February 2023

Claire: 3.6/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 6.4/10 IMDB.

Man, this is like the slowest trilogy ever. Definitely had to read wikipedia to remember what the hell was happening. Not that it matters. As Carolyn observed, “This was kind of a generic ‘fight against alien monsters that are coming for you’ with a bit of ‘bounty hunters attempting to hunt down their bounty'”. But as Carolyn also observed — it wasn’t terrible. It was good. It was a generic well-done, Hollywood-blockbuster-budget sci-fi action movie. Carolyn also liked the alien “dog”. I was a bit annoyed that they had to make him dog-like, as opposed to just being a singularly unique beast. But yea, the dog was still cool I guess.

Anyway, this was a movie about strategies and tactics and survival. Something Riddick is really good at. Ridiculously good at.

I like that these movies keep taking place on different planets. It helps introduce interesting wildcards into each installment. Otherwise, these movies would be as similar as Friday The 13th movies. As it is… They’re pretty similar anyway. It’s basically… watching a badass try to stay alive. And it kinda sucks for that badass to be Vin Diesel, but hey, whatever. Some brutal deaths in this movie. We were entertained.

Written & directed by David Twohy (writer of the other movies with Riddick, The Fugitive, G.I. Jane, Critters 2, Waterworld, director of the other movies with Riddick).

Starring Vin Diesel as Riddick.
Jordi Molla (Knight And Day) as Santana.
Matt Nable as Boss Johns.
Katee Sackhoff (Dana Walsh from 24, Sexy Evil Genius, 7 eps of Robot Chicken, 4 eps of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Battlestar Galactica, 4 eps of Nip/Tuck, 4 eps of Undressed) as Dahl.
Dave Bautista (1 ep of Smallville, WWF) as Diaz.
Bokeem Woodbine (Black Dynamite, Total Recall (2012), The Big Hit, uncredited in Gridlock’d) as Moss.
Conrad Pla (The Informant, Max Payne, Immortals) as Vargas.
Danny Blanco Hall (Tripping The Rift, Immortals, Death Race) as Falco.
Noah Danby (Detroit Rock City, 1 ep of Smallville) as Nunez.
Neil Napier (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Upside Down, 300, Immortals) as Rubio.
Nolan Gerard Funk (1 ep of Smallville, The L Word, X-Men 2) as Luna.
Karl Urban (Bones in the Star Trek reboot movies, Judge Dredd in Dredd, Red, The Bourne Supremacy, The Chronicles Of Riddick, Lord Of The Rings 2-3, 12 eps of Xena: Warrior Princess, 2 eps of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) as Vaako. I guess he was only in it in the very beginning.

Claire: 3.8/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 4.0/5 stars Netflix, 6.8/10 IMDB.

Based on a book by Dean Koontz.

Carolyn’s thoughts: It was pretty faithful to the book, except for a few changes. The character Ozzy was pretty much nonexistant. Elvis wasn’t included, but they did have a big cardboard cutout of him. They did a really good job on the bodachs.

Claire’s thoughts: Yes, the bodachs were creepy as FUCK. Very creepy cgi there. Well done. This seemed like a good, quick first installment of something that could easily be a long-running fantasy movie franchise. (But it probably won’t be.)

[minor spoilers about the tone of the end of the movie, without specifics] I just really wish the ending hadn’t been so fucking sad, I’m still sad about it. I’m almost as bummed out as Robin Williams death! [More spoilers — including spoilers for the books after this one — at the end of the review.]

Written & Directed by Stephen Sommers (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Van Helsing, The Mummy movies).

Starring Anton Yelchin (Chekov in the Star Trek reboot movies, Clumsy Smurf in The Smurfs movies, Terminator 4, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Odd Thomas.
Willem Dafoe as Chief Wyatt Porter.
Addison Timlin (That Awkward Moment, Love & Air Sex) as Stormy Llewellyn.
Patton Oswalt as Ozzie Boone, but he was barely in it.
Nico Tortorella (Scream 4) as Officer Simon Varner.
Kyle McKeever as Officer Bern Eckles.
Matthew Page (The Lone Ranger, 1 ep of Breaking Bad) as Harlo Landerson.

[highlight for spoilers] He misses her terribly, but he doesn’t get bitter… The second book has him still in the town (he didn’t go to Las Vegas in the books). The second book has him saving a friend of his, and then after that, he leaves the town to live in a monastery. The third book is him at the monastery. The fourth book he is staying with a retired actor in some beach town… he meets some mysterious woman during that book and the rest of the books involve her… Then there were three prequel graphic novels that featured Stormy and those were cool.

