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

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Movie Review For May 22, 2015: TOMORROWLAND and POLTERGEIST

TOMORROWLAND
Rated: PG
Stars: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie
Plot: A young genius is recruited by smart people from an alternate universe to try to help save the world
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD


I would love to be able to tell you that this movie is amazing and you should grab your kids and rush to the theater as soon as possible to see it. Unfortunately, I can't do that. TOMORROWLAND is a 2-plus hour snoozefest that is slow, confusing and preachy.

The first 80% of the film is a slow build-up for the last 20 minutes of action, and the payoff isn't worth sitting through the build-up. Once I finally realized what was going on my reaction was, "Really? That's it? THAT is the reason that all of this stuff is going on?" It was highly disappointing.

Aside from the boring nature of the film it is also preachy and condescending. It doesn't matter if you don't care about environmental issues at all or you are the world's most caring tree-hugger, you will walk out of this film feeling like you just sat through two hours of environment church. At one point there is even a 2 1/2 minute long speech by one of the main characters explaining all that is wrong with our environment thanks to humans.

This is just the beginning of the summer blockbuster season. Save your money for the good family-friendly flicks that will be coming out in a month or so.




POLTERGEIST
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris
Plot: When a ghost kidnaps a family's daughter they must do whatever it takes to try to get her back
Trailer

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


When I heard that they were making a reboot of this classic horror flick I had no idea why. The original was so good and so scary. I had nightmares for weeks when I saw that one. This one lives up to its predecessor.

I'm not a huge fan of the horror genre because most of the film use the same hack scare tactics over and over. It's formulaic and insulting to the audience. This film is actually scary. The evil feels real and the stakes are high. The drama and suspense are legitimate and very few things that happen in the film feel like your typical "no, don't walk down those stairs alone at night" moments.

The children cast in this movie are outstanding. The effects are well done. The plot is interesting and compelling. And clocking in at about 90 minutes it feels like it's over as quickly as it began.

POLTERGEIST is a great date night flick.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

2015 Summer Movie Preview

This weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer, and that means the summer blockbusters will be invading the big screens en masse.

It's been an interesting year so far in that the two biggest films of the year (AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON and FURIOUS 7) are typical summer blockbuster-style films, but they were released earlier in the year. The same goes for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD and PITCH PERFECT 2. That said, there is still a lot to look forward to this summer.

Here is a look at many of the films that may or may not be worth your time and money.


POLTERGEIST
May 22, 2015
Will the reboot outshine the original?



TOMORROWLAND
May 22, 2015
An interesting concept, but will audiences give it a chance?



ALOHA
May 29, 2015
An all star cast and an all star location may make for a perfect summer movie.



SAN ANDREAS
May 29, 2015
Disaster movies always do well in the summer...unless they are disasters.



ENTOURAGE
June 5, 2015
This may be the most anticipated film of the summer...at least by fans of the TV show.



SPY
June 5, 2015
This may be the first big bomb of the summer.



INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3
June 5, 2015
This franchise has done very well. The third installment should continue the success.



JURASSIC WORLD
June 12, 2015
Trailer
22 years after the original we will be drawn to the theater like prey once again.



INSIDE OUT
June 19, 2015
Trailer
By all accounts this may be the best animated movie of the year.



DOPE
June 19, 2015
Trailer
Fans of 90s Hip-Hop may never be the same after seeing this film.



MAX
June 26, 2015
Trailer
This movie's best friend may be animal lovers.



TED 2
June 26, 2015
Trailer
If this one is as funny as the first it could be another $200 Million summer for Ted.



MAGIC MIKE XXL
July 1, 2015
Trailer
Will the sequel have even more magic than the original?



TERMINATOR: GENISYS
July 1, 2015
Trailer
31 years after the original we get a reboot that may be more confusing than good.



MINIONS
July 10, 2015
Trailer
Can these lovable side-kicks hold their own in a feature-length film?



SELF/LESS
July 10, 2015
Trailer
This has the potential to be the smart thriller everyone talks about all summer.



