About Last Night…

Kino Lorber

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Back in Crime Richard Kemp (Jean-Hugues Anglade) is a burnt out detective investigating a murder that seems strangely familiar when he’s knocked into a river and left for dead. Instead of dying though he resurfaces to discover he’s traveled back in time by two decades to the beginning of a series of unsolved killings. He attempts to work the case with his future knowledge even as his unaware younger self stumbles along, but he inadvertently makes himself a suspect. This French film’s actual (and preferable) title is The Other Life of Richard Kemp, and that’s the key to the its strength. The murder mystery is just a part of the story as the true focus is Kemp’s opportunity to craft a better, other life for himself with the benefit of hindsight. The killer’s reveal is actually the film’s weakest element while the character work and humanity on display are damn good. [DVD extras: None]

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RoboCop

Few years in the history of recent Hollywood have gone by without a sizable pile of ‘80s remakes. Typically, those remakes are at least somewhat spread out. But this Valentine’s Day weekend greeted us with a grand total of three remakes, all bearing (with the exception of a conspicuously absent ellipsis) the titles of their predecessors: RoboCop (original: 1987), About Last Night (original: 1986), and Endless Love (original: 1981). So many ‘80s clones haven’t opened wide the same weekend in two and a half years, when Footloose 2.0 battled the prequel to re-re-make of The Thing. Recycling the ‘80s is hardly exclusive to cinema. Indie and mainstream pop have been revisiting the era of New Wave and post-punk for years. Sometimes this results in uncanny synergy, like two singles from the past few months referencing the opening sequence of The Hunger. And, of course, in the political sphere the ‘80s are ever present, as the exponential concentration of wealth to the very rich have forced a public conversation rethinking Reaganism and neoliberal economics. Few films used popular culture as a platform for exploring this political climate quite like RoboCop and About Last Night. So rather than taking to task whether these remakes are “worthy” or “necessary” or not (is any?), I’d rather mine how the subtle differences between these revisitations and their originals betray our complicated relationship to the era of “Just Say No” and “Where’s the Beef?”. Perhaps we keep recycling the ‘80s because that decade in particular, invited […]

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review about last night

This week sees the release of three movies based on films from the 1980s, and believe it or not, it’s possible that the best of the bunch stars Kevin Hart. Of course, this raises the question: why so many remakes? Movies should only be remade if there’s room for improvement, and although that was arguably the case with RoboCop, Jose Padilha’s reboot/reimagining doesn’t really live up to its full potential. On the other hand, Edward Zwick’s 1986 romantic drama About Last Night is so painfully mediocre that it’s the perfect film to be remade, and count me among the many to be surprised at just how good the remake turned out to be. Both movies are based on the David Mamet stage play, “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” and both follow the same basic story beats, opening at a bar (this time in Los Angeles) where the loutish Bernie (Hart) recounts the events of his most recent sexual conquest to best friend and co-worker Danny (Michael Ealy). The two guys are awaiting the arrival of Joan (Regina Hall), who’s essentially Bernie’s female equivalent, and her roommate Debbie (Joy Bryant) for a double date of sorts at their favorite hangout spot. It’s a desperate attempt by Bernie and Joan at setting up their down-in-the-dumps friends with one another, and though neither Danny nor Debbie are looking for love at the moment, they immediately hit it off.

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Endless Love Movies

Because nobody, absolutely nobody, even in this day and age is immune to the dulcet tones of an expertly tuned snyth or a finely-wielded keytar, two of the 1980s cheesiest offerings in the romance department are getting the remake treatment this week. Or three if you consider the stirringly deep enchantment of RoboCop. Endless Love and About Last Night, two films known for their immense subtlety and timeless love stories (Just kidding! It’s teen sex and voluminous bangs!), are being brought to the modern age because today’s youth needs to know: why is forbidden love so much sweeter when it also has the same name as a Lionel Richie song? and does navigating singlehood get any easier if you add Kevin Hart to the mix?

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aboutlastnight1

You’ve seen our preview of our most anticipated movies of 2014. Now put away those expectations for a bit and be patient, because it’s homework time. As you may know, each weekend I offer some recommendations for movies, both well-known and obscure, to see after you’ve watched that latest hot new release. I’ll be continuing this feature into the new year, so you can look forward to adding more to your backlog queue with titles tied to everything from The Legend of Hercules to Night at the Museum 3. First, though, I want to get a jump on some of the most obvious movies of the past related to the upcoming movies of the near future. These are primarily the original works receiving remakes in the first half of 2014 — or older works based on the same stories. And as usual, some are more popular and familiar than others. Couldn’t you just skip the old versions and go blindly into the new as if it’s a fresh property? Of course, and you can keep on listening to cover songs, too. And always see the movie instead of reading a book. However, if you’re interested in knowing your history and also being able to judge something with proper awareness of what came before, whether you want to make comparisons or not, read ahead and prepare yourself for the next six months of moviegoing.

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2014 is shaping up to be the Year of Kevin Hart. The actor’s steady rise to fame has landed him major roles in four films next year – Grudge Match, Ride Along, About Last Night, and Think Like a Man Too. Now all he needs to do is lay low after 2014, pop back up twelve years later for another Year of Kevin Hart, and he might finally become part of the Chinese zodiac. But twelve years is a long time to wait, so entertain yourselves with the newest trailer for About Last Night:

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Recently, our own Nathan Adams bemoaned comedian-turned-actor Kevin Hart’s decision to sign on to Valet Guys, as a sidekick to Kevin James in a surely unfunny Kevin James vehicle. But while that was perhaps a bad idea on Hart’s part, we should not forget Hart’s other recent project pick-up: a buddy cop comedy with Seth Rogen that has a misleading and/or totally brilliant tagline. Paired with today’s announcement that Hart is taking cues from Jim Belushi, it seems as if the funny man is seriously interested in mixing up his comedic outings – and, as is so rare when it comes to talking about Jim Belushi’s career cues (Snow Buddies, really?), that’s probably a fantastic idea. THR reports that Hart has joined the cast of Screen Gems’ remake of About Last Night. The 1986 film was directed by Edward Zwick and comes from no less than David Mamet‘s play, Sexual Perversity in Chicago. The film centered on a pair of twentysomethings (Rob Lowe and Demi Moore) who have a one night stand and attempt to make an actual go of it (in the form of a real relationship). All sorts of things bog them down – especially their disapproving best pals (played originally by Belushi and Elizabeth Perkins) who have no bones about trying to break them up.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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