Mostly crap this week as far as wide-releases go, but one gem among the limited releases.
I have never seen a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie or cartoon or whatever other form of media they’ve taken, so the release of yet another one, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (40) excites me not one bit. I aasume this is for small children or a special kind of person that never grows up. Matt Singer: True, “Out of the Shadows is an improvement over the last Ninja Turtles movie, but only in the way that a mild cold is an improvement over the flu. It’s not good, but at least it’s not so terrible that it makes you want to lie in bed for a few days.”
I also must confess that I’m not a huge fan of the Lonely Island digital shorts made for SNL with Andy Samberg. They’ve always struck me as being too in-your-face, with the subtlety of a chisel. So an entire feature? No way. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (70) is a riff on the music industry, with lots of cameos, and though the Metacritic score is pretty high, I’ve read some dreadful things about it. Matt Singer: “Popstar feels a bit like elite military snipers shooting fish in a barrel. Their aim is true, but the targets are almost too easy — not to mention awfully familiar.”
This may make me sound chauvinistic, but I’m guessing that all the audience of Me Before You (51) will be women or men taken by women. It’s a weepie with Emilia Clarke as a Manic Pixie Dream Girl convincing a paraplegic that life is worth living (sob). I like Emilia Clarke, but I’d rather spend two hours with the real Emilia Clarke than this. Richard Roeper: “Me Before You is a beautifully filmed and well-intentioned weeper marred by an unfortunate performance from one of the leads, and a plot development that leaves us more angry and frustrated than moved in the final act.”
The gem this week is The Lobster (82), which has taken its sweet time getting released in the U.S. (it was at the Cannes film festival in 2015) but is worth the wait. I saw it yesterday and will have a review up tomorrow, but suffice it to say it is unlike anything I’ve seen except for Charlie Kaufman films. Justin Chang: “It’s a wondrously silly premise, and one that Lanthimos, not unlike those great cine-surrealists Luis Buñuel and Charlie Kaufman before him, executes with rigorous illogic and immaculate formal control.”