VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The FP (2011)

Clio: 4.4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 6.6/10.
Native ratings: 2.9/5 stars Netflix, 4.7/10 IMDB.

This movie is perhaps best summarized as Idiocracy meets Rocky meets 8 Mile meets the videogame Dance Dance Revolution.

“In a post apocalyptic future, two rival gangs fight for control of Frazier Park by playing “Beat Beat Revelation”, a deadly version of Dance, Dance, Revolution(tm).”

Yes. An incredibly ridiculous premise. As soon as I read the summary, I KNEW I had to see it. I love Dance Dance Revolution, and I love post apocalypstic futures… Though I gotta say, that part of the summary was mis-leading. It doesn’t look post-apocalyptic. It doesn’t look apocalyptic. It doesn’t look like the future either. People drive around older cars and use payphones. Things are obviously bad, and people talk in a very different, stupider way … But it’s not really made obvious that there was ever any apocalypse. It’s a bit dystopian, that’s all.

But that’s a very minor complaint. This was one of those bad movies that is hilarious. Carolyn was somewhat annoyed at the dialogue, but it was still pretty funny. And they were doing that on purpose. Talking like fucking idiots. So much slang. Like the education system has collapsed and street talk has taken over the world… Yet people are still civilized enough to have Dance Dance Revolution machines at clubs and party spots.

The opening scene had someone dying from DDR.

This was awesome. And so unique and ridiculous. It may as well have been a cartoon. Fuck yeah.

Written & directed by Brandon Trost (mostly a cinematographer and special effects guy) & his brother Jason Trost (Hatchet 3, Crank 2, Scream 2), who played JTro.

Main characters JTRO and Stacy aren’t actors that have been in anything we’ve seen. But other stars included:
Art Hsu (Crank 2, uncredited role in Pirates Of The Caribbean 3) as KCDC.
Clifton Collins Jr. (Crank 2, Star Trek (2009), Traffic, uncredited role in Scott Pilgrim Vs The World) as CC Jam. DID NOT RECOGNIZE HIM.
James DeBello (Detroit Rock City, Dorm Daze, Cabin Fever, Scary Movie 2, American Pie 1) as Beat Box Busta Bill. Recognized him.
Nick Principe (uncredited role in Hatchet 2) as BLT.
Sean Whalen (A Midsummer’s Night Rave, Charlie’s Angels, Hatchet 3, Twister, Waterworld, Men In Black, The Cable Guy, The Bold And The Beautiful) as Stacy‘s Dad.
Dash Mihok (Sex & Death 101, I Am Legend, The Day After Tomorrow, Sleepers) as henchman Cody.
Michael Sandow (usually a camera guy) as henchman Jody.
James Remar (Harry Morgan in Dexter, Django Unchained, X-Men: First Class, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Pineapple Express, Ratatouille, 4 eps of Justice League, The Girl Next Door) as Narrator.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1296373/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

Clio: 2.8/5 stars, 5.8/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

Man. This movie had such potential. The main cast is Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey, Olivia Wilde, and (less so) James Gandolfini (Sopranos!) and Alan Arkin (The Change-Up, Argo, Gattaca, Grosse Pointe Blank, The Last Unicorn, Edward Scissorhands).

These are all great actors.

The premise was suspicious — rival magicians? Well, it’s just ridiculous enough that it could work! They make fun of Criss Angel, and do make a valid point that these new “magicians” aren’t doing tricks… They are doing stunts, and that’s not “magic”.

It’s directed by the 30 Rock director. People say that’s funny, right?  Well at this point, I’m less likely to watch 30 Rock than ever… Because this movie FELL FLAT. Let’s look at who wrote it… A guy involved in Shit My Dad Says (the show). If I’d known that… I’d probably have steered clear of this movie. The other writer was Mitch from the movie Waiting, but yea… These guys don’t write funny things I’ve heard of.

So yes. Magic-partner buddy bromance with a side of romance, and a side of friendship. Many ingredients that could have worked together well, but ultimately did not.

 

This movie is hollow and fell flat. It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t that good.

