VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Fun With Dick And Jane (2005)

Claire: 4.7/5 stars, 8.8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 6.1/10 IMDB.

Judd Apatow wrote this remake of the 1977 movie based on a book by Gerald Gaiser.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was hilarious.  This didn’t disappoint.  It was funny all the way through, and it had a good political message.

Claire’s thoughts: I didn’t realize the political message was so pointed as it was until they named a bunch of CEOs at the beginning of the film’s closing credits. Named them for screwing people over. So this movie has a whole political message about the way the 1%er CEOs will fuck over the lives of thousands of people just to have more money on their Scrooge McDuck-esque pile of gold.

So it would have had political value even without being a comedy! But in fact, the comedy is the main point to this movie, not the politics. And it’s pretty funny. I didn’t quite get as much out of it as Carolyn did, however. I knew that since this was billed as “Comedy-Crime”, that there would be some intrigue that would take up space otherwise used for laughs. But there were still lots of laughs. This turned out better than I expected.

ONE MORE THING: http://icantcalmdown.ytmnd.com

Directed by Dean Parisot (Red 2, Galaxy Quest, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of The Tick live action series).
Written by Judd Apatow (This Is 40, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Undeclared, Funny People, Pineapple Express, You Don’t Mess With The Zohan), and Nicholas Stoller (Get Him To The Greek, 3 eps of Undeclared).

Jim Carrey as Dick Harper.
Téa Leoni (The Naked Truth, A League Of Their Own, Deep Impact) as Jane Harper.
Alec Baldwin as Jack McCallister.
Richard Jenkins (the dead dad from Six Feet Under, The Cabin In The Woods, Let Me In, The Broken, How I Got Into College, Wolf, Me,Myself & Irene, Step Brothers, Turbo, A.C.O.D., Stealing Home) as Frank Bascombe.
Angie Harmon (Barbara Gordon in Batman Beyond) as Veronica Cleeman.
John Michael Higgins (The Legend Of Korra, Mentok The Mindtaker in Harvey Birdman, Rapture-Palooza, Evan Almighty, 5 eps of Arrested Development, 2 eps of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Garth.
Richard Burgi (Hostel 2, Starship Troopers 2, 11 eps of 24, 1 ep of Firefly, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck) as Joe Cleeman.
Gloria Garayua (2 eps of Weeds, 1 ep of Six Feet Under) as Blanca.
Dempsey Pappion (The Lorax, 6 eps of Undressed) as Production Assistant.
Gavin Grazer (Slipstream, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Wayne’s World 2) as KostMart Job Applicant.
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass movies, Uncle Buck) as Ameribanx Bank Manager.
Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, In A World, Safety Not Guaranteed, Toy Story Movies, Wall-E, Run Ronnie Run, MADtv) as interviewer.
Laurie Metcalf (Jackie in Roseanne, God The Devil And Bob, Andy’s mom in the Toy Story movies, Uncle Buck, 3 eps of 3rd Rock From The Sun, 2 eps of Duckman, 1 ep of Malcolm In The Middle) as Jane’s Boss Phyllis (uncredited).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0369441/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Red Dawn (2012) [remake]

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix (original got 3.6), 5.5/10 IMDB (original got 6.3).

Carolyn’s thoughts: I had never seen the original, and I didn’t really know what this movie was about.  When we were about to watch it, Claire told me what the original one was about, and she told me about the only scene from the original that she remembered.  I think this was a pretty good action movie.   I asked Claire how it compared to the original, but she doesn’t remember the original.  I think it could have touched more on the political aspect, but it was good as a movie about war.

Claire thoughts: I don’t remember the original, so everything I say is possibly bullshit, but I feel like this one actually touched on the political aspect more than the original. Of course they couldn’t go to it in TOO great detail, because it wouldn’t actually make sense for North Korea to attack us on the ground. It’s one of those things you kinda gotta suspend disbelief of in order to enjoy the movie.
But anyway, this was a good remake. The modern take on things — switching the enemy from Russia to North Korea, incorporating cyberwarfare into the setup, etc — helped revamp the story to be more relevant and enjoyable to people who might not know what it was like to be alive in the 1980’s. I’m all for that.

