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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 3, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 23
Movie Reviews
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Latest Turtles an obnoxious waste of time
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS
Now playing


There's no point my trying to review Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. I've never been much of a fan of the characters created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman. I never understood the passion for the cartoon series (no matter which incarnation we are talking about). I couldn't for the life of me figure out how the 1990 movie became a hit. I have no idea how it spawned two sequels and a CGI animated spinoff. And, while instantly forgettable and not nearly as terrible as it could have been, I can't say I cared for 2014's hit cinematic reboot of the series starring Megan Fox as newscaster April O'Neil and produced by Transformers maestro Michael Bay. All-in-all, this has never proven to be a series I've shown an ounce of affinity for, so my not liking this latest sequel is hardly a thing that could be considered even slightly a surprise.

But Out of the Shadows is quite terrible, amazingly so, almost equaling 1991's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze as far as levels of absurdly annoying awfulness are concerned. Returning screenwriters Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol) throw in the cartoon towel as far as all of this nonsense is concerned, utilizing every fan-favorite item they can think of including buffoonish henchmen Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams), a warthog, and Rocksteady (Sheamus), a Rhino, hockey stick-wielding vigilante Casey Jones (Stephen Amell), here re-imagined as a disgraced police officer trying to redeem himself, and interstellar world-conquering dimension hopper Commander Krang (voiced by Brad Garrett). It's all here, including the return of the murderous Shredder (Brian Tee) and the arrival of egotistical genetic scientist Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), the two madmen joining forces to enact an evil plan that could spell doom for all of New York City.

And what is that plan? Seriously, I don't have the first clue. Through a nonsensical plot device Commander Krang starts Shredder and Stockman down their path of world domination, the pair needed three otherworldly devices in order to build a machine that will allow them access to power beyond imagining. Only the turtles, Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Donatello (Jeremy Howard), Raphael (Alan Ritchson) and Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), can stop them, especially after Bebop and Rocksteady are mutated into new animalistic forms. They are aided by O'Neil, Jones and TV cameraman turned Big Apple celebrity Vernon Fenwick (Will Arnett), while hard-boiled New Yorker Chief Vincent (Laura Linney) is forced to put her worries and fears aside and trust a quartet of reptilian teenage ninjas to save her city before disaster strikes.

I'm not going to judge anyone's acting. I'm not going to say much about the plot other than it's all as absurd and as nonsensical as it sounds. I will say director Dave Green (Earth to Echo) channels his inner Michael Bay and this isn't a compliment, allowing his trio of editors Bob Ducsay (Godzilla), Jim May (Non-Stop) and Debra Neil-Fisher (The Hangover) to cut things so hyperactively the majority of the action sequences becoming nothing short of a headache-inducing blur. I'll also say the script has dumbed things down to such a colossal extent it's like Appelbaum and Nemec are aiming to please eight-year-old kids and practically no one else, the cartoonish idiocy of all of this more suited to any number of Nickelodeon cartoons and just about nothing else.

But these turtles have their fans, passionate ones, and I fully grasp that this is one sequel that is designed almost exclusively with them in mind. None of which makes watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows any less painful for yours truly; and while I'm open to keep giving these films the benefit of the doubt, after 25-plus years of doing so I'm starting to think it's possible all I've been doing is wasting one heck of a lot of time.


PRIDE MONTH EVENTS WITH THREE DOLLAR BILL CINEMA
More to see in Seattle this June than ever before!
For complete information, visit http://www.threedollarbillcinema.org/

QUEER FAN NIGHTS!
We've teamed up with the Northwest Film Forum (1511 12th Ave) for a Pride month series will make you cheer with delight! It's an eclectic mix of fan favorites, hosted by avid queer fans ready to share (and defend) their picks.

Thursday nights at 8pm. Kick off each night with a pre-show happy hour in the theatre lobby starting at 7pm.

