January 2015

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

CONCLUSION: Not quite as funny/awesome as usual, but still… You can’t help but smile at the idiocy contained therein. Or maybe that was a wince and not a smile….

Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 7.0/10, Netflix: 3.7/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.4/5 stars).

Carolyn: “I just kept thinking about poor Ryan Dunn and how it wasn’t Jackass that took him out… though it was kind of a jackassy thing he did… drinking and driving and speeding at 140mph…..  but…. such a shame.”


 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] After watching the fake Jackass 3 released awhile back, we finally get to see the REAL Jackass 3! There are some minor unmarked spoilers in this review; I talk about what they do sometimes. If you don’t want to know what stunts they do in advance, skip this review until after you watch it.

BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD!: WHOA WHOA WHOA! Beavis & Butt-head introduced the movie! Mike Judge voiced them, and it is BRAND NEW B&B animation. The first I’ve seen in a couple years (ever since their VH1 special). This is a great preview of the fact that new Beavis & Butt-head episodes will be coming out very soon now (and in fact are already out by the time this review is posted).

PEOPLE: The same ol’ Jackasses have come back for more. Steve-O… is sober now?!?!?!?! I guess that’s good; he no longer looks like somebody who’s going to show up in next week’s obituaries.

PLOT SUMMARY: I’ll quote Homer Simpson instead: “Man fall down. Funny.”

Hi, I'm Johnny Knoxville! Welcome to Jackass!

QUIRKS: Hilarity, violence, disgustingness, and social comedy.

One sketch has Johnny Knoxville dressed as an old man who makes out with his pig-tail wearing grandaughter. You can imagine how people reacted. HILARIOUS.

Another time, they literally simulate the famous Memorex commercial by having a guy sit in a chair in front of speaker — but with a jet engine blowing on him. If you’ve never seen someone try to run towards a jet engine going at full blast — it is some of the funniest shit that I have ever seen in my life. These fuckers are INSANE. Absolutely insane.

And yet they seem to be this tightly-knit group of individuals who genuinely care about each other as they deliberately try to injure themselves and others. They are quite the paradoxical group.

Animals were actually “harmed”. I don’t think anything was killed or deliberately injured for the sake of watching it be hurt, but they probably killed a few bees defending themselves from their stings (using a beehive full of KILLER bees and playing tether ball with it is probably not advisable), and definitely threw some snakes around (snakes don’t seem to mind this, though).

Midget fights? Port-o-potties? Blowdart gun? Killer bees? Pits of snakes? Bulls? Attack dogs? Hungry boars? Automatic paintball guns? This movie has it all. These are the modern day Evil Kneivels.

VISUALS: We did not watch this in 3-D, but it probably would have been pretty cool to see in 3-D. A lot of the things they did are things that nobody has ever done before. And since this is “reality” and not a scripted story, why not make it 3-D?

They actually shot some video at 1000 frames per second, to be played back at super-slow speeds. I truly did not know how a human face reacts to being punched–until I saw it in slow motion. This movie taught me something.

The movie opens and closes with some insane shots of the Jackass crew being hurt done in a professional/non-amateur way. Super-high film speeds let us see the action unfold in super-slow motion. I thought the beginning was fake — with CGI — but at the end, they show the shooting of the beginning, and it seems to be real. These “pro” shots are actually quite beautifully done.

They did probably add some stuff with CGI, like extra bees. There are reports of this. Doesn’t mean that the stunts weren’t real, just that they may have been exaggerated for dramatic effect. Not as big of a deal to me as it is to some.

Celebrity Pictures - Johnny Knoxville

SOUNDTRACK: Lots o’ songs. Better than some soundtracks. Nothing I really care for, though.

WILHELM SCREAM: No need. Real screams are much better. They tied a sports car to a guy’s tooth and pulled it at 60MPH, shot at 1000 frames per second. His screams were the stuff of dental nightmares. Yet every time anyone is hurt, they crack a smile before they are even done screaming. These guys are who I’d want to fight zombies with me.

BAD STUFF: There is some gross stuff. But that is just part of the intensity of jackass. Gross, violent, socially awkward — these are the 3 types of comedy they traffic in. I’d say it’s about 75% violent, 20% gross, and 5% socially awkward humor. The grossest Jackass moments are in Jackass 2.5 and maybe Jackass 2. For instance, nobody drunks horse semen or cans full of spit in this movie. Nobody eats vomit in this movie. I think it’s actually (a bit) less gross than most Jackass movies.

