July 2014

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

PEOPLE: Directed by David Fincher (Benjamin Button, Panic Room, Zodiac, Se7en, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo remake). Marc Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, is played by Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland, Adventureland, The Village, Roger Dodger). Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin is played by Andrew Garfield (The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus). Sean Parker, creater of Napster, is played by Justin Timberlake (haha).

The girl who dumps him in the first scene of the movie is played by Rooney Mara, most recently seen in the Nightmare On Elm Street remake (playing Nancy Holbrook). She will be playing Lisbeth Salander in the Dragon Tattoo remake films. I don’t know that she’s a good choice for that, though.

The lawyer who offers him her salad is Rashida Jones, Jim’s out-of-town girlfriend from The Office (also in Parks And Recreation and I Love You,Man).

PLOT SUMMARY: A story about the origins of Facebook. Based on a book.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Asshole geek violates privacy, earns billions, fucks over only real friend.

VISUALS: Visually, there’s nothing special about this movie. It’s just a bunch of college, office, and lawyer settings.

I had no clue that the Winklevoss twins involved visual effects: One’s face was replaced with the other in order to make them twins. Major special effects that weren’t even noticed. Good job.

SOUNDTRACK: Trent Reznor did the music for the film. We also get California Uber Allies by Dead Kennedys, and an industrial cover of Grieg’s “In The Hall Of The Mountain King”, created by Reznor and Atticus Ross.

MORALS/POLITICS: How much is really owed to someone who has an idea, if they don’t actually implement the idea? Indeed, the main conflict of the movie is a political and moral one. Does Marc Zuckerberg owe the twins money because he stole their idea? Even though their idea wasn’t unique? Does everyone who makes a recliner owe money to the first guy who thought of making recliners? I say no. And I pretty much always have. Ideas don’t mean shit, it’s the work of implementing them that counts.

GOOD STUFF: Interesting subject matter RE: Facebook, computers, and social networking. Even the Perl code on the screen for 2 seconds obviously did exactly what it was described as doing. (Yes, I stopped and read it over.) It was nice to see a movie with computers that actually had everything be completely realistic. It’s VERY VERY RARE for something like that to happen.

BAD STUFF: The subject matter is unfortunately quite dry.

CONCLUSION: Interesting, but not very exciting. The subject matter is, after all, a bit dry.

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 8.3/10 (#144 of all time?!!? UNDESERVED!), Netflix: 4.3/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.1/5 stars–which is indeed a deviation in the correct direction).

RECOMMENDATION: Overrated but interesting, if you’re into computers and social networking and stuff like that. I find it hard to believe that someone not into computers and/or social networking would really be able to find this enjoyable.

MOVIE QUOTE: Erica Albright: You are probably going to be a very successful computer person. But you’re going to go through life thinking that girls don’t like you because you’re a nerd. And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that that won’t be true. It’ll be because you’re an asshole. (more…)

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

PEOPLE: Directed by Zack Snyder, director of Watchmen, 300, and Dawn Of The Dead 2004. One of the 2 script co-writers wrote 2 episodes of Band Of Brothers. Metalbeak’s was voided by Annakin Skywalker’s stepbrother (Joel Edgerton). Kludd was voiced by someone from True Blood.

PLOT SUMMARY: A young owl is abducted by an evil Owl army. He must escape and seek out the legendary Guardians to stop the menace of the Pure Ones.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Parents don’t seem to notice when their son sells out his siblings, becomes evil, and dies.

QUIRKS: Based on the first 3 books of a 15 book series. FANTASY OWLS!! AT WAR!!

This is the owliest movie ever. This is the owliest ANYTHING ever! OWLS OWLS OWLS OWLS!

VISUALS: Excellent cutting-edge cgi. Too bad we didn’t see this in 3-D.

SOUNDTRACK: Shitty song used during training montage. You gotta have a montage. Even Rocky had a montage. Fortunately, this movie does not have a large soundtrack.

MORALS: Some things need to be believed in, even when you can’t see them. Justice, not Jesus!

POLITICS: Some Nazi/Holocaust parallels with the Pure Ones, of course. In fact, the book goes into greater details; specific characters represent specific politicians. Ezylryb was a personification of Winston Churchill, for example.

GOOD STUFF: Epic! Adventure, enslavement, rescue, retribution, justice, and death!

Also: The fact that some parents will take kids to this thinking it’s completely family friendly, when in fact it features owl war, owl death, owl enslavement, owl “zombies”. The thought of some kid getting the shit scared out of him because his idiot parents a) coddled him into being a coward; and b) were too stupid to pay attention to what is in a movie before taking their kid to it…….. Is the most hilarious thing since hearing the parents complain about Coraline.

