VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: EuroTrip (2004) [Road Trip 2]

Clio: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars Netflix (compared to 3.5/5 for Road Trip), 6.5/10 IMDB (compared to 6.4/10 for Road Trip).

Isn’t that odd? A sequel that actually received a [as slightly as possibly] higher rating than the original, where I disagree that it should be rated higher. Usually I complain that sequels are always downvoted. Here is one where they finally didn’t do that, and I still have a problem with it: They’re wrong. The original Road Trip  (2000) is definitely better than this!

This movie was good, but not great.  I really liked it, but more of a barely-really-liked-it, thus my 3.6/5 star rating. The sex gags involved dudes a lot more than the previous one, so while they were equally funny, they weren’t as titillating.  It was just a little too convenient.  The things that happened should have had worse consequences.  Instead, things happened, and it just didn’t seem to have that much of an impact.  Maybe there wasn’t enough conflict or something.  It was just like [highlight for spoilers] , “Yeah, they ended up in London, but hey, now they’re in Paris, no problem.”  Things like that happened the entire movie.  “Oh we have no money, and hitchhiked to a place that doesn’t even have a train station built, no problem.”

High-school graduate decides to take an impromptu trip to Europe with some friends in order to track down a penpal/possible love interest.

If it was going to have a requirement of that much suspension of belief, then they should have made it funnier… It seemed to lack a little bit to me. But I still enjoyed it enough. I didn’t dislike it. I almost really liked it.

At least see it for seeing Xena in a latex dominatrix outfit. We need that closure after Xena ended and she DIDN’T fuck Gabrielle.

Directed and co-written by: Jeff Schaffer (writer for Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Dictator, Bruno).
Co-writer & uncredited co-director: Alec Berg (writer for Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Dictator, Late Night W/Conan O’Brien).
Co-writer & uncredited co-director: David Mandel (writer Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Dictator, all 6 eps of Clerks:TAS, Saturday Night Live).

So we have some talented people making this movie, and some talented people in this movie:

Michelle Trachtenberg as the twin girl Jenny (we JUST saw her as the goth girl in Take Me Home Tonight, plus Weeds, 5 eps of Robot Chicken, 4 eps of Six Feet Under, 17 Again, Mysterious Skin).
Travis Wester as twin guy Jamie (1 ep of Six Feet Under, 3 eps of Undressed [wow!], 6 eps of the original Beverly Hills 90210).
Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) as cheating now-ex girlfriend, Fiona.
Matt Damon as a punk band singer.
Fred Armisen (Portlandia, Saturday Night Live, Terry in Out There) as Creepy Italian Guy .
Lucy Lawless (Xena) as sexy dominatrix Madame Vandersexxx.
Joanna Lumley (Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous) as the Hostel Clerk we only see in the closing credits.
Pat Kilbane (Pucked, Monkeybone, MADtv) as American Robot Guy.
Nick Jameson as a Reporter. Quite the fall from playing President Yuri Suvarov in 15 eps of 24…
Jeffrey Tambor (George Bluth Sr. in Arrested Development, Hank Kingsley in The Larry Sanders Show, Professor Cakes in 6 eps of China, IL) as Scott’s Dad.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0356150/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Take Me Home Tonight (2011)

Clio: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

From the producers of That 70’s Show, and the director of Goon, comes a movie that takes place in the 80’s, and is about as good as Superbad, and definitely in the same vein! Most of the movie’s events take place during one night.

This was an ideal choice for a Saturday night drunken party movie, and I’m glad that’s how we watched it. VERY enjoyable movie.

“I can’t deal with this. I need to do the coke.”
“Ok, slow down…. what exactly can’t you deal with?”
“Not doing the coke.”
[Can you fucking believe this movie was delayed a long time because no studio wanted to put out a movie where people use cocaine? Pffft! This movie was finished in 2007!]

Seriously though… We’ve already watched 26 comedies this year, and this is just about the best one (besides classics that we re-watched). AND IT’S ONE MOST PEOPLE OVERLOOKED. So underlook.

Party movies are usually fun, and this one included Anna Faris and Topher Grace.  We watched this as part of our “watch all movies by Anna Faris, as long as they seem watchable”. We’ve now seen 18 out of 35 of her movies, so we finally broke the halfway point.

Lots of funny people were in this one.  And the soundtrack… Full of 80’s awesomeness! Duran Duran, Men Without Hats, INXS, Falco, Wang Chung, N.W.A., Motley Crue, The Buggles, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Grace Jones, and more.

Someone described this as “I Love You Beth Cooper but in the 1980’s”. I know I loved Beth Cooper and need to watch it again… Now I feel more of an onus to do so.

A lot of people complain that this isn’t 1988-accurate, that it feels more like 1983. Fuck off, wankers. Get a life.

