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

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Movie Review For January 30, 2015

Rated: PG-13
Stars: Amy Landecker, Sofia Black-D'Elia, Johnny Weston
Plot: A group of teens build and use a time machine, but things start happening beyond their control

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD

PROJECT ALMANAC is an okay film. It's not horrible, but it's not great either. It is a "found footage" style movie, but it really should not have been. There are several scenes in the movie where there is no way any of the kids would have been filming.

The movie has several large plot holes and, for all of the cool effects, it really doesn't go anywhere new and exciting. There are also several scenes that are straight rip-offs from classic 80s and 90s movies. After the third or fourth copied scene it becomes really tedious.

The film clocks in at just over 1 1/2 hours, but it feels significantly longer than that.

If you do want to spend the money to see this in theaters you won't feel like you got ripped off, but you also won't feel anything earth-shattering either.

Rated: PG-13
Stars: Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer
Plot: A single grandfather fights a custody battle for the granddaughter he has helped raise.

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but Kevin Costner gives a fine performance in this movie while Octavia Spencer's character is annoyingly obnoxious. That said, I wish the movie itself would have been better.

It's a slow-paced, snoozer that you know how it is going to end after the first 10 minutes. It's basically a short set-up and then 105 minutes of repeat filler. It's the kind of movie you see and then when it comes out on DVD you vaguely remember seeing it before.

Rated: R
Stars: James Marsden, Eric Stonestreet, Wentworth Miller, Karl Urban
Plot: Five married men buy a secret loft together to have affairs, but trouble arises when they find a dead woman there.

Clint Says: Don't even bother

THE LOFT is one of those films that looks interesting based on the trailer, but the actual movie is horrible. The acting is embarrassingly bad, the dialogue is worse, and the mystery and suspense aren't even worth the effort of an eye roll.

At best, this movie feels like a long soap opera episode, but it's not even that good. The effects are so poorly done and there are so many blatant continuity errors that you can't help but notice how little the director cared about this film.

Avoid THE LOFT like you would an STD.

Monday, January 26, 2015

DVD Review For January 27, 2015

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.

Clint Says: Rent this if you like war movies, buy this if you love war movies

If you are a war movie fan this is a masterpiece. The action is intense, non-stop and brutal. For you, I would recommend buying this and watching it 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.

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.

Clint Says: It's worth seeing once

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.

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.

Clint Says: See this film as soon as possible

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.

Rated: R
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong
Plot: A woman wakes everyday without remembering anything from her past, but she begins to realize that the people around her may not be who they claim to be

Clint Says: Rent it when you get around to it

Nicole Kidman does an outstanding job of playing a person that can't remember anything one day to the next. She pulls off the "terrified of the unknown" malady in a very convincing fashion. Unfortunately, the plot is rather slow-moving and easily predictable.

It feels like the director realized he didn't have a lot to work with story-wise to make a thrilling film, so he added a bunch of jump-out-of-the-closet-and-say-boo moments to get the audiences' collective heart rate up. It feels really contrived and lazy.

Without Kidman's fine performance this movie probably would have bordered on unwatchable. Thankfully, she makes it tolerable enough to at least give it a watch once.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Movie Review For January 23, 2015

Rated: R
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, Kristin Chenoweth
Plot: A high school teacher is stalked by one of her new students after a night that shouldn't have happened

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

This is one of those movies that is about an inch deep, but it's still a fun date movie. There is zero thinking required, the ending is absurdly cliche, and what little mystery there is is elementary at best. That said, there is enough suspense and chills to make it fun.

Jennifer Lopez is exactly what you have seen before in all of her other movies, not bad, not great. Ryan Guzman plays the lovable psycho well, and Kristin Chenoweth is her usual nails-on-the-chalkboard self. Why anyone casts her in anything I will never understand.

I will say that the trailer is somewhat misleading. Yes, she does sleep with one of her students, but he's also almost 20 years old. (I'm not saying what she did is right, I'm simply pointing out that the trailer makes it look like statutory rape, but it isn't.)

It's the kind of movie you'll forget you saw a couple of months from now, but you won't feel like you wasted 90 minutes of your life while watching it.

Rated: R
Stars: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Bettany, Ewan McGregor
Plot: A smoke-and-mirrors art dealer helps the British Government to find a stolen painting, but he may have plans of his own

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

MORTDECAI is a quirky film that is an acquired taste, but if you like quirky films (think THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL) you will love this movie. It is stupidly funny, the story is interesting and the cast is incredible.

