FLICKS: Max Rose

Posted on 22 September 2016 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

As a child, I used to bust a gut laughing at Jerry Lewis movies, and, in particular, the climatic scenes in Who’s Minding the Store and The Disorderly Orderly. One Labor Day weekend, I discovered his telethon for muscular dystrophy. I was impressed that this funny guy could raise millions of dollars for such a serious cause. I always wanted to do something like that when I grew up.

As I entered high school, the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon began to age and eventually became an unintentional parody of itself. This was something Martin Scorsese sensed as he cast Jerry Lewis against type in The King of Comedy, starring Robert DeNiro. While he will always be associated with comedy, Jerry Lewis revealed a dark soul as Richard Belzer’s uncle on the television program, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Max Rose is cumulative swan song to Jerry Lewis’s film career. The film opens with a sense of nostalgia. As the credits roll, we see young Max (Lewis) and his wife Eva (Claire Bloom) through pictures and photographs. The film loses and regains focus as we watch Max learn that he is now a widow and he signs off on his spouse’s last medical forms. He returns home with his granddaughter, Annie Rose (Kerry Bishe) to contemplate the silence of loneliness.

Our marriage was a lie and I failed myself,” Max says at his wife’s funeral, shocking those in attendance, including his estranged son, Chris (Kevin Pollak).

The source of Max’s consternation revolves around a locket he found in Eva’s personal items, dated on a special day in 1959. All Max remembers about that day was that he was out of town recording a Jazz album that made him a “one hit wonder.”

As a narrative, Max Rose does plod along. Some scenes could have been shortened and the abrupt use of flashbacks did become confusing at first. However, there is a life-affirming resolution that does pay off.

Due to the actor’s physical limitations, most of Jerry Lewis’ performance is told through the lines on his face. From heartache to contempt, to childlike joy, Lewis delivers a haunting performance. The script allows him to reprise one of his most memorable comic moments.

While staying at an assisted-living center, Lewis, Mort Sahl, Rance Howard and Lee Weaver listen to Jazz music and improvise playing instruments. The scene is infectious with its warmth and humor and is a fine scene that fits into his film persona.

By the way, for those who have not seen it yet, check out Sully or Pete’s Dragon while they are still on the big screen.

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FLICKS: The People vs. Fritz Bauer, Sully and The Beatles: Eight Days a Week

Posted on 15 September 2016 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

The People vs. Fritz Bauer is a slice of history from the 1950s. The film details German Jewish concentration camp survivor Fritz Bauer’s (Burghart Klaußner) in pursuit of Arch-Nazi bureaucrat Adolph Eichman (Michael Schenk). Despite his moral justification, Bauer is vexed by his German colleagues and meddling supervisors. Bauer pursues another course of action with the Israel Secret Service organization, Mossad.

Spoken in German with English subtitles, The People vs. Fritz Bauer is a backstage drama about a thrilling subject. We witness a happy domestic life in Argentina as Eichmann assumes another identity of a respective neighbor. Bauer and his agents are in hot pursuit, but closeted secrets nearly derail bringing in this undercover Nazi. The People vs. Fritz Bauer opens tomorrow.

On a far more happier historical subject, Sully opened with stellar box office numbers. Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks in the title role, Sully is an action-packed thriller. Given that many of us know the ending of the story, it is a miracle that this film holds an audience in suspense. Then again, this film should not have been titled Sully, but Miracle on the Hudson.

Sully opens with the title character and his copilot, Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) being investigated for landing a jet airliner in the Hudson River. Research and computer simulation makes the claim that the jet had enough fuel to return to LaGuardia Airport 30 seconds after landing. Given his 40+ years of flight experience, Sully insists that landing in the Hudson River saved 150 lives and that the computer projections are wrong.

The central conflict of Sully is man vs. machine. The special effects enhance this theme as we witness the plane landing on the Hudson from three different perspectives. Yet, it is the heroism of the New Yorkers that makes Sully such an enjoyable film. Given that this incident happened a mere eight years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Sully reveals the redemption of the American character. If the primadonna behavior of overpaid professional athletes is making you feel down, then go see the behavior of real Americans in Sully.