BAD STUFF, COURTESY OF CAROLYN: I feel like they really just glossed over the supposed [highlight for spoilers] death of the brother. Yes, Soren mentioned they never found the brother’s body, and we, the audience, get to see that Kludd survived and is now taking the mantle of MetalBeak, but the parents didn’t seem the least bit bothered by the loss of their family member. I almost got the impression of, “Thank goodness that douchebag black sheep of a son is gone.”

That was the one fault I found in the movie… I saw a lot of talk in the imdb forum thread about how including the emotions of the family would “ruin the pace of the movie”, but in my mind, it really should have been addressed better to show that the family was at least bothered by their family member’s actions and behavior. There should have been some family moment where [highlight for spoilers] Soren and the sister break the news to the parents about how the brother is now missing or dead, and how he had sold out his siblings to the bad guys… Then the parents could be all disappointed that they failed as parents at guiding their young child to do what is right.

And I will note that I have not read the books, and in fact, I didn’t know there were books until going to IMDB after watching it. I’m sure the books had a different feel. Since I read in the forum that [highlight for spoilers] the sibling is bad from the start — actually pushing his brother out of the nest….. the books sound much darker. So it’s like, it seems to me they changed it up for the movie to make it “family-appropriate”, but then just end up falling flat on their face because they tried to lighten up the mood of [highlight for spoilers] the brother’s death to make it “family-appropriate”. It seemed like they had to really gloss it over, but in my mind, it’s an epic fail.

All in all, I thought the movie was really good, except for that one point about the family relations bothering me.

After writing this out, I just feel like this “wholesome naysayer”, but really, I just feel like the movie didn’t execute dark subject matter in an efficient way. I’d much rather read the books instead of watching some watered down “family” version.

CONCLUSION: Getting the director of violent movies like 300 and Watchmen to bring some legitimacy to a “CGI owl war movie” is a good idea. This movie was actually quite an epic and dark fantasy war, and the thought of a parent bringing their coddled child to this movie only to be confronted with violence and scary characters is frickin’ hilarious. This was actually very good. Think Lord Of The Rings, but with owls, without the Macguffin of “the ring”, and shortened to fit into one movie. That might not be the most accurate description in the world, but what it boils down to is: A fantasy owl battle in a world wear owls wield weapons, wear helmets, speak, and have mastered fire. It’s fresh and we all really liked it.

2015 Update: had a movie night & re-watched this movie in 3-D with Nathan, Paul, Evan, Callan & Wolf.  Carolyn Casl & I ended up raising our ratings. The 3-D helped. Good times.

Clint (2011 2-D): Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Clint (2010 2-D): Netflix: 4.6/5 stars. IMDB: 8.6/10.

Carolyn (2011 2-D): Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.6/10.
Carolyn (2015 3-D): Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8.4/10.

Evan (2015 3-D): Netflix: 4.5/5 stars,IMDb; 8.8/10.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 7.1/10, Netflix: 4.0/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.5/5 stars–strange that it made it lower for us).

TwoBeans (2011 2-D): Ended up surprised at how it became “epic Lord Of The Owl Rings war”; he thought it was “Disney Owl family wholesomeness” during the first 10 minutes. (But his opinions should be ignored, because he’s an irresponsible douchebag who makes awful music.)

RECOMMENDATION: Don’t let the kiddie angle of this throw you off. This is more like Lord Of The Rings than The Lion King.

SIMILAR MOVIES: The Secret Of Nimh. Though I couldn’t help think of Jonathan Livingston Seagull at points! (But bringing up JLS is this context is an insult to both The Secret Of Nimh and this movie :))

MOVIE QUOTE: Echidna: I foretold you so! [probably the funniest moment in the movie, when heard in context] (more…)

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

PEOPLE: One of 2 movies both written and directed by Paul Brickman. The other is Men Don’t Leave (1990).

Starring a very young pre-Scientology-nutcase Tom Cruise (who worked out 7 days a week, lost 10 pounds, then ate fatty food for a “baby fat” facial look), and a hotter-than-anyone-remembers Rebecca De Mornay (Wedding Crashers). I daresay she looks better as a brunette.

With Joe Pantoliano (Cypher from The Matrix, Daredevil, Teddy Gemmel from Memento, Gabe from Percy Jackson & The Olympians, Caesar from Bound, The Fugitive) as the badguy pimp. Cruise’s buddies are played by Bronson Pinchot (Balky Bartokomous from Perfect Strangers, True Romance, Beverly Hills Cop 3). And introducing Curtis Armstrong (Booger from Revenge Of The Nerds, Snot from American Dad, Viola from Moonlighting, Ratko: The Dictator’s Son, Pucked, Dodgeball).

