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

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The World’s End (2013)

Claire: 5/5 stars, 10/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

The movie is actually the conclusion of the unofficial “Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy”, which includes Sean Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End.

This.
Was.
Awesome!

Achievement Unlocked: Watched a movie where the protaganist wore a Sisters Of Mercy shirt the whole way through!

What’s up with all these new apocalyptic comedies? First Rapture-palooza, then This Is The End, then The World’s End. This is becoming my new favorite genre! The exact same joke is generally funnier if the apocalypse is happening at the same time! It’s like they’ve discovered some untapped secret of humor. (Alright, it’s not really a new discovery, but the spate of these movies this year is really making it feel like that. In truth Mars Attacks and many movies before it know the secret that apocalypse == funny.)

So anyway, the premise of this movie — involving bars and the apocalypse — made us think of Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, which is indeed the movie most similar to this one out of all movies we’ve ever seen. Only this one has no time travel, and End was quite better than that Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (which we rated 4/5 stars, 8/10). The World’s End was just as much of a drinking/party movie as FAQATT, yet it managed to be both funnier AND more poignant. It also had a better budget, and a much better cast. A winner is you!

Beyond the premise being fucking awesome, Simon Pegg‘s character really reminds me of myself…if I were an idiot loser. He’s going on 40–like so many characters in movies that resonate with us lately?!?–and he hasn’t stopped partying and having fun. He thinks the others hate him because he’s still free. The others hate him because he’s an annoying idiot. Nonetheless, I’m going on 40 and haven’t stopped partying and having fun. Plenty of people hate me, think I’m annoying, think I’m an idiot (though I’m not). I, too, sometimes drive 20 year old cars, but out of cheapness, not neccesity. Like him, I am not tied down by the kids, and athough I have a nice job like Simon Pegg‘s friends, I’ve also fucked off, not worked, and am irresponsible when compared to my peers, and would do so again with a cavalier attitude most people are too insecure to be able to live with. He yearns for his past full of friendship, friends, fun, and parties, yet is disappointed in how his once-best friends are now too fuddy duddy to bother having fun anymore… And I TOTALLY identify with that. Emotionally a lot of what the main character wanted really resonated with me. In a drinking movie. About the world ending. So there was some minor poingnancy in this that FAQATT lacked. YET IT WAS STILL FUNNY. It could have ended up being one of those “You’re too old to party; grow up and learn your lessons already, and enough of your Peter Pan syndrome!” type movies. But it wans’t. It took what you think it symbolizes and remained loyal to it the entire way through.

And did it with amazing laughs… The entire way through.

We weren’t going to drink that night. We drank a lot. I suggest trying to keep up with this movie, but beware: They are trying to drink a pint of beer in TWELVE DIFFERENT BARS. Unless you can do 12 shots, you might want to consider what cadence you will drink with during this movie.

Because this must be watched while drinking.

You have learned movie watching. Go in peace.

Directed by Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Shaun Of The Dead, Spaced, Hot Fuzz, fake trailer segment “Don’t” in Grindhouse, 1 ep of French & Saunders).
Written by Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Shaun Of The Dead, Spaced, Hot Fuzz).

* People from Spaced:
Simon Pegg as Gary King.
Nick Frost as Andy Knightley.
Julia Deakin (the landlady from Spaced) as the bed & breakfast landlady. So good to see her again!
Michael Smiley (2 eps of Spaced) as Reverend Green.

* Everyone else:
Martin Freeman (Bilbo in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Arthur Dent in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Shaun Of The Dead, What’s Your Number?, Hot Fuzz, 14 eps of The Office (UK)) as Oliver Chamberlain.
Paddy Considine (Hot Fuzz, The Bourne Ultimatum) as Steven Prince.
Eddie Marsan (Hancock, V For Vendetta, 21 Grams) as Peter Page.
Rosamund Pike (Wrath Of The Titans) as Sam Chamberlain.
Thomas Law (231 eps of EastEnders) as Young Gary.
Pierce Brosnan (Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Mars Attacks!, Shattered) as Guy Shepherd.
David Bradley (Argus Filch in the Harry Potter movies, Captain America: The First Avenger) as Basil.
Jonathan Aris (Sightseers, Gulliver’s Travels) as Group Leader.
Alice Lowe (Hot Fuzz, writer and star of the awful movie Sightseers) as Young Lady.
Rafe Spall (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, Life Of Pi) as Young Man.
Steve Oram (Sightseers, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV, 1 ep of The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret) as Motorcycle Policeman.

