Reviews


VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Funeral Kings (2012)

Claire: 3.8/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 6.6/10.
Jesse: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10 (I think).
Native ratings: 4.1/5 stars Netflix, 6.1/10 IMDB.

SLEEPER ALERT: This movie isn’t well-known at all, so I’d like to point out this might be the only time you see it mentioned.

“Two altar boys decide to play hooky.”

At first that tagline didn’t grab me, but then I had to consider: This is actually a comedy, and not a rom-com. I better watch it, because there aren’t enough good comedies.

I think this movie has some similarities in feel to Stand By Me, but with tons more profanity. Tons more. A lot of profanity. A lot of fucking profanity. These kids curse more than the fucking Sopranos.

…And that’s part of the charm. It’s so authentic that it almost feels unrealistic… But then I remember just how foul-mouthed some kids were when I was in school. It may actually be a bit over-the-top, but it works. You make the movie about those kids that are over-the-top. A movie about normal kids doing normal things would not be entertaining; it would be a documentary.

Anyway… This was good. Things did not go where I expect. The end hit me a bit abruptly, and it helped to have Carolyn the Movie Whisperer explain it to me a bit.

Speaking of Carolyn, her thoughts:

“This was OK. We expected more of a comedy, but we should have remembered that a review on IMDB compared it to Stand By Me. That is a good comparison. Kids being kids and learning how to grow into themselves. How to cope with other kids’ perceptions of you. How kids who are trying to be “cool” may find themselves in bad situations and over their head.”

Here’s a good review: http://www.larry411.com/post/review_pictures_red_carpet_funeral_kings_world_premiere_sxsw_film_festival

Written & directed by Kevin McManus & Matthew McManus.

Starring Dylan Hartigan (The Stepford Wives) as Andy Gilmour.
Alex Maizus as Charlie Waters.
Jordan Puzzo (uncredited in What’s Your Number?) as David Mason.
Kevin Corrigan (Seven Psychopaths, Pineapple Express, Superbad, The Dictator, Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie, Detroit Rock City) as Iggy Vannucci.
Michael Delaney (The Dictator, The Onion Movie, 1 ep of Human Giant, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 7 eps of Upright Citizan’s Brigade) as Brendan Hamilton.
Sarah Baldwin (1 ep of The Office) as Amanda Prescott.

Ian B’s review can be found here.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1951133/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: The Big Hit (1998)

Claire: 4.2/5 stars, 8.1/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.0/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

A comedy-crime-romance, with the comedy coming first. It was Carolyn’s first time seeing this movie, but Claire had already seen it in the theater in 1998 when it came out.

The chick they kidnap is China Chow. She is 3/4 Chinese, 1/4 German. Check out her IMDB pictures. Beautiful.

Carolyn says: “It was entertaining. I enjoyed it. The vomit scene was disgusting, but also pretty funny.”

Almost all movie covers and posters at the video rental store are from Troma Entertainment. And that says a bit about this movie’s penchant for the ridiculous. What other movie has ever employed a TraceBuster-Buster-Buster?!

You know what would make people not want to watch this movie? The fact that the screenplay was written by the same writer as the Dragonball:Evolution writer.

But you know why people SHOULD watch this movie? Because it’s ridiculous, funny, and unique. I’m glad I watched this a 2nd time, a treatment the majority of the movies I watch do not receive.

“Is this the movie with the disturbing chicken-feeling scene?” Yes, yes it is.

“Is this the movie with the car chasing the guy… In the middle of the woods?” Yes, yes it is.

People are trying to say this is in the same vein as In Bruges, The Transporter, True Romance, Shoot ‘Em Up, Grosse Point Blank, Demolition Man, Last Action Hero, Face Off, or the A-Team movie. THEY’RE WRONG. This movie is better than 80% of the ones I just listed. And funnier than 100%.

It’s cheesy as hell. It’s “bad” by many measures. But I REALLY REALLY LIKE this movie!

