Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now

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THE WAR WITH GRANDPA
Rated: PG
Release Date: October 9, 2020
Director: Tim Hill
Stars: Robert De Niro, Oakes Fegley, Uma Thurman, Rob Riggle
Plot: When grandpa moves in with his family and takes over his grandson's room was is declared
 
Clint Says: See this in theaters when you can
 

 

Robert De Niro is the human equivalent of the Energizer Bunny. He's pushing 80 years old, but he works as much, if not more, than most Hollywood A-listers. In fact, he still has two films, other than this one, still to be released this year, and five other films in some stage of production. And the beast thing about his acting is that he makes every film he is in better.
 
There is no way this film will ever be mistaken for cinematic brilliance, but it is one that the whole family can enjoy together. It's filled with funny one-liners, an entertaining story, and a ton of slapstick. You and your kids will be laughing all the way through. 
 
The only thing I didn't like about this movie is that it got a little too preachy with the anti-war message. It's not that the message was wrong, it just felt like they were trying to force a moral lesson into the movie that didn't really need to be there. If it had been just one moment between grandfather and grandson after their feud ended that would have been okay, but it comes up several times making it too much.
 
Aside from that, this is the first new-release film that the whole family can enjoy in a theater in the last six months. If you are looking for a fun outing with the kids, give this one a shot. It's not a fantastic film, but it is good enough to make it worth your time and money.

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JOKER

Rated: R

Release Date: October 4, 2019

Director: Todd Phillips

Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz

Plot: A man with a mental illness comes to embrace his dark side

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this movie now

 

 

Welp. There is no need to go any further in the nomination process for best actor this year. The Academy might as well go ahead and mail the Oscar to Joaquin Phoenix's house. I'd bet the mortgage payment that there won't be a better acting performance this year.

 

As for the movie. I loved it. And I hated it.

 

This is, so far, my favorite film of the year. It is incredible and terrible in every way. I was completely taken in by the story, and yet so repulsed by the fall of the main character as well as the society around him that failed him repeatedly.

 

The number one thing that makes a great villain is making their mission understandable, almost to the point of the viewer being sympathetic to thought process. This film does a fantastic job making the downtrodden Arthur Fleck (pre-Joker) a very sympathetic character that chooses a life of evil and chaos only after it is forced on him again and again.

 

This film is a mirror of how our society still treats mental illness. I know this from personal experience, because I have seen society and "the system" fail a person with mental illness very close to me over and over again.  It is sad and terrible to watch the unnecessary fall of someone like Arthur Fleck who only wants to make people happy and bring joy to their lives, but society hates him for being different, and the system doesn't want to deal with him.

 

This is a very powerful and disturbing film. It is not a film for kids at all. This is not anywhere near a typical super hero-like movie. This movie is brutal, in-your-face, horrific, and incredibly disheartening. Do not take your 8 year old to see this movie. It's way too much for them to handle, and the story is way over their head anyway. I was disturbed by this film and I've been around a lot longer than 8 years.

 

There are several shocking reveals in this origin story as well. A few of them will get audible gasps from the audience.

 

This is not a fun film. It is, at moments, hard to watch, but it is very much worth seeing. Movies like this don't come along very often. I highly recommend seeing this one in theaters. Just make sure you have time to process it afterwards, because this one is going to stick with you for quite some time.

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THE COMEDIAN

Rated: R

Release Date: February 3, 2017

Director: Taylor Hackford

Stars: Robert De Niro, Leslie Mann, Danny DeVito, Harvey Keitel

Plot: An aging shock comedian goes through life making people uncomfortable, including the woman he meets that is half his age

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD

 

 

There seems to be a new trend in Hollywood of making films that don't have a target audience. This is at least the third film released just this year that falls into that category. It's an average film with an all-star cast, but it will only be in theaters for a few weeks because there is no group that is excited to see this movie. If it finishes higher than 7 or 8 in the top 10 this weekend I will be shocked. If I was a betting man I would put my money on it not even cracking the top 10.

