Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Directed By: John Hughes
Written By: John Hughes
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Grey
Rating: PG-13
My rating: 1829054309 out of 5 stars (again, my blog)

Forgive my blatant disregard for the five star rating system. I can't help it, really. This movie tops Nick Hogan's list of the "Greatest Movies of All Time". There are two others atop that list, but we shall cross that bridge when we come to it. I actually may be bored enough/persuaded to write a blog entry on my top 10 favorite movies of all time...thus far, of course. We'll save that for another time :)

This is not my first review of a film written and directed by John Hughes. You can find the first one here.

I got this movie on DVD for Christmas when I was in high school. Because I was obsessed with movies on DVD, and this was my favorite. I've had the same disc all this time and it's in good condition, because it's my favorite. You might read "it's my favorite" a lot during this post.

My most recent viewing was a couple of weekends ago with my brothers, fiancee, and future sister-in-law, who was watching it for the first time. I feel it's always more magical when you are with someone who has never seen it.

Basically, I look down on you if you have yet to see this movie. Want to make eye contact? Watch it. You won't regret it.

Brief Synopsis:

Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick; Tower Heist) is an incredibly popular high school student brimming with confidence (Nowadays, he sounds like a huge jerk but he's very lovable in this role because, well, he makes school the "dark side" and that's awesome). He decides he wants to take a day off so he fakes out his parents, but his sister, Jeanie (Jennifer Grey; Dirty Dancing) isn't fooled. His parents leave for work and Jeanie leaves for school. Edward Rooney (Jeffrey Jones; Sleepy Hollow), Dean of Students, also isn't fooled and wants to nail Ferris for skipping school. Ferris, meanwhile, gets his hypochondriac best friend Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck; I Love You, Beth Cooper) and his girlfriend, Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara; Legend) alongside him for an unforgettable day off.


I love this movie. It's my favorite like smiling is to Buddy the Elf. I think that Matthew Broderick (despite having become a nerd in his old age) plays this character brilliantly. Most of his cast mates never had stellar careers, Jennifer Grey fading post-nose job and Alan Ruck being brilliant on Spin City, but he's (arguably) the second most famous cast member in present day. That being said, all of them were great in this movie. I could be biased because A) it's my favorite movie ever and B) I've loved it since I was a child, but I like to think I'm pretty objective about things like this. There are also some great cameo guest appearances by Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots) and Ben Stein (Expelled). Ben Stein's cameo could possibly be one of the most famous movie scenes of all time, quoted today by people who don't even know where it comes from. Charlie Sheen's set the stage for the rest of his life! (LOL, see what I did there?). It's the best John Hughes movie I've ever seen, and I've always admired the characters, and never not found this movie funny. The comedy is still relevant, and while the fashion and technology of the times fade, some classics like these never will (or at least, I pray that they don't). Hopefully, FBDO will continually be showed in schools on the day before Christmas, Thanksgiving, Spring, and Summer break for YEARS to come. 

What Can We Learn From This Movie?

Any life lesson that is important, you learn in this movie. When you say "All I really needed to know I learned in Kindergarten" you are wrong! It's "All I really needed to know I learned from watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off"!! 

..Seriously though. There are so many lessons in impressing girls, singing on parade floats, eating pancreas, faking illness, being friends, not taking school TOO seriously, and most importantly: not taking LIFE too seriously. 

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it"- Ferris Bueller

^^^ Words to live by, people. Words. (wait for it) live by.

I once wrote a paper using a nearly page long example from this movie and another from Accepted. AND...I got an A! Just another testament to the educational value of this, particular cinematic achievement. (Tired of saying "this movie":))

Ferris Bueller's Final Thought:

I realize that this movie is rated PG-13 and probably not appropriate for all ages. I honestly probably saw the film too early, but I taped the TV version to keep around the house so my brothers could enjoy it with me. As a teenager in America, everyone should have seen this. I feel like you are cheating yourself if you reach age 20 and have not seen it.

It's funny, and the message overall is great. 

Finally, I want to get serious for a moment.

This film is a reminder to all of us to live our short, earthly lives to the fullest because we know not when they'll end. I lost a friend this week. She was one of the kindest people I knew. She made an impact on so many people just by being friendly. The fact that she is gone so young is another testament to enjoy your life while you can, and cherish one another. Life moves pretty fast, (too fast for some) so please, stop and look around once in a while. I beg you not to miss the beauty of this life before it's gone.

