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VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: EuroTrip (2004) [Road Trip 2]

Clio: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars Netflix (compared to 3.5/5 for Road Trip), 6.5/10 IMDB (compared to 6.4/10 for Road Trip).

Isn’t that odd? A sequel that actually received a [as slightly as possibly] higher rating than the original, where I disagree that it should be rated higher. Usually I complain that sequels are always downvoted. Here is one where they finally didn’t do that, and I still have a problem with it: They’re wrong. The original Road Trip  (2000) is definitely better than this!

This movie was good, but not great.  I really liked it, but more of a barely-really-liked-it, thus my 3.6/5 star rating. The sex gags involved dudes a lot more than the previous one, so while they were equally funny, they weren’t as titillating.  It was just a little too convenient.  The things that happened should have had worse consequences.  Instead, things happened, and it just didn’t seem to have that much of an impact.  Maybe there wasn’t enough conflict or something.  It was just like [highlight for spoilers] , “Yeah, they ended up in London, but hey, now they’re in Paris, no problem.”  Things like that happened the entire movie.  “Oh we have no money, and hitchhiked to a place that doesn’t even have a train station built, no problem.”

High-school graduate decides to take an impromptu trip to Europe with some friends in order to track down a penpal/possible love interest.

If it was going to have a requirement of that much suspension of belief, then they should have made it funnier… It seemed to lack a little bit to me. But I still enjoyed it enough. I didn’t dislike it. I almost really liked it.

At least see it for seeing Xena in a latex dominatrix outfit. We need that closure after Xena ended and she DIDN’T fuck Gabrielle.

Directed and co-written by: Jeff Schaffer (writer for Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Dictator, Bruno).
Co-writer & uncredited co-director: Alec Berg (writer for Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Dictator, Late Night W/Conan O’Brien).
Co-writer & uncredited co-director: David Mandel (writer Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Dictator, all 6 eps of Clerks:TAS, Saturday Night Live).

So we have some talented people making this movie, and some talented people in this movie:

Michelle Trachtenberg as the twin girl Jenny (we JUST saw her as the goth girl in Take Me Home Tonight, plus Weeds, 5 eps of Robot Chicken, 4 eps of Six Feet Under, 17 Again, Mysterious Skin).
Travis Wester as twin guy Jamie (1 ep of Six Feet Under, 3 eps of Undressed [wow!], 6 eps of the original Beverly Hills 90210).
Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) as cheating now-ex girlfriend, Fiona.
Matt Damon as a punk band singer.
Fred Armisen (Portlandia, Saturday Night Live, Terry in Out There) as Creepy Italian Guy .
Lucy Lawless (Xena) as sexy dominatrix Madame Vandersexxx.
Joanna Lumley (Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous) as the Hostel Clerk we only see in the closing credits.
Pat Kilbane (Pucked, Monkeybone, MADtv) as American Robot Guy.
Nick Jameson as a Reporter. Quite the fall from playing President Yuri Suvarov in 15 eps of 24…
Jeffrey Tambor (George Bluth Sr. in Arrested Development, Hank Kingsley in The Larry Sanders Show, Professor Cakes in 6 eps of China, IL) as Scott’s Dad.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0356150/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Take Me Home Tonight (2011)

Clio: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

From the producers of That 70’s Show, and the director of Goon, comes a movie that takes place in the 80’s, and is about as good as Superbad, and definitely in the same vein! Most of the movie’s events take place during one night.

This was an ideal choice for a Saturday night drunken party movie, and I’m glad that’s how we watched it. VERY enjoyable movie.

“I can’t deal with this. I need to do the coke.”
“Ok, slow down…. what exactly can’t you deal with?”
“Not doing the coke.”
[Can you fucking believe this movie was delayed a long time because no studio wanted to put out a movie where people use cocaine? Pffft! This movie was finished in 2007!]

Seriously though… We’ve already watched 26 comedies this year, and this is just about the best one (besides classics that we re-watched). AND IT’S ONE MOST PEOPLE OVERLOOKED. So underlook.

Party movies are usually fun, and this one included Anna Faris and Topher Grace.  We watched this as part of our “watch all movies by Anna Faris, as long as they seem watchable”. We’ve now seen 18 out of 35 of her movies, so we finally broke the halfway point.

Lots of funny people were in this one.  And the soundtrack… Full of 80’s awesomeness! Duran Duran, Men Without Hats, INXS, Falco, Wang Chung, N.W.A., Motley Crue, The Buggles, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Grace Jones, and more.

Someone described this as “I Love You Beth Cooper but in the 1980’s”. I know I loved Beth Cooper and need to watch it again… Now I feel more of an onus to do so.

