REVIEW: Vacation [2015]

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“I’m as hard as a faucet right now” I smelled trouble as soon as Ed Helms was cast in Vacation as the now father-of-two Rusty Griswold. While the perfect surrogate for Chevy Chase‘s bumbling Clark in a remake of the original National Lampoon’s Vacation, he’s a far cry from the character he’s meant to play […]

REVIEW: National Lampoon’s Vacation [1983]

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“Nothing worthwhile is easy. You know that.” You can’t blame the magazine for thinking movie-making was going to be easy after the success of National Lampoon’s Animal House. But does anyone really remember its two follow-ups National Lampoon’s Movie Madness and National Lampoon’s Class Reunion? I didn’t think so. Something about the latter must have […]

REVIEW: Game Changers [2015]

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“That’s not how you use that card” Can a film about twenty-eight year olds be considered a coming-of-age story? I guess when the two men in question were professional gamers throughout their teens it can because that’s exactly what Robert Imbs‘ Game Changers is. And if we really thought about it, that age is a […]

REVIEW: Trainwreck [2015]

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“Monogamy isn’t realistic” Here I thought I could blame the editor for why Judd Apatow‘s films have been lackluster and overlong since The 40-Year-Old Virgin only to discover his latest Trainwreck is the first of his theatrical quintet not in part handled by Brent White. Instead we have William Kerr, Peck Prior, and Paul Zucker: […]

REVIEW: Mr. & Mrs. Smith [2005]

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“Right. Five or six years.” It was the aggressive nature of the stories told to screenwriter Simon Kinberg by friends in couples therapy that inspired Mr. & Mrs. Smith—his MFA thesis turned half billion dollar moneymaker at the box office. The leap from the tit for tat dynamic between bickering spouses to secret lives is […]

REVIEW: La cage aux folles [1978]

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“Procreation is wearing you out” The fact The Birdcage proves an almost shot for shot remake thirty years later is a testament to La cage aux folles‘ quartet of writers if not to the original stage play’s creator Jean Poiret alone. This is how funny, resonate, and timeless the material remains—enough to even provide the […]

REVIEW: Ted 2 [2015]

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“Fresh cakes” Something Steve Harvey said on a recent episode of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” really struck me: “Tragedy strikes. I got news for you—we have the jokes that night. We know that we can’t bring this to the public yet cause we’ll get hammered. But in a room alone, when it’s just us, […]

REVIEW: Unexpected [2015]

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“I don’t know what’s going on with the bananas at Trader Joe’s right now” Yes Kris Swanberg‘s Unexpected revolves around two surprise pregnancies and the mothers-to-be reacting to brand new futures set before them. However, it doesn’t use that premise to build a tower of clichés for us to watch topple to the ground in […]

REVIEW: Inside Out [2015]

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“I call it the Happy Core Memory Development Program” The simplest ideas really are the greatest and Pixar’s made a legacy built on just such an ideal. They brought toys to life as living companions caring for our children. They humanized the monsters in our closets, conjured a spark of love in the circuitry of […]

REVIEW: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl [2015]

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“Respect the research” Alfonso Gomez-Rejon‘s Me and Earl and the Dying Girl can be described as The Fault in Our Stars meets Be Kind Rewind. While the correlation to the latter is nearly identical with both comically parodying cinematic greats (albeit of differing oeuvres), the former hits as a contrast despite similar subject matter. Whereas […]

REVIEW: Kung Fury [2015]

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“Yeah. That’s my bicep.” After earning three times its goal on Kickstarter, the thirty-minute short Kung Fury went into production in hopes of melting minds with Heavy Metal synth ballads and gratuitous gore like only the 80s could provide. The brainchild of Swedish commercial and music video director David Sandberg, this opus to over-the-top cheesy […]