VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Oblivion (2013)

Claire: 4.6/5 stars, 8.8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native rating: 7.1/10 IMDB. Don’t see this on Netflix for some reason.

This had a little bit of everything – mankind moving off planet because the planet is inhabitable, Matrixy aspects, “Go out into the radiation zone to find out the truth”, romance, science, plot twists, a long story with several arcs.

Everything comes together, and it was really well-done.  Well worth the 2 hours to fit it all in.

Granted, I did say “I bet there is a twist, and it is either W, X, Y, or Z”, and it was one of the ones I thought… And that is slight points against. But still… This was very, very, very interesting and entertaining.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy, he wrote the Oblivion graphic novel orignal story).  Written by Karl Gajdusek and Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Brave).

Starring Tom Cruise as Jack. Morgan Freeman as Beech.
Olga Kurylenko (Seven Psychopaths) as Julia.
Andrea Riseborough as Victoria.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Sykes.
Melissa Leo (Patch, 21 Grams, 3 eps of The L Word) as Sally, Mission Control
Zoe Bell (Django Unchained, Gamer, Grindhouse) as Kara.
Jaylen Moore (The Host) as Radio Operator (uncredited).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1483013/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Django Unchained (2012)

Clio: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native ratings: 4.1/5 stars Netflix, 8.6/10 IMDB (Top 250: #44).

I’m not going to write a long review for this one. Suffice to say, Quentin Tarantino ALWAYS delivers (except Jackie Brown, which was still good, but technically a disappointment).

This movie does for white-on-black slavery in the mid-1800s what Inglorious Basterds did for German-on-jew genocide in the mid-1900s. Ultraviolent fan-service at its best.

My only complaint was the rap song. Everything was so mid-1800s. Hearing a modern song in the middle of that was a bit jarring. But I also understand it’s a way to imprint the movie as being made in the present.

Jamie Foxx has come so far since In Living Color! I’m so glad Will Smith passed on this! And Samuel J. Jackson has never played a character with as little dignity as his character in this movie. Leonardo DiCaprio was good, too (of course). I wish I’d noticed Russ Tamblyn (the professor from Twin Peaks)! It’s also funny that Jonah Hill was in this (but only with a bag over his head). Tarantino movies always have random hilarity in them, so it makes sense that Hill would have a place in one.

Wilhelm scream? Yes.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1853728/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: National Lampoon presents Dorm Daze 1 (2003)

Clio: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 2.8/5 stars Netflix, only 4.4/10 IMDB.

A crazy dorm caper full of convoluted misunderstandings and plots. It actually reminded us of The Pink Panther 1 (1963) … Except that we liked it (and consider the 1963 Pink Panther movie to be the worst of all 11 Pink Panther films).

It started out with a rushed intro of the characters that felt like it wasn’t going to be that good, but then it started getting better and better.. And it never let up on the comedy or the twists.

Nothing was super sophisticated, but there’s one important thing to note: This is NOT a National Lampoon college-aged sex comedy. This is actually more of a “chase the money” caper. Closer to Pink Panther than American Pie. It was a bit of a surprise.

Yes. A surprising amount of people from Can’t Hardly Wait and Detroit Rock City – 2 of our favorite comedy movies.

James DeBello (Trip in Detroit Rock City, which we JUST watched, Cabin Fever, Scary Movie 2) as Cliff Richards.
Tatyana Ali (Jawbreaker, Ashley Banks in The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air) as Claire.
Tony Denman (Fargo) as Newmar.
Danielle Fishel (Boy Meets World) as Marla.
Courtney Gains (Back To The Future, Can’t Buy Me Love, Children Of The Corn) as Lorenzo the Black Hand (the bad guy).
Edwin Hodge (Take Me Home Tonight, which we JUST watched) as Tony.
Jennifer Lyons (Can’t Hardly Wait, which we JUST watched) as Lynne.
Chris Owen (klepto kid in Can’t Hardly Wait, which we JUST watched, Sherman from The American Pie movies, suicidal freshman in Van Wilder, A Midsummer’s Night Rave) as Booker McFee.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0362511/combined

Reposting a trans friend’s rant:
“There’s been so much historical erasure of trans people that I hardly have any sense of greater identity. All I know is that it has been bad, practically always.

Lately I’ve been feeling quite depressed, and even angry, which has been difficult for me to process as a transgender woman. I’ve been losing the battle against the constant daily barrage of micro-aggressions that I get exposed to, for just trying to make the best of a shitty situation -being trans.

And when I feel this anger, I think it’s important to step back and look at the bigger picture. See how far we’ve come, see stronger trans people throughout history being heroes, when faced with violent oppression.

But I hardly can even do that. Because outside of a very few key members, there is not real trans history. We were never given a voice. No one cared about our existence, and frankly, our existence disgusted anyone that would’ve even had the chance to give a damn and write any of our struggles down.

