Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now

Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in 2020

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
Clint's Top 10 Films of 2020

It has been said a million times, but it deserves repeating, 2020 has been a very weird year. Everything started out smooth for the first couple of months, and then the theaters shut down and movies, as we knew them, disappeared. It was nearly six months before any of us would see the inside of a theater again. During that time the Hollywood studios, the major streaming services, and most of the theaters figured out a way for us to start watching films that were scheduled for theatrical release at home.

We have been trending in the direction of at-home streaming for several years now, but this year has forced that change to happen a lot faster than any of us could have imagined in January of 2020. I personally feel that the theater experience will always be a part of our lives, but it will be the market that determines how big of a role they play in the release of movies once everything gets back to "normal."

For a while it looked as though we weren't going to see a lot of films released in 2020, but through all of the various channels we ended up with a fairly full slate of films. Many of those films were pretty good. A few of them were outstanding. 

These are my favorites in this very weird year. 

 

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 - Aaron Sorkin gives us a powerful, poignant, and timely film that is the most exciting courtroom film to be released since My Cousin Vinny. This is the kind of movie you want to watch again and again.

 

2. Eternal Beauty - This film will run you through the emotional obstacle course. You'll laugh out loud, you'll ugly cry, and you'll cringe at the awkward, but you will also embrace everything that is not "normal" and out of balance. Most of all, you will completely fall in love with Jane (Sally Hawkins).

 



 

3. Enola Holmes - Millie Bobby Brown gives us the Holmes we all needed, even though we didn't know we needed her. This is a fun, fast-paced film with an epic mystery that must be solved around the world's smartest dysfunctional family.

 



 

4. Promising Young Woman - Carey Mulligan gives the performance of her career (so far). Her character is complex and complicated. She is playing chess while everyone around her is playing checkers. 

 



 

5. Words on Bathroom Walls - This film will have you doubled over in laughter one minute and ugly crying the next. It is wonderfully told, beautifully shot, and filled with deep characters.

 



 

6. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom - This may not be an outstanding movie, but the acting by Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis is so extraordinary that it makes my top 10 list. If you want to see a true master class in acting, watch this movie. 

 



 

7. Sound of Metal - Imagine striving for one thing your whole life and then having that thing taken from you. What would you do? This film deals with that struggle in a powerful and moving way.

 



 

8. The Personal History of David Copperfield - This is the first film that I am aware of that didn't pay any attention to race in the casting. It is also one of the most beautifully shot and costumed films of the year. Beyond that it is a fun and fanciful story suitable for the whole family. 

 



 

9. Mulan - Maybe it is because I have two Chinese daughters. Maybe it is because I have spent time in rural China and have an affinity for their culture. Maybe this is just a fantastic and beautiful movie. Whatever it is, I absolutely love this rendition of Mulan. 

 



 

10. A Call To Spy - A WWII-era spy flick filled with double-crossing, high stakes, and last-second heroics, and it's all based in reality. What's not to love?

 

 

 
 
 
The Best of the Rest
 
 
 
The Croods: A New Age - A fun, fast-paced, family-friendly flick that might be better than the first. 

 

 
 
Da 5 Bloods - This is an outstanding film that would have been very high up on my top 10 list save for one scene that ruins the movie for me. That said, it is still very much worth seeing. 
 

 

 
 
Greyhound - This would have been a huge summer blockbuster in any other year. It's non-stop action and filled with high drama and emotion. 
 
 
 


Last Call - A lot of people hated this film, but I found it raw and powerful. It's not a film for everyone, but check out the first five minutes and see if it captures your interest. 

 

 

 
 
 
The Last Vermeer - This is a fascinating combination of a war film and an art heist movie. And what makes it even better is that it is based on a true story. 
 

 
 
Mank - Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried give award-worthy performances in this tribute to old Hollywood. 
 

 
 
Onward - An animated fantasy that is accessible to all and has a redemptive message as well. Easily one of the best animated movies of the year. 
 

