VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Ender’s Game (2013)

Claire: 5/5 stars, 9.4/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native ratings: 3.9/5 stars Netflix, 7.0/10 IMDB.

It’s weird how certain I was that I would love this movie, given how very little I actually knew (i.e. nothing) about this original story. I just knew that this was a science fiction legend being done as a high budget film, and that it would be very hard to fuck it up enough to make me & Carolyn hate it.

So yes: This movie was awesome! My only real complaint is kind of standard for good books trying to be good movies: It felt a bit rushed. This should have been a 3- to 3.5-hour movie, not a 2-hour movie. If they had done this Lord Of The Rings-style, it would have definitely received a 10/10 from me.

This movie occupies a strange mental space somewhere near The Last Starfighter, but nearer to Starship Troopers. Neat things happen, happen too fast, and leave you wanting more. I’d love for there to be a sequel, given that there were 4 books.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This turned out surprisingly well.  It kept you interested, and it told the story well.  The special effects were awesome, and we ended up watching this “upscaled” from 2-D to 3-D.  Pretty awesome.

Written & Directed by Gavin Hood (director of X-Men Origins: Wolverine).
Based on a book by Orson Scott Card.

Asa Butterfield as Ender Wiggin.
Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff.
Hailee Steinfeld as Petra Arkanian.
Abigail Breslin (Zombieland, Signs) as Valentine Wiggin.
Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3, The Dictator, Prince Of Persia, The Wackness, A.I., Sneakers) as Mazer Rackham.
Viola Davis (Knight And Day, Kate & Leopold) as Major Gwen Anderson.
Aramis Knight (The Dark Knight Rises, 3 eps of Dexter) as Bean.
Moises Arias (Despicable Me 2, The Secret World Of Arrietty, Astro Boy, Hannah Montana) as Bonzo Madrid.
Jimmy ‘Jax’ Pinchak (Let Me In) as Peter Wiggin.
Nonso Anozie (Conan The Barbarian remake) as Sergeant Dap.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1731141/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Wolverine (2013)

Claire: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Evan: 4/5 stars.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.8/10 IMDB.

Watched in 3-D: I’ve noticed it’s really hard for me to rate 3-D movies, because the 3-d distracts me from my normal train of thought. I think some of my being-impressed-with gets transferred from the content of the movie into the spectacle of 3-D.

But hey — I guess I loved this movie, ’cause superhero stuff kicks ass, so i guess that’s 5 stars.  But I was’t orgasming over it, so I guess it’s a low 5 stars, so I guess I agree with Carolyn’s 4.6/5 rating.

Love Marvel. Love mutants. Love the X-Men. Love Wolverine. It’s almost impossible for Marvel to screw up; these movies are barely worth reviewing because they’re incredibly consistent to us.

Carolyn’s thoughts: Entertaining movie about Wolverine and the Mariko story origin. I’m looking forward to the sequel, if it ever comes out.  We love the comic superheros and I’m glad they are continuing to make them into movies.  The 3-D was alright, but didn’t seem as spectacular as it could have been.  Judging from the quality of the mountains at the beginning that Claire noticed, maybe it was converted to 3-D.
Evan: That fake mountain was pretty hilarious. Is it wrong that I like the ninja guy better then Hawkeye? (As a ranger-type character.) The 3-D is always better at your place, so my ratings typically go up a notch when I rewatch stuff there. I’d give wolvy a 4. Not enough action.

Directed by James Mangold (Kate & Leopold, Girl Interrupted, Knight And Day).
Written by Mark Bomback (Fifty Shades Of Grey, Total Recall remake) and Scott Frank (Get Shorty, Minority Report, Dead Again).

Starring Hugh Jackman (X-Men movies, Movie 43, Rise Of The Guardians, Van Helsing, Kate & Leopold) as Logan.
Tao Okamoto as Mariko.
Rila Fukushima as Yukio.
Hiroyuki Sanada (Ring & Ring 2, Speed Racer, 5 eps of Lost) as Shingen.
Svetlana Khodchenkova as Viper.
Brian Tee (1 ep of The Problem Solverz, 1 ep of Sym-Bionic Titan) as Noburo.
Hal Yamanouchi as Yashida.
Will Yun Lee (Total Recall remake) as Harada.
Famke Janssen (The Faculty, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, The Wackness, The Ten, 11 eps of Nip/Tuck) as Jean Grey.
Ian McKellen as Magneto (uncredited).
Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier (uncredited).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1430132/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: After Earth (2013)

Claire: 3.2/5 stars, 6.8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, 5.0/10 IMDB.

Claire’s thoughts: This wasn’t as good as I hoped.  Interstellar travel, yet we spend our time on earth. Futuristic technology, yet we mostly just see clothes and a sword.  Too much father stuff and not enough aliens stuff.  The moral of fear being optional is a bit too Vulcan for me. I’ll file it under “sacharrine platitudes” right next to “you can be anything you want to be” and “looks don’t matter”.  The kid’s accent is annoying, and why would I want to watch a movie that’s mostly just a kid in the woods anyway? And WHERE’S MY FUCKING TWIST, Shyamalan? Is the twist of this movie that there isn’t a twist???

That’s a lot of bad things I just said, but I still liked the movie. It just wasn’t spectacular. I think these days people have come to expect that from Shyamalan. They should have let him continue with the Avatar movies, goddamnit. The Last Airbender 2 would have been so much better than this.

I still liked it though.

Carolyn’s thoughts: I thought the point of the movie would be to show more of what happened to earth after the humans abandoned it.  They touched on how nature took over, but I thought it would more about that and less about the kid’s relationship with his father. The accent was kind of annoying at first, but then you get used to it.

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan (The Last Airbender, Lady In The Water, The Village, Signs, Unbreakable, The Sixth Sense)
Screenplay written by Gary Whitta (Walking Dead video games) and M. Night Shyamalan.
Story written by Will Smith.

Starring Will Smith’s son Jaden Smith (The Day The Earth Stood Still) as Kitai Raige.
Will Smith (The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, Men In Black movies, Wild Wild West, Independence Day, I Robot, Hancock, Anchorman 2) as Cypher Raige.
Sophie Okonedo (Sithandra in Aeon Flux, Hotel Rwanda, ) as Faia Raige.
Zoe Kravitz (X-Men: First Class, It’s Kind Of A Funny Story) as Senshi Raige.
Glenn Morshower (Aaron Pierce in 24, X-Men: First Class, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, The Men Who Stare At Goats) as Commander Velan.
David Denman (Roy Anderson in The Office, Fanboys, Big Fish) as Private McQuarrie.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1815862/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Last Vegas (2013)

Claire: 4.2/5 stars, 8.2/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

This was pretty funny.  Old people decide to go on a Vegas trip for a bachelor party. We had our honeymoon in Vegas, so it always imparts a personal meaning to movies that take place in Vegas.  I gotta say, though, that these guys appeared to have had a better time than us ;) Because movie logic kicks ass. Want the best party ever? Just have a 10 second montage where you’re passing out flyers. Bam! Party appears! Not even Pinkie Pie can manage that!

