VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Violet & Daisy (2011)

Claire: 3.6/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Native ratings: 6.2/10 IMDB. Doesn’t seem to be on Netflix.

This was interesting and somewhat quirky black comedy about a pair of female underage BFF assassins. However, one is very alpha, while the other (Saoirse Ronan) sort of follows along. There are interesting dynamics between them, and things only get more interesting when they are awarded what turns out to be the most challenging hit of their careers. And not at all for the reasons you would think. Not at all.

It wasn’t that action-packed, but then again, it wasn’t an action movie. It kind of meandered a bit with the cryptic dream sequences, but for once, such an endeavor did not detract from the story. They were short, they were over, and they could be ignored if you chose to.

Watch this for one of James Gandolfini’s last performances before his death. He’s quite a different character from Tony Soprano here.  But also watch this if you are a Saoirse (“Seer-sha”) Ronan fan. That girl keeps growing on us. She’s only 19-20 and we’ve already seen 5 of her movies now.

This has a sort of indie feel to it, in that the plot isn’t as realistic, and the ending/meaning is slightly pretentious. I’m okay with that. We were entertained, and it was interesting, as well as having a lot of laughs. It earns the “comedy” in “action-comedy-crime-drama-thriller”, and comedy deserves to be the 2nd genre mentioned there. Though the comedy does thin out a bit near the end.

Written & directed by Geoffrey Fletcher.

Saoirse Ronan (The Host, Hanna, Byzantium, the voice of Arriety in The Secret World of Arrietty) as Daisy.
Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls) as Violet.
Danny Trejo (Breaking Bad, Predators, Harold & Kumar 3, 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 Russ. He gets around!
Marianne Jean-Baptiste (The Cell) as Iris.
James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano in The Sopranos, Where The Wild Things Are, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Get Shorty) as Michael.
John Ventimiglia (Artie Bucco in The Sopranos) as Man #1. Claire recognized him immediately from Sopranos.


Clio: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.

Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.

Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 6.4/10 IMDB. (20% of people give this 9-10/10, 30% give it 8-10/10.)

HOLY SHIT this movie had me hooked with the similarities to my own life — the raccoons, building an addition to a house. Literally — we talked about what it would be like to build another addition AND looked up Denis Haysbert on IMDB, then pressed play on this movie, where they proceded to put Dennis Haysbert’s name on the screen and then talk about building an addition!

But then the black comedy. So black. So comedic. A lot of black comedies are just “bad things happening, and it’s kind of ironic”, but this was one that still managed laugh-out-loud laughs 90% of the way through the movie, AND was so incredibly dark and messed up that we were both going, “Oh nooo. WTF! This. Is. Messed. UP!”

There was at least one point where I was simultaneously laughing out loud while having my tear ducts almost completely full from how messed up the situation was. But the funny stuff never stops either.

I think this is about as perfect as a black comedy can get. Absurd, dark, awkward, sexual, subversive, morally ambigous, a constantly surprising rollercoaster keeping you guessing up until the last second.

Some people are comparing the tone (but not the story) to American Beauty. I think it is more fun than American Beauty, and just as dark. I highly recommend this movie.

Written & Directed by relative newcomer Jacob Aaron Estes. He may be nobody, but the cast had some big names in it:

Starring Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man, Pleasantville, Wonder Boys) as Jeff Lang, and 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) as his wife.
Hot chick #1 is Kerry Washington (Django Unchained, Fantastic Four, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Black Panther:TAS) as Rebecca Mazzoni, and Ray Liotta (Date Night, Youth In Revolt, Observe And Report) as her husband.
Laura Linney (Truman Show, Kinsey, Mothman Prophecies) as crazy cat lady Lila.
Dennis Haysbert as Lincoln (President David Palmer from 24, Wreck-It Ralph, Kung Fu Panda, Kilowog in Justice League:TAS[1990s], The Thirteenth Floor, and strangely — 1 ep of Duckman, as Cornfed’s singing voice [wut]).