CONCLUSION: Without a doubt, the top 5 times I’ve laughed the hardest in the past year were all while watching this movie. I really cannot remember laughing this hard, ever… But I’m sure I have. There also seemed to be a *tad* less gross stuff than usual (it took 20 minutes before anything gross happened; that’s a record; Jackass 2.5 still wins the gross award). This movie was not only technically superior in terms of filming, but was possibly FUNNIER and more well put together than previous Jackass movies. Like a train wreck, or a fat chick in spandex, you make yourself watch, even though you’re never 100% fully sure that you want to.


Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9.4/10. This was possibly better than previous Jackass movies.

Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10. She hates admitting how much she loves these movies, because they also traumatize her a bit :)

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 7.2/10, Netflix: 4.1/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.4/5 stars–in the right direction).

RECOMMENDATION: Not for pussies. But for those who can take it, this is some of the craziest shit ever done by human beings anywhere. A real-life circus act has NOTHING on these Jackasses. Walking a tightrope, even without a safety net, is not nearly as badass as literally standing in front of a charging buffalo and letting it hit you with its horns.

BTW, the Jackass 3.5 sequel should be out by now. It’s probably good too, but probably not as good as Jackass 3, as it is the scenes they shot and didn’t use for Jackass 3.


Steve-O: “Why do I have to be Steve-O?”

Bam Margera: [after Christ Pontius complains about being stung in the face by a scorpion] “What did you think was gonna happen?” [At that point, Pontius starts to reply back, but breaks into a smile when he realizes that OF COURSE THE SCORPION WAS GOING TO BITE HIM.]


OutlawVern reviewed it here. “…There’s this sense of brotherhood, but still, man, you don’t want to be a member of this brotherhood.”

RottenTomatoes: 63% (more…)

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

PEOPLE: Simon Pegg replaces Eddie Izzard as the voice actor for the role of the mouse (Reepicheep).

The producer, Perry Moore, was found dead on 20110218. Somebody must really hate these adaptations.

QUIRKS: Nautical fantasy quest with children and obvious Christian allegory.

VISUALS: Decently spectacular. The one sea monster was one of the creepiest things I’ve ever seen in my life. Too bad we didn’t catch this in 3-D…

MORALS: Don’t be a douchebag, Eustice! Narnia’s real, goddamnit!

SOUNDTRACK: Glenn Miller?! Right on! The only jazz I really care for.

GOOD STUFF: Good fantasy action, good (though obvious) character development with Eustice.

BAD STUFF: The book covers a lot of material, and was my favorite Narnia book… So I think this movie should have been 3-4 hours instead of 1.75 hours.

CONCLUSION: This was always my favorite of the 9 Narnia books, so I couldn’t help but be filled with wonder (even though I had totally forgotten the original plot!) at the fact that this was finally made into a movie. And while I had forgotten just how much these stories were directed at children, and just how much these stories had bullshit christian propaganda inserted into them… I still really liked seeing this story come to life. It was fun.

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.9/10. An 8, but slightly lower than your average 8, due to children and religion BOTH being kind of annoying.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8.6/10 (“low 9”).

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.6/10, Netflix: 4.2/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.5/5 stars–oddly low, but maybe they are correctly assessing the religious angle, which we ignore because we are fanboys from reading these books as children).

RECOMMENDATION: For Narnia fanboys only… or for Christians. Or for those who can enjoy a fantasy even if it’s sprinkled with some religious bullshit.

SIMILAR MOVIES: They’re working on The Silver Chair for 2011!

MOVIE QUOTE: Not really a smart dialogue-driven movie, so I will share the worst quote of the entire movie instead:

Lucy Pevensie: “Aslan, will we ever meet with you in our world?”
Aslan: “You shall.”
Lucy Pevensie: “How?”
Aslan: “Because there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”

Fuck you, Aslan, for being a fucking God/Jesus wanna-be.


Jeremy T: “i *loved* the first movie, but i haven’t seen the others. Like the books, it was fanciful enough, but still had an underlying solemnity and dignity.”

Lucy from Chronicles of Narnia Totally Looks Like Kurt from Glee


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

PEOPLE: Directed by Darren Aronofsky (Requiem For A Dream, The Fountain, Pi, and other movies I haven’t seen). The thing about Aronofsky…. I know he’s a great director, but for the most part I enjoy his directing style more than the actual movie itself. That is to say, he seems to be a good director who directs movies that I don’t necessarily like. Requiem For A Dream is possibly in my Top 20 movies of all time — a 10/10 movie — but The Fountain only got 2/5 stars (6/10) from me, and, despite rating Pi 8/10, I still feel that it is slightly overrated by people in general.

funny celebrity pictures - Untitled

Hot chicks: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis (Jackie from That 70’s Show). And a bit of Winona Ryder too.

4 koma comic strip - Lost Chapter

PLOT SUMMARY: Ballet dancer goes crazy.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Bitch mom causes ballet dancing daughter to turn lesbo AND crazy.

