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

Monday, September 29, 2014

DVD Review For September 30, 2014

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.

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.

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.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Movie Review for September 26, 2014

Rated: R
Stars: Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloe Grace Moretz,
Plot: A retired FBI agent is pulled back into the game of taking out bad guys when he meets a girl in a lot of trouble.

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

Denzel does it again with another well done performance in a movie that is predictable, but still highly entertaining. His understated demeanor and his ability to portray a tough calm while dealing with high-stress situations make this movie much better than it would have been with a lesser actor.

The film is a bit slow in places, but it doesn't bog down too much. The compelling nature of the story and the characters keep the audience interested even in the down times.

My only real beef with this movie is the climactic scene, in which we see the big showdown between Denzel and the bad guys. It's like a grown up, killer version of HOME ALONE. And the death scene for one of the main bad guys reminded me of Paul Reuben's death scene in BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER.

That aside, this is a fun flick that will have you cheering for Denzel from start to finish.

Rated: PG
Stars: Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning
Plot: A young boy and girl try to convince their town that the trolls that live below are not vicious monsters, but an evil exterminator stands in their way.

Clint Says: Don't even bother

This is one of the worst movies I've seen in years. It could possibly be the worst film I've seen this year, and it may even crack my top 10 bad movies of all time.

I will say one positive thing about it. The stop motion animation is incredible and if you stick around through the first half of the credits you'll actually get to see some of that in action.

I'm really not sure who is going to like this movie. It will be terrifying for younger kids, it's too simple for adults to enjoy, it's too artsy for typical moviegoers, it's too commercial for artsy movie lovers, and teenagers won't go because it looks like a kids' film.

I can't even begin to tell you how creepy and weird the town exterminator is. I'll probably have bad dreams about him. I can't imagine what he would do to the thoughts of a six year old.

Much of this movie has to do with cheese, so I will stick with that theme here. The plot has more holes that Swiss cheese, it stinks worse than Munster, and it's cheesier than a seven cheese tortellini.

Basically, this movie is not Gouda. (If you thought this review was bad, go see the movie. You'll nominate this for a Pulitzer).

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

DVD Review For September 23, 2014

Rated: R
Stars: Zac Efron, Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne
Plot: A 30-something couple tries to keep up with the fraternity that has moved in next door, but things go wrong in a hurry.

Clint Says: Rent this DVD soon...if you can handle the raunch

NEIGHBORS is seriously funny. It is also seriously raunchy. It is also a great movie. If you can handle the raunch you will be entertained the entire time and you will laugh more in two hours than you've laughed in the last month.

Rogen and Byrne's chemistry is fun to watch and their dialogue is hysterical. Efron plays a perfect frat boy and, if a shirtless Zac is your thing, you won't be disappointed.

It's nice to see Rogen and Efron sticking to their roots, but still growing with the kind of characters we've grown to love and expect out of them.

Rated: R
Stars: Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson
Plot: A loner tries to track down the men that stole his car while traveling with the brother of one of the thieves.

Clint Says: It's worth a rental, but it's an acquired taste

Robert Pattinson gives an Oscar-worthy performance alongside Guy Pearce in this very strange, post-apocalyptic road trip flick. He won't be nominated, because the film isn't that great and it's been too long since its release for Hollywood to remember, but he should be.

This movie is off the beaten path, so casual moviegoers will probably not like this film, but those willing to sit through it will be treated to the best performance of Robert Pattinson's career.

THE ROVER is gritty, violent and messy with long stretches that barely move the plot forward and the payoff is polarizing. Some people will be very happy with the ending while others will be saying, "he did all of that for THAT!?"

If you are into film that stray from the typical Hollywood formula, you may enjoy this film.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Movie Review For September 19, 2014

Rated: R
Stars: Liam Neeson, Astro, David Harbour
Plot: A retired cop turned illegal P.I. is tasked with finding out who is killing all of the wives and girlfriends of New York's drug dealers.

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

This is the kind of film that shows off Liam Neeson's talent in the best way. I would describe this movie as a cross between SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and THE UNTOUCHABLES. It's not as good as either of those classic films, but it is good enough to hold its own.

It is highly suspenseful and thrilling, and while it is somewhat lacking in mystery it makes up for it with a compelling story and great character depth.

