Think Like A Man Too
Rated PG-13 for profanity, drug use, crude humor, sexual references and partial nudity
Las Vegas Serves As Backdrop For Battle-Of-The-Sexes Sequel
The surprise hit Think Like A Man was number one at the box office over its opening weekend back in April of 2012. Inspired by Steve Harvey’s best-selling Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, the original explored some of the serious issues tackled by the popular, relationship advice book by examining the angst of four couples in relationship crisis.
This go round, director Tim Story has abandoned the source material in favor of a screwball adventure that unfolds more like a blend of The Hangover and Bridesmaids, madcap movies about a bachelor and bachelorette party, respectively. Think Like A Man Too endeavors to increase the ante by featuring both a bachelor and bachelorette party.
Unfortunately, this relatively-tame sequel fails to measure up to either of those side-splitting descents into debauchery, being basically a vehicle for Kevin Hart’s kitchen sink brand of comedy. Here, the motor-mouthed comedian serves as an omniscient narrator who calls the battle-of-the-sexes’ play-by-play.
Director Story deserves credit for reassembling the principal cast members, thereby easily maintaining the ensemble’s continuity and chemistry. The reason for the reunion is that Candace (Regina Hall) and Momma’s Boy Michael (Terrence J), are tying the knot, so they’ve invited his meddling mother (Jenifer Lewis) and all their friends toLas Vegasfor the nuptials.
Just past the point of departure, we find chef Dominic (Michael Ealy) and corporate executive Lauren (Taraji P. Henson) still struggling with whether to put career ahead of romance. Meanwhile, settled-down Kristen (Gabrielle Union) and Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara) are thinking about having a kid. And Mya (Meagan Good) is having a hard time trusting her beau, Zeke (Romany Malco), given how his ex-girlfriends seem to surface at inopportune moments.
Eventually, all of the above plus Sonya (La La Anthony), Tish (Wendi Mclendon-Covey), Bennett (Gary Owen), Isaac (Adam Brody) and Terrell (David Walton) separate by gender the night before the wedding ceremony. The plot thickens when the bridesmaids carouse aroundSinCityin search of stimulation by bulging biceps, and just as best man Cedric and the groomsmen get the bright idea of entering a male stripping contest dressed as the Village People.
It’s not very hard to guess what happens next, or how it will all end after the wedding is almost canceled. A pleasant, if predictable, diversion peppered with incessant chatter on the part of the irrepressible Kevin Hart.
Good (2 stars)
Running time: 106 minutes
All Cheerleaders Die
It’s H.S. Jocks Vs. Cute Coeds In Remake Of Revenge Horror Comedy
In 2001, Lucky McKee co-wrote and co-directed All Cheerleaders Die, a horror comedy shot on a shoestring budget about some cute high school coeds-turned-soulless cannibals who rise from the dead to exact revenge on their boyfriends. Apparently not satisfied with that initial effort, the same filmmaking team decided to collaborate on a remake of their own picture a dozen years later.
Since this critic never saw the original, I can’t honestly say whether the new version represents a substantial improvement over the source material. FYI, this edition is basically a campy B-flick marked by the same shopworn clichés, cheesy dialogue and low production values it presumes to lampoon.
The story is set at Blackfoot High School where, at the point of departure, we find attractive, mean girl Alexis (Felisha Cooper) talking trash during cheerleading practice. But she dies on the spot, after being accidentally dropped on her head while executing a difficult stunt.
Instead of mourning, her boyfriend Terry (Tom Williamson), the captain of the football team, soon starts dating Tracy (Brooke Butler), another cheerleader. This horrifies rebel lesbian classmate Maddy (Caitlin Stasey) who auditions for Alexis’ spot on the squad in order to get even with Terry by stealing the affections ofTracy.
He reacts by forbidding his pals from dating cheerleaders, asking, “Do you want to waste your senior year chasing a Jesus freak who’s never going to put out when there’s a whole world of [p-word] out there?” Instead, he directs the guys go after goths, nerds, drama chicks, stoners, fat [b-words] and freshmen.
Next, fate intervenes in the way of a crash that takes the lives of a carful of cheerleaders. Somehow, Maddy and company subsequently morph into man-eating zombies that love to feast on macho football players. And the ghoulish girls get the better of their former beaus it in the ensuing, supernatural splatterfest.