People joke that we’re mentally unstable? Motherfucker, your people would be too if you had no semblance of historical significance, no memories to read about our violent rise from the ashes, no childhood heroes to look up to. And that is excluding all of the jokes, the hateful ideologies, and the violence we expose ourselves to every. God. Damn. Day.

The only time our existence was relevant was during the lgbt civil rights movement, and once cisgender LGB got their way, they abandoned us. Left us behind, because they could blend themselves into cis-het white society now. What do they need us for? We just make them look bad.

I don’t know, man. It’s difficult enough to find yourself when you’re transgender. It’s so hard to go out into the world and say “this is who I am,” and not follow it up with “please don’t humiliate or hurt me.” But instead conclude with “I’m proud of myself.” Especially when you don’t have historical significance of which to base your pride on. When your brothers and sisters from the past were subjugated just as much as anyone else was, but no one chose to remember their names, or their lives, because they were deemed freaks -not fit to exist outside of brothels or insane asylums.

Trans people didn’t just start existing in the last ten years, even though to cis people it might feel that way. It’s just that no one ever gave us a chance at life. We have to make our own history, our own culture, and our own way. The only difference?

We don’t have a history of which we could even be doomed to repeat.”


[My note: Personally: I fucking really would have fucking benefited from a trans role model. This kind of erasure successfully erased me from myself for decades.]

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: This Is 40 (2012)

Clint: 3.2/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

Decent, but we thought it would be more of a comedy. It still was, but it was painful and depressing at the same time. This is a spin-off from the movie Knocked Up, with events occurring about a few years later.

This was actually better AND more funny than Knocked Up. But not by very much. A lot of the humor was the cringe-humor of watching somebody have a life that you do not want.  As a married couple who has no interest in having kids, we experienced a great deal of schadenfreude at watching Paul Rudd & Leslie Mann suffer the consequences of their breeding-based decisions.

P.S. I feel like Leslie Mann is getting hotter and hotter. And Carolyn says the same for Paul Rudd.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1758830/combined


  • Anna: I took myself to see this one on my 35th birthday. I did not relate to this movie and it kind of annoyed me. I definitely agree with your assessment of the movie and of Leslie Mann. Hawtie. Just another movie about how kids ruin you life. Definitely thought Knocked Up was funnier. Did you see Dan in Real Life? That was another one of those horrible painful depressing movies about people’s lives you don’t want.
  • Clint Dan In Real Life would definitely be my least favorite of the 3 movies mentioned…!!
  • Anna Me too. That movie made me hate myself and others around me.
  • Eve Yay schadenfreude over breeders suffering!
  • Clint: and how


VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Bindlestiffs (2012) aka “Kevin Smith’s Bindlestiffs” but not really by Kevin Smith

Clint: 2.6/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Native ratings: 2.4/5 stars Netflix, 4.0/10 IMDB.
First off, this is not actually a Kevin Smith creation. Kevin Smith’s name is not even on the IMDB page. Yet this was billed to as as “Kevin Smith’s Bindlestiffs”. Apparently he ranted and raved about how good this movie is.  I had thought he was one of the producers, but no. The producers are mostly the actors. This is a film made by 3 high school students. It’s not an A movie. It’s not even a B movie. It’s a C movie in quality. For comparison… Clerks was a B movie. I only watch about one C movie a year.

But it still has its moments and value. Three virgins inspired by reading The Catcher In The Rye decide to have their own Holden Caulfield weekend. The weekend ends up very differently for all 3 of the characters. Some jokes are genuinely funny (like the scene where the the elderly homeless woman makes out with one of the characters in the middle of an extended vomiting session), but a lot of stuff falls flat.

This is more like a draft for a real movie later. With the right budget & focus groups (to weed out the jokes that just aren’t funny), these guys could make some seriously good movies later in their career.

But this one isn’t it.

Carolyn adds: “It was slightly entertaining, and slightly funny… It wasn’t particularly well-done, and it didn’t have much of a story to tell… I guess it tried to have a lesson learned, but it seemed to come up short… It was more like a slice of life.  It was definitely no Clerks, but maybe it was trying to go for the same feel as Clerks (as in “a day in the life..”), but came up short.”

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2091243/combined

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

Clint/Carolyn/Parthena: 4/5 stars.
Clint/Carolyn: 8/10.
Parthena: 7/10.
Native ratings: Netflix: 3.2/5 stars, IDMB: 6.7/10.

This would have been a 5-star movie if it had kept up with the comedy as strongly in the 2nd hour as it did in the first. But like a lot of romantic comedy movies, the comedy stops dead about halfway through, never to be revived.

It was still a great premise, though… Providing somewhat unique situations. The writer is the same writer as Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008), and while I actually rated this one ever-so-slightly higher… I think I enjoyed Nick & Norah more.

If the 2nd half had stayed as funny and ridiculous as the 1st, this would have blown Nick & Norah away. But it didn’t. Still good though.

This actually reminded me of The Sure Thing with John Cusack.


LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1307068/

Next Page »