VIDEO: MOVIES/CARTOONS/COMIC BOOKS: REVIEW: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 (1993)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 5.7/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, 4.7/10 IMDB.

Oh joy: Corey Feldman returns as Donatello.  He had a lot of lines, this time.  Maybe he was all fucked up during the first movie and they had to throw away a lot of his lines?  It seemed like in TMNT1, Donatello was almost totally ignored *BECAUSE* he was Corey Feldman.  Not so, this time.

So anyway, this was a completely different kind of plot that did not involve The Shredder.  It was kind of a one-off plot that had nothing to do with the standard TMNT plot. TIME TRAVEL?  Unnecessary. But since they go to feudal Japan, it is at least relevant and not totally contrived.

It was mostly entertaining though, and definitely not as cheesy or corny as the second movie. And with more fights. So it’s one of those rare threequels that’s better than the sequel.

Except the suits. The turtle suits on the actors were inferior and looked stupider. Can’t win them all.

Written & directed by Stuart Gillard (directed 20 eps of the new 90210, writer of 1 ep of Mork & Mindy, 1 ep of Three’s Company).

Starring:

All three movies:
Robbie Rist (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1, Sharknado, Michelangelo in a 2011 fanmade movie called Casey Jones, 1 ep of Jackie Chan Adventures, 1 ep of Batman-TAS) as Michaelangelo (voice).
Brian Tochi (Police Academy 3-4, Revenge Of The Nerds 3, 10 eps of Johnny Bravo, 4 eps of Avatar: The Last Airbender, 2 eps of The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy, 1 ep of Family Guy, 1 ep of Samurai Jack) as Leonardo (voice).
From the second movie only:
Paige Turco (18 eps of Party Of Five, 18 eps of Guiding Light, 16 eps of All My Children) as April O’Neil.
Mark Caso as Leonardo / News Room Staff.

From the first movie:
Corey Feldman as Donatello (voice).
Elias Koteas (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, Let Me In, Defendor, Last Days On Mars, Shutter Island, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Exotica) as Casey Jones.

New people:
Tim Kelleher (Independence Day, The Birdcage, 2 eps of American Dad, 1 ep of 24, 1 ep of Six Feet Under) as Raphael (voice).
Stuart Wilson (Hot Fuzz, Lethal Weapon 3) as Walker.
Sab Shimono (Uncle in Jackie Chan Adventures, Gung Ho, Waterworld, The Shadow, 6 eps of Avatar: The Last Airbender, 3 eps of Samurai Jack, 2 eps of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, 1 ep of The Boondocks, 1 ep of Max Headroom) as Lord Norinaga.
Vivian Wu (1 ep of Tales From The Crypt) as Mitsu.
Matt Hill (Soarin’ in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Havok in X-Men: Evolution, SheZow, Ed in Ed, Edd, n Eddy) as Raphael.
Jim Raposa as Donatello.
David Fraser (11 eps of Sailor Moon) as Michaelangelo.
James Murray (Susan The Monster in Greg The Bunny, The Brave Little Toaster Goes To Mars, uncredited student puppeteer in Being John Malkovich, 3 eps of Life With Louie) as Splinter.
Eidan Hanzei (Crank 2, 1 ep of Heroes, 1 ep of Sherman Oaks) as Kenshin.
John Aylward (Armageddon, 2 eps of Carnivale, 2 eps of Third Rock From The Sun, 1 ep of Nip/Tuck) as Niles.
Tad Horino (The Kentucky Fried Movie, Mulholland Dr., Bill & Ted‘s Bogus Journey) as Grandfather.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108308/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Iron Man 3 (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.9/5 stars Netflix, 7.4/10 IMDB.

Claire’s thoughts: Man… That movie was a bit hazy for me. I enjoyed myself, but I often didn’t have a clue what the plot was. Alcohol is a hell of a drug!

Carolyn’s thoughts: This one didn’t seem to have the same Iron Man charm as the first and second movies, but it was still good overall.  I don’t think it had as much of the comedic elements as the other Iron Man movies, and the Avengers movie.  Oh, this one was directed by someone else, and not Jon Favreau, so that probably explains the different feel.

