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.


VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us
3/5 stars, 7/10 was what we gave Kung Fu Panda 1.
Native rating: 4.0/5 stars, 7.4/10. (Netflix guess for us=3.8, which makes sense since we rated the original lower).

We actually liked this more than 1! Fancy that!

I wonder if this has to do with the fact that we watched Kung Fu Panda 1 during our movie-glut of watching 200+ movies in a year.

We stopped doing that, because we eventually learned (by analyzing our numerical ratings) that watching movies more often makes you enjoy them less. The rating disparity could be completely because we are watching movies at a rate of about 90/yr instead of 200/yr (the rate we held up for several years after buying a 52″ tv – I think the honeymoon finally wore off).

Who knows.

But this was good.
And funny.
And entertaining.
And well-animated.

I forgot just how funny the dialog and attitude of these movies were.

I had put this off for a long time. Probably because of how nonplussed we were by episode 1 of the animated series.

But it turns out this is really good!
And you get to learn more backstory about Po (the kung-fu panda).

I’ll have to remember NOT to pass up movie 3 when it comes out. This franchise is better than we remember.