Screening Room: “Paranormal Activity 4,” “Alex Cross,” “Tom & Harry”
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 (R)
I’m over this. I mean I get it. but I’m just over it. For fans this is exactly what they expect. But the shock value has been discounted. And the horror is now working for food. This once innovative franchise is now in the unemployment line and looking for work. Because the scary has been laid off.
It’s back to the well once more for the micro-budget, found-footage horror franchise. As usual, it’s nine parts tedium to one part scary.
True. Just not much fun anymore.
If you haven’t seen the others, it might work for you. Otherwise, it’s like watching a TV re-run while we wait for the new season to begin.
RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags
ALEX CROSS (PG-13)
“Alex Cross” is a flat out horrible movie. It lacks coherency, structure or any credible acting. And giving the job of portraying Alex Cross, memorably played by Morgan Freeman, to Tyler Perry may be the worst casting decision in the history of Hollywood. He’s awful. A mixture of dull and duller with equal parts I really need that dress.
We represent the movie industry as willing participants and as a part of this industry I am embarrassed and almost sickened by the poor quality of this movie. No one should be subjective to or forced to pay money to watch this movie. It’s cartoonish, clownish and amateurish. Just a bunch if ‘ish’ Fans of “Kiss the Girls” and ‘Along Came a Spider” will be in tears. Those new to Alex Cross will wonder why the fuss? This guy is a dud.
RUSS: DID NOT SCREEN
SHAWN: 0 Popcorn Bags
TOM & HARRY (Not rated)
The odd relationship of political bedfellows President Harry S. Truman and corrupt KC political kingpin Tom Pendergast is at the heart of the documentary, “Tom & Harry: The Boss and the President.” Writer/director Terence O’Malley skillfully uses archive footage, rare photographs and talking heads to tell the story of this fascinating time in KC history.
The film documents the relationship between President Harry Truman and Kansas City political boss Tom Pendergast. It’s the third Kansas City centered documentary for local attorney and filmmaker Terence O’Malley who clearly finds this city’s past fascinating. He also directed “Nelly Don: A Stitch in Time” and “Black Hand Strawman: The History of Organized Crime in Kansas City.”
Some may find it a bit too dry for their tastes, but “Tom & Harry” is an intriguing and smartly made documentary for those with a passion for movies with local interest.
Yes, Terrence O’Malley is a first rate documentarian. He does his research, very well, and presents the thorough details in workmanlike fashion. Maybe there are too many details. But man you learn stuff. It’s a true learning experience. But it’s in the style department that cripples his work. Dude’s documentaries could use a serious make-over in the worst way. The material is all there but the presentation is library cool. Which isn’t very cool.
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags
Also opening this week, Elizabeth Olsen stars in a collegiate romance called “Liberal Arts.”