VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

Clint: 3.6/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Native rating: 3.6/5 stars Netflix, 7.1/10 IMDB.

Carolyn to Clint: “Why aren’t you into it more? ‘Cause you’re not on your period and you’re not a chick?”
Carolyn liked it better than Next (2007) …. I definitely didn’t.

This is another Philip K. Dick-story-based movie, as we’ve been on a kick of watching those ever since a Slashdot article mentioned how much Hollywood loves making movies based on his stories.

This is best described as, perhaps, a supernatural romance. Fantasy genre — not sci-fi as it’s mis-categorized — with a bit of thriller action, but mostly romance driven.

Random IMDB comment: “It was a mind stimulating speculative film, a rather philosophical treatise on free-will versus determinism.” That may be going a bit far, but this does hint at various philosophical quandries, like that of The Matrix.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1385826/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Impostor (2001)

Clint: 3/5 stars, 6.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native rating: 3.2/5 stars, 6.1/10.

Another movie based on a Philip K. Dick story … which is something we’ve been doing lately. But not as good as the previous movie based on a Philip K. Dick story that we last watched: Next (2007).

This one had fewer twists than Next.

However it had a few similarities to Next: A guy wanted by the government in order to [SPOILER ALERT] stop a nuclear explosion that happens, driven by his love for a girl, and with either Tony Shalhoub or his evil twin Jose Zuniga (who basically looks just like Tony Shalhoub, if you ask me).

It also had some similarity to Total Recall (both versions) [which is also based on a Philip K. Dick story] — a guy wanted by a government that claims that he is somebody else than he thinks he is.

I’m starting to think Philip K. Dick isn’t quite as creative as Hollywood thought. I’m seeing some common themes in these PKD-story-based movies.

Anyway, this movie suffere dfrom a common flaw in movies like this: It’s all just a big chase scene. But even more so in this one than usual. Enough that it dragged it down by lack of characterization and plot development. Total Recall (2012) had more characterization than this!

Impostor was still an enjoyable dystopian-future movie… But it could have been a lot better.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0160399/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Next (2007)

Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Native rating: 3.5/5 stars, 6.1/10.

Seeing as we love movies based on Philip K. Dick stories, love time-related gimmicks (like time travel, precognition, etc), and love Nic Cage, Julianne Moore, and Jessica Biel…This was a no-brainer movie to watch.

In fact… I’m surprised we hadn’t really noticed this movie until a recent Slashdot article talking about Hollywood’s love of movies based on Philip K. Dick stories (such as Blade Runner, Total Recall, Paycheck, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, The Adjustment Bureau, Impostor).

Suffice to say, it was actually somewhat better than we thought it would be. It starts out with a bit of mystery and intrigue, but then quickly changes gears to major action, all the while having a romantic angle as well, and then a great ending that really threw us for a loop. This was a great action-scifi-thriller…. Even if the idea of evil Russians seems a bit outdated.

Nic Cage as a man who can see 2 minutes into the future. It’s more interesting than you’d think.

Also, the screenplay was by 2 people who (between the two of them) wrote Total Recall (1990), Big Trouble In Little China, Armageddon, and Jumanji.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0435705/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Clint: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native: Netflix 4.4/5 stars, IMDB 8.8/10 (31st highest rated movie of all time).

The sound mix suffered!
That messed with the viewing enjoyment!
Hard to understand dialog compared to most movies!
Maybe it was the way we played our bluray, but goddamn, it really messed up the experience for me.
I was distracted by wanting to futz with the settings.
Don’t have this problem with most movies.

Carolyn says: “I enjoyed it.  The sound mix detracted some, but other than that, i thought it was a solid batman movie.”

Anyway… I liked the 2nd Batman movie the best, even though that one irked me with the creation of the Maggie Gyllenhaal character.

Minor spoiler: They really threw me for a loop with Talia. What a tweest!

Alright… This movie was pretty epic, but…. I just didn’t get into it as much as I could have. I may revise my rating later.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1345836/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: CARTOON: Brave (2012)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Native: 4.2/5 stars, 7.4/10.

Good–but not as good as the other Pixar/etc current-day animated movies.

We don’t face huge evil threats like in How I Trained My Dragon, we don’t face anything as ridiculously creative as Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, and we don’t face anything as emotionally poingnant as Up.

But it’s still good. Just not great. It was perhaps a tad cliche.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1217209/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Ted (2012)

4.4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us.
Native Rating: 4.2/5 stars Netflix, 7.4/10 IMDB.

It’s pretty hard for Seth MacFarlane to do wrong. It’s about time he got a full movie out of his efforts.

This was funny, as well as unique and touching and relevant for the holidays.

I would have perhaps liked it a bit more if it was more risque, but I think I’m just desensitized from all the fucked up shit I watched. Apparently people had issues with things like 911 jokes and cocaine use.

Anyway…. I had a teddy bear when I was little… Though I never wished for him to be real, using such an childhood archtype was a really good device for driving the movie.

This had a lot of fun aspects. Good times.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1637725/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

4.6/5 stars from Clint, 4/5 stars from Carolyn.
8/10 from both of us.
Native rating of 4/5 stars (Netflix) and 7.3/10 (IMDB).

So ridiculously soon for a reboot, yet…. This had aspects no other Spider-Man interpretation has ever had, like a backstory Peter Parker’s parents. And Gwen Stacy instead of Mary-Jane. The Lizard instead of Doc Ock and the Green Goblin.

This movie broke the typical cliches of every Spider-Man first being the exact same story. And that’s something comic books do, y’know? Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, etc. – Things get rebooted, re-done, re-interpreted, so that good franchises can live forever without getting stale.

But if you do it in a movie people will get mad. Apparently there should be exactly one movie for all things, and whatever is first will be best and should never be redone.

Anyway, this was more emo and awkward than most Spider-Mans, but then, Spider-Man is supposed to be an awkward nerd.  While we could argue Toby MacGuire was satisfactorily nerdy — there’s definitely room to go derper, and the new guy came off as even more awkward and more nerdy.
So that aspect felt truer to the comic. Enough hate already.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0948470/