New movie gets a rare 5 popcorn bags from both FOX 4 reviewers

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- FOX 4's Russ Simmons and Shawn Edwards have seen the new movie "12 Years a Slave" and expect good things for it come Oscar time!

They both highly recommend it with five popcorn bags from both of them. How often does that happen?!

Hear why they liked it so much in the video player above. Then watch Shawn's chat with Michael Fassbender in his weekly Chat with the Stars.

Click here to watch those conversations.

Mark it down! Shawn expects Fassbender to WIN Best Supporting Actor for his performance in this film and the film to be a front runner for Best Picture.


Fox Searchlight



Adapted from the autobiographical book of the same name, “12 Years a Slave” is a powerful drama that serves as both a scathing indictment of human cruelty and as a portrait of individual resilience and dignity. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays a free black man who was kidnapped into slavery in 1841.



"12 Years a Slave" is the most powerful movie I've ever seen. Impossibly moving, deeply unsettling and richly authentic. With a cast loaded with remarkable performances.



Director Steve McQueen has fashioned an important and potent historical epic. If it's not the best movie of the year, it's probably the most important.



Other movies have portrayed the institution of slavery in America, but this is the best film to do it. "12 Years a Slave" is not a soap opera, watered down TV mini-series or a fan boy fantasy. It also has the uniqueness of being told from the perspective of a slave that was once free. And it's one of the first films to dive into all aspects of slavery: emotional, physical, sexual, intellectual and economic. It's as haunting as it is beautiful. At times graphic but also poetic. But it’s done brilliantly and bravely. We need a truck to haul all those Oscars.


RUSS: 5 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 5 Popcorn Bags






Orson Scott Card’s popular 1985 science fiction novel “Ender’s Game” finally gets the big screen treatment. Asa Butterfield plays the brilliant 12-year-old Ender who, in the distant future, trains for battle against invading alien.


I'd rather talk more about Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and newcomer Lupita Nyong'o in "12 Years a Slave" than this too long and over-produced dreary sci-fi bore.


It’s earnest, perhaps to a fault, but there’s plenty of eye candy in this well-produced opus. While modestly entertaining, “Ender’s Game” never quite makes the most of its provocative themes about pacifism and militarism.


"12 Years a Slave" is right up there with  if not better than "Schindler's List." "Ender's Game" isn't as half as good as "After Earth."

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags


3. LAST VEGAS  (PG-13)

CBS Films



Russ this is all you.


Skilled old pros Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline manage to wring laughs and sentiment from a corny script in the geriatric comedy "Last Vegas." It's exactly what you'd expect, but the presence of the seasoned stars makes it work.


Good to know. Just what we need, more mediocrity. Go see something that moves and shocks and provokes and saddens. But above all, will be a major talking point. That's what makes a good movie! And it's called "12 Years a Slave."

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: Did Not Screen



Sony Pictures Classics



The first feature length film to come from Saudi Arabia is a sweet-natured and deceptively simple story about a young girl who wants to own a bike. Trouble is, the Saudi culture frowns upon females riding bikes. Subversive by Saudi standards (cinema is banned), "Wadjda" was written and directed by a woman, Haifaa Al-Mansour.

The film ever so gently comments on the repression of women and, because if its ground-breaking nature, "Wadjda" is a favorite to win an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags



Relativity Media



Goofy and derivative, "Free Birds" is a well-animated 3-D feature that tells the story of some turkeys (voiced by Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson) who travel back in time to try to stop the Pilgrims from having turkey as the featured meal at Thanksgiving.

Some unfortunate and unintended racial stereotyping may make some viewers uncomfortable and the movie, overall, is uninspired. It starts out promisingly but eventually devolves into predictable mayhem.

The beautiful animation and slapstick humor will make the kids happy, but this bird-brained comedy is a family film that won't appeal to the whole family.


RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags



Universal Pictures



Richard Curtis, the mind behind “Love Actually” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” returns with another schmaltzy bit of romantic fluff, “About Time.” Domhnall (Donal) Gleeson plays a young man who learns he has the power of time travel and uses the gift to woo the girl he loves, played by Rachel McAdams. It plays like a mash-up of “Groundhog Day” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” but it’s not nearly as successful as either.


RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags


ALSO OPENING THIS WEEK: "Muscle Shoals" is a documentary about the famous Alabama music studio where everyone from Aretha Franklin to U2 recorded classic albums.



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Follow on Twitter: @fox4kc @RussSimmons1 @sedwardskc


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