VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Rock Of Ages (2012)

Clio: 2.6/5 stars, 5.4/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.0/5 stars Netflix, 5.8/10 IMDB.

Wow! Carolyn and me rating 2.0/5 stars apart from each other (Netflix), and 2.2/10 apart from each other (IMDB). I think that is a top-1% disagreement level; we’re never this far off from each other!

This movie actually failed to keep me engaged. The plot was so thin that once it became “just people singing songs” with 5 minutes of song to every 30 seconds of plot, I began to grow bored, which then made me tired, which made me fall asleep, which made me have to take a break to wake up just to get through the movie.

A musical needs at least some plot. Not a huge amount. Just something more tangible than what we had here. Repo:The Genetic Opera, Sweeney Todd, Nightmare Before Christmas, the South Park movie, Rocky Horror Picture Show. All of these have more engaging plots. Yes, evenm Rocky Horror! In the end this was just too random, I didn’t care about the characters enough to care about the movie, and it started to feel like an extended music video of old songs sung by celebrities instead of the original artists. I was waiting for it to be over, and was happy when it was.

Any given moment was kinda awesome, and Tom Cruise was great… The whole cast was… But it was just too devoid of story for me. It was too much. Maybe I would have enjoyed a shorter version (I did watch the extended version, after all). It’s totally out of character for me to say that, though.

Maybe on a different night, with a different mood and body chemistry, I would have enjoyed this more. Dunno if I’ll ever be able to make myself try it again, though. Life’s too short.

Carolyn adds: I enjoyed this movie.  I didn’t love it quite as much as Take Me Home Tonight, but I had fun watching it… They did have a lot of songs, and barely any plot, but it was more the ride than the story for me, I guess.

My mom adds: I saw this on an airplane, a captive audience. I must admit that I lean towards Clio‘s opinion.

Parthena, who recommended this to us (but didn’t rate it high?!) adds:  I would rate this 3/5 stars myself! For all the reasons you listed. Very loose plot…like they couldn’t decide which story to focus on. But some parts made me laugh.

 

People-wise:
Co-written by the writer of Tropic Thunder & Iron Man 2.
The main girl is Julianne Hough (uncredited role in Harry Potter 1, Footloose remake).
Diego Boneta (Mean Girls 2)
Russell Brand (Despicable Me, Get Him To The Greek, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, St. Trinian’s)
Alec Baldwin (Dr. Seuss’ The Cat In The Hat, 5 episodes of Clerks-TAS, Beetlejuice)
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Malcolm In The Middle, 6 episodes of The Cleveland Show, Jim Gordon in Batman: Year One)
Catherine Zeta-Jones (Ocean’s Twelve, Titanic, The Mask Of Zorro)
Paul Giamatti (John Dies At The End, The Hangover Part II, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto, Sideways, Man On The Moon, Saving Private Ryan, Lady In The Water)
Kevin Nash (wrestler)
Tom Cruise (Knight And Day, Mission: Impossible, Magnolia, Eyes Wide Shut, Minority Report, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Days Of Thunder)
Malin Akerman (Childrens Hospital, The Giant Mechanical Man, Wanderlust, Watchmen, The Brothers Solomon, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle)
Will Forte (5 episodes of Gravity Falls, 5 episodes of American Dad, Saturday Night Live, 19 episodes of The Cleveland Show, Tim And Eric‘s Billion Dollar Movie, Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Sit Down Shut Up, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Fanboys, The Brothers Solomon, Clone High
Eli Roth (writer of Cabin Fever, Hostel)
T.J. Miller (Robbie in Gravity Falls, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Gulliver’s Travels, How To Train Your Dragon, Get Him To The Greek, Cloverfield
Debbie Gibson
Sebastian Bach (Skid Row)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1336608/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Would You Rather (2012)

Clio: 5/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, ???/10 IMDB.

That movie was pretty disturbing. I feel like it was kind of a cross between Saw and Hostel. It had me on sitting up on the edge of my seat the entire movie, quite disturbed and worried. This is the point of a horror movie. To horrify you. And it worked.

This is one that a lot of the old school hipster-horror-snobs will dismiss as “torture porn” or merely seving to horrify the viewer without constructing some grand legend or theme or message.

