Is “Mad Max” crazy? “Pitch Perfect 2” flawless? “Madding” maddening? Popcorn Bag reviews!

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Mo --- Russ Simmons is back in the screening room and has the scoop on the latest films. Watch the video above to find out if these sequels live up to their predecessors.

 

1) MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (R)

Warner Brothers

 

Although it’s been over 30 years since Mad Max’s last appearance on the big screen, it seems like Australian filmmaker George Miller hasn’t missed a savage beat. In the rousing and action-packed fourth installment in the franchise, “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Tom Hardy replaces Mel Gibson as our titular hero, a reluctant warrior who battles hordes of marauders in an ultra-violent dystopian future.

 

The plot serves as an excuse for Miller and his band of top-notch stunt people to stage a chain of terrific, exhilarating chase sequences. Violent, decadent and shamelessly entertaining, “Mad Max: Fury Road” is what “Furious 7” wishes it could have been.

 

Shawn says, "’Mad Max’ is spectacular. Daredevil cinema at its best. The best action movie ever made, a non-stop, mind-blowing and jaw-dropping cinematic extravaganza. Unlike anything you have ever seen.”

 

Well…it is like the first three Mad Max movies, but it is awfully good.

 

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 5 Popcorn Bags

 

 

2) PITCH PERFECT 2 (PG-13)

Universal Pictures

 

“Pitch Perfect” was a surprise hit in 2012. I’m happy to say that fans of that goofy musical comedy will not be disappointed in “Pitch Perfect 2,” a cheeky and oddball confection that features the further adventures of a college acapella singing group. Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and company return and they take their act on a bumpy road to the world championships. It’s a surprisingly infectious exercise in sing-along absurdity.

 

Shawn says, “It’s unbelievably better than the original. So many funny moments, so many memorable characters. The rare sequel that has a purpose and actually succeeds.”

 

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

 

 

3) FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (PG-13)

20th Century Fox

 

 

Thomas Hardy’s classic Victorian romance “Far From the Madding Crowd” has been given a handsome, well-acted big screen reincarnation. Carey Mulligan plays a headstrong woman who inherits a rural English estate and attracts the romantic attentions of three different men. “Far From the Madding Crowd” is a lush and involving period piece with a contemporary feel.

 

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags

 

ALSO OPENING THIS WEEK:

- “Animals” is an acclaimed drama written by and starring KC native David Dastmalchian, about a homeless couple who run cons to get ahead.

- “Famous Last Words” is a documentary by KC filmmaker Bryan Boye that "chronicles what happens when someone leaves your life, what was said, and how your life is affected because of that conversation."

- “Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story” is an adaptation of the horror web series about Slender Man.

- “Time Lapse” is a sci-fi entry about a machine that takes photos 24 hours in the future.

- “Where Hope Grows” is a new faith-based drama about a former pro baseball player who suffers panic attacks.

 

Click here to receive weekly emails full of FOX 4′s entertainment news!

What’s our criteria for reviewing a film and awarding the popcorn bag ratings? Click here to find out.

Follow on Twitter: @fox4kc @RussSimmons1 @sedwardskc