VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: S1m0ne (2002)

Clint: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: IMDB: 6.1/10. Netflix: 3/5 stars.

Watched this to see the remaining unwatched Andrew Niccol-directed movie, after really loving In Time, The Truman Show, and Gattaca. (Though I liked Lord Of War way less than the other 3.)

What a great post-modern idea: Computer-generated actors becoming popular without the public realizing it — and of course between when the movie came out and now, it’s happened in real life, at least once, specifically in Japan with a pop singer who turned out to be a computer-generated composite of several band members: http://gawker.com/5814822/japans-newest-pop-star-revealed-to-be-computer+generated-fake .

A great idea, but this movie didn’t explore the technosociological implications of the idea as much as I hoped. It was more about Al Pacino getting in over his head (“Say hello to my cgi friend!”), and how crazily the public can be easily manipulated. That made it not quite fulfill my own made-up internalized potential hope for what this movie should be (somethign I always advice against people having in the first place). Carolyn wasn’t bothered by that as much. Maybe I shouldn’t be.

Still a good movie.

Very interesting that Andrew Niccol married the woman who played Simone — who was not originally credited in the credits, leaving people to think she truly was computer-generated in the movie. (They were going to do it, but the Screen Actors’ Guild pressured them into not doing it, for fear that it would be the end of all actors, much like what the movie depicted.) This movie also has Catherine Keener (surprisingly playing a light, non-bitchy, warm person), Winona Ryder, and a way-younger Evan Rachel Wood.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0258153/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Lazarus Project (2008)

Clint: 3/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 8/10.
Native rating: Netflix: 4.5/5 stars. IMDB: 6.0/10.

Redemption.
Forgiveness.
A quite interesting movie that threw us for a loop not once, but twice.

The ultimate message is about if someone involved is in a murder, especially indirectly; It is that Maybe society should just let them get on with their life, instead of punishing them and making them feel the consequences of their crime for the rest of their life, making recidivism very likely by reducing their future choices. If you serve your time, you shouldn’t be forced into a lower caste. You should either get a life sentence, or not.

Also that the death sentence is a savage way to deal with things and not necessarily the best. When your car stops working correctly, you don’t destroy it to keep it from hurting you again–You fix it.

Laws also need to be applied properly. If you didn’t pull the trigger, you’re not the murderer, and shouldn’t be treated as one for the rest of your life. Laws equivocating one action with another are not justice.

Ultimately, forgiveness is the message of this movie — one that’s lost to most of our society. Especially Texas, and especially conservative Christians.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0464041/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The New Guy (2002)

5.5/10 on IMDB, but we give it 4/5 stars,
with 7/10 from Carolyn, and 7.6/10 from Clint.

“It was funny, but not spectacular,” says Carolyn.

I think this is one of the ultimate nerd-fantasy movies. “A high school senior [DJ Qualls] branded uncool in the ninth grade gets himself expelled so he changes his image to cool kid at the town’s other high school [to impress girls like Eliza Dushku].”

We also have Zooey Deschanel, Lyle Lovett, Eddie Griffin, and cameos by Tony Hawk, Kool Moe Dee, Vanilla Ice, Tommy Lee, David Hasselhoff, and Henry Rollins.

This is the only movie directed by its director, and the only non-TV movie written by its writer, who wrote for Growing Pains and currently writes Melissa & Joey, whatever that is. So it’s a movie primarily made by relative nobodies. It shows. It does not have a Hollywood sensibility to it.

They go the ridiculous route whenever possible — which is my preference for things. It’s almost cartoonish in its unrealisticness. This high school is about as realistic as Crowley High from Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil.

And that’s good. This story wouldn’t be nearly as funny or endearing if it was contrained by real-world realism. This is an idealists’ movie, and above all a ridiculous coming-of-age comedy: And that’s what helps make it good, and stand out as a unique movie worth seeing.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0241760/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: In Time (2011)

5/5 stars from both of us, 9/10 from Clint, 9.6/10 from Carolyn.
6.6/10 on IMDB.

Written & director by the writer/director of The Truman Show and Lord Of War — who also directed Gattaca.

This movie wins based solely on its incredible concept — a world where everyone has a 1-year death-clock countdown starting at age 25, and the only currency used to buy things is time. More time to be alive.

People in the ghetto with one day left to live, struggling to earn another day. Muggers who steal your time. Rich people who have thousands of years of time. There’s a metaphor for Occupy Wall Street in this, and this movie also has some parallels to The Hunger Games: A future, freedom-crushing society that benefits some at the expense of others.