Directed by Kirk Wong (we haven’t seen his other movies, and he mostly does international stuff).
written by Ben Ramsey (Dragonball: Evolution).

Starring Mark Wahlberg (Ted, Date Night, The Happening, I Heart Huckabees, Planet Of The Apes) as Melvin Smiley.
Lou Diamond Phillips (Young Guns, 2 eps of 24, 1 ep of American Dad) as Cisco.
Christina Applegate (Kelly from Married With Children, Veronica in the Anchorman movies, Mars Attacks!, Jesse, Samantha Who?) as Pam Shulman.
Avery Brooks (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, 1 ep of Gargoyles) as Paris.
Bokeem Woodbine (The Host, Black Dynamite, Total Recall remake) as Crunch.
Antonio Sabato Jr. (The Three Stooges, 260 eps of The Bold And The Beautiful) as Vince.
China Chow (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, 1 ep of That 70’s Show) as Keiko Nishi.
Lainie Kazan (You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Harry & The Hendersons, Beaches, The Journey Of Natty Gann) as Jeanne Shulman, Pam’s mom.
Elliott Gould (Jack Geller in Friends, Ocean’s Eleven movies, Contagion, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Morton Shulman, Pam’s dad.
Sab Shimono (Uncle in Jackie Chan Adventures, Waterworld, The Shadow, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3, 6 eps of Avatar: The Last Airbender, 3 eps of Samurai Jack, 2 eps of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1 ep of The Boondocks, 1 ep of Max Headroom) as Jiro Nishi.
Lela Rochon (13 eps of The Wayans Bros.) as Chantel.
Danny Smith (Senior Trip, The Three Stooges, 3 eps of Detentionaire) as Video Store Kid.
Joshua Peace (Interrogation Surveillance Tech in Red) as Lance.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120609/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Red (2010)

4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us.

This was pretty good. It was more action than comedy, but the comedy was there. Not quite a 100%-serious movie. John Malkovich’s character was the comic relief. Imagine that.

That DC Comics had its name attached to the credits surprised us. We didn’t know this was a comic book movie. That really added to things. And helped explain the feel. Retired CIA operative being forced to go rogue. Respect for your elders. It works, and makes a fun movie. Nothing unique, but fun nonetheless. I’ll watch the sequels.

Directed by Robert Schwentke (The Time Traveler’s Wife).
written by Jon Hoeber (we haven’t seen his other movies) & Erich Hoeber (we haven’t seen his other movies).

Starring Bruce Willis as Frank Moses.
Morgan Freeman as Joe Matheson.
John Malkovich as Marvin Boggs. Originally it was gonna be John C. Reilly!!!
Mary-Louise Parker (Nancy Botwin from Weeds, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Fried Green Tomatoes) as Sarah Ross.
Also Julian McMahon (Christian Troy from Nip/Tuck, Dr. Doom in the Fantastic 4 movies) as vice president Robert Stanton.

Karl Urban (Judge Dredd from Dredd, Bones in the Star Trek reboots, Eomer in the Lord Of The Rings movies, Julius Caesar in Xena: Warrior Princess, 2 eps of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Ghost Ship, The Chronicles Of Riddick, The Bourne Supremacy) as William Cooper, the CIA operative ordered to bring in Frank Moses.
Ernest Borgnine (doorman in The Single Guy, Gattaca, BASEketball, Renegade aka Blueberry, Mermaid Man in Spongebob Squarepants) as Henry, The Records Keeper.
Chris Owens (The Incredible Hulk (2008), 13 eps of The X-Files, additional voices in Saw 6 and Saw 7) as Hanged Man.
Jaqueline Fleming (Harriet Tubman in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) as Marna.
Jefferson Brown (Silent Hill: Revelation 3D) as Fred.
Audrey Wasilewski (3 eps of Sym-Bionic Titan, 3 eps of Family Guy, Rosie O’Donnell in Queer Duck: The Movie) as Businesswoman.
James Remar (Harry Morgan in Dexter, Django Unchained, Narrator in The FP. X-Men: First Class, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, Pineapple Express, Ratatouille, 4 eps of Justice League, The Girl Next Door) as Gabriel Singer.
Brian Cox (Captain O’Hagan in Super Troopers, The Campaign, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, X-Men 2: X2, Adaptation, Fantastic Mr. Fox, narrator in The Color Of Magic, The Bourne Identity movies, Troy) as Ivan Simonov.
Helen Mirren (Deep Thought in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Georgina Spica in The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, National Treasure: Book Of Secrets, 1 ep of French & Saunders) as Victoria.
Richard Dreyfuss (4 eps of Weeds, Jaws, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, James And The Giant Peach) as Alexander Dunning.
Rebecca Pidgeon (we haven’t seen her stuff) as Cynthia Wilkes, the CIA boss.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1245526/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Superman: Unbound (2013)

