VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Imaginaerum (2012)

Clio & Carolyn: 2.8/5 stars, 6.4/10.
Native ratings: 5.7/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

This will be the 2nd time we watch a movie based on a concept album we’ve never listened to, performed by a band we’ve never listened to. The last one was Marillion:Brave, by Richard Stanley, director of the movie Hardware (1990). This one is based on an album by the Finnish metal band, NightWish. We mostly watched it for the visuals, which were pretty cool, but we were not as impressed as we were hoping.

The story was a bit lacking. The sound mix was surprisingly bad (though that is a distribution problem). It was overly-dramatic and kind of full of itself. But of course, it’s a video for an album, and music videos are sorta-kinda SUPPOSED to be like that — all grandiose and shit. So I might be faulting the genre for its own self-definition here. It also got a lot less exciting (and a lot more depressing) near the end. The acting wasn’t the greatest, but this also wasn’t a movie with very much acting in it.

In the end, this was style over substance. Some pretty awesome visuals. Definitely a great movie to watch — not as great to listen to, or think about. But visually, it was an 8/10.

Directed by: Stobe Harju (who directed Nightwish’s “The Islander” music video).
Written by: Stobe Harju & Mikko Rautalahti (Alan Wake video game), and Richard Jackson.
Story written by Tuomas Holopainen (Nightwish songwriter and band member) & Stobe Harju.

Starring Marianne Farley (Undressed, 2001: A Space Travesty, 6 eps of Vampire High) as Gem Whitman.
Quinn Lord (young boy in The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus–is he now typecast to only be in movies with Imaginae?rium in their title?, 2 eps of Smallville) as Tom Whitman – age 10.
Tuomas Holopainen (Nightwish song writer and band member) as Tom Whitman – age 47.
Francis X. McCarthy (BASEketball, 7 eps of Melrose Place, 4 eps of the original 21 Jump Street, Alien Nation, 2 eps of The Greatest American Hero, 1 ep of Smallville, 1 ep of Cheers, 1 ep of ALF, 1 ep of The A-Team, 1 ep of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose) as Tom Whitman – age 70.
Joanna Noyes (Grandma Thora Read in Arthur) as Ann – age 73.
Anette Olzon (Nightwish band member) as Ann.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1959409/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: 21 & Over (2013)

Clio: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

Written & directed by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore (The Hangover movies, The Change-Up). Oh yay! Party movie!

But wait! This is the least funny movie these guys have ever done. It was OK, but it could have been funnier, and there could have been more to it. It just kind of fell a little bit flat.

It was definitely not as good as The Hangover movies… The Change-Up was also way better than this one.

This still had laughs, memorable characters, and memorable moments. Plenty of ridiculousness. And it’s not that the genre’s dead, or that we’re sick of it. I love this kind of movie. But some are better than others. This one was unfortunately more in the league of National Lampoon than American Pie. Everything was a bit more contrived and forced and less satisfying.

I still liked it… But coming in from “OMG MOVIE BY THE HANGOVER PEOPLE”-level expectations is a recipe for disappointment.

Starring Miles Teller (we haven’t seen the other 13 things he’s been in) as Miller, the party-hard one.
Skylar Astin (Roy from Wreck-It Ralph) as Casey, the responsible one.
Justin Chon (Eric in the Twilight movies, Puff Puff Pass) as Jeff Chang, the stressed-out Asian.
Sarah Wright (The House Bunny) as Nicole, the love interest.
Jonathan Keltz (American Pie presents Beta House) as Randy, the douchebag boyfriend.
Francois Chau (Lethal Weapon 4, Quick Kick in G.I. Joe, Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze) as Dr. Chang, Jeff Chang’s father.
The chicks that made out with each other? One was in In Time, and one was in 17 Again. So weird.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1711425/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: The Lorax (2012)

Clio: 2.8/5 stars, 5.4/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Native ratings: 4.1/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

Based on the Dr. Suess book. Very generic. Too many songs. It’d probably be more enjoyable for a young kid, but didn’t have nearly as much to offer to adults.

Worth it to be able to visually explore a CGI instance of a Seuss-inspired world. For a lot of these Seuss movies, that’s really the sole point: Seeing what it looks like a grander scale.

Worth it, but I’d like more.

Directed by:
Chris Renaud (Despicable Me) and Kyle Balda.
written by: Ken Daurio (Despicable Me, Horton Hears A Who, College Road Trip, The Santa Clause 2).

