Opening in the U.S., April 18, 2014


I’m writing this from Gettysburg, visiting family. There’s nothing new this week I want to see, so there’s no problem there.

The big new opening this weekend is Transcendence (44), D.P. Wally Pfister’s directorial debut, starring Johnny Depp as a man whose brain is uploaded into a computer. Ironically, this was the plot of The Simpsons just last Sunday, and I’m sure that The Simpsons was better. Most critics are calling the film pretty dumb. It’s interesting that Johnny Depp only has hits when he’s in some bizarre costume. Peter Hartlaub: “Transcendence looks and sounds like a Christopher Nolan film that got attacked by malware.”

Also in wide release is A Haunted House 2 (19), which was not screened for critics, but some must have bought their own tickets. Jenni Miller: “In the running for worst film of the year… and it’s only April.”

For those who like nature docs, there’s Bears (68), which is pretty self-explanatory. If I had kids I’d take them, rather to some dumb second-rate animated film. Michael Rechtstaffen: :Disneynature’s Bears combines sweeping vistas and remarkably intimate wildlife photography to typically stirring effect.”

There are 24 limited release films opening this week. I guess the most prominent is Fading Gigolo (56), written and directed by John Turturro, who plays a gigolo, pimped by none other than Woody Allen. Kyle Smith: “With Fading Gigolo, writer-director-star John Turturro does a passable imitation of a mediocre Woody Allen sex comedy, and guess who tags along for this would-be romp?”

Also this week: The Final Member (67), about an Icelandic museum that preserves genitalia; Proxy (60), a thriller; Soft in the Head (64), a film directed by Nathan Silver (not the numbers guy, apparently); and Manakamana (87), a documentary about pilgrims in Nepal.


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.

3 responses »

  1. …and still, Morgan Freeman will remain ‘the one who can do no wrong’. Very lucky how some actors can weather not being real picky about projects. Samuel L. seems like another one.

  2. I guess Freeman is a bit like Michael Caine in the 1970s/1980s. You’ll always expect a professional performance from him although his choice of quality in his film projects is very erratic.

    Agree on Jackson. Been coasting on his reputation (and ability to attach himself to major franchises) for years, although I did enjoy his performance in Robocop.

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