February 2015


 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Recommended by Christie, who shares a lot of our tastes, and may as well be inside my own head.

PEOPLE: Directed by Dan Eckman, who did the Bro Rape YouTube video, as well as Blowjob Girl:

8 people wrote the story and screenplay; including Eckman and many of the actors.

Starring Donald Glover (Community, the Bro Rapist from the above video), D.C. Pierson (who looks like Napoloen Dynamite, was the guy from the Blowjob Girl video above, and was in Bro Rape too), Dominic Dierkes (Onion News Network writer, Bro Rape), Aubrey Plaza (April from Parks And Recreation, Julie Powers from Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Daisy from Funny People… What a weird kind of hot she is), and Glenn Kalison.

Also a small role played by Ellie Kemper aka Erin Hannon from The Office (and Blowjob Girl from the video above).

Lots of people in this movie seemed familiar — and were faces we’d seen 1 or 2 times in other minor roles.

PLOT SUMMARY: Walking parodies of detective teams — the 3 most clueless kids you’ve ever seen — attempt to solve an actual murder mystery.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Clueless detectives prevent police from solving double homocide; fail to get laid.

QUIRKS: A rated R mystery comedy! A comedic mystery adventure with ridiculous characters. Pineapple Express *wishes* it was this funny. These guys are like walking parodies of other comedic detective teams, such as Scooby Doo, The Problem Solverz, or even Aqua Teen Hunger Force (when they actually work on cases — which is pretty rare). They are RIDICULOUS PEOPLE. About as ridiculous as you can get.

Also, although a minor character – the ~8 year old kid was frickin’ hilarious.

VISUALS: Aubrey Plaza is a really weird kind of hot.

GOOD STUFF: It’s hard to explain, precisely, why this is so funny. Mainly it’s RIDICULOUS. Someone on IMDB said it was “The Big Lebowski Effect” — it’s a serious mystery, but you’re just laughing at how bad they are bumbling through it.

BAD STUFF: Some people think it’s juvenile because the characters themselves are incredibly juvenile. They are 17-year-olds who, while intelligent (2 out of 3 of them, anyway), are more naive than most 10-year-olds. They eventually wise-up and mature by the end of the movie (coming of age), but what people are viewing as this film’s weakness is actually this film’s strength. The characters — and what they say — are what’s funny here. The plot is actually kind of irrelevant.

CONCLUSION: Holy fuck this was funny. Christie made a great recommendation!

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB:9/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4.8/5 stars. IMDB: 8.8/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.8/10, Netflix: 3.4/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.3/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: If you don’t mind something very silly and ridiculous and juvenile (yet rated R) — you will like this! But if you’re a snob about comedies — or the type to turn a movie off 5 minutes into it — I’m going to diagnose you with a case of being a cynical asshole. Move on.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Hard to say, but I’ve seen both THE BIG LEBOWSKI and DUMB AND DUMBER mentioned as sharing some similarities. Honestly, these guys were about as clueless as the main character in ORGAZMO.

MOVIE QUOTES:

[paraphrased] “Actually, given the market right now, it makes more sense to rent cocaine than to buy it.”

Jamie: There’s something fishy going on down at the sardine factory! I think it’s fish!

Jim: [interrupting] Frank! Sometimes I wish you didn’t beat that cancer. I really do.

“He blew into my mouth.”

“This stage is wet and it smells like cold cuts!”

“Ah, wood. Nature’s metal.”

Don’t suck their dicks.”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Christie recommended this to me, so I can only assume her and 808 really liked it!

OTHER REVIEWS:

Gone With The Twins review. “The group can barely manage spilt milk, so their involvement with blood, human waste, naked flesh and loaded guns brings about a constant source of highly contrasting conflicts. ” (more…)

house_well-11(NOTE: This post is an updated copy of my 2014 post post [see also: 2013,  201220112010,  2009,  2008])

(Check our your property value using the official Fairfax county link.)

THE BASIC SUMMARY: Our real estate assessment grew 14.65% — the 4th best year of the 16 years we’ve lived here. Things are back on track.  This is greater than our average-average-gain of 7.3% a year.

Our house went up ~20% — the most since the addition. (2014=10%, which was also the most since the addition).  Not counting our addition completion coinciding with a real estate bubble, this might be the best year of actual return-for-nothing. I think it’s the remodeling of a nearby school.

