Cineast Movie Previews: Popstar, Finding Dory, Central Intelligence, Eat That Question

PopStar Never Stop Never Stopping PromoPic
PopStar Never Stop Never Stopping, Photo: ©2016 Universal Studios

Check out these trailers from some of this week’s most anticipated films.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
From the Lonely Island guys (Dick in a Box, Jizz in My Pants) comes a spoof of—what else—contemporary pop music. Andy Samberg stars as Conner4Real, a former boy-band star gone solo. Starting as a superstar, complete with expensive habits and an overgrown entourage of sycophants, Conner4Real goes into a downward spiral when his most recent album fails to hit. Faced with losing his position in the pantheon of stars, the desperate singer tries to cling to relevance with an escalating series of media stunts. Presented as a backstage rockumentary, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping holds the promise of being a Spinal Tap for a new generation, mixing satire of the egos and excesses of the music world with a genuine sympathy for the plight of talented people faced with public humiliation and failure.

Finding Dory
It’s Finding Nemo 2 by a slightly different name. Finding Dory, the latest Pixar/Disney underwater adventure, follows Dory, a blue tang fish with very little short-term memory, as she tries to locate her family—from which she became separated. A nice, G-rated film for when rain interferes with beach plans and you need something to get the kids out of your hair, but be warned: This one looks biased toward the younger set, and older kids might be bothered by the simple story—not to mention the repetition of plot points from Finding Nemo, which they’ve all watched 75,000 times.

Central Intelligence
Who doesn’t like Kevin Hart? In Central Intelligence, he’s playing a character named Calvin—a diminutive, fast-talking coward. That is, he’s playing the guy he basically always plays. But he does it so well that nobody wants him to stop—although it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s getting sick of it. This time he’s paired with the massive Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock, and the comic possibilities are obvious. Johnson plays CIA agent Bob Stone, who recruits Calvin, very much against Calvin’s will, to be his sidekick in a dangerous mission involving hosts of gun-toting adversaries.

Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words
Young people today might not quite understand the fuss that was made over Frank Zappa at one time. But his records, often marked “Not Suitable for Airplay,” used to be an essential part of a male college student’s record collection, to be giggled over in dorm rooms and blasted at parties to try to impress the girls. Zappa was a talented and original artist, he nurtured many brilliant performers, and was a fierce advocate for freedom of expression. In the years since his death, his brand of humor has become mainstream, imitated by the creators of South Park and Lonely Island, to name just a few.

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