Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now

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THE GENTLEMEN

Rated: R

Release Date: January 24, 2020

Director: Guy Ritchie

Stars: Matthew McConaughy, Charlie Hunnam, Hugh Grant, Henry Golding

Plot: A group of criminals get swindles by a reporter with no scruples

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release, and make someone else rent it

 

 

The movie trailer lies!

 

This is one of those films that looks like it is going to be action-packed, filled with witty dialogue, and teeming with effervescent chaos for 115 minutes, thanks to the trailer. Instead, the first 45 minutes are an utter snoozefest, and the last hour does little to snap you out of your slumber.

 

I will never understand why writers and directors choose the "Unreliable Narrator" gimmick to lead you through the story. 95% of the movies that use it aren't any good. They fall flat, because half of the film is just some guy talking about something that happened instead of it being show to us. And then, he's unreliable, so you know that some of the information you are getting is false, because he's trying to save his own skin. 

 

I wish that was the only issues with this film, but it is full of terrible decisions. For example, we never see the outcome of one of the main characters. A certain thing is about to happen to him and it's never mentioned or shown again. Throw on top of that a ton of racist jokes, and the constant use of the nastiest word in the English language, and this movie becomes thoroughly unpalatable.

 

It's slow, it's barely funny, it's not nearly as smart as it would like you to think it it, and it's offensive. Pass on this one.

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THE TURNING

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: January 24, 2020

Director: Floria Sigismondi

Stars: Mackenzie Davis, Finn Wolfhard, Brooklynn Prince

Plot: A live-in nanny gets more than she bargained for when the job of her dreams turns into a nightmare

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Don't even bother

 

 

The first 15 minutes of this movie are dreadfully boring. 

 

And then, it gets worse from there. 

 

The next hour of this terrible cinematic experience is made up of about 45 minutes of the main character slowly walking towards the next jump scare. 

 

And then, it gets worse from there.

 

Yes, it's true. This terrible, horrible, no good, lack-of-story, boring, mockery of the horror genre actually tries to do a u-turn and become this cerebral, artsy-fartsy, deep-thinker piece of cinema. Shockingly, (to no one), it fails miserably at it. Nearly every person that watched this movie with me walked out at the end scratching their heads, and saying, "what was that?"

 

Even if you can figure out the unexplained ending, it doesn't make the movie any better, because none of the reveals at the end matter to the rest of the story as it is told. 

 

The only good thing this film has to offer it that it does have some creepy moments, and a couple of decent scares, but if you want more out of your horror film than to jump once or twice, you'll want to look anywhere else but here.

 

Turn away from THE TURNING.

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DOLITTLE

Rated: PG

Release Date: January 17, 2020

Director: Stephen Gaghan

Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Antonio Banderas, Harry Collett, Carmel Laniado

Plot: A doctor that can talk to animals goes on a dangerous journey to save the Queen

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release

 

 

Oh, Universal Studios, what have you done? Not even a month ago you gave us all hairballs and forced naps when you released CATS. Now we have to play guess-the-country-where-Dolittle-grew-up because his accent changes literally in every scene, and we have to try and remember who is who because you thought it was a great idea for Dolittle to have 10 talking animals go on the adventure with him. (Plus two kids).

 

Alas, it seems as though this movie was doomed from the start. It was plagued with rewrites, re-shoots, redraws, and missed release dates. In fact, this movie is now well over two years in the making. Not to mention that there were director issues as well. Rumors are that another director was called in to do the re-shoots.

 

Watching this feels like you are watching one of those kindergarten plays where all of the kids stand in a line then one by one they step forward, deliver their line, and step back. There are so many scenes where there are 6 or 7 characters with lines that it is impossible for the movie to have any sort of balance, chemistry, or character depth.

 

The movie is visually beautiful. It is filled with bright colors and fun animals. But the look is the only good thing about it. The story is choppy, skipping over major elements and rushing through others. There is a 20-minute scene on an island that is entirely pointless to the plot, save one tiny detail that could have easily been handled a different and much more compelling way. And the entire climax of the film relies on potty humor. (Sure, a dragon passing gas and expelling a bagpipe sounds really funny, but this movie somehow manages to make even that seem unfunny).

