You’re still here? It’s over! Go home. 😉
Thank you, everyone! 🙂
You’re still here? It’s over! Go home. 😉
Thank you, everyone! 🙂
Wow – what a busy month! I can’t believe how many people wanted to be a part of this blogathon. Thank you so much to everyone who did a review. Or five (Eric). Or ten (Rob). 😉 I’ll include links below to all the reviews. There are 54 total. 54! That’s insane. Love it! They’ll also be kept on a page at the top of this blog.
And thanks just as much to all the people who stopped by and commented on all these reviews. That really means a lot to me (and to the guest reviewers). I do apologize for having a very hard time keeping up with replying to everyone. I’ve had a busy month (in real life!) & I’m an entire week behind on replying to comments. Sorry! I’ll still get to them. I feel awful if I don’t reply to people within a day….
It’s business as usual tomorrow but I need to take a bit of a break for a while. I’ll probably just review any movies I go to see in the cinema (plus the five I went to this past month – Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Zero Theorem, Muppets Most Wanted, Non-Stop, Moshi Monsters: The Movie). And I’ll start up the IMDB Top 250 guest reviews again next week. I hope all you great new followers will stick around & that the old ones will come back to read my usual shitty reviews of non-Hughes movies. 😉
Thanks again everyone! You’re the best! *MWAH!*
All John Hughes Reviews:
101 Dalmatians by Fearsome 5 (and family!)
Baby’s Day Out by Film Grimoire
Beethoven by Film Grimoire
The Breakfast Club by The IPC
The Breakfast Club by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)
The Breakfast Club by A Clockwalker Orange
Career Opportunities by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)
Curly Sue by MovieRob
Dennis by MovieRob
Drillbit Taylor by Rhetologue’s Movie Logs
Drillbit Taylor by MovieRob
Dutch by MovieRob
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by Fast Film Reviews
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by The Dirk Malcolm Alternative
Flubber by MovieRob
The Great Outdoors by Smashing Through Life
The Great Outdoors by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)
Home Alone by MovieRob
Home Alone 2 by Screenkicker
Home Alone 3 by Ten Stars Or Less
Just Visiting by JJames Reviews
Maid In Manhattan by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)
Miracle On 34th Street by Where The Wild Things Are
Mr. Mom by JJames Reviews
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation by Tvor Travels
National Lampoon’s Class Reunion by Brian at Hard Ticket To Home Video
National Lampoon’s European Vacation by Tvor Travels
National Lampoon’s Vacation by The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger
Only The Lonely by Ten Stars Or Less
Planes, Trains & Automobiles by Film Nerd Blog
Planes, Trains & Automobiles by The Cinematic Frontier
Planes, Trains & Automobiles by The IPC
Pretty In Pink by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)
Pretty In Pink by Tranquil Dreams
Pretty In Pink by MovieRob
Savage Islands by MovieRob
She’s Having A Baby by Rhetologue’s Movie Logs
She’s Having A Baby by MovieRob
Sixteen Candles by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)
Sixteen Candles by Where The Wild Things Are
Sixteen Candles by Film Nerd Blog
Sixteen Candles by The IPC
Some Kind Of Wonderful by Silver Screen Serenade
Some Kind Of Wonderful by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)
Some Kind Of Wonderful by MovieRob
Tajna Nikole Tesle by 501 Must-See Movies Project
Uncle Buck by The IPC
Weird Science – special double review by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!) & Eric of The IPC
Weird Science by What About The Twinkie?
Don’t You Forget About Me (documentary about John Hughes) by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)
John Hughes Mini-Reviews by Mr Mutant (my hubby!)
THAT’S ALL, FOLKS! It’s curtains for this blogathon. 🙂
Poster by Raúl Salazar – Link HERE
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Directed by John Hughes
Written by John Hughes
Anthony Michael Hall
John Hughes (uncredited – as Mr Johnson)
Running time: 97 minutes
Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The Breakfast Club storyline follows five teenagers, each a member of a different high school clique, who spend a Saturday in detention together and come to realize that they are all more than their respective stereotypes, while facing a villainous principal.
I figured I should end this blogathon with my review of my very favorite John Hughes movie: The Breakfast Club. So don’t worry everyone – THIS IS THE FINAL REVIEW OF THE JOHN HUGHES BLOGATHON. (Unless I quickly watch the DVD I just received in the mail). 😉
As always, I struggle the most when writing about the films that I really love. What is it about The Breakfast Club? Why do so many people of my generation hold this movie so dear? (And some from a whole new generation. Or two. Or three. HOW many generations have there been since I was a teenager?? Man I’m old…). All I know is that we have John Hughes to thank for it. The actors chosen all did a great job and everything but it’s the writing of John Hughes that really spoke to teenagers everywhere. And he’s never been bettered. Why can’t they make teen movies like these anymore?
For me, I could really relate to The Breakfast Club because it felt EXACTLY like my high school. My high school was also very small, in the Midwest (not far from where the fictional Shermer, Illinois would be), and it was full of cliques. And the thought of a group of teens from these different worlds coming together and finding that they had a lot more in common than they realized was such a lovely thought. Okay – I’m not completely sure how realistic THAT was but it was still great watching the relationships develop between the characters in this movie.
Most of all, it was seeing that each of these teens had their own problems & fears (even the popular princess & the athlete!). And having five such different characters meant that every teen watching would be able to relate to at least one of them. Me? I was a combination of the basket case, the brain, and a tiny bit of the princess. My boyfriend was the criminal (Totally. He even looked a bit like John Bender). So the one I could relate to the least was the athlete (But this was probably the largest social group in my school. Stupid sports! I sucked at sports. I had no chance of being popular!). Well, I was a cheerleader. Shh – don’t tell anyone that. How freaking embarrassing… Rah rah rah and all that bullshit. Blech!
The Breakfast Club “spoke” to me as a teenager the way it did to countless teens then and even to some of them today. It made me feel like maybe I wasn’t so different after all. We all have the same thoughts and fears and we all just want to belong, whether we admit to it or not. John Hughes knew exactly what was in a teenager’s heart and mind and was able to beautifully capture this in the teen movies that he wrote. This is the most apparent in The Breakfast Club, which is why it’s my favorite John Hughes film and a CPD Classic.