 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
Clint's 10 Worst Films of 2020
 
As much as I would like to blame this list of bad movies on 2020, the truth is, this was a pretty good year for film. Maybe it is because there were fewer films released this year, but there weren't a lot of colossally terrible movies released in 2020. But that doesn't mean there weren't any bad films released. No, there were several cringeworthy and sleep-inducing offerings this year. 
 
These are the worst of the worst. 
 
1. The Nest - The first four minutes of this movie are nothing more than three establishing shots that drag on and on. Upon first viewing, the studio should have immediately fired the editor and the director. The rest of the movie is not any better than the boring beginning. You would be more entertained staring at an empty bird nest for two hours than suffering through this drudgery.
 

 

 
 
2. Tenet - You know your movie is terrible when people who make a living understanding story structure are confused by the plot. You know your movie is even worse when thousands of people complain about the horrible sound quality and the director comes out and says he made the sound bad on purpose! Uh, what? Now, we are even more confused. 
 

 

 
 
3. The Rhythm Section - To say this movie is slow would be an understatement. A better description would be to say that this movie gives you an incredible opportunity to enjoy a 110 minute nap.
 

 

 
 
4. Centigrade - The two main characters in this movie are so annoying and so stupid you will find it almost impossible to hope that they live. 
 

 
 
5. Tesla - Things you need to know before seeing this film: 1. It's not a musical, but Ethan Hawk sings a song in full "music video" style for no reason other than to do it. 2. It is set in the early 1900's, but Tesla has a smartphone. 3. Jim Gaffigan is a great actor, but when he is one of the best things about your movie you need to make some different choices. 
 

 
 
6. Brahms: The Boy 2 - The first film in this franchise was brilliant. It had a spectacular ending that set up the potential for an equally good sequel. So the studio did what studios love to do. They took the set up from the first film, wadded it up, threw it in the trash, and cobbled together a bunch of nonsense disguised as a horror flick so they could make a quick buck. 
 
 

 
 
 
7. The New Mutants - Imagine if John Hughes had made The Breakfast Club with teens with superpowers. But instead of it being amazing and a classic, it is thoroughly boring and useless. That is The New Mutants.  

 
 
8. The Call of the Wild - This is a movie that tried to please everyone and managed to please no one. For the animal lovers, sorry, the animals are all computer generated. (And done so very poorly). For the people looking for a hearty Western, sorry, it's rated PG so the conflict is minimal at best. For the kids, sorry, even though it is only PG it is too intense for the little ones. 
 

 

 
 
9. Shortcut - You know you don't have much of a story when the opening and ending credits make up 15% of your film's total running time. Throw in several useless "montage" scenes and you have an 80-minute movie that should have been 40 minutes at most. The best part of this movie is the climactic scene. It is spectacularly funny. It isn't supposed to be funny, but it is. 
 

 

 
 
10. Doolittle - Watching this feels like you are watching one of those kindergarten plays where all of the kids stand in a line then one by one they step forward, deliver their line, and step back. The good news is there is a fun game you can play while watching. I call it, "Guess the country where Doolittle grew up, because his accent changes in almost every scene." 
 

 

 
 
 
Dishonorable Mentions
 
 
The Gentlemen - It's slow, it's barely funny, it's not nearly as smart as it would like you to think it is.
 

 

 
 
The Grudge - We should have known that 2020 was going to be as bad as it was when this was the first theatrical release of the year. Just like 2020, this flick was of normal length, but it felt like it was twice as long as it should have been.

 

 
 
The Hunt - If you are the kind of person that goes to movies for the gratuitous violence and prefer your plots to be paper thin, this movie is your Magnum Opus.
 

 

 
 
The Turning The first 15 minutes of this movie are dreadfully boring. And then, it gets worse from there.
 

 

 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
SOUND OF METAL
Rated: R
Release Date: December 4, 2020
Director: Darius Marder
Stars: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci
Plot: A drummer suddenly loses his hearing and must figure out what he is going to do with his life
 
Clint Says: See this as soon as you can
 
 
What would you do if you spent your entire life pursing something and had it taken away from you in an instant? That is the struggle dealt with in this story. 
 
