VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Mr. Nobody (2009)

Clio: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Jesse: 5/5 stars, 10/10. (I made this rating up for Jesse, based on him saying it might be his favorite movie of all time.)
Native ratings: 4.2/5 stars Netflix, 7.8/10 IMDB.

Cloud Atlas, The Fountain, Click, Benjamin Button, Ink (2009), Inception (a bit). Smush them all together and you get this movie. I was hooked in the first 20 seconds. This was awesome.

Basically, this movie is about making choices, and the parallel universes that arise with each choice that is made. Hell, they even touch on string theory, chaos theory, and the butterfly effect at points… It is also about how it’s better to make a decision than it is to stand there scared of the various consequences that may arise.

The structure of the movie is pretty amazing, and the cinematography is 10/10 for sure. Over 500 visual effects.

It also had a better than average soundtrack. Mr. Sandman … used even more than in 8 Heads In A Duffel Bag!

The plot synopses on IMDB is pretty good, and though it has minor spoilers, you could simply stop reading the summary when you get to the words “at the end”, and it would not affect enjoyment of the movie (and in fact, this is part of how I was enticed to finally obtain this movie): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0485947/synopsis … If you want a total-spoilery version, one better to read AFTER watching the movie, check out the wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Nobody_(film)

This was awesome, yet I have a weird cognitive dissonance where I don’t QUITE want to rate this 5/5 stars. My IMDB rating (film quality) is not affected by this dissonance, by my Netflix rating (emotional response) is for some reason. Maybe if I had watched it in a state other than sobriety… I’d have had that “OMFG THIS IS SO AWESOME” feeling. But it WAS awesome. I just didn’t FEEL it like I often do. In part this is because I am anti-spirituality. I can’t help but feel that the message was a bit trite and cliche in the fact that it basically boiled down to “seek happiness”, which we all ALREADY KNOW.
However, this message was done VERY VERY VERY well! Just like Cloud Atlas‘s trite “fight for what is right” message, which was also done VERY well.
I’m so confused by my 5-star resistance here. But I”‘l go ahead and give it 5 stars anyway.

Political side-comment: It’s bullshit that USA typically won’t play this movie due to there being sex scenes with underage people (even though Juno Temple was fucking 20 in this!). Fucking Puritans! The Europeans should have persecuted The Puritans much harder. Seriously: The longest IMDB thread is about a nipple, and not the actual movie! Fuck us! Fuck us up our censored asses!

Written & Directed by Belgian filmmaker Jaco Van Dormael (this is his first English endeavor).

Starring Jared Leto (My So-Called Life, Requiem For A Dream, American Psycho, Fight Club, Panic Room, Girl Interrupted) as Nemo (adult/old).
Sarah Polley (Dawn Of The Dead, eXistenZ, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Go, Splice, 1 ep of Friday The 13th: The Series) as Elise (adult).
Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds, National Treasure, Troy) as Anna (adult).
Linh Dan Pham (Dante 01) as Jean (adult).
Rhys Ifans (Dr. Curt Conners in The Amazing Spider-Man, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1) as Nemo’s dad.
Natasha Little (we haven’t seen her stuff) as Nemo’s mom.
Toby Regbo (uncredited as Young Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1) as Nemo (age 15).
Juno Temple (The Dark Knight Rises, Kaboom, St. Trinian’s, Small Apartments, The Three Musketeers, Year One) as Anna (age 15).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0485947/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: National Lampoon presents Dorm Daze 3: Transylmania (2009)

Clio: 3.4/5 stars (compared to 3.4 for DD1, 3 for DD2), 7.4/10 (compared to 8 for DD1, 6.2 for DD2).
Carolyn: 4/5 stars (same as other 2), 7.7/10 (compared to 8 for DD1, 7.6 for DD2).
Native ratings: 2.6/5 stars Netflix (compared to 3.7 for DD1, 2.7 for DD2), 3.7/10 IMDB (compared to 4.4 for DD1, 3.7 for DD2).

So it seems that Carolyn & I liked this better than the first movie in the “trilogy”. It’s funny that this is a trilogy, because the movies have little to do with each other. They called the 2nd one Dorm Daze 2 even though it took place on a cruise ship. At least for this one they dropped the “Dorm Daze” from the title, but how would people who liked the first 2 movies know about and find this? The only real way is Movie Connections on IMDB, under the “Followed By” section. Weird.

Dorm Daze 1 was about misunderstandings and plots.  Dorm Daze 2 was about capers and a theft.  Dorm Daze 3 was about vampires.

It had some of the same characters from the other Dorm Daze movies, but this is no longer called Dorm Daze.  It had a recap of the characters and the setup for why they were going to Romania.  And vampires!  Don’t forget vampires.