12 logos!


VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Siblings (2004)

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

This was an interesting Christmas choice! A completely subversive christmas message counter to all the bullshit family movies that are usually forced down our throat this time of year.

This is one you want me to spoil the premise of, beucase you’ve never heard of it, it’s not on Netflix, and you likely will never watch it anyway.  And I think the spoiler is in the actual 1-line IMDB summary.  I.E. You’re supposed to know what happens before going on. So here we go.

This is a movie about 4 siblings whose cool grandfather dies, so they kill their FUCKING ASSHOLE parents. Seriously… Their parents are just awful. Incredibly awful. In every imaginable possible way. They don’t dwell on the awfulness too much: Just enough to establish that each parent is a total piece of shit to at least 2 of the 4 kids.  Most of the movie is focusing on the siblings. Ergo the title.

This is listed as a black comedy, and that is definitely true. It’s mostly not funny — and you don’t really laugh out loud — but the way everything works out is slightly uplifting in a dark, morbid way. Sometimes murder is good.  Sometimes killing your parents is good. Merry Christmas.

You don’t smile much when watching the movie. It’s more of a cringer. But you smile at the end. That’s what counts. While not  THAT spectacular, it holds interest, and celebrates the Christmas spirit. Sort of.

While not our favorite movie, I still sort of think it is a must see for anybody who likes morbid subversion of christmas holidays sprikled with a little murder.

Merry Christmas.

Directed by David Weaver.
Written by Jackie May.

Alex Campbell (2 eps of Goosebumps) as Joe, the older brother.
Sarah Gadon (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Total Drama, 1 ep of The Dating Guy) as Margaret, the older sister.
Samantha Weinstein as Danielle, the younger sister.
Andrew Chalmers as Pete, the younger brother.
Sarah Polley (Mr. Nobody, eXistenZ, The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen, Splice, Dawn Of The Dead, Exotica, Go, 1 ep of Friday The 13th: The Series) as Tabby.
Paul Soles (The Incredible Hulk (2008), Spider-Man in the 1967 Spider-Man series, Bruce Banner in a 1966 Hulk series, also in an Iron Man 1966 series, 3 eps of a Captain American 1966 series) as Grandpa.
Nicholas Campbell (Antiviral, Hank in Naked Lunch, Goon) as Dad.
Sonja Smits (Videodrome) as Mom.
Tom McCamus (Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning, Tangled, 2 eps of Friday The 13th: The Series, 1 ep of Puppets Who Kill) as Mr. Phillips.
Aaron Abrams (Simon in Producing Parker, Jesus Henry Christ, YPF (Young People Fucking), Resident Evil 2, 1 ep of The Dating Guy) as Pastor.
Joan Heney (Detroit Rock City) as Agnes.
Martha Burns as Miss Bradford.
Shawn Roberts (Resident Evil 4-5, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Jumper, X-Men) as Tom Muster.


Very Bad Things (1998)

Clint: 4/5, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5, 7.6/10.

VERY dark, morbid, black comedy. Dark enough that a lot of people don’t see the humor in it at all.

But it’s fucking hilarious! This is of the “fuuuucked UP” genre of dark comedies.

Descent into madness–And living with consequences in the end! This is like The Hangover meets Donkey Punch.

Never has Christian Slater come off sleazier and smarmier.

Never has Cameron Diaz been so undesirable, due to her crazy bitch personality in this movie (she’s hotter when she has a good personality that makes up for her lack of tits). This is a really good movie, and I’m sorry I waited this long to finally see it.

Native ratings: Netflix:3.3/5 stars (3.8 predicted for us). IMDB:6.1/10.
January 24, 2012 at 01:45PM media, video, movies, reviews, Clint, Carolyn, VeryBadThings, ChristianSlater, CameronDiaz, JonFavreau, LelandOrser, JeremyPiven, JeanneTripplehorn, IMDB, links, comedy, darkComedies, blackComedies, comedies