But there’s actually a lot more to this. Distinct characters with distinct stories. Honestly, if you drink too much while watching this movie, it can actually confuse you! This is described as “Hangover for old people”, but there’s no real hangover or major binge drinking in the movie. Just a bunch of stuff happening, with jokes interspersed.

This is how a party comedy is meant to be, and it’s very refreshing to see it with old people instead of young people.  (Either way, none of them will be MY age.) [40 as of writing this review]

Honestly, I’m surprised they pulled it off.  This entertained, and that’s all I really want from a comedy about a bachelor party in Vegas.

Directed by Jon Turteltaub (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, National Treasure movies).
Written by Dan Fogelman (Crazy Stupid Love).

Starring:
Michael Douglas as Billy.
Robert De Niro as Paddy.
Morgan Freeman as Archie.
Kevin Kline (Mr. Fischoeder in Bob’s Burgers, The Pink Panther (2006)) as Sam.
Mary Steenburgen (Clara Clayton in Back To The Future 3 and the TV series, Four Christmases, Step Brothers, Inland Empire, Elf, 5 eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Diana.
Romany Malco (Conrad in Weeds, Darius in Unsupervised, Blades Of Glory, The 40-Year Old Virgin) as Lonnie.
Roger Bart (Harold & Kumar 2, Hostel 2, The Stepford Wives, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Maurice.
Joanna Gleason (Maddy Platter in King Of The Hill, 1 ep of Delocated) as Miriam.
Marla Malcolm (\+1, Road Trip) as Party Guest.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1204975/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Bad Milo (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 7.7/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 7.7/10.
Native ratings: 2.8/5 stars Netflix, 5.7/10 IMDB.

Of interest if you like Ken “I want to dip my balls in it” Marino from The State.

This is a comedy-horror, with a lot of ass grossness.  A monster lives in Ken Marino’s ass.

However — for a movie where characters are mildly covered in shit during several scenes — it was surprisingly funny and not that visually gross.

Comedy-horror is a great genre, almost post-modern in its own admission that this wouldn’t really happen, so you’re not actually supposed to be scared, so the whole “horror” genre becomes an oxymoron.  And this movie is moronic, alright…

Funny and entertaining. Absolutely more fun than movies more well-written than this.  A very singular movie. I don’t think I’ll see this story repeated much :)

This could have been a Troma movie… But it’s actually produced better than that.
This could have been a skit from The State… But it’s actually produced better than that.

It was surprising how… legitimate?!?!…And…Cute?!?!?!… this movie could be at times?!?!?! What the fuck, I’m typing that??  Well… I guess that’s kind of part of the joke. The ending is quite what I would have expected. Dare I say it was heartwarming?  Wow.

Directed by Jacob Vaughan.
Written by Jacob Vaughan and Benjamin Hayes.

Starring Ken Marino (The State, Childrens Hospital, Stella, Wet Hot American Summer, Flute Cop in Axe Cop, Wanderlust, In A World, Hoodwinked, 1 ep of The Sarah Silverman Program) as Duncan.
Gillian Jacobs (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, 1 ep of The Venture Bros., 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Aqua Teen Hunger Force) as Sarah, the wife.
Mary Kay Place (Smashed, Youth In Revolt, Being John Malkovich, It’s Complicated, Girl Interrupted, Shrek Forever After, 6 eps of My So-Called Life, 3 eps of King Of The Hill, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Beatrice, the mom.
Claudia Choi (1 ep of Weeds) as Jillian.
Toby Huss (Kahn Souphanousinphone Sr in King Of The Hill, Carnivale, Bedazzled, 4 eps of The Venture Bros., 4 eps of Harvey Birdman, 2 eps of Beavis & Butt-head (2011), 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of Adventure Time, 2 eps of Kung Fu Panda) as Dr. Yeager.
Patrick Warburton (Seinfeld, The Tick, Family Guy, The Venture Bros. Movie 43, Men In Black 2, 3 eps of Archer) as Phil, the boss.
Peter Stormare (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Small Apartments, The Big Lebowski, Minority Report, Chocolat, 1 ep of Adventure Time) as Highsmith.
Kumail Nanjiani (Michael And Michael Have Issues, 6 eps of Portlandia, 3 eps of Newsreaders, 2 eps of Adventure Time, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Bobbi, the mom’s husband.
Stephen Root (Bill Dauterive in King Of The Hill, Office Space, NewsRadio, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Penguin in Batman: The Brave And The Bold, Superman: Unbound, 5 eps of Gravity Falls, 3 eps of The Legend Of Korra, 1 ep of the new Thundercats) as Roger, the dad.
Steve Zissis (1 ep of The Office) as Dr. Yip / Milo.
And as the voice of Ralph — the other turd-monster — we have David Herman (Scruffy from Futurama [as well as Wernstrom], Buckley from King Of The Hill, Mr. Frond from Bob’s Burgers, Idiocracy, Dude Where’s My Car?, Michael Bolton from Office Space, Steve from Brickleberry, Ubuntu from The Goode Family, Uncle Gabby from The Drinky Crow Show, Officer Papermouth from Moral Orel, Roy from Father Of The Pride, 2 eps of 24, MADtv).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2274570/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: +1 aka Plus 1 aka Plus One (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, 5.5/10 IMDB.

Parties are fun, but then the weird shit starts happening.  This movie managed to merge a high school reunion party, aliens, clones, and time distortion all into one light-hearted sci-fi thriller.  The party framework makes it feel almost as if it’s a comedy — there’s jokes and funny stuff and everything.

Ultimately, this was entertaining AND interesting. It was hard to know where the plot was going. Hints of the movie Triangle at times.

Also interesting was that the people with violent tendencies who decided to use lethal force were left “incomplete”. The peaceful ones focused on love and/or understanding simply got to become… more? Of course it’s ultimately unclear, but I did find it interesting and I liked that kind of commentary about violent tendencies.

Directed by Dennis Iliadis (The Last House On The Left)
Written by Dennis Iliadis and Bill Gullo.

Starring Rhys Wakefield (The Purge) as David. Claire recognized him instantly as being in The Purge.
Logan Miller (Nova in Ultimate Spider-Man, Would You Rather, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Teddy.
Ashley Hinshaw as Jill.
Natalie Hall (181 eps of All My Children) as Melanie.
Ronald Ogden (1 ep of Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell) as Mike.
Marla Malcolm (Road Trip) as Heather.
Rhoda Griffis (The Hunger Games, Mean Girls 2, Year One, Road Trip) as Mrs. Howard (uncredited).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2395385/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire (2013)

Claire: 5/5 stars, 8.9/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.9/10.
Native ratings: 4.4/5 stars Netflix, 8.1/10 IMDB.

