Jesse B


VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Imaginaerum (2012)

Clio & Carolyn: 2.8/5 stars, 6.4/10.
Native ratings: 5.7/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

This will be the 2nd time we watch a movie based on a concept album we’ve never listened to, performed by a band we’ve never listened to. The last one was Marillion:Brave, by Richard Stanley, director of the movie Hardware (1990). This one is based on an album by the Finnish metal band, NightWish. We mostly watched it for the visuals, which were pretty cool, but we were not as impressed as we were hoping.

The story was a bit lacking. The sound mix was surprisingly bad (though that is a distribution problem). It was overly-dramatic and kind of full of itself. But of course, it’s a video for an album, and music videos are sorta-kinda SUPPOSED to be like that — all grandiose and shit. So I might be faulting the genre for its own self-definition here. It also got a lot less exciting (and a lot more depressing) near the end. The acting wasn’t the greatest, but this also wasn’t a movie with very much acting in it.

In the end, this was style over substance. Some pretty awesome visuals. Definitely a great movie to watch — not as great to listen to, or think about. But visually, it was an 8/10.

Directed by: Stobe Harju (who directed Nightwish’s “The Islander” music video).
Written by: Stobe Harju & Mikko Rautalahti (Alan Wake video game), and Richard Jackson.
Story written by Tuomas Holopainen (Nightwish songwriter and band member) & Stobe Harju.

Starring Marianne Farley (Undressed, 2001: A Space Travesty, 6 eps of Vampire High) as Gem Whitman.
Quinn Lord (young boy in The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus–is he now typecast to only be in movies with Imaginae?rium in their title?, 2 eps of Smallville) as Tom Whitman – age 10.
Tuomas Holopainen (Nightwish song writer and band member) as Tom Whitman – age 47.
Francis X. McCarthy (BASEketball, 7 eps of Melrose Place, 4 eps of the original 21 Jump Street, Alien Nation, 2 eps of The Greatest American Hero, 1 ep of Smallville, 1 ep of Cheers, 1 ep of ALF, 1 ep of The A-Team, 1 ep of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose) as Tom Whitman – age 70.
Joanna Noyes (Grandma Thora Read in Arthur) as Ann – age 73.
Anette Olzon (Nightwish band member) as Ann.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1959409/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Mr. Nobody (2009)

Clio: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Jesse: 5/5 stars, 10/10. (I made this rating up for Jesse, based on him saying it might be his favorite movie of all time.)
Native ratings: 4.2/5 stars Netflix, 7.8/10 IMDB.

Cloud Atlas, The Fountain, Click, Benjamin Button, Ink (2009), Inception (a bit). Smush them all together and you get this movie. I was hooked in the first 20 seconds. This was awesome.

Basically, this movie is about making choices, and the parallel universes that arise with each choice that is made. Hell, they even touch on string theory, chaos theory, and the butterfly effect at points… It is also about how it’s better to make a decision than it is to stand there scared of the various consequences that may arise.

The structure of the movie is pretty amazing, and the cinematography is 10/10 for sure. Over 500 visual effects.

It also had a better than average soundtrack. Mr. Sandman … used even more than in 8 Heads In A Duffel Bag!

The plot synopses on IMDB is pretty good, and though it has minor spoilers, you could simply stop reading the summary when you get to the words “at the end”, and it would not affect enjoyment of the movie (and in fact, this is part of how I was enticed to finally obtain this movie): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0485947/synopsis … If you want a total-spoilery version, one better to read AFTER watching the movie, check out the wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Nobody_(film)

This was awesome, yet I have a weird cognitive dissonance where I don’t QUITE want to rate this 5/5 stars. My IMDB rating (film quality) is not affected by this dissonance, by my Netflix rating (emotional response) is for some reason. Maybe if I had watched it in a state other than sobriety… I’d have had that “OMFG THIS IS SO AWESOME” feeling. But it WAS awesome. I just didn’t FEEL it like I often do. In part this is because I am anti-spirituality. I can’t help but feel that the message was a bit trite and cliche in the fact that it basically boiled down to “seek happiness”, which we all ALREADY KNOW.
However, this message was done VERY VERY VERY well! Just like Cloud Atlas‘s trite “fight for what is right” message, which was also done VERY well.
I’m so confused by my 5-star resistance here. But I”‘l go ahead and give it 5 stars anyway.

