Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now

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DUNE
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: October 22, 2021
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Stars: Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya
Plot: A noble family is entrusted with the harvesting of the most valuable asset in the universe, but other enemies are close at hand
 
Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters
 

 

If you've read the books in the Dune franchise you know that turning them into a feature-length film is a daunting task. It's been tried before with varying degrees of success and failure. Thankfully, film-making and visual effects have come a long way in the last several decades, allowing for the first book to be made into a film that is worthy of the original text. 
 
The good news is the film stays as close as it can to the book. (If it stayed any closer the movie would have been six hours long). The bad news is that there are several major plot points that are barely touched on because nobody wants to sit through a six hour long movie. It occasionally feels like the plot jumps from one point to the next without explanation or a smooth transition. 
 
I was impressed that the character development is pretty solid for a movie that has to introduce so many important players. For the most part, even people walking into the theater with no former knowledge of the Dune world will be able to catch on quickly as to who are the key people and where they stand on the scale of good versus evil. 
 
The best part of this film is the cinematography. It is shot in an incredibly beautiful way. Every scene is striking. I'm sure this will be up for many technical awards, but I'll be surprised if it doesn't win the Oscar for cinematography.  
 
The worst part of this movie is how it ends. It's a lot like the first film in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. Everything is moving forward in an interesting way and then all of a sudden the end credits are rolling. It goes from being a great and interesting movie into something that feels more like a 2 1/2 hour long trailer for the next movie. 
 
The studio has not confirmed a second film yet, but the way this one ends requires a second film, so hopefully that will be in the works soon. 
 
Finally, this is a movie that needs to be seen on the biggest screen possible. Can you watch it on streaming? Sure. But you will miss out on a true experience. This one is worth the time and money to see in theaters.  

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RON'S GONE WRONG
Rated: PG
Release Date: October 22, 2021
Director: Sarah Smith and Jean-Philippe Vine
Stars: Jack Dylan Glazer, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Olivia Colman
Plot: A boy gets a robot that is supposed to become his best friend, but its incomplete code makes the process difficult
 
Clint Says: Wait for the digital release
 

 

Over the last decade social media has become one of the biggest influences in most of our lives. We've become a society that truly believes in "pics or it didn't happen." Not surprisingly, we are now seeing all genres of films touching on the subject of social media versus real life. 
 
This film takes the idea of social media to the extreme and then mixes it with the powder keg of middle school. Once it adds in a cute personality for the robot and a bunch of slapstick comedy, we end up with a pretty decent movie. 
 
This isn't the kind of animated film that is going to shatter any box office records, nor is it going to be one that will be a family favorite for years to come. But it is good enough to see once or twice from the comfort of your own couch. I wouldn't suggest spending the money to see it in the theaters. It's good, but not that good. 
 
The best news is that this film is only about 90 minutes long, and it keeps the entertainment up and the excitement going for most of the movie. I saw it with a bunch of kids and they stayed engaged the whole time and laughed a bunch as well. That is the best sign you can get for a movie like this. It's not the most exciting movie for adults, but if it keeps the kids happy for an afternoon, that makes it worth the watch. 

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THE LAST DUEL
Rated: R
Release Date: October 15, 2021
Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Matt Damon, Jodie Comer, Adam Driver, Ben Affleck
Plot: A woman accuses a man of rape, and her husband chooses to defend her honor in a duel to the death
 
Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters
 

 

Jodie Come has has quite the year. First with Free Guy and now The Last Duel. They are vastly different films, but she dominates in both of them. Her powerful presence gives this film the important edge that it needed to turn a good movie into a great one. I don't know if she will be up for any of the acting awards, but she deserves to be in consideration. 
 
The movie itself it quite interesting. It's one that shows the "same" scenes over but from differing viewpoints. It makes for a compelling watch as you try to decipher what is truth, what is a lie, and what is ego getting in the way. 
 
The film clocks in at 2 1/2 hours, but it doesn't feel long at all. It starts out quickly and then becomes somewhat familiar as it winds its way through the different lenses of the characters. The good news is that it never gets boring. 
 
Matt Damon and Adam Driver do well in their respective roles, but Ben Affleck is the show stealer. His portrayal of a slimy royal is deliciously devious. One minute you adore him, the next you want to see him die in an excruciating way.  He is only outdone by the king. And you will just have to see the movie to enjoy everything the king has to offer. 
 
