Opening in New York, February 28, 2014

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In multiplexes this week are Non-Stop (56), another generic action picture starring Liam Neeson. What most intrigues me about this picture is the use of a hyphen in the title. AP style says it should be there, but others say it shouldn’t be. It’s the most controversial hyphen question in a movie since The 40 Year Old Virgin. Todd McCarthy: “A constant low-boil of ridiculousness both mocks and sustains Non-Stop, a jerry-rigged terror-on-a-plane thriller with a premise so far-fetched as to create a degree of suspense over how the writers will wriggle out of the knot of their own making.”

Also in multiplexes this week is Son of God (37), one of those movies designed to get churchgoers in by the busload. It’s adapted from a History Channel show, but mercifully they left out the Obama-look alike as Satan.  Justin Chang: “A clumsily edited feature-length version of five episodes from History’s hugely popular 10-hour miniseries “The Bible,” this stiff, earnest production plays like a half-hearted throwback to the British-accented biblical dramas of yesteryear, its smallscreen genesis all too apparent in its Swiss-cheese construction and subpar production values.”

Art-house fare includes The Lunchbox, (74), an Indian romance featuring the great actor Irrfan Kahn. A. O. Scott: “The comedy is more wry than uproarious, the melodrama gently poignant rather than operatic, and the sentimentality just sweet enough to be satisfying rather than bothersome.”

Also this week is The Bag Man (30), another slide further down the ladder for both John Cusack and Robert De Niro; Odd Thomas (44), based on the Dean Koontz novel; Chlorine (30), a badly-titled film about suburbia with Kyra Sedgwick and Vincent D’Onofrio; and Repentance (tbd), a horror thriller with an all-black cast.

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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