Author Archives: Jackrabbit Slim

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.

Review: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

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It takes nerve to make a film in which your protagonist is unpleasant. It requires a great script that manages to balance the dislike of the character with our own feelings of inadequacy, and a performance that also brings out the humanity and, if it doesn’t necessarily make us like the character, at least gives us an understanding of why they are like that. Can You Ever Forgive Me? has both.

Directed by Marielle Heller, who also made the under-regarded Diary of a Teenager Girl, with a script by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitley, stars Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel in a true story of how a once popular writer hits bottom and tries to dig her way out through unethical and highly illegal methods. We watch a bit aghast as we enter Israel’s life, with a bad haircut, baggy clothes, a messy apartment (with cat poop under the bed). Her only redeeming characteristic is that she loves her cat, but at least I couldn’t help thinking that I’m only a click or two away from leading that kind of life. I think human nature requires even the most successful, with-it person to have fears like that–there but for fortune go I.

Israel wrote biographies about people of the past, but minor people. We catch her as she’s working on a biography of Fanny Brice, and her agent (Jane Curtin) tells her in no uncertain terms that no one wants to read that. But while researching, she comes along a signed letter by Brice. She sells it for a modest sum, and realizes that with some vintage typewriters and oven-baked stationery, she can forge letters and get top dollar. She picks people who are witty, so she can make the letters more interesting, mainly Dorothy Parker. “I’m a better Dorothy Parker than Dorothy Parker!” Israel exclaims.

Her partner in crime is played by Richard E. Grant, one of those people that somehow manage to exist without a job or a permanent home. He and Israel cling to each other like jetsam, and when she’s flagged for selling suspicious letters, he steps in. Of course, one day they will be caught, which is how we ended up with Israel’s memoir, which is the source of this film.

Writers will find this film excruciatingly familiar, as Israel finds that her greatest work is credited to others. She attends a literary party where a pompous writer declares that there’s no such thing as writer’s block, it’s just merely an excuse for laziness. When she calls her agent as herself, Curtin is not available, but if she calls as Nora Ephron, she gets right through (an end title tells us that Ephron got a cease and desist order to get Israel to stop doing this).

Both main characters are gay, which isn’t hidden but isn’t made all that significant (Grant, while housesitting, brings over a boy-toy which leads to disaster). Israel has a meeting with her old lover, and a flirtation with a book store owner who is one of the people she has conned. But I wouldn’t call this a gay pride film.

Besides the script, the film is held aloft by Melissa McCarthy as Israel. Known mostly for her slapstick comedy, McCarthy is terrific, creating a character obnoxious and pathetic but also disarmingly real. She states she likes cats better than people, but how many of us have felt that way (swap out cats for dogs or horses or birds or iguanas or what have you). McCarthy’s Israel is a person that lurks within all of us, she just doesn’t have the strength to keep those aspects of her personality hidden away.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? is a wonderful film, and despite the depressing nature of the plot, is ultimately uplifting.

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Random Thread for December 2018

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The Golden Globe nominations were announced today. Here are my thoughts:

At this point a lot of categories are still wide open, especially Best Actor. I think any one of four guys could win. There’s still no obvious leader in Best Picture, but I think the winner will be from The Favourite, Green Book, and A Star Is Born, with Vice also possible.

This will be the first match-up between Glenn Close and Lady Gaga for Best Actress. Gaga will probably win the Globe, as they favor the bigger star. But I still think Close will get the SAG and Oscar.

Surprised to see Sam Elliott not on the list for Best Supporting Actor. I think he will get Oscar-nominated, but I’m not so sure he will win. The favorite now might be Richard E. Grant. Amy Adams seems to be poised for a streak of wins for Best Supporting Actress.

Globes are inconsistent in predicting Oscars. It’s the guilds to watch for.

Review: Widows

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Widows is, in its most basic form, a heist movie. I love heist movies, like The Asphalt Jungle, The Killing, Rififi, Bob le Flambeur, etc. The reason for the heist is established, the group is formed, usually of strangers, the plan is hatched, the heist is pulled, then something invariably goes wrong.

