It looks like the home video departments at all the studios decided to take Memorial Day off, because hardly anything worth mentioning is hitting shelves this week. We start off with a romance remake critics didn’t like very much, and a handful of TV shows and small movies only a handful of people chose to see. Read on for details:



Endless Love

16%

Though the film is notable for featuring a young Tom Cruise in his first role, the most enduring thing to come out of Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 romance Endless Love might be the chart-topping duet by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie it inspired. Nevertheless, we got a remake of that film earlier this year, and critics say it’s even less memorable this time around. Based on the novel by Scott Spencer, the story revolves around the romance between high schoolers Jade (Gabriella Wilde) and David (Alex Pettyfer), whose attempts to be together are repeatedly thwarted by Jade’s father (Bruce Greenwood). Will Jade forsake her love and leave for a summer internship in preparation for a medical career at Brown University? Of course not. Endless Love is less faithful to its source material, which isn’t a problem in and of itself, except that it’s strikingly bland, full of clichés, and in some moments, even unintentionally funny.

Also available this week:

  • A Birder’s Guide to Everything (90%), starring Kodi Smit-McPhee and Ben Kingsley in a coming-of-age road movie about a teen who sets off with his friends in search of an extinct bird.
  • Run & Jump (86%), starring Maxine Peake and Will Forte in a drama about an Irish housewife whose husband suffers a stroke and whose family is subsequently made the subject of a psychological study.
  • Cheap Thrills (85%), a Certified Fresh dark comedy about two friends and a wealthy married couple who meet at a bar and engage in a series of progressively more twisted dares.
  • Another Criterion Collection release this week: Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (55%), starring Bill Murray and a bunch of people in a story about an oceanographer in search of a shark who once ate one of his men.
  • Season three of BBC’s adaptation of the Swedish crime drama Wallander (100%), starring Kenneth Branagh as the titular detective.
  • Season four of USA’s Covert Affairs (100%), which finds Piper Perabo’s CIA agent Annie posing as an importer/exporter of fine goods.
  • Season three of another USA drama, Suits (70%), about a young NYC lawyer without a degree and the mentor who helps keep his secret.

 

This week at the movies, we’ve got individuality under attack (Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet) and Kermit under lock and key (Muppets Most Wanted, starring Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey). What do the critics have to say?



Divergent

41%

Based on a series of popular young adult novels, Divergent is a sci-fi allegory about the dangers of conformity. Ironically, critics say the biggest problem with the film is that it borrows too heavily from the likes of The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, leaving its terrific cast stranded in a sea of exposition. In a dystopian future, teenagers are forced to chose one of five factions with which they’ll associate for life. However, Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) doesn’t fit neatly into any one group, and her independent streak makes her a target when two rival tribes prepare for war. The pundits say Woodley gives a star-making performance, and her supporting cast is top-notch, but Divergent is too grim and jumbled to fully resonate. (Check out our gallery of co-star Kate Winslet in some of her most memorable roles.)



Muppets Most Wanted

80%

“Everybody knows that the sequel’s never quite as good,” sing Kermit and Fozzie in the opening scene of Muppets Most Wanted. The operative word here is “quite,” for the critics say that while this caper comedy lacks the breezy charm of The Muppets, it’s got enough laughs and catchy tunes to entertain in its own right. Hot off their successful reunion show, the Muppets decide to take their act on the road, but things quickly go amiss when they sign up with a fast-talking booking agent (Ricky Gervais) who’s in league with a wanted criminal mastermind — and who looks exactly like Kermit the Frog. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Muppets Most Wanted maintains the anarchic spirit of the Muppets, and if the story isn’t as strong this time out, the rapid-fire gags are reliably witty and inventive. (Check out our video interviews with the cast, as well as our rundown of the best films from the Jim Henson Company.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

Finally, props to Vicente Torres and Nat Brautigam for coming the closest to guessing The Single Moms Club‘s 17 percent Tomatometer.

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