Evan B


VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation (2013) (watched in 3-D)

JSun: 5/5, 2/10 …. He said it’s his favorite movie of all time, but only rated it 2 out of 10.  A bold choice, indeed. “I said 10!!!” No you didn’t! ;)
Claire: 4/5, 7.6/10
Evan: 4/5, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3/5, 7/10.
Sean: “3-D was 10/10, experience was 10/10″…but it seemed pretty clear that he really hated the movie, hehe.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 5.8/10 IMDB.

This movie was utterly fucking ridiculous, but it knew it was being ridiculous.  Watching it with a bunch of friends heightened the enjoyment of this movie, and if we were alone, it probably wouldn’t have been as fun. But isn’t that true about most things?

This, however, was totally over-the-top. Even compared to the first A-Team movie!! And that’s saying a lot!

I have to admit…The first one was better.  But there were certain aspects that this movie pulled off better, like making things comicbook/cartoon-ishly ridiculous.  I certainly would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed G.I. Joe 1.

The 3-D was awesome too; this was one of the first movies we watched with our new Samsung 240Hz 3-D Smart TV.

Directed by Jon M. Chu (some Justin Beiber stuff).

Written by Rhett Reese (Zombieland, Monsters Inc, Cruel Intentions 3) & Paul Wernick (Zombieland).

Starring Dwayne Johnson (The Rock in wrestling, Fast & Furious 6-7, The Mummy Returns, 1 ep o Transformers Prime) as Roadblock.
Jonathan Pryce (Sam Lowry in Brazil, G.I. Joe 1, Pirates Of The Caribbean movies, What A Girl Wants, The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen) as President.
Byung-hun Lee (Red 2, G.I. Joe 1) as Storm Shadow.
Elodie Yung (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo remake) as Jinx, Storm Shadow’s cousin.
Ray Stevenson (Thor, The Three Musketeers, 9 eps of Dexter) as Firefly.
D.J. Cotrona as Flint.
Adrianne Palicki (Red Dawn, 4 eps of Robot Chicken, 4 eps of Titan Maximum, 1 ep of Smallville, 1 ep of Family Guy) as Jaye.
Channing Tatum (Side Effects, This Is The End) as Duke.
Ray Park (Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Heroes, Fanboys, X-Men, ) as Snake Eyes.
Luke Bracey (225 eps of Home And Away) as Cobra Commander.
Walton Goggins (Django Unchained, Predators, Machete Kills, The Bourne Identity, The Crow 3: Salvation, 1 ep of Unsupervised) as Warden Nigel James.
Arnold Vosloo (Habib Marwan in 17 eps of 24, The Mummy movies, 1 ep of Young Justice) as Zartan.
Joseph Mazzello (The Social Network) as Mouse.
Nick Erickson as President Picture Double.
RZA (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, Repo Men, Due Date, Funny People) as Blind Master.
Matt Gerald (Avatar, Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines, Magnolia, 2 eps of Dexter) as Havoc.
Douglas M. Griffin (This Is The End, Oldboy remake) as Doctor.
Joe Chrest (Oldboy remake, Red, Ocean’s Thirteen, Clockwatchers) as Chief of Staff.
Bruce Willis as General Joe Colton.
James Carville (Fox News commenter) as James Carville.
Ryan Hansen (Superhero Movie, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Grunt.
DeRay Davis (10 eps of The Boondocks, uncredited in Get Him To The Greek) as Stoop.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1583421/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Immortal (Ad Vitam) (2004)

Claire: 2.4/5 stars, 5.4/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Evan: 2.7/5 stars, 5.5/10.
Native ratings: 3.0/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

I GOT A NEW TV! And this was the first thing watched on it– A weird animation/live-action mix sci-fi flick taking place in 2095 and dealing with gods, aliens, possession, being raped by a person possessed by a god….. All based on a trilogy of French comic books.

Carolyn: This didn’t live up to our expectations. It was nice to see as the first 3-D movie on our new TV, but it was hard to follow the story. It had a lot going on: Egyptian gods, aliens, genetically altered humans and mutants, escaped prisoners who are being tracked down… It was a lot to keep track of, especially while visually enjoying the 3-D. There was potential, but it didn’t quite get there.

Claire: I didn’t like the movie that much. Visually, it was very awesome, but I still didn’t really like it — Which made it a good choice for my first non-anaglyph 3-D home movie viewing. When you get a new tech setup, you don’t want to dive right in and watch/do your favorite/most-important thing first, because you still want to do system tuning. I’m very glad that the first 3-D movie I watched was NOT one that I enjoyed, because it turns out my TV wasn’t 100% setup correctly (had to turn sharpness down) anyway. I’d much rather have a setup error affect a 2-star movie than a 5-star movie :)

But yea. It was confusing. I wasn’t really sure what the fuck was going on a lot of the time. I didn’t really understand how the side-plots really fit together with the main plot. It was great eye candy, and I sort of digested it that way. The eyes of some of the CGI characters were so 3-dimensionally sunken into their head that it was creepy as fuck! Definitely interesting, and I’m glad I finally watched it, but yeah… Missed potential is the name of the game here.

