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: REVIEW: Black Death (2010)

Clio: 2.4/5 stars, 4.6/10.
Carolyn: 2.4/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Jesse: 2.4/5 stars.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 6.4/10 IMDB.

This was recommended to me. It held promise, but just wasn’t that special. It was way, way too slow (an hour passed without much happening), relyed too much on mood over substance, and kind of droned on.

Jesse seemed to like it about half-way through, but then by the end he had changed his mind and thought he didn’t like it.

It wasn’t very action-packed, except for a few brief, awesomely visceral fight scenes.

Moreso at the beginning, it reminded me of the Dreamweaver album’s plot, which filled me with naive, inspired promise, but ultimately things didn’t go in the direction I’d hoped.

The movie does have a few neat structural tricks up its sleeve.

But still. I’d rather have my time back. I was (unfortunately) reminded of Valhalla Rising.

Directed by Christopher Smith (who directed and wrote Triangle, which WAS FUCKING AMAZING).
Written by Dario Poloni.

Starring Eddie Redmayne (8 eps of The Pillars Of Earth) as Osmund.
Sean Bean (Game Of Thrones, Boromir in Lord Of The Rings, Zeus in Percy Jackson, Silent Hill, Troy, Mirror Mirror) as Ulrich, the emissary of the bishop.
John Lynch (Shades [the one who dropped acid] from the movie Hardware!!!!!!) as Wolfstan, the older soldier who survived to the end and was also the narrator.
Carice Van Houten (Game Of Thrones, Carol from Repo Men) as Langiva (anagram for vaginal?!), the necromancer.
David Warner (Archmage in Gargoyles, Ra’s Al Ghul in Batman, In The Mouth Of Madness, Lord Downey in Hogfather, Sweeney Todd, Avatar, 9 eps of Men In Black: The Series) as Abbot.
Kimberley Nixon as Averill, the Osmund’s girlfriend.
Emun Elliott (Prometheus) as Swire.
Johnny Harris (Snow White And The Huntsman, Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Dorian Gray) as Mold.
Andy Nyman (1 ep of Holliston, Death At A Funeral) as Dalywag.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1181791/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Miss Nobody (2010)

Clio: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 5.3/10 IMDB.

Pretty funny! This is about as black comedy as you can get.

A movie about a kind of humble, shy secretary rising to power by accidentally becoming a serial killer. A series of unfortunate events. Gradual loss of morality. Shit gets insanely out of hand. And then a couple twists.

This is no masterpiece… And I feel like I’ve sort of watched similar plots in other movies before.  But it’s done well, it looks good, it’s fun to watch, and it’s unique, so there’s that.

Main character is Leslie Bibb (Sex & Death 101, Talladega Nights, Wristcutters:A Love Story, Iron Man 1 & 2, and of course one ep of Nip/Tuck), with a weird haircut, playing herself all shy and humble. Her boss, Brandon Routh, was Superman in Superman Returns. Barry Bostwick (Brad from Rocky Horror Picture Show) is in this as a preacher. Adam Goldberg (Dazed And Confused, Saving Private Ryan, A Beautiful Mind) is the cop — kind of an unlikely casting if you ask me. Missi Pyle (Visioneers, Harold & Kumar 2, Pretty Ugly People, Live!, Anchorman, Dodgeball, 50 First Dates, Big Fish, Galaxy Quest) is a prominent character. as a brunette — I had no clue how stunning she is. Usually prefer blondes. No longer sure about Missi. She’s got the mean-hot bitchy-hot look mastered.  Vivica Fox (Kill Bill, Batman & Idle Hands, Robin 1997) is in this movie, but then there’s also a character named Vivica Fox played by someone else. I’m so confused, IMDB. Halp.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1129427/

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010) [Finland]

 A Finnish film subverting the Christmas legend with a twist.  Entertaining, though somewhat slow in parts.  The execution could have been better, but hey, it’s not a blockbuster-funded endeavor. It’s Finland. Still fun to see Santa Claus depicted as an evil demon. The ending was downright funny.

Written & directed by Jalmari Helander.

Starring a bunch of Finnish actors:
Onni Tommila as Pietari Kontio.
Jorma Tommila as Rauno Kontio, his father.
Tommi Korpela as Aimo.
Rauno Juvonen as Piiparinen.
Per Christian Ellefsen as Riley.
Ilmari Järvenpää as Juuso, Pietari’s naughty friend.
Peeter Jakobi as Pietari’s Elf.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1401143/combined

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: I Saw the Devil (2010) (Korea)

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

Native rating: 7.8/10, 3.9/5 stars (Netflix guessed 3.7/5 for us–wrong!).

At first this started in 3-star territory: Interesting plot, good cinemtagraphy, nice budget.

But then, only 45 minutes into a 2.5hr movie, what would constitute a standard Hollywood plot was already done and concluded.

At that point, the story veered past what either of us could predict or anticipate. Fuel was thrown onto the fire, and it burned hotter and brighter and hotter and brighter.

Shit just kept on piling on, then piling onto that.

It broke into 4-star territory by the 1 hour mark, 5-star territory by the 2 hour mark…. By the end, it was a case of, “Holy shit”.

I definitely see why Ian recommended this.

Man those Koreans really love their revenge!

Or maybe that’s selection bias on my part, as every Korean movie I’ve ever watched (except for Thirst?) has been about revenge of one sort or another (Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Sympathy For Lady Vengeance, Memories Of Murder).

We felt that Oldboy was better than this movie, yet when we checked, we rated it the same. It may be that we need to up Oldboy to 9/10. Hmm.

And oh: Min-sik Choi is a GREAT actor! This is the 3rd movie we’ve seen him in.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1588170/