Tony’s Movie Reviews: ‘Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping,’ ‘TMNT: Out of the Shadows’ and ‘Me Before You’

Photo Courtesy: TP Productions

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 3, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Three films are being released in theaters this weekend.

Experts are predicting Paramount Pictures new release,”Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” will dominate the weekend box office with an estimated take of about $35 to $40 million, according to Box office Mojo. The sequel to the 2014 film stars Megan Fox and Will Arnett.

The romantic drama, “Me Before You,” starring Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke, is predicted to open in third place, just behind “X-Men: Apocalypse.”

The third new film, “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping,” is estimated to debut in eighth place, underperforming with a predicted $4.3 million opening.

Here’s the estimated Top 10 films, according to Box Office Mojo:

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” – $34.2 million
“X-Men: Apocalypse” – $24.39 million
“Me Before You” – $14.47 million
“Alice Through the Looking Glass” – $12.89 million
“The Angry Birds Movie” – $9.87 million
“Captain America: Civil War” – $9.1 million
“The Jungle Book” – $4.75 million
“Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” – $4.39 million
“Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” – $4.21 million
“Love & Friendship” – $2.98 million

The Reviews:

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Starring: Andy Samberg and Bill Hader
Rated R

When his new album fails to sell records, pop/rap superstar conner4real, played by Andy Samberg, goes into a major tailspin and watches his celebrity high life begin to collapse. He’ll try anything to bounce back, anything except reuniting with his old rap group The Style Boyz.

Shot as a mockumentary, “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” is a comical look at the excesses of the music industry and its stars.

Although I am sure everyone will compare “Popstar” to “This is Spinal Tap,” because “Spinal Tap” was probably the best of its genre and still holds up after 32 years, but “Popstar” is more like an elongated Saturday Night Live sketch.

The film offers up a few laughs, and it’s biggest saving grace are the film’s cameo appearances by Simon Cowell, Mariah Carey, Snoop Dogg and Usher. But mostly the movie is a kind of comedy free for all, replete with offensive music, silly situations, sloppy jokes and some good laughs.

“Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” gets a B and is rated R.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Starring: Megan Fox, Stephen Amell and Will Arnett
Rated PG-13

As Shredder joins forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman and henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady to take over the world, the Turtles must confront an even greater nemesis: the notorious Krang.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” is a mediocre film at best. It’s likeable, but not memorable. The action sequences are reminiscent of just about every Michael Bay film from “Bad Boys” to “Transformers.”

“TMNT: Out of the Shadows” makes little use of the the turtles themselves as the are regulated to arguing amongst themselves and looking to April, played by Megan Fox, to push the action.

The film is a lackluster superhero film aimed at a much younger audience than the rating qualifies for.

It gets a C and is rated PG-13.

Me Before You
Starring: Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke
Rated PG-13

Lou Clark, played by an endearing Emilia Clarke, has been employed by the Traynor family to be a companion and aid for their disabled son Will, played by Sam Claflin.

Will is a joyless man who has shunned the world of people and pushed friends and family way. But Lou is about to burst into Will’s drab and depressing world in a riot of color and change things for all time.

“Me Before You” is a romantic drama circling a mismatched pair of people. The film makes no apologies for following the tried-and-true formula in delivering a romantic drama. The film is smart and funny when it needs to be and certainly maudlin in those spaces where it’s required.

Care is taken in each scene so that everyone’s feelings are examined to the ‘nth degree and the audience is perfectly manipulated into the proper mood for the film’s ending.

All in all, because it does follow the recipe for an emotional response from the audience, “Me Before You” works.

It gets a B and is rated PG-13.


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