Oh weird! One of the call girls at the party was Megan Mullally, aka the crippled chief of the hospital in Rob Corddry‘s AdultSwim series Children’s Hospital, better known as Karen on Will & Grace. This movie was pretty much her 2nd role, though it was non-speaking. Here’s Rosie O’Donnel pointing her out in the movie in an 1999 interview here; it happens at the 4 minute mark:

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Irresponsible highschooler causes whores to damage property.

QUIRKS: All women in this movies are whores. Literally.

VISUALS: Well, the girls are hot… People remark that this was shot in an artsy way, but I wasn’t particularly feeling it.

SOUNDTRACK: 1980’s goodness. In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins. Every Breath You Take by Sting.

MORALS: All women are whores. No wait, that’s not the moral. That’s just how the movie works. All women in the movie are literally whores. The moral of the story pretty much seems to be to stay away from them, because they’ll fuck you over. Unless you find that one with a heart of gold and somehow convince her to magically be able to make money some other way.

Nah, the real moral of the story seems to be… DON’T listen to Curtis Armstrong and say “what the fuck”. It doesn’t really turn out that well. The opportunity brought up by the chaos of spontaneous freedom will be squandered in dealing with the repercussions to saying “what the fuck”. Don’t leave your comfort zone. In fact, this moral would work a lot better if they had left the original, sadder ending to the movie intact.

GOOD STUFF: Having a party in your parents’ house while they are on vacation… And filling it up with classy hookers.

BAD STUFF: There were lots of parts that were simply boring. When the instrumental music flares up, and the dialog stops… Expect to have to sit around for a good minute before anything happens. Several times. And the first third of the movie? Not a lot happens. It’s almost like soft-core porn at parts. Just waitin’ for the plot to develop. And a lot of the plot seems very arbitrary.

The “classic” scene where Tom Cruise slides into the room on his socks, and struts around in his underwear playing air guitar to “Old Time Rock N’ Roll”? While it was great to see the actual moment (and not a parody reference) for once, it just reminded me that this is not one of the best moments in 1980’s film. It’s one of the worst. Memorable? Yes. Worth committing to the annuls of pop culture references? Yes. Good? Hell no.

Too bad Hollywood made them change the ending to a happy one, eh? Maybe that’s why everyone remembers this movie as being better than it really was?

CONCLUSION: Honestly, this movie is a bit disappointing. Still overall likable, but not the epic I remembered in my mind. Lots of boring parts, and a plot not nearly as festive as I remembered when looking through my nostalgia glasses. It felt more random than anything. This should have been called “Tom Cruise in All Women Are Whores And All But One Will Fuck You Over”, because there are no female characters who AREN’T prostitutes, and only one of them turns out to really be a remotely good person. Still an “80’s teen sex comedy classic”, but honestly, I think what National Lampoon shits out on an annual basis with a b-movie budget is about as good.

Clint: Netflix: 2.8/5 stars. IMDB: 5.6/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.7/10, Netflix: 3.6/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.2/5 stars–once again right in knowing we liked this less than average).

RECOMMENDATION: See it to revise your opinion; it may not be as good as you remembered it being in the 1980’s.

SIMILAR MOVIES: The Girl Next Door — which I think is much better than this. Definite similarities there.

MOVIE QUOTE: Miles: Joel, you wanna know something? Every now and then say, “What the fuck.” “What the fuck” gives you freedom. Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future. (more…)

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

PEOPLE: Directed by Michael Herz & Lloyd Kaufman of the Troma Team (Toxic Avenger 1-4, etc.)

PLOT SUMMARY: A NYPD cop is possessed by the spirit of Kabukiman, a Japanese mythical crime-fighting hero. He must learn to control his new powers, and use them for good.

QUIRKS: A cop movie combined with a superhero movie combined with Japanese kabuki. Above all, the most important aspect of this film is that it’s a TROMA movie.

From IMDB: “The film was spun-off from the character Kabuki-Boy in The Toxic Avenger Part II (1989). Lloyd Kaufman jokingly mentioned he was making a movie about the character and Japanese investors became interested.”

VISUALS: Low budget with a decent amount of gross-out scenes.

SOUNDTRACK: Not really.

GOOD STUFF: Typical Troma ridiculousness!

