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VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Dark Horse (2011)

Clint: 3.6/5 stars, 7.8/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 2.8/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

Todd Solondz! One of my 15 favorite directors!

He doesn’t really make movies in genres that I like; he makes movies in genres I don’t like and manages to make them very interesting to me.

His movies are the ultimate in depressing awkwardness, with occasional black comedic effect.  And this movie lived up to that reputation.

Ultimately we have a movie about a main characther who is such a loser that everyone around him would be better off if he was dead. We end up with a very lonely movie.  It kind of makes us think about how detached, lonely, and desperate people really are (it’s more than most people think). We’re all just floating through life, scared, having no idea what we’re doing — and yet, grabbing on to the first person willing to grab back doesn’t magically solve these problems. I’ve learned it all too well myself, and this movie demonstrates it just again. The cold hard existental truth about the meaningless of human contact.

Interesting IMDB trivia: “Estelle Harris, Jason Alexander and Jerry Stiller were hired to do voice overs for the scenes where Mia Farrow and Christopher Walken sit stone-faced watching an unseen TV sitcom. Todd Solondz felt the Costanzas on the TV series Seinfeld were a sitcom version of the family he was depicting, but he couldn’t afford to use audio clips from Seinfeld.”

Written & directed by Todd Solondz (Palidromes; Happiness; Welcome To The Dollhouse; Fear, Anxiety & Depression [my favorite]).

Starring:
Jordan Gelber as Abe.
Selma Blair (Storytelling, Hellboy movies, A Dirty Shame, Cruel Intentions, Can’t Hardly Wait, Legally Blonde, Destiny in 2 eps of Out There, 1 ep of Portlandia) as Miranda.
Mia Farrow as Phyllis.
Christopher Walken as Jackie.
Justin Bartha (Doug in The Hangover movies, National Treasure movies, uncredited in 54) as Richard, the brother.
Aasif Mandvi (The Internship, Movie 43, The Dictator, It’s Kind Of A Funny Story, The Last Airbender, Spider-Man 2, 1 ep of King Of The Hill, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Mahmoud.
Zachary Booth (Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist) as Justin.
Donna Murphy (The Bourne Legacy, The Fountain, Spider-Man 2) as Marie.
Tyler Maynard (there’s also a character called Jiminy in Palindromes) as Jiminy.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1690455/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIOEW: The Purge 1 (2013)

Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, 5.5/10 IMDB (seems low, but IMDB is usually low).

What a premise: The government allows all crime to be legal for a period of 12 hours every year.

Carolyn thought it was an interesting commentary on human behavior and preventing crime, but then I had to interject that it was not a commentary on that at all. It was a commentary on using crime prevention as an excuse for class warfare: A phenomenon that is very real and happens in the real world today.  Very often — in the real world — the vaunted public interest of stopping crime or making people safe is used as an excuse to reduce personal liberty. And this is the ultimate example of that.

In that sense, this is a political commentary along the same lines as The Hunger Games, but in a more decentralized, less post-apocalyptic, less futuristic way. The society seems to be a present-day society, whereas Hunger Games seems to be 50-100 years in the future. But the message is the same: Class warfare is entertaining for the upper class, hell for the lower class, and is designed to destroy everyone but the rich.

So the movie had political ramifications for me, regardless of how good it was otherwise. And I liked that.

But I felt it was good, otherwise, as well. There were at least 5 different factions of people — not even counting the conflicting motives of the family. These factions all had their own agendas, and the viewer didn’t always know what they were. This allowed for a lot of small twists and surprises that helped betray one’s expectations and make the movie more interesting and less guessable.

Some people are mad at this movie because not everyone acted rationally. They seem to forget that a movie where everyone acted rationally would generally not be interesting. You need some people to do some stupid things to get everyone into a predicament, so that you can be entertained by the prospect of getting OUT of said predicament. Do I really have to explain this? A horror movie where everyone acted rational would mean, in this case, a movie where everyone locks up their house and nobody goes outside during The Purge. That. Would. Be. Boring. I’m sure there are plenty of horror movies where nobody does anything stupid. It wouldn’t work in this case. So I don’t view that as a valid complaint.

Written & directed by James DeMonaco.

Ethan Hawke (Gattaca, Daybreakers, Reality Bites, Mystery Date, Explorers, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as James Sandin, the dad.
Lena Headey (Dredd, Sarah Conner in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, St. Trinian’s (2007), 300, The Broken, The Brothers Grimm) as Mary Sandin, the wife.
Max Burkholder (Astro Boy, 17 eps of Family Guy, 2 eps of The Cleveland Show, 2 eps of American Dad, 1 ep of The Spectacular Spider-Man) as Charlie Sandin, the son.
Adelaide Kane (she’s in some new Teen Wolf show) as Zoey Sandin, the daughter.
Edwin Hodge (Dorm Daze 1, Take Me Home Tonight, 1 ep of Heroes) as Bloody Stranger.
Rhys Wakefield (+1) as Polite Leader. Clint recognized him instantly a few days later when we watched +1.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2184339/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Violet & Daisy (2011)

Clint: 3.6/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Native ratings: 6.2/10 IMDB. Doesn’t seem to be on Netflix.

This was interesting and somewhat quirky black comedy about a pair of female underage BFF assassins. However, one is very alpha, while the other (Saoirse Ronan) sort of follows along. There are interesting dynamics between them, and things only get more interesting when they are awarded what turns out to be the most challenging hit of their careers. And not at all for the reasons you would think. Not at all.

It wasn’t that action-packed, but then again, it wasn’t an action movie. It kind of meandered a bit with the cryptic dream sequences, but for once, such an endeavor did not detract from the story. They were short, they were over, and they could be ignored if you chose to.

Watch this for one of James Gandolfini’s last performances before his death. He’s quite a different character from Tony Soprano here.  But also watch this if you are a Saoirse (“Seer-sha”) Ronan fan. That girl keeps growing on us. She’s only 19-20 and we’ve already seen 5 of her movies now.

This has a sort of indie feel to it, in that the plot isn’t as realistic, and the ending/meaning is slightly pretentious. I’m okay with that. We were entertained, and it was interesting, as well as having a lot of laughs. It earns the “comedy” in “action-comedy-crime-drama-thriller”, and comedy deserves to be the 2nd genre mentioned there. Though the comedy does thin out a bit near the end.

