Does “Annihilation” kill? Does “Game Night” score? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Oscar-winner Natalie Portman joins forces with the director of "Ex Machina" and Jason Bateman returns with another R-rated comedy. Shawn and Russ let us know if there are any tasty kernels in the popcorn bags!

 

1) ANNIHILATION (R)

RUSS

The new sci-fi opus "Annihilation" plays like a cerebral blend of "Arrival" and "The Thing." Natalie Portman stars in this creepy tale of a group of female scientist-soldiers who enter a slowly expanding zone inhabited by an alien force.

SHAWN

“Annihilation” is a smart and intelligent movie. It’s super ambitious and maybe a bit tedious. The movie requires patience and at times gets a bit too showy.

RUSS

While it's thought-provoking and involving, this ambiguous story is never quite as gripping as it could have been. It's a near miss.

SHAWN

I loved Natalie Portman bit as you said it never quite fully grabbed me. True sci-if fans will appreciate it more. It’s directed by the director who delivered the fantastic “Ex Machina” however, “Annihilation” doesn’t quite measure up to that near masterpiece.

 

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

 

2) GAME NIGHT (R)

New Line Cinema

RUSS

Pulling off a screwball comedy is as difficult as pulling out the last block in Jenga. There’s always a good chance the whole thing will come toppling down. The goofy R-rated farce “Game Night” somehow remains standing even though it’s not the most stable of structures.

SHAWN

“Game Night” starts off with a bang. It really is a fantastic premise and the movie is funny. Arguably it’s stronger in the beginning but it never runs out of steam but nearly loses focus.

RUSS

Jason Bateman and especially Rachel McAdams show sharp comic timing and likability. While it never quite reaches the raucous heights it aims for, “Game Night” is a fitfully funny farce that scores enough points to win some dark laughs.

SHAWN

Yes, “Game Night” is never not enjoyable and the ensemble cast is fantastic. It’s a fun movie that’s completely entertaining.

 

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

 

ALSO OPENING THIS WEEK:  “Are We Not Cats” is an oddball indie horror romance about a woman who compulsively eats her own hair. “The Lodgers” is a gothic horror flick set in 1920 rural Ireland. “Nostalgia” involves interconnecting stories about love and loss. Jon Hamm, Ellen Burstyn and Catherine Keener are among the cast members. "Every Day" is a romantic drama based on the young adult novel.

 

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Follow on Twitter: @fox4kc @RussSimmons1 @sedwardskc

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