Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now

Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Drama

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

THE WAY BACK

Rated: R

Release Date: March 6, 2020

Director: Gavin O'Connor

Stars: Ben Affleck, Janina Gavankar, Al Madrigal

Plot: A broken man tries to overcome the demons in his life through coaching high school basketball

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release

 

 

Ben Affleck is spectacular in an otherwise average movie. He gives one of the best performances of his career. A performance that he describes as "very therapeutic", since he started filming this film the day after he got out of rehab from his very public relapse. He also owes a huge "thank you" to his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, who called the director and saved the film from being shelved, even before production began, after Ben fell off of the wagon.

 

I'm happy for him that this movie got made. Especially if it is helping him to stay sober. However, I wish they had made a better film. I couldn't help myself from comparing this movie to HOOSIERS. And this one doesn't even come close to it. I didn't want to do it, but I'm a child of the 80's. 

 

It's too long, is has severe pacing issues, (to the point that after one scene I thought the movie was over, but we still had another 35 minutes to go), only one of the other characters are developed, and the timeline doesn't make any sense. (There is one point where the team's regular season ends and something happens that should take several weeks to several months to accomplish, but it is all done before the kids play their next game).

 

This isn't a bad movie, but it isn't great either. It's not one that stays with you like HOOSIERS does. If you want to see a good basketball movie with a broken coach, watch the one with Gene Hackman. You'll be a lot happier that you saved your money.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

1917

Rated: R

Release Date: January 10, 2020

Director: Sam Mendes

Stars: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Colin Firth, Andrew Scott

Plot: A soldier must cross enemy lines and deliver a message to another battalion before they are destroyed

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this in theaters now

 

 

Oh, my.

 

What a film.

 

This is one of the most exciting, riveting, suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat movies to come out in several years. I haven't gripped the arm rests this tight since I saw THE WALK in 2015. (That was the movie about the guy that did a tightrope walk between the twin towers).

 

I felt like I was holding my breath for nearly two hours. For 98% of the movie you are sure that the main characters are in mortal danger, and you feel it right along with them.

 

There is one scene in particular where the director did a perfect job of making everyone in the audience feel utterly alone, yet completely surrounded by unseen danger. I literally had a pit in my stomach as I tried to mentally help the hero to safety.

 

There is a reason why this movie is winning all sorts of awards. It is a phenomenal film. It's one that will stay with you for weeks after you see it. And it is one that you will want to see again.

 

This is the kind of film that you have to see on the big screen. Your computer monitor will not do it justice. Take the time and the money to enjoy this thriller to its fullest potential.

 

NOTE: This film had a limited release in December making it eligible for the 2019 awards season.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

JUST MERCY

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: January 10, 2020

Director: Destin Daniel Cretton

Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Jamie Foxx, Tim Blake Nelson

Plot: A young lawyer starts a practice to help inmates unjustly put on death row, but there are many people that refuse to let him succeed

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Drop everything and see this in theaters now

 

 

For the life of me I can not figure out why this movie is not getting a ton of award nominations. This is easily one of the best films of the year. (This had a limited release in December so it is eligible for the 2019 awards season). If it were up to me this would be nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor - Michael B. Jordan, and Best Supporting Actor - Jamie Foxx.

 

This isn't a fast-paced film, it tells the story in a slow, but deliberate way. Every second of it is compelling and emotional. It is filled with suspense and intrigue even though it isn't action-packed.

 

This is the kind of film that will make you think, too. It deals with a lot of hard questions and disturbing truths. It's not easy to watch, but it is worth it. It's the kind of film that can show the bad, but still give you the hope and redemption that we all long for.

 

If it weren't for the fact that there are an extraordinary amount of great movies this year, JUST MERCY would easily be a top contender for many awards. Even though it isn't getting any awards live, it is still a movie well worth seeing. If you have older children, you should take them as well. There are several things that happen in this movie that would make for important and interesting discussions with your family.