BAD STUFF: Firing machine guns into a group of children and NOT seeing them get hit, injured, or killed.

CONCLUSION: Great Troma movie, but not a great movie. Quite enjoyable, but the ending half isn’t as good as the first half. It was good to finally see this, after seeing Kabukiman as a washed-up alcoholic womanizer in Toxic Avenger 4, as well as seeing him do so many Troma DVD extras.

Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10. Though if I had to rate only the first half of the movie, it might be 4/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 5.4/10, Netflix: 3.0/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.2/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: For Troma completists only.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Most Troma movies based on a hero.

MOVIE QUOTE: Sergeant Kabukiman: “I was depressed, I was confused and I was turning Japanese.”

COINCIDENCES: (Sgt. Kabukiman, N.Y.P.D., An Idiot Abroad:Mexico) 2 videos in 2 nights with people asking other people to eat worms. (more…)


 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] So after watching and greatly enjoying War, Inc., I was told that it was an unofficial psuedosequel to Grosse Point Blank. That the movies were very similar. So I decided to check Grosse Point Blank out, since it was released on bluray.

PEOPLE: John Cusack as a professional killer, and Joan Cusack as his manager/assistant. Just like War, Inc. Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting) as the love interest. Alan Arkin (Gattaca, The Last Unicorn) as John Cusack‘s shrink. Dan Aykroyd as his frenemy, just like War, Inc. Hank Azaria (The Simpsons: Professor Frink / Comic Book Guy / Moe / Chief Wiggum / Lou / Carl / Cletus / Bumblebee Man / Male EPA Worker / Dome Depot Announcer / Kissing Cop / Carnival Barker / Counter Man / Apu / Drederick Tatum / Sea Captain / EPA Passenger / Robot / Dr. Nick) as a cop.

PLOT SUMMARY: A hitman attends his 10-year high school reunion, while trying to decide if he should stop being a professional killer.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Hitman’s highschool reunion leads to complications.

QUIRKS: A comedy, but with some dark [murder] elements.

This movie references a lot of movies, but most of them went unnoticed. I’d love to know how it referenced Dr. Strangelove.

They had an arcade version of DOOM 2 in this movie! That never even existed! That would have been so awesome, but we all just played it on our PCs anyway. But it was awesome seeing DOOM in a movie!

SOUNDTRACK: A great soundtrack actually! Lots of songs that I know and like! I’m glad I waited until the last 2000s to watch this, or I never would have appreciated The PixiesMonkey Gone To Heaven” song used in this film. But throwing in Violent Femmes “Blister In The Sun” almost automatically makes this soundtrack better than any one I will hear this year. (I usually hate movie music.) Throwing in some Clash, Live And Let Die, Motorhead’s “Ace Of Spades”, Faith No More’s “We Care A Lot”, A-Ha’s “Take On Me”, The Bangles’ “Walk Like An Egyptian”, Nena’s “99 Luftballoons”… Thigns just get better … Hell, I even recognized a Cure song, and I hate the Cure. I can’t remember the last time I watched a movie that used 7 songs I like.

MORALS: Something about not being a hit man…

GOOD STUFF: Mixing a high school reunion with murder? I haven’t attended a reunion that awesome since I watched Cabin Fever 2 :)

CONCLUSION: Oh wow. This movie was way quirkier than I thought it would be; the title had always made me think it was some dumb gun movie. I’m glad that the comments on my War, Inc. review pursuaded me to check this out. This was actually pretty funny — and I have a soft spot for 10-year-reunion movies, because I skipped my own 10-year high school reunion.

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Same rating that we gave War, Inc.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 7.4/10 (compared to 5.7 for War, Inc.), Netflix: 3.8/5 stars (compared to 2.7/5 for War, Inc.).
Netflix’s predicted rating for us was 3.6/5 stars, which tipped things in the wrong direction; we liked this slightly better than average, not less.

I think War, Inc., scored so much lower because it was political. Making fun of the Bush Administration can drive half your audience away.

RECOMMENDATION: See it! Don’t let the title throw you off like I did! I thought it was some dumb gun movie and avoided it for years.

SIMILAR MOVIES: War, Inc. – Bush administration political satire + high school reunion = Grosse Point Blank.


