Let’s face it, if you are paying to see Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping you know going in exactly what you are getting. Written by The Lonely Island TrioAndy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone, the celebrity mockumentary is variations of one joke stretched to 86 minutes. Lampooning celebrity by highlighting former boy band singer Connor4Real (Samberg) turned solo star adjusting to the unexpected criticism of his new album, it takes shots at everything from vapid celebrities to the media obsessed with them.
Based on the lives of English gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray (both played here by Tom Hardy), director Brian Helgeland’s film is as unengaging a crime drama as I can remember. I gave the film multiple chances but other than offer Hardy the chance to play dual roles the movie has nothing going for it. In terms of nuts and bolts, Legend is competently made but lacks the heart to make us care about either of the Kray brothers or those whose lives were effected by their choices.
Helgeland wastes a solid supporting cast (Emily Browning, David Thewlis, Christopher Eccleston, and Chazz Palminteri) on a story that doesn’t have much to say about gangsters we haven’t seen before. Legend isn’t an awful film, just a lifeless one (which in someways is actually worse than a truly awful film which can, on occasion, be entertaining for all the wrong reasons).
In his latest film writer/director Shane Black returns to a formula he knows well. Set in the 1970s, The Nice Guys delivers on the buddy-cop genre by pairing hired thug Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) with drunk private detective Holland March (Ryan Gosling) on a case involving a missing girl (Margaret Qualley), a murdered porn star (Murielle Telio), political activism, and the United States Justice Department.
X-Men: Apocalypse is a bloated film that wants more than anything to be epic in scale. Stuck with a ponderous first 45 minutes resetting up the world of the X-Men one decade after the events of X-Men: First Class (where apparently only some of our characters have actually aged) the movie has to spend far too much time catching us up on current events. With the script hamstrung by the need to properly introduce not only the movie’s villain Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), which means flashbacks to ancient Egypt, but also several new characters who will make up both Apocalypse’s Four Horseman (Olivia Munn, Ben Hardy, Alexandra Shipp) and the new version of the X-Men (Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Lana Condor) it takes quite some time before director Bryan Singer‘s movie gets on track.
With the resurrection of Apocalypse, who begins recruiting new mutants for his army, the movie begins in earnest with Mystique‘s (Jennifer Lawrence) return to the mansion and Professor X‘s (James McAvoy) abduction. After an appearance by Stryker (Josh Helman), used only to shoehorn in a cameo of Singer’s favorite mutant, Mystique will gather a few mutants together to reform the X-Men.