Tag Archives: Film review

Besson Adapts Comic Book Series Novel into Hallucinogenic Sci-fi Spectacular

 

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Film Review by Kam Williams

Besson Adapts Comic Book Series Novel into Hallucinogenic Sci-fi Spectacular

In 1997, Luc Besson released The Fifth Element, a visually-captivating sci-fi adventure which netted four Cesars, including Best Film and Best Director. A couple of decades later, Luc is back with Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, an even more innovative, outer space odyssey, if that’s possible. The groundbreaking extravaganza is based on “Valerian and Laureline,” a comic book series written by Pierre Christin and illustrated by Jean-Claude Mezieres.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Film Review, Luc Besson, Pierre Christin, futuristic tale, Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne

The futuristic tale is set in the 28th Century, and stars Dane DeHaan in the title role as a time/space traveling military officer for Alpha, a city with a thousand planets. Straitlaced Major Valerian patrols that universe with Laureline (Cara Delevingne), a Sergeant well-versed in virtual reality operations.

He also happens to have a crush on his relatively-rebellious sidekick, although she routinely rebuffs his romantic overtures. And they report directly to Commander Arun Filitt (Clive Owen) who, in turn, answers to General Okto Bar (Sam Spruell) as well as Alpha’s Minister of Defense (Herbie Hancock).

The film unfolds on Mul, a utopian paradise inhabited by a peaceful species of bald, bejeweled, barely-clothed creatures. It isn’t long before their carefree frolicking is irreversibly disrupted by an unprovoked attack on the planet by an unknown army of hostile aliens.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Film Review, Luc Besson, Pierre Christin, futuristic tale, Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne

The picture abruptly shifts from this devastating apocalypse to a serene scenario worlds away where we find Valerian and Laureline relaxing on a sandbar and soaking up rays. He awakens from a bad dream, a subtle suggestion that everything that we’ve just witnessed might’ve merely been a figment of his imagination.

It would be criminal for me to spoil your cinematic experience by divulging any further developments. Suffice to say that the protagonists proceed to embark on a breathtaking, intergalactic roller coaster ride worth way more than the price of admission.

  Along the way, they cross paths with an array of colorful characters ranging from a space age pimp (Ethan Hawke) to a solicitous stripper with a heart of gold (Rihanna). But people mostly serve as distracting interruptions in this eye-popping, special f/x-driven spectacular to remember.

All I can say after watching it is, “Wow!”

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for action, violence, suggestive material and brief profanity

Running time: 137 minutes

Production Studio: EuropaCorp

Distributor: STX Entertainment

Source:  Baret News

 

World War II Epic Recreates Flotilla’s Heroic Rescue of Stranded Allies

 

Dunkirk

Film Review by Kam Williams

World War II Epic Recreates Flotilla’s Heroic Rescue of Stranded Allies

When Hitler ordered an all-out assault on the Western Front in the spring of 1940, the vaunted Maginot Line proved to be no match for the pulverizing German blitzkrieg. The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France all fell in a matter of weeks, and the rapid collapse proved particularly problematic for the Allied forces.

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By May 26th, about 400,000 British, French, Polish, Belgian and Dutch troops had been driven to the sea at Dunkirk, a port located along the northern coast of France. The retreating soldiers soon found themselves stranded on the beach, since there weren’t enough military naval vessels to mount a rapid, full-scale evacuation.

The logistical nightmare left most of the beleaguered, battle weary men in dire need of a miracle, as they’d basically become sitting ducks for Nazi artillery.and Luftwaffe bombs. At 7 pm that evening, the desperate British prime minister decided to issue an urgent appeal to private boat owners to join the rescue effort.

By dawn, over 800 hundred vessels had been pressed into service. The improbable flotilla included everything from speed boats and yachts to tugboats and fishing trawlers to ferries and ocean liners.

For the next nine days, they negotiated their way back and forth across the U-Boat infested waters of the English Channel. And although about a third of the ship would be sunk by the enemy, the altruistic patriots managed to save 338,226 troops. 

Leave it to Winston Churchill to put a positive spin on such a devastating military defeat.which claimed the lives of 68,000 Britain soldiers and left the country in fear of an imminent invasion. On June 4th, he took to the floor of the House.of Commons  to deliver a rousing speech assuring the alarmed citizenry that there was no doubt that Great Britain would ultimately prevail.