It took me about 10 minutes to get the right feel and mindset for the film, but once I did I spent the next 90 minutes laughing like a maniac and nearly choking on my popcorn.

Johnny Depp is a master of understated physical comedy and is simply a joy to watch. The rest of the cast orbits around him in a beautifully choreographed way allowing each of them to shine, but also let the story be bigger than all of them.

MORDECAI is a gem.

Rated: PG
Stars: Evan Rachel Wood, Elijah Kelly, Kristin Chenoweth
Plot: Creatures from the magical world battle for control of a secret potion

Clint Says: Don't even bother

Do you remember that amazing film from a few years ago, GNOMEO AND JULIET? Remember how amazing the story was, how innovative the animation was, and how awesome the music was? Well, STRANGE MAGIC is exactly like GNOMEO AND JULIET, except it is completely horrible.

The animation is truly incredible and beautifully done in this film. Unfortunately, everything else falls flat. The music is weird and forced, the story is too simple and boring, and the things that are supposed to be funny just aren't.

Save yourself the money and the anguish and go get GNOMEO AND JULIET to watch with the family this weekend. You'll be much happier for it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

DVD Review For January 20, 2015

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: If you have to see this, I pity you

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, watch until Lucy lands in Paris. At that point, get up, turn off the movie, go get some coffee with a friend and come up with your own ending. I guarantee you that your ending will be way better than the actual ending.

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: Rent it if you've got a free night

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 isn't the great film that it could have been.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Movie Review For January 16, 2015

Rated: R
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller
Plot: The story of America's most lethal sniper in history.

Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this movie now

If you liked ZERO DARK THIRTY you will love AMERICAN SNIPER. This film is so brutally intense, yet so personal and vulnerable that you will walk out of the theater feeling like you knew the real Chris Kyle.

The violence and war scenes in this film are not sugar-coated nor are they "Hollywoodized" either. If you've seen documentaries with actual footage of battles in the Gulf War you'll see that this matches up well.

Bradley Cooper does a magnificent job portraying Kyle and his demons as well as his heart for helping others. Sienna Miller is near perfect in her role as a military wife.

This is a very powerful film that will stay with you long after you leave the theater.

Rated: R
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Wei Tang
Plot: A convicted computer genius is released on the condition of helping the government catch a cyber terrorist.

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD

For a high-stakes, high-tech thriller, this film is really slow. I was expecting so much more from a plot that includes cyber-terrorism, nuclear reactors and Thor.

It's an okay film, but the slow pace, the shaky camera, and the several eye-rolling why-on-earth-would-they-do-this-instead-of-that moments make for a really long two-plus hours in the theater.

I sat next to a teenage computer whiz kid for this screening and afterwards he told me he thought it was okay. He thought it was laughable (as did I) that the main character is a world-class hacker, but he only types about 30 words a minute. When your prime audience thinks the movie is "okay" your film is in trouble.

I will say one very positive thing though. There is a scene that was so shockingly unexpected that the entire audience gasped as one. I haven't experienced anything like that in an action flick for a long time. (That said, it's an eye-rolling, convenient reason why they are put in the situation for said amazing scene).

Save your theater money on this one, there's a lot of 2015 left to go.

Rated: PG
Stars: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Nicole Kidman
Plot: A young, lonely bear is discovered at Paddington Station and given a place to stay by the Brown family.

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

Technically speaking, PADDINGTON is astounding. The level of effects used to bring the bear to life and the mastery of those effects are evident in this film. That being said, the overall movie is okay at best.

The film has some beautiful set design and costumes, but it doesn't make up for the fact that the story is fairly bland and slow-moving. This is a kid's movie through and through so I know they couldn't ramp up the drama and action too much, but a little bit more would have been fine.

I fear that this movie will be a bit too complicated for the under 5 audience to grasp and anyone over 10 is going to spend a good portion of the movie bored. Only time will tell if there are enough 5 to 10 year olds out there willing to see this movie to make it profitable.

There will be several movies for kids released this year, some of which look to be outstanding. You may want to take a pass on this one and save your money for something you know your kids will like.

Rated: R
Stars: Kevin Hart, Josh Gad, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting
Plot: A groom in need of a best man turns to a service that offers fake friendships...for a price.

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

I was completely shocked as to how much I enjoyed this film. Kevin Hart is really funny, but he has a tendency to wear me out with his humor. However, in this film, Josh Gad balances out Hart perfectly making for a stellar comedy duo.

The story is unique and the hi-jinks will keep you laughing all the way through. And while the guffaws are aplenty, it's also a heartwarming story with enough of a deeper message to make it more than a simple bromance flick, but not so deep that it loses it's comedic edge.