 

I took my 9 and 7 year old daughters to see this and both of them were nonplussed. I guess that it is good enough that they didn't hate it, but I sure wouldn't recommend anyone spending their hard-earned money to take their kids to a movie that they don't care if they see or not, and probably won't want to see again...ever.

 

DOLITTLE does little for audiences, so take your little ones and do something else this weekend.

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BAD BOYS FOR LIFE

Rated: R

Release Date: January 17, 2020

Director: Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah

Stars: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jacob Scipio, Vanessa Hudgens

Plot: Two hero Miami cops must stop an assassin that is killing high-level government employees

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

It's been 25 years since bad boys Will Smith and Martin Lawrence gave a couple of fantastic performances in a movie that was almost ruined by director Michael Bay. It's been 17 years since Michael Bay messed up BAD BOYS 2. Now it is 2020, and we have a third installment in the franchise, and the great news is Michael Bay had nothing to do with this film except for one uncredited cameo! 

 

BAD BOYS FOR LIFE is easily the best of the three films in the BAD BOYS franchise. It's still not a fantastic film, but for an action flick it is above average.

 

One of the things that makes this movie better is that the guys are older now and have to rely on their wits and experience more than their muscles. Not to mention that middle-aged guys doing physical comedy is so much more funny than when people in their 20's do it. Don't get me wrong, it's still filled with a ton of action and mayhem, but it has balance as well.

 

Martin Lawrence proves once again that he can be amazingly funny even in the midst of a high-drama scene. He has so many great one-liners that you'll probably need to see this one a second time to catch them all. 

 

Will Smith gives his best performance in years by giving us a new and improved Mike Lowrey. He straddles the line between straight guy and comedian with precision. It never feels like he is trying to do too much or to out-funny Lawrence.

 

This third film also has the best story of the three. Michael Bay was more interested in showing off explosions and girls in bikinis than he was in actually telling a story. Thankfully, the new directors gave us a movie that has a compelling plot that will keep you entertained through the end credits.

 

If you liked the first two movies, you are going to love this one. If you are an action flick fan, you'll want to see this in theaters. 

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1917

Rated: R

Release Date: January 10, 2020

Director: Sam Mendes

Stars: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Colin Firth, Andrew Scott

Plot: A soldier must cross enemy lines and deliver a message to another battalion before they are destroyed

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this in theaters now

 

 

Oh, my.

 

What a film.

 

This is one of the most exciting, riveting, suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat movies to come out in several years. I haven't gripped the arm rests this tight since I saw THE WALK in 2015. (That was the movie about the guy that did a tightrope walk between the twin towers).

 

I felt like I was holding my breath for nearly two hours. For 98% of the movie you are sure that the main characters are in mortal danger, and you feel it right along with them.

 

There is one scene in particular where the director did a perfect job of making everyone in the audience feel utterly alone, yet completely surrounded by unseen danger. I literally had a pit in my stomach as I tried to mentally help the hero to safety.

 

There is a reason why this movie is winning all sorts of awards. It is a phenomenal film. It's one that will stay with you for weeks after you see it. And it is one that you will want to see again.

 

This is the kind of film that you have to see on the big screen. Your computer monitor will not do it justice. Take the time and the money to enjoy this thriller to its fullest potential.

 

NOTE: This film had a limited release in December making it eligible for the 2019 awards season.

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LIKE A BOSS

Rated: R

Release Date: January 10, 2020

Director: Miguel Arteta

Stars: Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne, Salma Hayek

Plot: Two friends with a small beauty company have to fight for their rights when a major player tries to swindle them

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release

 

 

If you are looking for a few good laughs, then who am I to try to stop you from seeing this movie? It will absolutely tickle your funny bone several times. There is no doubt that this is a comedy.

 

Now, if you are wanting to go see a GOOD comedy, well, this is the wrong place to look.

