‘DC Super-Pets’ has just enough bite

As the summer movie season prepares to enter its final month, will the box office go to the dogs? Or maybe the family antics of “DC League of Super-Pets” will do like Lassie and save the day.

“Super-Pets,” along with BJ Novak’s comedy/mystery “Vegeance,” are the top arrivals to theaters this weekend.

Streaming options, meanwhile, are rounded out by Netflix’s “The Most Hated Man on the Internet” and Neil Patrick Harris’ sexy series “Uncoupled.” And don’t miss Hulu’s acerbic “Disagree.”

Here is our roundup.

“DC League of Super-Pets”: This friendly animated adventure will delight its target audience while entertaining parents just enough so they don’t check their phones. Whenever things focus on rogue hamster Lulu (voiced by Kate McKinnon) and her power-hungry plans, fueled by a dodgy crush on Lex Luthor, “DC League” excels. Other times, it’s pleasant, nothing more. Due to another of Luthor’s crackpot misadventures, Lulu has accidentally attained superpowers, along with a motley crew of creatures rejected from the pet store – street smart dog Ace (Kevin Hart), pot-bellied pig PB (Vanessa Bayer), doe turtle Merton (Natasha Lyonne) and nervous squirrel Chip (Diego Luna). Ace forms an antagonistic friendship with favored Krypto (Dwayne Johnson), Superman’s loyal dog who is upset by Clark Kent’s romance with Lois. “Super-Pets” doesn’t have a lot of plot and doesn’t always hit its mark, but it triggers enough fun lines to keep you engaged and has decent animation. But it’s McKinnon, Hart and Keanu Reeves – perfect as a deadpan Batman – who give the “Super-Pets” their ultimate superpowers. Here’s hoping Hart and Reeves land a standalone feature next time around. Details: 2½ stars; in theaters Friday.

“The Most Hated Man on the Internet”: Told in three provocative pieces, Netflix’s latest docuseries tells two shocking stories: one about the meteoric rise of Sacramento’s reprehensible revenge porn king, Hunter Moore, and his hugely popular website IsAnyoneUp.com, and the another about the tenacious and angry-as-hell SoCal mommy bear who helped bring down this deplorable swagger. Executive producer Alex Marengo walks a tightrope with this unseemly material, needing to show flashes of sensational nastiness but knowing when to avoid glorifying sexual humiliation. Director Rob Miller never wastes time, keeping it direct and direct in a story that jumps to various locations, including San Francisco, where Moore lived with his ex-girlfriend (interviewed here), and other cities where we are introduced to his exploited victims as well as those trying to stop him. Each character – mother bear Charlotte Laws and former Las Vegas military and anti-bullying advocate – is equipped with an intriguing backstory and it’s those colorful characters combined with plenty of shocking twists that make “Hated” a sordid “Tiger King” watch. It’s one of the strongest non-fiction series Netflix has ever produced, a slap in the face for anyone who enjoys taking nudity photos that they believe will remain private (don’t count on it). Particularly disturbing is Moore’s depiction of reverential devotion, one in which he amassed a viral collection of fans who dubbed themselves “The Family” and considered the squid undeniably charismatic (he backed out of being interviewed) a God. Details: 3½ stars; available now on Netflix.

“Not good”: Too often, satire loses its edge and opts for a cuddly outcome. All that sugary stuff gets swept away from the brave “Disagree”. In this brutal dismantling of social influence culture, where a winning brand and page views are all that really matters in a hollow life, director/writer Quinn Shephard exposes the cutesyness of click-bait society and introduces us also one of the most despicable characters. you’ll never have met – the oh-so-white Danni Sanders (Zoey Deutch), an aspiring writer suffering from a slight discomfort at not being popular and “liked” on social media. She has an idea to gain followers and attract the attention of a ridiculous tattooed viral stud Colin (Dylan O’Brien) by arranging photos of herself in Paris at a writer’s retreat. The catch here is that she never leaves her messy apartment. When a deadly terrorist attack hits this town, Danni plays on the fact that she was there, even creating the popular hashtag #imnotokay. Often in a storyline like this, redemption comes for the central character, but Shephard never lets Danni off the hook as she befriends a mass shooting survivor (“Don’t ‘Make Me Go’s” incredible Mia Issac, well deserving of awards consideration) and gaining the notoriety she so craves. As a writer and director, Shephard, 27, demonstrates a wisdom about social media that is often misunderstood by more mature directors. And leave it to Deutch for taking command of such an unkind role. “Not Okay” is one of the most relevant and thankfully uncompromising films of 2022. Details: 3½ stars; available on Hulu on July 29.

