Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar" is a marginal biopic.
It's only somewhat historically accurate and marginally entertaining.
It's a gloomy melodrama that doesn't push enough controversial buttons as it tells the story of this controversial figure in American history.
J. Edgar Hoover was an enigma. After watching Clint Eastwood's movie about the FBI kingpin, he remains one.
"J. Edgar" is a sincere, beautifully produced biopic about America's #1 G-Man, and Leonardo DiCaprio gives a solid performance in spite of being miscast.
But sadly, "J. Edgar" is a turgid, awkwardly edited and ultimately unsatisfying look at a fascinating figure.
Thankfully "J. Edgar" features some wonderful performances beginning with Armie Hammer, last seen in "The Social Network."
Hammer as Clyde Tolson, Hoover's confidant, is wonderful and really the only actor of the bunch to demonstrate emotion through all of the heavy make-up and heavy latex.
Leonardo DiCaprio is cool but doesn't exactly deliver a sure shot Oscar-winning performance.
The movie's choppy structure never allows it to gain any dramatic momentum, and the filmmakers seem to want to have it both ways in regards to Hoover's character and impact....good and bad.
Overall, "J. Edgar" doesn't sting enough. You also don't learn enough new elements and it all seems pretty lifeless. Not a good thing for a movie about a dude that totally lived an interesting life.
While it has considerable merits, "J. Edgar" is, in the final analysis, one of Eastwood's rare missteps.
RUSS: 3 out of 5 Popcorn Bags; Shawn: 3 out of 5 Popcorn Bags.
MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE
"Martha Marcy May Marlene" is a trippy and bizarre film propelled by an incredible star making performance by Elizabeth Olsen, younger sister of the Olsen Twins.
She's terrific and deserves an Oscar nomination.
The movie needs a re-write or at the very least requires multiple viewings.
This low budget arthouse flick about a girl who escapes from a Charles Manson-style cult is very intriguing, but it's also unnerving and frustrating. Plus, it's saddled with one of those endings that will either be seen as chilling or as an anticlimactic cop out.
Count me in the later category.
Russ: 2 out of 5 Popcorn Bags; Shawn: 2 out of 5 Popcorn Bags
JACK AND JILL
Adam Sandler's "Jack and Jill" is one of the worst movies I've seen during my professional career.
It's beyond awful.
"Jack and Jill" is Guinness book bad. This is easily the worst Adam Sandler movie ever. Sorry "Little Nicky." Adam Sandler delivers the worst performance in drag ever. Sorry Wesley Snipes. "Jack and Jill" is the most unfunny comedy ever. Sorry "Freddy Got Fingered."
Al Pacino in a horrifying cameo (I hear there is a campaign to take his Oscar back) delivers a line about a faux TV commercial.m He says, "No one should ever see this." Agreed. But I'm talking about "Jack and Jill."
SHAWN: 0 out of 5 Popcorn Bags
Stop thinking "300." "Immortals" stands on it's own and is one of the most exciting movies of the year.
It's a stylistic, eye-popping and jaw dropping exhilarating experience that will blow you away with its cinematic swagger and sheer brilliance.
And Mickey Rourke as the bad guy king is fun to watch.
SHAWN: 3 out of 5 Popcorn Bags
Also in theatres this week, "Weekend" is a gay drama and "Nuremberg" is a 1948 German documentary about the famous post-WWII Nazi trials. It's been restored and updated. Co-producer Sandra Schulberg, will be attending all shows Friday and Saturday. Question-and Answer sessions will follow the screenings on November 11th and 12th at the Glenwood Arts Theatre in Overland Park.