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VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Robot & Frank (2012)

Clio: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 7.1/10 IMDB. [Odd–It’s rare that we rate lower than the general public…]

A major component in me wanting to see this movie was the technological interest. But obviously I knew it wasn’t going to be about the robot’s technology. The robot is practically a MacGuffin. It’s really about the human. It’s really about us: This movie is about how the people of the future–us–will interact with the A.I.-driven, seemingly-sentient future robots that will be taking care of us when we get old.

IMDB says it was a comedy, but it was more of a drama with an interesting premise. On the surface, a retired cat burglar’s kids become concerned about his deteriorating mental health, so the son purchases a robot caretaker for the father. Robo-friendship ensues. But can you really be friends with a robot? The robot actually has some very profound things to say, and exhibits a duality: Does it have a soul of sorts, or is it truly a mindless automaton? Determinism vs free will? Yea, some.

Some people have problems with this movie’s minor flaws. Some people think it’s brilliant and beautiful. Carolyn & I were somewhere in between.

With Frank Langella (Superman Returns), Jeremy Sisto (Billy from Six Feet Under), Susan Sarandon (Janet from Rocky Horror, and it was a coincidence that Brad was in another movie we watched this week…), James Marsden (Superman Returns, Scott Summers from the X-Men movies), Liv Tyler (as the daughter), and Peter Sarsgaard (Green Lantern (2011), Knight And Day, The Salton Sea) as the voice of the robot.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1990314/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: What’s Your Number? (2011)

Clio: 3/5 stars, 6.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 5.8/10 IMDB.

This was watched mostly because we are Anna Faris fans…We’ve watched 18 of her 35 movies. It was a fun movie, but once you get over the initial ride and look back on the movie, one realizes it wasn’t quite as good of a movie as how enjoyable it was to watch. This may be in part because we think Anna Faris is hot. Anyway, her character was kind of insane in this movie. And that was amusing.

However, despite all that, this boils down to basically being a cute movie that became pretty predictable, even for a rom-com..  It was more about the ride, than having a unique plot–that’s for sure.  It definitely could have been a lot funnier if it had been done right.

The plot is basically: Girl realizes she’s slept with a lot of guys, but there’s never been a Mr. Right.  She doesn’t want to increase the number of guys she’s slept with past 20 (because of a Woman’s Magazine article), so she decides [highlight for spoilers] to exclusively sleep with past ex-boyfriends in order to not increase that number, and see if their lives have changed for the better. [END SPOILERS]

It could have been better. But I don’t regret watching it. Laughs and hotties is sufficient.

Cast:
One of her love interests is Chris Evans (Captain America, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Fantastic 4, Not Another Teen Movie). He’s pretty prominent in this movie, playing a sleazy douchebag womanizer.
Anna Faris’s sister is Ari Graynor (Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, some eps of American Dad, 4 eps of The Sopranos).
Her mom is Blythe Danner (Meet The Fockers movies, TONS of other stuff).
Her dad is Ed Begley, Jr. (Pineapple Express, TONS of other stuff).
Ex-boyfriend 1 is Zachary Quinto (Sylar from Heroes, Spock from new Star Trek).
“Disgusting Donald” is played by Chris Pratt, her real-life husband (!!).
The douchebag boss (Joel McHale) was in The Informant!, The Onion Movie, Spider-Man 2, Community, and wrote a season of The Soup.
There’s also bit appearances with Adam Sandberg and Aziz Ansari.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0770703/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Miss Nobody (2010)

Clio: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 5.3/10 IMDB.

Pretty funny! This is about as black comedy as you can get.

A movie about a kind of humble, shy secretary rising to power by accidentally becoming a serial killer. A series of unfortunate events. Gradual loss of morality. Shit gets insanely out of hand. And then a couple twists.

This is no masterpiece… And I feel like I’ve sort of watched similar plots in other movies before.  But it’s done well, it looks good, it’s fun to watch, and it’s unique, so there’s that.

Main character is Leslie Bibb (Sex & Death 101, Talladega Nights, Wristcutters:A Love Story, Iron Man 1 & 2, and of course one ep of Nip/Tuck), with a weird haircut, playing herself all shy and humble. Her boss, Brandon Routh, was Superman in Superman Returns. Barry Bostwick (Brad from Rocky Horror Picture Show) is in this as a preacher. Adam Goldberg (Dazed And Confused, Saving Private Ryan, A Beautiful Mind) is the cop — kind of an unlikely casting if you ask me. Missi Pyle (Visioneers, Harold & Kumar 2, Pretty Ugly People, Live!, Anchorman, Dodgeball, 50 First Dates, Big Fish, Galaxy Quest) is a prominent character. as a brunette — I had no clue how stunning she is. Usually prefer blondes. No longer sure about Missi. She’s got the mean-hot bitchy-hot look mastered.  Vivica Fox (Kill Bill, Batman & Idle Hands, Robin 1997) is in this movie, but then there’s also a character named Vivica Fox played by someone else. I’m so confused, IMDB. Halp.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1129427/

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)

Clint: 5/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8/10.

