January 2010


 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] [official site] Watched in 720p HD :)

LIMERICK REVIEW: They once were all just characters in books:
Heroes, villains, charlatans, and crooks.
But then there were the silvertongues,
Who breathed REAL life into their lungs.
And if they ever told anyone, they’d just get strange looks.

HAIKU REVIEW: Fiction characters
should prob’ly just stay that way…
They’re often ruthless.

PEOPLE: From director Iain Softley (K-PAX, Hackers), based on the book by Cornelia Funke. With Brendan Fraser (The Mummy, Journey To The Center Of The Earth), Sienna Guillory (aka Valentine from Resident Evil:Apocalypse), child actor Eliza Bennett, and Paul Bettany (Jarvis from Iron Man, Silas from The Da Vinci Code), Andy Serkis (Gollum from the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, Clueless). And yes, that’s Jennifer Connelly in the itty-bitty role of Roxanne (the wife of Dustfinger). Which makes sense, since she’s the actor’s wife in real life (!).

The book is recent — 2003. The author actually had Brendan Fraser in mind when she wrote the book. The studios had to cave to her demand :)

QUIRKS: “Since the dawn of time, storytellers have enchanted audiences with their words. But there is an even rarer gift. There are those, who by reading out loud, can bring characters to life. Out of books and into our world. Most of these Silvertongues, as they are known, prefer to keep their skills a secret. But some do not even know this gift is theirs, until it is too late.” Expect to see characters out of books come to life. Not as many as you’d like — they’re all from the book Inkheart, except Farid who is from Ali Baba & His 40 Thieves, and Toto from The Wizard Of Oz. This is a fantasy — but one that happens in our normal, non-fantastic reality. Which makes it more interesting than most fantasies.

VISUALS: As fantasy movies go, the visual level here is really low. It takes place in *our* reality. Other than the finale, and some fire play, there’s barely anything unrealistic in this fantasy. Which is in and of itself a bit unusual for a fantasy movie.

BAD STUFF: Nothing, really… But it is rated PG.

CONCLUSION: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10. A solid fantasy movie. Good stuff! Not as cliche or as predictable as most fantasy movies. If this was edgier and more intense, it could go on to get 5/5 stars. But it’s kind of a kid’s story in some ways, so it can only be so good.

RECOMMENDATION: Writers might find this interesting due to the characters-coming-alive angle. But anyone who likes fantasy movies would probably like this.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Well… Cool World had the cartoon characters crossing over into the real world… (more…)

  • The two things Clinton had going for him were: No bullshit GROUND wars [he still had his own pet war, though], and reducing our national debt the most any president has done during the 1960s.

    But it looks like today's Democrats have made sure to undo all of that. (Actually, Bush already did that, so this is even worse..)

    WE DON'T HAVE MAGIC MONEY. Did they learn nothing from the bailout? A huge debt will destroy our country. It's already started happening. The dollar is dropping. Nations are starting to trade in other currency. We can't just keep spending money that we don't have.

    I'm sure the liberal cult of Obama is going to talk about how great this is. Short-term thinking for optimistic idealists who think this country is somehow going to go in a better route.

    News flash: Every 5 year period, this country gets worse and worse. I'm starting to think the economy peaked in the 1950s, and freedom peaked in the 1970s, and it's only downhill from here.

    SO HEY! LET'S MAKE IT WORSE!

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

QUIRKS: Animated post-apocalyptic fantasy. This would almost be a steampunk movie, but it seems to happen after the 1950s rather than in the 1850s. But there is still a definite, modernized steampunk feel to it, what with the way everything in the movie is a cobbled together, non-digital machine.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Mankind causes self to go extinct; remaining soul of last human mostly dies.

PEOPLE: Produced by Tim Burton.