Marilyn Manson Totally Looks Like The Black Swan (Natalie Portman)

VISUALS: Lovely lesbian scenes, disturbing broken toenails and body scratches, lots of mirrors, odd craziness.

I did not notice that one of the shots as a tribute to a shot in Perfect Blue, one of my favorite anime movies by Satoshi Kon. Aronofsky bought the remake rights just to use it! Apparently there are a lot of visual tributes to Perfect Blue. Satoshi Kon died recently, and we made it a point to watch pretty much the entire body of his work. It’s definitely time to check out Perfect Blue again.

Some of the visuals actually disturbed me more than some of the stuff from the Saw movies, because these were injuries that I could, at least, comprehend. I’ve lost a nail before, and it’s not pleasant.

SOUNDTRACK: Clint Mansell. Just saying that cause us Clints like to keep track of each other.

4koma comic strip - Truth

MORALS: Striving for perfection in art is not a recipe for good mental health.

GOOD STUFF: Lesbian scenes. Trippiness of going crazy. Portman’s performance. The tension, both sexual, psychological, and otherwise.


I just don’t care about dance that much. As a story, this did not entertain as much. The first half of the movie was SO slow; nothing great or particularly interesting seemed to really happen. I was reminded of Showgirls… repeatedly. It seemed to poorly straddle a lot of different genres.

If you don’t know the Swan Lake ballet — you will miss out on a lot of parallels. The credits actually list Swan Lake character names next to each of the character’s names in the movie. Personally, I don’t really care for allegory as much as others. I find most allegory to be an attempt to subtly inject interesting meaning into something not so interesting. I guess, being more of a direct and blunt person, that I prefer messages that are in your face.

This is one of the few movies I’ve seen where I watched the trailer. I think when we saw Alice For Wonderland. I thought it was going to be more about sexual harassment than about going crazy, and thought this based on the trailer. I think the trailer caused me not to do the normal investigation that I would do, which caused me to not realize what this was going to be about, which caused me to not really know what I was watching when I watched it, which caused me to not enjoy the story as much as I could have. This seems to cement my anti-trailer theory; I usually think it’s a bad thing to watch a trailer of a movie before seeing the movie.

People are saying this was psychologically exhausting, and mentally draining — but I couldn’t find myself drawn in enough to care about what was happening enough to really expend any measurable amount of mental energy on this. The hardest part was giving a shit enough to stay focused and ride it out to the end. At least the 2nd half required no effort, but the 1st half required a concerted effort of giving a damn when I normally would not. I can be made to care about things I don’t normally care about (like ballet) with movies, but this one failed to do that. I don’t think i released a drop of adrenaline the entire movie.

This is just ShowGirls with a psychopath instead of a sociopath, and better directing and choreography. Except I rated ShowGirls 1/10 higher than this.

Obey The Swan

CONCLUSION: I still liked this movie–barely. But it’s probably going to be one of the biggest disappointments of 2010 for me. I don’t know how people are saying this is up there with Inception or The Dark Night. I wish this had been half as good as Requiem For A Dream. Or as Pi, for that matter.

Clint: Netflix: 2.9/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 8.5/10 (#64 movie of all time, but this rating will probably drop over time), Netflix: 4.2/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.3/5 stars–way too high).

RECOMMENDATION: Don’t listen to me. Everyone got sucked into this one. Then again, almost everyone enjoys dancing more than me. And I think people like Aronofski better than me too. If it wasn’t for Requiem For A Dream, I might swear him off for life.

Watch the Saturday Night Live parody at Hulu: HERE.

SIMILAR MOVIES: This is just ShowGirls with a psychopath instead of a sociopath, and better directing and choreography. Except I rated ShowGirls 1/10 higher than this. At least in Showgirls, the conflict was real, and not (partially/mostly) imagined. And while the chroeography was better in this movie, at least Showgirls had dancing that I actually liked.


Nina: I just want to be perfect.

Thomas Leroy: I got a little homework assignment for you. Go home and touch yourself. Live a little.


Ian B’s review HERE.

Lauren W: “It was AWFUL!”

Alison R: “It was OK.”

Chris R: “Good, though mentally draining afterward. The first part of the movie was tough for me too due to the moving camera style of filming.”

Lissa thought it was deserving of awards.

Mark U: “It was awesome if you are into psychological thriller flicks. The sexy lesbian scenes didn’t hurt either :-)”

Hector: “Amazing!!!”

Pantiara: “Better than Inception, IMO. I was shaking by the end of it. It scared the crap out of my mom.”


Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy/American Dad/The Cleveland Show, says: “‘Bitch be crazy.’ –Black Swan in tweet form.”

Outlaw Vern’s review.

A WashingtonPost review.

4 koma comic strip - Swan Queen