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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Movie Review For December 19, 2014

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans
Plot: Bilbo and Gandalf must work together to try to save Middle-Earth from the greed of its varied inhabitants.
Trailer

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee


Director Peter Jackson finishes strong with the final installment in THE HOBBIT trilogy. It's not the best film of the bunch, but it is satisfying enough that fans of the series will walk away feeling fulfilled.

I will say that it feels like there is something missing from this movie. To be quite honest I can't figure it out, but I think it's the lack of character depth. This is essentially a 2 1/2 hour CGI battle movie and I would have liked a bit more story out of it.

The action is spectacular, the creatures are fascinating and the quest is compelling. And, without giving anything away, the finale of this film ties in beautifully to the beginning of THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy.

It's the end of an era, so go enjoy this one.




NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
Rated: PG
Stars: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Dan Stevens, Rebel Wilson
Plot: Larry and his museum friends must travel to London to find out why their magic is coming to an end
Trailer

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


It's surprising that this franchise is now releasing its third film and all three of them are great movies. One would expect there to be a dud in the bunch by now, but not in this case.

The effects are fun, the jokes are funny and the story will keep audiences of all ages engaged and entertained. (It may be a bit too intense for the under-five crowd, but everyone else will be fine).

Even though it is set, mostly, in London, we really don't get to see their culture. As with the other films, most of the movie takes place inside the museum. So if you're going to see London you'll be disappointed.

For those of you that were fans of the three old night security guys from the first film, you will be happy to know that they return in this one and they are just as funny as ever.

This is the last on-screen performance by Robin Williams and Mickey Rooney, which is sad, but it's a wonderful film in which to see them off.




ANNIE
Rated: PG
Stars: Quvenzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, Rose Byrne
Plot: A young orphan and a wealthy businessman create an unlikely alliance that leads to a deeper relationship
Trailer

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee


This is one of those films that if you don't find yourself dancing in your seat you may need to check your pulse. It's a fun, entertaining film that is great for the whole family.

It's interesting that the movie executives decided to go with big-name talent over lesser-know actors that are trained singers. The music is a bit weak in the film, but strangely, it doesn't really matter. The acting is great and there are several funny moments where they break the fourth wall and poke fun at the whole idea of musicals.

The story is engaging and fast-paced, but it's almost a little too fast-paced. The movie seems to go from Annie's hopeless situation to happily ever after in the blink of an eye.

Quvenzhane Wallis has proven to be one of Hollywood's great child actors, and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see her get several major award nominations for this role.

Gather up the whole family and enjoy a sing-along with the rest of the theater.



WILD
Rated: R
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern
Plot: A woman endures a long hike to try to rediscover who she is
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD


I know there is a lot of awards buzz surrounding this film, but I found it to be an okay movie at best. It has several compelling moments and Witherspoon does a wonderful job in her role, but there is only so much you can do with a movie about someone walking 1,100 miles.

The film starts slow and drags on for a while, then, just about the time the movie starts to get really good, it's over. And the ending of the movie feels like it would have made a more compelling chunk of the movie rather than the one paragraph of narration jammed in to try to tie the whole package up with a nice bow.

Typically, I don't like to do this, but I feel that a lot of movie-goers may be shocked at the content of this film. It is Rated R for a very good reason. WILD is full of sex, nudity, drug use and adult language. I'm not sure that most audiences will realize the adult nature of this film until they are already in the theater.

There is nothing in this film that makes it worth seeing in theaters. You'll be fine waiting for the DVD.

Monday, December 15, 2014

DVD Review For December 16, 2014

THE MAZE RUNNER
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Dylan O'Brien, Aml Ameen, Will Poulter
Plot: A group of teens, trapped in a maze, must find their way out and who put them there.
Trailer

Clint Says: Buy this DVD as a gift for the YA lover in your life


This is yet another Hollywood offering to the rabid fans of Young Adult Dystopian action flicks, and overall, it's a pretty good film.

The cast does a great job and the story is interesting and intense. In fact, there were several moments where I caught myself holding my breath due to the intensity of the action or situation on the screen.

As with most movies of this ilk, there are a few eye-rolling moments and a couple of minor plot holes, but overall the movie stands up well.

Young Adult fans will enjoy this film as will fans of sci-fi thrillers. I saw it with several uber YA fans and all of them thought the movie was great.




TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Megan Fox, Will Arnett
Plot: The four turtle brothers must work together to bring down the criminal rule of Shredder.
Trailer

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


This is one of this reboots that nobody asked for, but Hollywood made it anyway. The turtles are creepy, the story is tired, Megan Fox still can't act, and the action scenes move and jump so fast it's hard to tell what is going on.

There are several things that happen that are way too coincidental or convenient giving the audience ample opportunities to eye roll.

It's also a film that misses its core audience. The older fans are going to be turned off by the sheer stupidity of the film and it is too intense for the under 8 crowd.

