Here’s a fan reconstruction of the Universal Conan show that got Gary Goddard the job directing Masters Of The Universe!
As we near the end of 2019 — to which I offer a hale and hearty, “good riddance,” — I found myself looking back on my media experiences of the past year and realized I didn’t see many new films (or at least released-to-theaters flicks). To try and remedy that, I requested a movies from the library and had what turned out to be a strange and wildly imbalanced double feature of Ma and The Banana Splits Movie! Imma get into the former right now, but come on back soon for my take on the latter, as well as a review of Chromeskull: Laid To Rest 2!
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.
So, the wife had to work on Saturday. Bummer for her, good for my movie watching. I got to flipping through my DVD binder (hey, gotta conserve space, right?) and I got to the O’s. We were flipping through channels the night before and caught the beginning of Old School, the part where Luke Wilson comes home early and his wife has some people over for a little group sex (can I say that?). The way they edited it to cut out all the boobs was pretty funny. So, that made me want to watch it again. After that I still had a little time so I popped on Office Space.
Back in college I watched Old School a lot. I was actually in a fraternity at the time called Alpha Sigma Phi. Before you start making rash judgments (hey, I made the same ones before I met these guys) this isn’t the kind of fraternity you see on TV in movies (like Old School) or hear about on the news. Anyway, a large group of us went to see Old School when it came out and it quickly worked its way into my life. I had actually forgotten how many of the little things I say come from this flick. (“Good talk, see you out there” “earmuffs” just to name two.)
The other thing that surprised me about Old School is how many guys in it have kind of blown up. The dude who plays Spanish is on Reaper and one of the dudes is on Big Bang Theory (a great show if you haven’t seen it). There’s more, but I’ve forgotten them. It’s been a few days.
I’ve seen most (maybe all) of the Frat Pack movies since this one and I’ve got to say, only Wedding Crashers comes close to Old School. There’s just something about the combination of Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn that lights up the screen with comedy fireworks. Add in director Todd Phillips and you’ve got comedy gold. I’m hoping the oft-rumored sequel goes through.
When it came out, the comedy landscape wasn’t looking too good. We’d weathered the storm of bad teen comedies, bad spoof flicks and studio-churned lameo comedy and Old School was our gift. I’d like to think it paved the way for Judd Apatow and his crew as well, which is awesome cause I can’t freaking wait for Pineapple Express to come out.
So, like I said, after I peeped Old School I moved on to Office Space which is great for anyone whose ever had a job. You can’t watch it without being reminded of SOMEONE you work with. Yeah, you know it’s true, unless you’re the person yourself. Anyway, it’s nice to watch someone break out of the corporate mold and have some fun even if it involves crime. It’s like a funny Wanted (the comic) without all the unnecessary violence and sexual assault.
Office Space is another one of those movies with a slew of catch phrases and tag lines. The first time I saw it I actually came in 15 minutes late and just though he decided to not go to work (instead of the hypnosis thing from the guy who used to be on Whose Line is It Anyway). It was still good even missing the beginning. Oh, I also liked Jen Aniston, even though she’s basically playing the same part she’s been playing since Leprechaun (and on into Friends). And finally, Diedrich Bader, who I just interviewed for ToyFare #135 (he’s the voice of Batman in the upcoming Brave and the Bold, which looks rad) rocks the house as Lawrence the neighbor who’d do two chicks if he was given a million bucks. Go Lawrence.
Well, I think that about wraps up my ramblings on the subjects. Thanks for paying attention.