 

Yes, Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne have great chemistry, great comedic timing, and deliver a bunch of laughs, unfortunately, the script they had to use is just plain bad. I like to call these "find and replace" comedies. It's the exact same formula that we've all seen a thousand times, only the writer just does a find and replace with location, character names, and the money-making method.

 

Before you head to the theater, you should also know that this movie is extremely raunchy. It is filled with dirty jokes and innuendo. If that kind of thing is not your thing then you should go do another thing and avoid this thing completely.

 

While I wouldn't suggest spending money to see this in theaters, this is the kind of film that would be a fun night at home with your girl friends. It's not a great movie, but it is funny enough to give you an entertaining evening at home.

 

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UNDERWATER

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: January 10, 2020

Director: William Eubank

Stars: Kristen Stewart, T.J. Miller, Jessica Henwick, Vincent Cassel

Plot: A deep sea facility suffers catastrophic failure and the survivors must battle unknown monsters while trying to find a way back to the surface

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release

 

 

I'm guessing the idea pitch for this movie went something like, "it's just like ALIEN, only under water." And someone actually bought that.

 

If you like action, this will be a great movie for you. They don't even bother with pesky details like setting up the story, or character development. They just dump us right into the mess and hope that we will be able to figure things out over the course of the next 30 minutes. Unfortunately, I did figure it out, and I still didn't care if they lived or died.

 

If you go to movies for a good story, go ahead and skip this one. This is nothing more than a monster movie highlight reel. I'm sure they would have taken away even more of what little story there was and replaced it with more action if they could have gotten away with it.

 

The sad thing is that even though the film is almost all action, there is very little suspense. There are a few jump scares, but this one should make you feel terrified and claustrophobic. It doesn't do either.

 

On some level it is somewhat entertaining to watch, but it isn't worth spending the time and money to see it in a theater. 

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JUST MERCY

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: January 10, 2020

Director: Destin Daniel Cretton

Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Jamie Foxx, Tim Blake Nelson

Plot: A young lawyer starts a practice to help inmates unjustly put on death row, but there are many people that refuse to let him succeed

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Drop everything and see this in theaters now

 

 

For the life of me I can not figure out why this movie is not getting a ton of award nominations. This is easily one of the best films of the year. (This had a limited release in December so it is eligible for the 2019 awards season). If it were up to me this would be nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor - Michael B. Jordan, and Best Supporting Actor - Jamie Foxx.

 

This isn't a fast-paced film, it tells the story in a slow, but deliberate way. Every second of it is compelling and emotional. It is filled with suspense and intrigue even though it isn't action-packed.

 

This is the kind of film that will make you think, too. It deals with a lot of hard questions and disturbing truths. It's not easy to watch, but it is worth it. It's the kind of film that can show the bad, but still give you the hope and redemption that we all long for.

 

If it weren't for the fact that there are an extraordinary amount of great movies this year, JUST MERCY would easily be a top contender for many awards. Even though it isn't getting any awards live, it is still a movie well worth seeing. If you have older children, you should take them as well. There are several things that happen in this movie that would make for important and interesting discussions with your family.

 

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THE GRUDGE

Rated: R

Release Date: January 3, 2020

Director: Nicolas Pesce

Stars: Andrea Riseborough, Demian Bichir, John Cho, Lin Shaye

Plot: A detective tries to solve a brutal mystery only to find out super-natural forces are plotting against her

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Don't even bother

 

 

We aren't even a full week into the new year, yet we already have a solid contender for a top 10 worst film of 2020. 

 

I don't remember the last time I was this bored while watching a horror flick. Sure, I've seen a ton of them that were really bad, but most of them have at least some entertainment value. This one is slow, barely suspenseful, and convoluted.

 

Perhaps the most telling sign that this movie is terrible is that it is only 93 minutes long, but it could have easily had a good 30 minutes taken out of it. The other bad sign is that this movie has been in the works for almost six years. It was written, rewritten, finally filmed in 2018, an then sat on a shelf until it's release now. 