We had to watch this great party movie after watching Trojan War (1997), which also had Jennifer Love Hewitt as a main character. But in this movie, she’s made up to be THE hot girl, instead of The Geeky Girl Who The Main Guy Doesn’t Notice Is Hot Until The End Of The Movie.

Both movies involve crazy, ridiculous events that occur over the course of one night. Trojan War is more of an out-on-the-town caper, while Can’t Hardly Wait is  more of a party movie. But Trojan War has a party too, and Can’t Hardly Wait has some out-on-the-town capers as well. The two are an excellent double-feature.

This is a great party movie, and an amazing cast of bit parts played by people who later turned up in all kinds of other things that we watched.

This movie is the magnum opus of writing team Harry Elfont & Deborah Kaplan, and this also co-directed it (1 of 2 movies they wrote & directed together)+. They really didn’t do anything of real value–except this movie, which deserves to be remembered.

The cast includes a LOT of people.
The 2 main (mainest?) characters are Jennifer Love Hewitt and Ethan Embry (Empire Records, Sweet Home Alabama, Harold & Kumar 1).

The main supporting characters include Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under, Psycho Beach Party–I wish more people would use her for roles), Seth Green (Robot Chicken, Family Guy, Greg The Bunny, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Sex Drive), Charlie Korsmo (Hook; truly as much of a geek as his character in this movie: He left acting to get degree in physics–4.0 at MIT, went on to law school, and now teaches law), Peter Facinelli (Dr. Carlisle Cullen, the vampire clan leader in the 5 Twilight movies, The Scorpion King).

Speaking of Seth Green being in Robot Chicken, Breckin Meyer, who is closely involved in Robot Chicken, is also in this movie. Could this be where they met? He was in Go (1999) as well. And The Craft (1996). And Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare. Dude gets around, but what he does best is make Robot Chicken (and Titan Maximum) episodes!

Melissa Joan Hart (Clarissa Explains It All, Sabrina The Teenage Witch) plays a hilarious one-dimensional character obsessed with getting her yearbook signed.

You also randomly see people who want on to become much bigger, like Jason Segel who went on to be a major player in a lot of recent comedy movies such as This Is 40, Bad Teacher, Gulliver’s Travels, Despicable Me, I Love You, Man, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, Slackers, and SLC Punk!. Or even Clea DuVall, who we are a big fan of from her work in Heroes, Carnivale, But I’m A Cheerleader, 21 Grams, and The Grudge. Selma Blair (Cruel Intentions, Scream 2, Hellboy 1-2, A Dirty Shame, Legally Blonde) has a bit part.

There were people we didn’t even notice as having seen. Freddy Rodriguez (Six Feet Under, Planet Terror, Lady In The Water) as “Jock #3”. Jock #1 (Channon Roe) was in Psycho Beach Party with Lauren Ambrose. Creepy Cousin Ron was Erik Palladino (E.R., Lower Learning, Dead & Breakfast). The two “X-Phile” geeks were Joel Michaely (The Rules Of Attraction, Repli-Kate, But I’m A Cheerleader) and Jay Paulson (Go, 3 eps of Mad Men).

Even the characters who barely spoke were sometimes known!!

Of the 3 jocks’ girlfriends, we have Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl, I Love You, Man, Not Another Teen Movie, 100 Girls), Tamala Jones (Friday 2: Next Friday, Castle, For Your Love, How To Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog), and Jennifer Lyons (National Lampoon’s Dorm Daze 1 & 2, 3 episodes of Married With Children, That 70’s Show, General Hospital). Literally even the eye candy characters are in a ton of other things. Everyone in this movie is in something!

The klepto kid — did he even have a line? — is Chris Owen (American Pie 1/2/Reunion, Dorm Daze, Van Wilder 1, A Midsummer Night’s Rave). The Reddi Whip kid (Vicellous Reon Shannon) was President David Palmer’s son in 13 episodes and was in the movie Senseless. Speaking of 24, one of the “groupies” was Marisol Nichols, who was Nadia Yassir for a full season of 24, of course did a guest spot on Nip/Tuck, and was in Scream 2 and Vegas Vacation.

The “ready to have sex” Asian girl was in Sex & Death 101 (as #66), and lots of TV guest spots, like 2 episides of Heroes, 4 of Dark Angel, some Buffy too. And her friend was in 3 episodes of Nip/Tuck and does a lot (~150 eps) of TV now.

The really stoned guy who licked Lauren Ambrose’s face (and would later have his character date her character in Six Feet Under) is Eric Balfour (Trojan War, 24, and that horrible Gargoyle movie). Another “stoner guy” was Brian Klugman (Cloverfield, 5 eps of Frasier).

