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.

This movie also gets a very special LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD for having THE STRANGEST MARIJUANA JOINTS TO BE FEATURED IN ALL OF FILMDOM.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109575

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.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0472181

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Scream 4 (2011)

4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars (Netflix’s guess for us=3.9), 6.3/10 IMDB.

We definitely had to read the wikipedia summaries of the last 3 movies, because it has been soooo long since the first 3 Scream movies came out. Plus, the 2nd and 3rd ones weren’t as good.

Fortunately, Scream 4 seems to be continuing the trend of resurrecting old horror franchises with a sequel better than the last few sequels.

Final Destination 5 was better than FD3, 4, and maybe 2. And Scream 4 is better than S3 & S2.

Horray for fixing broken franchises!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1262416

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979)

Clint: 4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars (Netflix guessed 4.1 for us), 6.7/10.

An exception to our usual focus on modern offerings.

This movie had funny moments, and the Ramones were fun.  It was very much what people would think of as a stereotypical 1980’s highschool/teen-comedy movie. Except it had The Ramones in it, which is something few other movies can boast.

Most of the main characters in this movie still have acting careers today, which is a change compared to most b-movies. As for the “Riff Vs. Kate” debate, It’s almost a tie. Riff’s clavicle is the tiebreaker. I want to see cleavage, not Skeletor. Kate wins.

Interesting that CBS censors mentions of DDT in Teenage Lobotomy when this movie airs on TV, but cocaine and swastikas are just fine. Can’t mess with Monansanto!

And how the fuck are they remaking this? I guess this movie could be remade for every band out there that has a fandom, but it’s never going to be something as seminal as the fucking RAMONES!

It will probably still be better than the sequel I just found out about – Rock ‘N’ Roll High School Forever (1992) – staring Corey Feldman (feat Mojo Nixon). Or the 2nd sequel, Shake, Rattle and Rock! (1994), starring Renee Zellweger and Howie Mandel (feat Paul Anka). God help us all.

At least the 3rd one has some of the original characters and actors from the first one (including P.J. Soles).

Still though — good times!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079813

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Gamers: Dorkness Rising (2008)

4/5 stars, 7/10 from both of us.

A real D&D movie! That’s actually funny, too!

Super low budget though. I wouldn’t even call this a b-movie, I’d call it a c-movie.  The acting is quite often bad and stilted, but you know what? We still enjoyed it a lot anyway!

Major nerdgasm this movie was.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0447166

Homo Erectus (2007)

Native ratings: Netflix:2.4/5 stars (guess for us=3.3), IMDB:3.4/10.

That’s pretty fucking low. So we knew this was going to be kind of retarded.

The “Stoned Age” title implies there’s going to be some kind of drug humor, but this is basically just a caveman comedy (think “Year One”, but worse, but with better cameos).

There are also a lot of notable people in the cast to help off-set the badness. It was weird seeing Ali Larter (the blonde schizo from Heroes, also in Final Destination 1) in a comedic role…

Or seeing Adrianne from Rocky, Carol Alt as an amazon queen, Gary Busey as a wizard, David Carradine in TWO roles, Ron Jeremy, and Tom Arnold (fortunately only a few seconds).

In the end, it was a mix of like and don’t like.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5.0/10.
Clint::::: 2.9/5 stars, 5.9/10.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0484207

[IMDB]

This movie seemed kid of old and random. A lot of it fell flat. I guess this is why I don’t like older movies.

I probably would have liked this a lot when it came out, and if I’d seen it in the 80’s, nostalgia might have made me like it more now. But it was actually barely likeable.

Parthena: 2/5 stars, 5/10. “Some parts were funny, other parts that could have been either epic OR amusingly horrible were a bit…flat.”

Eli: 2/5 stars, 5/10. “I got my kicks out of kinda ripping off lord of the rings and I think
star wars, but all in all not amazingly well acted or cut together.”

Clint: 2.4/5 stars, 5.4/10.

Carolyn: 2.7/5 stars, 5.6/10. “I agree it wasn’t all that spectacular.”
Native rating: 3.5/5 stars (which was also Netflix’s guess for us), 6.6/10.

Peter MacNicol – the “weasel” from 24, Ally McBeal. So annoying! Not quite as annoying here, but I just kept screaming “WEASEL!” every time he went on the screen.

Valerian and Tyrian? Both actors who play them are now dead…

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082288

p.s. Happy X-Day or something.

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