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VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: How To Stop Being A Loser (2011)

Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8/10.
Native rating: 4.4/10 IMDB (not available on netflix).
WTF IT’S WAY BETTER THAN THAT!

Apparently this movie is kind of polarizing. A lot of people think it’s stupid rubbish. After all, it has similarities to MANY other movies (like The Long Weekend, or a billion other romantic comedies).

But this is more of a sex comedy than a romantic comedy, and that’s a plus for us.

It is specifically about a the influence of PUAs (pickup artists) and The Game, and parodies/comments on that phenomenon quite well.

A loser who has the most awkward time possible trying to talk to girls (with some VERY awkward scenes in the movie) finally pays a 2nd rate pickup-artist to try to teach him how to get chicks.

And the psychiatrist he keeps talking to (as a framing device) throughout the movie is pretty funny too!

Plus you get to see the girl who played the main character in MirrorMask as the “nerdy female friend whose sexuality is totally ignored by people who don’t realize she is actually really hot”.

But anyway… For a formulaic movie that wasn’t that unique, this one was better than most.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1727506/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: A Fantastic Fear Of Everything (2012)

Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native rating: 5.3/10 (not available on Netflix).

This movie would be a psychological thriller/horror, if it wasn’t for the fact that they deliberately make it out to be a comedy.

A paranoid writer starts to slip down a slope towards insanity.  But this paranoid writer is Simon Pegg. In fact, Simon Pegg probably accounts for 90% of all screentime in the movie.

A lot of people didn’t like this, and we were almost dissuaded from watching it. Almost. The 5.3 IMDB rating is pretty indicitive of that — But then it turned out to be pretty funny. It just turns out that watching Simon Pegg freak the FUCK out is not everyone’s cup of tea.

If you watched the Spaced (UK) sitcom series [which we own an autographed copy of], you are probably a big enough Simon Pegg fan to watch this. But be warned: No Nick Frost.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2006040/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Cloud Atlas (2012)

4.6/5 stars, 9/10 from both of us.
Native rating: 3.7/10 stars Netflix, 8.0/10 IMDB.

I don’t normally like the movies of several different unrelated/barely-related lives, but then, this isn’t that. Everything is connected. The editing and execution was magnificent. They said this book could never be made into a movie, but they were wrong.

Six stories in six different periods of time, all linked, all being told simultaneously. And it’s actually pretty easy to follow, with the exception of the future-English spoken in the post-apocalypstic one. I’m sure I didn’t realize all the linkages between different stories, but it was absolutely watchable and not a scattered mess like some thought it was going to be. It was quite interesting!

Basically, Wachowski siblings FTW! As always!

It actually took me a few seconds to realize which characters were Tom Hanks… And Halle Berry as the male asian doctor was one of the most deceptive makeup jobs in the movie. Basically, each actor was several characters. David Lynch probably really liked this movie.

Carolyn: “I felt like I felt with Benjamin Button, a wholesome love-conquers-all feel, but then also revolution, going against the norm, speaking/fighting for what’s right, not accepting the status quo. It was a good movie.”

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1371111/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Dredd (2012)

4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us.
Native rating: 3.9/5 stars, 7.3/10.

This was quite action-heavy, as expected. Since that was our expectation, we were satisfied.

The quirk of a drug called “Slo-Mo” that slows down time to 1% was amazing with the way they represented it on film. Wow.

At a couple points, they had shitty cgi blood, the worst since Star Trek 5…but fortunately that was only a 1-2 time thing and it looked good the rest of the movie.

Overall, this was visually superior to the previous version…. And the previous version’s visuals were a lot of what it had going for it.
But now things are modern, and sssso deliciously crisssssssp.  The old movie couldn’t offer that.  And I think Stallone is kind of cheesy anyway.

So file this under: Yet another remake I liked better than the original, just like with Total Recall.

Of course one can always say this is not a remake, but another, different adaptation of the source material.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1343727/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Leon: The Professional (1994)

Clint: 3.6/5 stars.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars.
8/10 from both of us.
Native rating: 4.2/5 stars, 8.6/10.

I’d heard “The Professional” recommended so many times. After all, it’s the 31st highest-rated movie in IMDB. Natalie Portman’s 2nd movie, and she’s only about 12 or 13 years old. Starring Jean Reno, who we really only have seen as Ponton in the Pink Panther remake movies, but who is quite good. And Gary Oldman.

I’m not a big fan of the crime genre, but the actors in this were good. The story was kind of generic, but the characters were not. The sexual tension between Natalie Portman and Jean Reno was so completely awkward and cringe-inducing and unique.

The over-the-top mega-acting of Gary Oldman was pretty intense, and at times hilariously cheesy. Yet the movie itself doesn’t come off as cheesy at all. The ending could be better — it felt slightly cliched to me (but I’m a cynic) — but all in all this movie held my interest more than I expected.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110413/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIE: CARTOONS: ANIME: REVIEW: Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) (Japan)

Clint: 3.6/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10. “Good. No Howl’s Castle or Princess Mononoke, but still.” And that’s about how I feel.
Native ratings: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.8/10.

Hayao Miyazaki. Great animator. Great director. Good writer. Huge body of work.

The plot wasn’t super exciting and full of jam-packed action, as it was more character-driven than plot-driven. There was no “bad guy” for example. Just a 13 year old girl trying to live independently for a year, as is the custom with witches.

And if you can fly on a broomstick, why not start a delivery service?

I do feel like it puttered out at the end a bit, which is a trope among anime. Anime is often more about the voyage than the destination, and that remains true here. But less frustratingly so than usual.

This was so lighthearted!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097814/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Looper (2012)

Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native rating: 4/5 stars Netflix, 7.8/10 IMDB>

It’s really hard to go wrong with time travel, Bruce Willis, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I am probably fucking up by not quite rating this 5 stars like Carolyn…. But it’s just not quite as up there as, say, 12 Monkeys, another movie where [spoilers] Bruce Willis meets a younger version of himself.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1276104/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

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