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week. This documentary directed by Ron Howard features 30 minutes of actual footage from the Shea Stadium concert and concludes with the final Beatles concert in Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Produced by the surviving Beatles and their widows, this film will be shown at Silverspot Cinema in Coconut Creek (www.silverspot.net) and at Savor Cinema in Ft. Lauderdale this weekend with special events. (www.fliff.com).

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FLICKS: Kubo and the Two Strings, FLIFF sets dates

Posted on 08 September 2016 by LeslieM

flicks090816By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

It sounds like a broken record, but superheroes and Walt Disney Studios dominated the summer box office. Despite negative mainstream reviews, Suicide Squad and Batman v. Superman Dawn of Justice did well at the box office, but did not rival Captain America: Civil War in both revenue and critical appeal. The 2016 box office crown goes to Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory, an animated tale with both story and heart.

While losing money for their producers, Kubo and the Two Strings is stop motion (as opposed to computerized like Finding Dory) animation like the original King Kong and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Lacking the narrative intensity of Finding Dory, Kubo and the Two Strings is a contemplative motion picture about life, the rites of passage and spirituality. Like a good piece of Asian Literature or an Akira Kurosawa movie, Kubo and the Two Strings places an emphasis upon colorful visualization and primitive symbolism. While Kubo is an archetypal protagonist, he is a character. Expect Kubo and the Two Strings to be an Oscar rival to Finding Dory next awards season.

Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) Director Gregory Von Hausch has announced the dates for this year’s festival: Friday Nov. 4 thru Sunday Nov. 20. While guests and honorees have yet to be announced, the venues have been announced with opening ceremonies at the Seminole Hard Rock Cafe and closing ceremonies at the historical Bailey Hall. The majority of films will be screened at either the Fort Lauderdale or Hollywood venues.

FLIFF will be a transformative festival. Much like old Joe Robbie Stadium, which is now called Hard Rock Stadium, Cinema Paradiso will now be known as Savor Cinema in honor of philanthropist Steve Savor. Having hosted several galas at his Villa di Palma in previous years, one can expect Steve Savor to energize the glamour aspect of South Florida’s biggest film festival.

In other news: this weekend, Tom Hanks stars as the title character, Sully, the commercial pilot who landed a jet airliner in the Hudson River. October sees the release of Dan Brown’s Inferno which is set in Florence, Italy and features a mystery evolving around Dante’s Inferno. Expect Tom Hanks to be in the news for the next two months, as Sully is directed by Clint Eastwood and Dante’s Inferno is directed by Ron Howard.

The People vs. Fritz Bauer opens Sept. 16 in local cinemas. Based on a true story, the film details German Attorney General Fritz Bauer’s efforts to bring Adolph Hitler’s chief bureaucrat, Adolph Eichmann, to justice.

With each passing Labor Day weekend, the memories of the Jerry Lewis Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy fade into memory. Having turned 90, the old clown and humanitarian will be seen on the big screen on Sept. 23 in Max Rose. Playing the title character, Lewis is garnering his best notices since he was directed by Martin Scorsese in King of Comedy over three decades ago. Having recently been interviewed on the CBS Sunday morning program, it appears that Jerry Lewis will not fade into the darkness quietly.

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FLICKS: Mia Madre & Life, Animated

Posted on 01 September 2016 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

This Labor Day weekend, two movies open with some award merit. Mia Madre was in competition in the 2015 Cannes film festival. The film’s leading lady, Margherita Buy, earned the best actress prize at the David di Donatello Awards in Italy. Life, Animated will be considered for Best Documentary during the 2017 awards season. Both Mia Madre and Life, Animated are entertaining motion pictures in which viewers will share some laughs and shed some tears.

Mostly in Italian language with English subtitles, Mia Madre introduces us to Margherita, an independent filmmaker producing a movie about workers’ rights and entrepreneurship. As she waits for her leading man, Barry Huggins (John Turturro) to arrive from America, Margherita checks her phone for the latest news about her sick mother.

Despite seemingly improving, the mother is terminal. Margherita must balance the demands between work, raising a teenager who is not doing well in her studies and impending grief. The American actor also brings onto the set his own petty neurosis and linguistic confusion.