Their have been heists with women as the thieves, but they’ve been either comic (How to Beat the High Cost of Living), or surreal (Spring Breakers). I think Widows is the first one that takes women seriously pulling off a heist, and it’s about time. As such, Widows is just about perfect.

As the title suggests, Widows is about a group of women, widowed when their criminal husbands are killed in the aftermath of a robbery. Two million dollars goes up in flames, and the person who was supposed to get that money, Brian Tyree Henry, wants it back (he’s running for Chicago alderman, against an equally slimy Colin Farrell, probably a pretty fair view of Chicago politics). So Viola Davis, taking charge, recruits her fellow widows to rob Farrell’s campaign office, where there is five million dollars in kickback money.

Her recruits are Michelle Rodriguez, who while actually wearing dresses, really doesn’t deviate from her action-film character, and an especially Elizabeth Debicki, who turns to escorting after her husband’s death. The fourth member turns out to be a bad-ass hair stylist and Rodriguez’s babysitter (Cynthia Erivo). Davis is very much a drill sergeant, mainly because she has the most to lose, as Henry and his sadistic brother (Daniel Kaluuya) are only aware of her husband taking part in the original robbery.

The women form a bond, so this is a weirdly feminist movie, even if it about a sisterhood of crime (but of course they are stealing ill-gotten money), as each one learns what they are capable of. There is a major twist that I did not see coming, and a pretty great climax.

Widows is directed by Steve McQueen, and I would not have expected something like this coming from the director of 12 Years a Slave, Shame, and Hunger. The action scenes are well choreographed, the camera angles expertly managed, and the pace hums along so there’s never really a good time to go to the bathroom. As a bonus, there are a few scenes with Robert Duvall, as Farrell’s father, hamming it up as only Duvall can.

But make no mistake, this is a popcorn movie. If it gets award nominations then so be it–it hits its mark, but it doesn’t aim very high. This film did not change my view of the world or make me understand new truths. And I wonder about something that I see in movies, from Heat to Baby Driver–are there really career criminals who never seem to go to jail? This movie presents pulling off crimes as being just another way to make a living, and judging by the way Davis lives, her hubbie (played by Liam Neeson) does a very nice job of it.

So, Widows is a great action film, but is not transformative, unless one considers it in the context of “You’ve come a long way, baby”–now you’re competent enough to rob.

Opening in Las Vegas, November 30, 2018

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Traditionally the weekend after Thanksgiving is barren of high profile releases, and this year is no exception. Time to catch up on the films you missed last weekend!

The only major release is The Possession of Hannah Grace (41), which was originally titled Cadaver, which I like much better. As the police say, nothing to see here.

If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, perhaps a Tamil-language action film will. It’s called 2.0, and I couldn’t find a rating on Metacritic, but it does have 70 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Fun fact: Tamil is the primary language of Sri Lanka.

Opening in Las Vegas, Thanksgiving Weekend, 2018

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The floodgates are opening for Oscar bait.

But the likely leaders at the box office will be either Ralph Wrecks the Internet (71) or Creed II (67), both sequels.  I liked Wreck-It Ralph okay, as it was clever and colorful, and if I had kids I’d steer them toward this than most other kids’ junk. As for Creed II, we should beware that Ryan Coogler does not direct or write, and the screenplay was by Sylvester Stallone, which is not necessarily a good thing.

The other wide release this week is yet another version of Robin Hood (32). We’ve discussed it’s historical inaccuracy here, and I want to mention something that seems to be de riguer in every bad action film–the character who can stop a sharp object, like an arrow or axe, with his palms before it hits him in the face. How exactly does one practice that and get good at it? With arrows that have suction cups on them?

Now the Oscar parade. The best reviewed is Wildlife (80), directed by actor Paul Dano, adapted from a Richard Ford novel, and starring Carey Mulligan. It may not play well in parts of California, because a forest fire is a central part of the plot.

Next highest is Boy Erased  (71), starring Lucas Hedges as a young man who is given a choice by his parents after he is outed–go to gay conversion therapy or be cast out. Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman are the parents. Directed by actor Joel Edgerton.  The reviews are mild, except for Rex Reed, who gave it a 100.