Voice actors include Christopher Plummer as #1 (Charles Muntz in Up, General Chang in Star Trek 6, 12 Monkeys, Gandahar, Dreamscape National Treasure, Wolf), Martin Landau as #2 (Scorpion in the 1990s Spider-Man cartoon, Mission Impossible, Ed Wood), John C. Reilly as #5 (Step Brothers, Dr. Steve Brule from Tim And Eric Awesome Show Great Job, Walk Hard:The Dewey Cox Story, The Aviator), Crispin Glover as #6 (Grendel from Beowulf, The People Vs. Larry Flynt, Wild At Heart, Twister, Friday The 13th 4), Jennifer Connelly as #7 (Inkheart, Requiem For A Dream, A Beautiful Mind), Fred Tatasciore as #8 (Beowulf, Samuel L. Jackson in Team America:World Police, Hulk in Hulk Vs. Wolverine/Thor, goblin voices in The Spiderwick Chronicles, William Shatner in 8 eps of Robot Chicken, Family Guy, Beast in Wolverine & The X-Men), and Elijah Wood as #9 (Frodo from Lord Of The Rings, Sin City, The Faculty).

VISUALS: Incredible cgi animation. Incredible detail. A beautifully bleak post-apocalyptic world. Looks GREAT in HD! This is the 2nd animated film released by Focus Features, after Coraline.

MORALS: Sometimes it’s better for the greater good if you take bigger risks. Don’t be a coward. I’m talking to you, 1.

BAD STUFF: This movie is too short. Things fly by too fast. The great experience is over too soon. They could have spent more time developing the characters and the backstory. On the other hand, part of the fun was guessing what the backstory was… But the lack of depth caused by these flaws keeps this movie from realizing its true potential as a 5-star fantasy adventure movie.

CONCLUSION: A great animated fantasy adventure — but a bit rushed. They should have developed the story more and made it longer. This flaw kept it from being a 5-star movie.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10. It really deserves 5 stars, but it was simply over too fast!
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.

Parthena: Netflix: 4/5 stars. “I really liked it, I just think if they’d filled in a bit more detail it would have made my rating go up to 5. :) At the same time, maybe leaving a bit of mystery makes the movie more impactful/haunting?” I was wondering that myself. “In hindsight, the movie was a bit more depressing than I’d originally felt last night. Like…the reason I hadn’t been as sad when the [highlight for spoilers] dolls were absorbed by the machine is that I thought when the souls escaped, they’d re-animate the doll bodies and they’d continue to be basically immortal. What I didn’t expect was that the souls would simply leave the machine and just…ascend to Heaven, or wherever. So there’s only like 3-4 of the pieces of humanity left… Brutal!”

The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 3.6/5 stars (3.7/5 stars for people who rate like me), IMDB: 7.1/10.

RECOMMENDATION: Animation and fantasy lovers must see this!

MOVIE QUOTE: #6: The source! The source! Go back… to the source.

COINCIDENCES: (Terminator 4:Salvation, 9) 2 movies in a week where the good guys wanted to destroy the bad-guy robot-factory, but were split into 2 factions: Those who wanted to blow it up, and those who wanted to go in and save those who were imprisoned.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Christian loved it. (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] The very last “*.* Movie” that we need to watch. I think. I hope. It got a 4.7/10 on IMDB. It is essentially a series of sketches about the joys and embarrassments of teen sex.

HAIKU REVIEW: Teenagers have sex;
Sometimes via awkward means.
Sometimes it’s funny.

PEOPLE: This movie is NOT directed by the same people who made Disaster Movie, Epic Movie, Meet The Spartans, and wrote Scary Movie 1-4. These are new writer/directors.

Some known stars include Michael Cera (George-Michael from Arrested Development, Superbad, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist), Frankie Muniz (aka Malcolm from Malcolm In The Middle), Matthew Lillard (as himself, in some funny PSA spoofs), and Andy Milonakis.

QUIRKS: This actually isn’t as much of a spoof movie as all the other spoof movies we’ve watched. In fact, most of the movie is original material, with very little, perhaps 15%, devoted to spoofing other movies. They spoof Weird Science.

BAD STUFF: Some jokes fell flat. This isn’t consistently funny. There are hit and miss moments. But since it is in sketch format, if something sucks — a new something will replace it in just a few minutes. Bad parts are tolerable when you know they are going to end.