Claire: 4.4/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.4/10 IMDB.

This one was still good, but it didn’t seem as good as the last movies. This wasn’t Bruce Timm’s work.

But it’s still pretty damn good, because we love us some superhero cartoons! Especially ones not made for TV.

That being said… How many times do we have to watch Superman fight off Braniac? It seems to have happened like 5 times now. I’m getting a bit tired of it.

This was still pretty solid, though.

Directed by James Tucker (5 eps of Batman Beyond, 5 eps of Static Shock, 4 eps of Legion Of Super Heroes).
Written by Bob Goodman (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns 1&2, 51 eps of Batman Beyond, 51 eps of Superman, 2 eps of The Batman, 4 eps of Justice League, 8 eps of The Zeta Project)

Matt Bomer (In Time) as Superman / Clark Kent.
Stana Katic (3 eps of 24, 2 eps of Heroes) as Lois Lane.
John Noble (The Dragon Spirit in The Last Airbender movie, 100 eps of Fringe, 3 eps of Transformers Prime, 3 eps of 24) as Brainiac.
Molly C. Quinn (105 eps of Castle, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) as Supergirl / Kara Zor-El.
Diedrich Bader (Batman in Batman: The Brave And The Bold, Guy Gardner in The Green Lantern-TAS, Kraven The Hunter in Ultimate Spider-Man, 2 eps of Gravity Falls, 3 eps of King Of The Hill) as Steve Lombard.
Jason Beghe (X-Men: First Class, Thelma & Louise, Maid To Order) as Terrorist Leader.
Frances Conroy (the mom from Six Feet Under, The Wicker Man remake) as Ma Kent.
Melissa Disney (Blade in Batman Beyond) as Thara.
Alexander Gould (Shane Botwin from Weeds, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Jimmy Olsen.
Sirena Irwin (Persephone in Striperella, 3 eps of Adventure Time, 80 eps of Spongebob Squarepants, 3 eps of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Alura.
Andrea Romano (voice actress casting director) as News Anchor #2 / Superman‘s Ship.
Stephen Root (Bill Dauterive in King Of The Hill, Office Space, NewsRadio, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Penguin in Batman: The Brave And The Bold, 4 eps of Gravity Falls, 2 eps of The Legend Of Korra, 1 ep of the new Thundercats) as Zor-El.
Wade Williams (Harvey Dent in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1, Black Mask in Batman: Under The Red Hood, The Dark Knight Rises) as Perry White.
Michael-Leon Wooley (Twayne Boneraper in Ugly Americans, 2 eps of Batman: The Brave And The Bold, 1 ep of Delocated) as Ron Troupe.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2617456/combined

I'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link]

RATINGS:
Claire: Netflix: 1.2/5 stars. IMDB: 3/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 1.3/5 stars. IMDB: 3.4/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: Netflix: 3/5 stars, IMDB: 5.7/10.

