VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Red 2 (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.7/10 IMDB.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was on par with the first one.  Some action, some comedy, some government politics. Mary-Louise Parker‘s character grows and gains experience.

Claire’s thoughts: How do they keep making Helen Mirren look so good when she’s 68 fucking years old?  Yay Hollywood makeup artists? But anyway, I don’t remember the first movie that well. I mostly just remember how much I liked it. And I like this movie pretty much that same amount.  I think maybe this one didn’t feel as comic-book-y as the last one.  And yes, these kinds of movies are a bit formulaic.  But the fact that it stayed funny is kind of what Red movies are: Comedy-Action movies that are over-the-top and unrealistic.

Daniel Hagan’s adds: “Yeah, they’re empty calories – fun to watch but not particularly notable from a cinema viewpoint”

And since we can never get enough comedy at our house — and prefer comedy to action — it’s great to get both at once.

Plus the cast was great. Anthony Hopkins was particularly fun to watch.

Directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of The Tick live-action series).
Written by Jon Hoeber (Red 1) & Erich Hoeber (Red 1).

Starring some of the same people from the first movie:
Bruce Willis as Frank.
John Malkovich as Marvin.
Mary-Louise Parker (Nancy Botwin from Weeds, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Fried Green Tomatoes) as Sarah.
Helen Mirren (Deep Thought in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Georgina Spica in The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, National Treasure: Book Of Secrets, 1 ep of French & Saunders) as Victoria.
Brian Cox (Captain O’Hagan in Super Troopers, The Campaign, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, X-Men 2: X2, Adaptation, Fantastic Mr. Fox, narrator in The Color Of Magic, The Bourne Identity movies, Troy) as Ivan.

Plus some new people:

Anthony Hopkins (Hannibal Lecter in The Silence Of The Lambs, Odin in the Thor movies, Beowulf, Titus) as Bailey. A great performance.
Byung-hun Lee (G.I. Joe movies) as Han Cho Bai.
Catherine Zeta-Jones (The Mask Of Zorro, Ocean’s 11, Traffic, Rock Of Ages, Side Effects) as Katja.
Neal McDonough (Captain America: The First Avenger, Minority Report, 8 eps of Band Of Brothers) as Jack Horton.
David Thewlis (Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter movies, The Big Lebowski) as The Frog.
Wahab Sheikh (Trance) as Iranian Clerk.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1821694/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: American Mary (2012)

Claire: 4.4/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

Well… That movie certainly made me feel uncomfortable and disturbed. A lot.
And sad.
And ashamed of humanity.

This movie is visceral. Casting Ginger from Ginger Snaps was brilliant, but this character was a far more quiet and detached character than Ginger was. Detached, desperate, and alone, American Mary has no sister to riff of of.

Just herself, and a cruel world.
And surgery.
Unlicensed, unauthorized, cash-only surgery.

Things could have gone straightforward, but they actually got fucked up fast.

This movie really feels like Nip/Tuck, perhaps with a tiny pinch of Rules Of Attraction thrown in. I can’t help but think that this movie would the all-time favorite movie of the barber from The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack.

I definitely yelled out in my disturbedness more than once.  I’m amazed that things turned out the way they did.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was intense and kept you riveted.  There were some confusing parts when it flashed back or forward, or had a dream sequence that could kind of throw you off.  But overall, it was very intense and I really liked it.  It was neat seeing the girl from Ginger Snaps again.

Written & directed by Jen & Sylvia Soska (who played the twins).

Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps movies, Freddy Vs. Jason, 30 Days Of Night: Dark Days, Insomnia, Titanic, 1 ep of Smallville, 1 ep of The L Word) as Mary Mason.
Antonio Cupo (2 eps of Dark Angel, 1 ep of The L Word) as Billy Barker.
Tristan Risk as Beatress Johnson.
David Lovgren (2 eps of Smallville, 2 eps of The L Word) as Dr. Grant.
Paula Lindberg (Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Mobile Suit Gundam 00) as Ruby Realgirl.
Clay St. Thomas (1 ep of the 2009 V series) as Dr. Walsh.
John Emmet Tracy (1 ep of Smallville) as Detective Dolor.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1959332/combined

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Embrace Of The Vampire (1995)

Claire: 2/5 stars, 4.6/10.
Carolyn: 2/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 2.9/5 stars Netflix, 4.3/10 IMDB.

This was almost a soft-porn. The only real reason to watch this is to see Alyssa Milano’s naked body several times. And frankly, that’s enough to make me not regret watching it.  We get a little Jennifer Tilly sexiness too, but it’s mostly Alyssa Milano. Who’s the boss now?!?

But man.. We almost aborted this 10 minutes in, just based on how bad it felt.

At least, after awhile, a plot made itself evident.

Why the FUCK did they remake this in 2013?  WHYYYYYY?

Carolyn’s thoughts: This wasn’t that great.  It was barely even tolerable.  The border-line soft porn aspect helped a little.  Alyssa Milano is hot as always.

Directed by Anne Goursaud.

Written by Halle Eaton, Nicole Coady and Rick Bitzelberger (10 eps of Undressed).

