Clio


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

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Hell Baby (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

This was pretty funny.  We like a LOT of the cast.  This was a good comedy/horror and it was definitely straddled the two effectively and simultaneously.  50/50.  It’s also pretty much a product of the same talent as MTV’s The State, which was a large factor in swaying us into watching this.

We enjoyed it, and it was a good movie to watch on a Sunday night to wrap up the weekend.

It wasn’t spectacular, and there were a lot of “WTF” moments that get glossed over, but the movie wasn’t trying that hard.  Sometimes there were weird things that were never really explained… But then that’s kind of the point of a haunted house scenario.

It succeed more as a comedy than as a horror movie — because comedic horror movies aren’t really scary. But I really like a little horror with my comedy. From Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil to Holliston to Troma movies… Comedic “horror” is great because it includes the dark humor that is typically missing from comedies like teen sex comedies or road trip comedies or buddy flicks. Murder can be funny, too!
Written & directed by Robert Ben Garant (The State) & Thomas Lennon (The State).

Starring:
Rob Corddry (Blake Downs in Childrens Hospital, 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 Jack.
Leslie Bibb (Movie 43, Iron Man 1-2, Miss Nobody, Sex And Death 101, Wristcutters: A Love Story, Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck) as Vanessa.
Riki Lindhome (Supanatural, 1 ep of Adventure Time, 1 ep of Heroes, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck, 1 ep of Titus) as Marjorie, the sister. FULL FRONTAL NUDITY. She’s amazing. Could use more curves, though. (Very rare I say this.)
Alex Berg (2 eps of NTSF:SD:SUV::, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Mrs. Nussbaum / Cheerful Guy.
Keegan-Michael Key (Wanderlust, Just Go With It, Due Date, MADtv, 2 eps of Childrens Hospital) as F’resnel.
Robert Ben Garant (The State, 2 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of Archer) as Father Sebastian.
Thomas Lennon (The State, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, What’s Your Number?, The Dark Knight Rises, Rapture-Palooza, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Memento, 2 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of Newsreaders) as Father Padrigo.
David Pasquesi (Year One, Angels & Demons, Groundhog Day, The Fugitive, 1 ep of Undeclared, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Cardinal Vicente.
David Wain (The State, Stella, Superjail, Childrens Hospital, Wet Hot American Summer, I Love You Man, The Ten, 1 ep of Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers) as Dr. Marsden.
Michael Ian Black (Stella, The State, This Is 40, Wet Hot American Summer, You’re Whole, Take Me Home Tonight, 2 episodes of Tom Goes To The Mayor) as Dr. Marshall, the psychiatrist.
Rob Huebel (Owen Maestro in Childrens Hospital, Human Giant, Axe Cop, Despicable Me, 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 Mickey.
Paul Scheer (Human Giant, NTSF:SD:SUV, Ass Backwards, Rapture-Palooza, Year One, 5 eps of TRON: Uprising, 4 eps of Fat Guy Stuck In Internet, 2 eps of Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim, 1 ep of Adventure Time) as Ron.
Kumail Nanjiani (a writer for Michael & Michael Have Issues, 6 eps of Portlandia, 2 eps of Adventure Time, 1 ep of Ugly Americans, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Cable Guy.
Jenny Robertson (1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Mail Carrier.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2318527/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Clear History (2013) (TV)

Claire: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

OMG! Curb Your Enthusiasm may be canceled, but Larry David lives on!  This is basically a 90-minute hilarious Curb Your Enthusiasm episode. More time to build up means more time to dig yourself in a shithole. And Larry does it. A crescendo of cringeworthiness.  Larry David digs such a deep hole for himself that even Basil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers looks wise in comparison.  Definitely worth checking out if you are a Larry David fan. Plus you get to see him with long hair. He looks like The Dude from The Big Lebowski.

But really.. Sooo much goes wrong. Sooo much. It’s an amazing build-up the likes of which Curb Your Enthusiasm could never achieve due to its 30 minute length limitation.

