VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Crow 4: Wicked Prayer (2005)

Clint: 2.4/5 stars, 5/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 3.0/5 stars Netflix, 2.8/10 IMDB (yikes!!).

As expected, this was the worst of the 4 Crow movies. And the differential between 3 & 4 was larger than between 2 & 3 or 1 & 2.

Really bad sound mix. Didn’t understand a lot of dialogue.

The Crow was John Conner in Terminator 2, and Hawk in Detroit Rock City. But this time he looks like a girl (at least once The Crow makeup is put on). Least badass looking Crow ever.

The plot? It’s kind of confusing why we are being shown the things we are shown. Bad direction. Bad writing. Cheesiest Crow movie ever. I mean, we have a Satanic gang whose names are War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death, and who drive around cars with their names airbrush-painted onto them. And Tara Reid is one of them. Damn she’s hot in this, but that’s about the best aspect of the fucking movie!

There are some good actors, but then they are barely in it. Emmanuelle Chriqui (Waiting, Tron:Uprising), Danny Trejo (Machete) & Dennis Hopper (Blue Velvet). And the guy who was to become Satan? Angel from Angel.

But all this could not save this flop of a movie.


VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Crow 3: Salvation (2000)

Clint: 3.6/5 stars, 7.3/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 4.6/10 IMDB.

With a rating as low as 4.6/10, I was expecting something very poor. But the IMDB rating for The Crow 3 is actually higher than The Crow 2. And this actually wasn’t so terrible after expecting so little. It kind of picked up more at the end. Kirsten Dunst didn’t hurt, either. Though Eric Mabius was a really strange choice for “badass Crow dude”. He was Dawn Weiner’s boyfriend in Welcome To The Dollhouse, and was in Splendor, Cruel Intentions, and Resident Evil.

Spoiler alert: The big turnaround for this movie is that the bad guys [spoiler]are actually the cops[/spoiler].

Notable soundtrack for me (Rob Zombie, Danzig, Static X covering Ministry).

Carolyn adds: I had low expectations, and throughout the movie, it wasn’t terrible, but I was thinking it was only 6/10 material, but then near the ending I upped my rating.

It wasn’t that special, and I guess the plot was somewhat convenient.  (Spoilers:  like how the only way the bad guys could win was to take away the crow’s powers, so they conveniently knew the specific way to take away his powers…  that seemed a little contrived to me.  I don’t remember the second Crow movie that well.  Maybe there were hints in the previous two movies that would explain how these bad guys knew so much about what they were dealing with.  /spoilers)


VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)

Clint/Carolyn: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 4.4/10 IMDB (wtf?!).

Wow. Really low IMDB rating compared to Netflix. Just shows the legions of assholes that downvote any sequel or adaptation (or film starring hated actors). Yet, this seems to be better than Paranormal Activity 3…. But not as good as Paranormal 2. Where PA2 went further back in time than PA1, but concluded after the end of PA2; and PA3 took place completely in the past; PA4 takes place several years after the events of PA1/2. In effect, it’s almost like a second chapter to the story, as the only living family member left from the original movies is the baby (now age 6-8 or so).  I was hoping for more Katie, though it is not a Katie-less movie.

Funny thing: Carolyn’s hearing range does not include the high-pitched demon-speech sound. Clint had to tell Carolyn when the demon was speaking. That actually made it creepier.

Anyway, Carolyn in particular thought this installment lacked some of the spookiness of the previous ones…It didn’t give me the same creeped out feeling…Even PA2 caused Carolyn to sleep on our foofsack because she was too scared to be in the bedroom alone without me. This one didn’t.

Also, they barely talked about the witches’ coven… and they didn’t really explain how Hunter ended up being adopted, and who the hell Robbie was (other than a random kid who lived nearby)?  Not many answers.

BTW, the main girl in this movie is 15 and was in Bad Teacher, which we just watched… But I still didn’t recognize her.


VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Frankenweenie (2012)

Clint: 4.6/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native rating: 4/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

All Tim Burton is good (except for his Planet Of The Apes sequel), but some Tim Burton is better than other Tim Burton. For example, Nightmare Before Christmas is better than Corpse Bride.  This one was good, but not his top-notch work. It was good to finally see his 1984 short developed into a full length Frankestein homage feature.

I’m not sure if I’ve seen 1080p black-and-white stop-motion-animation before, it was certainly an interesting look, though I will always prefer the world of color to the world of black-and-white. It did help make the Frankenstein homage more accurate.

Carolyn: Yeah, I thought it would have been better in color, but I guess the black and white was a throwback to black and white horror movies…  I thought this was better than Corpse Bride, but not as good as Nightmare Before Christmas.  I was sad they didn’t find a way to save Mr. Whiskers.  Poor Mr. Whiskers.




VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: ParaNorman (2012)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7.7/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native rating: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

Stop-motion animation, but sometimes augmented by cgi. Definitely had a distinct look, which is a rarer thing with American animated movies these days.
Visual wise this was probably 8-9/10.

Story-wise, it wasn’t super, but at least it was dark. Kid can talk to ghosts. Everyone makes fun of him. But then a curse hits the town, and his skill becomes relevant.

This felt like something along the lines of Coraline, but not quite as creepy. Definitely a good halloween movie to see. Stop-motion isn’t dead!


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

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.6/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: Netflix: 3.3/5 stars, IMDB: 6.7/10.

THOUGHTS: While not being anything super special, it was at the same time NOT a totally generic horror-comedy. This was a cut above; actually kinda worth seeing, if you bother to watch such things. Having lots of 1980s nostalogia was really cool, too.