People:
Topher Grace (That 70’s Show, Spider-Man 3, The Giant Mechanical Man) as the loser who works at the mall and wants the girl, Anna Faris as his twin sister, Dan Fogler (Kung Fu Panda, Fanboys) as the best friend who was in fuck-it-party-mode due to being fired that day, Teresa Palmer as the high-school crush (The Grudge 2–this girl needs more exposure!), Chris Pratt (What’s Your Number?, Jennifer’s Body), Lucy Punch (The Giant Mechanical Man, Bad Teacher, Hot Fuzz), Michelle Trachtenberg (Weeds, 5 eps of Robot Chicken, 4 eps of Six Feet Under, 17 Again, Mysterious Skin), Michael Ian Black (Stella, The State, This Is 40, Wet Hot American Summer), and a bit part from Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad, Mr. Show, Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Monkeybone, The Giant Mechanical Man). Also Michael Biehn (Aliens, The Terminator, Planet Terror, Grindhouse) — Being a big fan of The Terminator and Aliens, Topher Grace personally called Michael Biehn and offered him the role of his father.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0810922/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Rock Of Ages (2012)

Clio: 2.6/5 stars, 5.4/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.0/5 stars Netflix, 5.8/10 IMDB.

Wow! Carolyn and me rating 2.0/5 stars apart from each other (Netflix), and 2.2/10 apart from each other (IMDB). I think that is a top-1% disagreement level; we’re never this far off from each other!

This movie actually failed to keep me engaged. The plot was so thin that once it became “just people singing songs” with 5 minutes of song to every 30 seconds of plot, I began to grow bored, which then made me tired, which made me fall asleep, which made me have to take a break to wake up just to get through the movie.

A musical needs at least some plot. Not a huge amount. Just something more tangible than what we had here. Repo:The Genetic Opera, Sweeney Todd, Nightmare Before Christmas, the South Park movie, Rocky Horror Picture Show. All of these have more engaging plots. Yes, even Rocky Horror! In the end this was just too random, I didn’t care about the characters enough to care about the movie, and it started to feel like an extended music video of old songs sung by celebrities instead of the original artists. I was waiting for it to be over, and was happy when it was.

Any given moment was kinda awesome, and Tom Cruise was great… The whole cast was… But it was just too devoid of story for me. It was too much. Maybe I would have enjoyed a shorter version (I did watch the extended version, after all). It’s totally out of character for me to say that, though.

Maybe on a different night, with a different mood and body chemistry, I would have enjoyed this more. Dunno if I’ll ever be able to make myself try it again, though. Life’s too short.

Carolyn adds: I enjoyed this movie.  I didn’t love it quite as much as Take Me Home Tonight, but I had fun watching it… They did have a lot of songs, and barely any plot, but it was more the ride than the story for me, I guess.

My mom adds: I saw this on an airplane, a captive audience. I must admit that I lean towards Clio‘s opinion.

Parthena, who recommended this to us (but didn’t rate it high?!) adds:  I would rate this 3/5 stars myself! For all the reasons you listed. Very loose plot…like they couldn’t decide which story to focus on. But some parts made me laugh.

 

People-wise:
Co-written by the writer of Tropic Thunder & Iron Man 2.
The main girl is Julianne Hough (uncredited role in Harry Potter 1, Footloose remake).
Diego Boneta (Mean Girls 2)
Russell Brand (Despicable Me, Get Him To The Greek, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, St. Trinian’s)
Alec Baldwin (Dr. Seuss’ The Cat In The Hat, 5 episodes of Clerks-TAS, Beetlejuice)
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Malcolm In The Middle, 6 episodes of The Cleveland Show, Jim Gordon in Batman: Year One)
Catherine Zeta-Jones (Ocean’s Twelve, Titanic, The Mask Of Zorro)
Paul Giamatti (John Dies At The End, The Hangover Part II, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto, Sideways, Man On The Moon, Saving Private Ryan, Lady In The Water)
Kevin Nash (wrestler)
Tom Cruise (Knight And Day, Mission: Impossible, Magnolia, Eyes Wide Shut, Minority Report, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Days Of Thunder)
Malin Akerman (Childrens Hospital, The Giant Mechanical Man, Wanderlust, Watchmen, The Brothers Solomon, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle)
Will Forte (5 episodes of Gravity Falls, 5 episodes of American Dad, Saturday Night Live, 19 episodes of The Cleveland Show, Tim And Eric‘s Billion Dollar Movie, Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Sit Down Shut Up, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Fanboys, The Brothers Solomon, Clone High
Eli Roth (writer of Cabin Fever, Hostel)
T.J. Miller (Robbie in Gravity Falls, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Gulliver’s Travels, How To Train Your Dragon, Get Him To The Greek, Cloverfield
Debbie Gibson
Sebastian Bach (Skid Row)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1336608/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Pacific Rim (2013)

Clint: 4/5 stars, 8/10. 
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8.4/10. 
Jesse: 4/5 stars, 7/10. 
Jsun: 3.6/5 stars.
Evan: 3.2/5 stars.
Native ratings: 3.5/5 stars Netflix, 7.1/10 IMDB.