The story is set in 1999 so most moviegoers will enjoy the references to Y2K and old cell phones.

If you like police procedural thrillers check out this movie this week.

Rated: PG-13
Stars: Dylan O'Brien, Aml Ameen, Will Poulter
Plot: A group of teens, trapped in a maze, must find their way out and who put them there.

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

This is yet another Hollywood offering to the rabid fans of Young Adult Dystopian action flicks, and overall, it's a pretty good film.

The cast does a great job and the story is interesting and intense. In fact, there were several moments where I caught myself holding my breath due to the intensity of the action or situation on the screen.

As with most movies of this ilk, there are a few eye-rolling moments and a couple of minor plot holes, but overall the movie stands up well.

Young Adult fans will enjoy this film as will fans of sci-fi thrillers. I saw it with several uber YA fans and all of them thought the movie was great.

Rated: R
Stars: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Jane Fonda, Corey Stoll
Plot: A mother and her four grown children return home to grieve the death of their husband and father.

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD

This is one of those films where the teaser trailer lies to you. It looks like a comedy with a little bit of heart-warming gooeyness thrown in for good measure. In reality, this is a sad, dark, weird, boring movie.

It's somewhat like THE BIG CHILL, only the Dysfunctional Family Feud version.

If I wanted to see a dysfunctional family peck at each other I'd just go home. If I have to see it on the big screen it should at least be funny. Unfortunately almost all of the funny moments in the movie are revealed in the trailer. And in context, some of those moments aren't all that funny.

I stayed for the whole movie, but mentally I said THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU about 30 minutes into it. Save your money on this one.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

DVD Review For September 16, 2014

Rated: PG-13
Stars: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff
Plot: Two teens with cancer fall in love and learn how to live a beautiful, if short, life.

Clint Says: Buy this DVD...and some tissues

Not only is TFIOS the best movie of the year so far, (I told you MALEFICENT wouldn't hold the title very long), it has a great chance of holding that title when the year finally comes to a close. It is a master-class work by the entire cast and crew. 

Fans of the book by the same name will not be even the slightest bit disappointed by the film adaptation. It is rare to see a movie that so closely follows the book. I liken it to the first HARRY POTTER film where almost every bit of the book was portrayed on the big screen, and in a way that was very true to the book.

Shailene Woodley gives an Oscar-worthy performance and Ansel Elgort is charming throughout. Woodley and Elgort are perfectly cast as Hazel and Augustus, and even the hard-core YA fans aren't going to have a problem with the they-are-brother-and-sister-in-DIVERGENT-but-lovers-in-TFIOS-how-weird thing.

For those of you out there who say, "ugh, I don't want to see some cancer death movie," don't be so quick to judge. In THE HUNGER GAMES kids killed kids, yes, but that wasn't what it was about. In TFIOS, teens are dying from cancer, but the story is about them living, and loving, to the fullest that they can in the short infinity they are given.

I have seen TFIOS twice, something I rarely do simply because I see so many movies that I only have time to see ones that I REALLY love more than once. The second time through I was able to really see the layers that make this film so enjoyable.

NOTE: A few months ago I had the honor of hosting the DEMAND OUR STARS event at War Memorial in Nashville with John Green, Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff and 2,000 screaming TFIOS fans. You can see the recap of that event here. We also got to interview all four of them on Mix 92.9 the following day. You can hear that interview here, or see it here.

They are all very down-to-earth, genuinely good people that were able to come together and make a truly stellar film.

Rated: PG-13
Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen
Plot: Godzilla returns from the deep, forcing humanity to come together to try to bring down their common foe.

Clint Says: Rent this DVD for a really fun weekend

As far as monster movies go this may be one of the best ones ever. If you're looking for cinematic perfection, you should probably skip this flick.

This is one of those great summer popcorn movies that gives you tons of action, suspense, chills, jumps and bumps, but you can't think about the plot too much. You just have to leave all reality at the door and escape into the movie.

The effects are A+ and the acting is surprisingly above average for a film like this. If you're looking for a fun movie without too much thinking involved, GODZILLA would be a great choice.

