VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Secret Of My Succe$s (1987)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 6.4/10 IMDB. (Pretty much the average of OUR votes!)

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was slightly better than I was expecting.  It was very formulaic, and very excessive with the montages, but it stayed pretty consistently funny throughout.  One montage reminded us of the first Pink Panther movie with the ridiculous sneaking around chasing each other.  I really enjoyed it.

Claire: Me, not quite as much. I would have liked this movie more, emotionally, if the plot resolution didn’t feel like such a deus ex machina. They had a good plot — but then the plot’s resolution seemed to come from left field. And the romance subplot just seemed unnecesary and distracting.

The rest was good. It had its laughs. It had its distinctly 80’s kind of comedic moments that you just don’t see in movies these days, because film finally learned how to do realism right, and that shit doesn’t always pass muster nowadays.  So it had that nostalgic charm to it.

But points against for lack of cohesion with the resolution.

And yes, 5 fucking montages is fucking excessive. But hey, it was the 80’s. You gotta have a montage. Even Rocky had a montage.

Directed by Herbert Ross (Footloose, Steel Magnolias).

Written by Jim Cash (Dick Tracy, Top Gun, Turner & Hooch, Anaconda, Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas), Jack Epps Jr. (Dick Tracy, Top Gun, Turner & Hooch, Anaconda, Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas) and AJ Carothers (5 eps of My Three Sons).

Starring:

Michael J. Fox as Brantley Foster / Carlton Whitfield.
Helen Slater (Supergirl, City Slickers, Talia Al Ghul in 4 eps of Batman-TAS, Lara-El in 3 eps of Smallville, 1 ep of Dream On, 1 ep of Seinfeld, 1 ep of Caroline In The City) as Christy Wills.
Richard Jordan (Dune) as Howard Prescott.
Margaret Whitton (Major League movies) as Vera Prescott.
John Pankow (Ira Buchman in Mad About You, 1 ep of Duckman) as Fred Melrose. I knew I recognized him, but I couldn’t place it.
Christopher Murney (Barton Fink) as Barney Rattigan.
Gerry Bamman (Home Alone movies) as Art Thomas.
Fred Gwynne (The Munsters, Fatal Attraction, The Boy Who Could Fly, Car 54 Where Are You?) as Donald Davenport.
Carol Ann Susi (Just Go With It, 2 eps of That 70’s Show, 2 eps of Seinfeld, 1 ep of Six Feet Under, 1 ep of Just Shoot Me) as Jean.
Elizabeth Franz as Grace Foster.
Drew Snyder (Cruel Intentions) as Burt Foster.
Susan Kellermann (Beetlejuice, The Devil’s Advocate, Planes Trains And Automobiles) as Maureen.
Barton Heyman (The Exorcist) as Arnold Forbush.
Mercedes Ruehl (Big, Gia, Last Action Hero, 5 eps of Frasier) as Sheila.
Rex Robbins (Vampire’s Kiss, The Royal Tenenbaums) as McMasters.
MacIntyre Dixon (Funny Farm, It’s Kind Of A Funny Story) as Ferguson.
Bill Fagerbakke (Broadway from Gargoyles, Coach, Patrick in Spongebob Squarepants, Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles, Funny Farm, 4 eps of Batman: The Brave And The Bold, Halloween 2, 4 eps of Sym-Bionic Titan, 1 ep of Young Justice) as Ron.
Mark Margolis (Tio Salamanca in Breaking Bad, The Fountain, Hannibal, Pi, Black Swan, 10 eps of Oz) as Maintenence Man.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093936/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Ghost Team One (2013)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Native ratings: 2.1/5 stars Netflix (ouch), 4.9/10 IMDB.

A horror-comedy mockumentary about a sexually charged ghost?  This could go wrong in a lot of ways.  Especially because mockumentary typically means “we can’t write, so let’s just improvise until something mediocre comes out”.

But this was better than a lot of mockumentaries. It did actually have a plot. It felt scripted, and not improvised that much.

“Did you just fuck the ghost?!?”

It was still very much a b-movie, mostly 3 people in a house, very little special effects, no soundtrack, and very low key in the way they acted  So it’s a bit off-putting if you’re looking for a high-budget blockbuster type movie. This is more like a comedy for people who can’t get enough laughs.

Carolyn: We threw this one after Walking Dead hoping that it would be an entertaining way to end the evening. Unfortunately, this didn’t really live up. It was OK, but it was neither hilarious nor scary. One won’t miss anything by passing over this movie.

Claire: Funny thing – I passed out 40 minutes before the movie ended. Once that happened, I got to see about 75% of it, but none of it made sense due to the 25% I missed by falling asleep like… Every minute. We both were going to give it 2.6/5 stars, 5/10. Then I rewatched the last 40 minutes after dinner and it made a lot more sense. Most of the funniest stuff actually happened after I stopped being able to pay attention, so the movie redeemd itself.

Even Carolyn remarked that it was better the 2nd time through (and what a stupid movie to ever see twice!), raising her rating up to 3/5 stars, 6/10 (which is what I did too).

So…. This movie has its laughs and value. It’s just not great. Or particularly good. We ended up liking it.

Directed by Ben Peyser & Scott Rutherford.

Written by Andrew Knauer & Arthur Pielli.

Starring
Carlos Santos as Sergio.
J.R. Villarreal as Brad.
Fernanda Romero (3 Geezers, Drag Me To Hell) as Fernanda.
Tony Cavalero as Chuck.
Meghan Falcone as Becky.
James Babson (Hellboy, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, 1 ep of American Dad) as JW Menapace.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2272336/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Filth (2013)

Claire: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

Based on a book written by the same author as Trainspotting, “A bipolar, bigoted junkie cop manipulates and hallucinates his way through the festive season in a bid to secure promotion and win back his wife and daughter.”

Yes… That sounds awesome, but this movie is even better than it sounds.  So intense.

It was a psychological thriller of sorts, but with a heap of comedy thrown in (mostly in the first half). Almost the same type of mix as Fight Club.  This actually had multiple aspects of Fight Club (a lot) and of Dark Horse (a tiny bit; I’m only thinking of Dark Horse because I *just* watched it).

I have to say, the main character in this movie is one of the most conniving, machiavellian, and cunningly sociopathic characters that I’ve ever seen in any story anywhere.  The subtle ways he attacks his enemies (who are also often his friends) are the most subtle and effective form of passive-aggressiveness that I’ve ever seen. Psychological warfare so subtle that the person doesn’t even know it is happening to them. Ruining someone’s life just so they will have slightly less self confidence at work. So you get that promotion.

This guy is the most evil co-worker ever, without just being some generic mass murderer type. The hypocricy and two-facedness of this character is truly unparalleled. I had to stop watching movies for a few days. It was a combination of getting 5 reviews behind, and not wanting to watch another movie because I wanted more time to think about this one. It’s stuck with me for days. This guy is a tool, but an incredibly effective tool. His ruthlessness is actually something to be impressed with. His tactics should be considered. Life isn’t fair, and playing by the rules is for sheep.

