Screening Room: “Woman in Black” and “Big Miracle”

Entertainment

Daniel Radcliffe stars in the ghost story, “The Woman in Black”

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THE WOMAN  IN BLACK

RUSS
So, can Daniel Radcliff's career survive after the end of the Harry Potter series? Judging by his acting chops in the old school ghost story flick, "The Woman in Black," the answer is probably, "Yes."

SHAWN
Actually the answer is no. You can take the wizard out of Hogwarts but you can't the Hogwarts out of the wizard.
I never got past his Harry Potter persona. Nor did I ever believe that he was a father with a child. Nor do I believe he's a good actor.

RUSS
There are a lot of creaky doors, fleeting shadows and predictable 'gotcha' moments in this adaptation of the famous novel and long running play. But it is very atmospheric and has a terrific cast of British veterans who give it more gravitas than it may deserve.

SHAWN
The Woman In Black deserves nothing. It isn't scary or interesting. The Haunted Mansion ride at Disney World is more frightening and entertaining.

RUSS
It plays a bit like the old Hammer Studio movies of the 1950s and 60s, but has a certain creepy atmosphere that helps overcome it's flaws. 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN
This back in the day style and lame ghost story plays out like Paranormal Oldtivity. 2 Popcorn Bags

BIG MIRACLE

RUSS
If you can get past the very corny elements of its screenplay and execution, "Big Miracle" is a pleasant enough time-waster.

SHAWN
Time waster is right. Isn't this type of movie why they created the Animal Planet Channel? Yes, it's pleasant. Pleasantly dull.

RUSS
Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski star in a harmless family flick based very loosely on the true story about the efforts of people in Alaska to save three whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle. The cast in likable and who wouldn't root them on in their efforts to save the whales.

SHAWN
It is a nice watchable family friendly nature-tale. But nothing about it screams run out of the house and spend your hard earned money to see this formulaic story.

RUSS
"Big Miracle" is a cookie cutter movie that relies heavily on a predictable Hollywood template, but it should resonate with family audiences who like the recent flick "Dolphin Tale." 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN
"Big Miracle" is painfully average and so basic it really shouldn't have been released as a feature film despite its good intentions. 2 Popcorn Bags

LILIES OF THE FIELD

SHAWN
In honor of Black History Month the Kansas City Library presents a look at black Oscar winners and Sidney Poitier became the first black to win best actor in 1963 for his engaging performance in "Lillies of the Fields."

RUSS
Sidney Potier's Oscar-winning performance is the real draw in "Lilies of the Field." This low-key, sentimental comedy is endearingly sweet. 4 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN
This so-so good-natured movie is 100 percent all about Sidney Poitier's performance. The movie is actually sort of weak. 3 Popcorn Bags

"Too Good to Pass Over: A Celebration of Black Oscar Winners"

Saturdays in February at 1:30PM

Central Library, KCMO

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