VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: 3 Geezers! (2013)

Claire: 2.8/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Native ratings: 2.5/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

This seemed like it could have had potential, and it started out interesting enough being a mockumentary about old people….Old people are very overlooked in comedy, and show business in general, so it offered some less-common situations to form the foundation of various jokes. But, like most mockumentaries that seem to be improvised a lot, it seemed to lose its focus and got a bit scattered and all over the place… and a lot of the jokes fell flat on their face… which maybe could have been like, “Yeah, they’re old people and their jokes sometimes aren’t funny.”, but that’s a lame excuse.  It just seemed to be missing something…

Still a decent amount of laughs, though. The homage to the masturbation scene in Fast Times At Ridgmont High was pretty funny with a 70-year-old sex addict.

Directed by Michelle Schumacher (9 eps of Oz is pretty much the only thing she’s done, this is the only movie she’s directed).  Written by Randle Schumacher and Eric Radzan.

J.K. Simmons (Oz, Tenzin in Legend Of Korra; J. Jonah Jameson in the Spiderman movies, Hulk And The Agents Of S.M.A.S.H., Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Ultimate Spider-Man, and 2 eps of The Simpsons; Juno; I Love You, Man; Jennifer’s Body; 4 eps of The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack) as J Kimball.
Basil Hoffman (he’s been in 1 or 2 eps of a bunch of things including Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Too Close For Comfort, Night Court, CHiPs, Dynasty, Gimme A Break) as Victor, the main old man.
Breckin Meyer (Robot Chicken, Joseph Gribble in King Of The Hill, Titan Maximum, Road Trip, 54, uncredited in Can’t Hardly Wait) as Breckin.
Tim Allen as Tim.
Scott Caan (Ocean’s Eleven movies, Nowhere, Bongwater) as Scott.
Kevin Pollak (1 ep of Childrens Hospital, Wayne’s World 2, A Few Good Men, Willow) as Kevin (Christopher Walken impersonation).
Randy Couture (did stunts in 2 eps of Oz) as Randy.
Sam Raimi as Director.
Lou Beatty Jr. (Van Wilder, Fight Club, Fast & Furious) as Bernard.
Mike O’Malley (28 Days, Deep Impact, 3 eps of Baby Blues) as Mike.
Beverly Polcyn (Not Another Teen Movie, uncredited in Legally Blonde, 1 ep of Malcolm In The Middle) as Ruth, the slutty old lady.
Tony Cummings (8 eps of Another World, 8 eps of Santa Barbara) as Greg.
Pamela Dunlap (1 ep of Frasier, 1 ep of Mad About You) as Mary, the heavier old lady.
Ruth Williamson (6 eps of Nip/Tuck, Psycho Beach Party, the Scotsman’s wife in Samurai Jack, Legally Blonde 2) as Art Instructor.
Courtenay Taylor (Rubber, 14 eps of Regular Show, a bunch of video games) as Lisa, J.’s wife.

Homage to Fast Times At Ridgemont High:

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1825784/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Colony (2013)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Evan: 3/5 stars, 6.5/10.
Native ratings: 5.2/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

This was OK, but it could have been better. It started off really strong, and then had a tipping point where you realized it was Just Another Movie(tm).

The ending in particular seemed rushed.  It would have been a sensible ending from a trilogy, and indeed, a trilogy could redeem this… But who would watch it? This just wasn’t that strong.  Maybe if it was longer, they could have fleshed it out more…But as it was, it took forever to build up the scenario, and then it was a really quick gorefest at the end, and then a lack of a real resolution after that.

It leaves you wanting. In a bad way. The ending is 2/5 stars, 3/10. The first third or so of the movie is 4.4/5 stars, 8.6/10. It’s all over the place. It ends up just being Just Another Movie(tm).

Evan adds: I’ve since watched the other movie I was talking about (The Divide from 2011) and it’s much better. Still not great, but definitely better acting, far less stereotyping, and no explicit gore but much darker themes. I would rate 3.5/7.4 only because they completely forget about some things after they are used as a plot device.

Also while I was in movie mode, I watched another movie with a similar premise and a younger Saorise Ronan (from The Host) called City of Ember. This was my favorite of the three, possibly because it was not a horror like the others. This one I would go as high as 4/5, 8.5/10 for it’s good flow, nice characters (has Bill Murray even), fairly well done post-apocalyptic theme.

The others are def worth the watch if you get around to it.

Directed by Jeff Renfroe. Written by Jeff Renfroe, Svet Rouskov, Patrick Tarr, Pascal Trottier.

