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

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Movie Review For August 28, 2015: NO ESCAPE, WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS, and WAR ROOM

BIG NEWS!!!!! I have a brand new, interactive movie review website that allows you to review the films you've seen and comment on other reviews. Plus it has some other cool features as well.

I'm going to keep this blog going for a while, but eventually everything will lead to the new site.

You can check it out at clintsmoviereviews.com. I'd love it if you take the time to register (it's free) and do your own reviews.

Thank you!

Clint




NO ESCAPE
Rated: R
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Stars: Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Pierce Brosnan
Plot: A family trying to start a new life in Southeast Asia finds themselves in the middle of a rebel uprising
Trailer

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


This film should come with an oxygen tank with every ticket sold. It is so intense and suspenseful you will find yourself holding your breath and, at times, literally sitting on the edge of your seat.

I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I was for the moments of downtime in the film just so I could catch my breath.

Owen Wilson breaks from type for this film and does an outstanding job in the process. Lake Bell is spectacular as well, and the two play off of each other with authentic chemistry.

The film does have a few plot holes and several moments of convenience, but it also rings very true with the way a mother and father would do anything to protect their children.

If you are looking for a good, suspenseful flick that will make you gasp for breath, NO ESCAPE is a great choice.




WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS
Rated: R
Director: Max Joseph
Stars: Zac Efron, Wes Bentley, Emily Ratajkowski
Plot: Four friends try to come up with a plan to hit it big in the Electronic Dance Music industry
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD


Have you ever helped someone move and they said, "put the couch here...no, over here...wait, let's try here"? That's kind of how it seems they made this movie. It's all over the place and it doesn't feel like there was a lot of planning before production began.

The actors do a fine job, nothing spectacular, but not so bad as to take away from the movie, but the plot is really thin. There are moments where the film tries to go deep, but it feels forced and fake. Then those moments are pushed aside quickly so we can get back to the party.

I would say this flick is a total waste of time, but there is a nice, educational seven-minute stretch that teaches us the theory behind being a great DJ with charts and graphs included. It's like watching "How To Become A DJ" on one of the science-friendly cable networks. At least I felt like I got a bit of an education, even if the rest of the film was all but useless.

I'm not really sure how to even classify this film. It's kind of a Rom-Com, but the romance is secondary and there isn't any comedy, it's kind of a music movie, but the music is shockingly minimal, and it's kind of a Bro-party flick, but you don't really care about them that much. It's just sort of....there. I'd suggest leaving it there and seeing something else.




WAR ROOM
Rated: PG
Director: Alex Kendrick
Stars: Priscilla Shirer, T.C. Stallings, Karen Abercrombie
Plot: A widow teaches a woman the power of prayer and it changes her life as well as her family's
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD


This is a nice and heartfelt, inspirational film. It’s not as flashy or as precise as your typical Hollywood film, but it is better than your average made-for-tv movie.

Those that believe in the power of prayer will find this film to be inspiring. People that aren’t so sure about the whole prayer thing will find this movie to be thought-provoking and it might even give you the courage to give it a try.

The film does have a few slow moments, a few awkward moments, and a few moments of “Christian speak” where non-Christians might get lost in the jargon, but overall it is a good story with a positive message.


Strictly based on the quality of movie, I can’t recommend seeing this in theaters, but it will be a good rental when it comes out on DVD. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

DVD Review for August 25, 2015: ALOHA

ALOHA
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams
Plot: A former military man returns to his old stomping grounds as a civilian contractor forcing his new and old worlds to collide.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent it if you're bored and Netflix isn't loading


This film has one of the best ensemble casts of 2015. Unfortunately, the script doesn't do them justice. The acting in ALOHA is outstanding, but that can only take a movie so far.

Even though this movie isn't even two hours long, it feels like it drags on. There isn't any conflict or really anything of interest that happens during the first half of the movie. It wasn't until almost the hour mark where I stopped questioning why I was seeing this film.

This movie could have been much better with some simple changes to the storytelling, but as it is, it is confusing, slow, boring and pretty much useless. It's a pleasant and nice film, but there isn't enough going on to make you feel anything until almost the very end.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Movie Review For August 21, 2015: AMERICAN ULTRA, HITMAN: AGENT 47, and SINISTER 2

BIG NEWS!!!!! I have a brand new, interactive movie review website that allows you to review the films you've seen and comment on other reviews. Plus it has some other cool features as well.

I'm going to keep this blog going for a while, but eventually everything will lead to the new site.

You can check it out at clintsmoviereviews.com. I'd love it if you take the time to register (it's free) and do your own reviews.

Thank you!

