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VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Da Vinci Code 2 – Angels & Demons (2009)

Clint: 3/5 stars, 8/10. (Compared to 3/5, 6/10 for Da Vinci Code.)
Carolyn: 4.4/5 stars, 8.6/10.  (Compared to 5/5 stars for Da Vinci Code.)
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.6/10 IMDB. (Compared to 3.6/5 stars, 6.4/10 for Da Vinci Code.)

Pink Panther minus comedy plus religion.”
National Treasure minus comedy minus patriotism plus religion.”
“24 minus America plus The Vatican.”
Da Vinci Code 1 minus Leonardo Da Vinci plus Illuminati.”

It seems like everyone — Clint, Carolyn, Netflix people, IMDB people — all liked this better than first movie of the trilogy, The Da Vinci Code. Ignore the fact that Carolyn gave this one 4 stars and the last one 5 stars — she, too, agreed this one was better. (It’s hard to rate consistently, people!)

This was done very well… And was interesting. But I am quite turned off by religion, so I wasn’t super-thrilled with the entertainment, despite recognizing its quality. Religious stuff just doesn’t resonate with me.

Still better than the first, though. This one wasn’t a disappointment like the first one.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0808151/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Spider-Woman, Agent of S.W.O.R.D. (2009) [Marvel Knights]

Clint: 3.2/5 stars, 6.4/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 5.9/10 IMDB (not available on Netflix).

Only 51 minutes; a compilation of 5 motion comics that were about 10 minutes each.

Carolyn thought the dialog was a bit stilted and annoying, but this is really meant to be in the same vein as a comic book, not a movie… So I don’t hold it against it as much.

The artwork was good — Spider-Woman was modeled after Jolynn Carpenter. Did a google image search on her afterward. Yup! Spider-Woman!

The voice acting wasn’t as good.

A motion comic is a really low budget thing… I celebrate additional low-grade stuff vs having nothing.

I could see this as being done as an animated series akin to the Men In Black animated series. I’d watch it.

The conclusion seemed kind of rushed. Like, “Whoa, it’s suddenly over?” I thought more was going to happen but then it suddenly felt like The End.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1673449/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIES: MUSIC: Marillion: Brave (1994) (directed by Richard Stanley)

Clint: 3/5 stars, 6/10 (rated against other music videos, not movies in general).
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 2.7/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

Look: Anyone who knows me knows that I am a music giver, not receiver. I hate listening to other peoples’ music, and I hate listening to music I don’t already know. I time my concert arrivals so that I always miss the opening band, and I’m not into seeing live music unless it’s music that I’ve already learned.

But you know what I really fucking love? The movie Hardware. And the great talent of its director Richard Stanley. So when he makes an hour-long video to go with a concept album by a band I once saw on the back of a leather jacket worn by a punk at TJ in 1989…. I fucking watch it, even if I’m not into the experience of that kind of thing.

There aren’t a lot of video versions of concept albums out there. The main ones that I think of are Pink Floyd:The Wall and the Nine Inch Nails:Broken banned movie, and both of those are perfect.

This one was not in th e same league. It was cool, but it was a bit cheesy at times, and really had the feel of late 1980’s music videos. I don’t mind that so much, but this isn’t music that I know and love (like Nine Inch Nails) or grew to later love (like Pink Floyd), so it didn’t have that going for it.

It was interesting. And very sad at the end. And definitely a bit psychedelic, and very artsy–like all of Richard Stanley’s stuff. Not bad, but not necessarily great either.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109331/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Crow 4: Wicked Prayer (2005)

Clint: 2.4/5 stars, 5/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 3.0/5 stars Netflix, 2.8/10 IMDB (yikes!!).

As expected, this was the worst of the 4 Crow movies. And the differential between 3 & 4 was larger than between 2 & 3 or 1 & 2.

Really bad sound mix. Didn’t understand a lot of dialogue.

The Crow was John Conner in Terminator 2, and Hawk in Detroit Rock City. But this time he looks like a girl (at least once The Crow makeup is put on). Least badass looking Crow ever.

The plot? It’s kind of confusing why we are being shown the things we are shown. Bad direction. Bad writing. Cheesiest Crow movie ever. I mean, we have a Satanic gang whose names are War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death, and who drive around cars with their names airbrush-painted onto them. And Tara Reid is one of them. Damn she’s hot in this, but that’s about the best aspect of the fucking movie!

There are some good actors, but then they are barely in it. Emmanuelle Chriqui (Waiting, Tron:Uprising), Danny Trejo (Machete) & Dennis Hopper (Blue Velvet). And the guy who was to become Satan? Angel from Angel.

But all this could not save this flop of a movie.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0353324

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Crow 3: Salvation (2000)

Clint: 3.6/5 stars, 7.3/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 4.6/10 IMDB.

With a rating as low as 4.6/10, I was expecting something very poor. But the IMDB rating for The Crow 3 is actually higher than The Crow 2. And this actually wasn’t so terrible after expecting so little. It kind of picked up more at the end. Kirsten Dunst didn’t hurt, either. Though Eric Mabius was a really strange choice for “badass Crow dude”. He was Dawn Weiner’s boyfriend in Welcome To The Dollhouse, and was in Splendor, Cruel Intentions, and Resident Evil.

Spoiler alert: The big turnaround for this movie is that the bad guys [spoiler]are actually the cops[/spoiler].

Notable soundtrack for me (Rob Zombie, Danzig, Static X covering Ministry).

Carolyn adds: I had low expectations, and throughout the movie, it wasn’t terrible, but I was thinking it was only 6/10 material, but then near the ending I upped my rating.

It wasn’t that special, and I guess the plot was somewhat convenient.  (Spoilers:  like how the only way the bad guys could win was to take away the crow’s powers, so they conveniently knew the specific way to take away his powers…  that seemed a little contrived to me.  I don’t remember the second Crow movie that well.  Maybe there were hints in the previous two movies that would explain how these bad guys knew so much about what they were dealing with.  /spoilers)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0132910/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: ParaNorman (2012)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7.7/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native rating: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

Stop-motion animation, but sometimes augmented by cgi. Definitely had a distinct look, which is a rarer thing with American animated movies these days.
Visual wise this was probably 8-9/10.

Story-wise, it wasn’t super, but at least it was dark. Kid can talk to ghosts. Everyone makes fun of him. But then a curse hits the town, and his skill becomes relevant.

This felt like something along the lines of Coraline, but not quite as creepy. Definitely a good halloween movie to see. Stop-motion isn’t dead!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1623288/

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Not Another Not Another Movie (2011)

Clint/Carolyn: 2.4/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 2.2/5 stars Netflix, 2.8/10 IMDB.
We’re among the 33% of that gave this a 5 or higher.
The median IMDB rating is 2/10.
Yeah. Ouch.

We went in this expecting something “bad”, and indeed that was what we got. It wasn’t completely terrible, and it was somewhat ok to see some of the movies they spoofed.

But most of this movie wasn’t spoofing specific movies. It was spoofing the process of making spoof movies.

It had this stupid plot revolving around a production assistant stumbling into the job of having to direct a spoof movie. All the meanwhile he has this girl who’s just inappropriately hot for him, making the movie even more unbelievable than it already was.

But it was a comedy, so… It did have its moments.
Just not many.
And not enough.
I fell asleep and barely cared.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1302019/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

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