Watched in 3-D with Jesse, Jsun, and Evan.

I really liked it. Almost loved it. But there were generic aspects. It was good and bad at the same time. But definitely the amusement park ride I was expecting and asking for.

I mean… I barely remember there truly being a story. They fight monsters, then oh no, boss monster! So they fight ’em.  And oh, they came from a portal to another dimension that just happens to exist in a crack in the sea, so that we can have fights in the ocean where there are less expensive things to CGI.

But really… It was an awesome action movie, slightly held back by cheesy dialog and formulaic tropes.  A good choice to watch in 3-D, because it looks awesome, but is lacking in dimension.

Carolyn’s thoughts: It was entertaining. Pretty cool action monster vs. mecha suit movie.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1663662/combined

Clio: 5/5 stars, 8.3/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 6.2/10 IMDB.

Carolyn: This was a creepy movie – It made me think of Paranormal Activity, but this one seemed slightly better, but that could have been the adrenaline talking. Definitely some creepy moments.

Clio: Had me pretty freaked out. But no way was it better than Paranormal Activity. It did, however, have me distraught throughout most of the movie, even though the actual plot wasn’t really that unique. It was either done very well, or I was in a optimum mental state to enjoy a movie such as this. I thought it was just going to be a 3-star’er. Also at play is the fact that we haven’t watched a horror movie in ages, so maybe we enjoyed this more than usual because of that.

Or maybe it was just that things were pretty goddamn creepy.

This is reminiscent in feel (but not content) to The Fourth Kind.

There are indeed a lot of cliches, plot holes, people doing really stupid shit when they didn’t have to, but for godssake, this is a horror movie, what did you expect? I often rate horror movies high because I consider them to only be able to be so good, and if they are that good, they are as good as one can be, and ergo are high rated.

My sister adds: “I like your reasoning for why you “often rate horror movies high.” I think I’ve subconsciously done the same, following that same logic without realizing it.”

 

Written & directed by Scott Stewart.

Starring Keri Russell (Felicity, Mission Impossible 3, Honey I Blew Up The Kid, 1 ep of Arrested Development, 1 ep of Married With Children) as Lacy Barrett.
Josh Hamilton (Stella shorts, The Bourne Identity, 1 ep of Delocated, 1 ep of Absolutely Fabulous) as Daniel Barrett.
Dakota Goyo (young Thor in Thor) as Jesse Barrett.
Kadan Rockett as Sam Barrett.
J.K. Simmons (Oz, Tenzin in Legend Of Korra, 3 Geezers, J. Jonah Jameson in the Spiderman movies, Hulk And The Agents Of S.M.A.S.H., Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Ultimate Spider-Man, and 2 eps of The Simpsons, Juno; I Love You, Man; Jennifer’s Body, 4 eps of The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack) as Edwin Pollard.
L.J. Benet as Kevin Ratner, Jesse’s friend.
Rich Hutchman (Crazy, Stupid, Love, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon) as Mike Jessop.
Myndy Crist (The Time Machine (2002), 4 eps of Six Feet Under, 1 ep of 24) as Karen Jessop.
Annie Thurman (The Hunger Games) as Shelly Jessop, Jesse’s crush.
Ron Ostrow (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Jerky Boys, A Few Good Men, 1 ep of Firefly, 1 ep of Just Shoot Me) as Richard Klein.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2387433/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Idle Hands (1999)

Clio: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.3/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

Clio’s thoughts:  Not a masterpiece, but certainly better than most horror movies and a lot of comedy movies. Plus it’s about the actual week of Halloween, so it’s a great movie to watch around Halloween time. Especially if you want to watch a comedy, and your wife wants to watch a horror — You get both with this!

True horror-comedy — not just horror that happens to be funny — is a great genre, and one that should be explored more.  I’d recommend this movie to anyone who likes the series Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil — and vice-versa. This barely deserves to be called a horror, but then, you gotta warn the wusses who’d get angry if they ordered up a comedy and received a single drop of blood!

But anyway… Lighthearted fun. It’s about the journey, not the destination. Watch a guy’s hand go crazy. Or just watch Jessica Alba. This movie has options…

Carolyn’s thoughts:  We had seen this many years ago, and it held up to the second viewing.  I had forgotten all the awesome faces that were in this movie: Seth Green, Fred Willard, Jessica Alba (who is really hot, but doesn’t rock the short hair as well as long, in my opinion)…

Directed by Rodman Flender (2 eps of The Office, Leprechaun 2).  Written by Terri Hughes & Ron Milbauer.