P.S. More on the trilogy comment… To quote IMDB: “…the characters are seen eating peppermint with chocolate chip ice-cream – as what the Cornetto green wrapper represents. According to Edgar Wright, green represents science fiction and extraterrestrial elements, which is the main motif in the film. For Wright’s other films, Shaun of The Dead, it was red/strawberry flavor, symbolizing blood and zombies; while the second part, Hot Fuzz, it was blue/vanilla symbolizing the police.”

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Freaked (1993)

Clint: 5/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 5.8/10 IMDB.

While trying to decide on a funny movie to watch for a lazy Saturday night, we decided to check out this little gem.  We weren’t expecting too much, as it was clearly a 1980s b-movie. [Yes, I’m going to call it an 80’s movie even though it came out in 1993. Deal.]

But my god, this turned out to be hilarious. It was completely over-the-top and ridiculous — including a lot of completely cheesy jokes that a 6 year old would laugh at — but it kept us laughing THE. ENTIRE. TIME. It’s pretty dense with humor.

Brook Shields. Mr. T in drag. Keanu Reaves as a dog; Bill *AND* Ted, actually. Bobcat Goldthwait. Gibby Haynes. Randy Quad. Morgan Fairchild.

This is from, and inspired from, an era of movies being infatuated with monsterism: The Toxic Avenger, Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc etc.  And it’s definitely cut from that same kind of cloth. But it’s not a Troma movie. It’s actually better than that. And it stars some real actors! You wont recognize Keanu Reaves because he’s a dog…But the South Park “Freak Strike” episode also tributes Keanue’s role in this movie.

Anyway, I really don’t know where to start with trying to capture what it was like to watch this movie. You’re shaking your head at how bad some jokes are, then you’re laughing out loud at how funny some jokes are. And sometimes those 2 feelings overlap simultaneously. It’s bad humor done well. Did you like old zany movies like Top Secret or Naked Gun? This movie is like a cross between those and some of the mosterism movies I mentioned early. It utterly and completely exceeded my expectations while still not necessarily matching up exactly with what a modern comedy moviegoer would consider “good”. So: Bonus points for uniqueness.

Did I mention the soundtrack includes multiple Butthole Surfers songs?

This movie apparently enjoys a large cult following to this day; 20 years later, I have now finally joined the Freeks as a fan of this film. I hear Keanu Reaves bought the Freeked.com domain when the fandom accidentally let it expire, in order to quell rumours that he was in this movie (which, according to IMDB, he is). Probably not true, but it’s a funny thought.

Directed by Tom Stern (The Andy Milonakis Show, The Man Show, 4 eps of Saul Of The Mole Men) & Alex Winter (Bill in the Bill & Ted movies, 5 eps of Saul of The Mole Men, 1 ep of Robot Chicken).
Written by Tim Burns (Crank Yankers, 1 ep of Star Wars: The Clone Wars) & Tom Stern (The Andy Milonakis Show, 3 eps of Saul Of The Mole Men) & Alex Winter.

