VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Immortal (Ad Vitam) (2004)

Claire: 2.4/5 stars, 5.4/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Evan: 2.7/5 stars, 5.5/10.
Native ratings: 3.0/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

I GOT A NEW TV! And this was the first thing watched on it– A weird animation/live-action mix sci-fi flick taking place in 2095 and dealing with gods, aliens, possession, being raped by a person possessed by a god….. All based on a trilogy of French comic books.

Carolyn: This didn’t live up to our expectations. It was nice to see as the first 3-D movie on our new TV, but it was hard to follow the story. It had a lot going on: Egyptian gods, aliens, genetically altered humans and mutants, escaped prisoners who are being tracked down… It was a lot to keep track of, especially while visually enjoying the 3-D. There was potential, but it didn’t quite get there.

Claire: I didn’t like the movie that much. Visually, it was very awesome, but I still didn’t really like it — Which made it a good choice for my first non-anaglyph 3-D home movie viewing. When you get a new tech setup, you don’t want to dive right in and watch/do your favorite/most-important thing first, because you still want to do system tuning. I’m very glad that the first 3-D movie I watched was NOT one that I enjoyed, because it turns out my TV wasn’t 100% setup correctly (had to turn sharpness down) anyway. I’d much rather have a setup error affect a 2-star movie than a 5-star movie :)

But yea. It was confusing. I wasn’t really sure what the fuck was going on a lot of the time. I didn’t really understand how the side-plots really fit together with the main plot. It was great eye candy, and I sort of digested it that way. The eyes of some of the CGI characters were so 3-dimensionally sunken into their head that it was creepy as fuck! Definitely interesting, and I’m glad I finally watched it, but yeah… Missed potential is the name of the game here.

Evan: I’d agree that it had potential, but their effects needed a lot more polish before I would really consider it any good. If they had made the whole movie animation [instead of a mix of animation and live-action], it might have gotten a better score.

Directed by Enki Bilal. Written by Enki Bilal (comic books “La Foire Aux Immortels” and “La Femme Pie`ge”), Serge Lehman.

Starring Linda Hardy as Jill Bioskop.
Thomas Kretschmann (Hostel 3, 2 eps of 24) as Alcide Nikopol.
Charlotte Rampling (12 eps of Dexter) as Dr. Elma Turner.
Yann Collette as Froebe.
Fre’de’ric Pierrot as John.
Thomas M. Pollard as Horus.
Joe Sheridan as Allgood.
Corinne Jaber as Lily Liang.
Olivier Achard as Checker.
Jerry Di Giacomo as Jack Turner.
Paul Bandey as Dayaks (voice).
Coralie Seyrig as Bastet (voice).
Goran Vejvoda as Anubis (voice).
Barbara Scaff (Heavy Rain) as Jill (voice).
Dominic Gould as John (voice).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0314063/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: EuroTrip (2004) [Road Trip 2]

Clio: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars Netflix (compared to 3.5/5 for Road Trip), 6.5/10 IMDB (compared to 6.4/10 for Road Trip).

Isn’t that odd? A sequel that actually received a [as slightly as possibly] higher rating than the original, where I disagree that it should be rated higher. Usually I complain that sequels are always downvoted. Here is one where they finally didn’t do that, and I still have a problem with it: They’re wrong. The original Road Trip  (2000) is definitely better than this!

This movie was good, but not great.  I really liked it, but more of a barely-really-liked-it, thus my 3.6/5 star rating. The sex gags involved dudes a lot more than the previous one, so while they were equally funny, they weren’t as titillating.  It was just a little too convenient.  The things that happened should have had worse consequences.  Instead, things happened, and it just didn’t seem to have that much of an impact.  Maybe there wasn’t enough conflict or something.  It was just like [highlight for spoilers] , “Yeah, they ended up in London, but hey, now they’re in Paris, no problem.”  Things like that happened the entire movie.  “Oh we have no money, and hitchhiked to a place that doesn’t even have a train station built, no problem.”

High-school graduate decides to take an impromptu trip to Europe with some friends in order to track down a penpal/possible love interest.

If it was going to have a requirement of that much suspension of belief, then they should have made it funnier… It seemed to lack a little bit to me. But I still enjoyed it enough. I didn’t dislike it. I almost really liked it.

At least see it for seeing Xena in a latex dominatrix outfit. We need that closure after Xena ended and she DIDN’T fuck Gabrielle.