Directed by Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland, 6 eps of Undeclared, 3 eps of Arrested Development).
Written by Larry David (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fridays, Saturday Night Live, 1 ep of The Larry Sanders Show), Alec Berg (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, EuroTrip, The Dictator, The Cat In The Hat, Late Night With Conan O’Brien, 1 ep of Herman’s Head), David Mandel (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, EuroTrip, The Dictator, Dr. Suess’ The Cat In The Hat, Saturday Night Live, 6 eps of Clerks-TAS), & Jeff Schaffer (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, The Dictator, Bruno, EuroTrip, Dr. Suess’ The Cat In The Hat, 1 ep of Herman’s Head).

So we have a lot of Curb people on this.

Starring Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, The Three Stooges, Fridays, Saturday Night Live) as Nathan / Rolly.
Michael Keaton as Joe Stumpo.
Bill Hader (We just saw him in The To Do List, also he’s been around a bit: Saturday Night Live, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Pineapple Express, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, Superbad, The Brothers Solomon, Men In Black 3, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Year One, Adventureland, 7 eps of The Venture Bros., 4 eps of The Human Giant, 2 eps of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, 2 eps of South Park, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Rags.
Philip Baker Hall (Fired Up, The Amityville Horror, Bruce Almighty, Magnolia, The Truman Show, Ghostbusters 2, How I Got Into College, 2 eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Warren The Ape, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of 3rd Rock From The Sun) as McKenzie, the tired old man.
Jon Hamm (Sucker Punch, The Ten, Kissing Jessica Stein, Shrek Forever After, Mad Men, 5 eps of Childrens Hospital, 4 eps of The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret, 2 eps of Robot Chicken, 2 eps of Archer, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers (he was the toilet, hehe), 1 ep of Metalocalypse) as Will Haney, the boss of the company.
Kate Hudson (200 Cigarettes, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days) as Rhonda, the boss’s wife.
Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down, This Is The End, Superbad, Good Vibes, Despicable Me, Observe And Report, Fanboys, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, The Foot Fist Way) as Frank.
Eva Mendes (Holy Motors, Ghost Rider, Live!, 2 Fast 2 Furious) as Jennifer, the former fat, but is now skinny friend.
J.B. Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Smurfs 2, Movie 43, The Dictator, Date Night, Mr. Deeds, Saturday Night Live, 4 eps of American Dad, 1 ep of The Simpsons, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Jaspar.
Amy Ryan (Holly from The Office, War Of The Worlds, The Naked Truth, 1 ep of Quantum Leap) as Wendy, the ex-girlfriend.
Mary Klug (The Invention Of Lying, The Departed) as Tibby, the old lady who Rolly was caretaker to.
Patty Ross (The Three Stooges, Grown Ups 2, 1 ep of Roseanne) as Gladys, the owner of the diner.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2279864/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: End Of The World (2013) (TV)

Claire: 5/5 stars, /10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Native ratings: Only 4.6/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

Finally a Syfy movie that is a good movie for reasons other than laughing at how bad it is! This was awesome!  The genre of the year is apocalyptic comedy!

We’ve got this, Rapture-Palooza, This Is The End, The World’s End…  None of these movies have disappointed. None! Do I have a new favorite movie genre?!

This one kept us entertained the entire time, and was probably the least comedic of the four apocalyptic comedies we’ve watched this year. However, it was more thrilling and more interesting on a sci-fi level than 2 out of the other 3.  So it turned out to be a thriller wrapped up in a comedy.  You get excited about the action and the fate of the earth, but then when there is a lull in the pacing, some comedy pops its head out to entertain you. Then the comedy returns to the backseat and lets the thriller take over. Repeat several times.

While the comedy is not non-stop like with some movies, it continues to return to the forefront in segments running all the way ’til the end of the movie.

Another good thing is this is a movie that acknowledges other movies; it even makes fun of the generic Syfy disaster movies that they are constantly releasing (much to everyone’s chagrin). The main characters work in a video store, and their knowledge about disaster movies is crucial to the survival of the world. (At least, THEY think so.) Much respect to geekdom.

Things get even crazier when they have to break a science fiction writer out of an insane asylum.

It actually all makes sense, and all comes together very nicely.

AND AS A BONUS — it’s a type of disaster I’ve never seen in any movie before. Neat!

Directed by Steven R. Monroe.
Written by David Ray & Jason Bourque.

