I watch crappy movies so you don't have to.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

DVD Review for March 31, 2015

INTERSTELLAR
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Cain
Plot: A former pilot is sent on a journey into space to find a new planet for humans because the earth is becoming uninhabitable.
Trailer

Clint Says: This movie is ah-mazing!...Wait...wha? OMG! This is HORRIBLE!




INTERSTELLAR has the dubious honor of being one of my Top 10 Worst films of 2014...


I should have known better. When they released the first teaser trailer for this film almost a year ago I was so excited, but I should have known better. Great films don't need to do that. When we found out they were only going to pre-screen this film for movie reviewers and not general audiences, I should have known better. Great movies want as many people to see the film before release date as possible to spread the word. I should have known better.

This film clocks in at just shy of three hours. The first 2:15 are some of the most interesting, compelling and spectacular movie magic I've seen in a long time. I was enthralled. I was pulled in hook, line and sinker. Just like THE DARK KNIGHT films, Christopher Nolan was knocking it out of the park. 

Then the last 30 minutes of the film made their ugly appearance.

I can't even begin to tell you how bad the last 30 minutes of this film were. I sat in stunned silence, mouth agape. I couldn't believe my eyes. How could a Christopher Nolan film with such an incredible cast, and Oscar-worthy acting I might add, fall apart like a spaceship flying into a black hole?

There were several moments in the first 2:15 of the film that were odd, like story jumps and plot holes, but I was willing to overlook all of that because the film was so epic. Now I can't unsee any of it.

If you really must see this film, (and I can't really blame you because the trailers make it look so good), just watch until they launch the robot into the black hole. At that point, turn off the DVD player or computer, go to a coffee shop and make up your own ending. You will be so much happier. 




THE IMITATION GAME
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley
Plot: A British mathematician works to break the German's code to help the allies win the war.
Trailer

Clint Says: Buy this DVD today


This film has the honor of being my top pick of 2014. It is an outstanding movie that should be seen by everyone. Benedict Cumberbatch gives a masterful performance as does Keira Knightley.

This movie is so highly compelling because the stakes are so high, and this cast delivers the intensity to the audience every step of the way. It is powerful, heartbreaking and intense.

Without giving anything away I will say that the scene following their success is one of the most powerful, gut-wrenching and heart-breaking scenes I have ever seen. This is truly a masterpiece.




WILD
Rated: R
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern
Plot: A woman endures a long hike to try to rediscover who she is
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this when you get around to it


There was a lot of awards buzz surrounding this film, but I found it to be an okay movie at best. It has several compelling moments and Witherspoon does a wonderful job in her role, but there is only so much you can do with a movie about someone walking 1,100 miles.

The film starts slow and drags on for a while, then, just about the time the movie starts to get really good, it's over. And the ending of the movie feels like it would have made a more compelling chunk of the movie rather than the one paragraph of narration jammed in to try to tie the whole package up with a nice bow.

Typically, I don't like to do this, but I feel that a lot of people may be shocked at the content of this film. It is Rated R for a very good reason. WILD is full of sex, nudity, drug use and adult language. I'm not sure that most audiences will realize the adult nature of this film until they've already pressed play on the film.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Movie Review For March 27, 2015

HOME
Rated: PG
Stars: Jim Parsons, Rihanna
Plot: A young girl and an outcast alien try to find her mom and save the world before it is too late
Trailer

Clint Says: See this after opening weekend, if you have younger kids


This is basically an inter-species, intergalactic road trip flick that will keep you smiling for 90 minutes.

This is the kind of movie that is really good, but it could have been so much more. I enjoyed it and the children in the theater were all very excited about it, but it didn't have that over-the-top experience like some of the other great Dreamworks projects, (SHREK, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, etc.)

It is a funny, caring, somewhat suspenseful, and unique movie that would make for a fun outing with the whole family, but don't expect this one to become the movie that spends three months in the DVD player.

There are a couple of scary scenes that may be too intense for the under 5 crowd, but everyone else should have a good time.





GET HARD
Rated: R
Stars: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, TI
Plot: A wealthy businessman hires a guy to teach him how to survive prison after he's convicted of fraud
Trailer

Clint Says: See this in theaters after opening weekend if you can handle the raunch


This is the funniest and also raunchiest movie I've seen so far in 2015. There were several moments where we were all laughing so hard that we missed the next line in the film. There were also moments where we were audibly cringing so loud at the raunchiness that we missed entire scenes of dialogue.

Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart play well to each other's strengths and have great comedic chemistry. I was also pleasantly surprised at how well TI can act. A warning though on Ferrell's performance... Once again we see way too much of him.

The plot is actually quite compelling for a comedy and there is a good amount of suspense to keep this from being a paper-thin, one-dimensional film.

If you are looking to guffaw this weekend this is your movie, but if you don't do well with raunchy humor you need to stay far away from this flick.





