Opening in Las Vegas, August 5, 2016

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James is indisposed this weekend, so I’m filling in. I’m sure he would have had much more to say about the failure of Suicide Squad, but I’ll have to just do my best.

Suicide Squad (40) did set all sorts of box office records, but it also may set records for second-week drop, as no one seems to like it. We’ve already discussed here why the DC films can’t match the success of Marvel. I think I’ll see this just to see how bad it could possibly be, and besides, I can’t miss a Cara Delevingne film (that’s just to get her category tag). Marjorie Baumgarten: “There’s no one to root for in this movie, and no one whose prospects we care about. Several plot points lack coherence, and inserted flashbacks add to a sense of the film having been fused into shape in the editing room. It seems that Suicide Squad was done in by its own hand.”

Believe it or not, Suicide Squad is not the worst-reviewed film of the week. That honor goes to Nine Lives (11), in which Kevin Spacey is transformed into a cat. Someone, somewhere, signed off on that and greenlighted millions of dollars to just such a proposition. Neil Genzlinger: “Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner, and Christopher Walken at least chose to be in Nine Lives. The cast member you really feel bad for is the cat. It was presumably forced into the job by its manager, or agent, or whatever. It’s resume may never recover.” And what’s with Jennifer Garner’s on-screen husbands lately? Kevin Costner, and now Spacey. Who’s next, Kirk Douglas?

For the discriminating viewer there’s Life, Animated (75), about an autistic boy who does not communicate until he discovers classic animated Disney films. It might have been more interesting if it was Ralph Bakshi animation that inspired him, but I imagine that this is a good film for those with special needs children or anyone with a heart. Peter Hartlaub: “It wonderfully explains elements of life with autism, offering a primer for the uninitiated, while profiling a family that was rewarded for its willingness to approach an obstacle with patience and love.”

 

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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