VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: John Dies At The End (2012)

Clint: 5/5 stars, 9.6/10.
(4/5 stars, 8/10 after first/too drunk viewing)
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 10/10.
Native ratings: 4/5 stars Netflix, 6.9/10 IMDB.

Holy fuck, this is the most unique movie I’ve watched in awhile.

A supernatural fantasy/psychological horror/drug comedy that does not take itself too seriously.  This movie is WEIRD. SO WEIRD. And kind of confusing.

The first time I watched it I drank too much leftover New Year’s champagne and was a bit too out of it to fully comprehend everything, so I knew I liked it, but I couldn’t really remember any of the plot points, or what the hell had just happened. I watched it again about 4 days later with John The Canadien; Autumn left in the middle of the movie, while Jesse, Melanie, Randy, Chablis, and Steve stopped by mid-movie and watched most of the rest with us. They all kinda loved it or really liked it.

It’s based on a book (that Chablis had read, and Carolyn now wants to obtain).

Anyway, Paul Giamatti & Clancy Brown were welcome additions to the mostly-unknown cast. The screenplay adaptation was done by a screenwriter of Bubba Ho-Tep & the Beastmaster movies.

The movie definitely had its cheesy moments. It was pretty much on purpose. Regardless, this is NOT a movie that you can guess what is going to happen next on. It is a wild ride. It is pretty much impossible to guess where the plot is going. That makes this very charming.

Anyway… Great fucking movie! SEE IT, SEE IT, SEE IT!

Carolyn: Slightly confusing, but thoroughly enjoyable.  Based on a book, which apparently people liked better than the movie.  Be careful when injecting unknown drugs.  They might be part of an alien infection from a parallel universe.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1783732/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Stripes (1981)

3/5 stars, 7/10 from both of us.
Native rating: 3.8/5 Netflix, 6.8/10 IMDB.

This is a classic I had seen several times as a kid, but never watched as an adult.

From the director of Ghostbusters 1-2, Meatballs, Kindergarten Cop, and My Super Ex-Girlfriend, and writers that also wrote on Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Caddyshack, Metaballs, Analyze This/That, The Pink Panther remake and Year One.

With an absolutely stellar cast:

Bill Murray,
Harold Ramis (Heavy Metal, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Airheads, As Good As It Gets, High Fidelity, Knocked Up, Walk Hard, Year One),
Warren Oates (The Wild Bunch),
P.J. Soles (Rock And Roll High School, Joysticks, The Devil’s Rejects, Jawbreaker, Halloween, Carrie, Breaking Away),
Sean Young (Blade Runner, Dune, Fatal Instinct),
John Candy (RIP) (Spaceballs, Little Shop Of Horrors, Hot To Trot, Home Alone, Brewster’s Millions, Canadian Bacon, Heavy Metal, Planes, Trains & Automobiles),
John Diehl (Escape From New York, Joysticks),
John Voldstad (the other brother Darryl from Newheart, Joysticks),
John Larroquette (Night Court, Boston Legal), Judge Reinhold.

Basically, you watch this movie for the performance of everyone involved.

The actual plot isn’t super-stellar: Bill Murray is a loser who breaks rules, so he joins the army with another loser friend. Basic training hilarity ensues, then they end up actually going into actual battle under the strangest of circumstances.

The comedy never stops, but at the same time, it’s not the most hilarious, cutting-edge, modern, relevant comedy.

Strangely — this was originally going to be a Cheech & Chong movie, but C&C’s agent fucked it up for them. Too bad about that.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083131/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Cloud Atlas (2012)

4.6/5 stars, 9/10 from both of us.
Native rating: 3.7/10 stars Netflix, 8.0/10 IMDB.

I don’t normally like the movies of several different unrelated/barely-related lives, but then, this isn’t that. Everything is connected. The editing and execution was magnificent. They said this book could never be made into a movie, but they were wrong.

Six stories in six different periods of time, all linked, all being told simultaneously. And it’s actually pretty easy to follow, with the exception of the future-English spoken in the post-apocalypstic one. I’m sure I didn’t realize all the linkages between different stories, but it was absolutely watchable and not a scattered mess like some thought it was going to be. It was quite interesting!