CONCLUSION: I reluctantly give this 4/5 stars on Netflix, and 7/10 on IMDB — because it was so much better than I expected, and so much better than some of the really poor spoof movies we’ve watched. They didn’t stick to spoofing movies and actually had some original material that was funny. That being said, if I were to just watch the worst 30% of this movie, I’d probably give it a 4/10 and 2/5 stars on Netflix. I guess it all depends on whether you can enjoy the good while swallowing the bad.

RECOMMENDATION: If you love comedies, spoofs, and sex — there’s some good humor in here. It’s not consistently funny, but it definitely has its good moments. We laughed waaaay more than we expected.

QUOTES: “Did somebody order the rape?” -Michael Cera

SIMILAR MOVIES: The Onion Movie follows a similar *format* — lots of loose sketches, with some recurring sketches that roughly form a “plot”. Though The Onion Movie is much funnier. This is NOT as similar to the other spoof movies such as Date Movie, Epic Movie, Disaster Movie, Scary Movie 1-4, Meet The Spartans, as one would expect.

COINCIDENCES: (Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Extreme Movie) 2 movies 2 nights in a row with Michael Cera. (more…)

TOTAL MOVIES WATCHED: 245

3 of them were watched twice this year.
1 of those was watched thrice this year.
249 total movie viewings.
239 new movies.

AWARDS:

BEST OVERALL MOVIE: Sympathy For Lady Vengeance
WORST OVERALL MOVIE: National Lampoon’s The Last Resort [aborted]. Honorable Mention: Fraternity House [completed and rated 1/5 stars].
MOST DISTURBING MOMENT OF THE YEAR: Antichrist. Though I’m sure Saw 5 had its moments.
PER-GENRE AWARDS ARE LISTED BELOW THE GENRE, BELOW.

MISC:

LANGUAGES WATCHED: English (American, British), Korean, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
MOVIES WATCHED MORE THAN ONCE: Rocky Horror (3x), Sympathy For Lady Vengeance (2x), Hardware (2x)
MOVIES WATCHED IN THE THEATRE: Rocky Horror Picture Show – 4/11, 5/17, 6/11
MOVIES ALREADY WATCHED PREVIOUSLY: Hardware, Mean Girls, National Lampoon’s Beach Party At The Threshold Of Hell, Rocky Horror, Sex & Death 101, 40 Year Old Virgin/Harold & Kumar 1 (flipped between the two for 2 hours; both count as half a movie).

Genres:
(comedy=89/36%, horror=38/15%, scifi=33/13%, action/thriller=25/10%, fantasy=18/7%):

Ratings:
(5-star=19%, 4-star=32%, 3-star=42%, 2-star=6%, 1-star=1%):

Cartoons (7%) Vs. Live (93%)
Fewer animated movies this year (10% animated last year):

Quality: 28% in HD this year
(up from 19% last year, 14% in 2007):

Read past the jump for the lists of individual movies, separated by rating. (more…)

I hit 700,000 blog views today (1/21/2010) (17 days before my predicted 30-day window).
I hit 600,000 on 7/7/2009. (within 1 week of vague “June” prediction).
I hit 500,000 on 12/4/2008. (no prediction)
I hit 400,000 on 5/24/2008. (27 days past prediction)
I hit 300,000 on 2/13/2008. (1 day before prediction)

So, 300K-400K took 3.5 months, 400K-500K took 6 months, 500K-600K  took 7 months, and 600K-700K took 6 months. Maybe things are picking up agian? Maybe 700K-800K will only take 6 months as well? That would put my prediction for hit #800,000 at around 7/21/2010 plus or minus 15 days. We’ll see what happens. I’ve been playing this game for awhile.

Monthly blog stats
Monthly blog stats – 15,836 is for  Jan, 2009

I still miss my popular period in 2007, before google (at least, that’s who I’m going to blame) started lowering me in search results…

AWARDS:

BEST HORROR OR THRILLER: The Number 23
best creepy horror: Mirrors (honrable mention: House Of 1000 Corpses)
best tension-building horror: Quarantine
best make-you-squirm horror: Saw 5 (honorable mention: House Of 1000 Corpses)
best psychological horror: Mirrors, Funny Games U.S.
best psychological thriller: The Number 23, Live! (tho Live! is a bit more of a drama)
best gross-out horror: Drag Me To Hell
best sci-fi horror: Hardware
WORST HORROR: Mimic, Rise Of The Gargoyles

Read past the jump for the lists of individual movies, separated by rating. (more…)

Well, here is our list of 2009 movies we watched. We decided to break comedy off into its own post, since we watched so many (245, 89 of which are listed here).

