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VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Unicorn City (2012)

Clio: 4.4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 5.5/10 IMDB.

“You are who you pretend to be.”

Sadly, Carolyn didn’t like this one as much as me, despite also being a gamer herself.  This movie certainly doesn’t REQUIRE any knowledge of Dungeons & Dragons, or fantasy roleplaying……… But it helps!

This is basically a comedy movie about a guy with a blank resume who tries to get a job with a gaming company by creating a real-life utopia for gamers in the middle of some woods. He does this because his DungeonMaster is a real dick, and wanted to start his own guild. Take tabletop gamging to the next level – LARP’ing.

Sounds geeky? It is.

Now throw in a romantic subplot – the SUPER-hot Jaclyn Hales is crushing on the main character, and he’s never really looked at her as a real woman before. She is the typical geek-girl role in a movie: A super-hot chick with her hair up and wearing some glasses. As if that’s going to fool us into thinking she’s not hot. I’m sorry, but it’s impossible for this girl to not be hot. Check her out yourself: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1213771008/nm4076403

This was a fun movie. It has a unique plot, a great deal of comedy, tons of characters (though only 2 are developed past 2 dimensions), enough guy-girl interest to keep the romantically-inclined entertained, and enough wackiness to keep it memorable.

Cast-wise, this movie is mostly full of bit players, but the main bad guy is played by Jon Gries, aka Uncle Rico from the great Napoleon Dynamite movie, and the mediocre Napoleon Dynamite animated series.

Multiple actors from this movie are in some endeavor called Gary The Unicorn. I can’t view this as coincidence.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1734589/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Youth In Revolt (2009)

Clio: 3.4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 6.5/10 IMDB.

This was decent. It was sort of a romance/comedy/drama — a rom-com that is a bit heavier on the romance than on the comedy.

It was still funny a lot of the time, in part because it had this vague Fight Club-ish weirdness to it. Michael Cera developing another personality in order to get with the girl. He needs to be bad to get himself kicked out of his mom’s house to go life with his dad, so he develops a split personality disorder.

There are actually several moments where this movie is basically a disturbing psychological thriller…. But then the comedy or the romance kicks in, so it doesn’t stay disturbing throughout (like, say, Fight Club, or The Number 23).

Definitely an interesting and entertaining romantic comedy — with a side-serving of disturbingness.  And definitely the widest range of acting I’ve ever seen coming from Michael Cera (which isn’t saying much).
Directed by Miguel Arteta (3 eps of Six Feet Under, 1 ep of The Office).
Based on a novel by C.D. Payne, who had a cameo as “neighbor on porch”.

Starring Michael Cera (Superbad, Arrested Development, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Juno, Childrens Hospital) as Nick Twisp / Francois, and Portia Doubleday (relative beautiful newcomer) as Sheeni Saunders.

M. Emmet Walsh (Big Guy And Rusty The Boy Robot, The Iron Giant, Wild Wild West, Twilight) as her strict religious dad, and Mary Kay Place (Smashed, Being John Malkovich, Pecker, Girl Interrupted, 6 eps of My So-Called Life) as her strict religious mom.

Cera’s family is: Jean Smart (Designing Women, Martha Logan in 24, Pickles Oblong in The Oblongs, I Heart Huckabees) as the mom, and Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, Between Two Ferns, Visioneers, Tim & Eric, It’s Kind Of A Funny Story, Due Date) as her douchebag boyfriend, and Steve Buscemi as his dad. His mom’s later boyfriend is Ray Liotta (Observe And Report, Date Night, Blow, Hannibal, Field Of Dreams).

Cera’s friends are: Erik Knudsen (Scream 4, Scott Pilgrim, Degrassi:TNG) as his friend Lefty, and Adhir Kalyan (3 eps as Dr. Raj Paresh in Nip/Tuck, Fired Up!) as Vijay Joshi.

Fred Willard has a small part as their neighbor, Mr. Ferguson.