 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

LITTLE WOMEN

Rated: PG

Release Date: December 25, 2019

Director: Greta Gerwig

Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Timothee Chalamet, Emma Watson

Plot: Four sisters learn the hardships and triumphs of life during the American civil war

Trailer

 

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

 

 

Director Greta Gerwig put together a power-house group of women, and led them all to a finished product that is not just a great film for toady, but simply a great film. The production elements, the costumes, the chemistry of the cast, and the beautiful music all come together to create a special film. 

 

My only issue with it is that the pacing is slightly off for the first 30 minutes or so. It takes a minute to figure out the timeline jumps that are happening and who is who. Once you get used to the back and forth of the timeline and you know who all of the characters are the movie steams full speed ahead.

 

It is funny, heart-warming, sad, endearing, and beautiful. It will run you through all of the emotions in a little over two hours. 

 

The acting is incredible as well. Florence Pugh as Amy is masterful. She should be up for Best Supporting Actress in almost every awards show. Saoirse Ronan is exceedingly powerful as well as Jo. I have a feeling she will see several Best Actress nominations. 

 

It would not surprise me in the least to see this film up for Best Picture and Best Director when the Oscars are announced. It may not quite be the best of the bunch, but it absolutely deserves to be in the conversation. 

 

If you are a fan of the book, this is a must-see movie. It will give you all that you want out of the story. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

UNCUT GEMS

Rated: R

Release Date: December 13, 2019

Director: Benny and Josh Safdie

Stars: Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, Kevin Garnett, Idina Menzel

Plot: A New York City jewel seller keeps finding himself in debt to the wrong people and always trying a risky plan to get out of it

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release and make someone else rent it

 

 

All I need to describe this movie is one word: Exhausting. 

 

I could literally feel my blood pressure rising as I watched this film. I was so stressed out and annoyed 10 minutes into it that I almost had to walk away for a few minutes. Why was this happening? Because this movie is basically 2 hours of several people in the same room trying to yell over the top of one another. 

 

You know how you feel when your whole extended family gets together for Thanksgiving and your idiot uncle says something stupid to your drunk great aunt, and then it's nothing but chaos? That is UNCUT GEMS. 

 

Adam Sandler is great in his role, but his character is so frustrating, so annoying, and so infuriating that I couldn't help but hate him. He spends the entire movie never learning his lesson and doing stupid thing after stupid thing. An hour into the flick I just wanted to grab him and slap the snot out of him.

 

The characters are all flat, not a single person has any redemptive qualities. Everyone is a one-dimensional criminal or a sleazebag. Nobody changes or grows, there are no character arcs, we just see a bunch of jerks continue to be jerks. 

 

Also, a word of caution. If you see that Adam Sandler is in this and you are thinking, "oh, great! A Comedy!" Change that thought process now, because this is not a comedy at all. There is nothing funny about it or in it. It's a rough, gritty drama that will leave you worse off than when you arrived.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

QUEEN & SLIM

Rated: R

Release Date: November 27, 2019

Director: Melina Matsoukas

Stars: Jodie Turner-Smith, Daniel Kaluuya

Plot: A couple, finishing up their first date, end up on the run after a bad run-in with a cop

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release and make someone else rent it

 

 

 

When making a movie based on fictitious people living in the real world there is only one way to make it work right. The characters have to think and act like real people. The have to do the things that almost anyone would do in the same circumstance. If they do something different, it rings an alarm bell in our minds and comes across as fake or forced. 

 

I say all of that to say that either the screenwriter had no clue how to write real characters, or we have to believe that these are two of the dumbest people to ever walk the face of the earth.

 

This could have been a spectacular film. It has all of the pieces to make something special and powerful. Instead, it completely falls apart to the point where it almost becomes a parody of a "chase" movie. 

 

The film starts out in a good enough way. We see the couple on their very awkward first date, and then, if you've seen the trailer you know I'm not giving anything away, they end up killing a dirty cop in self defense. At this point the clock starts ticking on their lives and freedom. Now, if you or I were in a horrific situation like this what would we do? We would make a plan, grab all of the cash we could, and get to our destination as quickly as possible.

