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

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Movie Review for August 1, 2014

Rated - PG-13
Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper
Plot: A misfit group is forced together and must use their skills to try to save the galaxy from a madman.

Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this movie now

Wow. Just. Wow.

Marvel has outdone themselves with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.

This could very well be the best movie of the summer and possibly one of the top ten movies of the year. It is gut-bustingly funny (to the point where we missed several lines due to all the laughter), it's exciting, the plot is compelling and the chemistry between the cast is near perfect.

Another aspect of this movie that will please movie-goers is that this movie has three strong female characters all with agency. It's so nice to see an action flick that treats the female characters in a way that makes them important to the plot and they have the will and ability to affect things on their own rather than waiting for their prince charming to save the day.

Children of the 80s will find this movie totally radical. For reasons that become clear in the movie, Peter Quill is essentially stuck in the 80s therefore all of his pop culture references are from that time period. It makes for some extremely funny moments.

The writing for this film is so spectacular that you really have no idea if any of these characters are going to survive to the end of the story. It's refreshing to see a movie that doesn't protect its main characters to the point of taking the suspense away as to what may happen to them.

This film can be wrapped up in two words. They will mean nothing to you until you see the movie, but once you do they will be epic. Those words are "dance off". Enjoy.

One small warning: Unlike most MARVEL films, this one uses quite a bit of adult language. So use your discretion when considering taking the young ones.

Rated - PG-13
Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd
Plot: The story of the life of the godfather of soul, James Brown

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD

James Brown was larger than life. Director Tate Taylor found that out when he took on the challenge of trying to fit all of James Brown into a two-hour movie. It's something that can be done, and someone may eventually be able to do it well, buy Taylor's effort doesn't make the cut.

The story jumps around in a non-chronological order with several story lines not coming together in a cohesive and understandable way until the last few minutes of the movie. In a movie with less content or fewer story lines it's a creative tactic that can add a compelling nature to a film, but in this case it's just confusing.

Taylor also tries to cover so much material that he misses major moments. For example, there are major, life-changing events that happen during the course of the film that are merely mentioned and then washed over by the next story. It was frustrating to be told that something significant was happening, but not be able to see the aftermath play out on screen.

Boseman does a fine job in portraying James Brown both on and off the stage, but his speaking pattern and accent are very difficult to understand. (I have a slight hearing loss issue and tend to read lips as an aide to understanding what people are saying. In this case it was very difficult for me to do that).

It's not a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not great either. It offers nothing to the audience that you can't get from waiting a few months and watching it on DVD.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

DVD Review for July 29, 2014

Rated - PG-13
Stars: Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly
Plot: Noah, with the help of alien creatures, builds a huge ship to save his family and the animals from a massive flood.

Clint Says: Don't even bother

Director Darren Aronofsky said NOAH was the most unbiblical bible movie ever made, and he wasn't kidding. That said, there is zero need for people of faith to be upset by this movie. Basically, Aronofsky has a main character named Noah, he builds a boat and there is a flood. That is the beginning and the end of the similarities with the original story. In fact, if God sued Aronofsky for copyright infringement, He would probably lose.

It feels like Aronofsky read a children's version of the Noah story, realized he had enough material for a 15 minute film, then filled up two more hours of preaching about how humans mess up the earth and why animals are better than humans...oh, and alien-like creatures and a snake that looks like a Dodge Neon.

Russell Crowe does a fine job as Noah, but again, this is not the biblical Noah. This is a man that is just as flawed and crazy as the people dying outside the ark.

Aside from everything else this is just not a very good movie. It's slow moving, it's preachy, and the special effects are sub par for a movie of this magnitude.

A lot of people I know had to see this in theaters even though most of the reviews they read were bad. To a person, they all came out of it and said it was a horrible waste of their time and money. 

Rated - PG-13
Stars: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton
Plot: Three women are brought together by one cheating man.

Clint Says: Rent it if you have nothing better to do

This is one of those movies that is marketed as a comedy, but all of the funny stuff is put into the trailer. The actual movie is a fairly boring revenge flick with poor editing (you can see several places where the movie was over dubbed and they didn't bother to fix it), and a completely predictable plot.

This movie is entirely forgettable. In fact, this movie was so boring and forgettable that, even though I saw it in a fairly crowded theater, I only heard a few people laugh just a couple of times and during one particularly boring scene I looked around and most of the people were talking with each other, not paying attention to the movie at all. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Movie Review for July 25, 2014

Rated - PG-13
Stars: Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton
Plot: A curmudgeonly old widower and his singing widow neighbor must learn how to care for a granddaughter he never knew he had.

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD

This movie is a prime example of why we hear people complaining how Hollywood has lost its creativity, and nothing original comes out of Hollywood anymore. Hollywood has learned that most of their "original" ideas are old, dried up and a waste of time.

While this film has a few laughs and a few warm, fuzzy moments, overall it is a slow, boring tale. Douglas and Keaton spend most of the movie just going through the motions. And the plot is so ridiculously predictable and stereotypical that most in the audience will spend a large part of the movie rolling their eyes.

Watching this felt a bit like watching a superstar athlete trying to keep up after he is well past his prime in a league that has passed him by. It's sad in a way to see the likes of Rob Reiner, Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton trying to remain relevant in an industry that has moved away from their style of movies.

If you really want to see these actors in something good this weekend rent some of their better works. You'll be happier for it, and it will save you from wasting your money and your time.

Rated: PG-13
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman
Plot: A young woman is drugged and as a result is able to tap into 100% of her brain's capacity.

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

Luc Besson, writer and director of LUCY, needs to get some people on his team that are willing to tell him "no"...quickly. I'd be hard pressed to try to come up with another movie that falls apart so thoroughly in the last 20 minutes.

Besson has done some very good work in the past, but he's had some real stinkers too. This film falls into the latter category. Morgan Freeman's character is completely useless to the plot and is really only there to preach at us for 90 very long minutes. There are plot holes and inconsistencies throughout the entire film, some of which are so blatantly obvious that even the most casual movie-goer will notice.

I saw LUCY with my wife. And while I am a stickler for story integrity, she, being an author, puts me to shame in that category. Her rant about this film for the entire 45 minute ride home was epic. I've heard her rip some movies to shreds before over plot, but this one was one for the ages.

The first hour of this film is actually pretty exciting despite the preachiness and plot holes. My recommendation is, if you really must see this in theaters, watch until Lucy lands in Paris. At that point, get up, walk out of the theater, go get some coffee with a friend and come up with your own ending to the movie. I guarantee you that your ending will be way better than the actual ending.

Rated - PG-13
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane
Plot: A mercenary fights alongside a small band of warriors while trying to live up to the legend of Hercules

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

This film really surprised me. I'm typically not a fan of Greek legend movies because they are either over the top with violence or long and plodding. HERCULES is neither. It is action-packed, fast-paced, thrilling, humorous, and the story is compelling and well done.

This is a new take on the legend and myth of Hercules that will satisfy fans of the classic Hercules story as well as fans of good action flicks.

Dwayne Johnson does a marvelous job of portraying Hercules, but in a way that doesn't make the demi-god too serious. Ian McShane is a scene stealer throughout, and the rest of Hercules's team round out a fun cast with great on-screen chemistry.

The special effects are well done and not overbearing. I would even recommend seeing this film in 3D or even IMAX 3D because this is one of the few films that actually uses 3D technology to make the film better rather than the usual gimmicky shots we see in lesser 3D action flicks.

It's nice to see that someone finally made a movie about Hercules that is worth seeing and is not only entertaining, but fun and exciting as well.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

DVD Review for July 22, 2014

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.