A lot of people complain that this isn’t 1988-accurate, that it feels more like 1983. Fuck off, wankers. Get a life.

People:
Topher Grace (That 70’s Show, Spider-Man 3, The Giant Mechanical Man) as the loser who works at the mall and wants the girl, Anna Faris as his twin sister, Dan Fogler (Kung Fu Panda, Fanboys) as the best friend who was in fuck-it-party-mode due to being fired that day, Teresa Palmer as the high-school crush (The Grudge 2–this girl needs more exposure!), Chris Pratt (What’s Your Number?, Jennifer’s Body), Lucy Punch (The Giant Mechanical Man, Bad Teacher, Hot Fuzz), Michelle Trachtenberg (Weeds, 5 eps of Robot Chicken, 4 eps of Six Feet Under, 17 Again, Mysterious Skin), Michael Ian Black (Stella, The State, This Is 40, Wet Hot American Summer), and a bit part from Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad, Mr. Show, Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Monkeybone, The Giant Mechanical Man). Also Michael Biehn (Aliens, The Terminator, Planet Terror, Grindhouse) — Being a big fan of The Terminator and Aliens, Topher Grace personally called Michael Biehn and offered him the role of his father.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0810922/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Rock Of Ages (2012)

Clio: 2.6/5 stars, 5.4/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.0/5 stars Netflix, 5.8/10 IMDB.

Wow! Carolyn and me rating 2.0/5 stars apart from each other (Netflix), and 2.2/10 apart from each other (IMDB). I think that is a top-1% disagreement level; we’re never this far off from each other!

This movie actually failed to keep me engaged. The plot was so thin that once it became “just people singing songs” with 5 minutes of song to every 30 seconds of plot, I began to grow bored, which then made me tired, which made me fall asleep, which made me have to take a break to wake up just to get through the movie.

A musical needs at least some plot. Not a huge amount. Just something more tangible than what we had here. Repo:The Genetic Opera, Sweeney Todd, Nightmare Before Christmas, the South Park movie, Rocky Horror Picture Show. All of these have more engaging plots. Yes, even Rocky Horror! In the end this was just too random, I didn’t care about the characters enough to care about the movie, and it started to feel like an extended music video of old songs sung by celebrities instead of the original artists. I was waiting for it to be over, and was happy when it was.

Any given moment was kinda awesome, and Tom Cruise was great… The whole cast was… But it was just too devoid of story for me. It was too much. Maybe I would have enjoyed a shorter version (I did watch the extended version, after all). It’s totally out of character for me to say that, though.

Maybe on a different night, with a different mood and body chemistry, I would have enjoyed this more. Dunno if I’ll ever be able to make myself try it again, though. Life’s too short.

Carolyn adds: I enjoyed this movie.  I didn’t love it quite as much as Take Me Home Tonight, but I had fun watching it… They did have a lot of songs, and barely any plot, but it was more the ride than the story for me, I guess.

My mom adds: I saw this on an airplane, a captive audience. I must admit that I lean towards Clio‘s opinion.

Parthena, who recommended this to us (but didn’t rate it high?!) adds:  I would rate this 3/5 stars myself! For all the reasons you listed. Very loose plot…like they couldn’t decide which story to focus on. But some parts made me laugh.

 

People-wise:
Co-written by the writer of Tropic Thunder & Iron Man 2.
The main girl is Julianne Hough (uncredited role in Harry Potter 1, Footloose remake).
Diego Boneta (Mean Girls 2)
Russell Brand (Despicable Me, Get Him To The Greek, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, St. Trinian’s)
Alec Baldwin (Dr. Seuss’ The Cat In The Hat, 5 episodes of Clerks-TAS, Beetlejuice)
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Malcolm In The Middle, 6 episodes of The Cleveland Show, Jim Gordon in Batman: Year One)
Catherine Zeta-Jones (Ocean’s Twelve, Titanic, The Mask Of Zorro)
Paul Giamatti (John Dies At The End, The Hangover Part II, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto, Sideways, Man On The Moon, Saving Private Ryan, Lady In The Water)
Kevin Nash (wrestler)
Tom Cruise (Knight And Day, Mission: Impossible, Magnolia, Eyes Wide Shut, Minority Report, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Days Of Thunder)
Malin Akerman (Childrens Hospital, The Giant Mechanical Man, Wanderlust, Watchmen, The Brothers Solomon, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle)
Will Forte (5 episodes of Gravity Falls, 5 episodes of American Dad, Saturday Night Live, 19 episodes of The Cleveland Show, Tim And Eric‘s Billion Dollar Movie, Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Sit Down Shut Up, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Fanboys, The Brothers Solomon, Clone High
Eli Roth (writer of Cabin Fever, Hostel)
T.J. Miller (Robbie in Gravity Falls, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Gulliver’s Travels, How To Train Your Dragon, Get Him To The Greek, Cloverfield
Debbie Gibson
Sebastian Bach (Skid Row)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1336608/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Pacific Rim (2013)

Clint: 4/5 stars, 8/10. 
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8.4/10. 
Jesse: 4/5 stars, 7/10. 
Jsun: 3.6/5 stars.
Evan: 3.2/5 stars.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 7.1/10 IMDB.

