VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Fun With Dick And Jane (2005)

Claire: 4.7/5 stars, 8.8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 6.1/10 IMDB.

Judd Apatow wrote this remake of the 1977 movie based on a book by Gerald Gaiser.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was hilarious.  This didn’t disappoint.  It was funny all the way through, and it had a good political message.

Claire’s thoughts: I didn’t realize the political message was so pointed as it was until they named a bunch of CEOs at the beginning of the film’s closing credits. Named them for screwing people over. So this movie has a whole political message about the way the 1%er CEOs will fuck over the lives of thousands of people just to have more money on their Scrooge McDuck-esque pile of gold.

So it would have had political value even without being a comedy! But in fact, the comedy is the main point to this movie, not the politics. And it’s pretty funny. I didn’t quite get as much out of it as Carolyn did, however. I knew that since this was billed as “Comedy-Crime”, that there would be some intrigue that would take up space otherwise used for laughs. But there were still lots of laughs. This turned out better than I expected.

ONE MORE THING: http://icantcalmdown.ytmnd.com

Directed by Dean Parisot (Red 2, Galaxy Quest, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of The Tick live action series).
Written by Judd Apatow (This Is 40, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Undeclared, Funny People, Pineapple Express, You Don’t Mess With The Zohan), and Nicholas Stoller (Get Him To The Greek, 3 eps of Undeclared).

Jim Carrey as Dick Harper.
Téa Leoni (The Naked Truth, A League Of Their Own, Deep Impact) as Jane Harper.
Alec Baldwin as Jack McCallister.
Richard Jenkins (the dead dad from Six Feet Under, The Cabin In The Woods, Let Me In, The Broken, How I Got Into College, Wolf, Me,Myself & Irene, Step Brothers, Turbo, A.C.O.D., Stealing Home) as Frank Bascombe.
Angie Harmon (Barbara Gordon in Batman Beyond) as Veronica Cleeman.
John Michael Higgins (The Legend Of Korra, Mentok The Mindtaker in Harvey Birdman, Rapture-Palooza, Evan Almighty, 5 eps of Arrested Development, 2 eps of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Garth.
Richard Burgi (Hostel 2, Starship Troopers 2, 11 eps of 24, 1 ep of Firefly, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck) as Joe Cleeman.
Gloria Garayua (2 eps of Weeds, 1 ep of Six Feet Under) as Blanca.
Dempsey Pappion (The Lorax, 6 eps of Undressed) as Production Assistant.
Gavin Grazer (Slipstream, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Wayne’s World 2) as KostMart Job Applicant.
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass movies, Uncle Buck) as Ameribanx Bank Manager.
Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, In A World, Safety Not Guaranteed, Toy Story Movies, Wall-E, Run Ronnie Run, MADtv) as interviewer.
Laurie Metcalf (Jackie in Roseanne, God The Devil And Bob, Andy’s mom in the Toy Story movies, Uncle Buck, 3 eps of 3rd Rock From The Sun, 2 eps of Duckman, 1 ep of Malcolm In The Middle) as Jane’s Boss Phyllis (uncredited).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0369441/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: It’s Complicated (2009)

Claire: 4.2/5 stars, 8.2/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.5/10 IMDB.

A romantic comedy, but in this case the emphasis is on the romance: It’s a Romance-Comedy not a Comedy-Romance.

And yet, for some reason I could stand it. It was done very well. Streep and Baldwin had excellent chemistry, which drove a lot of the movie. That alone was surprising (the Baldwin part, not the Streep part). But there was also chemistry between Streep and the “dork horse” suitor played by Steve Martin.

Claire was rooting for Alec Baldwin; Carolyn was rooting for Steve Martin. They kept you guessing until the very, very, very end as to how things resolve. Seriously… You think it’s resolved, and then it’s not… And then you do, and then it’s not. This actually kept things suspenseful.

This was a chick flick, but it was done extremely well compared to the average rom-com.

…And yet there was still comedy. A fair amount of marijuana comedy, and some additional comic relief from John Krasinski (Jim from The Office).  And it didn’t stop mid-movie like with most rom-coms and their goddamn fucking Turning Point(tm). It went pretty consistently. If anything, there was possibly more comedy in the 2nd half than in the 1st half.

So yeah. I don’t go out looking for rom-coms to watch, but I do prefer comedy to all other genres, so I do end up watching these a lot simply to have something funny to watch. And in this case, it exceeded my expectations by actually being pretty good.

Written & directed by Nancy Meyers (wrote Father Of The Bride, Baby Boom, directed What Women Want, wrote & directed The Parent Trap).

Starring Meryl Streep as Jane Adler.
Steve Martin as Adam Schaffer.
Alec Baldwin as Jake Adler.
John Krasinski (Jim from The Office, Smiley Face, Shrek 3, 1 ep of Arrested Development) as Harley.
Lake Bell (Cat from Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of Newsreaders, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Tron: Uprising) as Agness Adler.
Hunter Parrish (Silas from Weeds, 17 Again, 1 ep of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Luke Adler.
Mary Kay Place (Smashed, Youth In Revolt, Being John Malkovich, 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 Joanne.
Rita Wilson (Sleepless In Seattle, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Frasier) as Trisha.
Alexandra Wentworth (Office Space, 1 ep of Seinfeld) as Diane.
Nora Dunn (Pineapple Express, Bruce Almighty, Zoolander) as Sally.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1230414/combined

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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