VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: A.C.O.D. (2013) [“adult child of divorce”]

Clio: 4.6/5 stars, 8.3/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 2.9/5 stars Netflix, 5.7/10 IMDB.

Carolyn: This turned out to be better than we were expecting.  I thought the premise sounded like it could be entertaining, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Clio: Indeed… I was resisting this movie quite a bit, as I’m so fucking sick of other peoples’ divorces. I was sick of it when I was a fucking kid, and I’m more sick of it now, as now I get to deal with others’ drama directly. So I figured it wouldn’t be as funny as I’d hoped because of that. I also figured that since Carolyn & I have been together for decades, as has/had our parents… That some of this simply might not resonate through me due to a lack of personal experience.  I also figured that since it was all about families… Well, I’m not really much of a family guy, and families in movies can be annoying.

I’m pleased to report I was wrong on all counts. This took awkwardness to an enjoyable level. People dug themselves into holes; deeper and deeper. Adam Scott’s face makes my fist want to hit it repeatedly, and it didn’t ruin the movie. His fucking, scrunched-up trollface didn’t ruin the movie. It worked for portraying a neurotic child of divorce. Who had a book written about him. A best-selling book. Yea… This movie really deals with repressed childhood anger, and that indeed resonated with me.

But most of all? I laughed a lot, which was the purpose for watching a comedy movie. Yay. The end.

Directed by Stu Zicherman.
Written by Ben Karlin (4 eps of Space Ghost Coast To Coast, The Daily Show) & Stu Zicherman (Elektra).

Adam Scott (Step Brothers, Knocked Up, Parks And Recreation, 2 eps of Six Feet Under, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV::, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Carter.
Richard Jenkins (the dead dad from Six Feet Under, Fun With Dick And Jane, The Cabin In The Woods, Let Me In, The Broken, How I Got Into College, Wolf, Me,Myself & Irene, Step Brothers, Turbo, Stealing Home) as Hugh.
Catherine O’Hara (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Home Alone movies, Frankenweenie, Where The Wild Things Are, Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events, Dick Tracy, SCTV, 4 eps of Six Feet Under, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Melissa.
Amy Poehler (Blades Of Glory, Shrek 3, Mean Girls, Wet Hot American Summer, Saturday Night Live, Horton Hears A Who!, Parks And Recreation, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, 5 eps of Arrested Development, 3 eps of Undeclared, 2 eps of Wonder Showzen, 2 eps of The Simpsons, 1 ep of Napoleon Dynamite-TAS) as Sondra.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Death Proof, Grindhouse, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Smashed, Final Destination 3) as Lauren.
Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine movies, Kick-Ass movies, The Croods, Superbad, 19 eps of The Office, 5 eps of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Trey.
Ken Howard (13 eps of Dynasty, 2 eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Batman-TAS, 1 ep of The Office) as Gary.
Valerie Tian (Percy Jackson 1, Jennifer’s Body, Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, Juno) as Kieko.
Sarah Burns (I Love You Man, 8 eps of Drunk History) as Margo.
Jessica Alba (Dark Angel, Machete movies, Fantastic Four movies, The Ten, Idle Hands, Little Fockers, 1 ep of The Office) as Michelle.
Jane Lynch (Afternoon Delight, Wreck-It Ralph, The Three Stooges, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Glee, Shrek Forever After, 15 eps of The L Word, 3 eps of Neighbors From Hell, 2 eps of Arrested Development, 2 eps of Father Of The Pride, 2 eps of The Cleveland Show, 1 ep of The Spectacular Spider-Man, 1 ep of The Simpsons, 1 ep of News Radio) as Dr. Judith.
Jamie Renell (The Change-Up) as Tyler.
Vickie Eng (The Change-Up) as Mrs. Kobayashi.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1311060/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Ghost Team One (2013)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Native ratings: 2.1/5 stars Netflix (ouch), 4.9/10 IMDB.

A horror-comedy mockumentary about a sexually charged ghost?  This could go wrong in a lot of ways.  Especially because mockumentary typically means “we can’t write, so let’s just improvise until something mediocre comes out”.