 

Not these two. 

 

No, they argue over the dead cop, they stop, get out of the car and argue some more, then they go on this meandering road trip where they stop more to do stupid stuff than a family road trip with six kids and three puppies! It was killing me as I watched it because they did a good job of building up the suspense of the manhunt, but then they would kill it by stopping to see the sights.

 

As for the acting, Daniel Kaluuya does a great job. Jodie Turner-Smith, not so much. She delivers so many lines in stilted, non-emotional ways, it almost makes me think that she was reading them off of cue cards instead of actually paying attention to and feeling the words and meaning of what she was saying. It baffles me that there are some people talking her up for best actress awards. Obviously, they saw a completely different movie than I did. 

 

I would love to see someone do a remake of this movie the right way. Because, when they do, it will be amazing. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

WAVES

Rated: R

Release Date: November 27, 2019

Director: Trey Edward Shults

Stars: Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Taylor Russell, Sterling K. Brown, Lucas Hedges

Plot: A family's life takes a turn after a tragic event

Trailer

 

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

 

 

This is one of the more interesting and unique films I've ever seen. It is very good, but I'm still not sure that I liked it, and I'm still not sure if the final cut is done well. Honestly, I may never come to a solid conclusion on this movie. 

 

WAVES is just over 2 hours long. The first half is dedicated, almost entirely, to the story of the son/brother in the family. The second half gives us new main characters and a story line that follows the daughter/sister. It almost feels like two different films. I wonder if it might have played out better if they had focused on one of the stories and either started or ended the chosen story with 10-15 minutes of the other one instead of splitting the screen time 50/50.

 

The dual story issue is odd, but almost everything else about the film makes it great. The acting is amazing. In fact, I would be shocked if there weren't some acting nominations to come from this movie. The writing is also very powerful and moving. 

 

Technically speaking, this film is pretty average. There are a lot of weird camera movements and lens flares. Some of them would have been cool, but there are so many that it gets annoying. For example, we spend the first several minutes of the movie seeing everything through the eye of a spinning camera. Yes, it's a neat shot at first, but then it becomes a gimmick, and then it quickly turns off putting. It could have been a much more powerful film if it didn't try so hard to be artsy.

 

This is a poignant and powerful film that will poke around at all of your emotions. It's not the easiest film to watch, but it is one that you will be glad you saw after it is over. 

 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Rated: PG

Release Date: November 22, 2019

Director: Marielle Heller

Stars: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys

Plot: An investigative journalist for Esquire magazine is tasked with interviewing and writing a story on the legendary Mr. Rogers

Trailer

 

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

 

 

 

This is a wonderful and beautiful film that will make you feel all sorts of feelings. This is a film that will make you want to be a better person. This is a film that will have you singing and smiling from ear to ear. 

 

This is not the film you think it is.

 

It is a story about the writer. He is the subject of the film. His is the life and story we see play out on the screen. Mr. Rogers is simply the catalyst that helps him figure out what is wrong in his own life. In fact, I would guess that Tom Hanks is only on screen about a third of the movie. 

 

If that sounds disappointing to you, don't worry, you are in the same boat as I am. The good news is that, once I adjusted my thinking and realized what the real story was, I really enjoyed the film. It is a beautiful story of brokenness, redemption, and forgiveness. 

 

Tom Hanks is a power-house once again and will most-assuredly be up for all of the supporting actor awards. It felt like I was watching Fred Rogers again.

 

Matthew Rhys is very good as the broken writer. He and Hanks play well off of one another. It's interesting how both of them played their characters in subdued ways, never stealing scenes from each other, but letting the story be the star. 

 

The movie itself is done in a unique and entertaining way. It's almost like the whole thing is one long episode of MR. ROGER'S NEIGHBORHOOD. The traveling scenes are done in the style of the old PBS show, and the open and close are done in the same manner. I was pleasantly surprised that I remembered all of the words to the songs. And no, I was not the only one in the theater singing along. 

