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About Last Night (2014) (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

May 3, 2014 by  



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“About Last Night” may be seen as a “remake” of the original film but while there are some similarities, it features an African American cast,  a modern storyline and setting is quite different from the original 1986 film.  For one, you get a lot more comedy, more sex and over-the-top situations.  But it’s a fun and entertaining film worth watching!

Images courtesy of © 2014 Screen Gems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: About Last Night

FILM RELEASE: 2014

DURATION: 120 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English, French 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English – Audio Description Track, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: R (Sexual Content, Language and Brief Drug Use)

Release Date: May 20, 2014

Directed by Steve Pink

Screenplay by Leslye Headland

Based on the Screenplay by Tim Kazurinsky and Denise DeClue

Based Upon “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” by David Mamet

Produced by Will Gluck, William Packer

Executive Producer: Alicia Emmrich, Glenn S. Gainor

Music by Marcus Miller

Cinematography by Michael Barrett

Edited by Tracey Wadmore-Smith, Shelly Westerman

Casting by Ron Digman, Valorie Massalas

Production Design by Jon Gary Steele

Costume Design by Ann Foley

Starring:

Kevin Hart as Bernie

Michael Ealy as Danny

Regina Hall as Joan

Joy Bryant as Debbie

Christopher McDonald as Casey McNeil

Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall and Joy Bryant star in this hilarious romantic comedy about what men and women really want. Bernie (Hart) and Joan (Hall) are two fiery flirters who are passionate about everything from hookups to breakups. When he sets up his best friend, Danny (Ealy), with her roommate, Debbie (Bryant), the sparks soon fly as they try to navigate the relationship minefields from the bar to the bedroom.

In 1986, the film “About last night…” based on the early 70′s David Mamet (“The Unit”, “Hannibal” and “Ronin”) Award-winning play “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” was released in theaters.

Where many 80′s romance films were typically teenager or a college-driven storyline, “About last night…” received attention for its focus on relationships (or lack of thereof) but most of all, the sexual lives of four individuals.

The film would feature an all-star cast with Rob Lowe (“Brothers and Sisters”, “The West Wing”, “St. Elmo’s Fire” and “Austin Powers” films), Demi Moore (“Indecent Proposal”, “Ghost”, “St. Elmo’s Fire” and “A Few Good Men”), James Belushi (“According to Jim” and “Mighty Ducks”) and Elizabeth Perkins (“Weeds”, “28 Days” and “Big”).

Fast forward to 2014 and a modern re-imagining of the film would be created with an African American cast starring Kevin Hart (“Ride Along”, “Death at a Funeral”), Michael Ealy (“Seven Pounds”, “Underworld: Awakening”, “Think Like a Man”), Regina Hall (“Scary Movie”, “Think Like a Man”, “Law Abiding Citizen”) and Joy Bryant (“Spider-Man 2”, “Bobby”).

With the 2014 film featuring more comedy, more sex and also a setting of Los Angeles, “About Last Night” did well in the box office as the $13 million film would go on to earn $48.8 million.

“About Last Night”  revolves around two friends, the very active Bernie (portrayed by Kevin Hart) and his more stay-at-home Dodger loving friend Danny (portrayed by Michael Ealy).  Both are salesmen and often talk about the dating scene.

Bernie asks Danny to take part in a double date as he will be bringing Joan (portrayed by Regina Hall), a woman that he has been having a lot of experimental sex with.  And he will take out Debbie (portrayed by Joy Bryant), a an independent businesswoman.

While both Bernie and Joan are preoccupied with each other sexually, both Danny and Joy who are not having fun decided to leave together and while walking and talking to each other, they realize that despite being reserved individuals, they both click.

And the two have a one night stand.

And as the two begin to delve deep into what is eventually a relationship and she staying at his place from time to time, Danny’s low self-esteem about the lack of success business-wise starts to get the best of him as his deceased father’s friend Casey (portrayed by Christopher McDonald) is experiencing financial troubles for his bar, meanwhile Debbie is doing very well for her job and while many men would love to be with her, she is committed in making whatever she has work with Danny.

But as for Danny, his insecurities start to rear its ugly head on their relationship and he questions if he’s good enough for her and if he is even ready to be in a relationship.

