VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Crystal Fairy (2013)

Claire: 2.8/5 stars, 5.8/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 5.7/10 IMDB.

This was not quite the overt drug comedy we expected; we were hoping for something closer to Fear & Loathing From Las Vegas.

While entertaining, and still comedic, all of the comedy was very dry, awkward, painful comedy. This was mostly a drug movie, not a comedy movie. Michael Cera goes to Chile to get San Pedro cactus, continually being the most annoying person in the bunch… And then this weird hippie chick named Crystal Fairy joins them for their trip.

This movie is less of a story, and more of a snapshot of life where an American decides to take a trip down to Chile in order to experience an hallucinogenic drug.  It deals with cultivating relationships with strangers and friends, and with learning to be patient and enjoy the moments in life (something Cera’s character is incapable of doing).

A bunch of weird shit happens, and then it ends with no real resolution other than “yeah, these things happened”. People changed. Everyone went on with their lives. But a shared transcendent experience occurred, and those in the know on such matters probably appreciate such things being shown in a movie.

So despite my complaints, it was still interesting.  Kind of weird for Michael Cera to be in a relatively unknown film like this.  Then again, it definitely had an indie feel to it, and Cera sometimes does these kinds of films on the side.

Carolyn still liked this significantly more than me, however. Odd.

Written & directed by (& starring) Sebastian Silva.

Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Childrens Hospital, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Juno, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Superbad, This Is The End, Extreme Movie, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Jamie.
Gaby Hoffmann (Sleepless In Seattle, Uncle Buck) as Crystal Fairy.
Juan Andrés Silva (this is his only movie) as Champa.
José Miguel Silva (this is his only movie) as Lel.
Agustín Silva as Pilo, the sober one.
Sebastián Silva as Lobo.
Esteban Carreño (this is his only movie) as Botota.
Gepe (he is a musician) as Gepe.
Manuela Baldovino (this is her only movie) as The girl who is high on life.
Gracia Ariztia (this is her only movie) as The other crazy dancing girl.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2332579/combined

Claire: 5/5 stars, 9.8/10.

Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 10/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 7.1/10 IMDB.

If you’re going to watch one post-apocalyptic comedy movie this year, it should be this and not Rapture-palooza. Then again… Watch Rapture-palooza and THEN watch this. This was funny as hell. Literally. And awesome. Literally. Starring tons of our favorite comedy actors all playing themselves, taking place mostly at a party, with all kinds of ridiculous things happening. The contrast between the severity of the situation and the behavior of the characters is the main source of humor.

Really…. This is one of those movies that we knew we’d like a LOT just from the description and the talent. Sometimes we’re dead right about these things.

This was way, way, way better than Hangover 3! This is maybe the best new comedy of the year so far.

Written & directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen.

Starring a bunch of actors playing themselves:

James Franco (127 Hours, Pineapple Express, Spring Breakers, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, Oz The Great And Powerful, Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man movies, The Wicker Man, Date Night) as James Franco.
Seth Rogen (Kung Fu Panda, The Green Hornet, Funny People, Observe And Report, Fanboys, Zack And Miri Make A Porno, Pineapple Express, Step Brothers, Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Anchorman, Young George Bluth in Arrested Development, 17 eps of Undeclared) as Seth Rogen.
Jay Baruchel (Undeclared, How To Train Your Dragon, She’s Out Of My League, Fanboys, Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Knocked Up) as Jay Baruchel.
Jonah Hill (Superbad, Allen Gregory, Get Him To The Greek, Django Unchained, How To Train Your Dragon, The Invention Of Lying, Funny People, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, Grandma’s Boy, The 40 Year Old Virgin) as Jonah Hill.
Craig Robinson (Darryl from The Office, LaVar ‘Freight Train’ Brown in The Cleveland Show, Rapture-Palooza, Hot Tub Time Machine, Pineapple Express, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Fanboys, Zack And Miri Make A Porno, Shrek Forever After, Miss March, Knocked Up) as Craig Robinson.
Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down, Superbad, Good Vibes, Despicable Me, Observe And Report, Fanboys, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, The Foot Fist Way) as Danny McBride.
Emma Watson (Hermione in the Harry Potter movies, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower) as Emma Watson.
Michael Cera (George-Michael Bluth in Arrested Development, Childrens Hospital, Superbad, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Juno, Youth In Revolt, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Michael Cera.
Mindy Kaling (Kelly in The Office, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Wreck-It Ralph, Despicable Me) as Mindy Kaling.
David Krumholtz (Goldstein in the Harold & Kumar movies, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story , I Love You Man, Superbad, 2 eps of Undeclared, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as David Krumholtz.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad, How To Train Your Dragon, Kick-Ass, Movie 43, Year One,) as Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
Rihanna as Rihanna.
Martin Starr (Sam in NTSF:SD:SUV::, 1 ep of Drunk History, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Adventureland, The Invention Of Lying, The Incredible Hulk (2008), Knocked Up, 1 ep of Undeclared) as Martin Starr.
Paul Rudd as Paul Rudd.
Channing Tatum (Side Effects, G.I. Joe movies) as Channing Tatum.
Kevin Hart (Scary Movie 3-4, Death At A Funeral, Superhero Movie, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Little Fockers, 3 eps of Undeclared) as Kevin Hart.
Aziz Ansari (Human Giant, Observe & Report, I Love You Man, Get Him To The Greek, What’s Your Number?, 3 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of The Venture Bros., 1 ep of The Life And Times Of Tim) as Aziz Ansari.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1245492/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Youth In Revolt (2009)

