VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation (2013) (watched in 3-D)

JSun: 5/5, 2/10 …. He said it’s his favorite movie of all time, but only rated it 2 out of 10.  A bold choice, indeed. “I said 10!!!” No you didn’t! ;)
Claire: 4/5, 7.6/10
Evan: 4/5, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3/5, 7/10.
Sean: “3-D was 10/10, experience was 10/10″…but it seemed pretty clear that he really hated the movie, hehe.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 5.8/10 IMDB.

This movie was utterly fucking ridiculous, but it knew it was being ridiculous.  Watching it with a bunch of friends heightened the enjoyment of this movie, and if we were alone, it probably wouldn’t have been as fun. But isn’t that true about most things?

This, however, was totally over-the-top. Even compared to the first A-Team movie!! And that’s saying a lot!

I have to admit…The first one was better.  But there were certain aspects that this movie pulled off better, like making things comicbook/cartoon-ishly ridiculous.  I certainly would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed G.I. Joe 1.

The 3-D was awesome too; this was one of the first movies we watched with our new Samsung 240Hz 3-D Smart TV.

Directed by Jon M. Chu (some Justin Beiber stuff).

Written by Rhett Reese (Zombieland, Monsters Inc, Cruel Intentions 3) & Paul Wernick (Zombieland).

Starring Dwayne Johnson (The Rock in wrestling, Fast & Furious 6-7, The Mummy Returns, 1 ep o Transformers Prime) as Roadblock.
Jonathan Pryce (Sam Lowry in Brazil, G.I. Joe 1, Pirates Of The Caribbean movies, What A Girl Wants, The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen) as President.
Byung-hun Lee (Red 2, G.I. Joe 1) as Storm Shadow.
Elodie Yung (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo remake) as Jinx, Storm Shadow’s cousin.
Ray Stevenson (Thor, The Three Musketeers, 9 eps of Dexter) as Firefly.
D.J. Cotrona as Flint.
Adrianne Palicki (Red Dawn, 4 eps of Robot Chicken, 4 eps of Titan Maximum, 1 ep of Smallville, 1 ep of Family Guy) as Jaye.
Channing Tatum (Side Effects, This Is The End) as Duke.
Ray Park (Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Heroes, Fanboys, X-Men, ) as Snake Eyes.
Luke Bracey (225 eps of Home And Away) as Cobra Commander.
Walton Goggins (Django Unchained, Predators, Machete Kills, The Bourne Identity, The Crow 3: Salvation, 1 ep of Unsupervised) as Warden Nigel James.
Arnold Vosloo (Habib Marwan in 17 eps of 24, The Mummy movies, 1 ep of Young Justice) as Zartan.
Joseph Mazzello (The Social Network) as Mouse.
Nick Erickson as President Picture Double.
RZA (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, Repo Men, Due Date, Funny People) as Blind Master.
Matt Gerald (Avatar, Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines, Magnolia, 2 eps of Dexter) as Havoc.
Douglas M. Griffin (This Is The End, Oldboy remake) as Doctor.
Joe Chrest (Oldboy remake, Red, Ocean’s Thirteen, Clockwatchers) as Chief of Staff.
Bruce Willis as General Joe Colton.
James Carville (Fox News commenter) as James Carville.
Ryan Hansen (Superhero Movie, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Grunt.
DeRay Davis (10 eps of The Boondocks, uncredited in Get Him To The Greek) as Stoop.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1583421/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Immortal (Ad Vitam) (2004)

Claire: 2.4/5 stars, 5.4/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Evan: 2.7/5 stars, 5.5/10.
Native ratings: 3.0/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

I GOT A NEW TV! And this was the first thing watched on it– A weird animation/live-action mix sci-fi flick taking place in 2095 and dealing with gods, aliens, possession, being raped by a person possessed by a god….. All based on a trilogy of French comic books.

Carolyn: This didn’t live up to our expectations. It was nice to see as the first 3-D movie on our new TV, but it was hard to follow the story. It had a lot going on: Egyptian gods, aliens, genetically altered humans and mutants, escaped prisoners who are being tracked down… It was a lot to keep track of, especially while visually enjoying the 3-D. There was potential, but it didn’t quite get there.

