Jesse B


VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: My Little Pony: Equestria Girls (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10. “I am a chick and I like cartoons, so I am allowed to love My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.” (Notice how she leaves me in the lurch there?)
Jesse: 3/5 stars, 7/10. “OK, I actually enjoyed that. It was actually constructed in such a way as to be philosophically relevant.”
Native ratings: 4.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

My Little Pony:Friendship Is Magic decided to make a movie about Twilight Sparkle becoming human in a parallel pony world. This actually happened specifically because of bronies, yet they were the ones who backlashed the hardest. Bronies be like, “WTF is this shit!?”, and other bronies be like, “Calm down, maybe it won’t be that bad….” and “Trust the writers…” We were somewhat skeptical ourselves.

Then it comes out, and brace yourself…memes are coming! So many unending memes. We finally got to see it, so now the madness will make sense again. Plus we wanted to be caught up on everything prior to attending Bronycon 2013 (with 8407 other bronies).

Anyway, it was pretty entertaining. I didn’t like how the fighting scenes basically had no fighting in them, relying on deus ex machina tropes to resolve things. I didn’t like how super-convenient the plot was with these kinds of things. But I also accept that this was supposed to be a warm piece about friendship and magic, and that if I’d wanted long and gratuitous fight scenes, I should be watching one of the many animated superhero cartoons I regularly watch. It was a neat exploration of “what if non-human characters became human”, a trope that every non-human animated series should explore for at least one episode. Only this time, we got a whole movie out of it.

Carolyn: It turned out that it wasn’t so bad. It was actually pretty fun. I really enjoyed it.

Directed by Jayson Thiessen.

With the standard My Little Pony crew:

Written by Meghan McCarthy.
Starring Tara Strong (Bubbles from Powerpuff Girls, Toot in Drawn Together, Mary Jane Watson in Ultimate Spider-Man, Sym-Bionic Titan, Wolverine And The X-Men, 20 eps of Family Guy, 4 eps of Clerks-TAS, 4 eps of Gravity Falls) as Twilight Sparkle.
Ashleigh Ball (Allura in Voltron Force, Iron Man: Armored Adventures) as Applejack / Rainbow Dash.
Andrea Libman (1 ep of X-Men: Evolution, a bunch of My Little Pony and Care-Bear stuff) as Pinkie Pie / Fluttershy.
Tabitha St. Germain (12 eps of Aaagh! It’s the Mr. Hell Show!, Olive Oyl in Popeye‘s Voyage: The Quest For Pappy, 7 eps of Iron Man: Armored Adventures, 5 eps of Voltron Force, 8 eps of DragonBall Z, The Legend of Zelda-TAS, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, ALF-TAS, 1 ep of X-Men: Evolution, other My Little Pony stuff) as Rarity / Princess Luna / Vice Principal Luna / Cup Cake.
Cathy Weseluck (Thor: Tales of Asgard, 2 eps of X-Men: Evolution, DragonBall Z, 1 ep of Aaagh! It’s the Mr. Hell Show!) as Spike.
Rebecca Shoichet (3 eps of Iron Man: Armored Adventures) as Sunset Shimmer / Twilight Sparkle – singing.
Lee Tockar (3 eps of Iron Man: Armored Adventures, 3 eps of Beast Wars, 2 eps of X-Men: Evolution, 1 ep of Wonder Showzen, 1 ep of 2 Stupid Dogs) as Snips.
Nicole Oliver (9 eps of X-Men: Evolution, 9 eps of Aaagh! It’s the Mr. Hell Show!, The Vision of Escaflowne) as Princess Celestia / Principal Celestia / Cheerilee.
Vincent Tong (Daniel in Voltron Force, Iron Man: Armored Adventures) as Flash Sentry.
Britt McKillip (other My Little Pony stuff) as Princess Cadance.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2908228/combined

P.S. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Trance (2013/I)

Claire: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Jesse: Seemed to really like it.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 7.0/10 IMDB.

I wasn’t sure about this movie — stealing art? Hypnosis? Not my thing. But then it was pointed out to me by Jesse that this was a Danny Boyle movie. Trainspotting, 127 Hours, Sunshine, 28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire…. Completely different movies, and all done very very well (though I didn’t see Slumdog).  I should be watching other Danny Boyle movies! What is Alien Love Triangle? That sounds interesting…

Anyway, this was a good movie.  It kept you on your toes.   I really liked it… I can’t say I loved it, but that’s more because it wasn’t quite my type of movie than because of the movie itself.  But this was a good drama/mystery movie that, when watching, was really hard to guess what was going to happen next.

