Is “Anomalisa” an anomaly? Is “Mojave” barren? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- FOX 4's film critics, Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards, say the latest installment of films are a bit strange.  Watch the video above to find out if they thought "Anomalisa" and "Mojave" were worth their time.

1) ANOMALISA (R)

Starburns Industries

 

RUSS

Bizarre, original, thought provoking and unnerving, “Anomalisa” is yet another oddball tale from the spotty mind of Charlie Kaufman, Oscar-winning screenwriter of “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

 

SHAWN

Talk about a pretentious bore. Sure I appreciate the wonder stop-motion animation and the skill it took to pull it all off. But the story and dialogue left me cold. Not really trying to watch an animated feature to beat over the head with annoying philosophical melancholy dribble. I pass.

 

RUSS

“Anomalisa” is an R-rated stop-motion animated drama about a lonely businessman, voiced by David Thewlis, whose life has become one of droning, depressing sameness. But on one trip, he meets and has a brief affair with an unusual looking girl, voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh. For a moment, his world is changed. While certainly not for everyone, the Oscar nominated “Anomalisa” is a welcome relief from the sameness of Hollywood’s mainstream offerings.

 

SHAWN

Can appreciate originality but "Anamolisa" was painfully weird. Charlie Kauffman is brilliant but sometimes you can be too smart for your own good.

 

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 1 Popcorn Bag

 

2) MOJAVE (R)

Atlas Independent

 

RUSS

William Monahan, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “The Departed,” steps behind the camera for “Mojave,” a bizarre revenge flick about a movie director who makes the mistake of crossing a psycho killer in the desert. Garrett Hedlund plays the angst-ridden auteur and Oscar Isaac is the wacko wandering the wasteland…or is he just a figment of Garrett’s imagination?

 

SHAWN

Here we go with more weirdness. Not exactly sure what was going on or if I even cared.

 

RUSS

The dialogue is chock full of hyperbole and grandiloquent philosophizing. Mark Wahlberg shows up as a sleazeball Hollywood producer, which gives some credence to the theory that “Mojave” is Monahan’s pompous poke in the eye of the Hollywood system.

 

SHAWN

The dialogue was actually the most interesting element of the movie.

 

RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags

 

3) DOUGH (N/R)

Menemsha Films

 

SHAWN

The 17th annual Kansas City Jewish Film Festival kicks of Saturday, January 23rd at the Kansas City Jewish community Center's White Theatre. The festival runs through February 17th. The highlights include the film you are watching "Dough." "Blind Love" kicks things off tomorrow and on February 17th the festival presents a short film showcase featuring eight up and coming Jewish filmmakers.

 

ALSO OPENING THIS WEEKEND:

-"The 5th Wave" (PG-13) is yet another alien invasion flick.  Chloe Grace Moretz stars.

-"Dirty Grandpa" (R) is a raunchy spring break comedy starring Zac Efron and Robert Di Niro.

-"Theeb" (Unrated) is a nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. It's about a Bedouin boy who serves as a guide for some Brits during WWI.

-"The Boy" (PG-13) is a British horror flick about a couple that hires a nanny for their 8-year-old son...who is actually a doll.

 

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Follow on Twitter: @fox4kc @RussSimmons1 @sedwardskc