Christmas Stories: Christmas Vacation (1989)

Oh man, I love Christmas Vacation you guys. Unfortunately, it’s been quite a few years since I’ve seen the whole thing all the way through. It’s actually one of the few Christmas tapes that my parents had that I haven’t added to my own collection. This was definitely one that my dad brought to the table and not my mom as she’s more a fan of the older flicks, while my dad loves pretty much anything the original SNL crew did. I don’t have quite the same connection that Rickey does with it (hopefully he’ll jump on and explain exactly what that is), but Christmas Vacation was always the one I wanted to watch deep down while we were watching It’s A Wonderful Life again.

It’s funny watching this after not seeing it for a while and also as a bit more of a grown up. I can completely relate to his desire for a perfect Christmas and feeling like things are going to shit. I can also relate to not getting a Christmas bonus even though you worked really hard and no one told you otherwise. At least he got a jelly of the month subscription, we got asked to work overtime. And, yeah, to be honest, it would have been nice to get the boss there with a bow on his head to give him a piece of my mind, but alas, I’m not related to anyone quite like Cousin Eddie. Anyway, I think you’d be hard pressed not to relate to at least some part of this movie. Having to bunk with your brother or sister while family’s visiting, trying to keep the families from killing each other, trying to act like you like everyone, getting locked in the attic and having to wear old lady clothes. You know, the usual holiday craziness.

I was also surprised with how well I remembered the movie even though I hadn’t seen it in a while. Man, I knew this thing backwards and forwards. I remembered that Julie Louis Dreyfus was in it and even that Juliette Lewis played Audrey. I remembered the old aunt and uncle, the cat gag, everything. I did NOT realized that Russ was played by Roseanne and Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki, so that was a nice little surprise. I also think I based my whole sledding life on the scene where Clark greases up the metal disc sled and goes light speed down the hill and through the tonw. Not only was I laughing my head off the whole time, but I was thinking back to when I was a kid and loved going down the hill in the park across the street from my house and sled as far as I could. Heck, I even loved jumping on it and standing all the way down. Hopefully, we’ll get a good amount of snow and find a hill to go sledding.

Really, if you haven’t seen Christmas Vacation in a while or you watch it every year, give it another look and have a great time. I know I did.

Four Movies I Dug

2009-02-21
5:28:59 am

It may come as a bit of surprise, but my movie intake has almost trickled to a crawl lately. The movies in this post have been vied over a period of almost months. I’ve been a lot more tired lately and haven’t been staying up as late, but I’m still watching for you, my faithful readers (also because I’m half-addicted to movies, I think). So, here we go:

 

NICK AND NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST (2008)

I didn’t LOVE Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, but I liked it about as much as I thought I would. I’m a sucker for told-in-one-night movies like Can’t Hardly Wait and the like. Plus, this one stars Michael Cera and Kat Dennings who is crush-worthy in my book (don’t tell Em). The basic story isn’t all that mindblowing, it’s your basic “two people who are dating other people meet each other, fall for each other, have a few difficulties, but SPOILER get together in the end” flick, but what’s fun for me is in the details. Aside from the solid performances and guest spots by the likes of Andy Samberg, Seth Meyers, Jay Baruchel, I like the New York club setting and the smaller details like Nora’s dad SPOILER owning Electric Ladyland studios. I have no idea if the club/band life the movie puts forward is accurate, but I think the idea of following a mystery band around town to be really cool, though familiar (I can’t quite put my finger on why/where from). I also had music geeksplosions when they went to Electric Ladyland. And, I gotta say, I was surprised that this movie, which is based on a book that I haven’t, but now want to, read not only had a sex scene but also a number of gay characters (oh, and the creepiest stripperish dance scene involving an actual girl that I can remember). I guess teen movies have changed a bit and I think it’s pretty cool.

THE HOUSE BUNNY (2008)

I can’t exactly say The House Bunny surprised me, because, well, I kind of thought I would like it. You’ve got Anna Faris starring in a Fred Wolf (SNL, DIRTY WORK!!!) directed movie that mixes Playboy and sororities on a college campus in which the main point of the flick is to turn nerdy sorority girls (including Kat Dennings, Rumor Willis and Emma Stone) into hot chicks. I’d say that’s a pretty killer combination. And, as far as I’m concerned, it lived up to my expectations. Oh, plus it had Colin Hanks who I haven’t seen in anything but Orange County, but I liked that flick and he’s good in this too. Really, if the above description doesn’t tickle your fancy, you won’t dig this movie. If it does, dive on in and have a good time. I wouldn’t rank it in my top five comedies or anything, but it’s still worth a watch.

ALIEN RAIDERS (2008)

Alien Raiders is one of those movies that makes its way into the Wizard building and somehow found it’s way to my hands, probably because everyone knows I’m the horror guy in the offices. Anyway, I knew nothing about this movie and had absolutely no expectations (in fact, I can’t even remember why I watched this instead of something else like, say, Triloquist, which is in my “to be watched” pile). So, I was pleasantly surprised by this mix of Thing and The Mist (basically, “who’s the alien in a grocery store”). I was surprised with how in to this movie I got (I even put a comic down to watch it). For a much better review than I could give, check out my favorite blog on the web Horror Movie a Day. Also check out the comment section for what will be a now reduntant comment, plus a comment from the screenwriter!

DISTRICT B-13 (2004)

Compared to the rest of these flicks, B-13 here is an oldie, but it’s still a goody. Man, I had a great time watching B-13. It’s directed by the guy who just did Taken which I hear is pretty rad and want to check out. Anyway, the story is set in the near future, something about a ghetto in France where undesirables live. The intricacies of the plot escape me at the moment, but there’s an undercover cop and a crook working together to both get a bomb back and save one of the guys’ sister. The story itself isn’t the cool part though, I was a fan of the action scenes, many of which involved my personal favorite YouTube search of free running (or parkour if you’re nasty, or French). I caught this on Netflix’s amazing instant watch and can’t recommend it more to action fans. Seriously, go check it out NOW.

Okay, hope you enjoyed these brief movie reviews. Look for more trade and movie reviews soon!