Evan: I’d agree that it had potential, but their effects needed a lot more polish before I would really consider it any good. If they had made the whole movie animation [instead of a mix of animation and live-action], it might have gotten a better score.

Directed by Enki Bilal. Written by Enki Bilal (comic books “La Foire Aux Immortels” and “La Femme Pie`ge”), Serge Lehman.

Starring Linda Hardy as Jill Bioskop.
Thomas Kretschmann (Hostel 3, 2 eps of 24) as Alcide Nikopol.
Charlotte Rampling (12 eps of Dexter) as Dr. Elma Turner.
Yann Collette as Froebe.
Fre’de’ric Pierrot as John.
Thomas M. Pollard as Horus.
Joe Sheridan as Allgood.
Corinne Jaber as Lily Liang.
Olivier Achard as Checker.
Jerry Di Giacomo as Jack Turner.
Paul Bandey as Dayaks (voice).
Coralie Seyrig as Bastet (voice).
Goran Vejvoda as Anubis (voice).
Barbara Scaff (Heavy Rain) as Jill (voice).
Dominic Gould as John (voice).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0314063/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Colony (2013)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Evan: 3/5 stars, 6.5/10.
Native ratings: 5.2/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

This was OK, but it could have been better. It started off really strong, and then had a tipping point where you realized it was Just Another Movie(tm).

The ending in particular seemed rushed.  It would have been a sensible ending from a trilogy, and indeed, a trilogy could redeem this… But who would watch it? This just wasn’t that strong.  Maybe if it was longer, they could have fleshed it out more…But as it was, it took forever to build up the scenario, and then it was a really quick gorefest at the end, and then a lack of a real resolution after that.

It leaves you wanting. In a bad way. The ending is 2/5 stars, 3/10. The first third or so of the movie is 4.4/5 stars, 8.6/10. It’s all over the place. It ends up just being Just Another Movie(tm).

Evan adds: I’ve since watched the other movie I was talking about (The Divide from 2011) and it’s much better. Still not great, but definitely better acting, far less stereotyping, and no explicit gore but much darker themes. I would rate 3.5/7.4 only because they completely forget about some things after they are used as a plot device.

Also while I was in movie mode, I watched another movie with a similar premise and a younger Saorise Ronan (from The Host) called City of Ember. This was my favorite of the three, possibly because it was not a horror like the others. This one I would go as high as 4/5, 8.5/10 for it’s good flow, nice characters (has Bill Murray even), fairly well done post-apocalyptic theme.

The others are def worth the watch if you get around to it.

Directed by Jeff Renfroe. Written by Jeff Renfroe, Svet Rouskov, Patrick Tarr, Pascal Trottier.

Starring Kevin Zegers (Frozen, Dawn Of The Dead, Wrong Turn, In The Mouth Of Madness, 1 ep of Smallville) as Sam.
Laurence Fishburne (Morpheus in The Matrix movies, Silver Surfer in Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, Contagion, Mission Impossible 3, Mystic River, Apocalypse Now) as Briggs.
Bill Paxton (Titanic, Twister, Apollo 13, Stripes, 1 ep of Frasier) as Mason (the douchebag).
Charlotte Sullivan (2 eps of Puppets Who Kill, 1 ep of Smallville) as Kai.
Dru Viergever (Saw 8) as Feral Leader.
Atticus Dean Mitchell (26 eps of My Baby’s A Vampire) as Graydon.
John Tench (2 eps of Friday The 13th: The Series, 1 ep of X-Files) as Viktor.
Lisa Berry (Antiviral, Saw 5) as Nara.
Kimberly-Sue Murray (Mirror Mirror) as Janelle.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1160996/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Host (2013)

Clio: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Jesse: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Evan: 4.1/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

Written & directed by Andrew Niccol, which had me hyped up to see the movie! We’ve seen every movie he’s directed (Gattaca, Lord Of War, In Time, S1m0ne), and also half the movies he wrote-but-didn’t-direct (The Truman Show, but not The Terminal). It is all excellent stuff, though we enjoyed some (In Time) more than others (Lord Of War, S1m0ne).

This movie, strangely, is based on a novel by Stephenie Meyer, the woman who wrote the Twilight Trilogy. Really?? This knowledge alone causes a lot of people to hate on the movie without watching it. Such sheep behavior is sad to witness.

This is Twilight-esque in the sense that teen romance is inserted into a genre that it is not normally so prevalent in. Is that a crime? Is mixing genres a crime? Should an action movie have no comedy? Should a comedy movie have no romance? Should a horror movie have no comedy?

So yes, this is a sci-fi movie about parasitic symbiotes taking over the planet by taking our bodies from us, but it is focused more on a few specific characters, and the love story that ties them together. There are no explosions or big gun fights. It’s about a race taking over humans and controlling them. They aim to live along with us and bring us further than we would get left to our own devices, but they also basically genocide us by killing our consciousnesses and replacing them with their own.

But some of us resist. The alien parasite hears the voice of the original human in their mind. It’s rare. And that is the case here.

