THE LONGEST RIDE
Stars: Britt Robertson, Scott Eastwood, Alan Alda
Plot: A Professional Bull Rider and an art lover build a relationship with the help of love letters written from a man to his wife in the 1940s.
Clint Says: Nicholas Sparks fans will love it, everyone else stay away
THE LONGEST RIDE is Nicholas Sparks at his sparkiest. Basically, if you loved SAFE HAVEN you will ooze happiness at the end of this movie. If you hated THE BEST OF ME you would be better off trying to ride a bull than watch this flick.
Nicholas Sparks's movies and books are the definition of formulaic. Personally, they have zero appeal for me. I like surprises and twists when I watch something, but I am not the target audience for his art so it doesn't really matter what I think when it comes to the plot. However, I can speak to the quality of the film.
Britt Robertson does a great job in her lead role. I'm sure we will see her getting more roles from Hollywood now. Scott Eastwood does a decent job, but really his job is to be eye candy, and at that he excels.
One of the things that drives me crazy in movies are continuity errors. This film may have one of the biggest I've ever seen. Our hero manages to drive from Nashville, TN to Winston-Salem, NC, still in his bull riding uniform, in a matter of minutes. Mr. Director, bookmark Google Maps and use it on occasion.
Then there is the bull snot scene. You did not read that wrong. A. BULL. SNOT. SCENE. Dear reader, I can not even begin to convey to you how ridiculous and disgusting the bull snot scene is. Why the director decided that it was a good idea to give us slow-motion, full-frame footage of bull snot flying through the air we may never know, but it's there for all of us to endure.
The film had several funny moments, some on purpose, most not. If you can make it through the bull-riding man/oil drum-riding woman/man and woman riding each other montage without having your own bull snot moment, you are a better person than I.
Clocking in at 2 hours 8 minutes, THE LONGEST RIDE really is just that.
Stars: Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Bobby Cannavale, Jennifer Garner
Plot: An aging rock star is giving a life-changing letter that leads him to connecting with his adult son and family.
Clint Says: If you can find this movie, go see it now
To be honest, when I saw the trailer for this film I thought it looked okay, but it didn't seem to be much more than an old-people-find-love-while-teaching-each-other-life-lessons flick. I'm glad it is so much more than that.
Al Pacino does a nice job, but Bobby Cannavale completely steals the show. He is spectacular. I wouldn't go so far as to say his performance is award-worthy, but it is absolutely worth the price of admission.
This film is heartwarming, dramatic, funny, heartbreaking and beautiful. I laughed out loud, I came really close to crying (which is saying a lot because I rarely cry at movies), and I held my breath in suspense. This story is told so well that I even cared about the hotel valet and receptionist.
I am still reeling at the ending of this film. It is one of those amazing moments in film when everything comes together, great actors, great acting, great writing, and great directing leading to a scene that is so full of tension, drama and suspense that you feel like the screen is going to explode. And if it doesn't, you just might.
Throw on top of all of that a John Lennon-led soundtrack and you've got a movie well worth seeing.
WHILE WE'RE YOUNG
Stars: Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried
Plot: A forty-something couple begins hanging out with a twenty-something couple, but things aren't what they seem
Clint Says: Wait for the DVD
If this film had condensed the first hour into about 10 minutes and then gotten to the last 45 minutes it would have been a much better movie. Unfortunately, by the time I sat through the first hour I pretty much just wanted it to end.
It felt like Ben Stiller was just going through the motions, Naomi Watts didn't really add much to the story, and Amanda Seyfried wasn't used to her full potential. Adam Driver, on the other hand, was incredible, as usual.
While I did like the twist that completely blindsided me, it wasn't enough to overcome the mundane feel and pace of the rest of the film. There is nothing in it that would make it necessary to see in theaters, so save your money and wait for the DVD. But even then it probably won't be worth it, unless you just fast forward to all of the Adam Driver moments.
NOTE: For my Nashville readers, this is only playing at The Belcourt.