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

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

DVD Review For September 16, 2014

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff
Plot: Two teens with cancer fall in love and learn how to live a beautiful, if short, life.
Trailer

Clint Says: Buy this DVD...and some tissues


Not only is TFIOS the best movie of the year so far, (I told you MALEFICENT wouldn't hold the title very long), it has a great chance of holding that title when the year finally comes to a close. It is a master-class work by the entire cast and crew. 

Fans of the book by the same name will not be even the slightest bit disappointed by the film adaptation. It is rare to see a movie that so closely follows the book. I liken it to the first HARRY POTTER film where almost every bit of the book was portrayed on the big screen, and in a way that was very true to the book.

Shailene Woodley gives an Oscar-worthy performance and Ansel Elgort is charming throughout. Woodley and Elgort are perfectly cast as Hazel and Augustus, and even the hard-core YA fans aren't going to have a problem with the they-are-brother-and-sister-in-DIVERGENT-but-lovers-in-TFIOS-how-weird thing.

For those of you out there who say, "ugh, I don't want to see some cancer death movie," don't be so quick to judge. In THE HUNGER GAMES kids killed kids, yes, but that wasn't what it was about. In TFIOS, teens are dying from cancer, but the story is about them living, and loving, to the fullest that they can in the short infinity they are given.

I have seen TFIOS twice, something I rarely do simply because I see so many movies that I only have time to see ones that I REALLY love more than once. The second time through I was able to really see the layers that make this film so enjoyable.

NOTE: A few months ago I had the honor of hosting the DEMAND OUR STARS event at War Memorial in Nashville with John Green, Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff and 2,000 screaming TFIOS fans. You can see the recap of that event here. We also got to interview all four of them on Mix 92.9 the following day. You can hear that interview here, or see it here.

They are all very down-to-earth, genuinely good people that were able to come together and make a truly stellar film.



GODZILLA
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen
Plot: Godzilla returns from the deep, forcing humanity to come together to try to bring down their common foe.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this DVD for a really fun weekend


As far as monster movies go this may be one of the best ones ever. If you're looking for cinematic perfection, you should probably skip this flick.

This is one of those great summer popcorn movies that gives you tons of action, suspense, chills, jumps and bumps, but you can't think about the plot too much. You just have to leave all reality at the door and escape into the movie.

The effects are A+ and the acting is surprisingly above average for a film like this. If you're looking for a fun movie without too much thinking involved, GODZILLA would be a great choice.



THINK LIKE A MAN TOO
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union, Michael Ealy
Plot: A group of friends reunite for a wedding in Las Vegas, but things don't go according to plan.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent the DVD if you've got nothing better to do.


If you saw the first THINK LIKE A MAN then you've already seen this movie. It's the same people with the same jokes, it just happens to be in Vegas this time.

Kevin Hart is funny as always and if you think he's great then you'll probably be happy with this movie. If you are simply looking for a fun comedy, you'll want to pass on this film and go for something with a bit more originality.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Movie Review For September 12, 2014

DOLPHIN TALE 2
Rated - PG
Stars: Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman
Plot: The staff at Clearwater must find a companion for Winter before she is taken away from them forever.
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters.


This is one of those films that I knew going into it, it was going to be a feel-good movie with a good dose of inspiration. I was surprised that that movie was actually very good and well done beyond the expected.

I saw this movie in a theater packed with children and adults with missing limbs or other physical challenges. Talking with them after the film helped me to realize how inspirational Winter is to so many of them.

I sat next to a young friend of mine, Zion, who had both of his feet amputated a couple of years ago. He kept whispering to me during the movie all the facts about Winter that the movie was leaving out. It was one of the more joyful movie experiences of my life.

This is a great family-friendly film that will inspire you and give you hope.



NO GOOD DEED
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Idris Elba, Taraji Henson
Plot: A woman and her two children are terrorized in their own home by a man that talked his way in.
Trailer

Clint says: I haven't seen this yet, but I have serious doubts about it.


I was scheduled to see a screening of this film earlier in the week. 10 hours before the screening the studio canceled it giving us the excuse that they were worried about the surprise twist ending being revealed before the film's release. This really makes no sense, because reviews see films with wild twists all the time and they aren't revealed.

I have a feeling that this is simply a ploy to try to have at least one good weekend for a really bad movie.



THE DROP
Rated: R
Stars: James Gandolfini, Noomi Rapace, Tom Hardy
Plot: A bartender in a rough neighborhood finds himself in the middle of criminal activity.
Trailer

Clint says: Save some money and see a matinee


James Gandolfini returns as a rough mobster in his last feature film, and Tom Hardy gives an exemplary performance once again.

