Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now

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Posted by on in Movie Reviews

THE BEST OF ENEMIES

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: April 5, 2019

Director: Robin Bissell

Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Sam Rockwell, Babou Ceesay, Bruce McGill

Plot: A civil rights activist and a Klansman are forced to work together on the issue of school integration

Trailer

 

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

 

 

 

I was watching this film recently, and about 30 minutes in I thought, "This is the point where this movie decides to be good or terrible."

 

Thankfully, it chose wisely and decided to be a good movie.

 

I give a lot of credit to Robin Bissell, the writer and director. Not many people could read a story about a two-week long civil rights meeting and find a movie in it. Even fewer could do that and actually make the movie enjoyable.

 

The driving force behind this movie is the powerful acting by Henson and Rockwell. While there isn't much character development, we still get a decent feel for who they are, how they operate, and how uncomfortable they are having to work with one another. Most of this is portrayed through facial expressions, extended pauses, and starts and stops moments. Both of them are at the top of their game in this movie.

 

The downside is that this film clocks in at about 2 hours and 10 minutes. This is easily 30 minutes too long. There were several opportunities to make the movie shorter that should have been taken. Instead it drags on, not only in time, but in pacing. That isn't to say that the movie ever gets to the point of being boring, but there were times I felt myself wandering out of the story.

 

Overall, this is a really good, powerful film that covers important social issues. It is also a fantastic film to show younger teens and tweens a significant moment in the civil rights movement. There are a lot of opportunities for discussion that can arise from this movie.

 

This probably won't be the best movie you see this year, but it will be one that will stay with you, and you won't feel bad having dropped $20 to see it.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: October 19, 2018

Director: David Lowery

Stars: Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck

Plot: Based on the true story of a senior citizen who robbed dozens of banks

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the digital release

 

 

This is one of those films that is way better in the mind than it is in reality. Who wouldn't want to see a movie about an elderly gentleman escaping from San Quentin, robbing banks all over the place with a smile, baffling police everywhere, and charming the general public? It sounds great...on paper.

 

The harsh reality is, a guy that acts like a complete gentleman, even when he is robbing a bank is really endearing the first time. After that, it gets really boring. There is no action, no excitement. And nothing against senior citizens, but watching an awkward love story between to octogenarians isn't exactly big screen gold.

 

This movie could have easily been made in the 1980's. And by that I mean, it looks like and sounds like it was shot in the 1980's. It has the pacing, editing, camera movements, color, and music of a film that came out during the cold war.

 

It is a fun and charming film, but it isn't exciting or suspenseful at all. In fact the searching for him is downplayed quite a bit. There are a couple of moments were things pick up, but it doesn't last long.

 

This isn't the kind of cops and robbers flick that will bore you to tears, but you aren't going to be excited about it either. Save this one for a slow, rainy day when you are relaxed on your comfy couch. You'll either enjoy a decent film or you'll get a great nap. Either way, you win.

 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

BLACKKKLANSMAN

Rated: R

Release Date: August 10, 2018

Director: Spike Lee

Stars: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace

Plot: A black cop teams up with a white cop to go under cover and infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan

Trailer

 

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

 

 

Spike Lee is at it again with another piercing film  that will make you think while you laugh and cringe. And this time it is based on a true story. 

 

This movie is filled with incredible acting, amazing writing, great suspense, biting comedy, and so many moments that will make you squirm in your seat. It is powerful and meaningful, but it doesn't take itself too seriously. (Until the end, but we will get to that in a minute).

 

The film is perfectly cast and all of the actors make it feel like you are really witnessing reality. That, along with the unique direction of Spike Lee gives this film a fresh look at race issues in America. 

 

The only problem I had with this movie is that it gets way too political. I hate it when movies push a political agenda on either side. And with a movie about racism it shouldn't be a political issue, it should be an issue for all of humanity. 

 

The last four or five minutes of the movie are not even a part of the movie. It switches from narrative to documentary. And while it is discussing racial issues it just didn't feel like it needed to be a part of the movie. The film was great before it got political. It didn't need to go there. We, the viewing public are smart enough to draw our own parallels between film and reality, we don't need to be punched in the face with it to get it.