As Danny and Debbie try to confront their challenges of their relationship, will they be destined to be together or was their relationship just something that materialized just because of a one night stand and was not meant to be anything more than that?

VIDEO:

“About Last Night” is presented in 1080p High Definition.  Picture quality for this film is absolutely magnificent.  Outdoor scenes are vibrant, night scenes are well-light and romantic.  Closeups showcase amazing detail, skin tones are natural and black levels are nice and deep.  I didn’t notice any artifacts or banding, if anything, the picture quality for this film is fantastic!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“About Last Night” is presented in English and French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and comes with an English – Audio Description Track.  For this romantic comedy, dialogue is crystal clear along with its musical soundtrack.  While I didn’t notice too much surround sound usage, there are moments where there is crowd ambiance (night club scenes) and for the most part, the soundtrack works for this film!

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“About Last Night” comes with the following special features:

  • An un-romantic comedy – (14:38) The cast discuss the differences between the original film and this 2004 re-imagining.
  • About Last Night Advice – (3:35) The cast talks about the key to a successful relationship.
  • I Love You? – (5:39) Who says “I love you” first in a relationship?
  • Words on the Street – (9:04) Couples and singles give their advice and thoughts of what to do and not do on the first date.

EXTRAS:

“About Last Night” comes with an UltraViolet digital copy code.

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As a fan of the original “About Last Night”, for those who grew up with the original 1986 film found it enticing to have two members of the Brat Pack involved in a sexy, romantic drama.  And my comments of the original film when I reviewed it were:

“‘About last night…’ is a smart, witty and sexually charged film that although predictable, it’s very real but overall, entertaining. The film is just as relevant today as it was over 20 years ago.

Here we are in 2014 and the re-imagining of the film is what one would expect from a Kevin Hart film, a film that would lean more towards comedy.  Like the original film ,the film is no doubt sexually charged but because of its leaning towards comedy, the sex portion of the film is over-the-top.  How over the top?  Let’s just say that the characters of Bernie and Joan, take sex wherever they want, imaginable.

As Bernie and Joan had a fascinating relationship in the original, there is no doubt that filmmaker Christopher McDonald utilized the two characters more for comic release, a breather from the more deeper moments of the film and to make it not so melodramatic.  They are not so blunt in trying to stop Danny and Debbie’s relationship but more given the task to discover if they have something more than a sexual relationship.

Which leads us to our two primary characters, Danny and Debbie.  The more reserved characters of the film who go from one night stand to Debbie thinking she is in a serious relationship, while Danny is not sure where he is at in the relationship, as he deals with insecurities of not having the greatest job or making a lot of money.

Also, a major difference is the setting of Los Angeles.  We get to see the cooler side of Los Angeles as the two mingle on rooftop, go to Dodgers games and if anything, are from really good environments.

And while the film has its differences from the original, both have similarities in the fact that it deals with the challenges of being in a relationship, challenges that these people face not just as a couple but their own personal individual challenges and more.

Of course, a major difference is that the original features Caucasian talent, while the 2014 film features a primary cast that are African American but also features a diverse cast that are friends of the primary characters.  For this film, there was a bit more exploration to go farther than the original and make it fun and sexy but over-the-top.  And depending on the viewer, this may make it or break it for you as the over-the-top humor comes out of left-field at times and it is ridiculous but considering the sexual experimentation that Bernie and Joan have, it fits them.

As for Danny and Debbie, it’s a fascinating relationship that plays onscreen and for the most part, I was quite content with the overall re-imagining of the film because it manages to be very different, retain some sense of the original but still is a different film and doesn’t try to be a copycat of the original and that’s a plus.

The Blu-ray release is also a major plus as picture quality is fantastic.  I love how they utilized Los Angeles as a romantic, cool setting and for a romantic comedy, the cinematography was beautiful.  Colors were vibrant during daylight scenes, night time scenes were romantic and for the most part, the clarity and detail for this film was a plus.  I didn’t notice any artifacts or banding.

Special features also were fun to watch, especially the couples and singles on the streets giving their input on one night stands and relationships.  Hilarious!

Overall, “About Last Night” may be seen as a “remake” of the original film but while there are some similarities, it features an African American cast, a modern storyline and setting is quite different from the original 1986 film. For one, you get a lot more comedy, more sex and over-the-top situations. But it’s a fun and entertaining film worth watching!

 

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