Green Book (70) is kind of a reverse Driving Miss Daisy–Viggo Mortensen, as a mobster, is hired to drive a pianist (Mahershala Ali) around the South during the bad old days. The title refers to a guide that black people used to find friendly establishments like hotels and restaurants. Written and directed by Peter Farrelly, who gave us Dumb and Dumber.

Finally, The Front Runner (61) would appear not to be a front runner for Oscar. The story of the Gary Hart campaign in 1988, when the rules were changed on how reporters covered candidates, it the reviews are tepid (except for Rex Reed, who gave it a 100).

Review: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

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After a brief theatrical run, Joel and Ethan Coen’s latest film, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, is now streaming on Netflix, another signal that the way we watch movies is changing. The Coens, while not box office giants, are two of the most acclaimed directors working today, and that they have been engaged by a streaming service speaks volumes.

As for the film itself, I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. In some ways it’s brilliant, in others strange and distant. It has an unusual structure–it’s an anthology of six stories, all set in the American West. Usually anthologies, which are pretty rare these days, are made up of different directors, but each of these vignettes have the weird Coen stamp.

The title story, and the first, can be described as zany. Tim Blake Nelson plays Buster Scruggs, a singing cowboy in all white get-up. He’s cheerful and charming, but also a deadly shot. Even when unarmed he manages to get a man to shoot himself in the face, after which he leads a saloon full of people into a musical number about the dead man. As with the other stories, there is a macabre ending, but this one manages to be hopeful.

The second story stars James Franco, who attempts to rob a bank but is outwitted by the teller (the great character Stephen Root) and is ready to be hanged when Indians attack, leaving him bound on the horse, a rope around his neck. This reminded me of the ending of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, when Clint Eastwood left Eli Wallach in a similar situation.

Next up is the most macabre story, with Liam Neeson playing an impresario who goes from town to town in a wagon that turns into a stage. The performer is a limbless man (Harry Melling) who recites. There is something very ghastly about this segment, as if it were taken from a story by Poe, and the ending, which I will not give away, is as cruel as could be. The effects were so good that I thought the actor was truly limbless, but no, it’s the same actor who played Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter films).

The fourth story has Tom Waits as a grizzled prospector (is there any other kind?) who comes across a pristine meadow. He persistently pans for gold, even talking to the mother lode he knows is there (he calls it “Mr. Pocket”). Again, no spoilers here. This story was based on one by Jack London. It reminds me again how unique a treasure Waits is.

The penultimate story, and the longest and perhaps the best, concerns Zoe Kazan as a young woman traveling by wagon train to Oregon. Her brother drops dead, so her future is uncertain, but the wagon leader (Bill Peck, in the best performance of the film) feels her plight and proposes marriage. Again, a surprise ending.

The last story is also in a Poe vein. Five people are traveling by coach, including an old trapper, an uptight Christian woman (Tyne Daly) and a French gambler. The two men traveling with them are escorting a dead body, which sits on the roof. I figured out was going on fairly early, but it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the ghoulishness of the piece.

The question that I’m left with is this: is The Ballad of Buster Scruggs worth the sum of its parts? I think so, because each of the six stories has something to recommend it, and the Coens and their editor, Roderick Jaynes (which is a pseudonym for the Coens) tie the stories together into one tapestry, with an emotional through line. The photography by Bruno Delbonnel is Oscar-worthy (it is the Coens’ first digital film) and the music by Carter Burwell also serves as a ribbon that ties the stories together. The theme song, as it were, is an old Irish song that was later adapted into the Western song “The Streets of Laredo,” and is about as melancholy a melody as can be imagined.

 

Opening in Las Vegas, November 16, 2018

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The big splash opener this week is the laboriously titled Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald  (53), the second of five (!) Harry Potter prequels. I saw the first one and though it was okay, but I’m not rushing out to see this. Lots of controversy over casting Johnny Depp, who some would like to put into #metoo jail. Michael Phillips: :It took J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter-adjacent franchise exactly one film for the shrugs to set in, even with all those fine actors up there amid expensive digital blue flames.”

Far more interesting should be Widows (86), Steve McQueen’s follow-up to 12 Years a Slave, and he’s gone and made a genre picture. Four women, their husbands killed, are pursued by gangsters after their money. Can’t wait to see it. Written by Gillian Flynn.

