Movie Review: Vacation (2015) – The Laugh Out Loud Moments Are Gone

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The Griswold family was a staple of my childhood. Watching Chevy Chase as everyman Clark Griswold, as he took his family on European vacations, family vacations, Christmas vacations and even a Vegas vacation was one of my first exposures to comedy. So I was thrilled when they decided to revamp the series, focusing on Clark’s now adult son Rusty. I was so excited. I was excited like that time I got flowers at work on Valentine’s Day.

And much like that time, it ended in disappointment. Just like those flowers, this movie was not for me.

Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) is a married father of two, who is planning a family trip from Chicago to California’s Walley World for Memorial Day Weekend. His goal is to fix the first vacation from the original family vacation movie, where they wound up at Wally World only to learn it was closed. They break the fourth wall early on for skeptical audiences.

“You want to redo your vacation?” asks wife Debbie (Christina Applegate). “My vacation had a boy and a girl,” Rusty retorts. “This one has two boys. And I’m sure there will be plenty of other differences.” That was cute, but then they just wouldn’t stop! “I’ve never heard of the original vacation,” says Rusty’s son James (Skyler Gisondo). “It doesn’t matter,” insists Dad. “The new vacation will stand on its own.”

We get it, ok. Let it go. Breaking the fourth wall requires surgeon like precision, not bashing us over the head with it over and over again.

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Of course, the road trip is filled with peril and calamity. That’s where the similarities end, because this time, the laugh out loud moments are gone, replaced with fist fights and curse words. When someone isn’t swearing or fighting, it’s just dead air, like the movie was directed by a poorly maintained radio station.

Rusty Griswold never had a good vacation, not even once. The filmmakers could have seized on this as the overwhelming theme of the movie. Instead, they insisted on referencing the old movie to bring back shades of nostalgia to an audience who knew and loved the originals.

The problem is this movie is nothing like the originals. Not even the poorly done Vegas vacation, which was a shameless cash grab. That’s right, this movie doesn’t even compare to the worst of the franchise. I felt like they wrote a basic outline of the script, and then told the actors to improv. The problem was that Ed Helms is the only one who knows anything about improv and even he didn’t bring it in this movie.

If you want to revel in nostalgia, I highly recommend watching the other family vacation movies. Those actually provided the ability to laugh, even at incredibly inappropriate times (like the whole dog getting leashed to the rear bumper and forgotten). Chevy Chase made Clark Griswold both likeable and annoying in one fell swoop. I thought Ed Helms would be able to do the same for Rusty, but honestly, it was an outright fail.

WE GAVE IT: 2 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

2 Stars

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The First Red Band Trailer For The New ‘Vacation’ Film Has Been Released! (VIDEO)

We have a special treat for you all this Friday. The red band trailer for the Vacation reboot has been released, and it’s actually not that bad.

One thing you’ll notice right away are the references to the original film. The trailer even begins with footage from the original 1983 comedy. And then we jump straight into raunchy town, which makes sense considering this is the red band trailer.

Like always, we’re not going to ruin the trailer by telling you everything that happens inside of it. Just watch it for yourself and be surprised.

We will tell you that this film is filled with some pretty big names in the comedy game. You have Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann, Charlie Day, Nick Kroll and Keegan-Michael Key. With a cast like that, you have to expect a lot of laughs.

And the fact that the studio decided to release this film in the middle of summer proves they are confident in this project. You can catch Vacation in theaters July 29, 2015.

Watch the trailer below…

 

We might have also found the Official Movie Poster!

Vacation (2015) Movie Poster (maybe…)

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The ‘Vacation’ Reboot Will Be Coming To A Theater Near You Sooner Than You Think!

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Excited for the reboot of the classic comedy franchise? We have some good news for you. Warner Bros. is moving the release date from October to the prime summer date of July 31.

This announcement proves the studio has high hopes for the film, which stars Ed Helms, Leslie Mann, Chris Hemsworth, Christina Applegate, and Charlie Day. Original cast members Beverly D’Angelo and Chevy Chase will be making brief appearances in the movie.

Ed Helms has the lead role as Rusty Griswold, the now grown son of Clark and Ellen Griswold. Christina Applegate will be playing his wife, and Leslie Mann co-stars as Rusty’s sister, Audrey Griswold.