IT FOLLOWS
Rated: R
Stars: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist
Plot: A girl is continuously followed by an evil being after a date goes wrong.
Trailer

Clint Says: Don't even bother


Imagine you sleep with someone and they give you an STD, but instead of this STD living inside your body and causing problems it is a really ticked off ghost that wants to kill you. Oh, and this angry ghost/STD hybrid can only walk, but it knows where you are and walks toward you all the time. If you can actually dumb your brain down enough to imagine that then you've basically seen IT FOLLOWS.

Horror films aren't usually known for their acting, but this flick takes bad acting to a whole new level of suck. Throw on top of that the fact that this is supposed to be a horror flick, but it isn't even remotely scary. And it's so dumb and poorly done that you can't even laugh at the stupidity of it all.

Not only is the acting and overall movie bad, but the musical score is one of the worst I've ever heard. It sounds like it was recorded on a kid's Casio synthesizer from the early 1980s.

I can easily judge how scary a movie is by how many people have their phones out in the theater and how many people go to the restroom during the movie. The more phones and the more bathroom breaks the scarier the film. I'm sure it's people trying to distract themselves from the scary. This movie? I didn't see a single phone nor did anyone leave to use the bathroom. I was surprised however that nobody just left and didn't come back.

If this movie wasn't bad enough already, the director also thought it was necessary for us to have to see some old dude's junk. I'm not spoiling anything here, believe me, that thing was spoiled a long time ago. I mean, honestly, put it away.

I can't believe I'm saying this again in another review, but it just fits too perfectly not to... Avoid this movie like you would an STD.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

DVD Review For March 24, 2015

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans
Plot: Bilbo and Gandalf must work together to try to save Middle-Earth from the greed of its varied inhabitants.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this when you have the time


Director Peter Jackson finishes strong with the final installment in THE HOBBIT trilogy. It's not the best film of the bunch, but it is satisfying enough that fans of the series will walk away feeling fulfilled.

I will say that it feels like there is something missing from this movie. To be quite honest I can't figure it out, but I think it's the lack of character depth. This is essentially a 2 1/2 hour CGI battle movie and I would have liked a bit more story out of it.

The action is spectacular, the creatures are fascinating and the quest is compelling. And, without giving anything away, the finale of this film ties in beautifully to the beginning of THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy.

It's the end of an era, so enjoy this one.




INTO THE WOODS
Rated: PG
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine
Plot: A baker and his wife encounter several other fairy tale figures as they try to complete a task for a witch.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this soon


I saw this musical on stage several years ago and absolutely loved it. When I heard that Disney was making it into a film I was a bit nervous that the story would get too sanitized from the original to really have any impact. Thankfully, I was wrong.

Disney did a spectacular job at making this a musical palatable for children, (although I probably wouldn't take anyone under age 8), yet still intense and dramatic for the adults. The screen version is also significantly funnier than I remember the stage performance to be.

One big mark against this film is its length. There is a point where it feels like the movie ends, but then it goes on for about an hour after that. They probably could have accomplished the same thing by editing the last hour down to about 20 minutes.

Chris Pine steals the show and his song "Agony" is the highlight of the entire film. Meryl Streep does a fine job, although I didn't consider it to be award-worthy. If I had my choice of award nominations for this movie I would give the nod to Daniel Huttlestone who plays Jack. (He also plays Gavroche in Les Mis). He is mesmerizing once again.

Fans of the musical will notice missing and new songs in this version, but I think you will like this version all the same.




UNBROKEN
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Jack O'Connell, Takamasa Ishihara, Domhnall Gleeson
Plot: A former Olympian gets stranded at sea during World War II then becomes a prisoner of war inside Japan for several years.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this after you've seen the other movies out this week


This movie could have been something special, but it never gets there. I wasn't made to care for the main character any more than the other POWs, nor did I really hate his enemies. The character development was weak at best and in many cases non-existent. We blow through the main character's childhood and Olympic career so fast that we miss anything that might have been compelling about him.

Jolie uses flashbacks during the first third of the film which are powerful and well done, but then they just stop. For the last two thirds of the film we get nothing. I think the movie could have been a lot more powerful if she had kept those flashbacks going as a way to show his resolve and something to give him hope.

This is not a bad film at all, in fact it is pretty good, it just isn't great. And a movie like this needs to be great.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Movie Review For March 20, 2015

INSURGENT
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort
Plot: Tris and Four must make new alliances and try to stay alive while the government hunts them down.
Trailer

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee


The second film in the DIVERGENT series falls off sharply from the first one. Fans of the book may be disappointed that the movie deviates far from the book. In fact, it deviates so much it's almost like the film is an original screenplay.

If you haven't seen the first film do not go see this one. You will be completely lost with no chance of figuring out what is going on. It was difficult even for those of us who did see DIVERGENT.

