KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Can a classic children's book that's been called "unfilmable" succeed on the big screen? Check out Russ and Shawn before you give "A Wrinkle in Time" your time.
1) A WRINKLE IN TIME (PG)
“A Wrinkle in Time,” the classic, 1962 award-winning science fantasy novel has finally made it to the big screen. Director Ava DuVernay’s $103 million adaptation is colorful, well-meaning and, ultimately, bland.
Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling play the astral travelers who help a troubled 13-year-old, played by Storm Reid, search for her astrophysicist father who’s being held by an evil force on a distant planet.
The production values are solid and the cast, which also includes Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha Raw and Zack Galifinakis, is appealing. But the story’s moral themes are skimmed over and the film never makes a strong emotional connection. “A Wrinkle in Time” has its heart in the right place, but its head is in the clouds.
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
2) A FANTASTIC WOMAN (R)
Sony Pictures Classics
The Chilean film “A Fantastic Woman” is the winner of this year’s Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Daniela Vega plays a trans woman who faces turmoil upon the sudden death of her boyfriend. This beautifully acted and moving film effectively generates empathy while tackling the thorny issues of tolerance and inclusion.
Shawn says “’A Fantastic Woman’ is passionate and moving, expressive and daring.”
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags
3) BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY (Not rated)
Hedy Lamarr was a glamorous Hollywood star of the 1930s and 40s, probably best known for the classic biblical epic, “Samson and Delilah.” Often cited as the world’s most beautiful woman, she kept a strange secret. She was also a brilliant scientist and inventor. The intriguing documentary “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” shows how she developed frequency-hopping technology during WWII, a method that makes GPS, wi-fi, bluetooth and cell phones possible today. If this story weren’t true, you’d never believe it.
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
Also opening this week, “Gringo” is a dark action comedy about drugs south of the border. David Oyelowo and Charlize Theron star. “The Strangers: Prey at Night” is a sequel to the slasher flick from 2008. “The Cured” is a horror flick about the tough reintegration into society by zombies who’ve been cured. “The Party” is a social satire from filmmaker Sally Potter about a gathering of friends where thing go badly. “Thoroughbreds” is a suspense drama about friends from differing social strata who plot a crime.
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