October 2015

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

Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: Netflix: 2.9/5 stars, IMDB: 5.0/10.

Clint’s thoughts: Nice that they kind of tied it all in, and that we’ve gotten closer to seeing the original conspiracy that started all this mess in the first place. However, this was probably the least-scary Paranormal Activity ever. It really broke the formula by having a handheld/Go-Pro type camera rather than stationary cameras installed in the house. And while there were a few jump scares (mostly done by good sound mixing) and a decent amount of creepiness by the end — of all the P.A. movies this is the one that shows the most, is the most overt, has the most action and the least silent tension. There is a lot of “young adults talking and goofing off” in this compared to most other P.A. movies.

I feel like each P.A. movie is worse than the last (since 2, at least), but each one shows more of the legend than the last. So in a sense, they are trading goodness for completeness. They are completing the legend a bit more with each movie, but in exchange for that, we lose the sense of mystery that made it scary in the first place.

I still want to see where they go with this, though.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This one didn’t seem as spooky as the first 2 or 3 of these. But it continued to delve into the origin and the witch coven. And of course, me being the wuss I am, I couldn’t sleep alone in the bed after watching it because I am a wuss about scary paranormal stuff. This wasn’t as bad as the time I couldn’t take a nap in broad daylight, but still. That spooky stuff creeps me out. It didn’t help that when I laid down, I adjusted my pillows, and the air blew the curtain in the window next to my head and made the sign that blocks the sunlight make a noise, and then Lemonjello was all high alert looking at the window like, “What was that noise?” and so then I was done. I slept on the couch with Clint. The first two were still the best with the suspenseful creepy paranormal factor. If I recall correctly, part 4 wasn’t that creepy either. These are getting progressively worse.


Written & directed by Christopher Landon (writer of Paranormal Activity 2-5, this is the only one he’s directed).

Andrew Jacobs as Jesse Arista, the graduate.
Jorge Diaz as Hector Estrella, the best friend.
Gabrielle Walsh as Marisol Vargas, the girl friend.
Renee Victor (Lupita in Weeds, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Irma Arista, the grandma.
Noemi Gonzalez as Evette Arista, the sister.
David Saucedo (Taco Man in 3 eps of some show called SuperTaco… I have no idea…) as Cesar Arista, the father.
Gloria Sandoval (some movie called Who’s Afraid Of Vagina Wolf? I still have no idea…) as Ana Sanchez, the creepy downstairs neighbor.
Carlos Pratts as Oscar Lopez, the valedictorian.
Richard Cabral (Snitch) as Arturo Lopez, the valedictorian’s brother.
Micah Sloat (Paranormal Activity 1-2) as Micah.
Katie Featherston (Paranormal Activity 1-5) as Katie.

QUIRKS: Shakeycam. Annoying kids.

VISUALS: Maybe not as many special effects as the other PA movies.

SOUNDTRACK: Ghost planet.

MORALS: Never play that old game “Simon” from the 1980’s. It is now creepy. (more…)

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 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Been meaning to watch this for awhile. Procrastinating paid off, because we got to see it in HD instead of SD :)

PEOPLE: Director is mostly a TV director, writer hasn’t really written much except a civil war zombie movie that he wrote after this.

Starring Stephen McHattie (Shoot ‘Em Up, The Fountain, Watchmen, countless TV series incl 4 eps of Seinfeld) as the radio personality, Lisa Houle (relatively unknown, but also a onetime Seinfeld guest) as the producer, and Georgina Reilly (UK tv actor) as their younger assistant. She reminds me ever-so-slightly of Anna Faris.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can really hurt me.

QUIRKS: Based on a book. “Zombies”, but not your typical zombies. Infection is spread through language. This is one of the most unique horror ideas ever. A completely new form of life that hosts itself in a language.

VISUALS: Not many. Not much action. Not many zombies. Not much blood, violence, or gore. This is more cerebral. Some may be disappointed by just how few visuals there are. I only remember seeing 1 person killed the entire time.

MORALS: I don’t think there was a real moral here. It was just some entertaining stuff that happened.

POLITICS: As usual, don’t trust the government to be on your side during a REAL emergency.

GOOD STUFF: Incredibly unique concept. A few REALLY creepy moments when you’re trying to figure out what the hell is going on. There are some moments that would probably be NIGHTMAREISH to watch on LSD.

BAD STUFF: Some people automatically hate the movie because they disagree with the gimmick used. What can I say, except that god hates them for being stupid?

CONCLUSION: Very unique thriller film that disappoints some people who are expecting a traditional horror. This movie gets major props for using some very unique ideas that I’ve never heard of in any other movie I’ve ever watched.