Apparently a lot of people just reduce that to “watching a girl talk to herself”, which is a sad reducto absurdum applied to an idea that is actually far more interesting than that. I think it requires a litte bit of empathy that some people don’t have. I don’t find it a valid complaint.

There is REALLY a lot of hate here. The anti-Stephanie Meyer bandwagon is kind of pathetic. It’s like they are scared that someone might like something she’s involved in, because it would invalidate their own opinions — which are often themselves based on groupthink and expressed by people who have never seen one of her movies or read one of her books.

Fuck those guys. This was a great sci-fi, and had an unexpectedly interesting emotional/relationship angle, that most sci-fi movies don’t have. Good for Andrew Niccol — keeping his track record intact. Good for Stephanie Meyer — improving her track record, which needs it.

Evan: “I really liked the concepts and the story was good, but I’m going to have to knock it down a bit for the cheesy teen-movie moments.”

Saoirse Ronan (Hanna from Hanna, the voice of Arriety in The Secret World of Arrietty) as Melanie Stryder / Wanda.
Diane Kruger (Adult Anna in Mr. Nobody, Inglourious Basterds, National Treasure, Helen in Troy) as The Seeker / Lacey.
Chandler Canterbury (Repo Men, Benjamin as age 8 in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) as Jamie, Melanie’s little brother.
Jake Abel (Luke in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief) as Ian O’Shea, [highlight for spoilers] Wanda’s love interest.
Max Irons (Dorian Gray, 9 eps of The White Queen) as Jared Howem, Melanie’s boyfriend.
William Hurt (The Village, The Incredible Hulk, Dark City) as Jeb, Melanie’s uncle.
Frances Fisher (Sex & Death 101, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Maggie, Melanie’s aunt.
Scott Lawrence (The Social Network, Avatar, Cloverfield, Star Trek Into Darkness, 2 eps of 24, Darth Vader in a bunch of Star Wars video games) as Doc.
Rachel Roberts (Simone in S1m0ne, In Time) as Soul Fleur.
Marcus Lyle Brown (Snatched) as Healer Fords.
J.D. Evermore (Django Unchained) as Trevor Stryder.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1517260/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013) [watched in 3-D]

Clio: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Evan: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 4.8/10 IMDB.

Our first-ever 3D movie night, with Clio, Carolyn, Greg, John, Radha, Evan, & Javier. We got together to watch the new Star Trek movie (Star Trek 2 / 12) but it ended up being the first one (Star Trek 1 / 11).  So we had to quickly decide what else to watch, and this was what brought up the least objections.

We thought this was a remake of the original, but it turned out to be a follow up to the original movie.  Clio & I had never seen the original, but it didn’t seem to detract from our experience.  This was entertaining, but it didn’t have that much going for it.  Not much to the story.  We watched it in 3D on our new TV with 5 other people, and that made it more fun.

Directed by John Luessenhop.

Written by Adam Marcus (Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday), Debra Sullivan, and Kirsten Elms.

Starring Alexandra Daddario (Percy Jackson movies, 1 ep of The Sopranos) as Heather Miller.
Dan Yeager as Leatherface.
Trey Songz as Ryan, Heather’s boyfriend.
Scott Eastwood (Gran Torino) as Carl, the young cop.
Tania Raymonde (5 eps of Malcolm In The Middle) as Nikki, Heather’s friend.
Shaun Sipos (The Grudge 2, Final Destination 2, 1 ep of Smallville) as Darryl.
Keram Malicki-Sánchez (Sex And Death 101, 3 eps of The L Word, 4 eps of Garbage Pail Kids, 2 eps of Friday The 13th: The Series, 1 ep of 24) as Kenny, Nikki’s date.
James MacDonald (1 ep of Weeds, 1 ep of 24) as Officer Marvin.
Thom Barry (The Fast And The Furious, Space Jam, Apollo 13, Independence Day, 2 eps of Seinfeld, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Space Above And Beyond) as Sheriff Hooper.
Paul Rae (1 ep of Malcolm In The Middle) as Burt Hartman.
Richard Riehle (Santa Claus in A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, Smiley Face, Extracted, The Beach Party At The Threshold Of Hell, Office Space, Hatchet, Mysterious Skin, Palindromes, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Dorm Daze 2, The Man From Earth, 4 eps of The Legend Of Korra, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Farnsworth. He still reminds us of the “I’ll make your bub-bubs bounce” / “this is what I do, I sit on you” guy.
Bill Moseley (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Army Of Darkness, Night Of The Living Dead, Dead Air, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Grindhouse, The Devil’s Rejects, 8 eps of Carnivale, 5 eps of Holliston) as Drayton Sawyer.
David Born (1 ep of Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!) as Gavin Miller, Heather’s adopted dad.
Sue Rock as Arlene Miller, Heather’s adopted mom.
Ritchie Montgomery (Django Unchained, Looper, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Green Lantern, 1 ep of Carnivale) as Ollie.
Dodie Brown as Loretta Sawyer, Heather’s real mom.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1572315/combined