Jonathan B. Wright as the rival boyfriend, Trent. He played a beefy guy in Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Seems a lot of Nick & Norah people were in this movie, such as:

Ari Graynor (Caroline in Nick And Norah, What’s Your Number?, 4 eps of The Sopranos, Date Night) as Lacey.

Justin Long (Unsupervised, Funny People, Zack And Miri Make A Porno, Dodgeball) as Paul Saunders, the girl’s brother.

Rooney Mara (The Social Network, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo remake, A Nightmare On Elm Street remake) as Taggarty.

And oh, there’s an old man played by Michael Collins. He’s the astronaut who went to the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, and had to stay in the ship and not step foot on the moon. Is his minor role (that nobody noticed) in this movie a symbol of his moon role? Nobody rememebers him. I don’t know his name. Most don’t. And now he’s in a movie where nobody will remember him. That’s too bad. :/

By the way: There was a pilot for a TV series of this made in 1998 for MTV: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0173998/combined

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0403702/combined

I'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link]

RATINGS:
Clio: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.6/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: Netflix: 2.7/5 stars, IMDB: 5.1/10.

CLIO’S THOUGHTS:

It got really really serious, but it was indeed funny and adventurous. But things got really serious. I mean SO VERY serious. Like, some of the most serious Robin Williams I’ve ever seen. Robin Williams was really good, and was unlike how I’ve seen him before. He was a total fucking asshole, and a real prick to be around during Christmas.

But this movie also has a lot of comedy, and some very very dark comedy at points. I mean… Wow. I did not expect things to go off the rails as much as they did. I did not expect things to get soooo damn dark prior to breaking through to the climax of the movie. Jesus Christ. And yet… Simultaneously funny.

This movie left me confused as to what I feel about this movie. Definitely worth watching for the Williams, and even for the movie itself.

CAROLYN’S THOUGHTS:

Robin Williams was good. There was some comedy sprinkled throughout, but this was mostly a serious movie about families and forgiving your parents for making your childhood suck. Tim Heidecker‘s character was fun. Fun appearance by Badger from Breaking Bad along with someone who I could have sworn was Eric Wareheim, but it turns out it’s some other guy. Weird.

Directed by Tristram Shapeero (5 eps of Childrens Hospital).
Written by Michael Brown (this is the only thing he has done).

Starring:
Robin Williams as Virgil Mitchler, the father. His 3rd to last role.
Joel McHale (What’s Your Number?, Blended, Ted, Spider-Man 2 (2004), uncredited in The Onion Movie, 2 eps of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Video Game High School) as Boyd Mitchler.
Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, It’s Kind Of A Funny Story, Evan Almighty, Bad Santa, 4 eps of News Radio, 1 ep of Seinfeld, 5 eps of Caroline In The City, 1 ep of 3rd Rock From The Sun) as Luann Mitchler, the wife.
Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine movies, Kick-Ass movies, A.C.O.D., The Croods, Superbad, Sex Drive, 19 eps of The Office, 5 eps of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Nelson Mitchler, the brother.
Oliver Platt (X-Men: First Class, The Ten, 2012, 4 eps of Nip/Tuck) as Hobo Santa.
Wendi McLendon-Covey (Blended, Date And Switch, TripTank, 10 Rules For Sleeping Around, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers) as Shauna Welnke, the sister.
Tim Heidecker (Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Tom Goes To The Mayor, Tim And Eric‘s Bedtime Stories, Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule, The Five-Year Engagement, 3 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 2 eps of The Sarah Silverman Program) as Dave Welnke, the sister’s husband.
Candice Bergen (Murphy Brown in Murphy Brown, 3 eps + movie, of Sex & The City, 2 eps of Family Guy) as Donna Mitchler, the mother.
Ryan Lee (This Is 40, Super 8, 1 ep of Breaking Bad) as Rance Welnke, the eating-contestant kid.
Mark Proksch (Nate in The Office, 1 ep of Eagleheart, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of TripTank) as Trooper Zblocki.
Jeffrey Tambor (George Bluth Sr. in Arrested Development, Hank Kingsley in The Larry Sanders Show, Hangover movies, Hellboy, Superhero Movie, EuroTrip, Professor Cakes in China IL, 4 eps of Archer, 2 eps of 3-South) as Snow Globe Snowman.
Matt Jones (Badger in Breaking Bad, 3 eps of The Office, 3 eps of TRON: Uprising, 2 eps of Beware The Batman, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Cowboy Dick
Barak Hardley (1 ep of The Office) as Cowboy Bob. We totally were convinced he was Eric Wareheim. WHY DOES HE LOOK SO MUCH LIKE ERIC WAREHEIM? Even though, side-by-side pic-compare, they obviously are NOT the same. WTF. (more…)