Alyssa Milano (Who’s The Boss, Charmed, 1 ep of Young Justice) as Charlotte.
Martin Kemp (How To Stop Being A Loser, Can’t Buy Me Love) as Vampire.
Harold Pruett (9 eps of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, 8 eps of Medicine Ball) as Chris.
Jordan Ladd (Hostel 2, Death Proof, Grindhouse, Cabin Fever, Nowhere, 5 eps of Robot Chicken) as Eliza.
Rachel True (Half Baked, Nowhere, 3 eps of Dream On, 1 ep of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air) as Nicole.
Charlotte Lewis (1 ep of Seinfeld) as Sarah.
Jennifer Tilly (Bonnie Swanson in Family Guy, Monsters Inc., Stuart Little, some Chucky movies, 2 eps of It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, 1 ep of Cheers, 1 ep of Dream On) as Marika.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109723/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: +1 aka Plus 1 aka Plus One (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, 5.5/10 IMDB.

Parties are fun, but then the weird shit starts happening.  This movie managed to merge a high school reunion party, aliens, clones, and time distortion all into one light-hearted sci-fi thriller.  The party framework makes it feel almost as if it’s a comedy — there’s jokes and funny stuff and everything.

Ultimately, this was entertaining AND interesting. It was hard to know where the plot was going. Hints of the movie Triangle at times.

Also interesting was that the people with violent tendencies who decided to use lethal force were left “incomplete”. The peaceful ones focused on love and/or understanding simply got to become… more? Of course it’s ultimately unclear, but I did find it interesting and I liked that kind of commentary about violent tendencies.

Directed by Dennis Iliadis (The Last House On The Left)
Written by Dennis Iliadis and Bill Gullo.

Starring Rhys Wakefield (The Purge) as David. Claire recognized him instantly as being in The Purge.
Logan Miller (Nova in Ultimate Spider-Man, Would You Rather, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Teddy.
Ashley Hinshaw as Jill.
Natalie Hall (181 eps of All My Children) as Melanie.
Ronald Ogden (1 ep of Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell) as Mike.
Marla Malcolm (Road Trip) as Heather.
Rhoda Griffis (The Hunger Games, Mean Girls 2, Year One, Road Trip) as Mrs. Howard (uncredited).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2395385/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Junkie (2012)

Claire: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 4.6/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

Well, THAT was a weird movie. One of the stranger parts of this movie was that it could ever be a comedy. And you could argue that it’s not; that it’s a psychological thriller. In content, that may be true…But in tone, it stayed decently comedic throughout.

It was somewhat slow to start, and we (especially Carolyn) became slightly disinterested. Then it started to pickup. Got very surreal and barely made sense, but that was to set up the end, which twisted things far further than we ever would have thought.

The movie  definitely funny AND interesting, but in a very strange, low-key, and kind of dark way. If you watch multiple movies a week, this is a good weeknight choice.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1837584/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: End Of The World (2013) (TV)

Claire: 5/5 stars, /10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 9/10.
Native ratings: Only 4.6/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

Finally a Syfy movie that is a good movie for reasons other than laughing at how bad it is! This was awesome!  The genre of the year is apocalyptic comedy!

We’ve got this, Rapture-Palooza, This Is The End, The World’s End…  None of these movies have disappointed. None! Do I have a new favorite movie genre?!

This one kept us entertained the entire time, and was probably the least comedic of the four apocalyptic comedies we’ve watched this year. However, it was more thrilling and more interesting on a sci-fi level than 2 out of the other 3.  So it turned out to be a thriller wrapped up in a comedy.  You get excited about the action and the fate of the earth, but then when there is a lull in the pacing, some comedy pops its head out to entertain you. Then the comedy returns to the backseat and lets the thriller take over. Repeat several times.

While the comedy is not non-stop like with some movies, it continues to return to the forefront in segments running all the way ’til the end of the movie.

Another good thing is this is a movie that acknowledges other movies; it even makes fun of the generic Syfy disaster movies that they are constantly releasing (much to everyone’s chagrin). The main characters work in a video store, and their knowledge about disaster movies is crucial to the survival of the world. (At least, THEY think so.) Much respect to geekdom.

Things get even crazier when they have to break a science fiction writer out of an insane asylum.

It actually all makes sense, and all comes together very nicely.

AND AS A BONUS — it’s a type of disaster I’ve never seen in any movie before. Neat!

Directed by Steven R. Monroe.
Written by David Ray & Jason Bourque.

Greg Grunberg (Matt Parkman in Heroes, Super 8, Mission Impossible 3, Uncle Ben in 1 ep of Ultimate Spider-Man, 1 ep of American Dad) as Owen Stokes. Nice to see him in something since Heroes.
Neil Grayston (77 eps of Eureka, 1 ep of Smallville) as Steve Palmer.
Caroline Cave (Saw 6, 3 eps of The L Word) as Selena, Owen’s girlfriend.
Mark Hildreth (King Lotor in Voltron Force, Joshua in the new V, Quiksilver in Wolverine & The X-Men, Angel in X-Men Evolution, Gundam Wing, Pirates Of The Caribbean 3) as Max, the douchebag.
Brad Dourif (The voice of Chucky in the Child’s Play/Chucky movies, Rob Zombie’s Halloween movies, The Lord Of The Rings movies, Dune, Blue Velvet, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, The Exorcist 3) as Dr. Walter “Doc” Brown.
Merrilyn Gann (2012, Mystery Date, It, she’s additional voices in Project A-Ko 2-4, 3 eps of The Original 21 Jumpstreet, 1 ep of Smallville) as Betty, Steve’s mom.
Serge Houde (3 eps of Smallville) as General Ramis.
Graem Beddoes (1 ep of The L Word) as Louis, security guard.
Simon Chin (Control Alt Delete) as Orderly.
Amitai Marmorstein (1 ep of Smallville) as Leonard.
James Ralph (3 eps of Smallville) as Traffic cop.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2139851/combined