What can we say that hasn’t been said? This is extremely popular, so it warrants less effort to review. Let’s just say: We fucking loved it. We love this trilogy and are glad it will only be another couple of years before we get to see the end of the story.

However…

However, it wasn’t as good as the first. That’s kind of to be expected with the middle movie of a trilogy.

Beware the abrupt ending. Abrupt ending is abrupt.

This movie really is more of the same, but with differences… Like the 2nd line in a three-line joke.

So some people will undoubtedly complain. I’ve already heard them complain.

I can’t find Claire’s review of the first one, but the ratings we emailed each other for the first one: Ca: 4.6/8.6, Cl: 5/9. So I liked this one better than the first one. I noticed that the average IMDB rating of the first one is 7.3 and the rating for this one is 8.1.

Directed by Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend).
Written by Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours, Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, The Full Monty) and Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Brave).

Based on the book by Suzanne Collins.

Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique in X-Men: First Class) as Katniss Everdeen.
Liam Hemsworth (Triangle, The Expendables 2) as Gale Hawthorne.
Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy.
Josh Hutcherson (Journey To The Center Of The Earth, Zathura: A Space Adventure, Bridge To Terabithia, Howl’s Moving Castle, American Splendor, 1 ep of Justice League) as Peeta Mellark.
Donald Sutherland as President Snow.
Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games, Miri In Zack And Miri Make A Porno, Fred Claus, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Betty Brant in the Spider-Man movies, Wet Hot American Summer, The Details, Movie 43) as Effie Trinket.
Nelson Ascencio (he’s a writer and various voices on MADtv, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of The Larry Sanders Show) as Flavius.
Lenny Kravitz as Cinna.
Stanley Tucci (Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters, Captain America: The First Avenger, Swing Vote) as Caesar Flickerman.
Wilbur Fitzgerald (Anchorman 2, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, RoboCop 3) as Cray.
Patrick St. Esprit (Super 8) as Commander Thread.
Toby Jones (Dobby’s voice in the Harry Potter movies, Snow White And The Huntsman, Captain America: The First Avenger, Saint Trinian’s 2) as Claudius Templesmith.
Jena Malone (Sucker Punch, Howl’s Moving Castle, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Johanna Mason.
Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Invention Of Lying, The Boat That Rocked aka Pirate Radio, The Big Lebowski, Magnolia, Boogie Nights, Scent Of A Woman, Twister) as Plutarch Heavensbee.
Sam Claflin (Pirates Of The Caribbean 4, Snow White And The Huntsman) as Finnick Odair.

Bruce Bundy as Octavia. I was trying to figure out who she is and whether I should list her, and I was like “Wait, isn’t Bruce a boy’s name?” Then I see her early credits say she was credited as “Brooke Bundy” so then I was wondering if she went through a sex change… Nope, I guess according to her facebook page, there was already a Brooke Bundy so she decided to go with Bruce as a “bold move”. Weird stuff. I still don’t know what character she is in the movie, though.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1951264/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: In a World… (2013)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 7.0/10 IMDB.

Carolyn’s thoughts: It wasn’t bad, but we were hoping it’d be funnier. I enjoyed it for the most part.

Claire’s tirade: This was an interesting movie, but it was QUITE a let-down, as it was billed as a comedy, and we were expecting a straight comedy. Instead we received an interesting movie that occasionally had some funny stuff in it. Another fucking ambush. If I could rate how my expectations were served, it would be 1/5 stars, 3/10.

So anyway, this is about the voice-actor for movie trailers (the ones that always start with “In A World…”) dying, and there being a power play to see who gets to replace that guy, and whether the world is ready to have a woman take that kind of job. It’s a female-written/starring/directed movie in part about gender politics, but I feel like it doesn’t have an audience. The people watching it are already watching a female-created endeavor, so any preaching is to the choir. I guess they’re not preaching. So why not have some more comedy then?

We unfortunately chose this as our “final day of drinking” (we don’t drink during the work week) Sunday-night movie, looking for laughs. Despite the fact that it was written by/directed by/starring Lake Bell (from the hilarious live-action AdultSwim show Childrens Hospital), and also starred usually-comedic actor Rob Corddry (also from Childrens Hospital, among other things) and always-comedic Ken Marino (from The State), it just wasn’t that comedic!

Rob Corddry’s character, for example, had no comedy! It was a very serious side-plot that was completely superfluous to the movie. The side-plot could have had a very beautiful moment, but what would have been the best moment for me happened off-camera. I felt deprived, and it made the characters worth less for me.

I need to stop picking our Sunday-night-drinking movies.

Out of the 4 comedies we were going to watch, this was rated highest. I think that may be a trap I keep falling into. I think I keep picking the highest-rated comedy out of a group of comedic-looking movies I want to watch, and it keeps not actually being that comedic. My theory is that actual comedies get rated more lowly than dramas (because people hate comedies; they always rate way lower than we on comedies). Thus, when I try to pick a weekend-comedy and go for the highest-rated movie, it’s actually rated higher not because it’s funnier, but because it’s not a comedy. This leads me to pick what I think is the funniest movie out of a group of comedies (because it has the highest rating), but all too often is not really a comedy (which is why it earned the highest rating). This happened when we watched Girl Most Likely, for example. It’s happened to me several times in the past few months. I may have to change my movie selection algorithm.

Anyway, despite my complaints — The movie was still interesting, in part because we take voice acting very seriously due to all the cartoons we watch.

But I gotta say… It was a disjointed mess. The comedy, romance, and drama all worked against each other, instead of with each other. This was not the movie I should have watched Sunday night. So I’m warning you: Watch this movie when you’re in the right mood. Not when you’re looking for a comedy. Expect something entertaining but not hilarious or great.

