Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

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. 

 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

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. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

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.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

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? 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

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.