VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Doctor Strange (2007)

Doctor Strange – The Sorcerer Supreme (2007) - 
Clint: 4/5 stars, 8/10. 
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10. 
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

Carolyn: This was a good animated Marvel movie.  I am not as familiar with Doctor Strange in the comic book realm, so it was interesting to see his origin story.  The Marvel animated movies rarely disappoint, anyway.

Clint: I have to agree. This is the type of stuff we like. This isn’t one of the best, but I suspect it’s the only feature-length Doctor Strange origin movie that’s worth watching. 

I wasn’t as wow’ed by it as Carolyn, as I’m starting to get jaded from watching so.many.movies lately. I’m starting to get to that age where you notice stories are becoming less unique: This felt like a combo of the origin stories of Batman (in Batman Begins) and Green Lantern (in terms of ancient leaders and their corrupt inner circle members), combined with the latest season of Avatar:The Legend Of Korra (in terms of demonic gods trying to break through to our realm). I should probably take a break from watching movies for a bit, to become less jaded. (But I really want to watch one tonite!)

One interesting thing: The sound mix was excellent. 

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0910865/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 6.8/10 IMDB.

Hilarious, but still with a dark edge like the original. But not as dark, and seemingly not as serious.   We missed Nic Cage, though.  We wish he could have been in this.  We got Jim Carrey, though!  Carolyn didn’t recognize him until Clint pointed out who he was. Good makeup. And it’s okay if the makeup doesn’t look realistic, because that’s just comic book aesthetics. It actually opens things up for more creativity, versus the less-creative, more-common goal of making everyone look “realistic”.

But anyway… Super heroes in real life (i.e. *our* version of Earth) is an awesome genre, considering we have hundreds of known *real* costumed heroes in real life.

Written & directed by Jeff Wadlow.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson (he’s going to be Quiksilver in The Avengers: Age of Ultron) as Dave Lizewski / Kick-Ass. Hmm, I guess he didn’t end up being Cyclops in X-Men: First Class
Chloe Grace Moretz (Let Me In, The Amityville Horror, Movie 43, 1 ep of American Dad) as Mindy Macready / Hit-Girl.
Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes.
Morris Chestnut (Ryan Nichols in the new V series, Identity Thief, 1 ep of American Dad) as Detective Marcus Williams, who is now the guardian of Hit-Girl.
Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine, Kick-Ass, Sex Drive, Superbad, Clark on the last season of The Office, 5 eps of Robot Chicken) as Marty / Battle Guy.
Augustus Prew as Todd / Ass Kicker.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin from Superbad, How To Train Your Dragon, The To-Do List, This Is the End, Kick-Ass, Movie 43, Fright Night, Year One) as Chris D’Amico / The Motherfucker.
John Leguizamo (Ice Age movies, Luigi in Super Mario Brothers, uncredited in Repo Men, 1 ep of American Dad) as Javier, The Motherfucker’s butler.
Donald Faison (Bartik in TRON: Uprising, Can’t Hardly Wait, Clueless (also in the TV series), 8 eps of Robot Chicken, 3 eps of The Boondocks, 1 ep of Adventure Time, 1 ep of Titan Maximum) as Dr. Gravity.
Lyndsy Fonseca (Hot Tub Time Machine, 1 ep of Heroes, 1 ep of Malcolm In The Middle) as Katie Deauxma.
Yancy Butler (Hansel & Gretel Get Baked) as Mrs. D’Amico, The Motherfucker’s mother.
Lindy Booth (Detroit Rock City, Wrong Turn) as Night Bitch.
Benedict Wong (Prometheus, 2 eps of Look Around You) as Mr. Kim.
Andy Nyman (1 ep of Holliston where he apparently plays Axl The Cat) as The Tumor.
Garrett M. Brown (Uncle Buck) as Mr. Lizewski.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1650554/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Extracted (2012)

A very interesting premise: Being able to scientifically observe *other* peoples’ memories, thanks to corporations perverting technology originally meant for people to examine their *own* memories as a way of dealing with trauma. Now what happens if you get stuck in someone? This comes off like The Host meets The Cell (but with no romance).

However: Such a slow, slow, slow build-up. 40-50 minutes. But then it got interesting. And stayed interesting. Hell, it got so interesting it actually felt a bit rushed at the end.

I think this movie could have benefited from some better editing. It could have been a 4/5-star, 8/10 movie easily. Maybe even better. But it missed its mark a bit.

