Does “Birdman” soar? “The Interview” worth the hype? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

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1) THE INTERVIEW (R)

Sony Pictures

RUSS

The most controversial movie in recent memory nearly never made it to the screen...and that would have been a loss to no one. The comedy about two idiots trying to assassinate the leader of North Korea is now available on DVD. "The Interview" isn't bad because it's in gleefully bad taste. it's bad because it isn't very funny. If you want to see a funny political satire about North Korea that is in terrible taste, try "Team America" instead.

SHAWN says, " 'The Interview' is a juvenile grab bag of unfunny jokes."

RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 0 Popcorn Bags

2) BIRDMAN (R)

Fox Searchlight

RUSS

Funny, profane and arty…perhaps to a fault…the pitch black comedy “Birdman” may be the most original and imaginative movie of the year. It's earned its multiple Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, for Keaton’s magnetic performance, as well as for the spot-on work of director Alejandro González Iñárritu. It's understandable that many viewers will utterly hate this bawdy and bleak backstage satire, but there’s no denying its cinematic virtuosity. In that respect, “Birdman” soars.

SHAWN: "Technically genius but often too over the top."

RUSS: 5 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

3) THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING (PG-13)

Focus Features

RUSS

The heartfelt drama “The Theory of Everything” is a biopic that focuses on physicist Stephen Hawking’s romance with Cambridge coed Jane Wilde, their courtship and his struggle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones give terrific performances that provide the backbone for this touching romance. Smart and involving, “The Theory of Everything” proves it’s worth.

SHAWN says, "Eddie Redmayne's performance is incredible and the best thing about this otherwise average movie."

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

4) ST. VINCENT (PG-13)

The Weinstein Company

RUSS

Bill Murray is an unlikely candidate for beatification in the sentimental comic drama, “St. Vincent.” Murray plays a hard-drinking curmudgeon whose cold demeanor is melted by his grudging friendship with his new 12-year-old next-door neighbor. It’s very sweet, very well acted...and somewhat forgettable.

SHAWN says, "The quirkiness is so forced it flattens the joy."

RUSS : 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags

5) DUMB AND DUMBER TO (PG-13)

Universal Pictures

RUSS

So, has the gross-out humor of "Dumb and Dumber" mellowed after 20 years? No, with "Dumb and Dumber To," it's just gotten dumber. Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels return as two of the cinemas most successful simpletons, but they flounder this time out.  "Dumb and Dumber To" is full of gags that may make you gag.

SHAWN say, "Everything about this movie reeks of desperation."

RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 0 Popcorn Bags

6) THE HOMESMAN (R)

Roadside Attractions

RUSS:

An alternate title for the bleak Western "The Homesman" could be, "Little Insane Asylum on the Prairie." Hillary Swank and Tommy Lee Jones give fine performances in this dire look at the Old West that paints a picture of the 1850s heartland as a living nightmare.

While the movie's tone is all over the place, “The Homesman” serves as a fitting salute to the hardy folks that inhabited the early American frontier.

SHAWN says, "It's well made but uneventful."

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

 

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