Starring Danny DeVito (Taxi, Penguin in Batman Returns, Twins, The War Of The Roses, Man On The Moon, Mars Attacks!, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia) as The Lorax.
Ed Helms (Andy Bernard in The Office, The Hangover movies, 3 eps of Arrested Development, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay) as The Once-ler.
Zac Efron (Anakin Skywalker in Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III, 17 Again, High School Musical, 1 ep of Firefly) as Ted.
Taylor Swift (the singer) as Audrey.
Betty White as Grammy Norma.
Rob Riggle (P.O.T.N. in NTSF:SD:SUV, 4 eps of American Dad, The Hangover, Step Brothers, Human Giant, Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby) as Mr. O’Hare.
Jenny Slate (2 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of Ugly Americans, Saturday Night Live) as Ted’s Mom.
Nasim Pedrad (87 eps of Saturday Night Live, The Dictator, 7 eps of Allen Gregory) as Once-ler’s Mom.
Elmarie Wendel (Mrs. Dubcek in 3rd Rock From The Sun, 1 ep of American Dad, 5 eps of General Hospital) as Aunt Grizelda.
Danny Cooksey (5 eps of Invader Zim, Kung Fu Panda, 2 eps of G.I. Joe Renegades, Tiny Toon Adventures, Terminator 2, Static Shock, Dave The Barbarian) as Brett / Chet.
Stephen Tobolowsky (Bob Bishop in Heroes, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Boxboarders!, Buried) as Uncle Ubb.
Chris Renaud (he’s the director of The Lorax, Despicable Me) as Forest Animals.

 

Christie: Agreed. Liked it, but too many songs.

 

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1482459/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Mega Python vs. Gatoroid (2011) (TV) (SyFy) (The Asylum)

Clio: 2.2/5 stars, 3.6/10.
Carolyn: 1.6/5 stars, 2/10.
Native ratings: 2.7/5 stars Netflix, 3.1/10 IMDB.

WHO THE FUCK CAN RESIST A MOVIE STARRING BOTH DEBBIE GIBSON *AND* TIFFANY? (Also, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees is in this briefly.)

Carolyn was feeling kind of sick, so we didn’t want to waste a good movie on sickness. Thus, we finally had a chance to watch another movie by The Asylum — a company that makes deliberately bad movies. Often mockbusters, but sometimes “original” ideas like this one. Now add the fact that it’s a SyFy original movie just to make the endeavor that much more awful.

But with the cast of these two has-been (but well-respected by me) pop stars at the helm, how could I fucking resist? HOW COULD I? I’d be doing a grave disservice to 16-year-old me. Y’know, I STILL have two copies of the Tiffany cassette because I couldn’t figure out which print had the shade of red that I liked better as her hair color. And I still have the 7″ single to Only In My Dreams by Debbie Gibson.

I have no shame.

Carolyn: “That movie was terrible. I don’t think it had any redeeming qualities. Except for the boobs. Those boobs were really good, but not enough to save that trainwreck of a movie.”

And how! This movie had some of the best boobs ever. Sure, they aren’t naked. But they are boobs people have lusted after for 20 years. Pop-singer Tiffany has gained a few pounds since her Playboy shoot in 2005 (conveniently found at http://www.vintage-erotica-forum.com/t19397-tiffany.html )…. And you know what? It doesn’t look bad! She’s basically Christina Hendricks, but sultry.

Whereas Tiffany has the sultry, refined look of an older woman….Debbie Gibson has retained her youthful looks a bit more — or at least disguised herself as such. She still has the figure of a [boobless] 18-year-old, thanks to being stick-thin anorexic looking. Upon initial purview I thought she was the hotter one, but after staring at Tiffany’s tiffanies the whole movie, I realized I was wrong. Sultry beats cutesey in this instance!

So yes. This movie was awfully bad. Bad writing. Plot issues that didn’t make sense. Bad acting. Bad CGI. Bad sets. Bad dialog. But GODDAMN, YOU GET TO SEE TIFFANY AND DEBBIE GIBSON IN A CAT FIGHT. The money shot is Debbie Gibson covernig Tiffany’s tits in whipped cream during a catfight scene. Did I spoil it for you? Good, becuase that’s really the only reason to watch this movie, so you may as well know.

Things get really over the top in the 3rd act… So much so that I was laughing hysterically. Sometimes you gotta enjoy a bad movie, and I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t hate this. I didn’t like it either… But I edged towards liking it. Sick, guilty pleasure.