I'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link]

RATINGS:
Clio: Netflix: 3.6/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3.6/5 stars. IMDB: 7.4/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: Netflix: 3.0/5 stars, IMDB: 5.2/10.

CAROLYN’S THOUGHTS: This was a fun movie to watch on Christmas. It was a little light-hearted and had a bit of sappy romance-movie heart, but the comedy didn’t stop.

CLIO’S THOUGHTS: The cast. The cast! Tony Soprano as Kelly Bundy’s dad? That alone makes this required viewing. But the whole gimmick behind the movie really worked for me, and was hilarious. It was only once things got romantic that the comedy slowed down, but it didn’t stop. But the relationship shit totally got in the way of what would have been even more funny jokes. This could have been better, but it was still better than most comedies. Certainly most comedies full of families on Christmas.

PEOPLE:

Directed by Mike Mitchell (Shrek 4, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, 3 eps of Greg The Bunny, 1 ep of Cartoon Sushi).
Written by Deborah Kaplan (Can’t Hardly Wait, The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas), Harry Elfont (Can’t Hardly Wait, The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas), J.R. Ventimilia (9 eps of That 70’s Show, 7 eps of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-TAS (2010s), 2 eps of The Simpsons, 2 eps of The Critic, 1 ep of 3rd Rock From The Sun) & Joshua Sternin (9 eps of That 70’s Show, 8 eps of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-TAS (2010s), 2 eps of The Simpsons, 2 eps of The Critic, 1 ep of Duckman, 1 ep of 3rd Rock From The Sun).

Starring:
Ben Affleck as Drew Latham.
James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano in The Sopranos, Where The Wild Things Are, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Get Shorty, Violet & Daisy) as Tom Valco, the fake dad.
Christina Applegate as Alicia Valco, the fake sister.
Catherine O’Hara (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Home Alone movies, Frankenweenie, Where The Wild Things Are, Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events, A.C.O.D., Dick Tracy, SCTV, 4 eps of Six Feet Under, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Christine Valco, the fake mom.
Josh Zuckerman (Sex Drive, Austin Powers In Goldmember) as Brian Valco, the fake brother.
Bill Macy (Analyze This, 2 eps of The Love Boat, 1 ep of Seinfeld) as Doo-Dah, the fake grandpa.
Jennifer Morrison (Star Trek reboot movies, Mr. & Mrs. Smith) as Missy Vanglider, the ex-girlfriend.
David Selby (Commissioner Gordon in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns parts 1 & 2, The Social Network, Are You Here) as Horace Vanglider, the ex-girlfriend’s father.
Stephanie Faracy (Get Him To The Greek, Bad Teacher, The Five-Year Engagement, Sideways, The Great Outdoors, 1 ep of Extreme Ghostbusters, 1 ep of Wings) as Letitia Vangliderthe ex-girlfriend’s mother.
Stephen Root (Bill Dauterive in King Of The Hill, Office Space, NewsRadio, Chode in Tripping The Rift, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Bad Milo, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Penguin in Batman: The Brave And The Bold, Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie, 5 eps of Gravity Falls, 3 eps of Adventure Time, 3 eps of 24, 2 eps of The Legend Of Korra, 1 ep of the new Thundercats) as Dr. Freeman, the shrink.
Sy Richardson (Men At Work, Sid And Nancy, Repo Man) as Doo-Dah Understudy. (more…)

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Superbad (2007)

Clio: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.9/5 stars Netflix, 7.6/10 IMDB.

