VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)

3.6/5 stars, 7/10 from both of us.
5/5 stars,   8.4/10 was what we gave the first movie:
So this one’s worse.
Native rating: 3.7/5 stars, 4.6/10 (ouch) on IMDB:
So the public agrees.
Netflix’s guess for us was 3.8 which is pretty damn close.

It wasn’t as good as the first one, but it was still entertaining.

It was a very over-the-top with the comedy/Nic Cage acting. I wonder if he was still using Brian Bates’ Way Of The Wyrd (basis for Sabbat’s Dreamweaver concept album, which I wrote a 5900 word post about) as the basis of his acting. Maybe not. These are the Crank / Gamer directors now, and maybe they directed him to be more Nic-Cage-over-the-top.

Outlaw Vern, who I usually agree with, liked this better than the original:
His review includes a big quote from Nic Cage about Brian Bates’s book, as well as some mentions of Vampire’s Kiss. Outlaw Vern is right about the CGI being worse. What used to be a cool transformation is now kind of comical at times.

So yeah… This was worth seeing because we love the superhero genre, but it wasn’t good as the original.
Though apparently, some liked it better!


VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: John Carter (2012)

Clint/Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10. Clint is considering upgrading to 10/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars (Netflix’s better guess for us=4.3), 6.9/10.

Based on Edgar Rice Burroughs books, this movie entered development in 1931, and was almost the first animated movie in America. But things got held up for (puts pinky to corner of mouth) ***79 YEARS***. It finally left development-hell in 2010, and they’re already working on a sequel.

I’m glad once the studios finally move (a literal lifetime later), that they are rushing to do as many of these as possible.


Would have been nice to see in 3-D, but completely unnecessary. It is a great story, and a long movie that properly fleshes out characters and plots. I’m not going to go into too much detail, but simply: Science fiction done right, with an epic story and an epic budget. I’m still trying to figure out if I should really be rating this movie 10/10, because there’s not really any flaw.

(BTW, You may recognize the main couple in this movie as Gambit and Silverfox from X-Men Origins.)


VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Ginger Snaps 3 aka Ginger Snaps 0 aka Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.  (Again deferring to Carolyn’s rating.)
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 5.8/10 IMDB.

Not as good as the first one, but on par with the second one.  This was set in the 19th century.  The IMDB trivia says that the second and third movies were shot back-to-back.

Carolyn thinks she liked the third one ever so slightly better than the second one, though she rated both identically. I am unsure, myself.

This movie sacrifices the opportunity to continue moving the original story further forward, and that is a major points against when compared to Ginger Snaps 2.

But by making it a prequel about 2 girls who just so happen to be the EXACT SAME 2 girls (but in the 1800s), they created an opportunity for Ginger to return as a lead character. This brought back a lot of the chemistry and sisterly character interaction that Ginger Snaps 1 had, but that Ginger Snaps 2 lacked.  So that is major points for.

However, they aren’t in high school… Or even modern american culture as we know it. The unique aspects of the original characters don’t shine in the same light when held to a completely different time and culture, and that is points against when compared to Ginger Snaps 1.

In the end, it’s kind of a wash. This movie is good in ways Ginger Snaps 2 wasn’t, and Ginger Snaps 2 was bad in ways this movie wasn’t. They were filmed at the same time too, so there’s no discrepancy in production or acting. So it’s just another sequel that’s really a prequel.

While I would recommend that 100% of people who liked Ginger Snaps 1 *MUST* watch Ginger Snaps 2…….. This movie is not required viewing. However, it does feel more like Ginger Snaps 1 than Ginger Snaps 2 did, so you still might want to watch it if you were a fan.

Directed by Grant Harvey.

Written by Christina Ray & Stephen Massicotte.

The 2 main characters of course remain:

Emily Perkins (Juno, Insomnia, 35 eps of Da Vinci’s Inquest, 26 eps of Hiccups, 3 eps of Supernatural) as Brigitte.
Katharine Isabelle (Freddy Vs. Jason, 30 Days Of Night: Dark Days, Insomnia, Titanic, 1 ep of Smallville, 1 ep of The L Word) as Ginger.

But also, from Ginger Snaps 2:

Brendan Fletcher (1 ep of Smallville) as Finn. He played Jeremy, the librarian in the second movie… Gracious of them to let him return.