This man, as evil and sociopathic as he may be — is actually a role model for anyone who has ever wanted crush their enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women. Just observing his behavior in this movie makes you realize that the scope of actions one can take in a situation is far larger than most realize. It’s almost inspiring and liberating to think that there are far more options out there than most of us would realize.

I don’t think I’d call him a role model, becuase he’s an evil fucking piece of shit… But if there were targets that actually *DESERVED* unfair treatment, his tactics would make him a role model.

This guy is no anti-hero, like, for example, Jason Statham in the Crank movies. He’s not doing wrong things for the right reason. He’s doing wrong things for the wrong reason. He’s a piece of shit, but the execution of his assholery is some of the most amazingly evil and cunning shit I’ve seen.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was an intense movie. The accents sometimes were confusing, and it was hard to keep track of what was happening, but then overall, it was an intense fucked up movie. Definitely shows a descent into madness.

Claire: More like a descent OUT of madness, actually. Like Fight Club in that sense.

By the way: 25 logos in the credits! I count this every movie, and this is one of the highest counts ever.

“We’re filth. We come from filth, we’re going to filth, we’re filth!” -The Tick:TAS

Some other discussion:

Me: I feel like I’m wearing out my welcome on hurling movie recommendations at you.. but…this was pretty entertaining.

Radha: Hated the book  :/

Me: Maybe the movie is more fun and doesn’t take as long so it has the benefits without the cost? But yea, if you hated the book…. probably no point in watching the movie. Did you read trainspotting too?

Radha: Yeah, I read Trainspotting too. I liked it more than Filth but less than the movie. I basically hate Irvine Welsh’s writing style because I hate gimmicky bullshit and I hate things written in dialect.

Me:  so, clockwork orange and watership down are out?
Y’know, i can’t speak for writing, but for movies, i love gimmicky shit.

Radha: I didn’t like the book of Clockwork Orange nearly as much as the movie, except for the violence. Which is really unusual for me because ordinarily I like books much better than movies. It’s the dialect that aggravates me. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Me: Ahahaha yes indeed. I don’t mind that so much, to me it makes it more interesting… Thus I loved having to constantly go in between the actual story and the map-preface or glossary-appendix of Lord Of The Rings when reading it…… but i can see how if that was not your thing it would be a total fucking dealbreaker. LIke, if a movie did that to me, i might be like “fuck you, movie”

Jsun: Hm. I own this book.

Me: It could also be the case that this movie is more enjoyable than the book in the same way Radha thought Trainspotting-movie was better than Trainspotting-book. I dunno.

Matt McK: i can’t recall the book too much, read it 15 years ago, but was the tapeworm in the movie much? it’s only lightly mentioned in reviews. that was the weirdest part of the book…

Tapeworm?????? In the movie Filth? Not at all that I know of?

JSun: They left out the tapeworm?!?

Radha: Half the book is written by the tapeworm growing inside the guy. How the fuck could they leave that out??

JSun: Yeah… Major plot point left out. I’m not sure about this.

Claire: That seems like it would make the movie a little more zany and less realistic, more like Naked Lunch than Fight Club?

But yea… Movies are not cookie-cutter copies of books, or else every movie based on a book would be 3-4 hrs long, like those movjes that ARE cookie-cutter copies (lord of the rings, i’m looking at you, though even they left out stuff like tom bombadil for ex)

Claire: was the tapeworm the cause of his psychosis, then? I figured it was cocaine psychosis

Radha: It’s true that movies can’t be everything books are, but this particular plot point is so major that it wouldn’t even be the same story without it.

Claire: I’m kinda fine with that?
I mean, the movie the Naked Lunch was more about the writing of the book than what was in the book (which I’m not sure could ever actually be a film). Didn’t bother me because it was still a good movie.
Now, if they released a 4-hour version that contained every plot, I’d definitely watch it!
So was the tapeworm the cause of psychosis?

Radha: i dont remember

Claire: They should add an audiocommentary track that is narrated by the tapeworm!

Written & directed by Jon S. Baird.
Based on a novel by Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting novel).

Starring James McAvoy (Charles Xavier in X-Men: First ClassTrance, Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles Of NarniaThe Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, 1 ep of Band Of Brothers) as Bruce Robertson.
Imogen Poots (Fright Night, V For Vendetta28 Weeks Later) as Amanda Drummond.
Jamie Bell (Jumper) as Ray Lennox.
Shirley Henderson (Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter movies, Bridget Jones’s Diary movies) as Bunty.
Jim Broadbent (Cloud Atlas, Harry Potter movies, InkheartHot FuzzBrazil, Time Bandits, The Lion,The Witch,And The Wardrobe, Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Crying Game, Superman 4) as Dr. Rossi.
Eddie Marsan (The World’s End, Jack The Giant SlayerSnow White And The HuntsmanHancockV For Vendetta, 21 Grams) as Bladesey.
Emun Elliott (Prometheus) as Peter Inglis.
Kate Dickie (Prometheus) as Chrissie.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1450321/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Lust For Love (2014)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 5.8/10 IMDB. Not (yet?) available on Netflix.

Claire’s thoughts: VERY predictable romantic comedy. I mean, the ending may as well be telegraphed 10% of the way through, and I’ve seen this main plot 100 times. If you get more specific, I’ve seen this specific plot about 4 times too.

Of course, it’s still interesting to see the specifics on how things play out.  Is this what it’s like watching sports games?  The same things happen every game, but the specific details are what is interesting. Is that true? I don’t know, I’m not into sports.

So yes. I could describe this as “another rom-com about a guy who is trying to learn how to pick up chicks”, like The Long Weekend, or (to some extent) How To Stop Being A Loser. Fun, but utterly vapid and valueless.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was a pathetic attempt at a movie.  It was just highly unremarkable.  Like Claire said, it was very predictable, and it just didn’t hold any merit.

Yet somehow Carolyn still rated it 2.6 stars, which rounds up to 3 stars (“Liked”). In other words, she still barely likes pathetic attempts at movies. It’s a good thing we generally enjoy movies… Or we’d watch a lot less of them ;)

Written & directed by Anton King.

Starring Fran Kranz (The Cabin In The Woods, Fanboy, The Village) as Astor.
Dichen Lachman as Cali.
Beau Garrett (Tron 2, Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, Live!, 1 ep of Warren The Ape) as Mila.
Enver Gjokaj (Would You Rather, The Avengers, 1 ep of The Walking Dead) as Jake.
Karim Saleh (Iron Man 2) as Franck.
Felicia Day (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, The Guild, 8 eps of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, 2 eps of Undeclared) as Mary.
Maurissa Tancharoen (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Hazel.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2106529/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Fun With Dick And Jane (2005)

Claire: 4.7/5 stars, 8.8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 6.1/10 IMDB.

Judd Apatow wrote this remake of the 1977 movie based on a book by Gerald Gaiser.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was hilarious.  This didn’t disappoint.  It was funny all the way through, and it had a good political message.