My Rating: 9.5/10
Don’t You Forget About Me (2009 Documentary)
Directed by Matt Austin
Running time: 90 minutes
Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Don’t You Forget About Me is a 2009 Canadian documentary film about screenwriter, director, and producer John Hughes. The film specifically focused on Hughes’ fade from prominence in the early 1990s. It details the journey of a group of young filmmakers who go in search of the reclusive icon, documenting their search through interviews of the people with whom Hughes had worked and fans of his films.
Obviously, I was interested in watching this documentary as, like the filmmakers, I grew up with and love John Hughes teen movies and was sad that he stopped making those types of films and that he pretty much disappeared from Hollywood. I think it’s quite a sad story and, as we know, he died too young from a heart attack at the age of 59 on August 6, 2009, just after this documentary was filmed.
This is worth a watch for anyone who is a big fan of Hughes but not so much worth a watch if you’re not. The best part by far was seeing all the interviews with those who had worked with Hughes and those who were influenced by his work. It’s pretty impressive that they were able to get as many people together for this documentary as they did. The following are just some of the people they interviewed:
As for the rest of the documentary, I was hoping for something a bit more in-depth on why they thought Hughes had disappeared but we don’t really get this from the filmmakers. They talk a bit about their favorite Hughes films and what those movies meant to them but we don’t really hear anything new. I was a little confused by a couple things too. They say they spent two years (or maybe it was two and a half) on this documentary. I don’t think this is a spoiler: they drive to Chicago to try to track down John Hughes & interview him (I won’t say whether they manage to or not). But, once they get there, they sit down and start writing out some questions to ask him. Then they try to decide how to go about contacting him: walk right up to his house & talk to him or give him a letter or what. They write the letter right outside his house. In two years they didn’t think to have any of this prepared until they arrived in Chicago to try to meet with Hughes???
A documentary worth watching if you love John Hughes films as you get to see some interesting interviews with those he worked with and those he influenced. However, you won’t really learn anything new or get an in-depth look into the man and why he disappeared from the scene. It’s also a little disappointing that there’s no focus whatsoever on any of his movies other than a few teen ones (what’s wrong with the Vacation movies? Planes, Trains & Automobiles? Etc?). Like I say – I do recommend this if you like John Hughes but I was a little uncomfortable at the thought of fans trying to track him down as I think he wanted a peaceful life with his family. And knowing that he died so soon afterwards made watching this even harder. (Please read below the picture for something I DO highly recommend….) And for another opinion on this documentary from another fan of John Hughes, you can read Rob’s thoughts over at his MovieRob blog HERE.
My Rating: 6.5/10
**To be honest, if you’re a John Hughes fan (or even if you’re not), I’ve been meaning to share this absolutely fascinating piece from a girl who was pen pals with Hughes from 1985-1987 (and more beyond). THIS should be read by everyone – Hughes lovers or even those who are simply interested in being writers or just knowing a bit more about the feelings of someone who was in the public eye. It’s a brilliant insight into the man & you will learn much more about him from this lovely piece written by a girl called Alison Byrne Fields than you will from watching this documentary. Please read this – It will be well worth your time (and there’s more to be read if you wish to explore more about John Hughes on her blog). Link here: Sincerely, John Hughes
I CANNOT BELIEVE IT. So, since starting my little blog here in November 2012 I’ve asked the hubby, Mr Mutant, to contribute several times. I even let him go to a few movies without me as long as he’d review those movies for my blog (where’s my Evil Dead & Robocop remake reviews, dude?? Hmmm???). So, FINALLY, he’s decided he’d like to join in on something. All it took was a John Hughes Blogathon. Yes, he loves his movies too and, quite frankly, it’s a big part of the reason why we got married. So thank you, John Hughes, for helping to bring us together. For the most part. You know, on those days where we like each other. 😉
So let’s hear Mr Mutant’s quick thoughts on every John Hughes movie that he’s seen! Thank you, Mr Mutant! *KissHugCuddle*
(Artwork by Robert Wolverton)
John Hughes Mini-Reviews
Ranting, raving, racism and rape-ism wrapped up like a birthday gift in this often hilarious “bittersweet sixteen” moment.
The Breakfast Club
Five teens eloquently impart never-bettered observations for every generation’s inner high schooler… and take a toke while they’re at it.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
The essence of teenage wisdom distilled into a day’s adventure, alongside a water tower, a symphony of synthetic sickness samples and a fake Ferrari… This film IS the 80s to me.
National Lampoon’s Vacation
Clever script ruined by studio meddling.
National Lampoon’s European Vacation
Cack. This helped give American tourists a bad rep in Europe for decades.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Affectionate classic festive cheese (shitter is full!).
Dated but still have much love for this one, warts and all!
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
Top notch comedy worth repeat views – it’s like a pair of warm pillows – by that I mean welcoming and reassuring, as opposed to hairy arse!
Pure Christmas MAGIC with added sadomasochistic hi-jinks.
The essence of shit on a shiny silver disc. With added boobs.
Pretty In Pink
“Otis. I love Otis…”And even though I shouldn’t, I love this…. “Love is real… Real is love”.
The Great Outdoors
Squeak squeak squeeeeak. (Translation: gotta love John Candy but OMFG make it stop!!!)
Drillbit to the left temple. Next…???!!!???
Maid In Manhattan
Sappy but not as bad as I feared. A near love letter to Manhattan that fails to come close to matching his love letters to the Chicago area.
Home Alone 2
More pure Christmas magic from the tail end of that still-innocent era in American family film… with pigeons and skyscrapers to boot!
Some Kind Of Wonderful
Pretty In Pink in reverse – this underrated 80s high schooler that’s not quite as strong but has almost as many quotable lines… And the right ending!
Heavily dated but the comedy encapsulates the changing family and working values of the early 80s.
Baby’s Day Out
Agony for adults, but somewhat fun for children (and occasionally for your inner child).
Miracle On 34th Street
Pointless remake still keeps the magic of Christmas alive despite serious flaws in this version.
