I watch crappy movies so you don't have to.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Movie Review For July 1, 2015: MAGIC MIKE XXL and TERMINATOR: GENISYS

MAGIC MIKE XXL
Rated: R
Stars: Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Amber Heard
Plot: A group of male strippers go on one last road trip...to a stripper convention.

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD and make someone else rent it


Have you ever seen a movie with a barely-there plot, painful dialogue, amateur editing, actors that just mail in their roles, and pathetic directing? Well, if you haven't, go check out MAGIC MIKE XXL and you'll see all of that and more. 

This movie looks and feels like they knew that no matter how bad the movie is they would still make money off of it. They are probably right, but it's a shame that they didn't even try to make a good movie. 

I saw this movie with two lovely ladies, one of them loved the first one and hated this one. The other was totally fine with this being a crap flick as long as she got a good dose of abs. I just wanted the pain to end.

Also, I feel that I should give some sort of a heads up on this movie...This is not Hollywood glamorized sexy, smooth dancing guys. This is hard core, grind-it-out, strip club stripping. 

There is one, and only one, good reason to see this movie. If you do you will never look at Michael Strahan the same. 




TERMINATOR: GENYSIS
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney
Plot: John Connor sends a soldier back in time to protect his mother from a new Terminator, but the game changes when he gets there

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee


This is a movie that should have never been made. They should have left this franchise alone. That said, GENYSIS isn't all that bad of a movie. It's a pretty fun popcorn flick that has enough suspense and intrigue to keep the casual movie-goer engaged and happy. 

There is nothing spectacular in this film that makes it worth spending the money to see it in theaters,  so unless you are just looking for a fun, turn-the-brain-off night out then you'd be better off just waiting for the DVD. 

For fans of the original films this one will annoy you on several levels. Many of which are related to the main characters. It's probably best if you just pretend this movie never existed. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

DVD Review For June 30, 2015: GET HARD, DANNY COLLINS, WHILE WE'RE YOUNG, and THE GUNMAN

GET HARD
Rated: R
Stars: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, TI
Plot: A wealthy businessman hires a guy to teach him how to survive prison after he's convicted of fraud
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this movie today, if you can handle the raunch


This is the funniest and also raunchiest movie I've seen so far in 2015. There were several moments where we were all laughing so hard that we missed the next line in the film. There were also moments where we were audibly cringing so loud at the raunchiness that we missed entire scenes of dialogue.

Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart play well to each other's strengths and have great comedic chemistry. I was also pleasantly surprised at how well TI can act. A warning though on Ferrell's performance... Once again we see way too much of him.

The plot is actually quite compelling for a comedy and there is a good amount of suspense to keep this from being a paper-thin, one-dimensional film.

If you are looking to guffaw this weekend this is your movie, but if you don't do well with raunchy humor you need to stay far away from this flick.




DANNY COLLINS
Rated: R
Stars: Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Bobby Cannavale, Jennifer Garner
Plot: An aging rock star is giving a life-changing letter that leads him to connecting with his adult son and family.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this DVD this week


To be honest, when I saw the trailer for this film I thought it looked okay, but it didn't seem to be much more than an old-people-find-love-while-teaching-each-other-life-lessons flick. I'm glad it is so much more than that.

Al Pacino does a nice job, but Bobby Cannavale completely steals the show. He is spectacular. I wouldn't go so far as to say his performance is award-worthy, but it is absolutely worth the price of admission.

This film is heartwarming, dramatic, funny, heartbreaking and beautiful. I laughed out loud, I came really close to crying (which is saying a lot because I rarely cry at movies), and I held my breath in suspense. This story is told so well that I even cared about the hotel valet and receptionist.

I am still reeling at the ending of this film. It is one of those amazing moments in film when everything comes together, great actors, great acting, great writing, and great directing leading to a scene that is so full of tension, drama and suspense that you feel like the screen is going to explode. And if it doesn't, you just might.

Throw on top of all of that a John Lennon-led soundtrack and you've got a movie well worth seeing.




THE GUNMAN
Rated: R
Stars: Sean Penn, Idris Elba, Javier Bardem
Plot: A security expert makes a controversial kill and must go into hiding in order to stay one step ahead of the hitmen after him.
Trailer

Clint Says: If you have to see this make someone else rent it


This movie is one hour and 55 minutes of cliche action flick. It's so cliche that even the big twist is painfully obvious.