This is a great flick for a night out with the guys, or a fun date. And fans of LOST, be ready to run to the bathroom as soon as the credits roll, because the very last line of the movie is going to make you laugh so hard you'll almost pee your pants.

Academy Award Nominations

The 2015 Academy Award Nominations were announced this morning. Here are all of the nominees. I have highlighted the ones that I think will win in certain categories.

Performance by an actor in a leading role
  • Steve Carell in “Foxcatcher”
  • Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper”
  • Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Imitation Game”
  • Michael Keaton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
  • Eddie Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
  • Robert Duvall in “The Judge”
  • Ethan Hawke in “Boyhood”
  • Edward Norton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
  • Mark Ruffalo in “Foxcatcher”
  • J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash”

Performance by an actress in a leading role
  • Marion Cotillard in “Two Days, One Night”
  • Felicity Jones in "The Theory of Everything"
  • Julianne Moore in “Still Alice”
  • Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl”
  • Reese Witherspoon in “Wild”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
  • Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood”
  • Laura Dern in “Wild”
  • Keira Knightley in “The Imitation Game”
  • Emma Stone in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
  • Meryl Streep in “Into the Woods”

Best animated feature film of the year
  • “Big Hero 6” Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli
  • “The Boxtrolls” Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable and Travis Knight
  • “How to Train Your Dragon 2” Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold
  • “Song of the Sea” Tomm Moore and Paul Young
  • “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” Isao Takahata and Yoshiaki Nishimura

Achievement in cinematography
  • “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Emmanuel Lubezki
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Robert Yeoman
  • “Ida” Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski
  • “Mr. Turner” Dick Pope
  • “Unbroken” Roger Deakins

Achievement in costume design
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Milena Canonero
  • “Inherent Vice” Mark Bridges
  • “Into the Woods” Colleen Atwood
  • “Maleficent” Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive
  • “Mr. Turner” Jacqueline Durran

Achievement in directing
  • “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro G. Iñárritu
  • “Boyhood” Richard Linklater
  • “Foxcatcher” Bennett Miller
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Wes Anderson
  • “The Imitation Game” Morten Tyldum

Best documentary feature
  • “CitizenFour” Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky
  • “Finding Vivian Maier” John Maloof and Charlie Siskel
  • “Last Days in Vietnam” Rory Kennedy and Keven McAlester
  • “The Salt of the Earth” Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and David Rosier
  • “Virunga” Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Best documentary short subject
  • “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1” Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry
  • “Joanna” Aneta Kopacz
  • “Our Curse” Tomasz Sliwinski and Maciej Slesicki
  • “The Reaper (La Parka)” Gabriel Serra Arguello
  • “White Earth” J. Christian Jensen

Achievement in film editing
  • “American Sniper” Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach
  • “Boyhood” Sandra Adair
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Barney Pilling
  • “The Imitation Game” William Goldenberg
  • “Whiplash” Tom Cross

Best foreign language film of the year
  • “Ida” Poland
  • “Leviathan” Russia
  • “Tangerines” Estonia
  • “Timbuktu” Mauritania
  • “Wild Tales” Argentina

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
  • “Foxcatcher” Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy” Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Alexandre Desplat
  • “The Imitation Game” Alexandre Desplat
  • “Interstellar” Hans Zimmer
  • “Mr. Turner” Gary Yershon
  • “The Theory of Everything” Jóhann Jóhannsson

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
  • “Everything Is Awesome” from “The Lego Movie”
    Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson
  • “Glory” from “Selma”
    Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn
  • “Grateful” from “Beyond the Lights”
    Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
  • “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from “Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me”
    Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond
  • “Lost Stars” from “Begin Again”
    Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois

Best motion picture of the year
  • “American Sniper” Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan, Producers
  • “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole, Producers
  • “Boyhood” Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland, Producers
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson, Producers
  • “The Imitation Game” Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman, Producers
  • “Selma” Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers
  • “The Theory of Everything” Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce and Anthony McCarten, Producers
  • “Whiplash” Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook and David Lancaster, Producers

Achievement in production design
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
  • “The Imitation Game” Production Design: Maria Djurkovic; Set Decoration: Tatiana Macdonald
  • “Interstellar” Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
  • “Into the Woods” Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
  • “Mr. Turner” Production Design: Suzie Davies; Set Decoration: Charlotte Watts

Best animated short film
  • “The Bigger Picture” Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
  • “The Dam Keeper” Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
  • “Feast” Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed
  • “Me and My Moulton” Torill Kove
  • “A Single Life” Joris Oprins

