Is “Hostiles” heroic? “Maze Runner 3” puzzling? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

KANSAS CITY, Mo --- Can a revisionist Western or the third entry in the "Maze Runner" saga jump start the box office? Find out as Shawn and Russ cover this week's movie offerings!

1) HOSTILES (R)

Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures

RUSS

The clichés and stereotypes that populate most Westerns are upended in “Hostiles,” a brutal, challenging and beautifully filmed drama. Christian Bale leads a terrific cast in the story of a war weary Army captain who, in the late 1800s, reluctantly escorts a group of Cheyenne prisoners on a torturous journey from New Mexico to Wyoming.

SHAWN

“Hostile” is a clear example of a movie slipping under the radar of The Academy. It’s a fantastic movie that’s better than most of the nine movies nominated for Best Picture. Christian Bale is fantastic and Rosamund Pike is fabulous.

RUSS

The movie makes some potent statements about the cycle of violence that permeated US history. But many of the scenes in this ultra-violent and drawn out saga keep hammering home their points long after they’ve been made. While the sentiments presented in “Hostiles” may be way overdue, the drama of “Hostiles” is way overlong.

SHAWN

I did like the fact that actual Native Americans were cast. That added realism is what makes this movie so brilliant. Yes, it’s too long and yes, it’s violent but “Hostile” is the best western since “Unforgiven”

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

 

2) MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE (PG-13)

20th Century Fox

RUSS

And speaking of overlong…the third and supposedly final chapter in the “Maze Runner” saga has finally arrived. “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” completes the dystopian sci-fi story about a bleak future affected by solar flares, disease, zombies and wicked pseudo-governmental agencies. A ragtag group of teens fight for their lives while trying to figure out what’s going on. You’ll have a hard time figuring it out, too, if you haven’t seen the other entries in the series…and maybe even if you have. Loud, busy and exhausting, “The Maze Runner: The Death Cure” probably marks the death of this franchise.

RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags

 

ALSO OPENING THIS WEEK: “The Road Movie” is a documentary composed entirely of car wrecks and other mayhem recorded from Russian dashboard cameras. “Freak Show” is a comic drama about a teenage boy who decides to run for homecoming queen. Trudie Styler, best known as the wife of Sting, produced and directed.

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