The one that made us all realise that even the mighty Hughes could lose his mojo.
She’s Having A Baby
Semi autobiographical and semi yawnsome – but did Kevin Bacon’s character here steal that yellow cab in Planes, Trains & Automobiles? Hughes fans need answers!
Reach The Rock
Tajna Nikole Tesle
For this final guest review for the John Hughes Blogathon, we have Eric of The IPC – the guy who inspired me to take on this crazy project that ended up being way bigger than I ever could have dreamed. And it’s all because I decided to pick on him one day for being a teenager in the 80s yet not watching all the 80’s John Hughes teen films! Thanks for being such a good sport through all of this Eric (but, REALLY? you REALLY didn’t like Uncle Buck?! Man…). Anyway, I adore Sixteen Candles (and I reviewed it as well too right HERE. PLUG!). So let’s see how much Eric suffered while watching the true Hughes classic Sixteen Candles. 🙂
SIXTEEN CANDLES (1984)
When Cinema Parrot Disco first approached us with the idea of this blogathon, I was hesitant about watching some teen movies from my teens that I had never had any desire at all to see but
then she coerced me threatened me made it her life’s ambition to hunt me down and provide violence to my flesh I happily volunteered and ordered up a few of these. If you read what I did on The Breakfast Club, you might remember that I didn’t care for it too much so I was NOT excited about popping in this one and sitting through it. But I did because I am a man of my word and I do what I say I will and I am a completist and all of that shit and what can I say but I actually liked this and thought it was pretty fucking funny. “Candles” was a little bit more saucy than “Club” coming in with a set of boobs, some cussin’ and even some implied sex. WHAT?
Speaking of Breakfast Club, there’s something I forgot about when I was writing my piece the other day. There’s a scene late in the movie where everyone fucking gets together and smokes some dope and bonds like they’re a bunch of hippies in some commune. After smoking some weed, the jock (Emilio Estevez) goes running around the library like he’s on PCP, screaming and dancing and he might have ripped his shirt off – I forget. But I remember watching that scene and thinking – WHAT THE FUCK? I’ve smoked some grass in my days and not ONCE have I ever had the desire to go running around anything or screaming or dancing. In fact. I’ve acted up MUCH less on The Pot than when I’ve had a shitpot worth of cocktails. READ: seven Long Island Iced Teas = running around my city naked; a hit off a 4 foot bong = sitting on the couch watching FEAST trying to remember my name.
Anyway… so SIXTEEN CANDLES is pretty funny. Really. I LOLed quite a few times. I noticed though, one thing that really bothered me and when I went looking for pics of this on the internet I can’t believe that I couldn’t find a picture of this…. somewhere after the credits, Ringwald is taking the most inappropriate test that could possibly be imagined in a public school setting but – at the top… there’s this….!
Sorry for the poor graphic arrow but what the FUCK’s a CONFIDENTAIL???? Is that the rear end of your best friend and confidante? How did the filmmakers miss this? What kind of teacher would ask that first question?? Oh well – who hasn’t seen this except for me? It’s your typical coming of age teen movie where the chick gets the guy of her dreams in the end and the dorky guy gets laid. In between there’s a bunch of zany shenanigans and all of that, including a Chinese foreign exchange student. One of the funnier lines of the movie? Chinese dude eats a quiche for the first time ever and really loves it. “How do you spell this word ‘QUICHE’?” he asks sporting a shit eating grin. “You don’t spell it son,” says the grandpa. “You eat it.” LOL HAHAHAHAHAHA
Maid In Manhattan (2002)
Directed by Wayne Wang
Story by John Hughes
Stanley Tucci (TUCCI!)
Lisa Roberts Gillan
Maddie Corman (Hey! It’s the middle sister in Some Kind Of Wonderful!)
Running time: 105 minutes
Rich politician guy falls in love with a maid when he mistakes her for a guest at the hotel where she works. Blah blah. You’ve seen this before. No surprises here.
I actually went to see this when it came out back in 2002. It was needing a review for this blogathon so I gave it a quick, half-assed re-watch the other day (only one or two Hughes movies will end up not being reviewed. That’s an AMAZING turnout. Thank you everyone!). So… What can I say about Maid In Manhattan?
Is it predictable? Oh HELL yeah! Every step of the way! Is it romantic? Meh – as much as any girly rom-com is these days. Are the characters likeable? Luckily, they actually are pretty likeable in this one, which is about all you can ask for from a lot of rom-coms. Does it feel like a John Hughes movie? Not in the slightest. The story is by him – I don’t know if there was much involvement from him beyond that. Probably not. So there’s none of the old John Hughes classic lines & characters in this movie. Don’t watch this one expecting any Hughes-ness – there’s not a trace of it to be found.
However, it’s not a horrible movie. I am NOT a “rom-com” girl. I’m a movie lover and will watch most anything, though, so I’ve seen my fair share of this genre. This is a respectable enough entry. If you DO love this genre, I think you’d like Maid In Manhattan just fine. It’s not “smart” like something like The Devil Wears Prada (I like that one. And, hey – Stanley Tucci is in that AND this! Love my Tucci! Hmm… That sounds kinky….). BUT it’s not as dumb as, say, a Kate Hudson rom-com.
Ralph Fiennes & especially Jennifer Lopez do just fine in this one – you like their characters & want them to live “happily every after”. I didn’t fully buy a romance between the two of them but, whatever. I really liked the boy playing J-Lo’s son – he’s smart and sweet & the two of them have a good relationship. There are a lot of good supporting characters and it’s a shame we don’t actually get to see more of them (including Stanley Tucci & Bob Hoskins). The only complaint would be that they made Natasha Richardson’s character a little TOO annoying (but you’re not meant to like her). The best thing about this movie is that it DOES manage to give the audience plenty of characters they’ll like and, as I said, that’s about all you can ask for from a rom-com. It’s really not too much to ask yet plenty movies in this genre don’t manage it (for instance – those damn Kate Hudson movies. Ugh!). Maid In Manhattan won’t change your life but it won’t exactly ruin your day either. I think this is one time where people have judged this movie too harshly (the IMDB rating is very low. 4.9? Too harsh). Chill, people! It’s a bit of light entertainment.