“Whatever the cost may be,”he said in a stirring summation, “We shall fight on the beaches… We shall fight on the landing grounds… We shall fight in the fields and in the streets… We shall fight in the hills…” concluding, “We shall never surrender!”

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/dunkirk_2017/pictures/#&gid=1&pid=h-137211

All of the above has been chronicled in unique fashion in Dunkirk, a visually-captivating, World War II epic directed by Christopher Nolan. Nolan, the best British director besides Alfred Hitchcock never to win an Oscar, has made a string of memorable movies that includes Memento, Inception, Interstellar and the Batman trilogy, to name a few.         

Here, he’s found a novel way to recreate the historic evacuation. Instead of having the docudrama revolve around a single protagonist or a single unit, he has deftly interwoven a half-dozen or so discrete storylines highlighting the different perspectives of a number of unsung heroes. Whether on land, by sea or in the air, many among this patriotic band of brothers survive, but some do make the ultimate sacrifice in the valiant stand against the unspeakable evil spreading across Europe.

Shot in 70mm, Dunkirk is an instant classic worth the extra investment to catch on an IMAX screen. An inspirational tribute to Britain’s Greatest Generation that just might be Chris Nolan’s best picture yet!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for intense battle scenes and some profanity

Running time: 106 minutes

In English, French and German with subtitles

Production Studio: Syncopy

Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures

Source:  Baret News

 

BFFs Party in New Orleans in Raunchy Reunion Romp

 

Girls Trip

Film Review by Kam Williams

BFFs Party in New Orleans in Raunchy Reunion Romp 

Ryan (Regina Hall), Sasha (Queen Latifah), Dina (Tiffany Haddish) and Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith) have been friends since their college days in the Nineties. Back then, the tight-knit Flossy Posse partied as hard as they hit the books. After graduating, they curtailed the carousing considerably for the sake of their professional careers.

Girls Trip, Film Review, Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith, New Orleans

Today, journalism major Sasha’s still struggling to pay the bills as a gossip columnist. Divorced Lisa’s exhausted between her demanding nursing job and having to raise a couple of kids alone. And short-fused Dina just got fired for assaulting a colleague.

By contrast, self-help guru Ryan seems to be on top of the world. Not only is her new book, “You Can Have It All,” on the best seller list, but she’s happily-married to Stewart (Mike Colter), a handsome and charming, former football star. Plus, the successful couple is on the verge of landing their own, nationally-syndicated TV talk show.

At the point of departure, Ryan is set to deliver the keynote speech at the Essence Festival, an annual celebration of African-American music and culture. She can think of no better occasion to reunite the Flossy Posse for the first time in years, so she invites her BFFs to join her for an all-expenses paid trip to New Orleans.

The girlfriends jump at the opportunity to share a wild weekend of debauchery all around the Big Easy. What ensues is jaw-dropping: there’s explicit sex chat… male frontal-nudity… hallucinating from substance abuse… even urinating on revelers from a zip line strung above Basin Street.

Directed by Malcolm Lee (The Best Man franchise), Girls Trip is a relentlessly-raunchy romp which starts out as a shock comedy before turning into a message movie towards the end. The adventure unfolds like an African-American variation of Rough Night and Bridesmaids, at least until Ryan’s marriage is exposed as a charade. At that juncture, it morphs into a morality play reminiscent of a Tyler Perry production.

Girls Trip, Film Review, Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith, New Orleans

Since I saw the film in a theater full of sisters, it’s easy for me to report that this female empowerment flick will certainly resonate with its target audience. In fact, they laughed so loudly that I must have missed half the picture’s punchlines. And what better stamp of approval could you ask for than a standing ovation as the curtain comes down?

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for pervasive profanity, crude humor, graphic sexual dialogue, drug use and brief frontal nudity

Running time: 122 minutes

Distributor: Universal Pictures

Source:  Baret News

 

Trilogy Finale Pits Primates vs. Humans in Epic Showdown

 

War for the Planet of the Apes

Film Review by Kam Williams

Trilogy Finale Pits Primates vs. Humans in Epic Showdown

War for the Planet of the Apes is the 9th episode in the legendary film franchise that began almost a half-century ago with Planet of the Apes. The groundbreaking sci-fi adventure was based on the novel of the same name by Pierre Boulle, who also wrote “The Bridge over the River Kwai.”

