Screening Room: “Need for Speed,” “Single Mom’s Club,” “Tim’s Vermeer”

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KANSAS CITY, Mo-- Russ and Shawn review Need for Speed, Single Moms Club and Tim’s Vermeer.


The list of bad movies based on video games is a long one. Remember “Mortal Kombat,” “Super Mario Brothers” or “Max Payne?” The latest into the fray is “Need for Speed,” a mindless and overlong action flick that plays like a demolition derby for beautiful international roadsters.

"Need for Speed" isn't that bad. Not saying it's a classic or even better than average. But it does have some serious car eye candy and sick action.

Aaron Paul of “Breaking Bad” fame leads a cast that’s much too good for this material. But the heck with story, does it have fast cars and exhilarating stunt work? Yes…but the action becomes mind numbing after the first few crashes. The “Fast and the Furious” franchise, an obvious inspiration for this movie, seems almost sophisticated by comparison.

True, but there is a coolness about this movie that can't be denied. Sure it's stupid but it's a fun watch loaded with enough thrills to satisfy action junkees until the next "Fast & Furious" movie.

RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags


Good intentions don't always make good movies. Tyler Perry has come up with a brilliant idea but delivered the worst movie of the year so far. The poorly written and executed "Single Moms Club" is so bad that not even the Coast Guard could save the extremely likable cast from drowning. Most Tyler Perry movies are at the least entertaining. This one is just painful. Tyler Perry's worst to date.

RUSS: Did Not Screen
SHAWN: 0 Popcorn Bags

Sony Pictures Classics

“Tim’s Vermeer” is a movie made by magicians Penn and Teller, but it has nothing to do with magic, at least not in the conventional sense. It’s an intriguing documentary about obsession.
Tim Jenison is an eccentric and wildly successful Texas inventor who became convinced that Dutch master Johannes Vermeer painted his masterworks by using a series of mirrors and lenses to replicate scenes on canvas. Jenison spent years and a boatload of cash in an attempt to replicate one of Vermeer’s masterpieces using this technique. “Tim’s Vermeer” is an odd and oddly affecting movie.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: Did Not Screen

Also opening this week, “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me” is a documentary about the 89-year-old Broadway legend. “Better Living Through Chemistry” is a dark comedy about a small town pharmacist whose life is upended when he begins an affair with a beautiful client. Sam Rockwell and Olivia Wilde co-star. "Repentence" is a drama starring Forest Whitaker. Kristen Bell stars in the big screen adaptation of the TV show Veronica Mars.

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