Riz Ahmed is a front runner for best actor thanks to his incredible performance. He spent months learning how to play drums and how to speak using sign language. That kind of commitment combined with his emotional portrayal will surely help him collect several trophies this year. 
 
Paul Raci has a good chance of winning more hardware for this film in the Best Supporting Actor category. He brings the heart and calm to a story that would quickly become chaotic and unmanageable without him. 
 
The rest of the film is very good. It is emotional, raw and heartbreaking. It is definitely worth seeing. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
Rated: R
Release Date: October 16, 2020
Director: Aaron Sorkin
Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Rylance, Alex Sharp
Plot: Seven people are charged with inciting riots surrounding the 1968 Democratic National Convention
 
Clint Says: See this as soon as you can
 

 

Aaron Sorkin is a master story teller. He is one of the best ever at writing compelling and dynamic dialogue. In this film he takes that skill to a new level and delivers a powerful story that may be the best film of the year. 
 
Not only is the screenplay near perfection, but it is performed by an ensemble of actors that absolutely nail their roles. It would not surprise me at all to see multiple Best Supporting Actor nominations from this movie. 
 
If you are a fan of fast-moving, high-stakes drama you need to see this movie. It will entertain you, make you feel things, and give you different ways of looking at world events. It is based on real events from 1968, but it feels like it could have been written about current events. 
 
This is a film that anyone who loves cinema should see. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

ENOLA HOLMES

Rated: PG-13
Release Date: September 23, 2020
Director: Harry Bradbeer
Stars: Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin, Helena Bonham Carter
Plot: The younger sister of Sherlock Holmes must solve a mystery on her own while trying to stay one step ahead of her brilliant brothers
 
Clint Says: See this as soon as you can
 

 

This is easily one of the most fun and unique films of the year. It uses the technique of breaking the fourth wall to perfection. It is filled with fun effects, graphics and puzzles. 
 
The acting by Millie Bobby Brown proves that what she did in Stranger Things was no fluke. She is a powerhouse actor. She also makes you fall in love with her character right from the start. You will find yourself cheering her on every step of the way. 
 
The rest of the cast is amazing as well. The chemistry between the brothers Holmes is a thing of beauty. Their incessant bickering and one-upmanship makes for some wonderfully entertaining scenes. 
 
The story is compelling, the music is wonderful, the costumes and set designs are beautiful and lively. 
 
This could become your new favorite Holmes. 
 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

WONDER WOMAN 1984

Rated: PG-13
Release Date: December 25, 2020
Director: Patty Jenkins
Stars: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal
Plot: An ancient artifact is stolen and Diana must find it before it is used for evil purposes
 
Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this in theaters now
 
 
Congratulations, Patty Jenkins, you are now two for two with making my wife cry tears of joy at the end of your Wonder Woman movies. And that is no small feat because my wife is a New York Times bestselling author so she understands story a lot more than your average audience member. 
 
One of the greatest aspects of this film is not only do we get to enjoy the awesome on-screen chemistry between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine again, but we get to enjoy it while they are wearing 80's fashions.  There are few things more totally radical than Chris Pine in a fanny pack and Gal Gadot in shoulder pads. 
 
I must say I was a little worried when I saw the running time was over 2 1/2 hours, but thankfully the pacing is spot on. I never felt like the movie was overstaying its welcome. In fact, I wanted more. Speaking of which, make sure you stick around after the credits begin because there is a mid-credit scene that will have Wonder Woman fans literally screaming with delight. 
 
They also do another thing in this movie that will have fans cheering and clapping like they are little kids again. You'll know it when you see it. 
 
Personally, I thought this film was better than the first one, and I loved the first one. It is fun, action-packed, smart, and filled with heart. My only criticism of the film is that one of the bad guys is overly dramatic, but it's a comic book movie so we will let that slide. 
 