 

Even the jump scares in this movie are useless. Yes, you might have a quick moment or two of fright while watching this, but those fleeting moments won't make up for the majority of the time you'll sit there completely bored.

 

There are a lot of amazing, award-worthy films still in the theaters right now. Spend your money to see one of those. Don't waste your time on this junk. 

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THE TOP 10 FILMS OF 2019

(According to Clint)

 

 

 

1

JOJO RABBIT

It's hard to believe that a movie about a German kid with Hitler as his imaginary friend could be one of the funniest films of the year, but it is. It is also heartwarming, heart-breaking, and has some of the best acting of the year. This is a movie I could watch every time it comes on TV and will never get sick of it.

 

 

2

JOKER

This film shook me to my core. It stayed in my head for days after I saw it, and made me feel all sorts of emotions. It is disturbing, brutal, and one of the best commentaries on how society refuses to deal with mental illness in a proper way.

 

 

 

3

1917

This film is a masterpiece. It is made to look like it is almost one continuous shot from beginning to end, so you feel like you are in the story with them as it unfolds. It is so suspenseful that I could barely breathe for the full two hours.

(Note: The film qualifies for the 2019 awards year, but it will not be released wide until January 2020. I will post my full review then).

 

 

 

4

PARASITE

I don't believe I have ever experienced any film quite like PARASITE. It starts out going in one direction and then, without warning, the whole story turns and becomes something completely different. If you like movies where you can't figure out the plot, this is one of the best ever.

 

 

 

5

THE FAREWELL

Awkwafina proves that she is one of the best actresses in Hollywood with her lead performance in this tale-of-two-cultures film. Zhao Shuzhen is a force as the family matriarch. Both of their performances will garner many awards this year.

 

 

 

6

THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON

This may be one of the most heart-warming and endearing films I have ever seen. Until this movie came out I was not a big fan of Shia LaBeouf. Now, I think he is fantastic. This is a perfect road-trip film that will make you wish you could slow down your own life for a while and enjoy life like these characters do.

 

 

 

7

HARRIET

Harriet Tubman was one of the strongest people to ever walk this earth. She did more for humanity and equality than most of us could do with ten lifetimes. This film pays tribute to her in a powerful and compelling way. And it is led by Cynthia Erivo who is a force in her own right. If this film doesn't move you, you need to have your heart checked by a doctor.

 

 

 

8

AVENGERS: ENDGAME

Any movie that makes over $2 Billion yet still has the ability to make hundreds of millions of grown adults sob into their popcorn deserves to be a top 10 film. ENDGAME had it all. The acting was outstanding, the dialogue was amazing, the story was fantastic, and it had all of the feels, too.

 

 

 

9

KNIVES OUT

Whodunit flicks are always fun, but rarely are they exciting. Most of the time it is just a bunch of people sitting in a room while one person tries to figure it all out. That is not the case in KNIVES OUT. This film is fun, funny, and exciting from beginning to end. And you'll be surprised when the killer is finally revealed.

 

 

 

10

RICHARD JEWELL

RICHARD JEWELL is the story of the Atlanta Olympics security guard that saved hundreds of lives when he found a bomb in Centennial Park. He was then railroaded by the media and the Government for many years, until the real bomber was finally found. This film tells his story in a powerful way. The acting in this movie is easily some of the best of the year. Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, and Kathy Bates are all masterful, making this movie that much better.

 

 

 

 

Honorable Mentions for the Best Films of the Year

 

 

BOOKSMART

This is one of the funniest comedies of the year, but it is also smart. There are very few comedies that can pull off both successfully. This one does it with ease.

 

 

 

HONEY BOY

This screenplay was written by Shia LaBeouf as therapy. Then he had the courage to turn it into a movie, and star in it as his own father. It is a moving and heart-breaking story, and an exceedingly well done movie.

 

 

 

THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO

This is a powerful film about the haves and the have-nots in San Francisco. It is the essence of what every indie film desires to be. The acting is powerful, the story is fascinating, and it will stay with you for days after you see it.

