May 30, 2014
At least we can get off the stupid magazine limit debate? Poor people need to be able to defend themselves from multiple attackers more than the privileged, who can afford 41 ten-round magazines (what this guy had).
Reduce it to 5, he buys 82 instead. Meanwhile, some poor person somewhere dies running out of bullets from multiple attackers.
But even if that person doesn’t run out of bullets and successfully saves his life– him defending himself gets counted as a gun homicide statistic, which gets used as a justification for magazine limits and for why he should be forced to have less bullets for defending himself.
It’s insidiously circular: The cause of saving one’s life is literally used as a reason to make it harder to save one’s life, in this hypothetical (but not that uncommon in human events) situation. Successfully saving your ass counts as a gun death! (more…)
May 28, 2014
[IMDB link] [Netflix link]
PEOPLE: Milla Jovovich… Isn’t she the main reason to watch these movies? :) Ali Larter, too (Jessica/Niki/Tracey from Heroes). Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, who directed Resident Evil 1, Alien Vs. Predator, and Event Horizon. He also wrote every Resident Evil movie.
PLOT SUMMARY: The story… continues. But does not complete.
UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers]→ Corporation wastes remaining human survivors; Asshole producer ruins perfectly good plane.
QUIRKS: Zombies. Based on a video game. In fact, the IMDB FAQ says this movie is the most videogame-based out of all 4 existing Resident Evil movies.
VISUALS: Did not see it in 3-D. Great action scenes, but there could have been more of them.
BAD STUFF: So she’s human again… But this didn’t really seem to affect her performance at all, or really be relevant to the plot of the movie. I guess that’s just how much of a badass Alice is. Still, it just strikes me as a random thing that happens, and then doesn’t impact the rest of the movie at all. Almost like an afterthought. I would have liked to have seen how this changes things explored more.
It was a bit annoying how [highlight for spoilers]→ all her clones were conveniently killed off, too.
And the huge zombie guy with the axe? I’m sure he’s something from the video game. He was cool as hell. But they only responded, “What the hell was THAT?”, and didn’t really ever address or explain how or what this “boss” was. I suppose it would make more sense if I’d played the video game.
Zombies are easier to kill now.
CONCLUSION: The action was good, but it just seemed like… not a lot happened. Like this was just a setup for the next movie. It felt more like an episode of The Walking Dead than a full on zombie movie. Still passable; the hints of the 5th movie make it sound like it will be better than 3 and 4.
Clint: Netflix: 3.4/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.2/10 (closer to Carolyn’s rating), Netflix: 3.9/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.1/5 stars–wrong direction!).
RECOMMENDATION: Watch this only if you’re planning on watching all 5 Resident Evil movies. The 5th/next one seems like it’s going to be much, much better, and that this one is more of a set up movie.
SIMILAR MOVIES: It struck me as feeling more like an episode of The Walking Dead than like a zombie (or videogame) movie.
MOVIE QUOTE: Albert Wesker: I’m what you used to be… only better. (more…)
May 18, 2014
[IMDB link] [Netflix link]
PEOPLE: Executive produced by Steven Spielberg. But the director is Joe Dante, who previously collaborated with Spielberg (and Michael Finnell) with Gremlins.
Starring Dennis Quaid, Martin Short (what ever happened to him?), and Meg Ryan. The Cowboy was played by Robert Picardo, who was The Doctor in Star Trek Voyager.
PLOT SUMMARY: Dude gets shrunken down to microscopic level, injected into Safeway worker instead of laboratory rabbit. Hilarity ensues.
UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Doctor endangers man’s life by injecting him without consent.
QUIRKS: Sci-fi AND comedy! Futurama made me realize it’s a combination that should be represented far more in films than it normally is. I want more sci-fi comedy!!
VISUALS: Surprisingly good special effects for 1987! Only a couple scenes look noticeably fake. And we watched this in HD.
SOUNDTRACK: 80’s! Rod Stewart, Wang Chung, Berlin.
