It’s so cheesy it’s practically fondue! I love that.
Warning: There are spoilers.
When I first heard about the premise of Last Vegas a few years back I thought, that’s an immediate pass. I will not be watching that. Old guys in a rip off of The Hangover? No thank you.
Then the trailer came out and I saw that basically everyone is in this movie. You get Kevin Kline (yum), Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro and Morgan Freeman. That’s an awesome cast.
Did it look silly, over the top and predictable? Yes. Did I want to see it? Yes. Now that I’ve finally gotten around to renting it, I have to say WATCH IT. It’s super fun.
It’s a simple plot, four OLD friends reunite for the first time in a LONG time in Las Vegas. Michael Douglas is a high powered lothario (I know, I feel like I’m in the wrong decade too) who has decided to finally tie the knot. Where does he propose? At a friend’s funeral, cuz he’s just that romantic.
He calls up all of his old buddies to get them to attend his quickie wedding to his 30something girlfriend and it quickly turns into a crazy bachelor party. There are, predictably, but hilariously none the less, a ton of jokes about her age BTW.
Wait, before we actually get to Vegas we are treated to a bit of each fellow’s life: Kline is referred to as the Bionic man as he wears a hearing aid, has a replacement hip and a full medicine cabinet, Morgan Freeman is being babied by his adult son because he had a minor stroke at some point and Robert De Niro is a grouchy shut in (surely they jest, De Niro angry? Nah).
On to Vegas, these guys are not quite up to speed on today’s scene. Luckily due to some magic on Freeman’s part the guys luck into getting their own personal assistant, the always fab Romany Malco. He helps guide them around the Vegas lifestyle and eventually gets very into it as well.
There’s so much partying, Vegas baby! It’s off the chain. Yes, that is a cameo by LMFAO!
The standout for me is definitely Morgan Freeman. He gets the best lines, “I feel like a princess” and “these Red Bull and vodkas, I feel like I’m getting drunk and electrocuted at the same time”. Plus his character facilitates much of the plot.
There is also a competitive horn dog/grudge thing going on between Douglas and De Niro. Enter the always beautiful, Mary Steenburgen as a lounge singer.
Without giving absolutely everything away, watch out for the shopping montage, woot and another unexpected, yet totally in sync with the storyline, cameo.
Sit back, have fun with it, don’t pick it apart and you will probably enjoy this flick.
You can rent or buy Last Vegas on Amazon here(affiliate link)
This post is in the spirit of those year in review style posts. To be clear, these aren’t what I consider to be the best movies of 2011 out of every movie. Although a couple will also appear on that forthcoming list. These are just the best on Netflix. I know you need to watch something up to date every once in a while.
Technically some of these films are dated as being from 2010 but I’m going on when it was actually available to be seen by the majority of folks in the US. So I’ve included some that had a foreign, limited or festival release in 2010 but went wide on DVD in 2011.
Simply click the film’s title to be whisked away to it on Netflix.
It’s certainly difficult to describe Certified Copy without giving away the movie. So let’s put it this way, a man and a woman who have a barbed attraction share a day together. Yes, it’s a talking movie. I loved it! The film stars Juliette Binoche and William Shimell.
Oh, Passion Play. I love the entire idea, casting, visual choices, et al of this film. Mickey Rourke stumbles into a traveling sideshow and meets a beautiful young woman (Megan Fox) who plays the part of an angel. Of course they fall for each other. Then there’s the fact that he’s tangled up with some other unsavory folks. The movie costars Bill Murray, Kelly Lynch and Rhys Ifans.
Limitless is about a writer (Bradley Cooper) who ends up trying a drug that gives you hyper focus and confidence, or as I saw one commenter remark, something like a mix of Ritalin and Cocaine. Limitless was originally entitled Dark Fields and I get the feeling that it was supposed to be darker but it still works so well as this polished finished product. I’m still not sure of the character’s motivation but yeah, it was awesome!
