VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Last Days On Mars (2013)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

This was your VERY average VERY formulaic VERY generic run-of-the-mill rom-com. Overall it was entertaining, but it was not that wonderfully great. Jennifer Aniston was nice to look at. Ben Stiller was pretty funny, and somewhat awkward. We watched this because Philip Seymour Hoffman was in it and we decided to watch a bunch of his movies that were beneath our radar since he passed away. As a bonus: Hank Azaria, the Simpsons voice of sooo many characters. Always rare to actually see him ON screen. He always seems so delightfully miscast, but that’s really just his cartoony stage presence at work.

Directed and written by John Hamburg (director of 3 eps of Undeclared, 2 eps of Stella, writer of Meet The Parents movies, I Love You Man, Zoolander).

Ben Stiller as Reuben Feffer.
Jennifer Aniston as Polly Prince.
Alec Baldwin as Stan Indursky.
Hank Azaria as Claude.
Missi Pyle (Miss Nobody, Visioneers, Harold & Kumar 2, Pretty Ugly People, Live!, Anchorman 1, Dodgeball, Big Fish, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Percy Jackson 2, Galaxy Quest, 4 eps of The Sarah Silverman Program, 2 eps of Heroes, 2 eps of American Dad, 1 ep of Family Guy) as Roxanne.
Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Hunger Games 2, The Invention Of Lying, The Boat That Rocked aka Pirate Radio, The Big Lebowski, Magnolia, Boogie Nights, Scent Of A Woman, Twister) as Sandy Lyle.
Debra Messing (Grace from Will & Grace, 2 eps of Seinfeld) as Lisa Kramer.
Nick Jameson (President Yuri Suvarov in 24, Batman: Year One, Eurotrip, Beowulf, Extracted, The Critic, 15 eps of Spider-Man-TAS (1990s), 13 eps of Mission Hill, 6 eps of Star Wars: Clone Wars, 1 ep of Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Van Lew Executive.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1709143/combined

HAPPY NEW YEAR, FUCKERS!

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Last Days On Mars (2013)

Claire: 3.4/5 stars, 7.0/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 6.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, 5.5/10 IMDB.

Claire’s thoughts: Martian zombies oh my. This was an entertaining movie that straddled the genres of “sci-fi”, “horror”, and “zombie”.  It might have been better if they hadn’t gone the zombie/monster route, but it was interesting nonetheless.

Unfortunately, it feels more sci-fi at the beginning, and more horror at the end.  When the sci-fi decreases and the horror increases, the movie becomes less good.  Less about Mars and more about running away from monsters. Less of the rarer, more difficult, more intellectually complex genre of scifi, and more of the easier, less complex, more generic genre of horror.  I love horror-comedy and scifi-comedy, but scifi-becomes-horror is much worse.

While still a good movie, this could have reached a greater potential.

A better movie that straddles sci-fi, horror, and zombies would be Pandorum. If you are tempted to watch Last Days On Mars – I’d go watch Pandorum instead.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was alright, but it didn’t leave me feeling all that excited about it.  I give it a slightly-above-generic pass.

Directed by Ruairi Robinson.
Written by Clive Dawson.
Based on a short story by Sydney J. Bounds.

Starring
Liev Schreiber (Victor Creed in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Movie 43, Goon, The Ten, Repo Men, Salt, Kate & Leopold, Scream 2-3) as Vincent Campbell.
Elias Koteas (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, Let Me In, Defendor, Shutter Island, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Exotica, Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1 & 3) as Charles Brunel.
Romola Garai as Rebecca Lane.
Olivia Williams (Hanna, Moira MacTaggart in X-Men: The Last Stand, The Sixth Sense, 1 ep of Spaced) as Kim Aldrich.
Johnny Harris (Snow White And The Huntsman, Dorian Gray, The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus, Big) as Robert Irwin.
Goran Kostic as Marko Petrovic.
Tom Cullen as Richard Harrington.
Yusra Warsama as Lauren Dalby.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1709143/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: American Mary (2012)

Claire: 4.4/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

Well… That movie certainly made me feel uncomfortable and disturbed. A lot.
And sad.
And ashamed of humanity.

