Thursday, 29 September 2022

‘Ghostbusters’ new generation; ‘House of Gucci’ soap opera




‘GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE’ Rated PG-13

Nostalgia is a good thing to relish during the holiday season. For most, we hopefully reminisce about happy times with family and friends gathered for celebrations and seasonal parties.

The same feeling is also most welcome when a movie taps into a sentimental yearning for the past. Good news arrives for fans of “Ghostbusters” for a franchise still alive when it could have been given up for dead after the 2016 reboot.

The aptly-named “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” may evoke the spirit of the 1980s but it is rooted in contemporary times with the relatives of the late Harold Ramis’ Dr. Egon Spengler carrying on the legacy.

“Ghostbusters” is family-driven from the aspect of director Jason Reitman helming this sequel to his father Ivan’s directorial effort for the 1984 original comedic blockbuster.

To be sure, there are plenty of sly special effects with maliciously destructive apparitions, but Jason Reitman is equally focused on a character-driven story that draws the family of one of the original Ghostbusters into the picture.

Estranged from her father, the now divorced and broke Callie (Carrie Coon) learns that she has inherited Spengler’s property in Oklahoma, and she’s hoping for a fresh start with teenage son Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and 12-year-old daughter Phoebe (Mckenna Grace).

Enrolled in a summer school class taught by flippant Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd), the nerdy, precocious Phoebe is befriended by spirited classmate Podcast (Logan Kim), a loquacious but hilarious narrator of even the most mundane details.

Meanwhile, Trevor ends up working at a local diner where he pretends to be older only because he has a crush on Lucky (Celeste O’Connor). Not surprisingly, Grooberson develops a romantic interest in Callie.

There’s a time when Callie wistfully hopes that Phoebe might get into some trouble if only because she seems so proper. Little does Mom know that the adventurous kids are going to unearth the remnants of Spengler’s ghostbusting days.

Finn discovers the vintage Cadillac ambulance used by the Ghostbusters and the kids end up joy riding through town and get their first taste of what it is like to hunt down malevolent ghouls and also end up in the local jail.

While the plot is expectedly predictable, the delight to be had is from a very likable, charismatic cast, from the always genial Paul Rudd to the resourceful kids. A moving tribute to Harold Ramis and great cameos bring a nice touch to the pleasing “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.”

When the credits start to roll, be sure to stay for a mid-credits scene and the one at the very end when the screen goes dark. The “Ghostbusters” franchise has probably not zapped its last ethereal being. A new generation may be taking hold.





‘HOUSE OF GUCCI’ Rated R

Glamour, greed, decadence, betrayal, deceit and ambition are all on florid display in the soap opera drama “House of Gucci,” a turbulent saga about the Italian fashion empire of great wealth that was not spared a scandalous crime.

Some may enter the cinema aware of a sordid wrongdoing that roiled the Gucci family. On the other hand, what I and probably many others know about this Italian company are the famous double G logo and the replica handbags sold to the unsuspecting at flea markets.

What matters in this Ridley Scott directed film based on real life events is how the story moves from bickering Gucci family members to a Gucci empire no longer in the hands of a family member.

Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), son of Rodolfo Gucci (Jeremy Irons), a former actor and dilettante who appears not as connected to the business as his brother Aldo (Al Pacino), is a law student when he meets Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) at a party.

Patrizia, who works as secretary in her father’s trucking company, mistakes Maurizio for a bartender, and he charms her by saying she looks like Elizabeth Taylor, or maybe he should have said Sophia Loren.

The two fall in love and decide to marry, much to the chagrin of papa Rodolfo, who believes she’s a social climber and gold digger. He’s not far off the mark, but Patrizia turns out to be much more than that.

Where Maurizio seems quiet and a bit passive, Patrizia is bold and assertive, pushing him to his rightful place in the Gucci empire. They soon take up residence in New York and go to work with Aldo at the flagship store in Manhattan.

Aldo thinks of his own son Paolo (Jared Leto), who has no talent for business or fashion, as an idiot, and this, of course, becomes another source of tension in Gucci world.

Meanwhile, the marriage sours when Maurizio re-connects with old flame Paola (Camille Cottin) and dispatches his sidekick to inform Patrizia that their marital bond is over.

As the story spins into a reckless spiral of revenge that leads to murder, “House of Gucci” is riveting for the solid performances primarily by Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino and a goofy Jared Leto.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

Upcoming Calendar

29Sep
09.29.2022 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Local Hazard Mitigation Plan update meeting
1Oct
10.01.2022 7:00 am - 11:00 am
Sponsoring Survivorship annual walk and run
1Oct
10.01.2022 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Konocti Challenge
1Oct
1Oct
10.01.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
1Oct
10.01.2022 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
20th annual Falling Leaves Quilt Show
1Oct
10.01.2022 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Weekly writing workshop
1Oct
10.01.2022 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Lakeport Harvest Festival
1Oct
10.01.2022 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Harvest Dinner and Silent Auction
Peace and Plenty Farm

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