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Review: “Oscar” (1991)

July 1, 2013 10 comments
Oscar (1991)Directed by: John Landis
Produced by: Leslie Belzberg
Written by: Michael Barrie, Jim Mulholland, Claude Magnier (original play)
Edited by: Dale Beldin
Cinematography by: Mac Ahlberg
Music by: Elmer Bernstein
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Marisa Tomei, Vincent Spano, Ornella Muti, Tim Curry, Chazz Palminteri, Peter Riegert, Elizabeth Barondes, Linda Gray, Joycelyn O’Brien, Martin Ferrero, Harry Shearer, Kurtwood Smith, Eddie Bracken, Richard Romanus, Kirk Douglas, Don Ameche, Jim Mulholland, Yvonne De Carlo
Based on the play by Claude Magnier
Year: 1991

 

Sometimes it’s nice to rely on friends to make suggestions for you when you’re in the mood for something different that you might have overlooked previously. The last time I did a review at the suggestion of a friend, his out of left field suggestion (after Macross, which, he had forgotten, wasn’t just a single movie but a whole series) was K-PAX, a movie I had always been somewhat curious about but never really interested enough to ever actually pursue – or even remember, for that matter. I ultimately didn’t end up liking it that much, but I enjoyed the suggestion, nonetheless. So, as Guy Movie Month was coming to a close, I asked another friend of mine what movie I should review next that I hadn’t seen. He came up with the answer pretty quickly: Oscar. Read more…

Dual Review: “Home Alone” and “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York”

December 18, 2012 7 comments
Home AloneHome Alone
Directed by: Chris Columbus
Produced by: John Hughes
Written by: John Hughes
Edited by: Raja Gosnell
Cinematography by: Julio Macat
Music by: John Williams
Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O’Hara, John Heard, John Candy, Roberts Blossom, Gerry Bamman
Year: 1990

 

Home Alone 2: Lost in New YorkHome Alone 2: Lost in New York
Directed by: Chris Columbus
Produced by: John Hughes
Written by: John Hughes
Edited by: Raja Gosnell
Cinematography by: Julio Macat
Music by: John Williams
Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Tim Curry, Rob Schneider, Dana Ivey, Brenda Fricker, Catherine O’Hara, Eddie Bracken, John Heard, Gerry Bamman
Year: 1992

 

It had been a long time since I had seen any of the Home Alone films when I bought the Blu-Ray set of the first two films that went on sale earlier this month for the lovely price of about $12. Being in a spend-y mood, I bought it happily, having wanted but never owned the first two films since I was a little kid. (Oddly, I did own a VHS of the third film.) And, I gotta say, while I still mostly enjoyed the films, even at age 26, I didn’t find myself laughing at them nearly as much as I had as a little kid. It’s not that I’m above the whole slapstick thing — I just watched Ted for the first time tonight, and one of the funniest parts of that movie was the ridiculously violent beat down the teddy bear gives Mark Wahlberg — but I certainly felt a lot more cynical about it than I had expected.

Home Alone - Kevin McCallister

Perhaps it was the fact that I watched them back-to-back in one night. Perhaps it was because I watched them while cooking a turkey that inadvertently filled my apartment with large plumes of smoke (the turkey turned out fine, but I’m still unsure what caused all that). Or perhaps it’s because I realized that 2 is basically just a remake of 1 with extra ridiculous and a hefty dollop of moralizing. Maybe it was a combination of those factors.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York - Kevin McCallisterSo, rather than review these films separately, as I would with any other franchise, I decided to review them at the same time. Unlike with last year’s Grudge Match Review of adaptations of A Christmas Carol, however, this isn’t really a competition, but rather an efficient way of killing two birds with one stone. After all, take a look at those credits up there. The films are identical in cast and crew, with the second one doing the typical sequel thing by throwing in a few new faces for good measure, and, for the most part, they are the same in story structure, too. Read more…

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