Opening in Las Vegas, February 6, 2015

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As we head into February we’re getting a few more high-profile releases, none more than Jupiter Ascending (40), directed by the Wachowskis. It got kicked out of last summer to the dead of winter, which isn’t a good sign, but it has its supporters. Kim Newman: “Like too much filmed space opera, this is wonderfully imaginative when it comes to costume, art direction, special effects, spaceships and incidental alien creatures but stuck with old-hat character types and a resolutely unspecial storyline. It’s frequently entertaining, but as much for its terrible moments as its inspired touches.”

Julianne Moore, who is about to win an Oscar, isn’t above taking a film like Seventh Son (32), which of course brings up the “Norbit” curse that may or may not have befell Eddie Murphy. It shouldn’t hurt Moore. Bilge Ebiri: “Seventh Son not only offers no new spin on its bland, by-the-numbers story, it also fails to deliver any generic pleasures; I’m not sure this movie could even keep a young child engaged.”

For children there’s The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (62). My girlfriend’s kids love SpongeBob, and they are in middle school, but I know next to nothing about him or the show. I have a feeling this will have a nice opening if every kid who watches the show wants to go. Tasha Robinson: “It’s amiable goofiness, delivered at an emphatic, feverish pitch. Inevitably, what works fine in 11-minute episodes becomes strained over 90 minutes on the big screen, especially during a grating musical number about teamwork.”

FInally, the film I’ll be seeing is Two Days, One Night, (90) directed by the Dardennes and starring Oscar-nominee Marion Cotillard as a woman trying to convince her co-workers to take a pay cut rather than let her be laid off. Sounds bleak but good. I’m just glad I’m working while I’m watching it. Josh Kopecki: “The resulting film is an exceptionally crafted drama, anchored by the brothers’ mastery of their skills and Cotillard’s breathtaking performance.”

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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