Directed by Rodman Flender (2 eps of The Office, Leprechaun 2). Written by Terri Hughes & Ron Milbauer.

Starring Devon Sawa (Final Destination, Slackers, 1 ep of Spider-Man: The New Animated Series) as Anton Tobias.
Seth Green (Robot Chicken, Family Guy, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Can’t Hardly Wait, Hulk And The Agents Of S.M.A.S.H., Greg The Bunny, Titan Maximum, Without A Paddle, 8 eps of Batman Beyond, 4 eps of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 4 eps of MADtv, 3 eps of Mad, 2 eps of Heroes, 2 eps of Holliston) as Mick.
Fred Willard as Dad Tobias.
Elden Henson (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Cast Away, The Mighty Ducks) as Pnub.
Jessica Alba (Dark Angel, Fantastic Four, Little Fockers, Machete, The Ten, Never Been Kissed, 1 ep of The Office) as Molly.
Vivica A. Fox (Kill Bill, Miss Nobody, Don’t Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood, Independence Day, 11 eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Debi LeCure.
Christopher Hart (Thing in the Addams Family movies) as The Hand. This guy only plays disembodied hands.
Jack Noseworthy (Pretty Ugly People, Cecil B. DeMented, Alive, Encino Man) as Randy.
Katie Wright (2 eps of The Wonder Years) as Tanya.
Sean Whalen (Hatchet III, The FP. Halloween 2 (2009), Men In Black, Waterworld, Revenge Of The Nerds 3) as McMacy.
Nicholas Sadler (Twister) as Ruck.
Connie Ray (Thank You For Smoking, Speed 2, Space Jam, 1 ep of Quantum Leap) as Mom Tobias.
Steve Van Wormer (he does video game voices nowadays) as Curtis.
Kelly Monaco (1151 eps of General Hospital, uncredited in BASEketball) as Tiffany.
Timothy Stack (Dick Dietrick in Night Stand, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, Scary Movie 3, Cast Away, The Brave Little Toaster movies, American Pie Presents Band Camp, Maid For Each Other, 1 ep of Malcolm In The Middle) as Principal Tidwell.
Greg K (The Offspring) as Himself.
Noodles (The Offspring) as Himself.
Ron Welty (The Offspring) as Himself.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0138510/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Would You Rather (2012)

Clio: 5/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, ???/10 IMDB.

That movie was pretty disturbing. I feel like it was kind of a cross between Saw and Hostel. It had me on sitting up on the edge of my seat the entire movie, quite disturbed and worried. This is the point of a horror movie. To horrify you. And it worked.

This is one that a lot of the old school hipster-horror-snobs will dismiss as “torture porn” or merely seving to horrify the viewer without constructing some grand legend or theme or message.

It is true that there is not much to this movie at all.  It’s short and sweet and simple. But it is messed up, and leaves you thinking about how messed up it was for days afterward. So good stuff.

Carolyn: This was interesting.  Kind of like Saw meets a childhood game with a twist…

Directed by David Guy Levy.  Written by Steffen Schlachtenhaufen.
Starring Brittany Snow (John Tucker Must Die, 5 eps of Nip/Tuck, 1 ep of Family Guy) as Iris.
Jeffrey Combs (The Frighteners, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, Ratchet in Transformers Prime, The Leader in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 5 eps of Justice League, 1 ep of The Batman, 1 ep of the new Thundercats, 1 ep of Batman: The Brave And The Bold) as Shepard Lambrick.
Jonny Coyne (The Hangover 3, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Bevans, the butler.
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (8 eps of The Walking Dead, Cecil B. DeMented, The Waterboy) as Dr. Barden.
Enver Gjokaj (The Avengers, 2 eps of Dexter) as Lucas.
Sasha Grey (porn star, The Girlfriend Experience) as Amy.
John Heard (Sharknado, Big, 5 eps of The Sopranos) as Conway.
Charlie Hofheimer (The Village) as Travis, the Iraq vet.
Logan Miller (Nova in Ultimate Spider-Man, 1 ep of Childrens Hospital) as Raleigh. (Was he Iris’ brother?)
June Squibb (Atlas Shrugged Part 1, 1 ep of Eagleheart, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Just Shoot Me) as Linda, the old lady.
Eddie Steeples (My Name Is Earl, uncredited in Wristcutters: A Love Story) as Cal.
Robin Taylor as Julian, the rich son.  He was not Draco Malfoy as Clio kept thinking.
Robb Wells (Ricky in Trailer Park Boys, Hobo With A Shotgun, Goon, The Boondock Saints 2, 1 ep of Archer) as Peter.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1999995/combined