Turtles, DJs, princesses, idols, popstars, and a Weiner

Movies opening this week

The real Dumb & Dumber?
  • The real Dumb & Dumber?

A couple of grudging two-stars from me this week, first to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows for its tonal achievements — it's a lot like the old Saturday morning cartoon, with just a soupçon of additional sex and violence. Somehow, Michael Bay for kids is sweeter and less grindingly dumb than Michael Bay for grownups. Dumb animal buddies Bebop and Rock Steady are just so much more charming than dumb robot buddies Mudflap and Skids. (Plus, there's marvelous cheek in ripping off the story and dynamics of The Avengers, much as the original comic-book Turtles were a cheeky Frank Miller ripoff.) And second to Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. It tails off pretty hard — by the end of the 86 minutes, I was actively wishing for things to end — but it opens well. A powerful expose of a horrible world.

But what I really enjoyed was Weiner and how much up-close, uncensored access it got to its subject. (The jokes are hard to avoid.) The film takes the embattled politician out of the headlines and the punchlines and into the realms of tragedy. But it's fun about it.

Scott, meanwhile, was in a musical mood, heaping praise on the DJ doc As I AM, not quite hating the Arab Idol drama The Idol, and finding fault with the YouTube star story Presenting Princess Shaw.

But he didn't like the cancer drama Ma Ma one bit — he's got a hard spot for sickness movies, unless they're properly harrowing. (See also: Amour.) It's probably for the best that he didn't get to Me Before You.


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