Oh fellow intrepid movie lovers, school’s back in session! Excited to be back? I’m glad to have the company. It gets a little too quiet around here during the summer. You summer school folks are all business.
Speaking of business, I should probably get down to it. You guys are hungry for movie reviews and I’m here to serve them up for you. So let’s go with two movies that I was excited about earlier in the year, both of which surprised me in different ways.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016) [R]
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is part of a tradition in movie history: the music mockumentary. Many folks credit 1984’s This is Spinal Tap as being the first though I would argue A Hard Day’s Night was really the first of it’s kind. Regardless, it stands as a personal favorite subgenre for your old buddy Collin.
Popstar stars Andy Samberg as world famous musician Conner4Real who is anxious after his second solo record bombs with the critics. This leads him to try all manner of schemes to boost his popularity which, as you might expect, backfire momentously. It is only with the help of two friends he has left behind that Conner is able to find a road back to where he was before.
Yeah, the plot is nothing special. Rich, popular guy forgets where he comes from and the people who helped him get there in his quest for more riches. Things go south and the only thing that can help him is to go back to his old friends and bring them with him. Yeah, it’s trite. But it’s also a classic comedy trope and Popstar manages to make the ride pretty enjoyable. Here, watch the trailer. See. You’ve seen this before but it’s still pretty funny, right?
The credit there really goes to Samberg and his buddies Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. The trio have been friends since adolescents so their friendship and motivations in the movie are easily believable. The comedy is profane without going over the top. If you’ve seen any of their shorts from Saturday Night Live, you have a good idea of what to expect. And with credits, the movie is less than 90 minutes long. All in all, it’s a light, breezy good time It won’t change your life but it’s a good movie to share with friends on a Saturday night.
7 paws out of 10
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) [PG-13]
Ah yes, I’ve been waiting on this one. Let’s get in our way back machine and think about where we were at the beginning of the year. I don’t know about you but I was really excited for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to come out. Yeah, there was a little fear there as well. Director Zack Synder is very talented and might deliver something fantastic or he might give us something terrible.
Then, the reviews started coming in. And it didn’t look good, folks. Early reviews of Batman v Superman were just brutal. Even today, the Metacritic rating is 44 out of 100. But it couldn’t be that bad, right? The trailer looked good.
I’ll admit, I was spooked. I waited until it came out on Blu-Ray. I purposely got the Ultimate Edition because I figured that would be closer to what Snyder had in mind. I made some popcorn and I gave it a shot.
And you know what. It was all right. I do feel like even the theatrical version tries to do too much. It feels like Batman v Superman is a new Batman movie, a new Superman movie, a trailer for the new Justice League movie that comes out next year, a teaser for the new Wonder Woman movie and a response to critics from Synder’s previous Superman movie. I mean, look at that poster up there. There is a lot crammed on that poster and the movie feels like that as well.
It is still well filmed. The special effects are good. The action sequences are big and fun. It’s not Synder’s best but it’s not his worst either. And maybe that explains my feelings best. It’s not great but it’s not bad either. Synder’s visual sense makes it better than average but it clearly would have benefited from less studio interference and a little less ambition.
6.5 paws out of 10