December 2019

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

Claire: Netflix: 1.2/5 stars. IMDB: 3/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 1.3/5 stars. IMDB: 3.4/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: Netflix: 3/5 stars, IMDB: 5.7/10.

CLAIRE’S THOUGHTS: A Christmas movie. I thought that maybe this would be funny, what with all the comedic actors in it… But no…

They keep doing this thing where they throw a bunch of comedic actors into some barely-constructed story with a bunch of extra characters and plotlines that don’t always intersect, and the story isn’t funny at all, and why did I watch this? This movie is a box of feelgood cliches, shaken up, digested, and vomited in your face. About 20% of the way through the movie, you can see it telegraphied quite clearly: “This is a bunch of feelgood bullshit with no real substance. That’s what this is. That you should abort the movie.”

But, y’know…Foolish optimism and perserverance prevail: “Maybe it will all come together?” No. It does not fucking come together other than a bunch of sanguine Christmas warmth ejaculated all over your fucking face. Make it stop. But it doesn’t stop. Not for one hour, and forty seven minutes.

The Olivia Wilde subplot was the most interesting… That part could have at least held itself as a slightly disappointing movie. But that was the best part. And how much of that was simply her gorgious face making everything around her more interesting?

If you actually think greeting cards are sincere and heartfelt expressions of emotion worth waxing poetic about… Maybe this piece of shit movie is for you.

CAROLYN’S THOUGHTS: This was another one of those movies where the narration starts to indicate that it’s one of “those movies” and makes you question whether you should abort it, but then you trudge through hoping it’d pick up and get better, only to be ultimately disappointed and annoyed that you didn’t listen to yourself. Don’t make the same mistake we did. Stay away. [Another example of a movie that made me feel this way was (500) Days Of Summer.] [I adjusted my rating.]


Directed by Jessie Nelson.
Written by Steven Rogers (Kate & Leopold–which was good, but gimmicky/flukey good).

Steve Martin as Rags (voice).
Diane Keaton as Charlotte.
John Goodman as Sam.
Ed Helms (Andy from The Office, The Hangover movies, Vacation (2015), The Lorax, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Someone Marry Barry, They Came Together, Stretch, 5 eps of Childrens Hospital, 3 eps of NTSF:SD:SUV, 3 eps of Arrested Development, 1 ep of Bojack Horseman, 1 ep of Ugly Americans) as Hank.
Alex Borstein (Lois Griffin in Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, A Million Ways To Die In The West, Ted, Robot Chicken, MADtv, 3 eps of Slacker Cats, 1 ep of Friends) as Angie, Hank’s ex-wife.
Timothee Chalamet (Interstellar) as Charlie, Hank’s son.
Maxwell Simkins as Bo, Hank’s younger son.
Blake Baumgartner as Madison, Hank’s daughter.
Amanda Seyfried (Mean Girls, Jennifer’s Body, A Million Ways To Die In The West, Ted 2, 1 ep of American Dad) as Ruby, the waitress who had a crush on Bucky.
Alan Arkin (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Change-Up, Insp. Jacques Clouseau in Inspector Clouseau (1968), Gattaca, The Jerky Boys, Grosse Point Blank, Edward Scissorhands) as Bucky, Charlotte’s father.
Marisa Tomei (War Inc., What Women Want, Four Rooms, Crazy Stupid Love, My Cousin Vinny, Trainwreck, an extra in The Toxic Avenger 1, 1 ep of The Simpsons) as Emma, Charlotte & Sam’s daughter.
Olivia Wilde (Tron 2, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Change-Up, Drinking Buddies, Better Living Through Chemistry, Her, Year One, 4 eps of BoJack Horseman, 1 ep of Tron: Uprising, 1 ep of Portlandia, 1 ep of American Dad) as Eleanor, Charlotte & Sam’s other daughter who picked up the guy at the airport.
Jake Lacy (Pete in The Office) as Joe, the airport bar pickup.
June Squibb (Scent Of A Woman, 1 ep of Wander Over Yonder, 1 ep of Axe Cop) as Aunt Fishy, Sam’s aunt.
Anthony Mackie (Falcon in Captain America 2, Avengers 2 & Ant-Man; The Night Before; Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter; What’s Your Number?; The Adjustment Bureau; The Hurt Locker; 8 Mile; 10 Years; Love The Coopers) as Officer Williams, who was taking Emma in for shop-lifting. (more…)

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Vampires Anonymous (2003)

Claire: 2.8/5 stars, 5.8/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Native ratings: 2.8/5 stars Netflix, 5.1/10 IMDB.

A vampire joins a 12-step program to stop drinking human blood (and use animal blood instead). Good premise…though tainted by the Twilight stigma.