 

If you grew up watching Mr. Rogers this is a must see movie. It may not be exactly what you were hoping it would be, but it is exceptional in its own way. 

 

Just. Like. You. 

 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

FORD V. FERRARI

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: November 15, 2019

Director: James Mangold

Stars: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Tracy Letts, Jon Bernthal

Plot: Two of the world's best car guys try to work within the confines of Ford to build a car fast enough to beat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release

 

 

You would think that a film about the fastest cars in the world would be fast-paced. Well, not in this case. FORD V. FERRARI clocks in at nearly 2 1/2 hours, and I am not exaggerating when I say that they could have easily cut 50 minutes out of it. The first 90 minutes was so slow. I was thoroughly bored.

 

Thankfully the last hour picked up the pace and gave us some excitement and entertainment. If it hadn't been for that this film would have been a complete disaster.

 

The acting is good, but nothing award-worthy. I'm sure Damon and Bale did spot-on jobs portraying their real-life characters, but the men themselves weren't that dynamic. Therefore the acting falls flat and doesn't do a good job of carrying the story. 

 

If you are a gear head or any type of car junkie then you'll probably enjoy a good portion of this movie. There is a lot of technical talk that will keep you entertained. If you aren't a fan of cars and/or racing this is not the movie for you. It will be a very long 2 1/2 hours.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

HARRIET

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: November 1, 2019

Director: Kasi Lemmons

Stars: Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn

Plot: The story of the skill and bravery of Harriet Tubman to escape slavery and then help hundreds of other slaves to freedom

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this in theaters now

 

 

HARRIET has "Oscar contender" written all over it. From the screenplay, to the score, to the acting, and beyond, I can see this film getting six or seven nominations with ease. However, it is still very early in the awards season, and with some big, powerhouse films on the way, this one might not make the final cut. Even so, this is an amazing and powerful film worth seeing.

 

Cynthia Erivo gives a career-defining performance as Harriet Tubman. Her acting draws you in and makes you feel like you are right there with her. You feel the pain, anguish, joy, relief, and courage along with her.

 

This is not an easy movie to watch. There is a lot going on that is disturbing and uncomfortable, but that is what makes it such a powerful and moving film. I went to the screening of this movie with a black friend, and when it was over I could see that she was visibly moved by it all. She told me she loved it, but it was going to take her a few days to process all that she had just witnessed. I know that, since then, the film has stuck with me, and I'm sure the same is true for my friend.

 

If you are a fan of history this is a must-see film. But beyond that, this should be shown in Junior High History classes for the next 50 years. It is a film that needs to be seen. Harriet Tubman was a true hero, and this movie does a wonderful job in bringing her life and accomplishments to life more than 100 years after her death.

 

If you have teenage children. Take them to see this movie. You'll have plenty to talk about when it is over.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

JUDY

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: September 27, 2019

Director: Rupert Goold

Stars: Renee Zellweger, Finn Wittrock

Plot: Judy Garland, in desperate need of money, travels to London to do a series of shows

Trailer

 

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

 

 

I must admit, I was not as smitten by this film as everyone around me was. Don't get me wrong, I found the movie to be very well done with incredible acting by Renee Zellweger, but for some reason it didn't quite hit me emotionally like it did others. 

 

The story is a tragedy in every way. From her manipulated life as a teen that led to her issues as an adult, to her loss of her money, children, and her dignity. It is a sad and hopeless tale. There are only slight glimpses of comedy and happiness, but those are so fleeting that they can easily be missed.

 

Zellweger truly becomes Judy Garland on screen. Her performance is near perfection. I even had people telling me that they didn't realize it was Zellweger until well into the film. There will be a lot of competition for Best Actress this year, but I would be shocked if she is left out of the awards conversation. 