Written & directed by Geoffrey Fletcher.

Saoirse Ronan (The Host, Hanna, Byzantium, the voice of Arriety in The Secret World of Arrietty) as Daisy.
Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls) as Violet.
Danny Trejo (Breaking Bad, Predators, Harold & Kumar 3, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto, Eyeborgs, Fanboys, Smiley Face, The Devil’s Rejects, Anchorman,Trojan War, Enrique on King Of The Hill, Machete in Spy Kids 1-3) as Russ. He gets around!
Marianne Jean-Baptiste (The Cell) as Iris.
James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano in The Sopranos, Where The Wild Things Are, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Get Shorty) as Michael.
John Ventimiglia (Artie Bucco in The Sopranos) as Man #1. Clint recognized him immediately from Sopranos.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1634136/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire (2013)

Clint: 5/5 stars, 8.9/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.9/10.
Native ratings: 4.4/5 stars Netflix, 8.1/10 IMDB.

What can we say that hasn’t been said? This is extremely popular, so it warrants less effort to review. Let’s just say: We fucking loved it. We love this trilogy and are glad it will only be another couple of years before we get to see the end of the story.

However…

However, it wasn’t as good as the first. That’s kind of to be expected with the middle movie of a trilogy.

Beware the abrupt ending. Abrupt ending is abrupt.

This movie really is more of the same, but with differences… Like the 2nd line in a three-line joke.

So some people will undoubtedly complain. I’ve already heard them complain.

I can’t find Clint’s review of the first one, but the ratings we emailed each other for the first one: Ca: 4.6/8.6, Cl: 5/9. So I liked this one better than the first one. I noticed that the average IMDB rating of the first one is 7.3 and the rating for this one is 8.1.

Directed by Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend).
Written by Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours, Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, The Full Monty) and Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Brave).

Based on the book by Suzanne Collins.

Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique in X-Men: First Class) as Katniss Everdeen.
Liam Hemsworth (Triangle, The Expendables 2) as Gale Hawthorne.
Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy.
Josh Hutcherson (Journey To The Center Of The Earth, Zathura: A Space Adventure, Bridge To Terabithia, Howl’s Moving Castle, American Splendor, 1 ep of Justice League) as Peeta Mellark.
Donald Sutherland as President Snow.
Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games, Miri In Zack And Miri Make A Porno, Fred Claus, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Betty Brant in the Spider-Man movies, Wet Hot American Summer, The Details, Movie 43) as Effie Trinket.
Nelson Ascencio (he’s a writer and various voices on MADtv, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of The Larry Sanders Show) as Flavius.
Lenny Kravitz as Cinna.
Stanley Tucci (Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters, Captain America: The First Avenger, Swing Vote) as Caesar Flickerman.
Wilbur Fitzgerald (Anchorman 2, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, RoboCop 3) as Cray.
Patrick St. Esprit (Super 8) as Commander Thread.
Toby Jones (Dobby’s voice in the Harry Potter movies, Snow White And The Huntsman, Captain America: The First Avenger, Saint Trinian’s 2) as Claudius Templesmith.
Jena Malone (Sucker Punch, Howl’s Moving Castle, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Johanna Mason.
Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Invention Of Lying, The Boat That Rocked aka Pirate Radio, The Big Lebowski, Magnolia, Boogie Nights, Scent Of A Woman, Twister) as Plutarch Heavensbee.
Sam Claflin (Pirates Of The Caribbean 4, Snow White And The Huntsman) as Finnick Odair.

Bruce Bundy as Octavia. I was trying to figure out who she is and whether I should list her, and I was like “Wait, isn’t Bruce a boy’s name?” Then I see her early credits say she was credited as “Brooke Bundy” so then I was wondering if she went through a sex change… Nope, I guess according to her facebook page, there was already a Brooke Bundy so she decided to go with Bruce as a “bold move”. Weird stuff. I still don’t know what character she is in the movie, though.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1951264/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Little Johnny The Movie (2011)

Clint: 2/5 stars, 4.7/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5.4/10.
Native ratings: 5.1/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

A profanity-laced adult-toon about Little Johnny — i.e. the kid in the Little Johnny jokes.  For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Johnny

Honestly, I had to read the wikipedia article just to motivate myself to watch the movie. I didn’t really remember what “little Johnny jokes” were.

In the end, this had great potential, but was a serious letdown. Then again, this did come from Australia, so perhaps their animated humor isn’t hasn’t matured as modern of an edge yet.

Or perhaps it was just this way on purpose.

There were laughs. There were TONS of children saying inappropriate things. But it just wasn’t FUNNY a lot of the time. And the framing plot was almost devoid of what one could call “humor”.

Carolyn’s thoughts: It had its moments, and there were a couple of jokes that caused me to laugh out loud. Overall, though, it wasn’t that great. It started out as a string of jokes, and then it got more into the story and the jokes tapered off. It held my interest enough, but I would have considered aborting it if Clint had wanted to. I mostly found myself caring more about the uncle storyline than the Johnny storyline.

Directed by Ralph Moser.
Written by Ralph Moser, Stewart Faichney, and Dean Murphy.

Starring Genevieve Morris as Little Johnny.
Kevin Bloody Wilson as Uncle Kevin.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1674086/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: In a World… (2013)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 7.0/10 IMDB.

Carolyn’s thoughts: It wasn’t bad, but we were hoping it’d be funnier. I enjoyed it for the most part.

Claire’s tirade: This was an interesting movie, but it was QUITE a let-down, as it was billed as a comedy, and we were expecting a straight comedy. Instead we received an interesting movie that occasionally had some funny stuff in it. Another fucking ambush. If I could rate how my expectations were served, it would be 1/5 stars, 3/10.

So anyway, this is about the voice-actor for movie trailers (the ones that always start with “In A World…”) dying, and there being a power play to see who gets to replace that guy, and whether the world is ready to have a woman take that kind of job. It’s a female-written/starring/directed movie in part about gender politics, but I feel like it doesn’t have an audience. The people watching it are already watching a female-created endeavor, so any preaching is to the choir. I guess they’re not preaching. So why not have some more comedy then?

