VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Evil Dead (2013) [Remake]

Claire: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3.1/5 stars, 6/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 6.5/10 IMDB.

Claire:  Pretty generic horror.   It was rushed. That’s both good and bad. True to the original in being kind of cheesy and not really that scary. Still had tree rape, but perhaps not as disturbingly as the original. It wasn’t that different, to me.

Carolyn:  The original was better.  This one just jumped right into it and barely had any story.  That made it pretty generic, like Claire said.

Directed by Fede Alvarez.  Written by: Fede Alvarez & Rodo Sayagues.

Starring Jane Levy (49 eps of Suburgatory) as Mia, the drug-addict.
Shiloh Fernandez (Deadgirl) as David, her brother.
Lou Taylor Pucci (Fanboys, The Informers) as Eric, the male friend.
Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield) as Olivia, the female friend.
Elizabeth Blackmore as Natalie, David’s girlfriend.
Jim McLarty (The Frighteners, 1 ep of 21 Jump Street, 4 eps of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, 1 ep of Xena: Warrior Princess) as Harold.
Stephen Butterworth (20 eps of Mirror, Mirror; 3 eps of Xena: Warrior Princess, 1 ep of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) as Toothless Redneck.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1288558/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: TerrorVision (1986)

Clio: 2.6/5 stars, 5.4/10.
Carolyn: 2.0/5 stars, 4/10.
Native ratings: 5.2/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix. Ha!

Another cheezy movie to watch while Carolyn is ill.

Sooooo 1980’s!

And the fact that this is a family, but that the parents are swingers? That really added to the hilarity, and was arguably what caused this to be worthwhile.

The whole sex-positive vibe of the movie was incongruent with the profanity-negative vibe. They went out of the way to say “what the hey” and other such ridiculousness (rather than cursing)… But they have Nagel’esque bondage threesome art and other topless art all over their walls?

So refreshing to see sex portrayed as less harmful than cursing or violence.

Also, the actors all seem to be from other things I’ve seen. And yet I only recognized about 3 of them.

Overall this was a campy piece of 1980s cheeziness. Something I would have probably loved as a kid, but can only barely stand as an adult, and only as something to ridicule.

There was definitely redeeming value, though. I can see why so many people recommend this movie. It was over-the-top 80’s-horror cliche to the max. Dude.

Written & Directed by: Ted Nicolaou (involved in a lot of cheesy horror movies, it seems like)

Starring Chad Allen (147 eps of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, 21 eps of My Two Dads, 5 eps of General Hospital: Night Shift) as the brother, main character Sherman Putterman.
Diane Franklin (Better Off Dead, Bill & Ted‘s Excellent Adventure, How I Got Into College, The Adventures Of Lass 1-3) the punk-rock daughter/sister, Suzy Putterman.
Gerrit Graham (guardian in Gargoyles, Franklin Sherman in The Critic, 6 eps of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, 22 eps of Now And Again) as the dad, Stanley Putterman.
Mary Woronov (The Devil’s Rejects, The Living End, Rock N Roll High School) as the mom, Raquel Putterman.
Jon Gries (Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite, Lazlo in Real Genius, Unicorn City, 2 eps of Carnivale) the metal-head boyfriend, O.D.
Bert Remsen (Dick Tracy, 4 eps of Dynasty, 3 eps of Melrose Place, 13 eps of It’s A Living) as Grampa.
Alejandro Rey (74 eps of The Flying Nun, 7 eps of Dallas, 1 ep of Knight Rider) as Spiro, the swinger.
Randi Brooks (Hamburger: The Motion Picture, 8 eps of The Last Precinct, 1 ep of Designing Women) as Cherry, the swinger. You can find videos of her real estate company on YouTube. And another one where she sings with her daughters. Not as hot today, obviously–but still not bad.
Jennifer Richards (2 eps of Night Court) as Medusa, the Elvira wannabe. She had the vibe of a Tromette, for sure.
Sonny Carl Davis (Evil Bong 1-3, Thelma & Louise, Where The Buffalo Roam) as Norton, the satellite tv guy.
Ian Patrick Williams (1 ep of Dexter, 1 ep of Batman Beyond, 2 eps of Weird Science) as Nutky (the cop?).
William Paulson (5 eps of Law & Order) as Pluthar, the alien.
Frank Welker (voice-actor GOD) as the monster’s voice. How he manages to always be SO GODDAMN UNIQUE is beyond mystery. We counted his IMDB credits: 750. I’ve never seen anyone else with 750 credits in my life!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092074/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013) [watched in 3-D]

Clio: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Evan: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 4.8/10 IMDB.

