VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Da Vinci Code 2 – Angels & Demons (2009)

Clint: 3/5 stars, 8/10. (Compared to 3/5, 6/10 for Da Vinci Code.)
Carolyn: 4.4/5 stars, 8.6/10.  (Compared to 5/5 stars for Da Vinci Code.)
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.6/10 IMDB. (Compared to 3.6/5 stars, 6.4/10 for Da Vinci Code.)

Pink Panther minus comedy plus religion.”
National Treasure minus comedy minus patriotism plus religion.”
“24 minus America plus The Vatican.”
Da Vinci Code 1 minus Leonardo Da Vinci plus Illuminati.”

It seems like everyone — Clint, Carolyn, Netflix people, IMDB people — all liked this better than first movie of the trilogy, The Da Vinci Code. Ignore the fact that Carolyn gave this one 4 stars and the last one 5 stars — she, too, agreed this one was better. (It’s hard to rate consistently, people!)

This was done very well… And was interesting. But I am quite turned off by religion, so I wasn’t super-thrilled with the entertainment, despite recognizing its quality. Religious stuff just doesn’t resonate with me.

Still better than the first, though. This one wasn’t a disappointment like the first one.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0808151/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Spider-Woman, Agent of S.W.O.R.D. (2009) [Marvel Knights]

Clint: 3.2/5 stars, 6.4/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 5.9/10 IMDB (not available on Netflix).

Only 51 minutes; a compilation of 5 motion comics that were about 10 minutes each.

Carolyn thought the dialog was a bit stilted and annoying, but this is really meant to be in the same vein as a comic book, not a movie… So I don’t hold it against it as much.

The artwork was good — Spider-Woman was modeled after Jolynn Carpenter. Did a google image search on her afterward. Yup! Spider-Woman!

The voice acting wasn’t as good.

A motion comic is a really low budget thing… I celebrate additional low-grade stuff vs having nothing.

I could see this as being done as an animated series akin to the Men In Black animated series. I’d watch it.

The conclusion seemed kind of rushed. Like, “Whoa, it’s suddenly over?” I thought more was going to happen but then it suddenly felt like The End.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1673449/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Crow 4: Wicked Prayer (2005)

Clint: 2.4/5 stars, 5/10.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 3.0/5 stars Netflix, 2.8/10 IMDB (yikes!!).

As expected, this was the worst of the 4 Crow movies. And the differential between 3 & 4 was larger than between 2 & 3 or 1 & 2.

Really bad sound mix. Didn’t understand a lot of dialogue.

The Crow was John Conner in Terminator 2, and Hawk in Detroit Rock City. But this time he looks like a girl (at least once The Crow makeup is put on). Least badass looking Crow ever.

The plot? It’s kind of confusing why we are being shown the things we are shown. Bad direction. Bad writing. Cheesiest Crow movie ever. I mean, we have a Satanic gang whose names are War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death, and who drive around cars with their names airbrush-painted onto them. And Tara Reid is one of them. Damn she’s hot in this, but that’s about the best aspect of the fucking movie!

There are some good actors, but then they are barely in it. Emmanuelle Chriqui (Waiting, Tron:Uprising), Danny Trejo (Machete) & Dennis Hopper (Blue Velvet). And the guy who was to become Satan? Angel from Angel.

But all this could not save this flop of a movie.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0353324

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Crow 3: Salvation (2000)

Clint: 3.6/5 stars, 7.3/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 4.6/10 IMDB.

With a rating as low as 4.6/10, I was expecting something very poor. But the IMDB rating for The Crow 3 is actually higher than The Crow 2. And this actually wasn’t so terrible after expecting so little. It kind of picked up more at the end. Kirsten Dunst didn’t hurt, either. Though Eric Mabius was a really strange choice for “badass Crow dude”. He was Dawn Weiner’s boyfriend in Welcome To The Dollhouse, and was in Splendor, Cruel Intentions, and Resident Evil.

Spoiler alert: The big turnaround for this movie is that the bad guys [spoiler]are actually the cops[/spoiler].

Notable soundtrack for me (Rob Zombie, Danzig, Static X covering Ministry).

Carolyn adds: I had low expectations, and throughout the movie, it wasn’t terrible, but I was thinking it was only 6/10 material, but then near the ending I upped my rating.

It wasn’t that special, and I guess the plot was somewhat convenient.  (Spoilers:  like how the only way the bad guys could win was to take away the crow’s powers, so they conveniently knew the specific way to take away his powers…  that seemed a little contrived to me.  I don’t remember the second Crow movie that well.  Maybe there were hints in the previous two movies that would explain how these bad guys knew so much about what they were dealing with.  /spoilers)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0132910/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)

Clint/Carolyn: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 4.4/10 IMDB (wtf?!).

Wow. Really low IMDB rating compared to Netflix. Just shows the legions of assholes that downvote any sequel or adaptation (or film starring hated actors). Yet, this seems to be better than Paranormal Activity 3…. But not as good as Paranormal 2. Where PA2 went further back in time than PA1, but concluded after the end of PA2; and PA3 took place completely in the past; PA4 takes place several years after the events of PA1/2. In effect, it’s almost like a second chapter to the story, as the only living family member left from the original movies is the baby (now age 6-8 or so).  I was hoping for more Katie, though it is not a Katie-less movie.

Funny thing: Carolyn’s hearing range does not include the high-pitched demon-speech sound. Clint had to tell Carolyn when the demon was speaking. That actually made it creepier.

Anyway, Carolyn in particular thought this installment lacked some of the spookiness of the previous ones…It didn’t give me the same creeped out feeling…Even PA2 caused Carolyn to sleep on our foofsack because she was too scared to be in the bedroom alone without me. This one didn’t.

Also, they barely talked about the witches’ coven… and they didn’t really explain how Hunter ended up being adopted, and who the hell Robbie was (other than a random kid who lived nearby)?  Not many answers.

BTW, the main girl in this movie is 15 and was in Bad Teacher, which we just watched… But I still didn’t recognize her.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2109184/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Frankenweenie (2012)

Clint: 4.6/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native rating: 4/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

All Tim Burton is good (except for his Planet Of The Apes sequel), but some Tim Burton is better than other Tim Burton. For example, Nightmare Before Christmas is better than Corpse Bride.  This one was good, but not his top-notch work. It was good to finally see his 1984 short developed into a full length Frankestein homage feature.

I’m not sure if I’ve seen 1080p black-and-white stop-motion-animation before, it was certainly an interesting look, though I will always prefer the world of color to the world of black-and-white. It did help make the Frankenstein homage more accurate.

Carolyn: Yeah, I thought it would have been better in color, but I guess the black and white was a throwback to black and white horror movies…  I thought this was better than Corpse Bride, but not as good as Nightmare Before Christmas.  I was sad they didn’t find a way to save Mr. Whiskers.  Poor Mr. Whiskers.

Clint: MR. WHISKERS WAS A CUNT

Carolyn: HE WAS A VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCE!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1142977/?ref_=sr_1

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: ParaNorman (2012)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7.7/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native rating: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

Stop-motion animation, but sometimes augmented by cgi. Definitely had a distinct look, which is a rarer thing with American animated movies these days.
Visual wise this was probably 8-9/10.

Story-wise, it wasn’t super, but at least it was dark. Kid can talk to ghosts. Everyone makes fun of him. But then a curse hits the town, and his skill becomes relevant.

This felt like something along the lines of Coraline, but not quite as creepy. Definitely a good halloween movie to see. Stop-motion isn’t dead!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1623288/