Screening Room: “Looper,” “Won’t Back Down,” “Pitch Perfect,” “Hotel Transylvania”

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KANSAS CITY, MO --

LOOPER (R) -Sony Pictures

SHAWN
99 percent of time travel movies don't work. They always get tripped up on the concept. But "Looper" works like a 'mother.' It's most original movie I've seen saw far this year.

RUSS
Yes, time travel movies always have plot holes, but the smart, intriguing and well made sci-fi flick "Looper," fills those holes with clever details and artistic touches that make it a satisfying futuristic thriller.

SHAWN
Looper is brand new sneaker fresh. It's very well written and solidly acted.
"Looper" felt cool like the first time I saw "Terminator" and "The Matrix." Mesmerizing, smart and gangsta.  It's an instant classic that will have you saying 'whoa'."

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 5 Popcorn Bags

WON'T BACK DOWN (PG-13) -20th Century Fox

SHAWN
I'm Shawn Edwards and I approve this review. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis are magnificent. You can see that Maggie Gyllenhaal is giving it her all and Viola Davis proves that she may be the best working actress in the biz especially when she takes on humanizing labored and beligured characters.

RUSS
Are teacher unions, parents or bloated bureaucracy to blame for the significant problems in our education system? Good question. A terrific cast delivers the goods in the well meaning drama "Won't Back Down," but the movie muddles the issues rather than illuminates them.

SHAWN
The problem is "Won't Back Down" never rises above a Made for TV feel and you better wear a helmet because this overly-preachy movie will continually hit you over the head with its one-sided anti-labor message. Really felt like a two-hour political AD.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

PITCH PERFECT (PG-13) -Universal

RUSS
Anna Kendrick plays a socially awkward college freshman who gets involved in an a cappella singing group in the broad comedy, “Pitch Perfect.” Fans of “Glee” are the obvious target audience for this lightweight tuner. It’s modestly campy fun.

SHAWN
Pitch Perfect has many funny moments but not enough to make this goofy premise tolerable. Did love Rebel Wilson. She was great.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (PG) -Sony Pictures

RUSS
There’s a good deal of talent behind the 3-D animated spoof, “Hotel Transylvaina,” but the end result is mostly forgettable.  It’s okay for the kiddies, but this “Hotel Transylvania” isn't worth checking into for most of us.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: Did Not Screen

ALSO OPENING THIS WEEK: Channing Tatum stars in the high school reunion comedy, “10 Years.” “Gerhard Richter Painting” is a documentary about the noted German artist.

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