Category Archives: Movie Reviews

‘The House With A Clock In Its Walls’: Snapshot Review

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS

2.5 stars (out of 4)               1 hour, 44 minutes

Rated PG for thematic elements including sorcery, some action, scary images, rude humor and language

PLOT: A young orphan boy moves in with his warlock uncle, and begins to learn about the world of magic. Soon, the boy and his newly adopted family, which also includes a friendly witch, find themselves going toe to toe with evil forces.

SCOOP: The film is based on the 1973 novel by John Bellairs, and viewers who enjoyed “Goosebumps” have a reasonably good chance of warming to this project. Jack Black is likable as freewheeling warlock Jonathan Barnavelt, and Cate Blanchett is solid as the friendly witch Florence Zimmerman. Owen Vaccaro has a nice starring turn as Lewis Barnavelt, an orphan coming to terms with the death of his parents and a magical world he never knew existed.

The art direction and special effects for the movie are appealing, and the scary sequences are mild, meaning most children older than five should be OK with the content. There aren’t a lot of live-action films targeted at this audience, and that’s a feather in the cap of director Eli Roth, who is better known for darker projects, including “Hostel,” “Cabin Fever” and “Death Wish” (2018). Alas, “The House With a Clock in Its Walls” isn’t as charming as similarly themed works (think “Harry Potter”), and it’s paced on the slow side. Bottom line: It is a reasonable escape for parents looking to treat their youngsters to Halloween fun, but it won’t be remembered as a classic.

STARRING: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Kyle MacLachlan, Renee Elise Goldsberry and Colleen Camp

DIRECTOR (co-writer): Eli Roth (“Hostel,” “Cabin Fever,” “Death Wish”)

 

 

 

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‘The Predator’: Snapshot Review

THE PREDATOR

(2 stars out of 4)                     1 hour, 47 minutes

PLOT: A sniper, his autistic son, a scientist and a ragtag group of ex-military friends face off against an angry, king-sized predator. The latter has come to Earth to hunt another of his species.

SCOOP: The film – the 4thor 6th in the franchise depending on if you count the “Alien Vs. Predator” flicks — has a retro vibe but doesn’t feel dated. It also has more humor than past entries, giving it some entertainment value. That said, the picture seriously overstays its welcome. Although only 107 minutes, it feels longer thanks to standard action-movie tropes and a plot that isn’t inventive or special. Director Shane Black (“The Nice Guys,” “Iron Man 3,” “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”) has a nice style, but he doesn’t overcome the fact that this movie is basically a standard-order guilty pleasure.

STARRING: Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Jacob Tremblay, Sterling K. Brown, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane

DIRECTOR: Shane Black (“The Nice Guys,” “Iron Man 3,” “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”)

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‘Fate of the Furious’: Review on Action News Now

Forrest talks “Fate of the Furious” with Cort KloppingForrest talks “Fate of the Furious” with Cort Klopping on Action News Now April 14.

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Snapshot Review: ‘The Fate of the Furious’

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS 

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Photo courtesy of EPK.TV

Critical Rating: 2 stars (out of four)

Rated: PG-13 for prolonged sequences of violence and destruction, suggestive content and language

Directed by: F. Gary Gray (“Straight Outta Compton,” “The Italian Job”)

Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Charlize Theron, Nathalie Emmanuel, Kurt Russel, Luke Evans

Story snapshot: Dominic “Dom” Torretto (Vin Diesel) finds himself working against his own team. Because Dom is such a fearsome opponent, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Tej (Tyrese Gibson) and the rest of the crew take on an unlikely partner, their one-time enemy Deckard (Jason Statham).

The scoop: Like all the “Fast & Furious” films, “Fate of the Furious” is big, dumb fun. Plot holes? Yeah, it’s got ’em. Great acting? Not so much. Of course, fans of this franchise don’t queue up for witty dialogue and philosophical ideas. Mostly, they want to see fast cars do impossible things. And … there’s plenty of that. Since it’s in the trailer, it’s no spoiler to note that one sequence features a tank, a nuclear submarine and a Lamborghini. “Fate of the Furious” is not a good movie, but it moves like lightning, and it’s hard not to smile at the goofiness. In other words, see it if you liked the first seven pictures. Avoid it at all costs if you didn’t.

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Forrest reviews ‘Hacksaw Ridge’

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Forrest reviews ‘Doctor Strange’

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‘Point Break’ review

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