 

 

 

ROCKETMAN

Not only does Taron Edgerton become Elton John in this movie, he also sings all of the songs, too! (Rami Malek won the Oscar for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury, and he lip synced the songs. Taron should win TWO Oscars for this performance). It takes a few minutes to figure out what is happening in this movie, but once you figure it out it is a crazy ride on an emotional roller coaster all the way through.

 

 

 

 

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME

Tom Holland is the best Spider-Man ever. There. I said it, and I'm not taking it back. He does another great job in this film giving us all of the awkward teenage moments that we could want. It is also an interesting reflection on society and how people deal with grief in different ways.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

THE 10 WORST FILMS OF 2019

(According to Clint)

 

1

HELLBOY

If there was ever a movie that should be walked out on, this is it. I felt like I was in hell the whole miserable time I had to endure this travesty.

 

 

2

THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN

First of all, this is a movie with no audience. It's about a race car driver who has a dog and a family. It tries to cram everything into one movie and ends up missing on everything. Then there is the ending...oh my. Easily one of the worst movie endings of all time.

 

 

3

CATS

Whoever thought that turning a terrible musical into a $100 Million budget movie and it would make money needs to be fired immediately. Not only is this movie going to be one of the biggest financial bombs in movie history, but it's also just a terrible movie. Scoop this one out with the bad kitty litter.

 

 

4

JEXI

Adam Devine is a really funny guy. I feel bad for him that he got stuck in this horrible movie. The screenplay was so bad we never got to see him do what he is capable of doing. The whole movie is uninteresting, flat, and useless.

 

 

5

PLAYMOBIL: THE MOVIE

This was just another crappy attempt at a studio cash grab, by taking advantage of families. Luckily, word got out about how bad this movie was and it ended up having the 3rd worst opening weekend of all time. Hahahahahaha!!!! Take that evil studio execs that green-lighted this mess.

 

 

 

6

UNCUT GEMS

This is one of the most polarizing films of the decade. I'm sure that you will find this film on some critics' Top 10 list. For me, this was a terrible waste of time and exhausting to watch. A huge portion of the movie is a bunch of people all on screen at the same time trying to yell over the top of each other. The rest of the movie focuses on all of the characters, none of which are redeemable in any way whatsoever. It's terrible people doing terrible things and terrible things are done to them.

 

 

 

7

ARCTIC DOGS

*scrolls back up to PLAYMOBIL. Copy. Scrolls back down to ARCTIC DOGS. Paste.*

This was just another crappy attempt at a studio cash grab, by taking advantage of families. Luckily, word got out about how bad this movie was and it ended up having the 3rd 44th worst opening weekend of all time. Hahahahahaha!!!! Take that evil studio execs that green-lighted this mess.

 

 

 

8

THE AFTERMATH

Studio Exec: What's your movie idea?

Pitcher: A British soldier takes his hot wife to Germany where they move into the house of a super-hot guy while he's still living there. Then the soldier leaves for a long time. Guess what happens next?!

Studio Exec: Love it! Film it now!

 

And that is the story of how Fox Searchlight Pictures got a HUGE tax write off for 2019.

 

 

 

9

GEMINI MAN

Will Smith is awesome. Two Will Smiths? Not so much. Especially when the second Will Smith requires millions of dollars of CGI to create, but your CGI budget is somewhere a lot closer to zero. Throw on top of that a really poor plot and you have the perfect recipe for a 10 Worst list contender.

 

 

 

10

THE INTRUDER

Dennis Quaid ruined this movie. If they had picked any other person to be the bad guy this would have been your normal bad movie and not finished anywhere near the 10 Worst. However, because Dennis Quaid was in it, and deemed it necessary to make the weirdest faces throughout the entire film, it is laughably unwatchable. 

 

 

 

 

Dishonorable Mentions for the Worst Films of the Year

 

 

AFTER

Yes, this looks hot and steamy. And it is. A hot, steamy pile of.... Anywho...This flick is formulaic, dull, and there is zero chemistry between the main characters. The only AFTER you will want if you see this is for it to be AFTER the movie is over.

