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.
Today’s film that I chose was one that I really wanted to read the book before going to see it, but I never got the chance and it was officially released today. So for today, I chose to watch Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates which stars Adam Devine (Pitch Perfect) and Zac Efron (Neighbors) as Mike and Dave Stangle. The Stangle brothers are a couple of guys that are absolutely inseparable. They work together, they party together, and they screw stuff up together, but there are people that want it to stop. You see their sister Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard) is getting married in Hawaii and their parents are worried that they are going to screw it all up. The only way they can go is by finding wedding dates, but when they do they get more than they expected. The film also stars Aubrey Plaza (Dirty Grandpa) as Tatiana, Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) as Alice, Stephen Root (Office Space) as Burt, Stephanie Faracy (Hocus Pocus) as Rosie, Sam Richardson (Veep) as Eric, Alice Wetterlund (Girl Code) as Cousin Terry, Lavell Crawford (Breaking Bad) as Keith, Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) as Keanu, Jake Johnson (Let’s Be Cops) as Ronnie, and the film was directed by Jake Szymanski (7 Days In Hell).
I was a little skeptical about the film heading in because I thought it was going to be one of those films where the trailer was funnier than the film itself.That was definitely not the case whatsoever with this film. This definitely has to be a contender for comedy of the year and I know there’s a lot of time left, but I couldn’t stop laughing. If Adam Devine and Zac Efron weren’t making you laugh, Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick were definitely there to provide some laughs as well. There was just a lot of great chemistry going around in this film and you could definitely see it all around with every moment in the film. It’s hard to choose a favorite scene because any moment with the Stangle brothers was absolutely hilarious like the push pop scene or even the ATV aftermath scene was great. Sugar Lyn Beard has her moments in the film too tat were great whether it be with the masseuse or getting high on Ecstasy. After seeing this film, Zac Efron has definitely grown on me and he plays the role of funny, but sensitive dumb jock guy every well in some of his movies. The proof is in the pudding with the Neighbors series and this. I’m not sure I like where Aubrey Plaza is going with her career, but I an’t complain cause I am a huge fan of hers. I didn’t realize until now that this is the second straight film I have watched and reviewed that takes place in Hawaii. Maybe this is a sign of a new vacation spot that I should go to. Nevertheless, this is definitely a comedy to check out and with that being said I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
Believe it or not there are a heck of a lot of Disney and Pixar films that I have missed seeing over the years. I found out this year that Finding Dory was coming out in theaters and no that I am less than a week away from it, I think it was about time I watched Finding Nemo first. Marlin (Albert Brooks) is a clown fish who lost his wife and most of his kids except for one named Nemo (Alexander Gould) . He has made a vow that he would protect Nemo from anything harmful for fear of losing him. One day after being too clingy, Nemo becomes daring and ends up getting himself caught by a seawater diver. Now, Marlin with the help of a blue tang fish named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), he will go on a massive search for his son while Nemo has to try and save himself being Darla the dentists’s niece’s gift before he dies in her care. The film also stars Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond) as Bloat, Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) as Gill, Allison Janney (Juno) as Peach, Austin Pendleton (My Cousin Vinny) as Gurgle, Stephen Root (Office Space) as Bubbles, Geoffrey Rush (Shakespeare In Love) as Nigel, Andrew Stanton (Cars) as Crush, Joe Ranft (The Lion King) as Jacques, and the film was directed by Stanton and Lee Unkrich (Monsters, Inc.).
I needed to lighten up the mood on the blog after two straight days of horror films and Finding Nemo seemed like the right kind of film. I can’t believe that this movie has been out for 13 years and I finally got around to seeing it now. This was one of the reasons I always felt that Disney with Pixar was always ahead of the game as far as animation and stories was concerned. The animation in this film is absolutely amazing and so intricate with so much detail in all the sea creatures that you see in the film. One of my favorite scenes in the film came with the Anglerfish, you know that scary looking mother with the ball of light attached to it. I don’t know what was scarier, that or the sharks? All I know is that I never want to be face to face with one ever. That is one thing I liked about this film is that it’s pretty informative and it teaches young kids about different fish and all the sea life. The film is also very entertaining while it also feels like no matter how close they get, things seem to get so far away before we are riddled with hope again. The story itself is amazing and it kind of reflects the way parents coddle their children for too long. At least that is the message I got in the film when Nemo’s dad finally learns to let go. It is definitely a film to check out and with that being said, I am going to give the film an A for a final grade. Check out my picture of the animated Anglerfish vs a real one below.
For today’s film, I was specifically in the mood to see an animated film, but I was more in the mood for a Batman animated film especially considering we are getting The Killing Joke soon. There are so many I need to catch up on so I decided to check out Batman: Under The Red Hood for today. Things in Gotham City are pretty much the same since the death of Jason Todd (Robin) by the hands of The Joker (John DiMaggio) five years before and Batman (Bruce Greenwood) is still living with the guilt. That is until one day when a mysterious figure know simply as the Red Hood (Jensen Ackles) shows up and starts taking over the crime syndicate in Gotham. Even though Batman and Nightwing (Neil Patrick Harris) are hit on his tail, they can’t seem to catch him, but Batman feels that there is something familiar about him. So, while he is on a mission to stop him, Batman is also out looking for the truth before he gets to the Black Mask (Wade Williams). The film also stars Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire) as Ra’s al Ghul, Carlos Alazraqui (Toy Story 3) as Chi Chi, Gary Cole (Office Space) as Commissioner Gordon, Kelly Hu (X-Men 2) as Ms. Li, and the film was directed by Brandon Vietti (Superman/Doomsday).