Claire’s thoughts: I didn’t realize the political message was so pointed as it was until they named a bunch of CEOs at the beginning of the film’s closing credits. Named them for screwing people over. So this movie has a whole political message about the way the 1%er CEOs will fuck over the lives of thousands of people just to have more money on their Scrooge McDuck-esque pile of gold.

So it would have had political value even without being a comedy! But in fact, the comedy is the main point to this movie, not the politics. And it’s pretty funny. I didn’t quite get as much out of it as Carolyn did, however. I knew that since this was billed as “Comedy-Crime”, that there would be some intrigue that would take up space otherwise used for laughs. But there were still lots of laughs. This turned out better than I expected.

ONE MORE THING: http://icantcalmdown.ytmnd.com

Directed by Dean Parisot (Red 2, Galaxy Quest, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of The Tick live action series).
Written by Judd Apatow (This Is 40, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Undeclared, Funny People, Pineapple Express, You Don’t Mess With The Zohan), and Nicholas Stoller (Get Him To The Greek, 3 eps of Undeclared).

Jim Carrey as Dick Harper.
Téa Leoni (The Naked Truth, A League Of Their Own, Deep Impact) as Jane Harper.
Alec Baldwin as Jack McCallister.
Richard Jenkins (the dead dad from Six Feet Under, The Cabin In The Woods, Let Me In, The Broken, How I Got Into College, Wolf, Me,Myself & Irene, Step Brothers, Turbo, A.C.O.D., Stealing Home) as Frank Bascombe.
Angie Harmon (Barbara Gordon in Batman Beyond) as Veronica Cleeman.
John Michael Higgins (The Legend Of Korra, Mentok The Mindtaker in Harvey Birdman, Rapture-Palooza, Evan Almighty, 5 eps of Arrested Development, 2 eps of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Garth.
Richard Burgi (Hostel 2, Starship Troopers 2, 11 eps of 24, 1 ep of Firefly, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck) as Joe Cleeman.
Gloria Garayua (2 eps of Weeds, 1 ep of Six Feet Under) as Blanca.
Dempsey Pappion (The Lorax, 6 eps of Undressed) as Production Assistant.
Gavin Grazer (Slipstream, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Wayne’s World 2) as KostMart Job Applicant.
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass movies, Uncle Buck) as Ameribanx Bank Manager.
Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, In A World, Safety Not Guaranteed, Toy Story Movies, Wall-E, Run Ronnie Run, MADtv) as interviewer.
Laurie Metcalf (Jackie in Roseanne, God The Devil And Bob, Andy’s mom in the Toy Story movies, Uncle Buck, 3 eps of 3rd Rock From The Sun, 2 eps of Duckman, 1 ep of Malcolm In The Middle) as Jane’s Boss Phyllis (uncredited).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0369441/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Red 2 (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.7/10 IMDB.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was on par with the first one.  Some action, some comedy, some government politics. Mary-Louise Parker‘s character grows and gains experience.

Claire’s thoughts: How do they keep making Helen Mirren look so good when she’s 68 fucking years old?  Yay Hollywood makeup artists? But anyway, I don’t remember the first movie that well. I mostly just remember how much I liked it. And I like this movie pretty much that same amount.  I think maybe this one didn’t feel as comic-book-y as the last one.  And yes, these kinds of movies are a bit formulaic.  But the fact that it stayed funny is kind of what Red movies are: Comedy-Action movies that are over-the-top and unrealistic.

Daniel Hagan’s adds: “Yeah, they’re empty calories – fun to watch but not particularly notable from a cinema viewpoint”

And since we can never get enough comedy at our house — and prefer comedy to action — it’s great to get both at once.

Plus the cast was great. Anthony Hopkins was particularly fun to watch.

Directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of The Tick live-action series).
Written by Jon Hoeber (Red 1) & Erich Hoeber (Red 1).

Starring some of the same people from the first movie:
Bruce Willis as Frank.
John Malkovich as Marvin.
Mary-Louise Parker (Nancy Botwin from Weeds, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Fried Green Tomatoes) as Sarah.
Helen Mirren (Deep Thought in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Georgina Spica in The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, National Treasure: Book Of Secrets, 1 ep of French & Saunders) as Victoria.
Brian Cox (Captain O’Hagan in Super Troopers, The Campaign, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, X-Men 2: X2, Adaptation, Fantastic Mr. Fox, narrator in The Color Of Magic, The Bourne Identity movies, Troy) as Ivan.

Plus some new people:

Anthony Hopkins (Hannibal Lecter in The Silence Of The Lambs, Odin in the Thor movies, Beowulf, Titus) as Bailey. A great performance.
Byung-hun Lee (G.I. Joe movies) as Han Cho Bai.
Catherine Zeta-Jones (The Mask Of Zorro, Ocean’s 11, Traffic, Rock Of Ages, Side Effects) as Katja.
Neal McDonough (Captain America: The First Avenger, Minority Report, 8 eps of Band Of Brothers) as Jack Horton.
David Thewlis (Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter movies, The Big Lebowski) as The Frog.
Wahab Sheikh (Trance) as Iranian Clerk.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1821694/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Assault Of The Party Nerds (1989)

Claire: 2.4/5 stars, 5.4/10.
Carolyn: 2.4/5 stars, 5.4/10.
Native ratings: 2.4/5 stars Netflix, 3.6/10 IMDB.

A typical 1980s party/sex comedy movie that doesn’t really have too much of a plot.  This is the type of movie that they would have shown on “USA Up All Night!” back in the day.

This movie had some of the worst acting I’ve seen in my life, but since it was a very obvious low-budget b-movie, that was kind of to be expected.

Another complaint: Only 18 actors. It’s unconscionable to have a party movie where scenes of the party only have 2 people on the screen, with only 1 or 2 extras passing by the entire scene. Party movies are supposed to have big parties with tons of people!

The characters were basically: 4 nerds, 3 jocks, 3 girlfriends, 1 frat-legend old-guy, and 3 party hookups.  Only 4 other people in the whole fucking movie!  It would have had a lot more of a party feel if they had used more actors.

Carolyn’s thoughts: It was a very slow buildup. I was wondering when the party happened already. There were a few almost-redeeming moments (mountain of beer cans collapsing and William Tell Overture computer-keyboarding), but otherwise, the movie just fell flat. It didn’t have much else going for it. Oh, no, I can’t believe there’s a sequel.

Claire again: Wow, a sequel. WTF. And it’s rated even lower? Not sure why.

This wasn’t good. But it had good things about it. It wasn’t serious. You get to laugh a few times. Sometimes you’re laughing at the actual jokes in the movie, but most of the time you’re just laughing at how bad the movie is. Either way, laughter is great medicine.

But I could have used more of it.

Directed by, written by and starring Richard Gabai.