There are massive plot holes, several events that arise that are never explained, and the bad guy gets killed in what may go down in action movie history as the most ridiculous death of a villain ever. When people laugh out loud at the death scene you know it's bad.

The movie does have a few moments of nice suspense, but overall there is nothing new or better than any of the action flicks that it stole its ideas from.




WHILE WE'RE YOUNG
Rated: R
Stars: Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried
Plot: A forty-something couple begins hanging out with a twenty-something couple, but things aren't what they seem
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent it if you've got nothing better planned


If this film had condensed the first hour into about 10 minutes and then gotten to the last 45 minutes it would have been a much better movie. Unfortunately, by the time I sat through the first hour I pretty much just wanted it to end.

It felt like Ben Stiller was just going through the motions, Naomi Watts didn't really add much to the story, and Amanda Seyfried wasn't used to her full potential. Adam Driver, on the other hand, was incredible, as usual.

While I did like the twist that completely blindsided me, it wasn't enough to overcome the mundane feel and pace of the rest of the film.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Movie Review For June 26, 2015: TED 2, MAX, and ME, AND EARL, AND THE DYING GIRL

TED 2
Rated: R
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Amanda Seyfried, Seth MacFarlane
Plot: Ted's civil rights are under attack by people saying he is nothing more than property, but Ted's friends are their to help in their own special way.
Trailer

Clint Says: Don't even bother, unless you love raunchy, juvenile humor.


TED 2 is full of stupid, juvenile, and raunchy humor. It has a ridiculous plot, the story is thin and the characters are all one-dimensional idiots.

That said, this movie is stupidly funny. I missed the dialogue of a good five minutes of this film because the audience was laughing so hard we couldn't hear it. There are three scenes in particular that are easily three of the funniest scenes I have ever seen on the big screen.

A special "thank you" needs to go out to Amanda Seyfried for playing along with a great gag in the movie that is spectacularly funny.

I really can't recommend this movie on any level other than comedy, at that it excels. In all other areas of film it fails miserably.  But if all you are looking for is a night of dirty jokes this movie will be more than enough.




MAX
Rated: PG
Stars: Thomas Hayden Church, Josh Wiggins, Luke Kleintank
Plot: A military dog is given to the family of his military trainer after the trainer dies
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD


This is one of those movies that could have been so much better if it had been PG-13. I understand what they wanted to do and the audience they wanted to reach and for that I am thankful, but this movie depended on quite a bit of action and suspense that had to be watered down significantly in order to keep the PG rating.

This feels more like a made-for-TV special than a big screen feature film. The acting is mediocre at best, and sometimes it is truly cringe-worthy. The story feels forced and contrived, and the drama, conflict, and suspense are hardly there.

While the film is good for almost all ages, there is nothing in this movie that makes it worth seeing in the theater. Wait for the DVD. You won't miss anything at all and you'll save a few bucks as well.




ME, AND EARL, AND THE DYING GIRL
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, RJ Cyler
Plot: Two friends that make movies together try to make one for another friend with Leukemia,
Trailer

Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this movie now


This may be my favorite film of the year so far. I wouldn't be surprised or unhappy if it ended up on my Top 10 list for 2015.

It is quirky, awkward, authentic, incredibly funny and despairingly sad. It's like THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and NAPOLEON DYNAMITE mashed into one film with a little bit of DIARY OF A WIMPY KID thrown in for good measure.

The three main characters are perfectly cast and the chemistry between them all is beautiful. It's striking to see how well three completely different people can come together in such a harmonious way.

Grab a friend, grab some tissues and go see this movie as soon as possible. But make sure you leave some extra free time after the movie to talk about it with your friends because you will HAVE to talk about this film after you see it.

Monday, June 22, 2015

DVD Review For June 23, 2015

There are no major release films coming out on DVD this week.