We unfortunately chose this as our “final day of drinking” (we don’t drink during the work week) Sunday-night movie, looking for laughs. Despite the fact that it was written by/directed by/starring Lake Bell (from the hilarious live-action AdultSwim show Childrens Hospital), and also starred usually-comedic actor Rob Corddry (also from Childrens Hospital, among other things) and always-comedic Ken Marino (from The State), it just wasn’t that comedic!

Rob Corddry’s character, for example, had no comedy! It was a very serious side-plot that was completely superfluous to the movie. The side-plot could have had a very beautiful moment, but what would have been the best moment for me happened off-camera. I felt deprived, and it made the characters worth less for me.

I need to stop picking our Sunday-night-drinking movies.

Out of the 4 comedies we were going to watch, this was rated highest. I think that may be a trap I keep falling into. I think I keep picking the highest-rated comedy out of a group of comedic-looking movies I want to watch, and it keeps not actually being that comedic. My theory is that actual comedies get rated more lowly than dramas (because people hate comedies; they always rate way lower than we on comedies). Thus, when I try to pick a weekend-comedy and go for the highest-rated movie, it’s actually rated higher not because it’s funnier, but because it’s not a comedy. This leads me to pick what I think is the funniest movie out of a group of comedies (because it has the highest rating), but all too often is not really a comedy (which is why it earned the highest rating). This happened when we watched Girl Most Likely, for example. It’s happened to me several times in the past few months. I may have to change my movie selection algorithm.

Anyway, despite my complaints — The movie was still interesting, in part because we take voice acting very seriously due to all the cartoons we watch.

But I gotta say… It was a disjointed mess. The comedy, romance, and drama all worked against each other, instead of with each other. This was not the movie I should have watched Sunday night. So I’m warning you: Watch this movie when you’re in the right mood. Not when you’re looking for a comedy. Expect something entertaining but not hilarious or great.

Written, directed by, and starring Lake Bell (Childrens Hospital, It’s Complicated, What Happens In Vegas, 1 ep of Newsreaders, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Tron Uprising)

Starring Rob Corddry (Blake Downs in Childrens Hospital, Hell Baby, Hot Tub Time Machine, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Rapture-Palooza, What Happens In Vegas, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, The Ten, Blades Of Glory, 1 ep of The Life And Times Of Tim) as Moe.
Ken Marino (The State, Childrens Hospital, Stella, Wet Hot American Summer, Flute Cop in Axe Cop, Wanderlust, Hoodwinked, 1 ep of The Sarah Silverman Program) as Gustav.
Demetri Martin (Contagion, Take Me Home Tonight) as Louis, Carol’s coworker and friend.
Fred Melamed (Grand Theft Auto video games, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Sam, Carol’s father.
Tig Notaro (The Sarah Silverman Program, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of The Office) as Cher.
Nick Offerman (Axe Cop in Axe Cop, Briggs from Children’s Hospital, RSO:Registered Sex Offender, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Wristcutters:A Love Story, Sin City, Smashed) as Heners.
Michaela Watkins (Wanderlust, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV::, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Dani, Carol’s sister.
Geena Davis (Beetlejuice, Thelma & Louise, A League Of Their Own) as Katherine Huling. OMG I DID NOT RECOGNIZE HER. The straight hair, the extra weight, the older face. Wow. She still looks good for her age, but wow.
Cameron Diaz as Amazon Leader (uncredited). For like 2 seconds. Totally missed her.
Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, Safety Not Guaranteed, Toy Story Movies, Wall-E, Run Ronnie Run, MADtv) as Himself (uncredited).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2294677/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Get Shorty (1995)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6.8/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 6.9/10 IMDB.

I kinda didn’t know where the movie was headed a lot of the time… But ultimately the main gimmick seemed to be that the movie was kind of about making itself.

That’s a fun, quirky concept, but it didn’t really make the movie *that* much better. It was pretty funny, though. John Travolta and James Gandolfini were good. Movie making and lonesharking apparently have a lot to do with each other.

I feel like this movie has been referenced a lot over the past 18 years, and since I am seeing it for the first time after such a long period of time, I think I was expecting something more. Something truly deserved of existing in the pop culture lexicon. In the end, the main thing I gain by watching this is a desire to watch the Spice Girls movie again, as it had similarities to this, and I’ve never gotten to compare the two. That’s kind of a sad conclusion to my watching experience. :)

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (Men In Black movies, Wild Wild West, The Addams Family movies).
Based on a book. Written by Scott Frank (The Wolverine, Minority Report, Dead Again).

Starring John Travolta Chili Palmer.
Danny DeVito as Martin Weir.
Gene Hackman (Royal Tenenbaum in The Royal Tenenbaums, The Birdcage, Lex Luthor in the Superman movies, Enemy Of The State) as Harry Zimm.
Rene Russo (Thor movies, Lethal Weapon movies, Major League) as Karen Flores.
Dennis Farina (What Happens In Vegas, Snatch, Saving Private Ryan, Bag Boy, 2 eps of Justice League) as Ray ‘Bones’ Barboni.
Delroy Lindo (Up, 1 ep of The Simpsons, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Bo Catlett.
James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano in The Sopranos, Where The Wild Things Are, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Violet & Daisy) as Bear.
Jon Gries (Napoleon Dynamite, Unicorn City, TerrorVision, Lazlo in Real Genius, 2 eps of Carnivale) as Ronnie Wingate.
Renee Props (Weird Science, 1 ep of Seinfeld, 1 ep of The Facts Of Life, 1 ep of Knight Rider) as Nicki.
David Paymer (Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite, Lazlo in Real Genius, Unicorn City, TerrorVision, Good Intentions, 2 eps of Carnivale) as Leo Devoe.
Martin Ferrero (Jurassic Park, Gung Ho, Planes Trains & Automobiles, 1 ep of Soap, 1 ep of Dream On) as Tommy Carlo.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113161/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013)

Claire: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.8/10 IMDB.

This movie was pretty fucking funny! Real people very really getting fucked with in hilariously brilliant real-world situations.

