October 2020

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Vampire Academy (2014)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 7.1/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 5.8/10 IMDB.

No specific complaints…But it could have been better. Daniel Waters wrote the movie, and he wrote Heathers and Sex And Death 101 — two movies I rate about a 10/10. Not to mention Demolition Man, Happy Campers, The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane, and even Hudson Hawk. All decent movies. But Heathers & Sex And Death 101 were great. I think I set my expectations a bit high for this one. It’s a movie based on a teenage vampire novel. Certainly not Twilight, but it’s also not going to be Heathers.

They tried to set themselves up for a sequel…. But it just seems kind of ambitious, all things considered. This just wasn’t nearly as good as it could be. Maybe if they make more movies like this, it will become a more coherent story; but maybe this is just Daniel Waters selling out?

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was alright, but it didn’t seem that spectacular.

Directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls, Freaky Friday (2003), The Spiderwick Chronicles).
Written by Daniel Waters (Heathers, Sex And Death 101, Hudson Hawk, Batman Returns, Demolition Man, Happy Campers, The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane).
Based on a book by Richelle Mead.


Starring Zoey Deutch (Beautiful Creatures) as Rose Hathaway.
Lucy Fry as Lissa Dragomir.
Danila Kozlovsky as Dimitri Belikov, Rose’s crush.
Joely Richardson (Julia McNamara from Nip/Tuck, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)) as Queen Tatiana. Totally didn’t realize that.
Gabriel Byrne (Ghost Ship, Miller’s Crossing) as Victor Dashkov, Natalie’s father.
Dominic Sherwood as Christian Ozera, the guy who’s parents turned evil.
Olga Kurylenko (Seven Psychopaths) as Headmistress Kirova.
Sarah Hyland (Modern Family, Scary Movie 5, Robot Chicken DC Comics Special 2, The Object Of My Affection, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Natalie, the loser.
Claire Foy (Adora Belle in Going Postal) as Ms. Karp, the crazy teacher who turned evil.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1686821/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Crystal Fairy (2013)

Claire: 2.8/5 stars, 5.8/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 5.7/10 IMDB.

This was not quite the overt drug comedy we expected; we were hoping for something closer to Fear & Loathing From Las Vegas.

While entertaining, and still comedic, all of the comedy was very dry, awkward, painful comedy. This was mostly a drug movie, not a comedy movie. Michael Cera goes to Chile to get San Pedro cactus, continually being the most annoying person in the bunch… And then this weird hippie chick named Crystal Fairy joins them for their trip.

This movie is less of a story, and more of a snapshot of life where an American decides to take a trip down to Chile in order to experience an hallucinogenic drug.  It deals with cultivating relationships with strangers and friends, and with learning to be patient and enjoy the moments in life (something Cera’s character is incapable of doing).

A bunch of weird shit happens, and then it ends with no real resolution other than “yeah, these things happened”. People changed. Everyone went on with their lives. But a shared transcendent experience occurred, and those in the know on such matters probably appreciate such things being shown in a movie.

So despite my complaints, it was still interesting.  Kind of weird for Michael Cera to be in a relatively unknown film like this.  Then again, it definitely had an indie feel to it, and Cera sometimes does these kinds of films on the side.

Carolyn still liked this significantly more than me, however. Odd.

Written & directed by (& starring) Sebastian Silva.

Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Childrens Hospital, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Juno, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Superbad, This Is The End, Extreme Movie, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Jamie.
Gaby Hoffmann (Sleepless In Seattle, Uncle Buck) as Crystal Fairy.
Juan Andrés Silva (this is his only movie) as Champa.
José Miguel Silva (this is his only movie) as Lel.
Agustín Silva as Pilo, the sober one.
Sebastián Silva as Lobo.
Esteban Carreño (this is his only movie) as Botota.
Gepe (he is a musician) as Gepe.
Manuela Baldovino (this is her only movie) as The girl who is high on life.
Gracia Ariztia (this is her only movie) as The other crazy dancing girl.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2332579/combined

Dispatches from Elsewhere …. Wow. I just… It’s impossible to explain this 10-episode 1-season series. So profound and nebulous and wonderful and unique all at the same time. I can’t even describe it. *wipes eyes* This show will make you question life, and yourself. But there’s really no summing it up… Anybody else watch?

amazon prime video link – https://amzn.to/3jYxpcc

It’s some of the weirder stuff i’ve seen, but that it’s based on a real life reality game and is about experiencing that as the highest form of art, just really puts a meta-twist on everything. I need to see the movie that this series is based on, which is itself based on that reality game, which at one point had over 7,000 participants.

