather see something funny like The New Guy. And other sadnesses of this movie are better portrayed in Gregg Araki‘s Mysterious Skin.

I guess this is why I generally prefer comedies. Those dramatic movies that try to teach a lesson? I’m old enough to know those lessons by now. It gets repetitive. Laughing never gets repetitive.

Still — the nostalgia value was tangible. I’d still recommend this movie. I’m sure hipsters freaking love it.

Annoying shit: Censorship of original characters that were chain smokers. We can show people standing on the back of a truck going down the highway — very risky and endangernig to others — but not people smoking? (Only 50% of smokers die from smoking, and they don’t generally cause car accidents when that happens.)

Cool shit: Rocky Horror Picture Show being involved in the plot!

Written & Directed by Stephen Chbosky, who also wrote the book and the screenplay. When the hell does THAT ever happen?!?! Nice to see the original creators being honored for once.

Logan Lerman (Percy in Percy Jackson & the Olympians, The Three Musketeers, Gamer, The Number 23, What Women Want) as Charlie.
Dylan McDermott (Jersey Girl, Steel Magnolias) as Father.
Kate Walsh (Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie) as Mother.
Johnny Simmons (the new 21 Jump Street, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Jennifer’s Body) as Brad.
Nina Dobrev (Repo! The Genetic Opera) as Candace.
Nicholas Braun (we haven’t seen his stuff) as Ponytail Derek.
Ezra Miller (we haven’t seen his stuff) as Patrick.
Tom Savini (Django Unchained, 1 ep of Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1, Zack and Miri Make A Porno, Planet Terror, Grindhouse, Dawn Of The Dead, Creepshow, and original Dawn Of The Dead) as Mr. Callahan.
Paul Rudd as Mr. Anderson.
Emma Watson (Hermione in the Harry Potter movies) as Sam.
Melanie Lynskey (Detroit Rock City, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Becky in The Life & Times Of Tim, The Informant!, Coyote Ugly, But I’m A Cheerleader) as Aunt Helen.
Mae Whitman (Ann Veal in Arrested Development, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, April O’Neil in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012 cartoon, Wonder Girl in Young Justice, Annaleigh Quagmire in 9 eps of Family Guy, Katara in Avatar:The Last Airbender, Little Suzy in Johnny Bravo) as Mary Elizabeth.
Reece Thompson (we haven’t seen his stuff) as Craig.
Joan Cusack (Jessie in Toy Story, Grosse Pointe Blank) as Dr. Burton.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1659337/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: National Lampoon presents Dorm Daze 3: Transylmania (2009)

Clio: 3.4/5 stars (compared to 3.4 for DD1, 3 for DD2), 7.4/10 (compared to 8 for DD1, 6.2 for DD2).
Carolyn: 4/5 stars (same as other 2), 7.7/10 (compared to 8 for DD1, 7.6 for DD2).
Native ratings: 2.6/5 stars Netflix (compared to 3.7 for DD1, 2.7 for DD2), 3.7/10 IMDB (compared to 4.4 for DD1, 3.7 for DD2).

So it seems that Carolyn & I liked this better than the first movie in the “trilogy”. It’s funny that this is a trilogy, because the movies have little to do with each other. They called the 2nd one Dorm Daze 2 even though it took place on a cruise ship. At least for this one they dropped the “Dorm Daze” from the title, but how would people who liked the first 2 movies know about and find this? The only real way is Movie Connections on IMDB, under the “Followed By” section. Weird.

Dorm Daze 1 was about misunderstandings and plots.  Dorm Daze 2 was about capers and a theft.  Dorm Daze 3 was about vampires.

It had some of the same characters from the other Dorm Daze movies, but this is no longer called Dorm Daze.  It had a recap of the characters and the setup for why they were going to Romania.  And vampires!  Don’t forget vampires.