Greg Grunberg (Matt Parkman in Heroes, Super 8, Mission Impossible 3, Uncle Ben in 1 ep of Ultimate Spider-Man, 1 ep of American Dad) as Owen Stokes. Nice to see him in something since Heroes.
Neil Grayston (77 eps of Eureka, 1 ep of Smallville) as Steve Palmer.
Caroline Cave (Saw 6, 3 eps of The L Word) as Selena, Owen’s girlfriend.
Mark Hildreth (King Lotor in Voltron Force, Joshua in the new V, Quiksilver in Wolverine & The X-Men, Angel in X-Men Evolution, Gundam Wing, Pirates Of The Caribbean 3) as Max, the douchebag.
Brad Dourif (The voice of Chucky in the Child’s Play/Chucky movies, Rob Zombie’s Halloween movies, The Lord Of The Rings movies, Dune, Blue Velvet, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, The Exorcist 3) as Dr. Walter “Doc” Brown.
Merrilyn Gann (2012, Mystery Date, It, she’s additional voices in Project A-Ko 2-4, 3 eps of The Original 21 Jumpstreet, 1 ep of Smallville) as Betty, Steve’s mom.
Serge Houde (3 eps of Smallville) as General Ramis.
Graem Beddoes (1 ep of The L Word) as Louis, security guard.
Simon Chin (Control Alt Delete) as Orderly.
Amitai Marmorstein (1 ep of Smallville) as Leonard.
James Ralph (3 eps of Smallville) as Traffic cop.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2139851/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Man Of Steel (2013) [watched in 3-d]

Claire: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Evan: 4.3/5 stars, 9/10.
Native ratings: 4.0/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

I knew this would be a movie I loved… Although I had my doubts because the last Superman movie wasn’t that memorable. (Though checking my notes, I said it was as good as any other Superman movie. Of course those other ones were late 1970s/early 1980s, so of course something made in the 2000s will generally be comparable just by the fact that movies are much more well done nowadays).

Suffice to say, I was not disappointed.

Very entertaining.  Superman origin story with LOTS of action.  LOTS. The action barely let up, even for a moment.  Those were literally some of the most epic fight scenes I’ve seen in my entire life. Especially if you don’t count animation.  Superheroes are awesome, and this was awesome.

I like how they made it a point to not spend too much time on his childhood. I like to think of that as a “fuck you” to Smallville’s later, shitty seasons. Incindentally, at least 5 people from this movie played in at least 1 episode of Smallville. Amy Adams (S1E7), Mackenzie Gray (S5E15,S10E1), Tahmoh Penikett (S6E19/21,S3E15), Alessandro Juliani (14 S8 eps), and David Paetkau (S1E3,S8E15).

One complaint: Everyone had way too visible pores. I do not need to be THAT aware of y’alls’ pores!

 

Directed by Zack Snyder (Sucker Punch, Watchmen, Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole, 300, Dawn Of The Dead (2004))
Written by David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance, The Crow 2, Jumper, Blade: The Series) and Christopher Nolan (Inception, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Memento, Following).

Henry Cavill (The Count Of Monte Cristo) as Clark Kent / Kal-El.
Amy Adams (Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby, Psycho Beach Party, Cruel Intentions 2, 3 eps of The Office, 3 eps of King Of The Hill, 1 ep of Smallville) as Lois Lane.
Michael Shannon (Cecil B. DeMented, Groundhog Day, 8 Mile, Vanilla Sky, 1 ep of Delocated) as General Zod.
Diane Lane (Jumper, Judge Dredd) as Martha Kent.
“Oh my God, it’s Russell Crowe” as Jor-El. Took 3 of us to come up with who he was. Claire: “Isn’t that what’s his name? The guy who went fightin’ round the world in South Park.” Carolyn: “That’d be Russell Crowe.” Evan: “Yes, that is Russell Crowe.”
Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent.
Antje Traue (Pandorum) as Faora-Ul, Zod’s right-hand woman.
Harry Lennix (Commander Lock in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, 6 eps of 24) as General Swanwick.
Richard Schiff (Se7en, Deep Impact, Speed, The Hudsucker Proxy, Ghost In The Machine, 1 ep of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) as Dr. Emil Hamilton, the scientist.
Christopher Meloni (Chris Keller in Oz, Green Lantern in Green Lantern: First Flight, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, Wet Hot American Summer, Twelve Monkeys, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Junior, 1 ep of Michael & Michael Have Issues) as Colonel Nathan Hardy.
Ayelet Zurer (Angels & Demons) as Lara Lor-Van.
Laurence Fishburne (The Colony, Morpheus in The Matrix movies, Silver Surfer in Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, Contagion, Mission Impossible 3, Mystic River, Apocalypse Now) as Perry White.
Dylan Sprayberry (Spaced, 1 ep of MADtv) as Clark Kent (13 Years).
Richard Cetrone (he’s usually a stuntman, but he plays The Headless Horseman in a Sleepy Hollow TV series, a werewolf/merman in The Cabin In The Woods, a lyncan creature in Underworld: Awakening, Hunter Morlock in The Time Machine, CJ in Sucker Punch) as Tor-An.
Mackenzie Gray (The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus, Iron Man: Armored Adventures, 2 eps of Smallville) as Jax-Ur.
Julian Richings (Atticus’s father in Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil, and Satan in the 2003 Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, X-Men: The Last Stand, Detroit Rock City, Mimic, Naked Lunch) as Lor-Em.
Mary Black (Mrs. Henderson in Fido, The Wicker Man, ) as Ro-Zar.
Michael Kelly (The Adjustment Bureau, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Unbreakable, 6 eps of The Sopranos) as Steve Lombard.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0770828/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The World’s End (2013)