MORALS: Tell your boyfriend [highlight for spoilers]→ if you’re pregnant. Yeah, the romance subplot was the only thing that really had a moral. The rest of the movie’s moral is probably more along the lines of “don’t let random people inject things into your ass if you’re not at the doctor’s office”. And of course, a “the magic was inside of you all along” moral RE: Martin Short’s character coming of age and learning how to not be a pussy.
GOOD STUFF: 1980’s sci-fi comedy hilarity, with pretty good dialog. Martin Short is a funny guy, and you just don’t see him around these days. The bad guys are hilariously cheesy, from horny Fiona Lewis, to the guy with the vibrator hand attachment. Jokes you might not have been old enough to get if you watched this back in 1987…
BAD STUFF: The very beginning–establishing Quaid’s character–is a bit cheesy and generic. The movie doesn’t reach its standard level of interestingness until the bad guys show up.
CONCLUSION: Pretty damn funny; one of the forgotten sci-fi comedy gems of the 1980’s. This movie still holds up today. Ever since Futurama was canceled, I just can’t get enough sci-fi comedy! Too bad Martin Short is never used anymore.
Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.6/10 (a low 8).
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
TwoBeans: Netflix: 4/5 stars.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.5/10, Netflix: 3.4/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.3/5 stars–WRONG that it’s lower than average, it’s higher than average for us!).
RECOMMENDATION: Sci-fi and comedy are not mixed together nearly often enough. Did they do this more in the 1980s? This movie stands up to the “20 years later” test pretty damn well. Let’s not forget it exists.
SIMILAR MOVIES: I couldn’t help but notice a parallel to Inception — being inside another person [their body instead of their mind], with a climax that involves things happening on both levels (dream and dream-within-a-dream with Inception, and the macro and micro levels with Innerspace). This also reminds me of The Man With Two Brains, where Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin shared the same body.
Also, remember the Disney ride? I do! It was fun! Okay, so it wasn’t directly based on the movie, but still. I think I know how Dennis Quaid’s character felt in this movie — just a little bit.
Jack Putter: [stands up] No! Somebody help me! I’M POSSESSED!
Lt. Tuck Pendleton: “We’re gonna drink this one to Ozzie. A good man who tried to save my ass by injecting me into yours.”
Mr. Wormwood: You’ve got a great future in front of you in Retail Food marketing, and I just hate to see you throw it all away by going psycho on us.
Dr. Greenbush: The medieval remedy was to flay the skin off your body with brands of fire. I have no idea what the current technique is.
Mom loves it.
J. Walter S, on why we don’t see Martin Short anymore: “After a time Short went ‘full retard’. Not in this movie or 3 Amigos. More the Gimminy Glick period.
Sort of like Dana Carvey’s Master of Disguise. It’s hard to come back from:”
May 8, 2014
[IMDB link] [Netflix link]
QUIRKS: Based on a cartoon: Avatar: The Last Airbender. We watched this in 2006 and rated it 5/5 stars. One of the best serialized cartoon stories we’ve ever watched.
PEOPLE: Written & Directed by M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, The Village, Signs, Unbreakable, Lady In The Water). Aang is played by a new kid (Noah Ringer), and I’m not convinced that he’s the right or best kid for the job. Katara is played a relatively new kid too. Sokka is Jackson Rathbone (Jasper from Twilight 3:Eclipse, Donnie Darko 2). It was a bit of a weird decision having Uncle Iroh played by Shaun Toub (Yinsen in Iron Man 1), as he’s much younger-looking than the cartoon character. I’m also not 100% on Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) as Prince Zuko. Fire Lord Ozai was played by Cliff Curtis (Push, Sunshine, The Fountain, Three Kings). Princess Yue was played by Seychelle Gabriel who, strangely, was in 3 episodes of Weeds. Dee Bradley Baker voices Appa and Momo, just like in the cartoon.
PLOT SUMMARY: A Buddhist supernatural fantasy world war :) To quote TwoBeans, “This is Buddhist as fuck!”