We also have Jenna Elfman from Dharma & Greg (but I never watched that show).

Is that everybody? Hell if I know. This movie is FULL of successful actors. It’s some sort of magical nexus.

For that reason I consider it a major classic, and something everyone should go back and watch.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0127723/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: This Is 40 (2012)

Clint: 3.2/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

Decent, but we thought it would be more of a comedy. It still was, but it was painful and depressing at the same time. This is a spin-off from the movie Knocked Up, with events occurring about a few years later.

This was actually better AND more funny than Knocked Up. But not by very much. A lot of the humor was the cringe-humor of watching somebody have a life that you do not want.  As a married couple who has no interest in having kids, we experienced a great deal of schadenfreude at watching Paul Rudd & Leslie Mann suffer the consequences of their breeding-based decisions.

P.S. I feel like Leslie Mann is getting hotter and hotter. And Carolyn says the same for Paul Rudd.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1758830/combined

 

  • Anna: I took myself to see this one on my 35th birthday. I did not relate to this movie and it kind of annoyed me. I definitely agree with your assessment of the movie and of Leslie Mann. Hawtie. Just another movie about how kids ruin you life. Definitely thought Knocked Up was funnier. Did you see Dan in Real Life? That was another one of those horrible painful depressing movies about people’s lives you don’t want.
  • Clint Dan In Real Life would definitely be my least favorite of the 3 movies mentioned…!!
  • Anna Me too. That movie made me hate myself and others around me.
  • Eve Yay schadenfreude over breeders suffering!
  • Clint: and how

     

VIDEO: MOVIES: DOCUMENTARIES: REVIEW: Superheroes (2011)

Clint: 5/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 6.2/10 IMDB.

That was pretty awesome. (For a documentary.)

Pretty goddamn motherfucking awesome. I don’t usually mention stuff I watch during dinner…. This documentary probably took us about 10 meals.

Real life super heroes! I knew they were around, but I’d never had such an insightful glimpse into the phenomenon

Carolyn’s reluctance at believing this was real astounded me, and was a hilarious source of entertainment to me. She had to look it up on HBO and such. I had thought the RLSH (real life super hero) movement had been around long enough to at least have become common knowledge in the circles I run in. Like, the spousal circle, at the very least :D

And police Lieutenant Andra Brown: What a fucking bitch! She sits on her ass in an office and complains about the people actually doing something, all too often in situations where the cops can’t even bother to show up, as was demonstrated in the movie and experienced by myself and others.

Her responses may as well have been written by a robot. Was that really the best the police could do, when confronted with people more heroic than themselves? Throw a bunch of FUD* into the equation? Pathetic.

*(Fear, uncertainty, and doubt.)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1792621/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Smashed (2012)

Clint: 3.1/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars Netflix, 6.8/10 IMDB.

It’s not REALLY a comedy.

It starts out making you think it’s going to be a comedy — and it indeed has funny parts. A lot during the first 25 minutes, and a few peppered out throughout the rest.

But unfortunately it takes turn toward the serious and depressing (and possibly preachy). It’s about alcoholism, and the struggles an alcoholic has to go through to:

1) Admit they have a problem
2) Admit they need help addressing the problem
3) Form a working support system
4) Survive their relationship

It is apparently hard for one person in a couple to admit to alcoholism and try to help themselves, all while the spouse isn’t participating. Now throw in the fact that the non-participatory spouse is Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad, and at least the Breaking Bad fanboy-ism kicks in to take the edge off the depressing seriousness of the plot. Plus the girl who wants to get sober is Ramona Flowers from <a target=”_target42764″ href=”https://clintjcl.wordpress.com/?p=5899″>Scott Pilgrim</a>. We also have Nick Offerman and Octavia Spencer.

This movie shows how marriages might not survive because spouses tend to need to grow in the same direction as each other. If one starts to grow in a different direction and the other does not follow — bad things can happen.
Carolyn felt it was a pretty powerful movie, once she realized what kind of movie it was…
Clint knew when selecting this movie that it has the potential to fall into this type of movie… But was hoping it wouldn’t. But it did. However, the funny parts still made it entertaining.
Plus, this was an excellent movie to drink at a greater-than-usual pace during, if only for spite. Our alcoholism isn’t nearly as bad as these guys, fortunately…

Ben W adds: “This was another movie where the trailer was cut in such a way to lead you to think it will be black comedy, which Young Adult also does. Not a serious drama with some funny bits to it. It took me a few days after seeing it to make peace with it. Although I knew going in what it was about, and at the time I was looking at a bunch of stuff about people getting sober. So, I guess I was more prepared for the journey. I can understand the cold-cocking it does to you if you go in blind.

Personally I like the The Lost Weekend for drinking to alcoholism.”

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2063781/combined

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