Claire: 5/5 stars, 10/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

The movie is actually the conclusion of the unofficial “Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy”, which includes Sean Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End.

This.
Was.
Awesome!

Achievement Unlocked: Watched a movie where the protaganist wore a Sisters Of Mercy shirt the whole way through!

What’s up with all these new apocalyptic comedies? First Rapture-palooza, then This Is The End, then The World’s End. This is becoming my new favorite genre! The exact same joke is generally funnier if the apocalypse is happening at the same time! It’s like they’ve discovered some untapped secret of humor. (Alright, it’s not really a new discovery, but the spate of these movies this year is really making it feel like that. In truth Mars Attacks and many movies before it know the secret that apocalypse == funny.)

So anyway, the premise of this movie — involving bars and the apocalypse — made us think of Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, which is indeed the movie most similar to this one out of all movies we’ve ever seen. Only this one has no time travel, and End was quite better than that Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (which we rated 4/5 stars, 8/10). The World’s End was just as much of a drinking/party movie as FAQATT, yet it managed to be both funnier AND more poignant. It also had a better budget, and a much better cast. A winner is you!

Beyond the premise being fucking awesome, Simon Pegg‘s character really reminds me of myself…if I were an idiot loser. He’s going on 40–like so many characters in movies that resonate with us lately?!?–and he hasn’t stopped partying and having fun. He thinks the others hate him because he’s still free. The others hate him because he’s an annoying idiot. Nonetheless, I’m going on 40 and haven’t stopped partying and having fun. Plenty of people hate me, think I’m annoying, think I’m an idiot (though I’m not). I, too, sometimes drive 20 year old cars, but out of cheapness, not neccesity. Like him, I am not tied down by the kids, and athough I have a nice job like Simon Pegg‘s friends, I’ve also fucked off, not worked, and am irresponsible when compared to my peers, and would do so again with a cavalier attitude most people are too insecure to be able to live with. He yearns for his past full of friendship, friends, fun, and parties, yet is disappointed in how his once-best friends are now too fuddy duddy to bother having fun anymore… And I TOTALLY identify with that. Emotionally a lot of what the main character wanted really resonated with me. In a drinking movie. About the world ending. So there was some minor poingnancy in this that FAQATT lacked. YET IT WAS STILL FUNNY. It could have ended up being one of those “You’re too old to party; grow up and learn your lessons already, and enough of your Peter Pan syndrome!” type movies. But it wans’t. It took what you think it symbolizes and remained loyal to it the entire way through.

And did it with amazing laughs… The entire way through.

We weren’t going to drink that night. We drank a lot. I suggest trying to keep up with this movie, but beware: They are trying to drink a pint of beer in TWELVE DIFFERENT BARS. Unless you can do 12 shots, you might want to consider what cadence you will drink with during this movie.

Because this must be watched while drinking.

You have learned movie watching. Go in peace.

Directed by Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Shaun Of The Dead, Spaced, Hot Fuzz, fake trailer segment “Don’t” in Grindhouse, 1 ep of French & Saunders).
Written by Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Shaun Of The Dead, Spaced, Hot Fuzz).

