VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Da Vinci Code 2 – Angels & Demons (2009)

Clint: 3/5 stars, 8/10. (Compared to 3/5, 6/10 for Da Vinci Code.)
Carolyn: 4.4/5 stars, 8.6/10.  (Compared to 5/5 stars for Da Vinci Code.)
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.6/10 IMDB. (Compared to 3.6/5 stars, 6.4/10 for Da Vinci Code.)

Pink Panther minus comedy plus religion.”
National Treasure minus comedy minus patriotism plus religion.”
“24 minus America plus The Vatican.”
Da Vinci Code 1 minus Leonardo Da Vinci plus Illuminati.”

It seems like everyone — Clint, Carolyn, Netflix people, IMDB people — all liked this better than first movie of the trilogy, The Da Vinci Code. Ignore the fact that Carolyn gave this one 4 stars and the last one 5 stars — she, too, agreed this one was better. (It’s hard to rate consistently, people!)

This was done very well… And was interesting. But I am quite turned off by religion, so I wasn’t super-thrilled with the entertainment, despite recognizing its quality. Religious stuff just doesn’t resonate with me.

Still better than the first, though. This one wasn’t a disappointment like the first one.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0808151/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: Frankenweenie (2012)

Clint: 4.6/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native rating: 4/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

All Tim Burton is good (except for his Planet Of The Apes sequel), but some Tim Burton is better than other Tim Burton. For example, Nightmare Before Christmas is better than Corpse Bride.  This one was good, but not his top-notch work. It was good to finally see his 1984 short developed into a full length Frankestein homage feature.

I’m not sure if I’ve seen 1080p black-and-white stop-motion-animation before, it was certainly an interesting look, though I will always prefer the world of color to the world of black-and-white. It did help make the Frankenstein homage more accurate.

Carolyn: Yeah, I thought it would have been better in color, but I guess the black and white was a throwback to black and white horror movies…  I thought this was better than Corpse Bride, but not as good as Nightmare Before Christmas.  I was sad they didn’t find a way to save Mr. Whiskers.  Poor Mr. Whiskers.

Clint: MR. WHISKERS WAS A CUNT

Carolyn: HE WAS A VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCE!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1142977/?ref_=sr_1

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Bad Teacher (2011)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native rating: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 5.7/10 IMDB.

Basically, what if Cameron Diaz was an awful, awful person… And a school teacher. This is basically Bad Santa meets Lower Learning. If you’ve seen those 2 movies: Combine them in your head, and it’s this movie.

This is a dark comedy, and, like with Lower Learning, it’s involvement of children being exploited has the typical effect: Bring children into the equation, and everyone goes all cray-cray. Suddenly things that are funny–aren’t… Because? Because children! So the IMDB rating is artificially deflated in my book.

And oh: Lucy Punch with red hair is way way way fucking hotter than Lucy Punch has ever been (not that she isn’t hot mind you), and she should keep her hair red like that. I prefer blondes and I don’t like her as much as a blonde or as much as Cameraon Diaz in the movie. Plus she has more boobs. Which is actually a relavant plot point of the movie.

Also, so nice to see Phyllis from The Office in a movie… Playing someone with a different personality. Did you know she was a pro cheerleader back in the day?

Jason Segel and even Justin Timberlake provide more familiar faces.

Jason Segel and even Justin Timberlake provide more familiar faces.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1284575/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: A Fantastic Fear Of Everything (2012)

Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native rating: 5.3/10 (not available on Netflix).

This movie would be a psychological thriller/horror, if it wasn’t for the fact that they deliberately make it out to be a comedy.

A paranoid writer starts to slip down a slope towards insanity.  But this paranoid writer is Simon Pegg. In fact, Simon Pegg probably accounts for 90% of all screentime in the movie.

A lot of people didn’t like this, and we were almost dissuaded from watching it. Almost. The 5.3 IMDB rating is pretty indicitive of that — But then it turned out to be pretty funny. It just turns out that watching Simon Pegg freak the FUCK out is not everyone’s cup of tea.

If you watched the Spaced (UK) sitcom series [which we own an autographed copy of], you are probably a big enough Simon Pegg fan to watch this. But be warned: No Nick Frost.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2006040/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

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/