2020 has been a crazy year, but seeing this film is a great way to end the year on a high note. You will laugh, (mainly at the fashion), and you will cry, and you will have a great time watching this movie. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
Rated: R
Release Date: December 25, 2020
Director: Emerald Fennell
Stars: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie
Plot: A woman vows revenge for her friend by hurting the men that try to hurt her
 
Clint Says: See this in theaters as soon as you can
 
 

Simply put, this is one of the best movies of the year. Carey Mulligan, who is typically amazing in everything she is in, gives the best performance of her career to this point. She plays a woman set on revenge, but she doesn't just charge ahead without thinking. No, she is playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers. 

 
She also shows the complexity of her acting skills by playing a very smart, but damaged person who has the ability to make herself become the object of desire for any man. She goes from drunk to sober in a snap, from feigning ignorance to the smartest person in the room in one sentence, and from prey to predator before the guy has any clue what is happening to him. 
 
Mulligan's acting is paired well with a fantastic script, a solid cast, and great directing from Emerald Fennell. The story moves along well, and it is filled with mystery, suspense and drama. 
 
This film will be in the mix for several of the big awards this year, especially Mulligan for Best Actress. It is one that you should watch right away and then probably see again just because you'll want to catch all of the things you missed the first time. 
 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
NEWS OF THE WORLD
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: December 25, 2020
Director: Paul Greengrass
Stars: Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Marvel
Plot: A man who travels from town to town reading the news finds a lost girl and promises to get her to her family
 
Clint Says: See this in theaters soon
 
 
We already know that 2020 has been the weirdest year ever, but now we may be witnessing the strangest phenomenon yet. This is Tom Hanks's second film this year where he is the powerhouse actor he always is, but he's not going to get a Best Actor nomination this year. It's not that he doesn't deserve it for this role, it's just that the field is so stacked this year, Hanks is the odd man out. 
 
If there were an Oscar for best child actor, they could go ahead and engrave Elizabeth Marvel's name on that trophy because her acting in this film is next-level stuff. She and Hanks have great chemistry that makes the film so much more compelling. 
 
This is an emotional film filled with dramatic moments and powerful scenes. It does almost everything to check off  all of the boxes for an award-winning film. Almost. I'm not quite sure what it is, but this film just misses out on being a top film. Don't get me wrong, this is a very good movie that should be seen by anyone that loves going to the theater, it's just not an award winner. 
 
If you are a fan of Westerns, this is a must-see film. The same can be said for fans of Tom Hanks, and fans of great films. 
 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
GREENLAND
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: December 18, 2020
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Stars: Gerrard Butler, Morena Baccarin, Roger Dale Floyd
Plot: When a comet threatens to destroy most of the earth, panic ensues as people try to flee to safety
 
Clint Says: Stream this movie as soon as you can
 
 
This is one of those movies that you really need to see on the big screen, but it's 2020 so it skipped the theaters and went straight to VOD. So what you need to do is find a friend with the biggest entertainment system and watch it at their house. 
 
These apocalypse flicks tend to go one way or another, very rarely are they just okay. They are either completely stupid and eye-rollingly bad, or they are filled with a ton of suspense and edge-of-your-seat action. Thankfully, this one is the latter. 
 
They did a good job about helping the audience care for the characters, and making us feel like they were constantly on the verge of losing it all. They also didn't have the characters do anything stupid to get themselves in bad situations. Everything they do is something we all would try to do in their situation, and sometimes it just doesn't work out the way we plan.
 
The effects are great, the sound is amazing, and the pacing will keep your heart pounding for nearly two hours. 
 
If you like action flicks or end of the world tales, then you will really enjoy this movie. Just don't watch it on your phone or laptop, you are doing yourself and the movie a disservice if you do. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
FATALE
Rated: R
Release Date: December 18, 2020
Director: Deon Taylor
Stars: Hilary Swank, Michael Ealy
Plot: A married man has a one-night stand with a woman and then gets caught in her tangled web of lies and obsession
 
Clint Says: Wait for the digital release
 
 

Three decades ago a movie came out called Fatal Attraction. It was a huge hit and ended up getting six Oscar nominations. Now, 33 years later, this movie comes along with an almost identical plot. And while this film is decent, it doesn't hold a candle to the original.

 
There is nothing overtly wrong or bad about this movie, it's just not amazing. It's one of those that you see and after it's over you say, "that was fine for what it was."
 