Political side-comment: It’s bullshit that USA typically won’t play this movie due to there being sex scenes with underage people (even though Juno Temple was fucking 20 in this!). Fucking Puritans! The Europeans should have persecuted The Puritans much harder. Seriously: The longest IMDB thread is about a nipple, and not the actual movie! Fuck us! Fuck us up our censored asses!

Written & Directed by Belgian filmmaker Jaco Van Dormael (this is his first English endeavor).

Starring Jared Leto (My So-Called Life, Requiem For A Dream, American Psycho, Fight Club, Panic Room, Girl Interrupted) as Nemo (adult/old).
Sarah Polley (Dawn Of The Dead, eXistenZ, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Go, Splice, 1 ep of Friday The 13th: The Series) as Elise (adult).
Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds, National Treasure, Troy) as Anna (adult).
Linh Dan Pham (Dante 01) as Jean (adult).
Rhys Ifans (Dr. Curt Conners in The Amazing Spider-Man, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1) as Nemo’s dad.
Natasha Little (we haven’t seen her stuff) as Nemo’s mom.
Toby Regbo (uncredited as Young Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1) as Nemo (age 15).
Juno Temple (The Dark Knight Rises, Kaboom, St. Trinian’s, Small Apartments, The Three Musketeers, Year One) as Anna (age 15).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0485947/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Side Effects (2013)

Clio: 3.6/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

Slightly creepy movie with a message about how broken our mental health & pharmaceutical systems are. But just when you think it’s a political drama…. It turns out to be more of a mystery/thriller than you expect.  The twists in tone made the “fucked up”-edness feel that much more sinister. Briefly confusing, with everything making sense in the end.  Things do not go where you’d expect; I was actually reminded of the feeling of watching the end of Wild Things when this movie ended — everything not quite being what it seemed.

Watched this with Jesse, who seemed to enjoy it a lot, though he had some problems finding Catherine Zeta-Jones‘s character/acting believable.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh (The Informant!, Contagion, Erin Brockovitch, Sex, Lies, & Videotape, Ocean’s 11, Solaris, Full Frontal).  Soderberg is a major hit-or-miss director with us — I flat out hated several of his films, and only really liked 50% of them. But I keep coming back for more because of the better half of Soderberg films — and this was in that half.

Written by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion, The Informant!, The Bourne Ultimatum).

Rooney Mara (Lisbeth Salander in the American version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo movies, Youth In Revolt, The Social Network) as Emily Taylor.  Clio got us all thinking this was the girl from the Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. She convinced us and everything. Nope! That would be Noomi Rapace! Duhhh!
Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Parnassus, eXisitenZ, Lemony Snicket, Gattaca, Contagion, Repo Men, Rise Of The Guardians, and many more) as Dr. Jonathan Banks, the psychiatrist.
Catherine Zeta-Jones (The Mask Of Zorro, Ocean’s 11, Traffic, Rock Of Ages) as Dr. Victoria Siebert, the former psychiatrist.
Channing Tatum as Martin Taylor, the husband who was just released from jail.
Polly Draper (1 ep of The Larry Sanders Show) as Emily’s Boss.
David Costabile (Gale from Breaking Bad) as Carl. Totally didn’t make the connection.
Vinessa Shaw (Eyes Wide Shut) as Dierdre Banks, the wife of the psychiatrist.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2053463/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Change-Up (2011)

Clio: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

This was a fun comedy.  Sooo much better than This Is 40. Why did I just mention This Is 40? We thought this was a Judd Apatow movie, but then it turned out not to be Judd Apatow. Leslie Mann‘s presence really threw us off.  This movie is actually written by the guys who wrote the Hangover movies. It’s good to know they can do other things. They should write more movies.

This was basically Freaky Friday, updated for the Apatow crowd.  Lots of humor. Including foul humor. Think about it: In the Freaky Friday-type movies, one person is always a minor. Sex doesn’t really come up. By updating this cliched trope to no-holds-barred modern day cutting edge comedy (NOTHING IS SACRED!), we get to see tons of hilariously awkward situations that none of the oldschool bodyswap movies would dare touch.

But beyond that, there is actually some good sentiment, too.  Lessons, if you will. They didn’t need to do that, but they did. And yet, the comedy never stops, so the entire movie is all good times.

Holy jesus.. just came back from the haters on imdb. Why do people like that bother to watch movies? If all you do is find flaws and get offended, maybe you should find a different hobby?