War for the Planet of the Apes,  Film Review, Andy Serkis, state-of-the-art special f/x, Woody Harrelson, Planet of the Apes

The original was adapted to the screen by a couple of consummate scriptwriters in Rod Serling (The Twilight Zone) and two-time Oscar-winner Michael Wilson (The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, It’s a Wonderful Life and A Place in the Sun). So, it’s no surprise that the movie’s thought-provoking social commentary would resonate with critics and audiences alike.

Furthermore, the apes’ masks were such a hit with the Motion Picture Academy that it awarded the movie’s makeup artist, John Chambers, an honorary Oscar that year. And it would take until the Eighties for Best Makeup to become an official category.

War for the Planet of the Apes is the finale in a trilogy which rebooted the series in 2011 with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and was followed a few years later by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The good news is that one need not recall or even have seen the earlier installments to fully appreciate this captivating conclusion.

War for the Planet of the Apes,  Film Review, Andy Serkis, state-of-the-art special f/x, Woody Harrelson, Planet of the Apes

The better news is that its use of next-generation CGI has been so painstakingly crafted that you never once question whether you’re watching real apes interacting with humans. But the best news overall is that the movie is a magnificent morality play of Shakespearean proportions which explores a host of universal themes en route to an epic  showdown destined to settle the fate of both species once and for all.

This go-round, the simians are again led by Caesar (Andy Serkis) who must match wits with a ruthless army colonel (Woody Harrelson). Between the sophisticated storytelling and the state-of-the-art special f/x, War for the Planet of the Apes turns out to be a touching swan song well worth the wait.

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for action, violence, mature themes and disturbing images

Running time: 140 minutes

Production Studio: Chernin Entertainment

Distributor: 20th Century Fox

 

Source:  Baret News

 

Sequel Finds Gru Bonding with Long-Lost Bro before Facing Formidable Foe

 

Despicable Me 3

Film Review by Kam Williams

Sequel Finds Gru Bonding with Long-Lost Bro before Facing Formidable Foe

Despicable Me 3 is actually the 4th installment in the animated franchise, provided you count the prequel Minions, which some may consider a spin-off. Co-directed by Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda and Eric Guillon, this episode revolves around Gru (Steve Carell) who discovers that he has an identical twin before facing-off against his most formidable foe ever.

Despicable Me 3,  Film Review, Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Minions, Trey Parker

As the film unfolds, we find the reformed reprobate and wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) being fired from by the Anti-Villain League for failing to prevent Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) from purloining a priceless pink diamond. FYI, Balthazar was an adorable child star until Hollywood had no further use for him when he hit puberty.

Embittered about being kicked to the curb, he’s ventured to the dark side and is currently bent on world domination. Yet, he’s a bit of a comical figure, since he’s still emulating the character he played in the Eighties, in terms of his clothes, haircut and musical taste.

Now that Gru and Lucy have joined the ranks of the unemployed, they have the time for a family outing to Fredonia to meet  Dru (also voiced by Carell), the identical twin Gru never even knew he had. Other than sharing the same barrel-chested physique, the two are different as night and day. For, Dru is handsome with long blond hair and less of a Slavic accent. Plus, he’s criminally-inclined, and wants nothing more than to pull a heist with his relatively-gnarly, bald brother.

Despicable Me 3,  Film Review, Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Minions, Trey Parker

However, Gru hopes to kill two birds with one stone by duping his sibling into helping him “steal” the precious gem from Balthazar. What Dru doesn’t know is that his bro just wants to get back into his  boss’ (Jenny Slate) good graces by returning the stone to its rightful owner.

While the twins embark on that quest, the other characters become embroiled in more subplots than you can shake a stick at. Gru and Lucy’s dating-age daughter, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), inadvertently encourages an ardent admirer (Adrian Ciscato). Their younger girls, Agnes (Nev Scharrel) and Edith (Dana Gaier), wander off into the forest in search of a fabled unicorn  And the Minions land in jail after being arrested for trespassing.

The action is frenetic and the multi-stranded storyline eventually culminates in a manic finale featuring Balthazar terrorizing Tinseltown from the turret of giant, bubblegum-spewing robot. 90 minutes straight of the sort of overstimulation kids of the Attention-Deficit Generation crave!

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated PG for action and rude humor

Running time: 90 minutes

Distributor: Universal Pictures

Source:  Baret News

 

Mob Wheelman Puts Pedal to the Metal in Adrenaline-Fueled Blockbuster

 

Baby Driver

Film Review by Kam Williams

Mob Wheelman Puts Pedal to the Metal in Adrenaline-Fueled Blockbuster

All you really need to know about Baby Driver is that it’s the best film of the year so far, hands down. The picture was written and directed by Edgar Wright, who is best known for a trio of British comedies starring Simon Pegg: Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007) and The World’s End (2013).

