VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Crazy People (1990)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 5.3/10 IMDB.

This was a charming movie with the gimmick of an advertisement agency accidentally starting a trend of ultra-honest advertisements, and continuing to get these ideas from incarcerated mental patients. It started out pretty funny at times, though it got more serious near the end.

This movie is ultra-unbelievable, from the totally unsecure mental hospital, to people actually liking honest advertising, to Daryl Hannah being a crazy hot chick available to instantlly fall in love with a schlub like Dudley Moore. But that’s part of the movie’s charm.

Strangely, this is from the director of… My Bodyguard (1980)?!?! and the writer of Good Morning, Vietnam (1987). Though you’d never guess. Starring Dudley Moore & Daryl Hannah, with Paul Reiser, Mercedes Ruehl, and a bunch of people playing crazy people at what must be the least secure mental health facility on the planet. Including David Paymer (who was in Bad Teacher), who I thought I recognized from the lame NBC sitcom Boston Common, but no, that was his brother Steven Paymer.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099316/combined

Clint: 3/5 stars, 6/10.

Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Native ratings: 2.4/5 stars Netflix, 2.4/10 IMDB (83rd lowest-rated move ever).

I bought this VHS cassette for $2.50 at a yard sale because I hadn’t heard of it, liked the hot chicks on the cover, and read the plotline about girls who decide to turn the tables and rape guys. It just seemed like an outrageous plot. After years of never playing the VHC cassette… I finally Netflixed it.

Written/directed by Kat Slater who made this movie, then a bunch of porno movies. This is the only real one. wtf. I guess this was hated so much (83rd worst movie ever) that Kat Slater (aka Christina Peters) had to go into porn afterward. She’s up to Young Sluts 15 now. Here’s an article about it.

But this is her one “real” movie.

We’d seen some of these actresses elsewhere: Busy Phillips (White Girls), Keri Lynn Pratt (A Midsummer Night’s Rave, Cat from Smallville, 1 ep of That 70’s Show and Nip/Tuck), Dominique Swain (Totally Awesome, Happy Campers), Thora Birch (American Beauty, Patriot Games, Dungeons & Dragons 1).

So anyway, the movie itself was a little sophomoric. Not particularly well written, acted, shot, produced, edited, or transferred to dvd.

But it was still interesting. It almost seemed inspired by Gregg Araki‘s teenage apocalypse trilogy. Over the top plot lines & characters. Over-the-top sexual obsession. Gender power struggles. Crazy fashion that doesn’t exist in real life.

I actually felt like this movie had a lot going for it… But it was held down by the badness of it all. But some like it for being bad.

Unfortunately, it became kind of a downer at the end. Which is also a Gregg Araki thing to do. It makes it a bit more poignant (or possibily pretentious).
At least it was interesting. More interesting than your average movie.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0205418/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Gridlock’d (1997)

Clint: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

So…. first movie we watch this year opens with a New Year’s Eve countdown… What are the odds of that? Compute them for me, please.

Carolyn’s thoughts:  I thought this was going to be more of a caper, but it turned out to not be as funny as I was hoping.  It was more a commentary about how messed up the system is for drug addicts who want to get help to kick the habit.  It was pretty interesting, and it was lighthearted enough to not bring us down too much.

Clint: I can still see why this has “comedy” listed as one of its IMDB genres, but I should have noticed “Comedy | Crime | Drama” having “drama” right there at the end.  If the only thing between drama and comedy is crime, then it verges on dramedy territory. I hate expecting humor and getting little. But this still had comedic elements all the way through to the end. It was kind of a black comedy. Depressing yet unexpectedly funny at the same time.  I don’t know that I’d recommend it, but it had its interesting moments.

Written & directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall (directed 1 ep of Firefly).

Starring Tupac Shakur as Ezekiel ‘Spoon’ Whitmore. One of the last 2 movies he appeared in.
Tim Roth (Mr. Orange in Reservoir Dogs, The Incredible Hulk (2008), Funny Games, The Cook The Thief His Wife & Her Lover) as Alexander ‘Stretch’ Rawland.
Thandie Newton (2012, Run Fatboy Run, The Chronicles Of Riddick, Interview With The Vampire, Mission Impossible 2, 1 ep of American Dad) as Barbara ‘Cookie’ Cook.
Lucy Liu as Cee-Cee. (Why the hell didn’t I recognize her?)
Charles Fleischer (Roger Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Dick Tracy, Gross Anatomy, 1 ep of Men In Black:TAS, 1 ep of God The Devil And Bob, 1 ep of Weird Science, 1 ep of Lois & Clark) as Mr. Woodson.
Howard Hesseman (Halloween 2 (2009), WKRP In Cincinnati, 7 eps of Soap, 3 eps of That 70’s Show) as Blind Man.
James Pickens Jr. (19 eps of The X-Files, 19 eps of Roseanne, 2 eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 2 eps of Six Feet Under) as Supervisor.
Tom Towles (Rob Zombie’s Halloween, Grindhouse, The Devil’s Rejects, Night Of The Living Dead, 1 ep of Firefly, 1 ep of Malcolm In The Middle) as D-Reper’s Henchman.
Tom Wright (The Onion Movie, Live!, 2 eps of 24, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck) as Koolaid.
Richmond Arquette (A Midsummer’s Night Rave, Rob Zombie’s Halloween, Smashed, Scream 3, Fight Club, Se7en, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button) as Resident Doctor.
Vondie Curtis-Hall (Die Hard 2, 1 ep of The Sopranos, and the director of this movie) as D-Reper.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119225/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: The Da Vinci Code 2 – Angels & Demons (2009)

Clint: 3/5 stars, 8/10. (Compared to 3/5, 6/10 for Da Vinci Code.)
Carolyn: 4.4/5 stars, 8.6/10.  (Compared to 5/5 stars for Da Vinci Code.)
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.6/10 IMDB. (Compared to 3.6/5 stars, 6.4/10 for Da Vinci Code.)

Pink Panther minus comedy plus religion.”
National Treasure minus comedy minus patriotism plus religion.”
“24 minus America plus The Vatican.”
Da Vinci Code 1 minus Leonardo Da Vinci plus Illuminati.”

It seems like everyone — Clint, Carolyn, Netflix people, IMDB people — all liked this better than first movie of the trilogy, The Da Vinci Code. Ignore the fact that Carolyn gave this one 4 stars and the last one 5 stars — she, too, agreed this one was better. (It’s hard to rate consistently, people!)

This was done very well… And was interesting. But I am quite turned off by religion, so I wasn’t super-thrilled with the entertainment, despite recognizing its quality. Religious stuff just doesn’t resonate with me.

Still better than the first, though. This one wasn’t a disappointment like the first one.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0808151/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Spider-Woman, Agent of S.W.O.R.D. (2009) [Marvel Knights]

Clint: 3.2/5 stars, 6.4/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 5.9/10 IMDB (not available on Netflix).

Only 51 minutes; a compilation of 5 motion comics that were about 10 minutes each.

Carolyn thought the dialog was a bit stilted and annoying, but this is really meant to be in the same vein as a comic book, not a movie… So I don’t hold it against it as much.

The artwork was good — Spider-Woman was modeled after Jolynn Carpenter. Did a google image search on her afterward. Yup! Spider-Woman!

The voice acting wasn’t as good.

A motion comic is a really low budget thing… I celebrate additional low-grade stuff vs having nothing.

I could see this as being done as an animated series akin to the Men In Black animated series. I’d watch it.

The conclusion seemed kind of rushed. Like, “Whoa, it’s suddenly over?” I thought more was going to happen but then it suddenly felt like The End.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1673449/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

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