It does have a few moments of suspense, and a few elements of surprise and mystery, but not enough to make it a memorable film. The acting is fine, the story is interesting, but formulaic, and it doesn't run so long as to wear out its welcome. But it never has that big moment that makes you say "wow".
 
If you want to support the theaters, you won't be disappointed spending money to see this, but you'll feel better about it if you just wait until it comes out digitally. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
MONSTER HUNTER
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: December 18, 2020
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Stars: Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa, T.I., Ron Perlman
Plot: An Army crew finds themselves in another world, full of dangerous monsters, after they are hit by a massive storm
 
Clint Says: If you love monster movies, see this in theaters now
 

 

If we ever needed a film to sum up what the year 2020 felt like, this is it. One minute everything is going along just fine, and then WHAM a massive storm sweeps you into a completely unknow world of danger and isolation. Thankfully Milla Jovovich is there to save the day. (I wonder if she could do the same for 2020?)
 
This is not anywhere near what one might consider to be an "important" film, or a "smart" film. No, this is just a good old monster flick. All you need is a big bucket of popcorn and a place to check your brain so you aren't trying to overthink it, and you will have  a blast watching this.
 
One of the best things about this movie is that they spent a massive chunk of the budget on the effects. There wasn't a single moment where the monsters looked fake, or the setting felt off. And in a movie that is probably close to 70% CGI, that is a difficult task to achieve. 
 
This film makes no excuses for what it is. It jumps right in with the action and doesn't let up for 90 minutes. The fighting scenes are long and intense, and there are a lot of them. Which is great, because that is why we go to see movies like this. 
 
If you are in the mood for a bunch of action, explosions, and out of this world monsters, this is a perfect flick for you to see now.  

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
ANOTHER ROUND
Rated: Not Rated
Release Date: December 18, 2020
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang, Lars Ranthe
Plot: Four teachers decide to try an experiment to see how things would be if they were drunk all of the time
 
Clint Says: Stream this if you like foreign film
 

 

Me: Oh, Denmark, what kind of crazy are you bringing to the holiday party this year? 
 
Denmark: Here, hold my beer. 
 
I have a feeling that when they made this film, they started off sober and were completely wasted by the end. The first 20 minutes are fairly plain and slow, but then it starts to pick up steam. And by the end of the movie it turns into an all out party. 
 
This film is filled with great acting. It must have been very difficult to go through all of the emotions and issues related to the different levels of drunkenness. 
 
If you are a fan of foreign film, you will want to make it a point to see this one. It's probably not going to get a lot of notice in the USA, but for those that do see it they will be entertained.  
 
 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
THE STAND IN
Rated: R
Release Date: December 11, 2020
Director: Jamie Babbit
Stars: Drew Barrymore, Michael Zegen, T.J. Miller
Plot: A famous actress falls from grace and her stand in takes over her life
 
Clint Says: Skip it. You won't miss it.
 

 

I saw this movie several days ago and I'm still not quite sure what I saw. It's billed as a comedy, but it isn't funny. Sure, there are one or two laughs in it, but this is much more dramatic than it is comedic. Although that leads us to our next conundrum because this isn't a drama either. It gets pretty dark, but the reality is, the stakes are never high enough for us to care about the outcome. It also has elements of a Rom-Com, but it isn't that either. 
 
The best I say is that this film is in a genre all its own. 
 
Drew Barrymore plays two characters in this film, and she does a great job with both. One is a tyrannical, bad-tempered, foul-mouthed superstar, and the other is her mousey, introverted, non-ambitious stand in. The scenes when she is talking to herself are the saving grace for this movie. 
 
As for the rest of the film, the script has the potential to be something really interesting, but it needed to be a lot funnier or a lot darker. By playing the middle ground it had all the edginess washed away.  
 