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.7/10, Netflix: 3.4/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.9/5 stars–correct!).

RECOMMENDATION: NOT a typical zombie movie at all! Don’t expect much actual zombie action — this is more of a cerebral, idea-driven thriller than a typical zombie jump-scare movie.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Dead Air. Very similar, except their zombies were “normal”, having been caused by a terrorist attack. And in Dead Air, mainstream media had fallen dead silent and they were the only ones remaining. And Dead Air had more “talk radio” talk. Dead Air was very political, Pontypool was not. But in terms of what you SEE during the average scene – both movies are mostly people sitting in a soundbooth, talking.

TWO planned sequels – but did they happen yet? They were both conceived before this movie was! Pontypool 2 (“Pontypool Changes”) is scheduled for 2012. I assume the 3rd movie would be called Pontypool Changes Everything.

MOVIE QUOTE: “Sydney Briar is alive.”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Several people I know saw this, and everyone seemed to like it. These recommendations were why I watched it. I want to say Radha told me about it. (more…)

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Ginger Snaps 3 aka Ginger Snaps 0 aka Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.  (Again deferring to Carolyn’s rating.)
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 5.8/10 IMDB.

Not as good as the first one, but on par with the second one.  This was set in the 19th century.  The IMDB trivia says that the second and third movies were shot back-to-back.

Carolyn thinks she liked the third one ever so slightly better than the second one, though she rated both identically. I am unsure, myself.

This movie sacrifices the opportunity to continue moving the original story further forward, and that is a major points against when compared to Ginger Snaps 2.

But by making it a prequel about 2 girls who just so happen to be the EXACT SAME 2 girls (but in the 1800s), they created an opportunity for Ginger to return as a lead character. This brought back a lot of the chemistry and sisterly character interaction that Ginger Snaps 1 had, but that Ginger Snaps 2 lacked.  So that is major points for.

However, they aren’t in high school… Or even modern american culture as we know it. The unique aspects of the original characters don’t shine in the same light when held to a completely different time and culture, and that is points against when compared to Ginger Snaps 1.

In the end, it’s kind of a wash. This movie is good in ways Ginger Snaps 2 wasn’t, and Ginger Snaps 2 was bad in ways this movie wasn’t. They were filmed at the same time too, so there’s no discrepancy in production or acting. So it’s just another sequel that’s really a prequel.

While I would recommend that 100% of people who liked Ginger Snaps 1 *MUST* watch Ginger Snaps 2…….. This movie is not required viewing. However, it does feel more like Ginger Snaps 1 than Ginger Snaps 2 did, so you still might want to watch it if you were a fan.

Directed by Grant Harvey.

Written by Christina Ray & Stephen Massicotte.

The 2 main characters of course remain:

Emily Perkins (Juno, Insomnia, 35 eps of Da Vinci’s Inquest, 26 eps of Hiccups, 3 eps of Supernatural) as Brigitte.
Katharine Isabelle (Freddy Vs. Jason, 30 Days Of Night: Dark Days, Insomnia, Titanic, 1 ep of Smallville, 1 ep of The L Word) as Ginger.

But also, from Ginger Snaps 2:

Brendan Fletcher (1 ep of Smallville) as Finn. He played Jeremy, the librarian in the second movie… Gracious of them to let him return.

The rest were new faces:

Nathaniel Arcand as The Hunter.
JR Bourne (1 ep of Smallville, 1 ep of 24) as James, the douchebag.
Hugh Dillon (Trailer Park Boys: The Movie) as Reverend Gilbert.
Adrien Dorval (Twilight 2, Chronicles Of Riddick, 1 ep of The L Word) as Seamus.
Tom McCamus (Siblings, 2 eps of Friday The 13th: The Series, 1 ep of Puppets Who Kill) as Wallace Rowlands, the leader of the fort.
Matthew Walker (The Wicker Man, 1 ep of Smallville) as Doc Murphy, the doctor.
David MacInnis (1 ep of Smallville) as Cormac.

They sure seem to use a lot of Smallville people…

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0365265/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed (2004)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10. (I’m deferring to Carolyn’s rating as I’m kind of unsure of my feelings.)
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 6.4/10 IMDB.

Not as good as the first one.  This one follows Brigitte as she deals with being infected by the lycanthropy.  It was still entertaining enough.  It was still good. Just not nearly as good. It was a good horror movie, but they kinda dropped the whole sisterly aspect of the first one that brought much of the interestingness to the original. So the chemistry was completely different, and it didn’t have that Ginger Snaps 1 feel that they brought back with Ginger Snaps 3 (which I’ll be reviewing next).

