VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Peeples (2013)

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

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

Written & directed by Tina Gordon Chism.

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

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

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Robot & Frank (2012)

Clio: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 7.1/10 IMDB. [Odd–It’s rare that we rate lower than the general public…]

A major component in me wanting to see this movie was the technological interest. But obviously I knew it wasn’t going to be about the robot’s technology. The robot is practically a MacGuffin. It’s really about the human. It’s really about us: This movie is about how the people of the future–us–will interact with the A.I.-driven, seemingly-sentient future robots that will be taking care of us when we get old.

IMDB says it was a comedy, but it was more of a drama with an interesting premise. On the surface, a retired cat burglar’s kids become concerned about his deteriorating mental health, so the son purchases a robot caretaker for the father. Robo-friendship ensues. But can you really be friends with a robot? The robot actually has some very profound things to say, and exhibits a duality: Does it have a soul of sorts, or is it truly a mindless automaton? Determinism vs free will? Yea, some.

Some people have problems with this movie’s minor flaws. Some people think it’s brilliant and beautiful. Carolyn & I were somewhere in between.

With Frank Langella (Superman Returns), Jeremy Sisto (Billy from Six Feet Under), Susan Sarandon (Janet from Rocky Horror, and it was a coincidence that Brad was in another movie we watched this week…), James Marsden (Superman Returns, Scott Summers from the X-Men movies), Liv Tyler (as the daughter), and Peter Sarsgaard (Green Lantern (2011), Knight And Day, The Salton Sea) as the voice of the robot.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1990314/combined