VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Slipstream (2007)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Native ratings: 5.0/10 IMDB. NOT available on Netflix. Do not be fooled. They have a movie called Slipstream, but it is not this movie. It is a 1989 movie. This is a 2007 movie. I know nothing about the 1989 one.

Claire: Seriously though… What the fuck just happened?

This only made it to a 3/7 from me because of how psychdelic and trippy it was. The cerebreal movie-within-a-movie thing helped make things very interesting, but it also helped make things very confusing, very lacking of real resolution, and very inconsistent in tone. The tone goes from arthouse to thriller to comedy to confusion… All in all, I don’t think the rewards of the various interesting gimmicks used was equal to the cost and damage done by using those very same gimmicks.

The main reason to see this is to see the only movie ever written or directed by Anthony Hopkins. Ththththththththt. I have a personal connection to the man, because my next-door neighbor was an extra in Silence Of The Lambs.

I like it less and less as my memory of it fades. And it also seems to be a forgettable movie, not because it wasn’t novel, but because there was so much to it. So now my own rating seems high to me.

Carolyn: Not a comedy. Very psychedelic, and barely making any sense. It was very confusing, and the beginning had a lot of quick frame flashes that were distracting, but also intriguing. Unfortunately, it just kind of limped through and barely made any sense. I thought it was intriguing, but I feel like it didn’t quite live up to its potential.

Written, directed, and starring Anthony Hopkins.

Also starring Stella Arroyave (Anthony Hopkins‘ wife) as Gina.
Christian Slater (Heathers, Zoolander, Young Guns 2, 6 eps of Robot Chicken) as Ray / Matt Dobbs / Patrolman #2.
John Turturro (Barton Fink in Barton Fink, Transformers movies, The Big Lebowski, Monkeybone, Mr. Deeds, Anger Management, O Brother Where Art Thou?) as Harvey Brickman.
Michael Clarke Duncan (Kilowog in The Green Lantern-TAS, Kung Fu Panda, Kingpin in Dare Devil, Kingpin in 2 eps of Spider-Man-TAS (2000s), The Scorpion King, 1 ep of Ultimate Spider-Man) as Mort / Phil Henderson / Patrolman.
Camryn Manheim (Scary Movie 3, 4 eps of The L Word, 1 ep of Family Guy, 1 ep of Dilbert) as Barbara, the script director.
Jeffrey Tambor (George Bluth Sr. in Arrested Development, Hank Kingsley in The Larry Sanders Show, Hangover movies, Hellboy, Superhero Movie, EuroTrip, Professor Cakes in China IL, 4 eps of Archer, 2 eps of 3-South) as Geek / Jeffrey / Dr. Geekman.
S. Epatha Merkerson (Black Snake Moan, Terminator 2) as Bonnie.
Fionnula Flanagan (7 eps of Lost, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck, 12 eps of How The West Was Won, 1 ep of Bonanza) as Bette Lustig.
Michael Lerner (Mirror Mirror, When Do We Eat??, Barton Fink) as Big Mikey.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499570/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: 3 Geezers! (2013)

Claire: 2.8/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Native ratings: 2.5/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

This seemed like it could have had potential, and it started out interesting enough being a mockumentary about old people….Old people are very overlooked in comedy, and show business in general, so it offered some less-common situations to form the foundation of various jokes. But, like most mockumentaries that seem to be improvised a lot, it seemed to lose its focus and got a bit scattered and all over the place… and a lot of the jokes fell flat on their face… which maybe could have been like, “Yeah, they’re old people and their jokes sometimes aren’t funny.”, but that’s a lame excuse.  It just seemed to be missing something…

Still a decent amount of laughs, though. The homage to the masturbation scene in Fast Times At Ridgmont High was pretty funny with a 70-year-old sex addict.

Directed by Michelle Schumacher (9 eps of Oz is pretty much the only thing she’s done, this is the only movie she’s directed).  Written by Randle Schumacher and Eric Radzan.