Claire: It seems as comedic if you’re drunk! But then it’s hard to know what’s going on.

Well anyway… At least this was another Iron Man movie. I’d watch 100 of these. The end.

Directed by Shane Black (writer of the Lethal Weapon movies).
Written by Drew Pearce and Shane Black.

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark.
Gwyneth Paltrow (Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow, The Royal Tenenbaums, Se7en, Contagion) as Pepper Potts.
Don Cheadle (Ocean’s Eleven movies, Hotel Rwanda) as Colonel James Rhodes.
Guy Pearce (Memento, Prometheus, The Count Of Monte Cristo, The Time Machine (2002), L.A. Confidential, The Hurt Locker) as Aldrich Killian.
Rebecca Hall (Vicky in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Dorian Gray) as Maya Hansen.
Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan.
Ben Kingsley (Ender’s Game, The Dictator, Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, The Wackness, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Sneakers) as Trevor Slattery.
James Badge Dale (World War Z, 24) as Savin.
Stephanie Szostak (R.I.P.D., Dinner For Schmucks, 1 ep of The Sopranos) as Brandt.
Paul Bettany (The Da Vinci Code) as Jarvis.
William Sadler (Machete Kills, The Shawshank Redemption, Freaked, Bill & Ted‘s Bogus Journey, Die Hard 2) as President Ellis.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1300854/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Wolverine (2013)

Claire: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Evan: 4/5 stars.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.8/10 IMDB.

Watched in 3-D: I’ve noticed it’s really hard for me to rate 3-D movies, because the 3-d distracts me from my normal train of thought. I think some of my being-impressed-with gets transferred from the content of the movie into the spectacle of 3-D.

But hey — I guess I loved this movie, ’cause superhero stuff kicks ass, so i guess that’s 5 stars.  But I was’t orgasming over it, so I guess it’s a low 5 stars, so I guess I agree with Carolyn’s 4.6/5 rating.

Love Marvel. Love mutants. Love the X-Men. Love Wolverine. It’s almost impossible for Marvel to screw up; these movies are barely worth reviewing because they’re incredibly consistent to us.

Carolyn’s thoughts: Entertaining movie about Wolverine and the Mariko story origin. I’m looking forward to the sequel, if it ever comes out.  We love the comic superheros and I’m glad they are continuing to make them into movies.  The 3-D was alright, but didn’t seem as spectacular as it could have been.  Judging from the quality of the mountains at the beginning that Claire noticed, maybe it was converted to 3-D.
Evan: That fake mountain was pretty hilarious. Is it wrong that I like the ninja guy better then Hawkeye? (As a ranger-type character.) The 3-D is always better at your place, so my ratings typically go up a notch when I rewatch stuff there. I’d give wolvy a 4. Not enough action.

Directed by James Mangold (Kate & Leopold, Girl Interrupted, Knight And Day).
Written by Mark Bomback (Fifty Shades Of Grey, Total Recall remake) and Scott Frank (Get Shorty, Minority Report, Dead Again).

Starring Hugh Jackman (X-Men movies, Movie 43, Rise Of The Guardians, Van Helsing, Kate & Leopold) as Logan.
Tao Okamoto as Mariko.
Rila Fukushima as Yukio.
Hiroyuki Sanada (Ring & Ring 2, Speed Racer, 5 eps of Lost) as Shingen.
Svetlana Khodchenkova as Viper.
Brian Tee (1 ep of The Problem Solverz, 1 ep of Sym-Bionic Titan) as Noburo.
Hal Yamanouchi as Yashida.
Will Yun Lee (Total Recall remake) as Harada.
Famke Janssen (The Faculty, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, The Wackness, The Ten, 11 eps of Nip/Tuck) as Jean Grey.
Ian McKellen as Magneto (uncredited).
Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier (uncredited).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1430132/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Despicable Me (2010) [watched in 3-D]

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Julie: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Matthew: 3/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 4.2/5 stars Netflix, 7.6/10 IMDB.

Carolyn: Cute movie about a villain learning to change his ways after discovering that being evil isn’t that important to him anymore. It was pretty funny, and it had a great cast.

