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: 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: Rock Of Ages (2012)

Clio: 2.6/5 stars, 5.4/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.0/5 stars Netflix, 5.8/10 IMDB.

Wow! Carolyn and me rating 2.0/5 stars apart from each other (Netflix), and 2.2/10 apart from each other (IMDB). I think that is a top-1% disagreement level; we’re never this far off from each other!

This movie actually failed to keep me engaged. The plot was so thin that once it became “just people singing songs” with 5 minutes of song to every 30 seconds of plot, I began to grow bored, which then made me tired, which made me fall asleep, which made me have to take a break to wake up just to get through the movie.

A musical needs at least some plot. Not a huge amount. Just something more tangible than what we had here. Repo:The Genetic Opera, Sweeney Todd, Nightmare Before Christmas, the South Park movie, Rocky Horror Picture Show. All of these have more engaging plots. Yes, even Rocky Horror! In the end this was just too random, I didn’t care about the characters enough to care about the movie, and it started to feel like an extended music video of old songs sung by celebrities instead of the original artists. I was waiting for it to be over, and was happy when it was.

Any given moment was kinda awesome, and Tom Cruise was great… The whole cast was… But it was just too devoid of story for me. It was too much. Maybe I would have enjoyed a shorter version (I did watch the extended version, after all). It’s totally out of character for me to say that, though.

Maybe on a different night, with a different mood and body chemistry, I would have enjoyed this more. Dunno if I’ll ever be able to make myself try it again, though. Life’s too short.

Carolyn adds: I enjoyed this movie.  I didn’t love it quite as much as Take Me Home Tonight, but I had fun watching it… They did have a lot of songs, and barely any plot, but it was more the ride than the story for me, I guess.

My mom adds: I saw this on an airplane, a captive audience. I must admit that I lean towards Clio‘s opinion.

Parthena, who recommended this to us (but didn’t rate it high?!) adds:  I would rate this 3/5 stars myself! For all the reasons you listed. Very loose plot…like they couldn’t decide which story to focus on. But some parts made me laugh.

 

People-wise:
Co-written by the writer of Tropic Thunder & Iron Man 2.
The main girl is Julianne Hough (uncredited role in Harry Potter 1, Footloose remake).
Diego Boneta (Mean Girls 2)
Russell Brand (Despicable Me, Get Him To The Greek, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, St. Trinian’s)
Alec Baldwin (Dr. Seuss’ The Cat In The Hat, 5 episodes of Clerks-TAS, Beetlejuice)
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Malcolm In The Middle, 6 episodes of The Cleveland Show, Jim Gordon in Batman: Year One)
Catherine Zeta-Jones (Ocean’s Twelve, Titanic, The Mask Of Zorro)
Paul Giamatti (John Dies At The End, The Hangover Part II, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto, Sideways, Man On The Moon, Saving Private Ryan, Lady In The Water)
Kevin Nash (wrestler)
Tom Cruise (Knight And Day, Mission: Impossible, Magnolia, Eyes Wide Shut, Minority Report, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Days Of Thunder)
Malin Akerman (Childrens Hospital, The Giant Mechanical Man, Wanderlust, Watchmen, The Brothers Solomon, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle)
Will Forte (5 episodes of Gravity Falls, 5 episodes of American Dad, Saturday Night Live, 19 episodes of The Cleveland Show, Tim And Eric‘s Billion Dollar Movie, Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Sit Down Shut Up, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Fanboys, The Brothers Solomon, Clone High
Eli Roth (writer of Cabin Fever, Hostel)
T.J. Miller (Robbie in Gravity Falls, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Gulliver’s Travels, How To Train Your Dragon, Get Him To The Greek, Cloverfield
Debbie Gibson
Sebastian Bach (Skid Row)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1336608/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Repo Man (1984)

Clio: 4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 6.7/10 IMDB.

Interesting movie about a punk who gets into the car repossession industry.  It was kind of random.  Guy stops punk on the street, gives him a line about having a pregnant wife and needing someone to drive the other car.  Next thing you know, hey, that was a lie, and you’re now a repo-man. You poured a beer on the floor of our office? You’re hired! Now let’s do some speed.  By the way… repo-men have rivals.  Who knew?

And oh…. There’s a $20K bounty on a Chevy Malibu that some underage chick says has the corpse of an alien in the trunk. But don’t actually look in the trunk. You will vaporize like a scene from The Day After (1983).

