June 2014

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

PEOPLE: Same director as the original.

PLOT SUMMARY: In a future time when most human thought has been accelerated by artificial intelligence and external memory can be shared on a universal matrix, Batou, an agent of the elite Section 9 Security Force and a being so artificially modified as to be essentially cyborg, is assigned, along with his mostly human partner, Togusa, to investigate a series of gruesome murders.

QUIRKS: Existential anime cyborg mystery action.

VISUALS: Astoundingly good. The visuals give this movie a +1/10 bonus. This is some of the best non-cgi animation around.


MORALS: What does it mean to be human?

POLITICS: Don’t trust the military-industrial complex! This is the same lesson almost every sci-fi movie I watch lately.

GOOD STUFF: Good animation. Good actions — when it happens.

BAD STUFF: Just like the first Ghost In The Shell, this was eye candy with a very thin plot. There were several long drawn-out boring parts that only made the viewer suffer through boredom. “Why do I care, again?” was something I asked myself several times. Apparently there is a parade sequence that took them a year to create. I don’t even remember it! It’s hard to pay attention when you’re bored out of your mind.

CONCLUSION: A film made passable only by its great animation.

Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10. (Due to +1/10 bonus for visuals.)
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 7.6/10, Netflix: 3.7/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.3/5 stars–right for Netflix to know we’d like this less than average).

RECOMMENDATION: Skip it if you care only about the story; watch it if you care only about the animation.

SIMILAR MOVIES: It wasn’t obvious to me at first, but Surrogates covers some of the same areas as this movie. However, a much better choice for a similar movie would be… Blade Runner. It covers the issues of what it means to be human.

MOVIE QUOTE: “There’s loyalty that protects secrets and loyalty that projects the truth. You cannot serve both masters, so which loyalty is yours?” (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Fortunately, not available on Netflix.] [Official site]

QUIRKS: Based on a role-playing game called Midnight, which is a campaign setting (fictional world) in which Dungeons & Dragons is played; an evil-dominated world. So the genre is, obviously, fantasy. Go ahead and click the link and read it. It’s far more interesting than this movie. Here’s a 3rd-party review of the role-playing game.

Is not strictly a “real” movie. This is a failed pilot TV movie. Like Virtuality, for example. (Except Virtuality was awesome.)

PEOPLE: It is important that we remember who is responsible for this piece of garbage. That would be writer, director, and producer Christian T. Petersen. Let us remember this name, and to NEVER LET HIM WRITE OR DIRECT A MOVIE AGAIN. Let us not also forget that Greg Banage is credited with the story.

PLOT SUMMARY: A Legate [powerful bad magic guy] hunts down another Legate who has forsaken The Shadow. Blah blah blah.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): A world full of assholes who are assholes because their world is so fucking boring and nothing happens.

VISUALS: You’d think in 2008 with HD cameras they could at least get the visuals right. Indeed, they are the only redeeming part of the movie. But they are still a bit stiff and bottom-of-the-barrel compared to most movies. They made the Discworld movies (the great Christmasy Hogfather movie, and the so-so Color Of Magic movie) look like Hollywood movies. Apparently a lot of their props and sets were donated from the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.

MORALS: Don’t watch movies.

POLITICS: Evil rules. Let it. Your struggle will not be worth watching, even when turned into a movie.

GOOD STUFF: That blonde they showed for 2 minutes.

BAD STUFF: Everything. The dialog. The acting. The plot (is there even one?). **Even the editing** was retarded. They managed to fuck up even the editing. And oh, it’s long. And it’s a big build-up with a disappointing “climax” that barely counts as a climax. Then they ham it up with the power of books in the last 60 seconds. Really, everything about this so-called “movie” makes me want to murder the whole planet, starting with myself.

CONCLUSION: The worst piece of filth I’ve watched since Fraternity House.

Clint: Netflix: 1.4/5 stars. IMDB: 2.6/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 1/5 stars. IMDB: 3/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 4.4/10. And rightly so. But one of the few movies we’ve watched with such a low rating that actually deserves it.

RECOMMENDATION: STAY THE FUCK AWAY. Or, alternately, if this is aired in front of your self, kill yourself as quick as possible.

SIMILAR MOVIES: I’m thinking the Dungeons & Dragon movie was 50X better than this.

MOVIE QUOTE: “I’m a stupid moron with an ugly face and a big butt and my butt smells and I like to kiss my own butt.”

