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Screening Room: “Son of God,” “Non-Stop,” “The Wind Rises”

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1. SON OF GOD (PG-13)
20th Century Fox

RUSS
"Son of God” is a feature film about the life of Christ that’s been distilled from footage from the recent hit TV mini-series, “The Bible". Although reverent and well-intentioned, it will likely receive some criticism from Biblical purists. Also, it has edited out footage of Satan because the actor who portrayed the Prince of Darkness in the TV series looked a bit too much like President Obama.

SHAWN
I remember that. That was a huge controversy.

RUSS
Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado gives an affecting performance as Jesus and the film establishes a devout tone. But the greatest story ever told has been told much better in a number of previous films. “The Son of God” is dutiful, but uninspired.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: Did Not Screen

2. NON-STOP (PG-13)
Universal Pictures

SHAWN
Liam Neeson isn't the savior but he be saving people. This time they are all aboard a plane in "Non-Stop." Just don't understand. If you are a bad guy and see Liam Neeson on the plane why don't you cancel your terror plot? He's gonna stop you, get his daughter back, fight off a pack of wolves. But Liam does what Liam does and he delivers in "Non-Stop" which never takes flight but gets you to your destination.

RUSS: Did not screen
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

3. THE WIND RISES (PG-13)
Walt Disney Pictures

RUSS
Famed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s latest and perhaps last work, “The Wind Rises,” is a beautifully rendered, old school, hand drawn work that’s a nominee for this year’s Oscar for Best Animated Feature. It tells the fictionalized story of a real-life Japanese man who designed aircraft for the Imperial Empire.

SHAWN
Yes, the animation is brilliant but overall this is an experience strictly for hardcore film geeks.

RUSS
"The Wind Rises” is a bit slow-moving and over long, so it’s really not a cartoon for kids, but it’s an impressive showcase of visual storytelling by a master of the craft.

SHAWN
It's not for kids at all. Or many other people.

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

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