Thank you Syfy.

BTW, the young cop was in American Pie: The Book Of Love. And this was directed by the director of Pet Semetary, and the writer of #1 Cheerleader Camp (which was itself a mockbuster for Fired Up).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1680138/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Mr. Nobody (2009)

Clio: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Jesse: 5/5 stars, 10/10. (I made this rating up for Jesse, based on him saying it might be his favorite movie of all time.)
Native ratings: 4.2/5 stars Netflix, 7.8/10 IMDB.

Cloud Atlas, The Fountain, Click, Benjamin Button, Ink (2009), Inception (a bit). Smush them all together and you get this movie. I was hooked in the first 20 seconds. This was awesome.

Basically, this movie is about making choices, and the parallel universes that arise with each choice that is made. Hell, they even touch on string theory, chaos theory, and the butterfly effect at points… It is also about how it’s better to make a decision than it is to stand there scared of the various consequences that may arise.

The structure of the movie is pretty amazing, and the cinematography is 10/10 for sure. Over 500 visual effects.

It also had a better than average soundtrack. Mr. Sandman … used even more than in 8 Heads In A Duffel Bag!

The plot synopses on IMDB is pretty good, and though it has minor spoilers, you could simply stop reading the summary when you get to the words “at the end”, and it would not affect enjoyment of the movie (and in fact, this is part of how I was enticed to finally obtain this movie): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0485947/synopsis … If you want a total-spoilery version, one better to read AFTER watching the movie, check out the wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Nobody_(film)

This was awesome, yet I have a weird cognitive dissonance where I don’t QUITE want to rate this 5/5 stars. My IMDB rating (film quality) is not affected by this dissonance, by my Netflix rating (emotional response) is for some reason. Maybe if I had watched it in a state other than sobriety… I’d have had that “OMFG THIS IS SO AWESOME” feeling. But it WAS awesome. I just didn’t FEEL it like I often do. In part this is because I am anti-spirituality. I can’t help but feel that the message was a bit trite and cliche in the fact that it basically boiled down to “seek happiness”, which we all ALREADY KNOW.
However, this message was done VERY VERY VERY well! Just like Cloud Atlas‘s trite “fight for what is right” message, which was also done VERY well.
I’m so confused by my 5-star resistance here. But I”‘l go ahead and give it 5 stars anyway.

Political side-comment: It’s bullshit that USA typically won’t play this movie due to there being sex scenes with underage people (even though Juno Temple was fucking 20 in this!). Fucking Puritans! The Europeans should have persecuted The Puritans much harder. Seriously: The longest IMDB thread is about a nipple, and not the actual movie! Fuck us! Fuck us up our censored asses!

Written & Directed by Belgian filmmaker Jaco Van Dormael (this is his first English endeavor).

Starring Jared Leto (My So-Called Life, Requiem For A Dream, American Psycho, Fight Club, Panic Room, Girl Interrupted) as Nemo (adult/old).
Sarah Polley (Dawn Of The Dead, eXistenZ, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Go, Splice, 1 ep of Friday The 13th: The Series) as Elise (adult).
Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds, National Treasure, Troy) as Anna (adult).
Linh Dan Pham (Dante 01) as Jean (adult).
Rhys Ifans (Dr. Curt Conners in The Amazing Spider-Man, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1) as Nemo’s dad.
Natasha Little (we haven’t seen her stuff) as Nemo’s mom.
Toby Regbo (uncredited as Young Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1) as Nemo (age 15).
Juno Temple (The Dark Knight Rises, Kaboom, St. Trinian’s, Small Apartments, The Three Musketeers, Year One) as Anna (age 15).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0485947/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Side Effects (2013)

Clio: 3.6/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

Slightly creepy movie with a message about how broken our mental health & pharmaceutical systems are. But just when you think it’s a political drama…. It turns out to be more of a mystery/thriller than you expect.  The twists in tone made the “fucked up”-edness feel that much more sinister. Briefly confusing, with everything making sense in the end.  Things do not go where you’d expect; I was actually reminded of the feeling of watching the end of Wild Things when this movie ended — everything not quite being what it seemed.

Watched this with Jesse, who seemed to enjoy it a lot, though he had some problems finding Catherine Zeta-Jones‘s character/acting believable.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh (The Informant!, Contagion, Erin Brockovitch, Sex, Lies, & Videotape, Ocean’s 11, Solaris, Full Frontal).  Soderberg is a major hit-or-miss director with us — I flat out hated several of his films, and only really liked 50% of them. But I keep coming back for more because of the better half of Soderberg films — and this was in that half.