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Ass Backwards (2013)

Clint: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 2.7/5 stars Netflix, 4.1/10 IMDB. OUCH!

Man, I fucking love June Diane Raphael. She’s so damn hot. I am intensely attracted to her. NTSF:SF:SUV:: is a great show that few people have heard of, and more people should watch. Then I got a movie she was in that I *THOUGHT* was a comedy (Girl Most Likely), and was totally disappointed.

Finally, this. She wrote it too! Along with Casey Wilson, who apparently knows John The Canadien‘s sister or something. Interesting stuff.

So anyway, this was a pretty funny movie.  2 childhood friends who are living in denial about their loserdom decide to go to the anniversary of the childhood beauty pagaent they came in last in….to show that they can win.

But they are so. damn. clueless. If the movie we watched last night (The To Do List) was a female American Pie 1, then this was a female Dumb & Dumber. Romy & Michelle’s Highschool Reunion? Yea, that too.

On the surface, this is a movie about laughing at stupid chicks being stupid. But a bit deeper, it still has some heart. And it tends to send a subversive message of it being okay to embrace one’s own loserdom and inner loserness.

But for the most part, it’s a ridiculous (there’s even a meth subplot) road trip/buddy comedy with two really stupid main characters who [debatedly] mean well…but are just fucking idiots.

They run into some interesting cast members, too, like a much-less-recognizable Vincent D’Onofrio (he shows up in the weirdest places sometimes), Alicia Silverstone (not quite looking as good), Bob Odenkirk (always exaxctly the same), and Paul Scheer (lucky son of a bitch from NTSF:SF:SUV:: who gets to be married to my girlfriend June Diane Raphael).

The nature of a road trip movie is that the tone of the movie gets to jump all over the place, and sometimes with very little notice. And that’s kind of fun. Hop on and enjoy the ride. This was great fun.

It seemed to be rated unusually low on IMDB, though there’s only 437 votes at the time of writing this. I guess a lot of people don’t go for vapid, idiotic main characters. Or movies starring mostly women. Or movies written by women. ‘Tis a shame, because guy-guy buddy comedies involve vapid stupid fucking idiots as well, and that seems perfectly fine with everyone. Personally, I think it’s quite nice to enjoy a female-created movie. It didn’t come off as chick flick at all, I mean it starts with them pissing!

Some said the ending was sad, because they are losers. But it wasn’t sad. They were happy with their lives at the end — arguably happier than they had ever been before. They embraced the fact that not everyone has to be an overachiever — or even an achiever, as well as the fact that material wealth isn’t necessarily the only path to happiness. They grew as people, from vapid losers to less-vapid losers. It’s a happy ending.

Strange real-life coincidence: This movie featured several scenes with the 2 main girls peeing in public, and while watching it, a random guy adds me as a flickr contact, and all his favorites were girls pissing. Don’t believe me? Here are his favorites: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7928805@N07/favorites/

Directed by Chris Nelson. Written by Casey Wilson & June Diane Raphael (my girlfriend).

Starring June Diane Raphael (NTSF:SD:SUV::, Anchorman 2, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Year One, Girl Most Likely, 3 eps of American Dad, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Kate.
Casey Wilson (The Brothers Solomon, 30 eps of Saturday Night Live, 2 eps of The Life & Times Of Tim, 1 ep of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, 1 ep of The Human Giant, 1 ep of Drunk History, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Chloe.
Bob Odenkirk as Pageant MC.
Jon Cryer (Due Date, Two And A Half Men, Hot Shots, Pretty In Pink, 3 eps of Stripperella, 2 eps of American Dad, 1 ep of Family Guy, 1 ep of Mr. Show With Bob & David, 1 ep of Andy Richter Controls The Universe) as Dean, the pageant runner.
Vincent D’Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket, Strange Days, Men In Black, The Salton Sea, JFK, 3 eps of Men In Black: The Series, 2 eps of Xavier: Renegade Angel) as Bruce.
Alicia Silverstone (that Aerosmith video, Clueless, Batman & Robin, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of The Wonder Years) as Laurel.
Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker, 1 ep of The Sopranos) as Brian, the drug addict.
Paul Scheer (Human Giant, NTSF:SD:SUV, Rapture-Palooza, Year One, 5 eps of TRON: Uprising, 4 eps of Fat Guy Stuck In Internet, 2 eps of Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim, 1 ep of Adventure Time) as Strip Club Owner.
Sandy Martin (Grandma in Napoleon Dynamite-TAS, Speed, 1 ep of Weeds, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck, 1 ep of Warren The Ape) as Qwen, the womyn leader.
Marcia Jean Kurtz (Black Swan, Requiem For A Dream, 1 ep of Hope & Faith) as Barb.
Lea DeLaria (Helga in The Oblongs, 1 ep of Friends) as Deb.
Deanna Raphael (1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Lizbeth.
Johnny Ray Meeks (7 eps of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Jack.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1509788/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The To Do List (2013)