Claire: Agreed. I really hate movies involving children, but this movie did demonstrate the transformative effect that being responsible for children can have on an individual — in a way that even *I* am forced to accept. But if that’s all there was to the movie, I wouldn’t have rated it this high. The superhero/supervillain aspect is exactly the type of thing I like in a non-comedy setting, and I like it even more in a comedy setting (e.g. The Venture Bros., Space Ghost Coast To Coast, Stripperella, The PowerPuff Girls).  The minions were awesome, and I want my own fucking minions like those minions. I’d seen those yellow sonsabitches all over the internet and it was nice to finally understand what they were, even if I was 3 years late to the game.

Unfortunately, the 3-D was awful. I don’t know if it was the encode we watched, or if the movie used more depth than my TV was capable of displaying. Home 3-D is in its infancy — think VHS, not DVD or bluray — so I expect there to be problems, and for me to have to stop and futz with every 3-D movie every 2-3 minutes for the first 20 minutes until I am happy with the settings. I feel like some of this is that there is not necessarily a standard to how to do things. With my TV, there is a range of depth, and you will ALWAYS get 3-D ghosting at certain depths. You can focus that depth front (+5) to back (-5) to create an area that doesn’t ghost, but whatever area is farthest from your focus will always ghost.

For this movie, almost everything ghosted. It was easily 50X as much ghosting as usual. It was by far the worst 3-D I’ve seen. I’m starting to think that the HOU (horizontal over-under) 3-D movies might provide better 3-D than the more common SBS (side-by-side) 3-D movies. Suffice to say, Smurfs 2 was best 3-D yet, and this was worst yet. I wish it had been the other way around, because this was a better film.

Matthew: I’m just not that into animated movies. I loved Toy Story and The Simpsons Movie, but other animated movies I’ve never really gotten that into. I liked the movie. It was cute. The 3-D experience was very interesting.

Julie: I tend to like animated movies like this one. It’s probably because I work with children and am practically a child myself. I really can’t pinpoint anything I really don’t like about the movie but at the same time its not the best movie of all time.

Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud (The Lorax).
Written by Cinco Paul (The Lorax, Horton Hears A Who, The Santa Clause 2), Ken Daurio (The Lorax, Horton Hears A Who, The Santa Clause 2), and Sergio Pablos.

Steve Carell (The Office, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Date Night, Dinner With Schmucks, Anchorman movies, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Crazy Stupid Love, Saturday Night Live, Bruce Almighty, Horton Hears A Who, Dan In Real Life, 1 ep of Just Shoot Me) as Gru.
Jason Segel (I Love You Man, This Is The End, This Is 40, Bad Teacher, Gulliver’s Travels, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, Can’t Hardly Wait, 7 eps of Undeclared, SLC Punk, Slackers) as Vector.
Russell Brand (Get Him To The Greek, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, St. Trinian’s, Rock Of Ages) as Dr. Nefario.
Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins, The Song Of Music, Queen in Shrek movies, uncredited singing voice in The Pink Panther Strikes Again) as Gru’s Mom.
Will Arnett (Gob Bluth in Arrested Development, Sit Down Shut Up, The Brothers Solomon, Horton Hears A Who, Ratatouille, Men In Black 3, The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret, The Secret World Of Arrietty, 2 eps of The Sopranos, 1 ep of The Simpsons, 1 ep of Delocated, 1 ep of The Office) as Mr. Perkins.
Kristen Wiig (Young Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development, Date Night, Adventureland, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, The Brothers Solomon, How To Train Your Dragon, Saturday Night Live, Despicable Me, Girl Most Likely, 2 eps of The Simpsons, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Miss Hattie.
Miranda Cosgrove (Carly in iCarly, 1 ep of Smallville) as Margo.
Dana Gaier as Edith.
Elsie Fisher as Agnes.
Pierre Coffin (the co-director) as Tim the Minion / Bob the Minion / Mark the Minion / Phil the Minion / Stuart the Minion.
Chris Renaud (The Lorax) as Dave the Minion.
Jemaine Clement (Men In Black 3, Dinner For Schmucks, 2 eps of The Drinky Crow Show, 1 ep of Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job) as Jerry the Minion.
Jack McBrayer (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, The To Do List, Movie 43, Wander in Wander Over Yonder, 2 eps of Drunk History, 2 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 2 eps of Arrested Development, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV::, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital, 1 ep of Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job, 1 ep of Ugly Americans) as Carnival Barker / Tourist Dad.
Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down, This Is The End, Clear History, Superbad, Good Vibes, Despicable Me, Observe And Report, Fanboys, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, The Foot Fist Way) as Fred McDade.
Mindy Kaling (Kelly in The Office, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Wreck-It Ralph, This Is The End) as Tourist Mom.
Rob Huebel (Owen Maestro in Childrens Hospital, Human Giant, Axe Cop, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, I Love You Man, Little Fockers, Funny Or Die Presents, Rapture-Palooza, 3 eps of The Office, 3 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV, 1 ep of Michael & Michael Have Issues) as Anchorman.
Ken Jeong (The Hangover movies, Rapture-Palooza, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, Step Brothers, 2 ep of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of The Office, 1 ep of Mary Shelley’s Frankenhole) as Talk Show Host.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1323594/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Man Of Steel (2013) [watched in 3-d]