This is a very gritty and brutal film. The battle scenes are not glamorous, the story is hard to watch, and most of the characters are unlikable. It is a drama through and through with no reprieve. If you are okay with that you will be treated to a very good piece of cinematic art. If you like your wars to be choreographed, you may want to skip this one.  

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THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK
Rated: R
Release Date: October 1, 2021
Director: Alan Taylor
Stars: Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom, Jr., Ray Liotta, Michela de Rossi
Plot: In the late 1960's the mafia is in disarray all across New Jersey as a young Tony Soprano tries to figure out the whole game
 
Clint Says: Wait for the digital release
 

 

The Sopranos may be one of the greatest television series of all time. Personally, I wouldn't know. I watched the first three or four episodes and it didn't captivate me, so I gave it up after that. But I know that I am in the minority. That said, I went into this film knowing there would probably be a lot of nuance and Easter eggs that I would miss. Now that I've seen it, I'm positive I missed a lot. 
 
The good news is the film stands on its own. I was able to follow along with the plot easily, I never felt like I was missing out on anything, nor was I confused about any plot points. But I'm sure that fans of the show would have gotten a lot more out of it than I did. 
 
The one thing that disappointed me about this movie was the marketing. The movie really isn't about a young Tony Soprano. Yes, he is in it, but we don't get a lot of him. It's more about the generation before him doing their thing while a young Tony tries to just make it through school without getting kicked out. There isn't a lot that happens where one could say, "oh, that is the moment where his life changed." It feels more like a known fact that eventually he will grow up and join the family business. 
 
I'm sure that if you are a fan of the show you will really enjoy this movie. It's done well and doesn't get too over the top. For non-fans, it may feel a bit slow at times and even a tad clunky, but overall it's a pretty decent flick. 

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HALLOWEEN KILLS
Rated: R
Release Date: October 15, 2021
Director: David Gordon Green
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Will Patton, Andi Matichak
Plot: Somehow Michael Myers escapes an inferno and continues his murderous rampage across town
 
Clint Says: Don't even bother
 

 

This second film (of a planned trilogy), is as bad of a horror flick as I have seen in a long time. It's both surprising and disappointing, because the first one almost good. While the 2018 opener was not much more than a slasher flick, at least it had some semblance of a plot. This one is nothing more than odd "flashbacks" and gruesome, but oddly silly, killing vignettes.
 
Typically dialogue doesn't really make an impact in a horror flick. You know what is going on, and the lines used are the necessary vessels to get the plot to the end. Very rarely does anyone find flowing prose coming from the mouth of a stumbling co-ed or a slow-walking bad guy. But the dialogue in this film is so mind-numbingly stupid, that even the most forgiving of horror fans will have to admit this script must have taken about 2 hours to write. 
 
In fact, the script is so bad I feel it necessary to warn you, do not play a drinking game with the phrases, "he's been terrorizing this town for 40 years," or, "evil dies tonight." If you do you will have alcohol poisoning 40 minutes into the movie. (And that's only about half of the mentions that happen before the end credits).
 
Another thing that makes this movie so bad is that the main character has almost zero to do with the plot. Basically, Jamie Lee Curtis spends the entire movie in a hospital bed while all of the action happens elsewhere. It's a very strange (non) use of the top-billed star. 
 
This movie is so bad that there is no reason why you should see it in theaters. In fact, there would be no reason for you to go to the big screen even if it was good, because they released this on the same day on Peacock with no additional fee. So, even if you don't subscribe to Peacock, you could do a trial and watch this for free. But I'm telling you right now, it's not even worth the time it takes to set up a free trial account. 
 
Let's all hope that the third film will finally redeem this franchise. But just like people always believing Michael Myers is dead, I'm not betting on it. 
 
 

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NO TIME TO DIE
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: October 8, 2021
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Stars: Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch
Plot: James Bond is forced out of retirement to take on an old foe, but this time the stakes are even higher
 
Clint Says: Drop everything and see this in theaters now
 

 

If the rumors are true, this is Daniel Craig's last go around as James Bond. And if this is his last film as the super spy, he couldn't have picked a better way to go out. This is an excellent film. It ranks right up there with Casino Royale, which I consider to be one of the best Bond movies of all time. 
 
