Screening Room: “Skyfall,” “The Sessions,” “Smashed”

KANSAS CITY, MO –

SKYFALL (PG-13)
SHAWN
“Skyfall” owes a ton of thanks to the “Bourne” franchise which it clearly pimps, Daniel Craig who has finally grown comfortable as 007 pushes closer to over taking Sean Connery as the best Bond ever and director Sam Mendes who does a terrific job of mixing style and substance delivers something that’s a bit more than just another Bond movie.
RUSS
It’s been five decades since movie audiences were introduced to James Bond. Remarkably, “Skyfall,”the latest Bond flick, seems both familiar and fresh at the same time.
SHAWN
In the franchises’ 50th year “Skyfall” is as good as it gets. The movie features a juicy plot, terrific villain — Javier Bardem is deliciously nasty as the bady, memorizing title song performed by Adele which recalls Shirley Bassey in every way and sexy to death Bond girls who do a lot more than just look pretty.
RUSS
Director Sam Mendes of “American Beauty” fame mounts some impressive action sequences and Daniel Craig hits all the right notes as the quintessential super agent.
SHAWN
Is “”Skyfall” a classic? Does Bond rock a tux like no other? I’d even say it’s easily one of the five best of all time which is high praise for this 23rd installment of the franchise.RUSS
Beautiful women, fast cars, explosions, intrigue and exotic locales…”Skyfall” delivers. What’s not to like?
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags
THE SESSIONS (R)
SHAWN
“The Sessions” is a moving, seductive and beautiful love story. It’s 100 percent adult material. A story that although about sex, and there’s lots of sex, is about so much more as John Hawkes and Helen Hunt deliver two of the best and most brave performances I’ve seen in a very long time. The connection between these two leads will give you chills, warm your heart and make you cry. It is a somewhat flawed movie but you won’t mind the scars. Both Hawkes and Hunt deserve Oscar nominations and Hawkes deserves the win.RUSS
Yes, I expect Oscar to warm up to these actors, too. Aside from the acting, “The Sessions” works because of its honesty and canny sense of humor.
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags
SMASHED (R)
SHAWN
An exceptional addiction drama with strong performances by Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer.
RUSS
Admittedly, the performances in “Smashed” are strong. But this competently made movie about alcoholism and recovery doesn’t cover any new ground.
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags
BILL W
RUSS
“Bill W” is an intriguing documentary about the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Well produced and comprehensive, “Bill W” paints a fascinating picture of conflicted soul who became a reluctant hero.
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags

THE IMPOSTER

RUSS

“The Imposter” is yet another involving documentary. It’s about the strange tale of a 13-year-old San Antonio, Texas boy who disappeared in 1994, only to apparently resurface three and a half years later in Spain…or did he? A real life mystery tale, “The Imposter” is a suspenseful and chilling look at a case of mass cognitive dissonance.

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags

Also opening this week, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken and Catherine Keener star in “A Late Quartet”, a drama about frictions within a renowned chamber music ensemble.

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