COINCIDENCES: (real life, this movie) Several parts of me died simultaneously while watching this.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: My friends are too fortunate to have seen this.

OTHER REVIEWS: Just read the IMDB reviews. They pretty much sum up how much this FUCKING SUCKS. (more…)

Celebrating 10 years of this blog existing. Well, technically it started over at http://ohhhh.blogspot.com/, but I moved to http://ClintJCL.wordpress.com/ within the first 2 years, because WordPress is soooooo much better than blogspot — and doesn’t make people with 10 year old google accounts have to fill out CAPTCHAs to comment, like some kind of common criminal.

Anyway, I thought I’d share some stats on this blog. More for me than anyone else.

In 10 years, I have created 4,138 posts. 3

3,775 are published, 9 are drafts, and 354 are still unpublished — dated in the future. Including a post that won’t appear until my 100th birthday, regardless of whether I am dead or alive. (That post quotes a letter my grandad wrote to me the day I was born, so it will end up being a blog post with a contributor born a good 150 years prior.)

There have been 14,427 comments (though thousands have been removed)… so about 3.8 per post on average. It feels like 0, though, as alot of those are old, or concentrated amongst controvertial posts. The average post really gets 0 comments, despite this 3.8 average. Of course, 515 of these were left by me on my own posts. I only get 4 comments per month according to recent stats.
Meanwhile, **340,555** spam comments have been stopped by the akismet service. FUCK blog spammers. 1 in every 25 comments is real.

I’ve had 1,122,615 views in all time, so well over 100,000 a year, well over 9000 a month, well over 300 a day (a record of 3146 in a day). But the problem is, it’s misleading, as my blog was much more popular when it was almost all politics instead of almost all movie reviews. These averages are declining. I’m actually only getting over 1000 a month, not 9000 a month. Damn google for lowering my pagerank!

I do have 158 followers on wordpress (and 50 on my tumblr export), but how many actually use that?

Most people get to my blog via google search or google image search or bing or yahoo or ask.com (mostly fecalphiliacs) or… AOL. Also a lot from Flickr, Reddit, and even 3900 coming straight to my blog from Wikipedia, 1000 from tvtropes.com.

The 2 best pranks I’ve pulled:

1) Capturing the result for “drunk teens shitting”, negating each word into “sober grannies eating”, and posting pictures of old ladies eating soup on the page that all the fecalphiliacs looking for drunk teens shitting kept landing on. Eventually, someone commented: “Your petulance is duly noted”. Greatness.

2) Finding out someone was hotlinking one of my images on a french article, and replacing it with an image of a beret-wearing frog with a french-style musctache smoking a cigar in front of a bottle of wine, with an eiffel tower in the background. Basically, the most offensive anti-french image ever, and we tricked a french blog into using it on an article. They discovered this, thought it was funny, and left it. Good sports. Glad they notice.

The site to receive the most outgoing clicks from me? Flickr, for a variety of various links over the year. The one single largest outgling link? http:://tenthdimension.com/flash.php — I’ve flat out made that author money by linking to his excellent video explaining how there are 10 dimensions. He sells a book about it, and you can bet one of the 10,000 people I sent his way bought it. My link to the rdos.net asperger’s test is also used a lot.

Indeed, the top search terms of all time to lead people to my blog over the last 10 years is kind of weird:
12,157: shitting
11,262: garfield
9,770: james hetfield
8,922: celtic frost
7,174: nuclear bomb
6,860: disgusting
6,005: gun
4,496: raccoon
4,363: cartoon porn
4,260: family guy sex
4,116: v for vendetta
3,992: frost
3,876: tumor
3,253: router
3,095: celtic
2,950: angela garbarino
2,785: pubic hair
2,694: salvatore rivieri
2,668: teens shitting
2,479: drunk teens
2,467: vlc post processing
2,444: futurama season 7
2,344: smoking pot
2,306: pics of 911 plane hitting pentagon
1,948: shitting teens
1,883: jessica rabbit
1,869: real peter griffin
1,831: tara charendoff
1,814: carnivore
1,792: mcdouble vs double cheeseburger
1,792: fiona loewi
1,788: guy fawkes mask
1,720: safari vs firefox
1,663: 10 dimensions
1,638: linda carter
1,620: self bondage
1,606: party
1,600: carnivore band
1,594: dumb and dumber cartoon
1,550: family guy
1,546: teen shitting
1,533: firefox vs safari
1,526: h bomb
1,466: family guy porn
1,329: v for vendetta mask
1,321: the motherfucking flash
1,319: drunk driving permits
1,283: racism in alabama
1,259: executions
1,186: zlad
1,173: valerie mahaffey
1,170: type o negative
1,153: alabama racism
1,074: untooned
1,056: goliath gargoyles
1,030: assateague island
1,023: judge willie adams
1,011: pimp your pictures
1,006: abscess
1,004: chatty cathy
{other results snipped}
646: clint

