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VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Side Effects (2013)

Clio: 3.6/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

Slightly creepy movie with a message about how broken our mental health & pharmaceutical systems are. But just when you think it’s a political drama…. It turns out to be more of a mystery/thriller than you expect.  The twists in tone made the “fucked up”-edness feel that much more sinister. Briefly confusing, with everything making sense in the end.  Things do not go where you’d expect; I was actually reminded of the feeling of watching the end of Wild Things when this movie ended — everything not quite being what it seemed.

Watched this with Jesse, who seemed to enjoy it a lot, though he had some problems finding Catherine Zeta-Jones‘s character/acting believable.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh (The Informant!, Contagion, Erin Brockovitch, Sex, Lies, & Videotape, Ocean’s 11, Solaris, Full Frontal).  Soderberg is a major hit-or-miss director with us — I flat out hated several of his films, and only really liked 50% of them. But I keep coming back for more because of the better half of Soderberg films — and this was in that half.

Written by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion, The Informant!, The Bourne Ultimatum).

Rooney Mara (Lisbeth Salander in the American version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo movies, Youth In Revolt, The Social Network) as Emily Taylor.  Clio got us all thinking this was the girl from the Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. She convinced us and everything. Nope! That would be Noomi Rapace! Duhhh!
Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Parnassus, eXisitenZ, Lemony Snicket, Gattaca, Contagion, Repo Men, Rise Of The Guardians, and many more) as Dr. Jonathan Banks, the psychiatrist.
Catherine Zeta-Jones (The Mask Of Zorro, Ocean’s 11, Traffic, Rock Of Ages) as Dr. Victoria Siebert, the former psychiatrist.
Channing Tatum as Martin Taylor, the husband who was just released from jail.
Polly Draper (1 ep of The Larry Sanders Show) as Emily’s Boss.
David Costabile (Gale from Breaking Bad) as Carl. Totally didn’t make the connection.
Vinessa Shaw (Eyes Wide Shut) as Dierdre Banks, the wife of the psychiatrist.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2053463/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Wrong (2012)

Clio: 2.4/5 stars, 5.0/10.
Carolyn: 2.4/5 stars, 5.0/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 6.1/10 IMDB.
From the director of Rubber.

It was definitely weird and surreal… But it didn’t go anywhere. As some have complained, it was like it was weird just for the sake of being weird, with no real point. I fell asleep during this just like with Rubber. It’s like the movie didn’t take enough stock in itself to remain interesting beyond a superficial “yeah, that is weird” level.

As I watched it, I was thinking, “This is better than Rubber”. Then I looked at the ratings. I wonder why I thought this felt better? It might have simply been more interesting, and made more sense. But in the end, Rubber’s….rubber-ness….might have been what saved it.

Quoth Carolyn, “I think I liked Rubber better because at least that had a murdering tire…”

And that’s not saying much.

I should have trusted myself the first two times I decided not to obtain this movie… Basically, I’m avoiding Quentin Dupieux from now on.

Jack Plotnick (Xandir in Drawn Together, an accountant in Rubber) as Dolph Springer.
Eric Judor (he’s been in a bunch of french movies) as Victor, the gardener.
Alexis Dziena (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) as Emma, the pizza girl.
Steve Little (Identity Thief, Peppermint Butler in Adventure Time, Dr. Barber in The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack) as Detective Ronnie. We had just seen him in Identity Thief. He’s much less creepy when he’s not constantly recommending surgery as a solution for every possible problem.
William Fichtner (Date Night, The Dark Knight, Ken Rosenberg in Grand Theft Auto, Blades Of Glory, Equilibrium, Endsville, Armageddon, Black Hawk Down, Go, Strange Days) as Master Chang.
Regan Burns (Halfway Home, 1 ep of Weeds) as Mike, the neighbor who hates running.
Arden Myrin (Michael & Michael Have Issues, MADtv, What Women Want, 1 ep of Delocated) as Boss Gabrielle. (We have her mixed up with someone and are going crazy trying to figure out who. She definitely reminds me of Dina Waters, but still… There’s someone in a movie we just watched that reminds me of these two actresses, but isn’t either one of them.)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1901040/combined

Clio: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.

Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.

Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 5.6/10 IMDB.

This movie was a bit more fun than The Change-Up. It had less romance and more adventure. It might not have been as funNY, but it had more FUN. It’s hard to rate the two, actually. We either had a stroke of luck in our selections, or we were in extremely good moods while watching these movies.

