The Crow Reborn

This film has been in pre production for years, to the point where those who were interested, have probably lost any curiosity in seeing it come to the big screen.

We already have the grand 1994 original, along with the less than impressive three sequels which seem to get very little praise when compared to the Alex Pryos’ film… while “City of Angels” may have its moments of decency or are at least tolerable, “Salvation” & “Wicked Prayer” are barely watchable.

Although I’m intrigued at the idea of Nick Cave writing the script, as the man does seem to not only produce great music, but he has also made films worthy of our time.

There have been many people attached when it comes to onscreen talent, who have left the project for various reasons. So, let’s see if the current crop stay on board.

At the current time, this seems more of a talking point than an actuality, so we will see if and when this comes to be. Maybe this will be among the rare remakes which come close or equal the original. We shall have to wait and see. At the moment I will recommend that you don’t hold your breath, as the makers of this film seem to be taking their time.

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National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) [review]

The great thing about the vacation films is you don’t need to have seen any of the other films in the series to enjoy any of them as a standalone film.

This is a fun Christmas film that makes you laugh for all the floors of the characters and the tensions that come with the expectations of the Christmas season.

Even when you can see the jokes coming a mile away; the fun of seeing the joke building and the reactions of the characters is a pleasure to behold. Although this may not be the funniest of the series, it keeps you entertained for an hour and a half, and like the “European Vacation” this does seem tamer than “Vacation”. The added characters that are the neighbours don’t hit the mark in which I presumed the filmmakers assume they would. They are just a mild distraction between scenes with the Griswold family. Almost as if they’re there merely to give us a moment of relief from the family situation.

Instead of this being a road trip travelling through America or Europe, this is a stay at home vacation in which the tension builds with the extended family coming to stay, which grows nicely over the cause of the film, which gives us the Clark (Chevy Chase) outburst that is a must in this series. We get the slightest of hints of the way of Clark and Ellen’s upbringings in passing comments and quick conversations. Not to say that this explains a lot about either of them, but it’s nice to see more of who they are. We also have Eddie and Catherine returning, after originally seeing them in “Vacation”, this time we get to see more of who they are, more than we experienced in the original film… at least in amount of screen time.

Like any film written by John Hughes, there is a look at elements of life, this time around it is how the work place and management treat those who work for them. All of which is done in the comedic style, as you’d expect from such a film. This is a nice way to end the John Hughes involvement of the series and a grand way to spend at Christmas hour and a half; not caring about what some presume to be the important aspects of the season. Sit back and enjoy… It may not be hilarious, but it will make you smile and laugh.

The X-Files new season coming soon

For those who like the series like I do, we now have the eleventh season to look forward to, in that we now know when it will be aired, which is the start of January 2018. By the looks of it, we will be getting a ten episode season, which of course is a longer season than we got with the tenth.

I’m glad to see that we’re getting a new season, I enjoyed more of the previous season than I didn’t enjoy. My only hope is that we don’t end up continuing the series even when it has run out of steam when it comes to good ideas and stories.

For now we can look forward to the possibilities of what could be. Going on what the tenth season, this is one of the better series to be revived and enjoyed by those of us who were there the first time around. But I think we all presumed that with the cliff-hanger of the last season, we would sooner or later find ourselves with an eleventh or at least have an explanation in some form, for the way it ended. At least this will be one reason to look forward to January.

National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985) [review]

While it could be said that this is not much more than a remake of the first film, but there is enough to makes us go along with the film and enjoy all that it has to offer. The fact that we have the Griswold family out of their own culture and seemingly unaware of their own faults (although they can see each others) as they travel through Europe and presume themselves to be educated enough to enjoy what they’re experiencing. We laugh at, not only their lack of understanding the langue and culture, but their lack of ability to appreciate what they’re experiencing with each other… for the majority of the film that is.

In a way, it is feels like they are going through the motions to say they have done it, rather than experience the pleasure of what is on offer as they travel through each country. Although this film does not have the destination such as the first film had in its final moments, the whole film is the journey and destination. Which, like the previous film brings out the best and the worst in the family; making this fun, maybe not as much as the first, but it still makes us laugh and cringe at the idea of what is happening. As we know in the back of our minds, there is something of ourselves in these characters… if we like to admit it or not.

There is a slight feeling that this is aimed a little more at a family audience than the original film. The langue seems a little tamer and there doesn’t seem to be the chance of certain characters having outbursts in the way we saw in the previous film. Although, I presume this is due, not only to the company wanting to make more money, but the fact that we have a different director. The choice of director of course will have been partly due to the company wanting a lower rating for… the already mentioned to make more money. Along with showing a little less flesh; although there is some, but this time it feels a little less sexy.

It was great to see the filmmakers looking outside their own country, making fun of not only the people of their own country, but those they were visiting… although this is all very much clichés of the people and what some characters may think of where they’ve found themselves.