Despite playing the protagonist’s irritant, Turturro’s appearances are welcome comic relief. In a supporting role, Turturro is allowed a full range of negative behavior, but remains somewhat likeable. Margherita Buy earned her David di Donatella prize for a retrained emotional performance. The audience feels for Margherita and her dilemma, which pays off for Mia Madre’s final scene.

Ripped from last year’s headlines, Life, Animated presents the story of Owen Suskind, an autistic, young man who learned to communicate with people by watching Disney animation. Using home movies, Owen’s parents discuss how the 3-year-old’s behavior changed overnight. Despite getting excellent medical attention and attending the best special needs schools in Washington D.C., Owen is sad and lonely. Feeling inspired, Owen’s father takes a puppet (Iago from Aladdin) and starts a conversation with Owen. A whole world opens up between Owen and his family.

While there is a great deal of joy in Life, Animated, there is also some harsh realities. Both parents are facing their own mortality and Owen breaks up with his only girlfriend.

These pains are universal, which is why these Disney animated movies like Aladdin, Bambi, Beauty and the Beast are magical motion pictures. If an autistic young man can find knowledge through Disney animated movies, perhaps we all should take a cue from Owen.

Happy Labor Day weekend!

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FLICKS: Florence Foster Jenkins

Posted on 25 August 2016 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Five months ago I reviewed Marguerite, a French language motion picture about a music patron who believes she is an opera singer. She was not. This serio-comic film won numerous awards at several European film festivals and was based on the true story about an American patron of music. Florence Foster Jenkins is the American, as portrayed by Meryl Streep.

Set in high-brow Manhattan circa 1944, we observe scenes from The Verdi Club, a music appreciation society. The event is emceed by St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), who also breaks up the singing by reciting Shakespearean monologues. Florence is first seen as part of the visual scenery, and perk of being a benefactor for the arts.

Given her generous contributions, most people tell Florence what she wants to hear. When she announces that she wishes to sing, St. Clair makes arrangements for music lessons. To accompany Florence and her music teacher, St. Clair hires pianist Cosme’ McMoon (Simon Helberg), a young man who is serious about his craft. Although he is paid very well, Cosme’ feels conflicted about supporting Florence’s total lack of talent.

Although her supposed sycophants are snickering behind her back, Florence believes the flattery she receives. As the film progresses, we witness the web of deceit that grows to absurd levels. There is an old Broadway question that asks, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” The answer is “Practice, practice, practice.” With no talent but plenty of practice, Florence proves this Broadway adage.

Predictably, Streep absorbs the title role and gives a full performance. Like any Giuseppe Verdi opera, there is so much pain in this film, yet Streep shares the character’s salvation through music. Playing against type from his Big Bang Theory character, Simon Helberg gives a transformative performance of a mouse who becomes a man. Balancing the tightrope between love and being a cad, Hugh Grant provides his most interesting performance in 15 years.

With directorial credits including Dangerous Liaisons, Mrs. Henderson presents, Philomena and The Queen, Stephen Frears knows how to tell an interesting story about backstage life. It takes an experienced craftsman to tell an entertaining narrative with humor, while providing a sense of haute Manhattan culture.

As the children return to school this week, the motion picture industry will be releasing more serious fare. Florence Foster Jenkins won’t appeal to The Suicide Squad or Sausage Party ticket buyers, but this Meryl Streep/Stephen Frears film will be talked about during Oscar time.

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FLICKS: Pete’s Dragon

Posted on 18 August 2016 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

During Christmas break of my freshman year at Deerfield Beach High School, Jan Herma invited me to go see Pete’s Dragon at the Deerfield Beach Ultra Vision. This G-rated half-animated musical held no appeal for me, as a 14-year-old. I declined the invitation and I’ve always felt a sense of guilt about not going, so I made myself watch the DVD.

The original Pete’s Dragon featured top-billed Helen Reddy, whose song Candle on the Water was getting constant airplay on FM radio. Mickey Rooney, “Red” Buttons and Jim Dale (the future narrator for the Harry Potter audiobooks) attempted to upstage each other, but still took second fiddle to the animated dragon named Elliott. After many unmemorable musical numbers and stilted family sentimentality, the film finally ends.

