KANSAS CITY, Mo--- Russ and Shawn review John Wick, St. Vincent, Dear White People, The Sublime and the Beautiful.
1) JOHN WICK (R)
If you want your movie to be packed with action, why not have a stuntman direct it? That’s was what Keanu Reeves’ decided when he got the script for “John Wick,” a brutally violent R-rated shoot-‘em-up about a retired hit man drawn back into the game by Russian mobsters who've wronged him.
Chad Stahelski, Reeves’ stunt double on the “Matrix” trilogy, piles on endless scenes of highly choreographed mayhem and delivers them at a very brisk pace. There really isn't a believeable moment in this cartoonish revenge flick, but for action fans, “John Wick” is a decadent guilty pleasure.
Shawn says, "Keanu is the best he's been since 'The Matrix.' Directed with skill by Keanu's 'Matrix' stunt double, 'John Wick' is an action delight despite the paper thin storyline.
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags
2) ST. VINCENT (PG-13)
The Weinstein Company
Bill Murray is an unlikely candidate for beatification in the sentimental comic drama, “St. Vincent.” Murray plays a hard drinking curmudgeon whose cold demeanor is melted by his grudging friendship with his new 12-year-old next-door neighbor. Murray is solid and the likable supporting cast includes Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts and newcomer Jaeden Lieberher. It’s very sweet, very well acted...and somewhat forgettable.
Shawn says, "It's a humorless bore."
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags
3) DEAR WHITE PEOPLE (R)
"Dear White People" is a social satire that looks at racial conflicts on a fictional Ivy League campus.
Shawn says, "It's loaded contradictions. Less a movie and more a series of rants. Spike Lee did this type of thing so much better 20 years ago."
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags
4) THE SUBLIME AND THE BEAUTIFUL (Not rated)
Candy Factory Distribution
“The Sublime and the Beautiful” is a dark and brooding drama shot in Lawrence, Kansas, starring, written and directed by Blake Robbins. It deals with a college professor who is brought to the breaking point when a devastating tragedy hits his family. This intelligent examination of grief and its consequences is presented by a skilled group of actors and provides Robbins with a showcase for his subtle acting. But, while truthful and observant, “The Sublime and the Beautiful” is a one-note drama that's oppressively sad and gloomy.
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
Also opening this week, “Rudderless” is a musical drama written by former KC resident Casey Twenter. Billy Crudup stars in William H. Macy’s directorial debut. “23 Blast” is a true story about a blind high school football player. Stephen Lang stars. “Dear White People” is a comic drama about race relations on an Ivy League campus. “Ouija” is a low budget horror entry from Hasbro about spirits awakened by the classic board game.
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