This movie is visceral. Casting Ginger from Ginger Snaps was brilliant, but this character was a far more quiet and detached character than Ginger was. Detached, desperate, and alone, American Mary has no sister to riff of of.

Just herself, and a cruel world.
And surgery.
Unlicensed, unauthorized, cash-only surgery.

Things could have gone straightforward, but they actually got fucked up fast.

This movie really feels like Nip/Tuck, perhaps with a tiny pinch of Rules Of Attraction thrown in. I can’t help but think that this movie would the all-time favorite movie of the barber from The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack.

I definitely yelled out in my disturbedness more than once.  I’m amazed that things turned out the way they did.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was intense and kept you riveted.  There were some confusing parts when it flashed back or forward, or had a dream sequence that could kind of throw you off.  But overall, it was very intense and I really liked it.  It was neat seeing the girl from Ginger Snaps again.

Written & directed by Jen & Sylvia Soska (who played the twins).

Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps movies, Freddy Vs. Jason, 30 Days Of Night: Dark Days, Insomnia, Titanic, 1 ep of Smallville, 1 ep of The L Word) as Mary Mason.
Antonio Cupo (2 eps of Dark Angel, 1 ep of The L Word) as Billy Barker.
Tristan Risk as Beatress Johnson.
David Lovgren (2 eps of Smallville, 2 eps of The L Word) as Dr. Grant.
Paula Lindberg (Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Mobile Suit Gundam 00) as Ruby Realgirl.
Clay St. Thomas (1 ep of the 2009 V series) as Dr. Walsh.
John Emmet Tracy (1 ep of Smallville) as Detective Dolor.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1959332/combined

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Embrace Of The Vampire (1995)

Claire: 2/5 stars, 4.6/10.
Carolyn: 2/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 2.9/5 stars Netflix, 4.3/10 IMDB.

This was almost a soft-porn. The only real reason to watch this is to see Alyssa Milano’s naked body several times. And frankly, that’s enough to make me not regret watching it.  We get a little Jennifer Tilly sexiness too, but it’s mostly Alyssa Milano. Who’s the boss now?!?

But man.. We almost aborted this 10 minutes in, just based on how bad it felt.

At least, after awhile, a plot made itself evident.

Why the FUCK did they remake this in 2013?  WHYYYYYY?

Carolyn’s thoughts: This wasn’t that great.  It was barely even tolerable.  The border-line soft porn aspect helped a little.  Alyssa Milano is hot as always.

Directed by Anne Goursaud.

Written by Halle Eaton, Nicole Coady and Rick Bitzelberger (10 eps of Undressed).

Alyssa Milano (Who’s The Boss, Charmed, 1 ep of Young Justice) as Charlotte.
Martin Kemp (How To Stop Being A Loser, Can’t Buy Me Love) as Vampire.
Harold Pruett (9 eps of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, 8 eps of Medicine Ball) as Chris.
Jordan Ladd (Hostel 2, Death Proof, Grindhouse, Cabin Fever, Nowhere, 5 eps of Robot Chicken) as Eliza.
Rachel True (Half Baked, Nowhere, 3 eps of Dream On, 1 ep of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air) as Nicole.
Charlotte Lewis (1 ep of Seinfeld) as Sarah.
Jennifer Tilly (Bonnie Swanson in Family Guy, Monsters Inc., Stuart Little, some Chucky movies, 2 eps of It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, 1 ep of Cheers, 1 ep of Dream On) as Marika.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109723/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIOEW: The Purge 1 (2013)

Claire: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, 5.5/10 IMDB (seems low, but IMDB is usually low).

What a premise: The government allows all crime to be legal for a period of 12 hours every year.