It was Jackass, without any of the stunts, violence, grossness, or nudity. (Yes, Jackass also has comedic skits.)  I have a feeling that the wusses too weak to enjoy Jackass could and would definitely be able to enjoy this one. It’s candid camera updated for the modern age, made awkward as hell.

Most of the cast didn’t know they were in a movie when being filmed — and they showed them finding out during the closing credits. This added to the humor — a lot. There are some extended scenes on YouTube.

They did a better job on Johnny Knoxville’s grandpa makeup than they did with the skits in the show,  causing this movie to receive an Oscar nomination for makeup work. They had to make Knoxville be convincingly old not just for the audience, but for the real-world participants who were ambushed into unwittingly starring in this movie! Neat challenge that you can’t ever rise to in a traditionally-scripted movie.

And the kid was pretty brilliant. He said things no child should ever say. And since a lot of the movie deals with strangers, that means the kid was basically having to improvise all the timing.  Child actors usually go nowhere, but by the late 2020s, I could envision this kid being an actor in popular comedy movies. At the very least, he should get some National Lampoon roles later… His name was Jackson Nicoll, and he was uncredited in What’s Your Number? and was also in the Athur movie.

Anyway…. Haters of Jackass should be advised to give THIS one a chance. And if you like man-on-the-street/candid style “reality” humor, then this movie is a must!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3063516/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: About Time (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 4.0/5 stars Netflix, 7.9/10 IMDB.

This was a nice time-travel romance movie. The ultimate point was pretty much the same point as most sappy movies, but they managed to use the gimmick of time travel to really show this point in a unique way. And of course, messing with the spacetime continuum always makes a movie more interesting. Always. And romances need something to make them interesting, otherwise they’re just too intolerable. Why the fuck do you think they put vampires & werewolves having epic battles into the middle of Twilight? Everyone interprets as pissing on vampire-genre, but I interpret as improving romance-genre with fuckin’ monsters and shit.

But I digress.

This movie was at the very least interesting. Time travel was more, uh, Quantum Leap style, I guess, if you had to describe it in terms of a pop culture reference. No hottubs or DeLoreans or stargates here. Very subtle. A good type of time travel for the introspective.  The romance was alright. The family-stuff was marginally tolerable. But all the elements came together to still make a good movie.

Random comment 1: Of course if a movie is a time-travel romance, it has to have Rachel McAdams, right? Apparently that is a rule.
Random comment 2: Claire rated this pretty much exactly how most people did. A rarity to come by.

Carolyn’s thoughts: Someone described this as Groundhog Day for chicks, which isn’t quite accurate. This made me think of Click in some ways. It got me thinking about my dad dying, though, but not in a depressing way. It touched some heart strings.

Directed & written by Richard Curtis (Bridget Jones’s Diary, French & Saunders Live and 1 ep of French & Saunders, 1 ep of Doctor Who).

Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, Dredd, Boy Eats Girl) as Tim.
Rachel McAdams (The Time Traveler’s Wife, Mean Girls, Wedding Crashers) as Mary.
Bill Nighy (The World’s End, Hot Fuzz, Shaun Of The Dead, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 1, Underworld movies, Pirates Of The Caribbean movies, Jack The Giant Slayer, Total Recall remake, Wrath Of The Titans, 1 ep of Doctor Who) as Dad.
Lydia Wilson (1 ep of Dirk Gently) as Kit Kat.
Lindsay Duncan (Alice In Wonderland, 1 ep of Absolutely Fabulous, 1 ep of Doctor Who) as Mum.
Richard Cordery as Uncle D.
Joshua McGuire as Rory.
Tom Hollander (Hanna, Pirates Of The Caribbean movies, uncredited in Byzantium, 2 eps of Absolutely Fabulous, 1 ep of Family Guy, 1 ep of Aqua Teen) as Harry.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2194499/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Europa Report (2013)

Claire: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 6.5/10 IMDB.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was a pretty good sci-fi.  Not that suspenseful, but it told the story well.  Not much to the story, though.  A manned space shuttle launches to see if they can find life on Jupiter’s Moon, Europa.  Halfway to Jupiter, their communications get knocked out so they don’t have contact with Earth, but they decide to continue their mission anyway.  I think it could have been better if there was more suspense or action, but it was interesting.

Claire: This was definitely a bit calmer than most. Sure, we have death and violence, but none of it is really sensationalized in a Hollywoodesque manner. Some might say that makes this movie more tasteful, but for me, it just makes it have slightly less to offer, in an almost old-fashioned way. But that’s okay. I get it. They wanted to stick to true science fiction — not horror/action — and it worked.

Directed by Sebastian Cordero.
Written by Philip Gelatt.

Starring Daniel Wu as William Xu.
Sharlto Copley (Oldboy remake, District 9, Murdock in The A-Team movie) as James Corrigan.
Christian Camargo (Twilight: Breaking Dawn movies, The Hurt Locker, National Treasure 2) as Daniel Luxembourg, engineer.
Karolina Wydra (Crazy, Stupid, Love) as Katya Petrovna, scientist.
Michael Nyqvist (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo movies (original)) as Andrei Blok, engineer.
Anamaria Marinca (1 ep of Doctor Who) as Rosa Dasque, the pilot.
Embeth Davidtz (Mary Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man movies, the remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Army Of Darkness, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Schindler’s List) as Dr. Unger, the CEO of the company.
Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Goodfellas, Gremlins 2) as Dr. Pamuk.
Dan Fogler (Take Me Home Tonight, Fanboys, Kung Fu Panda, Horton Hears A Who, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Ugly Americans) as Dr. Sokolov.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2051879/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Uncle Buck (1989)

Claire: 3.2/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

I seriously haven’t seen most John Hughes movies. I hadn’t even heard of this one until Jesse mentioned we should get it.

This was somewhat funny, though a lot of the humor did fall into the somewhat sappy humor-category of “look at the odd father figure do odd things, haha”. I feel like this kind of humor is genetically programmed on some sort of level, which diminishes its value a bit.  Maybe the whole movie was just too family for me.

Anyway, I thought it would be a “John Candy Vs. A Family” comedy, but now I know that it was actually a “John Candy Vs. A Teenage Girl” coming-of-age story with comedic moments.  I guess I didn’t know where the story was going to be going. Hell, this may be a rare movie that I would have liked to have seen a trailer for, first. But then I think it would have just ruined the best funny moments.

