Rough Night (2017)

I didn’t know exactly what to expect walking into Rough Night. The cast seemed pretty good, the opportunity was there, but I’ve been repeatedly disappointed by comedies lately and was hesitant to trust it. Thankfully, it did not disappoint.

Rough Nights wields a brilliant cast, and Scarlett Johansson surprised me since I’ve never seen her in a flat out comedy before. Jess (Johansson) plays a crazy sorority girl turned squeaky clean politician. She is engaged to Peter (Paul Downs), and her best friend from college Alice (Jillian Bell) has planned the “perfect” bachelorette party.  Jess says goodbye to Peter and Alice whisks her on to a plane heading for Miami.

Upon arrival the pair meets up with their two other college friends Frankie (Ilana Glazer) and Blair (Zoë Kravitz). They arrive at the house soon thereafter, and the party begins. Later that night Pippa (Kate Mckinnon) is introduced as Jess’ friend from Australia. Naturally, Alice hates her immediately. She does not hide it well.

Everyone heads down to the beach, where the neighbors Pietro (Ty Burrell) and Lea (Demi Moore) come down and introduce themselves, particularly to Blair. After some awkward sexual tension, they retreat back to their home. Some point thereafter someone suggests getting a stripper for Jess to which everyone is all for.

The door bell rings, and in walks the stripper (Ryan Cooper) who gets a little rough for Jess, so she passes him on to Alice. Alice jumps into his lap knocking him backwards, and cracking his head open on the fireplace which kills him instantly. Everyone is freaking out, and Jess calls Peter to console her. Unfortunately, she can barely form a sentence and gets out something along the lines of  “I met a guy” at which point one of the girls grabs her phone and smashes it in an attempt to keep Peter from getting suspicious.

Turns out Peter does get suspicious and decides to drive without stopping all the way to Florida with the help of adult diapers and a shit load of Red Bull. The girls buy a burner phone to call Blair’s Uncle, who is a lawyer for advice on what to do. He tells them they could face up to 15 years unless they can get rid of the body. They attempt to dispose of it in the ocean and everything seems to go well until they notice the neighbors security cameras which caught the whole thing.

Blair begrudgingly goes over to get the tape, and ends up hooking up with the couple before finding out that the cameras don’t even work. After all that, the body ends up washing ashore anyway, and the girls store him in a closet while they think of another plan. Shortly after, a police officer shows up at the door. He gets a little touchy with Frankie so she knocks him out, at which point they find out he was the actual stripper they ordered, and they have no idea who the other guy is.

At this point, Alice has a meltdown when she finds out she wasn’t invited to Jess’ bridal shower, and all hell breaks loose. Jess goes off on Alice for being too clingy and overly jealous, then storms off leaving Alice broken. Two police officers now show up at the door asking to interview the girls. They breakdown and come clean, then lead them to the body, at which point the officers tell the this man was a bank robber and they were not in trouble.

Everyone rejoices until Pippa notices on the news that there were three bank robbers, and guess who the other two were? You got it, the cops. When they find out they’ve been discovered they tie the girls up along with the now conscious stripper and threaten to shoot them. Jess hears the commotion and comes out into the hallway to see what’s going on. When she realizes her friends are in danger, she tackles one of the men and handcuffs him to the sink.

She runs out to fight the other man which Alice ends up shooting. Before they have time to rejoice, the first guy returns having escaped from the handcuffs only to get run over as Peter drives through the side of the house. Peter and Jess make up and then the movie cuts to their wedding surrounded by their friends, no one seeming to have faced any consequences of their actions and live happily ever after.

I really loved Rough Night, it was refreshing to see a well made comedy led by a great cast. Peter really stole the movie in my opinion. Throughout the movie, they cut to his adventure down to Florida and every minute of it is pure gold from the police to the true love found at a gas station. I enthusiastically give Rough Night a 4 out of 5.

– DC

Wicked Old Review: IQ (1994)

I.Q. is your standard mid-90’s romantic comedy, a quirky aspiring mathematician Catherine Boyd (Meg Ryan) is engaged to the stuffy sociopath scientist James Moreland (Stephen Fry) who is all wrong for her. Luckily she runs into the science obsessed yet uneducated town mechanic Ed Walters (Tim Robbins) who steals her away from the uptight celibate . Also Catherine’s uncle is Albert Einstein (Walter Matthau), the oldest looking man who had ever lived) and he and a gaggle of his old scientist buddies decide to help Ed win over Catherine by pretending to invent cold fusion, lying to the president, and instigating the space race.

The movie starts and the audience is immediately clued in to the fact that Catherine isn’t happy with her sex life. How do we know this? Because the movie takes every single opportunity in the first 15 minutes to show us just how goddamn horny she is, and how James is much more interested in electrocuting rat testicles than lying with his betrothed. This whole ordeal culminates at a fancy dinner party where Catherine describes her ideal honeymoon location as a slide where the water “Licks you all over” which is of course accompanied by a genuinely creepy self hug and shudder. James quickly whisks her away the next room to ask if she could maybe cool it on the licking talk for one polite work dinner. She of course demands he sleep with her right then and there and James refuses with the kind of righteous indignation reserved for only the most pompous of upper crust British elite. Luckily for the frustrated Boyd,  the duo’s fancy fire engine red car breaks down and they have to pull into Bob Rosetti’s (A criminally under-utilized Tony Shalhoub) auto shop where the local popular science reading heartthrob Ed can take a break to teach Catherine a thing or two about…..car repair.