While the story itself isn't overly compelling or even very interesting, the fact that it is Gandolfini's last movie makes it worth a watch.

It's not a bad film at all, but it won't be up for any major awards this year.

Monday, September 8, 2014

DVD Review for September 9, 2014

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan
Plot: Captain America is forced into a battle with an old foe, but he must be careful because he's not sure who he can trust.


Clint Says: Buy this DVD


This movie fits all the criteria for a great comic book movie: explosions, action, explosions, hot girl that might be good but is probably bad, explosions, epic fight scenes, a good guy that turns out to be bad, explosions, a bad guy that turns good, oh...and a super-good looking hero that slowly walks away from explosions.

CAPTAIN AMERICA is exactly what we have come to expect from the MARVEL series. It's an excellent action movie and a really good, fun time for viewers. Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America) and Scarlett Johannson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow) play well off of each other giving the audience entertaining and witty banter throughout the film.

There are several great moments throughout the movie that had our audience breaking out into applause a good six or seven times. (MARVEL movies are always best to see with uber fans). We also get some answers to long-held questions from the first CAPTAIN AMERICA movie.

THE WINTER SOLDIER is better than the original because it is much faster paced and we get to see a more developed hero. It's still not quite as good as the IRON MAN or THOR series, but it is definitely a worthy competitor.

If you like action movie and/or comic book based movies I highly recommend this one. 



WORDS AND PICTURES
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Clive Owen, Juliette Binoche
Plot: A washed up, alcoholic English teacher and an ailing Art teacher use their rivalry to inspire each other and their students to push harder than they ever have through a Words versus Pictures contest.
Trailer

Clint Says: This is worth a rental after you've seen what you really want to see


I went into this movie having no idea what to expect and came out pleasantly surprised, for the most part. Clive Owen and Juiliette Binoche have a quirky, intriguing chemistry that keeps the movie afloat through the slow parts. Unfortunately, the film relies on secondary characters to move the plot along and they don't carry their weight as well as one would expect.

The film is about 30 minutes too long and the soundtrack makes you feel like you are watching a cheesy love story from the early 80's, but the words and pictures are beautiful. There were times when this film reminded me of DEAD POETS' SOCIETY, but this movie is nowhere near that level of mastery. At best it's a poor man's version of DPS, at worst it's a blatant, but wrongheaded, attempt to be a knockoff film.

I did enjoy the inspiring nature of the movie and the passion and reverence it exudes for the art, both written and painted, was worth the price of admission. This film will not change your life, but it may inspire you to try a bit harder at life.



BRICK MANSIONS
Rated: R
Stars: Paul Walker, David Belle, RZA
Plot: An undercover cop and an ex-con must work together to bring down a crime lord overseeing a walled-in section of Detroit.

Trailer

Clint Says: Don't even bother


BRICK MANSIONS is the last film that Paul Walker worked on in its entirety. Unfortunately it is one of the lamest action movies I've seen in a long time. It is completely cliche and predictable and the dialogue is laughable.

I will say that there are some pretty good fight scenes and some cool parkour, but it's not worth spending even the $2.99 rental fee to see that.



THE HORNET'S NEST
Rated: R
Stars: Mike Boettcher, Carlos Boettcher
Plot: This war documentary follows US troops in Afghanistan battling the Taliban.

Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this DVD if you can handle it


This is one of the most intense films I have ever seen. All of the footage is real. It is terrifying, brutal and horrific. But it is also heroic, strangely beautiful and mesmerizing.

This film is not for everyone, but if you think you can handle it, I highly recommend seeing what our troops go through every day to help keep our nation safe. You will have a new-found respect for our military men and women after seeing this film. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Movie Review for September 5, 2014

THE IDENTICAL
Rated - PG
Stars: Blake Rayne, Ashley Judd, Ray Liotta
Plot: Identical twins, separated at birth, grow up to lead similar lives.
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD and let somebody else rent it


There are a few things that I liked about this film. First, it was filmed almost exclusively in Tennessee using Tennesseans. (You'll recognize War Memorial Auditorium). Second, Ray Liotta does an incredible job in his role. Third, there are very touching and poignant moments throughout the film that adds a level of unexpected emotion. Finally, it is a film that you can watch with the whole family. (Although it will be too slow and too deep for most children under 13).

That all being said, this is just not a good movie. It is slow, it's about 30 minutes too long, the original songs are horribly cheesy, and the plot is jumpy. And I haven't even mention the fact that this movie is basically about what could have happened if Elvis's twin brother had lived.

I don't know if the filmmakers ran into legal trouble with the whole Elvis thing, but Drexel Hemsley is Elvis. He sounds like Elvis, he looks like Elvis, he was born in the poor South with a twin brother like Elvis. For two-thirds of the movie I sat there saying to myself, "this is basically Elvis," then one of the characters starts talking about The Beatles and Elvis. What?