This is probably the most "meh" movie of 2020. It's a forgettable, average film that will leave you feeling like you just drank lukewarm coffee.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
THE PROM
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: December 11, 2020
Director: Ryan Murphy
Stars: Meryl Streep, James Corden, Keegan-Michael Key, Nicole Kidman
Plot: A group of well-meaning, but bumbling actors try to help a girl take the date she wants to prom, but rules and traditions stand in her way
 
Clint Says: Watch this movie as soon as you can
 

 

Do you love musicals? Are you a fan of Broadway? Do you consider MAMA MIA to be one of the greatest movies of all time? 

Well, get ready to move it down a notch, because it is time to go to THE PROM.

This is a fantastically funny musical that is essentially FOOTLOOSE for a new generation.

The songs are catchy, and the lyrics are hysterical. The costumes are out of this world, and the story is captivating.

This film is an emotional roller coaster in the best way possible. You will be feeling something from the opening credits until the very end. One minute your jaw will be hurting from all of the smiling, the next you'll be searching the couch cushions for another tissue to soak up your tears.

James Corden deserves a best supporting actor award for his role. He will have you laughing until your side hurts and then he will break your heart and have you ugly crying on your laptop keyboard.

The movie also introduces us to Jo Ellen Pellman. She plays the lead role of Emma, and she is amazing. You will fall in love with her character immediately and cheer her on the entire way.

My only real criticism of it is that it is way too long. Clocking in at almost 2 hours and 15 minutes. Thankfully, it is streaming so you can create your own intermission.

So, grab your sequin dress, or your sequin tux, and enjoy THE PROM.

 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
HALF BROTHERS
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: December 4, 2020
Director: Luke Greenfield
Stars: Luis Gerardo Mendez, Jose Zuniga, Connor Del Rio
Plot: Two half brothers meet as adults and go on a road trip to discover family secrets
 
Clint Says: See this in theaters when you can
 
 

When I saw the trailer for this film I thought it was going to attempt to be a riotously hilarious road trip, buddy comedy. Then I saw the film and realized it was something much more than that. 

 
While it does have several laughs, it isn't nearly as funny as your typical, straight-up comedy. But what it is lacking in laughs, it makes up for with a sweet story full of heart. 
 
Each of the main characters has a deep backstory that is revealed throughout the film. And as more and more pieces of the puzzle come together, you will find yourself fully invested in all of them and cheering them all on. 
 
Another great thing about this movie is that it is only 90 minutes long. So you won't feel like you are wasting half a day to go see a movie. 
 
If you like to laugh and you are a sucker for a heartwarming tale, you will really enjoy this film. Check it out in theaters this weekend.   
 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
ALL MY LIFE
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: December 4, 2020
Director: Marc Meyers
Stars: Jessica Rothe, Harry Shum, Jr., 
Plot: A young couple decides to get married after they get bad medical news
 
Clint Says: See this in theaters when you can
 

If you are a fan of romantic comedies, this is one of the best you will ever see. It is a laugh-out-loud funny, painfully adorable, heart-meltingly, gooey story played out by two of the most beautiful people in Hollywood. 
 
Oh, and it is also a film that will rip your heart out, smash it into a million pieces, put those pieces in a blender, but then give it back to you in the form of a love smoothie. So come to the theater prepared. And by "prepared" I mean, bring along all of your girlfriends and at least one full box of tissues.
 
You're going to need all of them. 
 
It's been about 18 months since the last really good Rom-Com was in theaters, so this is a perfect opportunity to shut off the small screen, put on your favorite mask, and watch something on a huge screen with real friends at your side.  

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM
Rated: R
Release Date: December 4, 2020
Director: George C. Wolfe
Stars: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Colman Domingo, Taylour Paige
Plot: A blues singer comes into the studio to cut a new album, but there as friction between her bandmates, the producers, and others in the room
 
Clint Says: See this as soon as you can
 

 

Wow! We may have lost the man and the talent of Chadwick Boseman, but he left us one final, beautiful, gift with his performance in MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM. And while it is a gift to us, it is also a performance that will most assuredly win him many acting awards.
 
Add to his astounding performance the earth-shattering performance of Viola Davis and you have the beginnings of a very special film. I will be shocked if either Boseman or Davis are left out of the acting races. As of now, I consider both of them to be the front runners.
 
