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

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

DVD Review for July 22, 2014

TRANSCENDENCE
Rated - PG-13
Stars: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman
Plot: A dying scientist's thoughts are uploaded into an artificial intelligence device causing world-wide issues.
Trailer

Clint Says: If you have to see it, let someone else rent it


I had high hope for this film when I saw the first trailer and the cast, but unfortunately this film falls flat. It is brutally slow and when there is action it's anti-climactic.

The premise of the film is interesting. On one hand you have the people pushing the boundaries of technology past the limits of humanity, on the other you have the people that want all technology gone. Apparently, there is only a handful on the planet that can see a happy medium and have a plan to fix the problem.

I wish this film had more to offer the audience, but it's full of plot holes, undeveloped story lines and characters that are so two-dimensional it's really hard to care what happens to them.



TYLER PERRY'S THE SINGLE MOM'S CLUB
Rated - PG-13
Stars: Nia Long, Amy Smart
Plot: A group of single women with seemingly only that in common are brought together by their kids' school.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent it if you have already seen everything else


This is nowhere near the best offering from Tyler Perry. It feels like this movie got rushed to print and the story was left in its wake.

This film is overly dialogue heavy with some scenes lasting several minutes and never really going anywhere or adding to the story. Even the musical montage to move the plot forward, (usually no dialogue), has words written all over the screen.

This is ultimately a relationship movie, but it's difficult to care about any of the relationships because they aren't developed well. If you want to see a Tyler Perry movie, I recommend saving your money and renting one of his better films.



HEAVEN IS FOR REAL
Rated - PG
Stars: Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly, Connor Corum
Plot: A boy suffers a near-death experience then returns to inspire the world with his tales of his time in Heaven
Trailer

Clint Says: Buy this DVD


This is a highly inspiring and encouraging film that will make you think a lot and challenge your faith. The kid is just about the most adorable thing ever and he does a great job in his role.

If you are familiar with the book, you know it is very short, so there wasn't a whole lot of material to draw from in making a feature-length film. While the film is good, and as far as "faith-based" films go it is one of the best I've ever seen, it still has many moments where it lags. That said, there are also several emotional moments that will have you reaching for the popcorn-covered napkins to dry your tears. I'm sure I heard some ugly crying from fellow movie-goers.

This film is absolutely worth seeing.



CESAR CHAVEZ
Rated - PG-13
Stars: Michael Pena, America Ferrera
Plot: A feature-length biography on the civil rights leader
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent it


Growing up in California, I was very excited for this movie to hit the theaters. Just about every town in California has a street named after Cesar Chavez. It took a while, but his contribution to the Latino community finally caught the attention of Hollywood. Unfortunately, this is the only wide-release Latino-based movie scheduled for release in 2014.

I really wanted this movie to be good, and it's not bad at all, but it is very slow. I'm sure it can't be easy making an exciting movie about migrant farm workers unionizing, but this movie could have been something really special given a better screenplay.

I hope this movie does well, because I'd like to see more like it coming out of Hollywood, but the truth of the matter is, this movie will appeal to only a small portion of movie-goers and will probably fade away quickly.



SABOTAGE
Rated - R
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Terrence Howard
Plot: An elite DEA crew find themselves in danger after taking down a drug cartel
Trailer

Clint Says: Don't even bother


This film has a good premise and great potential, but it falls back on the violence-for-violence-sake theme again and again.

Even if you are looking for a mind-numbing action flick this movie will disappoint you.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Movie Review for July 18, 2014

PLANES: FIRE AND RESCUE
Rated - PG
Stars: Dane Cook, Ed Harris
Plot: Dusty becomes a firefighter after pushing his engine too hard while racing.
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD


This movie has a lot of action and adventure for the younger crowd, but parents will not be amused. The plot has potential but the execution is fair at best. It feels like the honchos on this film just went through the motions knowing that no matter how good or bad it is it will still draw crowds and make a nice profit.

I will say that the animation in PLANES is spectacular. In fact, there are a couple of scenes that I thought might be real. If incredible, true-to-life animation is your motivation then this movie will blow your mind.

One aspect of the film that some movie-goers will not appreciate is the seemingly constant use of plays on words to make it sound like the characters are cursing. One example being when Dusty says, "I kicked As...ton Martin." I'm really not sure why the creators of films for kids do this. It adds nothing to the movie and offends a portion of the crowd.

The movie does have a few good lessons on listening, patience and perseverance, but I wouldn't say that it is worth the price of a movie ticket. If your child can't wait to see this movie then they will like seeing it in the theater, but if your child has a take-it-or-leave-it view then the DVD will be satisfactory.



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: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters (if you are married)


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.