ANT-MAN
July 17, 2015
Trailer
This is probably the least anticipated comic book movie since GREEN LANTERN.



TRAINWRECK
July 17, 2015
Trailer
Hopefully this movie will be significantly funnier than its lame and boring trailer.



PAN
July 24, 2015
Trailer
Retellings of fairy tales are very popular now. Some good, some bad. Hopefully this one is good.




PIXELS
July 24, 2015
Trailer
I'm nervous about this film. It looks and feels like a comedy that wants to be an action movie. That may be tough to pull off in a good way.



PAPER TOWNS
July 24, 2015
Trailer
The TFIOS crowd will fill the theaters to capacity for this new John Green book to movie adaptation.



SOUTHPAW
July 24, 2015
Trailer
Could Jake Gyllenhaal give us the first Oscar nominated performance of the year?



THE GIFT
July 31, 2015
Trailer
Jason Bateman is a serious role in a serious thriller. This could be interesting.



VACATION
July 31, 2015
Trailer
Ed Helms is awesome. VACATION 1983 was awesome. This flick feels tired though.



MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION
July 31, 2015
Trailer
Only one of these films was bad. Hopefully, that means we will see another great film from this franchise.



MASTERMINDS
August 7, 2015
Trailer
This film has all the makings of a comedy classic.



FANTASTIC FOUR
August 7, 2015
Trailer
I'm not really sure why we needed a reboot of this series so soon, but it'll make Disney a few hundred million.



RICKI AND THE FLASH
August 7, 2015
Trailer
This is one of only a couple of "chick flicks" out this summer. And it may actually be a film that has Meryl Streep in it where she doesn't get an Oscar nomination.



THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.
August 14, 2015
Trailer
James Bond may still be around, but he had better watch his back.



STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON
August 14, 2015
Trailer
This may be one of the few films where the truth is more intense than the movie.



UNDERDOGS
August 14, 2014
Trailer
This movie is going to have to be really something special to do anything other than bomb in the US.



SINISTER 2
August 21, 2015
Trailer
Let's all hope that this is more than the hack horror flick like it looks in the trailer.



HITMAN: AGENT 47
August 28, 2015
Trailer
Another sequel action flick to wrap up the summer season.



REGRESSION
August 28, 2015
Trailer
This has "creepy good" written all over it.



THE TRANSPORTER: REFUELED
September 4, 2015
Trailer
The first one was great. The rest? Not so much.



NO ESCAPE
September 4, 2015
Trailer
I think we are all hoping Owen Wilson can pull off this serious, action hero role.


Monday, May 18, 2015

DVD Review For May 19. 2015: AMERCIAN SNIPER, HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2, and STRANGE MAGIC

AMERICAN SNIPER
Rated: R
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller
Plot: The story of America's most lethal sniper in history.
Trailer

Clint Says: Buy this DVD today


If you liked ZERO DARK THIRTY you will love AMERICAN SNIPER. This film is so brutally intense, yet so personal and vulnerable that you will walk out of the theater feeling like you knew the real Chris Kyle.

The violence and war scenes in this film are not sugar-coated nor are they "Hollywoodized" either. If you've seen documentaries with actual footage of battles in the Gulf War you'll see that this matches up well.

Bradley Cooper does a magnificent job portraying Kyle and his demons as well as his heart for helping others. Sienna Miller is near perfect in her role as a military wife.

This is a very powerful film that will stay with you long after you leave the theater.






STRANGE MAGIC
Rated: PG
Stars: Evan Rachel Wood, Elijah Kelly, Kristin Chenoweth
Plot: Creatures from the magical world battle for control of a secret potion
Trailer

Clint Says: Don't even bother


Do you remember that amazing film from a few years ago, GNOMEO AND JULIET? Remember how amazing the story was, how innovative the animation was, and how awesome the music was? Well, STRANGE MAGIC is exactly like GNOMEO AND JULIET, except it is completely horrible.

