A Viewer's Guide to Weekend Movies: Helen Mirren Is Our Favorite Ninja Turtle
We're back to underwhelming wide releases, but those with Netflix will find some new treasures.
Listen, most good things aren't built to last. We're back to the mediocre wide releases this week – featuring ninja turtles and Helen Mirren, our favorite ninja turtle.
Only seven years after the last attempt to make mutated reptiles cool, Michael Bay is trying again with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. With only 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, it promises to be not good – and not very female, either. Meanwhile, Helen Mirren saw all those scamps in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and felt really jealous she wasn't invited. So she went ahead and made her own version, The Hundred-Foot Journey, and none of those other nerds are invited to enjoy all the amazing food. Hmph.
If you are not a fan of turtles, ninjetti, or French Helen Mirren, enjoy Step Up All In, the fifth iteration in the dance-crazy franchise. Our Price Peterson broke down the world of the film franchise for you to get you caught up. There is also apparently a film known as Into the Storm being released in theaters this week, but we have nothing for you on that. (It has a 19% rating on RT. You're missing nothing.)
In Limited Release
There is no way we're talking about James Cameron's new movie (also known as Not-Avatar), so we're going to focus on the lovely and charmingWhat If. Our David Sims said that it "doesn't have to obnoxiously acknowledge the tropes of the will-they-won't-they romantic comedy. It just needs to gently nod at them." With a 72% RT rating that credits stars Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan's chemistry as one of the film's greatest assets, What If is definitely your best option in an actual theater.
Video on Demand
If you somehow missed Divergent and still want to see it, it's on demand now. But there are better Shailene Woodley movies out there. Have you seen The Spectacular Now? She's great in that! We just want the best for you and Shailene, is all.
Speaking of movies that aren't great themselves, but have really great elements: Palo Alto, starring Emma Roberts and James Franco, is available now. There's a lot about it that doesn't work, but the performances are strong almost entirely across the board, and the world it builds – a grim version of Palo Alto, California – is really intriguing. Again, it can't really be called a successful film, but if you're interested at all in the actors (or director Gia Coppola), it's worth checking out.
Streaming on Netflix
Some really great new stuff just hitting Instant Watch. For visual flair, there's Face/Off, the tricky and often exhilarating Nicolas Cage/John Travolta action film from 1997. There's also Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, starring Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie. It's stylistically thrilling, if a good bit worse than Face/Off. The two make for an ambitious double feature, but a rather cool one.
Of course, if you're looking for something more uncomplicated and fun, Rocky is also new to Instant Watch. Everyone loves Rocky, right? (Pretend it didn't beat Network for Best Picture for best enjoyment.)
Movies on TV
Speaking of fun, HBO's Saturday at 8 p.m. premiere is Baggage Claim, starring Paula Patton as an unlucky in love flight attendant. It is not good, either as a romantic comedy or just as a film! That said, it's totally enjoyable, and the perfect Saturday night at home film. It's certainly no worse than spending money on rehashed turtles.
Things are a little dire on Showtime, but you can see the not-Armageddon doomsday film Deep Impact at 6:55 p.m. on Saturday. We wouldn't suggest you plan on watching it – no one should plan on watching Deep Impact – but your TV has to be turned to something before Baggage Claim, so why not?