VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Impostor (2001)

Clint: 3/5 stars, 6.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native rating: 3.2/5 stars, 6.1/10.

Another movie based on a Philip K. Dick story … which is something we’ve been doing lately. But not as good as the previous movie based on a Philip K. Dick story that we last watched: Next (2007).

This one had fewer twists than Next.

However it had a few similarities to Next: A guy wanted by the government in order to [SPOILER ALERT] stop a nuclear explosion that happens, driven by his love for a girl, and with either Tony Shalhoub or his evil twin Jose Zuniga (who basically looks just like Tony Shalhoub, if you ask me).

It also had some similarity to Total Recall (both versions) [which is also based on a Philip K. Dick story] — a guy wanted by a government that claims that he is somebody else than he thinks he is.

I’m starting to think Philip K. Dick isn’t quite as creative as Hollywood thought. I’m seeing some common themes in these PKD-story-based movies.

Anyway, this movie suffere dfrom a common flaw in movies like this: It’s all just a big chase scene. But even more so in this one than usual. Enough that it dragged it down by lack of characterization and plot development. Total Recall (2012) had more characterization than this!

Impostor was still an enjoyable dystopian-future movie… But it could have been a lot better.



Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Native rating: 3.5/5 stars, 6.1/10.

Seeing as we love movies based on Philip K. Dick stories, love time-related gimmicks (like time travel, precognition, etc), and love Nic Cage, Julianne Moore, and Jessica Biel…This was a no-brainer movie to watch.

In fact… I’m surprised we hadn’t really noticed this movie until a recent Slashdot article talking about Hollywood’s love of movies based on Philip K. Dick stories (such as Blade Runner, Total Recall, Paycheck, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, The Adjustment Bureau, Impostor).

Suffice to say, it was actually somewhat better than we thought it would be. It starts out with a bit of mystery and intrigue, but then quickly changes gears to major action, all the while having a romantic angle as well, and then a great ending that really threw us for a loop. This was a great action-scifi-thriller…. Even if the idea of evil Russians seems a bit outdated.

Nic Cage as a man who can see 2 minutes into the future. It’s more interesting than you’d think.

Also, the screenplay was by 2 people who (between the two of them) wrote Total Recall (1990), Big Trouble In Little China, Armageddon, and Jumanji.


VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Clint: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native: Netflix 4.4/5 stars, IMDB 8.8/10 (31st highest rated movie of all time).

The sound mix suffered!
That messed with the viewing enjoyment!
Hard to understand dialog compared to most movies!
Maybe it was the way we played our bluray, but goddamn, it really messed up the experience for me.
I was distracted by wanting to futz with the settings.
Don’t have this problem with most movies.

Carolyn says: “I enjoyed it. ┬áThe sound mix detracted some, but other than that, i thought it was a solid batman movie.”

Anyway… I liked the 2nd Batman movie the best, even though that one irked me with the creation of the Maggie Gyllenhaal character.

Minor spoiler: They really threw me for a loop with Talia. What a tweest!

Alright… This movie was pretty epic, but…. I just didn’t get into it as much as I could have. I may revise my rating later.



Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Native: 4.2/5 stars, 7.4/10.

Good–but not as good as the other Pixar/etc current-day animated movies.

We don’t face huge evil threats like in How I Trained My Dragon, we don’t face anything as ridiculously creative as Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, and we don’t face anything as emotionally poingnant as Up.

But it’s still good. Just not great. It was perhaps a tad cliche.


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

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3.7/5 stars. IMDB: 7.3/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: Netflix: N/A/5 stars, IMDB: 6.5/10.

CLINT’S THOUGHTS: They made it out like it’s going to be a baby movie — lowering your expectations — and then it turned out to be a civil rights movie, raising the bar! Good move. Betray my expectations. Good move. Amanda Seyfried is dreamy. Making it about civil rights actually brought up politically relevant points.

CAROLYN’S THOUGHTS: It’s on par with the other Seth MacFarlane stuff. More jokes that are similar to those in Family Guy.


Directed by Seth MacFarlane (A Million Ways To Die In The West, 1 ep of American Dad (the unaired pilot), American Dad: The New CIA, Family Guy: Back To The Multiverse).
Written by Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show, A Million Ways To Die In The West, 26 eps of Dexter’s Lab, 21 eps of Johnny Bravo, Cavalcade Of Cartoon Comedy), Alec Sulkin (Family Guy, A Million Ways To Die In The West, 51 eps of The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn) & Wellesley Wild (A Million Ways To Die In The West, 13 eps of Family Guy, 51 eps of The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn).