There were definitely laughs, and a scene or two I’ll never forget in my entire life. But I don’t know if it was worth our time. Perhaps we would have enjoyed it better if we had seen The Prestige.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0790628/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Change-Up (2011)

Clio: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

This was a fun comedy.  Sooo much better than This Is 40. Why did I just mention This Is 40? We thought this was a Judd Apatow movie, but then it turned out not to be Judd Apatow. Leslie Mann‘s presence really threw us off.  This movie is actually written by the guys who wrote the Hangover movies. It’s good to know they can do other things. They should write more movies.

This was basically Freaky Friday, updated for the Apatow crowd.  Lots of humor. Including foul humor. Think about it: In the Freaky Friday-type movies, one person is always a minor. Sex doesn’t really come up. By updating this cliched trope to no-holds-barred modern day cutting edge comedy (NOTHING IS SACRED!), we get to see tons of hilariously awkward situations that none of the oldschool bodyswap movies would dare touch.

But beyond that, there is actually some good sentiment, too.  Lessons, if you will. They didn’t need to do that, but they did. And yet, the comedy never stops, so the entire movie is all good times.

Holy jesus.. just came back from the haters on imdb. Why do people like that bother to watch movies? If all you do is find flaws and get offended, maybe you should find a different hobby?

Directed by: David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers, Fred Claus, Shanghai Knights)
Written by: Jon Lucas (The Hangover movies) & Scott Moore (The Hangover movies)

Ryan Reynolds (Adventureland, Hal Jordan in Green Lantern, Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Van Wilder, The Proposal) as Mitch Planko.
Jason Bateman (Arrested Development, Sit Down Shut Up, The Invention Of Lying, Hancock, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Juno) as Dave Lockwood.
Leslie Mann (17 Again, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, This Is 40, Funny People, Allen Gregory, Timecode) as Dave’s wife.
Olivia Wilde (Tron: Legacy/Tron: Uprising, Year One, In Time, The Girl Next Door) as Sabrina McArdle, the legal assistant.
Alan Arkin (Insp. Jacques Clouseau in Inspector Clouseau (1968), Gattaca, The Jerky Boys, Grosse Point Blank, Edward Scissorhands) as Mitch’s Dad.
Mircea Monroe (The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall & Felt Superbad About It) as Tatiana, Mitch’s pregnant fuck buddy.
Gregory Itzin (President Logan in 24, Adaptation, 1 ep of Firefly) as Flemming Steel, the lawfirm boss.
Ed Ackerman (Frozen, Hatchet II, bartender in 17 Again) as Victor.
Patricia French (Wanderlust, The Three Stooges (2012), 8 eps of Squidbillies) as Dave’s Secretary.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1488555/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Movie 43 (2013)

Clio: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Jesse: “That was awesome.”
iDRMRSR: “Oh this was a GREAT flick. I had to shampoo my reclinar after I watched it I crapped my slacks so many times laughing.”
Native ratings: 3.0/5 stars Netflix, only 4.4/10 IMDB.

This movie took me places I’ve never been before. It gets really low ratings becuase it is too ridiculous, disgusting, and low-brow. But if you like the Family Guy/South Park style of humor, IGNORE THE LOW RATINGS and go for this.

It is a series of about 13 interconnected segments. The framing-device part that encapsulates all of the sketches is probably the worst part. The individual segments range from funny to oh-god-make-it-stop awkward to disgusting to ridiculous.

For example, Hugh Jackman goes on a blind date with Kate Winslet, and he has testicles that hang off his neck. The whole segment is about Winslet’s disbelief at Jackman’s neckticles.

There’s also a super hero speed dating segment.

Great movie that totally exceeded all of our expectations.

BTW, another reason to watch this movie? Ensemble cast. Anna Faris (why do you think we watched this?), Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Kate Bosworth, Elizabeth Banks, Uma Thurman, Leslie Bibb, Kristen Bell, Seth MacFarlane, Patrick Warburton, Liev Schreiber, Gerard Butler, Seann William Scott, Dennis Quaid, J.B. Smoove, Justin Long, Greg Kinnear, Charlie Saxton, Chris Pratt, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Grace Moretz, Stephen Merchant… and even Snooki.

Even the directors of the segments include Bob Odenkirk (who wrote his segment) and Elizabeth Banks.

This movie is all over the place, and that’s awesome.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1333125/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Warm Bodies (2013)

Clio: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Jess: 3.4/5 stars, 5.9/10.
Native ratings: 4.0/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

*Another* zombie romance movie? Awesome! But unlike Boy Eats Girl, this one is post-apocalyptic, in a world populated almost exclusively with zombies. Like I Am Legend.