 

 

 

REPLICAS

Keanu Reeves is one of the nicest guys in Hollywood. He's also at his best in movies where he doesn't have to say too much. (See JOHN WICK). Unfortunately, in REPLICAS, he talks all the time. It's painful.

 

 

 

RAMBO LAST BLOOD

Just because CREED was a successful reboot doesn't mean you should reboot all of your old stuff. RAMBO: LAST BLOOD is a case study as to why this rule should be followed all of the time.

 

 

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LITTLE WOMEN

Rated: PG

Release Date: December 25, 2019

Director: Greta Gerwig

Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Timothee Chalamet, Emma Watson

Plot: Four sisters learn the hardships and triumphs of life during the American civil war

Trailer

 

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

 

 

Director Greta Gerwig put together a power-house group of women, and led them all to a finished product that is not just a great film for toady, but simply a great film. The production elements, the costumes, the chemistry of the cast, and the beautiful music all come together to create a special film. 

 

My only issue with it is that the pacing is slightly off for the first 30 minutes or so. It takes a minute to figure out the timeline jumps that are happening and who is who. Once you get used to the back and forth of the timeline and you know who all of the characters are the movie steams full speed ahead.

 

It is funny, heart-warming, sad, endearing, and beautiful. It will run you through all of the emotions in a little over two hours. 

 

The acting is incredible as well. Florence Pugh as Amy is masterful. She should be up for Best Supporting Actress in almost every awards show. Saoirse Ronan is exceedingly powerful as well as Jo. I have a feeling she will see several Best Actress nominations. 

 

It would not surprise me in the least to see this film up for Best Picture and Best Director when the Oscars are announced. It may not quite be the best of the bunch, but it absolutely deserves to be in the conversation. 

 

If you are a fan of the book, this is a must-see movie. It will give you all that you want out of the story. 

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SPIES IN DISGUISE

Rated: PG

Release Date: December 25, 2019

Director: Nick Bruno and Troy Quane

Stars: Will Smith, Tom Holland, Karen Gillan, Reba McEntire

Plot: The world's greatest spy is accidentally turned into a pigeon, but that doesn't mean he can give up on the case

Trailer

 

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

 

 

I was a little wary of this film when I first saw the trailer. A guy turns into a pigeon, and that's supposed to make for a good movie?

 

Well, it did. 

 

This one is a ton of fun for kids and adults. It is filled with all sorts of physical humor and potty humor that will keep your child laughing through the end credits. It is exciting, fast-paced, and filled with lots of spy gadgets. 

 

The animation isn't the latest and greatest, but it is just fine. 

 

Some parents may want to check this movie out before you let the little ones see it. It is a spy movie, so there are several fight scenes. There isn't anything overly violent, but you may decide that it is too much for your family. 

 

While this isn't on the same level as a movie like FROZEN II, it is still a fun film. And one that could be a great escape for a couple of hours while the kids are on Winter break.

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STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: December 20, 2019

Director: J.J. Abrams

Stars: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac

Plot: Rey and her friends must find the hidden base of the First Order and destroy them before they take over the universe

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Drop everything and see this in theaters now

 

 

I saw this movie like a fan. Not like a movie critic. I bought my ticket the day they went on sale, I stood in line for nearly two hours so I could get a good seat, I endured the commercials and trailers leading up to the main event, and then I cheered right along with everyone else at all of the right moments. 

 

It's been 42 years since the first STAR WARS film hit theaters. And as far as I'm concerned, we got a fantastic ending to an epic franchise. There are many critics hating this film, but I say this movie isn't for them, it's for the fans. I was in a theater packed to capacity, literally not one empty chair, and I heard ZERO negative reaction from the audience during or after the movie. Everyone LOVED it.

 

As for the film, it is another exciting STAR WARS story with several new characters, all of our favorites, and a few surprises along the way. Each character has their part to play and they do it well.

 

The story is exciting, full of action, suspense, and touching moments. There are tons of Easter eggs for fans of the series, and many moments that will have you cheering out loud. 

