Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now

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GREYHOUND

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: July 10, 2020

Director: Aaron Schneider

Stars: Tom Hanks, Stephen Graham, Elisabeth Shue

Plot: During World War II, a first-time Naval Captain tries to escort a convoy across the Atlantic Ocean, while being chased down by German submarines

Trailer: https://youtu.be/eyzxu26-Wqk

Clint Says: Not a great date movie, but a great movie

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If you are a fan of war movies, this is a must-see movie. If you are a fan of Tom Hanks, this is a must-see movie. If you are a fan of really good movies, this is a must-see movie.

It is surprising how much action and suspense is packed into a film that is only 90 minutes long, including end credits!

While this is a strange and unprecedented year for film, it should be another year in which we see Tom Hanks up for an acting award. He may also be up for another award as well, because he wrote the script for this movie.

This is one of those films that dispenses with the frills and jumps (almost) straight into the action. From that moment on, the intensity and suspense never let up until just before the end credits roll. It is a white-knuckle ride all the way.

The story is compelling and personal. You feel for the characters, and you feel the emotions that are coursing through them.  At times, it almost feels like you are on the ship with them.

This isn’t a great date-night movie, but it is one that is totally worth your time.

(Streaming on AppleTV)

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DA 5 BLOODS

Rated: R

 

Release Date: June 12, 2020

Director: Spike Lee

Stars: Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr.

Plot: Four war-brothers return to Vietnam, and to the spot where they lost one of their own. But they have a secret that they’ve kept for nearly 50 years.

Trailer

Clint Says: A great film…if you can handle it

 

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Spike Lee is back again, giving us a look at an historic event from a different angle. His ability to help us see things from another viewpoint is extraordinary. This time he deals with the struggle of people of color during the Vietnam conflict. It is eye-opening, heart-breaking, and anger-inducing.

This film is not for the squeamish. There is a lot of violence, blood, and gore. Lee doesn’t hold back at all when it comes to the hell of war. He continues the intensity and the effects that war has on people through the characters’ long-term physical and mental issues.

It is fascinating to see how one event affects these men and their relationships in different ways over the course of their lives.

This is a long film, clocking in at 2 ½ hours. For the most part it moves quickly, but there are times where it feels like it is dragging a bit. The good news is that the acting is so superior that the pacing issues seem minor. It would not surprise me at all if there are multiple acting award nominations that come from these performances.

This is a powerful film that checks all of the right boxes for a big awards run, but it does have a couple of major problems that may keep it from winning. The main quest is highly compelling, but the way the crew finds the item is just too silly and improbable. The climax is another problem for the film. It goes from intense to ridiculous. There are several scenes that take the drama way too far over the edge. It makes those scenes laughable rather than powerful.

Overall, this is a spectacular film aside from its issues. It is well worth a watch, if you can handle it.

(Streaming on Netflix)

 

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THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND

Rated: R

Release Date: June 12, 2020 (VOD)

Director: Judd Apatow

Stars: Pete Davidson, Marisa Tomei, Bel Powley, Bill Burr

Plot: A mid-20's man, still directionless and living with his mom, is shaken by several events that force him to confront his past and plan for the future

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Worth a watch, but make sure the kids are in bed first

 

 

 

For fans of SNL you already know what a fantastic talent Pete Davidson is. For everyone else, you are about to find out. Davidson plays the going-nowhere son of a hero firefighter killed in the line of duty. This had to be somewhat of a cathartic role for him since his real father was a firefighter killed on 9/11. 

 

Considering the subject matter and this being Davidson's first starring role in a feature film, this could have easily fallen off the rails and become a 2-hour slog. Instead, it has a special magic to it that you rarely see in comedies. 

 

The film does take a while to get going, but after about 30 minutes it hits its stride and becomes a great movie. Marisa Tomei adds so much to the film that I would say this is her best role since she played Mona Lisa Vito in MY COUSIN VINNY.

 

The rest of the cast fill out the story  well. There are several entertaining characters that spice everything up. Bel Powley and Steve Buscemi are standouts that steal several scenes. 

