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Rough Night is a fun night [MOVIE REVIEW]

The four coeds were the best of friends during the college days (Jess) Scarlett Johansson, (Alice) Jillian Bell, (Frankie) Ilana Glazer, and (Blair) Zoë Kravitz. Frankie and Blair even had a “past” together. Ten years after graduation they meet in Miami for a bachelorette weekend to celebrate Jess’ pending nuptials. Pippa, played by Kate McKinnon, a more recent friend of Jess’ from the land down under, joins the group as well. The ladies are pumped for a weekend of, well, everything. They rent a beautiful beach house and invite a male entertainer over. Tragically, he doesn’t survive the evening. Realizing that they could end up in the slammer, their enthusiasm gives way to panic. It’s a matter of simply figuring out what to do next.

Rough Night is another in a long line of crazy night out movies where the characters always end up asking, how did we get into this mess?! The stories are always a bit implausible. Like in this film, Jess is supposedly in a tight race to win a state senate seat. No serious politician would take off for a long weekend at a pivotal point in the campaign to party it up with friends. These movies also have more strange and unlikely occurrences in one night than most people have in a 100-year lifetime: multiple people conveniently show up at the rental house, as necessary, to help carry out the plot.

However, in the end, Rough Night does what it should do; it entertains. The cast combines the right mix of comedy and drama. There are serious scenes when the characters revisit and debate old intragroup wounds.

The film is greatly enhanced by the performances of Demi Moore and Ty Burrell as the horny neighbors who set lustful eyes on Blair. And there are other bits of humor like when the friends meet at the airport, Alice opens a bottle of champagne to celebrate the moment only to have the sound of the cork popping send other traveler scurrying from what they believe to have been a gunshot.

With Rough Night, you’ll find yourself wondering what is going happen next.

As to cast diversity, it gets a B+ for performers from all racial groups. And it is refreshing to see the one black woman in the group, be the thinnest – and not heaviest. She is arguably the most sophisticated and not the crassest in the group. Zoe is stunning; Lenny, Lisa, you do good work!

Rough Night, is rated R (for crude sexual content, language throughout, drug use, and brief bloody images) and it is 101 minutes in length. Rough Night fights its way to our top rating; it’s a See It!

Movie Review: Ghostbusters is eerily mediocre

It's been 30 years and the Ghostbusters are back! According to press reports, the idea of a new version was bandied about for years. The issue was: what would the story be about? Two possible storylines included Bill Murray having a lead role as a ghost and another with the Ghostbusters going to hell. It was finally decided to move forward with a script centering on a female cast reestablishing the paranormal investigative agency. Kristen Wiig plays Erin Gilbert, a University professor, who's under consideration for a tenured position until her ghost hunting past not only keeps her from tenure but leads her to being shown the door. She reunites with former partner Abbey Yates (Melissa McCarthy) who never gave up her sleuthing of the supernatural. Kate McKinnon is Jillian Holtzmann, who Yates brought on board after Gilbert's departure. The three scientists investigate some ghoulish activities at a historical location in New York City. About the same time, a subway clerk (Leslie Jones) has an encounter at the station with a phantom. She invites the three investigators to see for themselves. Her fascination with the occurrence leads her to join the Ghostbuster's team.

Ghostbusters is a mere shadow of the original productions and gets a Rent It rating. The characters and storyline are weak and inadequate. The three scientist overlap in personality traits and lack clarity as to who they really are and what really motivates them. Wiig's Erin Gilbert speaks of an early experience with a ghost which spiked her interest. But overall, the four leads, The Ghostbusters, are poorly developed and not at all interesting. Also in a twist of an old plotline, the group hires an attractive, dumb blonde as a receptionist, but in this case, it's a man (Chris Hemsworth) working for women.

Wiig, McCarthy, McKinnon and Jones give it their best shots but they don't have a ghost of a chance with this substandard script. A note to the ubiquitous Melissa McCarthy, will you take a break and give some other actresses a chance to work!

And the plot is a scrambled mess about a misfit, Rowan, (Neil Casey) who uses his supernatural powers to get back at the world.

Ghostbusters doesn't disappoint when it comes to visuals. The imagery fascinates and dominates but is not enough to resuscitate this otherwise failing project.

There are cameo appearances from the earlier 'buster moves: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, and Ozzy Osbourne.

As to its cast diversity rating, Ghostbusters get a "B". Leslie Jones has a major role. Andy Garcia stars as the mayor of New York City. But overall there is a lack of Hispanics and Asians for a story set in highly diverse New York City.

Ghostbusters is rated PG-13 for supernatural action and some crude humor. It's 116 minutes in length. Save yourself a trip to the theater. Wait and Rent this film. The special effects will be worth it.

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