What Men Want and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures
Directed by Adam Shankman
Despite its connection to a notably popular movie, I hadn’t heard a lot about this film until it finally decided to come out like a week ago. Sure, I knew that they were making it and that the film was going to be gender flipped, but beyond that this is yet another film that completely flew under the radar for me which now that I think of it PROBABLY makes some amount of sense as it would have had to of been marketed in the last few months; i.e. Oscar season followed by a very crappy January for me. So is this movie a hidden gem that I just didn’t give the time of day until it was staring me right in the face, or did this movie actually get shunted down the release schedule priority list to quietly slink away after a hopefully decent opening weekend? Let’s find out!!
Ali Davis (Taraji P Henson) is a sports agent working out of Atlanta and is one of the rock star employees at her… firm? Is that the right word? Anyway, she consistently does great work for the company but FOR SOME REASON keeps getting looked over when it’s time to promote someone to partner, but she isn’t afraid of uphill battles gosh darn it! If a woman has to work twice as hard to get half the credit, well she’s just gonna work TEN times as hard! Her goal is to hire this up and coming hot shot basketball player named Jamal Barry (Shane Paul McGhie) who could be big for the firm but has a very demanding father Joe ‘Dolla’ Barry (Tracy Morgan) who is demanding and demeaning at almost every turn and making life a living heck for Ali. Clearly she needs to relax and perhaps learn to get into the mind of men instead of just trying to compete with them, which fittingly enough would make her compete with them better! Good thing she’s got a bachelorette party to go to where there JUST SO HAPPENS to be a psychic with magic tea that will let her hear men’s thoughts! Well it was either that or the crushing blow to the head she received later that night, but the point is that she wakes up the next morning and is able to hear the thoughts of all the men around her; including her assistant Brandon (Josh Brener) who is the only person she’s willing to confide in regarding this new power. At first it seems like a curse but now that she can get into Joe and Jamal’s head to find out what they really want; not to mention the men in her office who have been quietly scheming against her from day one. Will Ali be able to close this deal and finally get the job she’s always deserved? Just how far will she go to succeed, and how many people will she have to hurt along the way while using these new abilities? You’d think there’d be a lot more dudes singing random songs in the movie, but I guess you’d then have to license them all.
“Really? Nothing but Ninja Sex Party songs going on up there?”
The Night Before and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures
Directed by Jonathan Levine
Is it too late to declare a war on Christmas? I don’t mind the holidays, but I’ve also worked in retail so I got a firsthand look at the Christmas calendar creep and how NO ONE likes to push this shit in October, let alone November. Thankfully they ALMOST waited until December to start throwing out holiday films with last week’s Love the Coopers and now The Night Before. Unlike that other film though, I was REALLY looking forward to seeing this because I love Seth Rogen and his particular brand of comedy. Not everything he’s been a part of has been great (I thought The Interview was pretty underwhelming), but I always like to see what he does next which this time seems to be pretending he’s in the same age group as Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie. Wait a minute. HE’S THE YOUNGEST ONE OF THEM!? Huh. Learn something new every day. So will this be the kind of movie to bring out the holiday cheer and break out the eggnog, or will this make everyone feel even Grinch-ier than they already are at this time of the year? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows the adventures of Ethan, Isaac, and Chris (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Anthony Mackie) on their last big Christmas Eve together before ending their tradition. You see, about fifteen years ago Ethan’s parents were killed by a drunk driver right around Christmas time and so his friends decided that they will spend the holidays with him which soon became a tradition. What also became a tradition is that they would party their ASSES off because they were young when they started it so of course that’s what they ended up doing. However, it’s been going on for way too long and Isaac and Chris have their own things going on while Ethan is still stuck in place, unable to get his life going. Still, he agrees to this being the last time they make this a big party event and even has a surprise for his friends that will make this the best one of them all. There’s a super-secret party that takes place every year (the Nutcracker Ball) that they’ve never had a chance to go to because they could never find out where it was or how to get invitations. Through sheer luck, Ethan finds three tickets for the damn thing at his shitty job and steals them without a second thought so that he and his friends can have the greatest night of their lives! Will this final night be all it’s cracked up to be, or are they just too damn old to keep going the way they’ve been going even for one more night? Will they be able to salvage their friendship despite the changes in their lives that makes it harder for them to find the time? Wait, how fucking deep is this movie about taking drugs and Christmas shenanigans!?