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding this movie. Some of it seems to be true, some seems misguided. The truth is, we really won't know what is happening with the franchise until the next movie comes out. Yes, this film gives us a lot of answers, but it also gives us a lot more questions. It will be fascinating to see where it all goes from here. 
 
I was a bit fearful when I saw that this movie was almost 3 hours long, but having seen it, there is very little wasted time. The story needed to be that long. The good news is that it doesn't feel that long at all. The pacing is great and the story is compelling enough to keep you interested from the opening scene through the shocking end. 
 
This is also one of the best acted Bond films. Craig gives everything he's got in this final performance. And he is surrounded by fantastic characters that are well acted by some of the best Hollywood has to offer. Rami Malek and Ana de Armas in particular have stand out performances. It will be interesting to see if de Armas will be back in any new 007 films. 
 
The only downside to this film are a couple of big plot holes. If you catch them they will annoy you, but if you miss them they don't make the film any worse. I just wish they would have fixed them in the writing room before the film was made. 
 
If you are a James Bond fan this is a must see movie. I highly recommend seeing it this weekend. You will love it and it will shock you. Also, make sure you stay past the credits. There is something that pops up on the screen right at the very end that is worded in a very specific way. It will make you question certain things that you just saw. And it will give you and your friends a lot to talk about over dinner after the show. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: September 24, 2021
Director: Michael Showalter
Stars: Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield
Plot: A narrative following the rise and fall of televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker
 
Clint Says: See this in theaters as soon as you can
 

 

The best actress race is heating up and Jessica Chastain has become one of the front-runners with her makeup laden performance as the disgraced televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. If you grew up during the time of the PTL Network with Jim and Tammy Faye this is a film you have to see. Chastain's performance is so spot on that you'll quickly forget that you aren't watching the real Tammy Faye. 
 
Her performance is made stronger by the powerful work of Andrew Garfield playing her husband. Their on screen chemistry and tension are intense and emotional. It feels like you've got a back stage pass into their real lives. 
 
Chastain's transition through the film is masterful. Not only in makeup, but also in her self-discovery. She brings the power to the role that was so evident when you watched Tammy Faye on TV, but then we get to see the vulnerable and broken side of her that hardly ever made it on air. 
 
This is a fantastic biopic that is well worth your time and money. It doesn't matter if you were a huge fan of PTL or thought they were scamming millions for their own wealth, this movie will give you all sides of the story. It will make you mad, break your heart, fill you with joy, and rile up the cynic inside. It may not be the best movie you'll see this year, but it will almost certainly be in the top 10. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: October 1, 2021
Director: Andy Serkis
Stars: Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams
Plot: Eddie Brock gets too close to a serial killer and inadvertently creates a rival to Venom
 
Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this is theaters
 

 

When I saw the first trailer for this movie I immediately set my expectations high. I knew that Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson would deliver, but there was one more thing that I needed to make sure this movie was great. I needed a long, drawn out, intense, over the top fight scene between the two monsters. 
 
All of my expectations were met. 
 
This is a movie that stays in its lane. The powers that be knew this was a movie that needed to be all about the monster fight, and so they streamlined everything to get to that moment. However, it doesn't feel like the rest of the movie is rushed. They did a great job with the setup and character development of Harrelson's character, plus they do a good job of getting us back into the life of Eddie Brock. 
 
The pacing is great. It gets through the important information and gets us to the excitement in a smooth yet quick manner. And then once it gets to the fight scene it is all about the crazy effects and cool visuals.
 
If you liked the first Venom film you need to see this one soon. You won't be disappointed. 
 
As with almost all Marvel films, make sure you stick around through the credits. There is a mid-credit scene that you will want to see. 

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THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2
Rated: PG
Release Date: October 1, 2021
Director: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Snoop Dogg
Plot: The Addams family goes on a road trip to help Wednesday reconnect with the family, but the plan may backfire
 
Clint Says: Wait for the digital release
 

 

Two years ago we were treated to a fantastic reanimation of The Addams Family, it was fun, funny, and even dark and twisted for the adults. Now the family is settled in and ready to go on their first road trip.
 