Basically, Wachowski siblings FTW! As always!

It actually took me a few seconds to realize which characters were Tom Hanks… And Halle Berry as the male asian doctor was one of the most deceptive makeup jobs in the movie. Basically, each actor was several characters. David Lynch probably really liked this movie.

Carolyn: “I felt like I felt with Benjamin Button, a wholesome love-conquers-all feel, but then also revolution, going against the norm, speaking/fighting for what’s right, not accepting the status quo. It was a good movie.”

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1371111/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Bourne Legacy (2012) [Bourne 4]

Clint/Carolyn: 3/5 stars.
Clint: 6/10. Carolyn: 6.6/10.
Native ratings: 6.8/10 IMDB.

This just didn’t hold up to the other ones.

Where’s Matt Damon?!? Why do they keep mentioning his character if he’s not going to be in it? That confused me the most. I kept wondering if the main character was simply another actor playing Jason Bourne, or was another character. It wasn’t made clear ot me. Very distracting.

And then also.. It just wasn’t very good. Barely passable to me. It seemed a bit disjointed and haphazardly put together. But it still had a good budget, and some good action. Yeah…Some.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1194173/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

Clint: 3.6/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Native rating: 3.6/5 stars Netflix, 7.1/10 IMDB.

Carolyn to Clint: “Why aren’t you into it more? ‘Cause you’re not on your period and you’re not a chick?”
Carolyn liked it better than Next (2007) …. I definitely didn’t.

This is another Philip K. Dick-story-based movie, as we’ve been on a kick of watching those ever since a Slashdot article mentioned how much Hollywood loves making movies based on his stories.

This is best described as, perhaps, a supernatural romance. Fantasy genre — not sci-fi as it’s mis-categorized — with a bit of thriller action, but mostly romance driven.

Random IMDB comment: “It was a mind stimulating speculative film, a rather philosophical treatise on free-will versus determinism.” That may be going a bit far, but this does hint at various philosophical quandries, like that of The Matrix.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1385826/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Next (2007)

Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Native rating: 3.5/5 stars, 6.1/10.

Seeing as we love movies based on Philip K. Dick stories, love time-related gimmicks (like time travel, precognition, etc), and love Nic Cage, Julianne Moore, and Jessica Biel…This was a no-brainer movie to watch.

In fact… I’m surprised we hadn’t really noticed this movie until a recent Slashdot article talking about Hollywood’s love of movies based on Philip K. Dick stories (such as Blade Runner, Total Recall, Paycheck, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, The Adjustment Bureau, Impostor).

Suffice to say, it was actually somewhat better than we thought it would be. It starts out with a bit of mystery and intrigue, but then quickly changes gears to major action, all the while having a romantic angle as well, and then a great ending that really threw us for a loop. This was a great action-scifi-thriller…. Even if the idea of evil Russians seems a bit outdated.

Nic Cage as a man who can see 2 minutes into the future. It’s more interesting than you’d think.

Also, the screenplay was by 2 people who (between the two of them) wrote Total Recall (1990), Big Trouble In Little China, Armageddon, and Jumanji.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0435705/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Clint: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native: Netflix 4.4/5 stars, IMDB 8.8/10 (31st highest rated movie of all time).

The sound mix suffered!
That messed with the viewing enjoyment!
Hard to understand dialog compared to most movies!
Maybe it was the way we played our bluray, but goddamn, it really messed up the experience for me.
I was distracted by wanting to futz with the settings.
Don’t have this problem with most movies.

Carolyn says: “I enjoyed it.  The sound mix detracted some, but other than that, i thought it was a solid batman movie.”

Anyway… I liked the 2nd Batman movie the best, even though that one irked me with the creation of the Maggie Gyllenhaal character.

Minor spoiler: They really threw me for a loop with Talia. What a tweest!

Alright… This movie was pretty epic, but…. I just didn’t get into it as much as I could have. I may revise my rating later.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1345836/