VISUALS: Unfortunately, we did not get to see this in 3-D. It would have kicked some ass, because the battles and scenes and effects are quite epic. Of course, this was post-production 3-D, not shot-with-3-D-cameras 3-D. But post-production 3-D can be quite awesome: Just watch Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D to see what I mean. They converted it sooo many years later…
Anyway, as fun as the cartoon was, this movie allowed us to see the same concepts fleshed out as special effects that probably cost more than the entire original cartoon series cost. And that… is kick-ass.
POLITICS: I can’t believe there’s a bunch of people whining about race issues, calling Shyamalan a racist, etc etc. People are way too fucking sensitive. Blah blah. It’s tiring. Go home. This is like people whining that Goku wasn’t Asian in the Dragon Ball movie. But Goku wasn’t even from Earth–the idiots! And this planet doesn’t really seem to be Earth either, does it?
GOOD STUFF: An epic storyline. Extremely faithful to the cartoon. We basically cover Season 1 of 3 of the cartoon. That was 22 episodes. The original screenplay was 7 hours before editing. Too bad they couldn’t shoot 7 hours. I’d love to see this as a 6 movie story rather than a 3 movie story. They’d be able to cover so much more.
1) The actor for Aang, I think, perhaps, could have been better. I don’t know if he’s a perfect fit. Maybe this will become clearer when the rest of the triology comes out. They picked up in part because he was a blackbelt, and thus was pre-qualified for the movie’s martial arts.
2) Not the movie’s fault, but our fault: We thought this was not a trilogy, but a single movie. So the entire time, the pacing kept messing with my head. I thought they weren’t covering the story fast enough, and was hung up thinking about that. Turns out it’s a trilogy, so the pacing for the movie was JUST FINE. Silly us, letting our own misconception hamper the enjoyment of the movie.
3) Fucking whiners whining about this movie. Enough with the hate already. SHUT THE FUCK UP. This movie is rated soooo low, and almost every thread on IMDB is about how much people hate it so much. This tends to happen with any adaptation – low ratings. I don’t understand snobby fanboyism. I’m a rabid fanboy, so I understand rabid fanboyism. You could adapt Avatar:The Last Airbender using 10 different directors — and I’d probably love all 10 movies, provided they each had a huge budget and flashy effects that looked better than the cartoon. But the snobby fanboy? They hate this movie because races were changed. They hate this movie because “the cartoon was better”. And the rest of the general public? The ones who didn’t watch the cartoon? THEY JUST DON’T GET IT. A 103-minute movie based on a 462-minute season is going to move at a fast pace and cover a lot of different story aspects. And it might not make as much sense to someone who hasn’t watched the cartoon. This is the fate of someone watching a remake without watching the original. It’s similar to why I didn’t enjoy Watchmen as much as I wanted to — because I wasn’t familiar with the source material. But I still didn’t hate it. I think there’s just a lot of people who enjoy hating movies.
CONCLUSION: Despite the fact that it seems most people watch movies just to hate on them, this was actually an awesome movie. After being huge fans of the original cartoon (5/5 stars), it was so great to finally see the same story in the flesh! They better do the other 2 movies, damnit! There’s no point in this existing if they don’t do the other 2 movies; it would be like having a Fellowship Of The Ring movie, but no Two Towers movie (I’m looking at you, Rankin-Bass).
Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 8.4/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 8.6/10.
TwoBeans: Netflix: 5/5 stars.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 4.5/10?!?!?!?!?! Clearly, the army of haters have gamed the system on IMDB once again. The Netflix rating is not tilted so badly, at 3.4/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.8/5 stars–it’s right that we liked this better than average).
RECOMMENDATION: Watch the cartoon, then watch this movie. WATCH THE CARTOON. SERIOUSLY. GET IT ON NETFLIX. NOW.
MOVIE QUOTE: “There are reasons each of us are born. we have to find those reasons.”
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