The animation is truly incredible and beautifully done in this film. Unfortunately, everything else falls flat. The music is weird and forced, the story is too simple and boring, and the things that are supposed to be funny just aren't.

Save yourself the money and the anguish and go get GNOMEO AND JULIET to watch with the family this weekend. You'll be much happier for it.





HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2
Rated: R
Stars: Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke
Plot: Three friends must travel through time to solve the murder of one of their own
Trailer

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


This movie is absolute proof that nobody on earth has the ability to time travel. How do we know this? Because this movie is so bad I'm sure the movie execs searched high and low for a time machine so they could go back and either make a better movie or let the franchise live a pleasant existence with only the original film released.

The film does have a few good moments. The "you look like a..." improv scenes are great, even though they go on too long, and there are some other moments of genuine comedy, but the plot is simply ridiculous.

This might have been a better movie if it was about half as long seeing as though almost every joke was told and rehashed at least twice throughout the film. And it could have been a great film if they had focused the story on the things we finally see in the last three minutes of the movie.

This could have been another BILL AND TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, unfortunately we got BOGUS JOURNEY. Lame.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Movie Review For May 15, 2015: PITCH PERFECT 2, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

PITCH PERFECT 2
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson
Plot: After an unfortunate event, the Bellas must win the A Capella World Championships in order to keep their group going
Trailer

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


After the original PITCH PERFECT became the cult classic that it is, we all knew it was simply a matter of time before a sequel would appear. The big question was would it be as good or even better than the first one. The answer? Aca-Yes!...and no.

PITCH PERFECT 2 is essentially the same movie as the first one except the jokes are bigger. The plot is much smaller. It's exciting, fun, funny and a joy to watch, but only if you go into it with the attitude that this movie is nothing more than fluff and harmony. If you are looking for substance, deep plot, or characters with a character arc you should skip this flick. If you are looking for a film that will make you smile from ear to ear, sing along, and make you laugh, you will absolutely love this movie.

All of the characters from the first film are back again, so fear ye not oh fans of Bumper. You will be pleased. In fact, Bumper and Fat Amy share the funniest scene in the film. Although Gail and John give them a run for their money in the funny department.

This is a movie that you could easily wait to see on DVD, but it's worth it to see it in theaters with a bunch of other serious fans of the franchise. So grab your aca-friends and your pitch pipe and have a great night at the movies.

NOTE: Make sure you stay through the end credits.

You can see my Drive Through Movie Review of this film here.





MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
Rated: R
Stars: Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult
Plot: A wasteland driver smuggles slave girls out of their horrific situation with the help of Max
Trailer

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


As the end credits rolled in the theater where I saw this film, I sat in my chair completely astounded by what I had just witnessed. Even as I write this, I'm not sure if I loved this movie or hated it. Although I'm pretty sure I loved it.

This film jumps right into the action and never lets up. It's a high-octane face punch that keeps coming at you. There is one scene about halfway through the film that finally gives the audience a break. I could hear the audience give an almost collective sigh of relief.

Interestingly, this film is part of the MAD MAX franchise and it is set in that world, but the story is actually led by Charlize Theron's character. While Max does help out, she is the driving force behind everything that happens as well as the person that most often gets them out of their seemingly hopeless predicaments.

This movie is loud, intense, gross, weird, disturbing and hilarious in its over-the-top presence. You may love it or you may hate it, but either way it's a flick that should be experienced on the big screen.

Monday, May 11, 2015

DVD Review For May 12, 2015: FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, MORTDECAI, BLACKHAT, STILL ALICE

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
Rated: R
Stars: Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson
Plot: A young woman falls for a billionaire businessman with specific sexual desires
Trailer

Clint Says: Don't even bother


Let me preface this review by saying that my review is not based at all on the morality of the film's content. I try to review films in the most honest and objective way that I can. Whether you feel a movie meets or does not meet your own moral standards is your decision, not mine.

