I had been putting off today’s film for quite some time because I don’t believe in the idea of releasing a sequel or reboot of a franchise that was popular thirty years before. Nevertheless, for today I decided to check out 2015’s Vacation which follows in the footsteps of National Lampoon’s Vacation. This time around, Rusty (Ed Helms) is an adult with his own family which includes his wife Debbie (Christina Applegate) and his kids James (Skyler Gisondo) and Kevin (Steele Stebbins). Things are pretty bland for him as he works for a crap airline and things at home just look like they need some sprucing up. So, he decides to take his family across country to Wally World like his father did thirty years before. The film also stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor) as Stone Crandall, Leslie Mann (Knocked Up) as Audrey Crandall, Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia) as Chad, Catherine Missal (Natural Selection) as Adena, Ron Livingston (Office Space) as Ethan, Keegan-Michael Key (Keanu) as Jack Peterson, Regina Hall (Scary Movie) as Nancy Peterson, Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead) as Trucker, Chevy Chase (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) as Clark Griswold, Beverly D’Angelo (National Lampoon’s European Vacation) as Ellen Griswold, and the film was directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein who both made their feature length directing debut with this film.
I am going to start off saying that I wasn’t completely let down by the film because it was a good film, but a little too late for it. The film just didn’t have anything that made me laugh my butt off like the original films did. It was like they tried a little too hard to be as goofy and oblivious as the original film, but just couldn’t hit the mark. I really like Ed Helms as an actor, but I thought it was Stu from The Hangover out there the whole time while he is supposed to be Rusty Griswold who I don’t remember being that clueless. The best part of the film in my opinion was the relationship between the two brothers because those gave some great moments in the film and I can’t speak highly enough of Chris Hemsworth. I think once he is done being Thor, he seriously needs to continue his career in comedy. They tried to be like the original without really being the original even teasing you with some scenes that were similar to the original. For example, there is the scene where beautiful supermodel and actress Hannah Davis is driving in a Ferrari which is similar to the scene in the original with Christie Brinkley driving in the Ferrari with different end results to make it new. That was a cool nod, but let’s move on. I loved the scene though with the four cops (Nick Kroll, Tim Heidecker, Kaitlin Olson, and Michael Peña) who were from four different states that couldn’t stop arguing with each other. That was fresh and different, but here is why this film fails in comparison to the original. John Hughes was the master at writing and he wrote the original film and Harold Ramis knew comedy and he directed it. It’s hard to live up to those names, but at least they tried. I am going to give Vacation a grade somewhere between a C+/B- and only because Holiday Road was in the film.
For today’s film, I probably chose the most controversial film of the year so far and I say controversial for all the hate it received on Youtube. The film I am talking about is the remake/reboot of the most legendary 80’s series Ghostbusters. Things in Manhattan seem pretty normal until a paranormal invasion happens at a local historical building that calls on paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) along with nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon). After the occurrences that strangely keep happening around the city, they decide to form a team to battle the ghosts which could be connected to someone who is trying to bring them back to cleanse the world. The film also stars Leslie Jones (Saturday Night Live) as Patty Tolan, Zach Woods (The Other Guys) as Tour Guide, Ed Begley Jr. (This Is Spinal Tap) as Ed Mulgrave, Charles Dance (Last Action Hero) as Harold Filmore, Steve Higgins (The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon) as Dean, Neil Casey (Inside Amy Schumer) as Rowan North, Chris Hemsworth (Thor: The Dark World) as Kevin, Cecily Strong (The Boss) as Jennifer Lynch, Andy Garcia (The Untouchables) as Mayor Bradley, Michael Kenneth Williams (Boardwalk Empire) as Agent Hawkins, Karan Soni (Deadpool) as Benny, and the film was directed by Paul Feig (The Heat).
I am going to warn you that from here on going forward that there may or may not be spoilers contained in this part of the article. So I am setting up a spoiler alert warning and do not continue if you do not want to know. There are going to be a lot of differences of opinions when it comes to this film with some that claim they hated it and some that claim they liked or loved it. You ultimately have to make that decision for yourself, but I am on the side of I loved it. It’s not better than the original Ghostbusters movie, but it was so much fun to watch.I had so many laughs through out the whole film especially with Chris Hemsworth who plays Kevin, a hunky guy who is a complete and utter idiot. Chris does a great job playing one of the comedic reliefs of the film. I thought that Melissa McCarthy would be my favorite Ghostbuster in the film, but that award goes to Kate McKinnon who plays the outrageous and weird Jillian Holtsmann. She was one of the best parts of this film and provided me with a lot of laughs as well. The ghosts were really cool, but the CGI in the film reminded me a lot of the first Scooby Doo film that came out. It’s like they used the same technology as that film to create their ghosts. One of my favorite things about this film is the various cameos in the film from all the original cast members of Ghostbusters except for Rick Moranis (who says that he is not retired) and Harold Ramis (who passed away in 2014).
There are times in the film where it seems more like a horror film because some off the scenes with the ghosts can be spooky as hell. One of my favorite sequences in the film has to be the fight scene between the Ghostbusters and all the ghosts in the city. It’s your typical action like sequence, but it’s very cool and bad ass. I also thought that I would be opposed to seeing the ghost from the logo as an actual ghost in the film, but I actually enjoyed it. Besides the original cast members of the original films, there are also references to the original film that made me happy that they at least recognized it. I am going to leave you guys with one statement regarding the film and take it for what it is and form your own opinion. I really enjoyed the film, had a lot of fun watching it, and I would be open to a sequel if it came up. Like I said, is it better than the originals, obviously no, but it is it’s own film.