THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
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.
Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee
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 go enjoy this one.
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
Stars: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Dan Stevens, Rebel Wilson
Plot: Larry and his museum friends must travel to London to find out why their magic is coming to an end
Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters
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.
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
Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee
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.
Quvenzhane Wallis has proven to be one of Hollywood's great child actors, and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see her get several major award nominations for this role.
Gather up the whole family and enjoy a sing-along with the rest of the theater.
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern
Plot: A woman endures a long hike to try to rediscover who she is
Clint Says: Wait for the DVD
I know there is 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 movie-goers 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 are already in the theater.
There is nothing in this film that makes it worth seeing in theaters. You'll be fine waiting for the DVD.