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The Night Before [Blu-ray]
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|Contributor||Evan Goldberg, Mindy Kaling, Michael Shannon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, James Weaver, Good Universe; Point Grey Pictures; Xmas Productions, LLC, Randall Park, Jonathan Levine, Lizzy Caplan, Ilana Glazer, Anthony Mackie, Jillian Bell, Lorraine Toussaint, Nathan Fielder See more|
|Runtime||1 hour and 41 minutes|
Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen), and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have been friends since childhood, and for a decade their yearly Christmas Eve reunion has been an annual night of debauchery and hilarity. Now that they’re entering adulthood the tradition is coming to an end, and to make it as memorable as possible, they set out to find the Nutcracka Ball – the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.
- Digital Copy Expiration Date : March 1, 2016
- Aspect Ratio : 2.40:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : R (Restricted)
- Product Dimensions : 0.7 x 7.5 x 5.4 inches; 2.08 Ounces
- Audio Description: : English
- Director : Jonathan Levine
- Media Format : Blu-ray
- Run time : 1 hour and 41 minutes
- Release date : March 1, 2016
- Actors : Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie, Lizzy Caplan, Jillian Bell
- Dubbed: : Thai, French, Spanish
- Subtitles: : Thai, Mandarin Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, English, French, Spanish, Cantonese
- Producers : Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, Seth Rogen
- Studio : Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- ASIN : B0189M1SOW
- Country of Origin : USA
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
Reviewed in the United States on October 22, 2016
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Writer/director Jonathan Levine gets a chance to reunite Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who he worked with on the cancer comedy, 50/50, and once again he's taking some heavy themes and putting a fine touch of tinsel all over them. This time they're joined by the infinite cool of Anthony Mackie, who rounds out their nerdy trio of best friends having one final Christmas Eve bash through the streets of Manhattan. Isaac (Rogen), Chris (Mackie), and Ethan (Gordon-Levitt) have been best friends for years, ever since Ethan was orphaned while in college. Each year they celebrate the holidays together, but life is starting to get in the way. Chris is a famous football star now, while Isaac is about to become a parent for the first time. It's Ethan who is the odd man out; his life isn't really going anywhere, his girlfriend (Lizzie Caplan) dumped him, and he's working as an elf for the Christmas season.
As fortune and a little bit of thievery would have it, Ethan gets his hands on tickets to the sickest Christmas bash in the city, promising their final blowout will be one to remember. And how could it not be when Chris has them hauling around town in a giant Red Bull limousine, and Isaac is stoned out of his mind thanks to his pregnant wife's (Jillian Bell) gift of every drug on the planet. Ethan is put in the position of trying to keep his buddies on track spending time with one another rather than on their encroaching responsibilities, but can there really be such a thing when you grow up? The film posits whether it's possible to maintain friendships when family and career take precedent.
So right off the bat this isn't just another film about overgrown irresponsible man-children, it's about two guys who have accepted the burdens that come with maturity, and one who is afraid of losing the only family he has left. That said, they go through some off-the-wall stuff before figuring all that out, and the screenplay by Levine, Rogen, and others excels when it balances the believable with the bizarre. Clearly inspired to make an insane version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, the film features Michael Shannon stealing the whole f'n show as the mysterious "Mr. Green". Shannon's quiet intensity (he even mentions it) has never been used to such great comedic effect, and every time he pops up, which thankfully is just enough and not too much, the film gets even funnier. But the main trio is great together, too, with Rogen getting to embrace the lovable stoner lug role he kind of left behind when he started making movies like Steve Jobs. Gordon-Levitt is the straight-man, and he's got such great emotional range that we can fully understand Ethan's trepidation over losing his friends. And then there's Mackie, who gets saddled with a weird steroid subplot and a weirder storyline involving a "Grinch" played by Broad City's Ilana Glazer, but he's always the guy who feels like he's just playing himself. In his case, that's a good thing. Even the female roles are given more attention than they typically are in these bro-comedies. Bell isn't saddled with the "overbearing wife" role that we usually find in these movies, and Caplan is perhaps the most real character of them all. In one scene, featuring a totally unexpected cameo by a huge celebrity, she basically shuts down all of those "love conquers all" fantasies that holiday movies tend to traffic in.
Overall, The Night Before is just plain fun. Levine has never met an old school rap jam he didn't like, and whether it's Run DMC's "Christmas in Hollis" or Pete Rock and CL Smooth's "The Creator", there's plenty of it to go around. While one expects there to be a happy ending with plenty of good tidings and good cheer, the sentiments are small and honest without going overboard. The Night Before is easily the best Christmas movie arriving this season, and it should be a gift that keeps on giving for a long time to come.
If you've seen and enjoyed This is the End or Pineapple Express or The Interview or any of the movies Rogen and Goldberg have put together, this is not too much different, except that it's fully steeped in being a holiday movie as much as Pineapple was an action flick: it takes the tropes, twists them around with a full sense of outrageous comedy and (often) wonderful satire, and you either ride with it or not. For some reason, in a way, the sophomoric sensibility shouldn't be that far removed from Adam Sandler movies, but I just find Rogen and company - here from director Jonathan Levine (from the groups relatively more serious 50/50, also with Levitt, and The Wackness) - have a better sensibility, and a firmer grasp on what is actually FUNNY, and can be called back as funny.
There's one actor used so especially well here it seems like a sacrilege to even say who this actor is (if you look him he's the guy who portrays Mr. Green), and it brings a full sense of eccentricity into a movie that needs it - or at least isn't unwelcome to it. It's actually a running thread that goes on to even satirize The Great Gatsby of all things (not the 3D movie so much, ho-ho), and brings in a celebrity guest like Miley Cyrus. This latter part is good though not totally fresh in a way, since the team did this in This is the End with the Backstreet Boys, but it's fine. Not every single story thread in the film works; Anthony Mackie's subplot involves a 'Hipster Grinch' he hooks up with over the course of the night who steals his weed, and uh... OK.
With these characters no one could foresee that this was a traditional Christmas fantasy story. In the end, the three find the true meaning of friendship and what it means to be together during the holidays. Along the way they meet an angel that brings up Christmas past present and future, and a real life grinch. If you don’t mind some stoners, the Christmas spirit, and some laughs this is a comedy for you.
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The premise is beautifully simple - three best friends have an Xmas tradition of getting together and hitting it hard and fast on the streets of New York City. Now they're at a time of their lives where perhaps, for different reasons, they need to move on and let the tradition end - some may be more willing to let go than others. It's time for one last night of chaos and mayhem which will involve loving, fighting, drugs, karaoke, Midnight Mass, James Franco and much more. And it's brilliant almost every step of the way.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anthony Mackie and Seth Rogen are our central trio and they're all excellent alongside several satisfying supporting efforts from other familiar faces. Rogen probably nicks the MVP honours in a drug addled tour de force performance. Alongside the chaos and carnage there's just enough heart to fit the bill - you can't really have a proper Xmas flick without at least a little heart.
Perhaps not to everyone's taste for a Christmas classic but it ticked all the right boxes for me. Top stuff.
Back story of being good at xmas but don't let this put you off.
A hidden gem of a film.
But I personally wouldn't pay more than £5 as its not a number one style movie. But don't let that out you Off. But it now and enjoy some light hearted comedy at its best!!!