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.
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.
For today’s Ass Whoopin Wednesday film, I chose a film that I wanted to check out for a while when I heard that WWE wrestler Dean Ambrose was the latest to get into films. Dean is the latest to star in 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown which he plays a troubled Detective named Shaw. Dean is returning to the job for the first time in months after the death of his partner. While on the job, he discovers some corruption in the precinct involving a former partner and he decides to investigate it. Detective Burke (Roger R. Cross), the corrupt cop gets wind of what Shaw is doing and to protect his own behind, he puts the whole building into lockdown and he hunts Shaw. Shaw only has 12 rounds in his gun to help defend himself while he tries to figure out a way to get the evidence out. The film also stars Daniel Cudmore (X-Men: The Last Stand) as Gideon, Lochlyn Munro (Scary Movie) as Darrow, Ty Olsson (X-Men 2) as Harris, Sarah Smyth (50/50) as Officer Taylor, Rebecca Marshall (That’s My Boy) as Captain Matthews, Kirby Morrow (RoboCop) as Saul, Toby Levins (Godzilla) as Meeks, Sharon Taylor (Stargate: Atlantis) as Carmen, Hugo Steele (Man Of Steel) as Hurst, and the film was directed by Stephen Reynolds (Vendetta). To see the stats and the review of the film, please click here to see it.