VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Underworld: Awakening (2012)

7.6/10 from both of us (imdb avg is 6.5/10).
4/5 stars from Carolyn, 3.6/5 stars from me
(avg Netflix is 3.9/5 stars, with a guess of 4.1 for us)

I call this Underworld 3 because it’s the 3rd non-prequel movie in the 4-movie franchise. We now have 0 through 3.

Anyway, this was an improvement over the 3rd movie, Underworld 0:Rise Of The Lycans. Kate Beckinsale is back, since she was barely in the prequel movie (though it’s easy enough to mistake Rhona Mitra for Kate, if you forget the eye color difference).

It’s been too long since the first two Underworld movies for me to really say whether this was any better or worse than 1-2.

The main twist here is that vampires and werewolves are now known to exist by the general public.

For the most part, this just feels like a Resident Evil movie. Moreso than any of the previous Underworld movies. Whether that is good or bad is your choice.

This had some good action, as expected — but the story could use a bit of work. The movie was kind of short. Not too much happened. There needs to be more movies in the franchise, because this one created more new issues than it resolved.

But it was still good. High-budget, polished action.


VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Death Machine (1994)

4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us, though the general public only rated it 2.7/5 stars (Netflix guessed 2.6 for us!) and 5.5/10.

This is the closest film I’ve ever seen to the movie Hardware (1990).

There are a few scenes that seem to be in DIRECT homage to Hardware. It lacks some of the comedy and psychedelia in Hardware, as well as the amazing cameos…

But in terms of cinematography, subject matter, style, and even character appearance (including the “villain”), this is simply a Poor Man’s Hardware. It even has William Hootkins (“we all sing, the wibbery-wobberly..walk!”), though he’s playing a suit instead of a perv.

Despite this being a poor man’s Hardware, it’s still better than 95% of scifi horror movies from the 1990s. So it gets 4/5 stars and 8/10, instead of the 5/5 stars and 9/10 rating that Hardware received.

Brad Dourif is pretty fricking crazy in this, and a lot of people are saying Heath Ledger must have watched this film at some point as inspiration for his insane portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight.

We watched the 111-minute (PAL/Europe) cut, though I would have preferred to get the 128 or 120-minute cut. Stay away from the 99-minute Netflix cut. You’ll be sorry. Get the PAL (europe) DVD if at all possible.



VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Smurfs (2011)

Clint & Carolyn: 3/5 stars (Netflix avg=3.6, guess for us=3.3).
Clint: 6.4/10 (high 6)
Carolyn: 6.6/10 (low 7)
IMDB: 5.3/10.

There is so much wrong with this, but could I really refuse to watch a Smurfs movie because I think it MIGHT be lame? No, I could not. Especially with Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays (Hiro’s perfect match from Heroes), and Sofia Vergara.

And was it lame? Yes, in some ways.

Of course, the original 80’s cartoon is pretty goddamn lame if you sit down and watch an episode of it in 2012, so one could argue that this movie was actually an improvement. The problem is peoples’ rose-tinted nostalgia that causes them to reject everything made on an old idea. But The Smurfs WERE ALREADY AN OLD IDEA when they came to American television. The Smurfs as a franchise are 50 years old; the cartoon is only 30 years old. It was already an adaptation before it was adapted for this movie. So get over it. The movie was fun.

They went into the real world, which is a cheesy plot device used in so many cartoon movies, as well as an excuse to cheap out on the animation budget by using live-action people.

But there was also a real charm in seeing Gargamel as a ridiculous live-action person caught in a world he doesn’t belong to. He assumes homeless people are other wizards. It’s funny, in a 3rd Rock From the Sun Season 1 kind of way, to see someone try to figure out a world they don’t belong in.
And the CGI on Azrael was really cute.

When all is said and done, we have to admit to liking this movie, even if it wasn’t great.


VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Scream 4 (2011)

4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars (Netflix’s guess for us=3.9), 6.3/10 IMDB.

We definitely had to read the wikipedia summaries of the last 3 movies, because it has been soooo long since the first 3 Scream movies came out. Plus, the 2nd and 3rd ones weren’t as good.

Fortunately, Scream 4 seems to be continuing the trend of resurrecting old horror franchises with a sequel better than the last few sequels.

Final Destination 5 was better than FD3, 4, and maybe 2. And Scream 4 is better than S3 & S2.

Horray for fixing broken franchises!


VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Wicker Man (2006)

3/5 stars, 7/10 from Clint & Carolyn.
3/5 stars, 6/10 from Parthena.
2/5 stars, 5/10 from Eli.
Native rating: 3.6/10.

Wow. What a low IMDB rating. Talk about a movie that has major remake-hate! By rating it 7/10, Carolyn & I are in the top 12% of opinion in this movie!

When I watched selected scenes from the 1970’s version, it just looked incredibly cheesy and dated. Nude songs being sung?  Shitty film stock? Men instead of women? Cheap-looking sets? Meh. Pretty sure if I watched the original I’d like it less than this.

Plus, we really like Nic Cage and Frances Controy from Six Feet Under. And Ellen Burstyn is good too.

I was the only one who recognized Leelee Sobieski from Armageddon.

NOT THE BEES should have gone on longer!

It was better than Carolyn & Eli expected.

It was actually pretty creepy. Nothing great, but I’ve seen worse. Not the “worst movie ever” that so many people claim it to be.


Clint: 1.2/5 stars, 3/10.
Carolyn: 1/5 stars, 3/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, 4.3/10 IMDB.

Carolyn: This movie wasn’t that good. It wasn’t really that good to start with, and then it took a nosedive in the middle and there was no recovering from that. They didn’t really do a good job of introducing the characters, or the premise of the movie. Callum Blue did a good job of being a douche, especially towards his assistant, Jenny. Worst boss ever! But that was it. (Clint still doesn’t like him as much, and had a false memory of him playing Doomsday in Smallville, but no, he was Zod!)

Clint: So the gimmick was an interesting idea, and it was billed as a comedy. A comedy where somebody talks using only slogans from commercials. I was hoping for something with a kind of Dream On meets Liar Liar type vibe — something nostalgic yet funny, with lots of references.

And while I did get lots of nostalgic references to various commercials I’d thought about, THAT WAS THE ONLY REDEEMING QUALITY. (Well, that and looking at Posey and MacDonald.)

I had thought this was one of those low-rated comedies, but once again, IT’S AM AMBUSH DRAMEDY. It’s not a comedy at all. Some things that are occasionally funny happen. That’s true in horrors, that’s true in thrillers, that’s true in documentaries, and it DOESN’T MAKE IT A FUCKING COMEDY. Stop calling dramedies comedies. I should have researched this one more thoroughly. It was the perfect storm of me being tired of people underrating movies, and thus ignoring them when it counted the most. I apologize for blowing one of our alcohol-movie-watchings on this turd!

Back to Carolyn:

Then there’s some dumb speech consisting of advertisements and Callum is left there with a profound look on his face, but there was nothing profound about any of it! Karen and her daughter have some love-hate relationship going on, and “oh, he saved me from being raped, so let’s have a montage of a shopping ‘daycation’ or whatever the fuck they called it.” Oh so special! We’ll have a touching moment talking about the death of the father, and then quickly we’ll have some jokes about having sex with Adan and the advertisements that he would say in response…. and then we’ll have some guitar playing! Yay! Then the daughter joins in and oh wow, what a great movie. NOT! This movie was awful. Oh, and what is the main point? That Lucas is going to take over the company and find Adan unfit to be CEO? And then that happens, and neither Adan nor Karen seem that bothered by it. It just didn’t have any redeeming factors. I downgraded my rating overnight, and I still feel like downgrading it the more I think about it. I started at 2/5, 5/10, then this morning it became 1.6/5, 5/10, and now it’s 1/5, 4/10.

Directed by Zack Bernbaum. Written by Michael Hamilton-Wright.

Starring Bruce Greenwood (Pike from Star Trek (2009), Batman in Young Justice, Batman in Batman: Under The Red Hood, President in National Treasure: Book Of Secrets, I Robot, ) as Adan Kundle.
Parker Posey (Dazed And Confused, Scream 3, Clockwatchers, Superman Returns (2006), Coneheads) as Karen Hillridge.
Callum Blue (Zod in Smallville) as Lucas Foster.
Allie MacDonald (yum) as Meghan Hillridge, Karen’s daughter.
Allison Dawn Doiron as Jenny, Lucas’ assistant.
Howard Rosenstein as Senator James Allen.


ABUSE OF AUTHORITY: RAW: Dallas Cops Shoot Unarmed Mentally Ill Man Standing in the Street!!

Even if the guy had a knife and lunged at the cops, they should still be tried for murder.  A trained professional can do nothing but kill a person in the easiest possible way? These are not heroes, these are cowards. 



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 723 other followers