Written & directed by Nir Paniry.
Starring Sasha Roiz as Tom.
Jenny Mollen (Crazy, Stupid, Love) as Abbey, Tom’s wife.
Dominic Bogart as Anthony, the heroin addict.
Richard Riehle (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, Miss Nobody, Hatchet, Palindromes, Mysterious Skin, Dorm Daze 2, 1 ep of The Legend Of Korra) as Father Riley, the prison priest.
Nick Jameson (President Yuri Suvarov in 24, Batman: Year One, Eurotrip, Beowulf, The Critic, 15 eps of Spider-Man-TAS (1990s), 13 eps of Mission Hill, 6 eps of Star Wars: Clone Wars, 1 ep of Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Richard, the PR seller.
Rodney Eastman (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 & 4, 1 ep of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose) as Eric, Anthony’s drug-dealer friend.
Frank Ashmore (the original V, Airplane!, 6 eps of The Guild) as Martino.
Ty Simpkins (47 eps of The Guiding Light, Iron Man 3) as Young Anthony.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1757746/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)

Twilight 5: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012) -
Clint: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Native ratings: 4.0/5 stars Netflix, 5.7/10 IMDB.

“Twilight sucks!”
It’s not so bad. It’s just Underworld with more romance and less action.

“It sends the wrong message to women! It’s Mormon propaganda!”
Uhhh… I watch South Park and Beavis & Butt-head and Family Guy. You think I care if a bad message is sent? My favorite horror franchise is Saw.

“The relationship is so dysfunctional! It’s a trainwreck. Why would anyone want to watch that?”
HellOOOOOOO… Dysfunctional relationships have always been great to watch! Natural Born Killers, anyone?

“Vampires that sparkle! What the fuck!”
Right… I forgot that when an idea, like vampirism, is introduced into the cinema world, that it means that any other movie using that idea should do it the exact same way. For this reason, I hate the Star Trek reboot and The Fly remake. Just kidding! The whole point of a media is for people to create different interpretations of the same concept. It’s like arguing that a metal song shouldn’t have horns. Limits are stupid.

So anyway…. Of the 5 Twilight movies, this was the best. The ending could be construed as a let-down, but this one really had the least romance and, I think the most action of any Twilight movie.

Plus, it’s over now, and that makes me happy, since it’s not the greatest franchise in the world. But it was good enough to watch all 5 movies. I think movie #2 was the worst of the 5.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1673434/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

The Hobbit 1: An Unxpected Journey (2012) -
Clint: 5/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.4/10.

Native ratings: 4.2/5 stars Netflix, 8.2/10 IMDB (174th highest-rated movie ever).

A great set-up movie, as expected. You don’t get the satisfaction of a real conclusion, as these stories are LOOONNNNG.

Intro to Gollum, Sting, finding the ring, etc… We are so ready for movie #2!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0903624/combined

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Avengers (2012)

5/5 stars from Clint & Carolyn
4/5 stars from Eli
3/5 stars from Parthena.

10/10 from Carolyn,
9.6/10 from Clint,
8/10 from Eli,
6/10 from Parthena.

IMDB overall rating is 8.6/10, making it the 65th highest-rated movie of all time. 42% of people rate it 10/10, and only 1/6th of people rate it less than 8+/10. The median rating is 9/10.

No real need to say much about this. Everyone saw it, and it was as awesome as it promised to be. The clashing of egos was hilarious, and it was great to see this epic heroes — built up over the last 5 Marvel movies or so — finally all together on screen at once.

And of course we’ve been watching the cartoon, Avengers:Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, so we’ve been pretty immersed in these characters on a very regular basis.

Eli: “As long as it stands on the other movies I think it was awesome. That being said I could have had a bit more about Hawk. But for pulling together so many heros’ backstories I thought it did a really good job. Plus it was really funny :)”

Carolyn: “I’m leaning towards 10/10, because it had funny banter and good battles. I can’t think of a reason not to give it a 10.”

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0848228/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Limitless (2011)

 WOW. This is the best of the 25 movies we’ve watched so far this year.  5/5 stars, 9/10 from both of us. 

Native ratings: Netflix 4.0/5 stars (guessed 4.5 for us), IMDB 7.3/10. 

Think of it as a trippy, drug-fueled Flowers For Algernan.

Just wow. This movie deserves a full-on review, but after writing hundreds of those I’m getting lazier about it.

Let’s just say… It warrants watching. The execution of the story is so awesome, both plot-wise and visually.