MOVIE QUOTE: Marty: They all have husbands and wives and children and houses and dogs, and, you know, they’ve all made themselves a part of something and they can talk about what they do. What am I gonna say? “I killed the president of Paraguay with a fork. How’ve you been?”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Other people definitely had a lot of positive things to say about this movie. Walter: “I think you may have been better off watching them in the order you watched them. While I enjoyed War Inc. I felt it was weaker in comparison to Grosse Point Blank which lessened my appreciation.” (more…)

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

PEOPLE: Written and directed by relative nobodies, except John Cusack who helped write this. Starring some notable actors: John Cusack (Hot Tub Time Machine, 2012, Being John Malkovitch, One Crazy Summer, Better Off Dead, The Sure Thing, Stand By Me) as the main character, and Marisa Tomei (What Women Want, Four Rooms, an extra in The Toxic Avenger 1) and Hillary Duff as his competing love interests. Not being a fan, I had no clue that was Hillary Duff… She did a good job apparently. I actually thought she was Middle Eastern. DERP. A lot of people complained that her acting was very bad in this movie… Or similar to her acting in other movies. I guess I’m lucky I haven’t seen any, because I had no problem with this. Her role was a Middle Eastern pop star influenced by the Western culture of the infidels…Which I think can help explain away any bad acting as the character herself trying to act western when she was middle eastern. Anyway, she looks quite hot as a brunette white girl pretending to be an Arab. Surprisingly so.

With Joan Cusack (Toy Story 3, High Fidelity, My Bodyguard) as his manager, and Dan Aykroyd (Saturday Night Live, Ghost Busters, Blues Brothers, 50 First Dates, Canadian Bacon, Caddyshack), and Ben Kingsley (Prince Of Persia:Sands Of Time, The Wackness, Species, Schindler’s List, A.I.) as the President. Basically, he is Dick Cheney, and a lot of this movie is “really” about Halliburton.

And Montell Williams as the GuideStar computer.

QUIRKS: Political satire comedy action romance. In that order. More straight-comedy here than in most political satires; less romance here than in most comedies with a romance plot.

PLOT SUMMARY: A political satire set in “Turaqistan”. Some people call this “almost a sequel to Grosse Point Blank”, but I never saw GPB.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Girl tries to fuck her murderer dad, then opens fire at wedding party.

VISUALS: Warzone/middle eastern sets. Lots of ridiculous satire, such as tanks with corporate logos on their sides.

SOUNDTRACK: Mideastern-pop sounding stuff, much of which is really Hillary Duff. “I Want To Blow You… Up”. Friggin’ hilarious.

MORALS: Gee, maybe killing people for the CIA (or whatever) isn’t the best way to bring peace to the world.

POLITICS: This movie is FULL of anti-corporate, anti-war, pro-freedom “liberal” politics. The corporate Viceroy may as well be Big Brother from George Orwell‘s 1984! I’d imagine Tea Partiers and the like would get totally hung up on the politics, and not be able to enjoy this movie. I challenge conservatives to like this!

GOOD STUFF: Lots of good humor here, and uniquely fresh situations. Great political satire, favoring making a good joke over making poingnant satire. Thus, it is not as dry as other political satire comedies like Wag The Dog.

I did not notice that some of the Arab names translated to “fuck you” and “fuck me” in pig latin. Well-played, movie. Well-played.

BAD STUFF: Man that ending was dark. Wow. Not really bad, just… Wow.

Also, [highlight for spoilers] the twist where his long-lost-due-to-his-job missing daughter turns out to be the pop singer girl who’s there to meet her father for the first time was pretty predictable.

CONCLUSION: Although utterly ridiculous on many levels, this film was quite funny, and had some of the most hilarious anti-war anti-corporate satire that I’ve seen in awhile. It also had a twisted plot with lots of odd quirks, like the OnStar navigator that delivers psychiatric advice in the voice of Montel Williams, as well as lots of fresh situations, like seeing a brunette Hillary Duff stick a scorpion down her pants. This movie finally delivered what I was hoping to get out of Wag The Dog. (And yet, Wag The Dog is more highly rated for some reason.)

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
TwoBeans: Definitely liked it a lot.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 5.7/10, Netflix: 2.7/5 stars (why so low?!) (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.9/5 stars).

For comparison, Wag The Dog got 7.1/10 on IMDB (and 7/10 from us), and 3.3/5 on Netflix (3/5 from us).

RECOMMENDATION: I particularly recommend this movie if Wag The Dog disappointed you, and if you are an anti-war, pro-freedom politically-aware individual.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Wag The Dog was in some ways similar to this movie. Not so much the plot, but the subject matter. Honestly though, I thought Wag The Dog didn’t deliver up to its expectations, while this movie did. Plus, it was heavier on the comedy than Wag The Dog, which was more of a dry satire. Also, As mentioned earlier, some consider this a psuedo-sequel to Grosse Point Blank.

