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).


VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Underworld: Awakening (2012)

7.6/10 from both of us (imdb avg is 6.5/10).
4/5 stars from Carolyn, 3.6/5 stars from me
(avg Netflix is 3.9/5 stars, with a guess of 4.1 for us)

I call this Underworld 3 because it’s the 3rd non-prequel movie in the 4-movie franchise. We now have 0 through 3.

Anyway, this was an improvement over the 3rd movie, Underworld 0:Rise Of The Lycans. Kate Beckinsale is back, since she was barely in the prequel movie (though it’s easy enough to mistake Rhona Mitra for Kate, if you forget the eye color difference).

It’s been too long since the first two Underworld movies for me to really say whether this was any better or worse than 1-2.

The main twist here is that vampires and werewolves are now known to exist by the general public.

For the most part, this just feels like a Resident Evil movie. Moreso than any of the previous Underworld movies. Whether that is good or bad is your choice.

This had some good action, as expected — but the story could use a bit of work. The movie was kind of short. Not too much happened. There needs to be more movies in the franchise, because this one created more new issues than it resolved.

But it was still good. High-budget, polished action.


VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005)

Clint/Carolyn: 8/10.
Clint: 5/5 stars, Carolyn: 4/5 stars.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 Netflix (guess for us=3.4), 6.2/10 IMDB.

What a delightful sequel to Jumanji! And nobody knows about this, because they didn’t call it Jumanji 2! However, it’s basically the exact same movie, but with SPACE instead of JUNGLE. It’s not as dark as Jumanji; a little more lighthearted. But the EXACT SAME FORMULA. This is truly a sequel.

All the Kristen Stewart haters have really missed out on a gem of exploitable screenshots from this movie: Stewart is LITERALLY frozen during a lot of the movie. These could be memes, if someone would just screenshot and capture them.

Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Elf).
With Dax Sheppart from Without A Paddle, and Tim Robbins as the dad.
And oh, the younger brother in this movie was the kid in the recent Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) movie, and the older brother was in Journey To The Center Of The Earth (2008) as well as Peeta in The Hunger Games (2012), and Bridge To Terabithia (2007).


VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Jumanji (1995)

8/10 from both of us. 4/5 stars from Carolyn, 5/5 stars from Clint. Carolyn had seenthis before, but Clint had not. Carolyn enjoyed it as much (if not more) as the first time she saw it.

Native rating: 6.5/10, 3.6/5 (Netflix incorrectly guesse3d 3.1/5 for us, thinking we’d like this worse than average. WRONG!)

We are both very much into board games, fantasy, imagination, and darkness, and this movie had it all, so it spoke to us.  I really thought it would be more of a “kiddie” movie, but there were actually a lot of dark, fucked up moments. Homicidal gun maniacs and animals that try to kill children? Nightmare insects? Holy fuck. WAS. NOT. EXPECTING.

I was enthralled. Carolyn adds: “It was more enjoyable watching it with you because you liked it so much.  hehehehe”

Another weird thing: Seeing Kirsten Dunst so young. Too bad she was TOO young, if you catch my drift. But that was made up for with Bebe Neuwirth (Lillith from Cheers/Frasier). SHE IS HOT AS SHIT. Plus this was 15 years ago. Too bad this is a movie about her kids and not her, or we could have stared at her longer. But I digress.

This was way better than I expected. I’d been putting off watching this movie for almost a year (17 years, if you want to get pedantic), but apparently I should have watched it much sooner!


VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Cougar Club (2007)

Both of us: 7/10 (IMDB average:4.1/10).
Clint: 4/5 stars, Carolyn: 3/5 stars, Netflix: 2.7/5 stars, with a 3.1/5 guess for us.

So yea, we liked this better than the general public, which is true for most movies.

I’m still trying to figure out why the general public — who spends more money on porn than all non-porn movies combined — tends to rate sex comedies so low. Are they upset they aren’t actual pornos?

This is a movie about cougars, and stars such older women as Fayne Dunaway, Carrie Fisher, Loretta Devine, and other 40-55 year old cougars. But it’s not a porno. There’s barely even nudity in it. The marketeers marketed toward the sex angle to capture peoples’ money, and I think that is what they are angry about. If you watch it not expecting much sex, the sex is simply a pleasant surprise instead of a disappointment.

We found it to be a fun movie. Nothing great, but a good testament about scenesters and creating scenes, and with some fun eroticism to boot. The Cougar Club in this movie could just as easily be ANY self-aggrandizing, private sex-themed party-throwing organization. The parallels were obvious.  And the two bros that were main characters had a good comedic chemistry with each other, even if there was nothing uniuque about it.

But Amanda? God…The Amanda character was SOOOOOOO annoying. The filmmarkers did this on purpose, I think, to highlight the maturity of older women by showing how annoying a younger woman can be.

I did not realize one of the main characters had been in 8 episodes of 24! Weird.

Anyway… I’m glad we finally got around to watching this.


VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Death Machine (1994)

4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us, though the general public only rated it 2.7/5 stars (Netflix guessed 2.6 for us!) and 5.5/10.

This is the closest film I’ve ever seen to the movie Hardware (1990).

There are a few scenes that seem to be in DIRECT homage to Hardware. It lacks some of the comedy and psychedelia in Hardware, as well as the amazing cameos…

But in terms of cinematography, subject matter, style, and even character appearance (including the “villain”), this is simply a Poor Man’s Hardware. It even has William Hootkins (“we all sing, the wibbery-wobberly..walk!”), though he’s playing a suit instead of a perv.

Despite this being a poor man’s Hardware, it’s still better than 95% of scifi horror movies from the 1990s. So it gets 4/5 stars and 8/10, instead of the 5/5 stars and 9/10 rating that Hardware received.

Brad Dourif is pretty fricking crazy in this, and a lot of people are saying Heath Ledger must have watched this film at some point as inspiration for his insane portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight.

We watched the 111-minute (PAL/Europe) cut, though I would have preferred to get the 128 or 120-minute cut. Stay away from the 99-minute Netflix cut. You’ll be sorry. Get the PAL (europe) DVD if at all possible.



VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Smurfs (2011)

Clint & Carolyn: 3/5 stars (Netflix avg=3.6, guess for us=3.3).
Clint: 6.4/10 (high 6)
Carolyn: 6.6/10 (low 7)
IMDB: 5.3/10.

There is so much wrong with this, but could I really refuse to watch a Smurfs movie because I think it MIGHT be lame? No, I could not. Especially with Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays (Hiro’s perfect match from Heroes), and Sofia Vergara.

And was it lame? Yes, in some ways.

Of course, the original 80’s cartoon is pretty goddamn lame if you sit down and watch an episode of it in 2012, so one could argue that this movie was actually an improvement. The problem is peoples’ rose-tinted nostalgia that causes them to reject everything made on an old idea. But The Smurfs WERE ALREADY AN OLD IDEA when they came to American television. The Smurfs as a franchise are 50 years old; the cartoon is only 30 years old. It was already an adaptation before it was adapted for this movie. So get over it. The movie was fun.

They went into the real world, which is a cheesy plot device used in so many cartoon movies, as well as an excuse to cheap out on the animation budget by using live-action people.

But there was also a real charm in seeing Gargamel as a ridiculous live-action person caught in a world he doesn’t belong to. He assumes homeless people are other wizards. It’s funny, in a 3rd Rock From the Sun Season 1 kind of way, to see someone try to figure out a world they don’t belong in.
And the CGI on Azrael was really cute.

When all is said and done, we have to admit to liking this movie, even if it wasn’t great.



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