(R; 98 minutes; Warner Bros.): “Keanu” stars Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key of Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele.” Peele plays Rell, a hipster stoner and artist in L.A. suffering from a bad breakup. When a wayward kitten finds its way to his doorstep, Rell learns to love again, naming the feline Keanu. His cousin Clarence (Key) is a dorky executive whose wife (Nia Long) wants him to learn how to relax.
During a bachelor weekend, Rell and Clarence discover that Rell’s place has been burgled, and Keanu is missing. With intel from his pot dealer-neighbor Hulka (Will Forte), the two set off on an epic cat repossession adventure, getting mixed up in the drug dealing gang lead by the intimidating Cheddar (Method Man). At the center of this wild, violent melee between warring drug gangs and assassins is Keanu the kitty, so cute that it seems absolutely worth all the trouble.
“Keanu” is hilarious in the way you might expect from Key and Peele, but on a much larger and more grandiose level – the jokes hit harder and the scenarios are more outlandish, resulting in a legitimately epic action comedy that is at once a sendup and love letter to the genre.
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Contains violence, language throughout, drug use and sexuality/nudity. Tribune News
(R; 118 minutes; A24 Films): Decidedly twisted yet also curiously romantic, “The Lobster” takes place in a world in which singletons aren’t just seen as anomalies, but as less than human. As David, a middle-aged man whose wife has just left him, Colin Farrell does some of his best work. According to societal rules, the newly single David must move into a high-security hotel, where he will be given 45 days to find another unattached guest and fall in love. If he fails, he will be transformed into an animal of his choosing.
The movie is worthwhile, thanks to a marriage of peculiar humor and thought-provoking content. The supporting cast is memorable, featuring turns by John C. Reilly as a man with a lisp who wants to become a parrot, and Ben Whishaw, whose character will do just about anything to avoid becoming an animal.
Contains sexual content including dialogue, and some violence. Washington Post
(PG-13; 119 minutes; Open Road): The latest film in Garry Marshall’s formulaic holiday series (“New Year’s Eve,” “Valentine’s Day”), “Mother’s Day” is an assortment of stories involving mothers. There’s a divorced mom (Jennifer Aniston), trying to adjust to her ex-husband’s new marriage and her sons’ new bombshell stepmom. There’s a new mom (Britt Robertson), a widowed dad (Jason Sudeikis), a gay mom (Sarah Chalke), a nasty racist homophobic mom (Margo Martindale) and a mom (Kate Hudson) who mostly just seems to work out a lot. And there’s a career-woman (Julia Roberts), who says from beneath her hideous red-mushroom wig that she’s Not A Mom, Thank You Very Much, but you’ll see her plotline coming like a storm cloud on the horizon.
All this is set in Atlanta, where there is apparently exactly one grocery store, one soccer field, one gym and one hospital, and where all these characters intersect. And not one of these people or stories is remotely interesting.
Contains language and some suggestive material. Seattle Times
(R; 104 minutes; Relativity Entertainment): After “Bad Santa” (which was great) and “Dirty Grandpa” (horrible) comes this abysmal Gross-Out Gymnast. Melissa Rauch co-wrote the non-comedy and plays a small-town Olympian whose star status has been fading since she won third place in ’04. She’s the sort of egotistical little miss loser who thinks she’s the coolest girl around. The minor celebrity aims to coach – and sabotage – a rising local gymnast whose prominence threatens her petty fame.
The film makes a point of mocking Tonya Harding-style greed and clinging to faded glory, but it’s crushed by a hack plot and the sense that sheer off-putting vulgarity is funny. In fairness, toward the end there’s a surprisingly well-staged scene of nude sex acrobatics that is chock-full of laughs. If this unendurable film hasn’t driven you to the exit by that point, check it out, and pray you quickly forget the rest.
Contains strong sexual content, graphic nudity, language throughout and some drug use.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Also out Aug. 2
- “Meet the Blacks”
- “Lazer Team”
- “High Rise”
- “Puerto Ricans in Paris”
- “Louder than Bombs”
- “High Strung”
- “Batman: The Killing Joke”
- “Careful What You Wish For”
- “Last Days in the Desert”
- “Manhattan Night”
- “The Trust”
- “Blindspot: Season 1”
- “The Blacklist: Season 3”
- “Girlfriend Experience: Season 1”
- “The Knick: Season 2”