The hynopsis stuff got somewhat confusing, but that also kept it interesting…  Spoiler talk: Carolyn still doesn’t understand if Franck was hypnotized also…. When the burning car got pushed into the water, why did it flash to Franck waking up in his pool?  She didn’t understand if that was explained ever….  (I never even got to the point of asking that question, oops.)

Regardless… Lots of thrills and twists. Well done, writers.
Also, for the record… Rosario Dawson, full frontal nudity. Even before the full frontal nudity, I was thinking — she’s getting better and better looking as she ages. She is especially hot in this movie.

Starring James McAvoy (Charles Xavier in X-Men: First Class, Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, 1 ep of Band Of Brothers) as Simon, the protaganist.
Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, Oceans 12 & 13, Renegade aka Blueberry, Monsieur Hood in Shrek 1) as Franck, the antaganist.
Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Clerks 2, Kids, Men In Black 2, Death Proof, Grindhouse, Persephone in Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto) as Elizabeth, the hypnotist.
Wahab Sheikh (Red 2) as Riz.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1924429/combined

 

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: EVIEW: Iron Man: Rise Of Technovore (2013)

Claire: 3.6/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Jesse: ??
Native ratings: 3.0/5 stars Netflix, 5.2/10 IMDB.

An animated Iron Man movie is something to look forward to. Unfortunately, this was very anime-ish, which meant storytelling flaws — like most anime. Things seemed to happen a little too conveniently, with so much of a lack of an explanation for why a situation-solving event would happen that it may as well be a deus ex machina.

You’re probably better off watching the Avengers and Iron Man cartoon series than this… However, this has some blood and death, and is a full length movie, and is starring one of the Walking Dead cast members as The Punisher, who plays a fairly prominent role in this movie. These are some of the good aspects. The first act is the strongest, and the movie gets weaker through the deus ex machina-ish ending.

There is still value in this movie, though.

Directed by Hiroshi Hamazaki. Written by Kengo Kaji.

Starring Norman Reedus (Daryl from The Walking Dead, Boondock Saints movies, Pandorum, Mimic) as Frank Castle / The Punisher.
Matthew Mercer (Tygra in the new Thundercats, Resident Evil: Damnation, some video games such as Soul Calibur 5, Call of Duty, Mortal Kombat 9) as Tony Stark / Iron Man.
Eric Bauza (Lord Stingray in Superjail!, Stimpy in Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon, 4 eps of Adventure Time, 3 eps of Gravity Falls, 1 ep of Ultimate Spider-Man, 1 ep of Iron Man: Armored Adventures, 1 ep of Black Dynamite-TAS) as Ezekiel Stane / Technovore.
Kate Higgins (Scarlet Witch in Wolverine And The X-Men, Yukio in the Wolverine anime, 1 ep of The Legend Of Korra, Barbie in Barbie: Life In The Dreamhouse) as Pepper Potts.
John Eric Bentley (Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, 3 eps of Tron: Uprising) as Nick Fury.
James C. Mathis III (Black Panther in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, 4 eps of Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes / War Machine.
Kari Wahlgren (Gladys in The Life & Times Of Tim, Milan in Good Vibes, 14 eps of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, 5 eps of Gravity Falls, 2 eps of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Tigress in Kung Fu Panda: Legends Of Awesomeness, 5 eps of Sym-Bionic Titan) as Maria Hill.
Clare Grant (5 eps of Mad, 4 eps of Robot Chicken, 3 eps of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 1 ep of Warren The Ape) as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow.
Troy Baker (Hawkeye in Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, Yellowjacket in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Loki and Hawkeye in Ultimate Spider-Man, 6 eps of the X-Men anime, and 1 ep of the Wolverine anime) as Clint Barton / Hawkeye / J.A.R.V.I.S..
JB Blanc (Barry Goodman in Breaking Bad, 8 eps of the Wolverine anime, 2 eps of the Iron Man anime, 3 eps of Black Panther, 5 eps of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes) as Obadiah Stane.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2654124/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Sightseers (2012)

Clio: 2.3/5 stars, 4.4/10.
Carolyn: 2.0/5 stars, 4.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 6.6/10 IMDB.

Bonnie & Clyde meets Dumb & Dumber? If I’d known this was British, I might have [correctly] decided to skip this one. British comedies are rarely as funny. Awkward, subtle, dry humor is indeed hilarious, but overt, in-your-face, ridiculous humor is more hilarious.

