Michael Ealy

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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Kevin Hart in Think Like a Man

According to Deadline Hollywood, Steve Pink (Accepted, Hot Tub Time Machine) is in talks to direct a remake of About Last Night… which will take the original David Mamet play’s title as its own. So, in all fairness, Sexual Perversity in Chicago isn’t so much a remake as it is a second adaptation of the Mamet play. Only 237 more to go before he reaches Shakespeare status. The movie, written by Leslye Headland (Bachelorette), has Michael Ealy and Kevin Hart set to co-star and Regina Hall rumored for a third role. The production is still looking for the second female lead. Here’s where I go out on a limb, so hear me out. The studious will notice that all three acting talents involved are 1) great at what they do and 2) all African-American. Thus, Screen Gems has a unique opportunity here, and I sincerely hope that they will not bury this project with niche-only marketing that hits the Tyler Perry sweet spot without reaching out organically to a broad base. Yes, I see the irony in me pointing out the obvious in order to ask Screen Gems not to point out the obvious, but there’s no reason they shouldn’t give the kind of advertising money necessary to treat this like anything other than a standard romantic dramedy. Except, you know, history.

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in his favorite Jedi robe, grabs his lightsaber and heads out to see the latest George Lucas movie…and boy does he look stupid. After realizing that Red Tails has nothing to do with the color of creatures’ backsides in the Tattooine cantina, he then dresses in his favorite “Team Jacob” tee shirt to see the latest vampire/werewolf movie. Again, he looks ridiculous. Finally, he sulks into a movie theater showing the new Steven Soderbergh film, falls in love with new action star Gina Carano and is happy.

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Takers assembles a motley crew of handsome men, decks them out in stylish suits and top hats, adds a dollop of crime, and shoots for the moon – literally (yes, a character points his fingers at the moon and fires). Director John Luessenhop wants to craft an eloquent, pseudo-vintage crime drama out of mundane clichés. With just enough of an aesthete’s vision, a robust collection of photogenic actors (including the ridiculously beautiful Zoe Saldana), an R&B infused soundtrack, and some exciting, upper class heist action, he mostly fulfills that ambition. There’s not much more to be expected from a late summer picture likely to be all but forgotten come the start of the fall movie season next week. With expectations naturally diminished, it’s possible to sit through Takers, enjoy the scenery and have a good time, even if Luessenhop’s thriller often adopts the “too cool for school” affectations of a meticulously blocked advertisement.

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


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