Screening Room: “Snitch,” “Bless Me, Ultima”

Posted on: 11:55 am, February 22, 2013, by , updated on: 03:05pm, February 22, 2013

KANSAS CITY, MO –

1) SNITCH (PG-13)

RUSS
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson flexes his acting muscles instead of his biceps in the new action thriller, “Snitch.” He plays a father who agrees to do some undercover work for the US Attorney in exchange for the freedom of his teenage son who’s in jail on drug charges.
SHAWN
Yes, Dwayne Johnson skips the over-the-top action to do a little acting. And he’s pretty convincing as an everyday man willing to do whatever to set his son free. But man the movie gets off to a slow start. The chilly reception almost freezes out the interest. Not a blazzard of action but once the snow starts falling it sticks quickly.
RUSS
Although the film was reportedly ‘inspired by true events,’ it’s easy to see how some of it may have been embellished to enhance the action. While it has a rousing car chase at the climax, the movie’s deliberate pace may disappoint fans of the genre. But “Snitch” is well acted and a bit more realistic than Johnson’s previous outings.
SHAWN
No, this is not an action movie and at times almost plays out like a documentary. Sort of. The sell is Dwayne Johnson who proves his acting chops have improved. But unfortunately the story which desperately wants to be more important than it plays out will melt away quickly.
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags
2) BLESS ME, ULTIMA (PG-13)
RUSS
The well-meaning cinematic adaptation of Rudolfo Anaya’s bestseller “Bless Me, Ultima” is yet another example of how what is poetic on the page can sometimes seem bland on the big screen.
SHAWN
So true. Watching the movie was like getting caught in a snow storm without a coat and a hat. Miserable. The film’s many ideas where like snowflakes. everysingle thought and idea seemed to exist in it’s own form. Well intentioned. But like a heavy snow the film the film is pretty to look at but a mess to navigate through.
RUSS
During WWII, a seven-year-old Hispanic boy encounters some heavy metaphysical conflicts when a “curandera,” or spiritual healer comes to live with his rural New Mexico family. In this sweet-natured but uninspired adaptation by writer-director Carl Franklin, the issues our young hero grapples with don’t seem nearly as profound as they should.
SHAWN
Carl Frankilin gets a bit of credit, but the once “this is the savior of black film dude” doesn’t nail it like he has in his previous work. Nice to him keep expanding his range. Yo’ Tyler Perry are you listening? Just wish the movie was more coherent and engaging.
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags
Also opening this week, Keri Russell stars in a horror thriller called Dark Skies.”
Follow on Twitter: @fox4kc @RussSimmons1 @sedwardskc

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