I will say that the action and the effects are amazing throughout the movie, but the dialogue and the plot are both sub-par. There are also several moments that will make you say, "wait, what just happened?"

I think that fans of the books that are willing to see the plot changed will really enjoy this movie, but for everyone else you may want to wait for the DVD before seeing it.

If you would like to see our Nerd Riders Drive Through Movie Review for INSURGENT click here.




THE GUNMAN
Rated: R
Stars: Sean Penn, Idris Elba, Javier Bardem
Plot: A security expert makes a controversial kill and must go into hiding in order to stay one step ahead of the hitmen after him.
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD and let someone else rent it


This movie is one hour and 55 minutes of cliche action flick. It's so cliche that even the big twist is painfully obvious.

There are massive plot holes, several events that arise that are never explained, and the bad guy gets killed in what may go down in action movie history as the most ridiculous death of a villain ever. When people laugh out loud at the death scene you know it's bad.

The movie does have a few moments of nice suspense, but overall there is nothing new or better than any of the action flicks that it stole its ideas from.





DO YOU BELIEVE?
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Mira Sorvino, Sean Astin
Plot: 12 lives are changed over the course of a few days as their paths cross
Trailer

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee


This film is from the same people that brought us GOD'S NOT DEAD. That film had no advertising budget, but through word of mouth it stayed in the top 10 for several weeks and made over $60 Million. This time they spent a good chunk of that money making a much better film that will probably do even better at the box office.

By Hollywood standards this is an okay film. There isn't a lot about it that is exciting or innovative, but this is a story film, and the story is quite intriguing. The plot is interesting, the acting is much better than I expected, including a very powerful performance by Brian Bosworth.

There are a few moments that are too coincidental and others with cringe-worthy dialogue, but that aside it's a film worth seeing. Christians will love it for the message, but I think that non-Christians will find it interesting as well.

It is PG-13 for a reason, I would highly recommend keeping the younger kids away from this movie. There are certain things that happen that may be too intense for the under 10 crowd.

Monday, March 16, 2015

DVD Review For March 17, 2015

ANNIE
Rated: PG
Stars: Quvenzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, Rose Byrne
Plot: A young orphan and a wealthy businessman create an unlikely alliance that leads to a deeper relationship
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this for a fun family evening


This is one of those films that if you don't find yourself dancing in your seat you may need to check your pulse. It's a fun, entertaining film that is great for the whole family.

It's interesting that the movie executives decided to go with big-name talent over lesser-know actors that are trained singers. The music is a bit weak in the film, but strangely, it doesn't really matter. The acting is great and there are several funny moments where they break the fourth wall and poke fun at the whole idea of musicals.

The story is engaging and fast-paced, but it's almost a little too fast-paced. The movie seems to go from Annie's hopeless situation to happily ever after in the blink of an eye.

Gather up the whole family and enjoy a sing-along with the rest of the theater.




PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR
Rated: PG
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, Tom McGrath
Plot: The penguins must team up with another elite force to try to stop a villain from kidnapping the world's penguins.
Trailer

Clint Says: Buy this DVD and enjoy it with the whole family


This may well be the funniest animated movie of 2014. I laughed out loud 15 or 20 times and spent the better part of the rest of the film trying to wipe the smile off my face with no luck.

Kids will love this movie because it has a lot of fun elements for them, but adults will be just as pleased with it because it has an interesting plot, surprisingly in-depth character development, and it is fast-paced.

I put this movie up with the likes of THE LEGO MOVIE and MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN. 2014 was an incredible year for animated films and PENGUINS was a big part of that.




EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley
Plot: The story of the battle between Moses and Ramses for the lives of the Hebrew slaves.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this if you don't have anything better to do


When one hears that a film is being made about the life of Moses and his tumultuous relationship with Ramses, one would think that the film would include significant coverage of the plagues, the parting of the sea and the bringing down of the Ten Commandments. While all of these events are technically covered in this movie, they are a small fraction of the 2-plus hours of otherwise dull movie.

The film does have a few interesting moments, but overall it just skims the surface of the biblical story, and, on several occasions, skips major plot points leaving the view to have to fill in the blanks for themselves.

Director Ridley Scott takes several liberties with the story which will, no doubt, upset a portion of the movie-goers, but it's not so far off the beaten path from the original story that the average movie-goer will find fault with it.

I will say that the effects of the plagues and sea are incredible for the small amount of time we get to see them, but you didn't miss anything if you didn't see this on the big screen. You'll get the same effect watching it at home.




TOP FIVE
Rated: R
Stars: Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart
Plot: An alcoholic comedian spends the day with a reporter trying to explain why he wants to be a serious actor.
Trailer

Clint Says: If you must see this make someone else rent it


This is supposed to be a comedy, right? I saw the movie and I'm still not sure if it was supposed to be a comedy or not. There was not a single audible laugh from anyone in the theater when I saw this movie. That's not an exaggeration. Not one single laugh.