Mark Wahlberg (The Other Guys, Date Night, The Happening, I Heart Huckabees, Planet Of The Apes, Transformers 4, The Big Hit) as John.
Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show, A Million Ways To Die In The West, Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder, Robot Chicken, Movie 43, Hellboy 2, Cavalcade Of Cartoon Comedy, 1 ep of Aqua Teen) as Ted.
Amanda Seyfried (Mean Girls, Jennifer’s Body, A Million Ways To Die In The West, 1 ep of American Dad) as Samantha. It looks like she’s also going to be in the upcoming Twin Peaks.
Jessica Barth (3 eps of Family Guy) as Tami-Lynn.
Giovanni Ribisi (Phoebe’s brother Frank in Friends, A Million Ways To Die In The West, Avatar, Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow, Saving Private Ryan, Lost In Translation, The Postman, 15 eps of The Wonder Years, 1 ep of Family Guy) as Donny.
Morgan Freeman as Patrick Meighan.
Patrick Warburton (Seinfeld, The Tick, Family Guy, The Venture Bros., Bad Milo, Movie 43, Men In Black 2, Game Over, Buzz Lightyear Of Star Command, 5 eps of News Radio, 3 eps of Archer) as Guy.
Michael Dorn (Worf from Star Trek:TNG, I.\M. Weasel in Cow & Chicken, Coldstone in Gargoyles, Superman Batman: Public Enemies, 3 eps of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-TAS (2010s), 2 eps of The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy, 1 ep of Adventure Time, 1 ep of Punky Brewster) as Rick.
Bill Smitrovich (Iron Man, Independence Day, Splash, 2 eps of Batman Beyond, 1 ep of 24, 1 ep of God The Devil & Bob) as Frank.
John Slattery (Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, Iron Man 2, Sleepers, Traffic, 4 eps of The Cleveland Show, 3 eps of Arrested Development) as Shep Wild.
John Carroll Lynch (Eastman in The Walking Dead, Paul, Crazy Stupid Love, Gothika, Fargo, Shutter Island, Gran Torino, 12 eps of Carnivale) as Tom Jessup.
Ron Canada (Wedding Crashers, 4 eps of Weeds, 1 ep of Frasier) as Judge.
Liam Neeson (Zeus from Clash Of The Titans 2010, Batman Begins, Aslan from the new Chronicles Of Narnia movies, Qui-Gon Jinn from the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Schindler from Schindler’s List, A Million Ways To Die In The West, The A-Team, The Lego Movie, Ra’s Al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises, Ponyo, 1 ep of The Simpsons) as Customer.
Dennis Haysbert (President Palmer in 24, Sin City 2, Wreck-It Ralph, Kung Fu Panda 2, Major League movies, Cornfed’s singing voice in Duckman, 3 eps of Justice League, 1 ep of Axe Cop, 1 ep of Newsreaders, 1 ep of The Boondocks) as Fertility Doctor.
Patrick Stewart as Narrator. (more…)


4.4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us.
Native Rating: 4.2/5 stars Netflix, 7.4/10 IMDB.

It’s pretty hard for Seth MacFarlane to do wrong. It’s about time he got a full movie out of his efforts.

This was funny, as well as unique and touching and relevant for the holidays.

I would have perhaps liked it a bit more if it was more risque, but I think I’m just desensitized from all the fucked up shit I watched. Apparently people had issues with things like 911 jokes and cocaine use.

Anyway…. I had a teddy bear when I was little… Though I never wished for him to be real, using such an childhood archtype was a really good device for driving the movie.

This had a lot of fun aspects. Good times.


 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PLOT SUMMARY: Factory worker Doug Quaid suspects that he may actually be a spy whose memory has been wiped clean.

BACKWARD PLOT SUMMARY: Mass transit terrorist rewarded with uneventful factory job, hot wife.

QUIRKS: Based on a Philip K. Dick novel, like so many Hollywood movies.

VISUALS: The movie *looked* a lot better than the original, and as movies are a visual medium, that means a LOT to me. If you only care about plot and not looks, you should read a book. I care about both. Even actress-wise Kate Beckinsdale and Jessica Biel are both way better looking than Sharon Stone (and I’m saying this as one who prefers blondes).

REMAKE RANT: It’s wrong to call this a remake of the 1990 movie, as it’s actually another adaptation of the book. As such, it was completely different, with different aspects used, different aspects dicarded, different levels of ambiguity, and differnet plot emphasis. The only thing that is shared is some of the original theme and plot feel. There is no Mars. There is instead “The Colony”, which is basically Australia. There are no mutants. But this movie has “The Fall”, which the 1990 movie didn’t. They are just two very different movies that share less than people want. Basically, anything that was missing from the 1990 movie people complained about, but I know from The Hangover 2 that if you make a movie exactly like the “original”, people will complain about that just as much as if you change a movie from the original. So you can’t win.

BAD STUFF: There was a lot of “chease scene-ism” that got in the way of developing characters a bit more, but hey, this is an action sci-fi movie, if you want a bunch of cerebrial internalism, read the Philip K. Dick book.

CONCLUSION: I thought it was an awesome. I honestly don’t really remember the 1990 movie that much. I liked this one better. So…. Yet another remake I enjoyed while everyone else complained.

Clint: Netflix: 4.6/5 stars. IMDB: 8.2/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Native rating: 4.6/5 stars on Netflix (same as the 1990 original), 6.3/10 on imdb (compared to 7.5/10 imdb rating for the 1990 version).

RECOMMENDATION: See it, most especially if you aren’t a hater who’s going to whine that it isn’t the same movie as it was in 1990.

MOVIE QUOTE: “I give good wife.” I read a lot of hate on the line “I give good wife”, which I actually thought was a brilliant line. People were thinking it was a reference to oral sex? Huh? It was more about her ability to go through the motions, and fake it in a way would be gratifying. It was not about sex. It was about faking an entire relationship. I thought it really captured her character’s one-dimensional bitchiness. (more…)

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