Opening in New York, July 8


A thunderstorm is rolling in as I write this. I love the sound of thunder and the feel of the fresh breeze blowing in the window. And now, on to Openings.

Horrible Bosses
Director: Seth Gordon
Personal Interest Factor: 7
Metacritic: 58
Strangers on a Train meets Swimming With Sharks. Supposedly very crude and also pretty funny. I’ll probably end up seeing it, despite it seeming awfully familiar, because there’s nothing else to see this weekend.

Director: Johnathan English
Personal Interest Factor: 4
Paul Giamatti, as King John? Now that sounds wicked bad. I’m a sucker for films about medieval England, so I’ll probably end up seeing this somewhere down the line.
Metacritic: 43

Project Nim
Director: Jim Marsh
Personal Interest Factor: 7
Documentary about a chimpanzee taught sign language. Getting strong reviews, but I’ll probably only see it if it’s Oscar-nominated.
Metacritic: 82

The Sleeping Beauty
Catherine Breillat
Personal Interest Factor: 5
A nonpornographic film from Breillat about the fairy tale character.
Metracritic: 67

John Carpenter’s The Ward
John Carpenter
Personal Interest Factor: 3
Carpenter’s first film in 10 years. Supposedly he got fed up with the process. Based on the reviews, he should have stayed retired.
Metacritic: 37


Personal Interest Factor: 0
Is there any genre more of a plague in multiplexes today than the live-action talking animal picture? I don’t think so.  A Constitutional amendment should be introduced allowing all who are involved in these things, from the studio head to the key grip, be executed for perpetrating these on the general public. I invite dissent: has anyone seen one that was good?
Metacritic: 31

Also this week:
Beat, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest – doc on the hip-hop band.
Fading of the Cries – “a non-sensical horror romance-hybrid with bats for brains.” (Jeannette Catsoulis)
Farmageddon – doc about government ovesight of farm and food production.
The Ledge – drama about a guy threating to jump off a ledge.
Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish — Shakespeare among the Hasidim.
Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness — doc about the Jewish writer.
Summer of Goliath — drama about life in rural Mexico.


About Jackrabbit Slim

Location: Vegas, Baby! I’m much older than the other whippersnappers here, a baby boomer. I tend to be more snobbish about film, disdaining a lot of the multiplex fare for “cinema.” My favorite films: Woody Allen’s oeuvre (up until about 1990), The Godfather, The Graduate, A Hard Day’s Night, Pulp Fiction. Politics: Well, George McGovern was my political hero. I’m also a prickly atheist. Occupation: Poised to be an English teacher in Las Vegas. For many years I was an editor at Penthouse Magazine. My role on this blog seems to be writing lots of reviews and being the resident Oscar maven.

10 responses »

  1. Ironclad!

    How many directors remained brilliant into their later years? Remarkable how so much brilliance fades…

  2. John Carpenter is one of my 4 favorite directors, the other 3 being Stephen Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, and Terence Fischer. I’ve gotten a good deal of enjoyment out of even terrible Carpenter flicks like Ghosts of Mars, so I’m definitely looking forward to The Ward, though I’m guessing it lacks the camp factor that makes some of his lesser works enjoyable. The only Carpenter work I haven’t seen is Elvis – a fact I plan to rectify eventually. Problem is The Ward isn’t coming anywhere near me this weekend and I don’t have whatever pay on demand thing has the movie.

  3. Carpenter is in my top…..eight. Easily. I love his style and his camerawork and Starman is a masterpiece…straight up *masterpiece*.

  4. How JS can put Ironclad above The Ward is beyond me. Carpenter’s involvement alone puts it above Ironclad.

  5. How JS can put Ironclad above The Ward is beyond me. Carpenter’s involvement alone puts it above Ironclad.

    Well, since you asked, I’ll tell you. First of all, it’s personal interest, and I believe Brian created that measure for his personal taste, which is going to be different than everyone elses.

    Second, I don’t share your worship of John Carpenter. I don’t have anything against him–he’s made some good movies, like Starman and Escape from New York, and some bad ones, like The Fog and Ghosts of Mars. I haven’t seen all that many of his movies. He certainly is not in my pantheon of great directors.

    I do like English history, though, and would be interested in seeing a movie about King John, even if Paul Giamatti chews scenery in playing him. To each his own!

  6. Juan: Ghosts of Mars was really, really bad.

    He certainly is not in my pantheon of great directors.

    Them’s is fightin’ words, sir…fightin’ words. They Live is a masterpiece. A straight-up genre masterpiece.

  7. Them’s is fightin’ words, sir…fightin’ words. They Live is a masterpiece. A straight-up genre masterpiece.

    Haven’t seen it. But one masterpiece, even if it is, does not a great director make. The name John Carpenter means nothing to me, just like the name Howard Hawks probably means nothing to Juan.

  8. For my money, Carpenter’s The Thing and Halloween are both masterpieces. The two best horror films ever made. Both top 10 movies for me. That should give you a proper idea of how much of a Carpenter nut I am.

    As far as Hawks goes, I love His Girl Friday, though I’m sure I only caught half the jokes cause the dialogue goes at such a brisk clip.

  9. And the original The Thing from Another World was great, even though Carpenter topped it.

  10. Thanks again for filling in, JS, while I was galavanting about Pittsburgh. Which, incidentally, seems like a pretty great town based on a weekend there.

    Looks like we also opened Chris Weitz’s A Better Life here in Chicago, which I’ll probably see. Nothing else of note.

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