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.