VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Leon: The Professional (1994)

Clint: 3.6/5 stars.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars.
8/10 from both of us.
Native rating: 4.2/5 stars, 8.6/10.

I’d heard “The Professional” recommended so many times. After all, it’s the 31st highest-rated movie in IMDB. Natalie Portman’s 2nd movie, and she’s only about 12 or 13 years old. Starring Jean Reno, who we really only have seen as Ponton in the Pink Panther remake movies, but who is quite good. And Gary Oldman.

I’m not a big fan of the crime genre, but the actors in this were good. The story was kind of generic, but the characters were not. The sexual tension between Natalie Portman and Jean Reno was so completely awkward and cringe-inducing and unique.

The over-the-top mega-acting of Gary Oldman was pretty intense, and at times hilariously cheesy. Yet the movie itself doesn’t come off as cheesy at all. The ending could be better — it felt slightly cliched to me (but I’m a cynic) — but all in all this movie held my interest more than I expected.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110413/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIE: CARTOONS: ANIME: REVIEW: Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) (Japan)

Clint: 3.6/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10. “Good. No Howl’s Castle or Princess Mononoke, but still.” And that’s about how I feel.
Native ratings: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.8/10.

Hayao Miyazaki. Great animator. Great director. Good writer. Huge body of work.

The plot wasn’t super exciting and full of jam-packed action, as it was more character-driven than plot-driven. There was no “bad guy” for example. Just a 13 year old girl trying to live independently for a year, as is the custom with witches.

And if you can fly on a broomstick, why not start a delivery service?

I do feel like it puttered out at the end a bit, which is a trope among anime. Anime is often more about the voyage than the destination, and that remains true here. But less frustratingly so than usual.

This was so lighthearted!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097814/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Ted (2012)

4.4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us.
Native Rating: 4.2/5 stars Netflix, 7.4/10 IMDB.

It’s pretty hard for Seth MacFarlane to do wrong. It’s about time he got a full movie out of his efforts.

This was funny, as well as unique and touching and relevant for the holidays.

I would have perhaps liked it a bit more if it was more risque, but I think I’m just desensitized from all the fucked up shit I watched. Apparently people had issues with things like 911 jokes and cocaine use.

Anyway…. I had a teddy bear when I was little… Though I never wished for him to be real, using such an childhood archtype was a really good device for driving the movie.

This had a lot of fun aspects. Good times.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1637725/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Dark Shadows (2012)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native rating: 3.5/5 stars, 6.5/10.

I try to catch every Tim Burton (/Johnny Depp/Helena Bonham Carter) movie, and am almost never disappointed.

This wasn’t as much of a comedy as we were expecting (since IMDB lists comedy before fantasy)…but it still had funny moments, and was an interesting story. It helped that we had no concept of the original series… And that it also had a good soundtrack. And Alice Cooper!

Great cast (Eva Green was fucking HOT!) (But then, so was pretty much every female), and the typically-great production values and direction one comes to expect from a Tim Burton film. I’m glad this got the taste of Alice In Wonderland (2010) out of my mouth, because that was the one Burton film that I really found wanting.

Looking forward to Burton’s next film, Frankenweenie, based on his short film from 1984!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1077368/

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Supernatural Activity (2012)

Carolyn: 2.4/5 stars, 5/10.
Clint: 2.4/5 stars, 5/10 (mostly deferring to Carolyn’s rating here).
Native ratings: 2.4/5 stars Netflix, 2.9/10 IMDB.

Review by Carolyn: This was alright.  It started off slow, and didn’t really pick up that much.  However, it did get slightly more funny near the end, but not enough to redeem itself.  I enjoyed the characterizations, but the execution wasn’t that great.

We both thought of the movie Grave Encounters when they were talking about how the show is faked.  That movie was better than this one.

Speaking of the ending, it was confusing.  Clint tried to ask me to explain it to him.  The ending made about 57% sense to me, and my understanding wasn’t enough to be able to explain it to Clint.  Basically, there was some confusion about  different hairstyles (I’ll just leave it at that…).  I was like “It wasn’t that good, and it didn’t make that much sense.  How am I supposed to explain an ending to a movie that wasn’t that good?”

Clint’s thoughts: I had a rut of movies I didn’t remember very well after watching, and this was one of them. Just not that great. Mildly entertaining at best.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1832516/combined

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Dictator (2012)

4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10 from  Clint
5/5 stars, 9/10 from Carolyn.
Native rating: 3.2/5 stars (Netflix), 6.6/10 (IMDB).

Carolyn was laughing the hardest I’ve seen her laugh in months(?) or a year(?).

I wasn’t quite laughing as hard.

This is way closer to Borat than Bruno in terms of subject matter AND how good it was. Definitely a must see. I am torn about not giving it 5 stars – maybe I am mis-rating it.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1645170/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Still Waiting… (2009)

3/5 stars, 7/10 from both of us.
Native ratings: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 5.0/10.

Using a Ween song doesn’t save this movie, though it’s still good. It’s just not the same as the first movie. It lacked the nuance and great dialog; the plot — even though that was never the driving aspect of the first movie — was not as good either. “The game” didn’t exist — just references to it.

A lot of the great cast was replaced with cast that wasn’t quite as good. Remaining was Calvin (the timid tinkler), Naomi (the bitch), Dean (Justin Long), Radimus (the hispanic dude), Natasha, and David Koechner.  However —

the hot blonde who “would eat your ass out like a hamburger if I was still in my bi phase” is Janet Varney –who voices Korra in the new Avatar cartoon Legend Of Korra. So that soundclip is just being begged to be overdubbed on some Korra animation.

Still Waiting is ultimately a shadow of the first movie, but still good. Still in the same vein. Just a much much lesser version.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1116186/