Our land went up 8%, which is significant.  It’s only gone up 7 of the 16 years we’ve lived here, and about 3 of those were real-estate-bubble related… So this is probably top quartile “real” growth.

Our real estate value increased $4,055/month (2014=$1,365). Our mortgage is currently about $1090, and includes all taxes & insurance. It’s almost like we’re getting paid $2965/month (2014=$275) to live here, but then I remember this house comes with other associated costs: Electricity, internet, home warranty, trash, water/sewer, and maintenance.

In 1999, we bought the house at  $141K.
In 2000, we  were  assessed  at  $142K.
In 2001, this  grew   by 3.5% to $147K.
In 2002, this  grew   by  39% to $205K.
In 2003, this  grew   by   3% to $211K.
In 2004, this  grew   by  24% to $261K.
In 2005, this  grew   by  34% to $349K.
In 2006, this  grew   by  13% to $395K. [addition basically complete]
In 2007, this  grew   by   3% to $406K  (peak)
In 2008, this dropped by   7% to $375K. [addition officially complete]
In 2009, this dropped by   3% to $364K.
In 2010, this dropped by  18% to $298K. (ouch)
In 2011, this  grew   by   3% to $307K. (Finally a gain!) 
In 2012, this  grew   by  ~3% to $316K.
In 2013, this remained        at $316K. (Hmm...)
In 2014, this  grew   by   5% to $332K. (back on track)
In 2015, this  grew   by  15% to $381K. (woo)
.
.
. 

We’re 6% down from our peak value. (But not like previous years: 18%,22%,??%,37%).

We still owe $129.2K on our mortgage [2014/13/12=$131.8K/$133.9K/$136.1K].

The house is worth 2.95X more than we owe on the mortgage (2014/13/12/11: 2.52,2.36,2.32,2.27).

In 2014, we owe about $2600 less than we did the prior year.
[2014/13=$2100/$2000. 2012=we owed $700 MORE than the prior year due to refinance costs to get a $260/mo cheaper mortgage payment].

So we are still ahead (“ahead” means “assessed value minus what is owed on the mortgage”) by $251.7K (2014/13/12/11/10=$200.5K ,$182.0K,$179.8K,$171.7K,$163K).

Our gain in getting ahead was $51.2K  this year ($4266/mo), which was greater than previous years’ gains (2014/13/12/11…=$18.4K,$2.2K,$8.1K,$8.7K).

We’ve lived here 16 years now [despite numbers being 1 to low in all previous version of this annual report], so that’s a running average of getting $15,734 ahead each year. [2014/13/12/11=$14,318/$12,997/14,903/15,609)
Per month, that is $1311 ahead each month, for all months that we’ve lived here. [2014/13/12/11=$1193,$1083,$1249$1300].

Considering that we took $30K out of the house to pay for an addition, that’s a pretty good rate of return.

Our mortgage is now up to $~1056.48 (2014/13/12=$1059/$1025/$1300), so this place seems to literally be paying for itself: It’s value goes up more each month, on average, over the entire time we’ve lived here… Than how much we current pay each month!  Too bad about those “associated costs”, though.

(Of course, the addition wasn’t free, it was about $80K, so we’re really only $171.7K ahead (2014/13/12/11=$120.5K/$102.0K/$99.8K/$91.7K).
…Which is $10,734 ahead per year (2014/13/12/11=$8,604/$7,283/$8,317/$8,336).
…Which is $894.52  ahead per month (2014/13/12/11=$717/$606/$693/$694).

Still not shabby. How much of your rent did you get back this month? (If you got free utilities — that at least counts as something.)

These people who say houses aren’t a good investment don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about! Even if it’s value drops 90%, you’re still getting 10% more of your money back than if you were renting! And we’re sure as hell doing better than dropping 90%… We’re getting double our money back, assuming value holds.

 

And even if we lost 100%… e also have way more living space than people who pay the same amount: 2500 sq ft @ 1025/mo = 42.2592 cents per square foot per month [2014/13=42.35/41]. Renting space in D.C. is often paying 3X as much per square-foot-month as what we are paying. And that’s with no yard or parking.

It’s amazing how much more you can get when you don’t demand every little thing be perfect. Things break every year, our electric bill breaks $200 most months, and $400 in January… Yet our on-book expenses are only $2500/month for 2 people (16 year average).

So when I read all these “You need to make $100,000/yr to survive comfortably in DC” type articles…. I get kind of skeptical. Find a better deal. They’re out there. It’s not easy, but it’s easier than making $100,000/yr just to be comfortable. We could almost live 2 minimum wages, if we lived a very monastic lifestyle with no health care.

