KANSAS CITY, MO -- FOX 4 Film Critic Russ Simmons has the latest on "Argo," "Sinister" and "Here Comes the Boom" in the Screening Room.
George Clooney produces, and Ben Affleck does double duty as director and star. Ben plays a CIA operative who poses as a Canadian movie producer who wants to film a sci-fi flick in Iran. He’s really out to free six American diplomats who are hiding out in the Canadian embassy in Tehran during the 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis.
Affleck shows that he’s learned his craft well, effectively establishing a sense of time and place and forcefully ratcheting up the tension. “Argo” is a real “mission impossible” suspense thriller.
Shawn calls "Argo", "Smart, entertaining and edge of your seat intense. Ben Affleck displays def skills as a director. This kid done got good. A bit of a Hollywood "insiders" movie so many of the jokes won't producer universal laughter. But over all crackles like "Dog Day Afternoon" and thrills with the best of them.
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags, SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags
Ethan Hawke stars in the creepy horror thriller, “Sinister.” It tells the tale of crime writer who moves his family into a house where a grisly murder took place and begins his research. He uncovers what may be dark supernatural forces at work.
While it’s moderately effective and generates some scares, “Sinister” is also unrelentingly ugly and succumbs to a number of horror movie clichés that reduce its impact.
Shawn calls "Sinister" a "weird moderately scary movie that just doesn't deliver enough thrills."
RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags, SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags
HERE COMES THE BOOM (PG)
In the comedy "Here Comes the Boom," a biology teacher moonlights as a mixed martial arts fighter to raise money to save his school's music program. Shawn calls it '"School of Rock" meets "Rocky' with Kevin James delivering the laughs."
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags.
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS (R)
Shawn says, "This is the type of movie Quentin Tarantino would have made 15 years ago. There are plenty of singular cool moments and lots of snappy dialogue. But as a whole, it’s a bit disjointed and ultimately unfulfilling in the end."
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN (PG-13)
Russ says, “'Searching for Sugar Man' is one of the best documentaries of the year, profiling a rock singer/songwriter named Rodriguez who recorded a couple of unsuccessful albums in the early 1970s. After his rumored suicide, bootleg versions of his records become hits in South Africa. Two South African fans try to find out what really happened to Rodriguez and the movie shows the remarkable truth they uncover. It’s a fascinating and touching film.
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
Also opening this week, ” “Butter” is a comedy about butter carving. Jennifer Garner and Hugh Jackman star. “Samsara” is the latest documentary from Ron Fricke that blends imagery and music and eschews dialogue. "V/H/S" is a low budget 'found footage' horror flick. "Radio Unnamable" is a documentary about legendary FM radio disc jockey, Bob Fass.