Opening in Las Vegas, March 31, 2017

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Interesting mix of movies this weekend.

The likely box office champ, if it can knock off Beauty and the Beast, is Ghost in the Shell (53), based on a popular manga (I’ve never read a manga in my life) starring Scarlett Johansson in a tight body suit. There’s flak that the part is not played by an Asian actress. Getting lackluster reviews. I’m on the fence about seeing it in a theater, but seeing Scarlett kick butt in spandex is good for a rental.

The other major release this week is Baby Boss (50), with the voice of Alec Baldwin as an infant born that can talk and hold meetings. Sounds like a cute idea for a short, but I would be loathe to see a feature-length film of this. I believe Baldwin does get a chance to say “Always be closing.”

In the art houses are a couple of worthy films. Personal Shopper (77) is the latest from the intriguing if enigmatic Oliver Assayas, and stars Kristen Stewart. For fun, check out the comments on the review in the New York Times, and see the extremes on Stewart–some proclaim her the worst actress in the world, others the greatest. I still haven’t made up my mind. They used to say to judge an actor watch them all play Hamlet, I suppose for women it would be Cleopatra or Lady Macbeth.

Also out this weekend is one of the nominees for the Foreign Language Oscar, Land of Mine (75), a Danish World War II film. It’s about German POWs sent to Denmark to clear land mines, so the title is apparently a pun, but maybe that’s just the English title. Getting a job clearing land mines can not be a good thing.

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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. Re: Stewart

    Who cares how she acts when she looks that good, amirite?
    Anyone? Right? Hello? Is this thing on?

  2. At a family gathering over the weekend I saw a film that I would’ve never bothered to have seen usually, ‘Baby Boss’.

    As a film it’s an OK timewaster. It seems to have that mix that most mainstream animated Hollywood films do these days; insanely inventive with animation and visual detail, glibness in the script which often is a replacement for wit and relentlessly ho-hum in terms of its ‘message’ and basic ideas.

    The film is odd in certain ways; I didn’t realise this until well into the film but the film isn’t actually set in the present-day but sometime in the 1990s; funnily enough a lot of the film’s humour feels more at home in a 1990s film; there’s an extended bit about Elvis impersonators and even the Glengarry Glen Ross vibe of the Baldwin-voiced character feels like it would’ve been more valid in a 1997 release.

    Also, over the years here we’ve debated the relevance of animated films being promoted around their star voices. In ‘Baby Boss’ the names of the main voice actors are actually in the opening credits sequence which I’d never seen before. I’ve always been baffled by the constant usage of celebrity voices for animated films but it’s more integral than ever.

    Overall, the film is decent enough and mildly charming, but forgettable. Surprising though how it smashed Ghost In The Shell at the box office.

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