Screening Room: “Rush,” “Baggage Claim,” “Don Jon, ” “Enough Said,” “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2”

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KANSAS CITY, Mo ---

1. RUSH
R
Universal

RUSS
Director Ron Howard brings his slick, workmanlike style to “Rush,” an engaging action flick about the fierce rivalry between 70s-era Formula One race drivers James Hunt, played by Chris Hemsworth, and Niki Lauda, played by Daniel Brühl.

SHAWN
Pretty cast. Exciting story. All in the hands of a gifted filmmaker. But it is terribly clichéd and about a sport that admitly few in these parts care about.

RUSS
While formulaic, “Rush” manages to add some considerable horsepower to a predictable story.

SHAWN
It is straight forward which is its biggest flaw but it is an engaging watch. Strong but not great.

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

2. BAGGAGE CLAIM
PG-13
Fox Searchlight

SHAWN
Who knew Tyler Perry opened a film school. Apparently "Baggage Claim" director David E. Talbert did. And he must of graduated with honors.

RUSS
A terrific, appealing cast is completely thwarted by a trite script in “Baggage Claim,” a romantic comedy that feels like it crash-landed out of a 50s time warp.

SHAWN
"Baggage Claim" is very Doris Day urban. A flight attendant is looking for love and flies all over looking for it. Simple premise. Easy fun.

RUSS
The movie’s tired and clichéd moments prevent it from ever taking off.

RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

3. DON JON
R
Relativity

RUSS
Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a young man with an addiction to porn and an inability to connect emotionally with a woman in the comedy, "Don Jon."

SHAWN
It's actually also written and directed by JGL. The humor is dark, social commentary sharp and execution almost brilliant.

RUSS
Although it comes close to becoming the porn it’s supposedly criticizing, Gordon-Levitt shows a lot of promise in his debut as writer/director.

SHAWN
Daring. And a scorching examination on love and relationships.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

4) ENOUGH SAID
R
Fox Searchlight

RUSS
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini star in “Enough Said,” a middle-age romantic comedy from filmmaker Nicole Holofcener. It's an example of admirable parts that don’t quite add up to a completely satisfying whole.

SHAWN
"Enough Said" is satisfying enough. The two leads are charming and the story is refreshing.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

5. CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2
PG
Columbia

SHAWN
Did you see the first movie? OK. Ditto....

RUSS: Did Not Screen
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

Also opening this week: “Cutie and the Boxer” is a documentary about an elderly New York couple Ushio and Noriko Shinohara, both noted artists. And the Kansas International Film Festival runs October 4th through the 10th at the Glenwood Arts Theatre in Overland Park. Information is available at kansasfilm.com.

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