For those that don't know, the books were originally TWILIGHT fanfiction* written by E.L. James and posted online. Once it started to become popular, she changed the main characters' names from Edward and Bella to Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. The names may have been changed, but the fact remains that this is straight up theft of Stephenie Meyer's characters and world. If you do have to see this horrible movie, just think TWILIGHT as you watch it, you'll be shocked by all of the similarities. (Set in small town Washington, a near love triangle between Anastasia (Bella), Christian (Edward), and Jose (who looks a lot like Jacob), Christian gets together with his family and they talk baseball, etc.).

That said, this is easily one of the worst films I have ever seen. It is full of painful dialogue, lackluster acting and minimal plot. This movie would be boring if it was only an hour long, but unfortunately it clocks in at over two hours. Oh, the agony.

The character development is superficial at best. Really all we get to know is that Grey is an abusive jerk in just about every area of his life and Anastasia is barely more than prey. The rest of the cast doesn't even matter.

I saw an early screening of this film in a theater full of rabid fans of the book. Needless to say, they were all primed and ready to go before the movie began. There was a buzz and and electricity in the audience that I've only experienced at a few screenings. With almost all screenings of good/great movies the crowd typically applauds and cheers at the end and then I will hear accolades for the movie from the masses as we all walk out together. With this movie, the audience groaned at the incredibly lame ending and then proceeded to walk out in near silence.

That tells you more than my review ever could.

If you'd like to see my video review of this movie, you can click here.

*Stories written by fans of popular books using the same character and world set up by the author. Much of the time fanfiction includes an element of sexuality not seen in the original work.




MORTDECAI
Rated: R
Stars: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Bettany, Ewan McGregor
Plot: A smoke-and-mirrors art dealer helps the British Government to find a stolen painting, but he may have plans of his own
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this DVD as soon as you can


MORTDECAI is a quirky film that is an acquired taste, but if you like quirky films (think THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL) you will love this movie. It is stupidly funny, the story is interesting and the cast is incredible.

It took me about 10 minutes to get the right feel and mindset for the film, but once I did I spent the next 90 minutes laughing like a maniac and nearly choking on my popcorn.

Johnny Depp is a master of understated physical comedy and is simply a joy to watch. The rest of the cast orbits around him in a beautifully choreographed way allowing each of them to shine, but also let the story be bigger than all of them.

MORDECAI is a gem.




BLACKHAT
Rated: R
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Wei Tang
Plot: A convicted computer genius is released on the condition of helping the government catch a cyber terrorist.
Trailer

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


For a high-stakes, high-tech thriller, this film is really slow. I was expecting so much more from a plot that includes cyber-terrorism, nuclear reactors and Thor.

It's an okay film, but the slow pace, the shaky camera, and the several eye-rolling why-on-earth-would-they-do-this-instead-of-that moments make for a really long two-plus hours in the theater.

I sat next to a teenage computer whiz kid for this screening and afterwards he told me he thought it was okay. He thought it was laughable (as did I) that the main character is a world-class hacker, but he only types about 30 words a minute. When your prime audience thinks the movie is "okay" your film is in trouble.

I will say one very positive thing though. There is a scene that was so shockingly unexpected that the entire audience gasped as one. I haven't experienced anything like that in an action flick for a long time. (That said, it's an eye-rolling, convenient reason why they are put in the situation for said amazing scene).

Save your DVD-buying money on this one, there's a lot better on the way.




STILL ALICE
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart
Plot: A language professor at Columbia University finds out she has Alzheimer's Disease and must learn to cope with the aftermath.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this DVD as soon as possible


Julianne Moore gives the performance of her career is this heartbreaking film. She perfectly captures the essence of someone losing the mind that she has spent her entire life cultivating. And while not based on a true story, this movie has the feel of what thousands of families must go through every year when one of their loved ones is diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.