Written, directed by, and starring Lake Bell (Childrens Hospital, It’s Complicated, What Happens In Vegas, 1 ep of Newsreaders, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Tron Uprising)

Starring Rob Corddry (Blake Downs in Childrens Hospital, Hell Baby, Hot Tub Time Machine, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Rapture-Palooza, What Happens In Vegas, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, The Ten, Blades Of Glory, 1 ep of The Life And Times Of Tim) as Moe.
Ken Marino (The State, Childrens Hospital, Stella, Wet Hot American Summer, Flute Cop in Axe Cop, Wanderlust, Hoodwinked, 1 ep of The Sarah Silverman Program) as Gustav.
Demetri Martin (Contagion, Take Me Home Tonight) as Louis, Carol’s coworker and friend.
Fred Melamed (Grand Theft Auto video games, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Sam, Carol’s father.
Tig Notaro (The Sarah Silverman Program, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of The Office) as Cher.
Nick Offerman (Axe Cop in Axe Cop, Briggs from Children’s Hospital, RSO:Registered Sex Offender, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Wristcutters:A Love Story, Sin City, Smashed) as Heners.
Michaela Watkins (Wanderlust, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV::, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Dani, Carol’s sister.
Geena Davis (Beetlejuice, Thelma & Louise, A League Of Their Own) as Katherine Huling. OMG I DID NOT RECOGNIZE HER. The straight hair, the extra weight, the older face. Wow. She still looks good for her age, but wow.
Cameron Diaz as Amazon Leader (uncredited). For like 2 seconds. Totally missed her.
Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, Safety Not Guaranteed, Toy Story Movies, Wall-E, Run Ronnie Run, MADtv) as Himself (uncredited).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2294677/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013)

Claire: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.8/10 IMDB.

This movie was pretty fucking funny! Real people very really getting fucked with in hilariously brilliant real-world situations.

It was Jackass, without any of the stunts, violence, grossness, or nudity. (Yes, Jackass also has comedic skits.)  I have a feeling that the wusses too weak to enjoy Jackass could and would definitely be able to enjoy this one. It’s candid camera updated for the modern age, made awkward as hell.

Most of the cast didn’t know they were in a movie when being filmed — and they showed them finding out during the closing credits. This added to the humor — a lot. There are some extended scenes on YouTube.

They did a better job on Johnny Knoxville’s grandpa makeup than they did with the skits in the show,  causing this movie to receive an Oscar nomination for makeup work. They had to make Knoxville be convincingly old not just for the audience, but for the real-world participants who were ambushed into unwittingly starring in this movie! Neat challenge that you can’t ever rise to in a traditionally-scripted movie.

And the kid was pretty brilliant. He said things no child should ever say. And since a lot of the movie deals with strangers, that means the kid was basically having to improvise all the timing.  Child actors usually go nowhere, but by the late 2020s, I could envision this kid being an actor in popular comedy movies. At the very least, he should get some National Lampoon roles later… His name was Jackson Nicoll, and he was uncredited in What’s Your Number? and was also in the Athur movie.

Anyway…. Haters of Jackass should be advised to give THIS one a chance. And if you like man-on-the-street/candid style “reality” humor, then this movie is a must!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3063516/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: About Time (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 4.0/5 stars Netflix, 7.9/10 IMDB.

This was a nice time-travel romance movie. The ultimate point was pretty much the same point as most sappy movies, but they managed to use the gimmick of time travel to really show this point in a unique way. And of course, messing with the spacetime continuum always makes a movie more interesting. Always. And romances need something to make them interesting, otherwise they’re just too intolerable. Why the fuck do you think they put vampires & werewolves having epic battles into the middle of Twilight? Everyone interprets as pissing on vampire-genre, but I interpret as improving romance-genre with fuckin’ monsters and shit.

But I digress.

This movie was at the very least interesting. Time travel was more, uh, Quantum Leap style, I guess, if you had to describe it in terms of a pop culture reference. No hottubs or DeLoreans or stargates here. Very subtle. A good type of time travel for the introspective.  The romance was alright. The family-stuff was marginally tolerable. But all the elements came together to still make a good movie.

Random comment 1: Of course if a movie is a time-travel romance, it has to have Rachel McAdams, right? Apparently that is a rule.
Random comment 2: Claire rated this pretty much exactly how most people did. A rarity to come by.

Carolyn’s thoughts: Someone described this as Groundhog Day for chicks, which isn’t quite accurate. This made me think of Click in some ways. It got me thinking about my dad dying, though, but not in a depressing way. It touched some heart strings.

Directed & written by Richard Curtis (Bridget Jones’s Diary, French & Saunders Live and 1 ep of French & Saunders, 1 ep of Doctor Who).

Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, Dredd, Boy Eats Girl) as Tim.
Rachel McAdams (The Time Traveler’s Wife, Mean Girls, Wedding Crashers) as Mary.
Bill Nighy (The World’s End, Hot Fuzz, Shaun Of The Dead, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 1, Underworld movies, Pirates Of The Caribbean movies, Jack The Giant Slayer, Total Recall remake, Wrath Of The Titans, 1 ep of Doctor Who) as Dad.
Lydia Wilson (1 ep of Dirk Gently) as Kit Kat.
Lindsay Duncan (Alice In Wonderland, 1 ep of Absolutely Fabulous, 1 ep of Doctor Who) as Mum.
Richard Cordery as Uncle D.
Joshua McGuire as Rory.
Tom Hollander (Hanna, Pirates Of The Caribbean movies, uncredited in Byzantium, 2 eps of Absolutely Fabulous, 1 ep of Family Guy, 1 ep of Aqua Teen) as Harry.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2194499/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Europa Report (2013)

Claire: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 6.5/10 IMDB.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was a pretty good sci-fi.  Not that suspenseful, but it told the story well.  Not much to the story, though.  A manned space shuttle launches to see if they can find life on Jupiter’s Moon, Europa.  Halfway to Jupiter, their communications get knocked out so they don’t have contact with Earth, but they decide to continue their mission anyway.  I think it could have been better if there was more suspense or action, but it was interesting.

Claire: This was definitely a bit calmer than most. Sure, we have death and violence, but none of it is really sensationalized in a Hollywoodesque manner. Some might say that makes this movie more tasteful, but for me, it just makes it have slightly less to offer, in an almost old-fashioned way. But that’s okay. I get it. They wanted to stick to true science fiction — not horror/action — and it worked.

Directed by Sebastian Cordero.
Written by Philip Gelatt.

Starring Daniel Wu as William Xu.
Sharlto Copley (Oldboy remake, District 9, Murdock in The A-Team movie) as James Corrigan.
Christian Camargo (Twilight: Breaking Dawn movies, The Hurt Locker, National Treasure 2) as Daniel Luxembourg, engineer.
Karolina Wydra (Crazy, Stupid, Love) as Katya Petrovna, scientist.
Michael Nyqvist (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo movies (original)) as Andrei Blok, engineer.
Anamaria Marinca (1 ep of Doctor Who) as Rosa Dasque, the pilot.
Embeth Davidtz (Mary Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man movies, the remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Army Of Darkness, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Schindler’s List) as Dr. Unger, the CEO of the company.
Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Goodfellas, Gremlins 2) as Dr. Pamuk.
Dan Fogler (Take Me Home Tonight, Fanboys, Kung Fu Panda, Horton Hears A Who, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Ugly Americans) as Dr. Sokolov.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2051879/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: 10 Rules For Sleeping Around (2013)

Claire: 3.2/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Native ratings: 4.0/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

The writer directed this, and it wasn’t the best directing. Parts could have been made easier to follow, plus it was directed by a chick, so it had that stereotypical “I’m the one” plot aspect.