 

If you are a fan of Judy Garland you need to see this movie. If you are hoping for a lot of great singing moments including SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW, you will be disappointed. Yes, there are a couple, but they are more sad than triumphant. This is not an easy film to watch, but it is a film forth seeing. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

DOWNTON ABBEY

Rated: PG

Release Date: September 20, 2019

Director: Michael Engler

Stars: Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton, Matthew Goode

Plot: The Crawley family prepares for a royal visit to Downton Abbey

Trailer

 

Clint Says: If you are a DOWNTON ABBEY fan this is a must-see movie

 

 

If you are a fan of the DOWNTON ABBEY television show stop reading now and just head to the theater. There is nothing that I can say that would stop you from seeing this movie, nor would I want to stop you. Go, henceforth, and may joyous tidings be unto you.

 

If you've never seen the show, but you are thinking about seeing the film, the good news is you won't be completely lost. Sure, there are a lot of inside things true fans will get that you won't, but you will understand who the characters are and what is happening throughout the story. 

 

DOWNTON ABBEY is aristocratic snobbery at its best, (or worst, depending on your preferential point of view). It's the perfect film to be enjoyed with a bunch of friends and a bunch of wine.

 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

HUSTLERS

Rated: R

Release Date: September 13, 2019

Director: Lorene Scafaria

Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer

Plot: A group of high-paid strippers have to find a way to make a living after the stock market crash of 2008

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

This is one of those films that could have been so great. It has a fascinating story, (based somewhat off of a true story), and great acting. Unfortunately, the editing and cinematography pull this movie back into the "average" category.

 

There has been a lot of Oscar talk for Jennifer Lopez as Best Supporting Actress. She is very good, but I don't see her making the cut for a nomination. She doesn't stand out like one would typically see from an Oscar nominee. And that is mainly because Constance Wu and the rest of the cast are all great in their own ways as well. This is one of the best acted movies of the year so far, unfortunately they didn't have a script worthy of their talents. 

 

The main issue with this film is that it doesn't get to the point until 50+ minutes into it. From that point on the movie is amazing. It's fast-paced and compelling. Unfortunately, the first 50 minutes wander around slowly and with very little purpose. All it does is establish who they are, what they do, and why they need to alter their lives post stock market crash. This could have been handled so much more effectively and been more entertaining if it had taken 20 minutes instead of almost an hour. 

 

It's also a poorly shot film. I'm sure a lot of filters were used while making this movie, but it made a lot of the scenes look out of focus. There were also a lot of weird camera movements that didn't make any sense with the action on the screen. 

 

This had the potential to be one of the better films of the year, unfortunately it is just going to fall into the pile of mostly forgettable films that couldn't quite get the formula correct. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON

Rated: R

Release Date: August 23, 2019

Director: Tyler Nilson, Mike Schwartz

Stars: Zack Gottsagen, Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson

Plot: Two people running away from their past travel together to try to find the place where one of their dreams can come true

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Drop everything and see this in theaters now

 

 

This film has a great chance to be the feel good movie of the year. It is so simple, but it is absolutely beautiful in its simplicity. I kept on catching myself with a big, stupid grin on my face as the story unfolded. And when it came to an end it left me wanting so much more. 

 

It's hard to believe that a movie about a couple of misfits in love with back-woods wrestling could make for one of the great films of the year, but it is true. This film is superb.

 

I'm not the biggest Shia LaBeouf fan, most of his work I find rather annoying, even though I appreciate the fact that he is always pushing the edge of acting into new and interesting places. However, he give a masterful performance in this film that is a joy to watch from beginning to end. 

 

LaBeouf is fantastic, but it is Zack Gottsagen who completely steals the show. His performance is so endearing, so real, and so raw that you feel like you are right there with him every step of the journey. His comedic timing and his sense of drama draw the audience in to the point where you can truly feel his joy and his pain. 