Carolyn thought it was an interesting commentary on human behavior and preventing crime, but then I had to interject that it was not a commentary on that at all. It was a commentary on using crime prevention as an excuse for class warfare: A phenomenon that is very real and happens in the real world today.  Very often — in the real world — the vaunted public interest of stopping crime or making people safe is used as an excuse to reduce personal liberty. And this is the ultimate example of that.

In that sense, this is a political commentary along the same lines as The Hunger Games, but in a more decentralized, less post-apocalyptic, less futuristic way. The society seems to be a present-day society, whereas Hunger Games seems to be 50-100 years in the future. But the message is the same: Class warfare is entertaining for the upper class, hell for the lower class, and is designed to destroy everyone but the rich.

So the movie had political ramifications for me, regardless of how good it was otherwise. And I liked that.

But I felt it was good, otherwise, as well. There were at least 5 different factions of people — not even counting the conflicting motives of the family. These factions all had their own agendas, and the viewer didn’t always know what they were. This allowed for a lot of small twists and surprises that helped betray one’s expectations and make the movie more interesting and less guessable.

Some people are mad at this movie because not everyone acted rationally. They seem to forget that a movie where everyone acted rationally would generally not be interesting. You need some people to do some stupid things to get everyone into a predicament, so that you can be entertained by the prospect of getting OUT of said predicament. Do I really have to explain this? A horror movie where everyone acted rational would mean, in this case, a movie where everyone locks up their house and nobody goes outside during The Purge. That. Would. Be. Boring. I’m sure there are plenty of horror movies where nobody does anything stupid. It wouldn’t work in this case. So I don’t view that as a valid complaint.

Written & directed by James DeMonaco.

Ethan Hawke (Gattaca, Daybreakers, Reality Bites, Mystery Date, Explorers, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as James Sandin, the dad.
Lena Headey (Dredd, Sarah Conner in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, St. Trinian’s (2007), 300, The Broken, The Brothers Grimm) as Mary Sandin, the wife.
Max Burkholder (Astro Boy, 17 eps of Family Guy, 2 eps of The Cleveland Show, 2 eps of American Dad, 1 ep of The Spectacular Spider-Man) as Charlie Sandin, the son.
Adelaide Kane (she’s in some new Teen Wolf show) as Zoey Sandin, the daughter.
Edwin Hodge (Dorm Daze 1, Take Me Home Tonight, 1 ep of Heroes) as Bloody Stranger.
Rhys Wakefield (+1) as Polite Leader. Claire recognized him instantly a few days later when we watched +1.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2184339/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Ginger Snaps 1 (2000)

Claire: 4.6/5 stars, 8.8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 6.7/10 IMDB.

Claire’s thoughts:  Things got bad.  Then they got worse.  Then they ended badly.  (I mean for the characters in the movie, not the viewer.)  This is pretty much what should happen in a horror movie…And this movie was able to deliver it without the typical annoying horror movie formulas and tropes. There was a real sense of chemistry between the two sisters. And no… I’m not talking about a sexual chemistry… No shipping!!  This is not a “queer movie”, despite how much certain female bloggers want it to be. It is, however, a great example of a movie with female characters who aren’t just 2-dimensional dumb bitches, which is something the horror genre very much needs to break some of its own monotony.

But anyway… Werewolves, high school, sisters, good characters, good acting, good dialog.

I have an urge to describe this as “Heathers meets An American Werewolf In London”, but that’s really not an entirely accurate comparison. Also had a decent soundtrack… Soulfly in a movie in 2001?!?

Carolyn’s thoughts:  This kept me engaged with the movie the entire time.

According to the IMDB trivia, Lucy Lawless was the PA system announcer.

Directed by John Fawcett (6 eps of Xena: Warrior Princess), who co-wrote it with Karen Walton.

