Opening in Las Vegas, September 11, 2015

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I was thinking this was the worst week for openings since this blog has been in existence, but the M. Night Shamalyan movie is actually getting decent reviews.

That film is The Visit (56), which finds Shamalyan scaling back for a simple horror story that recalls fairy tales. I’m surprised Shamalyan can even get films made after The Happening and The Last Airbender, but so be it. Roger Moore: “A faintly-creepy, lightly amusing horror comedy that promises a surprise twist and a hint of heart.”

The Perfect Guy, (39) judging by the reviews, shows once again that films marketed toward African Americans are too often duds. At least there’s someone out there other than Tyler Perry making these things, and this one is a thriller, not another romantic dramedy. BIlge Ebiri: “The kind of movie you keep wishing would just cut loose and go off the deep end. Nobody goes to these “Fatal Attraction” retreads anymore for serious drama. But this one is a movie torn — too grim and self-important to go truly nuts, but too silly and slipshod to work on a more somber level.”

Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson star in Learning to Drive (59), about a white woman who, after being dumped, takes driving lessons from an Indian man. I’m sure cultures are bridged as they learn fundamental truths, blah blah. Tasha Robinson: “Learning To Drive has harmless sweetness, many revealing speeches about life, and a Kingsley performance that shades strongly into a “Robin Williams as a straight-faced foreigner” routine.”

Like films for African Americans, films for Christians always get panned. The latest is 90 Minutes in Heaven, (24) with Kate Bosworth and Hayden Christiansen. Gary Goldstein: “Although this well-meaning film may appeal to its intended audience on a spiritual level, the result is a sluggish, clinical, largely dreary portrait that tends to mistake trauma for drama.”

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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