It’s also great because it shows how just a few people with just a few guns can indeed make a big difference. Gun control proponents often like to make the fallacious appeal to how awesome our army is by saying that it would be impossible to fight the american government with the guns that we have available to us. But the thing is, there are nice assault rifles out there that a lot of people have. And it only takes a few people with a few guns (or bombs) to make a big fucking difference: Just look at how long we’ve been in Iraq and Afghanistan. The number of armed citizens over there is far lower than over here, and we actually tend to have better guns than poorer countries. So yeah. I find the insurgency part of this story far more believable than the idea that we’d ever be attacked like that in the first place.

Regardless of believability, seeing people fight the good fight — for their homes, for their families — really filled me with a lot of patriotic spirit and love of the idea of human hope continuing to exist because it’s always possible for there to be a fight. This movie really embodied the American spirit — the original spirit, not what it is today. I liked that a lot. *patriot tear*

Directed by Dan Bradley (he is usually a stuntman or a second unit director).
Written by: Carl Ellsworth (The Last House On The Left, 2 eps of Xena) and Jeremy Passmore.

Starring Chris Hemsworth (Thor in The Avengers and Thor movies, Star Trek 12: Into Darkness, Snow White And The Huntsman, The Cabin In The Woods) as Jed Eckert.
Josh Peck (Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), The Wackness, Special, Spun, Ice Age movies, 1 ep of MADtv, 1 ep of Samurai Jack, 1 ep of Family Guy) as Matt Eckert.
Josh Hutcherson (Peeta in The Hunger Games movies, Journey To The Center Of The Earth, Zathura: A Space Adventure, Bridge To Terabithia, Howl’s Moving Castle, American Splendor, 1 ep of Justice League) as Robert Kitner.
Adrianne Palicki (Jaye in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, 4 eps of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Family Guy) as Toni Walsh.
Isabel Lucas (Daybreakers, Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen) as Erica Martin.
Edwin Hodge (The Purge, Dorm Daze 1, Take Me Home Tonight, 1 ep of Heroes) as Danny.
Brett Cullen (The Dark Knight Rises) as Tom Eckert.
Will Yun Lee (The Wolverine, Total Recall remake) as Captain Cho.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Live!) as Tanner.
Fernando Chien (Iron Man 3, The Mummy 3) as Lt. Pak.
Kenneth Choi (Captain America movie, 4 eps of 24, 1 ep of Heroes) as Smith.
Matt Gerald (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Avatar, Terminator 3) as Hodges.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1234719/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Bedazzled (2000)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix (1967 original got 3.2/5), 5.8/10 IMDB (1967 original got 6.8/10).

Remake Of Bedazzled (1967), which was originally written by Dudley Moore (Arthur?!?!) and Peter Cook. “Essentially Moore was one of those comedy actors who wrote stuff to launch himself”, adds Walter. “The [original] was kind of slow and dry compared to the newer one.”

Eve C had seen the original, and mentioned that she liked it. “Though it is slow-paced. Some really funny dry bits. Stanley was so-so, but I loved the Devil, and the interplay was good.”  When I asked her if the devil was female in the original, she replied: “No, [he was played by] Peter Cook, a tall Englishman. But Lust was played by a youngish Raquel Welch.”

Hmmm, Welch vs Hurley. A tough choice indeed (But I’d probably go with Hurley).

Anyway, this was a fun and entertaining movie.  Some nice eye candy with Elizabeth Hurley.  A lighthearted plot about the devil giving you 7 wishes. Essentially 6 miniature segments tied together. The movie is utterly predictable, but it’s still a fun romp, with a bit of heart to it — even if it’s utterly cheesy.

BTW, the schoolgirl outfit is actually Elizabeth Hurley’s personal property. Rowrrr!

Directed by Harold Ramis (director of Year One, Groundhog Day, Caddyshack, Analyze This & Analzye That, Multiplicity, 4 eps of The Office). Written by Harold Ramis (writer of Ghostbusters movies, Groundhog Day, Caddyshack, Animal House, Year One, Analyze This & Analyze That), Larry Gelbart (251 eps of M.A.S.H., ), & Peter Tolan (25 eps of The Larry Sanders Show, Analyze This & Analyze That).