This didn’t hold up as well to a second viewing.  It was still pretty funny, but it didn’t have the same excitement the second time around.  We also had just rewatched Trojan War recently, which is what we compared this movie to, except replace condoms with alcohol.

It’s a super fun movie. Everyone already saw this and generally knows this. Teen sex comedies are one of our mainstays, and movies that have parties in them are another [this movie has multiple parties in it]. Bromances are funny, and movies with geeky guys trying to get girls are funny. The nostalgia of watching highschoolers on the hunt harkens back to a younger age and reminds us what it’s like to be young. The movie is a conflation of many good things and many ridiculous things. Total win.

Directed by: Greg Mottola (Adventureland, 3 eps of Arrested Development, 6 eps of Undeclared)
Written by: Seth Rogen (writer of The Green Hornet, Pineapple Express, 5 eps of Undeclared) & Evan Goldberg (writer of Goon, The Green Hornet, Pineapple Express, 6 eps of Da Ali G Show)
Producer: Judd Apatow (who seemingly makes every comedy movie that exists nowadays)

Starring Jonah Hill (Allen in Allen Gregory, Get Him To The Greek, How To Train Your Dragon, The Invention Of Lying, Funny People, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, Grandma’s Boy, The 40 Year Old Virgin) as Seth.
Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Childrens Hospital, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Juno) as Evan.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (this was his first movie, prior to Kick-Ass, Year One, How To Train Your Dragon) as Fogell/McLovin’.
Bill Hader (Pineapple Express, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Brothers Solomon, Knocked Up, The Voice in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Year One, Saturday Night Live, Men In Black 3) as Officer Slater.
Seth Rogen (Kung Fu Panda, The Green Hornet, Funny People, Observe And Report, Fanboys, Zack And Miri Make A Porno, Pineapple Express, Step Brothers, Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Anchorman, 17 eps of Undeclared) as Officer Michaels.
Emma Stone (who Clio says is a perfect 10) as Jules (Zombieland, Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man, Crazy Stupid Love, The House Bunny).
Joe Lo Truglio (The State, Stella, Wanderlust, Wreck-It Ralph, 2 eps of Childrens Hospital, I Love You Man, Fanboys, Pineapple Express, Wet Hot American Summer) as Francis the Driver.
Kevin Corrigan (The Dictator, Pineapple Express) as Mark.
Erica Vittina Phillips (The 40 Year Old Virgin, gyno nurse in This Is 40, Darryl’s ex-wife in 2 eps of The Office, Step Brothers) as the Liquor Store Cashier.
Mark Rogen (Seth Rogen’s father) as “Father With Bat”.
Charlie Hartsock (Crazy Stupid Love, 7 eps of Arrested Developement, The 40 Year Old Virgin) as Good Shopper Cashier.
Carla Gallo (Lizzie from Undeclared, Libby from Carnivale, Get Him To The Greek, Funny People, I Love You Man, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The 40 Year Old Virgin) as Period Blood Girl. It’s sad that after her excellent work in Undeclared, she mostly plays kinky-girl bit-parts in party/roadtrip/caper movies, and never gets to be a leading lady again.
Martin Starr (Sam [the human, not the robot S.A.M.] in NTSF:SD:SUV, Adventureland, Walk Hard, Knocked Up) as James Masselin.
Clark Duke (he ended up playing Clark on the last season of The Office, 5 eps of Robot Chicken, Hot Tub Time Machine, Kick-Ass, Sex Drive) as Random Party Teenager.

I didn’t even notice Danny McBride (Observe And Report, Fanboys, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, The Foot Fist Way, Eastbound & Down, Good Vibes, Despicable Me) as a buddy at the party (uncredited).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0829482/combined

I'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link]

RATINGS:
Clio: Netflix: 2/5 stars. IMDB: 4.2/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 2/5 stars. IMDB: 4.4/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 4.9/10. Netflix doesn’t bother with this shit. They are doing you a solid (for once).