June 9 - Horror Night: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 (Hosted by Scott & Lance); June 16 - Anna Nicole Smith Night: To the Limit (Hosted by John Criscitello); June 23 - Melodrama Night: Imitation of Life (Hosted by The Lady B)l June 30 - Eurovision Night: Iconic song performances (Hosted by Richard & Kevin).

Tickets: $11 general; $8 student/senior; $6 NWFF and Three Dollar Bill Cinema members.

TWIST OF PRIDE FILM FESTIVAL
The second annual TWIST of Pride Film Festival runs June 15-19.

A part of Seattle PrideFest, this festival features some of the best films and award winners from Three Dollar Bill Cinema's past year as well as new Seattle and World premieres!

June 15 @ Central Cinema (1411 21st Ave), June 16 @ Northwest Film Forum (1515 12th Ave), and June 17-19 @ SIFF Cinema Egyptian Theatre (805 E Pine St).

June 15 (CC) - Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars @ 8pm; June 16 (NWFF) - To The Limit @ 8pm; June 17 (Egyptian) - Crocodile Tears @ 7:30pm; Brides to Be (World Premiere) @ 10pm; June 18 (Egyptian) - Best Shorts (Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival/Twist 2015 and Translations Festival faves) @ 12pm; Naz and Maalik (Top Feature Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival/Twist 2015) @ 2pm; Portrait of a Serial Monogamist @ 4:30pm; Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures @ 8pm; Rocky Horror Picture Show @ midnight ($12); June 19 (Egyptian) - Major (Top Documentary Translations Festival 2016) @ 1pm; Last Men Standing (Seattle Premiere) at 4pm; (Robbie) Turner Classic Movies at 7pm.

Festival Pass: $75. Single tickets: $10, except $11 for To The Limit $11 and $12 for Rocky Horror Picture Show. http://www.seattlepridefest.org/twistofpride/

THE GAYZER LASER LIGHT SHOW RETURNS!
After a popular debut in 2015, the Pacific Science Center & Three Dollar Bill Cinema are bringing back the Gayzer Laser Light Show to the Pacific Science Center Laser Dome at Seattle Center!

Start your Saturday night right on June 25, or chill out after Sunday's Pride festivities. It's a collection of hit songs by LGBT artists and icons with a stunning visual display. Fun for all ages!

Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26 @ 6pm. Tickets available at (800) 664-8775 or via https://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/

AND THAT'S NOT ALL...
THE FIERCE AWAKENS

Summer Movies in Cal Anderson Park - Presented by Alaska Airlines

August 5 - Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same; August 12 - Spaceballs; August 19 - Barbarella; August 26 - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Mark your calendar for the fiercest Outdoor Cinema series in Seattle! Free admission. Movies begin at dusk.

Courtesy of Three Dollar Bill Cinema


Surrealistic stunner: The Lobster is a sensory feast
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

THE LOBSTER
Now playing


In a world not unlike our own, singles trying to eke out a living on their own are arrested by the police and sent to The Hotel, a five-star estate overflowing in amenities. They are tasked with finding a mate, someone it is assumed, or at least hoped, they will subsequently spend the remainder of their life with. Unless they earn extra time, usually by hunting fugitive singles hiding in an adjacent forest, after 45 days it is determined they will not find a partner, and as such are transformed into an animal of their choice and sent out into the wild to begin their lives anew.

Recently divorced, David (Colin Farrell) has arrived at The Hotel. After settling in, he quickly makes the acquaintance of a man with a lisp (John C. Reilly) and another sporting a rather significant limp (Ben Whishaw). The Hotel Manager (Olivia Colman) believes David has what it takes to find a match, particularly proud of him when he seems to hit it off with a seemingly heartless woman (Angeliki Papoulia) who has managed to remain at The Hotel almost four-times longer than her allotted 45 days thanks in large part to her skill hunting singles in the forest. He's also fond of a young woman prone to nosebleeds (Jessica Barden), but his limping friend feigns a similar ailment in order to get close to her, the sight of the two of them together causing David to feel pangs of anger he doesn't believe either deserve.

