Screening Room Home Video Edition: Movies available on 12/4/12

Posted on: 7:00 am, December 1, 2012, by

KANSAS CITY, MO —

New in video stores or available for digital download this Tuesday, December 4th:

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (PG-13)

“The Dark Knight Rises” is as rousing, involving and dynamic as it is disturbing and bleak. Superhero movies aren’t supposed to have this much depth, but director Christopher Nolan’s pop examination of the duality of human nature is a dazzling movie.

“The Dark Knight Rises” rises to the occasion and is one of the best mainstream movie of the year.

Shawn says it’s, “Not nearly as strong as “The Dark Knight.” Plagued by more than a few plot holes and a super weak ending. But a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. Still gets a second viewing reduction.”

RUSS: 5 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

MEN IN BLACK III (PG-13)

The best special effect in the effects-laden extravaganza “Men in Black 3” is Josh Brolin, who does an uncanny version of Tommy Lee Jones…40 years younger. Will Smith turns his patented charisma up to “11” as Agent J travels back in time to save Agent K, Jones’ character, from certain death at the hands of an evil alien. The movie’s affable tone is in lock step with the previous MIB movies, so if you found those comedies entertaining, you’re likely to enjoy this fun, featherweight sci-fi flick.

Shawn says it’s the “best of the three. Will Smith is energized and Josh Brolin steals the show.”

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

SPARKLE (PG-13)
The 1976 musical drama “Sparkle” has become a cult classic in spite of its reputation as a melodramatic mess. The long-awaited remake preserves some of the original songs by Curtis Mayfield and adds a few new ones by R. Kelly…as well as preserving the first movie’s melodramatic excesses. While the music is infectious, the drama is bland and cliché-ridden. And why do we have to wait for the movie’s finale before Jordin Sparks, the popular “American Idol” winner, gets to sing a complete song?

Shaw calls it “poorly written. Horrible director. Terribly acted. This awful remake does nothing to improve on the original, which was shaky at best.”

RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 1 Popcorn Bag

HOPE SPRINGS (PG-13)

Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones play sexagenarians who try to rekindle the spark in their relationship by seeing a marriage therapist, played by Steve Carrell, in the lightweight comic romance, “Hope Springs.” 

The acting is, of course, top notch and the strength of the performances gives the story the illusion of substance. You don’t have to be over 50 to appreciate it, but it helps.

Shawn calls it “one of the biggest surprises of the year.”

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD 
Beasts of the Southern Wild” is a wildly ambitious arthouse fantasy set against the specter of Hurricane Katrina. 
 
It tells the story of a six-year old girl named Hushpuppy being raised by her ailing father in abject poverty in an isolated part of the Louisiana Bayou. 
 
Young Quvenzhane (kwah-VAHN-jah-nay) Wallis is remarkable as Hushpuppy and the film is quite poetic. But it’s also somewhat pretentious and over-reaching…so it’s ultimately a mixed bag.   
 
Shawn says he finally got the movie after four viewings…and he loves it. “Gets second, four-time viewing increase.”
 
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 5 Popcorn Bags

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