My Rating: 6/10
The Great Outdoors (1988)
Directed by Howard Deutch
Written by John Hughes
Hillary and Rebecca Gordon
Bart the Bear
Running time: 91 minutes
John Candy plans to enjoy a nice vacation with his family but his annoying in-laws show up & ruin everything.
I watched this the other day just in case I needed to review it. Then the lovely Smash reviewed it for me (she’s awesomely hilarious so you should just go & read her review instead of mine. seriously – I suck). 🙂 So I wasn’t going to review this. But then I remembered way back to December 2013…. You see, I started this blog at the end of 2012 & then kept a very anal list of EVERY movie I watched in 2013 (list HERE). Then, by December 2013, I suddenly went a bit mental & decided that I NEEDED to review every freaking one of those 2013 movies that I’d watched and I think I still had about 12 or so un-reviewed (that’s probably not a word). So I quickly cranked out 12 or so shitty reviews. So to save myself that same panic come December 2014, I better review this fucker now! (Yeah – I’ve started a 2014 list. Here it is! I’m already behind!)
I’m glad Smash loved this movie. I can see why. It’s the type of movie where, if you saw it at the time and pretty much grew up with it, you’ll have fond memories of it. I did see it years ago but only once and I didn’t remember too much beyond the waterskiing scene. Having re-watched it again for the first time in years, I’m afraid to say that it hasn’t aged that well. To compare it to other Hughes movies, I’d say it especially hasn’t aged well compared to Planes, Trains & Automobiles or Uncle Buck, both of which I think many people would still enjoy today even if they’re watching them for the very first time. The Great Outdoors was 1988 but something about it makes it feel even older than that. I’d say that even the first two Vacation films feel a bit more “fresh” than this one. (Sorry – don’t hate me! It’s still a fun movie and, as I said, I can understand why some would be very fond of it).
The characters: John Candy – loveable as always. Dan Aykroyd – fine. as Dan Aykroyd-y as always. The kids – fine, nothing special (but I did like how the twin girls were a bit like The Shining twins). The wives – fine. Annette Bening’s character was a little annoying. Umm… Oh! Lucy Deakins – She’s a cutie. I don’t know why she wasn’t in more stuff. Here’s an embarrassing confession (luckily, no one reads my reviews anyway. ha!) – I LOVE a little movie she was in called The Boy Who Could Fly. That movie ROCKS! And the boy in the title was played by Jay Underwood, who also played Bug in Uncle Buck with John Candy! There you go – six degrees of Kevin Bacon (who was in Planes, Trains & Automobiles with John Candy who was in The Great Outdoors with Annette Bening who is married to Warren Beatty who has had sex with most of Hollywood which will somehow also connect him to Kevin Bacon and where the fuck am I going with this?!).
I’m tired. The Great Outdoors is dated but John Candy is in it and we all love him so who cares. The Vacation films are better. As is Planes, Trains & Automobiles. And Uncle Buck. And Home Alone. And all of the teen John Hughes movies. But it’s better than Baby’s Day Out!
My Rating: 6/10
This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes, once again, from Rob of Movie Rob. Thanks, Rob! He liked Pretty In Pink after just recently watching it for the first time so let’s now hear his thoughts on Some Kind Of Wonderful. 🙂
“Keith… you’re losing it. And when it’s lost, all you are is a loser.” – Watts
Number of Times Seen – at least 5 times (Theater in 1987, cable, video and 12 Mar 2014)
Brief Synopsis – A poor kid who falls in love with a rich girl is helped by his tomboy friend in order to win her over. Little does he know, that she is in love with him too.
My Take on it – What would you do if you were one of the most successful filmmakers of 1980’s teen films and the studio forced you to change the ending of your movie?
You’d do what John Hughes did.. Remake the movie with slightly different characters and keep the ending you always wanted.
I use to love this movie as a teen because it showed that sometimes as a teen you don’t know what’s right for you and are willing to do whatever it takes to get what you want. And then in a moment of clarity, you realize that you made a mistake and are able to rectify that mistake.
Wouldn’t it be great if life was so simple?
That statement is both allegorical to this movie and to the situation Hughes was in himself when he chose to make this movie.
Hughes was so adamant at making everyone know about his frustration that he ever wanted to cast Molly Ringwald in the Main female part. She declined and was never asked to be in another John Hughes movie ever again.
In her stead, Hughes hired Lea Thompson who ended up falling in love with the director of the movie Howard Deutch and they have been married ever since.
Besides Thompson, this movie features Eric Stoltz and Mary Stuart Masterson (who I still have a strong crush on to this day).
The themes and situations of this movie and Pretty in Pink (1986) are so blatant that you would have to be a complete idiot to not realize that they are basically the same movie but with different happy endings.
Having only watched Pretty in Pink (1986) very recently, I actually think the opposite. In my mind, this movie is the original with the correct ending and the other is the “remake” with the wrong ending. 🙂
Bottom Line – Great “remake” of Pretty in Pink (1986) that actually has the proper ending. Excellent cast.
Rating – Globe Worthy
This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Rhetologue’s Movie Logs. Thank you for the reviews for this blogathon! Let’s see what he thought of Drillbit Taylor. 🙂
Drillbit Taylor is the tale of an ass kicking hobo that has the hallmarks of a John Hughes’ movie but in Seth Rogen’s hands. Movie Logs reviews this odd team up for Cinema Parrot Disco.
Drillbit Taylor follows three high school friends who, in finding themselves mercilessly bullied, hire a homeless man pretending to be a martial arts expert to defend them while at school.
Now, I was previously under the impression that Drillbit Taylor was the work of Seth Rogen but that’s only part of the story. It seems John Hughes pitched this story under the pseudonym Edmond Dantes, obviously a practice he was in the habit of doing when the idea was a little bit…poop. Drillbit Taylor is within a list that also includes Maid in Manhattan and the Beethoven franchise. In fact, Drillbit was Hughes’ last film before his death in 2009.