Claire: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Evan: 4.3/5 stars, 9/10.
Native ratings: 4.0/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

I knew this would be a movie I loved… Although I had my doubts because the last Superman movie wasn’t that memorable. (Though checking my notes, I said it was as good as any other Superman movie. Of course those other ones were late 1970s/early 1980s, so of course something made in the 2000s will generally be comparable just by the fact that movies are much more well done nowadays).

Suffice to say, I was not disappointed.

Very entertaining.  Superman origin story with LOTS of action.  LOTS. The action barely let up, even for a moment.  Those were literally some of the most epic fight scenes I’ve seen in my entire life. Especially if you don’t count animation.  Superheroes are awesome, and this was awesome.

I like how they made it a point to not spend too much time on his childhood. I like to think of that as a “fuck you” to Smallville’s later, shitty seasons. Incindentally, at least 5 people from this movie played in at least 1 episode of Smallville. Amy Adams (S1E7), Mackenzie Gray (S5E15,S10E1), Tahmoh Penikett (S6E19/21,S3E15), Alessandro Juliani (14 S8 eps), and David Paetkau (S1E3,S8E15).

One complaint: Everyone had way too visible pores. I do not need to be THAT aware of y’alls’ pores!

 

Directed by Zack Snyder (Sucker Punch, Watchmen, Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole, 300, Dawn Of The Dead (2004))
Written by David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance, The Crow 2, Jumper, Blade: The Series) and Christopher Nolan (Inception, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Memento, Following).

Henry Cavill (The Count Of Monte Cristo) as Clark Kent / Kal-El.
Amy Adams (Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby, Psycho Beach Party, Cruel Intentions 2, 3 eps of The Office, 3 eps of King Of The Hill, 1 ep of Smallville) as Lois Lane.
Michael Shannon (Cecil B. DeMented, Groundhog Day, 8 Mile, Vanilla Sky, 1 ep of Delocated) as General Zod.
Diane Lane (Jumper, Judge Dredd) as Martha Kent.
“Oh my God, it’s Russell Crowe” as Jor-El. Took 3 of us to come up with who he was. Claire: “Isn’t that what’s his name? The guy who went fightin’ round the world in South Park.” Carolyn: “That’d be Russell Crowe.” Evan: “Yes, that is Russell Crowe.”
Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent.
Antje Traue (Pandorum) as Faora-Ul, Zod’s right-hand woman.
Harry Lennix (Commander Lock in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, 6 eps of 24) as General Swanwick.
Richard Schiff (Se7en, Deep Impact, Speed, The Hudsucker Proxy, Ghost In The Machine, 1 ep of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) as Dr. Emil Hamilton, the scientist.
Christopher Meloni (Chris Keller in Oz, Green Lantern in Green Lantern: First Flight, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, Wet Hot American Summer, Twelve Monkeys, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Junior, 1 ep of Michael & Michael Have Issues) as Colonel Nathan Hardy.
Ayelet Zurer (Angels & Demons) as Lara Lor-Van.
Laurence Fishburne (The Colony, Morpheus in The Matrix movies, Silver Surfer in Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, Contagion, Mission Impossible 3, Mystic River, Apocalypse Now) as Perry White.
Dylan Sprayberry (Spaced, 1 ep of MADtv) as Clark Kent (13 Years).
Richard Cetrone (he’s usually a stuntman, but he plays The Headless Horseman in a Sleepy Hollow TV series, a werewolf/merman in The Cabin In The Woods, a lyncan creature in Underworld: Awakening, Hunter Morlock in The Time Machine, CJ in Sucker Punch) as Tor-An.
Mackenzie Gray (The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus, Iron Man: Armored Adventures, 2 eps of Smallville) as Jax-Ur.
Julian Richings (Atticus’s father in Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil, and Satan in the 2003 Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, X-Men: The Last Stand, Detroit Rock City, Mimic, Naked Lunch) as Lor-Em.
Mary Black (Mrs. Henderson in Fido, The Wicker Man, ) as Ro-Zar.
Michael Kelly (The Adjustment Bureau, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Unbreakable, 6 eps of The Sopranos) as Steve Lombard.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0770828/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Superman: Unbound (2013)