And yet, this movie is completely and wholely about the power of love.

Very good movie. It didn’t get too sappy with the romance part, and the zombies were awesome. There is a surprising amount of comedy. Surprising. And this had a slightly different take on zombie-ism. For instance, with great effort, a zombie can utter word or two. And there were two kinds of zombies: The normal zombies, and the ones that had given up so much hope that they’d peeled their skin off and were basically walking skeletons. These ones were feared even by the normal zombies.

I’d describe the movie math behind this as (I Am Legend * ((Twilight + Romeo & Juliet) / 2)) – teen emo bullshit + Boy Eats Girl… I caught on to the Romeo & Juliette similarties during the balcony scene.

But the fact that I just said Twilight might scare people. However, Teresa Palmer, to me, looks exactly like a blonde Kristin Stewart. And being loved by something that has a natural instinct to devour you is the basic premise of both Twilight and this movie.

But the fact that I just said Twilight might scare people. However, Teresa Palmer, to me, looks exactly like a blonde Kristin Stewart. And being loved by something that has a natural instinct to devour you is the basic premise of both Twilight and this movie.

In the end, you are left with a great message of hope, the power of love, and human triumph over darkness. Can love change the way the entire planet functions? Yes. Yes it can. And I’m not just talking about the movie.

Beware: This is a work of fiction, and makes no attempt to be fully logical. For example, electricity is still working even though society has collapsed. If you’re unable to look past something like that (but somehow able to look past the fact that zombies don’t actually exist), you might want to resolve that mental incongruity prior to watching.

Directed and written by Jonathan Levine. This is his best movie, though The Wackness was also good and profound.
Based on a novel by Isaac Marion.

Nicholas Hoult (Beast in X-Men: First Class, Clash Of The Titans remake) as R the Zombie.
Teresa Palmer (Take Me Home Tonight, The Grudge 2) as the human girl, Julie.
John Malkovichas Julie’s father, Grigio.
Analeigh Tipton (Crazy Stupid Love, The Green Hornet) as Julie’s horney friend, Nora.
Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, the clown doctor in Childrens Hospital, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, The Ten) as M.
James Franco’s brother Dave (Superbad, the new 21 Jumpstreet, The Riddler in 2 eps of Young Justice) plays Perry, the original boyfriend.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1588173/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Pecker (1998)

Clio: 4.6/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8/10.
Jesse watched this with us.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

This was actually a really awesome movie… Hilariously fun and bizarre. Plus, it’s about photography, and the way people tend to overreact to someone other than the government taking their picture. This movie out-quirks 99% of movies out there… And goddamn is the soundtrack very strange at times. It’s definitely appropros and adds to the film. Basically, it is obvious when watching this movie that it is the product of a brilliant director.

And of course, like all John Waters movies, you get outrageous dialogue, and great, memorable lines.  “This is a gay club and I need to see some gay I.D.”  “Pubic hair causes crime.”  “My meat curtain stands alone.”

It got kinda sad during the middle, but then magically everybody loved him again. How did that transformation occur? Well, I think I actually glossed over the piont of it all, and then Carolyn explained it to me… Once he “screwed” over the New Yorkers the same way he did the Baltimorians, they all realized, “Oh, but it’s art!”, and began to see photography from a more objective viewpoint.  It was a little convenient, but what would you expect from John Waters? They all have a surreal, skew quality to them. Like a live-action cartoon that no child should ever see. [Hmmm… Imagine John Waters doing an AdultSwim cartoon. That’d be awesome.]