It also kinda made a case for alternate lifestyles only being immature distractions from vanilla lifestyles, which is an overused premise in my opinion.

The main problem I had with this movie is they didn’t really establish the characters enough at the beginning, so as the plot became more twisted and convoluted, I had a problem always following who was who. I have similar problems with war movies and anime one-shots. I never have this problem with cartoons because those kinds of characters are more distinctive *and* almost never change clothes. Carolyn typically has to issue help to me during a movie like this.

Carolyn adds: That’s true. Character introduction was very rushed. I enjoyed it, but I did see that it was one of those movies that talks about alternate lifestyles and then concludes vanilla is the way to go, which is typical and slightly annoying.

Claire: All of the above being said, it was still a movie with some laughs, and not unenjoyable at all. It was actually better than the ratings would lead one to conclude.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1993391/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Machete 2: Machete Kills (2013)

Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 8/10.
Claire: Deferring to Carolyn’s rating.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

Watched with TwoBeans. However, I fell asleep a lot during the end, so the net effect of the movie was completely lost on me.

I know I laughed a lot.

Fortunately, parts 2 & 3 are a duology (i despise that word!) of sorts, so it won’t be so wasteful to rewatch #2 when #3 comes out.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez (Grindhouse, Planet Terror, Sin City).
Written by Kyle Ward.

Starring Danny Trejo (Breaking Bad, Predators, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto, Eyeborgs, Fanboys, Smiley Face, The Devil’s Rejects, Anchorman,Trojan War, Enrique on King Of The Hill, Machete in Spy Kids 1-3) as Machete.
Mel Gibson as Voz.
Demian Bichir (Esteban Reyes in Weeds) as Mendez.
Amber Heard (Pineapple Express, Zombieland, The Informers, 1 ep of The Cleveland Show) as Miss San Antonio.
Michelle Rodriguez (Avatar, some Fast & Furious movies, Turbo, Resident Evil 5) as Luz.
Jessica Alba as Sartana (uncredited).
Sofía Vergara (The Three Stooges, The Smurfs, Escape From Planet Earth, 1 ep of The Cleveland Show) as Desdemona.
Charlie Sheen as Mr. President.
Lady Gaga as La Camaleón.
Antonio Banderas (Puss In Boots in The Shrek movies, Zorro in The Legend Of Zorro (2005) and The Mask Of Zorro, Four Rooms, Interview With The Vampire) as El Camaleón 4.
Walton Goggins (Django Unchained, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, House Of 1000 Corpses, The Bourne Identity, The Crow 3, 1 ep of Unsupervised) as El Cameleón 1.
Cuba Gooding Jr. (Don Jon) as El Camaleón 2.
Vanessa Hudgens (Sucker Punch, Spring Breakers, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Cereza.
Tom Savini (Django Unchained, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, 1 ep of Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1, Zack and Miri Make A Porno, Planet Terror, Grindhouse, Dawn Of The Dead, Creepshow, and original Dawn Of The Dead) as Osiris Amanapur.
William Sadler (Freaked, Onion News Empire, Iron Man 3, The Shawshank Redemption, Bill & Ted‘s Bogus Journey, Die Hard 2) as Sheriff Doakes.

It didn’t carry the weight of the first one, but it was still entertaining for what it is.  “Machete don’t tweet.”

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2002718/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Don Jon (2013)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

This was more light-hearted than Gridlock’d, which we watched on the same night. Both movies are about recovering from various kinds of addition in situations that are occasionally comedic. In this movie’s case, it was porn, and not heroin.  In the middle of the movie, we both thought “I wonder how Spencer Rice[Spenny from Kenny Vs. Spenny]’s movie “Confessions Of A Porn Addict” would compare to this?” within 3 seconds of each other.  I guess we need to watch that one soon as well, to compare to this one.

This movie is also notable for being the writing/directing debut of now-superstar Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  And for having Scarlett Johansson finally look as good to me as everyone says she looks.  Actually, Scarlett Johansson never looked so good, and Julianne Moore never looked so bad (don’t get me wrong; she’s still fantastic, just notably older-looking in this movie).

But anyway, if you want to see Tommy from 3rd Rock From The Sun talking like someone from Jersey Shore and masturbating to porn constantly–this is your movie. Haha. No, it’s not really as bad as that makes it sound. It’s sort of a coming-to-age story about Gordon-Levitt finally getting in touch with what sex can really mean to a person. The movie is sex-positive, but the masturbatory judgment still seemed a bit sex-negative. The movie seemed to grow less unique as it progressed, which is a failing. The conclusion was still good, but by the end of the movie, it did not reach as unique of a destination as I had hoped for. I’m hoping for something better from Gordon-Levitt next time.
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Tommy from 3rd Rock From The Sun, Looper, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, Mysterious Skin, 10 Things I Hate About You) as Jon.
Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow in The Avengers movies, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Lost In Translation, 6 eps of Robot Chicken) as Barbara.
Julianne Moore (Silence Of The Lambs movies, The Big Lebowski, Boogie Nights, Crazy Stupid Love, Magnolia, The Fugitive) as Esther. “DON’T CALL ME LADY!”
Tony Danza as Jon Sr..
Glenne Headly (Dick Tracy, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) as Angela, Jon’s mother.
Brie Larson (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Monica, Jon’s sister.
Rob Brown (The Dark Knight Rises, Live!) as Bobby, John’s friend.
Jeremy Luke as Danny, Jon’s other friend.
Italia Ricci (American Pie Presents Beta House) as Gina.
Lindsey Broad (12 eps of The Office) as Lauren.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2229499/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Peeples (2013)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6.8/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 4.7/10 IMDB.

A comedy about a super competetive family that isn’t always honest to each other.  It was pretty entertaining, and funny, but it wasn’t something on a moral epic scale like the other recent Craig Robinson movie we watched: Rapture-Palooza.  Peeples had some funny moments–including drug-induced attempted murder–but be forewarned: This comedy is mostly based on family dynamics. Still…The movie turned out to be a bit funnier than I expected, and satisfied our need for a comedy movie that night.

Written & directed by Tina Gordon Chism.