Starring Kevin Zegers (Frozen, Dawn Of The Dead, Wrong Turn, In The Mouth Of Madness, 1 ep of Smallville) as Sam.
Laurence Fishburne (Morpheus in The Matrix movies, Silver Surfer in Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, Contagion, Mission Impossible 3, Mystic River, Apocalypse Now) as Briggs.
Bill Paxton (Titanic, Twister, Apollo 13, Stripes, 1 ep of Frasier) as Mason (the douchebag).
Charlotte Sullivan (2 eps of Puppets Who Kill, 1 ep of Smallville) as Kai.
Dru Viergever (Saw 8) as Feral Leader.
Atticus Dean Mitchell (26 eps of My Baby’s A Vampire) as Graydon.
John Tench (2 eps of Friday The 13th: The Series, 1 ep of X-Files) as Viktor.
Lisa Berry (Antiviral, Saw 5) as Nara.
Kimberly-Sue Murray (Mirror Mirror) as Janelle.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1160996/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Oblivion (2013)

Claire: 4.6/5 stars, 8.8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native rating: 7.1/10 IMDB. Don’t see this on Netflix for some reason.

This had a little bit of everything – mankind moving off planet because the planet is inhabitable, Matrixy aspects, “Go out into the radiation zone to find out the truth”, romance, science, plot twists, a long story with several arcs.

Everything comes together, and it was really well-done.  Well worth the 2 hours to fit it all in.

Granted, I did say “I bet there is a twist, and it is either W, X, Y, or Z”, and it was one of the ones I thought… And that is slight points against. But still… This was very, very, very interesting and entertaining.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy, he wrote the Oblivion graphic novel orignal story).  Written by Karl Gajdusek and Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Brave).

Starring Tom Cruise as Jack. Morgan Freeman as Beech.
Olga Kurylenko (Seven Psychopaths) as Julia.
Andrea Riseborough as Victoria.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Sykes.
Melissa Leo (Patch, 21 Grams, 3 eps of The L Word) as Sally, Mission Control
Zoe Bell (Django Unchained, Gamer, Grindhouse) as Kara.
Jaylen Moore (The Host) as Radio Operator (uncredited).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1483013/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: My Little Pony: Equestria Girls (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10. “I am a chick and I like cartoons, so I am allowed to love My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.” (Notice how she leaves me in the lurch there?)
Jesse: 3/5 stars, 7/10. “OK, I actually enjoyed that. It was actually constructed in such a way as to be philosophically relevant.”
Native ratings: 4.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

My Little Pony:Friendship Is Magic decided to make a movie about Twilight Sparkle becoming human in a parallel pony world. This actually happened specifically because of bronies, yet they were the ones who backlashed the hardest. Bronies be like, “WTF is this shit!?”, and other bronies be like, “Calm down, maybe it won’t be that bad….” and “Trust the writers…” We were somewhat skeptical ourselves.

Then it comes out, and brace yourself…memes are coming! So many unending memes. We finally got to see it, so now the madness will make sense again. Plus we wanted to be caught up on everything prior to attending Bronycon 2013 (with 8407 other bronies).

Anyway, it was pretty entertaining. I didn’t like how the fighting scenes basically had no fighting in them, relying on deus ex machina tropes to resolve things. I didn’t like how super-convenient the plot was with these kinds of things. But I also accept that this was supposed to be a warm piece about friendship and magic, and that if I’d wanted long and gratuitous fight scenes, I should be watching one of the many animated superhero cartoons I regularly watch. It was a neat exploration of “what if non-human characters became human”, a trope that every non-human animated series should explore for at least one episode. Only this time, we got a whole movie out of it.

Carolyn: It turned out that it wasn’t so bad. It was actually pretty fun. I really enjoyed it.

Directed by Jayson Thiessen.

With the standard My Little Pony crew:

Written by Meghan McCarthy.
Starring Tara Strong (Bubbles from Powerpuff Girls, Toot in Drawn Together, Mary Jane Watson in Ultimate Spider-Man, Sym-Bionic Titan, Wolverine And The X-Men, 20 eps of Family Guy, 4 eps of Clerks-TAS, 4 eps of Gravity Falls) as Twilight Sparkle.
Ashleigh Ball (Allura in Voltron Force, Iron Man: Armored Adventures) as Applejack / Rainbow Dash.
Andrea Libman (1 ep of X-Men: Evolution, a bunch of My Little Pony and Care-Bear stuff) as Pinkie Pie / Fluttershy.
Tabitha St. Germain (12 eps of Aaagh! It’s the Mr. Hell Show!, Olive Oyl in Popeye‘s Voyage: The Quest For Pappy, 7 eps of Iron Man: Armored Adventures, 5 eps of Voltron Force, 8 eps of DragonBall Z, The Legend of Zelda-TAS, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, ALF-TAS, 1 ep of X-Men: Evolution, other My Little Pony stuff) as Rarity / Princess Luna / Vice Principal Luna / Cup Cake.
Cathy Weseluck (Thor: Tales of Asgard, 2 eps of X-Men: Evolution, DragonBall Z, 1 ep of Aaagh! It’s the Mr. Hell Show!) as Spike.
Rebecca Shoichet (3 eps of Iron Man: Armored Adventures) as Sunset Shimmer / Twilight Sparkle – singing.
Lee Tockar (3 eps of Iron Man: Armored Adventures, 3 eps of Beast Wars, 2 eps of X-Men: Evolution, 1 ep of Wonder Showzen, 1 ep of 2 Stupid Dogs) as Snips.
Nicole Oliver (9 eps of X-Men: Evolution, 9 eps of Aaagh! It’s the Mr. Hell Show!, The Vision of Escaflowne) as Princess Celestia / Principal Celestia / Cheerilee.
Vincent Tong (Daniel in Voltron Force, Iron Man: Armored Adventures) as Flash Sentry.
Britt McKillip (other My Little Pony stuff) as Princess Cadance.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2908228/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Superman: Unbound (2013)