Thanks for reading. Comments and Feedback are always appreciated. Thanks again! Even share with your friends if you deem necessary! Love you all!! And remember "Only the meek get pinched. The bold survive". 

God bless,


Monday, November 26, 2012

Dunston Checks In

Dunston Checks In (1996)
Directed by: Ken Kwapis
Written by: John Hopkins, Bruce Graham
Starring: Jason Alexander, Faye Dunaway, Eric Lloyd, Rupert Everett, Graham Sack
Rating: PG
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I'm running behind a little again, but I've been trying for a couple days to get caught up. This is what I will finally be able to do with my vacation time! I first watched this movie because we got it somewhere when I was a child. We had it on VHS for years (probably inside Goodwill or Sans Souci somewhere now) but I bought it sometime during my college years out of the $5 dollar bin at Wal-Mart. Many of my purchases, in case you haven't noticed by now, are nostalgia driven. (Hate me all you want, I <3 Power Rangers).

My most recent viewing of this film was a couple of weekends ago. I was with my brothers and my lovely fiancee. My brothers and I had watched this movie a lot growing up, but none of us had watched it anytime recently. It had been probably at least ten years. A lot of things I remembered vividly and others I had completely forgotten, but came back to me like time spent with an old friend. It feels weird at first, but after awhile you're just as in sync as you were when you were together every day.

Anyhow, brief synopsis: 

Director Ken Kwapis (He's Just Not That Into You) brings us the story of Robert Grant (Jason Alexander; Seinfeld) who is the manager of the Majestic hotel in New York City. He is widowed and has two kids named Brian (Graham Sack; The Miracle Child) and Kyle (Eric Lloyd; The Santa Clause). The annual "Crystal Ball" is approaching, which is their biggest hotel event of the year, and Robert's boss, Mrs. Dubrow (Faye Dunaway; Network), is in town with word that they have a judge in their hotel who will decide whether or not they go from a five to six star hotel. With two young boys in the hotel, this becomes difficult enough for Robert, but it gets worse. Lord Rutledge (Rupert Everett; Inspector Gadget) has just checked in with his burglary companion Dunston (who is also an orangutan). Dunston is a fun-loving monkey, while Rutledge is all business. Needless to say, Rutledge has never cared for his monkey, and when the going gets tough, Dunston gets going! He befriends Kyle rather quickly, and they have quite an adventure ahead of them.

My thoughts:

I have always really enjoyed this movie. I know that The Nostalgia Critic talks about this movie and why movies with monkeys aren't funny, but come on. Monkeys are funny SOMETIMES!! I think that maybe I was more fond of this movie as a child, but I still enjoyed it this time around. There is some adult humor, and an S-bomb (not really sure how that still landed a PG rating, but I'll take it), and still plenty of silly monkey humor and slapstick moments for the kids. Jason Alexander always has a little bit of Costanza in him, and I could see it here. There were also standout performances on the comedic end from Paul Reubens (Mystery Men), Glenn Shadix (The Nightmare Before Christmas) and Nathan Davis (Holes). Eric Lloyd was a pretty successful child actor in the 90's, and he did a pretty great job in this movie. Though he was about 10 years old when it premiered, he looked quite a bit younger and it worked well for him in this case. 

I've always been a big fan of slapstick humor, monkeys, and Jason Alexander. If you are too, this is a good way to spend your time. I definitely recommend watching it with your kids, but maybe if it's on TV, so that there's no S-bomb you have to explain to them. My parents were concerned when I watched this movie as a kid, but without just a minor word or two in there, it's a great experience for all involved. That's the one part of the movie I could've done without, merely because it expresses lack of commitment to chosen genre. 

What Can We Learn?

I think the lesson in this movie is simple, really. It is one that all of us need to hear at one time or another.

In this film, Robert Grant has a lot of things that steal his focus. His kids getting into trouble, his boss, the Crystal ball, a monkey, etc. In the end, (no spoilers) he re-arranges his life so that his priorities are straight. I think this is one of the most important things people can do. Your family should come first, and then your job and all the stress that comes with it. I think (however subtle it may be) that this movie should remind us to be true to ourselves and keep our priorities straight.