Starring Craig Robinson (Darryl from The Office, LaVar ‘Freight Train’ Brown in The Cleveland Show, Rapture-Palooza, Hot Tub Time Machine, Pineapple Express, This Is The End, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Fanboys, Zack And Miri Make A Porno, Miss March, Knocked Up, Shrek Forever After, Shrek Forever After, Percy Jackson 2) as Wade Walker.
The very lovely Kerry Washington (Brunhilda from Django Unchained, Alacia Masters from Fantastic 4 movies, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, 5 eps of Black Panther) as Grace Peeples.
David Alan Grier (In Living Color, Crank Yankers, 1 ep of Dream On, 1 ep of Samurai Jack, 1 ep of Alf) as Virgil Peeples, the strict judge dad.
S. Epatha Merkerson (Terminator 2, Jacob’s Ladder, Black Snake Moan, Jersey Girl, 8 eps of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, 1 ep of Frasier) as Daphne Peeples, the formerly-an-alcoholic mom.
Tyler James Williams (3 eps of Batman: The Brave And The Bold, 2 eps of Saturday Night Live) as Simon Peeples.
Melvin Van Peebles (2 eps of All My Children) as Grandpa Peeples.
Diahann Carroll (Dynasty, The Star Wars Holiday Special) as Nana Peeples.
Kali Hawk (Get Him To The Greek, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Gloria Peeples.
Kimrie Lewis-Davis as Meg.
Malcolm Barrett (The Hurt Locker) as Chris Walker.
Ana Gasteyer (Rapture-Palooza, Suburgatory, Robot & Frank, Mean Girls, Saturday Night Live, 2 eps of 3rd Rock From The Sun, 2 eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Just Shoot Me) as Mayor Hodge.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1699755/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Hell Baby (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

This was pretty funny.  We like a LOT of the cast.  This was a good comedy/horror and it was definitely straddled the two effectively and simultaneously.  50/50.  It’s also pretty much a product of the same talent as MTV’s The State, which was a large factor in swaying us into watching this.

We enjoyed it, and it was a good movie to watch on a Sunday night to wrap up the weekend.

It wasn’t spectacular, and there were a lot of “WTF” moments that get glossed over, but the movie wasn’t trying that hard.  Sometimes there were weird things that were never really explained… But then that’s kind of the point of a haunted house scenario.

It succeed more as a comedy than as a horror movie — because comedic horror movies aren’t really scary. But I really like a little horror with my comedy. From Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil to Holliston to Troma movies… Comedic “horror” is great because it includes the dark humor that is typically missing from comedies like teen sex comedies or road trip comedies or buddy flicks. Murder can be funny, too!
Written & directed by Robert Ben Garant (The State) & Thomas Lennon (The State).

Starring:
Rob Corddry (Blake Downs in Childrens Hospital, Hot Tub Time Machine, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Rapture-Palooza, What Happens In Vegas, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, The Ten, Blades Of Glory, 1 ep of The Life And Times Of Tim) as Jack.
Leslie Bibb (Movie 43, Iron Man 1-2, Miss Nobody, Sex And Death 101, Wristcutters: A Love Story, Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck) as Vanessa.
Riki Lindhome (Supanatural, 1 ep of Adventure Time, 1 ep of Heroes, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck, 1 ep of Titus) as Marjorie, the sister. FULL FRONTAL NUDITY. She’s amazing. Could use more curves, though. (Very rare I say this.)
Alex Berg (2 eps of NTSF:SD:SUV::, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Mrs. Nussbaum / Cheerful Guy.
Keegan-Michael Key (Wanderlust, Just Go With It, Due Date, MADtv, 2 eps of Childrens Hospital) as F’resnel.
Robert Ben Garant (The State, 2 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of Archer) as Father Sebastian.
Thomas Lennon (The State, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, What’s Your Number?, The Dark Knight Rises, Rapture-Palooza, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Memento, 2 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of Newsreaders) as Father Padrigo.
David Pasquesi (Year One, Angels & Demons, Groundhog Day, The Fugitive, 1 ep of Undeclared, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Cardinal Vicente.
David Wain (The State, Stella, Superjail, Childrens Hospital, Wet Hot American Summer, I Love You Man, The Ten, 1 ep of Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers) as Dr. Marsden.
Michael Ian Black (Stella, The State, This Is 40, Wet Hot American Summer, You’re Whole, Take Me Home Tonight, 2 episodes of Tom Goes To The Mayor) as Dr. Marshall, the psychiatrist.
Rob Huebel (Owen Maestro in Childrens Hospital, Human Giant, Axe Cop, Despicable Me, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, I Love You Man, Little Fockers, Funny Or Die Presents, Rapture-Palooza, 3 eps of The Office, 3 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV, 1 ep of Michael & Michael Have Issues) as Mickey.
Paul Scheer (Human Giant, NTSF:SD:SUV, Ass Backwards, Rapture-Palooza, Year One, 5 eps of TRON: Uprising, 4 eps of Fat Guy Stuck In Internet, 2 eps of Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim, 1 ep of Adventure Time) as Ron.
Kumail Nanjiani (a writer for Michael & Michael Have Issues, 6 eps of Portlandia, 2 eps of Adventure Time, 1 ep of Ugly Americans, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Cable Guy.
Jenny Robertson (1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Mail Carrier.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2318527/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Clear History (2013) (TV)

Claire: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

OMG! Curb Your Enthusiasm may be canceled, but Larry David lives on!  This is basically a 90-minute hilarious Curb Your Enthusiasm episode. More time to build up means more time to dig yourself in a shithole. And Larry does it. A crescendo of cringeworthiness.  Larry David digs such a deep hole for himself that even Basil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers looks wise in comparison.  Definitely worth checking out if you are a Larry David fan. Plus you get to see him with long hair. He looks like The Dude from The Big Lebowski.

But really.. Sooo much goes wrong. Sooo much. It’s an amazing build-up the likes of which Curb Your Enthusiasm could never achieve due to its 30 minute length limitation.

Directed by Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland, 6 eps of Undeclared, 3 eps of Arrested Development).
Written by Larry David (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fridays, Saturday Night Live, 1 ep of The Larry Sanders Show), Alec Berg (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, EuroTrip, The Dictator, The Cat In The Hat, Late Night With Conan O’Brien, 1 ep of Herman’s Head), David Mandel (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, EuroTrip, The Dictator, Dr. Suess’ The Cat In The Hat, Saturday Night Live, 6 eps of Clerks-TAS), & Jeff Schaffer (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, The Dictator, Bruno, EuroTrip, Dr. Suess’ The Cat In The Hat, 1 ep of Herman’s Head).

So we have a lot of Curb people on this.