It is true that there is not much to this movie at all.  It’s short and sweet and simple. But it is messed up, and leaves you thinking about how messed up it was for days afterward. So good stuff.

Carolyn: This was interesting.  Kind of like Saw meets a childhood game with a twist…

Directed by David Guy Levy.  Written by Steffen Schlachtenhaufen.
Starring Brittany Snow (John Tucker Must Die, 5 eps of Nip/Tuck, 1 ep of Family Guy) as Iris.
Jeffrey Combs (The Frighteners, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, Ratchet in Transformers Prime, The Leader in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 5 eps of Justice League, 1 ep of The Batman, 1 ep of the new Thundercats, 1 ep of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Shepard Lambrick.
Jonny Coyne (The Hangover 3, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Bevans, the butler.
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (8 eps of The Walking Dead, Cecil B. DeMented, The Waterboy) as Dr. Barden.
Enver Gjokaj (The Avengers, 2 eps of Dexter) as Lucas.
Sasha Grey (porn star, The Girlfriend Experience) as Amy.
John Heard (Sharknado, Big, 5 eps of The Sopranos) as Conway.
Charlie Hofheimer (The Village) as Travis, the Iraq vet.
Logan Miller (Nova in Ultimate Spider-Man, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Raleigh. (Was he Iris’ brother?)
June Squibb (Atlas Shrugged Part 1, 1 ep of Eagleheart, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Just Shoot Me) as Linda, the old lady.
Eddie Steeples (My Name Is Earl, uncredited in Wristcutters: A Love Story) as Cal.
Robin Taylor as Julian, the rich son.  He was not Draco Malfoy as Clio kept thinking.
Robb Wells (Ricky in Trailer Park Boys, Hobo With A Shotgun, Goon, The Boondock Saints 2, 1 ep of Archer) as Peter.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1999995/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Small Apartments (2012)

Clio: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Native ratings: 2.6/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

This rating is disproportionately low. Is it because the main character is a fat bald dude who never wears pants the entire movie? C’mon, people. This is that special genre I like to call “FUCKED UP”. Except it’s also a comedy, so it’s not really as fucked up as some other movies (like Gummo, Irreversible). So it’s not really THAT fucked up. At least, the movie makes this fucked up story comical. So I don’t know why people would rate it so low. Fucked up is a boon, funny is a boon. This movie was solid. On par with any major hit you’d see.

It’s just a bit creepier, that’s all.

Based on a book about a creepy guy who seems a little off, finds himself living alone in a small apartment with a cranky old man and a deadbeat stoner for neighbors.  He misses his brother, who is in a looney bin, but sends him cassettes every day.  Then his landlord is accidentally killed, and the fun of watching things unfold begins: People with poor coping skills trying to cope with a situation stranger than most situations most of us will ever have in our lives. That’s entertainment.

We thought this was an interesting movie, full of interesting quirks.

Directed by Jonas Akerlund (who used to mostly direct music videos, but has moved on to “realer” endeavors). Book *and* screenplay are by Chris Millis. Mr. Millis is a book author, not a screeplay writer. This is the only one he wrote. But it was based on his book. Isn’t that nice? A little respect actually being shown to the author? It almost seems quant, but it really should be common sense!

Matt Lucas as the main character (2 eps of Portlandia, Tweedledee & Tweedledum in Alice In Wonderland, Cardinal One from Popetown, Cousin Tom from Shaun Of The Dead).
James Caan as the old next-door neighbor (Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Elf, Honeymoon In Vegas).
Juno Temple as slutty teenager (Kaboom, The Dark Knight Rises, The Three Musketeers, St. Trinian’s, Year One).
Saffron Burrows as… the mom?! (Wainy Days, Wing Commander).
Johnny Knoxville as the stoner neighbor (Jackass, The Ringer, Dukes Of Hazzard, A Dirty Shame, Men In Black 2, Coyote Ugly).
The celebrity shrink was Dolph Lundgren (He-Man in the He-Man Movie, Johnny Mnemonic, Dark Angel, Rocky 4).
James Marsden as the crazy brother (Anchorman, Sex Drive, Cyclops in the X-Men movies, and we just recently saw him as the son in Robot & Frank).
DJ Qualls plays a clerk! (The New Guy, Road Trip). Good to see him again.
Peter Stormare as the landlord (1 ep of Adventure Time, 2 eps of Weeds, 1 ep of Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!…No I did not recognize him).
David Koechner as a fire investigator (Anchorman, Final Destination 5, Sex Drive, Talladega Nights, Thank You For Smoking, The 40 Year Old Virgin, The Dukes Of Hazzard, 4 eps of 2011 Beavis & Butt-head, 12 eps of American Dad).
Hell, we even get Billy Crystal here! (Soap, When Harry Met Sally, Analyze That/This, America’s Sweethearts, City Slickers, Howl’s Moving Castle, Monsters Inc.).
The strangest one to pop up was Rosie Perez (Pineapple Express, choreographer on In Living Color). Why do we all recognize her so readily? She’s not really on screen in anything we’ve really seen, other than Pineapple Express.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1272886/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: My Awkward Sexual Adventure (2012)