And things will get about $600/mo cheaper when we pay off the house. Which will possibly-to-likely be this year.  It can happen now, but we want a bubble of financial security before we go broke again.

Here’s the new graph:

Here’s 2014’s graph:

2014 real estate assessment graph

 

More:

Broken down via land vs. building:

LAND:
2000: $71K
2001: $71K
2002: $90K (+27%)
2003: $100K (+11%)
2004: $150K (+50%)
2005: $184K (+23%)
2006: $166K (-10%) [addition completed]
2007: $166K
2008: $184K (+11%)
2009: $166K (-10%)
2010: $148K (-11%)
2011: $148K
2012: $152K (+2.7%)
2013: $152K
2014: $152K
2015: $164K (+8%)

BUILDING:
2000: $71K
2001: $76K (+7%)
2002: $115K (+51%)
2003: $111K (-3%)
2004: $111K
2005: $165K (+49%) [addition possibly counted here]
2006: $229K (+39%) [addition completed]
2007: $241K (+5%)
2008: $192K (-20%)
2009: $198K (+3%)
2010: $150K (-24%)
2011: $159K (+6%)
2012: $164K (+3%)
2013: $164K
2014: $180K (+10%)
2015: $217K (+20%) [school remodel influence?]

FOOTNOTE: 2006 was about when the construction was mostly finished, but due to problems with it being completely finished, it might not have been legally counted as finished until 2008.

RANDOM NOTE: The Google Chart Playground is very, very useful. Saves a lot of manual page refresheses…

 

THE END

 

NO WAIT.. OLD GRAPHS! Too beautiful to not carry over each year ;)

 

2013’s graph:

2012’s graph:

2011’s graph:

 

 

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

PEOPLE: Directed by Harold Ramis (Groundhog Day, Year One, Analyze This/That, Multiplicity, Stuart Saves His Family, National Lampoon’s Vacation 1983), who co-wrote it with Brian Doyle-Murry (Captain K’nuckles from Flapjack!).

Starring some comedy GREATS: Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and Rodney Dangerfield. What a trifecta!

Also with Ted Knight (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Too Close For Comfort) as the douchebag old man. And the hot sexy chick (still can’t figure out what the point of including her in the movie was, not that I’m complaining) was Cindy Morgan (Falcon Crest, and one of the cyber babes from the original Tron movie). So sexy and she went nowhere… The petitions to put her in Tron Legacy failed. The main caddy, Danny, is Michael O’Keefe (Fred from Roseanne, Atlas Shrugged, The Hot Chick). That irish chick, Maggie O’Hooligan was played by Sarah Holcomb who really didn’t do anything else other than Animal House. You could say this was the movie that killed her career.

Funny thing – a character with only a line or two really looked like Cynthia Stevenson (Hope from Hope & Gloria). But we checked her IMDB and she was not listed. However, Jessica Lundy, who played Gloria from Hope & Gloria — is in Caddyshack 2! What a weird coincidence.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Gopher murders cause man to win illegal bet.

QUIRKS: Comedy. Golf. Country club snobs. Some marijuana use. A few seconds of boobies.

GOOD STUFF: Great cast.

BAD STUFF: Poor storytelling. (See conclusion.) The humor is a bit dated, too.

CONCLUSION: People say this is one of the funniest movies of all time… and they are wrong. (Kind of like Risky Business in that respect.) It’s pretty much equally funny to the average comedy drek that’s come out of movie studies every week for decades. Which is to say that it’s funny, but nothing special.

THE CAST is special, but them being in the movie doesn’t fix the main flaws.

This film suffered from “summercampfilm-itis”, where lots of separate characters and antics are shown to the audience, but not related well enough for us to really know where the plot was going, or who the main character even is. The continuity and editing left a lot to be desired. Everything tied together at the end, but it just wasn’t the satisfying experience that everyone else’s rose-tinted praises caused us to expect.

I’d put this on par with any random post-2000 National Lampoon movie, except that it had an amazing cast of Grade-A comedy actors that are worth seeing (while Lampoon movies tend to star total nobodies that aren’t nearly as talented).

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

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 7.2/10, Netflix: 3.8/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.5/5 stars–very good netflix! You knew we’d like this less than average!).

