Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now
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.
18 TO PARTY
We all know that if you are going to chase after your dreams you are going to have to overcome a lot of obstacles. This film is all about doing just that.
THE WAY BACK
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
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.
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
Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this in theaters now
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.
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
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.
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
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.