“Fantastic Four” phony? “The Gift” worth receiving? “Shaun” sheepish? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

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KANSAS CITY, Mo.  --- If you’re headed to the theater, but you’re not sure which film to buy tickets for checkout what FOX 4 film critics Shawn Edwards and Russ Simmons had to say about each of this week’s releases.

1) FANTASTIC FOUR (PG-13)

20th Century Fox

RUSS

After only 7 years, Hollywood thinks it’s time for a "Fantastic Four" reboot. Marvel's all-new origin story has been adapted from the 2004 “Ultimate Fantastic Four” comic book series. Maybe they should have left well enough alone.

SHAWN

I'm sorry but the Marvel logo should be stripped from this movie. I know it's based on a Marvel comic book series but the production value and overall execution of the "Fantastic 4" is so poor it misrepresents what the Marvel brand has recently established with its latest string of movies. There is stuff on the Syfy Channel better than this dud.

RUSS

The cast and effects are good, but the movie is all setup and no pay-off.

SHAWN

Child please! The cast isn't any good and completely miscast and the effects look horribly last century. There is no action. No plot. And no fun. This has to be one of the worst cmic book movies ever made. I'd rather watch "Catwoman" again and you know how bad that movie was.

RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 0 Popcorn Bags

 

2) THE GIFT (R)

STX

RUSS

Actor Joel Edgerton wrote, produced, directed and stars in “The Gift,” a creepy psychological thriller about a man who stalks a former high school acquaintance and his wife, played by Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall.

SHAWN

Who knew Joel Edgerton had skills behind the the camera? "The Gift" is one of the most surprising movies of the summer. It's actually good. Really good. It's suspenseful. Never stupid. And very entertaining.

RUSS

It never quite achieves the level of Hitchcockian chills it’s aiming for, but “The Gift” is a subversive and sharply realized drama.

SHAWN

No it it never quite achieves that sort of level but how many movies actually do? What "The Gift" is a solid modern drama that offers adults a late summer escape from all the dumbness that has polluted the season.

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

 

3) SHAUN THE SHEEP (PG)
Studio Canal

“Shaun the Sheep” is a beautifully animated stop-motion feature based on the TV series. There’s virtually no dialogue in this story of a sheep’s adventure in the big city, so it’s as close to a silent film as anything you’re likely to see. Like Shaun himself, it’s a charmingly light bit of fluff.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: DID NOT SCREEN

 

4) IRRATIONAL MAN (R)

Sony Pictures Classics

RUSS

Woody Allen returns to themes he's handled better in previous movies. “Irrational Man” is a brooding drama about existential moral angst and an older man-younger woman romance. Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone are terrific and the saving grace of this smart but irrational movie.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: DID NOT SCREEN

Also opening this week, home girl Gillian Flynn’s novel “Dark Places,” about a murder on a Kansas farm, gets the big screen treatment starring Charlize Theron. “Boulevard” is a drama about a man who comes out of the closet late in life. It’s the final screen appearance for Robin Williams. Meryl Streep stars as a washed up rock star in “Ricki and the Flash.”

 

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