I’m glad I watched this, though I think it probably would seem more profound AND funnier to a younger viewer.

Carolyn: I saw this when I was young, and I remembered it being funny. I don’t remember how much I liked it at the time, but it was probably about the same as now. Nice light-hearted family comedy about John Candy learning that he can be a family man if he wants to be…

I think as a kid, it didn’t seem so short-attention-spanny to me. For example, the birthday party scene happened so fast that it felt like it was just stuck in there, and I think as a kid, that was a funnier scene. Now the movie seems really rushed, but still funny, and maybe it is good that it is rushed, because it doesn’t get stale.

Directed and written by John Hughes (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, Home Alone movies, Flubber, 101 Dalmations, Vacation movies, Planes Trains & Automobiles, She’s Having A Baby, Mr. Mom).

John Candy (RIP) as Buck Russell.
Macaulay Culkin as Miles Russell.
Jean Louisa Kelly (3 eps of Mad About You) as Tia Russell. She got pretty hot.
Gaby Hoffmann (Crystal Fairy in Crystal Fairy, 200 Cigarettes, Sleepless In Seattle) as Maizy Russell.
Amy Madigan (Carnivale, 1 ep of Frasier) as Chanice Kobolowski.
Elaine Bromka (1 ep of Sopranos) as Cindy Russell.
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass‘s dad in the Kick-Ass movies) as Bob Russell.
Laurie Metcalf (Jackie in Roseanne, God The Devil And Bob, Andy’s mom in the Toy Story movies, 3 eps of 3rd Rock From The Sun, 2 eps of Duckman, 1 ep of Malcolm In The Middle) as Marcie Dahlgren-Frost.
Jay Underwood (The Boy Who Could Fly, Not Quite Human movies) as Bug.
Suzanne Shepherd (Requiem For A Dream, The Sopranos, The Jerky Boys, Mystic Pizza) as Mrs. Hogarth. She’s not very memorable.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098554/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Junkie (2012)

Claire: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 4.6/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

Well, THAT was a weird movie. One of the stranger parts of this movie was that it could ever be a comedy. And you could argue that it’s not; that it’s a psychological thriller. In content, that may be true…But in tone, it stayed decently comedic throughout.

It was somewhat slow to start, and we (especially Carolyn) became slightly disinterested. Then it started to pickup. Got very surreal and barely made sense, but that was to set up the end, which twisted things far further than we ever would have thought.

The movie  definitely funny AND interesting, but in a very strange, low-key, and kind of dark way. If you watch multiple movies a week, this is a good weeknight choice.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1837584/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: 10 Rules For Sleeping Around (2013)

Claire: 3.2/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Native ratings: 4.0/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

The writer directed this, and it wasn’t the best directing. Parts could have been made easier to follow, plus it was directed by a chick, so it had that stereotypical “I’m the one” plot aspect.

It also kinda made a case for alternate lifestyles only being immature distractions from vanilla lifestyles, which is an overused premise in my opinion.

The main problem I had with this movie is they didn’t really establish the characters enough at the beginning, so as the plot became more twisted and convoluted, I had a problem always following who was who. I have similar problems with war movies and anime one-shots. I never have this problem with cartoons because those kinds of characters are more distinctive *and* almost never change clothes. Carolyn typically has to issue help to me during a movie like this.

Carolyn adds: That’s true. Character introduction was very rushed. I enjoyed it, but I did see that it was one of those movies that talks about alternate lifestyles and then concludes vanilla is the way to go, which is typical and slightly annoying.

Claire: All of the above being said, it was still a movie with some laughs, and not unenjoyable at all. It was actually better than the ratings would lead one to conclude.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1993391/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Machete 2: Machete Kills (2013)

Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 8/10.
Claire: Deferring to Carolyn’s rating.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

Watched with TwoBeans. However, I fell asleep a lot during the end, so the net effect of the movie was completely lost on me.

I know I laughed a lot.

Fortunately, parts 2 & 3 are a duology (i despise that word!) of sorts, so it won’t be so wasteful to rewatch #2 when #3 comes out.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez (Grindhouse, Planet Terror, Sin City).
Written by Kyle Ward.

Starring Danny Trejo (Breaking Bad, Predators, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto, Eyeborgs, Fanboys, Smiley Face, The Devil’s Rejects, Anchorman,Trojan War, Enrique on King Of The Hill, Machete in Spy Kids 1-3) as Machete.
Mel Gibson as Voz.
Demian Bichir (Esteban Reyes in Weeds) as Mendez.
Amber Heard (Pineapple Express, Zombieland, The Informers, 1 ep of The Cleveland Show) as Miss San Antonio.
Michelle Rodriguez (Avatar, some Fast & Furious movies, Turbo, Resident Evil 5) as Luz.
Jessica Alba as Sartana (uncredited).
Sofía Vergara (The Three Stooges, The Smurfs, Escape From Planet Earth, 1 ep of The Cleveland Show) as Desdemona.
Charlie Sheen as Mr. President.
Lady Gaga as La Camaleón.
Antonio Banderas (Puss In Boots in The Shrek movies, Zorro in The Legend Of Zorro (2005) and The Mask Of Zorro, Four Rooms, Interview With The Vampire) as El Camaleón 4.
Walton Goggins (Django Unchained, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, House Of 1000 Corpses, The Bourne Identity, The Crow 3, 1 ep of Unsupervised) as El Cameleón 1.
Cuba Gooding Jr. (Don Jon) as El Camaleón 2.
Vanessa Hudgens (Sucker Punch, Spring Breakers, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Cereza.
Tom Savini (Django Unchained, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, 1 ep of Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1, Zack and Miri Make A Porno, Planet Terror, Grindhouse, Dawn Of The Dead, Creepshow, and original Dawn Of The Dead) as Osiris Amanapur.
William Sadler (Freaked, Onion News Empire, Iron Man 3, The Shawshank Redemption, Bill & Ted‘s Bogus Journey, Die Hard 2) as Sheriff Doakes.

