Opening in Las Vegas, January 30, 2015


The slow crawl out of winter continues, but at least I live in a place where I don’t need a coat in January.

The movie I’ll be seeing this weekend is A Most Violent Year (80), which won the National Board of Review best picture but got nothing from the Oscars. I think they have may have released it too late, after all the shouting. James Berardinelli: “This isn’t a revolutionary or thematically rich motion picture, but it’s a well-told story featuring solid performances and a nice sense of atmosphere.”

The trailer for Black Sea (62) made it look pretty interesting, but I’ll probably wait for the DVD. I kind of like those claustrophobic submarine movies, this one about a search for Nazi gold (a popular subject). Michael Phillips: “Many will forgive all the contrivances and a muted ending that doesn’t quite come off. It is, after all, a submarine picture.”

The Loft (34), from the trailer I saw, seems to be stealing an idea from Very Bad Things. What a very bad idea. Peter Sobczynski: “This long-delayed would-be erotic thriller is a shabby bore that promises viewers any number of kinky thrills and then proceeds to deflate those expectations.”

For the teenage set is Project Almanac, (45) which is about as un-sexy title as you can get. It sounds like a documentary about Benjamin Franklin. John De Fore: “Begins as a marginally fun diversion before proving to have nearly no interest in the possibilities of its premise.”

Edited to add: Black or White (45), which looks like a very preachy melodrama about a custody fight mixed with racial tension, starring box-office poison Kevin Costner. Barbara VanDenburgh: “Black or White is more remarkable for what it isn’t than for what it is. For example, it isn’t ripe with drama. It isn’t a thoughtful exploration of racial identity in America. It isn’t a compelling look at judicial bias and class conflict. It is, instead, a movie that’s every bit as oversimplified and obvious as its title.”


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.

10 responses »

  1. A quick glance at IMDB suggests this American version of The Loft is actually the third to be made. The previous two coming from the Netherlands. Does this story really call for three movies?

  2. It also shot in like 2011. Must have been some contractual obligation for it to see a theatrical release because it screams day-and-date.

  3. Actually, I think Marsden is quite gifted when it comes to comedy. I have no idea why his people continually push him into dramatic roles. It’s just not his thing.

    He’d kill it on a sitcom, but instead he’s doing Westworld as his first series gig.

  4. I’ll be back in March, things should be relatively back to normal for me by then. Killed with various work and family obligations at the start of this year.

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