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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

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Seven Psychopaths (2012)

Clint: 3.6/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 7.3/10 IMDB.

Written & Directed by Martin McDonagh. I was wary of this because I did not like In Bruges and was disappointed. I’d say this movie has some similarities to In Bruges in terms of writing style… But it’s better.

Carolyn enjoyed how intertwined it all was; watching it all unfold to be revealed. She thought it was a nice ride.

I keep thinking lately about if I *really* liked a movie, or if I was just caught up in the enjoyment of watching a movie.

I mean, in the end, the whole experience felt a bit pointless, what with the final fate of the characters. Am I becoming the typical 40+ low-movie-rater? I hope not.

Nonetheless, the whole Vietnamese guy subplot was an utterly pointless addition just to make the number of psychopaths become 7. But then, the movie was about writing the movie, so it could be taken as a commentary on masturbatory screenplay writing.

But I guess it was all about the quirky style, the voyage not the destination… I DID like this. It was funny. It was entertaining — even if it deliberately slowed down during the 2nd half.

I mean, we have CHRISTOPHER WALKEN, WOODY HARRELSON, Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrel, Tom Waits… Yes. Of course there was some gold in this. Just not quite as much as I’d hoped.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1931533/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: VIDEO GAMES: REVIEW: Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 4.2/5 stars Netflix, 7.9/10 IMDB.

I defer to Carolyn’s rating for this one. I kept falling asleep. I definitely still followed everything that happened in the movie, but it lost it’s potential for full effect on me. I could tell it was awesome, but I just wasn’t SURE it was awesome. I’m not even going to rate it because I don’t even know how I feel about it.

But hey! Carolyn loved it! A lot of people loved it! I’ll be watching this again someday, 7 years from now.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1772341/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Spies Like Us (1985)

Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Clint: 2.9/5 stars, 5.9/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 6.1/10 IMDB.

Unfortunatley, I pretty much fell asleep throughout most of this movie. When Carolyn summarized it in email to me the next day, I recalled pretty much everything she talked about… But I lacked the ability to put it together from my shattered memories.  Later, I re-watched the parts I was less aware during, and gained a coherent memory of the movie.

Ultimately our feeling was that this movie wasn’t really that good, despite the Akroyd/Chase powerhouse combo. Carolyn’s main commentary was: “Not much happened.” The jokes were decent, but not hilarious… And the action/spy plot got in the way of the comedy too much.

Still worth seeing, though. This movie is referenced a lot. For example, the 2009 Family Guy episode “Spies Reminiscent of Us”, guest-starring Akroyd and Chase. Definitely worth seeing that.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090056/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEWS; Gross Anatomy (1989)

Clint: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, 5.8/10 IMDB.
This was billed as a comedy, but it wasn’t THAT comedic… It was more drama/romance than anything… There were definitely laughs sprinkled throughout, but this is not a straight-comedy movie.

It mostly showed how hard and miserable medical school is… with a lesson of “oh, we shouldn’t be working so hard to be doctors, because we also need to have good beside manner, because the patients are more than just files, they are human beings.”

Daphne Zuniga! In a role similar to her role in The Sure Thing, if you ask me.

I totally did not realize the main character Joe Slovak was played by the same guy (Matthew Modine) who was Private J.T. “Joker” Davis in Full Metal Jacket.  I can’t really visualize them as being the same person AT ALL. Nor do I remember him being in 12 episodes of Weeds!

Doogie Howser mentioned this movie in an episode!

Also: The nerdy main char who got in trouble…. Was Ol’ Drippy in 2 episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. And one of the writers wrote the Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097458/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Holy Motors (2012)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 7.1/10 IMDB.

Dafuq did I just watch? Seriously. That was some weird fucking shit.

Of course this was totally expected. I actually read reviews of this movie, which helped set me up for the experience.

Because that’s what this is: An experience. It’s about the journey, not the destination.

There is not really a plot. The movie is about acting, but only in the broadest sense: That, as Shakespeare said, we are all just actors on a stage.

But who sets up the stage? Who decides what role we all play?

Fortunately it’s not a mysterious white limo that drives us around like the main character in this movie.
Fortunately *WE* get *SOME* amount of say in the matter.

The main character in this movie? He has to live many different peoples’ lives–all in one day. Anyone who could really pull that off would be the best actor on the planet. Is that the point of the movie?

I have no clue… But this was one of the most unique movies I’ve seen in a long time, and was visual as well: The psuedosex scene with the motion capture actors was one of the strangest things I’ve seen in my life. Or was it the scene with Eva Mendez singing to a fake penis? Or was it Edith Scob looking surprisingly attractive for a 76-year-old (way mroe attractive than her IMDB pictures where she looks like a grandma)? This movie is FULL OF STRANGENESS.

The best explanation of the movie I have found is here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2076220/board/nest/207327987

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2076220/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Boy Eats Girl (2005) [ZOMBIES!]

3/5 stars, 6/10 from both of us.
Native ratings: 2.9/5 stars Netflix, 5.0/10 IMDB.

This was a zombie romance film of sorts. There was real conflict, but the main motivation of the main character is that he just wants the girl.

It’s not done THAT well. At times, you really have to have left your brain at the door to get by some of the deficiencies.

Also, these zombies were created by… voodoo. Brace yourself.

There’s problems. It’s not as memorable as it could be. There’s screw-ups. There’s some things that fall flat.

This movie is considered by some to basically be My Boyfriend’s Back (1993), except trying to be more of a serious romance/thriller, instead of a purposefully campy comedy. Which might be a mistake.

Conclusion? Glad I watched this, but I don’t think I’d watch it again. I recommend this for zombie completists.

P.S. It was nice to see the lovely half-Irish, half-Zambian Samantha Mumba (The Time Machine, 2002) again. She is so friggin’ hot, and makes any movie she’s in a bit easier to watch :D

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0415679/combined

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