One thing that I will say before we dive in too deep into the film is that I am huge fan of the Batman animated films. They are some of the best written and done films, but that’s because you can do a lot more with animation. That is definitely the case with this film which was well written and well done. If you are not familiar with the Red Hood story then definitely check this one out because it’s a very cool story. I am going to try and not give too much away because I hate spoiling movies. One of the things I loved about this film is the fact that the Red Hood believes he’s doing the same as Batman, but by killing off the villains that is the way you control crime. It gets really deep from there and it gets very personal for Batman who know has to make the ultimate choice after he finds out Red Hood’s true identity. I love that you get Black Mask, The Riddler, and The Joker all in one film because it packs more of a punch and it helps explain the story. The only thing I didn’t like honestly was The Joker’s voice and that’s only because I am used to Mark Hamill as The Joker. Nevertheless, its a great story and well written overall like I have already said. Check this one out for sure if you are a fan of Batman and/or the Batman animated films/series. I am going to give this one an A- for a final grade.
I think I have mentioned before that I usually do not like to watch films that are based on movies, but what can you do when Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass) stars in the movie. The movie that I chose for today is called The 5TH Wave and it follows a young girl named Cassie (Moretz) as she recounts each horrific wave of the alien takeover. You see one day the aliens showed up and they slowly began taking over the earth trying to eliminate the humans. All Cassie has left in the world is her little brother Sam (Zackary Arthur), but Sam was taken away by the military who said they were there to help. All Cassie wants to do is get back to Sam before it’s too late. The film also stars Gabriela Lopez (Million Dollar Arm) as Lizbeth, Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) as Ben Parish, Ron Livingston (Office Space) as Oliver Sullivan, Tony Revolori (Dope) as Dumbo, Liev Schreiber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as Vosch, Maria Bello (Prisoners) as SGT. Reznik, Maika Monroe (It Follows) as Ringer, Talitha Bateman (Life Grows On) as Teacup, Alex Roe (The Calling) as Evan Walker, and the film was directed by J Blakeson (The Disappearance Of Alice Creed).
Most of the teen aimed book films that we have seen never deal with what has happened, you just assume that some bad things happened. This film deals with what happened and it moves through the different waves which is pretty much everyone’s fear. Giant waves as one of the waves, losing electricity to make us act like animals, and so on and so forth. I have to be perfectly honest and say that this actually wasn’t that bad of a film, it was actually pretty good. Chloë Grace Moretz was as good as you would expect her to be, but for me Maika Monroe was awesome as the bad ass chick that you don’t mess with. I had been waiting to see her in a film since I had seen her amazing performance in It Follows. The movie also has all the things you would want as far as the story is concerned with the twists (I never read the book) and the paranoia of who is human and who is an alien pretending to be human? The cinematography is great especially during the flooding scenes and the acting was very good. Now as far as a second film is concerned, I have no idea because I don’t remember if this film did well in the theaters or not to warrant a second film. I actually would love to see what happens next to our protagonists. So, I am going to recommend this film cause it’s worth at least a watch. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
I don’t know how to follow up the amazing Deadpool since that was the best film viewed yet, but we’ll have to try. I continued down the comedy road and chose a film by the world famous Coen Brothers (Fargo). The film is called The Ladykillers and it stars the amazing Tom Hanks (Philadelphia) as Professor G.H. Dorr PHd, a smooth talking eccentric southern man who is looking to take advantage of an old woman named Marva Munson (Irma P. Hall) because her property lies within his master plan. You see, Dorr wants to rob a Casino boat, but in order to do that, he has to build a tunnel underground that leads to the casino with a rather unlikely team and pose as a classical duo in the meantime to fool the old lady. The film also stars Marlon Wayans (Scary Movie) as Gawain, J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as Garth Pancake, Tzi Ma (Rush Hour) as The General, Ryan Hurst (Remember The Titans) as Lump Hudson, Diane Delano (The Wicker Man) as Mountain Girl, George Wallace (Funny People) as Sheriff Wyner, Stephen Root (Office Space) as Fernand Gudge, Jason Weaver (Drumline) as Weemack, and Walter K. Jordan (Life) as Elron.
I didn’t know going into the film that it was a remake and with that being said I’d actually like to see the original version. The film isn’t super amazing, but it’s actually pretty decent and at times it’s funny. The part that is funny to me is the fact that these are five guys who have really no business being a team and it shows throughout the film. You want to talk about a motley crew, these are definitely them. You have a punk wannabe street thug, a demolitions expert with a bad case of IBS, a Vietnamese general with a smoking habit, and a jock whose dumber than a box of rocks. That is where the real comedy in this film lies and it once it gets towards the last 20 minutes of the film is when it gets really good as it all falls apart. The soundtrack to the film is actually pretty good as it mixes some gospel music with music like The Nappy Roots, and so much more. It was also supervised by T Bone Burnett who you may remember for O Brother, Where Art Thou?. I definitely think it’s a film that is worth checking out if you are a fan of Tom Hanks, The Coen Brothers, and T Bone Burnett. Marlon Wayans was definitely the comedic relief of the film, but Hanks provides some himself. I am going to give The Ladykillers an B for a final grade.