Richard Gabai (he’s in a decent amount of movies, but we haven’t seen any of them) as Ritchie.
Richard Rifkin (Hellboy 2, 8 eps of The Pillars Of The Earth) as W.O.L.A. (World’s Oldest Living Active).
Joe Whyte (The Emperor’s New Groove, Chicken Little) as T.K..
Marc Silverberg (1 ep of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and one other movie. Not much at all!) as Scott.
Troy Donahue (Sex Pot) as Sid Witherspoon, the frat-legend old guy.
Michelle Bauer as Muffin.
Linnea Quigley (again, lots of movies, but none that we’ve seen) as Bambi.
Kevin M. Glover as Cliff.
C. Paul Dempsey as Bud.
Robert Mann as Chip.
These people mostly didn’t go anywhere, becuase these people mostly weren’t talented.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096839/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Last Vegas (2013)

Claire: 4.2/5 stars, 8.2/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

This was pretty funny.  Old people decide to go on a Vegas trip for a bachelor party. We had our honeymoon in Vegas, so it always imparts a personal meaning to movies that take place in Vegas.  I gotta say, though, that these guys appeared to have had a better time than us ;) Because movie logic kicks ass. Want the best party ever? Just have a 10 second montage where you’re passing out flyers. Bam! Party appears! Not even Pinkie Pie can manage that!

But there’s actually a lot more to this. Distinct characters with distinct stories. Honestly, if you drink too much while watching this movie, it can actually confuse you! This is described as “Hangover for old people”, but there’s no real hangover or major binge drinking in the movie. Just a bunch of stuff happening, with jokes interspersed.

This is how a party comedy is meant to be, and it’s very refreshing to see it with old people instead of young people.  (Either way, none of them will be MY age.) [40 as of writing this review]

Honestly, I’m surprised they pulled it off.  This entertained, and that’s all I really want from a comedy about a bachelor party in Vegas.

Directed by Jon Turteltaub (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, National Treasure movies).
Written by Dan Fogelman (Crazy Stupid Love).

Starring:
Michael Douglas as Billy.
Robert De Niro as Paddy.
Morgan Freeman as Archie.
Kevin Kline (Mr. Fischoeder in Bob’s Burgers, The Pink Panther (2006)) as Sam.
Mary Steenburgen (Clara Clayton in Back To The Future 3 and the TV series, Four Christmases, Step Brothers, Inland Empire, Elf, 5 eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Diana.
Romany Malco (Conrad in Weeds, Darius in Unsupervised, Blades Of Glory, The 40-Year Old Virgin) as Lonnie.
Roger Bart (Harold & Kumar 2, Hostel 2, The Stepford Wives, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Maurice.
Joanna Gleason (Maddy Platter in King Of The Hill, 1 ep of Delocated) as Miriam.
Marla Malcolm (\+1, Road Trip) as Party Guest.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1204975/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Bad Milo (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 7.7/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 7.7/10.
Native ratings: 2.8/5 stars Netflix, 5.7/10 IMDB.

Of interest if you like Ken “I want to dip my balls in it” Marino from The State.

This is a comedy-horror, with a lot of ass grossness.  A monster lives in Ken Marino’s ass.

However — for a movie where characters are mildly covered in shit during several scenes — it was surprisingly funny and not that visually gross.

Comedy-horror is a great genre, almost post-modern in its own admission that this wouldn’t really happen, so you’re not actually supposed to be scared, so the whole “horror” genre becomes an oxymoron.  And this movie is moronic, alright…

Funny and entertaining. Absolutely more fun than movies more well-written than this.  A very singular movie. I don’t think I’ll see this story repeated much :)

This could have been a Troma movie… But it’s actually produced better than that.
This could have been a skit from The State… But it’s actually produced better than that.

It was surprising how… legitimate?!?!…And…Cute?!?!?!… this movie could be at times?!?!?! What the fuck, I’m typing that??  Well… I guess that’s kind of part of the joke. The ending is quite what I would have expected. Dare I say it was heartwarming?  Wow.

Directed by Jacob Vaughan.
Written by Jacob Vaughan and Benjamin Hayes.

Starring Ken Marino (The State, Childrens Hospital, Stella, Wet Hot American Summer, Flute Cop in Axe Cop, Wanderlust, In A World, Hoodwinked, 1 ep of The Sarah Silverman Program) as Duncan.
Gillian Jacobs (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, 1 ep of The Venture Bros., 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Aqua Teen Hunger Force) as Sarah, the wife.
Mary Kay Place (Smashed, Youth In Revolt, Being John Malkovich, It’s Complicated, Girl Interrupted, Shrek Forever After, 6 eps of My So-Called Life, 3 eps of King Of The Hill, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Beatrice, the mom.
Claudia Choi (1 ep of Weeds) as Jillian.
Toby Huss (Kahn Souphanousinphone Sr in King Of The Hill, Carnivale, Bedazzled, 4 eps of The Venture Bros., 4 eps of Harvey Birdman, 2 eps of Beavis & Butt-head (2011), 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of Adventure Time, 2 eps of Kung Fu Panda) as Dr. Yeager.
Patrick Warburton (Seinfeld, The Tick, Family Guy, The Venture Bros. Movie 43, Men In Black 2, 3 eps of Archer) as Phil, the boss.
Peter Stormare (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Small Apartments, The Big Lebowski, Minority Report, Chocolat, 1 ep of Adventure Time) as Highsmith.
Kumail Nanjiani (Michael And Michael Have Issues, 6 eps of Portlandia, 3 eps of Newsreaders, 2 eps of Adventure Time, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Bobbi, the mom’s husband.
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, Superman: Unbound, 5 eps of Gravity Falls, 3 eps of The Legend Of Korra, 1 ep of the new Thundercats) as Roger, the dad.
Steve Zissis (1 ep of The Office) as Dr. Yip / Milo.
And as the voice of Ralph — the other turd-monster — we have David Herman (Scruffy from Futurama [as well as Wernstrom], Buckley from King Of The Hill, Mr. Frond from Bob’s Burgers, Idiocracy, Dude Where’s My Car?, Michael Bolton from Office Space, Steve from Brickleberry, Ubuntu from The Goode Family, Uncle Gabby from The Drinky Crow Show, Officer Papermouth from Moral Orel, Roy from Father Of The Pride, 2 eps of 24, MADtv).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2274570/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Back In The Day (2014)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 4.9/10 IMDB.

A chance to see the yester-stars of TV shows old, namely the “companion” from Firefly’s (Baccarin), and Lex Luther from Smallville (Rosembaum). But in a comedy!

This movie was kind of similar to Grown Ups, where a guy who had moved to Hollywood comes back to his childhood home to hang out with his old friends.  This wasn’t as funny, though.  It had its moments, and it held up enough, but it wasn’t groundbreaking.

There’s no IMDB trivia to explain that this was based on Michael Rosenbaum’s actual childhood friends, but Michael Rosenbaum’s IMDB trivia does mention that he goes back to Indianopolis every year to participate in a whiffleball tournament with his high school friends, and the ending of the movie seems to act like these characters were based on real people.