The film is an awkward mix of fiction and what is supposed to be reality. For example, Chris Rock's character is at a strip club for his bachelor party with Adam Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg and Jerry Seinfeld all of whom are playing themselves.

You can tell that a lot of this movie was allowed to be improvised, but it's not great improvisation. A lot of it feels off or choppy.

I'm a big Chris Rock fan, but this movie misses the mark on many levels. Don't waste your time or your money.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Movie Review For March 13, 2015

CINDERELLA
Rated: PG
Stars: Lily James, Richard Madden, Cate Blanchett
Plot: A beautiful girl grows up as the servant to her wicked step-mother, but she finds love with the Prince.
Trailer

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


If you have a tween or younger girl in your house you simply must take them to see this movie. They will LOVE it. CINDERELLA is a beautifully told tale that doesn't feel like a rehash of the dozens of other movies by the same name that have popped up through the decades.

One nice aspect about this new Cinderella is that she is much more than just a pretty, nice girl that can only escape her pitiful situation by finding the love of a man. In fact, the first time she meets the prince the outcome is quite unexpected.

Cate Blanchett does a stellar job as the wicked stepmother, and even though we are still very early in the year, we may see her get some award nominations as 2015 comes to a close. The step sisters are riotously funny and Helena Bonham Carter is perfect as The Fairy Godmother.

My only issue with this film is that the first half hour is really sad and slow. After that the story picks up and we are all on a ride into a wonderful ever after.

By the way, it's worth the price of admission just to see the Disney animated short FROZEN FEVER that plays prior to the film. It's seven minutes of pee-your-pants funny.




RUN ALL NIGHT
Rated: R
Stars: Liam Neeson, Joel Kinnaman, Ed Harris
Plot: Two life-long friends and gangsters go after each other after one has to kill the son of the other one in order to save his own son's life.
Trailer

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee


I've said before that Liam Neeson has really found his niche making action films where he's a quasi-bad guy with a conscience and is trying to make things right. That said, maybe he shouldn't take the lead role in every single movie that comes out with that plot line.

While this movie does have an incredible cast, all of which do great work in making their characters feel authentic, they don't have a lot to work with in this basic story. And while the story is fairly entertaining, it isn't nearly as compelling as it could be, nor do we see the character depth in some of the principle players that would make us want to care more about the outcome.

There are several large plot holes and many moments of convenience throughout the film that will probably drive you crazy. For example, can anyone explain to me how two injured and tired guys can be in a small building surrounded by 50 cops and still manage to sneak out the back door? It's moments like that that make this a film that could have been great into one that is mediocre at best.



Monday, March 9, 2015

DVD Review For March 10, 2015

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
Rated: PG
Stars: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Dan Stevens, Rebel Wilson, Owen Wilson
Plot: Larry and his museum friends must travel to London to find out why their magic is coming to an end
Trailer

Clint Says: Buy this DVD soon, your whole family will love it


It's surprising that this franchise is now releasing its third film and all three of them are great movies. One would expect there to be a dud in the bunch by now, but not in this case.

The effects are fun, the jokes are funny and the story will keep audiences of all ages engaged and entertained. (It may be a bit too intense for the under-five crowd, but everyone else will be fine).

Even though it is set, mostly, in London, we really don't get to see their culture. As with the other films, most of the movie takes place inside the museum. So if you're going to see London you'll be disappointed.

For those of you that were fans of the three old night security guys from the first film, you will be happy to know that they return in this one and they are just as funny as ever.

This is the last on-screen performance by Robin Williams and Mickey Rooney, which is sad, but it's a wonderful film in which to see them off.



THE SOUND OF MUSIC 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
Rated: G
Stars: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer
Plot: A woman helps to raise the children of a strict Naval Officer during World War II.
Trailer

Clint Says: Buy this DVD today and share it with a new generation


Do I really need to review this film for you? Of course not! It's a timeless, 5-time Oscar winner that everyone will love to see again.

The 5-Disc collection includes commentary, documentaries, sing-alongs, screen tests, behind the scene footage and much more.

And, Julie Andrews.




THE JOHN HUGHES YEARBOOK COLLECTION
Rated: R
Stars: Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez
Plot: This is a collection of THE BREAKFAST CLUB, SIXTEEN CANDLES, and WEIRD SCIENCE
Trailers: THE BREAKFAST CLUB, SIXTEEN CANDLES, WEIRD SCIENCE

Clint Says: Buy this DVD now and relive the 80's tonight. If you are too young for that, watch these DVDs to find out why your parents are so weird


This is another set of classic films that need no review. John Hughes was the master of 80's movies and these are three of his best works.

The DVDs include commentaries, vignettes, trivia and more.