Go 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: See it in theaters 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.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

DVD Review for July 14. 2014

RIO 2
Rated - PG
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway
Plot: Blu and his family go to the Amazon jungle to find a group of birds just like them. When they do, Blu finds himself amid several rivals.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent the DVD if you have kids that liked the first one


RIO 2 is your typical sequel. It's not quite as good as the original movie in the series and the story is so thin they have to use a lot of filler. In fact, if the decision makers on this film just stuck to the story, the movie would be about 30 minutes long. Instead, there is about 60 minutes of useless, but colorful, choreographed filler.

It kind of reminded me of watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics. It's quite a spectacle, but when it's all done you quickly forget it.

There are several scenes that may be a bit too scary for the under 5 crowd and there isn't enough entertainment value for the adults, so I would suggest only seeing this move with older children, and then only if they really loved the first movie.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Movie Review for July 11, 2014

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
Rated - PG-13
Stars: Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Jason Clarke
Plot: Humans and apes are on the brink of war for control of the earth as the apes get stronger and the humans get weaker.
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD


Like this first in this series, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, this movie does an exceptional job at showing us the emotion of the apes, but unlike its predecessor, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES falls flat at the end.

This film has a Shakespearean vibe to it in that most of the plot centers around betrayal and misunderstandings. However the director chose to leave the ending a little too open for a third installment of the franchise, (currently unnamed, but due out in 2016). It almost feels like they wanted to end the movie well, but to do so would have meant a three hour long movie so they chose relative brevity (two hours and ten minutes) over a solid ending.

If you liked RISE you'll be fine with DAWN, but it is in no way better than the first. There is nothing that happens in this movie that makes it necessary for you to spend the money to see it on the big screen. Just wait for the DVD and you'll be satisfied.

Hopefully the third film will regain the glory of the first one.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

DVD Review for July 8, 2014

BAD WORDS
Rated - R
Stars: Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney
Plot: An ethically-challenged man competes against kids after he finds a loophole in the rules of a spelling bee contest.
Trailer

Clint Says: Rent it if you've got a coupon


Jason Bateman makes his feature directorial debut with the darkly funny BAD WORDS. While the movie isn't awful (it's actually quite good in several parts), it tries to be too many things to suit too many people. It is full of the raunchy joke style we saw from Bateman in HORRIBLE BOSSES, but it also tries to be heartwarming in the end.

This movie could be so much better if Bateman decided to choose one or the other. It is worth a rental if you've got nothing else going on, but don't expect to be wowed in any way by this film.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Movie Review for July 4th, 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: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters


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.




TAMMY
Rated - R
Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon
Plot: A middle-aged, down-on-her-luck woman tries to find herself while on a road trip with her grandmother.
Trailer

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD


The trailers for TAMMY are almost completely misleading. This movie sits on a throne of lies! Yes, this movie is funny, but it's not nearly the slap-stick riot the trailer portrays it as. In fact, this film is much more of a relationship film that is heartwarming. heartbreaking and will make you cry with a bunch of Melissa McCarthy humor thrown on top.

I won't say I didn't like the film, because I thought it was fine, but I felt like I had been misled by the trailers. I saw it in a packed theater and halfway through the movie a few people had already walked out and never returned. I don't think it was because they hated it, they were simply expecting something different.

If you are not a fan of bad language you'll want to avoid this movie as McCarthy is in rare form throughout, even by her standards. But for those of you that are Will Ferrell fans, he is one of the producers of this film so you'll see the typical Ferrell cast of characters in several different roles.

If you are wanting a full-fledge comedy, this is not a good choice for you, however if you are looking for a knee-slapping STEEL MAGNOLIAS go buy a ticket to TAMMY and enjoy.




DELIVER US FROM EVIL
Rated - R
Stars: Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Olivia Munn
Plot: A cop tries to stop a group of criminals that may be possessed by demons.
Trailer

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


This is a well-done horror movie. I am not a fan of scary movies at all, but this is not a "scary" movie, it's a horror movie that will scare you. Only a few times does it use the lame jump-out-and-get-you trick to get a few jumps and bumps out of the audience.

The story is intense and compelling and if you are a person who believes in demon possession this movie will be downright terrifying. Eric Bana and Edgar Ramirez have a great on-screen chemistry that really makes the audience believe that you are in it with them and there is a lot at stake.

It takes a lot for me to recommend movies like this, but this is true horror and it may very well be the best horror film of 2014. If you can take it, go see this one in theaters soon.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

DVD Review for July 1, 2014

We have reached the time of the year that is the vast wasteland of DVD releases. There are no major DVD releases today and it's pretty sparse for the next few weeks.

I suggest going out and buying THE LEGO MOVIE.