Directed by: David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers, Fred Claus, Shanghai Knights)
Written by: Jon Lucas (The Hangover movies) & Scott Moore (The Hangover movies)

Ryan Reynolds (Adventureland, Hal Jordan in Green Lantern, Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Van Wilder, The Proposal) as Mitch Planko.
Jason Bateman (Arrested Development, Sit Down Shut Up, The Invention Of Lying, Hancock, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Juno) as Dave Lockwood.
Leslie Mann (17 Again, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, This Is 40, Funny People, Allen Gregory, Timecode) as Dave’s wife.
Olivia Wilde (Tron: Legacy/Tron: Uprising, Year One, In Time, The Girl Next Door) as Sabrina McArdle, the legal assistant.
Alan Arkin (Insp. Jacques Clouseau in Inspector Clouseau (1968), Gattaca, The Jerky Boys, Grosse Point Blank, Edward Scissorhands) as Mitch’s Dad.
Mircea Monroe (The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall & Felt Superbad About It) as Tatiana, Mitch’s pregnant fuck buddy.
Gregory Itzin (President Logan in 24, Adaptation, 1 ep of Firefly) as Flemming Steel, the lawfirm boss.
Ed Ackerman (Frozen, Hatchet II, bartender in 17 Again) as Victor.
Patricia French (Wanderlust, The Three Stooges (2012), 8 eps of Squidbillies) as Dave’s Secretary.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1488555/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Movie 43 (2013)

Clio: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Jesse: “That was awesome.”
iDRMRSR: “Oh this was a GREAT flick. I had to shampoo my reclinar after I watched it I crapped my slacks so many times laughing.”
Native ratings: 3.0/5 stars Netflix, only 4.4/10 IMDB.

This movie took me places I’ve never been before. It gets really low ratings becuase it is too ridiculous, disgusting, and low-brow. But if you like the Family Guy/South Park style of humor, IGNORE THE LOW RATINGS and go for this.

It is a series of about 13 interconnected segments. The framing-device part that encapsulates all of the sketches is probably the worst part. The individual segments range from funny to oh-god-make-it-stop awkward to disgusting to ridiculous.

For example, Hugh Jackman goes on a blind date with Kate Winslet, and he has testicles that hang off his neck. The whole segment is about Winslet’s disbelief at Jackman’s neckticles.

There’s also a super hero speed dating segment.

Great movie that totally exceeded all of our expectations.

BTW, another reason to watch this movie? Ensemble cast. Anna Faris (why do you think we watched this?), Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Kate Bosworth, Elizabeth Banks, Uma Thurman, Leslie Bibb, Kristen Bell, Seth MacFarlane, Patrick Warburton, Liev Schreiber, Gerard Butler, Seann William Scott, Dennis Quaid, J.B. Smoove, Justin Long, Greg Kinnear, Charlie Saxton, Chris Pratt, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Grace Moretz, Stephen Merchant… and even Snooki.

Even the directors of the segments include Bob Odenkirk (who wrote his segment) and Elizabeth Banks.

This movie is all over the place, and that’s awesome.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1333125/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Warm Bodies (2013)

Clio: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Jess: 3.4/5 stars, 5.9/10.
Native ratings: 4.0/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

*Another* zombie romance movie? Awesome! But unlike Boy Eats Girl, this one is post-apocalyptic, in a world populated almost exclusively with zombies. Like I Am Legend.

And yet, this movie is completely and wholely about the power of love.

Very good movie. It didn’t get too sappy with the romance part, and the zombies were awesome. There is a surprising amount of comedy. Surprising. And this had a slightly different take on zombie-ism. For instance, with great effort, a zombie can utter word or two. And there were two kinds of zombies: The normal zombies, and the ones that had given up so much hope that they’d peeled their skin off and were basically walking skeletons. These ones were feared even by the normal zombies.

I’d describe the movie math behind this as (I Am Legend * ((Twilight + Romeo & Juliet) / 2)) – teen emo bullshit + Boy Eats Girl… I caught on to the Romeo & Juliette similarties during the balcony scene.

But the fact that I just said Twilight might scare people. However, Teresa Palmer, to me, looks exactly like a blonde Kristin Stewart. And being loved by something that has a natural instinct to devour you is the basic premise of both Twilight and this movie.

But the fact that I just said Twilight might scare people. However, Teresa Palmer, to me, looks exactly like a blonde Kristin Stewart. And being loved by something that has a natural instinct to devour you is the basic premise of both Twilight and this movie.

In the end, you are left with a great message of hope, the power of love, and human triumph over darkness. Can love change the way the entire planet functions? Yes. Yes it can. And I’m not just talking about the movie.