Rated: PG-13
Stars: Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union, Michael Ealy
Plot: A group of friends reunite for a wedding in Las Vegas, but things don't go according to plan.

Clint Says: Rent the DVD if you've got nothing better to do.

If you saw the first THINK LIKE A MAN then you've already seen this movie. It's the same people with the same jokes, it just happens to be in Vegas this time.

Kevin Hart is funny as always and if you think he's great then you'll probably be happy with this movie. If you are simply looking for a fun comedy, you'll want to pass on this film and go for something with a bit more originality.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Movie Review For September 12, 2014

Rated - PG
Stars: Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman
Plot: The staff at Clearwater must find a companion for Winter before she is taken away from them forever.

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

This is one of those films that I knew going into it, it was going to be a feel-good movie with a good dose of inspiration. I was surprised that that movie was actually very good and well done beyond the expected.

I saw this movie in a theater packed with children and adults with missing limbs or other physical challenges. Talking with them after the film helped me to realize how inspirational Winter is to so many of them.

I sat next to a young friend of mine, Zion, who had both of his feet amputated a couple of years ago. He kept whispering to me during the movie all the facts about Winter that the movie was leaving out. It was one of the more joyful movie experiences of my life.

This is a great family-friendly film that will inspire you and give you hope.

Rated: PG-13
Stars: Idris Elba, Taraji Henson
Plot: A woman and her two children are terrorized in their own home by a man that talked his way in.

Clint says: I haven't seen this yet, but I have serious doubts about it.

I was scheduled to see a screening of this film earlier in the week. 10 hours before the screening the studio canceled it giving us the excuse that they were worried about the surprise twist ending being revealed before the film's release. This really makes no sense, because reviews see films with wild twists all the time and they aren't revealed.

I have a feeling that this is simply a ploy to try to have at least one good weekend for a really bad movie.

Rated: R
Stars: James Gandolfini, Noomi Rapace, Tom Hardy
Plot: A bartender in a rough neighborhood finds himself in the middle of criminal activity.

Clint says: Save some money and see a matinee

James Gandolfini returns as a rough mobster in his last feature film, and Tom Hardy gives an exemplary performance once again.

While the story itself isn't overly compelling or even very interesting, the fact that it is Gandolfini's last movie makes it worth a watch.

It's not a bad film at all, but it won't be up for any major awards this year.

Monday, September 8, 2014

DVD Review for September 9, 2014

Rated: PG-13
Stars: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan
Plot: Captain America is forced into a battle with an old foe, but he must be careful because he's not sure who he can trust.

Clint Says: Buy this DVD

This movie fits all the criteria for a great comic book movie: explosions, action, explosions, hot girl that might be good but is probably bad, explosions, epic fight scenes, a good guy that turns out to be bad, explosions, a bad guy that turns good, oh...and a super-good looking hero that slowly walks away from explosions.

CAPTAIN AMERICA is exactly what we have come to expect from the MARVEL series. It's an excellent action movie and a really good, fun time for viewers. Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America) and Scarlett Johannson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow) play well off of each other giving the audience entertaining and witty banter throughout the film.

There are several great moments throughout the movie that had our audience breaking out into applause a good six or seven times. (MARVEL movies are always best to see with uber fans). We also get some answers to long-held questions from the first CAPTAIN AMERICA movie.

THE WINTER SOLDIER is better than the original because it is much faster paced and we get to see a more developed hero. It's still not quite as good as the IRON MAN or THOR series, but it is definitely a worthy competitor.

If you like action movie and/or comic book based movies I highly recommend this one. 

Rated: PG-13
Stars: Clive Owen, Juliette Binoche
Plot: A washed up, alcoholic English teacher and an ailing Art teacher use their rivalry to inspire each other and their students to push harder than they ever have through a Words versus Pictures contest.

Clint Says: This is worth a rental after you've seen what you really want to see

I went into this movie having no idea what to expect and came out pleasantly surprised, for the most part. Clive Owen and Juiliette Binoche have a quirky, intriguing chemistry that keeps the movie afloat through the slow parts. Unfortunately, the film relies on secondary characters to move the plot along and they don't carry their weight as well as one would expect.