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This film has been described as both a reboot and a sequel to National Lampoon’s Vacation. The IMDb page for the reboot reveals Rusty will be taking his own family on vacation.

“Rusty Griswold takes his own family on a road trip to “Walley World” in order to spice things up with his wife and reconnect with his sons.”

John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein will share credits for directing and writing the movie.

Like we mentioned above, this new release date proves everyone involved with this project is confident this thing will be a massive hit.

Movie Review: Hot Tub Time Machine 2 – Everything The First Movie Did Right, This One Did Wrong

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The first Hot Tub Time Machine surprised me. I expected it to be stupid, and I’ll admit it was, but there was also a strange kind of genius that made it enjoyable. The over the top film was almost a parody, and the actors were in on the joke. So when the first one succeeded, I knew it was only a matter of time until we saw a sequel.

We meet our heroes 10 years after the original Hot Tub. They’re all living lives of immense wealth and success, but they’re feeling like something is missing. One thing that’s missing for sure is John Cusack, who wasn’t available for the sequel. So they shoehorned in Adam Scott, playing Cusack’s kid. Losing the closet thing to a hero the original film had was extremely damaging, resulting in a movie that’s mainly about sidekicks. None of the guys in this one had the chops to play a hero.

The entire plot focuses on Lou getting shot in the penis. Yes, I wrote that right. After Lou takes a bullet to the junk, the entire crew goes back to the time machine to find the would-be assassin. This time, they head on out to the future, 2025 and recycle the same jokes from the past.

Everything the first movie did right, this one did wrong. One of the best parts of the first film was the focus on the 1980s, which the movie’s demographic grew up in. The nostalgia of the ridiculous clothes and haircuts was enough to make most laugh out loud. This one takes us to a 2025 where the only thing that shows us it’s the future is self driving cars, and men wearing paisley.

The future looks bleak.

The gags are sick, homophobic and uncomfortable for everyone involved. They lack the humor of the original movie and instead, just focus on a lot of butt sex and gay jokes, along with a bride inexplicably turning into a dominatrix on her wedding day.

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It felt like a bunch of really unfunny Saturday Night Live sketches strung together at the last minute, resulting in a confusing, disjointed plot that really didn’t have the same level of silly fun as the original.

The best word to describe this movie is ‘desperate’. It was a shameless cash grab, and it shows in the script. It’s like they created a check-off list of things that were funny in the first movie, and decided to cram them into this script with no thought whatsoever for the end product.

All the charm of the first movie has been sucked out and instead, turned into a recycled jumbled mess with none of the laugh out loud moments you’d expect from a movie about a Hot Tub that’s a time machine. It’s disappointing and depressing and it feels like something is missing.

I think that something is John Cusack. He’s the one that really brought the story together in the first movie. The other characters, while funny, are not leading men. They’re comic relief. When the comedy is lacking, there’s no need for it.

All in all, I’d like to go back in time and warn myself not to watch this. It sullied my impression of the original. I think it’s time to drain this hot tub.

WE GAVE IT: 2 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

2 Stars

 

 

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Hot Tub Time Machine 2 – Red Band Trailer Release.

vaqKC31TVNiyRl_largeHollywood is a place where fans do the talking, and that talking is done with their wallets. The original movie, which was released in 2010, cost $36,000,000 to produce and brought in just over $61 million worldwide. That is a good return on investment; so good that a sequel was in order.

John Cusack doesn’t take the trip with the rest of the gang but the remaining cast returns for another run. This movie picks up where the last one left off. This is the Harold and Kumar of this Generation.

[toggle title=”OFFICIAL MOVIE SYNOPSIS”]When Lou (Corddry) finds himself in trouble, Nick (Craig Robinson) and Jacob (Clark Duke) fire up the hot tub time machine in an attempt to get back to the past. But they inadvertently land in the future. Now they have to alter the future in order to save the past… which is really the present[/toggle]

Clark Duke (who plays Jacob) debuted the red band trailer at Comic Con this week and it’s now hit the web. The movie is scheduled to be released on December 26th.

Watch below.

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