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, evenm 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.


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)


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…


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

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.


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

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.


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

Clio: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 8.7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 8.6/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: Netflix: 3.0/5 stars, IMDB: 4.6/10.

CAROLYN’S THOUGHTS: Better than the last one. Very creepy. They didn’t beat around the bush, that escalated pretty quickly. But then I’d be like “Get the fuck outta here” sooner than they did. And you slept with your daughter one night and creepy shit happened, and so you don’t sleep with her the next night? But overall, it was good. The franchise overall is good, too.

CLIO’S THOUGHTS: The last one, Paranormal Activity 5, had a lot of shakycam, which people won’t like. I don’t care about that very much, but it did seem like they were trying to get on the Cloverfield bandwagon a bit more with the last one. This returns more to the fixed camera formula used in Paranormal Activity 1, Paranormal Activity 2, Paranormal Activity 3, and Paranormal Activity 4. So it feels more authentic to the franchise. It also links the story together a bit more.

The Paranormal Activity movies follow an almost Saw-like formula of successive retconning. And I like that. I look forward to the next one.

RECOMMENDATION: If the last Paranormal Activity movie made you want to abandon the franchise, this one is better.


Directed by Gregory Plotkin.
Written by Jason Pagan (Project Almanac), Andrew Deutschman (Project Almanac), Adam Robitel, Gavin Heffernan, Brantley Aufill, Jason Pagan (Project Almanac) & Andrew Deutschman (Project Almanac).

Chris J. Murray as Ryan.
Brit Shaw as Emily.
Ivy George (Krampus) as Leila.
Dan Gill (The Wedding Ringer, 1 ep of The Office) as Mike.
Olivia Taylor Dudley (Transcendence, uncredited in The Dictator, uncredited in Walk Hard, 1 ep of Arrested Development) as Skyler.
Chloe Csengery (Paranormal Activity 3,5) as Katie.
Jessica Tyler Brown (Paranormal Activity 3,5) as Kristi.
Don McManus (The Maze Runner, National Treasure, The Onion Movie, Ocean’s Thirteen, Magnolia, 2 eps of 24) as Kent.
Michael Krawic (Legally Blonde 2, 3 eps of In Living Color, 1 ep of Malcolm In The Middle, 1 ep of Lois & Clark) as Father Todd.
Hallie Foote (Paranormal Activity 3,5) as Grandma Lois.
Aiden Lovekamp (Paranormal Activity 4) as Hunter Rey.
Cara Pifko (6 eps of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 4 eps of Better Call Saul) as Laura.
Mark Steger (I Am Legend, uncredited in Men In Black 2) as Tobi.

This is the first (only) one not to have Katie Featherston (Paranormal Activity 1-5) as Katie. (more…)

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Idle Hands (1999)

Clio: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

Clio’s thoughts:  Not a masterpiece, but certainly better than most horror movies and a lot of comedy movies. Plus it’s about the actual week of Halloween, so it’s a great movie to watch around Halloween time. Especially if you want to watch a comedy, and your wife wants to watch a horror — You get both with this!

True horror-comedy — not just horror that happens to be funny — is a great genre, and one that should be explored more.  I’d recommend this movie to anyone who likes the series Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil — and vice-versa. This barely deserves to be called a horror, but then, you gotta warn the wusses who’d get angry if they ordered up a comedy and received a single drop of blood!

But anyway… Lighthearted fun. It’s about the journey, not the destination. Watch a guy’s hand go crazy. Or just watch Jessica Alba. This movie has options…

Carolyn’s thoughts:  We had seen this many years ago, and it held up to the second viewing.  I had forgotten all the awesome faces that were in this movie: Seth Green, Fred Willard, Jessica Alba (who is really hot, but doesn’t rock the short hair as well as long, in my opinion)…

Directed by Rodman Flender (2 eps of The Office, Leprechaun 2).  Written by Terri Hughes & Ron Milbauer.

Directed by Rodman Flender (2 eps of The Office, Leprechaun 2). Written by Terri Hughes & Ron Milbauer.

