This is as brutal a satire you will ever see. Writer-director Yorgos Lanthimos gives us a world where being single is so frowned upon, you will be transformed into the animal of your choice if you don’t find a partner in an allotted time. Colin Farrell stars as David, a recently dumped man who must stay at a hotel with his brother, who is also his dog, and find a new mate, or become a lobster. He eventually finds himself living in the woods with the leftover single people, who must dodge daily hunting expeditions by people looking to extend their time before animal transformation (they earn extra days for every single person they bag). David eventually meets Short Sighted Woman (Rachel Weisz) among the singles, and he finds himself needing to make some big decisions on how to start a relationship with her. The film is intentionally drab in its look, with all of the actors delivering their lines with nearly no emotion. The effect is just plain nasty, a scathing indictment on a society that puts too much pressure on individuals to become couples. It’s often extremely funny, with an equal amount of necessary unpleasantness. Simply said, it’s one of those movies that you can call truly original. There’s nothing else like it.
2 X-Men: ApocalypseAfter scoring a huge critical and box office success with X-Men: Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer’s triumphant return to the franchise, 20th Century Fox wisely brought the director back for this one. However, in a move that induces head scratching, Fox cut the budget for the current installment, while padding the cast and upping the action quotient. Actually, this is the studio that screwed up Fantastic Four, so maybe the shortchanging of a reliable franchise isn’t all that surprising. There are portions of the movie that are sloppier than the usual Singer offerings, and quite a few moments have cut-rate CGI. The movie alternates between looking great to looking super bad. The flaws eventually pile up, and while there are some nice, enjoyable stretches, it’s a bit of a mess in the end—despite powerful work from Michael Fassbender as Magneto and new-to-the-franchise Oscar Isaac as the menacing villain Apocalypse. Before the opening credits, which look like shit, we get a quick back story for Apocalypse. En Sabah Nur (Isaac), an ancient Egyptian, merges with some sort of ancient mystical being, thus becoming the world’s first mutant, or something like that. He’s then buried under a crushed pyramid for centuries. Cue cheapie opening credits. What follows are too many characters demanding subplots and, ultimately, the worst chapter in the X-Men franchise.