So that’s about all I can think of. Thanks for reading. (more…)

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

PEOPLE: Written & Directed by Michel Gondry (who also wrote & directed Be Kind Rewind and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind).

PLOT SUMMARY: A man’s dreams start to interfere with his waking decision-making process. The actual IMDB plot summary is kind of bad: “A man entranced by his dreams and imagination is lovestruck with a French woman and feels he can show her his world.” The only good part of that is “entranced by his dreams and imagination”. The whole “lovestruck…show her his world” part makes it sound like some annoying whiny chick flick, which, to some extent, is accurate. But I’ve never seen a chick flick as tripped out as this one.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Hallucinating liar finally gets laid.

QUIRKS: EXTREME quirkiness. Inclusion of odd concepts, like a “one-second time machine”, and Parallel Synchronized Randomness. The movie almost seems quirky for quirkiness’s sake. I am definitely reminded of Amelie; I guess that’s just how the French make films.

A lot of the movie is French with subtitles, but at least 50% of the dialog is in English, so it’s not quite so annoying as a completely foreign film. I did not count this as a “French-language film” in my movie watching stats :) The whole movie has an indie/quirky feel.

VISUALS: Insanely creative and interesting dreamworld visuals. Now, I thought Inception was as close to perfect as most movies can get — but I imagine a few people were let down by the dream worlds in Inception purposely being done in a mostly-realistic way (so as not to alert the dreamer that it’s a dream). I imagine a few people may have even been disappointed by the fact that the Inception dreams were not a constant barrage of trippy surrealism. This movie, while lacking a big budget, depicted dreams as a constant barrage of confusing, surreal, visually interesting effects. Something that Inception, to some extent, did not capitalize on as much as it could. In Inceptions defense, the realism of the dreams was a major plot point. This movie, however, is not held back by that plot point. Dreamworld is really neat and trippy. This movie gets a +1 (out of 10) score bonus for having such visual trippy surrealism depicted.

However, the non-dream parts are very bleak and dreary, and look very much like the 1980s instead of the 2000s. This is either a function of low budget, or the director’s vision; I’m hoping the latter.

SOUNDTRACK: Didn’t notice.

MORALS: Not even sure, really.

GOOD STUFF: Great visuals. Great quirky indie spirit. Even though the plot was mediocre and ill-defined, watching it unfold was still entertaining.

BAD STUFF: In the end, [[[[[SPOILERS]]]]] the story kind of boils down to “boy meets girl, boy doesn’t quite get it with girl for indeterminate reasons even though they obviously are a good match, boy gives up on girl for indeterminate reasons that aren’t really well-explained, boy magically gets back together with girl at last second before going to the airport, in a cliche and predictable fashion that still is not well-explained”. Not only is the whole sequence a bit cliche, but they never really explain why it didn’t immediately work out for them. Or why it ultimately did in the end. The story seemed to be a framework for quirkiness without having the motivations properly explained. Yes, we can see why they would get together. They were very alike. But why did it not immediately work out? Why did it then, later, suddenly and supposedly work out just fine (if that’s how one is to interpret the ending). Basically: Why didn’t they get together? And then, later, why *did* they get together? I get that his dreams were distracting him, but why were they suddenly not? The writer/director, who nailed it on Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, seems to have missed his mark here. [[[[[END SPOILERS]]]]]

A LOT of things were never really explained. Plot points like why he wouldn’t tell her where he lived just seemed to be red herrings, unnecessarily cluttering up the mental space of the movie. “OH LOOK I’M QUIRKY!”

That being said, we still liked this.

CONCLUSION: A cliche, not-well-explained love story made palatable by surreal dreamworld visuals, moments of comedy, and extreme quirkiness. The actual plot of the movie is the weakest part — so weak as to annoy even me. But the execution and trippiness of the movie end up saving it and making it palatable, even though it looks like it was made 20 years ago.

Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7.4/10. Without the visuals, I’d have ranked this more like 2.4/5 stars, 5/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 7.4/10 (same as what Clint rated it), Netflix: 3.3/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.6/5 stars–a bit too high of a guess).

RECOMMENDATION: See it for a visual treat! The story — not quite as good. Don’t expect high-budget effects; this movie more or less looks like it came out of the 1980s or 1990s.

MOVIE QUOTE: Stephanie: Distraction is an obstruction for the construction.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: A lot of people sure talked about this movie BEFORE seeing it… But nary a peep from people AFTER seeing it. Gigglepuss at least included it on her “15 movies” meme, but with no comments. So I have no clue what people thought about this. I liked it, but was a bit let down due to the hype.

Parthena comments: “I tried to watch this movie about a year ago and couldn’t. I watched the first 30 minutes and it was the most boring movie (at least, up to that point) that I’ve seen in my life. :\ Oh well….”


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

PEOPLE: Angelina Jolie! Sold.

Also with Liev Schreiber (Repo Men, Victor Creed in X-Men Origins:Wolverine, The Sum Of All Fears, Kate & Leopold, Scream 1-3, Party Girl), who I mistook as Shawn Roberts from the last movie we watched, Resident Evil 4.

THE BIG SURPRISE was seeing not one, but TWO people from Pffr’s excellent live-action comedy show Delocated! Both Zoe Lister Jones (John’s girlfriend in Delocated Season 2; CIA Hub tech in Salt), and Steve Cirbus (Sergei Mirminski in Delocated; an FBI agent in Salt).

Directed by Phillip Noyce (Clear And Present Danger, The Bone Collector).

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Russian taxpayer money wasted.

QUIRKS: Action-Thriller. Russian sleeper spies. Government conspiracy. Society being out to get you.

VISUALS: A lot of great action sequences.

OH! OH! OH! They took scenes from L’Enfant Plaza promenade, and the entrance to the U.S. Postal Service headquarters, where I worked for a bit. It was quite strange seeing Angelina Jolie chased around down a hall I walked down some 400 times, and seeing them run in front of a CVS I’ve gone to several times, as well as being in front of the postal HQ building. We definitely had to rewind and take in the DC-ness of it all. I’ve been to The Exorcist Stairs before — so this isn’t the first time I’ve walked in the footsteps of a movie shoot — but this is the first time I’ve walked in the footsteps of a movie shoot MORE THAN 10 TIMES, MORE THAN 100 TIMES, MORE THAN 200 TIMES. I’d set my backpack on a desk used in the movie. I knew there was a broken TV on the USPS wall that they must have filmed around [unless they finally fixed it]. I knew those “Metro” stickers weren’t really supposed to be on those doors [though I was not the first to realize this, as I didn’t realize they were the USPS HQ doors at first]. So that part was neat.

MORALS: Brainwashing children is bad, umm-kay.

POLITICS: Cold war sleeper agents may outlive the cold war itself. Then when they go active and do their thing, it might be very bad. Be afraid–even of our old enemies. Vote up the military-industrial complex the next election!

GOOD STUFF: Action. Angelina Jolie with several hair styles and colors. Good twists.

BAD STUFF: Not the most unique story. The twists were good, but quite predictable to anyone who’s already seen movies like this.

CONCLUSION: While not a particularly special or memorable (this is no masterpiece), Salt still represents the “hot new action movie” genre decently.

Clint: Netflix: 3.4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.4/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3.6/5 stars. IMDB: 7.6/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.5/10, Netflix: 3.8/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.8/5 stars–close, very close).

RECOMMENDATION: For action and Angelina Jolie fans. THERE ARE THREE VERSIONS OF THIS FILM! Get the Director’s Cut, not the Theatrical Cut or Extended Cut.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Enemy Of The State, etc.

MOVIE QUOTE: Evelyn Salt: Let me guess, you’re one of those people who thinks everyone is who they say they are?

OTHER REVIEWS: Check out Outlaw Vern’s review (who calls this “post-action”), and Ian B’s review, which I think is based on the Theatrical Cut and not the Director’s Cut. The theatrical cut sounds worse.

Celebrity Pictures - Angelina - Gwyneth - Salt - Pepper
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