* People from Spaced:
Simon Pegg as Gary King.
Nick Frost as Andy Knightley.
Julia Deakin (the landlady from Spaced) as the bed & breakfast landlady. So good to see her again!
Michael Smiley (2 eps of Spaced) as Reverend Green.

* Everyone else:
Martin Freeman (Bilbo in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Arthur Dent in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Shaun Of The Dead, What’s Your Number?, Hot Fuzz, 14 eps of The Office (UK)) as Oliver Chamberlain.
Paddy Considine (Hot Fuzz, The Bourne Ultimatum) as Steven Prince.
Eddie Marsan (Hancock, V For Vendetta, 21 Grams) as Peter Page.
Rosamund Pike (Wrath Of The Titans) as Sam Chamberlain.
Thomas Law (231 eps of EastEnders) as Young Gary.
Pierce Brosnan (Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Mars Attacks!, Shattered) as Guy Shepherd.
David Bradley (Argus Filch in the Harry Potter movies, Captain America: The First Avenger) as Basil.
Jonathan Aris (Sightseers, Gulliver’s Travels) as Group Leader.
Alice Lowe (Hot Fuzz, writer and star of the awful movie Sightseers) as Young Lady.
Rafe Spall (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, Life Of Pi) as Young Man.
Steve Oram (Sightseers, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV, 1 ep of The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret) as Motorcycle Policeman.

P.S. More on the trilogy comment… To quote IMDB: “…the characters are seen eating peppermint with chocolate chip ice-cream – as what the Cornetto green wrapper represents. According to Edgar Wright, green represents science fiction and extraterrestrial elements, which is the main motif in the film. For Wright’s other films, Shaun of The Dead, it was red/strawberry flavor, symbolizing blood and zombies; while the second part, Hot Fuzz, it was blue/vanilla symbolizing the police.”

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Freaked (1993)

Clint: 5/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 5.8/10 IMDB.

While trying to decide on a funny movie to watch for a lazy Saturday night, we decided to check out this little gem.  We weren’t expecting too much, as it was clearly a 1980s b-movie. [Yes, I’m going to call it an 80’s movie even though it came out in 1993. Deal.]

But my god, this turned out to be hilarious. It was completely over-the-top and ridiculous — including a lot of completely cheesy jokes that a 6 year old would laugh at — but it kept us laughing THE. ENTIRE. TIME. It’s pretty dense with humor.

Brook Shields. Mr. T in drag. Keanu Reaves as a dog; Bill *AND* Ted, actually. Bobcat Goldthwait. Gibby Haynes. Randy Quad. Morgan Fairchild.

This is from, and inspired from, an era of movies being infatuated with monsterism: The Toxic Avenger, Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc etc.  And it’s definitely cut from that same kind of cloth. But it’s not a Troma movie. It’s actually better than that. And it stars some real actors! You wont recognize Keanu Reaves because he’s a dog…But the South Park “Freak Strike” episode also tributes Keanue’s role in this movie.

Anyway, I really don’t know where to start with trying to capture what it was like to watch this movie. You’re shaking your head at how bad some jokes are, then you’re laughing out loud at how funny some jokes are. And sometimes those 2 feelings overlap simultaneously. It’s bad humor done well. Did you like old zany movies like Top Secret or Naked Gun? This movie is like a cross between those and some of the mosterism movies I mentioned early. It utterly and completely exceeded my expectations while still not necessarily matching up exactly with what a modern comedy moviegoer would consider “good”. So: Bonus points for uniqueness.

Did I mention the soundtrack includes multiple Butthole Surfers songs?

This movie apparently enjoys a large cult following to this day; 20 years later, I have now finally joined the Freeks as a fan of this film. I hear Keanu Reaves bought the Freeked.com domain when the fandom accidentally let it expire, in order to quell rumours that he was in this movie (which, according to IMDB, he is). Probably not true, but it’s a funny thought.

Directed by Tom Stern (The Andy Milonakis Show, The Man Show, 4 eps of Saul Of The Mole Men) & Alex Winter (Bill in the Bill & Ted movies, 5 eps of Saul of The Mole Men, 1 ep of Robot Chicken).
Written by Tim Burns (Crank Yankers, 1 ep of Star Wars: The Clone Wars) & Tom Stern (The Andy Milonakis Show, 3 eps of Saul Of The Mole Men) & Alex Winter.