“Revenge”: The mystery at the center of writer/star BJ Novak’s directorial debut is proving too easy to solve. No matter. Novak goes beyond the standard talking points to address the Red State vs. Blue State clashes and does it well, and that’s where “The Office” star’s neo-noir excels. Novak stars as kvetching writer and aspiring podcaster Ben Manalowitz, a serial “dater” from Brooklyn whose one-night stand turns out to be dead in West Texas. His brother (Boyd Holbrook) begs Ben – who the deceased woman’s family say is involved in a long relationship – to attend the funeral and that’s where the liberal Ben hits on an idea for a global podcast – made up, of course, of his own preconceived ideas about who “these people” really are. His producer friend (Issa Rae) gives the go-ahead, and that’s where the fun begins as stranger and family confront their stereotypes of each other. The cast, including Ashton Kutcher as the low-key, minty music producer, obviously enjoys their roles and witty dialogue while Finneas O’Connell’s music and Lyn Moncrief’s cinematography help create a neo-black atmosphere which is the most effective. Details: 3 stars; in theaters July 29.

“Decoupled”: What seems – at least in its first episode – like a routine, gay version of “Sex and the City” turns into something more meaningful about being middle-aged and suddenly single in a culture that too often crave for eternal youth. Created by HBO “City” creators Darren Star and Jeffrey Richman, “Uncoupled” suffers from the same creative flaws as “City”: changing its tone too abruptly and being a tale about angst-filled, ridiculously wealthy New Yorkers. But Neil Patrick Harris gives it a lot of soul, as well as its moving allure, like Michael Lawson, a real estate agent who is unexpectedly dumped by his partner of 17 years. The best parts of “Uncoupled” deal with Michael going through various emotions – anger, fear, doubt, lust – on his way to realizing who he is and what he wants from life and relationships. Its connections and setups strike a strong chord, and the series improves as it progresses. While some supporting characters are much larger than life than they should be, especially an incredibly wealthy client of Michael’s played by Marcia Gay Harden, others, like Michael’s co-worker (Tisha Campbell), are more complex comic supporting actors. Sexy and floaty, these eight 30-minute episodes go by quickly and should be washed down with a glass of champagne, a box of chocolates and, maybe even a box of Kleenex. Details: 3 stars; releases July 29 on Netflix.

“We met in virtual reality”: If you’re looking for a positive assessment of how web gathering places can provide places of healing while creating safe havens for those in need, director Joe Hunting’s HBO documentary — shot entirely in Virtual Reality Chat — accomplishes exactly that. What initially seems like such a slight premise worthy of a feature film turns into a sensory experience filled with moving testimonies of avatars roaming landscapes and connecting with each other. Hunting, 22, rightly resists venturing outside the ‘real’ world, instead following these avatars, some of whom are deaf or perhaps face unexpected loss as they celebrate discovery of their tribe and even meet their kindred spirits. It’s an exhilarating and invigorating VR journey, with special moments as well as melancholic moments. Details: 3 stars; now available on HBO Max.

“Keep Breathing”: Taking inspiration from Danny Boyle’s vastly superior 2010 survival story “127 Hours,” this heartfelt but hokey Netflix series wants to be a female twist on that James Franco hit, but feels like a fish out of it. water most of the time. A survivor of a small plane crash in Canada battles the elements of the wilderness and her internal demons as she reminisces about a horrific childhood. Well-meaning, it skips narrative tracks in its final two installments, even making its short six-chapter run more padded – an 80-minute feature would have done the job better. As big-city lawyer, commitment phobic, and workaholic Liv Rivera, Melissa Barrera is an attractive presence, but the storyline doesn’t allow her to become a person until too late in the game. Details: 2 stars; releases July 29 on Netflix.

“Resurrection”: And you thought “Gone Girl” hit you with a jaw-dropping twist. That one can’t approach the plot of Andrew Semans’ What Just Happened, a shocking game-changer likely to fuel hate, head-scratching and even adoration. Burnished by two intense performances from Rebecca Hall and Tim Roth, “Resurrection” is a horror/social commentary hybrid that sticks like Krazy Glue to your psyche. Hall is terrific as the confident and successful Margret, a single mother who was stalked by her abusive ex-boyfriend David (Roth), who is as menacing, manipulative and toxic a presence as Kilgrave on Netflix’s “Jessica Jones.” I won’t say more about what happens, but regardless of how you came across the goofy development, there’s no denying that Hall and Roth are both terrific. Details: 2½ stars; in theaters July 29, available to stream August 5.

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