When someone says "road trip" there are typically only two reactions. One being, "Yeah!!!!! Road trip! Let's do this!" The other being, "I have to spend how long in that cramped car with all of you?!?"  
 
Walking into the movie I was really hoping to have the first reaction. 30 minutes in I realized I was the grumpy teen sulking in the back of the car and planning the slow, torturous death of everyone contributing to my misery. 
 
I'm not sure how this franchise fell off of the rails so fast, but it did. The first film was fast paced, filled with great physical comedy and tons of laughs for the kids, and way more laughs for the adults. This movie took that winning formula and threw it out the window, then drove us to the Grand Canyon. 
 
It's slow, the story is not compelling, and it is barely funny. I saw it with a bunch of families and there was one moment where people laughed out loud. One. That's one expensive joke if you bring the whole family to the theater. 
 
You'd be better off waiting for this one to release digitally. You aren't going to miss anything by waiting a few weeks. 
 

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DEAR EVAN HANSEN
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: September 24, 2021
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Stars: Ben Platt, Kaitlyn Dever, Julianne Moore, Amy Adams
Plot: A teen boy gets caught up in the drama when a fellow student commits suicide and people think they were best friends
 
Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters
 

 

A couple of times each year I feel like I see a different movie than all of my fellow film critics. This is one of those times. So, just like Evan Hansen, I'll sit over in the corner of the lunchroom all by myself thinking this is a good movie while everyone else just points and laughs at me. 
 
Does this movie have issues? For sure. To start, Ben Platt looks too old to be a high schooler. But to be fair, he was the star of the Broadway musical, so the role belongs to him. Next, the story is emotionally manipulative. It uses a weak excuse to keep the plot going and keep the emotion level high. And while this is annoying, the film would be much less compelling without the emotion. 
 
It is also really long. It clocks in at almost 2 1/2 hours, which is fine for a Broadway musical, but not for a teen drama. They could have easily cut a few of the songs and got the final cut below two hours, and I don't feel like we would have missed anything. 
 
All of that said, I really liked this movie. I thought the story was very interesting, the characters were complex, and the adaptation from Broadway to the big screen was one of the best I've ever seen. 
 
If you are a fan of the musical you should see this in theaters. I think you will really enjoy it. The same goes for anyone that is a fan of musicals in general. This may not be your favorite, but it will be worth your time and money. 
 
But then again, you may hate it as much as all of my critics pals did. So, don't take my word for it. See it for yourself and see where you land. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
CRY MACHO
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: September 17, 2021
Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Eduardo Minett, Dwight Yoakam, Natalia Traven
Plot: An old horse trainer goes to Mexico to bring the son of his old boss to the United States
 
Clint Says: Wait for the digital release
 
 
Clint Eastwood is a legend. He's been in close to 70 films, he's directed more than 40, and he's even composed the music for several films. When he directs his films always come in on time and under budget. He is easily one of the best when it comes to Hollywood. 
 
That said, maybe it is time for this legendary cowboy to ride off into the sunset. (Although I'm not going to be the one to tell him. He'd probably beat the snot out of me.)
 
Just like the character Eastwood plays in this film, the movie itself feels like it is an old, has been. Yes, it still has poignant and compelling moments, but it feels like it would have been in it's prime 35 years ago. It's not that this film is out of step with the current culture, in fact it feels more in line with current culture than several of Eastwood's last films. It just feels like a script from 1985 was found in an old, dusty box and they made the movie as is. 
 
Eastwood and his female counterpart are great on screen together. The same can be said for most of the scenes with Eastwood and Eduardo Minett (Rafo). Although there are a couple of scenes where Minett's acting leaves a lot to be desired. However, the thing that drags the whole movie down is Dwight Yoakam. He is terrible. He couldn't act his way out of a wet paper bag. I have no idea why he was allowed to have so many lines. 
 
Overall, this isn't a bad movie. It's fine for what it is. It never feels slow, but it doesn't ever feel like there is more danger than an 80 year old man couldn't handle. it just feels old and tired. 
 
If you are a fan of Clint Eastwood films you'll probably like this one as well. If old Westerns aren't your thing this is one you should avoid.  
 