A gruesome, expletive-laced, battle-of-the-sexes satire of the scary movie genre featuring enough eroticized gore and titillation at every turn to hold the attention of the testosterone-fueled demographic for the duration.
Good (2 stars)
Running time: 90 minutes
OPENING THIS WEEK
For movies opening June 27, 2014
Begin Again (R for profanity) Musical tale of female empowerment about a struggling singer/songwriter (Keira Knightley) who dumps her philandering, pop star boyfriend (Adam Levine) in order to pursue her own career with the help of an alcoholic, disgraced record exec (Mark Ruffalo). Supporting cast includes Catherine Keener, Hailee Steinfeld, Mos Def, Ceelo Green and James Corden.
Transformers: Age Of Extinction (PG-13 for profanity, intense violence and brief sexual innuendo) Fourth installment of the sci-fi franchise finds a mechanic (Mark Wahlberg) and his daughter (Nicola Peltz) attracting the attention of scientists, transformers, a power-hungry businessman (Stanley Tucci) and a paranoid government bureaucrat (Kelsey Grammer) after they discover the deactivated leader (Peter Cullen) of the Autobots. With John Goodman, T.J. Miller, Sophia Myles and Ken Watanabe.
La Bare (R for pervasive profanity, incessant sexuality and brief graphic nudity) Homoerotic documentary offering a revealing peek inside the most popular male strip club in the world, La Bare Dallas, located inTexas. Director Joe Manganiello does double duty as narrator, interviewing dancers Nick Soto, Lance Winters and others.
Bound By Flesh (Unrated) Leslie Zemeckis (Bob’s wife) directs this heartbreaking documentary about Daisy and Violet Hilton, conjoined twins who made a fortune as a circus sideshow act, only to end up broke after being fleeced by crooked managers.
Drones (Unrated) Character-driven drama about the ethical dilemma faced by two soldiers’ (Matt O’Leary and Eloise Mumford) questioning the order to slay a suspected terrorist (Mahmoud Khalil) from miles away with the push of a button. With Mae Aswell, Vivan Dugre’ and Drea Garcia.
Jackpot (Unrated) Action-filled farce about the lives of four factory workers that come apart at the seams in the wake of winning over a million dollars in the lottery. Co-starring Kyrre Hellum, Mads Ousdal, Henrik Mestad and Arthur Berning. (In Norwegian and Swedish with subtitles)
The Pleasures Of Being Out Of Step (Unrated) Reverential profile retrospective, narrated by Andre Braugher, profiling the career of the legendary jazz journalist and civil libertarian Nat Hentoff.
Postman Pat (Unrated) Ronan Keating handles the title role in this animated adventure as an Average Joe whose faith is shaken after entering a TV talent show competition. Voice cast includes Jim Broadbent, Jane Carr and Greg Ellis.
Snowpiercer (R for violence, profanity and drug use) Climate change sci-fi, set in a futuristic dystopia where global warming has choked-off all life except for the few lucky enough to be aboard a train circumnavigating the globe. Ensemble cast includes Chris Evers, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Ed Harris, Alison Pill, John Hurt and Ah-sung Ko. (In English, Japanese, Korean and French with subtitles)
They Came Together (R for profanity and sexuality) Romantic comedy about a candy company exec (Paul Rudd) who falls in love at first sight with the eccentric owner (Amy Poehler) of the franchise he came to shut down. With Bill Hader, Ed Helms and Kenan Thompson.
Under The Electric Sky (PG-13 for suggestive material, drug references, partial nudity and brief profanity) Be-In gathering documentary about the Electric Daisy Carnival, an annual three-day festival which has evolved since its inception in 1997 into North America’s largest dance music event.
Whitey: United States Vs. James J. Bulger (R for profanity and crime scene images) Courtroom documentary highlighting the government’s case against the FBI’s #2 Most Wanted (after Osama bin Laden), the sadistic mobster who brutally murdered over a dozen people during his decades-long reign of terror in South Boston.
Yves Saint Laurent (R for sexuality and drug use) Haute couture biopic chronicling the career of the late fashion icon (Pierre Niney) and his long-term relationship with his life mate/business partner, Pierre Berge (Guillaume Gallienne). Featuring Nikolai Kinski as Karl Lagerfeld and Patrice Thibaud as Christian Dior. (In French, English, Japanese, Russian and Arabic with subtitles)