This is not an easy movie to watch, nor will it leave you anytime soon after you see it. So make sure you are mentally prepared before seeing it. However, if you do see it you will be treated to an Oscar-winning performance by Julianne Moore.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Movie Review For May 8, 2015: HOT PURSUIT, THE D TRAIN

HOT PURSUIT
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara, Matthew Del Negro
Plot: A diminutive cop must keep a feisty witness alive so she can testify against a drug kingpin
Trailer

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee


When I saw the trailer for HOT PURSUIT I'm pretty sure I let out an audible groan. But, I like to give every film I see the opportunity to be great. I walked into the theater with no preconceived notions of how good or bad it would be, and I walked out fairly happy.

This is by no means a great movie, but it isn't horrible either. It's one of those film where you can see it and enjoy it, but two years from now when it's on TV and you're flipping through the channels you'll turn it on and vaguely recall seeing it.

Sofia Vergara is funny and spicy, but her look changes so much throughout the film it feels like you are watching four different women play her role. Reese Witherspoon plays the straight cop well, but her accent and overbearing personality are truly obnoxious.

If you've seen the other comedies that are out in theaters now and are still looking for something funny to see, you might as well give this one a try. It's not going to be one you'll see again and again, but you also won't be upset that you spent a few bucks to go to the movies.





THE D TRAIN
Rated: R
Stars: Jack Black, James Marsden
Plot: When a regular guy can't get anyone to RSVP for their high school reunion he hatches a plan to bring in their former classmate that became a Hollywood actor hoping the others will follow
Trailer

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


THE D TRAIN is a complete train wreck. Imagine a sequel to THE BREAKFAST CLUB where Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez, who ended up marrying Ally Sheedy, are a little bit too happy to see each other after all those years. That is THE D TRAIN in a nut shell.

It's got the feel and soundtrack of an 80s flick, but it's about a group of adults that graduated high school in 1994 and it's set in 2014.

It's not funny, it's not dramatic, it's not even quirky or weird. It's just there. I'm a huge fan of Jack Black, but this movie does not do him justice. I'm glad to see him in more serious roles, but this isn't it.

At 97 minutes you'd think this movie goes by pretty fast. Unfortunately, it drags on making that 97 minutes feel more like three hours. It's time you will never get back.

Even die hard Jack Black fans should skip this flick. Otherwise you'll be disappointed.

Monday, May 4, 2015

DVD Review For May 5, 2015: SELMA, BLACK OR WHITE, and THE PYRAMID

SELMA
Rated: PG-13
Stars: David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Carmen Ejogo
Plot: Martin Luther King, Jr. protests to get African Americans the right to vote by marching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
Trailer

Clint Says: See this movie this week


It's hard to believe that the event portrayed in this film happened only 50 years ago. It's also incredible to watch David Oyelowo become Martin Luther King, Jr. He walks like him, he talks like him, and his resemblance is nearly spot on.

This may be one of the more uncomfortable films I've ever endured. The entire time I wanted to ear-tug the opposition into the corner and slap some sense into them. I wanted to scream at the screen and say, "how can you possibly think that it is okay to treat another human that way?" I sat there embarrassed like you do when your ignorant cousin twice-removed starts spouting off racist remarks at Thanksgiving dinner.

This is a powerful film that everyone should see. On the one hand, it's great to see just how far we've come in the last 50 years, but it's also important for the younger generations to see it so that they can understand the struggle that happened not so very long ago.

There are several times when the movie bogs down, and there are only a few times when it really gets dramatic, but there is a quite power throughout the film that keeps you engaged.




BLACK OR WHITE
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer
Plot: A single grandfather fights a custody battle for the granddaughter he has helped raise.
Trailer

Clint Says: It's worth a rental if you don't have anything better to see

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but Kevin Costner gives a fine performance in this movie while Octavia Spencer's character is annoyingly obnoxious. That said, I wish the movie itself would have been better.

It's a slow-paced, snoozer that you know how it is going to end after the first 10 minutes. It's basically a short set-up and then 105 minutes of repeat filler. It's the kind of movie you see and won't remember seeing three months from now because there is nothing in it that is sticky, important or even interesting.




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 year 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.