Our first-ever 3D movie night, with Clio, Carolyn, Greg, John, Radha, Evan, & Javier. We got together to watch the new Star Trek movie (Star Trek 2 / 12) but it ended up being the first one (Star Trek 1 / 11).  So we had to quickly decide what else to watch, and this was what brought up the least objections.

We thought this was a remake of the original, but it turned out to be a follow up to the original movie.  Clio & I had never seen the original, but it didn’t seem to detract from our experience.  This was entertaining, but it didn’t have that much going for it.  Not much to the story.  We watched it in 3D on our new TV with 5 other people, and that made it more fun.

Directed by John Luessenhop.

Written by Adam Marcus (Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday), Debra Sullivan, and Kirsten Elms.

Starring Alexandra Daddario (Percy Jackson movies, 1 ep of The Sopranos) as Heather Miller.
Dan Yeager as Leatherface.
Trey Songz as Ryan, Heather’s boyfriend.
Scott Eastwood (Gran Torino) as Carl, the young cop.
Tania Raymonde (5 eps of Malcolm In The Middle) as Nikki, Heather’s friend.
Shaun Sipos (The Grudge 2, Final Destination 2, 1 ep of Smallville) as Darryl.
Keram Malicki-Sánchez (Sex And Death 101, 3 eps of The L Word, 4 eps of Garbage Pail Kids, 2 eps of Friday The 13th: The Series, 1 ep of 24) as Kenny, Nikki’s date.
James MacDonald (1 ep of Weeds, 1 ep of 24) as Officer Marvin.
Thom Barry (The Fast And The Furious, Space Jam, Apollo 13, Independence Day, 2 eps of Seinfeld, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Space Above And Beyond) as Sheriff Hooper.
Paul Rae (1 ep of Malcolm In The Middle) as Burt Hartman.
Richard Riehle (Santa Claus in A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, Smiley Face, Extracted, The Beach Party At The Threshold Of Hell, Office Space, Hatchet, Mysterious Skin, Palindromes, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Dorm Daze 2, The Man From Earth, 4 eps of The Legend Of Korra, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Farnsworth. He still reminds us of the “I’ll make your bub-bubs bounce” / “this is what I do, I sit on you” guy.
Bill Moseley (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Army Of Darkness, Night Of The Living Dead, Dead Air, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Grindhouse, The Devil’s Rejects, 8 eps of Carnivale, 5 eps of Holliston) as Drayton Sawyer.
David Born (1 ep of Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!) as Gavin Miller, Heather’s adopted dad.
Sue Rock as Arlene Miller, Heather’s adopted mom.
Ritchie Montgomery (Django Unchained, Looper, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Green Lantern, 1 ep of Carnivale) as Ollie.
Dodie Brown as Loretta Sawyer, Heather’s real mom.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1572315/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)

Clint/Carolyn: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 4.4/10 IMDB (wtf?!).

Wow. Really low IMDB rating compared to Netflix. Just shows the legions of assholes that downvote any sequel or adaptation (or film starring hated actors). Yet, this seems to be better than Paranormal Activity 3…. But not as good as Paranormal 2. Where PA2 went further back in time than PA1, but concluded after the end of PA2; and PA3 took place completely in the past; PA4 takes place several years after the events of PA1/2. In effect, it’s almost like a second chapter to the story, as the only living family member left from the original movies is the baby (now age 6-8 or so).  I was hoping for more Katie, though it is not a Katie-less movie.

Funny thing: Carolyn’s hearing range does not include the high-pitched demon-speech sound. Clint had to tell Carolyn when the demon was speaking. That actually made it creepier.

Anyway, Carolyn in particular thought this installment lacked some of the spookiness of the previous ones…It didn’t give me the same creeped out feeling…Even PA2 caused Carolyn to sleep on our foofsack because she was too scared to be in the bedroom alone without me. This one didn’t.