Claire: 5/5 stars, 8.8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars Netflix, 5.7/10 IMDB.

Could this perhaps be the female American Pie 1? I think that might be a good way to describe this movie! A girl makes a list of sexual things she needs to try before she gets to college. Hilarity ensues. Very similar to American Pie 1, except it’s a list of sex acts instead of just getting laid, and it’s just one person doing it instead of 4 people doing it.

This wasn’t quite as funny as American Pie 1, but it was pretty goddamn funny! It wasn’t action-packed or caper-packed — it was situational, and sexual. But constantly funny.

And the casting…. Grrrrrrrrreat! I’ve always thought Aubrey Plaza was pretty hot, but she’s never been hotter than in this movie (though I do wish she had boobs). She is presented as an actual sexual being instead of simply being the deadpan comedy relief.

Casting Aubrey was interesting because I feel like she lacked explicit sexuality in her previous career. She always had that aloof, deadpan, emotionless, slightly annoyed look to her. Was it the stroke she had about a decade ago before her acting career took off?

This detached look worked against her overt sexuality, but created a hypothetical repressed sexuality–which sometimes leaves a little more wiggle room for the imagination. So seeing someone like this become a full, actualized sexual being …. Was utterly perfect casting. It’s like the movie was made for Aubrey. Someone funnier or prettier wouldn’t have been as good. (And don’t get me wrong, I think Aubrey is both. I’m saying she’s so perfect for this role that even someone with more talent than her wouldn’t have been able to do it as well.)

Plot-wise, It was a bit annoying during the formulaic conflict when the friends got really bent out of shape over something trivial, but I guess that’s how teenage relations are. But it wasn’t really annoying, since this movie kept the comedy going full strength for the entire length of the movie.

I wish all movies could be this fun.

Written & Directed by Maggie Carey…. And what a cast!

The chicks:
Starring Aubrey Plaza (Safety Not Guaranteed, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Mystery Team, Funny People, The Legend Of Korra [6 eps], Portlandia [3 eps], NTSF:SD:SUV & Drunk History [1 ep each]) as Brandy Klark.
Alia Shawkat (Maeby Funke in Arrested Development, Prom Wars: Love Is A Battlefield, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Fiona, Brandy’s wild friend.
Sarah Steele as Wendy, Brandy’s slightly less wild friend.
Rachel Bilson (the movie Jumper, 1 ep of That 70s Show, MADtv, & Buffy The Vampire Slayer) as Amber, the hot sister.

The dudes:
Johnny Simmons (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Jennifer’s Body) as Cameron.
Scott Porter (Cyclops in the English version of the X-Men anime, Speed Racer, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Rusty Waters, the hot crush.
Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Pineapple Express, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, Superbad, The Brothers Solomon, Men In Black 3, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Year One, Adventureland, 7 eps of The Venture Bros., 4 eps of The Human Giant, 2 eps of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, 2 eps of South Park, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Willy, the boss.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin from Superbad, How To Train Your Dragon, This Is the End, Kick-Ass 2, Movie 43, Fright Night, Year One) as Duffy.
Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live, Grown Ups 2, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, I Love You Man, 4 eps of The Human Giant, 1 ep of Arrested Development, 1 ep of Portlandia, 1 ep of American Dad, 1 ep of Adventure Time, 1 ep of The Sarah Silverman Program) as Van.
Donald Glover (Mystery Team, 1 ep of The Human Giant, 1 ep of Adventure Time) as Derrick.

The parents:
Connie Britton (Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010), 6 eps of 24, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Mrs. Klark, Brandy’s mom.
Clark Gregg (“His first name is Agent” Coulson from the Iron Man movies, Thor, The Avengers, and the shows Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Ultimate Spider-ManA.I. Artificial Intelligence, Magnolia, 88 eps of The New Adventures Of Old Christine) as Judge Klark, Brandy’s dad.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1758795/combined