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

Monday, October 20, 2014

DVD Review for October 21, 2014

EARTH TO ECHO
Rated - PG
Stars: Teo Halm, Astro, Reese Hartwig, Ella Wahlestedt
Plot: A group of friends find an alien and are trying to return it to space before the authorities capture it.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this DVD this week


This film is essentially a mashup of THE GOONIES, LEAN ON ME and SUPER 8, and like those movies it holds it own and will even have you on the edge of your seat at certain moments.

I am not a big fan of movies that are supposedly shot by one of the main players, mainly because I dislike the shaky camera effect. This movie almost entirely eliminates the shaky camera effect, but still makes it feel like these are just a group of kids filming what they see.

I was surprised at how intense and suspenseful the film is, but it's still tame enough and clean enough to take kids probably as young as 7 or 8.

Overall, this is one of the better "coming of age" movies we've seen in the last couple of years.



SEX TAPE
Rated - R
Stars: Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz
Plot: A couple tries to rekindle their sex life by making a sex tape that accidentally gets uploaded to the internet.
Trailer

Clint Says: If you're married rent this now, if you're young and dating you won't get it


I saw this movie with my wife and I can't remember the last time she and I laughed so hard at a movie. For all of you married couples out there, this film absolutely nails it when it comes to romance after marriage. This is not a date movie for the newly-in-loves.

As the title implies, this is a raunchy movie, but it also has a compelling plot and great chemistry between Diaz and Segel as their characters work to rekindle the fire from their early relationship days.

Watch this movie with your spouse, but be prepared because you are probably going to pee a little from laughing so much.



THE PURGE: ANARCHY
Rated - R
Stars: Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zoe Soul
Plot: A man hits the streets bent on revenge during the annual 12 hours of legalized crime, but a small group of helpless people change his night.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent it, but only if you can check your brain at the door


The premise of this film franchise is so ridiculously moronic that I was surprised the first film did well enough to warrant a second. Apparently there are enough people out there willing to go beyond a typical suspension of disbelief and wander into the theater in a zombie-like trance to make these films successful.

That being said, the film is actually very suspenseful and thrilling throughout. It will give you all the jumps and chills that you would expect from a movie like this, and it will give you several eye rolls as well.

The plot holds up fairly well until the last 20 minutes of the movie when everything goes off the rails. But really, by that point you've already signed your free thought over to the Director so what's a few more ridiculous breaks from reality.

This is a fun, suspenseful popcorn flick. Just don't think about it...at all.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Movie Review For October 17. 2014

FURY
Rated: R
Stars: Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia LeBeouf, Michael Pena
Plot: Five brave soldiers take their tank behind enemy lines to do their part to help win World War II.
Trailer

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee unless you love war movies then see it now


If you are a war movie fan this is a masterpiece. The action is intense, non-stop and brutal. For you, I would recommend paying the extra money to see this on the biggest screen with the loudest sound system possible.

For those of you looking for a great film that happens to be about war, you'll be left wanting. While it is a phenomenal story of five men facing insurmountable odds and the acting is superb, the depth of character just isn't there. We catch tiny glimpses into what makes each of these men who they are, but it's not enough for the audience to be fully invested in their lives.

The plot is very simplistic, which in this case is fine, because the movie is so intense I doubt we could handle much more.

As far as straight up war movies go, this may be one of the best ones ever made.



THE BEST OF ME
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Michelle Monaghan, James Marsden, Luke Bracey, Liana Liberato
Plot: Two people that used to be lovers, but haven't seen each other in 20 years, are brought together again and try to reconnect through their complicated relationship.
Trailer

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


This is yet another eye-rolling train wreck brought to you by Nicholas Sparks. The plot is mostly boring, the acting is mediocre at best, and, no spoilers here, but the ending is such a ridiculously impossible stretch it is even unbelievable for his die-hard fans.

The only good thing about this movie is Gerald McRaney. He is brilliant as always. I feel bad for him that he go suckered into this flick. He will probably just have to consider it a stain on his otherwise incredible career.