For Seth Rogen, being a part of this project was probably an amazing opportunity. His own career has been tremendously influenced by an irreverent and teen-centric world. From Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000) to this year’s Bad Neighbours, his work must have been influenced in some way by the coming of age tales of John Hughes.
Drillbit does have a whiff of the John Hughes about it with its irreverent themes, smartass kids and bizarre story. Yet it’s not particularly strong and that’s kind of the point. This is what John Hughes thinks is sellable but not worthy of his name. How strange is it that what Hughes considered poor seems awfully similar to what Seth Rogen made his name pumping out? This is the biggest problem with Drillbit Taylor – it seems at odds with itself.
The premise is pretty sweet and finds Owen Wilson as an affable wanderer that finds his opportunism and inspiring words fusing into a conscience.
Though this dynamic is at times compelling it’s never really funny…it just happens and you watch it because it’s there and that’s fine…I guess. Owen Wilson truly holds this movie together with his personal charisma. As Drillbit moves into the school to protect his wards, posing as a substitute teacher, the novelty of the story peeks out from under the banality.
However, when Drillbit starts a relationship with deluded teacher Lisa (Leslie Mann), he finds it harder to keep his old life a secret. He finds himself going head-to-head with two mindless school bullies, played by Drake and Josh’s reformed fat kid – Josh Peck – and the unflinching Alex Frost.
The lies, the economical attempts at romance, the suspense of finding ways to come to his wards’ rescue all help to make Drillbit Taylor watchable yet the balance of humour is not weighted in its favour.
With the help of the near faultless anxiousness of Leslie Mann, it gets so close. Then there’s Danny McBride and Reno 911’s Cedric Yarbrough playing a couple of homeless opportunists that are practically the 3rd baseman waving Owen in for a homer…yet somehow it doesn’t quite get there.
That might be because the movie struggles to generate empathy for the kids, who are the now generic characters referencing WASP and Jewish culture.
You know, they’re your quintessential chubby and short kid (Troy Gentile as Ryan), skinny and tall kid (Nate Hartley as Wade) and nerdy kid who probably smells of cough syrup and sea salt (David Dorfman as Emmitt). Those character profiles have served Seth Rogen well, as he’s built his whole career on them and hasn’t stopped using them yet. However, in this incarnation, it’s all too predictably placed and paced.
With Rogen writing and producing SuperBad a year earlier it also feels like a bit of a cheeky replication of characters. The kids are a little younger and we gain a little bit more back story, yet it’s ultimately covered ground. The battle rap scene is particularly cringe-worthy and is indicative of how 2000-and-late these characters seem in their contrivances.
This all helmed by director Steven Brill, who is not particularly in the business of making good films. This is the man that has brought us the likes of Little Nicky (2000) and Without a Paddle (2004), being just two of his affronts to cinema. Drillbit Taylor may be his bets movie to date yet it feels more like a weak version of an Adam McKay (Step Brothers, The Other Guys) movie, without the humour to back it up. Visually, Drillbit Taylor is nothing to write home about, and delivers some engaging sequences in all the predictable places if only to keep our attention.
“What more could you really want?”
I actually like Drillbit Taylor. It’s a fun movie even if it is pedestrian. It’s enjoyable even if it’s not particularly funny. It delivers some twisted moral but is still somehow inspirational. It achieves some poignancy without being particularly layered. Drillbit Taylor is simultaneously a terrible John Hughes movie, as it has none of the heart of his fare, and a passable Seth Rogen slam piece, as it exists to amuse and to fund Rogen’s money making habit. That’s quite the achievement.
Drillbit Taylor could never be considered a John Hughes movie in its finished form but in some respect it is the same concept as Weird Science – some nerds want to stop being bullied so employ the powers of a magical being to protect and empower them. In the case of Lisa, she was a sexy computer generated genie. In Drillbit’s case he’s a hobo who will say and do anything to make an easy buck until somehow his lies manifest in magical truth. Either way, they end result is still the same and it is that subtext that maintains the spirit of the movie despite its weaknesses.
Truly, Drillbit Taylor is the type of movie that forces you to ask yourself, on a lazy weekend when the remote is just out of reach, “what more could I possibly want?”
This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Rob of Movie Rob. 🙂 Thanks again, Rob! Let’s hear his thoughts on Pretty In Pink…
“We don’t have none of this stuff in the boy’s room! Wait a minute! We don’t got none of this… we don’t got doors on the stalls in the boy’s room, we don’t have, what is this? What’s this? We don’t have a candy machine in the boy’s room!” – Duckie
Number of Times Seen – 1 (12 Mar 2014)
Brief Synopsis – A poor high school girl is pursued romantically by a rich kid and also has a best friend who is in love with her. She must decide between the two.
My Take on it – I can’t even explain why I’ve never gotten around to seeing this one being that I am a big fan of most of John Hughes’ 80’s teen movies.
Because of this blogathon, I was inspired to finally watch it and I must admit that I somewhat regret never having seen this back when I was a teenager myself.
What’s good about that now is that Hughes was so adept at making us feel as if we were a character in the movie whether it meant spending Saturday in detention, taking a day off of school to have fun or even wanting to be part of the popular crowd that watching this movie made me feel as if I was once again back in High school in the 80’s.
I always liked the Molly Ringwald kinda girls and hated the preppy guys so I could relate. I could probably actually compare myself in some ways to Duckie since I was always friendly with a number of girls in my class who I had hoped would eventually turn into something (but never did) and ultimately felt spurned when they would one night talk about how much they hated so and so and then a few days later would be going out with him.
Never could understand that. (still don’t cause none of them ever married those guys)
John Hughes himself was very upset about the fact that the studio forced an ending of the movie on him that he didn’t want. I agree that this ending was not what I had hoped for. This actually lowers this movies rating a bit for me.
The cast for this movie is filled with numerous up and coming young brat packers; Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, John Cryer, James Spader and Gina Gershon.
Nice cameo by the Diceman, Andrew “Dice” Clay.
Bottom Line – A pretty good Hughes film that once again perfectly captures the high school mood and makes us feel like we are back in time to our teens years. Great cast of brat packers who still are around 30 years later.
