In the months of July and August I've seen the 'Ghostbusters' remake, 'Lights Out,' and now 'Bad Moms.' I've also seen 'Stranger Things' on Netflix. In my effort to limit my exposure to bad movies, I have purposely left several films off the list. I believe I have succeeded...so far. 'Batman v. Superman' was the "worst" film I've seen this year and it wasn't that bad. Don't get me wrong, BvS was not a good movie, but it wasn't terrible. It was just "ok." Notably absent from my list is 'Suicide Squad,' 'Jason Bourne,' and the 'Legend of Tarzan.'
After the reviews for 'Suicide Squad' I just couldn't bring myself to see it. I never advocate for anyone to lose their jobs, but someone seriously needs to be fired from Warner Brothers and DC Comics. The level of incompetence is beyond comprehensible. My first vote would be for Zack Synder to go as a producer for DC films. He just needs to go. I still can't believe that the man who thought up and made 'Sucker Punch' is in charge of DC's multi-million dollar empire. There are many other incompetent execs over at the WB that need to go, but getting rid of Synder would be a good first step. Director David Ayers should probably go too. Any director that managed to misuse such great actors shouldn't direct comic book films anymore.
Abby Yates (Kristen Wigg) is a soon to be tenured professor and former paranormal researcher. In her youth she coauthored a paranormal book with her old partner in crime Erin Gilbert (Melissa McCarthy). When a historical museum discovers a ghostly presence they reunite to investigate, along with techie Millennial, Dr. Jillian Holtzman (Kate McKinnon).
Perhaps the most ironic part of the film is when a realtor takes them to view an old abandoned fire station as their new headquarters...only to discover the rent is $20,000 per month! This forces the ladies to rent out the space above a Chinese restaurant. Oh and they hire a hunky, but dumb receptionist, Kevin Beckman (Chris Hemsworth). Hemsworth was hilarious and should consider doing comedy more often.
MTA worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) later joins the ragtag crew after seeing some creepiness going down in the subway. Jones does a good job of playing the non-scientist role and connecting with the audience. And there are truly some fantastic (albeit brief) cameos by the original actors Bill Murrary, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, and Sigourney Weaver.
I laughed heartily throughout the film until the end. The only disappointing aspect for me was lack of the Zuul and Gozer storyline between Louis Tully/keymaster (Rick Moranis) and Dana Barrett/gatekeepeer (Sigourney Weaver). Overall, the reboot was a completely new film that was a sweet homage to the original.
FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS.
THREE OUT OF FIVE STARS
Trapped in a sexless marriage, Amy catches her husband in a relationship with a webcam woman. After little deliberation she decides to divorce him. The most irritating aspect of Amy is her lack of reference. She's a privileged woman living in a nice suburban house, she's 32 years old, drop dead gorgeous, with a good looking husband (who has a good job), two lovely pre-teen children, and the ability to work a part-time job. Yeah-- she has it rough. Yikes, I hope I'm not shaming. She's a fictional character after all!
Anywhoo, Amy goes on a path of self-discovery. She starts driving a fast car, tells her boss to shove it, goes to the movies during the day, drinks like a fish, and drops out of the PTA meetings run by uber perfect mom/PTA president Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate). Applegate's comedic timing and delivery are perfect. Applegate and comedian Kathryn Hahn steal every scene they're in. As much as I like Kunis-- she was just along for the ride. To be fair Kunis truly committed to the role and gave it her all.
THREE OUT OF FIVE STARS
In the spirit of 'Goonies,' 'Stand By Me,' 'ET,' and 'Super 8,'--'Stranger Things' follows three pre-teen boys who are searching for their missing friend. In the process they come across a strange young girl with super powers and a weird haircut. Generation X icon Winona Ryder makes a huge comeback as the jittery mother of the missing boy desperate to find him. I don't want to spoil the series for anyone who hasn't seen the film, but the mystery behind the boy's disappearance is quite unique and definitely inspired by Stephen King and Steven Spielberg. In fact if Stephen King and Steven Spielberg had a baby it would pop out 'Stranger Things.'
FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS