Some of my favorite films have been the high school teen dramas (i.e. The Breakfast Club, Can’t Hardly Wait, etc.) for as long as I can remember. So, when I heard that today’s film, The Edge Of Seventeen, had a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I had to check out the film for myself. The early teens can be an awkward age for teens especially when you are trying to navigate your way through the jungle known as high school. Things have never been easy for Nadine (True Grit’s Hailee Steinfeld) like it has been for her brother Darian (Everybody Wants Some‘s Blake Jenner). Now things are about to get incredibly worse for her when her best friend Krista (The Bronze‘s Haley Lu Richardson) decides to date her brother. What is Nadine to do when she has no one to turn to in her life? The film also stars Woody Harrelson (Now You See Me 2) as Mr. Bruner, Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) as Mona, Hayden Szeto (The Unbidden) as Erwin, Alexander Calvert (Scream: The TV Series) as Nick Mossman, Eric Keenleyside (Godzilla) as Tom, Nesta Cooper (Heroes Reborn) as Shannon, Lina Renna as Little Nadine, Ava Grace Cooper as Young Krista, and the film was written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig.
The film was definitely interesting to say the least and it had it’s moments of brilliance. Would I compare it to a John Hughes film? Well, probably not, but it comes pretty close in spirit. This could definitely be the film for all the awkward teens out there who feel that they don’t fit in. There can be times in the film where the moments are almost predictable like you guessed that her brother was going to hook up with her best friend and I guessed that without reading the synopsis of the film. She is just way too pretty to not go unnoticed by anyone and that would be the ultimate drama filled subplot. The best moments of the film were Nadine’s interactions with Mr. Bruner played by the excellent and the MVP of the film in Woody Harrelson. He was definitely the comedic relief of the film giving us some really cool sarcastic moments with Nadine who unknowingly thinks that she is the only one with problems. Although he is sarcastic, he always seems to be there like any teacher would be essentially in our time of need. The film is filled with all the awkward moments teens deal with in life especially in the technology age and maybe this is this generations teen flick. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed watching the film, it was well written and well acted. What else could you possibly ask for? I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
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 had been meaning to watch a John Hughes film that I had not yet seen. To be honest, I procrastinated , but I wanted to close out May with a bang and so I chose to watch Some Kind Of Wonderful. All Keith Nelson (Eric Stoltz), the very artsy, not popular teenager, wants is a date with the very beautiful, but very taken Amanda Jones (Lea Thompson). One day after Amanda’s rich snobby boyfriend Hardy (Craig Sheffer) gets caught schmoozing with another girl, Keith gets his opportunity despite not having the blessing of his tomboy best friend Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson). You see what he doesn’t realize is that Watts begins to have feelings for Keith, but he’ll just have to find out the hard way. The film also stars John Ashton (Beverly Hills Cop) as Cliff Nelson, Elias Koteas (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze) as Duncan, Molly Hagan (Election) as Shayne, Maddie Corman (Swingers) as Laura Nelson, Candace Cameron (Full House) as Cindy Nelson, Scott Coffey (Lost Highway) as Ray, Lee Garlington (One Hour Photo) as Gym Instructor, Chynna Phillips (Striptease) as Mia, and the film was directed by Howard Deutch (Pretty In Pink).
I just want to say that I wish my life was a John Hughes movie because life would be so much easier if that were the case. Little fun fact for all of you out there, Zoey Deutch who has starred in the films we covered (Everybody Wants Some! and Dirty Grandpa) is the daughter of director Howard Deutch and star Lea Thompson. So if I had to take a wild guess then I’m pretty sure this is where they met and got into a relationship. Anyways back to the film at hand. This has to be one of the most well written John Hughes films besides The Breakfast Club because the film is much more than a Romcom (Romance Comedy) in my opinion. Not only does the film look at love or the idea of the unpopular kid getting the out of his league girl, this also looks at social classes and social statuses due to money. Keith, Watts, and Amanda all come from the harsher side of town, but the difference is that by being with Hardy, she had elevated her status socially. The idea that she began to be cut off from that social status because she agreed to go on a date with Keith said a lot and the fact that he wants to continue with the date to prove a point says a lot. Of course not only is the story great, but there is great music attached to this film especially one track from Billy Idol that I love (Catch My Fall) which plays in the film. The acting was amazing, the choreography was great, and what else could you ask for from a John Hughes written film. That is why I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
I was looking for something to watch today and I saw that Epix Drive In was having an 80’s takeover weekend. So out of all the movies they were showing today and tonight, She’s Having A Baby is the only one I hadn’t seen. The film stars Kevin Bacon (Footloose) and Elizabeth McGovern (Kick-Ass) as newlyweds Jake and Kristy Briggs. You see everyone in the world thinks that Jake and Kristy have no idea what they are getting into when the two got married and to be honest I don’t believe that they fully knew. Even though they might be unprepared for what lies ahead of them, they will do their best to tackle whatever it is including the decision to have a baby. The film also stars Alec Baldwin (The Hunt For Red October) as Davis, James Ray (The Edge Of Night) as Mr. Briggs, Holland Taylor (Two And The Half Men) as Mrs. Briggs, William Windom (To Kill A Mockingbird) as Mr. Bainbridge, Paul Gleason (The Breakfast Club) as Howard, Dennis Dugan (Problem Child) as Bill, Edie McClurg (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) as Lynn, John Ashton (Beverly Hills Cop) as Ken, Larry Hankin (Home Alone) as Hank, and the film was written, directed, and produced by John Hughes (The Breakfast Club).
At first I had a hard time trying to figure out the plot of the film in accordance to what I should write as a synopsis above. The plot is as plain as day if you truly think about it because it’s all about whether we make the right choices or not. There are temptations in the world that makes us question the choices we made especially when it has to do with marriage. That is what both Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern’s characters face in the film as they get adjusted to each other and the life that follows. You can definitely tell when you are watching the film that it’s a John Hughes film because it has his name written all over it from the writing and the shots. Plus there is always this lesson that our main character learns in every film and Kevin has that lesson as well. Alec Baldwin lookss so young in this film, it’s crazy to see what he looks like now compared to then, but he was masterful in the film. If I were you guys I would stick around for the end credits as you gets some special appearances from actors like John Candy, Kirstie Alley, Ted Danson, Woody Harrelson, Dyan Cannon, Matthew Broderick, Dan Aykroyd, and so many more. If you are a fan of Kevin Bacon or even Kevin Bacon 80’s films, then give this one a look cause you never know you may enjoy this film. That is why I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.