The movie feels and looks like a low-budget, made-for-TV film, and that is probably where it should have been released. I really want to recommend this film, because I want more films to be made in Tennessee, but I can't get there with THE IDENTICAL.

Monday, September 1, 2014

DVD Review for September 2, 2014

DRAFT DAY
Rated - R
Stars: Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner
Plot: An NFL General Manager breaks from the norm to have an incredible draft for his team.
Trailer

Clint Says: It's worth a rental


DRAFT DAY is a well-done, fast-paced film that, thankfully, is about relationships and the art of the deal rather than football. It's not nearly as good as JERRY MAGUIRE, but it's born of the same ilk.

I found myself engaged and entertained throughout the movie even though I'm not a fan of the NFL and I find the draft to be painfully boring. (I know, I'm weird). This is a plus for the film, because it will appeal to a much broader audience than just the NFL fan.

Costner and Garner are vanilla as usual, but the action and intensity of the story keep things moving along well.

It's a good date movie because it's feel-good, you don't have to think too much and it has wide appeal.



MOMS' NIGHT OUT
Rated - PG
Stars: Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, Patricia Heaton
Plot: A group of moms head out for a well-deserved night away from the kids, but the night turns into a disaster.
Trailer

Clint Says: It's worth a rental


If you like really funny, family-friendly movies this is a great movie for you. Sarah Drew is knee-slappingly funny and it is a true joy to see Patricia Heaton play a straight-laced preacher's wife.

While this movie isn't a big-budget film, (sometimes it looks made for TV), it does exactly what it set out to do...honor moms and make people laugh. There are some scenes where you may pee a little. It's that funny.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Movie Review for August 29, 2014

THE NOVEMBER MAN
Rated - R
Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Luke Bracey, Olga Kurylenko
Plot: An ex-CIA operative is called back into action to bring down one of his former trainees.
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters


Typically, this is the time of year when Hollywood dumps all of the films they don't expect to do well into theaters. But there are always one or two exceptions. Thankfully, THE NOVEMBER MAN is an exception.

This film is a very good, high entertainment spy flick that will keep you engaged and guessing. It is also done in a way that you really don't know if the main characters are going to make it out alive or not, adding to the suspense and thrills of the movie.

It's a lot of fun to see Pierce Brosnan return to the big screen in a high-action spy role. His cool-as-a-cucumber approach is the perfect juxtaposition to his quick-acting adversary.

It's not quite on par with the better James Bond films, but you won't walk out of the theater disappointed.

Get a big bucket of popcorn and enjoy the ride.




AS ABOVE SO BELOW
Rated - R
Stars: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge
Plot: Dark secrets are revealed in the catacombs below Paris.
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD


This is about as basic and formulaic as you can get in the found-footage horror genre. The premise is quite interesting and the execution is tolerable, but the only real scary parts of this film are the jump-out-and-yell-boo moments. The rest of the movie is somewhat suspenseful, but by no means scary.

As with most horror flicks, there are several huge plot holes and missing or non-explained elements throughout the film that will drive some moviegoers crazy. However, the typical horror film fan will find this movie to be a decent horror flick with enough scares to raise heart rates for 90 minutes.

If you aren't into horror films this one will either bore you or give you lots of time to study the theater ceiling with all the eye rolling you will be doing.

Personally, I kept waiting for Harry Potter to show up somewhere in the catacombs under Paris. (You'll have to see the movie to understand why).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

DVD Review for August 26, 2014

BLENDED
Rated - PG-13
Stars: Adam Sandler, Drew Berrymore
Plot: Two single parents that can't stand each other end up on the same African safari.
Trailer

Clint Says: It's worth a rental


While I will say this movie is significantly better that Sandler's last four or five movies, that's still not saying very much. It's not quite funny enough and it's not quite heartwarming enough, but it does enough to keep the audience fairly entertained throughout.

I was pleasantly surprised that the chemistry between Sandler and Barrymore is still there like in 50 FIRST DATES. And the addition of some of Sandler's regular go-to actors add a fun element to the film.

Sandler really hasn't made a film worth talking about for several years, but this is his best work in quite a while.



BELLE
Rated - PG
Stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Matthew Goode, Tom Felton
Plot: A mixed-race woman is raised in a life of aristocracy, but, because of the color of her skin, is still shunned.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this as soon as possible


This movie is based on the true story of Dido Belle Lindsay and it is a highly compelling tale. The acting is superb and the story is fascinating. It is by no means a fast-paced movie, but the content will keep you engaged throughout.