The new Pete’s Dragon is a far superior motion picture. The emphasis is on story, character development and realistic visualization of a fantastic subject matter. The film opens with pre-school aged Pete learning how to read in the backseat of a car. After his mother and father proclaim Pete as a brave boy, the car crashes into the forest. After shedding a few tears, Pete encounters a dragon and names him Elliott, after a character in his easy reader.

Six years later, Jack (Wes Bentley) and Gavin (Karl Urban) are lumberjacks who notice unusual occurrences in the forest. The lumberjack brothers consult with Forest Ranger Grace Meacham, whose father (Robert Redford) tells folktales about the time he met a dragon. Myth becomes reality.

While there are echoes of Lassie Come Home, ET the Extraterrestrial and King Kong, Pete’s Dragon stands on its own modern achievement. There is a freshness to this motion picture that makes it unpredictable. There is message about the importance of conserving the environment; however, it is not heavy-handed.

Besides providing the opening and closing narration, Redford plays a character that echoes his best work, most notably The Horse Whisperer and Urban Cowboy. With a gift for gab and wood carving, Redford’s Meacham reminded me of my father.

Having battled dinosaurs as a corporate executive in Jurassic World, Bryce Dallas Howard plays a much more appealing role. Currently on the big screen as Dr. McCoy in Star Trek Beyond, Urban takes on the most villainous role, but he is really not much of a bad guy.

The box office for Pete’s Dragon has been disappointing. I hope word-of-mouth drives this motion picture to pick up. This is a pure family motion picture that is both sweet and simple. While there is no profanity and scenes that will embarrass grandparents, Pete’s Dragon is filled will plenty of action, adventure and good acoustic music.

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FLICKS: Suicide Squad

Posted on 11 August 2016 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

After screening Suicide Squad in the afternoon, I happened to catch an old favorite, The War Wagon with John Wayne and Kirk Douglas, who lead a team of renegades in this heist/Western hybrid. The War Wagon was a typical movie released (The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Dirty Dozen) at the time. It featured a disparate group of individuals who seek to solve a violent problem. There are many similarities between these 1960 classics and Suicide Squad.

Once king of motion picture box office comic book movies, DC Comics has taken second fiddle to Marvel Comics for the past decade. With the Spring release of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, DC is trying to follow Marvel’s lead by creating a series of movies based on their ensemble universe. Instead of focusing on the heroes of DC Comics, Suicide Squad focuses on the Rogue Gallery often found in the Arkham Asylum.

After the chaos caused by the Batman/Superman battle, Secret Security Administrator Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) recruits a gang of criminals to combat potential interstellar terrorists. These bad guys have individual skills and talents with one common denominator; they do not play well with others.

Deadshot (Will Smith) is a single father who is a paid assassin who can hit any target that he aims at. Boomerang (Jai Courtney) is an expert at throwing things and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje ) has a leathery skin condition and dines on raw flesh. Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is a circus pixie with a baseball bat. She was once a prominent psychiatrist who treated a patient that seduced her. Her patient was the notorious Joker (Jared Leto).

Anyway, something supernatural happens in a city. Waller presses a button and unleashes her Suicide Squad upon an ancient evil. There is a lot of shooting with automatic rifles, explosions and many special effects.

Much like Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad is an interesting movie until the action sequences begin. Even with 3-D glasses, one loses interest in the blurry visuals. Besides the character introductions in the beginning of the film, the best part of the film is a scene in the bar. This quiet scene is one in which these extreme characters share their twisted dreams of personal redemption.

This film will not be remembered as a classic like The War Wagon or The Dirty Dozen, yet Suicide Squad features some fine ensemble performances. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn steals the spotlight. With charming unpredictability, Quinn should get her own movie someday, minus the computer-enhanced special effects.

