October 2017

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)

Clint/Carolyn: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 4.4/10 IMDB (wtf?!).

Wow. Really low IMDB rating compared to Netflix. Just shows the legions of assholes that downvote any sequel or adaptation (or film starring hated actors). Yet, this seems to be better than Paranormal Activity 3…. But not as good as Paranormal 2. Where PA2 went further back in time than PA1, but concluded after the end of PA2; and PA3 took place completely in the past; PA4 takes place several years after the events of PA1/2. In effect, it’s almost like a second chapter to the story, as the only living family member left from the original movies is the baby (now age 6-8 or so).  I was hoping for more Katie, though it is not a Katie-less movie.

Funny thing: Carolyn’s hearing range does not include the high-pitched demon-speech sound. Clint had to tell Carolyn when the demon was speaking. That actually made it creepier.

Anyway, Carolyn in particular thought this installment lacked some of the spookiness of the previous ones…It didn’t give me the same creeped out feeling…Even PA2 caused Carolyn to sleep on our foofsack because she was too scared to be in the bedroom alone without me. This one didn’t.

Also, they barely talked about the witches’ coven… and they didn’t really explain how Hunter ended up being adopted, and who the hell Robbie was (other than a random kid who lived nearby)?  Not many answers.

BTW, the main girl in this movie is 15 and was in Bad Teacher, which we just watched… But I still didn’t recognize her.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2109184/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Frankenweenie (2012)

Clint: 4.6/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native rating: 4/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

All Tim Burton is good (except for his Planet Of The Apes sequel), but some Tim Burton is better than other Tim Burton. For example, Nightmare Before Christmas is better than Corpse Bride.  This one was good, but not his top-notch work. It was good to finally see his 1984 short developed into a full length Frankestein homage feature.

I’m not sure if I’ve seen 1080p black-and-white stop-motion-animation before, it was certainly an interesting look, though I will always prefer the world of color to the world of black-and-white. It did help make the Frankenstein homage more accurate.

Carolyn: Yeah, I thought it would have been better in color, but I guess the black and white was a throwback to black and white horror movies…  I thought this was better than Corpse Bride, but not as good as Nightmare Before Christmas.  I was sad they didn’t find a way to save Mr. Whiskers.  Poor Mr. Whiskers.



LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1142977/?ref_=sr_1

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: ParaNorman (2012)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7.7/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native rating: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

Stop-motion animation, but sometimes augmented by cgi. Definitely had a distinct look, which is a rarer thing with American animated movies these days.
Visual wise this was probably 8-9/10.

Story-wise, it wasn’t super, but at least it was dark. Kid can talk to ghosts. Everyone makes fun of him. But then a curse hits the town, and his skill becomes relevant.

This felt like something along the lines of Coraline, but not quite as creepy. Definitely a good halloween movie to see. Stop-motion isn’t dead!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1623288/

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

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.6/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: Netflix: 3.3/5 stars, IMDB: 6.7/10.

THOUGHTS: While not being anything super special, it was at the same time NOT a totally generic horror-comedy. This was a cut above; actually kinda worth seeing, if you bother to watch such things. Having lots of 1980s nostalogia was really cool, too.

Sure, this is a remix of ideas already done before (like in The Last Action Hero) — like *every* horror movie — But they did it in a nostalgic way with some neat gimmickry (like in Too Many Cooks) and with some cute sentimentality to it.

It was enjoyable and actually memorable, unlike too many horror movies.

Plus it helps that we really really really like Malin Akerman. And are always interested in what Alia Shawkat is up to…


Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson (Harold & Kumar 3).
Written by: Joshua John Miller & M.A. Fortin.

Taissa Farmiga as Max Cartwright.
Malin Akerman (Childrens Hospital, The Giant Mechanical Man, Wanderlust, Watchmen, The Brothers Solomon, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle) as Nancy / Amanda Cartwright, Max’s mom.
Alexander Ludwig (Grown Ups 2, The Hunger Games) as Chris Briggs, Max’s crush.
Nina Dobrev (Repo! The Genetic Opera, Let’s Be Cops, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Family Guy) as Vicki Summers, the bitch.
Alia Shawkat (Maeby Funke in Arrested Development, The To Do List, Life After Beth, Prom Wars: Love Is A Battlefield, 1 ep of Drunk History, 1 ep of Portlandia, 1 ep of Adventure Time, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Gertie Michaels, Max’s friend.
Thomas Middleditch (Richard in Silicon Valley, Search Party, Someone Marry Barry, 7 eps of Beavis & Butt-Head (2011), 1 ep of Ugly Americans, 1 ep of The Office, 1 ep of Newsreaders, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Duncan, Gertie’s stepbrother.
Adam DeVine (Pitch Perfect movies, Bad Neighbors, 2 eps of American Dad, 1 ep of Arrested Development, 1 ep of Tron: Uprising, 1 ep of Drunk History, 1 ep of Lucas Bros Moving Co) as Kurt, the douche.
Angela Trimbur (Penny in Major Lazer, Silicon Valley, Halloween 2) as Tina, the slut. John The Canadien sent some emails about her in 2012-2013 after meeting her.
Chloe Bridges as Paula, the tough girl.
Tory N. Thompson as Blake, the black counselor.
Dan B. Norris as Billy Murphy. (more…)