Clio: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.0/10 IMDB.

This movie might be the perfect intersection of sex comedy and romantic comedy. It was FUN. It didn’t have that “all humor stops here” point that so many romantic comedies have. That’s the sex-comedy influence :) Admittedly the comedy lets off a bit in the last 10%, but the jokes do indeed go all the way to the end, and even into the credits. And it’s not just a bunch of overt sex comedy (not that there’s anything wrong with that)… There’s also some a lot of “cringe comedy”. Awwwkwarrrrrd moments. I mean, they put the word awkward the title for a reason. It’s obvious.

If you were to combine Roger Doger with The 40-Year-Old Virgin… It still wouldn’t be this movie. But it would be close.

This is Canadian, so most people aren’t going to hear about it outside of my review, he types, drunk on power. So I’d recommend this over other movies I post about and like, simply because it’s easy to miss this one.

Plot-wise: Stuck-up girlfriend of boring accountant (who pined for 24 years before dating her) breaks up with him because he’s boring in bed.  They might have been able to work out some sort of alternative lifestyle arrangement regarding that, but instead she just breaks up with him.  This made him have to go on their planned, pre-paid vacation alone.  While on vacation, he tries to make his girlfriend jealous by taking pictures of him posing with strippers.  He ends up befriending a stripper who agrees to help instruct him on being better in bed in order to win back his girlfriend. You’d think it would be raunchy, but no, it really isn’t that raunchy, actually.

Cast-wise: Dudeface is played by Jonas Chernick (Degrassi: The Next Generation) WHO ALSO WROTE THE MOVIE. Stripper-with-a-heart-of-gold is played by Emily Hampshire (Boy Meets Girl, 1 ep of Puppets Who Kill, ‘Misery’ in some animated series called Ruby Gloom that kinda looks interesting). Bitchy girlfriend is Sarah Manninen.  Indian man-slut friend is Vik Sahay (Chuck, American Reunion, Stir Of Echoes 2). Naked Tom (Mike Bell) was in Goon. Dudeface’s androgynous co-worker who really seemed like “Pat” from Saturday Night Live turned out to not be Pat, but Sarah Constible, who was a teacher in 2 episodes of the MOST AMAZING SHOW EVER Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil. The “Mint Girl” was in Todd as well.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2112210/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: What’s Your Number? (2011)

Clio: 3/5 stars, 6.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 5.8/10 IMDB.

This was watched mostly because we are Anna Faris fans…We’ve watched 18 of her 35 movies. It was a fun movie, but once you get over the initial ride and look back on the movie, one realizes it wasn’t quite as good of a movie as how enjoyable it was to watch. This may be in part because we think Anna Faris is hot. Anyway, her character was kind of insane in this movie. And that was amusing.

However, despite all that, this boils down to basically being a cute movie that became pretty predictable, even for a rom-com..  It was more about the ride, than having a unique plot–that’s for sure.  It definitely could have been a lot funnier if it had been done right.

The plot is basically: Girl realizes she’s slept with a lot of guys, but there’s never been a Mr. Right.  She doesn’t want to increase the number of guys she’s slept with past 20 (because of a Woman’s Magazine article), so she decides [highlight for spoilers] to exclusively sleep with past ex-boyfriends in order to not increase that number, and see if their lives have changed for the better. [END SPOILERS]

It could have been better. But I don’t regret watching it. Laughs and hotties is sufficient.

