Opening in Las Vegas, June 3, 2016

Standard

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.”

About Jackrabbit Slim

Location: Vegas, Baby! I’m much older than the other whippersnappers here, a baby boomer. I tend to be more snobbish about film, disdaining a lot of the multiplex fare for “cinema.” My favorite films: Woody Allen’s oeuvre (up until about 1990), The Godfather, The Graduate, A Hard Day’s Night, Pulp Fiction. Politics: Well, George McGovern was my political hero. I’m also a prickly atheist. Occupation: Poised to be an English teacher in Las Vegas. For many years I was an editor at Penthouse Magazine. My role on this blog seems to be writing lots of reviews and being the resident Oscar maven.

8 responses »

  1. Laura Linney is in a TMNT sequel?!? I know her film career has never blossomed like it seemed it could in the 1995-2005 era, but is she that desperate for money to appear in such schlock? She’s still had some recent success on TV, why not do work there instead?

  2. When she signed on for the role, the trades noted that her representatives had recently let it be known that she was open to all types of studio blockbusters. She had a child just a few years ago (at 49) and I’m sure she’s thinking about the future.

    Plenty of time to seek out more respectable fare later in her 50’s and 60’s.

  3. When she signed on for the role, the trades noted that her representatives had recently let it be known that she was open to all types of studio blockbusters. She had a child just a few years ago (at 49) and I’m sure she’s thinking about the future.

    Plenty of time to seek out more respectable fare later in her 50’s and 60’s.

    That claim is a bit hard to take seriously, considering she’s been working constantly in film and some prestige TV over the past couple of decades. How hard up for money can she be? It almost sounds as if she’s turning into her character from ‘The Nanny Diaries’.

  4. You mean the Laura Linney who was in Congo?

    You mean the definitive Michael Crichton film adaptation AND the definitive talking gorilla movie.

    It should be noted that Congo was Linney’s first major role in a motion picture (taking over at the last minute for Julianne Moore). Can’t fault her for signing on to an opportunity like that.

    That claim is a bit hard to take seriously, considering she’s been working constantly in film and some prestige TV over the past couple of decades.

    Depends on her lifestyle. There are countless household name-level actors who ended up going broke despite working consistently.

    Maybe she’s just looking to ensure her child’s financial security with a few easy gigs. I certainly wouldn’t blame her when no one is even going to remember this movie exists in a couple of years.

  5. I don’t get the “manic pixie dreamgirl” thing. People need to shut the fuck up with annoying terms like this.

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