Claire: I didn’t like the movie that much. Visually, it was very awesome, but I still didn’t really like it — Which made it a good choice for my first non-anaglyph 3-D home movie viewing. When you get a new tech setup, you don’t want to dive right in and watch/do your favorite/most-important thing first, because you still want to do system tuning. I’m very glad that the first 3-D movie I watched was NOT one that I enjoyed, because it turns out my TV wasn’t 100% setup correctly (had to turn sharpness down) anyway. I’d much rather have a setup error affect a 2-star movie than a 5-star movie :)

But yea. It was confusing. I wasn’t really sure what the fuck was going on a lot of the time. I didn’t really understand how the side-plots really fit together with the main plot. It was great eye candy, and I sort of digested it that way. The eyes of some of the CGI characters were so 3-dimensionally sunken into their head that it was creepy as fuck! Definitely interesting, and I’m glad I finally watched it, but yeah… Missed potential is the name of the game here.

Evan: I’d agree that it had potential, but their effects needed a lot more polish before I would really consider it any good. If they had made the whole movie animation [instead of a mix of animation and live-action], it might have gotten a better score.

Directed by Enki Bilal. Written by Enki Bilal (comic books “La Foire Aux Immortels” and “La Femme Pie`ge”), Serge Lehman.

Starring Linda Hardy as Jill Bioskop.
Thomas Kretschmann (Hostel 3, 2 eps of 24) as Alcide Nikopol.
Charlotte Rampling (12 eps of Dexter) as Dr. Elma Turner.
Yann Collette as Froebe.
Fre’de’ric Pierrot as John.
Thomas M. Pollard as Horus.
Joe Sheridan as Allgood.
Corinne Jaber as Lily Liang.
Olivier Achard as Checker.
Jerry Di Giacomo as Jack Turner.
Paul Bandey as Dayaks (voice).
Coralie Seyrig as Bastet (voice).
Goran Vejvoda as Anubis (voice).
Barbara Scaff (Heavy Rain) as Jill (voice).
Dominic Gould as John (voice).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0314063/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: My Little Pony: Equestria Girls (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10. “I am a chick and I like cartoons, so I am allowed to love My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.” (Notice how she leaves me in the lurch there?)
Jesse: 3/5 stars, 7/10. “OK, I actually enjoyed that. It was actually constructed in such a way as to be philosophically relevant.”
Native ratings: 4.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

My Little Pony:Friendship Is Magic decided to make a movie about Twilight Sparkle becoming human in a parallel pony world. This actually happened specifically because of bronies, yet they were the ones who backlashed the hardest. Bronies be like, “WTF is this shit!?”, and other bronies be like, “Calm down, maybe it won’t be that bad….” and “Trust the writers…” We were somewhat skeptical ourselves.

Then it comes out, and brace yourself…memes are coming! So many unending memes. We finally got to see it, so now the madness will make sense again. Plus we wanted to be caught up on everything prior to attending Bronycon 2013 (with 8407 other bronies).

Anyway, it was pretty entertaining. I didn’t like how the fighting scenes basically had no fighting in them, relying on deus ex machina tropes to resolve things. I didn’t like how super-convenient the plot was with these kinds of things. But I also accept that this was supposed to be a warm piece about friendship and magic, and that if I’d wanted long and gratuitous fight scenes, I should be watching one of the many animated superhero cartoons I regularly watch. It was a neat exploration of “what if non-human characters became human”, a trope that every non-human animated series should explore for at least one episode. Only this time, we got a whole movie out of it.

Carolyn: It turned out that it wasn’t so bad. It was actually pretty fun. I really enjoyed it.

Directed by Jayson Thiessen.