MOVIE QUOTE: “I like killing people as much as the next guy, but I signed up to kill the bad ones! Health clinics, trade unionists, journalists, agricultural co-ops, catholic liberation theologians, impoverished Colombian coffee farmers, these are the barbarians that are brave opponents of civilization? We turned Central America into a fuckin’ graveyard! Whoever momentarily interrupts the accumulation of our wealth, we pulverize! I’m just not feeling good about that anymore, sir!”

“Did you know that the word “person” comes from the Latin word “persona”, which means mask?”

on second thought I guess I should have realized she was really white, but I don't get to see what a lot of Arab women look like because of their stupid veils and burquas

Faith H: “I loved this movie! It kind of was played up as a sequel when it came out to GPB (definitely watch that one Clint).”


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

PEOPLE: Written & Directed by Mathias Dinter, who apparently does a lot of German sex comedies. Starring German actors who do Germany movies.. Nobody here is going to have heard of any of them.

The female love interest — a half-rate goth, Collien Fernandes, threw me for a loop because I couldn’t ascertain her ethnicity (Her father is Portuguese of Indian (Goan) descent and her mother is Hungarian.) Never would have guessed. I sillily assumed everyone in a German movie was going to be blonde-haired and blue-eyed :) Anyway, she was the Maxim girl of the year in 2003 and 2006 for the German Maxim magazine, so it’s really easy to do a google image search of her.

PLOT SUMMARY: Some less-popular stoner kids end up becoming zombies, and using this to solve their high school social problems…

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Hanging out with goths makes your dick fall off. [highlight for spoilers] But you can staple it back on.

HAIKU REVIEW: Zombie comedy.
Sex, pot, Satan, parties, blood.
High school got better.

QUIRKS: German high-school stoner zombie comedy. Definitely not a horror, at all. A zombie comedy featuring high school stoner kids. It’s an awesome combination of subject matter, actually.

It’s always fun when a movie has a keg party.

VISUALS: Not particularly exciting, since this is a foreign film. It was shot in 2004 but the film quality looks like 1994.

GOOD STUFF: Hilarious! All kinds of good jokes, framed together in your typical 80’s-feel party sex pot teen comedy.

BAD STUFF: Other than the film stock looking like it came from another decade, there’s little that could really be considered bad here. The movie has a non-serious “80’s movie” feel that might put off some hipsters who want things to be all serious and poignant and meaningful. But people who like movies like we like are quite satisfied to have entertainment that doesn’t take itself seriously.

A possible flaw is that, in this movie, zombies are actually stronger than real humans. In horror movies I get the sense that, while they can take more damage, they are generally weaker than humans. Of course, there are zombie types like I Am Legend which are clearly super strong and super fast, so really, who’s to say how fast or strong a zombie can be?

CONCLUSION: What an enjoyable combination! This movie exceeded all our expectations and is damn funny. No wonder an American remake is happening. A teen sex/drug/romance comedy where the teens become zombies and don’t realize it at first because they’re too stoned? How can this go wrong?

Clint: Netflix: 4.6/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10. “It was definitely better than I expected.”
TwoBeans: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 10/10.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 5.8/10, Netflix: 3.2/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.8/5 stars–they were right to know we’d like this one better than average).

RECOMMENDATION: If you like stoner comedies… If you like high-school comedies… If you like zombie flicks… You just might like all three smushed together. There’s only one way to find out — watch this lesser-known film and judge for yourself! I had my apprehensiveness about watching something so osbcure, but it turned out to be quite awesome. Who knew Germany could make such a good film? This is probably only the 2nd or 3rd German film I’ve watched in my life.

Also, make sure to watch the alternate ending on the DVD extras! It’s like 15 alternate minutes!

SIMILAR MOVIES: The closest thing to a movie like this would possibly be some of the horror-spoof movies like Scream 1-4, or Jack Brooks:Monster Slayer. But that comparison does not do this movie justice. Wait for the remake to come out. It will be interesting to see where they take it in an American version. ESPECIALLY since it will be directed by Michael Showalter of The State! Wow! (more…)

VIDEO: CARTOONS: ARTICLE: Daria: The Untold Tale – Part 1

I love Daria, so I loved reading this article about the inception of Daria as a cartoon. Didn’t realize Mike Judge didn’t originally draw her, because he didn’t know how to draw girls! Many other neat facts within, like the names of other MTV pilots I’ve never heard of.

(This article has spawned people in the bittorrent animation collecting community to start searching for these missing pilots!)

