Screening Room: “The Host,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation”

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It's NOT a good weekend at the movies if you appreciate good writing and smart dialogue. Call it a dumb, dumber, dumbest weekend.

First we'll start with the dumbest. And Stephanie Meyer's "The Host" is like something Phillip K. Dick wrote then deleted. It's awful. Worst than the worst show on the Sci-Fi Channel. A lethal combo of bad writing, horrible acting and poor directing.
If "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" were re-imagined by a lovesick teenage girl, it might look a lot like "The Host." After scoring big with the “Twilight” series, novelist Stephenie Meyer returned to the bestseller list with this bizarre sci-fi romance. Like “Twilight,” “The Host” has a love triangle, but this time two of the three members of the triangle inhabit the same body!


Stephanie Meyers writes likes she's a naive school girl who has an eternal crush and flunked creative writing class. Sure she got away with her serious lack of talent with the Twilight movies. But not this time.
The likable cast includes Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons and William Hurt, but they’re saddled with some really lame dialogue and awkward moments that generate unintended laughs. “The Host” should appeal to its target audience of teen and pre-teen girls, but others, beware. (PS: Look quick for Evan Cleaver, son of Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver, as Seeker Pavo.)
RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 0 Popcorn Bags
First lets act like the word coherent never existed then proceed. The action is dope though. There are several scenes that flat-out rival anything seen in "Skyfall" or "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol." The movie has a goofy Kung-Fu spirit and comic book swagger elevated by the addition of Bruce Willis and Dwayne "I'll Save Your Franchise" Johnson. Much better than the first. Fun and sort of 3D worthy. Probably won't see anything dumber all year. And bring ear plugs!
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags
Tyler Perry's latest is all Tyler Perry. The poorly directed movie has a soap opera soul with a Christian agenda populated by a beautiful cast. But this may be his best and most entertaining movie to date. Sure there are ridiculous plot turns and dumb dialogue straight from an '80s romance novel with current slang thrown in in an attempt to make it sound current but man will it have you talking afterward. Best if you haven't already seen the play the movie is based on.
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags
Remember, you can see all of our reviews and interviews with Hollywood's biggest stars at While you're there, you can enter to win tickets to see a screening of "Jurassic Park: 3D."

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