Opening in Las Vegas, April 15, 2016

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A big Disney film and another bad Kevin Costner film. Just another typical weekend of openings.

The big Disney film is The Jungle Book (78), one of three films coming out soon based on the Kipling book. However, this one is more based on the Disney animated film from 1967, which I saw in its first run! The film is getting generally good reviews, mostly for the special effects, because it’s not really a live-action film (except for Mowgli). I’m sure Joe Webb will let us know how it is. Joe Walsh: “While there is the odd bum note, The Jungle Book is an immersive, visually breathtaking family adventure and a welcome addition to their new spate of live-action reimaginings.”

The bad Kevin Costner movie is Criminal (38), in what looks like another bomb for Costner. When will TV be next? His best work of the last decade was in The Hatfield and McCoys. He’s trying the Liam Neeson route but it’s not working. Also starring Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot. Stephen Witty: “Quick, what do you call it when a movie takes both of the year’s biggest breakout action stars and wastes them in a bad Kevin Costner movie? Criminal.”

After a long hiatus, there’s another Barber Shop movie, this one called Barbershop: The Next Cut. (66) I’ve never seen one of these films, but they look like generally fun entertainment. Jesse Hassenger: “Though this series is built on comic looseness, it’s that sincerity that carries through its minor comedic missteps, like underusing Hall and leaning too heavily on Cedric’s wacky-old-man shtick.”

James Franco stars in The Adderall Diaries (41), an adaption of a memoir by Stephen Elliott. Getting mixed reviews, and that typifies Franco’s career–at times he’s brilliant, at other times he’s barely watchable. Guy Lodge: “Franco’s cultivated impenetrability makes for a pain-ridden but peculiarly passionless experience, with multiple clashing subplots — on such insufficiently explored themes as parental abuse, uxoricide and masochism — obstructing an already opaque character study.”

The best film this week is no doubt Everybody Wants Some!! (84), Richard Linklater’s “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused, set in 1980 among college baseball players. I’ve seen it, and a review will be up tomorrow, and I doubt I will have a more fun time at the movies this year. Stephanie Zacharek: “Everybody Wants Some!! is a seemingly straightforward picture that’s surprisingly stealthy in capturing the joy and exaltation of being an almost-adult but still feeling young, of messing around and messing up, of waiting and hoping for the chance to meet a guy or girl you really like.”

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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