I understand why these movies are popular. It's a formula that works, you don't have to expend too much energy in thinking about anything in the movie, there is some great eye candy, and there is always a beautiful love story that lets us escape into what-might-have-been land. That said, this formula is so tired and so cookie-cutter that it doesn't allow the plot or the characters any leeway to make it somewhat interesting, thought-provoking, or even slightly different from the other Nicholas Sparks films.

For the most part, you know what you are getting when you walk in to see this movie, unfortunately what you are getting isn't any good.



THE BOOK OF LIFE
Rated: PG
Stars: Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum
Plot: Two men battle for the love of one woman while the masters of death have a wager on the outcome.
Trailer

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee


This is a fascinating film. If you only look at the plot it's an average movie at best, but because of the unique animation style and the cultural aspect of the film it makes it worth seeing.

The Day Of The Dead imagery throughout the film is spectacular and the glimpse into the Hispanic culture relating to one of their most important holidays is fascinating. I was intrigued by this movie, but I realized the cultural significance of it when I observed a family of Hispanic descent after seeing the film. The adults were all wiping away tears of joy and the children were bouncing with excitement.

The soundtrack of the film is also unique and very good. Most of the songs are either current hits or very popular songs remade into music that fits the theme of the movie. Trust me, you've never heard Mumford and Sons like this.

Surprisingly, given the subject matter of the film, there are very few scenes that I would consider scary for the younger kids. It's not squeaky clean, but if your child can handle a little bit of tension and drama they will enjoy this film.



MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN
Rated: R
Stars: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Ansel Elgort, Kaitlyn Dever
Plot: A biting commentary on how our lives have changed because of technology.
Trailer

Clint Says: Avoid this movie unless you are the parents of tweens or teens


This movie is sick, twisted, demented, disgusting, perverted and very close to real life. If you are the parent of a teen or tween you need to go see this movie. It's a horrible, horrible movie to sit through, but the subject matter is spot on with what teens are doing now and how they deal with situations. Just know that the money you spend on a ticket is not for entertainment, but to help you better understand and connect with your kids.

This is the kind of movie that I wish John Hughes was still around and could have directed. It has the potential to be an incredible film, but it falls flat.

Rarely do you see people walk out of a theater because a movie is so bad. I saw about half a dozen people leave during the screening for this film. Two of which were a mom and her tween son. She couldn't get him out of there fast enough with all of the nastiness up on the screen.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

DVD Review For October 14, 2014

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, James McAvoy
Plot: Wolverine is sent into the past to try to change an event that dooms humanity and the mutants.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this DVD this week


The latest installment in the X-MEN franchise is one of the best yet. It draws from old story lines and gives us new characters to root for.

It is action-packed, but it also is thought-provoking and emotional. The technical effects are second-to-none and the plot is fast-paced even though there is a lot of set-up dialogue throughout the film.

It's not necessarily worth spending the money to buy the DVD, but it is absolutely worth seeing if you are into comic book movies at all.



MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN
Rated PG
Stars: Ty Burrell, Max Charles
Plot: A genius dog and his adopted son must try to find a way to fix a rift in the time/space continuum that they created.
Trailer

Clint Says: Buy this DVD and put it on Repeat


MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN is the latest impressive animated offering from Dreamworks. It's from the same team that created THE CROODS and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, both exemplary films.

This film is fun for the kids and is entertaining for the adults as well. It is refreshing to see an animated movie that allows the characters to use brain power, creativity and ingenuity to solve problems rather than the typical lucky bumbling of a goofball.

The relationship between Mr. Peabody and Sherman is sweet and endearing. I highly recommend this film for all ages.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Movie Review For October 10, 2014

ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
Rated: PG
Stars: Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner
Plot: A family learns to stick together through one of the worst days ever
Trailer

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee


This is a fine film. It's not bad, it's not great, there is nothing spectacular about it, and there is nothing horrific either. It's a fun, family-friendly movie that the kids will enjoy and parents will be entertained enough to keep you happy for the duration.

It feels a bit like Carell and Garner went through the motions while filming, and there are several moments in the movie that could have been expanded upon to give is more depth of character. In the end though, the movie delivers exactly what you would expect out of a film like this.

You won't walk away with any life-changing epiphanies, but it will be a nice afternoon with your family.



