KANSAS CITY, Mo — It’s time to hit the theater again! Find out what Russ Simmons has to say about “Mission: Impossible 5” and “Vacation” and whether they live up to their expectations.
1) MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION (PG-13)
Tom Cruise goes back to the well for a fifth time with yet another “Mission: Impossible” movie. Making it worth seeing should be, well…impossible. But, by golly, the IMF has done it again.
“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” is an entertaining action adventure that delivers all of the over-the-top espionage exploits we’ve come to expect. Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie, best known for his Oscar-winning screenplay for “The Usual Suspects,” delivers a fast-paced thrill ride.
The plot is inconsequential. There are good guys trying to keep world order and bad guys trying to end it. Just go with the flow, and you’ll probably find it’s impossible to dislike.
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
2) VACATION (R)
I wish I could say that the reboot of the “Vacation” franchise was impossible to dislike.
It’s been 32 years since Chevy Chase took the Griswold family on their first ill-fated road trip to Wally World. Now Chevy’s adult son, played by Ed Helms, decides to recreate the experience with his family. But the filmmakers, the writers of “Horrible Bosses,” have upped the ante for an audience that’s used to R-rated gross-out humor. The nerdy sweetness of the original films has given way to a cynically raunchy approach.
There are a few genuine laughs to be had, but you have to wade through a lot of doo-doo humor to get to them.
RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags
3) INFINITELY POLAR BEAR (R)
Sony Pictures Classics
Mark Ruffalo’s sharp performance is the main attraction of “Infinitely Polar Bear,” the story of a manic-depressive who tries his best to win back his wife and raise his two daughters after a mental breakdown.
The story is autobiographical for writer/director Maya Forbes, a writer/producer of “The Larry Sanders Show.” Although it’s low-key and episodic, “Infinitely Polar Bear” is a sweet-natured and warm comic drama.
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
4) THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT (R)
In the early 1970s, psychology professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo conducted an ill-fated study on human behavior. He recruited college students to give up their freedom for 14 days to see what it’s like to be incarcerated. Some became guards that some, prisoners. The results have been required reading in psychology textbooks ever since.
In this intriguing dramatization, Billy Crudup plays Zimbardo and a talented crew of young actors brings credibility to the roles of the students.The transformation that took place is fascinating.
“The Standford Prison Experiment” is a chilling and thought-provoking true story.
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
Also opening this week, “A Lego Brickumentary” is a documentary about the world-famous building blocks and the people who are obsessed with them. Jason Bateman narrates.
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