Sunday, August 30, 2015


   I am an ardent fan of the cinematic arts. Although I have certain genre preferences, I don’t let that stifle my curiosity and close myself to different flavors of entertainment. That said...I am a huge fan of science fiction, super hero and action movies! Please visit my other blog The Boxed Office for reviews, exclusively, on these types of movies.

The Cast: 

   Ed Helms has always been moderately funny to me. In this film, I think the real power of it comes from the writing which compliments Helm’s performance to enhance his “funny.” On the other side, I was surprised at how well he hit the dramatic notes here (what little there were), given how silly the film was designed to be.

   Christina Applegate is always a pleasure to look at and again, the script helped to elevate the relevance of her role, and she took full advantage of this. I think she had an easier time and a more stable performance not having to be overtly silly but instead written as a serious pillar much of the calamity happens around.

   Skyler Gisondo was very good in this and played well to the sympathies of the audience being a normal kid with eclectic proclivities stuck in a family plagued by calamity, much of which comes from the failed machinations of his father. That said, the reverse-bully element introduced by the performance of Steele Stebbins make for some laugh-out-loud moments in the film.

The Plot:  

   The Griswold’s are your typical American family (not) that take a vacation every year to keep the bonds of family strong (such as they are). Rusty Griswold has been doing this since he was a child (and the original “Vacation” film) and it has become family tradition.

   After overhearing how his wife Debbie has never liked the vacations they have been on, and confirming this by taking a closer look at the family vacation pictures, Rusty decides to do something different this year….and plans to revisit the place that started his tradition of vacations; Walley World.

   What follows is sad, tragic, refreshing, hopeful, and absolutely hilarious.

The Verdict: 

   I don’t usually go the movies to watch comedy films. There is just something about them that never has me feeling like my money was well spent paying to see them. I’m happy to say that this film did not give me that feeling.

    I’ll just cut to the “chase” and say that this film had me in tears…from laughing so hard. There are moments when I just laugh, and then there are moments when laugh, and laugh, and as my brain fully develops what I saw to get me laughing….I laugh some more. Yeah…it’s that funny.

   Perhaps my clue above already gave away the fact that as a viewer of the original film that came out in 1983, it was very nice to see Chevy Chase make an appearance in his original role as Clark Griswold (Rusty’s father)…and playing the role just as he did back in 1983.

  I was also surprised to see Chris Hemsworth. Although I don’t view him as a comedic actor, as I have already mentioned, the script really brought out the best in the cast and Hemsworth, although not used in a way of trying to be “funny,” had a scene in the film that nearly had me rolling on the floor…literally.


   If you are into comedy films (and I am usually not), take a look at this film and enjoy yourself. Not being my usual flavor, this film nevertheless had three and a half cinnamon sticks, in my cup of tea, in stitches.

Rating 3.5 / 5

   P.S. The original theme song makes an appearance in the film…and it’s just as catchy now as it was in 1983.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Proud, The Stubborn, and The Foolish.

   I am wrong.

   Those are three simple words that have some people so terrorized that they will not say them for any reason. All the money in the world, all the gold in China, all the eggs in the basket just can’t get some people to make such a simple admission…and experience growth from the wisdom of such knowledge.

   Pride isn’t always bad (or so we think), but it certainly can have it’s bad side. You might hear people say they aren’t too proud to beg, borrow, or steal for what they want. Strangely enough some of those same people would be too proud to make the simple admission that they are wrong in their position or point. 

   In this we see the prideful practice of being stubborn. I very much try to exercise good judgment when it comes to pride, but stubbornness is a bit more of a struggle for me. I have a hard time letting things go, especially when I know I’m right. But knowing you’re right doesn’t automatically mean the other side will acknowledge they are wrong…and there is a great explanation for that when we examine what it means to be stubborn:

adjective: stubborn
1 having or showing dogged determination not to change one's attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so.

   The part of the definition that really raises my eyebrow is “especially in spite of good arguments or reasons”….see, that’s the part where you are right, but your opposition just doesn’t care.

   Recently I have been spending my time in pointless debates about trivial stuff. I have found that there are those that love to engage in such pursuits, but have no talent for it because they are so prideful and stubborn. This combination leads to things being said that are just absolutely ridiculous. Enter the foolish.

   See….when one becomes unreasonable and irrational, because they are too proud to admit, and too stubborn to relent, they have no other recourse but to become downright foolish. It really makes no sense to me…but as I have often said so many times on this blog, humanity never ceases to amaze me (a somewhat disturbing notion when I really think about it).

   I titled this post as if I were going to talk about three separate categories of people. The truth is people are going to be who they are and won’t stop being human, until they are not. There will always be those that are too prideful to realize that their stubbornness is making a fool out of them.

   I suppose with this knowledge, all I can do is contemplate the merits of dealing with such people. I mean…if you take the time to argue with a fool, who watching can really tell which one is which…?