Last Night is about a married couple (Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington) who’ve been together for a while but are both tempted to cheat on the same night. Knightley’s character is definitely more fleshed out and relate-able. Ah, maybe that’s just to me, she’s a novelist who currently writes fashion pieces. Her possible fling is with a hot, foreign ex. Worthington mainly seems like a stock faithful husband who is confused and tempted. It’s by Eva Mendes though so it totally makes sense. In real life I believe cheating is basically the worst thing you can ever do but when it’s possibly going to be Worthington and Mendes getting it on, well, yes, I was egging them on. And Griffin Dunne plays a writer! I love when he does that.
A Beautiful Life (Mei Li Ren Sheng) (China/Hong Kong) (Available Until 12/13/12)
A booze and high heel loving real estate agent meets a police officer. She leads him on a bit while basically using him to do things for her. It’s one of those friend zone relationships. Do they get together? Ooh.
Well this is one of the two fuck buddies movies that were released in 2011 and it’s not the better of the two, that would be Friends with Benefits. However this is a decent, entertaining movie. Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher are two acquaintances who keep meeting. Eventually they hook up and then fall into a friends with benefits situation. I adore Portman playing a woman who is now trying to compartmentalize her life into just work (as a doctor) and sex after seemingly just working for a while. Kutcher works in TV. Kevin Kline and Cary Elwes costar. I feel like they were underused. Well Kline gets some scenes but is a bit cartoony. Elwes gets to say like two words. Ludacris, Lake Bell and Mindy Kaling costar.
Topher Grace stars in this 80s themed comedy as a high school graduate (who was promising) but has been squandering his time since then. He runs into a crush (Amber Heard) and decides to lie his way into her good graces. The bulk of the film is set at a party involving a ton of great actors, Anna Faris (as his sister), Dan Fogler (as his sidekick), Chris Pratt (Faris’ IRL hubby as her onscreen fiance), Lucy Punch, Michael Ian Black and Michelle Trachtenberg. Funny flick. Check it out.
Potiche (Trophy Wife) (French) (Available Until 03/17/13)
Catherine Deneuve stars as the housewife of a jerk who runs a plant. She ends up taking it over. In doing so she meets up with a youthful dalliance (Gérard Depardieu) who opposes everything that her husband stands for. And it’s set in the 70’s! The costumes are awesome.
Milla Jovovich witnesses a murder and then is attacked by the murderer. In the process she is injured resulting in Prosopagnosia, which is severe face blindness. She can’t recognize anyone. Not only does this interfere with her day to day life but now she has no way of identifying the criminal. Julian McMahon costars as a police detective who takes a shine to her.
This was so frickin’ funny but it wasn’t really promoted at all. Tyler Labine (Reaper, Mad Love) and Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Dollhouse) are two likeable hillbillies who’ve saved up to buy a vacation cabin in the woods. They are all excited about chilling out when they meet some yuppie college kids who only see them as scary backwoods stereotypes. A ton of hilarious deaths ensue.
Three high school kids go in search of tail but end up in a really fucked up situation in this Kevin Smith film. Supposedly Kyle Gallner actually had a real panic attack during filming. The cast also includes John Goodman and Michael Angarano. The movie drags a little at one point but it picks back up.
Dylan Dog wasn’t that great or anything but I still feel the need to include it because there’s some good stuff in it. Brandon Routh is a supernatural PI who’s bestie, Sam Huntington, dies and is shocked to find out that he’s now one of the undead. Huntington always cracks me up. Routh’s chest is mesmerizing. Some of the undead stuff is pretty inventive. The big bad is way too Spawny though.
The creative team behind the first Saw film, James Wan and Leigh Whannell, wrote and directed this flick. It’s a vintage feeling ghost story. A family has to deal with a haunting. Rose Byrne (barf) and Patrick Wilson play the parents. Eventually they bring in a team of Ghost Hunters type investigators (including Lin Shaye and Leigh Whannell). The movie has a great ambiance. I didn’t see that first little twist near the ending coming either.
Please share your 2011 picks with us in the comments section.