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: REVIEW: Machete 2: Machete Kills (2013)

Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 8/10.
Claire: Deferring to Carolyn’s rating.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

Watched with TwoBeans. However, I fell asleep a lot during the end, so the net effect of the movie was completely lost on me.

I know I laughed a lot.

Fortunately, parts 2 & 3 are a duology (i despise that word!) of sorts, so it won’t be so wasteful to rewatch #2 when #3 comes out.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez (Grindhouse, Planet Terror, Sin City).
Written by Kyle Ward.

Starring Danny Trejo (Breaking Bad, Predators, 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 Machete.
Mel Gibson as Voz.
Demian Bichir (Esteban Reyes in Weeds) as Mendez.
Amber Heard (Pineapple Express, Zombieland, The Informers, 1 ep of The Cleveland Show) as Miss San Antonio.
Michelle Rodriguez (Avatar, some Fast & Furious movies, Turbo, Resident Evil 5) as Luz.
Jessica Alba as Sartana (uncredited).
Sofía Vergara (The Three Stooges, The Smurfs, Escape From Planet Earth, 1 ep of The Cleveland Show) as Desdemona.
Charlie Sheen as Mr. President.
Lady Gaga as La Camaleón.
Antonio Banderas (Puss In Boots in The Shrek movies, Zorro in The Legend Of Zorro (2005) and The Mask Of Zorro, Four Rooms, Interview With The Vampire) as El Camaleón 4.
Walton Goggins (Django Unchained, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, House Of 1000 Corpses, The Bourne Identity, The Crow 3, 1 ep of Unsupervised) as El Cameleón 1.
Cuba Gooding Jr. (Don Jon) as El Camaleón 2.
Vanessa Hudgens (Sucker Punch, Spring Breakers, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Cereza.
Tom Savini (Django Unchained, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, 1 ep of Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1, Zack and Miri Make A Porno, Planet Terror, Grindhouse, Dawn Of The Dead, Creepshow, and original Dawn Of The Dead) as Osiris Amanapur.
William Sadler (Freaked, Onion News Empire, Iron Man 3, The Shawshank Redemption, Bill & Ted‘s Bogus Journey, Die Hard 2) as Sheriff Doakes.

It didn’t carry the weight of the first one, but it was still entertaining for what it is.  “Machete don’t tweet.”

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2002718/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Trojan War (1997)

Clint: 5/5 stars, 8.4/10 (downgraded from previous 9/10).
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native rating:  5.2/10 IMDB. (Not available on Netflix.)

This is a great cult classic comedy that is not very well known or distributed. It’s hard to find this movie. I was happy to finally get dvd quality a few months ago.

I did have to downgrade my original 9/10 to 8.4/10, but it still held up to repeat viewing. It had been over 10 years since Carolyn & I initially watched this, so we had NO recollection whatsoever, except for the “kid needs to get a condom and fast” part.

This is a teen sex comedy caper. The type where all kinds of ridiculous things that would never go wrong in real life go wrong in the movie. Definitely an 80s/90s movie feel. Something in the same vein as The Stoned Age, Mystery Date, License To Drive, Adventures In Babysitting, or Superbad, although there is a romantic sub-plot that is compared more to Some Kind Of Wonderful. But it’s a definitely a comedy and NOT a romantic comedy. And one of my favorites.

The cast is great. The 3 main characters are played by Will Firedle (new-Batman in the Batman Beyond cartoon, Lion-O in the new Thundercats cartoon), an underdeveloped and less-hot-than-nowadays 18-year-old Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Marley Shelton (Pleasantville), who plays the girl who is way better looking than Love Hewitt in this movie, but who nowadays is pretty derpy looking and not as hot as JLH. But then we also have Danny Masterson (That 70’s Show), voice actor Jason Marsden, so-so actor Eric Balfour (24, Six Feet Under, weak-ass Gargoyle movie), Wendie Malick (Dream On, Just Shoot Me), Lee Majors (The Six Million Dollar Man!), Danny Trejo (Machete), Kathy Griffin.

P.S. There’s 26 songs in the soundtrack!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120376/combined