But this was better than a lot of mockumentaries. It did actually have a plot. It felt scripted, and not improvised that much.

“Did you just fuck the ghost?!?”

It was still very much a b-movie, mostly 3 people in a house, very little special effects, no soundtrack, and very low key in the way they acted  So it’s a bit off-putting if you’re looking for a high-budget blockbuster type movie. This is more like a comedy for people who can’t get enough laughs.

Carolyn: We threw this one after Walking Dead hoping that it would be an entertaining way to end the evening. Unfortunately, this didn’t really live up. It was OK, but it was neither hilarious nor scary. One won’t miss anything by passing over this movie.

Claire: Funny thing – I passed out 40 minutes before the movie ended. Once that happened, I got to see about 75% of it, but none of it made sense due to the 25% I missed by falling asleep like… Every minute. We both were going to give it 2.6/5 stars, 5/10. Then I rewatched the last 40 minutes after dinner and it made a lot more sense. Most of the funniest stuff actually happened after I stopped being able to pay attention, so the movie redeemd itself.

Even Carolyn remarked that it was better the 2nd time through (and what a stupid movie to ever see twice!), raising her rating up to 3/5 stars, 6/10 (which is what I did too).

So…. This movie has its laughs and value. It’s just not great. Or particularly good. We ended up liking it.

Directed by Ben Peyser & Scott Rutherford.

Written by Andrew Knauer & Arthur Pielli.

Starring
Carlos Santos as Sergio.
J.R. Villarreal as Brad.
Fernanda Romero (3 Geezers, Drag Me To Hell) as Fernanda.
Tony Cavalero as Chuck.
Meghan Falcone as Becky.
James Babson (Hellboy, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, 1 ep of American Dad) as JW Menapace.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2272336/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Filth (2013)

Claire: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

Based on a book written by the same author as Trainspotting, “A bipolar, bigoted junkie cop manipulates and hallucinates his way through the festive season in a bid to secure promotion and win back his wife and daughter.”

Yes… That sounds awesome, but this movie is even better than it sounds.  So intense.

It was a psychological thriller of sorts, but with a heap of comedy thrown in (mostly in the first half). Almost the same type of mix as Fight Club.  This actually had multiple aspects of Fight Club (a lot) and of Dark Horse (a tiny bit; I’m only thinking of Dark Horse because I *just* watched it).

I have to say, the main character in this movie is one of the most conniving, machiavellian, and cunningly sociopathic characters that I’ve ever seen in any story anywhere.  The subtle ways he attacks his enemies (who are also often his friends) are the most subtle and effective form of passive-aggressiveness that I’ve ever seen. Psychological warfare so subtle that the person doesn’t even know it is happening to them. Ruining someone’s life just so they will have slightly less self confidence at work. So you get that promotion.

This guy is the most evil co-worker ever, without just being some generic mass murderer type. The hypocricy and two-facedness of this character is truly unparalleled. I had to stop watching movies for a few days. It was a combination of getting 5 reviews behind, and not wanting to watch another movie because I wanted more time to think about this one. It’s stuck with me for days. This guy is a tool, but an incredibly effective tool. His ruthlessness is actually something to be impressed with. His tactics should be considered. Life isn’t fair, and playing by the rules is for sheep.

This man, as evil and sociopathic as he may be — is actually a role model for anyone who has ever wanted crush their enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women. Just observing his behavior in this movie makes you realize that the scope of actions one can take in a situation is far larger than most realize. It’s almost inspiring and liberating to think that there are far more options out there than most of us would realize.

I don’t think I’d call him a role model, becuase he’s an evil fucking piece of shit… But if there were targets that actually *DESERVED* unfair treatment, his tactics would make him a role model.

This guy is no anti-hero, like, for example, Jason Statham in the Crank movies. He’s not doing wrong things for the right reason. He’s doing wrong things for the wrong reason. He’s a piece of shit, but the execution of his assholery is some of the most amazingly evil and cunning shit I’ve seen.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was an intense movie. The accents sometimes were confusing, and it was hard to keep track of what was happening, but then overall, it was an intense fucked up movie. Definitely shows a descent into madness.

Claire: More like a descent OUT of madness, actually. Like Fight Club in that sense.