With the standard My Little Pony crew:

Written by Meghan McCarthy.
Starring Tara Strong (Bubbles from Powerpuff Girls, Toot in Drawn Together, Mary Jane Watson in Ultimate Spider-Man, Sym-Bionic Titan, Wolverine And The X-Men, 20 eps of Family Guy, 4 eps of Clerks-TAS, 4 eps of Gravity Falls) as Twilight Sparkle.
Ashleigh Ball (Allura in Voltron Force, Iron Man: Armored Adventures) as Applejack / Rainbow Dash.
Andrea Libman (1 ep of X-Men: Evolution, a bunch of My Little Pony and Care-Bear stuff) as Pinkie Pie / Fluttershy.
Tabitha St. Germain (12 eps of Aaagh! It’s the Mr. Hell Show!, Olive Oyl in Popeye‘s Voyage: The Quest For Pappy, 7 eps of Iron Man: Armored Adventures, 5 eps of Voltron Force, 8 eps of DragonBall Z, The Legend of Zelda-TAS, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, ALF-TAS, 1 ep of X-Men: Evolution, other My Little Pony stuff) as Rarity / Princess Luna / Vice Principal Luna / Cup Cake.
Cathy Weseluck (Thor: Tales of Asgard, 2 eps of X-Men: Evolution, DragonBall Z, 1 ep of Aaagh! It’s the Mr. Hell Show!) as Spike.
Rebecca Shoichet (3 eps of Iron Man: Armored Adventures) as Sunset Shimmer / Twilight Sparkle – singing.
Lee Tockar (3 eps of Iron Man: Armored Adventures, 3 eps of Beast Wars, 2 eps of X-Men: Evolution, 1 ep of Wonder Showzen, 1 ep of 2 Stupid Dogs) as Snips.
Nicole Oliver (9 eps of X-Men: Evolution, 9 eps of Aaagh! It’s the Mr. Hell Show!, The Vision of Escaflowne) as Princess Celestia / Principal Celestia / Cheerilee.
Vincent Tong (Daniel in Voltron Force, Iron Man: Armored Adventures) as Flash Sentry.
Britt McKillip (other My Little Pony stuff) as Princess Cadance.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2908228/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: EVIEW: Iron Man: Rise Of Technovore (2013)

Claire: 3.6/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Jesse: ??
Native ratings: 3.0/5 stars Netflix, 5.2/10 IMDB.

An animated Iron Man movie is something to look forward to. Unfortunately, this was very anime-ish, which meant storytelling flaws — like most anime. Things seemed to happen a little too conveniently, with so much of a lack of an explanation for why a situation-solving event would happen that it may as well be a deus ex machina.

You’re probably better off watching the Avengers and Iron Man cartoon series than this… However, this has some blood and death, and is a full length movie, and is starring one of the Walking Dead cast members as The Punisher, who plays a fairly prominent role in this movie. These are some of the good aspects. The first act is the strongest, and the movie gets weaker through the deus ex machina-ish ending.

There is still value in this movie, though.

Directed by Hiroshi Hamazaki. Written by Kengo Kaji.

Starring Norman Reedus (Daryl from The Walking Dead, Boondock Saints movies, Pandorum, Mimic) as Frank Castle / The Punisher.
Matthew Mercer (Tygra in the new Thundercats, Resident Evil: Damnation, some video games such as Soul Calibur 5, Call of Duty, Mortal Kombat 9) as Tony Stark / Iron Man.
Eric Bauza (Lord Stingray in Superjail!, Stimpy in Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon, 4 eps of Adventure Time, 3 eps of Gravity Falls, 1 ep of Ultimate Spider-Man, 1 ep of Iron Man: Armored Adventures, 1 ep of Black Dynamite-TAS) as Ezekiel Stane / Technovore.
Kate Higgins (Scarlet Witch in Wolverine And The X-Men, Yukio in the Wolverine anime, 1 ep of The Legend Of Korra, Barbie in Barbie: Life In The Dreamhouse) as Pepper Potts.
John Eric Bentley (Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, 3 eps of Tron: Uprising) as Nick Fury.
James C. Mathis III (Black Panther in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, 4 eps of Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes / War Machine.
Kari Wahlgren (Gladys in The Life & Times Of Tim, Milan in Good Vibes, 14 eps of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, 5 eps of Gravity Falls, 2 eps of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Tigress in Kung Fu Panda: Legends Of Awesomeness, 5 eps of Sym-Bionic Titan) as Maria Hill.
Clare Grant (5 eps of Mad, 4 eps of Robot Chicken, 3 eps of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 1 ep of Warren The Ape) as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow.
Troy Baker (Hawkeye in Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, Yellowjacket in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Loki and Hawkeye in Ultimate Spider-Man, 6 eps of the X-Men anime, and 1 ep of the Wolverine anime) as Clint Barton / Hawkeye / J.A.R.V.I.S..
JB Blanc (Barry Goodman in Breaking Bad, 8 eps of the Wolverine anime, 2 eps of the Iron Man anime, 3 eps of Black Panther, 5 eps of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes) as Obadiah Stane.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2654124/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Superman: Unbound (2013)