 

For those of you wanting a polished comedy from an SNL veteran, like the films from Will Ferrel, Adam Sandler, and Chris Farley, you'll want to adjust your settings before watching this one. This feels much more like a low-budget indie film. It is amazing and hilarious, but it isn't your typical comedy style. Fans of indie cinema are going to love this.

 

If you are looking for some good laughs in a story that feels like it shouldn't have a bunch of laughs this is your movie. Put the kids to bed early, (this film is 2 hours 16 minutes), and snuggle up on the couch for a fun night with a great movie. 

 

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THE HIGH NOTE

Rated: R

Release Date: May 29, 2020

Director: Nisha Ganatra

Stars: Dakota Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Ice Cube, Kelvin Harrison Jr.

Plot: A personal assistant to a superstar singer gets into trouble because she is anxious to make it big in the music industry

Trailer

 

Clint Says: It's worth a rental while you are staying at home

 

 

While this isn't the funniest Rom-Com to come out recently, it is satisfyingly funny. And, let's be honest, we are all craving a little laughter and a decent, somewhat-high-budget, a-list-starring movie to watch. Thankfully, this movie hits all of those notes.

 

This is easily Dakota Johnson's best work to date. It shows that she really does have good comedic timing, a broad acting range, and can be the likable underdog. If she keeps on this trajectory, she may do enough good things for us to finally forget FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. (Kidding....there is not enough good in the world for any of us to forget how bad that movie series was).

 

Tracee Ellis Ross makes a successful jump from TV star to a leading role in a feature film. She's had other roles in films before, but this is her first major part. She plays the role of superstar diva extremely well. Personally, I don't know how her mother, Diana Ross, acted around her, but I'm sure that Tracee used some of her personality as research for this role. 

 

The only real downside of this movie is that it is a bit too formulaic. Unfortunately, I figured out the storyline very early on in the film, so I spent most of it just waiting for it to catch up. The good news is that most people will be able to just enjoy the story and be surprised at the reveals. (Please do not read this as me saying I'm so much smarter and better than other people, it's not that at all. It's simply a product of watching a ton of movies every year and constantly dissecting storylines, character arcs, and themes).

 

One of the best aspects of this film is the cameos. There are a couple of big-name stars that pop in for a few minutes that make the film so much better. Be on the watch for them. 

 

If this were a normal time, this movie probably wouldn't move my excitement needle too much, but here we are, stuck at home, and the lack of new releases is a sad reality. Because of that, this film rises to the top as something fun and entertaining to watch this weekend. It's not going to be your favorite Rom-Com ever, but for now, it will give you some laughs and some couch cuddles. And that makes it worth the rental. 

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TROLLS WORLD TOUR

Rated: PG

Release Date: April 10, 2020

Director: Walt Dohrn, David P. Smith

Stars: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Rachel Bloom, James Corden

Plot: The Pop Trolls find out there are many other Trolls in the world, but the Rock Trolls want to take control over all of the other Trolls

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait a few months until the rental price drops

 

 

Four years ago, I took my daughters, then 4 and 6, to see TROLLS. The music was great, the girls were mostly entertained, but the story was pretty bland. Last night, we had a home movie night and watched TROLLS WORLD TOUR. My girls are now 8 and 10, and the age difference made the difference. 

 

While the 8 year old enjoyed the movie for the most part, she hasn't shown any interest in watching it again even though she knows we can watch it as many times as we want to in 48 hours. The 10 year old was both bored and annoyed by the whole thing. I asked her why, and she told me she couldn't really give me a solid reason, she just didn't like it.

 

I know why. 

 

This movie was thoroughly useless. The story was so thin that they has to resort to adding in several minutes of weird filler scenes that had nothing to do with advancing the plot. And most of them weren't even funny or entertaining.

 

Next, the story that was there, was okay, but we see it all of the time in kids' movies. It's the "We're all better together when we are different." Sure, that is a nice and true sentiment, but do we need to have that be the central point of every single kids' flick? No. There are thousands of other compelling and worthy story lines and lessons that can be explored. This one has become stale and tired. 