Best live action short film
  • “Aya” Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
  • “Boogaloo and Graham” Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney
  • “Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak)” Hu Wei and Julien Féret
  • “Parvaneh” Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger
  • “The Phone Call” Mat Kirkby and James Lucas

Achievement in sound editing
  • “American Sniper” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
  • “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Martín Hernández and Aaron Glascock
  • “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” Brent Burge and Jason Canovas
  • “Interstellar” Richard King
  • “Unbroken” Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro

Achievement in sound mixing
  • “American Sniper” John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
  • “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga
  • “Interstellar” Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten
  • “Unbroken” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee
  • “Whiplash” Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley

Achievement in visual effects
  • “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick
  • “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy” Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould
  • “Interstellar” Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher
  • “X-Men: Days of Future Past” Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer

Adapted screenplay
  • “American Sniper” Written by Jason Hall
  • “The Imitation Game” Written by Graham Moore
  • “Inherent Vice” Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson
  • “The Theory of Everything” Screenplay by Anthony McCarten
  • “Whiplash” Written by Damien Chazelle

Original screenplay
  • “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo
  • “Boyhood” Written by Richard Linklater
  • “Foxcatcher” Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
  • “Nightcrawler” Written by Dan Gilroy

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

DVD Review for January 13, 2015

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

Clint Says: Watch this as soon as you can

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, so we may end up having to deal with that little bit of action in the DVD.

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.

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: Watch this as soon as you can

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

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 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 it 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.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Movie Review For January 9, 2015

Rated: PG-13
Stars: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Forest Whitaker
Plot: An ex-Government Operative must stay on the run until he can clear his name from crime he didn't commit.

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD

One can only hope that this will be the final installment in the TAKEN franchise. The first film was great, the second was a carbon copy of the first, and while this one actually has a different plot, it has the same feel, action and dialogue as the first two.

It does have a couple of interesting twists and turns, but it also has several eye-rolling moments that take away from the excitement of the film. It's tough to be in suspense when you know that no matter how many adversaries the main character is facing, he's still going to be okay.

The ending to this trilogy could have been a lot worse than this offering, and for that I guess we should be somewhat thankful, but it is still an average flick at best.

Rated: PG-13
Stars: David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Carmen Ejogo
Plot: Martin Luther King, Jr. protests to get African Americans the right to vote by marching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

Clint Says: Drop everything and go see this movie now

It's hard to believe that the event portrayed in this film happened only 50 years ago. It's also incredible to watch David Oyelowo become Martin Luther King, Jr. He walks like him, he talks like him, and his resemblance is nearly spot on.

This may be one of the more uncomfortable films I've ever endured. The entire time I wanted to ear-tug the opposition into the corner and slap some sense into them. I wanted to scream at the screen and say, "how can you possibly think that it is okay to treat another human that way?" I sat there embarrassed like you do when your ignorant cousin twice-removed starts spouting off racist remarks at Thanksgiving dinner.

This is a powerful film that everyone should see. On the one hand, it's great to see just how far we've come in the last 50 years, but it's also important for the younger generations to see it so that they can understand the struggle that happened not so very long ago.

There are several times when the movie bogs down, and there are only a few times when it really gets dramatic, but there is a quite power throughout the film that keeps you engaged.

This film got in just under the wire for the 2015 awards season, expect it to make some noise at The Golden Globes, The Critics' Choice Awards and The Academy Awards.

Rated: R
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Katherine Waterston, Josh Brolin
Plot: A Los Angeles P.I. investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend and her lover.

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD

This is one of those movies where the trailer is way better than the film, and the trailer makes it look like you will be seeing an entirely different movie than you actually end up seeing.

Clocking in at just shy of 2 1/2 hours, INHERENT VICE is a slow-moving, odd, quirky and nearly useless film. While Joaquin Phoenix does an incredible job in his role, I found myself several times trying to figure out why this movie was even made. It's not terribly entertaining, it isn't a ground-breaking piece of cinematic history, and as a mystery movie it is mediocre at best.

If you are interested in seeing this film you'd be much better off just watching the very well done trailer and then spending your money on something else.

My Golden Globe Picks

UPDATE: I will be live-tweeting the Golden Globes Sunday night. Join in the conversation, you can follow me @clintredwine.

The Golden Globe Awards will be given out this Sunday evening. It's always fun to watch, but it's even more fun when you make your own picks ahead of time. 
I'll probably be waaaaayyyy off, but here's hoping! Feel free to put your picks in the comments section, then we can all play along together.