Also, they barely talked about the witches’ coven… and they didn’t really explain how Hunter ended up being adopted, and who the hell Robbie was (other than a random kid who lived nearby)?  Not many answers.

BTW, the main girl in this movie is 15 and was in Bad Teacher, which we just watched… But I still didn’t recognize her.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2109184/combined

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 5/10.
Ouch. MAJOR DISPARITY from Clint’s rating. It’s so very rarely 3/10 different with us!

Native rating: 3.9/5 stars, 5.4/10.

I have to admit I barely remember anything about this movie just a few days after watching it, so while it entertained me… It wasn’t anything super spectacular in the story department.

It’s a good thing that they are only planning one more movie in this franchise. It’s run its course, and something to tie it all together is the only way for it to not keep getting worse.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1855325/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Audition (1999) (Japan)

3/5 stars from Clint, 2/5 stars from Carolyn.
5/10 from both of us.
7.3/10 from IMDB in general.

“Well… That escalated quickly.”

Not quite as hardcore of a movie as I was expecting from all the talk of this being one of the most traumatizing movies in all of cinema.

It was slow for my taste, and I didn’t care for it too much, except for the final “payoff” scene, which even then was not all that.

Saw, Hostel… You’ve been outdone, Audition. You being Japanese just made you more boring, not more profound.

The fake-out was decent, but only enough to redeem you back up to 5/10.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0235198/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Cabin In The Woods (2011)

4/5 stars from both of us.
7.6/10 from Clint (same as IMDB in general!)
8/10 from Carolyn.

Ultimately I was kind of disappointed with this one, given all the hype.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. I just felt that the concept held more promise than the execution gave. This is usually true in many movies with unique concepts, but it hurt this for me… More than usual. There wasn’t nearly enough time spent on all the *other* monsters.

It felt rushed. It was too short. This story would have been better if it was fleshed out more: 2.5 hours instead of 1.5 hours. But oh, horror movies always have to be 1.5 hours!

This could have been a deeper story, with more epicness. Still a good movie. Still worth seeing. But I rank this as not as good as Joss Whedon’s average work.

The controlled environment definitely reminded me of The Hunger Games — but The Hunger Games had a much better societal commentary.

This seemed to start out too slow, then finish up too fast.

Pacing.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1259521/

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Ginger Snaps 3 aka Ginger Snaps 0 aka Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.  (Again deferring to Carolyn’s rating.)
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 5.8/10 IMDB.

Not as good as the first one, but on par with the second one.  This was set in the 19th century.  The IMDB trivia says that the second and third movies were shot back-to-back.

Carolyn thinks she liked the third one ever so slightly better than the second one, though she rated both identically. I am unsure, myself.

This movie sacrifices the opportunity to continue moving the original story further forward, and that is a major points against when compared to Ginger Snaps 2.

But by making it a prequel about 2 girls who just so happen to be the EXACT SAME 2 girls (but in the 1800s), they created an opportunity for Ginger to return as a lead character. This brought back a lot of the chemistry and sisterly character interaction that Ginger Snaps 1 had, but that Ginger Snaps 2 lacked.  So that is major points for.

However, they aren’t in high school… Or even modern american culture as we know it. The unique aspects of the original characters don’t shine in the same light when held to a completely different time and culture, and that is points against when compared to Ginger Snaps 1.

In the end, it’s kind of a wash. This movie is good in ways Ginger Snaps 2 wasn’t, and Ginger Snaps 2 was bad in ways this movie wasn’t. They were filmed at the same time too, so there’s no discrepancy in production or acting. So it’s just another sequel that’s really a prequel.

While I would recommend that 100% of people who liked Ginger Snaps 1 *MUST* watch Ginger Snaps 2…….. This movie is not required viewing. However, it does feel more like Ginger Snaps 1 than Ginger Snaps 2 did, so you still might want to watch it if you were a fan.

Directed by Grant Harvey.

Written by Christina Ray & Stephen Massicotte.

