KANSAS CITY, Mo —
1) HOT PURSUIT (PG-13)
Reese Witherspoon and Sophia Vergara are much too good to be trapped in the lame-brained chase comedy, “Hot Pursuit.” Witherspoon plays a by-the-book Texas policewoman who tries to protect Vergara, the wife of a Colombian drug informant, from hit men & corrupt cops.
The plot’s contrived mechanics are all too obvious, thwarting any good will generated by the likable stars. There isn’t anything in this obvious farce that we haven’t seen before…and done better. Although the Oscar-winning Witherspoon is obviously slumming here, she has no one to blame but herself. She’s also the film’s executive producer. Pursue your entertainment elsewhere.
RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags
2) UNFRIENDED (R)
In the wide-open age of the Skype, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, paranoia about lack of privacy was bound to emerge. The filmmakers behind the creepy thriller “Unfrinded” cleverly exploit these fears in a truly unique way. They’ve designed a movie that exists only as an extended Internet chat between five teenaged friends that plays out on a single computer screen. An Internet troll breaks in on their conversation…or is the intruder a supernatural being?
Yes, this bargain-basement approach is gimmicky, but it works surprisingly well. One can’t help but think of other innovative cheapies like “The Blair Witch Project” or “Paranormal Activity” when viewing “Unfriended.” And while it’s not quite in the same league as those chillers, you’ve got to give the minds behind “Unfriended” a few likes for originality.
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags
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