 

This is one of those films that will have you cheering hard for the heroes, laughing at the craziness, and crying through the heartache. It is a wonderful, powerful, and emotional film that should be on your list to see as soon as possible.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN

Rated: PG

Release Date: August 9, 2019

Director: Simon Curtis

Stars: Kevin Costner, Milo Ventimiglia, Amanda Seyfried

Plot: A dog spends his life with a race car driver and his family

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release

 

 

First off, let's just get this one out of the way right away, Kevin Costner is a terrible voice actor. I spent the entire film picturing him standing in a recording booth reading lines over and over again, but always reading them the same way until the director finally just gave up and said, "we've got it." There are so many lines that feel awkward and out of place. 

 

Next, since the entire movie is narrated by the dog (Kevin Costner), it feels like I was watching someone read a bad book aloud. The whole time I was mentally screaming at the movie to stop telling me things and start showing me. Telling is boring and static, showing is exciting and dynamic. 

 

The other thing that is so strange about this movie is that it doesn't seem to know it's target. Is it a dog movie? Is it a romance? Is it a movie about racing? Is it a movie about living life together? The answer is yes to all of them. You can't have a good movie that tries to do all of the things at once. It won't please anyone.

 

Throw on top of that poor dialogue, mediocre acting, and boring cinematography and you have a pretty bland flick that isn't worth your time or effort. If you happen to run across it when it comes out digitally, you might give it a shot just to see if you like it, but don't be surprised if you turn it off before the halfway point. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

THE FAREWELL

Rated: PG

Release Date: August 2, 2019

Director: Lulu Wang

Stars: Awkwafina, Shuzhen Zhao, Diana Lin

Plot: A Chinese family gathers to say goodbye to their dying matriarch, but she doesn't know she is dying

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this in theaters now

 

 

This is easily one of my favorite movies of the year. It is so touching, emotional, and so perfectly Chinese in every way. 

 

I have had the pleasure of spending a significant amount of time all over China and there are things there that you would never experience in the West. Watching this movie brought back all of those memories. 

 

Lulu Wang does an amazing job at directing this film. The pacing is perfect, the shots and sets are artistic and beautiful, and the story is told well. 

 

Awkwafina proves that she is one of Hollywood's finest actors with her award-worthy performance. You truly feel for her character and the struggle she is going through throughout the film. And seeing her finally make the choice that she feels is the right one is such a powerful and moving moment. 

 

The show-stealer though is Shuzhen Zhao who plays the matriarch of the family. She is so incredibly funny with her abrupt, no-nonsense talk. And her face lights up the room every time she is on screen. 

 

Even if you aren't a fan of foreign language films, you should give this one a shot. The story is told so well. It is funny, heartbreaking, beautiful, and wonderful. I would bet that this film makes a lot of people's Top 10 Films list this year. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

 

THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO

Rated: R

Release Date: June 28, 2019

Director: Joe Talbot

Stars: Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Danny Glover

Plot: A young man tries to return to the heart of the city he loves, but it has pushed him out

Trailer

 

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

 

 

Every once in a while a small-budget film comes along that has the ability to make a big splash. This might be that movie. While this isn't a mainstream style film, it is a beautiful and powerful snapshot of a city and its people. 

 

Jimmy Fails and Jonathan Majors are fantastic in their respective roles. Their portrayals are moving, heartbreaking, and inspiring. As the story unfolds we get the full essence of who they are, what they stand for, and where they want to go. 

 

The visual elements are stunning and relate perfectly to the tone and pace of the movie. There are several scenes that look like they were pulled right from a Broadway stage, while others look like they sneaked in a quick scene with just the actors, director, and his smart phone. 

 

My only issue with this movie is the continuity. There are several scenes where things are out of place from cut to cut. A perfect example being when several guys are trying to act tough on a street corner. As the scene cuts back and forth on guy is wearing a hood then he's not, then it's back, and so on. Simple things like that drive me crazy in film because they are so easily fixable. But if that is my only issue, then this is an outstanding film worthy of your time and money.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

TOLKIEN

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: May 10, 2019

Director: Dome Karukoski

Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins

Plot: This film explores the younger years of the acclaimed fantasy author and how his experiences shaped his stories

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this in theaters now

 

 

As a fan of the works of JRR Tolkien, I was intrigued by the premise of this film. I wanted to see the moments in his life that shaped his writings and especially the works we all know so well like THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

 

Not only did I get what I wanted, but I got so much more. This movie is outstanding. It is a work of art unto its own. It almost feels like the second coming of DEAD POETS SOCIETY, which, to me, is one of the greatest films of the last 40 years.