What this movie has going for it is that it is a continuation of the same original story. It’s canon. Ginger Snaps 3 is not. So this is it. When you watch this movie, don’t be tricked into thinking that the story will continue. That’s it, it’s over, and it’s kind of messed up.

Also, just what was unleashed? If anything, that’s backward. But I digress.

This is worth watching simply as a way to coast by on the good feeling you get from how awesome Ginger Snaps 1 is. I’d definitely recommend watching this. Definitely. You need to see how the story concludes. But this movie doesn’t stand on its own as being particularly special, other than how it connects to the greatness of Ginger Snaps 1.

Directed by Brett Sullivan. Written by Megan Martin.

Only the 2 main characters were from the first movie: Ginger & Brigitte.

Emily Perkins (Juno, Insomnia, 35 eps of Da Vinci’s Inquest, 26 eps of Hiccups, 3 eps of Supernatural) as Brigitte.
Katharine Isabelle (Freddy Vs. Jason, 30 Days Of Night: Dark Days, Insomnia, Titanic, 1 ep of Smallville, 1 ep of The L Word) as Ginger.

The rest were new faces:

Brendan Fletcher (1 ep of Smallville) as Jeremy, the librarian.
Tatiana Maslany (Stir Of Echoes 2, 11 eps of Orphan Black) as Ghost.
Janet Kidder as Alice.
Pascale Hutton (Fantastic Four, 3 eps of Smallville) as Beth-Ann, the mean girl.
Michelle Beaudoin (24 eps of Sabrina The Teenage Witch) as Winnie.
Eric Johnson (24 eps of Smallville, Flash Gordon in 21 eps of Flash Gordon) as Tyler, the guy who returns favors.
Patricia Idlette (Scary Movie 3) as Dr. Brookner.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0353489/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Night Of The Living Dead (1990)

Clint: 3.2/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 6.7/10 IMDB.

So we are apparently doing this backward. We watched the 2006 3-D remake-of-a-remake some time back. Now we are watching the 1990 remake. Meanwhlie, we’ve never seen the 1968 original.

Definitely one of the small-scenario zombie movies; more old school in that sense. Also old school in that there is some definite cheeziness and bad acting that wouldn’t pass muster these days. But still. This was good.

I really liked the ending… That was quite different than I was expecting. They added a whole social commentary angle to it. It wasn’t profound, but still. It could have just been nothing.

And I like how the main character was a completely different person by the end of the movie, transformed by the events of the movie.

And it was cool to see Tony Todd (“Candyman Candyman Candyman!”) after watching his guest appearance on the underrated awesome sitcom Holliston.

So all in all, I’m glad I finally saw this.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100258/?ref_=sr_1

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

PLOT SUMMARY: Alien prequel! But not really, they say. Whatever. I consider it an Alien prequel.

PEOPLE: Noomi Rapace from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is the main character. I didn’t even think about how it was her. I LOVE that she’s broken into English-speaking American cinema now!

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers]→Idiot old man wastes a trillion dollars, sets chain of events into motion that kill scores of people and damage corporate property.

VISUALS: Pretty astounding. Didn’t watch it in 3-D. Some complained that the 3-D was a waste in a movie that is in such tight quarters. Yet, I don’t see people walking around their houses with one eye closed. I really don’t get the hate.

GOOD STUFF: I thought it was pretty fucking awesome, despite all the haters. I’m mostly going to address peoples’ complaints:

BAD STUFF: The plot holes mentioned by people (example, this page: http://movieplotholes.com/prometheus.html ) seem to be pretty addressable to someone with an imagination. There are possible explanations for every plot “hole”; people just get tripped up on things I guess. Here are some. I had another link to even more, but accidentally lost it.

The opening scene was the least explained, but I like the explanation that that was man being created on earth.

And it’s definitely a flaw that they put Guy Pierce in old-man makeup, rather than just casting an old man.

Scientists took off their helmet? Yea, not the smartest thing, but once one guy does it and doesn’t die, the others can too. What if there were germs or viruses? So what — they had state of the art medical supplies on ship. Science has advanced 100 years. Maybe people aren’t as scared of germs and virii then. Neil Armstrong snuck golf clubs onto Apollo, right? (I’m probably getting the details of my facts all fucked up, but SOMEbody did that.) People don’t always obey protocol.

Yeah, a lot of the crew behaved stupidly at times. But, y’know, that guy was getting high in his spacesuit. And honestly, if you take me on a mission light years away … I might decide to abandon protocol, too. I mean, they didn’t even tell these people why they were there. So it’s not like they had a specific mission in mind; they were there to get paid. So their stupid actions are somewhat explainable by the fact that they didn’t have a real stake in maintaining protocol.

