Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 
 
 

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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. 

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STILLWATER
Rated: R
Release Date: July 30, 2021
Director: Tom McCarthy
Stars: Matt Damon, Abigail Breslin, Camille Cottin, Lilou Siauvaud
Plot: A father travels to France to try to free his daughter after she is convicted of murder
 
Clint Says: Wait for the digital release
 

 

Stillwater is the perfect name for this movie. It moves so slow it feels like it is standing still. This should be a syllabus movie in film schools as a case study in how to make a depressing movie way too long. 
 
This flick clocks in at almost 2 1/2 hours. It could have easily lost an hour and it still would have been depressing, but at least it would have had some momentum. I don't understand how the powers that be let this movie be released at it's current length.
 
The good news is three of the four main actors are amazing. I'm not going to single out the bad one here, but I will say it was not the little girl. She was so adorable and such a great actor that she made sitting through the rest of it at least somewhat tolerable.
 
I really don't know who would like this film. I'm sure some people will think that it is ok, and possibly bordering on good, but six months from now 99% of us will have forgotten we ever saw it. There is nothing about this movie that sticks with you. It just sort of rolls past you and then it's gone.
 
There is no way I would recommend seeing this in theaters. Even though I would love to see people return to the theaters in pre-pandemic numbers. This is not the kind of film that is going to get people back to the movies. If you are interested in it, wait until the digital release. That way you can turn it off if you get bored.   

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JUNGLE CRUISE
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: July 30, 2021
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Edgar Ramirez, Jesse Plemons
Plot: An adventurous doctor hires a wild captain to help her find a tree that could change medicine forever
 
Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters
 
 
First things first, if you are a fan of the Jungle Cruise ride you are going to love this movie. It is filled with all of the special moments and terrible jokes that make the ride so much fun. And you can tell that Dwayne Johnson had an absolute blast getting his pun on and delivering some of the classic lines from the ride. 
 
If you've never been on the ride it's okay. You will still find this movie highly entertaining and exciting. It is filled with great action, fun characters, and beautiful scenery. The story is interesting with several big twists along the way that you'll never see coming. 
 
Johnson and Emily Blunt are wonderful together. They have great on-screen chemistry, and you can tell they had a lot of fun making this film together. Yet, even though they are both two of the biggest stars on the planet, Jack Whitehall steals nearly every scene he is in. He is hilarious, giving the audience several laugh-out-loud moments. 
 
One thing that you should know going into this movie is that it is rated PG-13 for a reason. There are several scenes that I would consider to be way too intense for the under 7 crowd. It's not nearly as tame as the Disneyland ride. So if you have little ones, you may want to see it first before you bring them along. 

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THE GREEN KNIGHT

Rated: PG-13
Release Date: July 30, 2021
Director: David Lowery
Stars: Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton
Plot: Sir Gawain accepts a challenge in King Arthur's court that send him on a journey of discovery and torment
 
Clint Says: Wait for the digital release
 
 

Dev Patel is a rock star. He is one of the best actors in Hollywood today, and he makes every film he is in better. Thankfully, he was in this movie, because it could have been pretty bad without him. 

 
If you know the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, go ahead a toss about 70% of that story out of your head. This film takes the story in a direction that is much less honorable than the original poem. There are several moments where Gawain isn't worthy of his knighthood. 
 
The film itself is really long and slow. It feels like they could have easily cut 30 minutes out of it and it would have only made the movie better. There is a lot of time spent on artistic imagery. That is fine for the beauty of the visuals, but the story suffers because of it. 
 
If you are the kind of person that enjoys artistic imagery with  ethereal plots then you will enjoy this movie. If you need your movies to move from point A to point B in a timely fashion and with purpose, this may be a film you will want to skip. 
 

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SNAKE EYES
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: July 23, 2021
Director: Robert Schwentke
Stars: Henry Golding. Andrew Koji, Haruka Abe, Takehiro Hira
Plot: A drifter saves the life of a powerful man who takes him in and teaches him how to become a warrior, but other forces are trying to pull him away
 
Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters
 

 

G.I. Joe fans, the long wait is over. You are finally going to get the movies that you've always wanted. This reboot is way better than the 2009 version.
 
The great thing about this movie is you don't have to be a fan of the series in order to enjoy it. Sure, there are some great Easter eggs for fans all throughout the film, but if you never watched the cartoon, you'll still get all of the important information. 
 
