Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Releases For the Week of 6/03/16

Dark Horse (PG) 
Starring: Jan Vokes, Brian Vokes, Howard Davies, Angela Davies
Directed By: Louise Osmond
Down and Out is a racehorse appropriately named for a racehorse bred and raised by a barmaid in a destitute Welsh mining village. In true “it takes a village” style, Janet Vokes knew she couldn’t do this alone, so she formed a syndicate made up of twenty three bar patrons who ponied up 10 pounds a week. They used the money to buy a mare and stallion and in the course of time there was a foal—a long-legged, gangly beast with tall, white stockings on all four legs who loved to race. The ugly duckling tale of a “barmaid’s horse” competing against upper crust thoroughbreds is a wonderful one, and this documentary lets the people (and animals) who lived it share their stories as a Welshman is born to do.
3 and 1/2 pieces of unlikely horse-tale toast 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (PG-13) 
Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Laura Linney, Jeremy Howard, Brad Garrett, Tyler Perry, Tony Shaloub, Fred Arnison
Directed By: Dave Green
There’s an alien’s brain involved at the center of all these shenanigans—at least that’s what the press notes say, but it’s hard to keep track of a plot with all the characters whizzing off into the seven different dimensions (or was that nine dimensions? I can’t seem to recall.) Anyone with a scientific frame of mind should be appalled at the filmmakers’ determination to break every law of physics and thermodynamics in just 85 minutes, but they probably assume that nerds in the 10-and-under demographic group for whom this movie is targeted, are smart enough to keep their money in their wallets (unless, of course, they want to sit in the front row and make comments in Mystery Science Theater 3000 style.
1 piece of only for the unimaginative, under-ten crowd toast

Popstar (R) 
Starring: Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, Andy Samberg, Sarah Silverman, Maya Rudolph, Joan Cusack, Imogen Poots
Directed By: Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone
The Lonely Island filmmakers who wrote, direct and star in Popstar wanted it to be this generation’s This Is Spinal Tap, but to do so, they would have needed to ratchet everything up to an 11. Instead, we have a series of Saturday Night Live music videos presented in a mockumentary style that serves the movie well at first. There are tons of cameos by people whose faces are recognizable to the cognocsenti who are thumb-masters of digital media, but “15 seconds of fame” passed for many of these people long ago. The last part (when everything that was a parody becomes “real”), seems forced and unfunny, and it doesn’t help that the best videos have already been seen on SNL and downloaded to small screens a gazillion times.
2 and 1/2 pieces of Lonely Island music videos from SNL repackaged toast

Me Before You (PG-13) 
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Sam Clifflin, Vanessa Kirby, Charles Dance
Directed By: Thea Sharrock
I’ll give you the set ups for this movie, and you decide if you are up to the theatrical experience. Louisa is a sunshiny young woman who lives with her hard-working parents in a tidy English village. She takes a job as companion (not caregiver—there’s a nurse for that) for a wealthy banker, who is a wheel-chair-bound quadriplegic and hates it. Things proceed as expected in a frothy romantic fantasy—except for one tiny little detail. The banker is determined to travel to Sweden where assisted suicide is legal—and he wants Louisa to help make this happen.
2 and 1/2 pieces of is a romantic comedy the place to tackle the subject of assisted suicide? toast