Baby Driver,  Film Review, best film of the year, Edgar Wright, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Lily James, Ansel Elgort

Wright ventured across the Atlantic to Atlanta to shoot his latest offering, a labor of love a couple of decades in the making. For, this genre-defying tour de force had its genesis in “Bellbottoms,” a discordant punk anthem he considered a song in search of a car chase from the moment he first heard it way back in 1995.

And that cult classic isn’t the only obscure tune on Baby Driver’s eclectic soundtrack  featuring rarities ranging from T. Rex’s “Debora,” to Blur’s “Intermission,” to The Damned’s “Neat Neat Neat.” But the adrenaline-fueled blockbuster has its share of readily-recognizable hits, too, like the Commodores’ “Easy,” Martha Reeves and the Vandellas’ “Nowhere to Run” and “Hocus Pocus” by Focus, famous for its yodeling.

The music-driven masterpiece has an A-list cast that includes Oscar-winners Jamie Foxx (for Ray) and Kevin Spacey (for American Beauty and The Usual Suspects), Emmy-winner Jon Hamm (for Mad Men) and two-time, SAG Award-winner Lily James (for Downton Abbey). However, the film is carried by an up-and-coming thespian, Ansel Elgort.

Baby Driver,  Film Review, best film of the year, Edgar Wright, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Lily James, Ansel Elgort

He plays Baby, a deaf getaway driver extraordinarily adept at eluding the authorities. He is reluctantly married to the mob by virtue of a debt owed manipulative crime boss, Doc (Kevin Spacey). Baby wants out of the business badly, so he can drive off into the sunset with Deborah (James), the waitress he falls in love with across an empty diner.

Unfortunately, Machiavellian Doc insists he first serve as wheelman for the proverbial “last big heist” being pulled by a trio of certifiable lunatics in Bats (Foxx), Buddy (Hamm) and Darling (Eiza Gonzalez). When the robbery goes wrong, the ever-resourceful Baby’s survival instincts kick-in in a primal urge for self-preservation.

A mind-blowing, roller coaster ride you’ll never want to end!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for violence and pervasive profanity

Running time: 113 minutes

Production Studio: Working Title Films

Distributor: TriStar Pictures

Source:  Baret News

Historical Drama Recreates 1939 Attempt to Assassinate Hitler

 

13 Minutes

Film Review by Kam Williams

Historical Drama Recreates 1939 Attempt to Assassinate Hitler

Believe it or not, over a dozen different attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler (Udo Schenk) were made before he took his own life in April of 1945. The year before, he only suffered minor injuries in the bombing that was the focus of Valkyrie (2008), a docudrama starring Tom Cruise.

13 Minutes,  Film Review, Adolf Hitler, docudrama, Tom Cruise, Munich, November 8, 1939, unsung hero, tribute, Christian Friedel

Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall), 13 Minutes chronicles the first try after Hitler had taken control of Germany. The incident occurred in Munich on November 8, 1939 in a hall where the Fuhrer was scheduled to deliver an address.

Trouble is, Georg Elser’s (Christian Friedel) homemade time bomb went off too late, as Hitler had completed his remarks and exited the building 13 minutes earlier accompanied by several henchmen, including Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels (Ulrich Matthes), Deputy Fuhrer Rudolf Hess, and the architect of the Holocaust, Heinrich Himmler (Ulrich Noethen).

Later that same day, Georg was apprehended while trying to slip into Switzerland. Border guards took him into custody upon discovering incriminating evidence in his possession suggested a connection to the explosion.

He was soon delivered to Germany’s Chief of Police Arthur Nebe (Burghart Klauszner) and Gestapo Chief Heinrich Muller (Johann von Bulow) for interrogation, but refused to answer any questions until they threatened to arrest his girlfriend Elsa (Katharina Schuttler),  too. Georg confessed to protect her, but they still didn’t believe the simple carpenter could have possibly acted alone, given the powerful explosion that claimed 8 lives and wounded 62.

13 Minutes,  Film Review, Adolf Hitler, docudrama, Tom Cruise, Munich, November 8, 1939, unsung hero, tribute, Christian Friedel

So, they resorted to torture to extract the identities of his suspected accomplices that only existed in their imaginations. But Georg had nothing further to share, other than an explanation of exactly how he’d secretly amassed enough gunpowder to construct a weapon of mass destruction.

