Opening in Las Vegas, July 31st, 2015


Pretty quiet week here. Just two in the multiplexes.

I reviewed Vacation (33) below. I liked it, but I’m in the minority. Most find it’s gross out humor not balanced with the heart of the original, I disagree. Ty Burr: “What’s interesting about Vacation is that it holds on to the original’s acrid cynicism for the first 40 minutes or so before turning predictable and bland. There are some real, nasty laughs to be had here, but they’re front-loaded.” It will be interested to see if the box office receipts will generate another cycle of Vacation films–will they go to Europe, enjoy the family at Christmas, etc.?

The fifth in the series, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (75)is getting pretty good reviews and will probably do well enough to get another film out of it. Tom Cruise is getting long in the tooth but doesn’t look it. Mick LaSalle: “McQuarrie devises a film that’s a succession of riveting sequences, filmed in a way that’s active and yet elegant. The camera keeps moving within shots, but not in a subjective, jittery way, but rather like a third person narrator calmly emphasizing the essential points.”

Finally there’s Twinsters (81), which sounds like a sit-com, is a doc about twins separated at birth that discover each other. Justin Chang: “The overriding effect of Twinsters is a sense of pleasure at having borne witness to emotional epiphanies of the most affecting and intimate sort.”


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.

4 responses »

  1. The biggest warning sign about Vacation wasn’t the trailer but that the people who wrote/directed this wrote Horrible Bosses & The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

  2. Vacation made under $15 million for the three-day. Vegas Vacation opened with $13 million 18 years ago. Crushing disappointment for WB.

    Also doesn’t bode well for Spider-Man.

  3. Not sure how that connects to Spider-Man. I think Vacation’s failure was part of the general weakness lately of R-rated comedies, and maybe those who were pissed off that it was remade in the first place.

  4. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation was the best action film I’ve seen since The Raid. It’s fanastically directed (as mentioned above with the way the actions scenes aren’t jittery sickness inducing shaky cam but so well choreographed and edited) and the writing is great, you could never see what was coming.
    Fantastic film. I think James mentioned how good it was and that’s what made me decide to watch, so, thanks for the heads up.

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