Claire: 4.4/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.4/10 IMDB.

This one was still good, but it didn’t seem as good as the last movies. This wasn’t Bruce Timm’s work.

But it’s still pretty damn good, because we love us some superhero cartoons! Especially ones not made for TV.

That being said… How many times do we have to watch Superman fight off Braniac? It seems to have happened like 5 times now. I’m getting a bit tired of it.

This was still pretty solid, though.

Directed by James Tucker (5 eps of Batman Beyond, 5 eps of Static Shock, 4 eps of Legion Of Super Heroes).
Written by Bob Goodman (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns 1&2, 51 eps of Batman Beyond, 51 eps of Superman, 2 eps of The Batman, 4 eps of Justice League, 8 eps of The Zeta Project)

Matt Bomer (In Time) as Superman / Clark Kent.
Stana Katic (3 eps of 24, 2 eps of Heroes) as Lois Lane.
John Noble (The Dragon Spirit in The Last Airbender movie, 100 eps of Fringe, 3 eps of Transformers Prime, 3 eps of 24) as Brainiac.
Molly C. Quinn (105 eps of Castle, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) as Supergirl / Kara Zor-El.
Diedrich Bader (Batman in Batman: The Brave And The Bold, Guy Gardner in The Green Lantern-TAS, Kraven The Hunter in Ultimate Spider-Man, 2 eps of Gravity Falls, 3 eps of King Of The Hill) as Steve Lombard.
Jason Beghe (X-Men: First Class, Thelma & Louise, Maid To Order) as Terrorist Leader.
Frances Conroy (the mom from Six Feet Under, The Wicker Man remake) as Ma Kent.
Melissa Disney (Blade in Batman Beyond) as Thara.
Alexander Gould (Shane Botwin from Weeds, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Jimmy Olsen.
Sirena Irwin (Persephone in Striperella, 3 eps of Adventure Time, 80 eps of Spongebob Squarepants, 3 eps of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Alura.
Andrea Romano (voice actress casting director) as News Anchor #2 / Superman‘s Ship.
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, 4 eps of Gravity Falls, 2 eps of The Legend Of Korra, 1 ep of the new Thundercats) as Zor-El.
Wade Williams (Harvey Dent in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1, Black Mask in Batman: Under The Red Hood, The Dark Knight Rises) as Perry White.
Michael-Leon Wooley (Twayne Boneraper in Ugly Americans, 2 eps of Batman: The Brave And The Bold, 1 ep of Delocated) as Ron Troupe.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2617456/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Vampires Anonymous (2003)

Claire: 2.8/5 stars, 5.8/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Native ratings: 2.8/5 stars Netflix, 5.1/10 IMDB.

A vampire joins a 12-step program to stop drinking human blood (and use animal blood instead). Good premise…though tainted by the Twilight stigma.

Anyway, this was pretty generic. The one thing it had going for it was that it was a comedy. However, it was only OK, and not that good.
It was somewhat funny, but not that much.
The romance angle of the romantic comedy grew to overtake the comedy, like with most romantic comedies. That’s bad.
But not quite as much as the average rom-com; That’s good.
It wasn’t even widescreen, it was fullscreen!
Lots of booms! The most booms I’ve ever seen in a movie. Also the furthest into the screen I’ve ever seen a boom go in any movie.
Some bad editing.
Bad filmstock.
Sometimes unbelievable plot — even for a movie about vampires.
Still…. It did have laughs. A vampire-loving comedy-completist might want to check this out.

Directed by Michael Keller (he directed some 4 “Expert Insight” things, whatever those are…), written by J.P. Srinivasan (the only thing he’s written) and Michael Keller.