Claire: 4.4/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.4/10 IMDB.

This one was still good, but it didn’t seem as good as the last movies. This wasn’t Bruce Timm’s work.

But it’s still pretty damn good, because we love us some superhero cartoons! Especially ones not made for TV.

That being said… How many times do we have to watch Superman fight off Braniac? It seems to have happened like 5 times now. I’m getting a bit tired of it.

This was still pretty solid, though.

Directed by James Tucker (5 eps of Batman Beyond, 5 eps of Static Shock, 4 eps of Legion Of Super Heroes).
Written by Bob Goodman (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns 1&2, 51 eps of Batman Beyond, 51 eps of Superman, 2 eps of The Batman, 4 eps of Justice League, 8 eps of The Zeta Project)

Matt Bomer (In Time) as Superman / Clark Kent.
Stana Katic (3 eps of 24, 2 eps of Heroes) as Lois Lane.
John Noble (The Dragon Spirit in The Last Airbender movie, 100 eps of Fringe, 3 eps of Transformers Prime, 3 eps of 24) as Brainiac.
Molly C. Quinn (105 eps of Castle, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) as Supergirl / Kara Zor-El.
Diedrich Bader (Batman in Batman: The Brave And The Bold, Guy Gardner in The Green Lantern-TAS, Kraven The Hunter in Ultimate Spider-Man, 2 eps of Gravity Falls, 3 eps of King Of The Hill) as Steve Lombard.
Jason Beghe (X-Men: First Class, Thelma & Louise, Maid To Order) as Terrorist Leader.
Frances Conroy (the mom from Six Feet Under, The Wicker Man remake) as Ma Kent.
Melissa Disney (Blade in Batman Beyond) as Thara.
Alexander Gould (Shane Botwin from Weeds, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Jimmy Olsen.
Sirena Irwin (Persephone in Striperella, 3 eps of Adventure Time, 80 eps of Spongebob Squarepants, 3 eps of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Alura.
Andrea Romano (voice actress casting director) as News Anchor #2 / Superman‘s Ship.
Stephen Root (Bill Dauterive in King Of The Hill, Office Space, NewsRadio, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Penguin in Batman: The Brave And The Bold, 4 eps of Gravity Falls, 2 eps of The Legend Of Korra, 1 ep of the new Thundercats) as Zor-El.
Wade Williams (Harvey Dent in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1, Black Mask in Batman: Under The Red Hood, The Dark Knight Rises) as Perry White.
Michael-Leon Wooley (Twayne Boneraper in Ugly Americans, 2 eps of Batman: The Brave And The Bold, 1 ep of Delocated) as Ron Troupe.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2617456/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: DOCUMENTARIES: REVIEW: Superheroes (2011)

Clint: 5/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.2/5 stars Netflix, 6.2/10 IMDB.

That was pretty awesome. (For a documentary.)

