Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
VANGUARD
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: November 20, 2020
Director: Stanley Tong
Stars: Jackie Chan, Yang Yang, Miya Muqi, Lun Ai
Plot: A security firm is tasked with saving a father and daughter from a ruthless criminal with deep pockets
 
Clint Says: Wait for the digital release
 

VANGUARD is the best comedy of the year. There is only one problem. It's not supposed to be a comedy.
 
From the amateurish CGI lion, to the car chase scenes filmed at 30 miles per hour and then sped up on film, to the early 1990's-looking graphics superimposed onto large computer monitors, it looks like the effects budget for this movie was somewhere around $36.25 (plus tax). But the good news is the bad effects make for some great laughs. 
 
Aside from the effects (and some truly atrocious, yet refreshingly hilarious, acting by about half of the cast), the rest of the movie is pretty good. The plot is interesting and the action is great. I enjoyed watching the whole thing. I even enjoyed cringing through the car chase scenes, and awkward confrontations where it was quite obvious the actors were hired for their fighting skills and not their ability to deliver dialogue. 
 
I'm probably being a bit too harsh on the actors. This is a Chinese film, shot with 90% Mandarin dialogue. If it were the other way around I wouldn't want to be judged on how poorly I was speaking my Mandarin lines in an English film. So, all is forgiven there. But, that still doesn't make it any less funny. 
 
This is the kind of film you have to go into knowing exactly what you are paying for. As long as you understand that it is so bad that it is good, you and your friends will have a great time. If you are going in hoping to see a moody action film, you are going to be very disappointed. 
 
I can't recommend seeing this one in theaters, but if you want to help the theaters out while they struggle through this pandemic, at least you know you will be entertained and get some good laughs out of this movie. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
THE LAST VERMEER
Rated: R
Release Date: November 20, 2020
Director: Dan Friedkin
Stars: Claes Bang, Guy Pearce, Vicky Krieps
Plot: A man is put on trial for being a Nazi sympathizer, but stunning revelations during the trial change his life and the entire art world
 
Clint Says: See this as soon as you can
 

 

I knew nothing about this real-life story going into this movie. Now that I have seen it, I want to find all of the information I can about it. This is a fascinating story, told in a creative, entertaining, and dramatic way. 
 
You wouldn't think that a film about a trial over stolen art would be overly exciting, but this movie is filled with action, suspense, intrigue, and drama from the opening scene to the chaotic climax. There wasn't a single moment where I was bored or my mind slipped out of the story. It is captivating. 
 
The principle cast all give wonderful performances. You can see the chemistry and feel the tension in all of the right places. Guy Pearce does so well as to portray a specific emotion to the audience with just a simple movement of his, very pointy, eyebrow. It is truly something to behold. 
 
If you like WWII-era dramas, and/or art-heist films, this one is a must-see. And if you don't know the story already, I highly recommend not looking anything up before you see it so you don't spoil the reveal. 
 

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THE NEST
Rated: R
Release Date: November 20, 2020
Director: Sean Durkin
Stars: Jude Law, Carrie Coon, Oona Roche, Charlie Shotwell
Plot: A couple moves to England and their lives fall apart
 
Clint Says: Don't even bother
 
 

Imagine a movie that opens with the first four minutes being barely more than two establishing shots. One, a shot of the outside of the main character's house, and one, through the window, of the main character while he talks on the phone, (with no audible dialogue for us to hear). Between those two shots is another, long establishing shot of a close up of the main character before 20 seconds of "action", which is him dialing and talking on the phone. 

 
Did that paragraph bore you? If so, imagine how much more boring it would be as a movie. 
 
Oh, wait, you don't need to imagine it, someone already shot it and named it THE NEST.
 
Side note to the director: If your establishing shots take longer than 3 or 4 seconds then one of three things needs to happen...
 
1. If the scene is too confusing to allow it to be established in 3 or 4 seconds, fire your set designer and cinematographer.
2. If the scene is perfectly established in 3 or 4 seconds, but the establishing shot continues on for another 40 or so seconds, fire your editor. 
3. If you can't figure out what the problem is with a 45 second establishing shot, fire yourself.
 
Side note over.
 
By the way, the next hour and 40 minutes don't get much more exciting than the first four minutes. In fact the only thing of note to happen in the first half hour is the move to England. It isn't until about 35 minutes in that we finally get the slightest bit of drama and conflict. The rest of the movie slowly builds the conflict, but the big reveal is so minor, so #firstworldproblems, that you'll question why you chose to waste nearly two hours of your life watching it. 
 
Not only is the story boring, but it is poorly told. There are plot elements that are set up but never resolved, characters that pop in an out at strange times, and useless scenes that do nothing to move the plot forward. 
 
I am confident that most of us would be more entertained spending 2 hours watching an empty bird nest than watching this film. Save yourself the money and the agony and skip this one. 

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FREAKY
Rated: R
Release Date: November 13, 2020
Director: Christopher Landon
Stars: Kathryn Newton, Vince Vaughn
Plot: A girl switches bodies with a serial killer and has only 24 hours to change back before it's permanent
 
Clint Says: Worth it if you are a fan of slasher flicks
 

 

Do you remember the Disney Freaky Friday films and all of the other body-switch movies that have come out over the last 40 years? Well, don't mistake this one for the slightly dramatic, but mostly comedic Lindsey Lohan-led plotline. This one is a straight up, gory, slasher flick. 
 
Sure it has several comedic moments with Vince Vaughn pretending to be a teenage girl, but this is a horror flick before anything else. And here is the good news, as far as slasher flicks go, this one is better than most. Yes, it still has stupid people doing stupid things and more plot holes than swiss cheese, but it is also filled with wild scares, creepy chases, and epically gross, yet mysteriously entertaining kill scenes. (Oh, don't get all high and mighty on me...you know you love it when the idiot jerk gets what's coming to them.)
 
Vince Vaughn does a great job essentially playing two roles in this one. It's great to see him play something other than the big, goofy guy. He pulls off the serious role of a deranged serial killer with masterful ease. And Kathryn Newton does the same going from awkward teen to complete psycho. 
 
This is one of those films that is purely entertaining. It offers nothing to stimulate your brain or to manipulate your emotions. 
 
If you like scary flicks filled with blood and gore, check your brain at the door and have a blast watching this one. 

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THE CLIMB
Rated: R
Release Date: November 13, 2020
Director: Michael Angelo Covino
Stars: Michael Angelo Covino, Kyle Marvin, Gayle Rankin
Plot: Two life-long friends struggle through relationship and trust issues
 
Clint Says: Watch this as soon as you can
 

 

If you like quirky, awkward, and funny, this is the perfect movie for you. It is a fantastic and hilarious look into the relationship between two lifelong friends.
 
This is a film that is the exception to the, (my), rule that the same person should not write, direct, and star in the same film, because there is nobody to tell them "no", and the story gets lost. Well, in this case they did a masterful job of staying on track and telling the story in the most effective and compelling way. 
 
The two leads have great chemistry and their banter and pacing are great. Their stories will make you laugh, empathize, and cringe. They feel like real people that could actually be in your life. 
 
There is no simple label for this movie. "Bromance" doesn't quite fit, "best frenemies" may be a little closer, but it still doesn't tell the whole story. This is a unique and wonderful film that will give you a lot of much-needed laughs.