I want to start off by wishing everyone a Happy and safe Thanksgiving. Some of us may be stuffing ourselves with food and we may start to think about dieting. What happens when a diet is forced upon you? Well that get’s answered with today’s film Heavy Weights. Gerry (Aaron Schwartz) just wants to have fun for his summer break from school, but that all changes when his parents force him to go to fat camp. The camp looks like it’s going to be fun until a new owner by the name of Tony Perkis (Ben Stiller) comes along. Tony wants to film an infomercial proving that he can make fat kids lose weight so he can make the major bucks. The problem for him is the campers get sick of him and decide to retaliate. The film also stars Tom McGowan (Bad Santa) as Pat, Cody Burger (National Lampoon’s Christmas Christmas Vacation) as Cody, Allen Covert (Big Daddy) as Kenny, Shaun Weiss (The Mighty Ducks) as Josh, Tom Hodges (Stigmata) as Lars, Leah Lail (Little Nicky) as Julie, Kenan Thompson (Kenan and Kel) as Roy, Paul Feig (Ghostbusters) as Tim, Jeffrey Tambor (The Hangover) as Maury Garner, Lauren Hill (The House Bunny) as Angelic Girl, and the film was directed by Steven Brill (Little Nicky). The film even features Judd Apatow who gets his first writing credit with the film.
I really honestly believe that if I had seen this back in the 90’s when it came out that I probably would have found this film funnier. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the film, but it’s just filled with 90’s esque kids comedy humor.Ben Stiller was absolutely amazing in the film and this was a time when he was still playing the jerk in films (like Happy Gilmore). He has some real memorable lines and moments in the film like when he escapes from his cage and he is trying to get back at Gerry and his dad. That whole sequence is classic Ben Stiller cause we’ve seen it in Dodgeball as well. There was also a Mighty Ducks Thing going on in this film with Keenan Thompson, Shaun Weiss, and Aaron Schwartz who all starred together in this film. We also see director Paul Feig act in this film which was crazy cause I didn’t realize that it was him. The cruel thing about this film is that some of the stereotypes are actually true when you are an 11 or 12 year old and you’re fat. There’s the scene where Tony invites an all girls camp to come to a dance with all the fat kids to try and prove a point to them that nobody wants them cause their fat. Other than that, the film has some funny moments to it and if you’re a fan of 90’s movies then this is one that should be on your list. 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.
I was at one point a huge fan of Adam Sandler films like Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy, etc. Then there was a period of time where I could care less, but today’s film, the Netflix Original Film, The Do-Over, had enough buzz that I had to watch. Charlie (David Spade) is a bank manager of a bank in a supermarket who sort of lives a crappy life with a wife who doesn’t care about him and her crappy kids. An old friend Max (Sandler) offers Charlie a do-over by faking their own deaths and assuming new identities. The only problem is that the identities they take over have problems of their own that Max and Charlie may not be able to handle on their own. What are the duo to do now that they are being targeted for death? The film also stars Paula Patton (Deja Vu) as Heather, Kathryn Hahn (We’re The Millers) as Becca, Nick Swardson (I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry) as Bob, Matt Walsh (The Hangover) as Shecky, Renée Taylor (The Nanny) as Mrs. Kessler, Luiz Guzman (Boogie Nights) as Jorge the shooter boy, Catherine Bell (Bruce Almighty) as Dawn, Torsten Voges (Funny People) as The Gymnast, and the film was directed by Steven Brill (Walk of Shame).
This honestly has to be one of the best Adam Sandler movies in a very long time even though I was a huge fan of That’s My Boy. At first, I was trying to figure out what kind of movie were they going to present to us because it could have gone any way. They could have given us an all out party fest of two guys enjoying their new identities, but I think they went the right way because it kind of kept you guessing. There were a couple of twists and turns that I thought were clever, but at the same time I should have seen them coming. Now, I am not taking anything away from the film by saying that because it was actually enjoyable to watch. David Spade acted like he never lost a step and Sandler added some machismo to his comedy in this film being the bad ass action Jackson type. This was film number two of six I believe for Adam Sandler and his Netflix deal and they get better by the film and you can only hope that it continues with the next. One of the funniest scenes in the film comes courtesy of Luiz Guzman and I won’t spoil it for you, but I couldn’t stop laughing. Seeing Luiz in this film was one of the smartest moves the casting director made because he is hilarious. There are some great shots of the island of Puerto Rico in the film as well as some other cool shots of Georgia. The film is available on Netflix of course and I think you should check it out. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade because it’s not the best Sandler film ever, but it’s up there.
I had heard about this film for a long time and I have been waiting since 2013 to watch this film. So, when I saw that Netflix had the title available< I jumped on the opportunity to watch the film CBGB. The film explores the origins of the legendary New York club and how one man named Hilly Kristal (Alan Rickman) had the vision to pioneer a musical revolution with his club called CBGB. You’ll see all of the triumphs and the struggles that came with owning the club or just working with Hilly period. We’ll also see the birth of bands like Blondie, The Ramones, The Dead Boys, The Talking Heads, and so many more as they share a part with the club’s story. The film also stars Malin Akerman (The Watchmen) as Debbie Harry, Justin Bartha (The Hangover) as Stiv Bator, Richard de Klerk (Repeators) as Taxi, Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory) as Terry Ork, Kyle Gallner (American Sniper) as Lou Reed, Ashley Greene (Staten Island Summer) as Lisa Kristal, Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters) as Iggy Pop, Ryan Hurst (Sons Of Anarchy) as Mad Mountain, Joel David Moore (Dodgeball) as Joey Ramone, Mickey Sumner (The End Of The Tour) as Patti Smith, Bradley Whitford (Billy Madison) as Nicky Gant, Rupert Grint (Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets) as Cheetah Chrome, and the film was directed by Randall Miller.
The story of CBGB is quite fascinating because it was a club that was functioning on almost no money. They were spending more than they were making according to the film. It is a legendary club however that I wish I had the opportunity of entering, but I never did. So many legendary bands payed n the stage and the film of course focuses on the pioneers of Punk Rock music and I love the band that closes out the film. Alan Rickman to me is a brilliant actor as I enjoy quite a lot of his films. He does a good job playing a guy with literally the worst business sense as the film makes it clear that he had failed many times before CBGB. The acting was phenomenal and I think anyone wanting to learn the history of Punk Rock should watch this and stick around for the credits which has some goodies in it too. Now as far as what is true about the film and what is not I do not know right now other than I don’t think Conway Twitty ever played there. One thing according to one article is that there are posters and stickers on the wall of the club before any bands actually have played there which can be counted as a goof. To see more of what they got right vs wrong, check out this article here. Otherwise, I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade because I enjoyed it thoroughly as I am a music fan first.