VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: A Case Of You (2013)

Clio: 3.4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 2.7/5 stars Netflix, 5.6/10 IMDB.

It’s like one of those NBC episodes where someone invents a lie, and then just digs himself into a deeper and deeper hole with it. Plots based on lies annoy me, but then, they are realistic, and it is reality itself that is the true source of annoyance.

So anyway… This is a movie about a shy guy finally trying to get the girl — by stalking her facebook page and trying to become HER ideal man. The ultimate poser. You can imagine how such a lie would get you into bad situations.

And it all happens.

They also have a slight meta-angle, whree the main character is writing a book based on his experiences in the movie. I felt like they could have done more with this, and it was perhaps a bit forced… But I’m still glad they did it. It at least gave a chance for Vince Vaughn to exist.

And then… The movie got super-romantic at the end. I’m kind of surprised it turned out the way it did.

Carolyn’s thoughts:  This wasn’t that special, but it was a nice story.  There were some funny moments.  Peter Dinklage was hilarious.  I totally didn’t recognize Brendan Fraser as Birdie’s ex-boyfriend.  It was cute.  It definitely had that NBC “relies on lies” feel.
Directed by Kat Coiro.
Written by Justin Long, Keir O’Donnell & Christian Long (Justin’s brother).

Starring:
Justin Long (Unsupervised, Youth In Revolt, Funny People, Zack And Miri Make A Porno, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) as Sam.
Evan Rachel Wood (S1m0ne, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Birdie.
Peter Dinklage (Nip/Tuck, both Death At A Funeral movies, Elf, Game Of Thrones, will be in X-Men: Days Of Future Past) as Gerard, the hilariously-weird barista.
Vince Vaughn as Alan, the annoying publicist.
Co-Writer Keir O’Donnell (Miss Nobody, Wedding Crashers) as Eliot, the roommate.
Busy Philipps (White Chicks, The Smokers, He’s Just Not That Into You, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, 2 eps of Undeclared, 1 ep of Arrested Development, 1 ep of American Dad) as Ashley, the roommate’s girlfriend.
Jenn Harris (Better Living Through Chemistry) as Jackie, Birdie’s improv friend.
Sam Rockwell (Zaphod Beeblebrox in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (2005), Iron Man 2, Galaxy Quest, Seven Psychopaths, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1, Better Living Through Chemistry, Heist) as Gary. Was he the publicist’s partner?
Brendan Fraser (The Mummy movies, Journey To The Center Of The Earth, Bedazzled, 2 eps of King Of The Hill) as Tony, Birdie’s ex-boyfriend. Seriously? We didn’t recognize him.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1817081/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Better Living Through Chemistry (2014)

Clio: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

Clio’s thoughts:  Not quite the outright comedy I’d hoped, but definitely funny, fucked up, drug-fueled, romantic, and with some nice eye candy (Olivia Wilde). The movie is a delayed coming-of-age story for adults in the “arrested development” of being trapped in a bad life, and needing to grow out of it.

Fucked up situations all around, with drug-use ultimately driving the comedy AND the plot. And the plot drove the character development by forcing the character to grow.

For a movie that is basically “romantic comedy plus drugs”, this actually fared pretty well, and had lots of interesting aspects. No regrets watching this, even if it wasn’t great. The cast (Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Monaghan, Ray Liotta) helped make this good.  This is a really good first movie from a first-time director and writer.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was pretty quirky.  It wasn’t as funny as we were hoping, but it was enjoyable.  It really shows how life can get out of control pretty fast.

Written & directed by Geoff Moore & David Posamentier.

Sam Rockwell (Zaphod Beeblebrox in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (2005), Iron Man 2, Galaxy Quest, Seven Psychopaths, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1, A Case Of You, Heist) as Doug Varney.
Olivia Wilde (Tron 2, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Change-Up, Drinking Buddies, Year One, 1 ep of Tron: Uprising, 1 ep of Portlandia, 1 ep of American Dad) as Elizabeth Roberts.
Michelle Monaghan (Justice League: War, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Bourne Supremacy, Constantine, Mission Impossible 3, 1 ep of American Dad) as Kara Varney.
Jane Fonda as Jane Fonda.
Ray Liotta (Observe & Report, The Details, Youth In Revolt, Hannibal, Good Fellas, La Linea, 1 ep of Family Guy, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV::) as Jack Roberts.
Norbert Leo Butz (Dan In Real Life) as Agent Andrew Carp.
Ben Schwartz (Mystery Team, 3 eps of Starveillance, 2 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Arrested Development, 1 ep of Tron: Uprising) as Noah.
Ken Howard (A.C.O.D., 13 eps of Dynasty, 2 eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Batman-TAS, 1 ep of The Office) as Walter Bishop.
Jenn Harris (A Case Of You) as Janet.
Harrison Holzer as Ethan Varney.
Peter Jacobson (Transformers movie, 2 eps of Hope & Faith) as Dr. Roth.
Sonnie Brown (Don Jon) as Principal Song-Carmichael.
Ken Arnold (Men In Black 3, uncredited in Cecil B. DeMented) as Ed.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1609479/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Seven Psychopaths (2012)

Clint: 3.6/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 7.3/10 IMDB.

Written & Directed by Martin McDonagh. I was wary of this because I did not like In Bruges and was disappointed. I’d say this movie has some similarities to In Bruges in terms of writing style… But it’s better.

Carolyn enjoyed how intertwined it all was; watching it all unfold to be revealed. She thought it was a nice ride.

I keep thinking lately about if I *really* liked a movie, or if I was just caught up in the enjoyment of watching a movie.

I mean, in the end, the whole experience felt a bit pointless, what with the final fate of the characters. Am I becoming the typical 40+ low-movie-rater? I hope not.

Nonetheless, the whole Vietnamese guy subplot was an utterly pointless addition just to make the number of psychopaths become 7. But then, the movie was about writing the movie, so it could be taken as a commentary on masturbatory screenplay writing.

But I guess it was all about the quirky style, the voyage not the destination… I DID like this. It was funny. It was entertaining — even if it deliberately slowed down during the 2nd half.

I mean, we have CHRISTOPHER WALKEN, WOODY HARRELSON, Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrel, Tom Waits… Yes. Of course there was some gold in this. Just not quite as much as I’d hoped.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1931533/combined