13 Minutes employs an unorthodox story structure, as it opens with the failed coup, and is followed by a series of Georg’s flashbacks. While behind bars, he reminisces.about everything from his disgust with Nazis to his ill-fated relationship with Elsa.

A long-overdue tribute to an unsung hero who came that close to changing the course of history.

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for sexuality and disturbing violence

In German with subtitles

Running time: 114 minutes

Production Studio: Lucky Bird Pictures

Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Source:  Baret News

Southern Belles Vie for Union Soldier’s Affections in Sofia Coppola’s Sublime Tale of Seduction

 

The Beguiled is a Civil War saga based on the best seller of the same name by the late novelist/playwright Thomas Cullinan (1919-1995). The sublime tale of seduction was first adapted to the screen in 1971 as a melodramatic revenge flick starring Clint Eastwood. This relatively-refined remake was directed by Sofia Coppola whose effort was richly rewarded at Cannes where she became only the second woman to win Best Director in the history of the festival.The Beguiled

Film Review by Kam Williams

Southern Belles Vie for Union Soldier’s Affections in Sofia Coppola’s Sublime Tale of Seduction 

The Beguiled is a Civil War saga based on the best seller of the same name by the late novelist/playwright Thomas Cullinan (1919-1995). The sublime tale of seduction was first adapted to the screen in 1971 as a melodramatic revenge flick starring Clint Eastwood. This relatively-refined remake was directed by Sofia Coppola whose effort was richly rewarded at Cannes where she became only the second woman to win Best Director in the history of the festival.

The story is set in 1864 at a Virginia boarding school for girls run by prim Martha Farnsworth (Nicole Kidman) with the help of equally-proper Edwina Dabney (Kirsten Dunst). They have five students entrusted to their care, ranging in age from prepubescent to the late teens. 

At the point of departure, the sounds of battle are audible off in the distance. The raging conflict cuts a sharp contrast to the serenity of the idyllic campus where we find Amy (Oona Laurence) foraging in the forest for wild mushrooms. 

She stumbles upon a wounded Union soldier hiding in the woods. Corporal John McBurney (Colin Farrell) had been felled by a bullet to the leg. The innocent adolescent instinctively brings him home, only to be criticized by an elder classmate (Angourie Rice) for rescuing a “dangerous enemy.”

The Beguiled,  Film Review, Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman, Oona Laurence, Colin Farrell, Civil War, Thomas Cullinan

After initially issuing a stern warning that “You are a most unwelcome visitor,” their ordinarily icy headmistress inexplicably melts. She allows the ailing adversary to remain on the premises without even informing the Confederate army of his presence.

Personally assuming the responsibility of nursing their guest back to health, man-starved Martha soon finds herself swooning for the solicitous stranger. Trouble is, John proves to be quite the Casanova, knowing just the right words to surreptitiously charm the pants off each of the females, one-by-one.

The Beguiled,  Film Review, Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman, Oona Laurence, Colin Farrell, Civil War, Thomas Cullinan

Of course, the cat’s eventually out of the bag, and his collective spell is broken. And after the heartbroken lasses put their heads together, he probably wishes he’d simply surrendered  to the Rebels rather than seek refuge.

Hell hath no fury like some Southern belles scorned!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for sexuality

Running time: 93 minutes

Production Studio: American Zoetrope

Distributor: Focus Features

Source:  Baret News

Canadian Librarian Courted by Hobo While Searching for Aunt in Delightful French Farce

 

Lost in Paris

Film Review by Kam Williams

Canadian Librarian Courted by Hobo While Searching for Aunt in Delightful French Farce

If you’re familiar with the surreal cinematic stylings of Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon, then you have an idea of what sort of treat’s in store while watching Lost in Paris. The talented husband and wife team wrote, directed and co-star in their latest magical escape into the theater of the absurd.

The movie might best be described as a cross of Wes Anderson and Charlie Chaplin, as it is an unconventional, visually-captivating affair featuring little in the way of dialogue on the part of the mime-like leads. The lithe-limbed, rubber-faced duo entertain far more with their movements and expressions than with words.

Lost in Paris, Film Review, Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Wes Anderson, Charlie Chaplin

The film unfolds in Canada about a half-century ago, which is where we find Fiona (Gordon) bidding farewell to her beloved Aunt Martha (recently-deceased Emmanuelle Riva) who is moving to Paris. Fast-forward to the present when Fiona, now a librarian, receives an urgent appeal for assistance from her 88 year-old aunt.