By the way: 25 logos in the credits! I count this every movie, and this is one of the highest counts ever.

“We’re filth. We come from filth, we’re going to filth, we’re filth!” -The Tick:TAS

Some other discussion:

Me: I feel like I’m wearing out my welcome on hurling movie recommendations at you.. but…this was pretty entertaining.

Radha: Hated the book  :/

Me: Maybe the movie is more fun and doesn’t take as long so it has the benefits without the cost? But yea, if you hated the book…. probably no point in watching the movie. Did you read trainspotting too?

Radha: Yeah, I read Trainspotting too. I liked it more than Filth but less than the movie. I basically hate Irvine Welsh’s writing style because I hate gimmicky bullshit and I hate things written in dialect.

Me:  so, clockwork orange and watership down are out?
Y’know, i can’t speak for writing, but for movies, i love gimmicky shit.

Radha: I didn’t like the book of Clockwork Orange nearly as much as the movie, except for the violence. Which is really unusual for me because ordinarily I like books much better than movies. It’s the dialect that aggravates me. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Me: Ahahaha yes indeed. I don’t mind that so much, to me it makes it more interesting… Thus I loved having to constantly go in between the actual story and the map-preface or glossary-appendix of Lord Of The Rings when reading it…… but i can see how if that was not your thing it would be a total fucking dealbreaker. LIke, if a movie did that to me, i might be like “fuck you, movie”

Jsun: Hm. I own this book.

Me: It could also be the case that this movie is more enjoyable than the book in the same way Radha thought Trainspotting-movie was better than Trainspotting-book. I dunno.

Matt McK: i can’t recall the book too much, read it 15 years ago, but was the tapeworm in the movie much? it’s only lightly mentioned in reviews. that was the weirdest part of the book…

Tapeworm?????? In the movie Filth? Not at all that I know of?

JSun: They left out the tapeworm?!?

Radha: Half the book is written by the tapeworm growing inside the guy. How the fuck could they leave that out??

JSun: Yeah… Major plot point left out. I’m not sure about this.

Claire: That seems like it would make the movie a little more zany and less realistic, more like Naked Lunch than Fight Club?

But yea… Movies are not cookie-cutter copies of books, or else every movie based on a book would be 3-4 hrs long, like those movjes that ARE cookie-cutter copies (lord of the rings, i’m looking at you, though even they left out stuff like tom bombadil for ex)

Claire: was the tapeworm the cause of his psychosis, then? I figured it was cocaine psychosis

Radha: It’s true that movies can’t be everything books are, but this particular plot point is so major that it wouldn’t even be the same story without it.

Claire: I’m kinda fine with that?
I mean, the movie the Naked Lunch was more about the writing of the book than what was in the book (which I’m not sure could ever actually be a film). Didn’t bother me because it was still a good movie.
Now, if they released a 4-hour version that contained every plot, I’d definitely watch it!
So was the tapeworm the cause of psychosis?

Radha: i dont remember

Claire: They should add an audiocommentary track that is narrated by the tapeworm!

Written & directed by Jon S. Baird.
Based on a novel by Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting novel).

Starring James McAvoy (Charles Xavier in X-Men: First ClassTrance, Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles Of NarniaThe Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, 1 ep of Band Of Brothers) as Bruce Robertson.
Imogen Poots (Fright Night, V For Vendetta28 Weeks Later) as Amanda Drummond.
Jamie Bell (Jumper) as Ray Lennox.
Shirley Henderson (Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter movies, Bridget Jones’s Diary movies) as Bunty.
Jim Broadbent (Cloud Atlas, Harry Potter movies, InkheartHot FuzzBrazil, Time Bandits, The Lion,The Witch,And The Wardrobe, Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Crying Game, Superman 4) as Dr. Rossi.
Eddie Marsan (The World’s End, Jack The Giant SlayerSnow White And The HuntsmanHancockV For Vendetta, 21 Grams) as Bladesey.
Emun Elliott (Prometheus) as Peter Inglis.
Kate Dickie (Prometheus) as Chrissie.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1450321/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW:o How I Live Now (2013)

Claire: 2.4/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, 6.5/10 IMDB.

