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/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The City Of Lost Children (1995)

Watched in 2004, but never reviewed on this blog.

This is an AMAZINGLY GREAT, VISUALLY SPECTACULAR, twisted, anachronistic fairytale, from the director of Amelie (2001) and Delicatessan (1991). This was the movie he made in between those. (Let’s not talk about Alien:Resurrection.)

“A scientist in a surrealist society kidnaps children to steal their dreams, hoping that they slow his aging process.”

That doesn’t even begin to address how awesome this movie is.

The cinematography is amazing.
Ron Perlman before he was known to me is amazing.
The sets are amazing.
The concepts are amazing — things never thought of in any movie I’ve ever seen.
Even the children are great.

There is a scene as twisted as one of the murder scenes from Strange Days, yet this movie is almost a fairy tale.

This could be a Tim Burton movie. But it’s not. It’s better ;)

Native rating: 7.7/10, 3.7/5 stars.
Our rating: 9/10, 5/5 stars.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112682/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Jesus Henry Christ (2012)

Clint/Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.

Native ratings: 3.0/5 Netflix stars, 6.1/10 IMDB.

Carolyn adds: “Quirky. Not as comedic as Clint lead me to believe.”

W.L. Swarts points out that this is basically a Wes Anderson movie: http://wlswarts.blogspot.com/2012/04/dennis-lee-makes-wes-anderson-film.html

Yea. This was definitely a very unique and quirky indie comedy-drama, though the comedy stops and it simply becomes an interesting dramatic story.

The real gold in this movie are the quirky, absolutely unique characters. They’re worth getting to know for 90 minutes!

Best line? “Why were you expelled?” “Heresy.” Very funny coming from a 6-year-old who’s smarter than every adult in the movie.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1393742/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: RE-REVIEW: Mind Game (2004)

Clint:::::: 3.8/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.

THIS IS A SERIOUS DOWNGRADE from my previous rating of 5/5 stars, 10/10, after watching it 7 yrs ago in 2005, where I reviewed it on my blog at https://clintjcl.wordpress.com/2005/08/09/best-movie-ive-seen-in-a-long-long-long-time/

… Simply put, I didn’t like this as much as the first time. I wasn’t as impressed by the crazy, style-changing animation as I was the first time around (perhaps).

The film won Japan’s most prestigous anime award, and is pretty inspiring and very unique… But it just doesn’t hold up to a rewatching as well as we’d hoped.

Sucks to have to downgrade from a 10 to a 7! 50% of people who watch this movie give it 9-10/10, so it’s still quite good, and better than 95% of anime out there. Perhaps one’s enjoyment of this movie is based on one’s mood?

Studio 4oC is an awesome studio, though, and I automatically pay more attention to something if “4oC” is attached to it.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0452039/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us
3/5 stars, 7/10 was what we gave Kung Fu Panda 1.
Native rating: 4.0/5 stars, 7.4/10. (Netflix guess for us=3.8, which makes sense since we rated the original lower).

We actually liked this more than 1! Fancy that!

I wonder if this has to do with the fact that we watched Kung Fu Panda 1 during our movie-glut of watching 200+ movies in a year.

We stopped doing that, because we eventually learned (by analyzing our numerical ratings) that watching movies more often makes you enjoy them less. The rating disparity could be completely because we are watching movies at a rate of about 90/yr instead of 200/yr (the rate we held up for several years after buying a 52″ tv – I think the honeymoon finally wore off).

Who knows.

But this was good.
And funny.
And entertaining.
And well-animated.

I forgot just how funny the dialog and attitude of these movies were.

I had put this off for a long time. Probably because of how nonplussed we were by episode 1 of the animated series.

But it turns out this is really good!
And you get to learn more backstory about Po (the kung-fu panda).

I’ll have to remember NOT to pass up movie 3 when it comes out. This franchise is better than we remember.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1302011/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)

3.6/5 stars, 7/10 from both of us.
5/5 stars,   8.4/10 was what we gave the first movie:
So this one’s worse.
Native rating: 3.7/5 stars, 4.6/10 (ouch) on IMDB:
So the public agrees.
Netflix’s guess for us was 3.8 which is pretty damn close.

It wasn’t as good as the first one, but it was still entertaining.

It was a very over-the-top with the comedy/Nic Cage acting. I wonder if he was still using Brian Bates’ Way Of The Wyrd (basis for Sabbat’s Dreamweaver concept album, which I wrote a 5900 word post about) as the basis of his acting. Maybe not. These are the Crank / Gamer directors now, and maybe they directed him to be more Nic-Cage-over-the-top.

Outlaw Vern, who I usually agree with, liked this better than the original:
http://outlawvern.com/2012/02/21/ghost-rider-presents-spirit-of-vengeance/
His review includes a big quote from Nic Cage about Brian Bates’s book, as well as some mentions of Vampire’s Kiss. Outlaw Vern is right about the CGI being worse. What used to be a cool transformation is now kind of comical at times.

So yeah… This was worth seeing because we love the superhero genre, but it wasn’t good as the original.
Though apparently, some liked it better!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1071875/

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