Anyway, this is a nostalgic movie that meanders all over the place. It’s not that great, other than being a comedy, and comedies are cool. It does have a romantic angle, but it’s still a straight comedy. Romance doesn’t take over the feel of the movie, though it does run the plot at points. But the jokes continue.  They’re not *super*, but they’re still funny.

The movie isn’t very memorable, but when I reviewed it a 2nd time, it was funnier than I had remembered, so there’s that.

Written, directed, and starring Michael Rosenbaum.

Morena Baccarin (the new V series, Firefly, 3 eps of Justice League, 1 ep of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Lori.
Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor in Smallville, The Flash in Justice League, Urban Legend, 12 eps of The Zeta Project, 11 eps of Jackie Chan Adventures, 6 eps of Batman Beyond, 1 ep of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Jim Owens.
Nick Swardson (Grandma’s Boy, Grown Ups 2, You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, The House Bunny, Blades Of Glory, Click) as Ron Freeman.
Harland Williams (Buckley in Slacker Cats, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto, Wag The Dog, Dumb & Dumber, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Skunk.
Jay R. Ferguson (1 ep of Weeds) as Mark.
Isaiah Mustafa (The Three Stooges) as T.
Emma Caulfield (Buffy The Vampire Slayer series, TiMER, Beverly Hills 90210, 3 eps of Robot Chicken) as Molly.
Richard Marx as Neighbor. Really? Didn’t notice that.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2246887/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Violet & Daisy (2011)

Claire: 3.6/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Native ratings: 6.2/10 IMDB. Doesn’t seem to be on Netflix.

This was interesting and somewhat quirky black comedy about a pair of female underage BFF assassins. However, one is very alpha, while the other (Saoirse Ronan) sort of follows along. There are interesting dynamics between them, and things only get more interesting when they are awarded what turns out to be the most challenging hit of their careers. And not at all for the reasons you would think. Not at all.

It wasn’t that action-packed, but then again, it wasn’t an action movie. It kind of meandered a bit with the cryptic dream sequences, but for once, such an endeavor did not detract from the story. They were short, they were over, and they could be ignored if you chose to.

Watch this for one of James Gandolfini’s last performances before his death. He’s quite a different character from Tony Soprano here.  But also watch this if you are a Saoirse (“Seer-sha”) Ronan fan. That girl keeps growing on us. She’s only 19-20 and we’ve already seen 5 of her movies now.

This has a sort of indie feel to it, in that the plot isn’t as realistic, and the ending/meaning is slightly pretentious. I’m okay with that. We were entertained, and it was interesting, as well as having a lot of laughs. It earns the “comedy” in “action-comedy-crime-drama-thriller”, and comedy deserves to be the 2nd genre mentioned there. Though the comedy does thin out a bit near the end.

Written & directed by Geoffrey Fletcher.

Saoirse Ronan (The Host, Hanna, Byzantium, the voice of Arriety in The Secret World of Arrietty) as Daisy.
Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls) as Violet.
Danny Trejo (Breaking Bad, Predators, Harold & Kumar 3, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto, Eyeborgs, Fanboys, Smiley Face, The Devil’s Rejects, Anchorman,Trojan War, Enrique on King Of The Hill, Machete in Spy Kids 1-3) as Russ. He gets around!
Marianne Jean-Baptiste (The Cell) as Iris.
James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano in The Sopranos, Where The Wild Things Are, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Get Shorty) as Michael.
John Ventimiglia (Artie Bucco in The Sopranos) as Man #1. Claire recognized him immediately from Sopranos.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1634136/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Little Johnny The Movie (2011)

Claire: 2/5 stars, 4.7/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5.4/10.
Native ratings: 5.1/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

A profanity-laced adult-toon about Little Johnny — i.e. the kid in the Little Johnny jokes.  For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Johnny

Honestly, I had to read the wikipedia article just to motivate myself to watch the movie. I didn’t really remember what “little Johnny jokes” were.

In the end, this had great potential, but was a serious letdown. Then again, this did come from Australia, so perhaps their animated humor isn’t hasn’t matured as modern of an edge yet.

Or perhaps it was just this way on purpose.

There were laughs. There were TONS of children saying inappropriate things. But it just wasn’t FUNNY a lot of the time. And the framing plot was almost devoid of what one could call “humor”.

Carolyn’s thoughts: It had its moments, and there were a couple of jokes that caused me to laugh out loud. Overall, though, it wasn’t that great. It started out as a string of jokes, and then it got more into the story and the jokes tapered off. It held my interest enough, but I would have considered aborting it if Claire had wanted to. I mostly found myself caring more about the uncle storyline than the Johnny storyline.

Directed by Ralph Moser.
Written by Ralph Moser, Stewart Faichney, and Dean Murphy.

Starring Genevieve Morris as Little Johnny.
Kevin Bloody Wilson as Uncle Kevin.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1674086/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: In a World… (2013)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 7.0/10 IMDB.

Carolyn’s thoughts: It wasn’t bad, but we were hoping it’d be funnier. I enjoyed it for the most part.

Claire’s tirade: This was an interesting movie, but it was QUITE a let-down, as it was billed as a comedy, and we were expecting a straight comedy. Instead we received an interesting movie that occasionally had some funny stuff in it. Another fucking ambush. If I could rate how my expectations were served, it would be 1/5 stars, 3/10.

So anyway, this is about the voice-actor for movie trailers (the ones that always start with “In A World…”) dying, and there being a power play to see who gets to replace that guy, and whether the world is ready to have a woman take that kind of job. It’s a female-written/starring/directed movie in part about gender politics, but I feel like it doesn’t have an audience. The people watching it are already watching a female-created endeavor, so any preaching is to the choir. I guess they’re not preaching. So why not have some more comedy then?

We unfortunately chose this as our “final day of drinking” (we don’t drink during the work week) Sunday-night movie, looking for laughs. Despite the fact that it was written by/directed by/starring Lake Bell (from the hilarious live-action AdultSwim show Childrens Hospital), and also starred usually-comedic actor Rob Corddry (also from Childrens Hospital, among other things) and always-comedic Ken Marino (from The State), it just wasn’t that comedic!

Rob Corddry’s character, for example, had no comedy! It was a very serious side-plot that was completely superfluous to the movie. The side-plot could have had a very beautiful moment, but what would have been the best moment for me happened off-camera. I felt deprived, and it made the characters worth less for me.

I need to stop picking our Sunday-night-drinking movies.

Out of the 4 comedies we were going to watch, this was rated highest. I think that may be a trap I keep falling into. I think I keep picking the highest-rated comedy out of a group of comedic-looking movies I want to watch, and it keeps not actually being that comedic. My theory is that actual comedies get rated more lowly than dramas (because people hate comedies; they always rate way lower than we on comedies). Thus, when I try to pick a weekend-comedy and go for the highest-rated movie, it’s actually rated higher not because it’s funnier, but because it’s not a comedy. This leads me to pick what I think is the funniest movie out of a group of comedies (because it has the highest rating), but all too often is not really a comedy (which is why it earned the highest rating). This happened when we watched Girl Most Likely, for example. It’s happened to me several times in the past few months. I may have to change my movie selection algorithm.