Directed by: David Hillenbrand (Dorm Daze 1-2, mostly a music developer, we haven’t seen the other 7 things he directed), Scott Hillenbrand (Dorm Daze 1-2, we haven’t seen the other 7 things he’s directed)
Written by: Worm Miller (Dorm Daze 1-2, we haven’t seen the other things he’s written), Patrick Casey (Dorm Daze 1-2, we haven’t seen the other things he’s written)

They had some of the same characters as Dorm Daze 1 and 2:
Oren Skoog (we haven’t seen his work) as Rusty / king vampire Radu.
Jennifer Lyons (3 eps of That 70’s Show, Can’t Hardly Wait, 2 eps of Night Stand) as Lynne.
Tony Denman (Fargo, 2 eps of King Of The Hill) as Newmar.
Patrick Cavanaugh (1 ep of Thundercats (2011), 1 ep of Batman: The Brave And The Bold, 1 ep of Six Feet Under, 1 ep of Frasier) as Pete.
Paul Hansen Kim (1 ep of Andy Richter Controls The Universe, 1 ep of 3rd Rock From The Sun) as Wang.
James DeBello (Cabin Fever, Scary Movie 2, Trip in Detroit Rock City, enthusiastic guy in American Pie) as Cliff Richards.
Patrick Casey as Mike
Worm Miller as Brady.

Some characters were missing with no explanation, but since this is college, one can assume that people drift apart year-to-year. Most notably, Lynne’s counterpart Marla (the “other hot chick” of the 2-hot-chick group in Dorm Daze 1, who became fat in Dorm Daze 2), was absent. Foosball was also not around.

And some new characters:
David Steinberg (Epic Movie, Willow) as Dean Floca. Unfortunately, this was his last movie, as he committed suicide in 2010.
Natalie Garza (1 ep of Dexter, haven’t seen anything else) as twin sister, Lia.
Nicole Garza (1 ep of Dexter, haven’t seen anything else) as twin sister, Danni.
Musetta Vander (The Cell, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Wild Wild West, 1 ep of Frasier, 1 ep of Xena) as Teodora Van Sloan, the vampire hunter. Incredibly sexy. She’s like a slightly younger Catherine Zeta-Jones!
Irena A. Hoffman (Four Christmases) as Draguta Floca, the dean’s daughter.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0936471/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Youth In Revolt (2009)

Clio: 3.4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 6.5/10 IMDB.

This was decent. It was sort of a romance/comedy/drama — a rom-com that is a bit heavier on the romance than on the comedy.

It was still funny a lot of the time, in part because it had this vague Fight Club-ish weirdness to it. Michael Cera developing another personality in order to get with the girl. He needs to be bad to get himself kicked out of his mom’s house to go life with his dad, so he develops a split personality disorder.

There are actually several moments where this movie is basically a disturbing psychological thriller…. But then the comedy or the romance kicks in, so it doesn’t stay disturbing throughout (like, say, Fight Club, or The Number 23).

Definitely an interesting and entertaining romantic comedy — with a side-serving of disturbingness.  And definitely the widest range of acting I’ve ever seen coming from Michael Cera (which isn’t saying much).
Directed by Miguel Arteta (3 eps of Six Feet Under, 1 ep of The Office).
Based on a novel by C.D. Payne, who had a cameo as “neighbor on porch”.

Starring Michael Cera (Superbad, Arrested Development, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Juno, Childrens Hospital) as Nick Twisp / Francois, and Portia Doubleday (relative beautiful newcomer) as Sheeni Saunders.

M. Emmet Walsh (Big Guy And Rusty The Boy Robot, The Iron Giant, Wild Wild West, Twilight) as her strict religious dad, and Mary Kay Place (Smashed, Being John Malkovich, Pecker, Girl Interrupted, 6 eps of My So-Called Life) as her strict religious mom.

Cera’s family is: Jean Smart (Designing Women, Martha Logan in 24, Pickles Oblong in The Oblongs, I Heart Huckabees) as the mom, and Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, Between Two Ferns, Visioneers, Tim & Eric, It’s Kind Of A Funny Story, Due Date) as her douchebag boyfriend, and Steve Buscemi as his dad. His mom’s later boyfriend is Ray Liotta (Observe And Report, Date Night, Blow, Hannibal, Field Of Dreams).

Cera’s friends are: Erik Knudsen (Scream 4, Scott Pilgrim, Degrassi:TNG) as his friend Lefty, and Adhir Kalyan (3 eps as Dr. Raj Paresh in Nip/Tuck, Fired Up!) as Vijay Joshi.

Fred Willard has a small part as their neighbor, Mr. Ferguson.

Jonathan B. Wright as the rival boyfriend, Trent. He played a beefy guy in Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Seems a lot of Nick & Norah people were in this movie, such as:

Ari Graynor (Caroline in Nick And Norah, What’s Your Number?, 4 eps of The Sopranos, Date Night) as Lacey.

Justin Long (Unsupervised, Funny People, Zack And Miri Make A Porno, Dodgeball) as Paul Saunders, the girl’s brother.

Rooney Mara (The Social Network, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo remake, A Nightmare On Elm Street remake) as Taggarty.

And oh, there’s an old man played by Michael Collins. He’s the astronaut who went to the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, and had to stay in the ship and not step foot on the moon. Is his minor role (that nobody noticed) in this movie a symbol of his moon role? Nobody rememebers him. I don’t know his name. Most don’t. And now he’s in a movie where nobody will remember him. That’s too bad. :/

By the way: There was a pilot for a TV series of this made in 1998 for MTV: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0173998/combined

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0403702/combined