Artificial life forms take jobs away from living actors this week in the new releases. Be careful which one you take your kids to.
1. The Happytime Murders (STX Entertainment, 3,256 Theaters, 91 Minutes, Rated R for strong crude and sexual content and language throughout, and some drug material, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 27% Fresh [82 Reviews]): I am of a mixed mind about this movie. There are people on staff here that absolutely love this film, so I’ll tread lightly.
I am happy that a film so long in development finally hits the big screen. This has been in the works for over 10 years, and that kind of persistence is a good thing.
However, I don’t know how good of a film we will get. It’s main selling point is the fact that it is crude for crudeness sake, using the fact that the MPAA deems certain actions and language given by non-human performers more leeway than if it were human actors to film an ejaculation scene, for example. And I know that it all fits with the “examining the seedy underside of puppets when they get off work” plotline, but will there be any wit to go along with the shocks.
2. A-X-L (Global Road, 1,710 Theaters, 98 Minutes, Rated PG for sci-fi action/peril, suggestive material, thematic elements and some language, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 22% Fresh [9 Reviews]): Last week, we had a “boy and his dog” movie set in prehistoric times. Now we have a futuristic take on the concept. Can’t see what we get next.
This film seems focuses on a motocross loving boy named Miles (Alex Neustaedter) who finds a dog-like experimental robot in a junkyard. The dog and boy instantly bond, which is a problem because the robot was a weapon created by the government, and they’d like it back. Considering the government will go to any lengths to retrieve its property, Miles is going to need a lot of help if he wants to keep his new best friend.
This film might be even more kid friendly than last week’s Alpha. If your child can stand two dog movies back to back, you might want to take them to see this one.
Next week, different kinds of family journeys hit the new releases. See you then.