J.K. Simmons (Oz, Tenzin in Legend Of Korra; 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 J Kimball.
Basil Hoffman (he’s been in 1 or 2 eps of a bunch of things including Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Too Close For Comfort, Night Court, CHiPs, Dynasty, Gimme A Break) as Victor, the main old man.
Breckin Meyer (Robot Chicken, Joseph Gribble in King Of The Hill, Titan Maximum, Road Trip, 54, uncredited in Can’t Hardly Wait) as Breckin.
Tim Allen as Tim.
Scott Caan (Ocean’s Eleven movies, Nowhere, Bongwater) as Scott.
Kevin Pollak (1 ep of Childrens Hospital, Wayne’s World 2, A Few Good Men, Willow) as Kevin (Christopher Walken impersonation).
Randy Couture (did stunts in 2 eps of Oz) as Randy.
Sam Raimi as Director.
Lou Beatty Jr. (Van Wilder, Fight Club, Fast & Furious) as Bernard.
Mike O’Malley (28 Days, Deep Impact, 3 eps of Baby Blues) as Mike.
Beverly Polcyn (Not Another Teen Movie, uncredited in Legally Blonde, 1 ep of Malcolm In The Middle) as Ruth, the slutty old lady.
Tony Cummings (8 eps of Another World, 8 eps of Santa Barbara) as Greg.
Pamela Dunlap (1 ep of Frasier, 1 ep of Mad About You) as Mary, the heavier old lady.
Ruth Williamson (6 eps of Nip/Tuck, Psycho Beach Party, the Scotsman’s wife in Samurai Jack, Legally Blonde 2) as Art Instructor.
Courtenay Taylor (Rubber, 14 eps of Regular Show, a bunch of video games) as Lisa, J.’s wife.

Homage to Fast Times At Ridgemont High:

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1825784/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: It’s Complicated (2009)

Claire: 4.2/5 stars, 8.2/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.5/10 IMDB.

A romantic comedy, but in this case the emphasis is on the romance: It’s a Romance-Comedy not a Comedy-Romance.

And yet, for some reason I could stand it. It was done very well. Streep and Baldwin had excellent chemistry, which drove a lot of the movie. That alone was surprising (the Baldwin part, not the Streep part). But there was also chemistry between Streep and the “dork horse” suitor played by Steve Martin.

Claire was rooting for Alec Baldwin; Carolyn was rooting for Steve Martin. They kept you guessing until the very, very, very end as to how things resolve. Seriously… You think it’s resolved, and then it’s not… And then you do, and then it’s not. This actually kept things suspenseful.

This was a chick flick, but it was done extremely well compared to the average rom-com.

…And yet there was still comedy. A fair amount of marijuana comedy, and some additional comic relief from John Krasinski (Jim from The Office).  And it didn’t stop mid-movie like with most rom-coms and their goddamn fucking Turning Point(tm). It went pretty consistently. If anything, there was possibly more comedy in the 2nd half than in the 1st half.

So yeah. I don’t go out looking for rom-coms to watch, but I do prefer comedy to all other genres, so I do end up watching these a lot simply to have something funny to watch. And in this case, it exceeded my expectations by actually being pretty good.

Written & directed by Nancy Meyers (wrote Father Of The Bride, Baby Boom, directed What Women Want, wrote & directed The Parent Trap).

Starring Meryl Streep as Jane Adler.
Steve Martin as Adam Schaffer.
Alec Baldwin as Jake Adler.
John Krasinski (Jim from The Office, Smiley Face, Shrek 3, 1 ep of Arrested Development) as Harley.
Lake Bell (Cat from Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of Newsreaders, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Tron: Uprising) as Agness Adler.
Hunter Parrish (Silas from Weeds, 17 Again, 1 ep of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Luke Adler.
Mary Kay Place (Smashed, Youth In Revolt, Being John Malkovich, Girl Interrupted, Shrek Forever After, 6 eps of My So-Called Life, 3 eps of King Of The Hill, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Joanne.
Rita Wilson (Sleepless In Seattle, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Frasier) as Trisha.
Alexandra Wentworth (Office Space, 1 ep of Seinfeld) as Diane.
Nora Dunn (Pineapple Express, Bruce Almighty, Zoolander) as Sally.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1230414/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Oblivion (2013)

Claire: 4.6/5 stars, 8.8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native rating: 7.1/10 IMDB. Don’t see this on Netflix for some reason.

This had a little bit of everything – mankind moving off planet because the planet is inhabitable, Matrixy aspects, “Go out into the radiation zone to find out the truth”, romance, science, plot twists, a long story with several arcs.

