Opening in Las Vegas, December 4,2015

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A quiet weekend of new releases before the Star Wars hit the fan.

A new Spike Lee film used to mean something, but now it’s a “oh, does he still make movies?” Fortunately, Chi-Raq (78) seems to be worth seeing, but you better hurry as it is only having a brief fun before streaming on Amazon. It’s a rework of the Greek play Lysistrata set in crime-ridden Chicago. Marjorie Baumgarten: “Chi-Raq constantly shifts tones from comedy to drama and back again, while most of its dialogue is delivered in rhyming couplets. The transitions can sometimes be bumpy, but never when Samuel L. Jackson pops up as nattily dressed and off-color one-man Greek chorus.”

Krampus (47) is that wonderful hybrid, a Christmas horror film. Chuck Wilson: “Krampus, sad to say, is a disappointment. It’s alternately funny and intense (don’t take the wee ones), but never enough of either to form a cohesive whole.”

A movie about Mother Teresa? That’s The Letters (25), and it’s getting panned. I suppose this is only for the true believers. Godfrey Cheshire: “A drama in which belief is reduced to well-meaning but inert treacle.”

If you want horror, but don’t want it Christmas-related, try Medusa (na), which appears to be fodder for the revived Mystery Science Theater 3000. Martin Tsai: “The pedestrian writing and acting prove even more cringe-worthy and dreadful than the special effects.”

I wonder if this film will be screened at Buckhingham Palace: A Royal Night Out (59), which showcases the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret on V-E Day. It must be weird to have so many movies made about you. Cath Clarke: “When it’s playing for laughs, ‘A Royal Night Out’ is harmless good fun.”

 

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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