VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Following (1998)

Clint: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native: 3.4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
(Netflix’s guess for us was 3.7/5 stars, a bit low.)

Carolyn adds: “It wasn’t as good as Memento or Inception [or Batman Begins/The Dark Knight], but it was very detailed and I thought it told a good twisted story.”

I agree with Carolyn, but I felt that only the actual twist was worthy of a 5/5 star, 9/10 rating. The movie itself wasn’t. The movie WAS really good — but dry, with a stilted fight scene more awkward than that found in the original Star Trek Series, and a low-budget feel that definitely helped the noir feel, but ultimately left things seeming unpolished.

The story, however, was top notch, and I still really liked this.

Interesting how the main character never acted again, even though he was quite good: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0369918/board/nest/66469954

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0154506/

VIDEO: MOVIE: CARTOON: ANIME: The Secret World of Arrietty aka Arrietty The Borrower aka Kari-gurashiNoArietti (2010)

Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native rating: 3.9/5 stars (Netflix incorrectly guessed we’d rate this lower–3.7/5), 7.7/10.

Hayao Miyazaki FTW!
Almost everything he touches is gold!
Can studio Ghibli do wrong?

This is really good!

Based on The Borrowers, which is something we were utterly unfamiliar with — making it more enjoyable by depriving us of any bullshit rose-colored nostalgia for the “original”.

We actually watched the English (US, not UK) dub with Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, and Carol Burnett. Normally we watch Japanese, but we ran into “technical difficulties”.

Carolyn still likes Ponyo better, but not me. I was a bit disappointed with Ponyo, despite really liking it.If I had to rank Miyazaki-involved films in order from my favorite to least, it would probably be:
Howl’s Moving Castle
Princess Mononoke
Arietty
Ponyo
Spirited Away
The Cat Returns (he was just a producer for this one)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1568921/

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Superman vs. The Elite (2012) (animated)

5/5 stars, 9/10 from both of us.
Native rating is 4.0/5 stars, 7.2/10.

Pragmatism clashes with idealism in a battle that is as much about current-world 2012 politics as it is about superheroes.

When the hell did Superman become politically relevant in a post-911 world?

Among other things, Bialya == Libya, and The Elite are pretty much a direct metahpor to the post-911 way of thinking and handling criminals, while Superman represents the pre-911 way of handling criminals.

The so-called Bruce Timm-verse of animated DC comics has been an amazing thing to experience over the past 20 years, but he is only one of 4 executive producers. He didn’t get directly involved with this one, and it has a very different (incongruous to Timm’s direct productions) feel because of that. THIS IS A GOOD THING. Variety is nice.

Seeing a whole new team of superpowered individuals that I’d never heard of was pretty cool too. The character design for Managerie was awesome!

It’s hard to fail us with these animated comic movies. They are a good substitute for the three superhero cartoons we miss the most: Batman:TAS (1990s), Superman:TAS (1990s), and Justice League (2000s).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2224455/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Source Code (2011)

4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us.
Native rating: 3.7/5 stars (Netflix’s guess for us=4.4!), 7.5/10.

From the director of Moon (which is better than this film), this movie is basically a “poor man’s 12 Monkeys”.

It was interesting.  Not much happened, but interest was held.

It was a unique way of looking at time travel.

But I just can’t help but think of it as being derivative of 12 Monkeys, which pulled it off much better. I don’t mind derivative works, but this just wasn’t as brilliant as 12 Monkeys.
Still as good as any blockbuster movie, though.

A lot of people have problems with the ending scenes (after the kiss).
I don’t.
They are hard to understand, and I had to read about them on the forums to fully grasp it myself, but everything actually makes sense, and the critics of the final scenes are largely divided between those who get angry when they don’t understand something right away, and film snobs who hate happy endings and assume they are tacked on by film executives mucking with the plot.
Reading the complaints of those people is frustrating!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0945513/

VIDEO: REVIEW: MOVIE: Micmacs (2009)

Clint: 3.8/5 stars (which is the exact Netflix average AND it’s recommendation for us), 7.4/10 (a high 7–IMDB gives this 7.2/10).

Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.

I like Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie), but I definitely prefered him more back when he is collaborating with Marc Caro, who made his movies dark fairy tales (City Of Lost Children) or black comedies (Delicatessan) instead of whimsical comedies (Amelie).

He’s too whimsical now.

Jeunet has amazing directorial skills, yet I am starting to get tired of his Rube-Goldberg devices that he seems to want to use in every movie.

That being said… By virtue of receiving 4 stars, this movie is about 50th percentile for us.

We really liked it, but I liked it slightly less than most movies I really like.

It certainly LOOKS better than most movies, and is way more interesting than most movies.

We also found some similarities between this, and the new comedy Wanderlust (2012)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1149361/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Dune (1984)

We’d seen SOME of this movie in 1994 or so, but we didn’t watch this properly until 2012.

Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Clint: 3/5 stars, 6.6/10, and I think I’m being extremely charitable by rounding up to a 7 here. But I was also in the most foul mood of any movie I’ve watched all year, so it may not be as bad as I thought.

Netflix gussed 3.4/5 stars for us (though it’s average is 3.6/5 stars), and IMDB rates it 6.5/10, so it seems the general public likes this ever-so-slightly more than we do.

Less confusing than a typical David Lynch movie, due to it not being a David Lynch story. But overall, I thought the story was flawed with confusion. I couldn’t even name the two opposing factions, because there was so little exposition.

But then again, I was distracted by some unnecessary drama that walked into my home prior to watching this.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087182/

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Re-watched. Upgraded 9/10 to 10/10 (5/5 stars of course). Charlie Kaufman writes amazing movies.

“A couple undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour, but it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.”

Sounds like a romantic comedy, right? Definitely not. It’s a dramatic romance. It’s the 69th highest rating on IMDB, and it deserves it.

Any couple having problems or fighting with each other could actually get some therapeutic value from watching this, too! It teaches us something about ourselves, via watching the characters go through their travails.

As a bonus, you get to see Frodo as a total creeper, and Kirsten Dunst jumping around in her underwear and swooning over an older man.

Another amazing cerebral movie that we just had to watch again!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338013/

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 889 other followers