Anyway, this was pretty generic. The one thing it had going for it was that it was a comedy. However, it was only OK, and not that good.
It was somewhat funny, but not that much.
The romance angle of the romantic comedy grew to overtake the comedy, like with most romantic comedies. That’s bad.
But not quite as much as the average rom-com; That’s good.
It wasn’t even widescreen, it was fullscreen!
Lots of booms! The most booms I’ve ever seen in a movie. Also the furthest into the screen I’ve ever seen a boom go in any movie.
Some bad editing.
Bad filmstock.
Sometimes unbelievable plot — even for a movie about vampires.
Still…. It did have laughs. A vampire-loving comedy-completist might want to check this out.

Directed by Michael Keller (he directed some 4 “Expert Insight” things, whatever those are…), written by J.P. Srinivasan (the only thing he’s written) and Michael Keller.

Paul Popowich (1 ep of Dark Angel) as Vic Weller.
Michael Madsen (Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs, Scary Movie 4, Kill Bill: Vol 1, Not Another Not Another Movie, 4 eps of 24, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers) as Geno.
Nicole Forester (298 eps of Guiding Light, Jack Reacher (action movie like Parker that we haven’t seen)) as Maggie Miller, the love interest.
Judith Scott (1 ep of Frasier, 1 ep of 24) as Christine, the VA moderator.
Carolyn Lawrence (Orel in Moral Orel, Spongebob Squarepants, Resident Evil, 1 ep of Caroline In The City) as Penelope. She must have been the blonde chick from the VA group.
Michelle Stafford (1468 eps of The Young & Restless, and she plays *THAT SAME CHARACTER* from Young & Restless in the movie Parker [WTF]) as Taffeta Munro, the vampire slayer.
John Boyd West (21 Grams) as Jimmy.

So yes. There are 2 women in this movie who were in hundreds of episodes of soaps, and then one 2013 action movie each: Parker and Jack Reacher. What The Fuck.

Another, personal coincidence: The night we watched this movie, Carolyn was reading her book (Discworld#24: The Fifth Elephant) and there was a reformed Vampire who talked about how she was addicted to blood and how she only drank animal blood now. Hmm, from the imdb message boards: “I haven’t seen the film but it sounds exactly like the vampire in Terry Pratchett‘s Discworld novel ‘The Truth’.” Carolyn hasn’t read that one yet. Oh, that is #25, so that will be the next one she reads. Go figure.


VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Antiviral (2012)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 5.5/10 IMDB.

This is a sci-fi thriller movie about society’s celebrity obsession. What if people were so obsessed with celebrities that we paid money to have their diseases? What if we could have Lindsay Lohan’s alleged herpes, or have the same flu that Lady Gaga had? Human obsession *absolutely* goes this far. With sufficient technology, and a society that would allow a situation like this to develop — the story in this movie is actually pretty goddamn plausible.

And that’s a commentary in and of itself.

This is the very first full-length film written & directed by David Cronenberg‘s son Brandon Cronenberg. So my first thought was: “Expect weird creepy meatiness.” ¬†And yeah. There was definitely some of that.

Courtney Love’s “Celebrity Skin” album will now and forever remind me of this movie. And don’t get me started on the celebrity-endorsed food products, or the “celebrity meat”.

This movie isn’t very exciting. It’s not an action. It’s very cerebral, a “thinking man’s movie”, if you want to use a tired old phrase. The watching-buzz I got from this was not like that of a comedy, action, or drama. It was is more based on thinking of social and moral situations that the technology in this movie created, as well as thinking about how the sentiment required to make this movie possible in real life exists today. It’s a definite commentary with an interesting plot.

And the ending… wow…

Carolyn adds: (SPOILER ALERT): I feel like there should have been more repercussions regarding his job… I mean, the police were investigating the other guy who was doing similar things. The main guy was just able to be sick all of the time, and barely show up for work, and the boss is like, “OK, that other guy is arrested, so you’re the one who is going to get the blood from the celebrity.” Then the blood never gets to the company, the guy barely shows up for work and when he does, he looks like hell, and can barely function. His coworker mentioned that strings were pulled to keep the main guy from being fired, and that was it… it didn’t make any sense. that was only one aspect of the movie, but it bothered me… They never even showed the boss or made any mention of him after the main guy injected the blood and got really sick. Anyway, it was an interesting premise… I agree with you that it could have been executed better.

Starring Caleb Landry Jones (Banshee in X-Men: First Class, boy on bike in No Country For Old Men, fraternity guy in The Social Network, 2 eps of Breaking Bad) as Syd March.
Sarah Gadon (Beth rom Total Drama Island) as Hannah Geist.
Douglas Smith (he is going to be in Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters, but we haven’t seen anything else) as Edward Porris.
Joe Pingue (Repo Men, The Boondock Saints, 1 ep of Puppets Who Kill) as Arvid.
Nicholas Campbell (Hank in Naked Lunch, Goon) as Dorian.
Wendy Crewson (8 eps of 24) as Mira Tesser.
Malcolm McDowell (Alex in A Clockwork Orange, Vater Orlaag in Metalocalypse, 9 eps of Heroes.. and the killer of Kirk!) as Dr. Abendroth.
George Tchortov (Goon) as Portland.