Final Words:

I'd say this movie is worth a watch or two. If you haven't watched this movie a couple of times between the time you were 7 and now, like I have, then you might not be reached with the same affection for this movie as I am. But, still. Give it a chance. Especially if you like monkeys. I always give movies a fair shake, no matter how many Razzie awards they have won or been nominated for (in this case, just one). So if you need a little George Costanza, Pee Wee Herman, Kid from Santa Clause and Orangutan in your now know exactly what movie to watch. 

I want to thank all my readers as always. Please leave me any feedback..I love having movie discussions so it would really help me to hear your suggestions. I have one more watched movie from that same weekend left to review, and then I am open. I have been considering a Christmas theme, but I am limited on movies that I own in that category. I have added a few since then but please remember that my list was posted awhile back so if you have suggestions, I'd LOVE to hear them.

Thanks for your feedback in advance. Like, click the clicky buttons, or comment to your hearts content.

God Bless,


Thursday, November 15, 2012

DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story

DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story (2004)
Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Written by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor, Alan Tudyk, Justin Long, Rip Torn
Rating: PG-13
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars!

Well, after this is over I'll finally be caught up on all the movies I've watched recently. If there weren't a lot of new TV on, that number would probably be doubled, but good news! I'm going on vacation in just a matter of days so I will probably have 5-10 movies worth of new material by the time I am back. Hooray!!

Anyhow. If you have not seen DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story at this point in your life I am very sad for you, because you are missing out!!

A "Quick" Synopsis:

Dodgeball is the story of Peter La Fleur (Vince Vaughn; Wedding Crashers) who owns Average Joe's Gym. His gym is in financial trouble and is about to be taken over by Globo-Gym owner, White Goodman (Ben Stiller; Zoolander). La Fleur finds out about this takeover when Kate Veatch (Christine Taylor; The Wedding Singer) comes from the bank to evaluate Average Joe's Gym's financial situation. It isn't good. But when Peter breaks the news to the regulars of Average Joe's, Justin (Justin Long; Accepted), Dwight (Chris Williams, Friday After Next), Gordon (Stephen Root; O Brother Where Art Thou?), Owen (Joel David Moore; Avatar) and Steve the Pirate (Alan Tudyk; I, Robot), they don't take the news well, and are determined to raise enough money to avoid the buyout. After meager fundraising attempts, it looks like hope is lost until Gordon discovers that there is a Las Vegas DodgeBall tournament being held, and the prize money is exactly what they needed to win. Our heroes, with the help of Kate and legendary dodgeball player Patches O'Houlihan (Rip Torn; Men in Black), embark on a legendary journey that does indeed turn out to  be a true underdog story. 

Some thoughts:

I have seen this movie a bajillion times. Yes, I counted. I love every minute of it. Most recently, I shared this magical movie with my brother Joshua, who also quite enjoyed himself. This movie is comedy gold. It's got a great story line that is far-fetched but not so much that you're turned off by how unlikely it is to ever happen. Everyone likes to root for the underdog, unless you're Barney Stinson.

This movie has a great core of cast members, many of whom have come into their own since making this movie (especially Joel David Moore) and it also has a ridiculous collection of cameos and bit parts played by incredibly famous people. Gary Cole (Pineapple Express) and Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses) play commentators Cotton McKnight and Pepper Brooks, who are fantastically comical, and whose lines have been hurled at me in one too many a Halo game. Also appearing in this film are William Shatner, Hank Azaria, David Hasselhoff, Lance Armstrong (before the fall, of course), All That favorite Lori Beth Denberg, and of course, the game changing ADAA (American DodgeBall Association of America) judge, Chuck Norris.

Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller deliver classic comedy performances. Stiller did a fantastic job getting his real life wife, Christine Taylor, to hate his character in the movie. Stephen Root's character acting is especially outstanding in his role here. Justin Long, as a young actor, was a great addition to this cast, and Alan Tudyk's "Steve the Pirate" is still one of my favorite minor characters of all time. Movies that require actors to be this ridiculous....gotta be doing something right. My favorite cameo is probably Chuck Norris, but I can't get over Jason Bateman. They're all really fantastic. Rip Torn has the best lines.

