VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Ten (2007)

4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us.
Native rating: 2.7/5 stars, 5.1/10.
Netflix’s guess for us was 3.9/5 stars — very accurate.

After the resounding success of Wanderlust (2012), one of the funniest movies we’ve seen in awhile, we noticed there were David Wain/Ken Marino (The State, Wet Hot American Summer) movies we had not seen!

Enjoyable anthology of 10 stories analagous to the 10 commandments. The only problem was some of the stories didn’t really have too much to do with their corresponding commandment. But that’s okay, as it was really just a framework for Wain/Marino comedy.

Incredible cast: Paul Rudd, Famke Janssen, Adam Brody, Jon Hamm, Winona Ryder, Gretchen MolLiev Schreiber, Rob Corddry, Radhisa Jones, H. Jon Benjamin, and pretty much every member of The State. And most of these people did a musica performance together at the end. Unnecessary, but funny and entertaining. Gretchen Mol sings her own name in a lyric explaining that this movie is fictitious and she’s just an actress.

If you need a reason to watch this, I submit this one: Wynona Rider passionately making out with a wooden dummy.

Basically, if you like Wain-style comedy (The State, Wet Hot American Summer, Superjail, Wanderlust), you should check this out. It’s probably the least good out of all of the above, but it’s still better than the general public thinks.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0811106/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Clash Of The Titans 2 – Wrath of the Titans (2012)

Clint: 3.2/5 stars (compared to 3.4/5 for the first remake), 7.2/10 (compared to 7.4).

Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars (same as what she gave the first remake), 7/10 (compared to 7.6/10 for the first remake).

Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars  (compared to 3.5/5 for 1st remake) (guess for us=3.7/5), 5.9/10 (compared to 5.8/10 for first remake).

Yeah, our numbers and everyone else’s are kind of wonky for this one. Nostalgia clouds all of our judgement.

This movie LOOKED great, and the battles were nothing short of epic.

Yet, it was missing something. The story and characters could have been more developed. At 1hr39min, it felt rushed. I probably would have liked this more if they could have fleshed out an actual 2.5-hour movie out of it.

Kronos was nothing short of spectacular, and seeing him incarnate is reason enough to see this. But the story? Kinda meh.

The plot reminded me of the last season of Xena:Warrior Princess, where she ends up perma-killing most of the gods from most mythologies. This is about the death of many gods. I guess they aren’t doing a sequel…No.. wait.. they ARE?!?! Where are they going to go from this?

Either way…. At least it doesn’t look like an old episode of Land Of The Lost, which is what the 1983 movie looks like nowadays.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1646987/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Dante 01 (2008)

3/5 stars, 6/10 from both of us.
Native rating: 2.5/5 stars, 4.9/10.
(Netflix’s guess for us was 3.1/5, very good Netflix!).

Directed by Marc Caro, who co-directed The City Of Lost Children & Delicatessen with Jean-Pierre Jenuet.

They used to collaborate together, then they went their separate ways when Jeneut went to work on Alien:Ressurrection. After that, Jenuet went on to do Amelie & Micmacs. These movies are very much in the same cinematic style as Delicatessen & The City Of Lost Children, except they are very whimsical, missing all of the darkness from Delicatessan & The City Of Lost Children.

Apparently, the darkness came from Marc Caro. So we sought to see what a Marc Caro movie was like WITHOUT Jenuet.

The answer: Not as good.

This kind of came off as Chronicles Of Riddick meets Clockwork Orange meets Pandorum. The movie had very good visuals, an interesting moral dillema, and a disturbing, claustrophobic insane-asylum-on-space-station atmosphere — but the ending was a total cop-out that left few satisifed.

And a lot of questions were never answered, which makes the mystery aspect retroactively come off as pretentious. Like, for instance, what was the company *TRULY* doing with the nanotechnology? Adding Christ allegory only makes a movie more pretentious and revolting to me.

I don’t regret seeing it, but my impression is Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet are both incapable of making a single movie as good as when they both collaborated.  They should get back together!