And what’s with the generic beer? White can with the word “beer” on it? THE EXACT SAME CAN was in The Living End (1992) (Gregg Araki) … I’m thinking Araki must be doing an homage to this movie.

P.S. Only movie I’ve ever seen a mosh pit to Circle Jerks in. Actually, the nerd guy in the convenience store who got his forehead price-tagged? He ended up JOINING the Circle Jerks after this movie! And he was originally hired as a production assistant. That’s quite a strange path from “guy who would have been in the credits of a movie I watched once” to “guy who played in a band and who’s audio will come out of my speakers on a weekly basis for the rest of my life”. Major bonus points for the soundtrack in general. He was also in another punk movie we watched a long time ago — That Darn Punk (2001). And oh, the actual Circle Jerks play a lounge band covering the Circle Jerks. Weird, meta shit!

Anyway… This was good. I don’t normally go for movies this old, but I do here. Thanks for the recommendation, Sean.

Starring Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton (We just saw him in Seven Psychopaths, he was also in The Avengers, Wild At Heart, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me).
With Tracey Walter (City Slickers, Erin Brockovich).
The girl Olivia Barash went nowhere. She was in the sequel that finally came out 25 years later, which nobody really likes. But then again, a lot of people in this movie had shitty careers, but still got to be in the sequel.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087995/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: MUSIC: Marillion: Brave (1994) (directed by Richard Stanley)

Clint: 3/5 stars, 6/10 (rated against other music videos, not movies in general).
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 2.7/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

Look: Anyone who knows me knows that I am a music giver, not receiver. I hate listening to other peoples’ music, and I hate listening to music I don’t already know. I time my concert arrivals so that I always miss the opening band, and I’m not into seeing live music unless it’s music that I’ve already learned.

But you know what I really fucking love? The movie Hardware. And the great talent of its director Richard Stanley. So when he makes an hour-long video to go with a concept album by a band I once saw on the back of a leather jacket worn by a punk at TJ in 1989…. I fucking watch it, even if I’m not into the experience of that kind of thing.

There aren’t a lot of video versions of concept albums out there. The main ones that I think of are Pink Floyd:The Wall and the Nine Inch Nails:Broken banned movie, and both of those are perfect.

This one was not in th e same league. It was cool, but it was a bit cheesy at times, and really had the feel of late 1980’s music videos. I don’t mind that so much, but this isn’t music that I know and love (like Nine Inch Nails) or grew to later love (like Pink Floyd), so it didn’t have that going for it.

It was interesting. And very sad at the end. And definitely a bit psychedelic, and very artsy–like all of Richard Stanley’s stuff. Not bad, but not necessarily great either.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109331/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979)

Clint: 4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars (Netflix guessed 4.1 for us), 6.7/10.

An exception to our usual focus on modern offerings.

This movie had funny moments, and the Ramones were fun.  It was very much what people would think of as a stereotypical 1980’s highschool/teen-comedy movie. Except it had The Ramones in it, which is something few other movies can boast.

Most of the main characters in this movie still have acting careers today, which is a change compared to most b-movies. As for the “Riff Vs. Kate” debate, It’s almost a tie. Riff’s clavicle is the tiebreaker. I want to see cleavage, not Skeletor. Kate wins.

Interesting that CBS censors mentions of DDT in Teenage Lobotomy when this movie airs on TV, but cocaine and swastikas are just fine. Can’t mess with Monansanto!

And how the fuck are they remaking this? I guess this movie could be remade for every band out there that has a fandom, but it’s never going to be something as seminal as the fucking RAMONES!

It will probably still be better than the sequel I just found out about – Rock ‘N’ Roll High School Forever (1992) – staring Corey Feldman (feat Mojo Nixon). Or the 2nd sequel, Shake, Rattle and Rock! (1994), starring Renee Zellweger and Howie Mandel (feat Paul Anka). God help us all.

At least the 3rd one has some of the original characters and actors from the first one (including P.J. Soles).

Still though — good times!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079813

MUSIC: METAL: DEATHS: GWAR frontman Dave Brockie — aka ‘Oderus Urungus’ — found dead in Richmond, Va., home: police

First Peter Steele, now this.

Nothing to remind you that you’ve entered middle age like having all your bands slowly drop dead.

I guess if Holliston is renewed, they won’t have Oderus on every episode either.

I guess these GWAR songs I’m learning for future concerts… Will only ever be heard inside my house?

This sucks.

LINK URL: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music-arts/gwar-founder-dave-brockie-found-dead-richmond-va-home-article-1.1731787