Opening in Las Vegas, July 8, 2016

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Another lackluster weekend. This summer is heading toward being the worst in my memory. Is there any film out there that could save this summer? Suicide Squad?

The best-reviewed and likely box office champ this weeekend is The Secret Life of Pets (61), an animated film getting decent reviews, but the animation looks a little crude for a feature film. I’d see it if I had kids, but I don’t, so I’ll pass. A. O. Scott: “The Secret Life of Pets is adequate animated entertainment, amusing while it lasts but not especially memorable except as a catalog of compromises and missed opportunities.”

In the movies for bros department, we have Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, (50) another film wasting the talent of Anna Kendrick. Except for Me and Orson Welles, has Zac Efron ever made a good movie? Todd McCarthy: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates rates medium on the grossness scale (an all-body, pre-marital naked-Indian-guru-administered massage for the bride with a happy ending, anyone?), and pretty high in crude talk. But it’s kind of a dud when it comes to endurance and imaginative moves.”

The one movie I might see if boredom sets in is Our Kind of Traitor (57), an adaptation of a John LeCarre novel, starring Ewan McGregor. In summer I gravitate toward films that provide at least a spark of intelligence. Dan Jolin: “A lesser entry in the LeCarré Cinematic Universe, though Damian Lewis and Stellan Skarsgård rescue it from complete blandness.”

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.

3 responses »

  1. Efron’s problem seems to be repetition as much as quality – this is basically the third raunchy mainstream comedy he’s done in roughly nine months – time to try something different,

  2. On the one hand I find the chick playing the bride hot. On the other hand – the masseuse is Kumail Nanjiani. I’m torn on whether to Netflix the film in six months.

    If Baywatch doesn’t hit, I think Efron is done. I could see it doing decently and giving him one last gasp.

  3. Mike and Dave did pretty well. Probably not “make a sequel!”-well, but good enough that no one will be embarrassed by the performance.

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