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/

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