‘The Angry Birds Movie’
(PG; 95 minutes; Sony): For “The Angry Birds Movie,” I required the assistance of Matt, an 11-year-old “Angry Birds” expert. He gave me a crash course in the game before the screening, and afterward pronounced the movie “a solid three stars” while acknowledging that “a lot of it could have been a little better.”
Without his help, I might well have found “The Angry Birds Movie” agreeable but utterly mystifying. (A slingshot? Why?) In context, the movie has its moments, but it’s not likely to draw much of an audience beyond the grade-school set: It’s an origin story for a video game, told with the usual assortment of movie-star voices and kid-friendly jokes involving butts, pratfalls and pig-related puns. So help me, I giggled at “Hamnesty International.”
The story takes place on Bird Island, where all the businesses have cute avian names and all the flightless birds are inordinately cheerful. The exception is cranky Red, who sports impressive Martin Scorsese eyebrows and is voiced by Jason Sudeikis. With Chuck (Josh Gad) and Bomb (Danny McBride), two fellow outsiders he meets in anger-management class, Red must find his inner bird — not to mention that slingshot — when a gang of mysterious egg-stealing pigs invade the island.
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The world gets saved, at least for the moment; more importantly, the random French-mime bird survives to gesticulate another day. Though Matt and I disagreed a tad on the overall star rating, we laughed enough while watching it to rate the movie thumbs-up, if not a must-see. In other words, “The Angry Birds Movie” is unnecessary but cute, like a bonnet on a cat – and there are certainly worse recommendations than that.
Contains rude humor and action. Seattle Times
(R; 103 minutes; Irreversible): Less a movie than a tourism ad for a Mexican vacation, the film is riddled with bad jokes, lazy ethnic stereotyping and a recycled plot. Although largely shot in Mexico, the film’s unflattering portrayal of that country’s citizens makes one wonder why the Mexican government would provide the filmmakers with a tax incentive, as the opening credits boast.
Contains crude sexual content, graphic nudity, language throughout, some drug use. Washington Post
Also out Aug. 16
- “Gotham: Season 2”
- “Hell on Wheels: Season 5”
- “Once Upon a Time: Season 5”
- “The Affair: Season 2”
- “The Vampire Diaries: Season 7”
- “God’s Not Dead 2”