VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Following (1998)

Clint: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Native: 3.4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
(Netflix’s guess for us was 3.7/5 stars, a bit low.)

Carolyn adds: “It wasn’t as good as Memento or Inception [or Batman Begins/The Dark Knight], but it was very detailed and I thought it told a good twisted story.”

I agree with Carolyn, but I felt that only the actual twist was worthy of a 5/5 star, 9/10 rating. The movie itself wasn’t. The movie WAS really good — but dry, with a stilted fight scene more awkward than that found in the original Star Trek Series, and a low-budget feel that definitely helped the noir feel, but ultimately left things seeming unpolished.

The story, however, was top notch, and I still really liked this.

Interesting how the main character never acted again, even though he was quite good: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0369918/board/nest/66469954

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0154506/

VIDEO: MOVIE: CARTOON: ANIME: The Secret World of Arrietty aka Arrietty The Borrower aka Kari-gurashiNoArietti (2010)

Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native rating: 3.9/5 stars (Netflix incorrectly guessed we’d rate this lower–3.7/5), 7.7/10.

Hayao Miyazaki FTW!
Almost everything he touches is gold!
Can studio Ghibli do wrong?

This is really good!

Based on The Borrowers, which is something we were utterly unfamiliar with — making it more enjoyable by depriving us of any bullshit rose-colored nostalgia for the “original”.

We actually watched the English (US, not UK) dub with Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, and Carol Burnett. Normally we watch Japanese, but we ran into “technical difficulties”.

Carolyn still likes Ponyo better, but not me. I was a bit disappointed with Ponyo, despite really liking it.If I had to rank Miyazaki-involved films in order from my favorite to least, it would probably be:
Howl’s Moving Castle
Princess Mononoke
Arietty
Ponyo
Spirited Away
The Cat Returns (he was just a producer for this one)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1568921/

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Superman vs. The Elite (2012) (animated)

5/5 stars, 9/10 from both of us.
Native rating is 4.0/5 stars, 7.2/10.

Pragmatism clashes with idealism in a battle that is as much about current-world 2012 politics as it is about superheroes.

When the hell did Superman become politically relevant in a post-911 world?

Among other things, Bialya == Libya, and The Elite are pretty much a direct metahpor to the post-911 way of thinking and handling criminals, while Superman represents the pre-911 way of handling criminals.

The so-called Bruce Timm-verse of animated DC comics has been an amazing thing to experience over the past 20 years, but he is only one of 4 executive producers. He didn’t get directly involved with this one, and it has a very different (incongruous to Timm’s direct productions) feel because of that. THIS IS A GOOD THING. Variety is nice.

Seeing a whole new team of superpowered individuals that I’d never heard of was pretty cool too. The character design for Managerie was awesome!

It’s hard to fail us with these animated comic movies. They are a good substitute for the three superhero cartoons we miss the most: Batman:TAS (1990s), Superman:TAS (1990s), and Justice League (2000s).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2224455/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Dune (1984)

We’d seen SOME of this movie in 1994 or so, but we didn’t watch this properly until 2012.

Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Clint: 3/5 stars, 6.6/10, and I think I’m being extremely charitable by rounding up to a 7 here. But I was also in the most foul mood of any movie I’ve watched all year, so it may not be as bad as I thought.

Netflix gussed 3.4/5 stars for us (though it’s average is 3.6/5 stars), and IMDB rates it 6.5/10, so it seems the general public likes this ever-so-slightly more than we do.

Less confusing than a typical David Lynch movie, due to it not being a David Lynch story. But overall, I thought the story was flawed with confusion. I couldn’t even name the two opposing factions, because there was so little exposition.

But then again, I was distracted by some unnecessary drama that walked into my home prior to watching this.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087182/

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Re-watched. Upgraded 9/10 to 10/10 (5/5 stars of course). Charlie Kaufman writes amazing movies.

“A couple undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour, but it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.”

Sounds like a romantic comedy, right? Definitely not. It’s a dramatic romance. It’s the 69th highest rating on IMDB, and it deserves it.

Any couple having problems or fighting with each other could actually get some therapeutic value from watching this, too! It teaches us something about ourselves, via watching the characters go through their travails.

As a bonus, you get to see Frodo as a total creeper, and Kirsten Dunst jumping around in her underwear and swooning over an older man.

Another amazing cerebral movie that we just had to watch again!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338013/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Adaptation (2002)

Clint: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 10/10.
(She tried to say 8/10, then saw that she previously rated it 10/10, but felt that she liked it better this time, so she embarassedly changed her 8/10 back to 10/10. Not sure how I feel about that rating process.).

Re-watched because Clint got too drunk when we watched it back in ~2003, remembering nothing but “green lines”.

Plus it’s Charlie Kauffman (Being John Malkovitch, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind), who is possibly the most amazing writer in Hollywood.

And NIC CAGE!! Playing… Charlie Kauffman, who is writing the movie that we are watching, which is about adapting a book-within-the-movie into a movie-within-the-movie.

Yes: 4 levels here.

Our reality, our reality’s characters in the movie, the movie-within-the-movie, and the book that is based on.

And all 4 levels are tied to each other by causality.

They said a movie about flowers (rare orchids) couldn’t be interesting. They were wrong.

WITNESS THE SNORTING OF GREEN LINES.
See Nic Cage as IDENTICAL TWINS.

Good, good stuff. Very cerebral.  This movie is a brain-buzz.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0268126/

Twelve Monkeys (1995)

Not watched since college… but Terry Gilliam is both my favorite director, and the director of my favorite movie ever (Brazil).

We gave this another go, and it only caused us to upgrade from 9/10 to 10/10 (5/5 stars, natch).

Amazing movie.

I think this is some of Bruce Willis’s (and Brad Pitt’s) best work.

Trippy movie.
Surreal movie.
Time travel movie.
Apocalypse movie.
Mystery movie.
This has a lot going for it.

Recommend this as an opener for the best memory/confusion trilogy you could watch: 12 Monkeys, followed by Memento, followed by Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. (Warm up with said trilogy by watching Adaptation(2002).)

MIND-BLOW TIME: This movie is a 5th-dimensional snapshot. Truth.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114746/

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