This, just as much as the original, would be a completely different film if made today, if it were to involve modern day technology. People would be able to find information and make calls which were much harder to do in 1985. But I think that’s what makes the film all the more entertaining, having less ease than we have now, and actually having to deal with the problems in ways that were at hand.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) & new trilogy

This is one film I am looking forward to seeing this year. Although I was disappointed with “The Force Awakens” but loved “Rogue One” a lot more than I was expecting to. Due to my disappointment with “The Force Awakens” I had lowered my expectations anything which would follow in the “Star Wars” universe. But the stand alone story and the watching of the “The Last Jedi” trailer I am truly on board for what is to come.

I have been trying to avoid majority of the talk on and off of the net, in the hope that I would not be fed up of hearing about it by the time it finally hit the big screen. Only now have I chosen to mention it here on this page.

While we wait for “The Last Jedi” to be upon us in the cinemas, we find ourselves with information that there’s to be another trilogy. Which is more than I grew up believing there were originally planned, and so far I’m not sure if this is good news or not. The idea that the series was a nine episode story suited me fine. So, this sounds nothing more than a money grab… no surprise there. Plus, the stand alone stories could possibly be considered nothing more than a money grab also… but, as I’ve said, I very much enjoyed “Rogue One”

Maybe Disney paid more than they’re seeing return in the films which have and are being put out when it comes to Lucasfilms. Although the idea of Rian Johnson being involved with another trilogy after the current one, does ease the notion of what we could possibly be getting, as I have enjoyed what I have seen of his work so far.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, the main focus as the moment is “The Last Jedi” and refuse to let the hype of any films in the “Star Wars” universe consumes my attention until we come much closer to their release dates.

National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) [review]

This is a classic which never seems to lose its brilliance and is as entertaining as it was back when it was released back in 1983. Which I think is due to the fact that we all know people like this, and probably feel this way about our own families, having to be stuck with them on holiday. Especially when it comes to being stuck in the confined space such as a car and when it comes to somebody who insists on having fun (their version of fun) while staying on what have planned.

The misfortunes of the Griswold family, and at moments extended family is one of being in situations which they have put themselves in, with the added bonus of none of it going the way it should… or maybe if certain people were smarter and did not insist on having the holiday the way they envisioned it. The pressure which is put upon the family heightens this to the point where it is ridicules and entertains. We connect with the characters while relieved that it’s not ourselves in the situation, but somebody we can watch and enjoy.

There are many great scenes in this film which lend themselves to absolute joy, fun and many a laugh. In a way, this is the journey, rather than the destination which matters, tearing a family apart and seeing what makes each of them tick and why they tolerate each other.

This film has a great ending which brings the film to a grand conclusion, without setting itself up for a sequel… although we do get one… in fact more than one. But it is very much has a standalone feel to it. It is a film which deserves our attention and gives us an hour and a half of enjoyment without needing to offend or shock.

There is a down to earth feeling about this film which leaves us to consider that we don’t need all the modern day technology. If this were made today, I’m sure there would be multiple versions of technology would find a way to get around some of the situations of the film in a way that would lessen what makes this as fantastic as it is.

The soundtrack to this film is a pleasure to hear, one which suits the film perfectly and gives a summer, joyous feel on repeat viewing. Which I have done many times over the years.

The Secret of My Succe$s (1987) [review]

This may not be one of the big magnificent films to come out of Hollywood when it comes to being original or high art; but it is something to be enjoyed for all the right reasons of being fun and entertaining.

Taking a light hearted look at the 80s greed and what people will do to get where and what they want… and how the new comer, inexperienced are thought of when it comes to trying to prove themselves. Compared to those who are all too aware of what it takes to get places, treading on certain people purely because they can.

Along with those in the mail room who are weary of those they work for, while they try to do no more than pay their bill, thinking little of those in suits, who think of nobody but themselves. Of course this is not a film which will tax the brain, nor is it trying to, but it offers the ideas in a ways that are entertaining. We enjoy the characters and their willingness and unwillingness to take part in what the world of business has to offer and usually takes from those who work in it.

It is nice to see that somebody was subtly putting the idea out there in a way that the viewer would take what they liked about the film and left what they didn’t notice or care about.

The film has a character which I enjoyed and have enjoyed many times over the years. On a simple level of being engaging and letting the audience have a few laughs while not thinking about their own lives for an hour and forty five minutes. Letting the mild tension build over the duration of the film and offering us pleasure, as we root for certain characters while wanting see others fail in business and in their personal lives.

The soundtrack is extremely 80s and at that catchy, the titles track being one that lingers in the mind for that reason, but manages to leave before becoming unwelcome. This is a rarity in many a film these days.

Check this out and let your worries go for a little while, it will give you something which you may have forgotten to do in your everyday life, which is that you don’t need to take every little thing so seriously. It may even take you back to a point in your life where you had no worries at all.