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FLICKS: Indignation, The Bride & Star Trek Beyond

Posted on 04 August 2016 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

As history has revealed with the opening of the two-week miniseries known as The Olympics, the motion picture box office is anticipated to suffer. Forty summers ago, America listened to Jim McKay host the Montreal Olympics on the ABC Network that featured Nadia Comaneci, Sugar Ray Leonard, the Spinks brothers and Bruce Jenner, when John Wayne’s last movie, The Shootist was released. Cinematic History has also shown that classic gems seem to get lost during these international games.

Based on the novel written by Phillip Roth, Indignation opens tomorrow. The author of Goodbye Columbus, Portnoy’s Complaint and The Human Stain, Indignation offers another perspective of Roth’s familiar themes: Jewish-American culture, conformity and alienation. With the Korean War as a backdrop, we meet a New Jersey working-class student who transfers to a small Ohio college.

Having screened at the Miami International Film Festival last Spring, The Bride opens tomorrow in neighborhood cinemas. A Spanish film with English subtitles, The Bride is based on the play Bodas de sangre by Federico García Lorca. This melodrama opens with a wedding being interrupted by a man on a white horse. The Bride follows the destructive course of a love triangle between two men and one woman.

For good old Saturday matinee popcorn-eating fun, Star Trek Beyond will fit your bill. While acknowledging the 50 year anniversary of the television show, this new Star Trek is a stand-alone movie about the Starship Enterprise’s fabled five year mission.

On day 966 (yes, this day is a significant “Easter egg”), the Enterprise crew is planning shore leave. The crew is suffering from boredom of routine. While Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) is seeking promotion, Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Uhura’s (Zoe Saldana) relationship has reached a standstill. When a distress call is heard, the Enterprise crew cancel shore leave.

Buckle your seat belts, because this adventure takes on a bumpy ride as the Enterprise is decimated by a new enemy named Krall (Idris Elba), a lizard-like villain with a deep hatred for Captain Kirk’s employer, the Federation. As the Enterprise crew faces disaster after disaster, the individuals unite to fight a powerful enemy.

Co-written by Simon Pegg (who plays Chief Engineer “Scotty”), this 12th big screen Star Trek is filled with humor and fantastic visual action, whether epic space battles, vicious fist fights or cliffhanging escapes. Star Trek Beyond will also be remembered for quiet scenes involving the stoic Spock grieving over a lost mentor.

There is no denying the spectacle of the Olympics opening. However, for those seeking an alternative distraction from the outside heat, Star Trek Beyond provides summer shade. For those seeking more serious fare, The Bride or Indignation may be the film for you.

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FLICKS: Ghostbusters, The Secret Life of Pets, Hillary’s America

Posted on 28 July 2016 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

It has been a 27 year wait, but Ghostbusters finally appeared on the big screen full of big screen special effects. Despite the endorsement of the original cast-mates (Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Bill Murray, Annie Potts and Ernie Hudson) and mass marketing, the rebooted film failed to secure first place in its opening weekend, losing out to The Secret Life of Pets.

The reviews have been split evenly and decisively, with 50 percent (mostly female) feeling inspired by the film, while the other 50 percent (mostly male) feeling their childhood has been betrayed. It is true that the Ghostbusters reboot lacks the freshness of Aykroyd’s, and the late Harold Ramis’ vision; however, director and co-writer Paul Feig has created new characters that are both quirky and charming.

Professor Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is about to achieve tenure at Columbia University when an academic skeleton comes out of her past. Erin wrote a book about the paranormal with her old friend, Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), who now works at a low budget institute with techno-nerd Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon). After a series of mishaps involving vomiting ghosts, the three ladies form a unique business partnership.

As the paranormal activities increase, this new enterprise hires a beefcake secretary who can’t type (Chris Hemsworth) and Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), a streetwise cabbie whose uncle (Ernie Hudson) owns a Hearst business. Together, these five individuals confront the cause of all evil in New York City.

The five main characters are the heart and the humor of the film. Kate McKinnon is the most committed to her role and often steals scenes by doing absolutely nothing. Chris Hemsworth is the most broad character. His dancing during the closing credits will keep Chippendale fans in the theater for the final frames.

Like Ghostbusters, The Secret Life of Pets is set in Manhattan. Told from the perspective of domesticated dogs and cats, the audience learns the untold adventures these animated creatures face during the daytime. This film has been the box office champion two weeks in a row. Combined with the much superior Finding Dory, animated talking animals have been the box office monarch for the Summer of 2016.