Starring Devon Sawa (Final Destination, Slackers, 1 ep of Spider-Man: The New Animated Series) as Anton Tobias.
Seth Green (Robot Chicken, Family Guy, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Can’t Hardly Wait, Hulk And The Agents Of S.M.A.S.H., Greg The Bunny, Titan Maximum, Without A Paddle, 8 eps of Batman Beyond, 4 eps of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 4 eps of MADtv, 3 eps of Mad, 2 eps of Heroes, 2 eps of Holliston) as Mick.
Fred Willard as Dad Tobias.
Elden Henson (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Cast Away, The Mighty Ducks) as Pnub.
Jessica Alba (Dark Angel, Fantastic Four, Little Fockers, Machete, The Ten, Never Been Kissed, 1 ep of The Office) as Molly.
Vivica A. Fox (Kill Bill, Miss Nobody, Don’t Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood, Independence Day, 11 eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Debi LeCure.
Christopher Hart (Thing in the Addams Family movies) as The Hand. This guy only plays disembodied hands.
Jack Noseworthy (Pretty Ugly People, Cecil B. DeMented, Alive, Encino Man) as Randy.
Katie Wright (2 eps of The Wonder Years) as Tanya.
Sean Whalen (Hatchet III, The FP. Halloween 2 (2009), Men In Black, Waterworld, Revenge Of The Nerds 3) as McMacy.
Nicholas Sadler (Twister) as Ruck.
Connie Ray (Thank You For Smoking, Speed 2, Space Jam, 1 ep of Quantum Leap) as Mom Tobias.
Steve Van Wormer (he does video game voices nowadays) as Curtis.
Kelly Monaco (1151 eps of General Hospital, uncredited in BASEketball) as Tiffany.
Timothy Stack (Dick Dietrick in Night Stand, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, Scary Movie 3, Cast Away, The Brave Little Toaster movies, American Pie Presents Band Camp, Maid For Each Other, 1 ep of Malcolm In The Middle) as Principal Tidwell.
Greg K (The Offspring) as Himself.
Noodles (The Offspring) as Himself.
Ron Welty (The Offspring) as Himself.


VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Would You Rather (2012)

Clio: 5/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, ???/10 IMDB.

That movie was pretty disturbing. I feel like it was kind of a cross between Saw and Hostel. It had me on sitting up on the edge of my seat the entire movie, quite disturbed and worried. This is the point of a horror movie. To horrify you. And it worked.

This is one that a lot of the old school hipster-horror-snobs will dismiss as “torture porn” or merely seving to horrify the viewer without constructing some grand legend or theme or message.

It is true that there is not much to this movie at all.  It’s short and sweet and simple. But it is messed up, and leaves you thinking about how messed up it was for days afterward. So good stuff.

Carolyn: This was interesting.  Kind of like Saw meets a childhood game with a twist…

Directed by David Guy Levy.  Written by Steffen Schlachtenhaufen.
Starring Brittany Snow (John Tucker Must Die, 5 eps of Nip/Tuck, 1 ep of Family Guy) as Iris.
Jeffrey Combs (The Frighteners, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, Ratchet in Transformers Prime, The Leader in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 5 eps of Justice League, 1 ep of The Batman, 1 ep of the new Thundercats, 1 ep of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Shepard Lambrick.
Jonny Coyne (The Hangover 3, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Bevans, the butler.
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (8 eps of The Walking Dead, Cecil B. DeMented, The Waterboy) as Dr. Barden.
Enver Gjokaj (The Avengers, 2 eps of Dexter) as Lucas.
Sasha Grey (porn star, The Girlfriend Experience) as Amy.
John Heard (Sharknado, Big, 5 eps of The Sopranos) as Conway.
Charlie Hofheimer (The Village) as Travis, the Iraq vet.
Logan Miller (Nova in Ultimate Spider-Man, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Raleigh. (Was he Iris’ brother?)
June Squibb (Atlas Shrugged Part 1, 1 ep of Eagleheart, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Just Shoot Me) as Linda, the old lady.
Eddie Steeples (My Name Is Earl, uncredited in Wristcutters: A Love Story) as Cal.
Robin Taylor as Julian, the rich son.  He was not Draco Malfoy as Clio kept thinking.
Robb Wells (Ricky in Trailer Park Boys, Hobo With A Shotgun, Goon, The Boondock Saints 2, 1 ep of Archer) as Peter.


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