A film I will likely never see is Instant Family (58), which appears to be a by-the-numbers family dramedy about the foster care system. My good friend adopted two of her foster children, so I know a little something about what it’s like and it’s a worthy topic, but this doesn’t look like it’s all that inspiring. Question: has Mark Wahlberg made a good movie since The Departed?

Tonight I’ll be watching The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (79), which premieres on Netflix. I only know that is six short films about the American west, and that it was directed by the Coen Brothers, which is all I need to know. Review tomorrow.

Review: Bohemian Rhapsody

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Since I am a big Queen fan, and people I know said they liked Bohemian Rhapsody a lot, I took a chance on it. Unfortunately, the critical consensus is on target. For a band who strove to be different and unique, this film could have been made in the 1950s. It’s a standard music biopic, using the Behind the Music template, but even further back. It has a structure similar to The Benny Goodman Story.

The film is ostensibly a biography of Freddie Mercury, who was born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar. When we pick up the story, he is a baggage handler at Heathrow, but writes songs in his spare time. He is a big fan of the group Smile, and happens to approach them on the day their lead singer quits (even if that’s true, it’s a groaner). He belts a few bars and is hired.

The group also consists of guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor, and bassist John Deacon. They change their name to Queen (Freddie’s idea–no word on whether there was resistance), cut an album, and land Elton John’s agent. Pretty soon they are a success, although they are turned down by a record company guy (Mike Myers, under lots of makeup) who insists that their new song, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” is too long. He rues his decision.

The band hits the heights and plays stadiums, while Freddie (Rami Malek) struggles to figure out his sexual identity. He has a girlfriend (Lucy Boynton) and proposes to her, but realizes he is bisexual. He has a relationship with an A&R man who tricks him into firing his agent. Meanwhile the band has more hits, showing us how May came up with “We Will Rock You” and Deacon plucking the opening notes to “Another One Bites the Dust.”

All of this is fine for Queen fans, but there is strangely very little conflict. The band are like a family, and it’s only towards the end of the film, when Mercury tells them he’s making solo albums, do things get touchy (it’s strange–I really liked Queen but never knew Mercury put out two records of his own. I should check them out).

All is forgiven, as Mercury reveals he has AIDS and Queen perform at Live Aid. The end.

Frankly, there’s not enough drama to make “Bohemian Rhapsody” that interesting. There’s the usual stuff–he disappoints his traditional parents, but has a hug with Dad at the end, and finally realizes his lover is using him. But Queen seems like the nicest bunch of guys. If someone wants to make a wild rock band bio, try doing Fleetwood Mac.

Malek is pretty good as Mercury, although of course he doesn’t do his own singing. He does manage to capture what made Mercury a great showman. The actors playing the rest of the band are also good, particularly Brian Hardy as Taylor, who is comic relief (and I do like Taylor’s song, “I’m in Love With My Car”).

There are some liberties taken. Queen fans will notice that the chronology is off–“Fat-Bottomed Girls” comes too early, and “We Will Rock You” comes too late. But what’s most annoying about this film is that the director, Dexter Fletcher, takes no chances. The concert footage, particularly the Live Aid scenes, are well done, but the story is blah. The only reason to see this film is for the music, and it may make you dig out your old Queen records when you get home.

Random Thread for November, 2018

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Late with the Random thread for this month!

Anyway, we’ve all by now heard of the passing of Stan Lee, whose impact on popular culture, and by extension, the movie business, is immeasurable. Here’s a montage of all of his Marvel film cameos. (Smartly, he seems to have missed out on the Ghost Rider pictures and Venom).

Opening in Las Vegas, November 9, 2018

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The box office winner this weekend will be The Grinch  (50), which exists only as a cash grab. Not only did we have to put up with the live-action version of Dr. Seuss’s story, but now an animated version, when the original TV special was perfect, and not needing expansion.  Benedict Cumberbatch is a fine actor, but he’s no Boris Karloff. I refuse to see this.

If your kids are more into blood-letting, perhaps they’d rather see Overlord (58), a D-Day film that includes zombies. Clever mash-up, but apparently not that great. From the usually successful J. J. Abrams.