Starring Brooke Shields (Suddenly Susan, The Blue Lagoon, Bag Boy, 7 eps of That ’70s Show, 3 eps of Nip/Tuck, 1 ep Gary The Rat, 1 ep of The Larry Sanders Show) as Skye Daley, the reporter in the framing scenes (most of the movie is a flashback).
Alex Winter as Ricky Coogan.
Keanu Reeves (Ted in the Bill & Ted movies, the Matrix movies, A Scanner Darkly, The Devil’s Advocate, Johnny Mnemonic, Dracula, Speed) as Ortiz the Dog Boy (uncredited).
Michael Stoyanov (The Dark Knight, Gross Anatomy, 2 eps of Working, 1 ep of Married With Children, 1 ep of Quantum Leap) as Ernie.
Megan Ward (362 eps of General Hospital, Joe’s Apartment, Encino Man, 1 ep of Friends, 1 ep of Jesse) as Julie.
Mr. T as The Bearded Lady.
Bobcat Goldthwait as Sockhead as Tourist / Sockhead (voice).
William Sadler (Machete Kills, Onion News Empire, Iron Man 3, The Shawshank Redemption, Bill & Ted‘s Bogus Journey, Die Hard 2) as Dick Brian.
Eduardo Ricard (8 Heads In A Duffel Bag, 2 eps of The Love Boat, 1 ep of Webster, 1 ep of Fantasy Island) as George Ramirez #1.
Henry Carbo as George Ramirez #2.
Deep Roy (Star Trek reboot movies, Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, Corpse Bride, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Big Fish, Dr. Who, The NeverEnding Story, The Dark Crystal, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, 3 eps of Eastbound & Down) as George Ramirez #3.
Mihaly ‘Michu’ Meszaros (ALF in 10 eps of ALF, Big Top Pee-wee) as George Ramirez #3.
Brian Brophy (Armageddon, 1 ep of Max Headroom) as Kevin.
Morgan Fairchild (uncredited in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, 5 eps of Friends, 3 eps of Roseanne, 1 ep of The Angry Beavers, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck, 1 ep of That 70s Show, 1 ep of That 80s Show) as Stewardess.
Alex Zuckerman (The Exorcist III, Hook, Fatal Instinct) as Stuey Gluck.
Randy Quaid (Not Another Teen Movie, Kingpin, Vacation, Christmas Vacation, Vegas Vacation, Independence Day, Brokeback Mountain, 19 eps of Saturday Night Live, 1 ep of The Ren & Stimpy Show) as Elijah C. Skuggs.
Jaime Cardriche (1 ep of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, 1 ep of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, 1 ep of The Wayans Bros.) as Toad.
Derek McGrath (Mr. Mom, 4 eps of Cheers, 2 eps of Bob & Doug, 2 eps of Newhart, 1 ep of Growing Pains) as Worm.
Jeff Kahn (Tropic Thunder, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Reality Bites, 4 eps of The Ben Stiller Show, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of The Larry Sanders Show) as Nosey. He’s also a writer and producer on Drawn Together, Dilbert & The Ben Stiller Show…
John Hawkes (S. Darko, Wristcutters: A Love Story, Contagion, Rush Hour, 15 eps of Eastbound & Down, 2 eps of 24) as Cowboy.
Lee Arenberg (Pirates Of The Caribbean movies, Dungeons & Dragons, Waterworld, Robocop 3, 2 eps of Seinfeld, 1 ep of Grounded For Life, 1 ep of Friends) as The Eternal Flame.
Patti Tippo (Being John Malkovich, The Iron Giant, Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls, Sid and Nancy, Barb Wire, 1 ep of Titus) as Rosie the Pinhead.
Tim Burns (Crank Yankers, 1 ep of Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Frogman.
Don Stark (John Carter, Donna’s dad in That 70s Show, 8 eps of Spider-Man-TAS (1990s), 3 eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Editor.
Arturo Gil (Epic Movie, Monkeybone, Saul Of The Mole Men, The Man Show, 2 eps of Just Shoot Me) as Clown.
Tom Stern (3 eps of Saul Of The Mole Men) as Man #2 / Milkman.
Gibby Haynes (Butthole Surfers singer, 1 ep of The Larry Sanders Show, GWAR: Phallus In Wonderland) as Cheese Wart.
Pamela Mant (Leprechaun, 1 ep of Seinfeld) as Nun.
Joe Baker (Dumb & Dumber, Robin Hood: Men In Tights, 2 eps of Highway To Heaven) as Prof. Nigel Crump.
Jon M. Chu (director of G.I. Joe 2) as Giant Stuey Monster.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109838/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Crystal Fairy (2013)

Claire: 2.8/5 stars, 5.8/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 5.7/10 IMDB.

