Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now

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ONWARD

Rated: PG

Release Date: March 6, 2020

Director: Dan Scanlon

Stars: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer

Plot: Two brothers go on a quest to bring back their dad for one last day together

Trailer

 

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

 

 

Disney/Pixar has an uncanny talent at taking very heavy subject matter and turning into an animated feature that is entertaining for the whole family and still stays true to the emotional depth of the circumstance the hero is in. Films like UP and INSIDE OUT are perfect examples of how they can take what seems to be an impossible task and make it work well. 

 

Now, we can add ONWARD to that list. 

 

My only negative comment about this movie is that it starts off a bit slow. However, after the first 15 or 20 minutes it hits its stride and becomes a fantastic film that the whole family can enjoy. The rest of the film is fun, funny, quirky, heartwarming, and exciting. It's filled with great physical comedy, adventure, fascinating characters and unique world building.

 

One of the best things about this movie is the twist. It is one that you'll never see coming, but it plays perfectly to the audience. 

 

If you are looking for a fun day out with the family, ONWARD should be on your short list of things to do.  

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THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART

Rated: PG

Release Date: February 8, 2019

Director: Mike Mitchell

Stars: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish

Plot: Emmet must go on a daring adventure to the Sistar System to save his friends from invaders

Trailer

 

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

 

 

The Lego movie franchise is easily one of the best movie franchises of all time. So far, every film has been incredible. This one is no exception.

 

THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART is fantastically funny, irreverent, exciting, and interesting for kids and adults of all ages. Yes, it does feel a little bit too much like the first movie, but there are enough new characters and story lines to make it worth the price of admission.

 

Possibly the best part of this film is how it makes fun of itself and other major movie franchises. If you are a comic book movie fan you will have several opportunities to laugh while your children look at you like you are crazy.

 

If you are a fan of the first Lego film you should put this one on your list of must see films. There aren't a lot of family-friendly movies that are worth theater prices, but this one absolutely is.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: June 22, 2018

Director: T.A. Bayona

Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Isabella Sermon

Plot: A small group of people are trying to save the dinosaurs from a cataclysmic event

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

I can still remember 25 years ago, sitting in the theater, staring at the screen in awe, and watching what looked to be real dinosaurs walking with humans. I remember how fun and terrifying JURASSIC PARK was. I also remember how smart it was. It made us have to think about the consequences of our actions, and how even the most noble missions can have unintended and disastrous consequences.

 

Now, it's 25 years and 5 movies later and I'm still watching the same story. Sure, the dinosaurs look even more realistic now, but other than that the only thing that has changed is that the movies have become less about the consequences for humanity and more about watching the big, bad reptiles tear each other limb from limb. (And occasionally watching a big, bad reptile do the same thing to a little, bad man).

 

With one small, but completely predictable exception, JURASSIC WORLD FALLEN KINGDOM is the exact same movie as JURASSIC WORLD, with a few moments from the earlier films thrown in for good measure. Same dinosaurs, same people, bad guys we've seen before, scientific debates that never progress, and way too many shots of things reflected in car side view mirrors.

 

Is it a good monster movie? Yes. The packed crowd we saw it with seemed to enjoy themselves. They even cheered at two or three key moments. If you are going because you want to see big lizards duke it out like MMA gone wild then you will thoroughly enjoy your experience.

 

Critically speaking, this film is terrible. It does nothing to advance the overall story line. (Except that the Jeff Goldblum speech makes it feel like this movie could have been skipped completely and we should all just move on to the next installment). It barely advances the JURASSIC PARK world, and the way that it is advanced is incredibly predictable, lazy, and convenient. If you need your Sci-Fi films to be smart and make you think about issues and consequences then you need to skip this movie. It will shrivel your brain with its overwhelming amount of dumb.

 

I love a good monster movie, but this one is so much of the same, and so poorly written that I almost got dizzy from my eyes rolling. At one point I got so bored I almost walked out of the theater just to walk around outside for a few minutes in the clear air. I didn't, but if I had I wouldn't have missed anything. This flick is nothing more than a summer blockbuster cash grab. It's all effects and no content.

 

Hopefully, the next one will get back to what made the original a classic.