I consider myself a mix of Daria Morgendorffer, Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Karl Pilkington (of Ricky Gervais fame). I wouldn’t call her an influence, as she mostly just mirrored how I already felt. Daria is more like a fictitious soulmate to me.

Can someone please let me know if Part 2 of this story ever comes out?

LINK URL: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-garrett-andrews/daria-the-untold-tale-par_b_5449805.html

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

PEOPLE: Directed by Gaspar Noe, who apparently writes and directs some pretty fucked up movies. He describes it as a “psychedelic melodrama”, and planned it for 15 years.

Introducing Nathaniel Brown as Oscar (who’s face you almost never see), and Paz De La Huerta (Boardwalk Empire) as his sister, Linda. She looks waaaay hotter in the movie than in her IMDB pictures.

PLOT SUMMARY: Minor spoilers here, but these spoilers were required to get me interested in the movie, so I think they should be shared with anyone else unsure about watching this: The main character dies 30 minutes in, and the rest of the movie is told through the eyes of his dead spirit, as it floats around the city.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Incestuous drug addict turns sister into whore, fucks wrong mom, and dies.

QUIRKS: Psychdelic spiritual drug-related drama.

VISUALS: Shot entirely in first-person view, though you end up seeing the back of the head of the person a lot of the time, so videogamers might still consider it 3rd person. But it’s not. This is called “subjective camera” in the industry. The director got some inspiration from Strange Days and the Smack My Bitch Up video.

But even without the first-person view aspect, the cinematography of this film is amazing. Strobes and flashes and things you’ve never seen before. Going into the ether; into the white… And coming back out again. A blacklight set the likes of nothing I’ve ever dreamed of. Crazy colors in places they shouldn’t be. Did I mention strobes and flashes? This movie is damn near seizure-inducing, even to those unafflicted by epilepsy. Visually, it is a LOT to take in. There were times when the screen literally hurt my eyes and made me tear. But I refused to look away.

MORALS: Drugs are bad, mmm’kay? But boy are they trippy!

GOOD STUFF: I’m amazed at the style-over-substance aspect of this movie. They took a typical story of a drugged out loser getting himself killed over a bad deal, and turned it into something extremely poignant, making you watch as the soul of the deceased ruminates over his final fate, and the fate of those whose lives he affected.

BAD STUFF: Some scenes were too long and drawn out. There are parts of the movie that do absolutely nothing to advance the plot, and are in there for artsiness’s sake. It comes off as a bit pretentious, and is a turn-off to many people. I thought Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 was incredibly boring — and because of that, NOT one of his best films. This movie definitely has its moments in pacing that make one remember the pain of watching 2001. The first 10 times they showed Oscar’s spirit drift from one location to another, it was amazing. Brilliant cinematography. Seeing rooms, buildings, and Tokyo from strange angles I’ve never seen before. But then Oscar started going longer distances. Did they really need to show the camera floating from one part of Tokyo for a full minute or two? Maybe once. Maybe twice. By the 10th time, it was just excessive. I often forgot that I was watching the movie, because there was absolutely nothing intellectually entertaining about watching the screen pan. I’d just as soon watch a computer program making random visuals; those would be more interesting.

However, these boring parts are not nearly as bad as those in 2001. You think about the gravity of the situation Oscar was in, and his life. They give you moments to reflect. Those moments are just agonizingly long. Longer than any awkward “moment of silence” you’ve ever had to sit through. They are excessive. But they are sandwiched within an incredibly interesting story told in an incredibly interesting way, so they are not nearly as much of a detriment to the movie as they should have been. We were still enthralled. There are just some moments where it’s convenient to pet your cat out of boredom.

But yes. This film is 2 hours and 41 minutes. You pretty much need to have an evening set aside for this. And a bottle of wine.

And this movie is not for the faint-hearted, but then I think the faint-hearted should not even watch movies. They should stick to cartoons and video games and puppies and shit. This movie is about real life, and is about as real as it gets. I’ve never seen anything so psychedelic and so real at the same time. In my life.

CONCLUSION: Although this movie contained a lot of REALLY boring parts, and is exceedingly long… It is one of the most trippy, interesting, spiritual, effective, and disturbing pieces of cinema that I’ve seen all year.


Another hard movie to rate! We loved it, but not quite as so perfectly as some of the movies we love. There are flaws, so it gets a 5-star “loved” rating, but a low one:

Clint: Netflix: 4.6/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4.6/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
TwoBeans: Forgot to ask, but he watched most of this with us.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 7.4/10, Netflix: 4.0/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.2/5 stars–oddly lower than average).