Sure, this is a remix of ideas already done before (like in The Last Action Hero) — like *every* horror movie — But they did it in a nostalgic way with some neat gimmickry (like in Too Many Cooks) and with some cute sentimentality to it.

It was enjoyable and actually memorable, unlike too many horror movies.

Plus it helps that we really really really like Malin Akerman. And are always interested in what Alia Shawkat is up to…


Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson (Harold & Kumar 3).
Written by: Joshua John Miller & M.A. Fortin.

Taissa Farmiga as Max Cartwright.
Malin Akerman (Childrens Hospital, The Giant Mechanical Man, Wanderlust, Watchmen, The Brothers Solomon, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle) as Nancy / Amanda Cartwright, Max’s mom.
Alexander Ludwig (Grown Ups 2, The Hunger Games) as Chris Briggs, Max’s crush.
Nina Dobrev (Repo! The Genetic Opera, Let’s Be Cops, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Family Guy) as Vicki Summers, the bitch.
Alia Shawkat (Maeby Funke in Arrested Development, The To Do List, Life After Beth, Prom Wars: Love Is A Battlefield, 1 ep of Drunk History, 1 ep of Portlandia, 1 ep of Adventure Time, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Gertie Michaels, Max’s friend.
Thomas Middleditch (Richard in Silicon Valley, Search Party, Someone Marry Barry, 7 eps of Beavis & Butt-Head (2011), 1 ep of Ugly Americans, 1 ep of The Office, 1 ep of Newsreaders, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Duncan, Gertie’s stepbrother.
Adam DeVine (Pitch Perfect movies, Bad Neighbors, 2 eps of American Dad, 1 ep of Arrested Development, 1 ep of Tron: Uprising, 1 ep of Drunk History, 1 ep of Lucas Bros Moving Co) as Kurt, the douche.
Angela Trimbur (Penny in Major Lazer, Silicon Valley, Halloween 2) as Tina, the slut. John The Canadien sent some emails about her in 2012-2013 after meeting her.
Chloe Bridges as Paula, the tough girl.
Tory N. Thompson as Blake, the black counselor.
Dan B. Norris as Billy Murphy. (more…)

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

Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: Netflix: 3.0/5 stars, IMDB: 5.9/10.

CAROLYN’S THOUGHTS: While they did spend a lot of time setting the stage before jumping into the action, they didn’t really explain the backstory of the town that much. There seemed to be a lot of wasted potential here, and it just turned into a generic comedy-scifi-pseudo high-school movie with not a lot going for it. It could have been better. I was hoping it would be better since it had Bob Odenkirk and Patton Oswald, but they were barely in it.

CLINT’S THOUGHTS: Yup, this was a super-generic comedy-scifi-action with aliens invading a town of humans, zombies, & vampires. They set the stage for quite a long while before the action begins, and then the action is kind of random until everything is over. Still some laughs, though they decreased a bit as the action took over. But something was missing here. Unrealized potential. They could have done some good worldbuilding with a good backstory, but instead they build up the action for 45 minutes or so WITHOUT a good backstory. Stuff just happens. This movie is a bit hollow. Still entertaining, but not memorable. I forgot I watched it within 2 weeks. Based on the title, within 2 weeks, I couldn’t tell you what happened. I can barely remember it now, with the IMDB page. But it wasn’t *bad*. It just wasn’t that good.


Directed by Robbie Pickering.
Written by Oren Uziel.

Nicholas Braun (Date & Switch, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Poltergeist remake) as Dag.
Mackenzie Davis (The Martian, That Awkward Moment, Smashed) as Petra, the vampire slut.
Josh Fadem (Miss March, 4 eps of TripTank, 1 ep of The Eric Andre Show, 1 ep of Weeds, 1 ep of American Dad) as Ned, the nerd.
Denis Leary as Rick Wilson, the douchebag rich guy.
Ed Westwick (S. Darko, Children Of Men) as Milan Pinache.
Vanessa Hudgens (Machete 2: Machete Kills, Sucker Punch, Spring Breakers, Thirteen, High School Musical, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Lorelei, Dag’s crush.
Keegan-Michael Key (Ubermansion, MADtv, The Lego Movie, Afternoon Delight, Horrible Bosses 2, Hell Baby, Wanderlust, Just Go With It, Let’s Be Cops, Due Date, Vacation (2015), 4 eps of BoJack Horseman, 3 eps of Childrens Hospital, 3 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of Rick & Morty, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of W/ Bob & David, 1 ep of TripTank) as Mr. Keller.
Bob Odenkirk as Shooter Parker, Dag’s dad.
Joan Cusack (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Jessie in Toy Story, Grosse Pointe Blank, 1 ep of The Office) as Peg Parker, Dag’s mom.
Chris Zylka (Flash Thompson in The Amazing Spider-Man, Kaboom, Piranha 3DD) as Chaz Jr., Ned’s brother.
Ian Roberts (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Anchorman, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step Brothers, The Dictator, 6 eps of Arrested Development, 3 eps of Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of Newsreaders, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim, 1 ep of Home Movies, 1 ep of American Dad, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Chaz Sr., Ned’s father.
Mae Whitman (Ann in Arrested Development, April O’Neil in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), Wonder Girl in Young Justice, Annaleigh Quagmire in 9 eps of Family Guy, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Katara in Avatar: The Last Airbender, Little Suzy in Johnny Bravo) as Jenna Zombie.
Patton Oswalt as Stuart Miller, the piano teacher’s son. (more…)

« Previous PageNext Page »