Yea, there are some improbable moments you could get hung up on, if you don’t know how to have a good time. But we do, and thought it was fucking awesome.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219289

VIDEO: TV: SHOWS: REVIEW: Dirk Gently (2012) (UK)

5/5 stars from both of us. Clint: 9/10, Carolyn: 8/10.  [7.7/10 on IMDB]

… The only Douglas Adams book I ever actually read was a Dirk Gently novel I read in 1987ish, not that I remember books I read in the 80s the way I remember movies watched in the 80s.

Anyway, it was nice to be reminded just what the hell that was all about.

I wish the British didn’t have such tiny series. Waiting 2 yrs after a series pilot to get just three more episodes is a bum rap. Do 26 of these, please! And that’s the problem I have with British TV. You can barely spend as much time on a series you love as a series you hate, because by the time you’ve watched enough episodes to really know the difference, it’s over anyway.

But yeah…. Complaints aside, this was awesome. Dirk Gently is kind of an asshole anti-hero, and the relationship between him and his reluctant partner has a really good on-screen [non-sexual] chemistry.

[Carolyn netflix/imdb ratings for each ep: #1:4.6/8, #2:4/8, #3:4.2/8]

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2303367

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Negotiator (1998)

Surprised! I was expecting a mindless action flick, and then this turned out to be way better than we expected.  In the same league as Training Day or L.A. Confidential.  Lots of angry tension in this movie, and fortunately not too many laughably unrealistic scenes.

Carolyn: 4.7/5 stars, 8.7/10.
Clint: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native: 3.8/5 stars, 7.2/10. Netflix incorrectly thought we’d like this less than average (3.2). BUT SO DID I, so I can’t blame Netflix’s system here.

I was glad that I had forgotten the plot points from the trailer to this movie (which I probably only saw in the late 1990s), for that made it more fun to watch. Had no clue Kevin Spacey was going to be in this. Or Paul Giamatti. Bonus.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120768

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Joysticks (1983)

7/10 from both of us (IMDB rating is only 3.2/10!). 3/5 stars from Carolyn, 4/5 from Clint (Netflix rating is 2.7/5, with a prediction of 3.0 for us.)

OMFG this was a TOTALLY RIDICULOUS cheesy screwball unrealistic 1980s comedy about a video arcade. Think FOOTLOOSE, but with video games instead of dancing.

Get a chance to see Larry’s always-silent, other-brother-Darryl from the 80′s Newhart sitcom — not just in a speaking role, but also sometimes in drag!

This also stars Uncle Rico from Napoloeon Dynamite, as a video-junkie punk – “KING VIDIOT” – who just wants to hang out at the video arcade with the snobby cool kids. Yes, you heard me right: The snobby cool kids (and topless chicks) all want to hang out at the video game arcade.

NOT UNREALISTIC ENOUGH? Ante up! Dude takes 2 girls back to his private office where he has a strip video game, and they have a threesome while playing the videogame.

Carolyn liked it better than she thought it would. She was resistant to this movie, yet I had to tell her that I observed her laughing and laughing and laughing out loud over and over many many times through the movie — as did I.

This exceeded my low expectations and is actually funnier than a lot of A-movie comedies out there.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085764

opening theme / beginning of movie:

We here at the Peoples’ Republic Of Clarolyntopiastan are sad to report the passing of one of our most frequent honorary citizens, John The Canadian, who has moved on to the great coast in the west, now to be known as Mighty Joe-John The Californian Canadien. Past the jump below is a copy of his final blogpost reviewing the cartoons we watched during our final Cartoon Night (The Sequel). The night was a sequel because we had a final night, then there was an extension, so we had another final night of cartoons. It worked out well as there was a glut of toons prior to the pre-season-wrapup haitus that most networks went on near the end of March.

Where to begin? We met in 1996, hung out until I graduated in 1997, I assume he hung out with Carolyn during the year she was still at college and I wasn’t, and we all started hanging out again once we moved into our house in 1999. So it’s been around 16 years. There’s been quite a few adventures along the way, and it is truly the end of an era.

Can’t think of very many people I’m still in touch with (Facebook doesn’t count) that I was friends with 16 years ago. While we are both still in touch with several of our college friends, for the most part we’ve all gone our separate ways over the last 15 years since I graduated, and these people are basically “online friends” / pen pals. The few college-era friends that remain as facetime-meatspace-real-life-actual-friends are often only seen at parties that we host — (and almost never in reverse) — leading us to conclude that if we didn’t throw parties, we’d probably not see them at all.

Mighty Joe-John The Californian Canadien was probably our last regularly-hanging-out (15+ times a year, every year) college-era friend. The friendship didn’t require constant reaching-out and making-oneself-available, hoping for a chance to see someone in real life and not just on Facebook. You didn’t need to work to maintain the friendship; it was just there.