NOTE: I'm picking 2 in the Best Picture categories, because 1: My vote doesn't count, 2: All of the nominated films are amazing, 3: I want to!


Best Actress Drama: Felicity Jones (THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING)

Best Actor Drama: Benedict Cumberbatch (THE IMITATION GAME)

Best Picture Musical/Comedy: BIRDMAN or THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Best Actress Musical/Comedy: Amy Adams (BIG EYES)

Best Actor Musical/Comedy: Michael Keaton (BIRDMAN)

Best Supporting Actress: Emma Stone (BIRDMAN)

Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons (WHIPLASH)

Best Director: Richard Linklater (BOYHOOD)

Best Screenplay: Graham Moore (THE IMITATION GAME)

Best Original Score: Johann Johannson (THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING)

Best Original Song: Yellow Flicker Beat (Lorde) (THE HUNGER GAMES:MOCKINGJAY PART 1

Monday, January 5, 2015

DVD Review For January 6, 2015

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: It's worth seeing once

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.

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

Clint Says: It's an epic story done on a made-for-tv budget

If you haven't read the Tim LaHaye LEFT BEHIND series, I highly recommend it. They are fascinating and gripping. Unfortunately, that intensity and sheer size of the rapture is just too grand of a story to be done well on the big screen with anything less than a $250 Million budget.

For the most part, the acting is okay and believable, with a few notable exceptions where it feels like we are watching a PBS afternoon special, making for some cringe-worthy moments. 

This is an end-of-the-world flick in which the world meets it's doom in a literal apocalypse. I expect a movie like that to have relationships for sure, but it's also about the effects, and in this case they are low-budget and often times eye-rollingly cheesy. The climactic scene looks like the kind of effects that would have mesmerized us in the mid-80s. 

I would like to recommend this film because the books are so good, but I really can't. Go read the books instead, your mental special effects will be so much better.

Rated: R
Stars: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke
Plot: The story of a boy as he grows up from 5 to 18.

Clint Says: Everyone should see this movie once

This is a fascinating case-study in long-term movie making. Director, Richard Linklater, shot this movie over the span of 12 years with the same cast. It is truly a unique film and a unique film-watching experience. (Although, one might argue that the 8 HARRY POTTER films with the same cast filmed over 11 years is even more impressive).

That said, BOYHOOD isn't really that great of a movie. 

If you take away the 12 year shoot, it's a pretty boring film with some pretty bad acting. The main cast members do an incredible job, but the bit players are painful to watch. There isn't much drama and when there is drama it quickly goes away and the story jumps forward a year or two.

This movie is almost three hours long and it feels like it. Imagine watching three hours of really well done home movies of someone you've never met. You walk away pretty sure you know that person fairly well, but you still aren't sure that you really care. That is BOYHOOD in a nutshell.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Movie Review For January 2, 2015

Rated: R
Stars: Oscar Issac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo
Plot: A heating oil company owner finds himself in a turf war and a battle with the authorities in 1981 New York City.

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD

Jessica Chastain gives an outstanding, award-worthy performance in this otherwise lackluster film. With a title like A MOST VIOLENT YEAR you'd think there would be a good bit of violence. Well, you'd be wrong. Most of the violence takes place off camera and even then it's pretty tame.

My main thought as I walked out of the theater was, "Who knew the heating oil business was so rough?" I wish I had been thinking, "Wow, what an incredible movie."

The film is slow, tame and the ending is exceptionally anti-climactic. I would say it's a two-hour waste of your time, but that would be unfair to Chastain's performance. She makes the film tolerable.

Rated: PG-13
Stars: Helen McCrory, Jeremy Irvine, Phoebe Fox
Plot: A group of WWII child evacuees are placed at Eel Marsh mansion re-awakening the evil within.

Clint Says: See it if you haven't seen the first one

The first film in this franchise, starring Daniel Radcliffe, was one of the creepiest and well done horror movies I have ever seen. It was dark and sinister, but not overly dramatic. Nor was it full of the usual scary movie hack tricks to make it seem scarier.

This film is exactly the same as the first one. That's good in that it is really creepy and well done, but it's bad because it doesn't further the story at all. It's all of the same stuff for the same reason 40 years later. Also, the climactic scene got a huge eye roll from me as I'm sure it will from most attendees.

If you haven't seen the first one, you can jump right in with this one and it will scare you stiff. If you have seen the first one you may want to go ahead and skip this one since there is nothing new for you to enjoy.

They set it up for a third film, which I understand from a business standpoint, because this franchise will make a ton of cash for the studio, but unless there is a significant plot change it will probably just be more of the same.