VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: About Time (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 4.0/5 stars Netflix, 7.9/10 IMDB.

This was a nice time-travel romance movie. The ultimate point was pretty much the same point as most sappy movies, but they managed to use the gimmick of time travel to really show this point in a unique way. And of course, messing with the spacetime continuum always makes a movie more interesting. Always. And romances need something to make them interesting, otherwise they’re just too intolerable. Why the fuck do you think they put vampires & werewolves having epic battles into the middle of Twilight? Everyone interprets as pissing on vampire-genre, but I interpret as improving romance-genre with fuckin’ monsters and shit.

But I digress.

This movie was at the very least interesting. Time travel was more, uh, Quantum Leap style, I guess, if you had to describe it in terms of a pop culture reference. No hottubs or DeLoreans or stargates here. Very subtle. A good type of time travel for the introspective.  The romance was alright. The family-stuff was marginally tolerable. But all the elements came together to still make a good movie.

Random comment 1: Of course if a movie is a time-travel romance, it has to have Rachel McAdams, right? Apparently that is a rule.
Random comment 2: Claire rated this pretty much exactly how most people did. A rarity to come by.

Carolyn’s thoughts: Someone described this as Groundhog Day for chicks, which isn’t quite accurate. This made me think of Click in some ways. It got me thinking about my dad dying, though, but not in a depressing way. It touched some heart strings.

Directed & written by Richard Curtis (Bridget Jones’s Diary, French & Saunders Live and 1 ep of French & Saunders, 1 ep of Doctor Who).

Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, Dredd, Boy Eats Girl) as Tim.
Rachel McAdams (The Time Traveler’s Wife, Mean Girls, Wedding Crashers) as Mary.
Bill Nighy (The World’s End, Hot Fuzz, Shaun Of The Dead, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 1, Underworld movies, Pirates Of The Caribbean movies, Jack The Giant Slayer, Total Recall remake, Wrath Of The Titans, 1 ep of Doctor Who) as Dad.
Lydia Wilson (1 ep of Dirk Gently) as Kit Kat.
Lindsay Duncan (Alice In Wonderland, 1 ep of Absolutely Fabulous, 1 ep of Doctor Who) as Mum.
Richard Cordery as Uncle D.
Joshua McGuire as Rory.
Tom Hollander (Hanna, Pirates Of The Caribbean movies, uncredited in Byzantium, 2 eps of Absolutely Fabulous, 1 ep of Family Guy, 1 ep of Aqua Teen) as Harry.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2194499/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: 10 Rules For Sleeping Around (2013)

Claire: 3.2/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Native ratings: 4.0/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

The writer directed this, and it wasn’t the best directing. Parts could have been made easier to follow, plus it was directed by a chick, so it had that stereotypical “I’m the one” plot aspect.

It also kinda made a case for alternate lifestyles only being immature distractions from vanilla lifestyles, which is an overused premise in my opinion.

The main problem I had with this movie is they didn’t really establish the characters enough at the beginning, so as the plot became more twisted and convoluted, I had a problem always following who was who. I have similar problems with war movies and anime one-shots. I never have this problem with cartoons because those kinds of characters are more distinctive *and* almost never change clothes. Carolyn typically has to issue help to me during a movie like this.

Carolyn adds: That’s true. Character introduction was very rushed. I enjoyed it, but I did see that it was one of those movies that talks about alternate lifestyles and then concludes vanilla is the way to go, which is typical and slightly annoying.

Claire: All of the above being said, it was still a movie with some laughs, and not unenjoyable at all. It was actually better than the ratings would lead one to conclude.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1993391/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: It’s Complicated (2009)

Claire: 4.2/5 stars, 8.2/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.5/10 IMDB.

A romantic comedy, but in this case the emphasis is on the romance: It’s a Romance-Comedy not a Comedy-Romance.

And yet, for some reason I could stand it. It was done very well. Streep and Baldwin had excellent chemistry, which drove a lot of the movie. That alone was surprising (the Baldwin part, not the Streep part). But there was also chemistry between Streep and the “dork horse” suitor played by Steve Martin.

Claire was rooting for Alec Baldwin; Carolyn was rooting for Steve Martin. They kept you guessing until the very, very, very end as to how things resolve. Seriously… You think it’s resolved, and then it’s not… And then you do, and then it’s not. This actually kept things suspenseful.

This was a chick flick, but it was done extremely well compared to the average rom-com.

…And yet there was still comedy. A fair amount of marijuana comedy, and some additional comic relief from John Krasinski (Jim from The Office).  And it didn’t stop mid-movie like with most rom-coms and their goddamn fucking Turning Point(tm). It went pretty consistently. If anything, there was possibly more comedy in the 2nd half than in the 1st half.

So yeah. I don’t go out looking for rom-coms to watch, but I do prefer comedy to all other genres, so I do end up watching these a lot simply to have something funny to watch. And in this case, it exceeded my expectations by actually being pretty good.

Written & directed by Nancy Meyers (wrote Father Of The Bride, Baby Boom, directed What Women Want, wrote & directed The Parent Trap).

Starring Meryl Streep as Jane Adler.
Steve Martin as Adam Schaffer.
Alec Baldwin as Jake Adler.
John Krasinski (Jim from The Office, Smiley Face, Shrek 3, 1 ep of Arrested Development) as Harley.
Lake Bell (Cat from Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of Newsreaders, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Tron: Uprising) as Agness Adler.
Hunter Parrish (Silas from Weeds, 17 Again, 1 ep of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Luke Adler.
Mary Kay Place (Smashed, Youth In Revolt, Being John Malkovich, Girl Interrupted, Shrek Forever After, 6 eps of My So-Called Life, 3 eps of King Of The Hill, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Joanne.
Rita Wilson (Sleepless In Seattle, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Frasier) as Trisha.
Alexandra Wentworth (Office Space, 1 ep of Seinfeld) as Diane.
Nora Dunn (Pineapple Express, Bruce Almighty, Zoolander) as Sally.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1230414/combined

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

Clint: 3/5 stars, Carolyn: 4/5 stars, both: 7/10.
Native rating: 7.2/10 IMDB, 3.5 stars on Netflix.
So for once, we’re in agreement with the general public.

We’re a sucker for time travel movies, and Aubrey Plaza is awesome in her own way as well… Did you know she’s “like that” in part, possibly, because she had a stroke right before her acting career started? Who knows?

Anyway, because we’re a sucker for time travel movies, this was an obvious choice once I saw a little blurb on it in Rolling Stone magazine.

It turned out to not really be a comedy so much as a romance movie with an interesting sci-fi-based perspective…. But lacking much real sci-fi.

So it was a bit disappointing in that it was kind of a bait and switch into a romance movie with SOME adventure and SOME comedy.

Still interesting, but a few complaints: The agents weren’t really explained/fleshed out as much or as realistically as they could be… And the ending could have maybe had some more exposition. Even the subplot (the paid reporter and his old blonde-turned-redhead squeeze) story didn’t really conclude well enough. . I don’t think that was the end of it — and that kind of annoys me too.

But it was still quite interesting and entertaining. And Aubrey Plaza is awesomely quirky, showing more of a range here than she’s typically been allowed in past roles.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1862079/