The film is about 30 minutes too long and the soundtrack makes you feel like you are watching a cheesy love story from the early 80's, but the words and pictures are beautiful. There were times when this film reminded me of DEAD POETS' SOCIETY, but this movie is nowhere near that level of mastery. At best it's a poor man's version of DPS, at worst it's a blatant, but wrongheaded, attempt to be a knockoff film.

I did enjoy the inspiring nature of the movie and the passion and reverence it exudes for the art, both written and painted, was worth the price of admission. This film will not change your life, but it may inspire you to try a bit harder at life.

Rated: R
Stars: Paul Walker, David Belle, RZA
Plot: An undercover cop and an ex-con must work together to bring down a crime lord overseeing a walled-in section of Detroit.


Clint Says: Don't even bother

BRICK MANSIONS is the last film that Paul Walker worked on in its entirety. Unfortunately it is one of the lamest action movies I've seen in a long time. It is completely cliche and predictable and the dialogue is laughable.

I will say that there are some pretty good fight scenes and some cool parkour, but it's not worth spending even the $2.99 rental fee to see that.

Rated: R
Stars: Mike Boettcher, Carlos Boettcher
Plot: This war documentary follows US troops in Afghanistan battling the Taliban.


Clint Says: Rent this DVD if you can handle it

This is one of the most intense films I have ever seen. All of the footage is real. It is terrifying, brutal and horrific. But it is also heroic, strangely beautiful and mesmerizing.

This film is not for everyone, but if you think you can handle it, I highly recommend seeing what our troops go through every day to help keep our nation safe. You will have a new-found respect for our military men and women after seeing this film. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Movie Review for September 5, 2014

Rated - PG
Stars: Blake Rayne, Ashley Judd, Ray Liotta
Plot: Identical twins, separated at birth, grow up to lead similar lives.

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

There are a few things that I liked about this film. First, it was filmed almost exclusively in Tennessee using Tennesseans. (You'll recognize War Memorial Auditorium). Second, Ray Liotta does an incredible job in his role. Third, there are very touching and poignant moments throughout the film that adds a level of unexpected emotion. Finally, it is a film that you can watch with the whole family. (Although it will be too slow and too deep for most children under 13).

That all being said, this is just not a good movie. It is slow, it's about 30 minutes too long, the original songs are horribly cheesy, and the plot is jumpy. And I haven't even mention the fact that this movie is basically about what could have happened if Elvis's twin brother had lived.

I don't know if the filmmakers ran into legal trouble with the whole Elvis thing, but Drexel Hemsley is Elvis. He sounds like Elvis, he looks like Elvis, he was born in the poor South with a twin brother like Elvis. For two-thirds of the movie I sat there saying to myself, "this is basically Elvis," then one of the characters starts talking about The Beatles and Elvis. What?

The movie feels and looks like a low-budget, made-for-TV film, and that is probably where it should have been released. I really want to recommend this film, because I want more films to be made in Tennessee, but I can't get there with THE IDENTICAL.

Monday, September 1, 2014

DVD Review for September 2, 2014

Rated - R
Stars: Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner
Plot: An NFL General Manager breaks from the norm to have an incredible draft for his team.

Clint Says: It's worth a rental

DRAFT DAY is a well-done, fast-paced film that, thankfully, is about relationships and the art of the deal rather than football. It's not nearly as good as JERRY MAGUIRE, but it's born of the same ilk.

I found myself engaged and entertained throughout the movie even though I'm not a fan of the NFL and I find the draft to be painfully boring. (I know, I'm weird). This is a plus for the film, because it will appeal to a much broader audience than just the NFL fan.

Costner and Garner are vanilla as usual, but the action and intensity of the story keep things moving along well.

It's a good date movie because it's feel-good, you don't have to think too much and it has wide appeal.

Rated - PG
Stars: Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, Patricia Heaton
Plot: A group of moms head out for a well-deserved night away from the kids, but the night turns into a disaster.

Clint Says: It's worth a rental

If you like really funny, family-friendly movies this is a great movie for you. Sarah Drew is knee-slappingly funny and it is a true joy to see Patricia Heaton play a straight-laced preacher's wife.

While this movie isn't a big-budget film, (sometimes it looks made for TV), it does exactly what it set out to do...honor moms and make people laugh. There are some scenes where you may pee a little. It's that funny.