Opening in Las Vegas, April 10, 2015

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Another dreary weekend at the megaplex. Furious 7 should easily win a second weekend at the box office.

One movie I’m glad to see open is Danny Collins (58), which somehow casts Al Pacino as a Neil DIamond-like singer trying to reunite with his son. Al least now I won’t see the trailer anymore. reviews are kind to Pacino, so maybe he has a few good performances left in him. BIll Goodykoontz: “Pacino and his director don’t get back to basics — given that Pacino plays the title character, an aging rock star who long ago sold out, that wouldn’t make sense. But the actor brings such a charming attitude to the role that his performance feels far more genuine than the story itself.”

The movie that men may get dragged to this week is The Longest Ride (32), starring Scott Eastwood, trying to follow in the old man’s shoes in a romantic drama. It doesn’t appear to be a successful launching of a leading man career. Kimberley Jones: “There’s little here to convince the audience of boy and girl’s special chemistry, and nothing to attach the audience to them, either.”

Oscar bait in April? Helen Mirren stars as a woman who’s valuable art was stolen by the Nazis, and she’s trying to get it back, in Woman in Gold (51). I’m for anything that emphasizes the importance of art in people’s lives, but this is not getting great reviews, so maybe Mirren won’t be thought of come Oscar time. Kenneth Turan: “It’s regrettable that Woman in Gold is no more than adequate, more old-fashioned Hollywoodization than incisive modern dramatization.”

The only new movie I’m interested in seeing is Noah Baumbach’s latest, While We’re Young (76) which has a strong trailer and features one of my favorite actors, Naomi Watts. It’s how an older couple re-evaluate their choices after meeting a young hipster couple, and it looks pretty funny. Ty Burr: “Baumbach has something of an evil genius for casting. If Driver — the mercurial Adam of “Girls” — and Seyfried are solid as the incoming kids, Charles Grodin (the original “Heartbreak Kid”) ruthlessly represents the boomers refusing to cede the stage.”

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.

One response »

  1. Helen Mirren’s film record post-The Queen is surprisingly ordinary. A lot of disappointments (did anyone ever see ‘Love Ranch’?), misfires and mainstream piffle. I reckon she’s just mentally coasted since the Oscar and thought now is her time to cash in.

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