Screening Room – “The Wolverine,” “Fruitvale Station,” “The To Do List”

KANSAS CITY, MO –

 

1. THE WOLVERINE
(PG-13)
Fox

RUSS
Hugh Jackman dons the adamantium claws yet again in “The Wolverine,” highlighting some existential adventures the X-Men mutant experiences while in Japan.

SHAWN
Yes, Wolverine is cool. But still not sure why he’s in Japan. I love the setting and set up but why? And why do the Wolverine movies always seen second tier compared to other movies based on comic books?

RUSS
The Far East locale and some intriguing ideas help, but the movie loses steam in the third act. Jackman, however, is as sharp as his formidable claws.

SHAWN
I disagree. Hugh Jackman seems bored with the role. It’s the secondary characters that add zip. I think Wolverine works best when he’s with the rest of the X-Men characters. On his own he’s just Jermaine Jackson which is no “Thriller.”

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 popcorn Bags

2. FRUITVALE STATION
(R)
Weinstein Co.

RUSS
Is it too early to talk about Oscar contenders? The stark and realistic new drama “Fruitvale Station” could easily snag a few nominations. Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer are terrific in this moving true story.

SHAWN
Never too early to talk Oscar when a movie is this great. “Fruitvale Station” directed with supreme skill by first time director Ryan Coogler won awards at Sundance and Cannes. A black male is murdered by a cop. The movie is a sobering 24 hour flashback before that tragic event.

RUSS
Gritty, somber and emotionally involving, “Fruitvale Station” shines a timely spotlight on the American culture of violence.

SHAWN
No matter what you thought about the George Zimmerman trail “Fruitvale Station” will have you reprocessing your thoughts. Never has a movie so brilliantly depicted the value of human life, exposed the ills of life in the urban sprawls of America and depicted the consequences of race and misguided race relations in this country. Powerful. Insightful. And sad. But great filmmaking.

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 5 Popcorn Bags

3. THE TO-DO LIST
(R)
CBS Films

RUSS
If “Bridesmaids” didn’t do enough to show that women could be just as raunchy as men, we now have “The To-Do List,” a shameless and unfunny gross-out teen sex comedy.

SHAWN
Loved the premise. So hilarious and funnier than “America. Pie.”Aubrey Plaza is relentlessly funny. Genius in fact.

RUSS: 1 Popcorn Bag
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

ALSO OPENING THIS WEEK: “V/H/S/ 2″ is a sequel to last year’s low budget horror anthology flick.

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