 
 
 

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COPSHOP
Rated: R
Release Date: September 17, 2021
Director: Joe Carnahan
Stars: Frank Grillo, Gerard Butler, Alexis Louder
Plot: A scammer uses a local police station to hide out, but a hitman works his way into the situation
 
Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee
 

 

Sometimes you have to own up to your mistakes. The mistake I made was judging this movie off of the trailer. I try hard not to do that. I try to give every movie every opportunity to be the best movie of the year and then wait until I see it to prove to me that it is or isn't. 
 
But the trailer was so bad. I mean colossally bad. 
 
Then I went to see the movie, and for the first 20 minutes I was sure that my suspicions were correct. But then the movie actually started to build and become interesting. 45 minutes in I was actually emotionally invested in a couple of the characters and was rooting for a specific outcome. With 15 minutes to go, I was thrilled with an amazing twist on one of the the typical action flick tropes. 
 
Now, I'm not saying this movie is the next Die Hard or anywhere near it. It's a decent movie at best, but it isn't the complete disaster that I feared it would be. Grillo and Butler and fine, Alexis Louder does a good job, but kudos to Toby Huss for stealing the entire movie. His character is one of the best I've seen all Summer. 
 
If you like action flicks, you'll most likely enjoy this one. It's not one that will stick with you forever, or one that you'll want to see again, but it is worth seeing once in the theater. If you aren't a fan of action movies go ahead and skip this one. It has a few good moments, but nothing that would make it worth your while. 
 
 
SHANG-CHI: AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: September 3, 2021
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Stars: Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Meng'er Zhang
Plot: A young man must face off against his father in order to save the world
 
Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters
 

 

By now we all know that one of the hardest type of films to do well is the origin story. Marvel, however, has done a very good job at making great origin films for the last several years. And while this movie is very good, it isn't quite as great as some of its predecessors. 
 
Like with many origin stories, this one has some pacing issues leading to some slow moments, but if you have a little patience, the movie pays off well. 
 
Aside from the pacing issues, nearly everything else about this film is excellent. It has incredible action, the tried and true Marvel witty banter, and many moments that will have you laughing out loud. The story is compelling, the villain is one that you understand and actually fear that he might win, and the secondary characters give the movie incredible depth. 
 
The main characters are perfectly cast. Simu Liu is going to be a huge star, and Awkwafina steals every scene she is in. Plus, her character has its own hero arc which is fantastic to watch. 
 
As with most films set in China, this one is filled with beautiful scenery and imagery. The costumes are gorgeous, and worthy of an awards nomination. And if you thought the dragon was incredible in the trailer, wait until you see it on the big screen. It will blow you away. 
 
As with all Marvel movies, make sure you stay all the way through the credits. there are two scenes you don't want to miss. 

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CANDYMAN
Rated: R
Release Date: August 27, 2021
Director: Nia DaCosta
Stars: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Colman Domingo
Plot: An artist hears a story about the Candyman, and ends up bringing him back to life
 
Clint Says: Wait for the digital release
 

 

Welp, it looks like the Summer blockbuster season is going out with a whimper. (Unless Shang-Chi, is amazing enough to save all of August). This month has seen only a few wide release films, and most of them have been average at best. Candyman is no different. 
 
The one good part of Candyman is its social commentary. It had a social point it wanted to convey, and it does it well. 
 
Aside from that, the rest of the movie is a slow, non-scary, horror flick that is sometimes confusing but mostly just boring. The pacing is all over the place. You'll have once scene that barely moves the plot forward, but it lasts a seemingly long time. Then you'll have a scene pivotal to the whole story and it passes by in a flash. 
 
The emotional arc of the film is nearly flat. There are very few relief moments. It starts out dark and dreary and basically stays on that level for the full 90 minutes. 
 
The character arcs aren't any better. There wasn't a single character that jumped out as someone you could cheer on. 
 
This is also one of the least scary horror flicks I've seen in a while. The buildup to the scary scenes is always the same. The outcome is always the same. The method is always the same. There isn't any deviation to scare you from a different direction. 
 
If you want to see this movie, I would suggest waiting for the digital release. It's not worth the time or the money to see it in the theater. 
 

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REMINISCENCE
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: August 20, 2021
Director: Lisa Joy
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Fergusson, Thandiwe Newton, Cliff Curtis
Plot: A seller of memories becomes obsessed with a mysterious woman
 
Clint Says: Wait for the digital release
 

 

I have seen the trailer for this film countless times, and every time I see it I think this is either going to be an incredible movie, or it will be terrible. The trailer makes it look like a second coming of Inception. 
 