If you are looking for something to watch at home, go out and get:










If you want to see something great in theaters, go see:








Thursday, June 18, 2015

Movie Review For June 19, 2015: INSIDE OUT and DOPE

INSIDE OUT
Rated: PG
Stars: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, and Mindy Kaling
Plot: The emotions of a young girl are thrown into chaos after she moves
Trailer

Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this movie now


This film is an instant classic. If you are looking for a DVD to finally replace FROZEN, you only need to wait about four more months. I put this movie on par with the likes of UP and TOY STORY.

The world building is spectacular and the animation is beautiful. The story is told well and is highly compelling. This movie will make you laugh to the point of shooting your drink out of your nose and it will make you ugly cry as well.

The writers did an excellent job on this screenplay by taking characters that are quite literally one-dimensional (they are emotions like joy and sadness and can only act in those ways), and made them interesting.

My only problems with the movie are that there are a couple of scenes that may be a little too intense for the 5 and under crowd, but it is a PG film so that's not really a big deal. The more pressing issue is that joy is characterized by a tall, skinny, pretty girl while sadness is short and fat. Is that really what we want our kids to believe?

Those issues aside this may well be the best animated film of the year when 2015 comes to a close. Grab the whole family and enjoy this Pixar masterpiece.




DOPE
Rated: R
Stars: Shameik Moore, Kiersey Clemons, Tony Revolori, Zoe Kravitz
Plot: Three misfit high school students, intent on making their lives better, end up forced to deal drugs or face the consequences
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD and make someone else rent it


If I was giving a score for potential this film might be the winner. The concept is so unique and interesting, unfortunately the execution was horrible.

The film makes huge plot jumps that force the viewer to fill in major gaps in the action, there are scenes that don't make any sense to the plot at all and other scenes that give us way more information than we needed.

If the powers that be on this film got it into the hands of the right people this idea could have been turned into an Oscar contender. Instead, it will be completely forgotten by the masses before the Oscars even air.

As I walked out of the theater I looked at the time. I was shocked that this movie was only 90ish minutes long. If you had asked me to guess the length I would have legitimately thought it was somewhere between 2 1/2 and 3 hours long. I can't even begin to tell you how this movie drags on.

I also hate the use of racial slurs, this film drops the N word about 150 times. I get that it's a cultural thing, but you can make the point without putting in the actual word every other sentence.

It's really unfortunate that a film with such a great concept isn't worth your time or money.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Non-Review of LOVE AND MERCY

LOVE AND MERCY
Rated: PG-13
Stars: John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti
Plot: The story of the life of Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson
Trailer

Clint Says: I saw it, but I can't give it an honest review



Dear Reader,

This film came out a couple of weeks ago and typically I try to see as many of the films as I can before they are widely released. This film was one where I just couldn't do it. I wanted to see it, and at the same time I wanted this movie to be washed from my memory forever. This back-and-forth mental tug-of-war lasted about 10 days until I finally got the nerve to go see it.

I sat near the exit just in case I needed to make a quick escape.

As the movie began I got that queasy feeling you get when you are about to go on a roller coaster that you don't want to go on. I almost left.

But, I stayed.

And this movie wrecked me.

Most people will see LOVE AND MERCY and walk out feeling pretty good. Like they just saw a nicely done overcomer story. Making my reaction to the film seem completely out of place. But there is a reason for it.

I lived in Malibu, California in the early 1990's and over the course of a couple of years became acquainted with Brian Wilson. I say acquainted, because during that time I don't even know if it was possible for him to actually get to know someone. He was so fried from drug use and the forced over-medication by one of his confidants that most of the time I was around him he was barely able to talk. I'm sure back then he would have recognized me on some level, but there is no way he would remember me now.

I was just a teenager scooping ice cream at the local shop that he would frequent. Occasionally, we would exchange pleasantries, but that was about it...for him. For me, I would see this man...this legend...sitting there fumbling with his treat, sometimes so much so that his girlfriend would spoon feed him, and it devastated me.

This was the guy that had written the songs that defined a decade and are still powerful anthems to this day. This was a guy that had it all and, for whatever reason, threw it all away for a high. (I know now that he had mental issues and was being purposely over-medicated, but back then I thought that it was all his own doing).

I didn't understand. And even now, I still don't.

In a way, I am thankful for the time I got to spend with and around Brian Wilson. He basically showed me how not to live my life. The fact that I never got into drug use in any way is partially because of seeing what it did to him.