Directed by: David Hillenbrand (Dorm Daze 1-2, mostly a music developer, we haven’t seen the other 7 things he directed), Scott Hillenbrand (Dorm Daze 1-2, we haven’t seen the other 7 things he’s directed)
Written by: Worm Miller (Dorm Daze 1-2, we haven’t seen the other things he’s written), Patrick Casey (Dorm Daze 1-2, we haven’t seen the other things he’s written)

They had some of the same characters as Dorm Daze 1 and 2:
Oren Skoog (we haven’t seen his work) as Rusty / king vampire Radu.
Jennifer Lyons (3 eps of That 70’s Show, Can’t Hardly Wait, 2 eps of Night Stand) as Lynne.
Tony Denman (Fargo, 2 eps of King Of The Hill) as Newmar.
Patrick Cavanaugh (1 ep of Thundercats (2011), 1 ep of Batman: The Brave And The Bold, 1 ep of Six Feet Under, 1 ep of Frasier) as Pete.
Paul Hansen Kim (1 ep of Andy Richter Controls The Universe, 1 ep of 3rd Rock From The Sun) as Wang.
James DeBello (Cabin Fever, Scary Movie 2, Trip in Detroit Rock City, enthusiastic guy in American Pie) as Cliff Richards.
Patrick Casey as Mike
Worm Miller as Brady.

Some characters were missing with no explanation, but since this is college, one can assume that people drift apart year-to-year. Most notably, Lynne’s counterpart Marla (the “other hot chick” of the 2-hot-chick group in Dorm Daze 1, who became fat in Dorm Daze 2), was absent. Foosball was also not around.

And some new characters:
David Steinberg (Epic Movie, Willow) as Dean Floca. Unfortunately, this was his last movie, as he committed suicide in 2010.
Natalie Garza (1 ep of Dexter, haven’t seen anything else) as twin sister, Lia.
Nicole Garza (1 ep of Dexter, haven’t seen anything else) as twin sister, Danni.
Musetta Vander (The Cell, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Wild Wild West, 1 ep of Frasier, 1 ep of Xena) as Teodora Van Sloan, the vampire hunter. Incredibly sexy. She’s like a slightly younger Catherine Zeta-Jones!
Irena A. Hoffman (Four Christmases) as Draguta Floca, the dean’s daughter.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0936471/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: National Lampoon presents Dorm Daze 2 (2006)

Clio: 3/5 stars, 6.2/10.  I am unsure what I thought. It was an entertaining mess.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Native ratings: 2.7/5 stars Netflix (compared to 3.7 for Dorm Daze 1), 3.7/10 IMDB (compared to 4.4 for Dorm Daze 1).

Carolyn:  I think I liked the first one slightly better, but this one didn’t disappoint.  Dorm Daze 2 seemed to have more structure than Dorm Daze 1, and a more memorable plot, but I think Dorm Daze 1 was more fun. If Dorm Daze 1 was about misunderstandings and plots, Dorm Daze 2 was about capers and a theft.

Clio:  Interesting, I kind of felt like this one had less structure and was more all over the place. But that could easily just be my mood at the time of watching.

Anyway, during Dorm Daze 1, Clio was reminded of The Pink Panther. But it was more subtle in the original. This sequel took that feel even further, actually involving a stolen diamond.

Come to think of it…………. I don’t think there were any Dorms in this movie. And the 3rd movie in this trilogy dropped “Dorm Daze” from the title altogether, so I guess they eventually acknowledged how loosely coupled this so-called “franchise” is.

Still liked it though. Good laughs. Very underrated on IMDB if you are a comedy lover.

It had some of the same characters from Dorm Daze 1, but it didn’t rush through the introductions of the characters as much. They basically rushed through the set up of how they are on a cruise ship doing a school play. Much like a war movie, if you can’t follow a lot of people easily, it may get confusing. Just go with it…

Directed by: David Hillenbrand (Dorm Daze 1, mostly a music developer, we haven’t seen the other 7 things he directed), Scott Hillenbrand (Dorm Daze 1, we haven’t seen the other 7 things he’s directed)
Written by: Worm Miller (Dorm Daze 1, we haven’t seen the other things he’s written), Patrick Casey (Dorm Daze 1, we haven’t seen the other things he’s written)