The rest were new faces:

Nathaniel Arcand as The Hunter.
JR Bourne (1 ep of Smallville, 1 ep of 24) as James, the douchebag.
Hugh Dillon (Trailer Park Boys: The Movie) as Reverend Gilbert.
Adrien Dorval (Twilight 2, Chronicles Of Riddick, 1 ep of The L Word) as Seamus.
Tom McCamus (Siblings, 2 eps of Friday The 13th: The Series, 1 ep of Puppets Who Kill) as Wallace Rowlands, the leader of the fort.
Matthew Walker (The Wicker Man, 1 ep of Smallville) as Doc Murphy, the doctor.
David MacInnis (1 ep of Smallville) as Cormac.

They sure seem to use a lot of Smallville people…


VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Night Of The Living Dead (1990)

Clint: 3.2/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 6.7/10 IMDB.

So we are apparently doing this backward. We watched the 2006 3-D remake-of-a-remake some time back. Now we are watching the 1990 remake. Meanwhlie, we’ve never seen the 1968 original.

Definitely one of the small-scenario zombie movies; more old school in that sense. Also old school in that there is some definite cheeziness and bad acting that wouldn’t pass muster these days. But still. This was good.

I really liked the ending… That was quite different than I was expecting. They added a whole social commentary angle to it. It wasn’t profound, but still. It could have just been nothing.

And I like how the main character was a completely different person by the end of the movie, transformed by the events of the movie.

And it was cool to see Tony Todd (“Candyman Candyman Candyman!”) after watching his guest appearance on the underrated awesome sitcom Holliston.

So all in all, I’m glad I finally saw this.


VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: I Saw the Devil (2010) (Korea)

5/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us.

Native rating: 7.8/10, 3.9/5 stars (Netflix guessed 3.7/5 for us–wrong!).

At first this started in 3-star territory: Interesting plot, good cinemtagraphy, nice budget.

But then, only 45 minutes into a 2.5hr movie, what would constitute a standard Hollywood plot was already done and concluded.

At that point, the story veered past what either of us could predict or anticipate. Fuel was thrown onto the fire, and it burned hotter and brighter and hotter and brighter.

Shit just kept on piling on, then piling onto that.

It broke into 4-star territory by the 1 hour mark, 5-star territory by the 2 hour mark…. By the end, it was a case of, “Holy shit”.

I definitely see why Ian recommended this.

Man those Koreans really love their revenge!

Or maybe that’s selection bias on my part, as every Korean movie I’ve ever watched (except for Thirst?) has been about revenge of one sort or another (Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Sympathy For Lady Vengeance, Memories Of Murder).

We felt that Oldboy was better than this movie, yet when we checked, we rated it the same. It may be that we need to up Oldboy to 9/10. Hmm.

And oh: Min-sik Choi is a GREAT actor! This is the 3rd movie we’ve seen him in.


VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Hostel 3 aka Hostel: Part III (2011) (direct to video)

5/5 stars, 8/10 from Clint.
3/5 stars, 7/10 from Carolyn.
Major disparity here.

Native rating: 4.7/10 (vs 5.8,5.4 for first 2 movies), 3.1/5 stars (vs 3.2,3.2).
Netflix guessed 3.9/5 for us. Considering I rated the first 2 Hostel movies 5/5 stars, Netflix really should know better.

I thought this was one of the more sinister Hostel movies. The major spoiler of the movie is WAY more evil than anything that was done in the first two Hostel movies.

I actually think the franchise has been improving with each release, which is contrary to most popular opinion and common sense.

Hostel 2 > Hostel 1, because after seeing the 1, watching 2 is an exercise in extreme paranoia. But after going that route, Hostel 3 is more of an experience in “living large” and making the franchise more grandiouse, with the hell on earth no longer in a 3rd world eastern European country, but in Las Fucking Vegas.

This is also the most unique of the 3 films (due to large similarities between Hostel 1 and Hostel 2).

I am glad that in the IMDB comments I found other people who liked this better than Hostel 1 & 2. It is probably the opinion of a 10% minority, but I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks 3 > 2 > 1.

FREAK ALERT! John Hensley, the fucking idiot son from Nip/Tuck, plays a handicapped person here. Interesting to see him again, if only to be reminded of how much I hated his character on Nip/Tuck. He also has a kind of weird look to him, which lends itself well to playing someone with a physical malady.


VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows (2011)

MMmmmm, Sherlock Holmes sequel! Yay!

4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us (whereas the first movie only got 7.6 from Carolyn).

Native rating: 7.5/10, 4.1/5 (guess for us=4.2), so for once we’re in line with most people.

NOOMI RAPACE! THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO! She is in this movie, in an English-speaking role!

This was actually better than the first Sherlock Holmes movie, but only slightly. I reread what Carolyn said to me about the last one, and she said her attention had faltered some during the first one, and that didn’t happen with the 2nd movie.

And that is why this movie gets a slightly higher rating (8.0 vs 7.6).



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