Rating – Globe Worthy
**Savage Islands (aka Nate And Hayes)
This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Rob of Movie Rob! Lol! Seriously – thanks for all the reviews, Rob. 🙂 Especially of these obscure Hughes films! Now let’s see if Rob liked Savage Islands (aka Nate And Hayes)…
“You should feel flattered, missy. Not everyone gets offered to the gods.” – Ben Pease
Number of Times Seen – at least twice (on cable in the 80’s and 14 Mar 2014)
Brief Synopsis – A pirate adventure movie that takes place in the Pacific during the 1800s where two men vie for the affections of a beautiful woman.
My Take on it – This movie is one that I recall enjoying as a kid, but couldn’t remember a thing about it. Even when I watched this, nothing seemed familiar until the final scene which I did actually remember in full.
This movie is basically an attempt to create another kind of Indiana Jones type movie but fails more than miserably because none of the characters are fleshed out at all and we just don’t care about any of them no matter what they do.
The plot and script are both pointless and I’m glad that John Hughes wasn’t shunned in Hollywood after writing this drivel because then we would have missed out on his masterpieces which came out not long after this one.
Tommy Lee Jones and Michael O’Keefe are both wasted here as is your time if you actually watch this
Bottom Line – Terrible script and plot not helped in the least by talented actors Tommy Lee Jones and Michael O’Keefe and being written by the then unknown John Hughes
Rating – Razzie Worthy
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD) – If You Leave (featured in Pretty In Pink, 1986)
**I’ve just seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier. See if I’ve had to update THIS LIST of My Top Ten Superhero Movies…
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) by ME!
Directed by Jeremiah Chechik
Written by John Hughes
Running time: 97 minutes
The Griswolds decide to stay home for Christmas. And this “vacation” is the funniest by far.
I love Christmas movies. When I was younger and had time, I’d watch loads of them through all of December. It’s A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, etc etc… I don’t have the time for that these days but there are TWO Christmas movies I still try to watch every December without fail: Scrooged and, of course, this.
I don’t think I need to go into this one too much – I’d be very surprised if anyone has actually not seen it. By far the best of the “Vacation” films, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation may not be It’s A Wonderful Life but is certainly every bit as much an American Christmas Classic. What I’ve always loved about it is that it SO accurately portrays a fairly typical American Christmas with crazy family (although of course exaggerated for comedic effect). I’m not sure if this one is as successful outside of the US – I WILL admit that it’s very “American”. My British hubby has never been able to relate to this one in the same way that I can and, since living in the UK, I’ve seen that Christmas is quite different here. But that’s probably made me love this movie even more – I can put it on each December and get all warm & fuzzy remembering my Christmases as a kid.
The other thing I’ve always loved about this movie is that it’s actually REALLY EFFING FUNNY!!! Comedy isn’t exactly my favorite movie genre as there are so few that I’ve found funny over the years. But Christmas Vacation is hilarious. The mishaps with the Christmas lights, the crazy old aunt & uncle, the squirrel, the dry turkey, the cat getting fried, Danny Fucking Kaye, “it is a bit nipply out”, the snobby neighbors, the Star-Spangled Banner, Hallelujah! Holy shit! And, of course…. Cousin Eddie. How awesome is Randy Quaid in this movie? “Shitter was full!”. That’s right, James Stewart – I love you and Zuzu’s petals & your “Attaboy, Clarence” and all that but nothing beats “Shitter was full” when it comes to the all-time best Christmas movie quotes.
This movie never fails to cheer me up. I can’t imagine a Christmas going by without me watching it. It’s very American which makes me feel all nostalgic, it’s funny as hell, and it actually has a lot of heart without being annoyingly saccharine like most Christmas movies are. These are the reasons why National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a CPD Classic.
My Rating: 9/10
This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes, once again, from my BFF Eric of The IPC (although I’m thinking of finding a new BFF after this review. any takers??). 😉 Kidding, Eric! Thanks again for agreeing to watch all these movies that don’t contain blood or guts or (many) boobs! Now let’s read Eric’s thoughts on Uncle Buck… 🙂 😦
In the story of my life, one thing is certainly true: it never fails that I’ll be sitting somewhere, minding my own business, trying to do a good job and not bother anyone and I’ll get yelled at… Whether I was a kid sitting all alone in my room reading comics or playing with my toys, unsuspectingly, my mom would bust into my room and scream at me for something I didn’t know or remember that I did. Or when the co-worker across the hall gets mat at people on HER team – I get yelled at. Or old girlfriends… I’d just be sitting there, watching TV or something and BLAMMO!!! Screamed at. I’ve never understood. “Why do you bother us with this bullshit again, Isaacs???” you scream. Because, just this morning, I was sitting here in my office, eating some cantaloupe from the Hippie grocery store I go to now when I got this email from Cinema Parrot Disco. (The replies are clipped to take up less space).
CPD: WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO SEND ME UNCLE BUCK???!!!??
IPC: Uhhhh… oh shit!! I forgot!! I totally suck!
CPD: SEND IT OVER YOU STUPID FUCK!!!
IPC: Um, well, I can tr-
CPD: OR YOU’RE OUT OF FUCKING LUCK!!!!
IPC: I’ll do m-
CPD: ALL I HEAR IS “CLUCK CLUCK CLUCK”!!!!!
IPC: What ar-
CPD: JUST. GET. OFF. YOUR. ASS.
Of course, that didn’t happen…. right…. right…..
So I rented it up and dodged some meetings and gave it a watch. Now – I’ve seen this before, when it came out in the theater and I remember it being funny so I had high hopes. Oh yeah – who hasn’t seen this? There’s no point in going into a deep plot synopsis because everyone knows about this one. A loud, obnoxious, unemployed fat dude goes to babysit his brother’s kids when he has to go out of town unexpectedly. Hilarity and hi-jinks ensue!! Right?? Right??
I started it up and was not really enjoying the 1989-ness of it. The dialogue was kind of dopey and forced and the clothing and hairdos…. UGH. Oh – and McCauley Culkin…
And then… at around 30 minutes in, I started to get really bored… so I kind of stopped watching and just did some listening and twirled around in my chair looking for something in my office to entertain me…
Nope… so then I started taking notes in case I got too bored and might forget what the hell was going on.