The 2 main characters of course remain:

Emily Perkins (Juno, Insomnia, 35 eps of Da Vinci’s Inquest, 26 eps of Hiccups, 3 eps of Supernatural) as Brigitte.
Katharine Isabelle (Freddy Vs. Jason, 30 Days Of Night: Dark Days, Insomnia, Titanic, 1 ep of Smallville, 1 ep of The L Word) as Ginger.

But also, from Ginger Snaps 2:

Brendan Fletcher (1 ep of Smallville) as Finn. He played Jeremy, the librarian in the second movie… Gracious of them to let him return.

The rest were new faces:

Nathaniel Arcand as The Hunter.
JR Bourne (1 ep of Smallville, 1 ep of 24) as James, the douchebag.
Hugh Dillon (Trailer Park Boys: The Movie) as Reverend Gilbert.
Adrien Dorval (Twilight 2, Chronicles Of Riddick, 1 ep of The L Word) as Seamus.
Tom McCamus (Siblings, 2 eps of Friday The 13th: The Series, 1 ep of Puppets Who Kill) as Wallace Rowlands, the leader of the fort.
Matthew Walker (The Wicker Man, 1 ep of Smallville) as Doc Murphy, the doctor.
David MacInnis (1 ep of Smallville) as Cormac.

They sure seem to use a lot of Smallville people…

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0365265/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed (2004)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10. (I’m deferring to Carolyn’s rating as I’m kind of unsure of my feelings.)
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 6.4/10 IMDB.

Not as good as the first one.  This one follows Brigitte as she deals with being infected by the lycanthropy.  It was still entertaining enough.  It was still good. Just not nearly as good. It was a good horror movie, but they kinda dropped the whole sisterly aspect of the first one that brought much of the interestingness to the original. So the chemistry was completely different, and it didn’t have that Ginger Snaps 1 feel that they brought back with Ginger Snaps 3 (which I’ll be reviewing next).

What this movie has going for it is that it is a continuation of the same original story. It’s canon. Ginger Snaps 3 is not. So this is it. When you watch this movie, don’t be tricked into thinking that the story will continue. That’s it, it’s over, and it’s kind of messed up.

Also, just what was unleashed? If anything, that’s backward. But I digress.

This is worth watching simply as a way to coast by on the good feeling you get from how awesome Ginger Snaps 1 is. I’d definitely recommend watching this. Definitely. You need to see how the story concludes. But this movie doesn’t stand on its own as being particularly special, other than how it connects to the greatness of Ginger Snaps 1.

Directed by Brett Sullivan. Written by Megan Martin.

Only the 2 main characters were from the first movie: Ginger & Brigitte.

Emily Perkins (Juno, Insomnia, 35 eps of Da Vinci’s Inquest, 26 eps of Hiccups, 3 eps of Supernatural) as Brigitte.
Katharine Isabelle (Freddy Vs. Jason, 30 Days Of Night: Dark Days, Insomnia, Titanic, 1 ep of Smallville, 1 ep of The L Word) as Ginger.

The rest were new faces:

Brendan Fletcher (1 ep of Smallville) as Jeremy, the librarian.
Tatiana Maslany (Stir Of Echoes 2, 11 eps of Orphan Black) as Ghost.
Janet Kidder as Alice.
Pascale Hutton (Fantastic Four, 3 eps of Smallville) as Beth-Ann, the mean girl.
Michelle Beaudoin (24 eps of Sabrina The Teenage Witch) as Winnie.
Eric Johnson (24 eps of Smallville, Flash Gordon in 21 eps of Flash Gordon) as Tyler, the guy who returns favors.
Patricia Idlette (Scary Movie 3) as Dr. Brookner.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0353489/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Night Of The Living Dead (1990)

Clint: 3.2/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 6.7/10 IMDB.

So we are apparently doing this backward. We watched the 2006 3-D remake-of-a-remake some time back. Now we are watching the 1990 remake. Meanwhlie, we’ve never seen the 1968 original.

Definitely one of the small-scenario zombie movies; more old school in that sense. Also old school in that there is some definite cheeziness and bad acting that wouldn’t pass muster these days. But still. This was good.

I really liked the ending… That was quite different than I was expecting. They added a whole social commentary angle to it. It wasn’t profound, but still. It could have just been nothing.

And I like how the main character was a completely different person by the end of the movie, transformed by the events of the movie.

