Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now

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WENDY

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: March 13, 2020

Director: Behn Zeitlin

Stars: Devin France, Yashua Mask, Gage Naquin, Gavin Naquin

Plot: A young girl and her brothers run away to a magical place where they can stay children forever, but things don't always go as planned

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

Oh, how close this movie came to being great. 

 

When I saw the trailer for WENDY, I was so excited because it looked like a gritty, modern-day retelling of the Peter Pan story. The good news is that it fits that description well. The bad news is that is doesn't quite deliver on pacing, tone, or keeping the important benchmarks of the original story. 

 

There is a lot to like about this film, and I really did like it, I just didn't love it. It is very good, but not great. It has moments that are wondrous and beautiful, but it has others that are slow and tedious. I also feel like I was a bit cheated out of seeing the Peter Pan story. There are key points in the original tale that don't show up in this version. Because of that the whole thing feels a bit off. 

 

If you like the look and feel of indie films, this one is worth your time and money, but you have to go in knowing that it isn't going to be a film that wows you. I'm happy that I saw it, but I don't ever need to see it again.  

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GRETEL AND HANSEL

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: January 31, 2020

Director: Osgood Perkins

Stars: Sophia Lillis, Samuel Leakey, Alice Krige

Plot: Two children, lost in the woods, come upon a darkness that is bent on destroying them

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

 

Most of us have heard the story of Hansel and Gretel. And now it gets a Hollywood treatment worthy of the terrifying essence of the tale. Sure, we would laugh about the witch getting the kids fat, and the way they outsmart her, but the reality is, the story is horrific.

 

While this film isn't your typical horror flick, it is better than most. It's a slow burn that builds well, and leads us to an original and twisted end. The movie is significantly more creepy than is it scary. Yes, it has a few moments that will make you jump, but for the most part it's all about making your skin crawl. 

 

It is a strikingly beautiful film. Every scene is built with impressive imagery and purpose. There is a symmetrical look to the film that is satisfying, but also unsettling. Each scene makes you feel like you should enjoy what you are seeing, yet there is a sense of foreboding that is continuously present.

 

The acting is superb, especially for the horror genre. Sophia Lillis, (IT and NANCY DREW), is fantastic in the lead role. She carries the story like a seasoned professional even though she is still in her teens. The rest of the cast do fine jobs in keeping the story moving forward. 

 

If you are a fan of dark fairy tales, this film is worth your time and money. 

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DUMBO

Rated: PG

Release Date: March 29, 2019

Director: Tim Burton

Stars: Danny DeVito, Collin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Eva Green

Plot: A small, struggling, travelling circus gains new fame when their tiny elephant begins to fly, but the attention may be too much for them to handle

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release

 

 

Disney has done several live-action remakes of classic films. Up to now, I've considered all of them to be good to great. Now, the little, flying elephant is hitting the big screen in all of his big-eyed, big-eared, CGI glory.

 

Every streak has to come to an end at some point.

 

I wish I could say this movie is fun and exciting and amazing for kids of all ages, but I can't. The reality is that it is really long, slow, and boring. The pacing is slow for most of the film, and it comes to a near stop in a few scenes. The story is told all wrong, the acting is well below average for a cast like this movie has, and the overall tone of the film is too dark.

 

It is also ironic that the bad guy is essentially a Walt Disneyesq character that creates his version of Disneyland. I never thought I'd see the day where Disney turns themselves into the evil empire.

 

Having said all of that, there were several people that applauded the movie as it ended, so your opinion may vary greatly from mine. You might find it beautiful and endearing. And, truly, I hope you do. But, for me, I have no desire to ever see this film again.

 

If you are planning on seeing it with your family, you may want to see it first before taking the younger ones, or do some thorough research before taking them. It is a Tim Burton film, so it is already dark, but there are a couple of scenes that feel like a bit too much for a kids' movie.

 

There isn't anything so mind-blowing in this movie that makes it worth seeing on the big screen. You'll get the same effect by waiting for the digital release.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Rated: PG

Release Date: March 17, 2017

Director: Bill Condon

Stars: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad

Plot: A cursed prince can change his fate if he can win the love of a young woman

Trailer

 

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

 

 

Disney has done it again. They've taken a masterpiece, reworked it and managed to come up with something familiar, but also new and impressive.

 

I was excited when this film was announced, but my excitement turned to nervousness when I saw the trailers and it looked like they were simply making a shot-for-shot remake of the original animated movie. Now that I have seen it, I can tell you there is a lot of new and interesting material in this version that makes it even more compelling than the original.

 

This version gives us backstory on Belle's family, the Beast's family, and many other interesting tidbits along the way that make it enjoyable to watch for the entire two plus hours. It also gives us four new and wonderful songs, plus new lyrics to several of the original songs.

 

Emma Watson is absolutely perfect as Belle, Kevin Kline plays her father, Maurice, in a new and wonderful way, and Luke Evans brings depth to Gaston. The rest of the cast rounds out the ensemble well.

 

I do need to mention that this film is much scarier than the original. If you have younger children, (under 7), you may want to screen the movie yourself before taking them to see it. There are several scenes that are very intense, including three or four scenes with the wolves.

 

I would also say that it isn't necessary to see this movie in anything bigger than 2D on a regular screen. I saw it in IMAX 3D and we all noticed several blurring issues that shouldn't be there in the 2D version.

 

If you are a fan of Disney films you are going to really enjoy this new version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. If you grew up with a copy of the original in the VHS player and watched it twice a day every day for a couple of years, this film will return you to your childhood and might even leave a permanent grin on your face.