I suddenly feel like I’m writing a eulogy.

Despite the fact that Mighty Joe-John The Californian Canadien did not drive or own a car, he forged an alliance with the very honorable LORD OF THE EAGLES, allowing himself to be magically dropped off at our doorstep without ever asking for a ride in 16 years of friendship. (I once glanced upon the countenance of the Lord Of The Eagles; it is a site no other Clarolyntopiastanian has ever witnessed.)

It is thus that the leaders of the Peoples’ Republic Of Clarolyntopiastan have elected to officially bestow to Mighty Joe-John The Californian Canadien the never-before-bestowed LIFETIME EAGLE LORDSHIP TRANSPORTATION ACHIEVEMENT AWARD for being less of a transportation hassle as a pedestrian than most people are as drivers. Every non-driver could take a lesson from this guy. He also receives the rare Purple Couch Heart award for inflicting couch-related injuries in the honorable Clarolyntopiastanian War Against Sobriety, as well as a permanent entry in to the Clarolyntopiastan Anecdote Hall Of Fame Archives.

Fortunately he will be coming back to visit, so this isn’t as permanent of a goodbye as when my best friend Sam Watson moved to Mississippi in 1989ish. Nonetheless, as John said in his own blog post (below), this is the end of an era. We have been given pause to consider friendship, what it truly means, how it is achieved, how it is maintained, and whether it’s always worth it.

Thus, the only logical step is to open our minds, ignore our fear of Bronyism, and  to finally allow ourselves to watch My Little Pony:Friendship Is Magic. And with that segue, here are the reviews of the cartoons, as written by John on his blog HERE.

20100930 - Carnival Machine Armada - John, Clint - (by Carolyn) - IMG_0827

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MEDIA: VIDEO: CARTOONS: REVIEWS: ‘Cuz 12 Out Of 13 Ain’t Bad

Reviews of the shows John The Canadien watched with Carolyn & I during Cartoon Night: Final Edition.  As a bonus, 12 out of 13 of these shows were also good!

LINK URL: http://igottarambleon.com/2012/03/29/cuz-12-out-of-13-aint-bad

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Final Destination 5 (2011)

4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us. NOT watched in 3-D.
Same rating as Final Destination 2; possibly slightly better! Pretty much everybody agrees that #5 is better than #3 and #4.

Native rating: IMDB: 6.0/10, Netflix: 3.5/5 stars (guess for us=4.2/5).

Did not realize the blonde girl was the girl from the movie Frozen (and Hatchet 2), who was also Amy from The Walking Dead.

The disaster in this one was a bridge collapsing, which was quite welcome after Final Destination 4 (which we watched several years ago and rated lower than 1,2,3, and 5) re-used car crashes (rush hour cars in FD2 vs race cars in FD4). And the twist made this one “more canon” (if you accept such a thing) than FD3 or FD4, which almost feel like “Final Destination Presents” type movies.

Really, this should be a trilogy: FD1, FD2, FD5. People who only want to watch 3 movies instead of 5 should watch 1, 2, and 5.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1622979

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Final Destination 3 (2006)

Native rating: 5.8/10 IMDB, 3.3/5 Netflix (guess for us=3.9).
Clint/Carolyn rating: 4/5 stars, 7/10.

This one went through the motions and was still quite enjoyable, but missed out on a lot of the aspects that made the other ones unique.

They didn’t get together to work with one another to prevent the deaths; instead everyone was more disconnected.

It’s explainable because it’s in a totally different region (California) than the first one, so they didn’t have the history of what was going on, but still. It just wasn’t as interconnected as FD2 or FD1………….And there was no interesting twist, either.

Still worth watching, though!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0414982

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Final Destination 2 (2003)

Better than we expected!

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

Native ratings: IMDB: 6.3/10, Netflix: 3.3/5 stars (but it correctly guessed 4.0/5 for us).

Very much directly tied into Final Destination 1, which made it a lot more interesting than we expected.

(And It didn’t hurt that changing to a female lead meant staring at hottie A.J. Cook the whole time, even if she is better looking as a blonde.)

(And I never realized the multi-personality blonde chick from Heroes – Ali Larter – was also in Final Desination 1 & 2.)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0309593

JOURNAL: PARTY: Local Experts Can’t Agree On Whether Styx Sucks Worse Than Rush

John The Canadien’s blogpost about our Saturday hangout/partying experience.

