Opening in the U.S., August 8, 2014

Standard

What a dog of a weekend. In fact, the only movie opening this weekend that I could visualize me seeing is The Dog (77), a documentary about the bank robber, John Wojtowicz, who was memorably played by Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon. Joshua Rothkopf: “For all its eye-opening material, The Dog still feels unfinished, but for students of New York scuzziness, it’s an essential addition.”

The rest I’ll skip. There’s a completely unnecessary reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (34). Fun fact number 1: I have never seen so much as a minute of any form of this show or the first movies. I do remember, though, when the first film opened. It was Thanksgiving weekend, 1990. I was at a multiplex seeing Dances of Wolves, but there was an army of kids in line for TMNT. A theater manager was prepping his ushers–“Every little kid needs to have a ticket.” he told them. Fun fact number 2: When I was at Penthouse, I was friendly with Julie Strain, one of the Pets. She later got married to Kevin Eastman, of the creators of TMNT. See, boys, what great wealth can attract? James Rocchi: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles isn’t a movie; it’s a brand re-launch that’s going to satisfy stockholders far more than it’s going to entertain the people who paid to watch it.”

Into the Storm (44) is weather porn that ups the ante on CGI-based storms since Twister. I’m sure Brian, given his fascination with cyclones, will want to see it. Me, not so much. Billy Goodykoontz: “Into the Storm plays like a special-effects demonstration in search of a movie, but you have to give it to the filmmakers: They take no half-measures.”

Also not very interesting to me is some food porn, The Hundred-Foot Journey (55), about restauranteurs in the south of France, starring Hellen Mirren. Elise Nakhnikian: “The film is rife with tired food metaphors and plot twists so predictable you see them coming like travelers on the poplar-lined street that leads to the dueling restaurants.”

Finally, my favorite title this week, Fifi Howls from Happiness (78), about an Iranian artist I’ve never heard of. Godfrey Cheshire: “As if to confirm how crucial timing is to documentaries, the artist gives the filmmaker a last performance that helps make her portrait of him as extraordinary as the man it portrays.”

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.

2 responses »

  1. While I never took much interest in them, TMNT were absolutely huge amongst my age group of 12 year olds in 1990. I remember every kid except me seemed to have trading cards from the TMNT animated series and when it came out a bit later that year, everybody seemed to have trading cards from the TMNT movie.

    Also, I remember when we borrowed TMNT from the video store I’ve never seen so many cassettes in a store to rent as there was for that. That was more memorable than the lousy movie.

  2. Julie Strain? Nice

    Yeah, I was 6 when the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came out. Pretty much nothing I loved more. This one looks like an abomination.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s