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.


Claire: 5/5 stars, 9.8/10.

Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 10/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 7.1/10 IMDB.

If you’re going to watch one post-apocalyptic comedy movie this year, it should be this and not Rapture-palooza. Then again… Watch Rapture-palooza and THEN watch this. This was funny as hell. Literally. And awesome. Literally. Starring tons of our favorite comedy actors all playing themselves, taking place mostly at a party, with all kinds of ridiculous things happening. The contrast between the severity of the situation and the behavior of the characters is the main source of humor.

Really…. This is one of those movies that we knew we’d like a LOT just from the description and the talent. Sometimes we’re dead right about these things.

This was way, way, way better than Hangover 3! This is maybe the best new comedy of the year so far.

Written & directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen.

Starring a bunch of actors playing themselves:

James Franco (127 Hours, Pineapple Express, Spring Breakers, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, Oz The Great And Powerful, Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man movies, The Wicker Man, Date Night) as James Franco.
Seth Rogen (Kung Fu Panda, The Green Hornet, Funny People, Observe And Report, Fanboys, Zack And Miri Make A Porno, Pineapple Express, Step Brothers, Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Anchorman, Young George Bluth in Arrested Development, 17 eps of Undeclared) as Seth Rogen.
Jay Baruchel (Undeclared, How To Train Your Dragon, She’s Out Of My League, Fanboys, Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Knocked Up) as Jay Baruchel.
Jonah Hill (Superbad, Allen Gregory, Get Him To The Greek, Django Unchained, How To Train Your Dragon, The Invention Of Lying, Funny People, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, Grandma’s Boy, The 40 Year Old Virgin) as Jonah Hill.
Craig Robinson (Darryl from The Office, LaVar ‘Freight Train’ Brown in The Cleveland Show, Rapture-Palooza, Hot Tub Time Machine, Pineapple Express, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Fanboys, Zack And Miri Make A Porno, Shrek Forever After, Miss March, Knocked Up) as Craig Robinson.
Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down, Superbad, Good Vibes, Despicable Me, Observe And Report, Fanboys, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, The Foot Fist Way) as Danny McBride.
Emma Watson (Hermione in the Harry Potter movies, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower) as Emma Watson.
Michael Cera (George-Michael Bluth in Arrested Development, Childrens Hospital, Superbad, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Juno, Youth In Revolt, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Michael Cera.
Mindy Kaling (Kelly in The Office, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Wreck-It Ralph, Despicable Me) as Mindy Kaling.
David Krumholtz (Goldstein in the Harold & Kumar movies, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story , I Love You Man, Superbad, 2 eps of Undeclared, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as David Krumholtz.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad, How To Train Your Dragon, Kick-Ass, Movie 43, Year One,) as Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
Rihanna as Rihanna.
Martin Starr (Sam in NTSF:SD:SUV::, 1 ep of Drunk History, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Adventureland, The Invention Of Lying, The Incredible Hulk (2008), Knocked Up, 1 ep of Undeclared) as Martin Starr.
Paul Rudd as Paul Rudd.
Channing Tatum (Side Effects, G.I. Joe movies) as Channing Tatum.
Kevin Hart (Scary Movie 3-4, Death At A Funeral, Superhero Movie, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Little Fockers, 3 eps of Undeclared) as Kevin Hart.
Aziz Ansari (Human Giant, Observe & Report, I Love You Man, Get Him To The Greek, What’s Your Number?, 3 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of The Venture Bros., 1 ep of The Life And Times Of Tim) as Aziz Ansari.


VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us
3/5 stars, 7/10 was what we gave Kung Fu Panda 1.
Native rating: 4.0/5 stars, 7.4/10. (Netflix guess for us=3.8, which makes sense since we rated the original lower).

We actually liked this more than 1! Fancy that!

I wonder if this has to do with the fact that we watched Kung Fu Panda 1 during our movie-glut of watching 200+ movies in a year.

We stopped doing that, because we eventually learned (by analyzing our numerical ratings) that watching movies more often makes you enjoy them less. The rating disparity could be completely because we are watching movies at a rate of about 90/yr instead of 200/yr (the rate we held up for several years after buying a 52″ tv – I think the honeymoon finally wore off).

Who knows.

But this was good.
And funny.
And entertaining.
And well-animated.

I forgot just how funny the dialog and attitude of these movies were.

I had put this off for a long time. Probably because of how nonplussed we were by episode 1 of the animated series.

But it turns out this is really good!
And you get to learn more backstory about Po (the kung-fu panda).

I’ll have to remember NOT to pass up movie 3 when it comes out. This franchise is better than we remember.