Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now

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MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: June 14, 2019

Director: F. Gary Gray

Stars: Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson

Plot: A woman discovers the existence of MIB and then is tasked with saving the world in her very first mission

Trailer

 

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

 

 

 

 

It's hard to believe, but the first MIB film came out 22 years ago. And it is still a classic. I watch it every chance I get. I was really hoping this new installment in the franchise would have me just as excited. And it almost did. 

 

While it may not live up to the popularity of its predecessor, it is still a very good film and one that is perfect for getting out of the Summer heat and enjoying a large bucket of popcorn.

 

Chris Hemsworth is at his Hemsworthian best. (I think they pay him based on the number of half-wink, half-smile faces he makes). He has great banter and chemistry with a lot of the characters including the character played by Tessa Thompson. But we already knew that they were great together on screen because of THOR: RAGNAROK and AVENGERS: ENDGAME.

 

The only thing I didn't like about this film is that I figured out the big twist really early on in the movie. I was hoping I would be wrong, but it ended up being exactly what I thought it was. Aside from that small annoyance, everything else was a lot of fun. The film is filled with fun throwbacks to the original, but it also gives Hemsworth and Thompson room to make this new MIB film their own. 

 

If you are looking for a great Summer flick, you should give this one a chance. You might even want to take the older kids with you, once you've seen it and made sure it isn't too much for them. 

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LATE NIGHT

Rated: R

Release Date: June 14, 2019

Director: Nisha Ganatra

Stars: Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, John Lithgow

Plot: A young, aspiring comedy writer goes to work for a late night talk show host near the end of her career

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release

 

 

One would think that a film about a late night comedy show would be filled with comedy. One would also think that a movie written by  Mindy Kaling, who wrote several of the best episodes of THE OFFICE, would be smart as well as funny.

 

One would think those things, but one would be wrong.

 

Unfortunately, this film is barely funny and so formulaic that it loses all of its own character. It is also filled with ridiculously flimsy circumstances just so our hero can knock them out of the way with unrealistic ease.

 

Ironically, in a movie about girl power, the best thing is the character played by John Lithgow. He is wonderful, lovable, and dispenses timely and appropriate advice throughout the film. Without him the film would be too harsh.

 

The film is also very slow and has several pacing issues. It felt like we were skipping over important chunks of time and information. Then it felt like we were dragging through every detail of information that didn't matter. I was already checking my watch 40 minutes into the movie.

 

The character arcs were strange as well. It was like everybody stayed the same for the first 3/4 of the film then everyone changed all at once as the end approached. And the main character didn't really change at all.

 

This isn't a terrible film, but if you are expecting a lot of laughs, this movie will not deliver. You may just want to wait for the comfort of your own couch to watch LATE NIGHT...just like most of us do with real late night shows.

 

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SHAFT

Rated: R

Release Date: June 14, 2019

Director: Tim Story

Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Regina Hall, Jessie T. Usher, Alexandra Shipp

Plot: The son of Shaft needs the help of his estranged father when his best friend gets into trouble

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

If you are old enough to remember the Richard Roundtree SHAFT films from the 70's then you will be happy to know that this movie does a good job of paying homage to them, while still making itself relevant to 2019.

 

I was surprised by the humor throughout. I figured there would be a couple of laughs thrown in to lighten the mood, but this movie is really funny. In fact, there were more jokes in this movie than in some of the comedies that have come out recently.

 

The only thing I didn't like was that the mystery and the solving of the mystery were too straightforward and formulaic. I was hoping for more twists and turns, but instead it's a no-nonsense who-done-it.

 

This film does a fantastic job of using the music to it's advantage. There is one scene where the main action gets interrupted, at that point the music stops dead, the characters deal with the nuisance, and then, as they get back to the point of the scene, the music ramps up again like it's being played on a record player.

 

Overall, this is a fun, funny film with a decent mystery and a little bit of suspense. If you are a fan of Samuel L. Jackson then you have to see this movie. The same goes if you are a fan of the original SHAFT flicks. It's a good summer film where you can relax, be entertained, and not have to use your brain too much for a couple of hours.

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THE DEAD DON'T DIE

Rated: R

Release Date: June 14, 2019

Director: Jim Jarmusch

Stars: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover

Plot: A small, quiet town turns into the epicenter of the zombie apocalypse

Trailer

 

Clint Says:

 

Wait for the digital release and make someone else rent it

 

 

I am a huge fan of zombie apocalypse flicks. Movies like ZOMBIELAND, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, and ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE are films that I could just about watch on repeat. Therefore, I was annoyingly excited when I saw the trailer for this movie. The plot, the cast, the music, what could possibly go wrong? I told everybody who was listening to watch the trailer, and when I had YouTube readily available I would make them watch it with me. (Hence the "annoying" part.)

 

Then I saw the movie.

 

*Does THE PRICE IS RIGHT loser sound*

 

Oh, how I wish I could get that time back. Oh, how I wish this movie had been so much better. Oh, how I wish this movie was even slightly good.

 

It's not.

 

The overarching emotion shared by all characters from the opening moment to the end credits was "MEH". There were shockingly few moments where anyone did anything with any sort of passion or energy. The whole thing just rolls along on a very slow, very even path.

 

The whole film is slow and repetitive. One example being three people see the same thing at different times, then they all have the exact same conversation. It has the potential to be funny, but for the most part it is just annoying because it is so slow.

 

Finally, this movie is very meta. If you aren't sure what that means, basically it means that the movie is self aware that it is a movie. (Like the scene in SPACEBALLS where they are watching the VHS version of the movie to see where the Princess is going). If you like that kind of thing, there are a couple of moments that will have you laughing hard. If you hate that kind of humor, be prepared to be severely annoyed.

 

If you want to see an amazing version of this film, just watch the trailer and be happy. If you are unlucky enough to see the full length version, you'll be wishing zombies were real and would eat your brain about 40 minutes in.

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THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2

Rated: PG

Release Date: June 7, 2019

Director: Chris Renaud, Jonathan del Val

Stars: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Harrison Ford

Plot: The dogs have a kid in the house now and are doing everything they can to protect him

Trailer

 

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

 

 

Here is all you need to know about this movie. My young daughter is a much harsher movie critic than I am. I loved this film and so did she. Therefore this may be one of the greatest movies ever made.

 

Okay, that's taking it too far, but it is a very good movie.

 

There are two greatest things about this film, First, it is laugh out loud funny. There are tons of jokes and sight gags for kids and adults. Several times during the screening I attended the entire crowd was laughing. Even my hard to please child was doubled over with laughter on a couple of occasions.

 

Second, it is mercifully short for parents. The running time is listed at 86 minutes. And because the pacing is fast and even, the time flies by. I never felt like I was bored. The short time also has another benefit. I didn't see a steady stream of parents chasing after their kids on the way to the bathroom. It seems we may have scientifically proven that young children can watch an 86 minute long film without needing a potty break as long as the movie is really good.

 

This sequel was also much less dark than the first one. You may recall the first film had several pretty scary and suspenseful moments for younger kids. This one still has some of that, but overall it is much more lighthearted and fun.

 

If you are looking for a good reason to get the kids out of the house for a couple of hours this is a great way to spend the time. You'll laugh a lot and you won't feel like you've wasted your time or money.