Is ‘Battle of the Sexes’ matchless? ‘American Made,’ ‘Flatliners’ and ‘Different Flowers’ watchable?

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Game, set, match for the Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs movie? Check out Shawn and Russ as they break down this week's movie releases!
Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

Fox Searchlight Pictures
One the most watched sporting events of all time is celebrated in the crowd-pleasing comic drama, “The Battle of the Sexes.” Emma Stone and Steve Carell star as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, who, in 1973, faced off on the tennis court in a battle with significant social implications.
"Battle if the Sexes" is much more than a movie about tennis. It crackles 70s authenticity as it explores issues like women's liberation and sexual choice. Academy Award winner Emma Stone is fantastic as tennis legend Billie Jean King and Steve Carroll is brilliant as ex-tennis star Bobby Riggs.
The stars are appealing even if the movie is a little unfocused. “The Battle of the Sexes” doesn’t ace the story, but it’s a match worth approaching.
Yes, I wish the movie were more focused and he story more developed. Nonetheless, Emma Stone could go back to back and "Battle of the Sexes" is one heck of an entertaining smash.
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcirn Bags
“American Made” tells an astonishing true story in a sly, decadent way. Tom Cruise is solid as a former TWA pilot who, in the 1980s, was recruited by the CIA to do aerial surveillance in Central America, only to become involved in drug smuggling, gun running and government corruption.
"American Made" is 100% thrilling. Tom Cruise is at his absolute best. Like "Scarface" "Goodfellas" or "Narcos?" Then you will love "American Made" the biggest surprise this year.
The movie revels in its moral ambiguity, forcing us to root for Tom even though we know he’s an utter reprobate.
The movie does a fantastic job of staying a step ahead of the viewer. And Tom Cruise chews up scenes like a lawn mower after you have returned from summer vacation. It's something about when he puts on those aviators and jumps in a plane.
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 5 Popcorn Bags
All I can say is that this film owes the original movie a huge apology. Easily one of the worst movies of the year.
RUSS: Did Not Screen
SHAWN: 0 Popcorn Bags
Different Flowers
“Different Flowers” is a likeable, low-key comic drama shot largely in the KC area, written and directed by KC native Morgan Dameron. Emma Bell and Hope Lauren are very engaging as sisters who take off on a wild road trip after one of them gets cold feet on her wedding day.
"Different Flowers" demonstrates that someday filmmaker Morgan Dameron may be great. Today just isn't that day. I got the sense that underneath what we were watching was a much more compelling story.
It’s a breezy, warm-hearted lark.
The lack of potency hurts. I needed a reason to care. Even more of a reason to watch.
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags
ALSO OPENING THIS WEEK:  “A Question of Faith” is a faith-based drama starring Richard T. Jones.  “The Unknown Girl” is a French drama about a doctor who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to a woman who died shortly after ringing her doorbell. “Polina” is yet another French drama involving the world of international dance. “The Fencer” is a Russian drama set in the 50s revolving around a teacher in Leningrad and his fencing students. “Welcome to Willits” is a sci-fi horror comedy. “Red Christmas” is yet another horror thriller starring KCK’s own Dee Wallace.

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