 

If you are a fan of episodes 7 and 8, you'll be very pleased with this one. It answers a lot of questions, and ties up almost all of the loose ends. (There is one thing that didn't get resolved, and that is driving me crazy, but that's for a discussion after you've seen the movie).

 

I've been a fan of STAR WARS nearly all of my life. As a fan, I couldn't have asked for a better finale. I will be seeing this again as soon as possible. If you are a fan, I think you will, too. 

 

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CATS

Rated: PG

Release Date: December 20, 2019

Director: Tom Hooper

Stars: Francesca Hayward, Idris Elba, Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson

Plot: Several cats compete in a talent show to win a better life, but one cat will stop at nothing to win

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release

 

 

I am a huge fan of the theatre. I've seen close to 100 live musicals. I love going and experiencing the dynamic intensity of a live production. I have been enthralled, enraptured, and mesmerized by dozens of musicals. I have been happy I've seen dozens more. And I absolutely hated one.

 

CATS.

 

When I saw CATS several years ago I was so bored, annoyed, and couldn't have cared less about any of the characters that I walked out of the show at intermission.

 

This time I had to endure the whole thing.

 

You're welcome.

 

To be fair, I think that if you are a fan of CATS, you will probably like this version, too. So go give it a shot. If nothing else, at least you'll have the new Taylor Swift song to look forward to.

 

However, I think you are going to hate the characters played by Rebel Wilson and James Corden, because the director allowed them to play their roles as Rebel Wilson and James Corden. It is weird, abrasive, and takes you out of the story every time one of them is on screen.

 

As for everyone else, CATS is a complete waste of time. There are things never explained, there is no character development, the conflict makes no sense, and the ending is just weird.

 

About all this movie is good for is a semi-decent sound track to get in a good 2-hour cat nap.

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BLACK CHRISTMAS

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: December 13, 2019

Director: Sophia Takal

Stars: Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon, Lily Donoghue, Cary Elwes

Plot: Several girls on a college campus are hunted by cloaked and masked figures

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Don't even bother

 

 

This is the kind of film that gives the horror genre a bad name. This is nothing but a brainless, stupid, slasher flick that serves no purpose whatsoever. 

 

The acting is embarrassingly bad, and the plot is worse.

 

On some level this is supposed to be a female empowerment movie, but they give the women power by making the men literally brainless clones that are trained only to kill. So rather than make the men smart and the women smarter, they decided to make the men as dumb as possible. 

 

There is nothing scary about this movie. Even the jump scares are lame. And by the time the film gets to the climax everything has become so eye-rollingly ridiculous that it is laugh out loud funny. 

 

If you want to see a great Christmas horror flick, go rent ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE. But whatever you do just make sure you avoid this movie completely. If you see it Santa will put you on his naughty list.

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JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: December 13, 2019

Director: Jake Kasdan

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, Awkwafina

Plot: Four friends return to the game, but this time there are more players and the game has changed

Trailer

 

 

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

 

 

Yes! They did it again! The cast of JUMANJI is back with a few new players and a whole lot of fun for everyone. While I didn't like this one quite as much as the first film, this one is still very good and well above average. It's more like an A- compared to the A of the first one.

 

Once again we see the cast having to act like other people in the film and they all do it so well. Dwayne Johnson as Danny Devito is funny in every way possible. We also get the addition of Awkwafina who has become an acting force this year, and will probably be up for several acting awards for her role in THE FAREWELL. She is a blast to watch in everything she does. 

 

The rest of the cast is stellar, and this time we get to see them interact a lot more with each other. The dialogue is funny and fast-paced. All of the actors bring something special to the film that makes it better. 

 

The story is exciting, the action is awesome, and the ending will make you wish the third film was already out. So, gather up the family and go have a great time at the theater this weekend. 

