Opening in Las Vegas, July 17, 2015


At last some interesting movies this weekend. Don’t know if I’ll catch up with any before the DVD release, but I’d like to see one or two.

The winner at the box office is likely to be Ant-Man (64), as Marvel continues to dredge the bottom of the barrel for characters. Ant-Mzn was in mothballs during my comic-book years (roughly 1970 to 1990), as I believe he had transformed to Goliath. But that was Hank Pym, who in this movie is not Ant-Man, but the creator of the suit. Very complicated. Anyway, now that The Inhumans is on the schedule, I think only Moon Knight is left. Jeff Baker: “Ant-Man wastes the regular-guy appeal of its star, Paul Rudd, on a bland, by-the-numbers story that starts small and keeps on shrinking, a metaphor for the movie itself. Its modest ambitions are admirable and unrealized.”

The movie I’d most like to see is Mr. Holmes (66). I’m always up for a Sherlock Holmes movie, and in complete contrast to the rock ’em-sock’ em Guy Ritchie films, this one seems downright genteel, as Holmes (Ian McKellen) is in his 90s, keeping bees and losing his memory. Joe Morgenstern: “The plot has an intriguing twist, and the production, in addition to Mr. McKellen’s commanding presence, has fine work by Laura Linney as Holmes’s housekeeper.”

Here’s weird casting: Jennifer Connelly as Cillian Murphy’s mother. She’s 44, he’s 39. Oh well! Anyway, that’s the casting of Aloft (34), in which Connelly plays a faith healer. Stephen Dalton: “Strip away its gorgeous wintry landscapes and we are left with a symphony of ponderous New Age mumbo-jumbo masquerading as philosophical wisdom.”

This summer of Amy Schumer is capped off by Trainwreck (75). I’ve never seen her show, but what I have seen of her I’ve liked–don’t know if the appeal would last the length of a feature. Ty Burr: “A very entertaining romantic comedy, conventional on the surface while standing all sorts of genre clichés and gender assumptions discreetly on their heads.”

Alicia Vikander has about eight movies coming out this year, one of them is Testament of Youth (77), a costume drama set during World War I. Any resemblance to Downton Abbey is purely coincidental, I’m sure. Also starring Jon Snow (Kit Harington). Peter Travers: “Harington and Vikander provide the spark the film needs to get us through the tribulations and tragedies that pile on with numbing regularity.”

FInally there’s Dark Awakening, a haunted-house movie, not yet reviewed by critics.


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. Interesting seeing the iMDB ratings for ‘Trainwreck’ – it was down as low as 5.9 a couple of days ago. Even now it’s only a moderately pleasing 6.8, which seems much lower than you’d expect for a film with the great critical reaction it had. I’m guessing that a lot of those votes were done by people who hadn’t seen the film and is a backlash against the aggressive marketing push of Amy Schumer.

  2. Also, despite being around for over a century Sherlock Holmes seems to be more popular than ever. Two different film versions and a highly successful UK TV series as well as a US one all within the last few years.

    As for this particular film, it will be interesting to see if this is a comeback for Bill Condon who this decade made two films in the criticially reviled Twilight series and made a film on Julian Assange that was much derided and sank without trace. Hopefully this is as good as his last film work with Laura Linney (who’s had a bad run in films for years as well) in ‘Kinsey’.

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