 

First off, it's a cast full of old people doing old people things. That is fine if you are targeting older people, but the lead character is a shock comedian. De Niro spends most of the film spouting off insults that are guaranteed to make your grandma walk out of the theater. I've seen a lot of shock comedians in my life and I felt like I needed a shower after the movie ended.

 

Next, it brings in an uncomfortable, May-December relationship that feels awkward and forced. However, Leslie Mann rises above the rest of the cast, and brings a refreshing element to the film.

 

Finally, it's a film about a comedian and is filled with comedians, but it isn't that funny. It almost feels like you are watching how comedians really interact with each other behind the scenes. The lines that are delivered get laughs, but there seems to be a biting truth or underlying disdain in every joke. It's tough to find something funny when it feels like the joke was actually meant to be mean.

 

Overall, it isn't a bad movie, it's just another film that will come and go. There isn't anything that makes this film worth seeing in theaters. If you are fans of De Niro, Mann, or DeVito watch it when it comes out on DVD.

 

NOTE: The restaurant that Danny DeVito owns in the movie is called "Ben's Best Kosher Deli". It is a real deli in Queens and it is fantastic! If you ever find yourself in Queens make sure you stop there for a meal.

 

UPDATE: It opened it 20th place making a paltry $1.1 Million in nearly 900 theaters.

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HANDS OF STONE

Rated: R

Release Date: August 26, 2016

Director: Jonathan Jakubowicz

Stars: Robert De Niro, Edgar Ramirez, Usher Raymond

Plot: The story of the relationship between boxer Roberto Duran and his trainer, Ray Arcel

Trailer

 

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

 

 

Whether you know the story of boxing legend Roberto Duran or not this film is fascinating. It is beautifully shot and the pacing is spot on, even if the plot is a bit jumpy in places. 

 

Edgar Ramirez and Robert De Niro work well together. They do a great job of making their characters compelling so we want to cheer for them. 

 

This is much more of a drama than an action flick. There is very little boxing that takes place on screen, but that doesn't mean this movie is without tension. It is intriguing, inspiring, and heartbreaking all at once. 

 

You don't have to be a boxing fan to enjoy this film, but it wouldn't hurt. If you are a fan, you will love this movie.  

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DIRTY GRANDPA

Rated: R

Release Date: January 22, 2016

Director: Dan Mazer

Stars: Robert DeNiro, Zac Efron, Zoey Deutch, Aubrey Plaza

Plot: A just-widowed man takes his uptight grandson on a trip to Florida right before the grandson's wedding.

Trailer


Clint Says: Wait for the DVD

 

 

This movie is a hot mess. Yes, it is full of raunchy jokes and male body parts, which, if that is what you want out of a movie, great. But this movie takes a hard turn about an hour in and becomes this smarmy, endearing, life-lesson thing that has no place in a movie full of below-the-belt humor.

 

Watching this movie is kind of like watching a dog go to town on your best friend's leg. At first it's funny, then it's awkward, then it gets kind of gross, and finally you realize that it's not funny at all and that the dog is just too stupid to know any better.

 

If you a desperate for a few laughs at some anatomy humor, or you need to see Zac Efron's backside then spend the money to see this in theaters. Just be warned that you're going to walk out of the theater trying to figure out what just happened to the last two hours of your life.

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THE INTERN

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: September 25, 2015

Director: Nancy Meyers

Stars: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo

Plot: A retired widower takes an internship at a successful internet start-up and brings some of his old school wisdom to the tech age.

Trailer

 

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

 

 

I was shocked at how much I liked this film. It was significantly funnier than I thought it would be, and there were very few cliche Hollywood moments. In fact, it was so funny that we missed a good dozen lines because we were all laughing so hard.

 

Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro have a wonderful chemistry that will warm your heart. It's also nice to see De Niro playing a role that goes against his type. I can't recall the last time I saw him acting awkward or having a lack of confidence in a movie.

 

This film will give you an emotional roller coaster ride. As I said, it is hysterically funny, but it is also sad, heartwarming and triumphant. Bring tissues to wipe the tears out of your eyes as you cry and the snot off of your nose when you snort laugh.

 

This may be one of the best comedies of the year.