“Mockingjay” a copy cat? “Night at the Museum 3” worth visiting? Home Video Popcorn Bag reviews!

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1. THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 (PG-13)
Lionsgate Films

RUSS
”The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” could also have been titled, “The Setup.” That’s really all it is, a setup for the series finale, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” which will hit theaters next Thanksgiving. The series has been padded out and expanded into two films…and, sadly, the padding shows.

SHAWN
There is actually more padding than a fat suit. And I am actually tired of these movie franchises stretching things out. It's such a cop out and makes for a bland and tiresome experience.

RUSS
This well produced sci-fi opus set in a dystopian future is only for those who’ve seen the first two films. Anyone joining in mid-stream will be hopelessly lost. The greatest strength of the film is the same as before: Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, the reluctant rebel leader, she doesn’t hit a single false note.

SHAWN
Yes, Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence is solid. And is the rest of the cast. Just wish the filmmakers would stick to the script and let things pop off the way they do in the books. All this starting and stopping and pausing and waiting kicks rocks.

RUSS
As Julianne Moore’s character says, “The worst terror in the world is waiting for something to happen.” I guess that means that “Hunger Games” fans will be in terror for a few more months.

SHAWN
True!

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

2. NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB (PG)
20th Century Fox

RUSS
“Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” the third in the comic fantasy series, is yet another visual treat. Ben Stiller and his reanimated exhibit items travel to the British Museum this time out and manage to get into plenty of trouble. Ben Kingsley, Rebel Wilson and “Downton Abby’s” Dan Stevens join in the mayhem.

SHAWN
This premise just never gets old.

RUSS
Clever, imaginative and beautifully produced, “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” is a likable family flick that should appeal to fans of the previous films. It may even get kids to want to visit an actual museum.

SHAWN
Nothing new is added but it is still entertaining and joyful. Loved Rebel Wilson and Robin Williams is hilarious as always. So sad to see him go as there is a fitting and moving scene with him that poignantly concludes this franchise. Watch for it.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

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