The whole idea of making all three Stieg Larsson “Girl” books into movies died when the first one, David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, didn’t do great business. But nothing can kill Lisbeth Salander, and she’s back in a novel based on the fourth book,  The Girl in the Spider Web (44) which wasn’t written by Larsson. Odd, and perhaps the end of another would-be series because of sluggish returns–fifth place, and only 8 million and change. I wonder what Lisbeth would think of being constantly called a girl?

The best film of the week, by Metacritic score, is Can You Ever Forgive Me? (87), which has Melissa McCarthy finally breaking out of one those generic comedies and sinking her teeth into something juicier. Oscar buzz for her and Richard E. Grant in this dark comedy.

Opening in Las Vegas, November 2, 2018

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The Oscar-bait starts dripping in…

A prime bit of Oscar-bait is the weepie Beautiful Boy (63), with Steve Carell as the father of Timothee Chalamet, who happens to a meth addict. Co-opting the John Lennon song, this would appear to be the type of movie Hallmark might make, but it has much higher designs than that. Debating whether to see it. If it gets Oscar nominations, I have to.

Probably not an Oscar contender is Bohemian Rhapsody (49), the story of Freddie Mercury and thereby Queen. Rami Malek was thought to be a contender, but the lukewarm reviews and a lot of competition probably ends that pipe dream. I love Queen–if pressed, I would say they are my favorite ’70s band, so I will see this on DVD.

I’ve not seen too much of Tiffany Haddish, who has become a big star almost over night. Her latest film won’t help, though. Nobody’s Fool (39) is getting bad reviews. The description makes it sound like black sisters in a twist on The Odd Couple. Pass.

Even worse reviews are coming in for The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (38), a take on the fairy tale that seems to be ripping off every children’s fantasy film of the last twenty years. Reviews warn that those who love the ballet should stay away. Directed by the unlikely duo of Joe Johnston and Lasse Hallstrom.

The film that most intrigues me this weekend is Suspiria (64), a remake of the 1977 Dario Argento film, directed by Luca Guadagnino in his follow up to Call Me By Your Name. The film is polarizing critics–Metacritic has ratings ranging from 100 to 0! The original film was schlock, but the idea of an arthouse type making a Gothic horror film is delicious. But Mick LaSalle has warned us: “Suspiria is not just a movie unworthy of your time. It’s an experience one should reflexively recoil from, up there with things like fire, pain, humiliation and embarrassment. Easily, it’s one of the worst movies of 2018.”

The 91st Academy Awards: Best Actress

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Ever since the film premiered a year ago, Glenn Close has been the front-runner for the Best Actress Oscar, for The Wife. But she better not look back, somebody is gaining on her. This makes the Best Actress category, like Best Actor, suspenseful, at least at this point. Here are my predicted five:

Glenn Close, The Wife (Six nominations) It appears to be the year for Close, who is tied for the record of most nominations without a win for a woman (with Deborah Kerr). What makes me from thinking it’s a slam dunk is The Wife wasn’t exactly a boffo smash. But, of course, Jessica Lange won for Blue Sky.

Olivia Colman, The Favourite (no nominations) The categories for the three actresses in this film are kind of up in the air–will Colman go lead, with Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz as supporting. Colman will probably get a nod somewhere, as her turn as Queen Ann in this historical dramedy (think The Lion in Winter).

Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade (no nominations) This may be wishful thinking on my part, but the Academy has not held back on giving juvenile girls nominations in the leading category: there was Keisha Castle-Hughes and Quvenzhané Wallis. Fisher is so good in this movie as making a complete character, more than any juvenile performance I’ve seen in a while.

Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (no nominations in this category) Ah, the threat to close. Gaga wowed many who thought she couldn’t act, which may earn her some votes. Is this like Barbra Streisand winning for Funny Girl fifty years ago? (she tied with Katharine Hepburn). Maybe Close and Gaga will tie. She’s odds-on favorite to win Best Song for any number of songs.

Rosamund Pike, A Private War (one nomination) Taking a flyer here, as Pike plays real-life war correspondent Marie Colvin. She even gets to wear an eye patch.