Claire: 4.4/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.4/10 IMDB.

This one was still good, but it didn’t seem as good as the last movies. This wasn’t Bruce Timm’s work.

But it’s still pretty damn good, because we love us some superhero cartoons! Especially ones not made for TV.

That being said… How many times do we have to watch Superman fight off Braniac? It seems to have happened like 5 times now. I’m getting a bit tired of it.

This was still pretty solid, though.

Directed by James Tucker (5 eps of Batman Beyond, 5 eps of Static Shock, 4 eps of Legion Of Super Heroes).
Written by Bob Goodman (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns 1&2, 51 eps of Batman Beyond, 51 eps of Superman, 2 eps of The Batman, 4 eps of Justice League, 8 eps of The Zeta Project)

Matt Bomer (In Time) as Superman / Clark Kent.
Stana Katic (3 eps of 24, 2 eps of Heroes) as Lois Lane.
John Noble (The Dragon Spirit in The Last Airbender movie, 100 eps of Fringe, 3 eps of Transformers Prime, 3 eps of 24) as Brainiac.
Molly C. Quinn (105 eps of Castle, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) as Supergirl / Kara Zor-El.
Diedrich Bader (Batman in Batman: The Brave And The Bold, Guy Gardner in The Green Lantern-TAS, Kraven The Hunter in Ultimate Spider-Man, 2 eps of Gravity Falls, 3 eps of King Of The Hill) as Steve Lombard.
Jason Beghe (X-Men: First Class, Thelma & Louise, Maid To Order) as Terrorist Leader.
Frances Conroy (the mom from Six Feet Under, The Wicker Man remake) as Ma Kent.
Melissa Disney (Blade in Batman Beyond) as Thara.
Alexander Gould (Shane Botwin from Weeds, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Jimmy Olsen.
Sirena Irwin (Persephone in Striperella, 3 eps of Adventure Time, 80 eps of Spongebob Squarepants, 3 eps of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Alura.
Andrea Romano (voice actress casting director) as News Anchor #2 / Superman‘s Ship.
Stephen Root (Bill Dauterive in King Of The Hill, Office Space, NewsRadio, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Penguin in Batman: The Brave And The Bold, 4 eps of Gravity Falls, 2 eps of The Legend Of Korra, 1 ep of the new Thundercats) as Zor-El.
Wade Williams (Harvey Dent in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1, Black Mask in Batman: Under The Red Hood, The Dark Knight Rises) as Perry White.
Michael-Leon Wooley (Twayne Boneraper in Ugly Americans, 2 eps of Batman: The Brave And The Bold, 1 ep of Delocated) as Ron Troupe.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2617456/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: SHOWS: REVIEW: Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

Clio: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 5.6/10 IMDB.

We forgot to watch the pilot movie to The Clone Wars cartoon series! For the uninformed, Clone Wars is the the CGI animated TV series that’s been airing since 2008. It chronicles the period of time between Episode 2 and Episode 3 of the Star Wars movies. We recently finished the last season of Clone Wars, and decided to go ahead and watch the introductory movie — since apparently we are doing things backwards. (And no, we haven’t seen the Clone Wars animated shorts by Dexter’s Lab/Samurai Jack animator Genndy Tartakovsky, which precede this movie that precedes the series we watched. Maybe we’ll do that next.)