They had some of the same characters as Dorm Daze 1:
Gable Carr (her career went nowhere) as Rachel.
Patrick Cavanaugh (1 ep of Thundercats (2011), 1 ep of Batman: The Brave And The Bold, 1 ep of Six Feet Under, 1 ep of Frasier) as Pete.
James DeBello (Cabin Fever, Scary Movie 2, Trip in Detroit Rock City, enthusiastic guy in American Pie) as Cliff Richards.
Marieh Delfino (we haven’t seen her in anything) as Gerri Farber.
Tony Denman (Fargo, 2 eps of King Of The Hill) as Newmar.
Danielle Fishel (she was in 147 eps of Boy Meets World, but I didn’t watch that show) as Marla.
Paul Hansen Kim (1 ep of Andy Richter Controls The Universe, 1 ep of 3rd Rock From The Sun) as Wang.
Jennifer Lyons (3 eps of That 70’s Show, Can’t Hardly Wait, 2 eps of Night Stand) as Lynne.
Chris Owen (Sherman from The American Pie movies, suicidal freshman in Van Wilder, A Midsummer’s Night Rave, klepto kid in Can’t Hardly Wait) as Booker McFee.
Patrick Casey as Mike
Worm Miller as Brady.

And some new characters:
Larry Drake (American Pie 2, Dead Air, Johnny Bravo, Green Lantern: First Flight, 2 eps of Justice Leage, 1 ep of Firefly, 1 ep of Six Feet Under, 1 ep of Batman Beyond) as Dean Dryer.
Vida Guerra (Not Another Celebrity Movie) as Violet.
Jeremy Howard (2 eps of Breaking Bad, Men In Black 2, Galaxy Quest) as Eli.
Kip Martin (hmm, he wasn’t Silas from Weeds or Stiffler’s cousin, we haven’t seen his work) as Stukas.
Richard Riehle (Santa Claus in A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, Smiley Face, Extracted, The Beach Party At The Threshold Of Hell, Office Space, Hatchet, Mysterious Skin, Palindromes, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, 1 ep of The Legend Of Korra) as Captain Bunkley.
Nicolas Shake (he’s barely been in anything) as Dante (crazy black dude who poisoned people).
China Shavers (Not Another Teen Movie) as Robin Daniels.
Charles Shaughnessy (4 eps of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, 4 eps of Duckman, 1 ep of Gargoyles, 1 ep of Jackie Chan Adventures) as Professor Rex Cavendish.
Jasmin St. Claire (actual porno star) as Mrs. Bunkley / Summer Solstice.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0458438/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: National Lampoon presents Dorm Daze 1 (2003)

Clio: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 2.8/5 stars Netflix, only 4.4/10 IMDB.

A crazy dorm caper full of convoluted misunderstandings and plots. It actually reminded us of The Pink Panther 1 (1963) … Except that we liked it (and consider the 1963 Pink Panther movie to be the worst of all 11 Pink Panther films).

It started out with a rushed intro of the characters that felt like it wasn’t going to be that good, but then it started getting better and better.. And it never let up on the comedy or the twists.

Nothing was super sophisticated, but there’s one important thing to note: This is NOT a National Lampoon college-aged sex comedy. This is actually more of a “chase the money” caper. Closer to Pink Panther than American Pie. It was a bit of a surprise.

Yes. A surprising amount of people from Can’t Hardly Wait and Detroit Rock City – 2 of our favorite comedy movies.

James DeBello (Trip in Detroit Rock City, which we JUST watched, Cabin Fever, Scary Movie 2) as Cliff Richards.
Tatyana Ali (Jawbreaker, Ashley Banks in The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air) as Claire.
Tony Denman (Fargo) as Newmar.
Danielle Fishel (Boy Meets World) as Marla.
Courtney Gains (Back To The Future, Can’t Buy Me Love, Children Of The Corn) as Lorenzo the Black Hand (the bad guy).
Edwin Hodge (Take Me Home Tonight, which we JUST watched) as Tony.
Jennifer Lyons (Can’t Hardly Wait, which we JUST watched) as Lynne.
Chris Owen (klepto kid in Can’t Hardly Wait, which we JUST watched, Sherman from The American Pie movies, suicidal freshman in Van Wilder, A Midsummer’s Night Rave) as Booker McFee.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0362511/combined