Watched in 3-D with Jesse, Jsun, and Evan.

I really liked it. Almost loved it. But there were generic aspects. It was good and bad at the same time. But definitely the amusement park ride I was expecting and asking for.

I mean… I barely remember there truly being a story. They fight monsters, then oh no, boss monster! So they fight ’em.  And oh, they came from a portal to another dimension that just happens to exist in a crack in the sea, so that we can have fights in the ocean where there are less expensive things to CGI.

But really… It was an awesome action movie, slightly held back by cheesy dialog and formulaic tropes.  A good choice to watch in 3-D, because it looks awesome, but is lacking in dimension.

Carolyn’s thoughts: It was entertaining. Pretty cool action monster vs. mecha suit movie.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1663662/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Detroit Rock City (1999)

Clio: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native ratings: 3.9/5 stars Netflix (Netflix is down right now, sorry), 6.6/10 IMDB.

Oh my “Bob” did this movie hold up to a second viewing!!

Carolyn actually had no recollection of it, even though she knew she’s seen it.
Clio had only the vaguest recollection — maybe 5 seconds of total information.

This is pretty much exactly what I want from a comedy movie! It’s just full of awesomeness. The soundtrack, the cast (nexus movie alert! lots of people), the plot, the fact that it deals with “heavy” music, the nostalgic 1970s setting, the crazy capers that happen to them, the girls, the splitting stories that re-converge. This is a fun “night on the town” caper movie! A classic! A must-see!

Suburban high school rockers are on a quest to make sure they get to the Kiss concert in Detroit. I don’t like Kiss, but I respect them for selling out and milking it as much as possible, and would do the exact same thing if I were in their position.

Directed by Adam Rifkin (he wrote & directed National Lampoon’s The Stoned Age).
Written by Carl V. Dupre (he wrote 2 of the direct-to-video Hellraiser movies).

Starring Giuseppe Andrews as Lex (Deputy Winston from Cabin Fever, Pleasantville, Independence Day, Homo Erectus aka The Stoned Age).
James DeBello as Trip (Dorm Daze, Cabin Fever, Scary Movie 2, 100 Girls, enthusiastic guy in American Pie).
Edward Furlong as Hawk (John Connor in Terminator 2, Pecker from Pecker, The Crow in The Crow 4, The Green Hornet).
Sam Huntington as Jam (Fanboys, Jimmy Olsen in Superman Returns, Not Another Teen Movie).
Lin Shaye as Mrs. Bruce, the bitchy mom (Nurse Crotchet in 2012 The Three Stooges, Snakes On A Plane, Dumb And Dumber, Contagion, Kingpin).
Melanie Lynskey as Beth (Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Becky in The Life & Times Of Tim, The Informant!, Coyote Ugly, But I’m A Cheerleader).
Natasha Lyonne as Christine (American Pie 1/2/Reunion, Kate & Leopold, Scary Movie 2, But I’m A Cheerleader).
I didn’t even notice Emmanuelle Chriqui as Christine’s friend Barbara (Paige in Tron:Uprising, Cheetara in the 2010s Thundercats, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, The Crow 4, Wrong Turn, Waiting 1 & 2). (“Girl #1” was in Wrong Turn too.)
Also Ron Jeremy. Because he just shows up in things. Often enough that I have a screenshot from a movie that includes someone I know (Reverend Morgan Proctor) AND Ron Jeremy. He must get around a lot :)
And Shannon Tweed.
And oh! The cashier? Who wants Dr. Love to come back after saving her? Kristin Booth! I didn’t know who she was until I looked it up… She’s the voice of Parker in the Producing Parker. So frickin’ weird! She was also in Defendor and Young People Fucking.
Speaking of Defendor… One of the priests in this movie was Grandpa Henry in Defendor. The other one was in Slackers and Stripes.
Hehe…Chongo was in Gothika and Resident Evil:Apocalypse.

This movie is just weird. A lot of people were in other things we’ve seen. Maybe we’ve just watched a lot of movies.

“Beefy Jerk #1” was in Seven Psychopaths, which we JUST watched. He was also in The Dictator, Pineapple Express, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Registered Sex Offender, Superbad.