 

Finally, I'm sure that Rachel Bloom, the voice of the Rock Queen, is a lovely person in real life, but why she was chosen for this role will be a question that can never have a satisfactory answer. The only great things about this movie and the first one is the music. And Rachel can't sing. Believe me when I say, this is not a slight against her. She does the best job that she can, and it is passable, but if you are going to have a character that sings as much at talks, why on earth wouldn't you hire someone with amazing vocal abilities. Someone like Lzzy Hale, or Haley Williams, or Taylor Momsen, (I mean, she's already an actor, too!), would have made this movie so much better.

 

I know it is a weird time and we are all trying to do whatever we can to keep the kids entertained. But $19.99 is a lot of money to spend on a movie like this. Personally, I would wait until the price drops down below $5 before I would even consider renting this one.

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BLOODSHOT

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: March 13, 2020

Director: Dave Wilson

Stars: Vin Diesel, Eiza Gonzalez, Guy Pearce

Plot: A tech firm brings a soldier back to life, but the person responsible for the scientific breakthrough has alternative plans 

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

This is exactly what you think it is. It is a comic book turned action flick that doesn't bother with things like character development or worry about massive plot holes. The whole premise of the movie is so far-fetched that you can easily suspend disbelief and just roll with it. 

 

If you are into action flicks, this is a perfect film for you. It has all of the gadgets and explosions you could ever want. It even has all of the cheesy one-liners.

 

There isn't anything great about this movie, but there isn't anything terrible either. It's fun, it's exciting, and it is an escape from reality. What more could we all want right now? 

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I STILL BELIEVE

Rated: PG

Release Date: March 13, 2020

Director: Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin

Stars: K.J. Apa, Britt Robertson, Gary Sinise, Shania Twain

Plot: The true story of Jeremy Camp and how love and loss made him the artist he is

Trailer

 

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

 

 

If you know the story of Jeremy Camp, then you already know where this film is going. The great news is that, even if you do know, they did a fantastic job in making it compelling anyway. If you don't know anything about Jeremy Camp, his story will make you laugh, cry, and find hope in tragedy. 

 

This is from the same people that made I CAN ONLY IMAGINE. That was a great film, and this one is too. They manage to tell difficult and personal stories that feel very real, but not invasive. It is filled with many moments that will give you smiles and many that will have you searching for another tissue. 

 

Britt Robertson is amazing in her role, and K.J. Apa is her perfect match. Their on-screen chemistry is electric, and their dialogue feels effortless and real. 

 

If you are a fan of inspiring love stories, this is a perfect film for you. It is a movie that will touch your soul and give you a reason to hope.

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THE HUNT

Rated: R

Release Date: March 13, 2020

Director: Craig Zobel

Stars: Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, Ike Barinholtz

Plot: A group of rich liberals kidnap and hunt conservatives for sport

Trailer

 

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

 

 

If you are the kind of person that goes to movies for the gratuitous violence and prefer your plots to be paper thin, this movie is your Magnum Opus. Literally, there is no plot to this movie for at least the first 45 minutes and maybe even longer. All that happens in the first half is violent, bloody death after gory death. 

 

When we finally do get some sort of semblance of a plot it feels like the entire idea and script were thought up and written out over a three-beer lunch between two college buddies. It's basically death, death, death, oh, here's a really flimsy reason why, death, death, big fight scene, death, the end. 

 

I'm sure that on some level this is supposed to be a really smart, satire regarding our current political environment, but the reality is that it completely misses in both being smart and a satire. It is nothing more that a bloody romp through a forest.

 

On a base level this is fun and sometimes funny, but overall it's just too pointless and dumb to be worth a recommendation. 

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WENDY

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: March 13, 2020

Director: Behn Zeitlin

Stars: Devin France, Yashua Mask, Gage Naquin, Gavin Naquin

Plot: A young girl and her brothers run away to a magical place where they can stay children forever, but things don't always go as planned

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

Oh, how close this movie came to being great. 