To make it even better, their skills were put to use in a great film. It is a powerful, moving story told with compelling dialogue and beautiful music. The costumes are amazing, the sets and the cinematography add just the right look, and the pacing is perfect leading up to an unexpected ending. 
 
This is a film that you will want to see at least twice so you can catch all of the nuance, but also because it is so good. This will be a big time awards contender in several categories. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
MANK
Rated: R
Release Date: December 4, 2020
Director: David Fincher
Stars: Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins
Plot: Orson Wells employs Herman Mankiewicz to write the screenplay for CITIZEN KANE
 
Clint Says: Stream this as soon as you can
 
 
If you are a fan of old, classic Hollywood. This is a must-see film. It is a complete homage to cinema and the people behind it in the early 1940s. 
 
One of the most fascinating aspects of this film is how they incorporate the script writing into the film itself. You'll see scene setting descriptions pop up throughout the film written in the appropriate style and type for a true Hollywood screenplay. It keeps bringing you back to the fact that this is a movie about writing a movie. 
 
The film is shot in a striking black and white, but added to that are the incredible sets, camera work, and lighting. It makes the film one of the most beautiful of the year.
 
Rounding out the excellence is the superior acting by Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, and Lily Collins. It would not surprise me at all to see all three of these amazing actors vying for the top acting awards of the year.
 
It is a wild and captivating film from start to finish. I highly recommend streaming it as soon as you can. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
GODMOTHERED
Rated: PG
Release Date: December 4, 2020
Director: Sharon Maguire
Stars: Jillian Bell, Isla Fisher, Mary Elizabeth Ellis
Plot: A Fairy Godmother in training tries to help a single mother with her life-long wish
 
Clint Says: Worth a watch with the family
 
 
I watched this film with my family a couple of weeks ago and two things immediately stuck out to me. 
 
1. Isla Fisher is in a Disney movie? 
2. Jillian Bell is in a Disney movie!?!?!?!?!?!?
 
Kudos to the casting director on this one.
 
Bell, best known for being the poster child for raunchy comedies, plays a Fairy Godmother in training who ends up in the real world and hasn't got a clue about how anything works. Fisher plays a single mom, jaded by the struggles of adulthood, and the new target of the clumsy Bell. 
 
Not surprisingly, these acting professionals worked really well together, had great on-screen chemistry, and were both funny and likeable. What is completely surprising is that they did it in a PG-rated flick!
 
As for the rest of the movie, it's cute and fun, and exactly what you would expect a Disney original streaming on Disney+ to be. It's very formulaic, with slightly below average special effects and set designs, but it is a great film for the whole family.
 
If you want to hang out with the kids and a big bucket of popcorn on the couch this weekend, this is a film that will keep everyone laughing and happy for an evening. 

 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews
BLACK BEAR
Rated: R
Release Date: December 4, 2020
Director: Lawrence Michael Levine
Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Sarah Gadon, Christopher Abbot
Plot: A couple invites a woman to join them at their secluded cabin to film a movie
 
Clint Says: Stream this when you've taken a bunch of cold medicine
 
 

This is a perfect example of a self-indulgent, meta film that the Hollywood elite and self-proclaimed movie snobs are going to adore. Why? Because it barely makes sense and has no ending. Therefore, it must be an amazing work of art that the lower classes are too stupid to figure out. 

 
When you hear words like "ambitious", and "high-risk", and descriptions using French words in an otherwise English description, that means the film is too pretentious for its own good.
 
The main issue with this movie is that it takes too long for the reveal, and when the reveal finally comes it is too soft for most people to catch it. From that point on the story slowly starts to make sense, but then it ends in such a weird, non-ending way that it kills all of the momentum that it was finally starting to build. 
 
The good news is that the acting is great. Aubrey Plaza gives one of the finest performances of her career. Her co-stars round out a perfect ensemble that I would love to see in a movie that actually makes sense. 
 
This is the perfect film to see if you are dealing with the flu and totally high on NyQuil. Maybe then it will make sense. And if it doesn't, at least you won't care.