Today's Box Office: Robocop and About Last Night

    11:17 AM, Feb 14, 2014   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- THV Film Critic Jonathan Nettles on a romantic movie and not so romantic movie hitting theaters this weekend.

    This Valentine's Day weekend is all about remaking movies from the mid-80's. The first one is a rehash of  Robocop which is one of the most violent movies ever made. In terms of the science fiction/action movie genre, it's considered a classic. Paul Verhoeven's 1987 film was a satire of corporate America and corrupt politicians featuring extreme violence, lots of curse words, and a general statement on poverty and the war on crime. 2014's Robocop has been turned into a PG-13 actioner with a lack of satire and more focus on the man in the machine than the machine itself.

    If you can get past any feeling you have for the original 1986 film then this is just another easy to watch action movie. The kind you've heard about many times. It doesn't break any new ground and it probably won't be remembered very long but on its own, it's a good time at the movies.

    Director Jose Padilha shifted the focus more to developing a group of characters versus a pure action film and it worked on many levels. There was some nice added depth by focusing on the man in the machine and how he deals with the memories of life before Robocop similar to how an amputee learns to function with a prosthetic limb. Joel Kinnaman did a fine job as the title character but the great performance of this film has to be from Gary Oldman as his rehabilitation doctor. Where the film was most lacking was a pure bad guy villain. The baddie they give you early on is not very menacing and the villain at the end is really more of a moralistic bad guy, he's not really a bad guy. He's a "good intentions gone wrong" kind of bad guy which doesn't really work for an action movie like this one.

    In 1986, Rob Lowe and Demi Moore showed us the perils of a relationship that builds from a bar hookup, transforms into something more and ultimately fizzles out because, you know, love is hard. 2014's About Last Night gives us a modernized, more adult version of the film starring Michael Ealy in the place of Rob Lowe and Joy Bryant in the place of Demi Moore. Luckily (and thankfully), it also gives us Kevin Hart instead of Jim Belushi.

    The film starts off in a bar where Bernie (Kevin Hart) is telling his friend Danny (Michael Ealy) about a recent hookup he had. Meanwhile, Joan (Regina Hall) is telling her friend Debbie (Joy Bryant) about a recent hookup she had. It doesn't take long for the audience to realize that Bernie and Joan are talking about each other. The two pairs meet up at the same bar and while Joan and Bernie are getting a little frisky, Danny and Debbie strike up a conversation which turns into a full blown relationship over a very short amount of time in the film. We see them go through all the perils and questions of relationships such as saying "I love you", moving in together, getting a dog, unemployment, and all these life changing and relationship changing events. Soon they find their relationship falling apart and they have to decide if their love is to continue.

    About Last Night is a pretty good romantic film. I really liked the actors that were cast and the chemistry they have with each other. It's a very funny film with very adult humor. It's rated R for a reason and it's not your typical cheesy romantic comedy.

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