Everything comes together, and it was really well-done.  Well worth the 2 hours to fit it all in.

Granted, I did say “I bet there is a twist, and it is either W, X, Y, or Z”, and it was one of the ones I thought… And that is slight points against. But still… This was very, very, very interesting and entertaining.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy, he wrote the Oblivion graphic novel orignal story).  Written by Karl Gajdusek and Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Brave).

Starring Tom Cruise as Jack. Morgan Freeman as Beech.
Olga Kurylenko (Seven Psychopaths) as Julia.
Andrea Riseborough as Victoria.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Sykes.
Melissa Leo (Patch, 21 Grams, 3 eps of The L Word) as Sally, Mission Control
Zoe Bell (Django Unchained, Gamer, Grindhouse) as Kara.
Jaylen Moore (The Host) as Radio Operator (uncredited).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1483013/combined

VIDEO: Just Go With It (2011)

Claire: 3.3/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

Claire’s thoughts: It was a pretty funny movie. Nothing super, but high quality for a generic rom-com. Not the peak work of anyone in it, but a good cast nonetheless.  It felt like it was written by NBC sitcom writers, who absolutely loved plots revolving around everyone lying an unrealistic amount. That was points against. But the difference between this and and NBC sitcom is that the joke goes on for about 5.5X as long. Things do start to get predictable and formulaic in act 3 — which is expected in a rom-com — but the movie is almost 2 hours, so the comedy survives as long as a typical comedy movie before it putters out into the inevitable romance-genre ending all rom-coms have.

Carolyn’s thoughts: Entertaining.  Not spectacular.  It was no Click, 50 First Dates, or Wedding Singer, but it was decent.

Directed by Dennis Dugan (You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, Saving Silverman, Big Daddy, Happy Gilmore, also an actor in a shitton of shows & movies).  Written by Allan Loeb (Rock Of Ages) and Timothy Dowling (Role Models, George Lucas In Love).

Starring Adam Sandler as Danny Maccabee, Jennifer Aniston as Katherine Murphy, Nicole Kidman as Devlin Adams, and Kevin Nealon as Adon.
Nick Swardson (Grandma’s Boy, You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, The House Bunny, Blades Of Glory, Click) as Eddie, Danny’s cousin.
Brooklyn Decker as Palmer, the young love interest.
Bailee Madison (1 ep of Holliston) as Maggie / Kiki Dee, Katherine’s daughter.
Griffin Gluck (Sideways, 1 ep of The Office) as Michael / Bart, Katherine’s son.
Dave Matthews (You Don’t Mess With The Zohan) as Ian Maxtone Jones, Devlin’s husband.
Allen Covert (Grandma’s Boy, 50 First Dates, Deuce Bigalow:Male Gigolo, The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy, Airheads) as Soul Patch.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1564367/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Junior (1994)

Claire: 2.8/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 4.4/10 IMDB.

Skylar from Breaking Bad? Larry from the Newhart Show? Tony Soprano’s sister from The Sopranos? Chris from Oz?

We decided to get this after watching Kindergarten Cop.  This was about on par with Kindergarten Cop, but not quite as good (kids are slightly less annoying than babies & pregnancy).  Lighthearted fun.

Claire: “Wasn’t there a movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito were twins?”  Carolyn: “Yes, it’s called Twins.”

Directed by Ivan Reitman (also directed Ghostbusters 1-2, Kindergarten Cop, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Stripes)
Written by Kevin Wade (Maid In Manhattan) and Chris Conrad.