This was a great introduction to the show. This seemed better than the 1st season of the actual show. We didn’t really like the first season all that much, and the “roger roger” droids were really annoying and juvenile. We barely slogged through the 2nd season. By the 3rd season we were begrudgingly admitting this series’s awesomeness, but we still were into it at a lower level than most other shows, procrastinating so much that when we watched Season 4, season 5 started a mere week after we finished. But here’s the kicker: We watched Season 4 in like a week. A season at a time, this series goes down MUCH better. It got totally worth it. The ending of season 5 is a shocker. We’ve also gotten to enjoy many side episodes, for example an episode about only the droids. There are some pretty epic lightsabre battles in the series, like watching Dooku go toe to toe with Darth Maul.

As bad as the first season is, I strongly recommend any Star Wars fan to slog through and watch all 5 seasons of The Clone Wars — plus the remaining bits that are still to be released. (New animation has stopped, but they’re still going to release some stuff to wrap it all up.)

But perhaps, unlike us, you should watch this movie/pilot first.

Starring Matt Lanter (Harry Osborn in Ultimate Spider-Man, Brody Mitchum in Heroes) as Anakin Skywalker (voice).
Ashley Eckstein (8 episodes of That’s So Raven) as Ahsoka Tano (voice).
James Arnold Taylor (Wooldoor Sockbat in Drawn Together, Green Arrow in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1, 4 eps of Young Justice) as Obi-Wan Kenobi / 4-A7 / Medical Droid (voice).
Dee Bradley Baker (The new Thundercats, Adventure Time, Avatar The Last Airbender, Ultimate Spider-Man, Waddles the pig in Gravity Falls, and many more) as Clone Troopers / Captain Rex / Cody / Fox (voice).
Tom Kane (Professor Utonium in The Powerpuff Girls, Magneto in Wolverine And The X-Men, and much more) as Yoda / Narrator / Admiral Yularen (voice).
Ian Abercrombie (Mr. Pitt in Seinfeld, Green Lantern-TAS) as Chancellor Palpatine / Darth Sidious (voice).
Kevin Michael Richardson as Jabba the Hutt (voice).
Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury in the Marvel movies, Django Unchained, Snakes On A Plane) as Mace Windu (voice).
Christopher Lee (Saruman in the Lord Of The Rings movies, Death in The Color Of Magic, The Golden Compass) as Count Dooku (voice).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1185834/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: The Lorax (2012)

Clio: 2.8/5 stars, 5.4/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Native ratings: 4.1/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

Based on the Dr. Suess book. Very generic. Too many songs. It’d probably be more enjoyable for a young kid, but didn’t have nearly as much to offer to adults.

Worth it to be able to visually explore a CGI instance of a Seuss-inspired world. For a lot of these Seuss movies, that’s really the sole point: Seeing what it looks like a grander scale.

Worth it, but I’d like more.

Directed by:
Chris Renaud (Despicable Me) and Kyle Balda.
written by: Ken Daurio (Despicable Me, Horton Hears A Who, College Road Trip, The Santa Clause 2).

Starring Danny DeVito (Taxi, Penguin in Batman Returns, Twins, The War Of The Roses, Man On The Moon, Mars Attacks!, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia) as The Lorax.
Ed Helms (Andy Bernard in The Office, The Hangover movies, 3 eps of Arrested Development, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay) as The Once-ler.
Zac Efron (Anakin Skywalker in Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III, 17 Again, High School Musical, 1 ep of Firefly) as Ted.
Taylor Swift (the singer) as Audrey.
Betty White as Grammy Norma.
Rob Riggle (P.O.T.N. in NTSF:SD:SUV, 4 eps of American Dad, The Hangover, Step Brothers, Human Giant, Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby) as Mr. O’Hare.
Jenny Slate (2 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of Ugly Americans, Saturday Night Live) as Ted’s Mom.
Nasim Pedrad (87 eps of Saturday Night Live, The Dictator, 7 eps of Allen Gregory) as Once-ler’s Mom.
Elmarie Wendel (Mrs. Dubcek in 3rd Rock From The Sun, 1 ep of American Dad, 5 eps of General Hospital) as Aunt Grizelda.
Danny Cooksey (5 eps of Invader Zim, Kung Fu Panda, 2 eps of G.I. Joe Renegades, Tiny Toon Adventures, Terminator 2, Static Shock, Dave The Barbarian) as Brett / Chet.
Stephen Tobolowsky (Bob Bishop in Heroes, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Boxboarders!, Buried) as Uncle Ubb.
Chris Renaud (he’s the director of The Lorax, Despicable Me) as Forest Animals.

