Popcorn Bag movie reviews: Fist Fight, The Great Wall and A Cure for Wellness

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Is "Fist Fight" a champ? "The Great Wall" great? "A Cure for Wellness" sickening? Popcorn Bag movie reviews! FOX 4's Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards share their thoughts.

1) FIST FIGHT (R)

Warner Brothers

RUSS

Yet again, Hollywood mistakes vulgarity for wit. Charlie Day and Ice Cube star in “Fist Fight,” an R-rated comedy about a wimpy teacher challenged to an after school brawl by a testy fellow educator.

SHAWN

Nothing worst than a non-funny and exhausting comedy. About the most pointless exercise in life. Charlie Day is typically funny and Ice Cube is usually entertaining. Not the case with "Fist Fight."

RUSS

This mean-spirited vehicle manages to pummel a few crass laughs from the audience, but it may make you want to punch the screenwriters.

SHAWN

No need for violence. Just skip this one.

RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags

 

2) THE GREAT WALL (PG-13)

Universal

RUSS

The great Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou tries his hand at an English-language, Hollywood-style spectacle, complete with hoards of monsters and an American star, Matt Damon.  The visuals are spectacular, but this fantasy action movie lacks the depth of most of Zhang Yimou's work.

SHAWN

"The Great Wall" just isn't designed for American consumption. Yes, visually stunning. But plays like live action anime. Matt Damon is the star but his role could have literally been played by anyone.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

 

 

3) A CURE FOR WELLNESS (R)

20th Century Fox

RUSS

Style over substance isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But in the case of the gothic horror flick “A Cure for Wellness,” the style chokes out any substance. Filmmaker Gore Verbinski, best known for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, allows the visual razzle-dazzle to overwhelm an interesting premise and a strong cast.

SHAWN

I disagree.  I thought the showiness worked. Not really a horror movie but effectively creepy and just thrilling enough to cause more than a few goose bumps.

RUSS

Dane DeHann is a business executive who travels to a creepy health resort in the Swiss Alps to bring back his vacationing boss, but winds up a patient instead. Overlong and overblown, “A Cure for Wellness” is too bloated to be campy fun.

SHAWN

No, it's fun and visually interesting. Think "The Shining" but not nearly as good.

RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

 

4) TONI ERDMANN (R)

Sony Pictures Classics

RUSS

“Toni Erdmann” is an Oscar-nominated black comedy from Germany about a man who creates a fake persona to worm his way back into the life of his estranged daughter, an ambitious corporate type. It’s brilliant in a number of ways, but its deliberate pace, considerable length and frank sexuality may be off-putting to many viewers.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

 

5) NERUDA (R)

Participant Media/The Orchard

RUSS

“Neruda” is a Chilean film about a policeman, played by Gael Garcia Bernal, who pursues the titular Communist poet who went into hiding in the 1940s to escape persecution by Chile’s right wing government. Beautifully shot and produced, Pablo Larrain’s film isn’t so much about the title character as it is a poetic view of obsession.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

 

ALSO OPENING THIS WEEK:

-The Tivoli is once again presenting this year's Oscar-nominated shorts. There are two separate programs, one of the animated nominees and one for the live action entries.

-"Sex Doll" is a drama about a London call girl who gets into trouble with an enigmatic stranger.

-"Dark Night" is a thriller about a movie theater massacre along the lines of the Aurora, Colorado incident.

"Like" Fox 4 Screening Room on Facebook!

Click here to receive weekly emails full of FOX 4′s entertainment news!

What’s our criteria for reviewing a film and awarding the popcorn bag ratings? Click here to find out.

Follow on Twitter: @fox4kc @RussSimmons1 @sedwardskc

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.