This film is significantly less cheesy than the 1990 version, but it's still not worth seeing.




THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU
Rated: R
Stars: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Jane Fonda, Corey Stoll
Plot: A mother and her four grown children return home to grieve the death of their husband and father.
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait for it to stream on Netflix


This is one of those films where the teaser trailer lies to you. It looks like a comedy with a little bit of heart-warming gooeyness thrown in for good measure. In reality, this is a sad, dark, weird, boring movie.

It's somewhat like THE BIG CHILL, only the Dysfunctional Family Feud version.

If I wanted to see a dysfunctional family peck at each other I'd just go home. If I have to see it on the big screen it should at least be funny. Unfortunately, almost all of the funny moments in the movie are revealed in the trailer. And in context, some of those moments aren't all that funny.

I stayed for the whole movie, but mentally I said THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU about 30 minutes into it. Save your money on this one.



THE SKELETON TWINS
Rated: R
Stars: Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson
Plot: Twins try to reconnect with one another after they both almost die on the same day.
Trailer

Clint Says: I haven't seen it yet, but I hear really good things about it


I am anxiously awaiting this DVD because I was unable to see it while it was in theaters. I've heard a lot of good things about this film and it is up for several awards.

If you have already seen it, please let us all know what you thought about it in the comments section below.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Movie Review For December 12, 2014

EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley
Plot: The story of the battle between Moses and Ramses for the lives of the Hebrew slaves.
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD


When one hears that a film is being made about the life of Moses and his tumultuous relationship with Ramses, one would think that the film would include significant coverage of the plagues, the parting of the sea and the bringing down of the Ten Commandments. While all of these events are technically covered in this movie, they are a small fraction of the 2-plus hours of otherwise dull movie.

The film does have a few interesting moments, but overall it just skims the surface of the biblical story, and, on several occasions, skips major plot points leaving the view to have to fill in the blanks for themselves.

Director Ridley Scott takes several liberties with the story which will, no doubt, upset a portion of the movie-goers, but it's not so far off the beaten path from the original story that the average movie-goer will find fault with it.

I will say that the effects of the plagues and sea are incredible for the small amount of time we get to see them, but it's not worth spending the money to see this on the big screen. You'll get the same effect watching it at home.




TOP FIVE
Rated: R
Stars: Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart
Plot: An alcoholic comedian spends the day with a reporter trying to explain why he wants to be a serious actor.
Trailer

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


This is supposed to be a comedy, right? I saw the movie and I'm still not sure if it was supposed to be a comedy or not. There was not a single audible laugh from anyone in the theater when I saw this movie. That's not an exaggeration. Not one single laugh.

The film is an awkward mix of fiction and what is supposed to be reality. For example, Chris Rock's character is at a strip club for his bachelor party with Adam Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg and Jerry Seinfeld all of whom are playing themselves.

You can tell that a lot of this movie was allowed to be improvised, but it's not great improvisation. A lot of it feels off or choppy.

I'm a big Chris Rock fan, but this movie misses the mark on many levels. Don't waste your time or your money.

Monday, December 8, 2014

DVD Review For December 9, 2014

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper
Plot: A misfit group is forced together and must use their skills to try to save the galaxy from a madman.
Trailer

Clint Says: Run to the store and buy this DVD now


Wow. Just. Wow.

Marvel has outdone themselves with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.

This was easily one of the best movies of the summer and probably one of the top ten movies of the year. It is gut-bustingly funny (to the point where I missed several lines due to all the laughter so I had to go back to the theater to see it again), it's exciting, the plot is compelling and the chemistry between the cast is near perfect.

Another aspect of this movie that will please movie-goers is that this movie has three strong female characters all with agency. It's so nice to see an action flick that treats the female characters in a way that makes them important to the plot and they have the will and ability to affect things on their own rather than waiting for their prince charming to save the day.

Children of the 80s will find this movie totally radical. For reasons that become clear in the movie, Peter Quill is essentially stuck in the 80s therefore all of his pop culture references are from that time period. It makes for some extremely funny moments.

The writing for this film is so spectacular that you really have no idea if any of these characters are going to survive to the end of the story. It's refreshing to see a movie that doesn't protect its main characters to the point of taking the suspense away as to what may happen to them.

This film can be wrapped up in two words. They will mean nothing to you until you see the movie, but once you do they will be epic. Those words are "dance off". Enjoy.

One small warning: Unlike most MARVEL films, this one uses quite a bit of adult language. So use your discretion when considering taking the young ones.



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: This may be worth buying, but it's for sure worth renting


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.




WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL
Rated: PG
Stars: Jim Caviezel, Alexander Ludwig, Michael Chiklis
Plot: The triumphant story of the heart behind the 151 game winning streak of De La Salle's high school football team.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent it when you have some extra time


This is another inspirational film that is exactly what you expect it to be. It has several meaningful and heartbreaking moments, but overall it really isn't that great of a movie.