LINK URL: http://igottarambleon.com/2012/03/27/local-experts-cant-agree-on-whether-styx-sucks-worse-than-rush

TAGS: personal, journal, hangingout, parties, people, Clint, Carolyn, JohnTheCanadien, MarkI, AutumnS, ChablisO, SeanR, media, audio, music, bands, Rush, Styx, Voivod, songs, Mr.Roboto, Genesis, video, TV, shows, TheClevelandShow, FamilyGuy

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Totally Fucked Up (1993)

Clint: 2/5 stars, 4.6/10.
Carolyn: 2.2/5 stars, 4.6/10.
Native ratings: 5.9/10 IMDB, 2.9/5 Netflix (guess for us=3.3, way too high).

I watched this in my quest to watch everything Gregg Araki has ever done; this is the 1st movie in the Teen Apocalypse Trilogy. Unfortunately, I consided this Arak’s worst film ever. It seemed like he had not fully formed his style yet, and things were very loose and sloppy. How the hell can people like this better than The Doom Generation, the 2nd movie in the trilogy, with a lower rating? I don’t know.

The whole gay teen suicide thing is quite tragic, but this movie didn’t really make me feel it. It seemed to just explore the situation (in Araki’s typical apocalyptic fashion) rather than tell a story… and we like stories. This would probably improve upon a 2nd viewing, but I don’t think I could ever bring myself to do that.

Carolyn adds: “There wasn’t much of an ending.. not too much of a plot either… just flailing about with not much going on… a few things happened, but the characters didn’t really come to terms with them…  and then it ended.. “

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108366

TAGS: video, movies, reviews, TotallyFuckedUp, 1993, GreggAraki, Clint, Carolyn

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Judge Dredd (1995)

Clint/Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 6/10 (generic pass). Netflix also guessed 3.0 stars for us, which is also the national average. (But it only got 5.0/10 on imdb).

Interesting to see people from both Twin Peaks and The Walking Dead. Great cast, Max Von Sydow was good too.

Definitely kinda cheezy. Visuals are closer to Buck Rogers than something you’d watch today.

A few laugh moments (Rob Schneider–funny, but not that funny).

The girls didn’t really fight like the guys. They mostly just shot guns. Almost sexistly and annoyingly so. I know girls can punch!

A few plot holes – dude picks up gun and uses it, but I thought guns were DNA-coded? I guess that one wasn’t a Judge gun, but it was confusing after they talked about how Judge guns won’t work when a non-Judge holds it, but never talked about how to know when a gun is a Judge gun or not.

And that tube of fire – the fire is shown erupting from the inside out, and they have 30 seconds to get up it, so 30 seconds later, after going up it halfway, they are still in it, and the fire comes from *behind* them in the opposite direction as they continue to infiltrate inward? Huh?! So they have a fire vent pipe, but the fire starts in the middle and goes in both directions, one inside of the sity and the other out? It’s not even possible to explain it as anything other than really bad directing.

But the movie? Still fun entertainment. A rogue cop against bad cops, set in a sci-fi world is an easy sell for us.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113492

TAGS: media, video, movies, reviews, JudgeDredd, Clint, Carolyn

JOURNAL: Local Woman Applauds Husband’s Progress In Dwarf Fortress

John The Canadien’s blogpost about our long Friday hangout, which includes taco bell anecdotes, reviews of a shitload of cartoons we watched (6 hours), music, and spiel about Dwarf Fortress.

A little bit of everything!

LINK URL: http://igottarambleon.com/2012/03/21/local-woman-applauds-husbands-progress-in-dwarf-fortress

TAGS: personal, journal, hangingOut, JohnTheCanadien, MarkI, Clint, Carolyn, cartoons, reviews, AdultSwim, Fox, Bob’sBurgers, FamilyGuy, TheClevelandShow, Queen, AmericanDad, SouthPark, Unspervised, TheSimpsons, Simpsons, DwafFortress

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Wild Wild West (1999)

With a native Netflix rating of 2.8/5 stars (Netflix guessed 3.1 for us), and  4.4/10 on IMDB, our expectations were kind of low. But It turns out this movie is better than I expected. More comedy than I thought, and better action than I thought.

Two things that made it better than if I had watched it when it came out 13 years ago: blu-ray/high-def, and the rising appreciation and popularity of Steampunk. It had never occurred to me that this was a Steampunk movie!

Clint/Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Parthena/Eli: 4/5 stars, 7/10.

Parthena adds, “I think it was way more funny and entertaining than people give it credit for. I think the mechanical spider and associated ridiculousness actually increased my rating of the movie, haha.”

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120891

TAGS: media, video, movies, reviews, WildWildWest, Clint, Carolyn, Parthena, EliS, steampunk, WillSmith, SalmaHayek

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