Opening in Las Vegas, July 22, 2016

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I actually started the day in Gettysburg, PA and am now in Herkimer, NY, but this is what’s opening this weekend in Vegas:

The big opening is the latest Star Trek Beyond (70). I’ve liked the new iteration of the series, this one is directed by Justin Lin. Most of the critics have talked about how the film plays it safe, and does not go boldly anywhere. John Hazelton: “The third installment of the re-booted Star Trek franchise gets safely through its voyage, offering a strong returning cast and a familiar, if slightly tweaked mix of effects-heavy space action, cheeky humour and philosophical musing.”

Another movie based on a TV series is Absolutely Fabulous (58). The show has had a sporadic history, but it is surely best known as a 90s relic. I’ve never seen the show, but the trailer looks kind of funny. I’ll never see it, though, for bizarre psychological reasons. Manohla Dargis: “Serviceably, at times awkwardly, directed by Mandie Fletcher, the movie skews softer than the series at its barbed best, partly because the celebrity culture that once provided such rich material has become just another ratings opportunity for the Kardashians.”

Another film series seems doomed, this time it’s Ice Age Collision Course (33). I don’t think I’ve seen one of these films, unless it was on TV when my nephews were young. I’m not about to start now. Marc Savlov: “Collision Course is overstuffed with meandering, unnecessary micro-storylines, far too many new characters, and an obvious lack of focus, none of which should impact the movie’s target demographic, kids under 10.”

What looks like another disposable horror film is Lights Out (57), starring B-list names like Teresa Palmer and Maria Bello. Andrew Barker: “Very obviously a first feature, Lights Out is full of camp (most of it clearly intentional, some perhaps not), and its underlying mythology is confused and often ridiculous. But there’s an invigorating leanness — and a giddy, almost innocent energy — to the filmmaking.”

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.

8 responses »

  1. Despite good reviews & generally good word of mouth for Beyond, it seems the negativity from Darkness has hurt this ST film as it will finish significantly below the previous two in terms of box office.

    They’ve already ordered another sequel but I suspect that will be the last in this series until the – you guessed it – reboot.

  2. I think this Trek series was hurt (badly) from JJ Abrams’ decision to wait four years between the 1st and 2nd entries. It positively killed momentum. It certainly didn’t help to follow-up the original with a depressing, 9/11-Truther picture like Into Darkness.

    If Star Trek Beyond were the first sequel (and it had opened in 2011 or 2012) this series might be on a different path.

  3. If it wasn’t as good as Darkness, it must be more than terrible because Darkness was terrible.

  4. I liked Darkness better on video (I fell asleep theatrically and missed a lot of the entire second act) but it’s not something I’d ever watch again. Probably a D+, whereas Star Trek 09 is B- and Star Trek Beyond is a B.

  5. I think this Trek series was hurt (badly) from JJ Abrams’ decision to wait four years between the 1st and 2nd entries. It positively killed momentum. It certainly didn’t help to follow-up the original with a depressing, 9/11-Truther picture like Into Darkness.

    If Star Trek Beyond were the first sequel (and it had opened in 2011 or 2012) this series might be on a different path.

    Disagree as despite that gap between the first and second ST films (and the negative word-of-mouth) it almost made as much in America and considerably more overseas than the first film did.

    It seemed that there was a real bad aftertaste from Darkness that stifled interest in this whole reboot series. It’s not only significantly declined in America but doesn’t seem to be doing too crash hot outside America either.

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