It didn’t carry the weight of the first one, but it was still entertaining for what it is.  “Machete don’t tweet.”

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2002718/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Star Trek 12: Into Darkness (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Radha: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Jsun: 3/5 stars. “I wasn’t fond of the ending, but it was an okay popcorn flick. GI Joe was much more entertaining.”
Native ratings: 4.1/5 stars Netflix, 7.9/10 IMDB.

We watched this in 3-D with a Radha, TwoBeans, and Evan.  A few more people who were supposed to show up didn’t.

Anyway, I feel like it’s pointless to talk about a movie as popular as this. I didn’t really love it, and maybe that was just my mood, but it was a damn good production. It could be considered a bit predictable at times.  The levity that keeps it light-hearted helps keep the viewer from taking it too seriously. I think that might be what ultimately bothered me. Still really liked it, though!
Directed by J.J. Abrams (Star Trek 11, Super 8, Mission Impossible 3, 2 eps of Lost, 1 ep of The Office).

Written by Roberto Orci (Transformers movies, Mission Impossible 3, 15 eps of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, 1 ep of Xena: Warrior Princess), Alex Kurtzman (Transformers movies, Mission Impossible 3, 16 eps of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, 1 ep of Xena: Warrior Princess), & Damon Lindelof (Prometheus, Wolverine Vs. Hulk, 117 eps of Lost, 1 ep of Avatar The Last Airbender).

Chris Pine (Rise Of The Guardians, 1 ep of Six Feet Under) as Kirk.
Zachary Quinto (Sylar from Heroes, What’s Your Number?, 23 eps of 24, 1 ep of Six Feet Under) as Spock.
Zoe Saldana (Avatar, Death At A Funeral, Pirates Of The Caribbean 1) as Uhura.
Karl Urban (Judge Dredd in Dredd, Red, The Bourne Supremacy, The Chronicles Of Riddick, Lord Of The Rings 2-3, 12 eps of Xena: Warrior Princess, 2 eps of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) as Bones.
Simon Pegg as Scotty.
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, Identity Theft, 4 eps of American Dad, Total Recall) as Sulu.
Leonard Nimoy as Spock Prime.
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Hobbit movies, 1 ep of The Simpsons) as Khan.
Anton Yelchin (Clumsy Smurf in The Smurfs movies, Terminator Salvation, Odd Thomas in Odd Thomas, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Chekov.
Bruce Greenwood (Batman in Young Justice, And Now A Word From Our Sponsor, Batman in Batman: Under The Red Hood, President in National Treasure: Book Of Secrets, I Robot) as Pike.
Peter Weller (Batman in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Naked Lunch, Buckaroo Banzai in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension, 11 eps of 24, 8 eps of Dexter) as Marcus.
Alice Eve (Men In Black 3, She’s Out Of My League) as Carol.
Noel Clarke (Saving Santa, 15 eps of Doctor Who) as Thomas Harewood.
Nazneen Contractor (24 eps of 24) as Rima Harewood.
Amanda Foreman (Hannity in Star Trek 11, Inland Empire, Sliver, 1 ep of Six Feet Under) as Ensign Brackett.
Deep Roy (Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, Corpse Bride, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Big Fish, Dr. Who, The NeverEnding Story, The Dark Crystal, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, 3 eps of Eastbound & Down) as Keenser.
Chris Hemsworth (Thor in The Avengers and Thor movies, Snow White And The Huntsman, The Cabin In The Woods ) as George Kirk.
Scott Lawrence (The Social Network, Avatar, Cloverfield, Star Trek 11, 2 eps of 24, Darth Vader in a bunch of Star Wars video games) as U.S.S. Vengeance Officer.
Kevin Michael Richardson as additional voices.
Bill Hader as additional voices.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1408101/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Don Jon (2013)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

This was more light-hearted than Gridlock’d, which we watched on the same night. Both movies are about recovering from various kinds of addition in situations that are occasionally comedic. In this movie’s case, it was porn, and not heroin.  In the middle of the movie, we both thought “I wonder how Spencer Rice[Spenny from Kenny Vs. Spenny]’s movie “Confessions Of A Porn Addict” would compare to this?” within 3 seconds of each other.  I guess we need to watch that one soon as well, to compare to this one.

This movie is also notable for being the writing/directing debut of now-superstar Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  And for having Scarlett Johansson finally look as good to me as everyone says she looks.  Actually, Scarlett Johansson never looked so good, and Julianne Moore never looked so bad (don’t get me wrong; she’s still fantastic, just notably older-looking in this movie).

But anyway, if you want to see Tommy from 3rd Rock From The Sun talking like someone from Jersey Shore and masturbating to porn constantly–this is your movie. Haha. No, it’s not really as bad as that makes it sound. It’s sort of a coming-to-age story about Gordon-Levitt finally getting in touch with what sex can really mean to a person. The movie is sex-positive, but the masturbatory judgment still seemed a bit sex-negative. The movie seemed to grow less unique as it progressed, which is a failing. The conclusion was still good, but by the end of the movie, it did not reach as unique of a destination as I had hoped for. I’m hoping for something better from Gordon-Levitt next time.
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Tommy from 3rd Rock From The Sun, Looper, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, Mysterious Skin, 10 Things I Hate About You) as Jon.
Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow in The Avengers movies, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Lost In Translation, 6 eps of Robot Chicken) as Barbara.
Julianne Moore (Silence Of The Lambs movies, The Big Lebowski, Boogie Nights, Crazy Stupid Love, Magnolia, The Fugitive) as Esther. “DON’T CALL ME LADY!”
Tony Danza as Jon Sr..
Glenne Headly (Dick Tracy, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) as Angela, Jon’s mother.
Brie Larson (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Monica, Jon’s sister.
Rob Brown (The Dark Knight Rises, Live!) as Bobby, John’s friend.
Jeremy Luke as Danny, Jon’s other friend.
Italia Ricci (American Pie Presents Beta House) as Gina.
Lindsey Broad (12 eps of The Office) as Lauren.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2229499/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Byzantium (2012)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6.6/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 6.5/10 IMDB.