CLAIRE’S THOUGHTS: A Christmas movie. I thought that maybe this would be funny, what with all the comedic actors in it… But no…

They keep doing this thing where they throw a bunch of comedic actors into some barely-constructed story with a bunch of extra characters and plotlines that don’t always intersect, and the story isn’t funny at all, and why did I watch this? This movie is a box of feelgood cliches, shaken up, digested, and vomited in your face. About 20% of the way through the movie, you can see it telegraphied quite clearly: “This is a bunch of feelgood bullshit with no real substance. That’s what this is. That you should abort the movie.”

But, y’know…Foolish optimism and perserverance prevail: “Maybe it will all come together?” No. It does not fucking come together other than a bunch of sanguine Christmas warmth ejaculated all over your fucking face. Make it stop. But it doesn’t stop. Not for one hour, and forty seven minutes.

The Olivia Wilde subplot was the most interesting… That part could have at least held itself as a slightly disappointing movie. But that was the best part. And how much of that was simply her gorgious face making everything around her more interesting?

If you actually think greeting cards are sincere and heartfelt expressions of emotion worth waxing poetic about… Maybe this piece of shit movie is for you.

CAROLYN’S THOUGHTS: This was another one of those movies where the narration starts to indicate that it’s one of “those movies” and makes you question whether you should abort it, but then you trudge through hoping it’d pick up and get better, only to be ultimately disappointed and annoyed that you didn’t listen to yourself. Don’t make the same mistake we did. Stay away. [Another example of a movie that made me feel this way was (500) Days Of Summer.] [I adjusted my rating.]

PEOPLE:

Directed by Jessie Nelson.
Written by Steven Rogers (Kate & Leopold–which was good, but gimmicky/flukey good).

Starring:
Steve Martin as Rags (voice).
Diane Keaton as Charlotte.
John Goodman as Sam.
Ed Helms (Andy from The Office, The Hangover movies, Vacation (2015), The Lorax, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Someone Marry Barry, They Came Together, Stretch, 5 eps of Childrens Hospital, 3 eps of NTSF:SD:SUV, 3 eps of Arrested Development, 1 ep of Bojack Horseman, 1 ep of Ugly Americans) as Hank.
Alex Borstein (Lois Griffin in Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, A Million Ways To Die In The West, Ted, Robot Chicken, MADtv, 3 eps of Slacker Cats, 1 ep of Friends) as Angie, Hank’s ex-wife.
Timothee Chalamet (Interstellar) as Charlie, Hank’s son.
Maxwell Simkins as Bo, Hank’s younger son.
Blake Baumgartner as Madison, Hank’s daughter.
Amanda Seyfried (Mean Girls, Jennifer’s Body, A Million Ways To Die In The West, Ted 2, 1 ep of American Dad) as Ruby, the waitress who had a crush on Bucky.
Alan Arkin (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Change-Up, Insp. Jacques Clouseau in Inspector Clouseau (1968), Gattaca, The Jerky Boys, Grosse Point Blank, Edward Scissorhands) as Bucky, Charlotte’s father.
Marisa Tomei (War Inc., What Women Want, Four Rooms, Crazy Stupid Love, My Cousin Vinny, Trainwreck, an extra in The Toxic Avenger 1, 1 ep of The Simpsons) as Emma, Charlotte & Sam’s daughter.
Olivia Wilde (Tron 2, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Change-Up, Drinking Buddies, Better Living Through Chemistry, Her, Year One, 4 eps of BoJack Horseman, 1 ep of Tron: Uprising, 1 ep of Portlandia, 1 ep of American Dad) as Eleanor, Charlotte & Sam’s other daughter who picked up the guy at the airport.
Jake Lacy (Pete in The Office) as Joe, the airport bar pickup.
June Squibb (Scent Of A Woman, 1 ep of Wander Over Yonder, 1 ep of Axe Cop) as Aunt Fishy, Sam’s aunt.
Anthony Mackie (Falcon in Captain America 2, Avengers 2 & Ant-Man; The Night Before; Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter; What’s Your Number?; The Adjustment Bureau; The Hurt Locker; 8 Mile; 10 Years; Love The Coopers) as Officer Williams, who was taking Emma in for shop-lifting. (more…)

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