And it was cool to see Tony Todd (“Candyman Candyman Candyman!”) after watching his guest appearance on the underrated awesome sitcom Holliston.

So all in all, I’m glad I finally saw this.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100258/?ref_=sr_1

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Hostel 3 aka Hostel: Part III (2011) (direct to video)

5/5 stars, 8/10 from Clint.
3/5 stars, 7/10 from Carolyn.
Major disparity here.

Native rating: 4.7/10 (vs 5.8,5.4 for first 2 movies), 3.1/5 stars (vs 3.2,3.2).
Netflix guessed 3.9/5 for us. Considering I rated the first 2 Hostel movies 5/5 stars, Netflix really should know better.

I thought this was one of the more sinister Hostel movies. The major spoiler of the movie is WAY more evil than anything that was done in the first two Hostel movies.

I actually think the franchise has been improving with each release, which is contrary to most popular opinion and common sense.

Hostel 2 > Hostel 1, because after seeing the 1, watching 2 is an exercise in extreme paranoia. But after going that route, Hostel 3 is more of an experience in “living large” and making the franchise more grandiouse, with the hell on earth no longer in a 3rd world eastern European country, but in Las Fucking Vegas.

This is also the most unique of the 3 films (due to large similarities between Hostel 1 and Hostel 2).

I am glad that in the IMDB comments I found other people who liked this better than Hostel 1 & 2. It is probably the opinion of a 10% minority, but I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks 3 > 2 > 1.

FREAK ALERT! John Hensley, the fucking idiot son from Nip/Tuck, plays a handicapped person here. Interesting to see him again, if only to be reminded of how much I hated his character on Nip/Tuck. He also has a kind of weird look to him, which lends itself well to playing someone with a physical malady.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1255916

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Death Machine (1994)

4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us, though the general public only rated it 2.7/5 stars (Netflix guessed 2.6 for us!) and 5.5/10.

This is the closest film I’ve ever seen to the movie Hardware (1990).

There are a few scenes that seem to be in DIRECT homage to Hardware. It lacks some of the comedy and psychedelia in Hardware, as well as the amazing cameos…

But in terms of cinematography, subject matter, style, and even character appearance (including the “villain”), this is simply a Poor Man’s Hardware. It even has William Hootkins (“we all sing, the wibbery-wobberly..walk!”), though he’s playing a suit instead of a perv.

Despite this being a poor man’s Hardware, it’s still better than 95% of scifi horror movies from the 1990s. So it gets 4/5 stars and 8/10, instead of the 5/5 stars and 9/10 rating that Hardware received.

Brad Dourif is pretty fricking crazy in this, and a lot of people are saying Heath Ledger must have watched this film at some point as inspiration for his insane portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight.

We watched the 111-minute (PAL/Europe) cut, though I would have preferred to get the 128 or 120-minute cut. Stay away from the 99-minute Netflix cut. You’ll be sorry. Get the PAL (europe) DVD if at all possible.

This movie also gets a very special LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD for having THE STRANGEST MARIJUANA JOINTS TO BE FEATURED IN ALL OF FILMDOM.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109575

VIDEO: SHOWS: REVIEW: Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil (2010)

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Dazed and Confused meets Tales From the Crypt wrapped inside a GWAR video”

This show is one of the awesomest things I have ever witnessed on television.

Not the BEST.. But one of the awesomest.

Check out John The Canadien’s review of this show, which he watched based on my recommendation! Thanks John!

LINK URL: http://igottarambleon.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/todd-the-book-of-pure-evil-2010/#comment-4928

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Final Destination 3 (2006)

Native rating: 5.8/10 IMDB, 3.3/5 Netflix (guess for us=3.9).
Clint/Carolyn rating: 4/5 stars, 7/10.

This one went through the motions and was still quite enjoyable, but missed out on a lot of the aspects that made the other ones unique.

They didn’t get together to work with one another to prevent the deaths; instead everyone was more disconnected.

It’s explainable because it’s in a totally different region (California) than the first one, so they didn’t have the history of what was going on, but still. It just wasn’t as interconnected as FD2 or FD1………….And there was no interesting twist, either.

Still worth watching, though!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0414982