1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (Paramount, 4,071 Theaters, 112 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 30% Fresh [50 Reviews]): So, the Michael Bay art of getting good box office results from critically lambasted films extends even to films he only produces. The first film in this rebooted franchise was panned by critics, yet made close to $500 worldwide. Hence the sequel.
This one introduces popular characters from the comics such as Casey Jones and Baxter Stockman and from the cartoons such as Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady. If that seems a lot of characters to introduce and have it work, well, look at the review.
The film details the Turtles fighting off Splinter and his new mutant lackeys, while trying to become human, eventually leading to them fighting off an alien invasion. That’s like three films in one, none of them very good.
2. Me Before You (Warner Brothers, 2,704 Theaters, 110 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some suggestive material , Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 50% Fresh [62 Reviews]): Lou (Emilia Clarke) is so full of life that she lightens every room she enters. Will (Sam Claflin) has been in a dour funk since the motorcycle accident that left him a paraplegic. When Lou becomes Will’s caretaker, the unexpected happens.
Well, not really. It doesn’t take a genius to realize they fall in love. The ickyness of the fact that she is taking care of him is never addressed.
This film, and the book it was based on, has been criticized by many advocates of the disabled due to Will’s attitude. Keep that in mind when/if you watch it.
3. Popstar: Never Stop Stopping (Universal, 2,310 Theaters, 86 Minutes, Rated R for some graphic nudity, language throughout, sexual content and drug use, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 81% Fresh [62 Reviews]): The self-important boy pop star is a self-parodying thing. Look at Justin Bieber. No matter what he does, it seems like a bit to exploit the reality pf his situation. It becomes a punchline in an on going joke.
That isn’t to say that it isn’t a ripe topic for outsiders to parody, and that’s what we have here.
This is done by the fellows from The Lonely Island, the people who brought you Lazy Sunday and Dick in a Box, so they know how to bring funny songs that are musically tight. The result might be a strong offering that would stand up in even stronger weeks.