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

Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: Netflix: 3.0/5 stars, IMDB: 5.9/10.

CAROLYN’S THOUGHTS: While they did spend a lot of time setting the stage before jumping into the action, they didn’t really explain the backstory of the town that much. There seemed to be a lot of wasted potential here, and it just turned into a generic comedy-scifi-pseudo high-school movie with not a lot going for it. It could have been better. I was hoping it would be better since it had Bob Odenkirk and Patton Oswald, but they were barely in it.

CLINT’S THOUGHTS: Yup, this was a super-generic comedy-scifi-action with aliens invading a town of humans, zombies, & vampires. They set the stage for quite a long while before the action begins, and then the action is kind of random until everything is over. Still some laughs, though they decreased a bit as the action took over. But something was missing here. Unrealized potential. They could have done some good worldbuilding with a good backstory, but instead they build up the action for 45 minutes or so WITHOUT a good backstory. Stuff just happens. This movie is a bit hollow. Still entertaining, but not memorable. I forgot I watched it within 2 weeks. Based on the title, within 2 weeks, I couldn’t tell you what happened. I can barely remember it now, with the IMDB page. But it wasn’t *bad*. It just wasn’t that good.


Directed by Robbie Pickering.
Written by Oren Uziel.

Nicholas Braun (Date & Switch, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Poltergeist remake) as Dag.
Mackenzie Davis (The Martian, That Awkward Moment, Smashed) as Petra, the vampire slut.
Josh Fadem (Miss March, 4 eps of TripTank, 1 ep of The Eric Andre Show, 1 ep of Weeds, 1 ep of American Dad) as Ned, the nerd.
Denis Leary as Rick Wilson, the douchebag rich guy.
Ed Westwick (S. Darko, Children Of Men) as Milan Pinache.
Vanessa Hudgens (Machete 2: Machete Kills, Sucker Punch, Spring Breakers, Thirteen, High School Musical, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Lorelei, Dag’s crush.
Keegan-Michael Key (Ubermansion, MADtv, The Lego Movie, Afternoon Delight, Horrible Bosses 2, Hell Baby, Wanderlust, Just Go With It, Let’s Be Cops, Due Date, Vacation (2015), 4 eps of BoJack Horseman, 3 eps of Childrens Hospital, 3 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of Rick & Morty, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of W/ Bob & David, 1 ep of TripTank) as Mr. Keller.
Bob Odenkirk as Shooter Parker, Dag’s dad.
Joan Cusack (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Jessie in Toy Story, Grosse Pointe Blank, 1 ep of The Office) as Peg Parker, Dag’s mom.
Chris Zylka (Flash Thompson in The Amazing Spider-Man, Kaboom, Piranha 3DD) as Chaz Jr., Ned’s brother.
Ian Roberts (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Anchorman, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step Brothers, The Dictator, 6 eps of Arrested Development, 3 eps of Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of Newsreaders, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim, 1 ep of Home Movies, 1 ep of American Dad, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Chaz Sr., Ned’s father.
Mae Whitman (Ann in Arrested Development, April O’Neil in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), Wonder Girl in Young Justice, Annaleigh Quagmire in 9 eps of Family Guy, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Katara in Avatar: The Last Airbender, Little Suzy in Johnny Bravo) as Jenna Zombie.
Patton Oswalt as Stuart Miller, the piano teacher’s son. (more…)

[IMDB link]

Clint: Netflix: 4.7/5 stars. IMDB: 8.6/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8.4/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: Netflix: 3.0/5 stars, IMDB: 5.7/10.

This is probably one of the least-zombie zombie movies out there. I don’t think you see a single zombie-on-human death in the entire movie–and that’s pretty unique.

This is very different, and is more about the relationship between the main couple. But not in an emo romance kind of way. More in a slightly unsettling way. This is basically Deadgirl for people who have non-dysfunctional families.

