Is “Furious 7” zippy? “Cinderella” the fairest? “Love and Mercy” lovable? Popcorn Bag Home Video reviews!

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. --- Temperatures are cooling off and pools are closed so it's time to catch up on all of the summer flicks you missed. Check out what is available to screen at home this week!

 

1) FURIOUS 7 (PG-13)

Universal

RUSS

Ah, 2001 was a simpler time. It marked the debut of “The Fast and the Furious,” a movie adaptation of a magazine story about LA’s street racing scene. Since then, the subsequent "Furious" movies have evolved into over-the-top, comic book variations of James Bond flicks. It’s best to think of them as science fiction fantasies, because everything that happens in them defies the laws of physics.

The screenplay is terrible, of course, but it doesn’t matter.  Think of any action cliché and then add the phrase, “on steroids.” It’s appropriate that The Rock is one of the “Furious 7” stars, because, like pro wrestling, there isn’t a believable moment in it, but it’s still mindless fun.

Shawn says: “The best of the franchise. An action-packed classic. Implausibly fun, ridiculously entertaining movie with the perfect tribute to Paul Walker that will have you in tears."

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 5 Popcorn Bags

 

2) CINDERELLA (PG)

Walt Disney

RUSS

Unapologetically old-fashioned, Disney's engaging live-action adaptation of “Cinderella” is a sweet-natured, visually dazzling treat for young girls and all the family members who’ll tag along with them.

Lily James is a lovely girl of the cinders and Cate Blanchett, who can do no wrong, is her gloriously toxic stepmother. While the pace occasionally drags, Kenneth Branagh’s sincere version of the classic fairy tale has a lot of heart and humor and the production values are top-notch. It’s hard to dislike a movie whose mantra is, “Have courage and be kind.” Have Kleenex on hand.

SHAWN says almost over-produced to a fault but an entertaining retelling.

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

 

3) LOVE & MERCY (PG-13)

Roadside Attractions

RUSS:

In the biopic "Love & Mercy," the difficult dualities of the life or Brian Wilson make for fascinating cinema. Paul Dano plays the creative force behind The Beach Boys during his youthful creative peak and John Cusack plays him in his later years as he suffers from mental illness and exploitation at the hands of his ruthless psychiatrist, played by Paul Giamatti. The dual stories unfold simultaneously, giving us insight into both Wilson’s genius and his madness.

“Love & Mercy” is a beautifully acted and affecting work.

SHAWN says, “It’s a fantastic biopic cleverly executed with monster performances to match the film's bold genius."

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

 

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