Clint




AMERICAN ULTRA
Rated: R
Director: Nima Nourizadeh
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Connie Britton, Topher Grace
Plot: A stoner finds out he has an alternate life as a CIA agent when he is subconsciously activated
Trailer

Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this movie now


First off, this movie isn't for everyone. In fact, I'm sure a majority of people wouldn't like this film. However, if you think the idea of a stoned Jason Bourne demolishing everything in his path through the PULP Fiction universe sounds like it might be the best idea ever, then this movie is for you.

AMERICAN ULTRA is full of violence, gore, insanity, drug use and bad language. It is also spectacularly funny, incredibly well acted, highly compelling and suspenseful throughout. The story is fun and interesting, the twists are not obvious, and behind the whole thing is a killer love story.

I was hooked from the very beginning on this film and stayed riveted all the way through the end. And speaking of the end, this film has possibly the best ending scene of any movie released this year.

If you liked PULP FICTION I think you'll love AMERICAN ULTRA. If you didn't then you should probably stay far away from this flick.




HITMAN: AGENT 47
Rated: R
Director: Aleksander Bach
Stars: Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto
Plot: Agent 47 must find Agent 90 and keep her safe from those that would use her to make an army of agents
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD


This is a straight up action flick. Meaning it is really nothing but action. The plot is minimal, the character development is all but nonexistent, and the character arcs are flat.

If you are willing to check your brain at the door and ignore the massive plot holes and moments of convenience then you might find this a decent action movie. That said, it's not worth spending theater money to go see it. Your money would be much better spent on AMERICAN ULTRA this weekend.

There isn't anything in this movie that makes it necessary to see it on the big screen. Wait for the DVD.




SINISTER 2
Rated: R
Director: Ciaran Foy
Stars: James Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon, Robert Daniel Sloan, Dartanian Sloan
Plot: A family is terrorized by the Boogeyman while a PI tries to figure out what is going on
Trailer

Clint Says: Don't even bother


I am almost positive I could feel IQ points slipping from my mind as I sat through this utter waste of time. I actually got a headache from my eyes rolling so often.

The only thing good about this movie is the end. I don't mean the ending, but the actual end. The part where the credits are at the end. Everything before that is horrible.

The acting (if you can even call it that) is as bad as IT FOLLOWS, the plot is stupid and convoluted, the scares are minimal and most of them are the lame jump-out-and-say-boo scares, and the main characters are so annoying I was actually wishing something bad would happen to them.

This film is 95 minutes long. About 70 minutes of it is boring, about 15 minutes of it is annoying, about 5 minutes of it is slightly suspenseful, and then there are 5 minutes of glorious end credits.

Save your money, and hopefully we will get a good horror flick in October.

Monday, August 17, 2015

DVD Review For August 18, 2015: LITTLE BOY

BIG NEWS!!!!! I have a brand new, interactive movie review website that allows you to review the films you've seen and comment on other reviews. Plus it has some other cool features as well.

I'm going to keep this blog going for a while, but eventually everything will lead to the new site.

You can check it out at clintsmoviereviews.com. I'd love it if you take the time to register (it's free) and do your own reviews.

Thank you!

Clint




LITTLE BOY
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Jakob Salvati, Emily Watson, David Henrie, Tom Wilkinson, Kevin James
Plot: When a young boy's father goes off to fight in WWII, the boy will do anything to get his dad back home
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this as soon as possible


This is a beautifully done story of faith, hope and love. The story is told well, the acting is spot on, and even though it is a little too saccharin sweet it's heartwarming and enjoyable.

Jakob Salvati is an absolute joy to watch throughout the film. His happiness, faith and innocence will put a smile on your face that can only be taken away by the ravages of war and hatred.

The film does a nice job of paralleling the intertwined stories and making you really feel for the characters. In fact there is a nice character depth to almost all of the main players.

There are some thematic elements that make this a PG-13 film, so it isn't a film for the whole family, but it is one that I would take my children to see because it may open up some lines of dialogue about faith and prejudice.

LITTLE BOY is a great choice this week. It will make you smile, but you'll need some tissues as well.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Movie Review For August 14, 2015: THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. and STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON

STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON
Rated: R
Director: F. Gary Gray
Stars: O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Paul Giamatti
Plot: The story of the rise of NWA and the gangsta rap genre
Trailer

Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this movie now


If you were a teenager in the late 80s and early 90s there is no doubt that NWA was a part of your life in some form. You may have loved them, you may have hated them, but you definitely knew about them...and about Compton.

This film comes at a very interesting time in America where we are seeing cries of police brutality across the nation. As you watch the movie it almost feels like the words of Ice Cube and MC Ren were 25 years ahead of their time. (Either that, or we've been ignoring a real issue for a very long time).

This film clocks in at almost 2 1/2 hours, but it moves fast. The drama is real, intense and non-stop. It also has a light-hearted side that is a nice relief from the depths of darkness in which we find the characters. It also has a lot of the music from that era, but it feels like it's not quite enough.

