Screening Room: “The Amazing Spiderman,” “Katy Perry,” “Savages”

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SCREENING ROOM 7-2-2012

RUSS
Welcome to this holiday edition of the Screening Room. I'm Russ Simmons.

SHAWN
And I'm Shawn Edwards and we are sorry to report the lack of fireworks at the Box Office this  4th of July.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

RUSS
The word “amazing” is not the best one to describe the comic book reboot, “The Amazing Spiderman.” Perhaps “The Acceptable Spiderman” or “The Competent Spiderman” might be more apropos.

SHAWN
You are so spot on. There isn't a single thing amazing about "The Amazing Spider-Man" except how amazingly flat and boring it is.

RUSS
The visual effects are pretty amazing, particularly in its IMAX incarnation, but there’s nothing exceptional here as we return to the roots of Peter Parker’s story. “The Amazing Spiderman” just seems too familiar to string us along for a 2-½ hour remake of a 10-year-old movie.

SHAWN
It's miscast (sorry Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone), lazily written and poorly executed. So why the reboot so soon? Not sure because this dull caper isn't even close to being on the same level of any of the previous three Spidey joints which starred a much better Tobey MaGuire who was even considered a stretch in his hey. It's too bad because the comic books are rich with dark and edgy stories that have yet to be successfully translated in movie form. Especially this time.

RUSS
3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN
2 Popcorn Bags

KATY PERRY: PART OF ME

RUSS
“Katy Perry: Part of Me” is the latest 3-D concert flick, offering a backstage glimpse of the pop music hit-maker during her grueling “California Dreams” tour that included over 120 concerts.

SHAWN
There is nothing wrong with Katy Perry's concert movie that has splashes of her childhood story and vague details of her split with her husband actor Russell Brand. That is if you are under 12 years-old or never seen an episode of Behind the Music, Hollywood True Story or Unsung.

RUSS
The usual elements are there, including the fans, the parties and preparations. But because Perry’s highly-publicized breakup with comic actor Russell Brand occurred during the filmmaking process, we get an unexpectedly poignant look at her emotional state, which is in stark contrast to the cheery, Rainbow Brite, Candyland atmosphere of her concerts.

SHAWN
Yes, this is well shot and edited party for her true fans but for everyone else it's as mundane as leaving your iPod on repeat of the same song.

RUSS
4 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN
3 Popcorn Bags

SAVAGES

RUSS
Director Oliver Stone returns to form with the violent opus, “Savages,” a taut and involving drugland suspense drama. It's gritty and, well, savage. Too bad that it's overlong and is saddled with a cop out ending.

SHAWN
"Savages" is nothing more than an Oliver Stone greatest hits package. This is so K-Tel like for my old school peeps and very much like a "Now" CD for the young  sexies. We've seen this all before but at least it's entertaining, sort of -- except for the whack ending.

RUSS
3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN
3 Popcorn Bags

TO ROME WITH LOVE

RUSS

Woody Allen continues his European tour with “To Rome With Love,” a surprisingly bland follow-up to his biggest box office hit, “Midnight in Paris.” In the eternal city, Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Penelope Cruz, Roberto Benigni and Allen are among the folks who populate four unrelated comic vignettes. The stories are unusually awkward for a Woody Allen movie and his use of magic realism is jarring. "To Rome With Love" is a mildly amusing and immediately forgettable misstep.

RUSS

2 Popcorn Bags

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