Ed of course immediately falls head over heels in love with Catherine because time is an imaginary construct, and begins to set his plan of seduction in motion. This is where Albert Einstein finally comes into play. Einstein is a simple man who likes to spend his days with his buddies arguing about scientific theory, getting badminton equipment stuck in trees, and being genuinely and actively worried about Catherine’s sex life. So you can imagine the relief these guys feel when our hunky hero Ed shows up on their doorstep ready to profess his love to the engaged woman he briefly met as a customer at his place of employment a few hours ago. Ed and Albert bond over their shared love of science, Catherine, Ed’s ability to climb trees to collect lost badminton equipment, and sick motorcycle jumps.

Eventually the brain-trust decides the only way to help Ed is to make Catherine question her own intelligence, and make Ed look like a certified genius with a flawed theory for cold fusion. The theory is of course picked up by the new jersey council of science or whatever for a presentation in five days, which ignites the interest of President Eisenhower, and draws out claims from the Russians that they will have working cold fusion within 6 months. How does the greatest collection of scientific minds in the world tackle the problem of worldwide attention on a flawed theory? By having a dress up costume montage for Ed to make him look smart.

I.Q is the perfect blend of earnest nonsense to make what I consider to be an enjoyable film. Taking a tired and formulaic romantic comedy plot and throwing in Albert Einstein is definitely enough to make an enjoyable hour and a half, but there’s a reason this movie has faded into obscurity. Robbins lacks the effortless charisma of a Tom Hanks type, and comes across as bland and forgettable in a movie filled much stronger character choices, and the movie ignores more creative direction in favor of the tried and true rom-com formula.

The cast of old men scientists that assist Einstein are the true highlight of the film, and a delight to anyone who enjoys some quality old man bickering. Although I would have preferred if Matthau had gone with more of his wacky comic persona instead of the much smaller, and “realistic” way he took the character.

Ryan is infinitely charming as the frustrated Boyd, but it would have been nice if they had given her more to do than worry about which man to choose. The true star of the picture though is Stephen Fry’s psychotic psychologist James Moreland, who spends the film torturing both people and animals for very poorly defined reasons in a smarmy fashion that only Fry could really bring us.

All in all I.Q is a mediocre film elevated by bizarre plot choices and a great cast. It’s paced well and could be a great WTF watch with buddies and a few beers, but if you’re looking for a top notch 90’s romantic comedy Meg Ryan has other titles in her catalog you should check out first. Though if you want a movie where Albert Einstein creepily says wahoo to himself as he watches his niece hardcore make out with a guy, then this is the picture for you. I would give it 2.5 stars.

 

Upcoming Changes

As of today I have recruited a friend of mine to help out in writing reviews. He will mainly be writing for older movies rather than new releases, which brings me to the next update.

I am going to be adding a new bit to the site deemed “Wicked Old Reviews”. These reviews will have their own section under categories and will be for older flicks that I or my friend watch. I will still continue to review new releases as well, however this weeks review may be a little late.

The first Wicked Old Review will be up tomorrow! Hope you enjoy!

Wonder Woman (2017)

DC has finally put up a worthy contender to face off against Marvel. Wonder Woman was, in my opinion, the best DC movie since The Dark Knight. I’ve never been a big Wonder Woman fan but after seeing Batman vs Superman, I needed something to wash the bad taste out of my mouth.

The plot of the movie was fairly interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed the World War I setting, and Chris Pine was excellent as he always seems to be. Diana, played by Gal Gadot, lives on a secluded island with the rest of the Amazonian women having no contact with the outside world until Steve (Chris Pine) crashes his plane nearby. After rescuing him from the wreck, he briefly covers what is happening in the world but is cut off when the Germans follow his downed plane to the island and storm the beach.

Diana decides to go with Steve against her mother’s wishes to help defend the world against Aries, the God of War. Although Steve doesn’t believe her god theory, he agrees to let her go with him if she can get home back to London. After meeting with Steve’s superiors and explicitly being told to stand down, they pair gathers a group of misfit soldiers from the local bar and charges into the front lines, where they plan to foil the Germans plan to win the war.

I want to start off by saying I very much enjoyed this movie, however I couldn’t help but notice a significant number of plot holes through the entire length of the film. To avoid spoiling anything, I won’t mention specifics, but there was a lot that didn’t quite add up to me. The action scenes were outstanding, and flowed very nicely. Overall, I will give Wonder Woman a 3.5 out of 5.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017)

As a 90s kid, of course I had to see Captain Underpants, if only as an obligation to my younger self. Going in, I honestly had no idea what to expect, I hadn’t watched any trailers or researched the film at all, but t
o my pleasant surprise, I loved it.

Some of my favorites voiced the main characters, Ed Helm as Mr. Krupp/Captain Underpants, Kevin Hart as George, Thomas Middleditch as Harold, and Nick Kroll as *ahem* Professor Poopypants.

The story is about two elementary school kids who just want school to be fun, and the school principal, Mr. Krupp, who wants exactly the opposite. They end up hypnotizing Krupp and convincing him that he is Captain Underpants. Most of the movie then follows the chaotic consequences of their action, that is until Professor Poopypants becomes their new Science teacher and explains his plan to rid the world of laughter. 

George and Harold along with Captain Underpants must work together to foil Professor Poopypants plan before it’s too late. Will they succeed? Of course they will it’s a kids movie. 

The film is chock full of childish bathroom humor, and I can honestly say I was laughing throughout the entire thing. It felt like the type of movie where everyone involved was just having a great time. I was completely caught off guard by how much I enjoyed it, but happily surprised. 

To the right crowd this movie will be a favorite of 2017. Although it isn’t likely to show up at any awards shows, it was a great tribute to the original comics and will have fans young and old waiting for the sequel. I give it a 4 out of 5 and recommend it to anyone looking to bring out their innerchild.