And then that got boring so I made one last note, went outside for some fresh air and then came back resolved to finish this fucker.
And finish it I did. And I don’t think I laughed once. Not even the Uncle Buck dancing part. The two youngest kids were too sappy and honey drippy cutesy, Uncle Buck was an obnoxious burden of a man, I HATED the teenager, I hated “Bug” and I hated the big warm’n-happy ending. I was slightly amused again when he had to go piss at the elementary school and he was to big for the urinals but that passed quickly. I think I liked this about as much as Zoe liked Ferris… which is Not Much. It’s not SHITFEST worthy but…. YEESH what a bore. Oh well….
THANKS FOR HAVING ME OVER ALL THOSE TIMES MUTANT!! Your blogathon has been EPIC!!
P.S. In the opening, if you can’t read my shitty handwriting… WHY was the dog in the closed clothes dryer when the kids got home from school???? Is that where he sleeps during the day?? Does he see the kids off to school and then slip into the laundry room, open the dryer with his finger and thumb and then close it when he’s in???
Also – if Uncle Buck has to microwave Maizy’s socks because he can’t open the washing machine… couldn’t he just stick them in the dryer?? Even the dog can open the dryer.
P.P.S. In that scene where Culkin is looking through the mail slot trying to see who’s ringing the bell and he sees those three dudes looking back at him. Is that supposed to be some reference to or foreshadowing for that Home Alone movie?
**Dedicated to Brian.
By artist Steve Thomas. Here’s Weird Science & The Breakfast Club – you can see these & a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off one at the following link: The Art Of Steve Thomas
**Check out my post “Working With Numpties: Episode 1” HERE.
This is an awesome blog! Have you ever wanted to have a moan about stupid people?? Get your frustrations out on this blog! Anyone can join in. For more info, go talk to THIS GUY. 🙂
This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Smash of Smashing Through Life!. Thanks for being a part of this blogathon, Smash! Now let’s see what she thinks of The Great Outdoors. 🙂
The Great Outdoors
This is a great movie. Straight up, I can’t put it any simpler than that. This is one of those movies that makes me feel all warm and gooey inside because of the overflowing childhood nostalgia that comes with every viewing. It’s the kind of movie I watched once and then loved it so much that I re-watched it hundreds of times over the course of my childhood. And I’ll probably watch it another couple hundred times in the years to come.
It’s summertime, and that means family vacation for the Ripleys. Chet Ripley is excited to take his wife and their two boys vacationing at a lake resort in Wisconsin for some much needed family bonding. Unfortunately for Chet, his sister-in-law and her obnoxious husband show up at the cottage unexpectedly and totally horn in on his vacation. And they’ve got their creepy twin girls in tow, too. Like all family vacations there are ups and downs, so a whole bunch of petty bickering accompanies all of the ooey gooey sappy family moments to even things out. But in the end, they all have an unforgettable summer together. I’m not going to waste too much time on plot because I’m sure most of you are familiar with this one, so that’s the gist of it.
There are so many memorable scenes in this movie:
– The raccoons raiding the garbage bins chattering to each other about how hotdogs are made up of lips and assholes
– The grizzly bears climbing all over the cars because Chet put out candy bars to attract them
– The water skiing scene, c’mon. It’s John Candy on water skiis. Who can resist that! “You bastard! You bastard!”
– The guy that gets struck by lightening so many times that he’s a stuttering mess
– The epic steak eating challenge at the local bar, old 96’er a 96 ounce steak… and he does it! He’s got the free t-shirt to show for it
– When the bat gets trapped in the cottage and the men have to try and catch it, all bundled up in homemade armour
– When the teenager rubs his pool cue unknowingly between a cute girl’s legs and somehow it leads to a passionate summer romance
– And who could forget, the bald-headed bear who eventually becomes a bald-assed bear
I mean, this is a really freaking memorable movie. Even that great dance sequence that plays to the tune of Wilson Pickett’s Land of a 1000 Dances during the end credits, man I love that shit. Because of that dance sequence, this is probably one of the only movies that I actually watch all the way through the end credits. And I dance along with it too, because I have to. The power of Aykroyd compels me.
John Candy is/was a Canadian National Treasure. I mean, who doesn’t love John Candy to pieces? Assholes, that’s who. And Dan Aykroyd ain’t no slouch either. The guy is a freaking Blues Brother after all (and also Canadian, might I remind you.) It’s a double whammy of comedic awesomeness from two of the best Canucks to ever make their mark on the silver screen.
The characters are all very relatable, the story moves along at that wonderful never-a-dull-moment pace, and the by the end of you almost feel like you’ve been on the vacation too. Overall, The Great Outdoors is a really fun viewing experience and has endless re-watchability. If you haven’t yet seen this movie, then pop it on one rainy hungover afternoon this coming summer. It’ll be the perfect way to spend your day, I promise.
This guest review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Anna of Film Grimoire. Thanks for the reviews, Anna! Let’s see what she has to say about Baby’s Day Out. 🙂
John Hughes Blogathon: Baby’s Day Out (1994)
I chose this film for this amazing John Hughes blogathon because my partner watched this film over and over again as a child and still insists, to this day, that it’s one of the best childhood films ever. I watched it with him, and attempted to see it through the eyes of a child.
Baby’s Day Out (1994) follows the exploits of Baby Bink who is captured and ransomed by three criminal buffoons, one of whom is played by Joe Mantegna (think Fat Tony from The Simpsons). However, Baby Bink is much smarter than the three crims assume and evades capture in various locations that feature in his favourite book. The film is constructed around these various locations and contains a whole bunch of slapstick humour. John Hughes both wrote and produced this film.
In terms of the cast, Lara Flynn Boyle plays Baby Bink’s worried mother with a refined sense of superiority. Cynthia Nixon plays the baby’s nanny (with a bad British accent) who looks after him and spends time with him, often whilst reading his favourite book. Joe Mantegna is great as the leader of the three criminal idiots, and his delivery of lines is sometimes hilarious. Case in point, “That little doo-doo machine is my retirement money”. Imagine that line in Fat Tony’s mafia voice from The Simpsons. Instant hilarity. His acting is good, and is an appropriate level of villainous for kids to both enjoy and feel mildly threatened by.