Claire’s thoughts: A “vampire movie”, but the vampirism was less overt than in most vampire movies.  I’m kinda disappointed, actually. Like, they didn’t really fully explore the idea of what would happen if people believed her. I felt like the movie built up a lot, without having a payoff worthy of the build-up.  While the flashback scenes did help demonstrate how the past shaped the present, for the most part it was a lot of screen time away from the “now” plot. I think they should have just done the past at the beginning of the movie and been more straightforward. The repeated-flashbacks gimmick just didn’t pay off for me, and really detracted from the whole movie.

Still interesting. And Saoirse Ronan is great, and getting greater. But ultimately this was a very calm and slow vampire movie. Not my favorite pace.

Carolyn’s thoughts:  This seemed like a generic vampire movie that didn’t have that much going for it, and it was somewhat predictable.  It became ever so slightly more interesting near the end when there was a bit more action, but then it petered out again and was just like “Yep.”

Directed by Neil Jordan (Interview With The Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, The Crying Game).
Written by Moira Buffini.

Starring Saoirse Ronan (The Host, Hanna from Hanna, the voice of Arriety in The Secret World of Arrietty, Violet & Daisy) as Eleanor.
Gemma Arterton (Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, St. Trinian’s, The Boat That Rocked, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters) as Clara.
Caleb Landry Jones (Antiviral, Banshee in X-Men: First Class, boy on bike in No Country For Old Men, fraternity guy in The Social Network, 2 eps of Breaking Bad) as Frank.
Daniel Mays (Mr. Nobody) as Noel, the hotel owner.
Barry Cassin (The Count Of Monte Cristo) as Robert Fowlds.
Sam Riley as Darvell.
Warren Brown (The Dark Knight Rises, Dead Set) as Gareth.
Thure Lindhardt (Angels & Demons) as Werner.
Uri Gavriel (The Dark Knight Rises) as Savella.
Jonny Lee Miller (Dark Shadows, Aeon Flux, 8 eps of Dexter) as Ruthven.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1531901/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Amber: 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 6.1/10 IMDB.

This was a fun movie…  National Treasure meets magic.  The homage to the original Sorcerer’s Apprentice with Mickey Mouse was pretty awesome.  Jay Baruchel and Nicolas Cage were great.  Teresa Palmer still reminds Claire of a blonde Kristen Stewart, and Carolyn agrees and says “add a splash of Scarlett Johannson also”.

Totally family and kinda hammy, but it’s a frickin’ Disney movie…What were you expecting? It’s appropriate and consistent with the Disney aesthetic. Didn’t mind it at all. Some of the magical action was really cool!

We watched this in some bullshit rendered-into-3-D mode.  Not my Samsung 3D HDTV’s built-in 2D-to-3D “upscaling”, but a video where someone had ripped a blu-ray, and then encoded it into 3D using some software that analyzed the video. You’d think that sophisticated computer software rendering for as long as necessary would turn out a better product than what my TV can create on the fly–And you’d be wrong. Samsung’s 2D-to-3D “upscaling” is so much better that I now know to avoid watching a movie someone else “converted” into 3D. Funk dat.

Directed by Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure movies).
Written by Lawrence Konner (Star Trek 6, Superman 4, 3 eps of The Sopranos), Mark Rosenthal (Star Trek 6, Superman 4), Matt Lopez, Doug Miro (Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time) & Carlo Bernard (Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time).
Nicolas Cage as Balthazar.
Jay Baruchel (Undeclared, How To Train Your Dragon, This Is The End, She’s Out Of My League, Fanboys, Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Knocked Up) as Dave.
Alfred Molina (Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, The Da Vinci Code, Spider-Man 2, Magnolia, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, 2 eps of Gravity Falls, 2 eps of The Life & Times Of Tim, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Horvath.
Teresa Palmer (Take Me Home Tonight, Warm Bodies, The Grudge 2) as Becky, the love-interest. She still reminds Claire of a blonde Kristen Stewart.
Toby Kebbell (Wrath Of The Titans, Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time) as Drake Stone, the evil sorcerer’s apprentice.
Omar Benson Miller (8 Mile, uncredited in Transformers, uncredited in American Pie Presents Band Camp, 63 eps of CSI: Miami) as Bennet, Dave’s friend.
Monica Bellucci (Persephone in The Matrix movies, The Brothers Grimm, The Passion Of The Christ) as Veronica.
Alice Krige (The Borg Queen in Star Trek 8, 1 ep of Star Trek Voyager and Star Trek: The Experience – Borg Invasion 4D, 2 eps of Six Feet Under) as Morgana.
James A. Stephens (Sherlock Holmes) as Merlin.
Ethan Peck (In Time, 2 eps of That 70’s Show) as Andre.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0963966/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Peeples (2013)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6.8/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 4.7/10 IMDB.

A comedy about a super competetive family that isn’t always honest to each other.  It was pretty entertaining, and funny, but it wasn’t something on a moral epic scale like the other recent Craig Robinson movie we watched: Rapture-Palooza.  Peeples had some funny moments–including drug-induced attempted murder–but be forewarned: This comedy is mostly based on family dynamics. Still…The movie turned out to be a bit funnier than I expected, and satisfied our need for a comedy movie that night.

Written & directed by Tina Gordon Chism.

Starring Craig Robinson (Darryl from The Office, LaVar ‘Freight Train’ Brown in The Cleveland Show, Rapture-Palooza, Hot Tub Time Machine, Pineapple Express, This Is The End, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Fanboys, Zack And Miri Make A Porno, Miss March, Knocked Up, Shrek Forever After, Shrek Forever After, Percy Jackson 2) as Wade Walker.
The very lovely Kerry Washington (Brunhilda from Django Unchained, Alacia Masters from Fantastic 4 movies, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, 5 eps of Black Panther) as Grace Peeples.
David Alan Grier (In Living Color, Crank Yankers, 1 ep of Dream On, 1 ep of Samurai Jack, 1 ep of Alf) as Virgil Peeples, the strict judge dad.
S. Epatha Merkerson (Terminator 2, Jacob’s Ladder, Black Snake Moan, Jersey Girl, 8 eps of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, 1 ep of Frasier) as Daphne Peeples, the formerly-an-alcoholic mom.
Tyler James Williams (3 eps of Batman: The Brave And The Bold, 2 eps of Saturday Night Live) as Simon Peeples.
Melvin Van Peebles (2 eps of All My Children) as Grandpa Peeples.
Diahann Carroll (Dynasty, The Star Wars Holiday Special) as Nana Peeples.
Kali Hawk (Get Him To The Greek, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Gloria Peeples.
Kimrie Lewis-Davis as Meg.
Malcolm Barrett (The Hurt Locker) as Chris Walker.
Ana Gasteyer (Rapture-Palooza, Suburgatory, Robot & Frank, Mean Girls, Saturday Night Live, 2 eps of 3rd Rock From The Sun, 2 eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Just Shoot Me) as Mayor Hodge.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1699755/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Despicable Me (2010) [watched in 3-D]

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Julie: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Matthew: 3/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 4.2/5 stars Netflix, 7.6/10 IMDB.