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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOLUME 2

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: May 5, 2017

Director: James Gunn

Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Kurt Russell, Michael Rooker

Plot: The gang of misfits continue their adventures across the galaxy while Peter tries to build a relationship with his father

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this movie now

 

 

My expectations were exceedingly high for this movie, and it met them! If you haven't seen the first GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, stop right now and go watch it.

 

The rest of us will wait.

 

Okay, now you understand what an incredibly awesome franchise this is. All other film companies should take notes while watching these two movies and title it, "How to make a great movie".

 

This film is full of great banter, fun action, a compelling story, and great music. It's 2 1/2 hours long, but it feels shorter than a lot of 90 minute movies. And Baby Groot may be the most adorable thing ever.

 

If you haven't seen the first GUARDIANS make sure you see that one before this one, otherwise you will be lost. However, if you've already seen the first one, get to a theater now and enjoy Star Lord in all of his awesomeness.

 

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PASSENGERS

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: December 21, 2016

Director: Morten Tyldum

Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt

Plot: Odd events occur aboard a spaceship with 5,000 hibernating passengers, causing two of them to wake up 90 years too early

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD, and make someone else rent it

 

 

A Sci-Fi movie with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt? Yes, please!

 

That was my initial reaction upon hearing that PASSENGERS was a real thing and coming to theaters in a few months.

 

Then I saw the movie. And my reaction was something more like this:

 

 

 

Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen a movie go from amazing to terrible so fast. 

 

One moment, they are in critical trouble and the next they are saved by the most ridiculous moment of convenience possible. And that is followed up by another ridiculous moment of convenience so we can get back to the love story. 

 

This is a Sci-fi movie that completely ignore the "science" part. They set up rules in one scene and completely break those rules 10 minutes later. They set up improbable scenarios and solve them with the impossible. It makes no sense. 

 

That aside, the love story between the main character is great. A lot of the emotions they show, being stranded for the rest of their lives, feels very authentic.

 

If you go into it with the idea that you are watching a love story you will probably enjoy it. If you are a Sci-fi fan, you'd be better off just crossing this one off your list.   

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THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: September 23, 2016

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Stars: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Haley Bennett

Plot: A group of gun men help a small town fight off a man intent on taking over their land

Trailer

 

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

 

 

I didn't realize my life was missing a good Western with witty banter and Chris Pratt, but now I know it was. I'm not saying this is a great movie, but it is exciting. I equate it, in that regard, to SUICIDE SQUAD. Critically speaking, this film is a hot mess, but for pure entertainment purposes, it is a blast. 

 

The first two thirds of the film are filled with incredible character chemistry and insult-your-best-buddy humor. I'm sure the cast has a fun time ad libbing while filming, because you can see some genuine reactions to the lines being thrown out. 

 

The last third switches gears completely and becomes an extremely violent war film. It's not a surprise that it happens. The story is leading to that moment all along, but the way that it is handled makes it feel like you are watching two different films.

 

Chris Pratt is the big winner in this flick. His character's nonchalant persona that covers up a deep-seeded need for justice is played to perfection. Even in a cast with six other massive personalities he stands taller than the rest. 

 

Denzel Washington gives us one of the better performances we've seen from him in several years. He has a couple of scenes that will make you hold your breath for way too long. 

 

I highly doubt we will see this movie make it onto the ballots for any critical awards, but it wouldn't surprise me to see it up for a couple of People's Choice categories. Either way, this is a movie that is worth seeing in theaters.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

JURASSIC WORLD

Rated: PG-13

Director: Colin Trevorrow

Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard

Plot: The park is now open and business is starting to dwindle, so to keep it going the staff are creating hybrid dinosaurs. And, once again, through the order comes chaos.

Trailer

 

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

 

 

I found this film to be completely absurd and totally awesome. It is a great Summer flick. You don't have to think too hard, you can just sit back and be entertained. The effects are outstanding, there is enough suspense to keep you somewhat near the edge of your seat and the story, while not great, is good enough to make it engaging.

 

For those of you expecting this to be a nerdtastic sequel to the first epic film in the franchise, you will be disappointed. This is not a thinky science-fiction marvel like the original, it is more like a disaster film.

 

Although I really enjoyed this film I'm nervous that they left it wide open for multiple sequels. If and when there is a sequel I hope they add in the one missing element that will make it spectacular...JEFF GOLDBLUM! That is all.