 

When I saw the trailer for WENDY, I was so excited because it looked like a gritty, modern-day retelling of the Peter Pan story. The good news is that it fits that description well. The bad news is that is doesn't quite deliver on pacing, tone, or keeping the important benchmarks of the original story. 

 

There is a lot to like about this film, and I really did like it, I just didn't love it. It is very good, but not great. It has moments that are wondrous and beautiful, but it has others that are slow and tedious. I also feel like I was a bit cheated out of seeing the Peter Pan story. There are key points in the original tale that don't show up in this version. Because of that the whole thing feels a bit off. 

 

If you like the look and feel of indie films, this one is worth your time and money, but you have to go in knowing that it isn't going to be a film that wows you. I'm happy that I saw it, but I don't ever need to see it again.  

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ONWARD

Rated: PG

Release Date: March 6, 2020

Director: Dan Scanlon

Stars: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer

Plot: Two brothers go on a quest to bring back their dad for one last day together

Trailer

 

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

 

 

Disney/Pixar has an uncanny talent at taking very heavy subject matter and turning into an animated feature that is entertaining for the whole family and still stays true to the emotional depth of the circumstance the hero is in. Films like UP and INSIDE OUT are perfect examples of how they can take what seems to be an impossible task and make it work well. 

 

Now, we can add ONWARD to that list. 

 

My only negative comment about this movie is that it starts off a bit slow. However, after the first 15 or 20 minutes it hits its stride and becomes a fantastic film that the whole family can enjoy. The rest of the film is fun, funny, quirky, heartwarming, and exciting. It's filled with great physical comedy, adventure, fascinating characters and unique world building.

 

One of the best things about this movie is the twist. It is one that you'll never see coming, but it plays perfectly to the audience. 

 

If you are looking for a fun day out with the family, ONWARD should be on your short list of things to do.  

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THE WAY BACK

Rated: R

Release Date: March 6, 2020

Director: Gavin O'Connor

Stars: Ben Affleck, Janina Gavankar, Al Madrigal

Plot: A broken man tries to overcome the demons in his life through coaching high school basketball

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release

 

 

Ben Affleck is spectacular in an otherwise average movie. He gives one of the best performances of his career. A performance that he describes as "very therapeutic", since he started filming this film the day after he got out of rehab from his very public relapse. He also owes a huge "thank you" to his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, who called the director and saved the film from being shelved, even before production began, after Ben fell off of the wagon.

 

I'm happy for him that this movie got made. Especially if it is helping him to stay sober. However, I wish they had made a better film. I couldn't help myself from comparing this movie to HOOSIERS. And this one doesn't even come close to it. I didn't want to do it, but I'm a child of the 80's. 

 

It's too long, is has severe pacing issues, (to the point that after one scene I thought the movie was over, but we still had another 35 minutes to go), only one of the other characters are developed, and the timeline doesn't make any sense. (There is one point where the team's regular season ends and something happens that should take several weeks to several months to accomplish, but it is all done before the kids play their next game).

 

This isn't a bad movie, but it isn't great either. It's not one that stays with you like HOOSIERS does. If you want to see a good basketball movie with a broken coach, watch the one with Gene Hackman. You'll be a lot happier that you saved your money.

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THE INVISIBLE MAN

Rated: R

Release Date: February 28, 2020

Director: Leigh Whannell

Stars: Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Oliver Jackson-Cohen

Plot: A woman tries to convince everyone that her abusive, ex-boyfriend is invisible and attacking her

Trailer

 

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

 

 

There is a huge debate in the monster movie geekdom over whether this movie is a new reboot of Universal's Dark Universe, if it is a continuation of the Dark Universe, or if the Dark Universe is dead and this is just another monster movie put out there by Universal Studios with no affiliation to any of their other monster movies.

 

They can have that argument all day long. What I know to be true is that this is the first of the four monster movies, (THE WOLFMAN, DRACULA UNTOLD, THE MUMMY, and THE INVISIBLE MAN), that is actually good.