The story isn't bad, the acting is okay and the drama seems real enough, but it just doesn't quite come together to make you feel like the movie wants you to feel when the credits roll.

It's much less a football movie and more of a relationship film, so for those of you that skipped it in theaters because you thought it was another sports flick, you may find it worth renting.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Movie Review For December 5, 2014

THE PYRAMID
Rated: R
Stars: Ashley Hinshaw, Denis O'Hare, James Buckley
Plot: A group of archaeologists uncover more than they bargained for inside an ancient pyramid.
Trailer

Clint Says: Don't even bother


Earlier this week the movie AS ABOVE SO BELOW came out on DVD. In that film, several people find themselves trapped by something evil in the catacombs of Paris. THE PYRAMID is the same movie, only in a pyramid and significantly crappier. (And that's really saying something, because AASB wasn't that great of a flick).

The scares in this movie are all old and hack, the plot is just slightly more original than the scares, and even though this film clocks in at a mere 89 minutes it feels like it drags on much longer.

Just like walking across the hot desert sand for days with no water, the end credits are a beautiful and welcoming oasis.

The scariest thing about this movie is that it is the only wide release film this weekend and it's still going to be lucky to finish third at the box office.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

DVD Review For December 2, 2014

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Jason Clarke
Plot: Humans and apes are on the brink of war for control of the earth as the apes get stronger and the humans get weaker.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this when you have a chance


Like this first in this series, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, this movie does an exceptional job at showing us the emotion of the apes, but unlike its predecessor, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES falls flat at the end.

This film has a Shakespearean vibe to it in that most of the plot centers around betrayal and misunderstandings. However the director chose to leave the ending a little too open for a third installment of the franchise, (currently unnamed, but due out in 2016). It almost feels like they wanted to end the movie well, but to do so would have meant a three hour long movie so they chose relative brevity (two hours and ten minutes) over a solid ending.

If you liked RISE you'll be fine with DAWN, but it is in no way better than the first. There is nothing that happens in this movie that makes it worthy of buying the DVD, just rent it and you'll be satisfied.

Hopefully the third film will regain the glory of the first one.



THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY
Rated: PG
Stars: Hellen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal
Plot: Two rival restaurant owners clash when the son of one goes to work for the other.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this movie this week


This movie is straight up food porn for foodies. If you like slow-motion egg beating montages and people eating ripe, juicy fruits and vegetables as their eyes roll back in their heads, this is the movie for you.

I would be remiss if I didn't try to use as many food analogies as possible while reviewing this film so here we go...

While I did like this movie there were ingredients (1) that were missing making it rather bland to the palate (2). I wish the director had chosen to spice things up (3) a bit with more conflict between the characters rather than figuratively throwing it in a microwave (4) to resolve it quickly.

The parallel love stories do heat up (5) well as the movie progresses and the story is intriguing. Although this is not a children's movie at all it is clean enough to take any little foodies in your family. THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY is a respectable palate cleanse (6) for everyone.



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: Rent this DVD if you've already seen everything else


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 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).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Movie Review For November 26, 2014

It's Thanksgiving week so most movies will be hitting the theaters on Wednesday instead of Friday. Enjoy!

PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR
Rated: PG
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, Tom McGrath
Plot: The penguins must team up with another elite force to try to stop a villain from kidnapping the world's penguins.
Trailer

Clint Says: Take the whole family and see this in theaters this week


This may well be the funniest animated movie of 2014. I laughed out loud 15 or 20 times and spent the better part of the rest of the film trying to wipe the smile off my face with no luck.

Kids will love this movie because it has a lot of fun elements for them, but adults will be just as pleased with it because it has an interesting plot, surprisingly in-depth character development, and it is fast-paced.

I put this movie up with the likes of THE LEGO MOVIE and MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN. This has been an incredible year for animated films and PENGUINS keeps the streak alive.



HORRIBLE BOSSES 2
Rated: R
Stars: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Chris Pine
Plot: After their business is sabotaged, three guys come up with a plan to get their money back, but their plan gets hijacked by a scheming sleazeball.
Trailer

Clint Says: See this in theaters this week...if you can handle the raunch


The original HORRIBLE BOSSES was a raunchy, hysterically awesome movie. HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 is the same. My jaw hurt when I left the theater after this movie, but I also felt like I needed a shower. This movie is so raunchy they couldn't even make a 2-minute trailer without several cuss words in it.

As with any comedy, the movie may be funny but it's only as good as its plot. In this case, the plot is outstanding. Sure, it has a few minor holes, but nothing that will hurt your head. It's fun and funny, but with significant moments of suspense and drama. The juxtaposition is what makes this movie so good.

If you can handle the offensive humor this is a sequel worth seeing.