KANSAS CITY, Mo ---
1) CINDERELLA (PG)
Walt Disney Pictures
Unapologetically old fashioned, Disney's engaging live-action adaptation of “Cinderella” is a sweet-natured, visually dazzling treat for young girls…and all the family members who’ll tag along with them. Lily James, best known as Lady Rose from TV's "Downton Abbey," makes for a lovely girl of the cinders and Cate Blanchett, who can do no wrong, is her gloriously toxic stepmother. While it’s more than a bit maudlin and the pace occasionally drags, Kenneth Branagh’s sincere version of the classic fairy tale has a lot of heart and humor and the production values are top notch. It’s hard to dislike a movie whose mantra is, “Have courage and be kind.” Take the kids and the Kleenex.
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: DID NOT SCREEN
2) RUN ALL NIGHT (R)
I can’t imagine a movie any less like “Cinderella” than the sleazy and ultra-violent crime thriller, “Run All Night.” Liam Neeson plays a hit man for New York’s Irish mob who tries to protect his innocent son, Joel Kinnaman, from being knocked off by Liam’s former boss, played by Ed Harris.
Liam Neeson is at it again. Not much variation to his routine in "Run All Night" but the movie excels because the method of Liam Neeson's madness is well explained and executed.
The cast is excellent. The mood is dark. And the feel is grimy.
There are some showy directorial flourishes that give the movie a bit of style and the cast is well above grade for the material. But it all seems very familiar and a bit awkward, sort of like a ‘70s grindhouse movie you remember in a dream. The two hours you spend seeing “Run All Night” might seem like all night...but for action fans, it delivers.
I like the fact that there is a bit of meat on this bone. Sure Liam Neeson is up to his usual tricks and gruff 'I'm gonna get you' demeanor but at least it all has a purpose in this well delivered revenge mob tale. Liam Neeson has become a virtuoso in this type of role and he leads this orchestra very well as they play out a beautiful physical symphony.
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags
Also opening this week:
-”Ballet 422” is a documentary peek into the world of professional ballet, focusing on the creation of the New York City Ballet’s 422nd original piece.
-“Red Army” is a documentary about the Soviet Union’s Cold War hockey dynasty.
-“The Salvation” is a violent Western revenge tale starring Mads Mikkelsen and Eva Green.
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