Anyway, despite my complaints — The movie was still interesting, in part because we take voice acting very seriously due to all the cartoons we watch.

But I gotta say… It was a disjointed mess. The comedy, romance, and drama all worked against each other, instead of with each other. This was not the movie I should have watched Sunday night. So I’m warning you: Watch this movie when you’re in the right mood. Not when you’re looking for a comedy. Expect something entertaining but not hilarious or great.

Written, directed by, and starring Lake Bell (Childrens Hospital, It’s Complicated, What Happens In Vegas, 1 ep of Newsreaders, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Tron Uprising)

Starring Rob Corddry (Blake Downs in Childrens Hospital, Hell Baby, Hot Tub Time Machine, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Rapture-Palooza, What Happens In Vegas, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, The Ten, Blades Of Glory, 1 ep of The Life And Times Of Tim) as Moe.
Ken Marino (The State, Childrens Hospital, Stella, Wet Hot American Summer, Flute Cop in Axe Cop, Wanderlust, Hoodwinked, 1 ep of The Sarah Silverman Program) as Gustav.
Demetri Martin (Contagion, Take Me Home Tonight) as Louis, Carol’s coworker and friend.
Fred Melamed (Grand Theft Auto video games, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Sam, Carol’s father.
Tig Notaro (The Sarah Silverman Program, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of The Office) as Cher.
Nick Offerman (Axe Cop in Axe Cop, Briggs from Children’s Hospital, RSO:Registered Sex Offender, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Wristcutters:A Love Story, Sin City, Smashed) as Heners.
Michaela Watkins (Wanderlust, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV::, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Dani, Carol’s sister.
Geena Davis (Beetlejuice, Thelma & Louise, A League Of Their Own) as Katherine Huling. OMG I DID NOT RECOGNIZE HER. The straight hair, the extra weight, the older face. Wow. She still looks good for her age, but wow.
Cameron Diaz as Amazon Leader (uncredited). For like 2 seconds. Totally missed her.
Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, Safety Not Guaranteed, Toy Story Movies, Wall-E, Run Ronnie Run, MADtv) as Himself (uncredited).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2294677/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013)

Claire: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.8/10 IMDB.

This movie was pretty fucking funny! Real people very really getting fucked with in hilariously brilliant real-world situations.

It was Jackass, without any of the stunts, violence, grossness, or nudity. (Yes, Jackass also has comedic skits.)  I have a feeling that the wusses too weak to enjoy Jackass could and would definitely be able to enjoy this one. It’s candid camera updated for the modern age, made awkward as hell.

Most of the cast didn’t know they were in a movie when being filmed — and they showed them finding out during the closing credits. This added to the humor — a lot. There are some extended scenes on YouTube.

They did a better job on Johnny Knoxville’s grandpa makeup than they did with the skits in the show,  causing this movie to receive an Oscar nomination for makeup work. They had to make Knoxville be convincingly old not just for the audience, but for the real-world participants who were ambushed into unwittingly starring in this movie! Neat challenge that you can’t ever rise to in a traditionally-scripted movie.

And the kid was pretty brilliant. He said things no child should ever say. And since a lot of the movie deals with strangers, that means the kid was basically having to improvise all the timing.  Child actors usually go nowhere, but by the late 2020s, I could envision this kid being an actor in popular comedy movies. At the very least, he should get some National Lampoon roles later… His name was Jackson Nicoll, and he was uncredited in What’s Your Number? and was also in the Athur movie.

Anyway…. Haters of Jackass should be advised to give THIS one a chance. And if you like man-on-the-street/candid style “reality” humor, then this movie is a must!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3063516/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Junkie (2012)

Claire: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 4.6/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

Well, THAT was a weird movie. One of the stranger parts of this movie was that it could ever be a comedy. And you could argue that it’s not; that it’s a psychological thriller. In content, that may be true…But in tone, it stayed decently comedic throughout.

It was somewhat slow to start, and we (especially Carolyn) became slightly disinterested. Then it started to pickup. Got very surreal and barely made sense, but that was to set up the end, which twisted things far further than we ever would have thought.

The movie  definitely funny AND interesting, but in a very strange, low-key, and kind of dark way. If you watch multiple movies a week, this is a good weeknight choice.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1837584/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: 10 Rules For Sleeping Around (2013)

Claire: 3.2/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Native ratings: 4.0/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

The writer directed this, and it wasn’t the best directing. Parts could have been made easier to follow, plus it was directed by a chick, so it had that stereotypical “I’m the one” plot aspect.

It also kinda made a case for alternate lifestyles only being immature distractions from vanilla lifestyles, which is an overused premise in my opinion.

The main problem I had with this movie is they didn’t really establish the characters enough at the beginning, so as the plot became more twisted and convoluted, I had a problem always following who was who. I have similar problems with war movies and anime one-shots. I never have this problem with cartoons because those kinds of characters are more distinctive *and* almost never change clothes. Carolyn typically has to issue help to me during a movie like this.

Carolyn adds: That’s true. Character introduction was very rushed. I enjoyed it, but I did see that it was one of those movies that talks about alternate lifestyles and then concludes vanilla is the way to go, which is typical and slightly annoying.

Claire: All of the above being said, it was still a movie with some laughs, and not unenjoyable at all. It was actually better than the ratings would lead one to conclude.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1993391/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Despicable Me (2010) [watched in 3-D]

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Julie: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Matthew: 3/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 4.2/5 stars Netflix, 7.6/10 IMDB.

Carolyn: Cute movie about a villain learning to change his ways after discovering that being evil isn’t that important to him anymore. It was pretty funny, and it had a great cast.

Claire: Agreed. I really hate movies involving children, but this movie did demonstrate the transformative effect that being responsible for children can have on an individual — in a way that even *I* am forced to accept. But if that’s all there was to the movie, I wouldn’t have rated it this high. The superhero/supervillain aspect is exactly the type of thing I like in a non-comedy setting, and I like it even more in a comedy setting (e.g. The Venture Bros., Space Ghost Coast To Coast, Stripperella, The PowerPuff Girls).  The minions were awesome, and I want my own fucking minions like those minions. I’d seen those yellow sonsabitches all over the internet and it was nice to finally understand what they were, even if I was 3 years late to the game.

Unfortunately, the 3-D was awful. I don’t know if it was the encode we watched, or if the movie used more depth than my TV was capable of displaying. Home 3-D is in its infancy — think VHS, not DVD or bluray — so I expect there to be problems, and for me to have to stop and futz with every 3-D movie every 2-3 minutes for the first 20 minutes until I am happy with the settings. I feel like some of this is that there is not necessarily a standard to how to do things. With my TV, there is a range of depth, and you will ALWAYS get 3-D ghosting at certain depths. You can focus that depth front (+5) to back (-5) to create an area that doesn’t ghost, but whatever area is farthest from your focus will always ghost.