Starring Brooke Shields (Suddenly Susan, The Blue Lagoon, Bag Boy, 7 eps of That ’70s Show, 3 eps of Nip/Tuck, 1 ep Gary The Rat, 1 ep of The Larry Sanders Show) as Skye Daley, the reporter in the framing scenes (most of the movie is a flashback).
Alex Winter as Ricky Coogan.
Keanu Reeves (Ted in the Bill & Ted movies, the Matrix movies, A Scanner Darkly, The Devil’s Advocate, Johnny Mnemonic, Dracula, Speed) as Ortiz the Dog Boy (uncredited).
Michael Stoyanov (The Dark Knight, Gross Anatomy, 2 eps of Working, 1 ep of Married With Children, 1 ep of Quantum Leap) as Ernie.
Megan Ward (362 eps of General Hospital, Joe’s Apartment, Encino Man, 1 ep of Friends, 1 ep of Jesse) as Julie.
Mr. T as The Bearded Lady.
Bobcat Goldthwait as Sockhead as Tourist / Sockhead (voice).
William Sadler (Machete Kills, Onion News Empire, Iron Man 3, The Shawshank Redemption, Bill & Ted‘s Bogus Journey, Die Hard 2) as Dick Brian.
Eduardo Ricard (8 Heads In A Duffel Bag, 2 eps of The Love Boat, 1 ep of Webster, 1 ep of Fantasy Island) as George Ramirez #1.
Henry Carbo as George Ramirez #2.
Deep Roy (Star Trek reboot movies, 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 George Ramirez #3.
Mihaly ‘Michu’ Meszaros (ALF in 10 eps of ALF, Big Top Pee-wee) as George Ramirez #3.
Brian Brophy (Armageddon, 1 ep of Max Headroom) as Kevin.
Morgan Fairchild (uncredited in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, 5 eps of Friends, 3 eps of Roseanne, 1 ep of The Angry Beavers, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck, 1 ep of That 70s Show, 1 ep of That 80s Show) as Stewardess.
Alex Zuckerman (The Exorcist III, Hook, Fatal Instinct) as Stuey Gluck.
Randy Quaid (Not Another Teen Movie, Kingpin, Vacation, Christmas Vacation, Vegas Vacation, Independence Day, Brokeback Mountain, 19 eps of Saturday Night Live, 1 ep of The Ren & Stimpy Show) as Elijah C. Skuggs.
Jaime Cardriche (1 ep of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, 1 ep of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, 1 ep of The Wayans Bros.) as Toad.
Derek McGrath (Mr. Mom, 4 eps of Cheers, 2 eps of Bob & Doug, 2 eps of Newhart, 1 ep of Growing Pains) as Worm.
Jeff Kahn (Tropic Thunder, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Reality Bites, 4 eps of The Ben Stiller Show, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of The Larry Sanders Show) as Nosey. He’s also a writer and producer on Drawn Together, Dilbert & The Ben Stiller Show…
John Hawkes (S. Darko, Wristcutters: A Love Story, Contagion, Rush Hour, 15 eps of Eastbound & Down, 2 eps of 24) as Cowboy.
Lee Arenberg (Pirates Of The Caribbean movies, Dungeons & Dragons, Waterworld, Robocop 3, 2 eps of Seinfeld, 1 ep of Grounded For Life, 1 ep of Friends) as The Eternal Flame.
Patti Tippo (Being John Malkovich, The Iron Giant, Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls, Sid and Nancy, Barb Wire, 1 ep of Titus) as Rosie the Pinhead.
Tim Burns (Crank Yankers, 1 ep of Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Frogman.
Don Stark (John Carter, Donna’s dad in That 70s Show, 8 eps of Spider-Man-TAS (1990s), 3 eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Editor.
Arturo Gil (Epic Movie, Monkeybone, Saul Of The Mole Men, The Man Show, 2 eps of Just Shoot Me) as Clown.
Tom Stern (3 eps of Saul Of The Mole Men) as Man #2 / Milkman.
Gibby Haynes (Butthole Surfers singer, 1 ep of The Larry Sanders Show, GWAR: Phallus In Wonderland) as Cheese Wart.
Pamela Mant (Leprechaun, 1 ep of Seinfeld) as Nun.
Joe Baker (Dumb & Dumber, Robin Hood: Men In Tights, 2 eps of Highway To Heaven) as Prof. Nigel Crump.
Jon M. Chu (director of G.I. Joe 2) as Giant Stuey Monster.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109838/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Vampire Academy (2014)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 7.1/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 5.8/10 IMDB.