This is a fun flick for anyone that likes action movies, old Kung Fu films, and good mysteries. It encompasses all of those elements into one action-packed origin story. In fact, it has so much action that it really doesn't feel like your typical origin story. They get through the pertinent, but static stuff quickly and without it being overly slow, and get to the reason everyone goes to these movies as fast as possible. 
 
The one big strike against this movie is the camera work. They used the shaky cam method to shoot all of the fight scenes, and there are a ton of fight scenes, so it feels like half of the movie is out of focus. It would have been a much better movie if we could have seen all of the fights. 
 
For fans of the series, you'll be happy to know that this film sets up at least two more movies if not more. It wouldn't surprise me if Snake Eyes 2 was already in production. So if you are a fan of the series, or you just love action flicks, give this one a shot. It's a fun way to spend a hot afternoon in a cool place. 

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OLD
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: July 23, 2021
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff
Plot: A group of vacationers travel to a private beach only to find that time does not work the same way there
 
Clint Says: Wait for the digital release
 

 

Congratulations, M. Night Shyamalan. You finally made an average movie.
 
Up to this point Shyamalan has made either outstanding films like The Sixth Sense, or piles of cinematic junk like The Happening. He's made close to 20 films over his career. None of which I could say are just okay...until now. 
 
The main issue with this film is that we all already know the "Shyamalan twist" is coming. And if you've seen the trailer, you literally know everything that happens in the movie up until the twist. So, basically, you have to sit through an hour and 25 minutes of the drama of people getting old really fast in order to get to the five minutes of the movie that actually matter. 
 
Now, as for those last five minutes, they are very interesting. You'll spend the entire movie feeling that what is happening to the people on the beach is horrible, but after the reveal you'll be questioning your own thoughts and saying things like, "that makes perfect sense and I don't know if this is a bad thing. In fact, this might be a great thing."
 
It is really too bad that such an amazing premise and twist gets lost in a slow and almost boring film. You'd be better off watching this where you can control time yourself by fast forwarding through all of the stuff you find boring and getting to the twist when you want to get there. It's somewhat ironic that the best way to watch a movie about altering time is to do it by altering time, maybe that's the real "Shyamalan twist" to this film.  

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JOE BELL
Rated: R
Release Date: July 23, 2021
Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Reid Miller, Connie Britton
Plot: A man decides to walk from Oregon to New York to teach anyone who will listen about inclusiveness and bullying after his son tells him he is gay
 
Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee
 

 

Every year there are about a dozen films that come out that have a powerful and emotional story and message, but the film itself is average at best. This movie falls into that category. It is 100% worth seeing because of the story, you'll just have to endure the way the story is being told. 
 
This is based on a true story. If you know the story of Joe Bell and his son, don't tell anyone anything before they see this movie. If you don't know about Joe, make sure you keep it that way before you see the film. There are certain thematic elements that will not make any sense if you already know how it ends. 
 
Aside from the story, the one thing that stand out as great is the acting. Mark Wahlberg plays a hard-nosed, very rough around the edges man who loves his family deeply, but can't quite figure out how to say it or show it where they feel it. That's what makes his walk such a powerful statement. 
 
Reid Miller plays Bell's son who has come out as gay. His performance is incredible. He steals every scene he is in, and you can feel the pain and struggle through his expressions. This isn't the caliber of film that is going to get award looks, but if it does, Miller deserves a supporting actor nod. 
 
This isn't good enough to be something that I would recommend spending the time and money to see it in a theater, but the message of a father's love for his bullied son is absolutely worth it. This will not be one of the best films you see this year, but it should be one that is on your list to see at some point. 

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SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY
Rated: PG
Release Date: July 16, 2021
Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Stars: LeBron James, Don Cheadle, Cedric Joe
Plot: When LeBron's son is taken by a crazed artificial intelligence system, he must win a basketball game to get him back
 
Clint Says: Wait until it is streaming for free
 

 

Why? 
 
Why did Warner Brothers feel it necessary to give us another Space Jam 25 years after the first?*
 
Was there a secret underground society begging for this movie to be made? 
 
I can't think of a single person that I have ever known who has ever had the thought, "you know what we need? Another Space Jam movie!" And I know people that have worked and do work at WB!
 
This is a snoozefest filled with terrible acting, it puts a terrible twist on a boring and formulaic plot, and you know how it ends before it even begins. 
 
Here's what some of the cast members probably said about the finished product: 
 
            Sylvester the cat - "SSSSufferin' succotash! This thing sssstinks!"
 