RECOMMENDATION: Not for the faint-hearted or the impatient; yet at the same time, it is one of the most amazing film experiences I’ve had this year.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Strange Days was an inspiration for this film, and there are some slight similarities in visual style. The Fountain definitely comes to mind as having a weird, disjointed pacing, a pacing that would arise from someone’s soul flying free and not being encumbered by the limitations of the physical world. But in the end, this movie is pretty goddamn unique, and not that similar to anything I’ve ever seen.

MOVIE QUOTE: “Do you remember that pact we made? We promised to never leave each other.”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Read Ian B’s review here. It says a lot about this movie, though the one thing I really disagree with is his reception of the abortion scene. I didn’t find it particularly graphic.

Random: I kept thinking of the SoulFly song where they say “let your soul fly free!” a lot during this movie. This movie was essentially a soul flying around… How can you NOT think of SoulFly while watching this?!?! (more…)

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

PEOPLE: The only movie ever written OR directed by Reb Braddock. It is a 1996 remake of a 1991 30-minute short that he had previously made. And that’s basically the only thing Reb Braddock ever did.

Starring the beautiful but “surpreyesbrowsy” (surprised looking eyebrows all the time) Angela Jones (Underworld 1, Man On The Moon) and William Baldwin (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Flatliners). Also with a small part by Daisy Fuentes… Who I’m not sure is actually better looking than Angela Jones. Boss Man is played by Barry Corbin (One Tree Hill, Northern Exposure, Ellis from No Country For Old Men). His voice really reminded us of Stephen Root, but nope, it wasn’t him.

Also with a brief one-frame/picture cameo by Quentin Tarantino (who was executive producer on this) and George Clooney, “reprising” their From Dusk Til Dawn roles.

PLOT SUMMARY: A girl grows up obsessed with murders and murder scenes… wondering how it happens. So she joins a cleaning company that specializes in cleaning up murder scenes after the police are done with them. Then things start to get even more interesting..

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Morbid woman cuts man’s head off to see if it talks afterward.

QUIRKS: Definite Indie/quirky feel to it. During some of the more climactic scenes, if it was a horror movie they would have been trying to make it all dramatic and scary and intense. But instead, they played quirky Spanish-type music that was completely inappropriate for a horror movie. The directing in this movie is very interesting because it’s not at all how most directors would handle the situation. But since the director was also the writer, it is clear that he had a specific vision in mind.

The female lead of this movie had her own personal quirk — obsession with murder scenes — and was basically following her heart throughout the whole movie. Much like the character of Amelie from the movie Amelie. Amelie had a similar feel — about a weird girl playing around with the world in an irregular way. A quirky weirdo.

Technically, this is a Comedy-Crime-Thriller. But it’s barely a thriller, it’s barely a crime flick, and it’s barely a comedy. It exists at some strange LaGrange point between the 3 genres.

VISUALS: Not a lot going on with this movie, visually. The best use of HD is for looking at Angela Jones.

SOUNDTRACK: What? One of the instrumental soundtrack pieces was by Slash? Of Guns N’ Roses?!? And he performs on the title track? It all mostly sounded like Spanish-type music! Odd. Very odd.

MORALS: You’d think this movie was going to climax with some great moral to take home, but no. It actually gets darker and weirder towards the end. It’s actually kind of refreshing to not be preached to.

GOOD STUFF: Insane levels of quirkiness and black humor. Definite Indie-style success.

BAD STUFF: It was slow in the sense that things took a good 70% of the movie to really start building up. But I didn’t notice that it was slow! I checked the time and was surprised it was mostly over. So I guess it was slow without making one notice as much. But maybe YOU will notice.

MacAllen 12 year scotch in the movie? They really should have used the 18 year old MacAllen scotch — it’s much better. Really.

CONCLUSION: This was a very interesting a different movie. A quirky piece, sort of like Amelie if she had been obsessed with murder scenes instead of photobooths. Technically, it was slow, but it was interesting enough that we were not bored by the slowness. Indeed, it gets very interesting near the end, where you realize it can end several different fucked up ways. I thought of at least 3 endings that would be really f’ed up, and instead they gave us something completely unexpected and just as f’ed up as we had hoped. Bravo.


It’s hard to rate. “I kinda liked that!” A bit more than “like” liked?
Clint: Netflix: 3.6/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3.6/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 5.5/10, Netflix: 3.1/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.5/5 stars). The public definitely didn’t enjoy this as much as we did.

RECOMMENDATION: If you have a dark sense of humor, aren’t put off by blood, and liked the movie Amelie… Then this might be for you.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Amelie. (more…)