Clio: 3.4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 6.5/10 IMDB.

This was decent. It was sort of a romance/comedy/drama — a rom-com that is a bit heavier on the romance than on the comedy.

It was still funny a lot of the time, in part because it had this vague Fight Club-ish weirdness to it. Michael Cera developing another personality in order to get with the girl. He needs to be bad to get himself kicked out of his mom’s house to go life with his dad, so he develops a split personality disorder.

There are actually several moments where this movie is basically a disturbing psychological thriller…. But then the comedy or the romance kicks in, so it doesn’t stay disturbing throughout (like, say, Fight Club, or The Number 23).

Definitely an interesting and entertaining romantic comedy — with a side-serving of disturbingness.  And definitely the widest range of acting I’ve ever seen coming from Michael Cera (which isn’t saying much).
Directed by Miguel Arteta (3 eps of Six Feet Under, 1 ep of The Office).
Based on a novel by C.D. Payne, who had a cameo as “neighbor on porch”.

Starring Michael Cera (Superbad, Arrested Development, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Juno, Childrens Hospital) as Nick Twisp / Francois, and Portia Doubleday (relative beautiful newcomer) as Sheeni Saunders.

M. Emmet Walsh (Big Guy And Rusty The Boy Robot, The Iron Giant, Wild Wild West, Twilight) as her strict religious dad, and Mary Kay Place (Smashed, Being John Malkovich, Pecker, Girl Interrupted, 6 eps of My So-Called Life) as her strict religious mom.

Cera’s family is: Jean Smart (Designing Women, Martha Logan in 24, Pickles Oblong in The Oblongs, I Heart Huckabees) as the mom, and Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, Between Two Ferns, Visioneers, Tim & Eric, It’s Kind Of A Funny Story, Due Date) as her douchebag boyfriend, and Steve Buscemi as his dad. His mom’s later boyfriend is Ray Liotta (Observe And Report, Date Night, Blow, Hannibal, Field Of Dreams).

Cera’s friends are: Erik Knudsen (Scream 4, Scott Pilgrim, Degrassi:TNG) as his friend Lefty, and Adhir Kalyan (3 eps as Dr. Raj Paresh in Nip/Tuck, Fired Up!) as Vijay Joshi.

Fred Willard has a small part as their neighbor, Mr. Ferguson.

Jonathan B. Wright as the rival boyfriend, Trent. He played a beefy guy in Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Seems a lot of Nick & Norah people were in this movie, such as:

Ari Graynor (Caroline in Nick And Norah, What’s Your Number?, 4 eps of The Sopranos, Date Night) as Lacey.

Justin Long (Unsupervised, Funny People, Zack And Miri Make A Porno, Dodgeball) as Paul Saunders, the girl’s brother.

Rooney Mara (The Social Network, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo remake, A Nightmare On Elm Street remake) as Taggarty.