Pretty goddamn motherfucking awesome. I don’t usually mention stuff I watch during dinner…. This documentary probably took us about 10 meals.

Real life super heroes! I knew they were around, but I’d never had such an insightful glimpse into the phenomenon

Carolyn’s reluctance at believing this was real astounded me, and was a hilarious source of entertainment to me. She had to look it up on HBO and such. I had thought the RLSH (real life super hero) movement had been around long enough to at least have become common knowledge in the circles I run in. Like, the spousal circle, at the very least :D

And police Lieutenant Andra Brown: What a fucking bitch! She sits on her ass in an office and complains about the people actually doing something, all too often in situations where the cops can’t even bother to show up, as was demonstrated in the movie and experienced by myself and others.

Her responses may as well have been written by a robot. Was that really the best the police could do, when confronted with people more heroic than themselves? Throw a bunch of FUD* into the equation? Pathetic.

*(Fear, uncertainty, and doubt.)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1792621/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Superman vs. The Elite (2012) (animated)

5/5 stars, 9/10 from both of us.
Native rating is 4.0/5 stars, 7.2/10.

Pragmatism clashes with idealism in a battle that is as much about current-world 2012 politics as it is about superheroes.

When the hell did Superman become politically relevant in a post-911 world?

Among other things, Bialya == Libya, and The Elite are pretty much a direct metahpor to the post-911 way of thinking and handling criminals, while Superman represents the pre-911 way of handling criminals.

The so-called Bruce Timm-verse of animated DC comics has been an amazing thing to experience over the past 20 years, but he is only one of 4 executive producers. He didn’t get directly involved with this one, and it has a very different (incongruous to Timm’s direct productions) feel because of that. THIS IS A GOOD THING. Variety is nice.

Seeing a whole new team of superpowered individuals that I’d never heard of was pretty cool too. The character design for Managerie was awesome!

It’s hard to fail us with these animated comic movies. They are a good substitute for the three superhero cartoons we miss the most: Batman:TAS (1990s), Superman:TAS (1990s), and Justice League (2000s).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2224455/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)

3.6/5 stars, 7/10 from both of us.
5/5 stars,   8.4/10 was what we gave the first movie:
So this one’s worse.
Native rating: 3.7/5 stars, 4.6/10 (ouch) on IMDB:
So the public agrees.
Netflix’s guess for us was 3.8 which is pretty damn close.

It wasn’t as good as the first one, but it was still entertaining.

It was a very over-the-top with the comedy/Nic Cage acting. I wonder if he was still using Brian Bates’ Way Of The Wyrd (basis for Sabbat’s Dreamweaver concept album, which I wrote a 5900 word post about) as the basis of his acting. Maybe not. These are the Crank / Gamer directors now, and maybe they directed him to be more Nic-Cage-over-the-top.

Outlaw Vern, who I usually agree with, liked this better than the original:
http://outlawvern.com/2012/02/21/ghost-rider-presents-spirit-of-vengeance/
His review includes a big quote from Nic Cage about Brian Bates’s book, as well as some mentions of Vampire’s Kiss. Outlaw Vern is right about the CGI being worse. What used to be a cool transformation is now kind of comical at times.

So yeah… This was worth seeing because we love the superhero genre, but it wasn’t good as the original.
Though apparently, some liked it better!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1071875/

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Doctor Strange (2007)

Doctor Strange – The Sorcerer Supreme (2007) – 
Clint: 4/5 stars, 8/10. 
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10. 
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, /10 IMDB.

Carolyn: This was a good animated Marvel movie.  I am not as familiar with Doctor Strange in the comic book realm, so it was interesting to see his origin story.  The Marvel animated movies rarely disappoint, anyway.

Clint: I have to agree. This is the type of stuff we like. This isn’t one of the best, but I suspect it’s the only feature-length Doctor Strange origin movie that’s worth watching. 

I wasn’t as wow’ed by it as Carolyn, as I’m starting to get jaded from watching so.many.movies lately. I’m starting to get to that age where you notice stories are becoming less unique: This felt like a combo of the origin stories of Batman (in Batman Begins) and Green Lantern (in terms of ancient leaders and their corrupt inner circle members), combined with the latest season of Avatar:The Legend Of Korra (in terms of demonic gods trying to break through to our realm). I should probably take a break from watching movies for a bit, to become less jaded. (But I really want to watch one tonite!)

