Screening Room reviews for: Catching Fire, Delivery Man, Dallas Buyers Club

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KANSAS CITY, Mo ---

1) THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE (PG-13)

Lionsgate

RUSS
Hungerheads...or, should I say, Tributes...the wait is over.

SHAWN
And no need to call the fire department. Just let this one burn.

RUSS
Katniss Everdeen is back for another round of futuristic gladiator combat in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” Fans of the books and original movie should enjoy this beautifully produced action flick that is actually a notch above the first installment.

SHAWN
A couple of notches actually. "Catching Fire" is spectacular and completely sizzles.

RUSS
Jennifer Lawrence carries the franchise with a fierce and confident performance that more than makes up for the movie’s sometimes sluggish pace. The combat may not be over, but Lawrence is the clear winner.

SHAWN
Yes, Jennifer Lawrence's commanding presence proves that  she's a major star. Not so much sluggish but nicely setup to deliver the 'wow' and how.

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

2) DELIVERY MAN (PG-13)
Walt Disney

RUSS
Vince Vaughn stars in the genial comedy, “Delivery Man,” a remake of the 2011 Canadian movie, “Starbuck.” Vaughn plays a middle-aged slacker who discovers that, as a sperm donor, he’s fathered over 500 kids…and they’re suing the fertility clinic to learn their dad’s identity.

SHAWN
"Delivery Man" is overly sweet and almost painfully generic.

RUSS
Vaughn is likable and Chris Pratt gives a memorably funny performance has his bush-league lawyer. It doesn’t all work, but “Delivery Man” is a sweet-natured flick that abandons modern cynicism in favor of old-fashioned sentiment.

SHAWN
True, but perhaps harmless to a fault as Vince Vaughn continues to rack up dollars just being Vince Vaughn.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWM: 2 Popcorn Bags

3) DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (R)
Focus Features

RUSS
Strong performances by Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto give a big boost to “Dallas Buyers Club,” a true story about the early days of the AIDS crisis.

SHAWN
The fascinating first half had me riveted. The second half felt like a late-night infomercial.

RUSS
Gritty and sometimes profane, “Dallas Buyers Club” is a realistic look at a difficult chapter in our recent history. It’s conclusion is abrupt, but expect Oscar nominations for McConaughey and Leto for their skillful turns as AIDS victims.

SHAWN
No, McConaughey and Leto are super good.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

ALSO OPENING THIS WEEK: Daniel Radcliff leaves Harry Potter far behind in "Kill Your Darlings," a biopic that deals with the early years of Beat poet, Allen Ginsberg.

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