Starring Brendan Fraser (The Mummy movies, Journey To The Center Of The Earth, 2 eps of King Of The Hill) as Elliot Richards / Jefe / Mary. Probably one of the most pathetic characters he’s ever played.
Elizabeth Hurley (Austin Powers movies) as The Devil. Smoking fucking hot the entire movie.
Frances O’Connor (A.I.) as Alison Gardner / Nicole Delarusso.

The trio of dudes who were in every scenario:
Orlando Jones (Father Of The Pride, MADtv, Office Space, The Time Machine (2002), Magnolia, 1 ep of Herman’s Head) as Daniel / Dan / Danny / Esteban / Beach Jock / Lamar Garrett / Dr. Ngegitigegitibaba.
Paul Adelstein (111 eps of Private Practice, 1 ep of Harvey Birdman, 1 ep of American Dad) as Bob / Roberto / Beach Jock / Bob Bob (Sportscaster #3).
Toby Huss (Kahn Souphanousinphone, Sr. in King Of The Hill, Carnivale, 4 eps of The Venture Bros., 4 eps of Harvey Birdman, 2 eps of Beavis & Butt-head (2011), 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital, 2 eps of Kung Fu Panda) as Jerry / Alejandro / Beach Jock / Jerry Turner (Sportscaster #2) / Lance.

Other people:
Brian Doyle-Murray (Captain K’nuckles in The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack, Groundhog Day, Cabin Boy, Wayne’s World, The Three Stooges, Scrooged, Caddyshack, The Goode Family, 17 Again, 7 eps of Motorcity, 3 eps of King Of The Hill, 3 eps of Seinfeld, 1 ep of Tom Goes To The Mayor, 1 ep of Adventure Time, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Priest.
Miriam Shor (Hedwig And The Angry Inch) as Carol / Penthouse Hostess.
Gabriel Casseus (Black Hawk Down, 4 eps of 24) as Elliot’s Cellmate / Angel.
Jeff Doucette (God, The Devil And Bob, 3 eps of 3rd Rock From The Sun, 2 eps of The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy, 1 ep of Weeds, 1 ep of Malcolm In The Middle, 1 ep of Carnivale) as Desk Sergeant.
Aaron Lustig (The Day After Tomorrow, Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck) as Synedyne Supervisor.
Rudolf Martin (5 eps of 24) as Raoul.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0230030/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Evil Dead (2013) [Remake]

Claire: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3.1/5 stars, 6/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 6.5/10 IMDB.

Claire:  Pretty generic horror.   It was rushed. That’s both good and bad. True to the original in being kind of cheesy and not really that scary. Still had tree rape, but perhaps not as disturbingly as the original. It wasn’t that different, to me.

Carolyn:  The original was better.  This one just jumped right into it and barely had any story.  That made it pretty generic, like Claire said.

Directed by Fede Alvarez.  Written by: Fede Alvarez & Rodo Sayagues.

Starring Jane Levy (49 eps of Suburgatory) as Mia, the drug-addict.
Shiloh Fernandez (Deadgirl) as David, her brother.
Lou Taylor Pucci (Fanboys, The Informers) as Eric, the male friend.
Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield) as Olivia, the female friend.
Elizabeth Blackmore as Natalie, David’s girlfriend.
Jim McLarty (The Frighteners, 1 ep of 21 Jump Street, 4 eps of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, 1 ep of Xena: Warrior Princess) as Harold.
Stephen Butterworth (20 eps of Mirror, Mirror; 3 eps of Xena: Warrior Princess, 1 ep of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) as Toothless Redneck.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1288558/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Dredd (2012)

4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us.
Native rating: 3.9/5 stars, 7.3/10.

This was quite action-heavy, as expected. Since that was our expectation, we were satisfied.

The quirk of a drug called “Slo-Mo” that slows down time to 1% was amazing with the way they represented it on film. Wow.

At a couple points, they had shitty cgi blood, the worst since Star Trek 5…but fortunately that was only a 1-2 time thing and it looked good the rest of the movie.

Overall, this was visually superior to the previous version…. And the previous version’s visuals were a lot of what it had going for it.
But now things are modern, and sssso deliciously crisssssssp.  The old movie couldn’t offer that.  And I think Stallone is kind of cheesy anyway.

So file this under: Yet another remake I liked better than the original, just like with Total Recall.

Of course one can always say this is not a remake, but another, different adaptation of the source material.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1343727/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Three Stooges (2012) [The 3 Stooges remake]

5/5 stars, 9/10 from both of us.