 

Christie: Agreed. Liked it, but too many songs.

 

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1482459/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Queer Duck: The Movie (2006) [NOT the 1999 TV series]

Clio: 3.6/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 2.9/5 stars Netflix, 5.7/10 IMDB.

That was a pretty funny gay-oriented adult cartoon series-cum-movie. It felt more like a tv show than a movie… But it just kept going. Actually, that feeling is probably explained by the fact that this apparently *was* a series in the past (1999).

There was definitely some good voice acting here. Queer Duck‘s voice actor was Prince Valium from Spaceballs, and also in National Lampoon’s One, Two, Many. The woman he was with played Dilmom in Dilbert:TAS, and was Dora In A Dirty Shame. Both of them were in Kissing Jessica Stein.

We also have Kevin Michael Richardson, Billy West, Estelle Harris, Mark Hamil, Tim Curry, Andy Dick, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Jeff Bennet… And Conan O’Brien & David Duchovyny (as tiny Jesus).

So it sounded great. It was mature, adult, edgy… With songs. And pretty gay. This  is the gayest cartoon we’ve seen since we watched all 13 episodes of Rick & Steve:The Happiest Gay Couple In The World.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0485288/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: VIDEO GAMES: REVIEW: Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 4.2/5 stars Netflix, 7.9/10 IMDB.

I defer to Carolyn’s rating for this one. I kept falling asleep. I definitely still followed everything that happened in the movie, but it lost it’s potential for full effect on me. I could tell it was awesome, but I just wasn’t SURE it was awesome. I’m not even going to rate it because I don’t even know how I feel about it.

But hey! Carolyn loved it! A lot of people loved it! I’ll be watching this again someday, 7 years from now.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1772341/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES/COMIC BOOKS/CARTOONS: REVIEW: Astonishing X-Men: Gifted (2010)

Clint: 4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 6.5/10 IMDB.

Did I mention this was written by Joss Whedon?

Very interesting animation… It looks like it’s going to be motion-comic-style with hardly any real movement and no lip-moving, but then it turns out to be almost fully animated. Still more “comic-book-y” than any “real” animation… But I think this really meets the halfway point between the two, in a way that I’ve never seen done better in my life. However, the strange warping they did to simulate 3D-ness kind of wigged me out. But I get it: This is a motion comic, they take shortcuts, lower budget means higher ability for more releases. Works for me. You just gotta accept it.

My one problem with this was that there was no steadfast conclusion to all the various stories spinning up (and down). In that respect, yes, it was very comic-book-y. Almost too much! Though… If something like this came out once a month for the rest of my life, it’d be frickin’ awesome.

Also, the voices weren’t top-notch… Beast’s voice especially threw me off as being so different from what I’m accustomed to that it was actually distracting. But again, that’s kind of something you have to accept when doing with motion-comic type releases (Even though this is the most motion-y motion comic I’ve ever seen.)

But other than that? That was pretty fucking awesome. It took place in the current chronology: The Legacy Virus is long gone… Beast had his secondary cat mutation… Colossus is dead…Jean is long dead [again, but this time for real]… Cyclops is dating Emma Frost The White Queen now….  [Which, if you read the wiki on Jean… Her spirit actually basically rose from her grave to tell Scott it was okay to hook up with Emma…]

WAIT WAIT WAIT.. THIS IS ONLY THE FIRST OF FOUR “MOVIES” (some call them seasons, but they are analagous to Whedon’s graphic novels)?!?! WTF!!! WELP.. I’M OFF TO GET THE REST! CYA!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2047677/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (both parts) (2012, 2013)

Clint/Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10 (part 1), 10/10 (part 2/both parts together).
Native ratings: 3.9/5 stars Netflix (only part 1 available), 7.9/10 and 8.1/10 IMDB.