It’s easy for an adult watching a kids film to say, “This is stupid and predictable”. Initially I felt that way, but then I attempted to see it through the eyes of a child under eight (because I’m assuming this is the intended audience). The dialogue is predictable, but it’s a kids film – it’s not for cynical adults. I think kids would enjoy it a lot. Kids have much more of a robust suspension of disbelief than adults, so I think they would find humour in the crazy exploits that this adventurous baby gets up to. For me, I was constantly worried the baby was going to fall off a building and harm itself. Kids would probably also find the chase sequences thrilling and funny.
I mentioned slapstick humour – this film has at least four ‘kick in the nuts’ jokes, and one instance of Joe Mantegna’s nads being set on fire for an extended period of time. Kids respond well to slapstick comedy, at least I know I did. There are also lots of poop jokes, which are always hilarious regardless of your age. During these comedic moments, the baby almost acts as the laugh track so the audience can know what’s funny. Whenever something comedic happens, the baby’s cheerful laughter and giggling can be heard.
I have to confess that I fell asleep once during the construction site scene. I almost feel sorry for any mum or dad who took their kids to see this in the cinemas because it must have been very tedious for them. To the baby’s credit, he is very clever and has a knack for survival. In my adult brain, I wanted to discuss the themes of class division and privilege that this film displays. But kids don’t care about that stuff as long as people are getting kicked in the junk. Ultimately, Baby’s Day Out is a funny film for kids, but not so much for adults.
Kid rating: 4/5
Adult rating: 2/5
Watch the trailer here.
This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Zoe of The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger. Thanks for the reviews, Zoe! Zoe famously hated Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – Let’s see what she thought of National Lampoon’s Vacation. 🙂
“Why aren’t we flying? Because getting there is half the fun. You know that.”
– Clark Griswold
The Griswold family is destined to take a trip, but before it begins it even appears doomed. For one, their new car never arrived, and they had to settle for a Wagon Queen Family Truckster. Instead of the new sleek sportier station wagon, they get a hunk of junk. Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) is angry with her husband Clark (Chevy Chase) for having settled for the car as well as the fact that he insists they do not fly from Chicago to Los Angeles to the amusement park Walley World. He says it will be great bonding time. Their kids, Rusty (Anthony Michael Hall) and Audrey (Dana Barron), are not thrilled with the prospect of driving cross country with the family.
“Ed, I’m not your average everyday fool. Now I want my blue sports wagon and if you can’t get it I’m gonna take my business elsewhere! Where’s my old car?”
– Clark Griswold
However, it seems as though from the get go that things are just not going to work out for the family on their trip. They are plagued with numerous mishaps and problems pop up. Robbed, vandalised and falling asleep behind the wheel results in the family becoming a little demotivated. Clark is especially starting to feel the need for a good vacation but having Murphy perch on your shoulder. On the road, though, he sees a hot young blonde (Christie Brinkley) who seems to be interested and flirts back, at any rate. Clark flirts with her too, seemingly uncaring about his wife riding alongside him. The trip does not improve when they stop ever in Kansas to visit with Ellen’s cousin Catherine (Miriam Flynn) and her insane brood and mostly useless husband Eddie (Randy Quaid). It seems that Eddie is out of work, Catherine is pregnant again, and pretty soon they force the Griswolds to take Aunt Edna (Imogene Coca) with them to drop at her son’s home in Phoenix. As though this was not bad though, her vicious dog Dinky tags along too.
The trip is truly not improving with the addition of Aunt Edna. If anything, she seems to be aggravating things quite severely. Clark sees the hot Ferrari driver again and hits on her some more and the family’s camping fails dreadfully. Clark eventually ends up killing the ever-violent Dinky when he forgets to put the dog in the car and lets it stay tied to the bumper. Mishap after mishap seems destined to plague the family, and Clark is getting edgier and edgier. He just wants his family time and a lovely vacation, something they all need, and is rapidly getting to the place that he will go to any lengths to get there. Aunt Edna proves to be a handful, and soon a wrong turn leads to the car taking quite the leap of faith and gets excessively damaged. Clark gets hustled for all his money and the trip is really hitting a serious low. It seems that the worst has already come, but more often and not he is proven wrong.
“Hey Knucklehead, set us up with four Red Eyes will ya?”
– Clark Griswold
Will the Griswolds ever get to Walley World? What will Clark do about the hot Ferrari blonde? How are the kids dealing with the awful vacation that they have been subjected to? How much more of Clark’s lunacy can Ellen deal with before she is sick and tired of him? What is the family to do seeing as they are so low on cash and in a dilapidated and dying car?
“Oh spare me, Clark, I know your brand of family fun. Tomorrow you’ll probably kill the desk clerk, hold up a McDonald’s, and drive us 1000 miles out of the way to see the world’s largest pile of mud!”
– Ellen Griswold
I will score this a 7/10. There were good things and there were bad things and there were plenty of 80s based things, but overall I didn’t hate this, but will certainly not be rushing to see it again. If Clark was my husband, I would have kicked his ass ages ago for his ridiculous behaviour with the blonde Ferrari girl. Then, point two, stopping by at the family in Kansas was a disastrous idea, that family was just all broken and gross and wrong (yes, me judging). Aunt Edna was a real pain, and had some slight (though at times forced) humour to add to the entire ordeal. There were plenty things that happened along the lines of the vacation that would have had me throw in the towel, and really, they should have just flown. He got hustled in dodgy downtown areas and tagged and all, though he could definitely open a school to teach you how to drive in your sleep! I must say that this movie has not aged the best of all time but it was not so bad that you were put off of watching it, though I must confess it felt longer than it was. This was my first viewing of it and it was pretty decent, truly. There were bits that were quite funny, though I have to say Clark was such a chop. He did, however, carry much of the movie for me. Seeing a young Eugene Levy was also entertaining for me, no matter how short his appearance was. Have I redeemed myself in your eyes somewhat, T9M? 😛