For this movie, almost everything ghosted. It was easily 50X as much ghosting as usual. It was by far the worst 3-D I’ve seen. I’m starting to think that the HOU (horizontal over-under) 3-D movies might provide better 3-D than the more common SBS (side-by-side) 3-D movies. Suffice to say, Smurfs 2 was best 3-D yet, and this was worst yet. I wish it had been the other way around, because this was a better film.

Matthew: I’m just not that into animated movies. I loved Toy Story and The Simpsons Movie, but other animated movies I’ve never really gotten that into. I liked the movie. It was cute. The 3-D experience was very interesting.

Julie: I tend to like animated movies like this one. It’s probably because I work with children and am practically a child myself. I really can’t pinpoint anything I really don’t like about the movie but at the same time its not the best movie of all time.

Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud (The Lorax).
Written by Cinco Paul (The Lorax, Horton Hears A Who, The Santa Clause 2), Ken Daurio (The Lorax, Horton Hears A Who, The Santa Clause 2), and Sergio Pablos.

Steve Carell (The Office, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Date Night, Dinner With Schmucks, Anchorman movies, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Crazy Stupid Love, Saturday Night Live, Bruce Almighty, Horton Hears A Who, Dan In Real Life, 1 ep of Just Shoot Me) as Gru.
Jason Segel (I Love You Man, This Is The End, This Is 40, Bad Teacher, Gulliver’s Travels, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, Can’t Hardly Wait, 7 eps of Undeclared, SLC Punk, Slackers) as Vector.
Russell Brand (Get Him To The Greek, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, St. Trinian’s, Rock Of Ages) as Dr. Nefario.
Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins, The Song Of Music, Queen in Shrek movies, uncredited singing voice in The Pink Panther Strikes Again) as Gru’s Mom.
Will Arnett (Gob Bluth in Arrested Development, Sit Down Shut Up, The Brothers Solomon, Horton Hears A Who, Ratatouille, Men In Black 3, The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret, The Secret World Of Arrietty, 2 eps of The Sopranos, 1 ep of The Simpsons, 1 ep of Delocated, 1 ep of The Office) as Mr. Perkins.
Kristen Wiig (Young Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development, Date Night, Adventureland, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, The Brothers Solomon, How To Train Your Dragon, Saturday Night Live, Despicable Me, Girl Most Likely, 2 eps of The Simpsons, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Miss Hattie.
Miranda Cosgrove (Carly in iCarly, 1 ep of Smallville) as Margo.
Dana Gaier as Edith.
Elsie Fisher as Agnes.
Pierre Coffin (the co-director) as Tim the Minion / Bob the Minion / Mark the Minion / Phil the Minion / Stuart the Minion.
Chris Renaud (The Lorax) as Dave the Minion.
Jemaine Clement (Men In Black 3, Dinner For Schmucks, 2 eps of The Drinky Crow Show, 1 ep of Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job) as Jerry the Minion.
Jack McBrayer (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, The To Do List, Movie 43, Wander in Wander Over Yonder, 2 eps of Drunk History, 2 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 2 eps of Arrested Development, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV::, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job, 1 ep of Ugly Americans) as Carnival Barker / Tourist Dad.
Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down, This Is The End, Clear History, Superbad, Good Vibes, Despicable Me, Observe And Report, Fanboys, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, The Foot Fist Way) as Fred McDade.
Mindy Kaling (Kelly in The Office, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Wreck-It Ralph, This Is The End) as Tourist Mom.
Rob Huebel (Owen Maestro in Childrens Hospital, Human Giant, Axe Cop, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, I Love You Man, Little Fockers, Funny Or Die Presents, Rapture-Palooza, 3 eps of The Office, 3 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV, 1 ep of Michael & Michael Have Issues) as Anchorman.
Ken Jeong (The Hangover movies, Rapture-Palooza, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, Step Brothers, 2 ep of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of The Office, 1 ep of Mary Shelley’s Frankenhole) as Talk Show Host.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1323594/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Hell Baby (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

This was pretty funny.  We like a LOT of the cast.  This was a good comedy/horror and it was definitely straddled the two effectively and simultaneously.  50/50.  It’s also pretty much a product of the same talent as MTV’s The State, which was a large factor in swaying us into watching this.

We enjoyed it, and it was a good movie to watch on a Sunday night to wrap up the weekend.

It wasn’t spectacular, and there were a lot of “WTF” moments that get glossed over, but the movie wasn’t trying that hard.  Sometimes there were weird things that were never really explained… But then that’s kind of the point of a haunted house scenario.

It succeed more as a comedy than as a horror movie — because comedic horror movies aren’t really scary. But I really like a little horror with my comedy. From Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil to Holliston to Troma movies… Comedic “horror” is great because it includes the dark humor that is typically missing from comedies like teen sex comedies or road trip comedies or buddy flicks. Murder can be funny, too!
Written & directed by Robert Ben Garant (The State) & Thomas Lennon (The State).

Starring:
Rob Corddry (Blake Downs in Childrens Hospital, Hot Tub Time Machine, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Rapture-Palooza, What Happens In Vegas, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, The Ten, Blades Of Glory, 1 ep of The Life And Times Of Tim) as Jack.
Leslie Bibb (Movie 43, Iron Man 1-2, Miss Nobody, Sex And Death 101, Wristcutters: A Love Story, Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck) as Vanessa.
Riki Lindhome (Supanatural, 1 ep of Adventure Time, 1 ep of Heroes, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck, 1 ep of Titus) as Marjorie, the sister. FULL FRONTAL NUDITY. She’s amazing. Could use more curves, though. (Very rare I say this.)
Alex Berg (2 eps of NTSF:SD:SUV::, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Mrs. Nussbaum / Cheerful Guy.
Keegan-Michael Key (Wanderlust, Just Go With It, Due Date, MADtv, 2 eps of Childrens Hospital) as F’resnel.
Robert Ben Garant (The State, 2 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of Archer) as Father Sebastian.
Thomas Lennon (The State, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, What’s Your Number?, The Dark Knight Rises, Rapture-Palooza, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Memento, 2 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of Newsreaders) as Father Padrigo.
David Pasquesi (Year One, Angels & Demons, Groundhog Day, The Fugitive, 1 ep of Undeclared, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Cardinal Vicente.
David Wain (The State, Stella, Superjail, Childrens Hospital, Wet Hot American Summer, I Love You Man, The Ten, 1 ep of Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers) as Dr. Marsden.
Michael Ian Black (Stella, The State, This Is 40, Wet Hot American Summer, You’re Whole, Take Me Home Tonight, 2 episodes of Tom Goes To The Mayor) as Dr. Marshall, the psychiatrist.
Rob Huebel (Owen Maestro in Childrens Hospital, Human Giant, Axe Cop, Despicable Me, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, I Love You Man, Little Fockers, Funny Or Die Presents, Rapture-Palooza, 3 eps of The Office, 3 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV, 1 ep of Michael & Michael Have Issues) as Mickey.
Paul Scheer (Human Giant, NTSF:SD:SUV, Ass Backwards, Rapture-Palooza, Year One, 5 eps of TRON: Uprising, 4 eps of Fat Guy Stuck In Internet, 2 eps of Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim, 1 ep of Adventure Time) as Ron.
Kumail Nanjiani (a writer for Michael & Michael Have Issues, 6 eps of Portlandia, 2 eps of Adventure Time, 1 ep of Ugly Americans, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Cable Guy.
Jenny Robertson (1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Mail Carrier.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2318527/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Clear History (2013) (TV)

Claire: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

OMG! Curb Your Enthusiasm may be canceled, but Larry David lives on!  This is basically a 90-minute hilarious Curb Your Enthusiasm episode. More time to build up means more time to dig yourself in a shithole. And Larry does it. A crescendo of cringeworthiness.  Larry David digs such a deep hole for himself that even Basil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers looks wise in comparison.  Definitely worth checking out if you are a Larry David fan. Plus you get to see him with long hair. He looks like The Dude from The Big Lebowski.