Like the real world. But with a currency based directly on consequences, rather than hiding behind the complication of dollars-and-cents currency.

Also, it’s neat to see Amanda Seyfried as more than just a ditzy blonde… Here she looks like a red-headed girl from Tron. Didn’t even realize it was her. She rocks the medium-red hair!
And Justin Timberlake has slowly become tolerable, which is in itself an utterly amazing feat.

In the end, never in my movie-watching life have I seen so much macroeconomic justice dispensed by two people. Yay.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1637688/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Three Stooges (2012) [The 3 Stooges remake]

5/5 stars, 9/10 from both of us.

Native rating was much lower: 5.3/10, 3.5/5 stars (3.7 Netflix-guess for us).

This is THE surprise of the year for us.

Two conditions helped create this situation:
1) We lack the hate everyone else has for remakes. Remakes are a way to get more, a way to see things through another view point. They’re no more objectionable than cover songs (and I own many tributes albums).
2) We love the Three Stooges. Even Carolyn. Yes. She’s a girl who loves Three Stooges.

It helps that this was by “Made In Georgia” (georgia.org). That explains the level of awesome here.  They also did American Reunion, Archer, Zombieland, The Walking Dead, Ugly Americans, Wanderlust, Footloose (remake), Due Date, Dumb And Dumberer, Road Trip, Ron Ronnie Run, Scream 2, Camilla, The Signal, & Contagion.

But to be fair, they also did X-Men:The Last Stand, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, and Van Wilder 3 (which I think is actually #0, the prequel)..
Our first thought was: LOW expectations, this is going to be awful, especially the actor they picked for Moe.

BUT WAIT! LARRY DAVID as Sister Mary-Mengele, the bitchy nun?

Ridiculously-hot Sophia Vergara as the main female character?

Brian Doyle-Murray (Captain K’Nuckles from Flapjack, also in Motorcity) — finally getting to see his face after hearing all of his voice work.

The Jersey Shore cast? ANOTHER UNEXPECTED! They actually made the movie better!. Seriously — who the fuck could predict this shit in a million years? The main way they make it get better is you get to see Moe slap the shit out of all the annoying Jersey Shore people.

We had thought slapstick was pretty much bottomed out by these guys, sent off to die in a manner similar to the demise of vaudeville & the like. Glad to see it can still be done, and done well.

The backstory of them as babies & as 10 year olds was great!

The orphanage plot that drove the movie may as well have been straight out of the Nintendo game (which I loved, and was one of my favorite Nintendo games as a teen, and it had speech, which was rare for Nintendo).

All in all, it was extremely faithful to the original, and every bit as funny. And it was updated to the modern era without the many sacrifices that often happen when this is done (for example with the 2012ish Smurfs movie).

The only other person we know who saw this also agrees: It’s the funniest movie this year besides Wanderlust. Yes, I laughed way harder than during American Reunion, which was also great.

Go figure. SURPRISE OF THE YEAR.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0383010/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: American Pie 8: American Pie 4: American Reunion (2012)

5/5 stars, 8/10 from Clint, Carolyn, AND Parthena.

Native rating: 7.1/10, 3.9/5 stars (which was also Netflix’s guess for us, for some reason).

I’m so glad they didn’t decide to call this American Pie 4 like they had originally planned, because it really would have mucked up the numbering system for those who numbered the 4 direct-to-video movies.

Not much to say here — This was as good as the first 3 movies collectively were, and was definitley beter than the 4 direct-to-video movies (even if #7 was probably better than #3).

It’s been over a decade, so it’s really hard to remember the original movies for a valid comparison.

The east coast derecho ALMOST ruined the movie for us, but we only lost power for 5 seconds twice. All my previous complaints to Dominion appear to have paid off.

This movie was a really really good time! (And the first one where the main characters aren’t in high school or college.)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1605630/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Treasure Planet (2002)

Clint: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars (Netflix guess for us=3.1), 6.7/10.

I enjoyed it — though not as much as Carolyn…

…but it was still a Disney KIDS movie, with little adult in it at all.

It was kind of hokey and family and predictable and watered down — no blood during wounds, off-screen deaths only.

Still, I’m glad I finally got around to watching this, and the animation was definitely Disney quality.

Pretty funny that as of 2011, this flim is Disney’s greatest financial loss — still $79M down. Taking 10 years to make it probably didn’t help. And did they really have to censor the fact that the dog (voiced by Niles Crane from Frasier) was the one who gave birth? Too controversial for a male to give birth? C’mon, Disney!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133240/