VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Friended To Death (2014)

Clint: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 5.1/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

Clint’s thoughts: Another interesting movie about post-modern times — this time, Facebook. The Social Network was dry as hell, but very interesting. This is not dry, funny, but not as interesting.

Dude fakes his death to see who his “real” friends are. Reminds me of a guy I knew in college… He always wanted to be bad off enough to go to the hospital, so he could see who his “real” friends were by virtue of who would visit him in a hospital. Well shit… I guess I’m just a bad friend to everybody, then, because I fucking hate hospitals. Totally. But anyway… It also says a lot about social networking, how it’s a substitute for real interaction, and how a tool that should augment peoples’ social lives actually replaces their social lives.

But it’s also funny. The guy is just a prick. He’s a meter maid cop who tickets his own friends’ cars, tickets people a minute or two early, and is just generally full of himself, completely lame and uninteresting, and cringingly unaware of his own hubris. He flails about life, making poor choices… And we watch the trainwreck, and laugh.

Carolyn’s thoughts:  There wasn’t much to this movie.  It had funny moments, with a serious undertone near the end.  It was a good choice for our second movie of the night.

Sarah Smick wrote, directed and starred as Sylvie / Rhune Muhleif.
Also written by and starring Ian Michaels as Kev, the ballz deep douchebag.

Starring:
Ryan Hansen (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Superhero Movie) as Michael Harris (the main character).
James Immekus as Emile Lewis (the other guy who was fired).
Zach McGowan (Terminator Salvation) as Joel (the “best” “friend”).
Angela Bullock (2 eps of Oz, 1 ep of The Sopranos) as Charlotte Lewis, the blom.
Richard Riehle (Santa Claus in A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, Smiley Face, Extracted, The Beach Party At The Threshold Of Hell, Office Space, Hatchet, Mysterious Skin, Palindromes, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Dorm Daze 2, The Man From Earth, 4 eps of The Legend Of Korra, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Dan, the blom’s boyfriend.
Robert R. Shafer (Bob Vance in The Office, 1 ep of Malcolm In The Middle, 1 ep of Titus) as Chuck Henson, the boss.
Pancho Moler (Epic Movie) as Lance, the midget co-worker.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2298186/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: That Awkward Moment (2014)

Clint: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 6.2/10 IMDB.

I don’t know why it was so enjoyable, because it didn’t seem to be that special of a premise.  It worked as a sweet little movie.. yet we laughed HARD during it.

The “so moment” of a relationship is a good concept.

This movie really isn’t that memorable, but it was surprisingly entertaining for what it was. Perhaps because it is related to Movie 43 ever-so-slightly. Of course, most people hated Movie 43, but we loved it.

I truly don’t remember this movie two weeks later. Carolyn does. I’m bad at remembering things I watch, and waited too long to write my “review”.  Suffice to say… This is better than it sounds.
Written & Directed by Tom Gormican (co-producer of Movie 43).

Starring Zac Efron (Anakin Skywalker in Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III, 17 Again, The Lorax, High School Musical, 1 ep of Firefly) as Jason.
Miles Teller (he will be Reed Richards in a The Fantastic Four reboot that is filming right now) as Daniel.
Michael B. Jordan (he’s going to be Johnny Storm in that same Fantastic Four reboot movie that the other guy is also starring in, 2 eps of The Boondocks, 1 ep of The Sopranos) as Mikey, the black friend.
Imogen Poots (Drummond in Filth, 28 Weeks Later, V for Vendetta, Fright Night) as Ellie.
Mackenzie Davis (Smashed) as Chelsea, the wing-woman.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1800246/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Someone Marry Barry (2014)

Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

Carolyn’s thoughts:  This was entertainly funny.  Lucy Punch was great.    Richard from Silicon Valley is awkward.  Damon Wayans Jr is the son of one of the Wayans brothers [You don’t say? -Clint].  Nice!

Clint’s thoughts: Nice indeed. Wanted a comedy. Got one. A lot of social awkwardness. Barry, the token “friend lacking a filter”. Tyler Labine & Lucy Punch had great chemistry. This is one of those rare comedy movies that is mostly about a romance, but which you would not call a romantic comedy — because the comedy comes first.  Yea, it has its formulaic moments and twists, but I genuinely liked this better than most of what’s out there.

 

Written and directed by the relatively-unknown Rob Pearlstein. I’d like him to make more ones like this.