RECOMMENDATION: Worth seeing only because it’s considered an iconic classic, has a great cast, and has some moments – like the Baby Ruth scene – that simply MUST be seen.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Caddyshack 2.

MOVIE QUOTES:

Al Czervik: Oh, this your wife, huh? A lovely lady. Hey baby, you must’ve been something before electricity.

Carl Spackler: License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations. Man, free to kill gophers at will. To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit – ever. They’re like the Viet Cong – Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower. And that’s all she wrote.

FRIENDS’ COMMENTS:

Most people like/love this movie… Here are selected quotes:

Rev. Xister: “I agree with you on Caddyshack, Clint. I think the big difference between movies like Caddyshack and say, Ghostbusters or a Monty Python flick is that the latter have a well thought out storyline to support the shtick. Caddyshack has the most basic of plots and the shtick supports the plot.”

Rev. Suds Pshaw: “Couldn’t disagree more. This film is in my top five of favorite comedies — 1) Ghostbusters, 2) Kentucky Fried Movie, 3) Animal House, 4) Up In Smoke, 5) Caddyshack. Caddyshack does come off as a series of one-liners. I agree if you take Dangerfield and Chase out of the equation the film falls flat. But it’s their delivery that raises the film up for me.” (more…)

I'd rather be watching TV![Not on IMDB.] [Not available at Netflix.]

PLOT SUMMARY: A collection of Zach Galafianakis’s canceled VHS show, and stand-up comedy. One hour, 8 minutes.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Shaving your beard hurts your career.

PEOPLE: Zach Galafianakis! (The Hangover, What Happens In Vegas, Tim And Eric Awesome Show,Great Job!) He has been called the “new rockstar of comedy” after The Hangover.

QUIRKS: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwkwardness.

VISUALS: No beard?!?!?! Usually, anyway.

BAD STUFF: It’s weird that one stand-up set is filmed with only his legs showing.

CONCLUSION: Definitely some funny moments that Galafianakis fans should check out. It was a good look into Zach Galifianakis’s pre-Hangover pre-Tim And Eric career. But good luck finding this rare video.

RATINGS (That is, if these sites had pages for this):
Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.

RECOMMENDATION: If you like Zach, and can find this, you should watch this. (more…)

I'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link]

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 3.4/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: Netflix: N/A/5 stars, IMDB: 5.6/10.

CLINT’S THOUGHTS: The sets were breathtakingly beautiful and colorful, this being the first color Doctor Who to ever exist — even though it’s not “real” Doctor Who. It’s like a cover band covering a song, except it’s a movie covering a show.

But damn the sets were beautiful and colorful. Did I say that? Yes, I did.

It was interesting. A retelling of the original Dalek storyline, but with high production values, color, and beautiful sets. Americanesque 1960’s spy-cheezy, but also Americanesque 1960’s spy-classy. It just has that dorky unrealistic feel that ALL things had back then, yet it’s kind of baller, nonetheless. Those Daleks were of MUCH better workmanship than any Daleks we’ve seen so far. First Doctor Who in color. First Doctor Who in HD, as this is available in 1080p nowadays.

Cornier, slightly easier to follow, way better looking, and better acted. Just weird and not canon – Barbara is suddenly Dr’s granddaughter?! WTF?

Best watched after original Doctor Who episode #81 (“The Time Meddler” / #081 / S2E40 / 10th Season 2 story arc / 17th story arc overall).

CAROLYN’S THOUGHTS: It was cool seeing Doctor Who (and the Daleks) in color. The Daleks were even more colorful than the TV show when the series was colorized. It was hard to get over how Barbara is now supposed to be the Doctor’s granddaughter (so, I guess Susan’s sister). But it was an interesting retelling of the story.

PEOPLE:

Directed by Gordon Flemyng.
Written by Milton Subotsky (Tales From The Crypt).

Based on the original Doctor Who story arc by Terry Nation

Starring:
Peter Cushing (Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars, Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes (1968), Top Secret!) as Dr. Who.
Roy Castle as Ian.
Jennie Linden as Barbara.
Roberta Tovey as Susan.
Barrie Ingham (3 eps of Doctor Who, 1 ep of Star Trek: The Next Generation, 1 ep of Webster, 1 ep of The A-Team) as Alydon.
Geoffrey Toone (4 eps of Doctor Who) as Temmosus.
Michael Coles as Ganatus.
John Bown as Antodus.
Yvonne Antrobus as Dyoni.
Mark Petersen as Elyon. (more…)