This was not quite the overt drug comedy we expected; we were hoping for something closer to Fear & Loathing From Las Vegas.

While entertaining, and still comedic, all of the comedy was very dry, awkward, painful comedy. This was mostly a drug movie, not a comedy movie. Michael Cera goes to Chile to get San Pedro cactus, continually being the most annoying person in the bunch… And then this weird hippie chick named Crystal Fairy joins them for their trip.

This movie is less of a story, and more of a snapshot of life where an American decides to take a trip down to Chile in order to experience an hallucinogenic drug.  It deals with cultivating relationships with strangers and friends, and with learning to be patient and enjoy the moments in life (something Cera’s character is incapable of doing).

A bunch of weird shit happens, and then it ends with no real resolution other than “yeah, these things happened”. People changed. Everyone went on with their lives. But a shared transcendent experience occurred, and those in the know on such matters probably appreciate such things being shown in a movie.

So despite my complaints, it was still interesting.  Kind of weird for Michael Cera to be in a relatively unknown film like this.  Then again, it definitely had an indie feel to it, and Cera sometimes does these kinds of films on the side.

Carolyn still liked this significantly more than me, however. Odd.

Written & directed by (& starring) Sebastian Silva.

Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Childrens Hospital, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Juno, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Superbad, This Is The End, Extreme Movie, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Jamie.
Gaby Hoffmann (Sleepless In Seattle, Uncle Buck) as Crystal Fairy.
Juan Andrés Silva (this is his only movie) as Champa.
José Miguel Silva (this is his only movie) as Lel.
Agustín Silva as Pilo, the sober one.
Sebastián Silva as Lobo.
Esteban Carreño (this is his only movie) as Botota.
Gepe (he is a musician) as Gepe.
Manuela Baldovino (this is her only movie) as The girl who is high on life.
Gracia Ariztia (this is her only movie) as The other crazy dancing girl.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2332579/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Ass Backwards (2013)

Clint: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 2.7/5 stars Netflix, 4.1/10 IMDB. OUCH!

Man, I fucking love June Diane Raphael. She’s so damn hot. I am intensely attracted to her. NTSF:SF:SUV:: is a great show that few people have heard of, and more people should watch. Then I got a movie she was in that I *THOUGHT* was a comedy (Girl Most Likely), and was totally disappointed.

Finally, this. She wrote it too! Along with Casey Wilson, who apparently knows John The Canadien‘s sister or something. Interesting stuff.

So anyway, this was a pretty funny movie.  2 childhood friends who are living in denial about their loserdom decide to go to the anniversary of the childhood beauty pagaent they came in last in….to show that they can win.

But they are so. damn. clueless. If the movie we watched last night (The To Do List) was a female American Pie 1, then this was a female Dumb & Dumber. Romy & Michelle’s Highschool Reunion? Yea, that too.

On the surface, this is a movie about laughing at stupid chicks being stupid. But a bit deeper, it still has some heart. And it tends to send a subversive message of it being okay to embrace one’s own loserdom and inner loserness.

But for the most part, it’s a ridiculous (there’s even a meth subplot) road trip/buddy comedy with two really stupid main characters who [debatedly] mean well…but are just fucking idiots.

They run into some interesting cast members, too, like a much-less-recognizable Vincent D’Onofrio (he shows up in the weirdest places sometimes), Alicia Silverstone (not quite looking as good), Bob Odenkirk (always exaxctly the same), and Paul Scheer (lucky son of a bitch from NTSF:SF:SUV:: who gets to be married to my girlfriend June Diane Raphael).

The nature of a road trip movie is that the tone of the movie gets to jump all over the place, and sometimes with very little notice. And that’s kind of fun. Hop on and enjoy the ride. This was great fun.

