There was really no science to how I picked the film for today other than the fact that Encore was playing it and it featured Sally Field (Forrest Gump) and Kiefer Sutherland (The Lost Boys). The name of the film that I chose for today is the crime drama Eye For An Eye. For Karen McCann (Field) everything in life is as normal as can be with a loving and devoted husband (Ed Harris) and some great kids. Her life is torn upside down when repeat felon Robert Doob (Sutherland) rapes and murders her daughter Julie (Olivia Burnette) and he gets away with scot-free by a technicality. To cope with the pain and the fact that he is a free man, she will will resort to taking self defense lessons and gun training to get some vengeance, but can she go through with it. The film also stars Alexandra Kyle (A Time To Kill) as Megan McCann, Joe Mantegna (Baby’s Day Out) as Det. Sgt. Denillo, Beverly D’Angelo (National Lampoon’s Vacation) as Dolly Green, Charlayne Woodard (The Crucible) as Angel Kosinsky, Philip Baker Hall (Bruce Almighty) as Sidney Hughes, Keith David (Men At Work) as Martin, Wanda Acuna (Encino Man) as Hispanic Housewife, and the film was directed by John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy).
The MVP of the film, without a shadow of a doubt, was the performance from Kiefer Sutherland who made a career of playing different types of roles. He was so amazing in this film that he had me really believe that he was some twisted whack job that gets off on raping and killing his victims. The only thing that kind of bothered me is that his character seemed real out of place like he belonged more in the south then where ever the heck they were from. Sally Field also does a tremendous job of playing the mother with so much guilt that it plagues her very existence. The film has some very weird moments in it that are just creepy like Kiefer’s character talking to the youngest daughter at her school or when he spies on his victims. I can’t believe that the film is already twenty years old as it came out in January of 1996. The film I believe was advertised as a vigilante film, but it’s really not that. It’s more of a thriller where you left wondering if he’ll catch her, etc. I think that is why the film had such negative reviews back in the day and why it holds an 8% on Rotten Tomatoes. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the film a lot just because of the two performances and such as I described above. I am going to give the film an B- 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.