Parthena


VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Men In Black 3 (2012)

We’re fans of the first 2 movies AND the animated series (which is friggin’ awesome), so of course we’d be watching this!

Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10. Maybe I should give this 5 stars. It was pretty awesome. I love time travel.
Parthena: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Eli: 4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: Netflix: 4/5 stars, IMDB 7.0/10.

Carolyn: I’m a sucker for Men In Black, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Parthena: I really really liked the movie, but one tiny thing I noticed- in the beginning, when Agent J went to the young guy in the store to get the time-travel device, the guy shouldn’t have acted surprised to see those weird jelly-fish things on the tvs in the background- he seemed surprised, and said something like, “Oh, yeah, I guess me sending Boris back did change things,”etc.  But if Boris had succeeded in changing the entire timeline, Dude in Store would have no idea that anything had ever been different than the way it currently was-hopefully that makes sense.  Not a huge deal but just a tiny timeline-continuity thing that I noticed. :)

Eli: I really enjoyed it.  Surprising for a third in the series.

Matthew: It was pretty good. The whole time travel thing was confusing to both Julie and I, but those types of situations in movies always seem to be a little hard to follow. Overall it was a good, fun experience. It didn’t really lag or drag on, it was pretty smooth flowing throughout. There were some holes in the plot, like what happened to those motorcycle type things they were riding and the Ford Galaxie that was on fire? How did the bad guy get from the moon to earth? Did he just swim through space? Whatever, it was still fun.

Julie: I liked the movie. I did like the fact that I didn’t have to have seen the first two to figure out what was happening. I really hate when movies in a series require you to have seen all the previous ones to follow the plot.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1409024/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Snow White And The Huntsman (2012)

Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Parthena: 4/5 stars, 7/10 (was 4.4/5 stars, 8/10 but then she decided to lower it).
Clint: 3/5 stars, 8/10.
Eli: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Native rating: 3.7/5 stars, 6.4/10.

I found this to be quite a serviceable remake. Certainly more enjoyable than a bunch of gay Disney characters singing and whistling, and the production was pretty awesome.

Charlize Theron was great as the wicked witch, though the idea that Kristen Stewart could ever be fairer than her was less believable than the entire fantasy world this took place in :)

It was also interesting how they used CGI to have dwarves played by normal-sized actors — I totally recognized Nick Frost and Ian McShane. I am sure Warwick Davis was livid! [UPDATE: Just read the trivia, and Warwick Davis *WAS* pissed! And made a public statement!]

Anyway.. Nice to see a familiar fantasy story and not have it be totally juvenile.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1735898/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Lazarus Project (2008)

Clint: 3/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 8/10.
Native rating: Netflix: 4.5/5 stars. IMDB: 6.0/10.

Redemption.
Forgiveness.
A quite interesting movie that threw us for a loop not once, but twice.

The ultimate message is about if someone involved is in a murder, especially indirectly; It is that Maybe society should just let them get on with their life, instead of punishing them and making them feel the consequences of their crime for the rest of their life, making recidivism very likely by reducing their future choices. If you serve your time, you shouldn’t be forced into a lower caste. You should either get a life sentence, or not.

Also that the death sentence is a savage way to deal with things and not necessarily the best. When your car stops working correctly, you don’t destroy it to keep it from hurting you again–You fix it.

Laws also need to be applied properly. If you didn’t pull the trigger, you’re not the murderer, and shouldn’t be treated as one for the rest of your life. Laws equivocating one action with another are not justice.

Ultimately, forgiveness is the message of this movie — one that’s lost to most of our society. Especially Texas, and especially conservative Christians.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0464041/

TiMER (2009)

Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8.2/10
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10
Clint seemed to like this more than Carolyn.
IMDB rating is 6.5/10.

Concept-wise, it’s like taking Sex & Death 101 and In Time and smashing them together!

TiMER may come off as a chick-flick, but is actually really philosophical. The presence of advanced technology {indistinguishable from magic} that doesn’t exist on *our* Earth completely changes the way things work. People get timers that count down to when they meet their true love. But only if they have a timer installed as well.

People hook up and find love in a completely different manner. The opening scene has the main character forcing her boyfriend to get a timer — and when he gets a countdown (while her’s still remains blank, because her true love hasn’t had one installed yet) … It’s instant dump-ville.

Technology taking over peoples’ life decisions is a common thing in our real-life present-day earth, but it’s much worse in this alternate earth!

This is a romantic sci-fi, but not as heavy on the comedy (or mystery/intrigue) as Sex & Death 101.

Destiny vs. freedom vs. technology.

Another movie that springs to mind (besides Sex & Death 101) is Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, which also pits technology against love. But the role of fate isn’t nearly as much in the forefront in Eternal Sunshine as it ins in TiMER, although it is still present in Sunshine.

By the way, it’s written, directed, and starring mostly-nobodies — though the main girl was in the Buffy series. And it does NOT play out in a formulaic way. It breaks expectations, thus exceeding them.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1179794/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: American Pie 8: American Pie 4: American Reunion (2012)

5/5 stars, 8/10 from Clint, Carolyn, AND Parthena.