Special thanks to Ian Buckwalter for helping me understand the Jeunet/Caro dichotomy, and pointing out to me that this movie exists in the first place.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0487928/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Following (1998)

Clint: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native: 3.4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
(Netflix’s guess for us was 3.7/5 stars, a bit low.)

Carolyn adds: “It wasn’t as good as Memento or Inception [or Batman Begins/The Dark Knight], but it was very detailed and I thought it told a good twisted story.”

I agree with Carolyn, but I felt that only the actual twist was worthy of a 5/5 star, 9/10 rating. The movie itself wasn’t. The movie WAS really good — but dry, with a stilted fight scene more awkward than that found in the original Star Trek Series, and a low-budget feel that definitely helped the noir feel, but ultimately left things seeming unpolished.

The story, however, was top notch, and I still really liked this.

Interesting how the main character never acted again, even though he was quite good: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0369918/board/nest/66469954

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0154506/

VIDEO: MOVIE: CARTOON: ANIME: The Secret World of Arrietty aka Arrietty The Borrower aka Kari-gurashiNoArietti (2010)

Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native rating: 3.9/5 stars (Netflix incorrectly guessed we’d rate this lower–3.7/5), 7.7/10.

Hayao Miyazaki FTW!
Almost everything he touches is gold!
Can studio Ghibli do wrong?

This is really good!

Based on The Borrowers, which is something we were utterly unfamiliar with — making it more enjoyable by depriving us of any bullshit rose-colored nostalgia for the “original”.

We actually watched the English (US, not UK) dub with Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, and Carol Burnett. Normally we watch Japanese, but we ran into “technical difficulties”.

Carolyn still likes Ponyo better, but not me. I was a bit disappointed with Ponyo, despite really liking it.If I had to rank Miyazaki-involved films in order from my favorite to least, it would probably be:
Howl’s Moving Castle
Princess Mononoke
Arietty
Ponyo
Spirited Away
The Cat Returns (he was just a producer for this one)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1568921/

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Superman vs. The Elite (2012) (animated)

5/5 stars, 9/10 from both of us.
Native rating is 4.0/5 stars, 7.2/10.

Pragmatism clashes with idealism in a battle that is as much about current-world 2012 politics as it is about superheroes.

When the hell did Superman become politically relevant in a post-911 world?

Among other things, Bialya == Libya, and The Elite are pretty much a direct metahpor to the post-911 way of thinking and handling criminals, while Superman represents the pre-911 way of handling criminals.

The so-called Bruce Timm-verse of animated DC comics has been an amazing thing to experience over the past 20 years, but he is only one of 4 executive producers. He didn’t get directly involved with this one, and it has a very different (incongruous to Timm’s direct productions) feel because of that. THIS IS A GOOD THING. Variety is nice.

Seeing a whole new team of superpowered individuals that I’d never heard of was pretty cool too. The character design for Managerie was awesome!

It’s hard to fail us with these animated comic movies. They are a good substitute for the three superhero cartoons we miss the most: Batman:TAS (1990s), Superman:TAS (1990s), and Justice League (2000s).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2224455/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Source Code (2011)

4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us.
Native rating: 3.7/5 stars (Netflix’s guess for us=4.4!), 7.5/10.

From the director of Moon (which is better than this film), this movie is basically a “poor man’s 12 Monkeys”.

It was interesting.  Not much happened, but interest was held.

It was a unique way of looking at time travel.

But I just can’t help but think of it as being derivative of 12 Monkeys, which pulled it off much better. I don’t mind derivative works, but this just wasn’t as brilliant as 12 Monkeys.
Still as good as any blockbuster movie, though.

A lot of people have problems with the ending scenes (after the kiss).
I don’t.
They are hard to understand, and I had to read about them on the forums to fully grasp it myself, but everything actually makes sense, and the critics of the final scenes are largely divided between those who get angry when they don’t understand something right away, and film snobs who hate happy endings and assume they are tacked on by film executives mucking with the plot.
Reading the complaints of those people is frustrating!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0945513/

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 905 other followers