While The Hangover Part III may seem like a retread of very familiar ground, this “final” film in the Hangover trilogy completely abandons the trademark formula that typically sets Phil, Stu and Alan up to figure out what the heck happened the night before. Instead they are still recovering from the debauchery that occurred in the first film from 2009. Nevertheless, this is still a very funny movie.
It’s been four years since the original Hangover events and though Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms) seem to have recovered from their Vegas and Bangkok (The Hangover Part II- 2011) misadventures, the spoiled man-child, Alan (Zach Galifianakis), is still living with his parents spending a carefree life of blissful irresponsibility.
After Alan has an unfortunate accident with a giraffe on the freeway and then sits idly by, listening to Billy Joel’s “My Life” with his headphones on, as his father, Sid (Jeffrey Tambor), dies from a heart-attack; the responsible members of the “Wolfpack” decide it’s time for their furriest member to get some professional help.
While on a road-trip to take Alan to an Arizona rehab facility the friends are abducted by a mobster named Marshall (John Goodman) and his crew, including Black Doug (Mike Epps) from the original Hangover. With a twisted viewpoint that only makes sense to the gangster, Marshall holds the Wolfpack responsible for millions of dollars in gold that was stolen from him by their evil acquaintance, Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong); and so he kidnaps Alan’s brother, Doug (Justin Bartha), and threatens to kill him unless the goofy gang can bring Chow to him.
Chow has recently escaped from a Bangkok prison and made his way back to the United States. He’s been in casual contact with Alan via text messages and when the team determines he is in Tijuana, they head south of the border to try to apprehend the crazy androgynous Asian.
Hangover hijinks ensue as the Wolfpack swings between helping Chow and trying to hunt him down for Marshall. And before you can say, “back, Jack, do it again,” they find themselves back in Vegas where they end up running into old friends, like Jade (Heather Graham) and her baby – now a young boy – from the first film; and Alan even falls in love with a pawn shop owner played by the popular and funny Melissa McCarthy in a cameo appearance.
On paper, J.J. Abrams’ 2009 “Star Trek” is one of those movies that should have crashed and burned. A reboot of a beloved franchise with younger, lesser-known actors stepping into the shoes of an iconic cast of characters. The fact that Abrams went on record stating that he was never a huge “Star Trek” fan didn’t bode well either. Against all odds, though, Abrams not only produced a great “Star Trek” picture, but quite possibly the best “Star Trek” ever made. That’s right, even better than “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”
Of course that’s a personal preference. A fair deal of Trekkies, or Trekkers to be politically correct, might argue that Abrams’ film betrayed the essence of the original “Star Trek” series. The film’s epic action sequences felt more like something you’d see in a “Star Wars” movie than in a “Star Trek” movie. Regardless, it’s hard to complain when the action set pieces were some of the most dazzling and intense of modern blockbusters. Plus, it’s not just the colorful eye candy that made Abrams’ “Star Trek” so outstanding, but also the rich collection of ideas, characters, and philosophies. Isn’t that what “Star Trek” has always been about? Just about everything that made Abrams’ film great is on display in it’s follow-up, “Star Trek: Into Darkness.”
Chris Pine continues to do an ideal job as James T. Kirk, who has learned much as captain of the USS Enterprise. The only thing Kirk has yet to learn is how to handle defeat
It doesn’t help that Zachary Quinto’s always-logical Mr. Spock undermines Kirk’s reckless tactics around every corner. Kirk and Spock are forced to put their differences aside when Benedict Cumberbatch’s John Harrison, a Starfleet agent gone bad, bombs a branch of the United Federation of Planets. It’s up to Kirk’s crew to track Harrison down and boldly blow stuff up in the process.
Like William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy before them, Pine and Quinto share a heartfelt, funny, and intriguing dynamic that’s equal parts friendship and rivalry. Quinto in particular does a first-rate job at giving a lot of depth to a character that at times appears completely emotionless.
Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin meanwhile persist to shine as the supporting characters we all know and love. There is a dull romance subplot and a couple new characters that are somewhat underdeveloped. “Star Trek: Into Darkness” more than makes up for those minor shortcomings, however, with its villain. Cumberbatch is perfectly menacing and complex as John Harrison, who will play a key role in the destiny of our heroes. For all those that haven’t already read the spoilers online, I won’t ruin the big twist regarding this character. Lets just say he’s not an actor posing as a terrorist ala “Iron Man 3.”
Last week, staff from The Explorer stepped foot into the Metropolitan Grill, otherwise known as “America’s Kitchen,” located at 7892 N. Oracle Road.
Happy Hour runs from 3 p.m. to close daily, with $1 off all drinks and a $3 snack menu.
Immediately noticeable upon entering was the laid-back atmosphere, highlighted by soft music and lighting, a friendly hello from the bar staff, and the convenience of self-seating – an ideal setting for the individual just finishing the workday and looking to relieve the pains of the week without dealing with any red tape.
Service was nearly immediate, not so abrupt that we couldn’t get settled, but quick enough that within a couple minutes we were ordering our first round of drinks.
Then came a hiccup – and it wasn’t from the beers we ordered.
That’s because neither of the beers coworker Randy Metcalf and myself ordered were in stock. We did our best to shrug it off.