Watching the movie threw me right back into the early 90s. John Cusack absolutely nails it as Wilson. Other than that I can't honestly tell you if it was a good movie or not. Just thinking about the movie gives me a knot in my stomach.

So, if you were hoping to come here and find out if you should go see this movie or not, my apologies. I hope you will understand my reasoning and come back again for my next review.

Thank you for reading,

Clint

Monday, June 15, 2015

DVD Review For June 16, 2015: CHAPPIE, RUN ALL NIGHT, THE LAZARUS EFFECT, and UNFINISHED BUSINESS

CHAPPIE
Rated: R
Stars: Sharito Copley, Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver
Plot: In the future all crime is policed by robots, but one of those robots is taken and reprogrammed to think and feel for himself.
Trailer

Clint Says: Don't even bother


Imagine a world in the amazingly far-off future of 2016 where we all have mullets and gangsters wear neon clothing straight out of the 1980's and we make movies that are violent and useless mash-ups of SHORT CIRCUIT and TRANSCENDENCE. If you can imagine that then you've seen CHAPPIE.

This movie may have allowed me to break my record for the most eye rolls and audible exclamations like "are you kidding me" in a two hour period.

This may be the worst performance of Hugh Jackman's career, not because he's bad in the role, but because they gave him absolutely nothing with which to work. His character is painfully one-dimensional and his transformation from good guy to bad guy takes about 4 nanoseconds and it's done with weak motivation.

They have been marketing this film as "from the director of DISTRICT 9" which makes no sense to me, because that was a horrible film as well. Here is a perfect example of how ridiculous this flick is: The really, really bad guy has such a thick accent that even though he's speaking English they had to put in subtitles.

They should have pulled the plug on this epic waste of time.




RUN ALL NIGHT
Rated: R
Stars: Liam Neeson, Joel Kinnaman, Ed Harris
Plot: Two life-long friends and gangsters go after each other after one has to kill the son of the other one in order to save his own son's life.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this when you get around to it


I've said before that Liam Neeson has really found his niche making action films where he's a quasi-bad guy with a conscience and is trying to make things right. That said, maybe he shouldn't take the lead role in every single movie that comes out with that plot line.

While this movie does have an incredible cast, all of which do great work in making their characters feel authentic, they don't have a lot to work with in this basic story. And while the story is fairly entertaining, it isn't nearly as compelling as it could be, nor do we see the character depth in some of the principle players that would make us want to care more about the outcome.

There are several large plot holes and many moments of convenience throughout the film that will probably drive you crazy. For example, can anyone explain to me how two injured and tired guys can be in a small building surrounded by 50 cops and still manage to sneak out the back door? It's moments like that that make this a film that could have been great into one that is mediocre at best.





THE LAZARUS EFFECT
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass
Plot: A group of scientists create a way to bring life back from the dead, but their experiment has deadly consequences
Trailer

Clint Says: If you have to see it, make someone else rent it


When I saw the trailer for this movie I was really hoping it would be a smart thriller, instead it's a hack horror flick with plot holes the size of California and, quite possibly, the worst excuse ever for someone to go on a killing spree.

This movie clocks in at about an hour and twenty minutes, but that is still too long. This should have been a short film. It still would have been horrible, but at least then we would have only had to endure 45 minutes of it.

There are so many things in this movie that are never explained, or done out of convenience that even the most casual movie-goer will be annoyed. I don't even think the uber-fans of the horror genre are going to like this film.




UNFINISHED BUSINESS
Rated: R
Stars: Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco, Tom Wilkinson
Plot: Three guys from a small business travel to Europe to close a major deal, but everything goes wrong.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this if you have nothing better to do


If you've seen one Vince Vaughn movie you've seen them all, and this one is no different. He plays a big, goofy, but lovable adult child with no real business sense, but is a member of Mensa when it comes to street smarts. And end the end everyone lives happily ever after except the one guy that was mean to everybody the whole time.

This movie will give you a few laughs and several cringe-worthy moments, but overall it's pretty slow-paced. As far as Vince Vaughn flicks go this is average at best...and that's not saying much.

If you are looking for a mind-numbing night UNFINISHED BUSINESS will take care of that for you.