AWARDS:

•best OVERALL comedy: The Hangover, Sex Drive, Jackass 2, Fanboys, Miss March. Honorable mention: Role Models, other Jackass “movies”.
•best comedy cast: Wet Hot American Summer
•best dark comedy: Observe And Report. Honorable Mention: Jawbreaker.
•best caper comedy: Sex Drive, Fanboys, Miss March, The Stoned Age
•best college comedy: Carolyn:National Lampoon’s Van Wilder 1 (not 2), College (2008)
•best alcohol comedy: The Hangover (Strange Brew deserves an honorable mention)
•best pot comedy: Pineapple Express, The Stoned Age (but it’s not *really* a pot-heavy movie)
•best ecstacy/LSD comedy: When Do We Eat?
•best family awkwardness comedy: When Do We Eat?
•best reality comedy: Jackass 2 & 2.5
•best sci-fi comedy: Land Of The Lost & Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel. Summer Time Machine Blues was certainly interesting… But British humor > Japanese humor.
•best spoof comedy: Totally Awesome
•best sports comedy: Foot Fist Way
•most insane comedic dialog: Female Trouble
•worst spoof movie: Plump Fiction
•worst college comedy: Fraternity House
•worst OVERALL comedy: Fraternity House, Plump Fiction

•Read past the jump for the lists of individual movies, separated by rating. (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] We do love time travel movies…

LIMERICK REVIEW: There once was a time traveling cop
whose martial arts skills could not be topped.
But when traveling in time,
it’s easy to commit crime.
Often leaving a bloody mess that requires a mop.

HAIKU REVIEW: Time traveling cops.
What could ruin your day more–
Your wife being killed?

PEOPLE: Did not realize this starred action legend Jean Claude Van Damme. Mia Sara (aka Lili in Legend, Sloane Peterson in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Harley Quinn/Dr. Harleen Quinzel in Birds Of Prey). Ron Silver — who just died of cancer 3/15/2009.

QUIRKS: Time travel. Cops. Duh!

Based on the TimeCop comics — which I didn’t know existed.

VISUALS: A lot of great action scenes and good fighting. The time travel itself is not visual at all, really. The movie takes place mostly in the year it was made — 1994. But they do jump forward to 2004, and show some futuristic cars that look laughably bulky. They also go back to 1984.

MORALS/POLITICS: Power corrupts. Power over time travel corrupts absolutely. It’s probably better to have Timecops than to not have Timecops… But, good luck keeping the piggies clean when they can rob anyone anywhere anytime.

BAD STUFF: If you’re looking for a movie explicitly about time travel, this may disappoint you — It’s mostly an action good cop vs. bad cop movie within a time travel framework. That still makes it cooler than the same movie without time travel, though.

CONCLUSION: 3/5 stars on Netflix, 7/10 on IDMB. Carolyn agrees. A decent action flick with some time travel thrown in to liven it up.

RECOMMENDATION: If you like action movies, this is a good pick. If you hate action movies, but like time travel movies — you might not actually like this. Better stories that use time travel as a more central plot device include 12 Monkeys, Time Bandits, Futurama movie Bender’s Big Score, Terminator, Back To The Future 1 & Back To The Future 2, The Time Machine (original, not remake–very rare you’ll hear me say that), and the Avalon trilogy from the Gargoyles animated series.

SIMILAR MOVIES: There are not many similar movies to this. Time travel movies usually are more grandiose. Unless you’re talking about that piece of crap The Girl Who Lept Through Time.

MOVIE QUOTES: Eugene Matuzak: “You’re allowed to have a life, you know. I read it in a manual somewhere.”

Senator Aaron McComb: “Look don’t expect to be my chief of staff if my slamming your face into the side of the car is gonna turn you into a sniveling worm.”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Compn liked it. (more…)

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