The film is produced by Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Tomica Woods-Wright (the wife of Eazy E), and they all have said that they wanted this movie to be as close to the real thing as possible. I'm sure there are some embellishments and moments of convenience, but for the most part, it feels very authentic. The only major player not associated with the film is NWA's former manager Jerry Heller. He's said a few things about the film not relaying the truth, but time will tell if he thinks it is enough off base for a lawsuit.

The acting and casting are also stellar. Ice Cube's son plays his father in the film and the other actors are so spot on you actually feel like you are watching a reincarnation of the group.

This film has a better than average chance of being a contender during awards season. It is well worth spending the money to see it on the big screen.




THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.
Rated: PG-13
Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander
Plot: US and Russian spies must work together to stop a mad man from getting a nuclear weapon.
Trailer

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee


If you are a tried and true fan of the James Bond franchise save your money for SPECTRE. This is not James Bond. It's not bad at all, in fact there is a lot about it that is quite enjoyable. It just has a completely different feel than you would expect from a typical spy flick. That probably has a lot to do with it being written, produced, and directed by Guy Ritchie.

I am always wary of a film that has one person in charge of so much. Especially if that person is one that is incapable of hearing the word "no" from his employees. (See: MacFarlane, Seth). But Ritchie actually made a movie worth seeing.

I wouldn't pay full price to see this flick simply because Henry Cavill's speech pattern is insufferably annoying and Armie Hammer's Russian accent is passable at best. Unfortunately, the two of them talk throughout the whole film.

I will say that the plot is interesting and suspenseful, there is a lot of great action and the laughs are plenty. You won't be disappointed seeing this film in theaters, but it's not going to be a long-lasting fan favorite.

Monday, August 10, 2015

DVD Review for August 11, 2015: HOT PURSUIT and UNFRIENDED

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 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 rent it.




UNFRIENDED
Rated: R
Stars: Shelley Hennig, Jacob Wysocki, Renee Olstead, Will Peltz, Moses Jacob Storm
Plot: A group of friends are haunted by an evil spirit while they Skype with each other
Trailer

Clint Says: Don't even bother


This may be the lamest excuse for a horror movie I have ever seen. And that is saying something. But one of the reasons I love movies so much is because everyone has their own opinions and taste. As I was walking out of the theater positive I had just witnessed on of the worst movies of 2015, I saw a fellow movie reviewer and friend and asked him what he thought. He said, "It was brilliant! One of the more unique films I've ever seen." It's fascinating how two people can see the same thing in two completely different ways.

I will say that the premise is quite intriguing, but the execution is lacking greatly. Clocking in at only 82 minutes, this film is mercifully short, but it could have been 20 minutes shorter and still accomplished the same thing. It's slow, boring, barely dramatic and even less scary than it is dramatic.

The actors, for the most part, do a fine job in their roles. But there is only so much a person can handle when it comes to six teens screaming at each other on Skype. It was like I had entered the third level of Whiny People Hell.

Honestly, I think the only person in our theater that was even the slightest bit scared was a toddler. (Side note: What kind of idiot brings a toddler to an R-rated horror flick?!) And even that kid only cried twice.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Movie Reviews for August 9, 2015: THE GIFT and RICKI AND THE FLASH

THE GIFT
Rated: R
Director: Joel Edgerton
Stars: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton
Plot: A couple runs into an old high school friend, but things get out of control when he crosses boundaries
Trailer

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


This is an outstanding, creepy, suspenseful thriller that will keep you guessing and freaked out until the very end. The "oh, crap" moment is one of the best and most squirm-worthy that I've seen in a decade.

I was nervous that this might not be a very good film since it is written, directed and stars Joel Edgerton. Many times in that situation it is difficult for someone else to tell them "no," but it looks like he had some help in making this film great.

Jason Bateman does a nice job moving away from his comedic ways for this role. It's a nice change of pace for him and for the audience.

There haven't been a lot good thrillers this year, so it's nice to finally see one worth the price of admission. If you like suspense flicks, this one will satisfy your craving.




RICKI AND THE FLASH
Rated: PG-13
Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kilne, Mamie Gummer, Rick Springfield
Plot: An aging rocker mom tries to reconnect with her adult children
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD


I finally got to see this movie in its entirety. (For the story on that escapade click here.) I would have been better off not having seen it. It's really not very good.

The cast is vanilla, the plot is tame, the conflict is stuff that many families go through every day, and it's slow. There are really only two good things about this movie: The music and the one great scene of tension between Meryl Streep and Audra McDonald. Other than that it's pretty boring.

One of the questions I always ask myself when watching a movie is, "Why was this made?" Much of the time the answer is pretty obvious. Some of the time the answer is, "I'm not sure." This is one of those times. This film doesn't offer us anything new or special.

There is zero reason to spend the money to see this in theaters. If you really must see it, wait for the DVD.