Starring:
Tyler Labine (Dale in Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil, Control Alt Delete, Rapture-Palooza, Zack And Miri Make A Porno, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, 2 eps of Dark Angel, 2 eps of The X-Files) as Barry Burke. He doesn’t fuck any computers in this movie.
Lucy Punch (The Giant Mechanical Man, Bad Teacher, Hot Fuzz, St. Trinian’s) as Melanie Miller. I wish she’d do the red hair again, but I still love her.
Damon Wayans Jr. (1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV::) as Desmond (subplot-guy who was fired & not fucking/fucking his wife).
Thomas Middleditch (Richard in Silicon Valley, 2 eps of Beavis & Butt-Head (2011), 1 ep of Ugly Americans, 1 ep of The Office, 1 ep of Newsreaders) as Kurt.
Ed Helms (Andy from The Office, The Hangover movies, The Lorax, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, 5 eps of Childrens Hospital, 3 eps of NTSF:SD:SUV, 3 eps of Arrested Development, 1 ep of Ugly Americans) as Ben, Melanie’s failed date.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1978532/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Better Living Through Chemistry (2014)

Clio: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

Clio’s thoughts:  Not quite the outright comedy I’d hoped, but definitely funny, fucked up, drug-fueled, romantic, and with some nice eye candy (Olivia Wilde). The movie is a delayed coming-of-age story for adults in the “arrested development” of being trapped in a bad life, and needing to grow out of it.

Fucked up situations all around, with drug-use ultimately driving the comedy AND the plot. And the plot drove the character development by forcing the character to grow.

For a movie that is basically “romantic comedy plus drugs”, this actually fared pretty well, and had lots of interesting aspects. No regrets watching this, even if it wasn’t great. The cast (Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Monaghan, Ray Liotta) helped make this good.  This is a really good first movie from a first-time director and writer.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was pretty quirky.  It wasn’t as funny as we were hoping, but it was enjoyable.  It really shows how life can get out of control pretty fast.

Written & directed by Geoff Moore & David Posamentier.

Sam Rockwell (Zaphod Beeblebrox in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (2005), Iron Man 2, Galaxy Quest, Seven Psychopaths, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1, A Case Of You, Heist) as Doug Varney.
Olivia Wilde (Tron 2, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Change-Up, Drinking Buddies, Year One, 1 ep of Tron: Uprising, 1 ep of Portlandia, 1 ep of American Dad) as Elizabeth Roberts.
Michelle Monaghan (Justice League: War, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Bourne Supremacy, Constantine, Mission Impossible 3, 1 ep of American Dad) as Kara Varney.
Jane Fonda as Jane Fonda.
Ray Liotta (Observe & Report, The Details, Youth In Revolt, Hannibal, Good Fellas, La Linea, 1 ep of Family Guy, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV::) as Jack Roberts.
Norbert Leo Butz (Dan In Real Life) as Agent Andrew Carp.
Ben Schwartz (Mystery Team, 3 eps of Starveillance, 2 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Arrested Development, 1 ep of Tron: Uprising) as Noah.
Ken Howard (A.C.O.D., 13 eps of Dynasty, 2 eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Batman-TAS, 1 ep of The Office) as Walter Bishop.
Jenn Harris (A Case Of You) as Janet.
Harrison Holzer as Ethan Varney.
Peter Jacobson (Transformers movie, 2 eps of Hope & Faith) as Dr. Roth.
Sonnie Brown (Don Jon) as Principal Song-Carmichael.
Ken Arnold (Men In Black 3, uncredited in Cecil B. DeMented) as Ed.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1609479/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Lust For Love (2014)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 5.8/10 IMDB. Not (yet?) available on Netflix.

Claire’s thoughts: VERY predictable romantic comedy. I mean, the ending may as well be telegraphed 10% of the way through, and I’ve seen this main plot 100 times. If you get more specific, I’ve seen this specific plot about 4 times too.

Of course, it’s still interesting to see the specifics on how things play out.  Is this what it’s like watching sports games?  The same things happen every game, but the specific details are what is interesting. Is that true? I don’t know, I’m not into sports.

So yes. I could describe this as “another rom-com about a guy who is trying to learn how to pick up chicks”, like The Long Weekend, or (to some extent) How To Stop Being A Loser. Fun, but utterly vapid and valueless.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was a pathetic attempt at a movie.  It was just highly unremarkable.  Like Claire said, it was very predictable, and it just didn’t hold any merit.

Yet somehow Carolyn still rated it 2.6 stars, which rounds up to 3 stars (“Liked”). In other words, she still barely likes pathetic attempts at movies. It’s a good thing we generally enjoy movies… Or we’d watch a lot less of them ;)

Written & directed by Anton King.

Starring Fran Kranz (The Cabin In The Woods, Fanboy, The Village) as Astor.
Dichen Lachman as Cali.
Beau Garrett (Tron 2, Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, Live!, 1 ep of Warren The Ape) as Mila.
Enver Gjokaj (Would You Rather, The Avengers, 1 ep of The Walking Dead) as Jake.
Karim Saleh (Iron Man 2) as Franck.
Felicia Day (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, The Guild, 8 eps of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, 2 eps of Undeclared) as Mary.
Maurissa Tancharoen (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Hazel.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2106529/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Back In The Day (2014)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 4.9/10 IMDB.