 

The acting is near perfect, the cinematography is mesmerizing, the story is well-paced, and the imagery is intense, meaningful, and exciting to see. There are so many Easter eggs in this film for fans of The Hobbit and LOTR. You probably need to see it a couple of times to catch them all.

 

Nicolas Hoult and Lily Collins have beautiful chemistry, making the love story just as enjoyable as the story about his early life and friends.  They make this movie significantly better with their skills.

 

Unfortunately, for most fans of Tolkien's works, they will never even know this film exists. The marketing for this movie has been minimal at best, and that is a true disservice to a wonderful film. If you know someone who is a fan, please let them know that this movie is in theaters now. It deserves a good audience.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

THE INTRUDER

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: May 3, 2019

Director: Deon Taylor

Stars: Dennis Quaid, Megan Good, Michael Ealy

Plot: A couple buys their dream home, but the former owner isn't ready to let the place go

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Don't even bother

 

 

Very few times in my life have I rooted for the bad guy in a movie, but in this case I was cheering him on with full gusto. About 30 minutes into the film I realized that both of his victims were so colossally stupid that they deserved everything that was going to happen to them.

 

Here are just a couple of the, (slightly spoilery, but it really doesn't matter), stupid things they did: 1. They both are the worst cell phone users ever. 2. They never bother to call the cops. 3. The woman has zero sense when it comes to self-preservation. 4. The bad guy keeps coming to their house and  the guy victim sends his wife back home ALONE to spend the night ALONE. 5. Bad things keep happening at the house and zero cops show up.

 

And those are just a few of the eye-rolling moments...I left out all of the really bad ones. And there are plenty.

 

Oh, and to make matters worse, hardly anything exciting happens in the first hour. They had to throw in a fake action/dramatic scene to try and trick us into thinking the movie was actually going somewhere.

 

This movie is so bad that strangers were talking to each other as we left the theater commiserating with one another about how bad the flick was. I had one guy come up to me and say, "if that were my wife and she was that stupid, we would have had a come-to-Jesus way early in that movie." He's not wrong.

 

A tell-tale sign that a movie isn't great is when the studio releases one trailer, and puts it on the front of every possible movie for a good six months leading up to its release. Which is exactly what the studio did for this film. Going in, I knew there was a chance that it wasn't going to be good, but I went in with an open mind. Silly me. The actual movie ended up being even worse than I had imagined it could be.

 

This movie could have been so smart and scary. Instead it was thoroughly boring and stupid. Don't even bother with this one. It will just disappoint you.

 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

TEEN SPIRIT

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: April 19, 2019

Director: Max Minghella

Stars: Elle Fanning, Zlatko Buric, Agnieszka Grochowska

Plot: A poor farm girl tries for fame and freedom by auditioning for a major singing competition

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

While this isn't a bad film at all, it feels like it missed it's production window by about eight years. I know that singing competitions are still popular, but they are nothing now compared to a few years ago when they were just about the only thing people talked about when it came to TV.

 

Elle Fanning is incredible in this role. She pulls off a foreign accent, a foreign language, and she even sings all of the songs herself. For an actor to do any one of those things is pretty good, but to nail all three is exceptional.

 

The thing that bothered me most about this film is the tone. It's about a girl going to a massive singing competition, it should feel exciting and overwhelming, but instead the whole thing is toned down like we are on a morphine drip during our own birthday party.

 

I think this film could have been great if it was just a little more up and fast-paced. It is worth seeing just because of Fanning, but the story may leave you wanting more.