Native rating was much lower: 5.3/10, 3.5/5 stars (3.7 Netflix-guess for us).

This is THE surprise of the year for us.

Two conditions helped create this situation:
1) We lack the hate everyone else has for remakes. Remakes are a way to get more, a way to see things through another view point. They’re no more objectionable than cover songs (and I own many tributes albums).
2) We love the Three Stooges. Even Carolyn. Yes. She’s a girl who loves Three Stooges.

It helps that this was by “Made In Georgia” (georgia.org). That explains the level of awesome here.  They also did American Reunion, Archer, Zombieland, The Walking Dead, Ugly Americans, Wanderlust, Footloose (remake), Due Date, Dumb And Dumberer, Road Trip, Ron Ronnie Run, Scream 2, Camilla, The Signal, & Contagion.

But to be fair, they also did X-Men:The Last Stand, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, and Van Wilder 3 (which I think is actually #0, the prequel)..
Our first thought was: LOW expectations, this is going to be awful, especially the actor they picked for Moe.

BUT WAIT! LARRY DAVID as Sister Mary-Mengele, the bitchy nun?

Ridiculously-hot Sophia Vergara as the main female character?

Brian Doyle-Murray (Captain K’Nuckles from Flapjack, also in Motorcity) — finally getting to see his face after hearing all of his voice work.

The Jersey Shore cast? ANOTHER UNEXPECTED! They actually made the movie better!. Seriously — who the fuck could predict this shit in a million years? The main way they make it get better is you get to see Moe slap the shit out of all the annoying Jersey Shore people.

We had thought slapstick was pretty much bottomed out by these guys, sent off to die in a manner similar to the demise of vaudeville & the like. Glad to see it can still be done, and done well.

The backstory of them as babies & as 10 year olds was great!

The orphanage plot that drove the movie may as well have been straight out of the Nintendo game (which I loved, and was one of my favorite Nintendo games as a teen, and it had speech, which was rare for Nintendo).

All in all, it was extremely faithful to the original, and every bit as funny. And it was updated to the modern era without the many sacrifices that often happen when this is done (for example with the 2012ish Smurfs movie).

The only other person we know who saw this also agrees: It’s the funniest movie this year besides Wanderlust. Yes, I laughed way harder than during American Reunion, which was also great.

Go figure. SURPRISE OF THE YEAR.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0383010/

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Night Of The Living Dead (1990)

Clint: 3.2/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 6.7/10 IMDB.

So we are apparently doing this backward. We watched the 2006 3-D remake-of-a-remake some time back. Now we are watching the 1990 remake. Meanwhlie, we’ve never seen the 1968 original.

Definitely one of the small-scenario zombie movies; more old school in that sense. Also old school in that there is some definite cheeziness and bad acting that wouldn’t pass muster these days. But still. This was good.

I really liked the ending… That was quite different than I was expecting. They added a whole social commentary angle to it. It wasn’t profound, but still. It could have just been nothing.

And I like how the main character was a completely different person by the end of the movie, transformed by the events of the movie.

And it was cool to see Tony Todd (“Candyman Candyman Candyman!”) after watching his guest appearance on the underrated awesome sitcom Holliston.

So all in all, I’m glad I finally saw this.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100258/?ref_=sr_1

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Wicker Man (2006)

3/5 stars, 7/10 from Clint & Carolyn.
3/5 stars, 6/10 from Parthena.
2/5 stars, 5/10 from Eli.
Native rating: 3.6/10.

Wow. What a low IMDB rating. Talk about a movie that has major remake-hate! By rating it 7/10, Carolyn & I are in the top 12% of opinion in this movie!

When I watched selected scenes from the 1970’s version, it just looked incredibly cheesy and dated. Nude songs being sung?  Shitty film stock? Men instead of women? Cheap-looking sets? Meh. Pretty sure if I watched the original I’d like it less than this.

Plus, we really like Nic Cage and Frances Controy from Six Feet Under. And Ellen Burstyn is good too.

I was the only one who recognized Leelee Sobieski from Armageddon.

NOT THE BEES should have gone on longer!

It was better than Carolyn & Eli expected.

It was actually pretty creepy. Nothing great, but I’ve seen worse. Not the “worst movie ever” that so many people claim it to be.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0450345/