Really, I don't see how you can't give this movie a shot. It has great humor, a pretty good story, and tremendous cast of both characters and cameos. This is one you shouldn't miss.

What Can We Learn?

Simple. Determination and Courage can get you through almost anything. Even if you're a pirate. Oh, and the sassy black guy, Dwight, is pretty much right about everything.

Final Thoughts:

See this movie. Rent it. If you have children, do not rent the unrated version. The PG-13 version is cleaner and frankly funnier than the unrated version. If you are an adult and can look past a few crude moments to appreciate a good story and some great fun, please do. I highly recommend this movie. It's definitely in my top 30-50 movies of all time. Maybe Top 25 comedies. Even at age 23, when I hadn't watched this movie in several years, it brought the same joy and laughter it always had. 

So Stiller fans, Vaughn fans, and comedy fans in general: SEE THIS MOVIE. Don't regret it!

I know this was kinda short but I'm sleepy and I've seen this movie too many times. It's good. Go see it. 4 stars. Huzzah!

Please don't hesitate to send me feedback, movie suggestions, comments, questions, what have you. I'm always in the mood for a good movie discussion. Click my little clicky buttons. Like. Share. Be merry.

Happy Thanksgiving TAR readers, if I do not visit you before then!!

God bless!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012


1776 (1972)
Directed by: Peter H. Hunt
Writers: Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone
Starring: William Daniels, Howard Da Silva, Ken Howard, Blythe Danner
Rating: G
My rating: 2.9 out of 5 stars

I know what you're thinking...and it's either one of two things. It's either "did he really give D3: The Mighty Ducks a higher rating than an Oscar nominated musical film?"



Both are true. I was infinitely more excited about William Daniels (Boy Meets World) playing John Adams than I was the rest of the film. Which may have more to say about this review than I intend it, but to address concern number 1 (The D3 one): I put a lot of factors into my reviews, but the number 1 factor is how much I enjoyed the film overall. This

I'll paint a picture really quick. We all know how this story ends. America declares it's Independence. They all sign the Declaration. Yippy Skippy!!

John Adams, played by Daniels, (whom I shall henceforth refer to as "Feeny") keeps pushing Independence on the other congressmen. They all scoff except for Benjamin Franklin, (Howard Da Silva; The Great Gatsby), who (surprise surprise) also supports independence, but is a little more chill than Adams about it. They decide that they need a third person to push independence to get anyone to listen, so they pick Jefferson (Ken Howard; J. Edgar) know...the guy on the nickel...

Anyway Jefferson is young and energetic, so that works out a little better for them. Of course, I won't go into great story detail because there are too many actors that none of you (or me, for that matter) have heard of. I don't want to do that character research that no one cares about, on real people whose story you should (unless you're a bad American) already know! SO THERE!

My Thoughts:

I see this movie's value. I was supposed to watch it for my Musical Theatre History class in college during my last semester....oops. I read the Wikipedia entry and listened to the first 10 seconds of about 3 songs and wrote a report like I was supposed to. And got an "A". We're missing the

The Point (of that last bit):

I read the Wikipedia entry and thought it sounded like a good musical. I purchased the DVD for cheap, used, and had it sent to me at Lipscomb...only to watch it for the first time....last week.

Back to "My Thoughts":

Anyway, it sounded good. I was disappointed. 

I liked the story. I mean, it was a familiar story so maybe they didn't have to drag it out as much. It was a 2 hour and 20 minute movie...and we all knew the basic plot already. There's probably something that could've been condensed. Anywhoooo..

I liked the acting. Howard's Jefferson was exactly how it was intended, and Feeny's Adams was extremely Bostonian and a joy to watch. Da Silva's Franklin was good, but he was the only one that seemed to be exaggerated for the musical theatre aspect. At times, I SWORE that Yogi Bear was playing Franklin....

The music....was just not good. I mean, it was tasteful and artfully done..but it did not stand out and was not memorable in the slightest. 

The best part about this movie was the writing. The dialogue in between the songs. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I actually think that this movie holds the musical record for number of minutes between songs. It's close, anyway. The lines in here are patriotic GOLD, and I did find myself laughing a considerable amount. Like this, which is sad but hits a little close to home:

"A second flood, a simple famine, plagues of locusts everywhere, or a cataclysmic earthquake, I'd accept with some despair. But no, You sent us Congress! Good God, Sir, was that fair?"- John Adams

That was just one of many gems that came out of this movie, and the reason it went from 1 to 2.9 stars. Ultimately, the length and boring music kept me disinterested, but I held on due to good acting and great writing.

