Opening in Las Vegas, January 8, 2016

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Now is the time for Oscar bait and the first releases of the new year, which are usually bad horror movies and romantic comedies.

The Revenant (77) is the must-see this week, as Leonard DiCaprio gets attacked by a bear and sleeps inside a horse for his art (and a probably Oscar, even if he doesn’t say much). The film is getting good if not unanimously great reviews, but I’ll see it. Stephen Witty: “That grim realism sometimes makes The Revenant about as appetizing as a three-course meal of turkey jerky — but also serious enough to remind you of classics like “Jeremiah Johnson” and “Little Big Man.” It’s a gruesome adventure story that rarely lets up.”

Garbage time brings us The Forest (37), about a Japanese forest that, true enough, has a lot of suicides. Natalie Dormer, who has been in a lot of popular things, like The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones, finally gets a starring role.  David Ehrlich: “The only question worth asking about an early January horror movie is if its inevitable badness is at all interesting.”

Wow, a movie that combines religion and wrestling. The Masked Saint (tbd) does just that, as a wrestler becomes a pastor. Again my question is, as wonderful as many Christians are, why can’t they make good movies? Peter Sobczynski: “Although nowhere near as obnoxious as such recent faith-based offerings as “God’s Not Dead” and “Do You Believe?,” The Masked Saint is still kind of a chore to sit through, even for those predisposed to like anything that brings together Christian faith and sleeper holds.”

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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