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Episodes 91 and 92 are "The 1st Annual Howdies," meaning "Staying Alive" is episode 93. Episodes 103 and 104 both cover "Zardoz." Episodes 151 an 152 are "The 2nd Annual Howdies," meaning "Escape from L.A." is episode 153.
Not perfect, but not awful
SPOILERS FOR A FEW PUNCHLINES
Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones are worth the price of admission. McKinnon's Jillian Holtzmann has the confidence (the brazen flirtation with Erin) and smart-mouthed one-liners ("Jillian Holtzmann, Radio Times") of Peter Venkman and is as comfortable with the Aykroyd-ian techno-jargon as Ramis and even Aykroyd himself. People who have only seen the trailers believe that Jones plays a one-note black stereotype. True, she says "Oh, hell no!" at one point, but that's only at one point. In the rest of her screen time, she has knowledge of New York City minutiae that the other characters don't: "That's where that ghost came from. That location has a lot of bad history surrounding it."
Jones and McKinnon are also the only two leads whose performances felt grounded in reality. Venkman, et al were believable as real people with real quirks, while Erin, Abby, and many supporting characters (the tour guide in the opening scene and the dean of the institute in particular) come across as characters in an "SNL" sketch, saying things real people wouldn't say unless they were trying to get a laugh.
This brings up another point: many of the jokes were funny (the cab driver inexplicably knowing exactly what kind of ghosts are surrounding his cab), but had unfunny tags attached ("I ain't afraid of no ghosts"). Further, and as in many of Feig's recent productions, the jokes often went on too long ("He soiled himself").
But then there's the awesome climactic fight scene in Times Square. More than just standing still and shooting lasers, the Ghostbusters kick butt and wipe the floor with their adversaries, Holtzmann especially.
Most importantly, though, is how iconoclastic the film is. It shows the strength of friendships between women, doesn't sexualize any of the female characters, and doesn't try to define any of them by the romantic relationship they're in. In comparison, Dana Barrett was defined by being a love interest to Venkman, and "needed" to have a sheer dress draped sexily over her at the end while Louis was only slightly ravaged. In the meantime, the one male lead of this film was a pretty-boy moron clearly there for his looks. Sounds a lot like the token women in '80s films.
Final thoughts: I enjoyed the movie. The original "Ghostbusters" is not some holy text. Balloon ghosts? Like ghosts of balloons?
Dirty Grandpa (2016)
DeNiro's the only good part
He wanted to be an artist, but now he's a square in a corporate job with his father and is about to marry a shrew. He's partnered for a road trip with an unlikely companion who seems like a jerk, but actually has the artist-turned-businessman's best intentions at heart. Along the way, the square meets a free spirited (but bland) young woman (with whom he has little chemistry), and she and the unlikely companion make him realize he needs to start living according to his own rules, not society's. Unfortunately, the companion makes him so angry that the square severs ties with him. At the last minute, though, he calls off the wedding, reconciles with the companion, finds the free spirit again, and drives off into the sunset.
What I'm saying is that it's clichéd, predictable, and not as "raunchy" as advertised (maybe I'm just numb to "raunchy" comedy). The only good parts are DeNiro and Plaza, and their chemistry, which is more palpable than Efron and Deutch's.
Class struggle! Power politics! Strong women have sex (in order to further their husbands' careers)!
The dialogue is really over-dramatic and unrealistic with "mustn'ts" and such. Only a few actors move beyond the level of "CW teen drama", with Brad Carter and Ellie O'Brien being the standouts. The constant sex and nudity is clearly an attempt to be seen as "edgy" and to boost ratings. Christa and her powers are never fully explained, nor is the bomb in the seed silos. The former is clearly meant as a carrot-on-a- stick to get a second series, but the latter is just lazy. After 100 years on the ship, what was going to happen to the colonists? Would they just be let out and told "Sorry we lied to you?"
Panique au village (2009)
It's not the worst film I've ever seen. It's just incredibly annoying. The voice acting is grating (Do you get it? He shouts all the time!). The plot is non-existent. The animation is terrible, though that's obviously the intention. With research, I've found that I'm in the minority. Even Roger Ebert gave this 3.5/4, though I can't see why. A few gags got chuckles out of me, like the "cordless" phones and Horse (not) playing the piano, so I gave it one more star than I would otherwise.
Maybe it's because I'm American, maybe I just don't get it, maybe I'm amazed at the way you love me all the time, but it's just not for me.
Worth the viewing
Speaking as someone who hasn't seen the original films, I really enjoyed this one. Sure, it was an action movie, but it built up to the final twenty minutes in a way that was believable and satisfying. At its heart, it's a story about one person (and yes, I am referring to Caesar as a person; not a human, but a person) and his rise to power.
I am of the belief that Caesar is one of the best film characters introduced this year. While he is intelligent, he's not a rocket scientist. He's not solving Fermat's Theorem between composing sonatas and analyzing Chekov. He's simply smarter than the average chimp. He grows up essentially treated like a human child and so feels betrayed by Will when he puts Caesar in the shelter ("Et tu, Brute?"). Will, however, doesn't do this out of spite or apathy or even because he knows it's "the right thing to do." He does it because the law literally tells him to.
When Caesar sees how the other apes in the shelter are treated, and likely how other apes in general are treated, he realizes that he need to stay there and help his brethren. His motivations are understandable and we sympathize with this character. This is due in no small part to Andy Serkis' astounding performance. With not a single word spoken, he conveys paragraphs with just his eyes and mouth. I honestly think that he should be considered for a leading actor Oscar.
I enjoyed this trip to the theater immensely and recommend the picture.