The trailer lies. 
 
This movie is terrible. 
 
First, let's talk about the world building. This is set in a not-too-distant future Miami where the waters have risen and flooded most of the city. This makes for a really cool visual element, but it has zero influence on the story. This could have been set in "normal" Miami and had the same impact. 
 
Next, the movie is way too long. I figured out most of it about 30 minutes in and figured out the entire mystery with about an hour to go. I was thoroughly bored by then, yet still had to endure the last sixty minutes. There were so many scenes that could have been cut from the film that would have made the movie so much more compelling, energetic, and a tolerable length. 
 
Then, there are plot holes that are so big and so blatant that they had to notice them, but just chose to ignore them. The movie is full of them. This is without a doubt some of the laziest writing and directing I've seen in a film in a long time. But there may be a reason for that. The film is written, directed, and produced by the same person. That is rarely a recipe for success. Usually it just means that this is a passion project and the head of the show does not, or refuses to, hear "no." 
 
There is so much wrong with this movie it is hard to say anything nice about it. The music was fine, the acting was average, but the character development was lacking, and the visuals were good, but they rarely if ever added anything to the story. 
 
This whole film is based on going back and reliving old memories. I wish  I could go back and erase that I ever saw this.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
THE PROTEGE
Rated: R
Release Date: August 20, 2021
Director: Martin Campbell
Stars: Maggie Q, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson
Plot: An assassin finds herself in a tangled web while she searched for the killer of her trainer
 
Clint says: Save some money and see a matinee
 

 

This may be one of the most action-packed, yet forgettable films to come out this year. It's fun, it's exciting. it has a good mystery, but it won't stick with you at all. 
 
If I can I try to let a movie roll around in my head for a couple of days after I've seen it before I write my review. It gives me a chance to make sure what I originally thought is correct or not. This time I'm having a difficult time even remembering the plot of the movie. So it is either entirely forgettable in almost every way, or I have early onset dementia. 
 
For the most part the cast is great, the action is exciting, and the story is compelling, however it doesn't have that special something that makes it unique and makes it stand out from the rest. It's simply another action flick. 
 
For the most part I enjoyed the movie,  but there were a couple of things that pulled me out of the story. The main thing being the relationship between Michael Keaton and Maggie Q. There is just no way that Maggie Q is falling for a guy like Keaton. I'm sure this film will be nominated for the award for largest age gap between on-screen lovers. It's just a weird matchup all around. 
 
Overall this is a pretty good movie, just don't expect to be thoroughly wowed by it. It's worth a night out, and that's about it. 

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RESPECT
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: August 13, 2021
Director: Liesl Tommy
Stars: Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald
Plot: A glimpse at the life of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin
 
Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee
 
 

There is no doubt, nor argument, that Aretha Franklin is one of the best singers to ever live. She was born with amazing talent, raised in an environment that honed her skills, and was willing to do what it took to make it to the top of her profession. 

 
Her life story is not an easy one. It is one filled with a lot of pain, strife, and sadness. She had much to overcome to become the success that she was.
 
Her story is truly amazing. And one that I wish this movie told in a better and more compelling way. 
 
I'm not saying this is a bad movie. It has some powerful and emotional moments, but it feels like the script was washed clean of some of the dirt and grit that would have made it more interesting and compelling. There are major life events that are barely mentioned, then there are moments that play a minor role in her life that take up a lot of the film. 
 
The running time for Respect is nearly 2 1/2 hours, and I would have been okay with that if it had been more emotional and told the whole story. With the story told as is, this should have been about 100 minutes tops. 
 
The one great thing about this movie is Jennifer Hudson. She brings Aretha to life. Her portrayal is impeccable. Unfortunately, most of the characters around her are stiff, and two-dimensional, and don't do much other than to help move the story along. 
 
I would love to see this movie redone without all of the polishing. It may not be nearly as flattering to the Queen of Soul, but it would be real, raw, and powerful.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
FREE GUY
Rated: R
Release Date: August 13, 2021
Director: Shawn Levy
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Taika Waititi, Lil Rey Howery
Plot: A background character in an online video game begins to gain intelligence and becomes a worldwide sensation
 
Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters
 

 

This is a movie that was supposed to be released just about the time the whole world shut down in 2020. It's one that I've been looking forward to seeing for nearly two years. That's a long time to wait for one movie. 
 
Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed. 
 
First of all, if you are an online gamer or someone who loves to watch other people live-streaming their game play, this is a must-see movie for you. It is filled with all of your favorite streamers, and it has tons of Easter eggs from dozens of the most popular games. Watching the movie just for that would be a lot of fun. 
 
The good news is you don't have to be a gamer, or a game watcher to enjoy this movie. Sure, there will be a couple of jokes and visuals that you won't get, but for the most part you'll understand everything that is happening. 
 
This film is filled with great visuals, fun characters, and so many great moments of physical comedy. Add to that a story that is interesting and unexpected, and you have a pretty decent movie. It's not the kind of movie that is going to blow you away and leave you wishing to see it again as soon as you leave the theater, but it is one that you will be happy you saw, and you'll probably watch it again when it is streaming. 
 
Ryan Reynolds is hilarious as usual. My only issue with his performance is that sometimes it feels like he's playing Will Ferrell's Buddy the Elf. The rest of his supporting cast is great. They are all unique and fun, and they bring great depth to the story. 
 
One of my favorite things about this film is it's ability to draw from other franchises. It's fun to see what can happen in a movie like this when it is put out by a studio that owns so many iconic films and characters. There are several moments where you will be laughing out loud at the ridiculous thing that just showed up in the middle of this movie. 
 
This may not be the best film of the summer, but it is one of the most unique and fun movies you'll see. This is a great flick to grab the popcorn and soda and enjoy it for what it is. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
NINE DAYS
Rated: R
Release Date: August 13, 2021
Director: Edson Oda
Stars: Winston Duke, Zazzie Beetz, Benedict Wong, Tony Hale
Plot: Beings are sent to a site for nine days to be evaluated to determine if they would make good humans
 
Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this in theaters now
 

 

This is one of those films that has everything that it takes to be a Best Picture contender, but for whatever reason it just flies under the radar and it never gets the acclaim that it deserves. 
 
This is a fantastic, unique, and beautiful film that may be slightly confusing at first, but once you understand what is happening, it will draw you in and keep you captivated until the end. 
 
While the story itself is incredible, the acting is some of the best I have ever seen. Winston Duke and Zazzie Beetz should both be up for acting awards for their character portrayals, but I fear their work will also be overlooked.
 
If you get a chance to see this movie please watch it. It is not your typical, commercial movie fare, but more of an introspective and artistic look at what makes us who we are, and where we come from. 
 
Whether it gets the recognition it deserves or not, it doesn't dilute the fact that this is absolutely one of the best films of 2021. 
 
 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
THE SUICIDE SQUAD
Rated: R
Release Date: August 5, 2021
Director: James Gunn
Stars: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman
Plot: The US government calls on the Suicide Squad to save the world again, but things aren't exactly what they seem
 
Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters
 

 

The first Suicide Squad film was a hot mess, but a ton of fun. This one replaces the hot mess with amped up everything, and keeps all of the fun. It is ridiculous, it is over the top, it is way too much, and it is a must see movie for comic book movie fans. 
 
It feels like the writers took every single moment in the first draft and said, "how can we turn this scene up to a 10?" Then they did it. 
 
You know every moment is on hyperdrive when after the movie is over you overhear a couple of teenage boys talking about the movie and one says, "man, I didn't expect it to be that gory!" And it is a true statement. This movie is gory, filled with bad language, violent, and so incredibly weird. 
 
At times, this movie feels like you are watching John Wick, other times it feels like you are watching one of the original Japanese Godzilla movies. And surprisingly, it works. Especially since the big, bad villain is the best bad guy to come along since the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. 
 
This movie is not for everyone. It is very R-rated. If you can't handle gore, violence, and blood, you can't handle this movie. If you can handle all of that, then strap in for one crazy ride. It's the kind of movie that dreams and nightmares are made of. Half of the movie you'll be saying, "ewwww," and the other half you'll be laughing at how strange everything is, but you'll also enjoy every minute of this crazy trip. 
 
Note: There is an end credit scene, so make sure to stick around for that.