The medical machine only being configured for males initially seemed like a huge flaw: It seemed to be Charlize Theron‘s personal machine, yet it wasn’t configured for a woman. Yet, it could still perform an abortion just fine, so maybe this difference doesn’t actually matter that much. It’s like how a man can still wear women’s shoes, if he really needs footwear. The machine still worked for the abortion, despite not being made for women. Whoop de doo. Maybe it was really for her old man anyway, since he turned out to be alive.

Someone else complained that you can’t get to a planet that far away in 2 years. Really? You don’t say? Law of relativity slows down your passage of time relative to the outside world. The time they were in sleep was actually mathematically accurate for a trip at 0.9C. Eat that!

They didn’t really explain why the robot was such an asshole very much, but the idea that he lacked the morals that would stop one from gathering the most data is compelling.

CONCLUSION: Fuck the haters, see this!

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 7.3/10, Netflix: 3.7/5 stars.

RECOMMENDATION: Fuck the haters, see this!

Outlaw Vern’s review

Ian’s review (more…)

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: I Saw the Devil (2010) (Korea)

5/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us.

Native rating: 7.8/10, 3.9/5 stars (Netflix guessed 3.7/5 for us–wrong!).

At first this started in 3-star territory: Interesting plot, good cinemtagraphy, nice budget.

But then, only 45 minutes into a 2.5hr movie, what would constitute a standard Hollywood plot was already done and concluded.

At that point, the story veered past what either of us could predict or anticipate. Fuel was thrown onto the fire, and it burned hotter and brighter and hotter and brighter.

Shit just kept on piling on, then piling onto that.

It broke into 4-star territory by the 1 hour mark, 5-star territory by the 2 hour mark…. By the end, it was a case of, “Holy shit”.

I definitely see why Ian recommended this.

Man those Koreans really love their revenge!

Or maybe that’s selection bias on my part, as every Korean movie I’ve ever watched (except for Thirst?) has been about revenge of one sort or another (Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Sympathy For Lady Vengeance, Memories Of Murder).

We felt that Oldboy was better than this movie, yet when we checked, we rated it the same. It may be that we need to up Oldboy to 9/10. Hmm.

And oh: Min-sik Choi is a GREAT actor! This is the 3rd movie we’ve seen him in.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1588170/

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VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Hostel 3 aka Hostel: Part III (2011) (direct to video)

5/5 stars, 8/10 from Clint.
3/5 stars, 7/10 from Carolyn.
Major disparity here.

Native rating: 4.7/10 (vs 5.8,5.4 for first 2 movies), 3.1/5 stars (vs 3.2,3.2).
Netflix guessed 3.9/5 for us. Considering I rated the first 2 Hostel movies 5/5 stars, Netflix really should know better.

I thought this was one of the more sinister Hostel movies. The major spoiler of the movie is WAY more evil than anything that was done in the first two Hostel movies.

I actually think the franchise has been improving with each release, which is contrary to most popular opinion and common sense.

Hostel 2 > Hostel 1, because after seeing the 1, watching 2 is an exercise in extreme paranoia. But after going that route, Hostel 3 is more of an experience in “living large” and making the franchise more grandiouse, with the hell on earth no longer in a 3rd world eastern European country, but in Las Fucking Vegas.

This is also the most unique of the 3 films (due to large similarities between Hostel 1 and Hostel 2).

I am glad that in the IMDB comments I found other people who liked this better than Hostel 1 & 2. It is probably the opinion of a 10% minority, but I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks 3 > 2 > 1.

FREAK ALERT! John Hensley, the fucking idiot son from Nip/Tuck, plays a handicapped person here. Interesting to see him again, if only to be reminded of how much I hated his character on Nip/Tuck. He also has a kind of weird look to him, which lends itself well to playing someone with a physical malady.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1255916

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VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows (2011)

MMmmmm, Sherlock Holmes sequel! Yay!

4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us (whereas the first movie only got 7.6 from Carolyn).

Native rating: 7.5/10, 4.1/5 (guess for us=4.2), so for once we’re in line with most people.

NOOMI RAPACE! THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO! She is in this movie, in an English-speaking role!

This was actually better than the first Sherlock Holmes movie, but only slightly. I reread what Carolyn said to me about the last one, and she said her attention had faltered some during the first one, and that didn’t happen with the 2nd movie.

And that is why this movie gets a slightly higher rating (8.0 vs 7.6).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1515091