 

This film is filled with high suspense, a compelling story, great acting, and good pacing. The first 10 minutes will have you on the edge of your seat and having to remind yourself to breathe. And the suspense builds from there. 

 

Another fascinating aspect of this film is the use of camera movement to build suspense even when there is nothing on the screen except the set. It feels like you are following the invisible man, or waiting for him to appear at any moment. Also, kudos to the actors that had to do fight scenes with nobody. It is very difficult to flail around by yourself and not have it look completely ridiculous, but they managed to pull it off very well. 

 

If you like suspense and a few good jump scares, you need to see this movie right away. This has the potential to be one of the best horror films of the year. 

 

It's scary and smart. Very few horror films can claim both of those things. This one can.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

THE CALL OF THE WILD

Rated: PG

Release Date: February 21, 2020

Director: Chris Sanders

Stars: Harrison Ford, Cara Gee, Omar Sy, Dan Stevens

Plot: A dog in unfamiliar surroundings, and a man in the same situation, find each other and learn from one another

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release

 

 

There is a saying in Hollywood, "never do a movie with kids or animals." Well, the good news for Harrison Ford is that he didn't have to work with any animals in this one. I know that sounds impossible, but it is true. The dog in this movie is 100% CGI. As far as I could tell, there wasn't a single real animal in this entire movie.

 

I know this because the computer animations were so bad that it kept pulling me out of the story. All of the dogs moved in odd ways, or too fast, or just looked off in some way. There were several scenes that could have easily been shot with a real dog, but for some reason they chose not to do that. Instead we end up getting nearly two full hours of Harrison Ford looking in the general direction of where a dog should be.

 

As for the story, it is okay. It's a PG movie, so it is mostly safe for the entire family, but that also means the conflict is muted, making it a fairly bland film. The bad guy is almost cartoonish in the way he acts. I kept on waiting for him to break out into a Yosemite Sam skit.

 

There are a couple of elements that may be a bit too much for the under 8 crowd. If you are thinking about taking the younger kids, you may want to check it out beforehand to make sure it is something you want them to see. However, I recommend not wasting your money to see this one in the theaters. It's just not good enough to deserve your hard earned money.

 

They need to take this movie back and do a couple more months of CGI work on it before releasing it. And while they are at it they should probably change the saying to, "never do a movie with kids, animals, or adults in motion capture suits pretending to be animals." 

 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

BRAHMS: THE BOY II

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: February 21, 2020

Director: William Brent Bell

Stars: Katie Holmes, Christopher Convery, Owain Yeoman

Plot: A family is terrorized by a creepy-looking doll

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Don't even bother

 

 

I am so bummed that this movie is such a bust. When I saw the trailer for the first movie in this franchise I thought it looked kind of silly, but then I saw the movie and was blown away at how scary it was and how amazing the twist at the end was. I never saw it coming, and it was fantastic.

 

This second installment basically takes the awesome ending of the first, crumples it up, tosses it in the trash, and goes full tilt towards the ridiculous. Instead of leaving it alone, or working to come up with a plot that tied in well to the first film, the studio just went with a mind-numbingly stupid script in order to do a quick cash grab. 

 

Everything about this film is bad. The acting is cringe-worthy, the dialogue is boring and predictable, and in nearly 90 minutes I was scared maybe two times. The whole premise of this movie is utterly useless, and not even remotely worth your time or money. If you want to see a great horror flick, rent THE BOY. Now, that is how a horror movie should be.

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EMMA

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: February 21, 2020

Director: Autumn de Wilde

Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Bill Nighy, Mia Goth

Plot: A wealthy, young woman spends much of her time playing match-maker, while trying to avoid those that would want to marry her

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

Fans of Jane Austen will know that this film is based on one of the first romantic comedies to ever be written in book form. It helped to lay the groundwork for the tried and true Rom-Com formula we see in so many films, shows, and books today. By that account alone this is a film worth seeing.

 

This adaptation of the 1815 novel stays true to the original text in most cases. This is both a positive and a negative for the film and the audience. For those of you excited to see Jane Austen's words and characters come to life, your wish has been fulfilled. For those of you wanting to see a funny, fast-paced Rom-Com, you will be left wanting more. 

