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Screening Room Home Video Edition: “The Hunger Games,” “Chimpanzee,” “A Separation”

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Kansas City, Mo --
HOME VIDEO SCREENING ROOM
THE HUNGER GAMES
 
RUSS:
If you’ve never heard of “The Hunger Games” welcome back from Mars. Jennifer Lawrence stars in this story of the ultimate TV reality show. Set in a dystopian future, “The Hunger Games" pits 24 poor young people against one another in a survival match to the death, all for the amusement of the wealthy ruling class.
 
SHAWN:
"The Hunger Games" is based on the hugely popular novel and as a pop cultural phenomenom it blows the doors off the hinges. Fans just get super giddy. But as a movie it's compelling stuff but not all that enthralling.RUSS:
Although this 2 hour and 22 minute epic takes its sweet time to get going, it manages to be involving and intense.There are plenty of socio-political themes at play, as well as a scathing criticism of pop culture. But all of that takes a back seat as we root for our heroine to survive and for young love to prevail. Like the “Twilight” series, it might turn out to be a guilty pleasure.
SHAWN: 
It's well adapted. A bit violent especially for young children and a pretty sadistic premise that is totally played down. Overall “The Hunger Games” is a bit socially, politically and emotionally heavy. Hated the super slow start and cartoon finish but loved Jennifer Lawrence, she’s a star and Woody Harrelson who adds real zeal. There’s a lot to like and perhaps even more to be cautious about.
Extras will include an 8-part documentary and several featurettes.The Blu-ray release will also include an exclusive "Preparing for The Games: A Director’s Process" featurette.
 
RUSS:
4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN:
3 popcorn Bags

CHIMPANZEE
 
RUSS:
“Chimpanzee” is the latest documentary from the good folks at DisneyNature. This beautifully photographed real life drama looks good on the big screen, but isn’t an improvement on what can be seen regularly on Animal Planet.
SHAWN:
So true. But chimpanzees are always fun to watch. And this movie is no different. nothing groundbreaking or profound. Just entertaining.
 
RUSS:
3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN:
3 Popcorn Bags
 
A SEPARATION
RUSS:
"A Separation," an outstanding and moving drama from Iran, deservedly won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. It was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay...and it should have won that, too.SHAWN:
Yes, this powerful film was actually the best movie released last year.
 
RUSS
The intricate plot presents an ongoing set of moral conundrums in what is essentially an ongoing game of Scruples. "A Separation" is a sterling example of cinema for those unafraid to think.
RUSS:
5 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN:
5 Popcorn Bags

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