War sucks.
Purposefully living through it unnecessarily is stupid.
You’re stupid.

Lots of walking.
All for romance.
You’re still stupid.

Well. I thought I was liking this movie as I watched it, but in retrospect, I was just interested in what would happen next because I like end-to-end stories and never watch things in parts. Perhaps if I was the kind of person to turn a movie off mid-movie, I’d have turned this one off.

It kinda dragged on, and I lost interest somewhat–Although parts of it were exciting.

For the most part, it’s just a chance to see Saoirse Ronan with platinum blonde hair and emo-ish makeup, being a bitch, then not being a bitch.

I really didn’t like how her character changed from not wanting to be there at all–and being a bitch–to suddenly wanting to be there so much that she would do stupid fucking things like not leave a country in the middle of a fucking war. It was an almost instant transformation to retardation, and it was based on romance they barely showed or developed.

Was it because he nursed that bird back to life? Jesus fucking christ.

In the end, her personality is like Bella from Twilight: Taking ridiculous risks for a love that had yet to actually mature. At least Edward Cullen has the promise of eternal life and saving you from fucking werewolves and evil vampires and shit. What the fuck can some douchebag in the middle of a country at war do? Shortern your life? While you’re at it, why not date someone who causes you to get killed by werewolves? Stupid bitch. (I love you Saoirse!)

Carolyn’s thoughts: I agree they really glossed over her transformation from elusive bitch to “I will give up everything just to be here.” It was covered as a quick montage, which was just too rushed. Then it delves into the war stuff which just shows how much it sucks and without hope, what’s the use of going on?

Directed by Kevin Macdonald.

Written by Jeremy Brock, Tony Grisoni (Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas), and Penelope Skinner.
Based on a book by Meg Rosoff.

Starring
Saoirse Ronan (Violet & Daisy, The Host, Hanna from Hanna, Byzantium, the voice of Arriety in The Secret World of Arrietty) as Daisy.
Tom Holland (The Secret World Of Arrietty) as Isaac.
George MacKay as Eddie.
Harley Bird as Piper.
Danny McEvoy as Joe.
Anna Chancellor (St. Trinian’s (2007), The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy) as Aunt Penn.
Corey Johnson (X-Men: First Class, Kick-Ass, The Bourne Identity 2-3) as Consular Official.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1894476/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Red 2 (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.7/10 IMDB.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was on par with the first one.  Some action, some comedy, some government politics. Mary-Louise Parker‘s character grows and gains experience.

Claire’s thoughts: How do they keep making Helen Mirren look so good when she’s 68 fucking years old?  Yay Hollywood makeup artists? But anyway, I don’t remember the first movie that well. I mostly just remember how much I liked it. And I like this movie pretty much that same amount.  I think maybe this one didn’t feel as comic-book-y as the last one.  And yes, these kinds of movies are a bit formulaic.  But the fact that it stayed funny is kind of what Red movies are: Comedy-Action movies that are over-the-top and unrealistic.

Daniel Hagan’s adds: “Yeah, they’re empty calories – fun to watch but not particularly notable from a cinema viewpoint”

And since we can never get enough comedy at our house — and prefer comedy to action — it’s great to get both at once.

Plus the cast was great. Anthony Hopkins was particularly fun to watch.

Directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of The Tick live-action series).
Written by Jon Hoeber (Red 1) & Erich Hoeber (Red 1).

Starring some of the same people from the first movie:
Bruce Willis as Frank.
John Malkovich as Marvin.
Mary-Louise Parker (Nancy Botwin from Weeds, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Fried Green Tomatoes) as Sarah.
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.
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.