But really.. Sooo much goes wrong. Sooo much. It’s an amazing build-up the likes of which Curb Your Enthusiasm could never achieve due to its 30 minute length limitation.

Directed by Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland, 6 eps of Undeclared, 3 eps of Arrested Development).
Written by Larry David (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fridays, Saturday Night Live, 1 ep of The Larry Sanders Show), Alec Berg (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, EuroTrip, The Dictator, The Cat In The Hat, Late Night With Conan O’Brien, 1 ep of Herman’s Head), David Mandel (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, EuroTrip, The Dictator, Dr. Suess’ The Cat In The Hat, Saturday Night Live, 6 eps of Clerks-TAS), & Jeff Schaffer (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, The Dictator, Bruno, EuroTrip, Dr. Suess’ The Cat In The Hat, 1 ep of Herman’s Head).

So we have a lot of Curb people on this.

Starring Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, The Three Stooges, Fridays, Saturday Night Live) as Nathan / Rolly.
Michael Keaton as Joe Stumpo.
Bill Hader (We just saw him in The To Do List, also he’s been around a bit: Saturday Night Live, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Pineapple Express, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, Superbad, The Brothers Solomon, Men In Black 3, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Year One, Adventureland, 7 eps of The Venture Bros., 4 eps of The Human Giant, 2 eps of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, 2 eps of South Park, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Rags.
Philip Baker Hall (Fired Up, The Amityville Horror, Bruce Almighty, Magnolia, The Truman Show, Ghostbusters 2, How I Got Into College, 2 eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Warren The Ape, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of 3rd Rock From The Sun) as McKenzie, the tired old man.
Jon Hamm (Sucker Punch, The Ten, Kissing Jessica Stein, Shrek Forever After, Mad Men, 5 eps of Childrens Hospital, 4 eps of The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret, 2 eps of Robot Chicken, 2 eps of Archer, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers (he was the toilet, hehe), 1 ep of Metalocalypse) as Will Haney, the boss of the company.
Kate Hudson (200 Cigarettes, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days) as Rhonda, the boss’s wife.
Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down, This Is The End, Superbad, Good Vibes, Despicable Me, Observe And Report, Fanboys, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, The Foot Fist Way) as Frank.
Eva Mendes (Holy Motors, Ghost Rider, Live!, 2 Fast 2 Furious) as Jennifer, the former fat, but is now skinny friend.
J.B. Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Smurfs 2, Movie 43, The Dictator, Date Night, Mr. Deeds, Saturday Night Live, 4 eps of American Dad, 1 ep of The Simpsons, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Jaspar.
Amy Ryan (Holly from The Office, War Of The Worlds, The Naked Truth, 1 ep of Quantum Leap) as Wendy, the ex-girlfriend.
Mary Klug (The Invention Of Lying, The Departed) as Tibby, the old lady who Rolly was caretaker to.
Patty Ross (The Three Stooges, Grown Ups 2, 1 ep of Roseanne) as Gladys, the owner of the diner.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2279864/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: End Of The World (2013) (TV)

Claire: 5/5 stars, /10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Native ratings: Only 4.6/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

Finally a Syfy movie that is a good movie for reasons other than laughing at how bad it is! This was awesome!  The genre of the year is apocalyptic comedy!

We’ve got this, Rapture-Palooza, This Is The End, The World’s End…  None of these movies have disappointed. None! Do I have a new favorite movie genre?!

This one kept us entertained the entire time, and was probably the least comedic of the four apocalyptic comedies we’ve watched this year. However, it was more thrilling and more interesting on a sci-fi level than 2 out of the other 3.  So it turned out to be a thriller wrapped up in a comedy.  You get excited about the action and the fate of the earth, but then when there is a lull in the pacing, some comedy pops its head out to entertain you. Then the comedy returns to the backseat and lets the thriller take over. Repeat several times.

While the comedy is not non-stop like with some movies, it continues to return to the forefront in segments running all the way ’til the end of the movie.

Another good thing is this is a movie that acknowledges other movies; it even makes fun of the generic Syfy disaster movies that they are constantly releasing (much to everyone’s chagrin). The main characters work in a video store, and their knowledge about disaster movies is crucial to the survival of the world. (At least, THEY think so.) Much respect to geekdom.

Things get even crazier when they have to break a science fiction writer out of an insane asylum.

It actually all makes sense, and all comes together very nicely.

AND AS A BONUS — it’s a type of disaster I’ve never seen in any movie before. Neat!

Directed by Steven R. Monroe.
Written by David Ray & Jason Bourque.

Greg Grunberg (Matt Parkman in Heroes, Super 8, Mission Impossible 3, Uncle Ben in 1 ep of Ultimate Spider-Man, 1 ep of American Dad) as Owen Stokes. Nice to see him in something since Heroes.
Neil Grayston (77 eps of Eureka, 1 ep of Smallville) as Steve Palmer.
Caroline Cave (Saw 6, 3 eps of The L Word) as Selena, Owen’s girlfriend.
Mark Hildreth (King Lotor in Voltron Force, Joshua in the new V, Quiksilver in Wolverine & The X-Men, Angel in X-Men Evolution, Gundam Wing, Pirates Of The Caribbean 3) as Max, the douchebag.
Brad Dourif (The voice of Chucky in the Child’s Play/Chucky movies, Rob Zombie’s Halloween movies, The Lord Of The Rings movies, Dune, Blue Velvet, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, The Exorcist 3) as Dr. Walter “Doc” Brown.
Merrilyn Gann (2012, Mystery Date, It, she’s additional voices in Project A-Ko 2-4, 3 eps of The Original 21 Jumpstreet, 1 ep of Smallville) as Betty, Steve’s mom.
Serge Houde (3 eps of Smallville) as General Ramis.
Graem Beddoes (1 ep of The L Word) as Louis, security guard.
Simon Chin (Control Alt Delete) as Orderly.
Amitai Marmorstein (1 ep of Smallville) as Leonard.
James Ralph (3 eps of Smallville) as Traffic cop.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2139851/combined