It seemed to be rated unusually low on IMDB, though there’s only 437 votes at the time of writing this. I guess a lot of people don’t go for vapid, idiotic main characters. Or movies starring mostly women. Or movies written by women. ‘Tis a shame, because guy-guy buddy comedies involve vapid stupid fucking idiots as well, and that seems perfectly fine with everyone. Personally, I think it’s quite nice to enjoy a female-created movie. It didn’t come off as chick flick at all, I mean it starts with them pissing!

Some said the ending was sad, because they are losers. But it wasn’t sad. They were happy with their lives at the end — arguably happier than they had ever been before. They embraced the fact that not everyone has to be an overachiever — or even an achiever, as well as the fact that material wealth isn’t necessarily the only path to happiness. They grew as people, from vapid losers to less-vapid losers. It’s a happy ending.

Strange real-life coincidence: This movie featured several scenes with the 2 main girls peeing in public, and while watching it, a random guy adds me as a flickr contact, and all his favorites were girls pissing. Don’t believe me? Here are his favorites: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7928805@N07/favorites/

Directed by Chris Nelson. Written by Casey Wilson & June Diane Raphael (my girlfriend).

Starring June Diane Raphael (NTSF:SD:SUV::, Anchorman 2, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Year One, Girl Most Likely, 3 eps of American Dad, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Kate.
Casey Wilson (The Brothers Solomon, 30 eps of Saturday Night Live, 2 eps of The Life & Times Of Tim, 1 ep of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, 1 ep of The Human Giant, 1 ep of Drunk History, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Chloe.
Bob Odenkirk as Pageant MC.
Jon Cryer (Due Date, Two And A Half Men, Hot Shots, Pretty In Pink, 3 eps of Stripperella, 2 eps of American Dad, 1 ep of Family Guy, 1 ep of Mr. Show With Bob & David, 1 ep of Andy Richter Controls The Universe) as Dean, the pageant runner.
Vincent D’Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket, Strange Days, Men In Black, The Salton Sea, JFK, 3 eps of Men In Black: The Series, 2 eps of Xavier: Renegade Angel) as Bruce.
Alicia Silverstone (that Aerosmith video, Clueless, Batman & Robin, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of The Wonder Years) as Laurel.
Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker, 1 ep of The Sopranos) as Brian, the drug addict.
Paul Scheer (Human Giant, NTSF:SD:SUV, 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 Strip Club Owner.
Sandy Martin (Grandma in Napoleon Dynamite-TAS, Speed, 1 ep of Weeds, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck, 1 ep of Warren The Ape) as Qwen, the womyn leader.
Marcia Jean Kurtz (Black Swan, Requiem For A Dream, 1 ep of Hope & Faith) as Barb.
Lea DeLaria (Helga in The Oblongs, 1 ep of Friends) as Deb.
Deanna Raphael (1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Lizbeth.
Johnny Ray Meeks (7 eps of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Jack.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1509788/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The To Do List (2013)

Claire: 5/5 stars, 8.8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars Netflix, 5.7/10 IMDB.

Could this perhaps be the female American Pie 1? I think that might be a good way to describe this movie! A girl makes a list of sexual things she needs to try before she gets to college. Hilarity ensues. Very similar to American Pie 1, except it’s a list of sex acts instead of just getting laid, and it’s just one person doing it instead of 4 people doing it.

This wasn’t quite as funny as American Pie 1, but it was pretty goddamn funny! It wasn’t action-packed or caper-packed — it was situational, and sexual. But constantly funny.

And the casting…. Grrrrrrrrreat! I’ve always thought Aubrey Plaza was pretty hot, but she’s never been hotter than in this movie (though I do wish she had boobs). She is presented as an actual sexual being instead of simply being the deadpan comedy relief.

Casting Aubrey was interesting because I feel like she lacked explicit sexuality in her previous career. She always had that aloof, deadpan, emotionless, slightly annoyed look to her. Was it the stroke she had about a decade ago before her acting career took off?