Native rating: 7.1/10, 3.9/5 stars (which was also Netflix’s guess for us, for some reason).

I’m so glad they didn’t decide to call this American Pie 4 like they had originally planned, because it really would have mucked up the numbering system for those who numbered the 4 direct-to-video movies.

Not much to say here — This was as good as the first 3 movies collectively were, and was definitley beter than the 4 direct-to-video movies (even if #7 was probably better than #3).

It’s been over a decade, so it’s really hard to remember the original movies for a valid comparison.

The east coast derecho ALMOST ruined the movie for us, but we only lost power for 5 seconds twice. All my previous complaints to Dominion appear to have paid off.

This movie was a really really good time! (And the first one where the main characters aren’t in high school or college.)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1605630/

[IMDB]

This movie seemed kid of old and random. A lot of it fell flat. I guess this is why I don’t like older movies.

I probably would have liked this a lot when it came out, and if I’d seen it in the 80’s, nostalgia might have made me like it more now. But it was actually barely likeable.

Parthena: 2/5 stars, 5/10. “Some parts were funny, other parts that could have been either epic OR amusingly horrible were a bit…flat.”

Eli: 2/5 stars, 5/10. “I got my kicks out of kinda ripping off lord of the rings and I think
star wars, but all in all not amazingly well acted or cut together.”

Clint: 2.4/5 stars, 5.4/10.

Carolyn: 2.7/5 stars, 5.6/10. “I agree it wasn’t all that spectacular.”
Native rating: 3.5/5 stars (which was also Netflix’s guess for us), 6.6/10.

Peter MacNicol – the “weasel” from 24, Ally McBeal. So annoying! Not quite as annoying here, but I just kept screaming “WEASEL!” every time he went on the screen.

Valerian and Tyrian? Both actors who play them are now dead…

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082288

p.s. Happy X-Day or something.

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] A movie suggested by Parthena, watched with Parthena and Eli.

PLOT SUMMARY: Nic Cage is the douchiest boss of all time… and then he becomes a vampire. (Or does he?)

BACKWARD PLOT SUMMARY: Nic Cage finds his shit.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Untreated schizophrenia leads to employee rape, club murder.

PEOPLE: Nicholas Cage! Losing his shit! Totally and completely! The whole movie! The director and writer of this movie faded into obscurity… But Nic Cage remains. He is the reason to watch this movie. This is some of his best “acting”, which I put in quotes because it is the “Nic Cage Losing His Shit” / “Nic Cage over-the-top acting”, and not necessarily the conventional acting most people would expect. In fact, Nic Cage was a boon to what would otherwise by a kind of dark, heavy, dreary movie

His poor, poor, poor subordinate Alva was played by Maria Conchita Alonso, who went on to be in Predator 2 directly after this. But I’ve only seen 3 of her 50 or so movies, and nothing after 1990. Vampire chick is Jennifer Beals (The L Word, The Grudge 2, Sophie from Roger Dodger, The Book Of Eli, and Alex from Flashdance. Her first movie was My Bodyguard!). His shrink was played by Elizabeth Ashley, whose voice kept reminding me of Marge Simpson. Happiness is the only movie I’ve seen with her. His real “love interest” (the black girl, not the hispanic girl) was Kasi Lemmons, who was in Silence Of The Lambs and Candyman, went into directing, and is now back into acting in some 2012 movie named Disconnect.

Jessica Lundy was also in this! Gloria from the sitcom Hope & Gloria! Why do I never notice her in the movies she’s in? Perhaps this is why she’s only doing TV guest spots nowadays. The last movie she starred in that I actually saw were Single White Female (bit part). And David Hyde Pierce, aka Niles Frasier! TINY part that I did not even notice. So yes: NBC picked 2 super-minor stars from this movie to be 2 secondary characters in 2 later sitcoms (Frasier and Hope & Gloria). How weird.

QUIRKS:Vampirism. Absurdity. Being an ultimate douche. Surrealism. Insanity. Nic Cage with a Keanu Reeves Bill-And-Ted accent.

It’s supposed to be the accent of someone who is acting purposely snobby. It works. He comes off as SUCH A FUCKING TOOL in this movie. Like, one of the biggest douchebags ever. His personality invokes a punching response greater than Michael Cera and Jesse Eisenberg combined. His fake accent is more cringeworthy than Fran Drescher’s laugh. His treatment of his subordinates is worse than the boss in Secretary.

And he eats a cockroach in the movie. For real.

 

NIC CAGE LOSING HIS SHIT:

In fact, most of the clips from the first 1/3rd of that video are from this movie.

In fact, after writing this review, Rage Comics introduced a new Nic Cage meme based on this movie!

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/people/nicolas-cage

You Don’t Say?

“You Don’t Say” is a black and white drawing, often used in rage comics, of Nicolas Cage developed from a scene in the 1988 black comedy film Vampire’s Kiss, which revolves around a troubled literary agent’s descent into madness after convincing himself that he is turning into a vampire. In rage comics, the face is used as a sarcastic response to an obvious observation or statement.