And oh, there’s an old man played by Michael Collins. He’s the astronaut who went to the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, and had to stay in the ship and not step foot on the moon. Is his minor role (that nobody noticed) in this movie a symbol of his moon role? Nobody rememebers him. I don’t know his name. Most don’t. And now he’s in a movie where nobody will remember him. That’s too bad. :/

By the way: There was a pilot for a TV series of this made in 1998 for MTV: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0173998/combined

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0403702/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Superbad (2007)

Clio: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.9/5 stars Netflix, 7.6/10 IMDB.

This didn’t hold up as well to a second viewing.  It was still pretty funny, but it didn’t have the same excitement the second time around.  We also had just rewatched Trojan War recently, which is what we compared this movie to, except replace condoms with alcohol.

It’s a super fun movie. Everyone already saw this and generally knows this. Teen sex comedies are one of our mainstays, and movies that have parties in them are another [this movie has multiple parties in it]. Bromances are funny, and movies with geeky guys trying to get girls are funny. The nostalgia of watching highschoolers on the hunt harkens back to a younger age and reminds us what it’s like to be young. The movie is a conflation of many good things and many ridiculous things. Total win.

Directed by: Greg Mottola (Adventureland, 3 eps of Arrested Development, 6 eps of Undeclared)
Written by: Seth Rogen (writer of The Green Hornet, Pineapple Express, 5 eps of Undeclared) & Evan Goldberg (writer of Goon, The Green Hornet, Pineapple Express, 6 eps of Da Ali G Show)
Producer: Judd Apatow (who seemingly makes every comedy movie that exists nowadays)

Starring Jonah Hill (Allen in Allen Gregory, Get Him To The Greek, How To Train Your Dragon, The Invention Of Lying, Funny People, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, Grandma’s Boy, The 40 Year Old Virgin) as Seth.
Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Childrens Hospital, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Juno) as Evan.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (this was his first movie, prior to Kick-Ass, Year One, How To Train Your Dragon) as Fogell/McLovin’.
Bill Hader (Pineapple Express, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Brothers Solomon, Knocked Up, The Voice in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Year One, Saturday Night Live, Men In Black 3) as Officer Slater.
Seth Rogen (Kung Fu Panda, The Green Hornet, Funny People, Observe And Report, Fanboys, Zack And Miri Make A Porno, Pineapple Express, Step Brothers, Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Anchorman, 17 eps of Undeclared) as Officer Michaels.
Emma Stone (who Clio says is a perfect 10) as Jules (Zombieland, Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man, Crazy Stupid Love, The House Bunny).
Joe Lo Truglio (The State, Stella, Wanderlust, Wreck-It Ralph, 2 eps of Childrens Hospital, I Love You Man, Fanboys, Pineapple Express, Wet Hot American Summer) as Francis the Driver.
Kevin Corrigan (The Dictator, Pineapple Express) as Mark.
Erica Vittina Phillips (The 40 Year Old Virgin, gyno nurse in This Is 40, Darryl’s ex-wife in 2 eps of The Office, Step Brothers) as the Liquor Store Cashier.
Mark Rogen (Seth Rogen’s father) as “Father With Bat”.
Charlie Hartsock (Crazy Stupid Love, 7 eps of Arrested Developement, The 40 Year Old Virgin) as Good Shopper Cashier.
Carla Gallo (Lizzie from Undeclared, Libby from Carnivale, Get Him To The Greek, Funny People, I Love You Man, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The 40 Year Old Virgin) as Period Blood Girl. It’s sad that after her excellent work in Undeclared, she mostly plays kinky-girl bit-parts in party/roadtrip/caper movies, and never gets to be a leading lady again.
Martin Starr (Sam [the human, not the robot S.A.M.] in NTSF:SD:SUV, Adventureland, Walk Hard, Knocked Up) as James Masselin.
Clark Duke (he ended up playing Clark on the last season of The Office, 5 eps of Robot Chicken, Hot Tub Time Machine, Kick-Ass, Sex Drive) as Random Party Teenager.

I didn’t even notice Danny McBride (Observe And Report, Fanboys, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, The Foot Fist Way, Eastbound & Down, Good Vibes, Despicable Me) as a buddy at the party (uncredited).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0829482/combined