No specific complaints…But it could have been better. Daniel Waters wrote the movie, and he wrote Heathers and Sex And Death 101 — two movies I rate about a 10/10. Not to mention Demolition Man, Happy Campers, The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane, and even Hudson Hawk. All decent movies. But Heathers & Sex And Death 101 were great. I think I set my expectations a bit high for this one. It’s a movie based on a teenage vampire novel. Certainly not Twilight, but it’s also not going to be Heathers.

They tried to set themselves up for a sequel…. But it just seems kind of ambitious, all things considered. This just wasn’t nearly as good as it could be. Maybe if they make more movies like this, it will become a more coherent story; but maybe this is just Daniel Waters selling out?

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was alright, but it didn’t seem that spectacular.

Directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls, Freaky Friday (2003), The Spiderwick Chronicles).
Written by Daniel Waters (Heathers, Sex And Death 101, Hudson Hawk, Batman Returns, Demolition Man, Happy Campers, The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane).
Based on a book by Richelle Mead.

 

Starring Zoey Deutch (Beautiful Creatures) as Rose Hathaway.
Lucy Fry as Lissa Dragomir.
Danila Kozlovsky as Dimitri Belikov, Rose’s crush.
Joely Richardson (Julia McNamara from Nip/Tuck, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)) as Queen Tatiana. Totally didn’t realize that.
Gabriel Byrne (Ghost Ship, Miller’s Crossing) as Victor Dashkov, Natalie’s father.
Dominic Sherwood as Christian Ozera, the guy who’s parents turned evil.
Olga Kurylenko (Seven Psychopaths) as Headmistress Kirova.
Sarah Hyland (Modern Family, Scary Movie 5, Robot Chicken DC Comics Special 2, The Object Of My Affection, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Natalie, the loser.
Claire Foy (Adora Belle in Going Postal) as Ms. Karp, the crazy teacher who turned evil.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1686821/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Crystal Fairy (2013)

Claire: 2.8/5 stars, 5.8/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 5.7/10 IMDB.

This was not quite the overt drug comedy we expected; we were hoping for something closer to Fear & Loathing From Las Vegas.

While entertaining, and still comedic, all of the comedy was very dry, awkward, painful comedy. This was mostly a drug movie, not a comedy movie. Michael Cera goes to Chile to get San Pedro cactus, continually being the most annoying person in the bunch… And then this weird hippie chick named Crystal Fairy joins them for their trip.

This movie is less of a story, and more of a snapshot of life where an American decides to take a trip down to Chile in order to experience an hallucinogenic drug.  It deals with cultivating relationships with strangers and friends, and with learning to be patient and enjoy the moments in life (something Cera’s character is incapable of doing).

A bunch of weird shit happens, and then it ends with no real resolution other than “yeah, these things happened”. People changed. Everyone went on with their lives. But a shared transcendent experience occurred, and those in the know on such matters probably appreciate such things being shown in a movie.

So despite my complaints, it was still interesting.  Kind of weird for Michael Cera to be in a relatively unknown film like this.  Then again, it definitely had an indie feel to it, and Cera sometimes does these kinds of films on the side.

Carolyn still liked this significantly more than me, however. Odd.

Written & directed by (& starring) Sebastian Silva.

Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Childrens Hospital, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Juno, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Superbad, This Is The End, Extreme Movie, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Jamie.
Gaby Hoffmann (Sleepless In Seattle, Uncle Buck) as Crystal Fairy.
Juan Andrés Silva (this is his only movie) as Champa.
José Miguel Silva (this is his only movie) as Lel.
Agustín Silva as Pilo, the sober one.
Sebastián Silva as Lobo.
Esteban Carreño (this is his only movie) as Botota.
Gepe (he is a musician) as Gepe.
Manuela Baldovino (this is her only movie) as The girl who is high on life.
Gracia Ariztia (this is her only movie) as The other crazy dancing girl.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2332579/combined

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