One interesting thing: The sound mix was excellent. 

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0910865/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 6.8/10 IMDB.

Hilarious, but still with a dark edge like the original. But not as dark, and seemingly not as serious.   We missed Nic Cage, though.  We wish he could have been in this.  We got Jim Carrey, though!  Carolyn didn’t recognize him until Clint pointed out who he was. Good makeup. And it’s okay if the makeup doesn’t look realistic, because that’s just comic book aesthetics. It actually opens things up for more creativity, versus the less-creative, more-common goal of making everyone look “realistic”.

But anyway… Super heroes in real life (i.e. *our* version of Earth) is an awesome genre, considering we have hundreds of known *real* costumed heroes in real life.

Written & directed by Jeff Wadlow.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson (he’s going to be Quiksilver in The Avengers: Age of Ultron) as Dave Lizewski / Kick-Ass. Hmm, I guess he didn’t end up being Cyclops in X-Men: First Class
Chloe Grace Moretz (Let Me In, The Amityville Horror, Movie 43, 1 ep of American Dad) as Mindy Macready / Hit-Girl.
Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes.
Morris Chestnut (Ryan Nichols in the new V series, Identity Thief, 1 ep of American Dad) as Detective Marcus Williams, who is now the guardian of Hit-Girl.
Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine, Kick-Ass, Sex Drive, Superbad, Clark on the last season of The Office, 5 eps of Robot Chicken) as Marty / Battle Guy.
Augustus Prew as Todd / Ass Kicker.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin from Superbad, How To Train Your Dragon, The To-Do List, This Is the End, Kick-Ass, Movie 43, Fright Night, Year One) as Chris D’Amico / The Motherfucker.
John Leguizamo (Ice Age movies, Luigi in Super Mario Brothers, uncredited in Repo Men, 1 ep of American Dad) as Javier, The Motherfucker’s butler.
Donald Faison (Bartik in TRON: Uprising, Can’t Hardly Wait, Clueless (also in the TV series), 8 eps of Robot Chicken, 3 eps of The Boondocks, 1 ep of Adventure Time, 1 ep of Titan Maximum) as Dr. Gravity.
Lyndsy Fonseca (Hot Tub Time Machine, 1 ep of Heroes, 1 ep of Malcolm In The Middle) as Katie Deauxma.
Yancy Butler (Hansel & Gretel Get Baked) as Mrs. D’Amico, The Motherfucker’s mother.
Lindy Booth (Detroit Rock City, Wrong Turn) as Night Bitch.
Benedict Wong (Prometheus, 2 eps of Look Around You) as Mr. Kim.
Andy Nyman (1 ep of Holliston where he apparently plays Axl The Cat) as The Tumor.
Garrett M. Brown (Uncle Buck) as Mr. Lizewski.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1650554/combined

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Avengers (2012)

5/5 stars from Clint & Carolyn
4/5 stars from Eli
3/5 stars from Parthena.

10/10 from Carolyn,
9.6/10 from Clint,
8/10 from Eli,
6/10 from Parthena.

IMDB overall rating is 8.6/10, making it the 65th highest-rated movie of all time. 42% of people rate it 10/10, and only 1/6th of people rate it less than 8+/10. The median rating is 9/10.

No real need to say much about this. Everyone saw it, and it was as awesome as it promised to be. The clashing of egos was hilarious, and it was great to see this epic heroes — built up over the last 5 Marvel movies or so — finally all together on screen at once.

And of course we’ve been watching the cartoon, Avengers:Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, so we’ve been pretty immersed in these characters on a very regular basis.

Eli: “As long as it stands on the other movies I think it was awesome. That being said I could have had a bit more about Hawk. But for pulling together so many heros’ backstories I thought it did a really good job. Plus it was really funny :)”

Carolyn: “I’m leaning towards 10/10, because it had funny banter and good battles. I can’t think of a reason not to give it a 10.”

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0848228/