Starring Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, The Three Stooges, Fridays, Saturday Night Live) as Nathan / Rolly.
Michael Keaton as Joe Stumpo.
Bill Hader (We just saw him in The To Do List, also he’s been around a bit: Saturday Night Live, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Pineapple Express, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, Superbad, The Brothers Solomon, Men In Black 3, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Year One, Adventureland, 7 eps of The Venture Bros., 4 eps of The Human Giant, 2 eps of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, 2 eps of South Park, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Rags.
Philip Baker Hall (Fired Up, The Amityville Horror, Bruce Almighty, Magnolia, The Truman Show, Ghostbusters 2, How I Got Into College, 2 eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Warren The Ape, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of 3rd Rock From The Sun) as McKenzie, the tired old man.
Jon Hamm (Sucker Punch, The Ten, Kissing Jessica Stein, Shrek Forever After, Mad Men, 5 eps of Childrens Hospital, 4 eps of The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret, 2 eps of Robot Chicken, 2 eps of Archer, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers (he was the toilet, hehe), 1 ep of Metalocalypse) as Will Haney, the boss of the company.
Kate Hudson (200 Cigarettes, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days) as Rhonda, the boss’s wife.
Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down, This Is The End, Superbad, Good Vibes, Despicable Me, Observe And Report, Fanboys, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, The Foot Fist Way) as Frank.
Eva Mendes (Holy Motors, Ghost Rider, Live!, 2 Fast 2 Furious) as Jennifer, the former fat, but is now skinny friend.
J.B. Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Smurfs 2, Movie 43, The Dictator, Date Night, Mr. Deeds, Saturday Night Live, 4 eps of American Dad, 1 ep of The Simpsons, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Jaspar.
Amy Ryan (Holly from The Office, War Of The Worlds, The Naked Truth, 1 ep of Quantum Leap) as Wendy, the ex-girlfriend.
Mary Klug (The Invention Of Lying, The Departed) as Tibby, the old lady who Rolly was caretaker to.
Patty Ross (The Three Stooges, Grown Ups 2, 1 ep of Roseanne) as Gladys, the owner of the diner.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2279864/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: End Of The World (2013) (TV)

Claire: 5/5 stars, /10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Native ratings: Only 4.6/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

Finally a Syfy movie that is a good movie for reasons other than laughing at how bad it is! This was awesome!  The genre of the year is apocalyptic comedy!

We’ve got this, Rapture-Palooza, This Is The End, The World’s End…  None of these movies have disappointed. None! Do I have a new favorite movie genre?!

This one kept us entertained the entire time, and was probably the least comedic of the four apocalyptic comedies we’ve watched this year. However, it was more thrilling and more interesting on a sci-fi level than 2 out of the other 3.  So it turned out to be a thriller wrapped up in a comedy.  You get excited about the action and the fate of the earth, but then when there is a lull in the pacing, some comedy pops its head out to entertain you. Then the comedy returns to the backseat and lets the thriller take over. Repeat several times.

While the comedy is not non-stop like with some movies, it continues to return to the forefront in segments running all the way ’til the end of the movie.

Another good thing is this is a movie that acknowledges other movies; it even makes fun of the generic Syfy disaster movies that they are constantly releasing (much to everyone’s chagrin). The main characters work in a video store, and their knowledge about disaster movies is crucial to the survival of the world. (At least, THEY think so.) Much respect to geekdom.

Things get even crazier when they have to break a science fiction writer out of an insane asylum.

It actually all makes sense, and all comes together very nicely.

AND AS A BONUS — it’s a type of disaster I’ve never seen in any movie before. Neat!

Directed by Steven R. Monroe.
Written by David Ray & Jason Bourque.

Greg Grunberg (Matt Parkman in Heroes, Super 8, Mission Impossible 3, Uncle Ben in 1 ep of Ultimate Spider-Man, 1 ep of American Dad) as Owen Stokes. Nice to see him in something since Heroes.
Neil Grayston (77 eps of Eureka, 1 ep of Smallville) as Steve Palmer.
Caroline Cave (Saw 6, 3 eps of The L Word) as Selena, Owen’s girlfriend.
Mark Hildreth (King Lotor in Voltron Force, Joshua in the new V, Quiksilver in Wolverine & The X-Men, Angel in X-Men Evolution, Gundam Wing, Pirates Of The Caribbean 3) as Max, the douchebag.
Brad Dourif (The voice of Chucky in the Child’s Play/Chucky movies, Rob Zombie’s Halloween movies, The Lord Of The Rings movies, Dune, Blue Velvet, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, The Exorcist 3) as Dr. Walter “Doc” Brown.
Merrilyn Gann (2012, Mystery Date, It, she’s additional voices in Project A-Ko 2-4, 3 eps of The Original 21 Jumpstreet, 1 ep of Smallville) as Betty, Steve’s mom.
Serge Houde (3 eps of Smallville) as General Ramis.
Graem Beddoes (1 ep of The L Word) as Louis, security guard.
Simon Chin (Control Alt Delete) as Orderly.
Amitai Marmorstein (1 ep of Smallville) as Leonard.
James Ralph (3 eps of Smallville) as Traffic cop.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2139851/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Man Of Steel (2013) [watched in 3-d]

Claire: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Evan: 4.3/5 stars, 9/10.
Native ratings: 4.0/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

I knew this would be a movie I loved… Although I had my doubts because the last Superman movie wasn’t that memorable. (Though checking my notes, I said it was as good as any other Superman movie. Of course those other ones were late 1970s/early 1980s, so of course something made in the 2000s will generally be comparable just by the fact that movies are much more well done nowadays).

Suffice to say, I was not disappointed.

Very entertaining.  Superman origin story with LOTS of action.  LOTS. The action barely let up, even for a moment.  Those were literally some of the most epic fight scenes I’ve seen in my entire life. Especially if you don’t count animation.  Superheroes are awesome, and this was awesome.

I like how they made it a point to not spend too much time on his childhood. I like to think of that as a “fuck you” to Smallville’s later, shitty seasons. Incindentally, at least 5 people from this movie played in at least 1 episode of Smallville. Amy Adams (S1E7), Mackenzie Gray (S5E15,S10E1), Tahmoh Penikett (S6E19/21,S3E15), Alessandro Juliani (14 S8 eps), and David Paetkau (S1E3,S8E15).

One complaint: Everyone had way too visible pores. I do not need to be THAT aware of y’alls’ pores!

 

Directed by Zack Snyder (Sucker Punch, Watchmen, Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole, 300, Dawn Of The Dead (2004))
Written by David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance, The Crow 2, Jumper, Blade: The Series) and Christopher Nolan (Inception, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Memento, Following).

