HDD Exclusive Weekend Movies: Lanterns and Penguins and Hipsters

Opening this weekend are three films that appeal to three different audiences. There’s a comic book adaptation, a family flick, and an indie teenage hipster film – not one of them a solid crowd pleaser. While this has been a pretty good summer for movies so far, this weekend may stick out as the first sore thumb.

Receiving the largest opening on 3D and 2D screens is ‘Green Lantern‘ from director Martin Campbell. Following the comic book, ‘Green Lantern’ tells the story of Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), a fighter pilot who gets chosen by a magical ring to become an intergalactic keeper of the peace.

Like I said in my review yesterday, the hokey action, congested storytelling, unconvincing visual effects and jumbled plot will likely cause mainstream moviegoers to classify ‘Green Lantern’ in the ranks of Ang Lee’s ‘Hulk‘. If you’re still considering it for the weekend, I recommend seeing it in 2D. Like staring at a child’s pop-up book, the 3D conversion lacks detail. It’s no ‘Clash of the Titans‘, but it’s no ‘Avatar‘ either.

Loosely following the children’s book from which it’s based, ‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins‘ tells the story of a divorced soulless high-end New York City real estate acquirer (Jim Carrey) who is willed a set of feisty penguins after his explorer father dies. When his estranged family finds out about the penguins, the a-hole father /ex-husband instantly becomes worth loving again. The family-time shenanigans the characters set out on are void of consequence, no matter how many felonies they commit.

‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’ is yet another of those tragically terrible family films that your young children are bound to love. Aside from the tiny ones, everyone else will be rolling their eyes at how ridiculous, absurd and childish it is. The lowest common denominator humor relies on pooping penguin jokes and Jim Carrey getting racked in the junk. Will someone please smack some sense into Carrey and beg him to return to making good films like ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind‘ or ‘The Truman Show‘?

Also opening nationwide is ‘The Art of Getting By‘, a clichéd coming-of-age film that follows a mid-pubescent hipster Freddie Highmore (‘August Rush‘) in his senior year at an upscale private school in New York City. Being a complete loner, he falls head over heels for the first girl to pay him any attention (Emma Roberts, ‘Scream 4’). Standard teenage drama ensues.

When ‘The Art of Getting By’ premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, it held a different title. Although ‘Hipster Bag of Douche’ would have been more fitting, it was originally called ‘Homework’ – which is exactly what writer-director Gavin Wiesen should have done before making such a terrible movie. Despite being from the U.S., Wiesen obviously has no clue what the legal drinking age is. His teenage cast seems to have no problem getting into and drinking at NYC bars in every other scene. Anyone who pays the slightest attention to detail will be driven bonkers by this maddening, awful screenplay.

What are you seeing this weekend?


  1. I liked the ‘The Art of Getting By’ trailer and was psyched to see the movie. However, I never doubt Luke “Hook”man’s opinion, so … hmm. Well, I will still see it (if and when released over here), if only to find out if it really is as atrocious as you say it is.

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