DRACULA UNTOLD
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper
Plot: Vlad The Impaler defies the Turks and takes desperate measures to protect his family and his followers from war
Trailer

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


I really wanted this movie to be good. Unfortunately, it's not. The plot is jumpy, the action scene are all shot with shaky camera, and the ending is cringe-worthy.

This film breaks rules that it set up for the world of Dracula for convenience and there are certain things that happen even though there is an obvious and better way of handling the situation.

The most disappointing aspect of this film is that it bases it's story in the reality of Vlad The Impaler, but the movie makes him a sympathetic character. If you know anything about the real Vlad The Impaler, he was anything but sympathetic.

There is some great imagery throughout the film, but it's not enough to make it worth paying theater prices to sit through it.


THE JUDGE
Rated: R
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall
Plot: A big-time lawyer returns to his home town and his estranged father, a judge, who is accused of murder.
Trailer

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


This film is powerful, intense and emotional. Downey Jr. and Duvall give masterful performances that are award-worthy and probably just shy of Oscar nominations.

It is almost 2 1/2 hours long and there are parts where it feels like it's dragging, but overall it's paced well.

This is much less a courtroom drama than it is a story of family, loss and reconciliation. It's by no means a fun, popcorn flick. It will break your heart and make you want to try harder with your own family.

Monday, October 6, 2014

DVD Review For October 7, 2014

A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST
Rated: R
Stars: Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson
Plot: A meek farmer must stand up to a rough cowboy to fight for the woman he loves
Trailer

Clint Says: Don't even bother


If you are in the mood for a completely mindless, boring, useless flick full of juvenile humor this film will still disappoint you. I can't stress enough how bad this movie is. Seth MacFarlane wrote, directed, produced and starred in it, and apparently he didn't have anyone around him willing to tell him "no".

MacFarlane must have compromising pictures of Liam Neeson and Charlize Theron or they owe him a huge debt. Those are the only plausible explanations as to why they would be in a horrific train-wreck of a movie like this.

On the plus side, I will admit that there are a couple of good laughs in this flick, but only a couple. And having to sit through almost two hours of clich├ęd crap for two or three laughs is painful at best.

The best thing about A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST is that it is so bad there is zero chance we will have to see Seth MacFarlane screwing up the OSCARS again.



EDGE OF TOMORROW
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt
Plot: A soldier finds himself repeating the same day, a day the aliens destroyed humanity. But he uses his special ability to get trained in a way to destroy the enemy.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent this DVD this week


If you like sci-fi action flicks EDGE OF TOMORROW will completely satisfy your craving. It has aliens, explosions, cool weapons, people that don't get what's happening, a pretty boy that has no clue how to do anything and a super-awesome, kick butt woman that has to turn the pretty boy into a hardened soldier so he can save the world.

I found the movie to be mostly original in its story, with the exception of the one-alien-to-rule-them-all thing that so many sci-fi movies use as a crutch to make sure the humans can finally win. But aside from that it was an enjoyable action flick with a 50 FIRST DATES style love story thrown in to give the audience a little break from the action.

I would recommend seeing this on as big a TV screen as possible with the best sound available. So if that means finding someone with an awesome man cave, start planning now.



MILLION DOLLAR ARM
Rated: PG
Stars: John Hamm, Suraj Sharma, Madhur Mittal
Plot: A down-on-his-luck sports agent tries to right his career by creating a reality show in India to find cricket players and turn them into Major League Baseball pitchers.
Trailer

Clint Says: It's worth watching once


MILLION DOLLAR ARM is a fine film. It has an interesting story and beautiful imagery that is worth seeing, but it's not worth spending the money to own the DVD.

This film is family-friendly, so if you are looking for a movie for the crew you won't be disappointed in this.

John Hamm gives a fine performance and Alan Arkin is a show stealer as usual. It's a great feel-good, inspirational story that is worth seeing once.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Movie Review For October 3, 2014

GONE GIRL
Rated: R
Stars: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris
Plot: A large manhunt for a woman's killer turns its focus on her husband
Trailer

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


GONE GIRL is a great, twisted thriller that will keep you interested and guessing and creeped out for the entire 2 1/2 hours. I was nervous about the length of this film going into it, but it really doesn't feel as long as it is.