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RICHARD JEWELL

Rated: R

Release Date: December 13, 2019

Director: Clint Eastwood

Stars: Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm

Plot: A security guard becomes the main suspect after a bomb goes off during the Atlanta Olympics

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this in theaters now

 

 

This is easily one of my favorite films of the year. In fact, it is probably in my top 5 for 2019. Not only is the story incredible, but it is told very well by a cast that is second to none. 

 

The acting in this movie is the best I've seen all year. Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, and Kathy Bates are all getting votes from me in all of the awards groups that I vote for. They are individually fantastic, but together they are even better. 

 

This is the kind of movie that pulls you in and keeps you engaged the entire time. It is compelling throughout and fast-paced. It's a 2 hour movie that feels like 45 minutes. There wasn't a single moment where I found myself pulled out of the story, or my mind was wondering around. 

 

If you like crime dramas, this is a must-see movie. It is one of the best in that genre to come along in several years. It's the kind of movie that will make you feel all sorts of emotions, and you will feel how high the stakes are even if you already know the outcome of the true story. 

 

There are four or five award-worthy films being released over the next few weeks. This is one of that bunch, and one that you should make time to see as soon as possible. 

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BOMBSHELL

Rated: R

Release Date: December 13, 2019

Director: Jay Roach

Stars: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, John Lithgow

Plot: Several women take their sexual harassment claims public, demanding the Roger Ailes and Fox News be held accountable

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release

 

 

This is going to be an interesting film to see what happens to it over the course of the next several weeks. I have a sneaking suspicion that BOMBSHELL is going to bomb. Mainly because fans of Fox News aren't going to want to see it, and people in general just don't like political dramas. I'm not sure why Hollywood keeps making them, because they all bomb. 

 

As for the movie I have mixed feelings about it. The acting is great, but the story is told in a terrible way. It's slow, boring, and it never really feels like it gets going. Things just sort of happen and then it comes to an end. The movie starts out fast-paced and exciting, but it quickly loses steam and becomes just another bland flick. By the end it's nothing but a bunch of millionaires and billionaires sniping at each other. 

 

As for the acting, Charlize Theron IS Megyn Kelly. She looks like her, she acts like her, she talks like her, it's almost too good. She's a better Megyn Kelly than Megyn Kelly. Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie are both great as well. I'm sure that they will all get a few acting nominations, although I don't think the film is good enough for them to win. 

 

This movie could have been a lot more compelling and interesting than it is. In it's current state it is a film that is not worthy of your time and will be easily forgotten. I'm sure I won't remember I saw this one by the time it gets released digitally. There are so many good movies out right now, don't waste your money on this one. 

 

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UNCUT GEMS

Rated: R

Release Date: December 13, 2019

Director: Benny and Josh Safdie

Stars: Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, Kevin Garnett, Idina Menzel

Plot: A New York City jewel seller keeps finding himself in debt to the wrong people and always trying a risky plan to get out of it

Trailer

 

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

 

 

All I need to describe this movie is one word: Exhausting. 

 

I could literally feel my blood pressure rising as I watched this film. I was so stressed out and annoyed 10 minutes into it that I almost had to walk away for a few minutes. Why was this happening? Because this movie is basically 2 hours of several people in the same room trying to yell over the top of one another. 

 

You know how you feel when your whole extended family gets together for Thanksgiving and your idiot uncle says something stupid to your drunk great aunt, and then it's nothing but chaos? That is UNCUT GEMS. 

 

Adam Sandler is great in his role, but his character is so frustrating, so annoying, and so infuriating that I couldn't help but hate him. He spends the entire movie never learning his lesson and doing stupid thing after stupid thing. An hour into the flick I just wanted to grab him and slap the snot out of him.

 

The characters are all flat, not a single person has any redemptive qualities. Everyone is a one-dimensional criminal or a sleazebag. Nobody changes or grows, there are no character arcs, we just see a bunch of jerks continue to be jerks. 

 

Also, a word of caution. If you see that Adam Sandler is in this and you are thinking, "oh, great! A Comedy!" Change that thought process now, because this is not a comedy at all. There is nothing funny about it or in it. It's a rough, gritty drama that will leave you worse off than when you arrived.