 

The good news is the movie is great enough to push through the political junk and give us all something exciting and powerful that is worth your theater dollars.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

THE 15:17 TO PARIS

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: February 9, 2018

Director: Clint Eastwood

Stars: Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler

Plot: Three life-long friends find themselves in the middle of a terrorist attack and must do something about it

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD

 

 

First of all let me acknowledge the fact that these men are true heroes. They deserve all of the accolades, awards, and praise that has been given to them. I would be humbled even to be in their presence. Their actions that day saved many lives. 

 

They also deserve a film that is way better than this one. These guys are heroes, not actors. And this is a character-driven film. So, to have the real heroes have to play themselves in the movie is a huge disservice to them. They could have easily played supporting roles in the film and had a great experience. Unfortunately, they were given an impossible task.

 

The dialogue is stilted and amateur and the acting is painful to watch. Again, this is no slight on the guys, this should never have been allowed to happen in the first place. The editing is terrible, the story jumps around, there are moments that happen where we didn't get to see the events that lead up to them, and there are things that happen that are completely useless to the story.

 

The film does pick up and become interesting when they encounter the terrorist, but that is only 7 or 8 minutes out of the entire film. The rest is terrible. 

 

I'm torn on this film though, because on one hand it isn't worth seeing at all, however, these guys are heroes and deserve to have their story told and make some money doing it. So, maybe buy a ticket for this movie, but skip it and do your own research. Better yet, go buy their book. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

AMERICAN MADE

Rated: R

Release Date: September 29, 2017

Director: Doug Liman

Stars: Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright

Plot: The story of a CIA pilot running guns for the Contras in the 1980's and the mayhem that surrounded him

Trailer

 

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

 

 

Imagine if Maverick from TOP GUN left the military, joined the CIA and made millions smuggling drugs and guns for the US government. Well, you don't have to imagine it...you can watch Tom Cruise play it out in AMERICAN MADE. (Not the Top Gun part, but hey, it's Tom Cruise flying a plane...I had to go there).

 

If the real story is even half as true as this movie, Barry Seal was an insane genius.

 

From the very beginning of this movie it makes you strap in and hold on for dear life for nearly two hours. There are a couple of moments where you'll be wishing that an oxygen mask would drop out of the ceiling just so you can catch your breath.

 

Tom Cruise is at his Tom-Cruiseiest in this flick. From the slow swagger walk to the innocent half-smile there isn't a moment where he doesn't dominate the screen.

 

The film is funny, exciting, crazy, and fascinating. It isn't one that is going to get the attention of the awards voters, but for those of us that love going to the movies for fun entertainment, this is a near perfect film.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

BATTLE OF THE SEXES

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: September 29, 2017

Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

Stars: Emma Stone, Steve Carell

Plot: Based on the story of the famous tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King

Trailer


Clint Says: Wait for the DVD

 

 

I was really looking forward to seeing this movie for several reasons. First, the real-life match has lived on in infamy for 40-something years now. Second, Emma Stone and Steve Carell are two of my favorite actors. And finally, who doesn't like a good-natured man versus woman story?

 

Then I saw the movie. (Insert The Price Is Right loser sound here).

 

The trailers made this movie look like it was going to be all about the match and the lead up to the match, instead we get a long slow story about their relationships and the endless fighting BJK had to do for equal pay. (Don't get me wrong, those are interesting and valid story lines, it's just not what we were sold with the trailers).

 

If you ever saw any of the coverage of the press conferences Riggs and BJK had, you know that there is a lot of material there for an interesting story. The film does a really poor job at getting into the rivalry between Billie Jean King and Margaret Court. It touches on it, and it feels like it is a significant part of the film, but it never goes anywhere but a surface rivalry.

 

Stone and Carell are outstanding in their performances. Unfortunately, they were given a bad script with which to work. The rest of the cast is fine, but even the main secondary characters are hardly developed.

 

If you go see this movie, just know going in that it is a slow-moving, relationship-heavy story, rather than the fun, funny, and exciting film we see in the trailers.