Affleck does a masterful job as "the most hated man in America," and we all owe a great debt of gratitude to the powers that be that made a last second edit to the movie so we don't have to see Ben's "little Affleck." (Rumor has it, he went full frontal for this film, but that was only shown in the early screenings).

Rosamund Pike's character seems stiff and almost Stepford Wife like for most of the film, but as the movie unfolds her character becomes much more in-depth and complex.

This is a thriller that will stay with you for a while. Any married couples that see this may be sleeping with one eye open for a few days.



THE GOOD LIE
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Corey Stoll, Arnold Oceng
Plot: A single woman helps Sudanese refugees acclimate to life in America
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD


Reese has a busy weekend. She is one of the producers of GONE GIRL and the star of this mediocre film about an incredible story.

This is one of those rare occasions where the story is so important that it outweighs the fact that the movie just isn't that good. There are some big plot holes and the pacing is all over the place, but the story makes it worth enduring.

I will say that for a low-budget film it was better than I expected it to be, but it's only slightly better than a made-for-tv movie. It's worth seeing, but you'll be fine saving some money and waiting for the DVD.

I had the opportunity to go to the Red Carpet Premiere of THE GOOD LIE. You can see the video of the evening here.



ANNABELLE
Rated: R
Stars: Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton
Plot: A couple are haunted by an evil doll.
Trailer

Clint Says: Don't even bother


This film is one of the most inane, ridiculous, slow, non-scary horror flicks I've ever had the misfortune of watching.

It is excruciatingly slow throughout, the "scary" scenes only made the audience jump because the music got really loud, and the long shots of the doll doing nothing trying to make you feel that it is creepy are just boring.

I'm not trying to spoil anyone's movie-going experience, but at one point in the movie the family throws the doll away and moves to a new city and the doll follows them. Are you kidding me!? If you wanted to see something scary, you should have looked at my eyes rolling back in my head when that happened.

ANNABELLE is a horrible start to the month where we will hopefully get a couple of good, scary flicks.



LEFT BEHIND
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Lea Thompson
Plot: A group of people struggle to survive after millions of people vanish in the rapture.
Trailer

Clint Says: No review yet


The studio did not show this to reviewers. I will try to get to the theater as soon as possible to see it and write a review.

Monday, September 29, 2014

DVD Review For September 30, 2014

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION
Rated: PG-13
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci
Plot: A down-on-his-luck inventor finds one of the few remaining transformers and sets off a chain-reation of events that may lead to the end of humanity.
Trailer


Clint Says: If you have to see this movie, make someone else rent it


This is currently in the top 5 highest grossing films of 2014, but this movie is horrible. The only thing it has going for it are the incredible special effects and world-class explosions.

If you care at all about plot, character development, or meaningful dialogue rent something else. If you are only interested in things that go boom while spouting off cheesy lines you'll still think this 2 hour and 45 minute movie is an hour too long, but you'll be relatively happy. I would compare the cheese factor of this movie to a lame Saturday morning cartoon, but that would be an insult to the cartoon.

I also found the way the film treats the female lead throughout the movie to be thoroughly offensive. She spends the entire movie in tight shirts and either super-short cutoff jeans or painted on pants, her dialogue mainly consists of her yelling for her dad to rescue her, and her age is mentioned several times as 17. So, basically, she's supposed to be a minor that has daddy issues and is only there to provide eye candy rather than have a meaningful role. It's frustrating to see another summer blockbuster that uses the female lead as scenery rather than a legitimate plot-important character.

Just over halfway through the movie I was begging for it to end. When it finally did end it was left so wide open for a sequel that they barely finished this movie.

Save your money.



CHEF
Rated: R
Stars: Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Emjay Anthony
Plot: After a bad review a head chef loses his job and works to regain his love for cooking and his family through working a food truck.

Clint Says: Rent this movie as soon as possible


This is one of those movies that is really good, but for whatever reason seems to fly under the radar. Foodies will love it for the tasty dishes, movie fans will love it for the heartwarming story and the superb acting by Jon Favreau.

It's an interesting mix of typical film genres. On one hand you have the trying-to-get-back-my-lost-love theme, but you also have the father-son-road-trip theme. Even so, the two styles mix together well. Like salty and sweet.

It's a fun film that is worth seeing.