Plus some new people:

Anthony Hopkins (Hannibal Lecter in The Silence Of The Lambs, Odin in the Thor movies, Beowulf, Titus) as Bailey. A great performance.
Byung-hun Lee (G.I. Joe movies) as Han Cho Bai.
Catherine Zeta-Jones (The Mask Of Zorro, Ocean’s 11, Traffic, Rock Of Ages, Side Effects) as Katja.
Neal McDonough (Captain America: The First Avenger, Minority Report, 8 eps of Band Of Brothers) as Jack Horton.
David Thewlis (Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter movies, The Big Lebowski) as The Frog.
Wahab Sheikh (Trance) as Iranian Clerk.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1821694/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Last Days On Mars (2013)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

This was your VERY average VERY formulaic VERY generic run-of-the-mill rom-com. Overall it was entertaining, but it was not that wonderfully great. Jennifer Aniston was nice to look at. Ben Stiller was pretty funny, and somewhat awkward. We watched this because Philip Seymour Hoffman was in it and we decided to watch a bunch of his movies that were beneath our radar since he passed away. As a bonus: Hank Azaria, the Simpsons voice of sooo many characters. Always rare to actually see him ON screen. He always seems so delightfully miscast, but that’s really just his cartoony stage presence at work.

Directed and written by John Hamburg (director of 3 eps of Undeclared, 2 eps of Stella, writer of Meet The Parents movies, I Love You Man, Zoolander).

Ben Stiller as Reuben Feffer.
Jennifer Aniston as Polly Prince.
Alec Baldwin as Stan Indursky.
Hank Azaria as Claude.
Missi Pyle (Miss Nobody, Visioneers, Harold & Kumar 2, Pretty Ugly People, Live!, Anchorman 1, Dodgeball, Big Fish, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Percy Jackson 2, Galaxy Quest, 4 eps of The Sarah Silverman Program, 2 eps of Heroes, 2 eps of American Dad, 1 ep of Family Guy) as Roxanne.
Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Hunger Games 2, The Invention Of Lying, The Boat That Rocked aka Pirate Radio, The Big Lebowski, Magnolia, Boogie Nights, Scent Of A Woman, Twister) as Sandy Lyle.
Debra Messing (Grace from Will & Grace, 2 eps of Seinfeld) as Lisa Kramer.
Nick Jameson (President Yuri Suvarov in 24, Batman: Year One, Eurotrip, Beowulf, Extracted, The Critic, 15 eps of Spider-Man-TAS (1990s), 13 eps of Mission Hill, 6 eps of Star Wars: Clone Wars, 1 ep of Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Van Lew Executive.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1709143/combined

HAPPY NEW YEAR, FUCKERS!

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Last Days On Mars (2013)

Claire: 3.4/5 stars, 7.0/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 6.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, 5.5/10 IMDB.

Claire’s thoughts: Martian zombies oh my. This was an entertaining movie that straddled the genres of “sci-fi”, “horror”, and “zombie”.  It might have been better if they hadn’t gone the zombie/monster route, but it was interesting nonetheless.

Unfortunately, it feels more sci-fi at the beginning, and more horror at the end.  When the sci-fi decreases and the horror increases, the movie becomes less good.  Less about Mars and more about running away from monsters. Less of the rarer, more difficult, more intellectually complex genre of scifi, and more of the easier, less complex, more generic genre of horror.  I love horror-comedy and scifi-comedy, but scifi-becomes-horror is much worse.

While still a good movie, this could have reached a greater potential.

A better movie that straddles sci-fi, horror, and zombies would be Pandorum. If you are tempted to watch Last Days On Mars – I’d go watch Pandorum instead.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was alright, but it didn’t leave me feeling all that excited about it.  I give it a slightly-above-generic pass.

Directed by Ruairi Robinson.
Written by Clive Dawson.
Based on a short story by Sydney J. Bounds.

Starring
Liev Schreiber (Victor Creed in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Movie 43, Goon, The Ten, Repo Men, Salt, Kate & Leopold, Scream 2-3) as Vincent Campbell.
Elias Koteas (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, Let Me In, Defendor, Shutter Island, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Exotica, Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1 & 3) as Charles Brunel.
Romola Garai as Rebecca Lane.
Olivia Williams (Hanna, Moira MacTaggart in X-Men: The Last Stand, The Sixth Sense, 1 ep of Spaced) as Kim Aldrich.
Johnny Harris (Snow White And The Huntsman, Dorian Gray, The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus, Big) as Robert Irwin.
Goran Kostic as Marko Petrovic.
Tom Cullen as Richard Harrington.
Yusra Warsama as Lauren Dalby.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1709143/combined

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