            Daffy Duck - "I'm not a betting man, but my money is on the other guy." (That's actually a quote of his from the movie).
 
            Yosemite Sam - "Can I just shoot this dang thing and put it out of its misery?"
 
            Tweety Bird - "Are you $%$^ kidding me!? This %&#^$ is going to ruin my #^$^%* career!" (I'm pretty sure that one was caught off                    microphone). 
 
I took my 11 and 9 year old daughters to see this with me. The tween thought the movie lasted forever. (Read that line like it is coming out of a teen's mouth and you'll get all of the emotion you need.) And she was right. This movie is almost 2 hours long. I don't like this new trend with studios making kids movies that push 120 minutes. 90 should be about the max. If you can't get a kids flick accomplished in 90 minutes then re-work it until you get there. 
 
The 9 year old summed up the entire Space Jam 2 experience the best when I asked her what she thought of the movie. Her response was simply, "I'm just here for the popcorn." So, if you are like her and couldn't care less about anything other than the concession stand, you may find the movie to be somewhat tolerable. For the rest of the world, I say wait until it streams for free somewhere. 
 
*The answer is because Warner Brothers turned a 2 hour movie into a 2 hour ad for all of their film and TV franchises. There are dozens of cameos from characters in other films and shows that WB owns. At first it is kind of cute. By the end it is brutally annoying in its obvious money grab. 
ESCAPE ROOM: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: July 16, 2021
Director: Adam Robitel
Stars: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Thomas Cocquerel
Plot: Zoey and Ben get pulled back into the sinister world of Minos and their high-stakes escape rooms
 
Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee
 
 
If you saw the first film in this franchise you know exactly what to expect out of this one. And it will give you exactly what you expect. Nothing more, and nothing less. 
 
Just like the first film, the characters are drawn into the game in an unsuspecting, but very high stakes way, and from then on it's a frantic race to find all of the clues and escape before they all die. It does have several moments of suspense, and there are a couple of twists along the way that make the story more compelling, but it is essentially the exact same film as the first one, just with updated rooms. 
 
There are a lot of good things about this film, but there are a few things that lessen the story and suspense. For one, it gets extremely annoying that the characters are always screaming as they are trying to figure out the clues. I get that it is a high stress environment, but the screaming is so annoying and over the top. Also, some of the clues are nearly impossible to figure out, but they always manage to get there. And finally, while this film does advance the overall story of the franchise, this film is essentially a replica of the first one. 
 
Aside from that, and a few plot holes that always pop up in movies like this, it is a fairly entertaining and fun flick. If you want to spice up your movie-going experience, but you don't want to go to a full on horror movie, this one is a good choice. Just don't expect too much out of it and you won't be disappointed. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
BLACK WIDOW
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: July 9, 2021
Director: Cate Shortland
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz
Plot: While the Avengers are torn apart, Natasha Romanoff discovers a past rival is still operating in secret
 
Clint Says: Drop everything and see this in theaters now
 

 

It's been 11 years since Scarlett Johansson gave us our first look at the character we know as Black Widow. From the first moment Tony Stark laid eyes on Natalie Rushman we all knew she was going to be something special. For a lot of fans she has been one of their favorite Avengers, and now she gets her own story to show off her skills and give us a better look into what makes her tick. 
 
I know a lot of people have been confused by the timeline of this film. For reference, this story happens after the Avengers have been torn apart and some of them imprisoned. Black Widow is on her own. 
 
That being established means this isn't a true "origin story," but we do get to see how it all began for her. The good news is this doesn't have your typical, slow-moving, information dump. It gets right to the point and keeps the pace up throughout the entire 2 1/2 hours. 
 
This film is filled with amazing action, fantastic dialogue, and a highly compelling and emotional story. You really feel for her and her sister as they go through a nearly impossible journey of healing. There are moments that will break your heart and make you want to get into the fight with her. 
 
Aside from the emotions, this film is packed with action. There are so many great fight scenes and action sequences. It barely gives you time to catch your breath before the next big event slams into the screen. 
 
There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 dozen Marvel films out now. Personally, I would rank this one in the top 5 or 6. It is an incredible film that never feels like it is dragging or is too long. It hits all of the right notes and will leave you wanting more. 
 
I know that this film is releasing simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+, but I highly encourage you to see it in theaters. This is the kind of film made to be seen on the big screen. It is totally worth the money and the time to see it as big and loud as you possibly can. 
 
Finally, make sure you stick around for the after-credits scene. It will make you wish you could see that movie right now.