Opening in Las Vegas, December 9, 2016

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We missed last week, but it was only a second-rate horror film called Incarnate and another bomb, Man Down, which has this priceless quote by Richard Roeper: “Sometimes we talk about seeing a performance so real, so believable, so authentic, it takes our breath away. Then there’s Shia LaBeouf’s work in “Man Down.””

This week offers better choices. I saw Manchester by the Sea (96) today (review on Monday) and you can believe the hype. It’s a film about grief and family, and it’s not the feel-good film of the year, but it’s one of the best. I haven’t seen Denzel Washington in Fences yet, but Casey Affleck has got to be the Best Actor frontrunner.

Miss Sloane (64) is about a controversial subject: gun control. Jessica Chastain stars as a lobbyist taking on the N.R.A. Might not play well in Trump country. I’ve always been fascinated by lobbyists, especially those who work for repugnant issues. Who could live with themself as a lobbyist for the tobacco industry? Someone needs to make a film.

Lighter fare can surely be found in Office Christmas Party (42), which probably brings the raunch, but is strictly a rental (if that) for me. Starring T.J. Miller, whom I’ve never heard of before but gave the film a little extra publicity by getting arrested this week.

Tom Ford gives us his second film after A Single Man with Nocturnal Animals (67). I’ve read about the plot, in which a woman (Amy Adams) reads a novel by her ex (Jake Gyllenhaal), which becomes a story-within-a-story, but some critics are finding the film head-scratching.

On the 15-film shortlist for the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature is The Eagle Huntress (72), about a Kazakh girl who is trying to break into the male-dominated world of eagle hunting (which looks to be like falconry, but with a bigger bird).

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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.

2 responses »

  1. I’m sure Manchester By The Sea is great, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be in the right emotional state to see it.

    “Who could live with themself as a lobbyist for the tobacco industry? Someone needs to make a film.”

    Well, Jason Reitman did make Thank You For Smoking a decade ago, but it wasn’t particularly good.

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