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.
Kris Lemche (In Time, The FP. Final Destination 3, eXistenZ, 24: Redemption) as Sam.
Mimi Rogers (Cruel Intentions 2, Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery, Gung Ho, 7 eps of The X-Files, 2 eps of Neighbors From Hell, 2 eps of The Larry Sanders Show) as Pamela, the mom.
Jesse Moss (Tucker And Dale Vs Evil, Final Destination 3) as Jason.
Danielle Hampton as Trina.
John Bourgeois (3 eps of Puppets Who Kill, 1 ep of Friday The 13th: The Series) as Henry.
Peter Keleghan (Shattered, 2 eps of Cheers, 1 ep of Seinfeld, 1 ep of Puppets Who Kill) as Mr. Wayne.
Christopher Redman (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy, Totally Awesome, Bless The Child) as Ben.
Lindsay Leese (Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy, National Lampoon’s Senior Trip) as Nurse Ferry.
Pak-Kwong Ho as Janitor.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0210070/combined

Clio: 5/5 stars, 8.3/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 6.2/10 IMDB.

Carolyn: This was a creepy movie – It made me think of Paranormal Activity, but this one seemed slightly better, but that could have been the adrenaline talking. Definitely some creepy moments.

Clio: Had me pretty freaked out. But no way was it better than Paranormal Activity. It did, however, have me distraught throughout most of the movie, even though the actual plot wasn’t really that unique. It was either done very well, or I was in a optimum mental state to enjoy a movie such as this. I thought it was just going to be a 3-star’er. Also at play is the fact that we haven’t watched a horror movie in ages, so maybe we enjoyed this more than usual because of that.

Or maybe it was just that things were pretty goddamn creepy.

This is reminiscent in feel (but not content) to The Fourth Kind.

There are indeed a lot of cliches, plot holes, people doing really stupid shit when they didn’t have to, but for godssake, this is a horror movie, what did you expect? I often rate horror movies high because I consider them to only be able to be so good, and if they are that good, they are as good as one can be, and ergo are high rated.

My sister adds: “I like your reasoning for why you “often rate horror movies high.” I think I’ve subconsciously done the same, following that same logic without realizing it.”

 

Written & directed by Scott Stewart.

Starring Keri Russell (Felicity, Mission Impossible 3, Honey I Blew Up The Kid, 1 ep of Arrested Development, 1 ep of Married With Children) as Lacy Barrett.
Josh Hamilton (Stella shorts, The Bourne Identity, 1 ep of Delocated, 1 ep of Absolutely Fabulous) as Daniel Barrett.
Dakota Goyo (young Thor in Thor) as Jesse Barrett.
Kadan Rockett as Sam Barrett.
J.K. Simmons (Oz, Tenzin in Legend Of Korra, 3 Geezers, J. Jonah Jameson in the Spiderman movies, Hulk And The Agents Of S.M.A.S.H., Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Ultimate Spider-Man, and 2 eps of The Simpsons, Juno; I Love You, Man; Jennifer’s Body, 4 eps of The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack) as Edwin Pollard.
L.J. Benet as Kevin Ratner, Jesse’s friend.
Rich Hutchman (Crazy, Stupid, Love, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon) as Mike Jessop.
Myndy Crist (The Time Machine (2002), 4 eps of Six Feet Under, 1 ep of 24) as Karen Jessop.
Annie Thurman (The Hunger Games) as Shelly Jessop, Jesse’s crush.
Ron Ostrow (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Jerky Boys, A Few Good Men, 1 ep of Firefly, 1 ep of Just Shoot Me) as Richard Klein.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2387433/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Would You Rather (2012)

Clio: 5/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, ???/10 IMDB.

That movie was pretty disturbing. I feel like it was kind of a cross between Saw and Hostel. It had me on sitting up on the edge of my seat the entire movie, quite disturbed and worried. This is the point of a horror movie. To horrify you. And it worked.

This is one that a lot of the old school hipster-horror-snobs will dismiss as “torture porn” or merely seving to horrify the viewer without constructing some grand legend or theme or message.