[highlight for spoilers] When I read the 6th book (which is the last one in existence at the moment), I got kind of annoyed at the whole thing and wasn’t even sure if I would be interested in reading the last book if it ever comes out. I probably would in the hopes that it would explain what was going on with that mysterious woman. One thing I will say about the mysterious woman was she would call him “Odd One” and say “Let me in, Odd” like Stormy used to do… Oh, and the mysterious woman is pregnant and she just says she’s always been pregnant and doesn’t need a doctor or whatever.. i dunno.. it was weird shit that didn’t make a lick of sense, and the woman spoke in riddles and questions and never would directly answer anything Odd asked her… it annoyed the crap out of me and I was so mad by the time I finished the last book and realized there were no more answers.

The wikipedia entries barely even explained the stuff. I mean, it is kind of funny how detailed the wikipedia entries are for the first books, and then once that woman comes along, it’s only a tiny little blurb about what is going on in the books…

Oh, apparently there are some webisodes somewhere out there

A four-part series debuting in April 2008, Odd Passenger detailed events between Brother Odd and Odd Hours. They were produced by Escape Goat Pictures (www.rungoatrun.com) and were directed by Jack Paccione Jr., with Odd being played by Anthony Marks.[2]


Claire: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 8.1/10 IMDB (Currently IMDB Top 250: #206).

Spike Jonze sure has a range of talent! He wrote (but didn’t direct) Bad Grandpa — a movie that made us laugh harder than any other movie we watched during the year we watched it. He directed (but didn’t write) Adaptation.  He’s been part of the Jackass writing crew forever. He directed Where The Wild Things Are. He was a producer for Synecdoche, New York. He was an actor on The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. I’m just so totally confused about the amazing range of work he seems to get.

This one is written AND directed by him. That doesn’t happen much for him. It turned out really well.  I’m surprised it’s currently in the IMDB Top 250 movies ever. It’s a sci-fi romance drama, though Netflix tries to act like it’s a sci-fi romantic comedy. It’s not a comedy. It’s a pretty serious movie.

It’s simply a very thought-provoking movie about loneliness and drifting apart from others as you grow and change — not always together.  When we get older, we get so specialized that we often aren’t compatible with others.  Robotic lovers and artificial intelligence companions ARE the future, like it or not. And we will lose touch with each other even further.  This movie is about that.

But it’s also another exercise in seeing how technology may shape the way we live in the future. A little bit Robot And Frank, a little bit Sim0ne, a little bit A.I. [the Spielberg movie], this movie totally explores the philosophy of artificial intelligence, whether they have “feelings”, and how they themselves may come to have motivations and aspirations.

It also challenges the concept of what a relationship can be. Can you have a sex life with someone who doesn’t have a body? (Though I often wondered why Samantha didn’t just draw up plans to place her conciousness inside an articulatable RealDoll — that issue was actually addressed by the reading-a-book metaphor she used later in the movie.)

It’s also weird to have a movie where we only *hear* Scarlett Johansson, instead of *see* her. It really allowed me to elevate my appreciate of her voice more — she could totally do animation. We also get to hear, but not see, Kristen Wiig — but only for a minute. Don’t worry, though — not all attractive women in the film are heard but not seen! There’s plenty of Amy Adams AND Olivia Wild AND we get to see Portia Doubleday at age 25 after only having seen her at age 20. Just saying. A lot of this movie is staring at Joaquin Phoenix talking to himself, but not all of it.

But anyway — a very cerebral, well-written movie in my opinion. Carolyn, not quite being as tech-y as me, didn’t quite like it as much as myself.

Written and directed by Spike Jonze (writer of Jackass, Bad Grandpa movies, Where the Wild Things Are, director of Adaptation, Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are).

Starring Joaquin Phoenix (The Village, Signs, Hotel Rwanda) as Theodore.
Scarlett Johansson as Samantha, the A.I.
Chris Pratt (Guardians Of The Galaxy, The Lego Movie, Take Me Home Tonight, Movie 43, What’s Your Number?, Jennifer’s Body, The Five-Year Engagement) as Paul, the receptionist coworker.
Rooney Mara (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo remake movies, Side Effects, The Social Network, Youth In Revolt, A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)) as Catherine, the ex-wife.
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, The To Do List, 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 Chat Room Friend #2.
Amy Adams (Lois Lane in Man Of Steel, American Hustle, Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby, Psycho Beach Party, Cruel Intentions 2, 3 eps of The Office, 3 eps of King Of The Hill, 1 ep of Smallville) as Amy, as Theodore’s friend.
Olivia Wilde (Tron 2, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Change-Up, Drinking Buddies, Better Living Through Chemistry, Year One, 1 ep of Tron: Uprising, 1 ep of Portlandia, 1 ep of American Dad) as Blind Date.
Portia Doubleday (Youth In Revolt) as Surrogate Date Isabella.
Kristen Wiig (Young Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development, Date Night, Anchorman 2, Adventureland, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, The Brothers Solomon, How To Train Your Dragon, Saturday Night Live, Despicable Me, Girl Most Likely, 2 eps of The Simpsons, 1 ep of Drunk History) as SexyKitten (the phone sex in the very beginning).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1798709/combined