CLIO’S THOUGHTS: Yeah, that was just *dumb*. Bad acting, bad dialog, bad writing, bad effects, bad sets, bad editing, bad pace changes, bad cameras with dead pixels.

Yet it still had some basic appeal. Killing zombies. Arguing about whether they are zombies or cadavers. Laughing at the randomness of the movie. The drunk guy being SO. FUCKING. USELESS. The “badass” janitor’s stilted, 1950’s-style acting cadence.

The closing credits helped redeem the movie a bit. Slightly. And it’s based on 48 Hour Movie Project short film, which itself sounds like what they did in the movie Be Kind Rewind … but in real life. So that might explain how bad this was. I wonder how horrible the original was?

For the most part, though… DON’T WATCH THIS. Unless it’s Christmas, and you specifically need *Christmas* zombies. That’s really the only reason I can think of.

CAROLYN’S THOUGHTS: There were some slight laughs, but overall, this was a very stupid movie. The postings on the message board and most of the reviews on IMDB really seemed to indicate people liked this movie, but it’s better to go by the rating for this instance. Stay away.

PEOPLE WHO SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES:

Directed by Joe Zerull.
Written by Daniel Rairdin-Hale, Hanlon Smith-Dorsey and Joe Zerull.

Daniel Rairdin-Hale as The Janitor.
Hanlon Smith-Dorsey as Tom Tunninbum.
Yosh Hayashi as Sam Sheriff.
Ben Hopkins as Eddie.
Jessica Denney as Kristen Stable.
Andrew Ryan Harvey as The Perp.
Michael Kennedy as Professor Hildencress.

Mood: eh
Music: Ministry – Fairly Unbalanced

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIOEW: The Trouble With Bliss (2011) [Michael C. Hall]

Clio: 3/5 stars, 6.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 2.4/5 stars Netflix, 5.3/10 IMDB.

“A guy in his mid-thirties watches as his life comically unravels after he enters into a relationship with the daughter of a former high school classmate.”

I got tricked into thinking this is a comedy, because it’s billed “Comedy, Drama”. But nooooo. This is more like a dramedy. Which is really just a drama where some funny stuff happens. Funny stuff happens in normal, dramatic life. Having a dramatic story where some funny things happen doesn’t really make it a comedy. If anything this should be billed “Drama, Comedy” at a minimum. Because I would then know to stay way from it.

Still, this wasn’t bad. It’s hard to hate a movie. Things were interesting. Interesting sexual situations. Interesting dude-won’t-move-out-of-his-dad’s-place situation. Lucy Liu was amazingly hot as usual. I don’t regret watching this, I just regret choosing this. I was looking for a straight comedy the night I watched this, so the movie didn’t match my mood. But I shouldn’t fault it too much.

It’s definitely a “journey, not destination” movie. It’s a coming-of-age story for a 35-year-old who hasn’t come of age.  And of course, the main reason most people will watch it is because of Dexter…

Starring Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) as Morris Bliss, the mid-30’s guy who doesn’t have any ambition in life other than to travel and see the world. But he’s never moved out of his dad’s place.
Chris Messina (The Giant Mechanical Man, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, 6 eps of Six Feet Under) as his bestfriend.
Peter Fonda (Ghost Rider, Escape From L.A.) as his father.
Brie Larson (Envy Adams from Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as his girlfriend Stephanie, the crazy teenage high-schooler chick who complicates Morris’s life.
Brad William Henke (4 eps of Dexter) as Steven ‘Jetski’ Jouseski, the high-schooler’s dad.
Lucy Liu as the hotwife Andrea. Droooooool.
Glenn Kubota (1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of The Onion News Network, Korean Guy in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) as the convenient store owner, Mr. Charlies. Funny that we’ve seen him before!
Kate Simses (What’s Your Number?) as Nancy. Random.

I did not notice Rhea Perlman as Maria! WTF.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1483756/combined

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