VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Violet & Daisy (2011)

Claire: 3.6/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Native ratings: 6.2/10 IMDB. Doesn’t seem to be on Netflix.

This was interesting and somewhat quirky black comedy about a pair of female underage BFF assassins. However, one is very alpha, while the other (Saoirse Ronan) sort of follows along. There are interesting dynamics between them, and things only get more interesting when they are awarded what turns out to be the most challenging hit of their careers. And not at all for the reasons you would think. Not at all.

It wasn’t that action-packed, but then again, it wasn’t an action movie. It kind of meandered a bit with the cryptic dream sequences, but for once, such an endeavor did not detract from the story. They were short, they were over, and they could be ignored if you chose to.

Watch this for one of James Gandolfini’s last performances before his death. He’s quite a different character from Tony Soprano here.  But also watch this if you are a Saoirse (“Seer-sha”) Ronan fan. That girl keeps growing on us. She’s only 19-20 and we’ve already seen 5 of her movies now.

This has a sort of indie feel to it, in that the plot isn’t as realistic, and the ending/meaning is slightly pretentious. I’m okay with that. We were entertained, and it was interesting, as well as having a lot of laughs. It earns the “comedy” in “action-comedy-crime-drama-thriller”, and comedy deserves to be the 2nd genre mentioned there. Though the comedy does thin out a bit near the end.

Written & directed by Geoffrey Fletcher.

Saoirse Ronan (The Host, Hanna, Byzantium, the voice of Arriety in The Secret World of Arrietty) as Daisy.
Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls) as Violet.
Danny Trejo (Breaking Bad, Predators, Harold & Kumar 3, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto, Eyeborgs, Fanboys, Smiley Face, The Devil’s Rejects, Anchorman,Trojan War, Enrique on King Of The Hill, Machete in Spy Kids 1-3) as Russ. He gets around!
Marianne Jean-Baptiste (The Cell) as Iris.
James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano in The Sopranos, Where The Wild Things Are, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Get Shorty) as Michael.
John Ventimiglia (Artie Bucco in The Sopranos) as Man #1. Claire recognized him immediately from Sopranos.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1634136/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Get Shorty (1995)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6.8/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 6.9/10 IMDB.

I kinda didn’t know where the movie was headed a lot of the time… But ultimately the main gimmick seemed to be that the movie was kind of about making itself.

That’s a fun, quirky concept, but it didn’t really make the movie *that* much better. It was pretty funny, though. John Travolta and James Gandolfini were good. Movie making and lonesharking apparently have a lot to do with each other.

I feel like this movie has been referenced a lot over the past 18 years, and since I am seeing it for the first time after such a long period of time, I think I was expecting something more. Something truly deserved of existing in the pop culture lexicon. In the end, the main thing I gain by watching this is a desire to watch the Spice Girls movie again, as it had similarities to this, and I’ve never gotten to compare the two. That’s kind of a sad conclusion to my watching experience. :)

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (Men In Black movies, Wild Wild West, The Addams Family movies).
Based on a book. Written by Scott Frank (The Wolverine, Minority Report, Dead Again).

Starring John Travolta Chili Palmer.
Danny DeVito as Martin Weir.
Gene Hackman (Royal Tenenbaum in The Royal Tenenbaums, The Birdcage, Lex Luthor in the Superman movies, Enemy Of The State) as Harry Zimm.
Rene Russo (Thor movies, Lethal Weapon movies, Major League) as Karen Flores.
Dennis Farina (What Happens In Vegas, Snatch, Saving Private Ryan, Bag Boy, 2 eps of Justice League) as Ray ‘Bones’ Barboni.
Delroy Lindo (Up, 1 ep of The Simpsons, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Bo Catlett.
James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano in The Sopranos, Where The Wild Things Are, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Violet & Daisy) as Bear.
Jon Gries (Napoleon Dynamite, Unicorn City, TerrorVision, Lazlo in Real Genius, 2 eps of Carnivale) as Ronnie Wingate.
Renee Props (Weird Science, 1 ep of Seinfeld, 1 ep of The Facts Of Life, 1 ep of Knight Rider) as Nicki.
David Paymer (Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite, Lazlo in Real Genius, Unicorn City, TerrorVision, Good Intentions, 2 eps of Carnivale) as Leo Devoe.
Martin Ferrero (Jurassic Park, Gung Ho, Planes Trains & Automobiles, 1 ep of Soap, 1 ep of Dream On) as Tommy Carlo.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113161/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

Clio: 2.8/5 stars, 5.8/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

Man. This movie had such potential. The main cast is Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey, Olivia Wilde, and (less so) James Gandolfini (Sopranos!) and Alan Arkin (The Change-Up, Argo, Gattaca, Grosse Pointe Blank, The Last Unicorn, Edward Scissorhands).

These are all great actors.

The premise was suspicious — rival magicians? Well, it’s just ridiculous enough that it could work! They make fun of Criss Angel, and do make a valid point that these new “magicians” aren’t doing tricks… They are doing stunts, and that’s not “magic”.

It’s directed by the 30 Rock director. People say that’s funny, right?  Well at this point, I’m less likely to watch 30 Rock than ever… Because this movie FELL FLAT. Let’s look at who wrote it… A guy involved in Shit My Dad Says (the show). If I’d known that… I’d probably have steered clear of this movie. The other writer was Mitch from the movie Waiting, but yea… These guys don’t write funny things I’ve heard of.

So yes. Magic-partner buddy bromance with a side of romance, and a side of friendship. Many ingredients that could have worked together well, but ultimately did not.

 

This movie is hollow and fell flat. It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t that good.

There were definitely laughs, and a scene or two I’ll never forget in my entire life. But I don’t know if it was worth our time. Perhaps we would have enjoyed it better if we had seen The Prestige.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0790628/combined