Henry Cavill (The Count Of Monte Cristo) as Clark Kent / Kal-El.
Amy Adams (Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby, Psycho Beach Party, Cruel Intentions 2, 3 eps of The Office, 3 eps of King Of The Hill, 1 ep of Smallville) as Lois Lane.
Michael Shannon (Cecil B. DeMented, Groundhog Day, 8 Mile, Vanilla Sky, 1 ep of Delocated) as General Zod.
Diane Lane (Jumper, Judge Dredd) as Martha Kent.
“Oh my God, it’s Russell Crowe” as Jor-El. Took 3 of us to come up with who he was. Claire: “Isn’t that what’s his name? The guy who went fightin’ round the world in South Park.” Carolyn: “That’d be Russell Crowe.” Evan: “Yes, that is Russell Crowe.”
Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent.
Antje Traue (Pandorum) as Faora-Ul, Zod’s right-hand woman.
Harry Lennix (Commander Lock in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, 6 eps of 24) as General Swanwick.
Richard Schiff (Se7en, Deep Impact, Speed, The Hudsucker Proxy, Ghost In The Machine, 1 ep of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) as Dr. Emil Hamilton, the scientist.
Christopher Meloni (Chris Keller in Oz, Green Lantern in Green Lantern: First Flight, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, Wet Hot American Summer, Twelve Monkeys, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Junior, 1 ep of Michael & Michael Have Issues) as Colonel Nathan Hardy.
Ayelet Zurer (Angels & Demons) as Lara Lor-Van.
Laurence Fishburne (The Colony, Morpheus in The Matrix movies, Silver Surfer in Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, Contagion, Mission Impossible 3, Mystic River, Apocalypse Now) as Perry White.
Dylan Sprayberry (Spaced, 1 ep of MADtv) as Clark Kent (13 Years).
Richard Cetrone (he’s usually a stuntman, but he plays The Headless Horseman in a Sleepy Hollow TV series, a werewolf/merman in The Cabin In The Woods, a lyncan creature in Underworld: Awakening, Hunter Morlock in The Time Machine, CJ in Sucker Punch) as Tor-An.
Mackenzie Gray (The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus, Iron Man: Armored Adventures, 2 eps of Smallville) as Jax-Ur.
Julian Richings (Atticus’s father in Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil, and Satan in the 2003 Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, X-Men: The Last Stand, Detroit Rock City, Mimic, Naked Lunch) as Lor-Em.
Mary Black (Mrs. Henderson in Fido, The Wicker Man, ) as Ro-Zar.
Michael Kelly (The Adjustment Bureau, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Unbreakable, 6 eps of The Sopranos) as Steve Lombard.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0770828/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The World’s End (2013)

Claire: 5/5 stars, 10/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

The movie is actually the conclusion of the unofficial “Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy”, which includes Sean Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End.

This.
Was.
Awesome!

Achievement Unlocked: Watched a movie where the protaganist wore a Sisters Of Mercy shirt the whole way through!

What’s up with all these new apocalyptic comedies? First Rapture-palooza, then This Is The End, then The World’s End. This is becoming my new favorite genre! The exact same joke is generally funnier if the apocalypse is happening at the same time! It’s like they’ve discovered some untapped secret of humor. (Alright, it’s not really a new discovery, but the spate of these movies this year is really making it feel like that. In truth Mars Attacks and many movies before it know the secret that apocalypse == funny.)

So anyway, the premise of this movie — involving bars and the apocalypse — made us think of Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, which is indeed the movie most similar to this one out of all movies we’ve ever seen. Only this one has no time travel, and End was quite better than that Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (which we rated 4/5 stars, 8/10). The World’s End was just as much of a drinking/party movie as FAQATT, yet it managed to be both funnier AND more poignant. It also had a better budget, and a much better cast. A winner is you!

Beyond the premise being fucking awesome, Simon Pegg‘s character really reminds me of myself…if I were an idiot loser. He’s going on 40–like so many characters in movies that resonate with us lately?!?–and he hasn’t stopped partying and having fun. He thinks the others hate him because he’s still free. The others hate him because he’s an annoying idiot. Nonetheless, I’m going on 40 and haven’t stopped partying and having fun. Plenty of people hate me, think I’m annoying, think I’m an idiot (though I’m not). I, too, sometimes drive 20 year old cars, but out of cheapness, not neccesity. Like him, I am not tied down by the kids, and athough I have a nice job like Simon Pegg‘s friends, I’ve also fucked off, not worked, and am irresponsible when compared to my peers, and would do so again with a cavalier attitude most people are too insecure to be able to live with. He yearns for his past full of friendship, friends, fun, and parties, yet is disappointed in how his once-best friends are now too fuddy duddy to bother having fun anymore… And I TOTALLY identify with that. Emotionally a lot of what the main character wanted really resonated with me. In a drinking movie. About the world ending. So there was some minor poingnancy in this that FAQATT lacked. YET IT WAS STILL FUNNY. It could have ended up being one of those “You’re too old to party; grow up and learn your lessons already, and enough of your Peter Pan syndrome!” type movies. But it wans’t. It took what you think it symbolizes and remained loyal to it the entire way through.

And did it with amazing laughs… The entire way through.

We weren’t going to drink that night. We drank a lot. I suggest trying to keep up with this movie, but beware: They are trying to drink a pint of beer in TWELVE DIFFERENT BARS. Unless you can do 12 shots, you might want to consider what cadence you will drink with during this movie.

Because this must be watched while drinking.

You have learned movie watching. Go in peace.

Directed by Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Shaun Of The Dead, Spaced, Hot Fuzz, fake trailer segment “Don’t” in Grindhouse, 1 ep of French & Saunders).
Written by Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Shaun Of The Dead, Spaced, Hot Fuzz).

* People from Spaced:
Simon Pegg as Gary King.
Nick Frost as Andy Knightley.
Julia Deakin (the landlady from Spaced) as the bed & breakfast landlady. So good to see her again!
Michael Smiley (2 eps of Spaced) as Reverend Green.

* Everyone else:
Martin Freeman (Bilbo in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Arthur Dent in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Shaun Of The Dead, What’s Your Number?, Hot Fuzz, 14 eps of The Office (UK)) as Oliver Chamberlain.
Paddy Considine (Hot Fuzz, The Bourne Ultimatum) as Steven Prince.
Eddie Marsan (Hancock, V For Vendetta, 21 Grams) as Peter Page.
Rosamund Pike (Wrath Of The Titans) as Sam Chamberlain.
Thomas Law (231 eps of EastEnders) as Young Gary.
Pierce Brosnan (Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Mars Attacks!, Shattered) as Guy Shepherd.
David Bradley (Argus Filch in the Harry Potter movies, Captain America: The First Avenger) as Basil.
Jonathan Aris (Sightseers, Gulliver’s Travels) as Group Leader.
Alice Lowe (Hot Fuzz, writer and star of the awful movie Sightseers) as Young Lady.
Rafe Spall (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, Life Of Pi) as Young Man.
Steve Oram (Sightseers, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV, 1 ep of The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret) as Motorcycle Policeman.

P.S. More on the trilogy comment… To quote IMDB: “…the characters are seen eating peppermint with chocolate chip ice-cream – as what the Cornetto green wrapper represents. According to Edgar Wright, green represents science fiction and extraterrestrial elements, which is the main motif in the film. For Wright’s other films, Shaun of The Dead, it was red/strawberry flavor, symbolizing blood and zombies; while the second part, Hot Fuzz, it was blue/vanilla symbolizing the police.”