Carolyn: Cute movie about a villain learning to change his ways after discovering that being evil isn’t that important to him anymore. It was pretty funny, and it had a great cast.

Claire: Agreed. I really hate movies involving children, but this movie did demonstrate the transformative effect that being responsible for children can have on an individual — in a way that even *I* am forced to accept. But if that’s all there was to the movie, I wouldn’t have rated it this high. The superhero/supervillain aspect is exactly the type of thing I like in a non-comedy setting, and I like it even more in a comedy setting (e.g. The Venture Bros., Space Ghost Coast To Coast, Stripperella, The PowerPuff Girls).  The minions were awesome, and I want my own fucking minions like those minions. I’d seen those yellow sonsabitches all over the internet and it was nice to finally understand what they were, even if I was 3 years late to the game.

Unfortunately, the 3-D was awful. I don’t know if it was the encode we watched, or if the movie used more depth than my TV was capable of displaying. Home 3-D is in its infancy — think VHS, not DVD or bluray — so I expect there to be problems, and for me to have to stop and futz with every 3-D movie every 2-3 minutes for the first 20 minutes until I am happy with the settings. I feel like some of this is that there is not necessarily a standard to how to do things. With my TV, there is a range of depth, and you will ALWAYS get 3-D ghosting at certain depths. You can focus that depth front (+5) to back (-5) to create an area that doesn’t ghost, but whatever area is farthest from your focus will always ghost.

For this movie, almost everything ghosted. It was easily 50X as much ghosting as usual. It was by far the worst 3-D I’ve seen. I’m starting to think that the HOU (horizontal over-under) 3-D movies might provide better 3-D than the more common SBS (side-by-side) 3-D movies. Suffice to say, Smurfs 2 was best 3-D yet, and this was worst yet. I wish it had been the other way around, because this was a better film.

Matthew: I’m just not that into animated movies. I loved Toy Story and The Simpsons Movie, but other animated movies I’ve never really gotten that into. I liked the movie. It was cute. The 3-D experience was very interesting.

Julie: I tend to like animated movies like this one. It’s probably because I work with children and am practically a child myself. I really can’t pinpoint anything I really don’t like about the movie but at the same time its not the best movie of all time.

Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud (The Lorax).
Written by Cinco Paul (The Lorax, Horton Hears A Who, The Santa Clause 2), Ken Daurio (The Lorax, Horton Hears A Who, The Santa Clause 2), and Sergio Pablos.

Steve Carell (The Office, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Date Night, Dinner With Schmucks, Anchorman movies, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Crazy Stupid Love, Saturday Night Live, Bruce Almighty, Horton Hears A Who, Dan In Real Life, 1 ep of Just Shoot Me) as Gru.
Jason Segel (I Love You Man, This Is The End, This Is 40, Bad Teacher, Gulliver’s Travels, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, Can’t Hardly Wait, 7 eps of Undeclared, SLC Punk, Slackers) as Vector.
Russell Brand (Get Him To The Greek, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, St. Trinian’s, Rock Of Ages) as Dr. Nefario.
Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins, The Song Of Music, Queen in Shrek movies, uncredited singing voice in The Pink Panther Strikes Again) as Gru’s Mom.
Will Arnett (Gob Bluth in Arrested Development, Sit Down Shut Up, The Brothers Solomon, Horton Hears A Who, Ratatouille, Men In Black 3, The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret, The Secret World Of Arrietty, 2 eps of The Sopranos, 1 ep of The Simpsons, 1 ep of Delocated, 1 ep of The Office) as Mr. Perkins.
Kristen Wiig (Young Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development, Date Night, Adventureland, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, The Brothers Solomon, How To Train Your Dragon, Saturday Night Live, Despicable Me, Girl Most Likely, 2 eps of The Simpsons, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Miss Hattie.
Miranda Cosgrove (Carly in iCarly, 1 ep of Smallville) as Margo.
Dana Gaier as Edith.
Elsie Fisher as Agnes.
Pierre Coffin (the co-director) as Tim the Minion / Bob the Minion / Mark the Minion / Phil the Minion / Stuart the Minion.
Chris Renaud (The Lorax) as Dave the Minion.
Jemaine Clement (Men In Black 3, Dinner For Schmucks, 2 eps of The Drinky Crow Show, 1 ep of Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job) as Jerry the Minion.
Jack McBrayer (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, The To Do List, Movie 43, Wander in Wander Over Yonder, 2 eps of Drunk History, 2 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 2 eps of Arrested Development, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV::, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job, 1 ep of Ugly Americans) as Carnival Barker / Tourist Dad.
Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down, This Is The End, Clear History, Superbad, Good Vibes, Despicable Me, Observe And Report, Fanboys, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, The Foot Fist Way) as Fred McDade.
Mindy Kaling (Kelly in The Office, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Wreck-It Ralph, This Is The End) as Tourist Mom.
Rob Huebel (Owen Maestro in Childrens Hospital, Human Giant, Axe Cop, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, I Love You Man, Little Fockers, Funny Or Die Presents, Rapture-Palooza, 3 eps of The Office, 3 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV, 1 ep of Michael & Michael Have Issues) as Anchorman.
Ken Jeong (The Hangover movies, Rapture-Palooza, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, Step Brothers, 2 ep of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of The Office, 1 ep of Mary Shelley’s Frankenhole) as Talk Show Host.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1323594/combined

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