Starring Edward Furlong (Hawk in Detroit Rock City, John Connor in Terminator 2, The Crow in The Crow 4, American History X, The Green Hornet) as Pecker.
18-year-old Christina Ricci (Wednesday in The Addams Family, Sleepy Hollow, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, 200 Cigarettes, Bless The Child) as Shelley. The younger she is, the weirder and creepier she looks. Her latest IMDB picture actually makes her look like a normal redhead person.
Lili Taylor (instantly recognizable as Lisa from Six Feet Under, High Fidelity, Four Rooms, Short Cuts) as Rorey, the art dealer.
Lauren Hulsey (she has not acted in much… she’s a visual effects person nowadays) as Pecker’s sugar-hyped little sister, Chrissy.
Mark Joy (Cecil B. Demented, Dogma) as Pecker’s dad.
Mary Kay Place (Being John Malkovich, Smashed, Mrs. Saunders in Youth In Revolt) as Pecker’s mom.
Martha Plimpton (Stef from The Goonies, Dante’s Inferno, 200 Cigarettes) as Pecker’s sister, the faghag Tina.
Jean Schertler (A Dirty Shame, Runaway Bride [don’t ever watch that piece of crap movie!]) as Memama, Pecker’s FUCKING CREEPY grandmother…. “FULL OF GRACE!”
Brendan Sexton III (Seven Psychopaths, Empire Records, Welcome To The Dollhouse) as Pecker’s shoplifting friend, Matt.
Mink Stole (A Dirty Shame, Cecil B. Demented, Splendor, But I’m A Cheerleader, other John Waters‘ movies such as Hairspray, Polyester, Pink Flamingoes) as Precinct Captain.
Bess Armstrong (the mom in My So-Called Life) as Dr. Klompus. Didn’t recognize her.

Amber adds: “Love this film and am a big Edward Furlong and John Waters fan Oddly enough, one of my FB friends who writes a satirical column for BrightestYoungThings published this amusing piece about the “death of Edward Furlong” LOL. It’s really a shame he’s gone so downhill http://brightestyoungthings.com/articles/obytuary-edward-furlong.htm

We love it too….. Enlightening article! he was…. interesting as The Crow in The Crow 4. They had so much makeup on him I didn’t know whether to be scared or horny. It was disturbing in a different way than the other crows…

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0126604/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: I Give It a Year (2013)

I Give It A Year (2013) – Clio: 3/5 stars, 6.4/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 6.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 6.0/10 IMDB.

This was most likely selected to be watched because 1) Anna Faris, 2) sounded tolerable. Pleased to say it delivered on both fronts, and even exceeded the average rom-com. This is a *BRITISH* rom-com, so there’s a bit more nuance and class to things (even though 2 of the 4 main characters are USAians).

The beginning half was much funnier than the ending half — like most formulaic rom-coms. INCREDIBLY AWKWARD SCENES. Lots of awkwardness. So awkward.

Things get interesting when we start to realize that instead of the normal a love triangle (or love line segment), this movie gives us a love quadrangle.

Things get even more interesting when you realize that this movie actually has a yin-yang zen balance to it that other rom-coms want — This is as much about ending a bad relationship as it is about starting a good relationship.

The ending was pretty damn unique and awesome for a romantic comedy, and the movie is possibly solely worth watching just for The Climactic Scene That Is The Opposite Of What You’d Think It Would Be, and The Twice As Improbable As Usual Ending Scene.

I’d recommend it if you want to see a “rom-com done right” (not my words).

Directed and written by Dan Mazer (writer of Bruno, 4 eps of Da Ali G Show, Director of 6 eps of Da Ali G Show)

Starring Rafe Spall (Prometheus, Shaun Of The Dead, Grindhouse, Hot Fuzz, Life Of Pi) as the husband Josh.
Rose Byrne (Moira MacTaggert in X-Men: First Class, Get Him To The Greek, 28 Weeks Later, Sunshine, 1 ep of Portlandia) as Josh’s wife, Nat.
Anna Faris as Chloe, the ex-girlfriend.
Simon Baker (Sex And Death 101, L.A. Confidential) as That Corporate Guy Who Would Be Hugh Grant If This Was Another Movie.
Stephen Merchant (Ricky Gervais‘s sidekick) as the Glen Colen the creepy friend.
Minnie Driver (Brooke Shields in the South Park movie, Carlotta in The Phantom Of The Opera) as the friend who hates her husband, Naomi. Damn she’s still got it going on.
Jason Flemyng (Azazel in X-Men: First Class, Hanna, Clash Of The Titans remake, Kick-Ass, Mirrors, Transporter 2, Snatch, Clueless) as Hugh, the husband.
Nigel Planer (Neil from the Young Ones, The Colour Of Magic, Hogfather, Brazil) as someone’s dad.
Jane Asher (she’s been around since the 50’s.) as Diana, main wife’s mom.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2244901/combined