The future of the Galaxy is at risk of being upset by Michael Bay’s second waste of time this summer.
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ will face stiff competition this weekend from the Bay-produced reboot of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles‘. Director Jonathan Liebesman (‘Battle: Los Angeles‘ and ‘Wrath of the Titans‘) helms this retelling of the comic book characters’ origins. Megan Fox leads the human cast as aspiring TV reporter April O’Neil, with Will Arnett as her flirtatious and trusty cameraman. When the villain leader of the Foot Clan, Shredder, learns of the Turtles’ existence, he sends out the Foot in droves to capture the “heroes in a half-shell.” April and sewer rat sensei Splinter are only collateral damage getting in the way of Shredder’s deadly plan for the Turtles. William Fichtner co-stars. Whoopi Goldberg has a pointless cameo, and Johnny Knoxville and Tony Shalhoub voice two of the CG mo-cap characters. With a bi-polar identity bouncing between silly childishness and violent adult action, enter this stinky sewer at your own risk.
The other big release of the weekend is the ‘Twister’ knock-off ‘Into the Storm‘. From the director of ‘Final Destination 5‘, the movie follows a group of storm chasers and a family of three whose paths cross when an unusual storm brings a never-before-seen set of wicked tornadoes through a small town in the Midwest. The first 30 minutes are nearly tornado-free, but the following 60 are filled with loud whirlwinds and massive CG destruction. This brainless, yet pretty fun (once the ‘nados strike), thriller stars Richard Armitage (‘The Hobbit’), Sarah Wayne Callies (‘The Walking Dead’) and a bunch of nameless familiar faces.
On a little more than 2,000 screens is the umpteenth installment of the ‘Step Up’ franchise. Despite being handed off from studio to studio, the dance series just keep going. Characters from several of the previous movies (but no Channing Tatum) show up for ‘Step Up All In‘ – which I would argue needs a punctuating colon between “Up” and “All.”
On just a few screens less than that is Disney’s new light-hearted drama with a correctly punctuated title, ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey‘. The hit-and-(mostly)-miss director of ‘The Cider House Rules’ and ‘Safe Haven’ brings to life a novel about a snooty chef who’s frazzled by a not-so-prestigious restaurant that opens on her turf. Does the devil wear Prada in this Spielberg and Oprah-produced feel-good film?
On the indie front is new seemingly original romantic comedy from the director of ‘Goon‘. Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan star in ‘What If‘, the charming tale of a brokenhearted guy and a desirable girl who instantly form a strong friendship. The only thing standing in the way of their perfect relationship is the girl’s boyfriend. If you have any interest in ‘What If’, be patient. It’s expected to expand pretty wide next weekend.
Finally, on 304 3D screens across the country is a James Cameron-produced documentary about James Cameron making a documentary. Is it egotistical if a filmmaker hires a documentary crew to document him making a documentary? See what it took for Cameron to make his 2005 deep-sea doc ‘Aliens of the Deep’ in ‘Deepsea Challenge 3D‘.