This is a caper about a guy who self-bounty-hunts his identity thief, in order to keep from losing his job. She is an irritating sociopath, and together they have to take a road trip. It is perhaps a coming-of-age story for the sociopath, as they inevitably form a love-hate relationship (but mostly hate). The things she does…

Amazing how many negative things people have to say, simply because Melissa McCarthy is fat. It’s not that big of a deal! Jesus. And then the other negative things about the movie not being funny. I guess when you have a sociopathic, irritating character on screen, people lose their ability to feel humor. I am glad Carolyn & I are not jaded, and can enjoy a fine comedy such as this. It seems 95% of the IMDB comments are from people who hated the movie!

Apparently you have to be someone who loves comedies, to love this comedy. But it’s honestly better than most comedies out there! Fuck everyone else’s grim lives, we enjoyed this and you can’t stop us!

Directed by Seth Gordon (Four Christmases).
Written by Craig Mazin (The Hangover movies, Scary Movie 3 & 4, Senseless) (screenplay) and Jerry Eeten (story).

Starring Jason Bateman (Arrested Development, The Change-Up, Sit Down Shut Up, The Invention Of Lying, Hancock, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Juno) as Sandy Patterson.
Amanda Peet (Gulliver’s Travels, 2012, Saving Silverman) as Trish Patterson, the pregnant wife.
Melissa McCarthy (The Hangover 3, This Is 40, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Charlie’s Angels, Go) as Diana, the Identity Thief.
Jon Favreau (Iron Man, I Love You Man, Swingers, Made, John Carter, Elf, Four Christmases, 6 eps of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 6 eps of Friends) as Harold Cornish, the old douchebag boss.
John Cho (Harold from the Harold & Kumar movies, Sulu in the new Star Trek movies, American Pie movies, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Total Recall remake, Smiley Face) as Daniel Casey, the new boss.
Jonathan Banks (Mike from Breaking Bad, Puff Puff Pass, Gremlins) as Paul.
Morris Chestnut (Ryan Nichols in the V remake series) as Detective Reilly.
Robert Patrick (T-1000 in Terminator 2, Die Hard 2, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Bridge to Terabithia, Roger Bannon in The Real Adventures Of Jonny Quest, The Faculty, 4 eps of Sopranos, 1 ep of American Dad. He reminded us of a younger JigSaw from the Saw movies) as Skiptracer. We really thought he was Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) from the Saw movies, but apparently he simply has the capacity to look like a similar person.
Eric Stonestreet (Bad Teacher, 1 ep each of Nip/Tuck, Greg The Bunny, & Malcolm In The Middle) as Big Chuck.
Steve Little (Peppermint Butler in Adventure Time, Dr. Barber in The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack) as Party Guy’s Buddy. Only mentioning that because it’s weird to play minor characters in a cartoon, and then in this.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2024432/

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Change-Up (2011)

Clio: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

This was a fun comedy.  Sooo much better than This Is 40. Why did I just mention This Is 40? We thought this was a Judd Apatow movie, but then it turned out not to be Judd Apatow. Leslie Mann‘s presence really threw us off.  This movie is actually written by the guys who wrote the Hangover movies. It’s good to know they can do other things. They should write more movies.

This was basically Freaky Friday, updated for the Apatow crowd.  Lots of humor. Including foul humor. Think about it: In the Freaky Friday-type movies, one person is always a minor. Sex doesn’t really come up. By updating this cliched trope to no-holds-barred modern day cutting edge comedy (NOTHING IS SACRED!), we get to see tons of hilariously awkward situations that none of the oldschool bodyswap movies would dare touch.

But beyond that, there is actually some good sentiment, too.  Lessons, if you will. They didn’t need to do that, but they did. And yet, the comedy never stops, so the entire movie is all good times.

Holy jesus.. just came back from the haters on imdb. Why do people like that bother to watch movies? If all you do is find flaws and get offended, maybe you should find a different hobby?