This movie wasn’t that good.  We thought it would be funnier, but it was mostly just awkward and creepy.  None of the characters were likeable or relateable — which is okay — but the characters were one of many aspects of the movie that just didn’t do anything for us.  It was slightly interesting at times, but mostly pointless.

Girl meets boy. Roadtrip. Girl finds out boy is serial killer. Girl accepts boy.  That’s the whole movie. Well, there’s some interesting aspects I’m not sharing — and some slight twists that you wouldn’t expect… But for the most part, this is not a comedy. This is just a set of fucked up circumstances that conclude with no more message or afterthought than nihilism itself.

Directed by Ben Wheatley. Written by Steve Oram and Alice Lowe.
Starring the movie’s own writers: Alice Lowe (Hot Fuzz) as Tina and Steve Oram (1 ep of Life’s Too Short, 1 ep of The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret) as Chris.
Jonathan Aris (Gulliver’s Travels, 1 ep of Bob & Margaret–how weird) as Ian.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2023690/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: Spring Breakers (2012)

Clio: 3.4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Jesse: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

Written & directed by Harmony Korine (Kids, Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy), but to tell the truth, this movie is, to me, exactly what it would be like if Harmony Korine directed a Gregg Araki movie — especially something from Araki’s Teen Apocalypse trilogy (Totally Fucked Up, Nowhere, The Doom Generation). The feel of this movie REALLY reminded me of the fatalistic feeling found in Aaraki’s work.

Compared to Korine’s other work, this had wayyyyy more structure than Gummo. Korine has matured, and his movies now actually have specific plots.

Carolyn thought it was somewhat drawn out with the monologues and repeating phrases. “But it seemed right when I would start to get actively annoyed, they would finally move on.” I really disagree with that critique.

Plotwise, It’s worth watching. An interesting plot that captures the feel of Spring Break, but then diverges into a totally different, crime-related angle. And a strange romance — of sorts. “You guys are my soulmates.”

Ultimately, it is entertaining yet artsy at the same time. Which is what I’d expect.

Also: Bonus points My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic appearing on screen TWICE during this movie! The Elements Of Harmony..Korine!

Outlaw Vern’s got a good review of the movie, which is what caused us to watch it: http://www.outlawvern.com/2013/03/26/spring-breakers/

Starring:
A barely-recognizable James Franco (127 Hours, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, Oz in Oz The Great And Powerful, Date Night, Pineapple Express, Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man movies) as Alien.
Selena Gomez (Justin Bieber’s girlfriend, Barney & Friends, Wizards Of Waverly Place) as Faith (the brunette).
Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical, Sucker Punch) as Candy. I think she’s better as a blonde.
Ashley Benson (13 Going On 30, Days Of Our Lives, 75 Pretty Little Liars, dated Justin Bieber’s “swagger coach”) as Brit (the other blonde).
Rachel Korine (Harmony Korine’s wife) as Cotty (the pink-haired one).
Heather Morris (Glee) as Bess.
Real-life rapper Gucci Mane as Archie, Alien‘s rival.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2101441/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Black Death (2010)

Clio: 2.4/5 stars, 4.6/10.
Carolyn: 2.4/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Jesse: 2.4/5 stars.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 6.4/10 IMDB.

This was recommended to me. It held promise, but just wasn’t that special. It was way, way too slow (an hour passed without much happening), relyed too much on mood over substance, and kind of droned on.

Jesse seemed to like it about half-way through, but then by the end he had changed his mind and thought he didn’t like it.

It wasn’t very action-packed, except for a few brief, awesomely visceral fight scenes.

Moreso at the beginning, it reminded me of the Dreamweaver album’s plot, which filled me with naive, inspired promise, but ultimately things didn’t go in the direction I’d hoped.

The movie does have a few neat structural tricks up its sleeve.

But still. I’d rather have my time back. I was (unfortunately) reminded of Valhalla Rising.

Directed by Christopher Smith (who directed and wrote Triangle, which WAS FUCKING AMAZING).
Written by Dario Poloni.

