Opening in New York, May 17, 2013

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I’ll keep this short due to the lateness.

The big multiplex opening this weekend is Star Trek Into Darkness (73) which I saw today and loved. It’s even better than Iron Man 3. I’m not a Star Trek guy, but it’s easily the best of the entire series. My review will be up tomorrow. For now, here’s A. O. Scott: “The half-man, half-Vulcan at the center of those relationships — and also the logical thorn in the emotive side of Dr. McCoy (Karl Urban) — is one of the great characters in American popular culture, and Mr. Quinto slyly and respectfully revises our sense of him. His performance is witty and self-aware but also entirely serious, and his Spock is at once the ship’s stoical straight man and the guy with all the best jokes.”

The art house opening is Frances Ha (81), directed by Noah Baumbach, co-written by him and his star, Greta Gerwig, as a 27-year-old woman who’s having trouble growing up. Gerwig, who I suppose will always be known as the queen of mumblecore, is a terrific performer, one who could become the next Kate Winslet. Scott: “With its swift, jaunty rhythms and sharp, off-kilter jokes, “Frances Ha” is frequently delightful. Ms. Gerwig and Mr. Baumbach are nonetheless defiant partisans in the revolt against the tyranny of likability in popular culture.”

Finally is Augustine (77), a film about a French neurologist and his patient. Scott: “Everything depends on the subtlety of the direction and the charisma of the performances. “Augustine” is intellectually satisfying partly because it communicates its ideas at the level of feeling, through the uncanny power of Soko’s face and body. A well-known French pop singer, she is as grave and luminous as a silent-film star.”

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.

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