A chance to see the yester-stars of TV shows old, namely the “companion” from Firefly’s (Baccarin), and Lex Luther from Smallville (Rosembaum). But in a comedy!

This movie was kind of similar to Grown Ups, where a guy who had moved to Hollywood comes back to his childhood home to hang out with his old friends.  This wasn’t as funny, though.  It had its moments, and it held up enough, but it wasn’t groundbreaking.

There’s no IMDB trivia to explain that this was based on Michael Rosenbaum’s actual childhood friends, but Michael Rosenbaum’s IMDB trivia does mention that he goes back to Indianopolis every year to participate in a whiffleball tournament with his high school friends, and the ending of the movie seems to act like these characters were based on real people.

Anyway, this is a nostalgic movie that meanders all over the place. It’s not that great, other than being a comedy, and comedies are cool. It does have a romantic angle, but it’s still a straight comedy. Romance doesn’t take over the feel of the movie, though it does run the plot at points. But the jokes continue.  They’re not *super*, but they’re still funny.

The movie isn’t very memorable, but when I reviewed it a 2nd time, it was funnier than I had remembered, so there’s that.

Written, directed, and starring Michael Rosenbaum.

Morena Baccarin (the new V series, Firefly, 3 eps of Justice League, 1 ep of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Lori.
Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor in Smallville, The Flash in Justice League, Urban Legend, 12 eps of The Zeta Project, 11 eps of Jackie Chan Adventures, 6 eps of Batman Beyond, 1 ep of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Jim Owens.
Nick Swardson (Grandma’s Boy, Grown Ups 2, You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, The House Bunny, Blades Of Glory, Click) as Ron Freeman.
Harland Williams (Buckley in Slacker Cats, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto, Wag The Dog, Dumb & Dumber, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Skunk.
Jay R. Ferguson (1 ep of Weeds) as Mark.
Isaiah Mustafa (The Three Stooges) as T.
Emma Caulfield (Buffy The Vampire Slayer series, TiMER, Beverly Hills 90210, 3 eps of Robot Chicken) as Molly.
Richard Marx as Neighbor. Really? Didn’t notice that.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2246887/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Vampire Academy (2014)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 7.1/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 5.8/10 IMDB.

No specific complaints…But it could have been better. Daniel Waters wrote the movie, and he wrote Heathers and Sex And Death 101 — two movies I rate about a 10/10. Not to mention Demolition Man, Happy Campers, The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane, and even Hudson Hawk. All decent movies. But Heathers & Sex And Death 101 were great. I think I set my expectations a bit high for this one. It’s a movie based on a teenage vampire novel. Certainly not Twilight, but it’s also not going to be Heathers.

They tried to set themselves up for a sequel…. But it just seems kind of ambitious, all things considered. This just wasn’t nearly as good as it could be. Maybe if they make more movies like this, it will become a more coherent story; but maybe this is just Daniel Waters selling out?

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was alright, but it didn’t seem that spectacular.

Directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls, Freaky Friday (2003), The Spiderwick Chronicles).
Written by Daniel Waters (Heathers, Sex And Death 101, Hudson Hawk, Batman Returns, Demolition Man, Happy Campers, The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane).
Based on a book by Richelle Mead.

 

Starring Zoey Deutch (Beautiful Creatures) as Rose Hathaway.
Lucy Fry as Lissa Dragomir.
Danila Kozlovsky as Dimitri Belikov, Rose’s crush.
Joely Richardson (Julia McNamara from Nip/Tuck, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)) as Queen Tatiana. Totally didn’t realize that.
Gabriel Byrne (Ghost Ship, Miller’s Crossing) as Victor Dashkov, Natalie’s father.
Dominic Sherwood as Christian Ozera, the guy who’s parents turned evil.
Olga Kurylenko (Seven Psychopaths) as Headmistress Kirova.
Sarah Hyland (Modern Family, Scary Movie 5, Robot Chicken DC Comics Special 2, The Object Of My Affection, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Natalie, the loser.
Claire Foy (Adora Belle in Going Postal) as Ms. Karp, the crazy teacher who turned evil.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1686821/combined

POLITICS: The Top 25 Most Censored Stories of 2013-2014

The single most important link for you to read this year.

The single most informative link for the year of 2014 in terms of telling you news you SHOULD know, but don’t.

I was surprised by some of this, actually.

LINK URL: http://www.projectcensored.org/category/top-25-censored-stories-of-2014/