Written by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion, The Informant!, The Bourne Ultimatum).

Rooney Mara (Lisbeth Salander in the American version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo movies, Youth In Revolt, The Social Network) as Emily Taylor.  Clio got us all thinking this was the girl from the Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. She convinced us and everything. Nope! That would be Noomi Rapace! Duhhh!
Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Parnassus, eXisitenZ, Lemony Snicket, Gattaca, Contagion, Repo Men, Rise Of The Guardians, and many more) as Dr. Jonathan Banks, the psychiatrist.
Catherine Zeta-Jones (The Mask Of Zorro, Ocean’s 11, Traffic, Rock Of Ages) as Dr. Victoria Siebert, the former psychiatrist.
Channing Tatum as Martin Taylor, the husband who was just released from jail.
Polly Draper (1 ep of The Larry Sanders Show) as Emily’s Boss.
David Costabile (Gale from Breaking Bad) as Carl. Totally didn’t make the connection.
Vinessa Shaw (Eyes Wide Shut) as Dierdre Banks, the wife of the psychiatrist.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2053463/combined

Clio: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.

Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.

Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 5.6/10 IMDB.

This movie was a bit more fun than The Change-Up. It had less romance and more adventure. It might not have been as funNY, but it had more FUN. It’s hard to rate the two, actually. We either had a stroke of luck in our selections, or we were in extremely good moods while watching these movies.

This is a caper about a guy who self-bounty-hunts his identity thief, in order to keep from losing his job. She is an irritating sociopath, and together they have to take a road trip. It is perhaps a coming-of-age story for the sociopath, as they inevitably form a love-hate relationship (but mostly hate). The things she does…

Amazing how many negative things people have to say, simply because Melissa McCarthy is fat. It’s not that big of a deal! Jesus. And then the other negative things about the movie not being funny. I guess when you have a sociopathic, irritating character on screen, people lose their ability to feel humor. I am glad Carolyn & I are not jaded, and can enjoy a fine comedy such as this. It seems 95% of the IMDB comments are from people who hated the movie!

Apparently you have to be someone who loves comedies, to love this comedy. But it’s honestly better than most comedies out there! Fuck everyone else’s grim lives, we enjoyed this and you can’t stop us!

Directed by Seth Gordon (Four Christmases).
Written by Craig Mazin (The Hangover movies, Scary Movie 3 & 4, Senseless) (screenplay) and Jerry Eeten (story).

Starring Jason Bateman (Arrested Development, The Change-Up, Sit Down Shut Up, The Invention Of Lying, Hancock, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Juno) as Sandy Patterson.
Amanda Peet (Gulliver’s Travels, 2012, Saving Silverman) as Trish Patterson, the pregnant wife.
Melissa McCarthy (The Hangover 3, This Is 40, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Charlie’s Angels, Go) as Diana, the Identity Thief.
Jon Favreau (Iron Man, I Love You Man, Swingers, Made, John Carter, Elf, Four Christmases, 6 eps of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 6 eps of Friends) as Harold Cornish, the old douchebag boss.
John Cho (Harold from the Harold & Kumar movies, Sulu in the new Star Trek movies, American Pie movies, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Total Recall remake, Smiley Face) as Daniel Casey, the new boss.
Jonathan Banks (Mike from Breaking Bad, Puff Puff Pass, Gremlins) as Paul.
Morris Chestnut (Ryan Nichols in the V remake series) as Detective Reilly.
Robert Patrick (T-1000 in Terminator 2, Die Hard 2, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Bridge to Terabithia, Roger Bannon in The Real Adventures Of Jonny Quest, The Faculty, 4 eps of Sopranos, 1 ep of American Dad. He reminded us of a younger JigSaw from the Saw movies) as Skiptracer. We really thought he was Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) from the Saw movies, but apparently he simply has the capacity to look like a similar person.
Eric Stonestreet (Bad Teacher, 1 ep each of Nip/Tuck, Greg The Bunny, & Malcolm In The Middle) as Big Chuck.
Steve Little (Peppermint Butler in Adventure Time, Dr. Barber in The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack) as Party Guy’s Buddy. Only mentioning that because it’s weird to play minor characters in a cartoon, and then in this.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2024432/