Beware: This is a work of fiction, and makes no attempt to be fully logical. For example, electricity is still working even though society has collapsed. If you’re unable to look past something like that (but somehow able to look past the fact that zombies don’t actually exist), you might want to resolve that mental incongruity prior to watching.

Directed and written by Jonathan Levine. This is his best movie, though The Wackness was also good and profound.
Based on a novel by Isaac Marion.

Nicholas Hoult (Beast in X-Men: First Class, Clash Of The Titans remake) as R the Zombie.
Teresa Palmer (Take Me Home Tonight, The Grudge 2) as the human girl, Julie.
John Malkovichas Julie’s father, Grigio.
Analeigh Tipton (Crazy Stupid Love, The Green Hornet) as Julie’s horney friend, Nora.
Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, the clown doctor in Childrens Hospital, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, The Ten) as M.
James Franco’s brother Dave (Superbad, the new 21 Jumpstreet, The Riddler in 2 eps of Young Justice) plays Perry, the original boyfriend.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1588173/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Pecker (1998)

Clio: 4.6/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8/10.
Jesse watched this with us.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

This was actually a really awesome movie… Hilariously fun and bizarre. Plus, it’s about photography, and the way people tend to overreact to someone other than the government taking their picture. This movie out-quirks 99% of movies out there… And goddamn is the soundtrack very strange at times. It’s definitely appropros and adds to the film. Basically, it is obvious when watching this movie that it is the product of a brilliant director.

And of course, like all John Waters movies, you get outrageous dialogue, and great, memorable lines.  “This is a gay club and I need to see some gay I.D.”  “Pubic hair causes crime.”  “My meat curtain stands alone.”

It got kinda sad during the middle, but then magically everybody loved him again. How did that transformation occur? Well, I think I actually glossed over the piont of it all, and then Carolyn explained it to me… Once he “screwed” over the New Yorkers the same way he did the Baltimorians, they all realized, “Oh, but it’s art!”, and began to see photography from a more objective viewpoint.  It was a little convenient, but what would you expect from John Waters? They all have a surreal, skew quality to them. Like a live-action cartoon that no child should ever see. [Hmmm… Imagine John Waters doing an AdultSwim cartoon. That’d be awesome.]

Starring Edward Furlong (Hawk in Detroit Rock City, John Connor in Terminator 2, The Crow in The Crow 4, American History X, The Green Hornet) as Pecker.
18-year-old Christina Ricci (Wednesday in The Addams Family, Sleepy Hollow, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, 200 Cigarettes, Bless The Child) as Shelley. The younger she is, the weirder and creepier she looks. Her latest IMDB picture actually makes her look like a normal redhead person.
Lili Taylor (instantly recognizable as Lisa from Six Feet Under, High Fidelity, Four Rooms, Short Cuts) as Rorey, the art dealer.
Lauren Hulsey (she has not acted in much… she’s a visual effects person nowadays) as Pecker’s sugar-hyped little sister, Chrissy.
Mark Joy (Cecil B. Demented, Dogma) as Pecker’s dad.
Mary Kay Place (Being John Malkovich, Smashed, Mrs. Saunders in Youth In Revolt) as Pecker’s mom.
Martha Plimpton (Stef from The Goonies, Dante’s Inferno, 200 Cigarettes) as Pecker’s sister, the faghag Tina.
Jean Schertler (A Dirty Shame, Runaway Bride [don’t ever watch that piece of crap movie!]) as Memama, Pecker’s FUCKING CREEPY grandmother…. “FULL OF GRACE!”
Brendan Sexton III (Seven Psychopaths, Empire Records, Welcome To The Dollhouse) as Pecker’s shoplifting friend, Matt.
Mink Stole (A Dirty Shame, Cecil B. Demented, Splendor, But I’m A Cheerleader, other John Waters‘ movies such as Hairspray, Polyester, Pink Flamingoes) as Precinct Captain.
Bess Armstrong (the mom in My So-Called Life) as Dr. Klompus. Didn’t recognize her.

Amber adds: “Love this film and am a big Edward Furlong and John Waters fan Oddly enough, one of my FB friends who writes a satirical column for BrightestYoungThings published this amusing piece about the “death of Edward Furlong” LOL. It’s really a shame he’s gone so downhill http://brightestyoungthings.com/articles/obytuary-edward-furlong.htm

We love it too….. Enlightening article! he was…. interesting as The Crow in The Crow 4. They had so much makeup on him I didn’t know whether to be scared or horny. It was disturbing in a different way than the other crows…

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0126604/combined

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