All of this is only the beginning as it pertains to Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos' (Dogtooth) odd, enchantingly bizarre and bracingly surreal The Lobster, a Kafka-meets-Kubrick romantic allegory that puts society under a kind of microscopic glare that is as entirely unique as it is uncomfortably original. Working once again with co-screenwriter Efthymis Filippou (Alps), the pair have dreamt up an otherworldly scenario I can barely comprehend let alone try to describe, the above synopsis barely hinting at the imaginative chaos this film proudly celebrates.

There is a detached indifference to the ins and out of the mating process, a clinical exactitude that almost requires potential couples share all the same qualities both mental and physical. This depiction is then mirrored in many ways by those who choose to live unattached, singles practically forced to remain emotionally dispassionate or risk being ostracized and physically mutilated by fellow non-marrieds hiding in the forest alongside them. In both instances, love either isn't a consideration for coupling or is disallowed entirely, giving things an almost Orwellian edge that's impossible to miss.

As impressive as all of this might be, The Lobster isn't an easy movie to like. It's purposefully distancing, conversations taking place with a stilted exactitude that's initially off-putting, while the crazed nature of the dystopian scenario itself keeps the viewer at arm's length almost as if the filmmakers were daring them to try and embrace their motion picture knowing doing so is practically ridiculous. These are archetypes, person-sized caricatures being sent forth to navigate a type of maze where the entrance is impassible and the exit is nothing short of a nightmare. Worse, freedom comes with a price, one that is almost as bad as being stuck in that cheese-filled mousetrap in the first place.

And yet, the level of emotion as things build to their conclusion is extraordinary. In a second act twist, David ends up in the forest, attempts to survive alongside the rebels, and in the process encounters a kindred spirit (Rachel Weisz) he's not allowed to fall for on pain of emasculation. Yet their romance, guided by distance, tinged with regret, aching with subtle glancing caresses and the occasional freshly skinned rabbit, has a punch to it that's startling, building in intimate intensity as events progress. It all leads to an unfathomable form of tragedy that's as distasteful as it is touching, these emotional opposites working in delicate concert and in doing so compose a concerto of romance and togetherness that spans the entire extent of the human condition.

Farrell is nothing short of brilliant, his brave, fearlessly raw performance containing a plethora of subtle gradations that fit in perfectly with the world Lanthimos has gone to great pains to create. He's matched by Weisz, the intricacies of her psychological maneuverings as she clinically assesses her situation bordering on remarkable. Whishaw, Colman, Papoulia, Ariane Labed (as a secretive maid working at The Hotel) and especially a carnivorously manipulative Léa Seydoux (as the leader of the rebels living in the forest) are also superb, while Reilly brings a shaggy dog comedic weariness to his few moments that hammer home the script's cleverer nuances rather marvelously.

It's hard to know exactly who The Lobster is made for; all I really know is that I rather loved it. This is the type of film I'm going to watch multiple times, obsessing over every choice Lanthimos and his talented team of cinematic craftsmen made in order to see it come to life. It is a brutal evisceration of cultural conventions regarding sex, gender, romance and love, offering up so much food for thought only the animal lurking inside us all is capable of lapping it up as if it were Thanksgiving dinner.






Artistic Director Dennis Coleman retires after 35 years
Legendary LGBT Leader and Artist conducts final 2 concerts

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Billy Elliot a joyous event at Village Theatre
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Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum discusses her new film Careful What You Wish For and working with Nick Jonas
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SASQUATCH 2016
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Pacific MusicWorks and UW School of Music's
Orphée et Eurydice a stunning success

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Caught at Seattle Public asks 'What is true?'
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Motown The Musical - #1 with a bullet
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John Carpenter's 'Lost Themes' concert coming to the Paramount June 14
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Seattle Pride is an expression of our Constitutional rights
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Christian rocker Trey Pearson comes out
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Latest Turtles an obnoxious waste of time
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PRIDE MONTH EVENTS WITH THREE DOLLAR BILL CINEMA
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Surrealistic stunner: The Lobster is a sensory feast
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