Directed and co-written by: Jeff Schaffer (writer for Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Dictator, Bruno).
Co-writer & uncredited co-director: Alec Berg (writer for Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Dictator, Late Night W/Conan O’Brien).
Co-writer & uncredited co-director: David Mandel (writer Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Dictator, all 6 eps of Clerks:TAS, Saturday Night Live).

So we have some talented people making this movie, and some talented people in this movie:

Michelle Trachtenberg as the twin girl Jenny (we JUST saw her as the goth girl in Take Me Home Tonight, plus Weeds, 5 eps of Robot Chicken, 4 eps of Six Feet Under, 17 Again, Mysterious Skin).
Travis Wester as twin guy Jamie (1 ep of Six Feet Under, 3 eps of Undressed [wow!], 6 eps of the original Beverly Hills 90210).
Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) as cheating now-ex girlfriend, Fiona.
Matt Damon as a punk band singer.
Fred Armisen (Portlandia, Saturday Night Live, Terry in Out There) as Creepy Italian Guy .
Lucy Lawless (Xena) as sexy dominatrix Madame Vandersexxx.
Joanna Lumley (Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous) as the Hostel Clerk we only see in the closing credits.
Pat Kilbane (Pucked, Monkeybone, MADtv) as American Robot Guy.
Nick Jameson as a Reporter. Quite the fall from playing President Yuri Suvarov in 15 eps of 24…
Jeffrey Tambor (George Bluth Sr. in Arrested Development, Hank Kingsley in The Larry Sanders Show, Professor Cakes in 6 eps of China, IL) as Scott’s Dad.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0356150/combined

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Re-watched. Upgraded 9/10 to 10/10 (5/5 stars of course). Charlie Kaufman writes amazing movies.

“A couple undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour, but it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.”

Sounds like a romantic comedy, right? Definitely not. It’s a dramatic romance. It’s the 69th highest rating on IMDB, and it deserves it.

Any couple having problems or fighting with each other could actually get some therapeutic value from watching this, too! It teaches us something about ourselves, via watching the characters go through their travails.

As a bonus, you get to see Frodo as a total creeper, and Kirsten Dunst jumping around in her underwear and swooning over an older man.

Another amazing cerebral movie that we just had to watch again!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338013/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: RE-REVIEW: Mind Game (2004)

Clint:::::: 3.8/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.

THIS IS A SERIOUS DOWNGRADE from my previous rating of 5/5 stars, 10/10, after watching it 7 yrs ago in 2005, where I reviewed it on my blog at https://clintjcl.wordpress.com/2005/08/09/best-movie-ive-seen-in-a-long-long-long-time/

… Simply put, I didn’t like this as much as the first time. I wasn’t as impressed by the crazy, style-changing animation as I was the first time around (perhaps).

The film won Japan’s most prestigous anime award, and is pretty inspiring and very unique… But it just doesn’t hold up to a rewatching as well as we’d hoped.

Sucks to have to downgrade from a 10 to a 7! 50% of people who watch this movie give it 9-10/10, so it’s still quite good, and better than 95% of anime out there. Perhaps one’s enjoyment of this movie is based on one’s mood?

Studio 4oC is an awesome studio, though, and I automatically pay more attention to something if “4oC” is attached to it.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0452039/

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Ginger Snaps 3 aka Ginger Snaps 0 aka Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.  (Again deferring to Carolyn’s rating.)
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 5.8/10 IMDB.

Not as good as the first one, but on par with the second one.  This was set in the 19th century.  The IMDB trivia says that the second and third movies were shot back-to-back.

Carolyn thinks she liked the third one ever so slightly better than the second one, though she rated both identically. I am unsure, myself.

This movie sacrifices the opportunity to continue moving the original story further forward, and that is a major points against when compared to Ginger Snaps 2.

But by making it a prequel about 2 girls who just so happen to be the EXACT SAME 2 girls (but in the 1800s), they created an opportunity for Ginger to return as a lead character. This brought back a lot of the chemistry and sisterly character interaction that Ginger Snaps 1 had, but that Ginger Snaps 2 lacked.  So that is major points for.

However, they aren’t in high school… Or even modern american culture as we know it. The unique aspects of the original characters don’t shine in the same light when held to a completely different time and culture, and that is points against when compared to Ginger Snaps 1.