Frank Miller’s Batman adaptation is concluded with this, which really should be the 4th movie in the current live-action Batman movies, but whatever.

The live-action Batman movies have been frickin’ amazing, but they have been less true to the comics than almost every other Batman adaptation out there. (They do kill people in the live-action movies a lot more, though.)

Set in the future, Batman had been retired for 10 years, and Commissioner Gordon is set to retire in a few days. (A cop should never say he is 3 days from retirement because bad things happen!)

This ties together Twoface, The Joker, Batman being old, Superman, and futuristic mutant gangs (that part definitely reminded us of Batman Beyond at times–except without the new Batman. But we get a new Robin). There is a lot going on, and it really takes both movies to conclude it all. (Though the total runtime is only about 2.5 hours for both movies combined, we watched one-per-night.)

This was really, really, really good.  Bruce Timm’s Batman productions have been top-tier for well over 20 years now. Nobody has such a consistent longstanding record of producing quality superhero animation.

Peter Weller (Robocop) as Batman was pretty interesting too. He sounded older (which he was, he has grey hair in this).
And this Batman is more hardcore. There is blood, beatings, murder. It’s rated PG-13 but it would probably be R back in the 80’s. THIS IS THE SHIT. This is maybe my favorite Batman animation ever.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2313197/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Spider-Woman, Agent of S.W.O.R.D. (2009) [Marvel Knights]

Clint: 3.2/5 stars, 6.4/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 5.9/10 IMDB (not available on Netflix).

Only 51 minutes; a compilation of 5 motion comics that were about 10 minutes each.

Carolyn thought the dialog was a bit stilted and annoying, but this is really meant to be in the same vein as a comic book, not a movie… So I don’t hold it against it as much.

The artwork was good — Spider-Woman was modeled after Jolynn Carpenter. Did a google image search on her afterward. Yup! Spider-Woman!

The voice acting wasn’t as good.

A motion comic is a really low budget thing… I celebrate additional low-grade stuff vs having nothing.

I could see this as being done as an animated series akin to the Men In Black animated series. I’d watch it.

The conclusion seemed kind of rushed. Like, “Whoa, it’s suddenly over?” I thought more was going to happen but then it suddenly felt like The End.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1673449/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Frankenweenie (2012)

Clint: 4.6/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native rating: 4/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

All Tim Burton is good (except for his Planet Of The Apes sequel), but some Tim Burton is better than other Tim Burton. For example, Nightmare Before Christmas is better than Corpse Bride.  This one was good, but not his top-notch work. It was good to finally see his 1984 short developed into a full length Frankestein homage feature.

I’m not sure if I’ve seen 1080p black-and-white stop-motion-animation before, it was certainly an interesting look, though I will always prefer the world of color to the world of black-and-white. It did help make the Frankenstein homage more accurate.

Carolyn: Yeah, I thought it would have been better in color, but I guess the black and white was a throwback to black and white horror movies…  I thought this was better than Corpse Bride, but not as good as Nightmare Before Christmas.  I was sad they didn’t find a way to save Mr. Whiskers.  Poor Mr. Whiskers.

Clint: MR. WHISKERS WAS A CUNT

Carolyn: HE WAS A VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCE!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1142977/?ref_=sr_1

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: ParaNorman (2012)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7.7/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native rating: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

Stop-motion animation, but sometimes augmented by cgi. Definitely had a distinct look, which is a rarer thing with American animated movies these days.
Visual wise this was probably 8-9/10.

Story-wise, it wasn’t super, but at least it was dark. Kid can talk to ghosts. Everyone makes fun of him. But then a curse hits the town, and his skill becomes relevant.

This felt like something along the lines of Coraline, but not quite as creepy. Definitely a good halloween movie to see. Stop-motion isn’t dead!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1623288/

VIDEO: MOVIE: CARTOONS: ANIME: REVIEW: Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) (Japan)

Clint: 3.6/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10. “Good. No Howl’s Castle or Princess Mononoke, but still.” And that’s about how I feel.
Native ratings: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.8/10.

