Opening February 15 (Reboot)

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After being shuttered for one week, Openings returns in its new form, which is basically formless. I’m going by what was reviewed in the New York Times this week (a few movies opened on Thursday), although I’ll be selective, as the Times reviews everything. There will be no links to trailers, as I am generally opposed to them in principle, and only watch them as a captive audience member. I will put Metacritic scores in parentheses.

In the multiplexes this weekend are two turds: A Good Day to Die Hard (29) the fifth in the series. Quick story: on a trip to Los Angeles my friend and I wanted to see a film in Mann’s Chinese Theater. Live Free and Die Hard was playing there. I hated it, but it’s nice to be able to say I’ve seen a movie there. The other turd is Safe Haven (34), another adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel. Here’s a tip: if the movie has the name Sparks, Josh Duhamel, or Julianne Hough on the poster, stay far away.

The other multiplex opening this week is Beautiful Creatures (53), which looks kind of like a Twilight with witches, but got a surprisingly good review by Manohla Dargis, who basically said it had no right being as good as it is. I may check it out.

In the art houses, there’s two significant releases. No (77) is one of the nominees for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars, and tells the story of how advertising affected the vote that removed Pinochet from power in Chile.  Abbas Kiarostami has a new film, Like Someone in Love (73), about a Japanese prostitute.

Also, there’s a new animated film Escape from Planet Earth (45) and a documentary about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer–The Jeffrey Dahmer Files (58). Sounds like a perfect double feature.

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.

8 responses »

  1. I saw Signs at Mann’s. Remarkable projection. Hope you at least had the experience I had, even if it was for a movie that doesn’t exist.

  2. BEAUTIFUL CREATURES is actually surprisingly good… at least until the 3rd act anyway where it feels overstuffed and muddled. Before then though it’s a smartly written and honestly funny film with two charismatic “teen” leads. It really is the antithesis of TWILIGHT in every way.

  3. The latest Die Hard film seems to be getting a largely negative reception – the goodwill that Willis generated in 2012 in being both a highly acclaimed independent film (Moonrise Kingdom), as well as one of the most highly rated mainstream action films (Looper) will probably evaporate now.

  4. Willis also has a G.I. Joe movie coming up. But I don’t think his reputation has altered. He’s always been known as an actor who won’t pass up a hefty paycheck, but will also do interesting work in between.

  5. Slim’s right: Willis’ strategy (going back at least to the mid 90’s) has typically been to make a couple of paycheck movies, and then follow them with something actually interesting. I just wish he would show a little more care with the paycheck movies.

    I actually saw Die Hard this weekend, I didn’t outright hate it – but it’s certainly the worst of the franchise. The massive car chase sequence through Moscow is pretty impressive.

  6. Catch .44, anyone? Any horrible movie he does is forgotten. Quickly. And doesn’t seem to work against him. John McClane can get away with anything.

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