Starring Eddie Redmayne (8 eps of The Pillars Of Earth) as Osmund.
Sean Bean (Game Of Thrones, Boromir in Lord Of The Rings, Zeus in Percy Jackson, Silent Hill, Troy, Mirror Mirror) as Ulrich, the emissary of the bishop.
John Lynch (Shades [the one who dropped acid] from the movie Hardware!!!!!!) as Wolfstan, the older soldier who survived to the end and was also the narrator.
Carice Van Houten (Game Of Thrones, Carol from Repo Men) as Langiva (anagram for vaginal?!), the necromancer.
David Warner (Archmage in Gargoyles, Ra’s Al Ghul in Batman, In The Mouth Of Madness, Lord Downey in Hogfather, Sweeney Todd, Avatar, 9 eps of Men In Black: The Series) as Abbot.
Kimberley Nixon as Averill, the Osmund’s girlfriend.
Emun Elliott (Prometheus) as Swire.
Johnny Harris (Snow White And The Huntsman, Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Dorian Gray) as Mold.
Andy Nyman (1 ep of Holliston, Death At A Funeral) as Dalywag.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1181791/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The FP (2011)

Clio: 4.4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 6.6/10.
Native ratings: 2.9/5 stars Netflix, 4.7/10 IMDB.

This movie is perhaps best summarized as Idiocracy meets Rocky meets 8 Mile meets the videogame Dance Dance Revolution.

“In a post apocalyptic future, two rival gangs fight for control of Frazier Park by playing “Beat Beat Revelation”, a deadly version of Dance, Dance, Revolution(tm).”

Yes. An incredibly ridiculous premise. As soon as I read the summary, I KNEW I had to see it. I love Dance Dance Revolution, and I love post apocalypstic futures… Though I gotta say, that part of the summary was mis-leading. It doesn’t look post-apocalyptic. It doesn’t look apocalyptic. It doesn’t look like the future either. People drive around older cars and use payphones. Things are obviously bad, and people talk in a very different, stupider way … But it’s not really made obvious that there was ever any apocalypse. It’s a bit dystopian, that’s all.

But that’s a very minor complaint. This was one of those bad movies that is hilarious. Carolyn was somewhat annoyed at the dialogue, but it was still pretty funny. And they were doing that on purpose. Talking like fucking idiots. So much slang. Like the education system has collapsed and street talk has taken over the world… Yet people are still civilized enough to have Dance Dance Revolution machines at clubs and party spots.

The opening scene had someone dying from DDR.

This was awesome. And so unique and ridiculous. It may as well have been a cartoon. Fuck yeah.

Written & directed by Brandon Trost (mostly a cinematographer and special effects guy) & his brother Jason Trost (Hatchet 3, Crank 2, Scream 2), who played JTro.

Main characters JTRO and Stacy aren’t actors that have been in anything we’ve seen. But other stars included:
Art Hsu (Crank 2, uncredited role in Pirates Of The Caribbean 3) as KCDC.
Clifton Collins Jr. (Crank 2, Star Trek (2009), Traffic, uncredited role in Scott Pilgrim Vs The World) as CC Jam. DID NOT RECOGNIZE HIM.
James DeBello (Detroit Rock City, Dorm Daze, Cabin Fever, Scary Movie 2, American Pie 1) as Beat Box Busta Bill. Recognized him.
Nick Principe (uncredited role in Hatchet 2) as BLT.
Sean Whalen (A Midsummer’s Night Rave, Charlie’s Angels, Hatchet 3, Twister, Waterworld, Men In Black, The Cable Guy, The Bold And The Beautiful) as Stacy‘s Dad.
Dash Mihok (Sex & Death 101, I Am Legend, The Day After Tomorrow, Sleepers) as henchman Cody.
Michael Sandow (usually a camera guy) as henchman Jody.
James Remar (Harry Morgan in Dexter, Django Unchained, X-Men: First Class, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Pineapple Express, Ratatouille, 4 eps of Justice League, The Girl Next Door) as Narrator.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1296373/combined

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

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: John Dies At The End (2012)

Clint: 5/5 stars, 9.6/10.
(4/5 stars, 8/10 after first/too drunk viewing)
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 10/10.
Native ratings: 4/5 stars Netflix, 6.9/10 IMDB.

Holy fuck, this is the most unique movie I’ve watched in awhile.

A supernatural fantasy/psychological horror/drug comedy that does not take itself too seriously.  This movie is WEIRD. SO WEIRD. And kind of confusing.

The first time I watched it I drank too much leftover New Year’s champagne and was a bit too out of it to fully comprehend everything, so I knew I liked it, but I couldn’t really remember any of the plot points, or what the hell had just happened. I watched it again about 4 days later with John The Canadien; Autumn left in the middle of the movie, while Jesse, Melanie, Randy, Chablis, and Steve stopped by mid-movie and watched most of the rest with us. They all kinda loved it or really liked it.

It’s based on a book (that Chablis had read, and Carolyn now wants to obtain).

Anyway, Paul Giamatti & Clancy Brown were welcome additions to the mostly-unknown cast. The screenplay adaptation was done by a screenwriter of Bubba Ho-Tep & the Beastmaster movies.