In the letter, Martha complains that they’re trying to move her into an assisted-living facility for old folks. But the feisty free spirit will have none of it.

Fiona dutifully springs into action and the next thing you know she’s landed in France sporting a bright orange backpack festooned with a Canadian flag. Her troubles start right off the bat, when she gets stuck in a subway turnstile thanks to that oversized valise.

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The slapstick escalates further when the weight of the knapsack causes her to topple into the Seine while posing for a photo on a bridge. She has to shed the bag to survive the ordeal, and ends up separated from all her possessions, including her passport, cell phone, cash and clothes.

It is in these dire straits that Fiona crosses paths with Dom (Abel) an amorous hobo living in a tent pitched along the banks of the river who soon becomes hopelessly smitten. So, Fiona finds herself having to fend of the advances of an ardent admirer while frantically searching for her missing aunt.

The ensuing chase proves every bit as charming and sublime as it is hilarious and implausible. A disarmingly-endearing homage to the Silent Film era!

Excellent (4 stars)

Unrated

In French and English with subtitles

Running time: 83 minutes

Distributor: Oscilloscope Laboratories

 

Source:  Baret News

BFFS Reunite for Raunchy Bachelorette Party Reminiscent of “The Hangover”

 

Rough Night

Film Review by Kam Williams

BFFS Reunite for Raunchy Bachelorette Party Reminiscent of “The Hangover”

Jessica (Scarlett Johansson) and Peter (Paul W. Downs) are on the verge of tying the knot. But prior to walking down the aisle together, they’ve agreed to simultaneously throw themselves bachelor’s and bachelorette’s parties. But while she flies down to Miami for a swinging soiree’ with a quartet of her closest college classmates, his relatively-modest plan is merely to share a refined evening of wine tasting with a few a nerdy buddies. 

Rough Night,  Film Review, Scarlett Johansson, Paul W. Downs, BFF,bawdy bachelorette party,

Since Jess is also in the midst of a campaign for the state senate, she doesn’t want their reunion to get so out of control as to generate the sort of negative press that might hurt her candidacy. However, she’s blissfully unaware that decorum is the last thing on the mind of Alice (Jillian Bell), the girlfriend entrusted with scheduling their agenda. 

Alice sees the getaway as an opportunity for the BFFs to indulge one last time in the sort of depravity they enjoyed on campus a decade ago, when they would get wasted playing beer pong on a typical Friday night. Consequently, she’s prepared for a wild weekend which includes everything from cocaine to a male stripper.

Such activities might not sit well with another attendee, Frankie (Ilana Glazer). After all, she’s not only a lesbian, but a repeat offender worried about violating the “Three Strikes” law mandating a life sentence. However, pal Pippa (Kate McKinnon), a clown returning from Australia for a good time, is up for anything, as is overstressed Blair (Zoe Kravitz) who needs to decompress from an ugly custody battle.

Rough Night,  Film Review, Scarlett Johansson, Paul W. Downs, BFF,bawdy bachelorette party,

The mayhem starts right in the airport terminal when Alice uncorks a bottle of champagne in celebration, only to unwittingly trigger a stampede by passengers mistaking the pop for a gunshot. Then, upon arriving at their beachfront rental house, the girlfriends are invited by naughty, next-door neighbors Lea (Demi Moore) and Pietro (Ty Burrell) to participate in an orgy

The plot thickens soon after the exotic dancer Alice hired rings the doorbell. Before he has a chance to shed all of his clothes, he accidentally hits his head and promptly passes away. Against their better judgment, Jessica and company decide to dump the body in the ocean rather than call the cops. And what ensues is a relentlessly-hilarious, ever-escalating comedy of errors. 

Thus unfolds Rough Night, a raunchy romp most reminiscent of The Hangover (2009), although it also has moments likely to remind you of Bridesmaids (2011) and Weekend at Bernie’s (1989). The movie marks the phenomenal directorial debut of Lucia Aniello, the first woman to direct an R-rated comedy since Tamra Davis made Half Baked in 1998 with Dave Chappelle.

Laughs galore in a bawdy bachelorette party gone from bad to worst!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for crude sexuality, drug use, coarse humor, brief bloody images and pervasive profanity

Running time: 101 minutes

Distributor: Columbia Pictures

Source:  Baret News