It is true that there is not much to this movie at all.  It’s short and sweet and simple. But it is messed up, and leaves you thinking about how messed up it was for days afterward. So good stuff.

Carolyn: This was interesting.  Kind of like Saw meets a childhood game with a twist…

Directed by David Guy Levy.  Written by Steffen Schlachtenhaufen.
Starring Brittany Snow (John Tucker Must Die, 5 eps of Nip/Tuck, 1 ep of Family Guy) as Iris.
Jeffrey Combs (The Frighteners, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, Ratchet in Transformers Prime, The Leader in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 5 eps of Justice League, 1 ep of The Batman, 1 ep of the new Thundercats, 1 ep of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Shepard Lambrick.
Jonny Coyne (The Hangover 3, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Bevans, the butler.
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (8 eps of The Walking Dead, Cecil B. DeMented, The Waterboy) as Dr. Barden.
Enver Gjokaj (The Avengers, 2 eps of Dexter) as Lucas.
Sasha Grey (porn star, The Girlfriend Experience) as Amy.
John Heard (Sharknado, Big, 5 eps of The Sopranos) as Conway.
Charlie Hofheimer (The Village) as Travis, the Iraq vet.
Logan Miller (Nova in Ultimate Spider-Man, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Raleigh. (Was he Iris’ brother?)
June Squibb (Atlas Shrugged Part 1, 1 ep of Eagleheart, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Just Shoot Me) as Linda, the old lady.
Eddie Steeples (My Name Is Earl, uncredited in Wristcutters: A Love Story) as Cal.
Robin Taylor as Julian, the rich son.  He was not Draco Malfoy as Clio kept thinking.
Robb Wells (Ricky in Trailer Park Boys, Hobo With A Shotgun, Goon, The Boondock Saints 2, 1 ep of Archer) as Peter.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1999995/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW:Fright Night 2: New Blood (2013)

Carolyn: That movie was dumb.  The annoying friend was more annoying than funny and he had no redeeming qualities… The vampire wasn’t very hidden, and was just so obvious, and it barely made any sense.  Ugh, this movie was just so stupid.  I rolled my eyes a lot.  I tried to keep my hatred to myself because I could tell Clio was at least liking it more than me and I didn’t want to taint his enjoyment of it, but eventually I couldn’t hold out and I had to express how dumb that movie was.  Stay away.  Don’t bother with this one.

Clio: Stupid, but I don’t expect much from direct-to-video sequels of remakes.  I mean, this movie is so far removed from the original I wasn’t expecting much. The main vampiress was super hot, there were a few moments of comedy, but for the most part it was just an ultra-generic horror with some extra-retarded moments, so retarded they detracted from the movie.

Directed by Eduardo Rodriguez.
Written by Matt Venne.

Starring a bunch of nobodies:
Will Payne as Charley Brewster.
Jaime Murray (1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Gerri Dandridge.
Sean Power as Peter Vincent, the monster hunter TV show host.
Sacha Parkinson as Amy Peterson, the girlfriend.  She’s got creepy-hot down.
Chris Waller as ‘Evil’ Ed Bates.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2486630/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: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010) [Finland]

 A Finnish film subverting the Christmas legend with a twist.  Entertaining, though somewhat slow in parts.  The execution could have been better, but hey, it’s not a blockbuster-funded endeavor. It’s Finland. Still fun to see Santa Claus depicted as an evil demon. The ending was downright funny.

Written & directed by Jalmari Helander.

Starring a bunch of Finnish actors:
Onni Tommila as Pietari Kontio.
Jorma Tommila as Rauno Kontio, his father.
Tommi Korpela as Aimo.
Rauno Juvonen as Piiparinen.
Per Christian Ellefsen as Riley.
Ilmari Järvenpää as Juuso, Pietari’s naughty friend.
Peeter Jakobi as Pietari’s Elf.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1401143/combined

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