Beefy Jerk #2!??! Is Bobby ‘Bacala’ Baccalieri from The Sopranos! The guy who kinda took care of Junior. He was also in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. I didn’t notice any of this. Just a testament to how much of a nexus this movie is…

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0165710/combined

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

RATINGS:
Clio: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8.4/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8.4/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: Netflix: 3.3/5 stars, IMDB: 7.3/10.

CAROLYN’S THOUGHTS: This wasn’t definitely not what I expected. It was more about the psychological aspect rather than the “OMG shit is going down, run away!” aspect.

CLIO’S THOUGHTS: Not at all like the original. Quite unexpected. John Goodman is really good in this — like a completely different person. I’d like to see a 3rd Cloverfield movie. This second installment of the franchise seems to want to set the frahchise up more as a universe to expore episodically, than as a serialized story. This 2nd Cloverfield movie is sorta-kinda a prequel to the first. Sort of. And it’s pretty much a completely different genre. It’s almost cliche the way they intentionally betrayed our expectations. But it definitely makes for a 2nd “flavor” of the Cloverfield story.

PEOPLE:

Directed by Dan Trachtenberg.
Written by Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken, & Damien Chazelle.

Starring:
John Goodman as Howard.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Death Proof, Grindhouse, A.C.O.D., Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Smashed, Final Destination 3) as Michelle.
John Gallagher Jr. as Emmett.
Douglas M. Griffin (Oldboy remake, Self/less, G.I. Joe 2, This Is The End) as Driver.
Suzanne Cryer (Laurie in Silicon Valley, Wag The Dog, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck, 1 ep of Seinfeld) as Woman.
Bradley Cooper (The Hangover movies, Limitless, Guardians Of The Galaxy, The A-Team, All About Steve, American Hustle, The Rocker, He’s Just Not That Into You, Wet Hot American Summer, Stella Shorts, Wedding Crashers, 6 eps of Nip/Tuck) as Ben.
Sumalee Montano (Katana in Beware The Batman, Arcee in Transformers Prime) as Voice on Radio. (more…)

Clio: 5/5 stars, 8.3/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 6.2/10 IMDB.

Carolyn: This was a creepy movie – It made me think of Paranormal Activity, but this one seemed slightly better, but that could have been the adrenaline talking. Definitely some creepy moments.

Clio: Had me pretty freaked out. But no way was it better than Paranormal Activity. It did, however, have me distraught throughout most of the movie, even though the actual plot wasn’t really that unique. It was either done very well, or I was in a optimum mental state to enjoy a movie such as this. I thought it was just going to be a 3-star’er. Also at play is the fact that we haven’t watched a horror movie in ages, so maybe we enjoyed this more than usual because of that.

Or maybe it was just that things were pretty goddamn creepy.

This is reminiscent in feel (but not content) to The Fourth Kind.

There are indeed a lot of cliches, plot holes, people doing really stupid shit when they didn’t have to, but for godssake, this is a horror movie, what did you expect? I often rate horror movies high because I consider them to only be able to be so good, and if they are that good, they are as good as one can be, and ergo are high rated.

My sister adds: “I like your reasoning for why you “often rate horror movies high.” I think I’ve subconsciously done the same, following that same logic without realizing it.”

 

Written & directed by Scott Stewart.

Starring Keri Russell (Felicity, Mission Impossible 3, Honey I Blew Up The Kid, 1 ep of Arrested Development, 1 ep of Married With Children) as Lacy Barrett.
Josh Hamilton (Stella shorts, The Bourne Identity, 1 ep of Delocated, 1 ep of Absolutely Fabulous) as Daniel Barrett.
Dakota Goyo (young Thor in Thor) as Jesse Barrett.
Kadan Rockett as Sam Barrett.
J.K. Simmons (Oz, Tenzin in Legend Of Korra, 3 Geezers, J. Jonah Jameson in the Spiderman movies, Hulk And The Agents Of S.M.A.S.H., Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Ultimate Spider-Man, and 2 eps of The Simpsons, Juno; I Love You, Man; Jennifer’s Body, 4 eps of The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack) as Edwin Pollard.
L.J. Benet as Kevin Ratner, Jesse’s friend.
Rich Hutchman (Crazy, Stupid, Love, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon) as Mike Jessop.
Myndy Crist (The Time Machine (2002), 4 eps of Six Feet Under, 1 ep of 24) as Karen Jessop.
Annie Thurman (The Hunger Games) as Shelly Jessop, Jesse’s crush.
Ron Ostrow (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Jerky Boys, A Few Good Men, 1 ep of Firefly, 1 ep of Just Shoot Me) as Richard Klein.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2387433/combined

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