The Screening Room: “Carrie,” “The Fifth Estate”

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KANSAS CITY, Mo--

CARRIE (R)

RUSS

The 1976 horror classic “Carrie” gets the remake treatment from “Boys Don’t Cry” director Kimberly Pierce. This adaptation of Stephen King’s creepy tale stars Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore as the introverted telekinetic teen and her fanatical mom.

SHAWN

And the remake or retelling, whatever you want to call it, is scary and creepy. But despite the pedigree, the talent involved -- and Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore -- are good and director Kimberly Pierce who adequately guides things the movie never measures up to the original.

RUSS

It’s almost slavishly close to the original movie in story and execution, but time and countless imitations have taken some of the edge off of this dark thriller. The remake of “Carrie” offers nothing new, but it’s a competent reboot for a new generation of horror fans.

SHAWN

I couldn't have said it better myself. I was disappointed that this remake stayed so close to the original. It's like a bird afraid to leave the nest and that doesn't fly unless you are new to the genre.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

THE FIFTH ESTATE (R)

RUSS

The fascinating story of Julian Assange, the founder of the whistle-blower site Wikileaks, will make a great movie someday. Unfortunately, “The Fifth Estate” isn’t it.

SHAWN

The subject is actually to massive, complicated and very difficult to visualize. And "The Fifth Estate" proves my point one hundred percent.

RUSS

Benedict Cumberbatch captures Assange’s arrogance and ego that, in a Greek Tragedy, would be his heroic flaw. But the filmmakers' attempts at even-handedness come off as ambivalence and the resulting portrait seems incomplete. Still, “The Fifth Estate” brings up some important points about accountability in the age of the Internet.

SHAWN

All true. The movie is so sloppy, awkwardly executed and jumbled it's almost unwatchable. Which is too bad because it's completely fascinating. The elephant in the room or theater is "The Social Network." All these types of movies ultimately get compared to "The Social Network" which is as close to a perfect movie as it gets. So "Jobs" and "The Fifth Estate" never really had a chance.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags

Also opening this week, “Escape Plan” is an action flick about the designer of escape-proof prisons who, ironically, winds up behind bars. 1980s action stars Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger are the aging beefcake leads.  “Concussion” is a controversial drama about a suburban mom who becomes a lesbian hooker after being hit in the head by a baseball. Robin Weigert from TV’s “Deadwood” stars.

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