Hayao Miyazaki. Great animator. Great director. Good writer. Huge body of work.

The plot wasn’t super exciting and full of jam-packed action, as it was more character-driven than plot-driven. There was no “bad guy” for example. Just a 13 year old girl trying to live independently for a year, as is the custom with witches.

And if you can fly on a broomstick, why not start a delivery service?

I do feel like it puttered out at the end a bit, which is a trope among anime. Anime is often more about the voyage than the destination, and that remains true here. But less frustratingly so than usual.

This was so lighthearted!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097814/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: CARTOON: Brave (2012)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Native: 4.2/5 stars, 7.4/10.

Good–but not as good as the other Pixar/etc current-day animated movies.

We don’t face huge evil threats like in How I Trained My Dragon, we don’t face anything as ridiculously creative as Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, and we don’t face anything as emotionally poingnant as Up.

But it’s still good. Just not great. It was perhaps a tad cliche.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1217209/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Starship Troopers: Invasion (2012) (anim)

3/5 stars, 7/10 from the both of us.
Native rating: Netflix 3.2/5 stars, IMDB 5.8/10.

A nice coda to the movies & the Roughnecks animated series.

This really opens up possibilities for the story to progress much further than it ever has… But will we ever see anything out of the Starship Troopers franchise again?

After watching all 3 movies, the 40 episodes of the Roughnecks cgi series, and even the shitty anime version — how much more steam can Starship Troopers have?

Time for a reboot?

Hell no, I’d much rather then continue the story further, beyond the realm the books ever went to.

Actually… Instead of making this fucking movie, they should have concluded the final unfinished story arc of the Roughnecks series. In a way, this movie is like spitting in our faces, spitefully saying “we could have finished Rougnecks, but no, fuck you, we’ll make this instead”.

But it’s still better than nothing. And to many, better than Starship Troopers 2 & 3.

But not to us — we LIKED the sequels, especially Starship Troopers 3.

I would like to know more.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2085930/

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/

VIDEO: MOVIE: CARTOON: ANIME: The Secret World of Arrietty aka Arrietty The Borrower aka Kari-gurashiNoArietti (2010)

Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native rating: 3.9/5 stars (Netflix incorrectly guessed we’d rate this lower–3.7/5), 7.7/10.

Hayao Miyazaki FTW!
Almost everything he touches is gold!
Can studio Ghibli do wrong?

This is really good!

Based on The Borrowers, which is something we were utterly unfamiliar with — making it more enjoyable by depriving us of any bullshit rose-colored nostalgia for the “original”.

We actually watched the English (US, not UK) dub with Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, and Carol Burnett. Normally we watch Japanese, but we ran into “technical difficulties”.

Carolyn still likes Ponyo better, but not me. I was a bit disappointed with Ponyo, despite really liking it.If I had to rank Miyazaki-involved films in order from my favorite to least, it would probably be:
Howl’s Moving Castle
Princess Mononoke
Arietty
Ponyo
Spirited Away
The Cat Returns (he was just a producer for this one)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1568921/

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Superman vs. The Elite (2012) (animated)

5/5 stars, 9/10 from both of us.
Native rating is 4.0/5 stars, 7.2/10.

Pragmatism clashes with idealism in a battle that is as much about current-world 2012 politics as it is about superheroes.

When the hell did Superman become politically relevant in a post-911 world?

Among other things, Bialya == Libya, and The Elite are pretty much a direct metahpor to the post-911 way of thinking and handling criminals, while Superman represents the pre-911 way of handling criminals.

The so-called Bruce Timm-verse of animated DC comics has been an amazing thing to experience over the past 20 years, but he is only one of 4 executive producers. He didn’t get directly involved with this one, and it has a very different (incongruous to Timm’s direct productions) feel because of that. THIS IS A GOOD THING. Variety is nice.

Seeing a whole new team of superpowered individuals that I’d never heard of was pretty cool too. The character design for Managerie was awesome!

It’s hard to fail us with these animated comic movies. They are a good substitute for the three superhero cartoons we miss the most: Batman:TAS (1990s), Superman:TAS (1990s), and Justice League (2000s).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2224455/