Directed by: David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers, Fred Claus, Shanghai Knights)
Written by: Jon Lucas (The Hangover movies) & Scott Moore (The Hangover movies)

Ryan Reynolds (Adventureland, Hal Jordan in Green Lantern, Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Van Wilder, The Proposal) as Mitch Planko.
Jason Bateman (Arrested Development, Sit Down Shut Up, The Invention Of Lying, Hancock, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Juno) as Dave Lockwood.
Leslie Mann (17 Again, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, This Is 40, Funny People, Allen Gregory, Timecode) as Dave’s wife.
Olivia Wilde (Tron: Legacy/Tron: Uprising, Year One, In Time, The Girl Next Door) as Sabrina McArdle, the legal assistant.
Alan Arkin (Insp. Jacques Clouseau in Inspector Clouseau (1968), Gattaca, The Jerky Boys, Grosse Point Blank, Edward Scissorhands) as Mitch’s Dad.
Mircea Monroe (The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall & Felt Superbad About It) as Tatiana, Mitch’s pregnant fuck buddy.
Gregory Itzin (President Logan in 24, Adaptation, 1 ep of Firefly) as Flemming Steel, the lawfirm boss.
Ed Ackerman (Frozen, Hatchet II, bartender in 17 Again) as Victor.
Patricia French (Wanderlust, The Three Stooges (2012), 8 eps of Squidbillies) as Dave’s Secretary.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1488555/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Movie 43 (2013)

Clio: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Jesse: “That was awesome.”
iDRMRSR: “Oh this was a GREAT flick. I had to shampoo my reclinar after I watched it I crapped my slacks so many times laughing.”
Native ratings: 3.0/5 stars Netflix, only 4.4/10 IMDB.

This movie took me places I’ve never been before. It gets really low ratings becuase it is too ridiculous, disgusting, and low-brow. But if you like the Family Guy/South Park style of humor, IGNORE THE LOW RATINGS and go for this.

It is a series of about 13 interconnected segments. The framing-device part that encapsulates all of the sketches is probably the worst part. The individual segments range from funny to oh-god-make-it-stop awkward to disgusting to ridiculous.

For example, Hugh Jackman goes on a blind date with Kate Winslet, and he has testicles that hang off his neck. The whole segment is about Winslet’s disbelief at Jackman’s neckticles.

There’s also a super hero speed dating segment.

Great movie that totally exceeded all of our expectations.

BTW, another reason to watch this movie? Ensemble cast. Anna Faris (why do you think we watched this?), Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Kate Bosworth, Elizabeth Banks, Uma Thurman, Leslie Bibb, Kristen Bell, Seth MacFarlane, Patrick Warburton, Liev Schreiber, Gerard Butler, Seann William Scott, Dennis Quaid, J.B. Smoove, Justin Long, Greg Kinnear, Charlie Saxton, Chris Pratt, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Grace Moretz, Stephen Merchant… and even Snooki.

Even the directors of the segments include Bob Odenkirk (who wrote his segment) and Elizabeth Banks.

This movie is all over the place, and that’s awesome.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1333125/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Warm Bodies (2013)

Clio: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Jess: 3.4/5 stars, 5.9/10.
Native ratings: 4.0/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

*Another* zombie romance movie? Awesome! But unlike Boy Eats Girl, this one is post-apocalyptic, in a world populated almost exclusively with zombies. Like I Am Legend.

And yet, this movie is completely and wholely about the power of love.

Very good movie. It didn’t get too sappy with the romance part, and the zombies were awesome. There is a surprising amount of comedy. Surprising. And this had a slightly different take on zombie-ism. For instance, with great effort, a zombie can utter word or two. And there were two kinds of zombies: The normal zombies, and the ones that had given up so much hope that they’d peeled their skin off and were basically walking skeletons. These ones were feared even by the normal zombies.

I’d describe the movie math behind this as (I Am Legend * ((Twilight + Romeo & Juliet) / 2)) – teen emo bullshit + Boy Eats Girl… I caught on to the Romeo & Juliette similarties during the balcony scene.

But the fact that I just said Twilight might scare people. However, Teresa Palmer, to me, looks exactly like a blonde Kristin Stewart. And being loved by something that has a natural instinct to devour you is the basic premise of both Twilight and this movie.

But the fact that I just said Twilight might scare people. However, Teresa Palmer, to me, looks exactly like a blonde Kristin Stewart. And being loved by something that has a natural instinct to devour you is the basic premise of both Twilight and this movie.

In the end, you are left with a great message of hope, the power of love, and human triumph over darkness. Can love change the way the entire planet functions? Yes. Yes it can. And I’m not just talking about the movie.

Beware: This is a work of fiction, and makes no attempt to be fully logical. For example, electricity is still working even though society has collapsed. If you’re unable to look past something like that (but somehow able to look past the fact that zombies don’t actually exist), you might want to resolve that mental incongruity prior to watching.

