KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In the heat of summer, sometimes the best relief on a hot day is hitting the theater to check out Hollywood's hottest titles. FOX 4's Russ Simmons has everything you need to know about "Independence Day: Resurgence" and "Free State of Jones" if you plan to head to the theater over the weekend.
INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE (PG-13)
20th Century Fox
“Independence Day: Resurgence” is a sequel to Will Smith’s 1996 hit sci-fi epic. Although the aliens have returned, Will Smith has not. Will made the right call. Director Roland Emmerich is known as the 'Master of Disaster' and the eye candy on display bears that out. But he's certainly not known as the 'Master of Storytelling.' This muddled mess took five adults to write it, but it sounds like the work of a single 13-year-old. The action is mind-numbing and the dialogue is cornier than Kansas in August. But if all you're looking for is spectacle, grab your popcorn.
Shawn says: Love the movie but can't officially review because I worked on the film. I had a small part that unfortunately got cut. Hooray for Hollywood!
RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: No Official Review
2) FREE STATE OF JONES (R)
Ever seen a movie that should have been great but just missed the mark? Such is the case with “Free State of Jones,” an earnest and well-meaning Civil War drama undone by a jagged structure that prevents it from being the gripping experience it should have been. Matthew McConaughey and company are fine in this historical tale, but it becomes a bit preachy and lacks a satisfying dramatic arc. Still, it’s an important, untold story that deserves to be seen by anyone seeking a better understanding of this critical time in American history.
Shawn says: Matthew McConaughey is terrific in this fabulous historical drama.
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags
ALSO OPENING THIS WEEK:
-"The Shallows" is a thriller starring Blake Lively about a young woman stranded on some rocks after a shark attack.
-"The Phenom" is a baseball drama about a pitcher (Johnny Simmons) who seeks help from a sports psychologist (Paul Giamatti) to help overcome problems with his dad (Ethan Hawke).
-"The Neon Demon" is a horror film from Nicholas Winding Refen starring Elle Fanning and Keanu Reeves. It received both cheers and boos at the Cannes Film Festival.
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What’s our criteria for reviewing a film and awarding the popcorn bag ratings? Click here to find out.