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dr. Alex Hesse.
Danny DeVito as Dr. Larry Arbogast.
Emma Thompson (Brave, Sybil Trelawney in the Harry Potter movies, Agent O in Men In Black 3, I Am Legend, Dead Again) as Dr. Diana Reddin.
Frank Langella (Frank in Robot & Frank) as Noah Banes.
Pamela Reed (Kindergarten Cop, 3 eps of The Simpsons) as Angela.
Aida Turturro (Janice Soprano in The Sopranos, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Louise.
Christopher Meloni (Chris Keller in Oz, Green Lantern in Green Lantern: First Flight, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, Wet Hot American Summer, Twelve Monkeys, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, 1 ep of Michael & Michael Have Issues) as Mr. Lanzarotta.
Anna Gunn (Skyler White in Breaking Bad) as Casitas Madres receptionist.
James Eckhouse (The Avengers, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck, 1 ep of Batman Beyond) as Ned Sneller.
Tracey Walter (Erin Brockovich, Man On The Moon, Young Guns 2, 2 eps of Justice League) as Janitor with Information (uncredited). Not Larry from The Newhart Show.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110216/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: My Little Pony: Equestria Girls (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10. “I am a chick and I like cartoons, so I am allowed to love My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.” (Notice how she leaves me in the lurch there?)
Jesse: 3/5 stars, 7/10. “OK, I actually enjoyed that. It was actually constructed in such a way as to be philosophically relevant.”
Native ratings: 4.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

My Little Pony:Friendship Is Magic decided to make a movie about Twilight Sparkle becoming human in a parallel pony world. This actually happened specifically because of bronies, yet they were the ones who backlashed the hardest. Bronies be like, “WTF is this shit!?”, and other bronies be like, “Calm down, maybe it won’t be that bad….” and “Trust the writers…” We were somewhat skeptical ourselves.

Then it comes out, and brace yourself…memes are coming! So many unending memes. We finally got to see it, so now the madness will make sense again. Plus we wanted to be caught up on everything prior to attending Bronycon 2013 (with 8407 other bronies).

Anyway, it was pretty entertaining. I didn’t like how the fighting scenes basically had no fighting in them, relying on deus ex machina tropes to resolve things. I didn’t like how super-convenient the plot was with these kinds of things. But I also accept that this was supposed to be a warm piece about friendship and magic, and that if I’d wanted long and gratuitous fight scenes, I should be watching one of the many animated superhero cartoons I regularly watch. It was a neat exploration of “what if non-human characters became human”, a trope that every non-human animated series should explore for at least one episode. Only this time, we got a whole movie out of it.

Carolyn: It turned out that it wasn’t so bad. It was actually pretty fun. I really enjoyed it.

Directed by Jayson Thiessen.

With the standard My Little Pony crew:

Written by Meghan McCarthy.
Starring Tara Strong (Bubbles from Powerpuff Girls, Toot in Drawn Together, Mary Jane Watson in Ultimate Spider-Man, Sym-Bionic Titan, Wolverine And The X-Men, 20 eps of Family Guy, 4 eps of Clerks-TAS, 4 eps of Gravity Falls) as Twilight Sparkle.
Ashleigh Ball (Allura in Voltron Force, Iron Man: Armored Adventures) as Applejack / Rainbow Dash.
Andrea Libman (1 ep of X-Men: Evolution, a bunch of My Little Pony and Care-Bear stuff) as Pinkie Pie / Fluttershy.
Tabitha St. Germain (12 eps of Aaagh! It’s the Mr. Hell Show!, Olive Oyl in Popeye‘s Voyage: The Quest For Pappy, 7 eps of Iron Man: Armored Adventures, 5 eps of Voltron Force, 8 eps of DragonBall Z, The Legend of Zelda-TAS, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, ALF-TAS, 1 ep of X-Men: Evolution, other My Little Pony stuff) as Rarity / Princess Luna / Vice Principal Luna / Cup Cake.
Cathy Weseluck (Thor: Tales of Asgard, 2 eps of X-Men: Evolution, DragonBall Z, 1 ep of Aaagh! It’s the Mr. Hell Show!) as Spike.
Rebecca Shoichet (3 eps of Iron Man: Armored Adventures) as Sunset Shimmer / Twilight Sparkle – singing.
Lee Tockar (3 eps of Iron Man: Armored Adventures, 3 eps of Beast Wars, 2 eps of X-Men: Evolution, 1 ep of Wonder Showzen, 1 ep of 2 Stupid Dogs) as Snips.
Nicole Oliver (9 eps of X-Men: Evolution, 9 eps of Aaagh! It’s the Mr. Hell Show!, The Vision of Escaflowne) as Princess Celestia / Principal Celestia / Cheerilee.
Vincent Tong (Daniel in Voltron Force, Iron Man: Armored Adventures) as Flash Sentry.
Britt McKillip (other My Little Pony stuff) as Princess Cadance.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2908228/combined