Twelve years ago, Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 was released with much hype and remains the biggest grossing documentary ever made. Four years ago, Dinesh D’Souza’s 2016 Obama’s America was released with far less hype and became the fifth highest grossing documentary of all time.

Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party is D’Souzas’s look at the next chapter of American presidential history. After four years of increasing terrorist violence in America and abroad, we learn that D’Souza served jail time for making an illegal campaign contribution. While serving his sentence with murderers and thieves, D’Souza becomes more street smart and learns the rules of the con. D’Souza compares and contrasts the “street con” with the Democratic political machine and presents many similarities.

Like a good history teacher, D’Souza raises many questions. He asks why the Republican Party that was founded on an antislavery platform became perceived as the party of racist, rich, white men?

The first President of the Democratic Party was Andrew Jackson, slave owner. Abe Lincoln’s Republican Party opposed slavery. For almost a century, the Democratic Party opposed the civil rights of African American Individuals through the Jim Crow laws.

When the Civil Rights Act was created 52 years ago, it did so with a majority of Republican congressmen, though it was signed into law by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, a Democrat. This historical fact is downplayed in the recent HBO drama – All the Way starring Bryan Cranston as LBJ. From this point of American History, we learn that young Hillary Rodham was a “Goldwater Girl,” the presidential alternative to President Johnson’s reelection efforts in 1964.

Writing graduate papers about abortion-advocate Margaret Sanger and becoming streetwise thanks to the writings of Saul Alinsky, the story of Hillary Rodham-Clinton is simply told. Unfortunately, the simplicity of Hillary’s America mars the journalistic impact of the thesis. Though valid, the historical recreations featuring Ida B. Wells, President Woodrow Wilson, and Bill Clinton feel as broad as a Saturday Night Live skit.

Tonight Hillary Clinton accepts her nomination to be the first female President of the United States. Take the time to see Hillary’s America for an alternative point of view. Pay attention to the upcoming Presidential debates and then vote your conscience.

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FLICKS: Ghostbusters & The Secret Life of Pets

Posted on 21 July 2016 by LeslieM

flicks072116

Dave and Ernie Hudson

By “Cinema” Dave

www.cinemadave.livejournal.com

It has been a 27 year wait, but Ghostbusters finally appeared on the big screen full of big screen special effects. Despite the endorsement of the original cast-mates (Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Bill Murray, Annie Potts and Ernie Hudson) and mass marketing, the rebooted film failed to secure first place in its opening weekend, losing out to The Secret Life of Pets.

The reviews have been split evenly and decisively, with 50 percent (mostly female) feeling inspired by the film, while the other 50 percent (mostly male) feeling their childhood has been betrayed. It is true that the Ghostbusters reboot lacks the freshness of Aykroyd’s, and the late Harold Ramis’ vision; however, director and co-writer Paul Feig has created new characters that are both quirky and charming. 

Professor Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is about to achieve tenure at Columbia University when an academic skeleton comes out of her past. Erin wrote a book about the paranormal with her old friend, Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), who now works at a low budget institute with techno-nerd Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon). After a series of mishaps involving vomiting ghosts, the three ladies form a unique business partnership.   

As the paranormal activities increase, this new enterprise hires a beefcake secretary who can’t type (Chris Hemsworth) and Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), a streetwise cabbie whose uncle (Ernie Hudson) owns a Hearst business. Together, these five individuals confront the cause of all evil in New York City.
The five main characters are the heart and the humor of the film. Kate McKinnon is the most committed to her role and often steals scenes by doing absolutely nothing. Chris Hemsworth is the most broad character. His dancing during the closing credits will keep Chippendale fans in the theater for the final frames.   

Like Ghostbusters, The Secret Life of Pets is set in Manhattan. Told from the perspective of domesticated dogs and cats, the audience learns the untold adventures these animated creatures face during the daytime. This film has been the box office champion two weeks in a row. Combined with the much superior Finding Dory, animated talking animals have been the box office monarch for the Summer of 2016.

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