 

That does not mean that this is a bad film. To the contrary, it is quite good. It is however, a comedy set in the 1800's that plays like it is still in the 1800's, so the conflict and the situations are very tame compared to our lives 200 years later. The same can be said as to how humor has changed in the last two centuries as well. I'm sure the writing was significantly funnier back then than it is today. 

 

The acting is fantastic, including one of the best performances of her career by Anya Taylor-Joy. She commands the screen and the set with simple looks and gestures. Then as the secondary characters are layered into the story, we are blessed with a perfect cast for this film. 

 

It is very early in the year, but it would not surprise me in the slightest if this movie ends up being nominated for a couple of Oscars for hair and makeup and for costume design. This film does masterful work in both of those categories.

 

If you are a fan of Jane Austen, you should make it a point to see this soon. If you were hoping for a period piece that has current-day flair, you'll need to readjust your thinking before you see this, otherwise you might find it a bit too slow for your liking.  

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

FANTASY ISLAND

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: February 14, 2020

Director: Jeff Wadlow

Stars: Lucy Hale, Maggie Q, Michael Pena, Ryan Hansen

Plot: Several people arrive on a mysterious island to live out a fantasy, but their fantasies don't always turn out the way they want

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

When I first saw the trailer for this movie I was excited to see a reboot of one of the most nostalgic TV shows ever. Then I saw how it twisted the tale into a horror flick and I was even more excited.

 

The great news is that, even as excited as I was to see this movie, I didn't walk out disappointed. Horror films rarely live up to the hype or to the excitement of the trailer. This one does. It's filled with fun moments, a compelling story, and several great twists. 

 

The only downside is that there is very little horror in this film. The scares and chills are few, but at least the writer and director didn't try to fill it up with silly nonsense just to get a few more jump scares into the mix. They let the story breathe, and in doing so, gave us a fun, and somewhat terrifying film that will make you stick to your soft, Corinthian Leather movie seats. (That's a joke from the 1970's...if you don't get it, ask your parents).

 

There isn't a lot about this movie that is noteworthy. It's not a great horror flick, it doesn't have amazing acting, nor does it dazzle the senses with its style, however it is just good enough to make it worth seeing if you are a fan of the horror genre.

 

For those of you old enough to remember the television series, there are several call-backs and Easter eggs that will keep you entertained throughout the film. 

 

This isn't a movie that is going to win a ton of awards, but it is one that is worth a night out with friends. So, take a trip to Fantasy Island, you might enjoy your stay.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

Rated: PG

Release Date: February 14, 2020

Director: Jeff Fowler

Stars: James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Ben Schwartz, Tika Sumpter

Plot: A hedgehog with superpowers is on the run from people that want to use him for his powers

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

If you are a child of the 80's and 90's then Sonic The Hedgehog is a major character in your upbringing. That said, there were a lot of feelings about this movie long before its release date. Especially when the first trailer came out and the entire world revolted at the look of Sonic, forcing the director to make a public statement saying Sonic would be changed to look more like the original Sonic before the theatrical release. They did, and he does. 

 

As for the film, it is fun. It's not some great, comedic masterpiece, but it has several good laughs, a decently compelling plot, and it moves along at a quick and steady pace. I was in a theater full of kids and very few lost interest along the way. 

 

As with just about every film he's been in, Jim Carrey overacts every single line of his performance. It's funny, but it does get a bit old and tired by the end. Thankfully, the rest of the cast keeps the film on track. 

 

If you are looking for a fun outing with the family, this movie will satisfy. Kids and adults will be entertained. For the adults, it won't give you the nostalgia that you might be hoping for, but it's still entertaining enough.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

THE PHOTOGRAPH

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: February 14, 2020

Director: Stella Meghie

Stars: LaKeith Stanfield, Issa Rae, Lil Rey Howery, Chante Adams

Plot: A reporter falls for a woman while interviewing her for a feature about her mother

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release

 

 

What do you get when you put two amazing actors in the lead roles of a film with a terrible script? You get two incredible performances in a bad movie. 

 

There are a lot of people that should apologize to LaKeith Stanfield and Issa Rae for wasting their talent in a film like THE PHOTOGRAPH.

 

First of all, the title isn't even right. It should have been called The Photographer, or Miss Mae, or The Letter, or a thousand other ideas that would have been more fitting.

 

Second, this is one of those strange films where there is so much going on, but nothing ever happens. It feels like there is a hurricane blowing, but the plot is only affected by a slight sea breeze. In the distance we can just make out the chaos and conflict, but it never really gets close enough to the main characters to force them into uncomfortable situations.

 

The story follows the love story formula completely. There are no deviations from it. It's essentially a "find and replace" movie with the settings and characters changed out, but everything else is like it always is in mediocre tales of love.

 

This is a slow-moving mashup of too many stories that doesn't give you enough time or information to care about any of the characters except for the leads. Thankfully, Stanfield and Rae are great enough to make this movie at least tolerable. They act well together and they have great on-screen chemistry. Without them, I fear it would be nearly unwatchable. 

 

Aside from the great acting, the only other positive of note is the music. Basically, it feels like you are listening to Saturday Night Slow Jams for almost two hours. That's never a bad time.

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BIRDS OF PREY

Rated: R

Release Date: February 7, 2020

Director: Cathy Yan

Stars: Margot Robbie, Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ewan McGregor

Plot: Harley Quinn does whatever it takes to stay alive after breaking up with The Joker.

Trailer

 

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

 

 

Just like Harley Quinn, this movie is a hot mess...but in a good way. Nay. In a great way.

 

It is a film filled with crazy action, hilarious one-liners, fun music, and an interesting story. That said, the plot is a bit lacking. There are a couple of minor plot holes, moments of convenience, and events that are downright ridiculous, but sometimes, that is what makes a comic book flick work. As long s you are willing to suspend your disbelief, you will enjoy this film. 

 

Margot Robbie is so much fun in the lead role, and her partners in crime bring a lot to the movie. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is hilarious in the most serious way possible. And Ewan McGregor is spot on as a perfectly psychotic criminal mastermind. 

 

One of the great aspects of this movie is that there are so many things happening on the screen. The movie is filled with fun graphics, and animations. It keeps the movie moving fast, even during the slower parts. 

 

If you are a fan of comic book movies, this one is a must-see. It's unique in that it is a lot like an origin story, but it is really a story of Harley becoming her own person for the first time in her life. 

 

NOTE: Make sure to stay until the end of the credits. If you do, you will be treated to a moment that is as Harley Quinn as Harley Quinn can get.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

GRETEL AND HANSEL

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: January 31, 2020

Director: Osgood Perkins

Stars: Sophia Lillis, Samuel Leakey, Alice Krige

Plot: Two children, lost in the woods, come upon a darkness that is bent on destroying them

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

 

Most of us have heard the story of Hansel and Gretel. And now it gets a Hollywood treatment worthy of the terrifying essence of the tale. Sure, we would laugh about the witch getting the kids fat, and the way they outsmart her, but the reality is, the story is horrific.

 

While this film isn't your typical horror flick, it is better than most. It's a slow burn that builds well, and leads us to an original and twisted end. The movie is significantly more creepy than is it scary. Yes, it has a few moments that will make you jump, but for the most part it's all about making your skin crawl. 

 

It is a strikingly beautiful film. Every scene is built with impressive imagery and purpose. There is a symmetrical look to the film that is satisfying, but also unsettling. Each scene makes you feel like you should enjoy what you are seeing, yet there is a sense of foreboding that is continuously present.

 

The acting is superb, especially for the horror genre. Sophia Lillis, (IT and NANCY DREW), is fantastic in the lead role. She carries the story like a seasoned professional even though she is still in her teens. The rest of the cast do fine jobs in keeping the story moving forward. 

 

If you are a fan of dark fairy tales, this film is worth your time and money.