The movie definitely had its cheesy moments. It was pretty much on purpose. Regardless, this is NOT a movie that you can guess what is going to happen next on. It is a wild ride. It is pretty much impossible to guess where the plot is going. That makes this very charming.

Anyway… Great fucking movie! SEE IT, SEE IT, SEE IT!

Carolyn: Slightly confusing, but thoroughly enjoyable.  Based on a book, which apparently people liked better than the movie.  Be careful when injecting unknown drugs.  They might be part of an alien infection from a parallel universe.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1783732/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Today, 10 yrs ago, was an epic party at our house. Well, maybe not epic.. but more memorable than most! This was the party where John The Candien famously puked on our couch. He’s probably really tired of hearing about it, even 10 yrs later. But I wrote this post in 2009 so for me it’s only 7 yrs later. And he doesn’t do stuff like that these days. Anyway, here are some videos from the party 10 yrs ago today. They also show how our house looked before the addition; those rooms were small (not really; just small in comparison).

Here is a 10-minute montage of all our favorite slices of life from the party:

And here are the individual videos from the party:

#1: John’s first drink. Not much going on.

#2: John’s 4th drink.

#3: Various people talking about some fun New Orleans bar they couldn’t find their way back to. Listen for Dig-Dug in the background!

#4: People start noticing the camera. Wayne talks about a lost pack of cigarettes. The nature of the webcam is discussed (it’s record, not broadcasting). Becky suggests that we start playing Strip Poker soon:

#5: People play with our spinning-message-maker light/toy thingee:

#6-#7: Not much happens here, except for mingling. You can still hear Dig-Dug in the background:

#8-#10 are for friends only ;) Check my flickr if you’re a friend :)

#11: Various mingling. Clint explains to Britt that it’s recording, not broadcasting. Aaron starts playing with the camera around 2m50s. At 3m18s, you can see the software recording the party, and AE’s ex-girlfriend Tracy:

#12: At 2m10s, the camera gets shoved down somebody’s pants:

#13: John’s going dooowwwwn! Kipp, don’t encourage him! Things get interesting around 6m20s, when Jesse tells Carolyn, “John’s fucked up”, and Carolyn grabs his bottle, swigs it, then walks away with it. John The Candien looks disconcerted. “Noooo… Not the bottle!” Funny stuff :) But then look at 7m40s — Kipp picks John up and moves him to the couch that he later puked on. He got up, but for all I know he moved back to the couch at 11m30s because he didn’t want to be picked up again. And who picks somebody up anyway? Nice instincts (sarcasm) on everybody except Carolyn’s part:

#14: John is now out, and girls decide to put makeup on him:

#15: Finally, he pukes. But a cup was put in front of the camera, so you can really only see how people react to the whole thing:

#16: We all miss Samhain the cat, who made a brief 1-minute appearance before running away:

#17: Webcam voiceovers. Possibly the funniest on-camera moments:

#18: And then the webcam “optical illusion” of swallowing a huge cam (short):

#19: And another quick-but-funny voiceover:

And that’s how we rolled in 2002!

This was one of the finest Rocky Horror showings I’ve ever been to. I held onto this blogpost draft for 14 months before deciding to just spooge the fragments out to the world without properly waiting. I mean, I saw Rocky Horror on the same approximate weekend the following year before ever posting this. So here goes… I am not attempting to make any coherent review here; just sharing info. (more…)

Carpe Diem (click that!!!). Cops get off too easy. I wish I was a cop; then I could pistol-whip people, go home, and have a beer.
Got hearing? Got Milk? Got Habeas Corpus?
Don’t tase me, bro’!! Good editorial.
By the way — I can’t wait for the Ween concert!!! Danzig too. And maybe Bad Religion??
I’ve seen 7 out of 10 of “The 10 Best Animated Movies For (Traumatizing) Kids“. What, no “Sailor Moon & The 7 Balls“?!?!?
This blog linked to once again in local news, as Fairfax Commonworth Attorney Republican candidate Patrick McDadestrongly believes” the Steve Cornejo murder case (shot by a disinvited party guest of mine who started a fight) should be reviewed. Looks like I’m voting Republican?!?! (more…)

Camping was a resounding success in terms of numbers, with one of our larger camping parties — fourteen people: Clint, Carolyn, Casey D, Christian D, Dan C, Evan G, Gene G, Heather K, Jesse B, Kipp E, Mark I, Melanie B, Nathan G, and Shannon D. (more…)

Next Page »