Screening Room: “Identity Thief,” “Side Effects”

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KANSAS CITY, MO --

WELCOME TO THE SCREENING ROOM, I'M RUSS SIMMONS...

AND I'M SHAWN EDWARDS.

MELISSA MCCARTHY PLAYS A CON ARTIST WHO STEALS THE IDENTITY OF JASON BATEMAN AND GOES ON A WILD SPENDING SPREE IN THE BROAD AND RAUNCHY COMEDY, 'IDENTITY THIEF.'

{***SHAWN***}
SO RUSS WHAT WENT WRONG? I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO "IDENTITY THEIF" BUT WAS COMPLETLY DISAPPOINTED. COMPLETELY! WAIT, I KNOW... MELISSA MCCARTHY WHO STOLE THE SHOW IN "BRIDESMAIDS" HAS TO CARRY THE ENTIRE LOAD IN "IDENTITY THIEF" AND THAT ISN'T AN EASY JOB ESPECIALLY WHEN HER CO-STAR TOTALLY WHIFFS.

{***RUSS***}
BOTH OF THESE STARS ARE VERY APPEALING, BUT IT`S MCCARTHY'S SHARP IMPROVISATION SKILLS THAT SAVE THE DAY. ADMITTEDLY, MUCH OF MOVIE IS MORE UNNERVING THAN FUNNY. BUT MCCARTHY, WHO PROBABLY DESERVES SCREENWRITING CREDIT FOR ALL HER CLEVER AD-LIBBING, MAKES THIS ROAD COMEDY BEARABLE.

[***SHAWN***}
MELISSA MCCARTHY IS NO DOUBT EXTREMELY TALENTED AND FUNNY. SORT OF A FEMALE JOHN BELUSHI. BUT THE MOVIE LET'S HER DOWN. THE WRITING IS FLAT OUT WEAK.THE SHIFTS IN TONE DROVE ME NUTS AND MCCARTHY DOES GET A BIT ANNOYING ABOUT 20 MINUTES IN. OVERALL "IDENTITY THIEF" IS WAY TOO LONG, UNFOCUSED, OVERLY CRASS AND NOT REALLY THAT FUNNY. A ROAD TRIP MOVIE? WAIT, IT'S NOTHING MORE THAN A TYPICAL ROAD TRIP MOVIE WITH TERRIBLE JOKES AND CLICHED SIGHT GAGS. WHAT A WASTE OF TALENT AND A SERIOUS MISSED OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOMETHING SPECIAL WITH A SUBJECT JUST WAITING FOR A GREAT MOVIE. "IDENTITY THIEF" NEEDED TO STEAL SOME IDEAS FROM OTHER MOVIES.

{***RUSS***}3 POPCORN BAGS
{***SHAWN***} 2 POPCORN BAGS

{***SHAWN***}
"SIDE EFFECTS" CRUMBLES UNDER THE WEIGHT OF ITS OWN AMBITION. IT WANTS TO BE A GREAT MOVIE BUT GETS IN ITS OWN WAY. THE FILM IS PROVOCATIVE AND THE TWIST AND TURNS AND UNIQUE PLOT CONSTRUCTION WILL KEEP YOU GLUED.

{***RUSS***}
IT`S UNLIKELY THAT STEVEN SODERBERGH`S 'SIDE EFFECTS' WILL BE USED AS A RECRUITMENT TOOL FOR THE PSYCHIATRIC PROFESSION ANY TIME SOON. IN THIS SMART AND CREEPY PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER, JUDE LAW PLAYS A SHRINK WHOSE LIFE FALLS APART WHEN ONE OF HIS PATIENTS COMMITS A HORRIBLE CRIME WHILE TAKING THE DRUGS HE PRESCRIBED.

{***SHAWN***}
I JUST WISH THE MOVIE'S SECOND HALF WAS AS SHARP AS THE FIRST HALF. THE CAST IS TERRIFIC. THE WRITING IS SHARP. BUT THE BIGGEST FLAW IS THE DIRECTION. AND THE ENDING. REALLY?

{***RUSS***} THIS INTRIGUING MOVIE IS LIKE A GREAT RUNNING BACK. YOU THINK IT`S GOING IN ONE DIRECTION AND THEN IT FAKES YOU OUT. STRONG PERFORMANCES HELP MAKE 'SIDE EFFECTS' A TWISTY AND INVOLVING CAUTIONARY TALE.

{***RUSS***}4 POPCORN BAGS
{***SHAWN***} 2 POPCORN BAGS

{***RUSS***} THE FRENCH FILM 'AMOUR' IS ABOUT REAL LOVE...THE HARD PART. 85-YEAR-OLD EMMANUELLE RIVA PLAYS A WOMAN WHO SUFFERS A SERIES OF DEBILITATING STROKES, LEAVING HER ELDERLY HUSBAND, PLAYED BY JEAN-LOUIS TRINTIGNANT, TO CARE FOR HER AS SHE SLOWLY DETERIORATES.

{***SHAWN***}
"AMOUR" IS POWERFULLY MOVING BUT EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO WATCH. IT'S EXCEPTIONAL FILMMAKING WITH OUT OF THIS WORLD ACTING PERFORMANCES.

{***RUSS***}
"AMOUR' IS AN AUSTERE, SLOW-MOVING AND TRAGIC STORY THAT`S AN ORDEAL TO WATCH. BUT THE MOST SURPRISING THING ABOUT THIS MULTIPLE OSCAR NOMINEE IS THAT AUDIENCES SEEM TO APPRECIATE IT ANYWAY. IT`S A HEARTBREAKING AND AFFECTING FILM.

{***SHAWN***}
I'M NOT SURE ABOUT THAT. THIS IS THE TYPE OF MOVIE THAT WILL APPEAL TO VERY FEW PEOPLE. IT'S WELL-MADE, INSPIRATIONAL AND BEAUTIFUL FILM. BUT NOT THE TYPE OF THING YOU WATCH WHEN YOU WANT TO ESCAPE. SURE IT HAS RECIEVED MULTIPLE OSCAR NOMINATIONS BUT IT'S ENTERTAINMENT VALUE IS LOW.

{***RUSS***} 4 POPCORN BAGS

{***SHAWN***} 4 POPCORN BAGS>

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