This detached look worked against her overt sexuality, but created a hypothetical repressed sexuality–which sometimes leaves a little more wiggle room for the imagination. So seeing someone like this become a full, actualized sexual being …. Was utterly perfect casting. It’s like the movie was made for Aubrey. Someone funnier or prettier wouldn’t have been as good. (And don’t get me wrong, I think Aubrey is both. I’m saying she’s so perfect for this role that even someone with more talent than her wouldn’t have been able to do it as well.)

Plot-wise, It was a bit annoying during the formulaic conflict when the friends got really bent out of shape over something trivial, but I guess that’s how teenage relations are. But it wasn’t really annoying, since this movie kept the comedy going full strength for the entire length of the movie.

I wish all movies could be this fun.

Written & Directed by Maggie Carey…. And what a cast!

The chicks:
Starring Aubrey Plaza (Safety Not Guaranteed, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Mystery Team, Funny People, The Legend Of Korra [6 eps], Portlandia [3 eps], NTSF:SD:SUV & Drunk History [1 ep each]) as Brandy Klark.
Alia Shawkat (Maeby Funke in Arrested Development, Prom Wars: Love Is A Battlefield, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Fiona, Brandy’s wild friend.
Sarah Steele as Wendy, Brandy’s slightly less wild friend.
Rachel Bilson (the movie Jumper, 1 ep of That 70s Show, MADtv, & Buffy The Vampire Slayer) as Amber, the hot sister.

The dudes:
Johnny Simmons (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Jennifer’s Body) as Cameron.
Scott Porter (Cyclops in the English version of the X-Men anime, Speed Racer, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Rusty Waters, the hot crush.
Bill Hader (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 Willy, the boss.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin from Superbad, How To Train Your Dragon, This Is the End, Kick-Ass 2, Movie 43, Fright Night, Year One) as Duffy.
Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live, Grown Ups 2, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, I Love You Man, 4 eps of The Human Giant, 1 ep of Arrested Development, 1 ep of Portlandia, 1 ep of American Dad, 1 ep of Adventure Time, 1 ep of The Sarah Silverman Program) as Van.
Donald Glover (Mystery Team, 1 ep of The Human Giant, 1 ep of Adventure Time) as Derrick.

The parents:
Connie Britton (Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010), 6 eps of 24, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Mrs. Klark, Brandy’s mom.
Clark Gregg (“His first name is Agent” Coulson from the Iron Man movies, Thor, The Avengers, and the shows Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Ultimate Spider-ManA.I. Artificial Intelligence, Magnolia, 88 eps of The New Adventures Of Old Christine) as Judge Klark, Brandy’s dad.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1758795/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: It’s A Disaster (2012)

Claire: 3.4/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.0/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

Four couples are meeting for couples’ brunch, and then find out that there’s been a terrorist attack, and they are probably going to die.  But there’s no action. No explosions. The most you hear are sirens. There’s barely any death.  They are just stuck in the house together.

…And of course this happened right when things were starting to get awkward in the first place. So now they are stuck in a house together EVEN THOUGH THEY DON’T WANT TO BE.

Not necessarily a deep or thoughtful premise or plot, but it was an interesting story nonetheless. It doesn’t make you think about life-life-life, but it does entertain. Social dynamics in situations of duress are always interesting, and often comedic.

And make no mistake: This movie is a comedy.

Written & directed by Todd Berger (he wrote 2 Kung Fu Panda movies and 2 Smurfs movies, but we haven’t seen anything else that he did.)

With David Cross (Tobias Funke in Arrested Development, Mr. Show With Bob And David, Todd Margaret) as Glen Randolph, the newcomer.
Erinn Hayes (Lola Spratt in Childrens Hospital) as Emma Mandrake, brunch hostess.
America Ferrera (Betty in Ugly Betty, How to Train Your Dragon) as Hedy Galili, freaking out girl.
Julia Stiles (Bourne movies, 10 Things I Hate About You, 10 eps of Dexter) as Tracy Scott.
Rachel Boston (Fifty Pills, 500 Days Of Summer) as Lexi (the party girl).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1995341/combined