 

VISUALS/SOUNDTRACK: The soundtrack comes off creepier than you think it should be. By the end of the movie, you realize why. The visuals aren’t remarkable — it looks like a late 80’s movie in New York. Nothing special here; not even hallucinatory/dream sequences were that fantastically shot. This movie is more about acting, then story; audiovisual is less important here than with some films. It’s kind of a psychological thriller masquerading as a comedy. It betrays your expectations, taking you places you didn’t expect. It’s a ride; take it.

Visual note: You’d see a nipple, but instead you’ll see a white pad covering her nipple. Do nudity or don’t do nudity, but please, Jennifer Beals, don’t *pretend* to be nude when you aren’t. Just makes you seem like a prudish actor trying to act sexy. It’s hard to believe when you’re wearing pasties.

BAD STUFF: For some: Nic Cage’s acting.

GOOD STUFF: For some: Nic Cage’s acting. A LOT of people are saying this is his best performance ever. Which is also kind of like saying it’s his worst performance ever. He’s a one dimensional douche of the highest magnitude in this movie. It’s friggin’ great. You will be laughing in disbelief. The story isn’t comedic, but the movie absolutely is. That’s the brilliance. And it’s all Nic Cage. There’s a scene where he angrily recites the whole alphabet! Cinema GOLD.

TRIVIA: This movie was depicted on the Conan O’Brien show as the second-lowest level on the Nic Cage Terror Warning System.

CONCLUSION: Holy fucking shit! A riot fest of laughter, until you realize this is actually a black comedy, and are left completely aghast. What an amazing ride. I deem this the best Nic Cage movie to ever watch with friends. I laughed some of the hardest laughs I’ve laughed at a movie all year — and was disturbed at a very high level, too. Much more so than cartoony Friday The 13th horror movies. This movie gets a strange rating – 5 stars, but only 7/10. You see, the movie isn’t perfect, but Nic Cage’s best overacting ever makes it an unparalleled experience.

RATINGS:

Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.

Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10. “I rated it 5 stars because of a mixture of how ridiculous it was, and then how dark it turned… I thoroughly enjoyed it… It started out 4 stars because it just seemed like it was just so bad that it was ridiculous… but then when it changed direction, it got more psychologically creepy and that is what pushed it up to a 5 star for me.” [Clint’s take was that it was already a 5-star movie a bit before it got creepy, because of the ridiculous lengths Nic Cage went to act like he was losing his shit.]

Parthena: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10. “It was both ridiculous and hilarious and incredibly dark! I don’t even know whether they intended it to be a black comedy or a funny horror movie. I am kind of impressed he ate the roach for that role. This movie also actually managed to raise my appreciation of his acting ability, to act so completely fucked up and creepy and insane.”

Eli: Netflix: ?/5 stars. IMDB: ?/10.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 5.4/10, Netflix: 2.7/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.1/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: Someone gave some good advice – Don’t walk into this expecting a horror movie or a vampire movie; it’s more of a character study. And that character is NICK CAGE LOSING HIS SHIT.

SIMILAR MOVIES: It’s a slight bit of a spoiler, but this reminds me a bit of [highlight for spoilers] American Psycho. It even slightly reminds me of the “think they are a superhero” subgenre of movies: the movie Special, Defendor, and to a lesser extent, the movie Super.

MOVIE QUOTES:

Peter Loew: [as he runs down the sidewalk of residential part of town] I’m a vampire! I’m a vampire! I’m a vampire!

Peter Loew: Alva, there is no one else in this entire office that I could possibly ask to share such a horrible job. You’re the lowest on the totem pole here, Alva. The lowest. Do you realize that? Every other secretary here has been here longer than you, Alva. Every one. And even if there was someone here who was here even one day longer than you, I still wouldn’t ask that person to partake in such a miserable job as long as you were around. That’s right, Alva. It’s a horrible, horrible job; sifting through old contract after old contract. I couldn’t think of a more horrible job if I wanted to. And you have to do it! You have to or I’ll fire you. You understand? Do you? Good.

INTERVIEW EXCERPT FROM HERE:

SJ: What’s been your favorite weird role to play?

NC: Yeah, there’s been a few now. It has been a while that I’ve been making movies now. I would have to say that in recent times, Bad Lieutenant was certainly a weird role, but weird more because he was contorted with chemicals both physically and mentally. I loved Peter Loew from Vampire’s Kiss. He was really weird because he went into the world of thinking he was a vampire.

SJ: I love Vampire’s Kiss too. What would Peter Loew think of the Twilight vampires?

NC: I don’t know. [Laughs] I don’t know how to answer that. I think Peter Loew’s interests were more Kafka-esque.

TRAILER:
Like most trailers, I would recommend that you NOT watch this before the movie. I’m not sure how convincing the trailer is, either. If you do watch it, try to forget it all before actually watching this movie:
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