In the end, it’s kind of a wash. This movie is good in ways Ginger Snaps 2 wasn’t, and Ginger Snaps 2 was bad in ways this movie wasn’t. They were filmed at the same time too, so there’s no discrepancy in production or acting. So it’s just another sequel that’s really a prequel.

While I would recommend that 100% of people who liked Ginger Snaps 1 *MUST* watch Ginger Snaps 2…….. This movie is not required viewing. However, it does feel more like Ginger Snaps 1 than Ginger Snaps 2 did, so you still might want to watch it if you were a fan.

Directed by Grant Harvey.

Written by Christina Ray & Stephen Massicotte.

The 2 main characters of course remain:

Emily Perkins (Juno, Insomnia, 35 eps of Da Vinci’s Inquest, 26 eps of Hiccups, 3 eps of Supernatural) as Brigitte.
Katharine Isabelle (Freddy Vs. Jason, 30 Days Of Night: Dark Days, Insomnia, Titanic, 1 ep of Smallville, 1 ep of The L Word) as Ginger.

But also, from Ginger Snaps 2:

Brendan Fletcher (1 ep of Smallville) as Finn. He played Jeremy, the librarian in the second movie… Gracious of them to let him return.

The rest were new faces:

Nathaniel Arcand as The Hunter.
JR Bourne (1 ep of Smallville, 1 ep of 24) as James, the douchebag.
Hugh Dillon (Trailer Park Boys: The Movie) as Reverend Gilbert.
Adrien Dorval (Twilight 2, Chronicles Of Riddick, 1 ep of The L Word) as Seamus.
Tom McCamus (Siblings, 2 eps of Friday The 13th: The Series, 1 ep of Puppets Who Kill) as Wallace Rowlands, the leader of the fort.
Matthew Walker (The Wicker Man, 1 ep of Smallville) as Doc Murphy, the doctor.
David MacInnis (1 ep of Smallville) as Cormac.

They sure seem to use a lot of Smallville people…

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0365265/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed (2004)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10. (I’m deferring to Carolyn’s rating as I’m kind of unsure of my feelings.)
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 6.4/10 IMDB.

Not as good as the first one.  This one follows Brigitte as she deals with being infected by the lycanthropy.  It was still entertaining enough.  It was still good. Just not nearly as good. It was a good horror movie, but they kinda dropped the whole sisterly aspect of the first one that brought much of the interestingness to the original. So the chemistry was completely different, and it didn’t have that Ginger Snaps 1 feel that they brought back with Ginger Snaps 3 (which I’ll be reviewing next).

What this movie has going for it is that it is a continuation of the same original story. It’s canon. Ginger Snaps 3 is not. So this is it. When you watch this movie, don’t be tricked into thinking that the story will continue. That’s it, it’s over, and it’s kind of messed up.

Also, just what was unleashed? If anything, that’s backward. But I digress.

This is worth watching simply as a way to coast by on the good feeling you get from how awesome Ginger Snaps 1 is. I’d definitely recommend watching this. Definitely. You need to see how the story concludes. But this movie doesn’t stand on its own as being particularly special, other than how it connects to the greatness of Ginger Snaps 1.

Directed by Brett Sullivan. Written by Megan Martin.

Only the 2 main characters were from the first movie: Ginger & Brigitte.

Emily Perkins (Juno, Insomnia, 35 eps of Da Vinci’s Inquest, 26 eps of Hiccups, 3 eps of Supernatural) as Brigitte.
Katharine Isabelle (Freddy Vs. Jason, 30 Days Of Night: Dark Days, Insomnia, Titanic, 1 ep of Smallville, 1 ep of The L Word) as Ginger.

The rest were new faces:

Brendan Fletcher (1 ep of Smallville) as Jeremy, the librarian.
Tatiana Maslany (Stir Of Echoes 2, 11 eps of Orphan Black) as Ghost.
Janet Kidder as Alice.
Pascale Hutton (Fantastic Four, 3 eps of Smallville) as Beth-Ann, the mean girl.
Michelle Beaudoin (24 eps of Sabrina The Teenage Witch) as Winnie.
Eric Johnson (24 eps of Smallville, Flash Gordon in 21 eps of Flash Gordon) as Tyler, the guy who returns favors.
Patricia Idlette (Scary Movie 3) as Dr. Brookner.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0353489/combined