Does “The Hobbit” come up short? “Into the Woods” overgrown? “Unbroken” solid? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

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KANSAS CITY, Mo ---

 

1) THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES (PG-13)

Warner Brothers

 

RUSS

After 13 years, Peter Jackson’s six-film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein’s Middle Earth saga finally reaches its rousing 3-D finale. “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” displays all of the weaknesses of the previous films, like narrative padding, and strengths, notably the top-drawer eye candy and perpetual action. Taken as a whole, Jackson’s epic series is an imposing achievement.
SHAWN: Tremendously entertaining. Epic battle scenes combined with a sweeping story make for a jolly three hours.

 

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

 

2) INTO THE WOODS (PG)

Walt Disney Pictures

 

RUSS

Disney's beautifully produced version of Stephen Sondheim's Broadway musical that turned classic fairy tales on their ears is dark and off-putting. It's really not for kids, so it's no family film.

 

Shawn says: A complete mess. Weirdly executed and horribly acted. Better left on the stage.

 

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags

 

3) UNBROKEN (PG-13)

Universal

 

RUSS

The amazing and harrowing true story of Olympian and WWII hero Lou Zamperini is lovingly directed by Angelina Jolie. While conventional, it's a fitting tribute to a man with real fortitude.

 

SHAWN says: A moving story that felt a bit incomplete. Nonetheless, it’s powerful and haunting.

 

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

 

4) SONG ONE (PG-13)

Film Arcade

 

RUSS:

“Song One” is a modest romantic soap opera with a low-budget indie feel. Anne Hathaway stars in a morose story set in the world of New York's contemporary folk rock scene. Hathaway is fine, but her love interest, played by Johnny Flynn, is so low key that he barely registers. The somber music sets an appropriately melancholy tone for this sincere, but slow moving drama.

 

SHAWN says:  Undercooked and forced.

 

RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags

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