Paul Popowich (1 ep of Dark Angel) as Vic Weller.
Michael Madsen (Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs, Scary Movie 4, Kill Bill: Vol 1, Not Another Not Another Movie, 4 eps of 24, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers) as Geno.
Nicole Forester (298 eps of Guiding Light, Jack Reacher (action movie like Parker that we haven’t seen)) as Maggie Miller, the love interest.
Judith Scott (1 ep of Frasier, 1 ep of 24) as Christine, the VA moderator.
Carolyn Lawrence (Orel in Moral Orel, Spongebob Squarepants, Resident Evil, 1 ep of Caroline In The City) as Penelope. She must have been the blonde chick from the VA group.
Michelle Stafford (1468 eps of The Young & Restless, and she plays *THAT SAME CHARACTER* from Young & Restless in the movie Parker [WTF]) as Taffeta Munro, the vampire slayer.
John Boyd West (21 Grams) as Jimmy.

So yes. There are 2 women in this movie who were in hundreds of episodes of soaps, and then one 2013 action movie each: Parker and Jack Reacher. What The Fuck.

Another, personal coincidence: The night we watched this movie, Carolyn was reading her book (Discworld#24: The Fifth Elephant) and there was a reformed Vampire who talked about how she was addicted to blood and how she only drank animal blood now. Hmm, from the imdb message boards: “I haven’t seen the film but it sounds exactly like the vampire in Terry Pratchett‘s Discworld novel ‘The Truth’.” Carolyn hasn’t read that one yet. Oh, that is #25, so that will be the next one she reads. Go figure. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0197996/board/flat/4225539

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0197996/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Upstream Color (2013)

Clio: 1.4/5 stars, 3.6/10.
Carolyn: 1.6/5 stars, 4/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 6.8/10 IMDB.

Written, directed, and starring Shane Carruth, the brilliant director of Primer. And that’s why we watched this.

And damn, what a shock. Primer may be the most confusing time-travel movie of all time, but this movie is way less coherent, and way more confusing!

I sum it up as: “That movie was awful and I have no idea what it was really about.” Carolyn agrees.

Basically, this movie jumps between 4 different substories a LOT. It’s similar to Cloud Atlas in that style, except lacking the coherence of Cloud Atlas (which continually jumped between 6 different stories in 6 different time periods).

It’s actually somewhat skillfully crafted. This image illustrates the concepts in this movie, and how the scenes fed into each other. And in retrospect, it all makes sense: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30585110@N04/8700138325/in/photostream/

…But when it’s so obtuse that the two of us couldn’t even piece that together… That makes it less enjoyable. Carolyn pieced together maybe 25% of it, but Clio pieced together close to 0% of it.

It helps if you are aware of worm charming (wiki that). I wasn’t.

Carolyn’s thoughts:

This movie was pretty bad. It did not compare to Primer. It started out interesting enough, but it got confusing pretty quick. Halfway through, we almost aborted, but then it seemed to get more interesting (with the shared memories between the two characters.) So we kept going, and then it STILL didn’t get good. Eventually, we put it at 1.5X, then 2.0X speed, and we didn’t feel like we missed much by speeding through the ending. IT WAS STILL SLOW, even at double-speed. Unsatisfyingly slow. It just left me unsatisfied.

Clio sent me this this morning: http://briansfinas.com/review-of-shane-carruths-upstream-color/ That review says I’m too dumb to enjoy this movie. Thanks, reviewer, that makes me feel wonderful. Anyway, based on those 2 paragraphs of summary of what happened, I had gotten all that, but there are pieces in between that are still missing.

It didn’t make any sense to me how they were able to find the pig guy so they can free the pigs. (This review says they were able to track him down because they were listening to his music…. That still doesn’t make sense to me.) I mean, it didn’t make any sense how she even went to the pig guy to have the worm extracted in the first place… it was just so confusing, drawn out… there were interesting moments (such as the shared childhood memories), but nothing really solid that this movie could stand on.

Also, I guess you don’t need real actors when there is hardly any dialogue.

Written & directed by Shane Carruth (Primer)

Starring Amy Seimetz (she’s in a lot of stuff, but we’ve only seen Wristcutters: A Love Story) as Kris.
Shane Carruth (the writer & director, and Aaron in Primer) as Jeff.
Andrew Sensenig (also in a bunch of stuff we haven’t seen) as The Sampler.
Thiago Martins (some nobody who has only been in 2 movies (including this one) and 1 ep of a TV show) as Thief.
Kathy Carruth (a caterer for the movie Primer, and other than that, this and Primer are her only movies. And she did craft service in this movie) as Orchid Mother.
Meredith Burke (she’s a co-producer in 3 movies, and this is her only acting gig) as Orchid Daughter.
Andreon Watson (absolutely nothing except for this movie) as Peter.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2084989/combined