Directed and written by Jonathan Levine. This is his best movie, though The Wackness was also good and profound.
Based on a novel by Isaac Marion.

Nicholas Hoult (Beast in X-Men: First Class, Clash Of The Titans remake) as R the Zombie.
Teresa Palmer (Take Me Home Tonight, The Grudge 2) as the human girl, Julie.
John Malkovichas Julie’s father, Grigio.
Analeigh Tipton (Crazy Stupid Love, The Green Hornet) as Julie’s horney friend, Nora.
Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, the clown doctor in Childrens Hospital, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, The Ten) as M.
James Franco’s brother Dave (Superbad, the new 21 Jumpstreet, The Riddler in 2 eps of Young Justice) plays Perry, the original boyfriend.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1588173/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Pecker (1998)

Clio: 4.6/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8/10.
Jesse watched this with us.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

This was actually a really awesome movie… Hilariously fun and bizarre. Plus, it’s about photography, and the way people tend to overreact to someone other than the government taking their picture. This movie out-quirks 99% of movies out there… And goddamn is the soundtrack very strange at times. It’s definitely appropros and adds to the film. Basically, it is obvious when watching this movie that it is the product of a brilliant director.

And of course, like all John Waters movies, you get outrageous dialogue, and great, memorable lines.  “This is a gay club and I need to see some gay I.D.”  “Pubic hair causes crime.”  “My meat curtain stands alone.”

It got kinda sad during the middle, but then magically everybody loved him again. How did that transformation occur? Well, I think I actually glossed over the piont of it all, and then Carolyn explained it to me… Once he “screwed” over the New Yorkers the same way he did the Baltimorians, they all realized, “Oh, but it’s art!”, and began to see photography from a more objective viewpoint.  It was a little convenient, but what would you expect from John Waters? They all have a surreal, skew quality to them. Like a live-action cartoon that no child should ever see. [Hmmm… Imagine John Waters doing an AdultSwim cartoon. That’d be awesome.]

Starring Edward Furlong (Hawk in Detroit Rock City, John Connor in Terminator 2, The Crow in The Crow 4, American History X, The Green Hornet) as Pecker.
18-year-old Christina Ricci (Wednesday in The Addams Family, Sleepy Hollow, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, 200 Cigarettes, Bless The Child) as Shelley. The younger she is, the weirder and creepier she looks. Her latest IMDB picture actually makes her look like a normal redhead person.
Lili Taylor (instantly recognizable as Lisa from Six Feet Under, High Fidelity, Four Rooms, Short Cuts) as Rorey, the art dealer.
Lauren Hulsey (she has not acted in much… she’s a visual effects person nowadays) as Pecker’s sugar-hyped little sister, Chrissy.
Mark Joy (Cecil B. Demented, Dogma) as Pecker’s dad.
Mary Kay Place (Being John Malkovich, Smashed, Mrs. Saunders in Youth In Revolt) as Pecker’s mom.
Martha Plimpton (Stef from The Goonies, Dante’s Inferno, 200 Cigarettes) as Pecker’s sister, the faghag Tina.
Jean Schertler (A Dirty Shame, Runaway Bride [don’t ever watch that piece of crap movie!]) as Memama, Pecker’s FUCKING CREEPY grandmother…. “FULL OF GRACE!”
Brendan Sexton III (Seven Psychopaths, Empire Records, Welcome To The Dollhouse) as Pecker’s shoplifting friend, Matt.
Mink Stole (A Dirty Shame, Cecil B. Demented, Splendor, But I’m A Cheerleader, other John Waters‘ movies such as Hairspray, Polyester, Pink Flamingoes) as Precinct Captain.
Bess Armstrong (the mom in My So-Called Life) as Dr. Klompus. Didn’t recognize her.

Amber adds: “Love this film and am a big Edward Furlong and John Waters fan Oddly enough, one of my FB friends who writes a satirical column for BrightestYoungThings published this amusing piece about the “death of Edward Furlong” LOL. It’s really a shame he’s gone so downhill http://brightestyoungthings.com/articles/obytuary-edward-furlong.htm

We love it too….. Enlightening article! he was…. interesting as The Crow in The Crow 4. They had so much makeup on him I didn’t know whether to be scared or horny. It was disturbing in a different way than the other crows…

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0126604/combined

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