This is billed as a comedy, and there is a comedic angle, but it’s NOT NOT NOT NOT a straight-up zom-com like Zombieland or Night Of The Living Dorks. The fact that they are marketing it this way tricks people into watching it with bad expectations, and thus being disappointed and raiting it really low.

This is a zombie movie with comedy, but it’s not a zom-com, or a horror. It’s more of a dramatic suspenseful romance. Aubrey Plaza called it a “ZomCom-RomDram”. I’d say it’s more a “ZomRomDramCom”, if I had to make such stupid noises with my mouth.

Regardless… Something about throwing zombies into that makes it awesome.

I thik it’s the zombies.

Goddamn I love zombies. But zombie slash-horror is so passe. Do something new with it. If you loved Warm Bodies, you’ll probably love this — though it’s small-scale and not epic like Warm Bodies was.

How to disappoint yourself: Expecting it to stick to any one genre. Looking at the cast and doing math for how funny this is. The math does NOT add up. The casting decisions did NOT result in extra comedy. The humor level would be the same if they didn’t use traditionally-comic actors: Low. I think the casting was done to SELL it as a comedy, or maybe better actors reject zombie fare?

For example, John C. Reilly can be one of the funniest men alive when he wants to be. In person, he steals the fucking room. But in this movie? NOT FUNNY. And that’s not a failing. He wasn’t really MEANT to be. He was a bit of a “funny” man, but not a character that makes you laugh.

The movie basically uses a zombie outbreak as a Macguffin for helping the main character move on from a failed relationship.

But it’s interesting as hell.


If you must have someone who is playing a living dead girl — Aubrey Plaza is perfect!! That stroke-induced partial face paralysis(?) has done wonders for her deadpan delivery.
(Oh when will you do a live-action Daria movie, Aubrey?!)

Written and directed by Jeff Baena (writer of I Heart Huckabees).

Aubrey Plaza (Safety Not Guaranteed, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, The To Do List, Mystery Team, Funny People, 12 eps of The Legend Of Korra, 3 eps of Portlandia, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV, 1 ep of Drunk History, and she’s going to be the voice of Grumpy Cat in the Grumpy Cat movie) as Beth Slocum.
Dane DeHaan (Harry Osbourne in The Amazing Spider-Man 2) as Zach Orfman.
John C. Reilly (Steve Brule in Tim & Eric Awesome Show! Great Job! and Check It Out With Steve Brule, Anchorman 2, Guardians Of The Galaxy, Wreck-It Ralph, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Step Brothers, Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby, Magnolia, 1 ep of Tom Goes To The Mayor, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Maury Slocum, Beth’s dad.
Molly Shannon (Scary Movie 4-5, Bad Teacher, The Five-Year Engagement, Neighbors From Hell, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, American Splendor, Saturday Night Live, 5 eps of In Living Color, 1 ep of Twin Peaks, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of Seinfeld, 1 ep of The Single Guy) as Geenie Slocum, Beth’s mom.
Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Father Of The Pride, Along Came Polly, 1 ep of Friends) as Judy Orfman, Zach’s mom. I forgot about that bad movie Serious Moonlight that she directed.
Paul Reiser (Mad About You, Funny People, My Two Dads, 2 eps of TripTank, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Noah Orfman, Zach’s dad.
Matthew Gray Gubler (How To Be A Serial Killer, Criminal Minds, Simon in the Alvin & The Chipmunks movies) as Kyle Orfman, Zach’s brother.
Anna Kendrick (Jessica Stanley in the Twilight movies, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Drinking Buddies, Rapture-Palooza, Pitch Perfect) as Erica Wexler, the childhood friend.
Alia Shawkat (Maebe from Arrested Development) is apparently a burned up corpse in a pile somewhere in this movie.



VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Not Another Not Another Movie (2011)

Clint/Carolyn: 2.4/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 2.2/5 stars Netflix, 2.8/10 IMDB.
We’re among the 33% of that gave this a 5 or higher.
The median IMDB rating is 2/10.
Yeah. Ouch.

We went in this expecting something “bad”, and indeed that was what we got. It wasn’t completely terrible, and it was somewhat ok to see some of the movies they spoofed.

But most of this movie wasn’t spoofing specific movies. It was spoofing the process of making spoof movies.

It had this stupid plot revolving around a production assistant stumbling into the job of having to direct a spoof movie. All the meanwhile he has this girl who’s just inappropriately hot for him, making the movie even more unbelievable than it already was.

But it was a comedy, so… It did have its moments.
Just not many.
And not enough.
I fell asleep and barely cared.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1302019/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

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