Other possibilities: Nicole Kidman, Destroyer, Toni Collette, Hereditary, Charlize Theron, Tully, Felicity Jones, On the Basis of Sex, Saoirsie Ronan, Mary Queen of Scots

 

Review: Halloween (2018)

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Halloween, just released to great business, is the eleventh film in the Halloween franchise, but it is a direct sequel to the first film, released in 1978 and directed by John Carpenter. I learned a new film term: retcon, short for retroactive continuity, meaning this film ignores films two through ten, as if they never happened. Carpenter only co-writes the score here (which is very good); it is directed by former indie hero David Gordon Green, who has become something of a studio hack.

I’ve never seen the original film, but I feel like I have, and there’s a great deal of exposition in this sequel. Michael Myers, a serial killer who is described as pure evil, has been locked up in a mental institution for forty years, after being captured for killing babysitters. The only victim who escaped death, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) now lives in a house turned into a fortress, with lots of locks, gates, and guns.

Myers escapes, and wreaks havoc on the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois, until the eventual showdown between he and Curtis. The film’s end is ambiguous enough to suggest a sequel.

I’m of two minds about this film: it’s fun, with plenty of genuine scares, but suffers too much from cliches. I’m not a big fan of the slasher genre because it highlights two basic tropes that annoy me: the stupidity of characters who get killed, and the indestructibility of the killer. I mean, Myers should be close to sixty years old but isn’t stopped by mere bullets. I read in the summary of the first film that he was shot six times at the end. Killers who seem inhuman take me out of the picture.

The characters aren’t too stupid in this one, although I find it interesting that an escaped lunatic is roaming the town and the town does nothing to warn the citizens: trick or treating goes on, and people leave their doors open. I don’t think I’m spoiling things to mention that Myers will end up at Strode’s fortress, and doesn’t have any trouble getting in.

These type of films only work in the moment, when you’re caught up in the suspense, but deflate like a popped balloon when logic takes over.

Nevertheless, Michael Myers has certainly earned his place in the culture. I was interested to learn today that the mask he wears, which is an expressionless face painted white, was originally a Captain Kirk mask that was purchased for $1.98 on Hollywood Boulevard. So William Shatner has been scaring us all these years.

Opening in Las Vegas, October 26, 2018

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Another quiet week. I guess the award-bait films will come in a rush soon.

Hunter Killer (42) is a submarine action film that is probably most notable for being a weak follow-up to Gary Oldman’s Oscar winning role in Darkest Hour. Everything about this screams a cable-original, but it somehow got a super wide release. It opened to a soft 6.6 million. I doubt I will ever see this.

Jonah Hill is the latest actor turned director, and he’s getting fairly good marks for Mid90s (67). It’s hardly original–a kid is growing up in a rough neighborhood, and these stories change only with the time period. Now it’s the 90s that are a time of nostalgia. I was in my thirties. Did a respectable 3 million.

Rowan Atkinson is an actor who is much better known in Britain than here. I’ve seen very little of his work, and Johnny English Strikes Again (38) is unlikely to make him more U.S. fans. I saw a clip of him on the Graham Norton Show and it seems as if he’s funnier as himself than any of his characters.

In the running for worst film of the year is London Fields (16), based on the novel by Martin Amis. I tried to read this book years ago but didn’t get very far, and the movie seems to be worse. If the lead in your film is Amber Heard, who is really made for Cinemax movies, than you know you’re in trouble. I may see this on DVD just to find out why it’s so horribly reviewed.

Opening in Las Vegas, October 19, 2018

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A little behind here, so quickly:

Halloween (68), a sequel (not a reboot) of the classic horror film from 1978, with Jamie Lee Curtis back in the victim role. Fun fact: I’ve never seen the original Halloween, at least I don’t think so. I definitely saw the Rob Zombie version, and liked it quite a bit.

The Sisters Brothers (78) is a terrible title–who would know by it that it’s a Western? Getting pretty good reviews and I love a good Western, would like to see this in a theater. Starring John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The Old Man & the Gun (79) is another film I would like to see. Purportedly Robert Redford’s last acting role, he plays a career bank robber pulling one last heist. Supposedly he’s escaped prison 18 times, which I find rather dubious.