The Night Before
Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Anthony Mackie star in the new Christmas comedy, The Night Before. Right up front, this is a stoner comedy and there are some very, very funny moments in this. But there are also a few really harsh and regrettable decisions made in the name of "comedy" here that really don't work.
This is the story of three friends all in their early 30's that have a tradition of going out on Christmas Eve and party up a storm. And this is the final time they will be doing this as they have all grown up and seemingly gone their separate ways. They spend the night getting completely messed up on various drugs and other substances and looking at where they each are in life. Much of this is parody and works well. It also channels other Christmas movies, borrowing the premise from A Christmas Carol, and others. But this is a comedy where they don't know where to stop, stepping into a few scenes that are so amazingly offensive it's hard to sign off on it all the way.
(Trailer a bit too inappropriate for posting here)
Those parts don't make this a better movie, just a more desperate one. This could have stood up much taller on its own without really glancing off into the tasteless realms that it does a few times. It completely waters down the really funny parts that it does have. This is a hard R rated flick.
The new movie, The 33 is certainly a story worth telling. It's just a bit of a shame that this true story of an amazing experience wasn't given a slightly better script. It's always challenging to make a movie about actual events where everyone knows the outcome, and make it still engaging.
This is the story of the 33 miners from Chile that we all saw come to safety about 5 years ago in a truly remarkable fashion. They were buried underground for 64 days, and all made it to the top. The story is truly miraculous. But this movie tries so hard to be so many things, it forgets to be as interesting as it could be. It tells the story from the perspective of the miners trapped, and that's terrific. But on the surface, it gets bogged down in politics, and side plots that for me just do not work. The truly amazing part of this true story is the drilling and the technology that saved these men as it had never been done before. And they simply glaze over that aspect and that's a shame.
This stars Antonio Bandaras, Lou Diamond Phillips and a nice supporting cast. This is not a bomb by any means, as it is a good and inspiring story. It just needed to be as interesting and compelling of a movie as it was a true story.