Cast:
One of her love interests is Chris Evans (Captain America, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Fantastic 4, Not Another Teen Movie). He’s pretty prominent in this movie, playing a sleazy douchebag womanizer.
Anna Faris’s sister is Ari Graynor (Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, some eps of American Dad, 4 eps of The Sopranos).
Her mom is Blythe Danner (Meet The Fockers movies, TONS of other stuff).
Her dad is Ed Begley, Jr. (Pineapple Express, TONS of other stuff).
Ex-boyfriend 1 is Zachary Quinto (Sylar from Heroes, Spock from new Star Trek).
“Disgusting Donald” is played by Chris Pratt, her real-life husband (!!).
The douchebag boss (Joel McHale) was in The Informant!, The Onion Movie, Spider-Man 2, Community, and wrote a season of The Soup.
There’s also bit appearances with Adam Sandberg and Aziz Ansari.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0770703/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: This Is 40 (2012)

Clint: 3.2/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

Decent, but we thought it would be more of a comedy. It still was, but it was painful and depressing at the same time. This is a spin-off from the movie Knocked Up, with events occurring about a few years later.

This was actually better AND more funny than Knocked Up. But not by very much. A lot of the humor was the cringe-humor of watching somebody have a life that you do not want.  As a married couple who has no interest in having kids, we experienced a great deal of schadenfreude at watching Paul Rudd & Leslie Mann suffer the consequences of their breeding-based decisions.

P.S. I feel like Leslie Mann is getting hotter and hotter. And Carolyn says the same for Paul Rudd.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1758830/combined

 

  • Anna: I took myself to see this one on my 35th birthday. I did not relate to this movie and it kind of annoyed me. I definitely agree with your assessment of the movie and of Leslie Mann. Hawtie. Just another movie about how kids ruin you life. Definitely thought Knocked Up was funnier. Did you see Dan in Real Life? That was another one of those horrible painful depressing movies about people’s lives you don’t want.
  • Clint Dan In Real Life would definitely be my least favorite of the 3 movies mentioned…!!
  • Anna Me too. That movie made me hate myself and others around me.
  • Eve Yay schadenfreude over breeders suffering!
  • Clint: and how

     

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Smashed (2012)

Clint: 3.1/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars Netflix, 6.8/10 IMDB.

It’s not REALLY a comedy.

It starts out making you think it’s going to be a comedy — and it indeed has funny parts. A lot during the first 25 minutes, and a few peppered out throughout the rest.

But unfortunately it takes turn toward the serious and depressing (and possibly preachy). It’s about alcoholism, and the struggles an alcoholic has to go through to:

1) Admit they have a problem
2) Admit they need help addressing the problem
3) Form a working support system
4) Survive their relationship

It is apparently hard for one person in a couple to admit to alcoholism and try to help themselves, all while the spouse isn’t participating. Now throw in the fact that the non-participatory spouse is Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad, and at least the Breaking Bad fanboy-ism kicks in to take the edge off the depressing seriousness of the plot. Plus the girl who wants to get sober is Ramona Flowers from <a target=”_target42764″ href=”https://clintjcl.wordpress.com/?p=5899″>Scott Pilgrim</a>. We also have Nick Offerman and Octavia Spencer.

This movie shows how marriages might not survive because spouses tend to need to grow in the same direction as each other. If one starts to grow in a different direction and the other does not follow — bad things can happen.
Carolyn felt it was a pretty powerful movie, once she realized what kind of movie it was…
Clint knew when selecting this movie that it has the potential to fall into this type of movie… But was hoping it wouldn’t. But it did. However, the funny parts still made it entertaining.
Plus, this was an excellent movie to drink at a greater-than-usual pace during, if only for spite. Our alcoholism isn’t nearly as bad as these guys, fortunately…

Ben W adds: “This was another movie where the trailer was cut in such a way to lead you to think it will be black comedy, which Young Adult also does. Not a serious drama with some funny bits to it. It took me a few days after seeing it to make peace with it. Although I knew going in what it was about, and at the time I was looking at a bunch of stuff about people getting sober. So, I guess I was more prepared for the journey. I can understand the cold-cocking it does to you if you go in blind.

Personally I like the The Lost Weekend for drinking to alcoholism.”

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2063781/combined