What Can We Learn?

I watched this the day after the election, and there's SO much you can learn in that mindset. I think that overall we just need to keep in mind the gravity of our founding fathers moves. Especially with all this secession talk, it's a reminder that at one time, representatives from 13 different colonies found a way to stand up and fight for something that they could all get behind together. I think that America today could take about 85 lessons from these men and what they stood for. While this movie isn't ENTIRELY historically accurate, it's still important.

(Jerry Springer's) Final Thought:

Even though in all honesty this movie bored me, and was not the most entertaining movie I've ever seen, I would still recommend it. It was nominated for an Oscar and several other awards, and the stage musical was as well. The actors were primarily Broadway actors, and those are good ones to watch. Hopefully, I will have some friends joining their ranks some day. Even Feeny played Adams in the Broadway version, and that had to have been something special. 

I still say it's worth a watch. Go into it with an educational instead of entertainment mindset. Your cultural horizons will expand and you may awake with a little more patriotism than you had yesterday.

Let me know your thoughts on this one. Seriously. I love you all. God bless you and God bless America.

Comment, clicky box, or whatever you gotta do.



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

D3: The Mighty Ducks

D3: The Mighty Ducks (1996)
Directed By: Robert Lieberman
Written By: Steven Brill, Kenneth Johnson, Jim Burnstein
Starring: Emilio Estevez, Joshua Jackson, Shaun Weiss, Jeffrey Nordling, Elden Ryan Ratliff (Henson), Kenan Thompson
Rating: PG
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I'm a little behind on this one. I watched this nearly three weeks ago (same weekend as Cool Runnings, The Benchwarmers, and The Avengers) with my brother Joshie.

I won't make this too long, because there really isn't a whole lot to say, so I'll start with this: I love me some Mighty Ducks....and it's KNUCKLEPUCK TIME!!!

The Premise:

The Mighty Ducks (or Team USA) all get scholarships to Eden Hall Academy, a local private school, to become their freshman hockey team. Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez; Young Guns) then tells team captain Charlie Conway (Joshua Jackson; TV's Dawson's Creek) that he will no longer be their coach, and that the school's regular freshman coach, Ted Orion (Jeffrey Nordling; TRON: Legacy). Charlie and the rest of the ducks aren't too receptive to this idea at first. They want to play "like they always have" and Orion wants to improve their game. He shakes things up by not naming a captain (at first), putting Adam Banks (Vincent Larusso; The Mighty Ducks) on the Varsity squad (they're a bunch of jerks, btw) and removing Greg Goldberg (Shaun Weiss; Heavyweights) as goalie. The Ducks (now "Warriors") are also down 1 "bash brother" as Fulton Reed (Elden Henson; Cast Away) has been left behind by Dean Portman (Aaron Lohr; Newsies). The Ducks fall further and further from grace, until their long-time supporter and friend, Hans (Joss Ackland; Lethal Weapon 2) passes away, which brings them together for the funeral (including Bombay). Of course, when Bombay returns, things start to look up for all of them.


This is a great, heartfelt way to round out the trilogy. So many of the comments online say "they should've stopped at two", which would've been fine, but this movie is a good one, too. All of your favorite Ducks are back, like Charlie, Connie, Guy Germaine (who is Fulton's real life brother, btw),  Russ, Dwayne, Goldberg, Averman, Banks, and the like are back for one last go round. Bombay isn't around as much as the cover makes him seem, as this movie is mostly about the coming of age and maturing of the Ducks, primarily Charlie. This is a heart-warming, predictable, fun story about the Mighty Ducks that we have all grown to know and love. The acting is predictably Disney, but honestly not the worst I've seen from a Disney film. Estevez and Jackson are really pretty good, and the rest take to their roles as they should. Nordling was a standout in this one, as well. 


The moral of this one is simple. We must learn to grow up. We cannot always keep things the same. We must evolve, we must continue to build on the skills and strengths we have. If we want to stay Captain, or Goalie...we must fight for it. We may not always simply continue to receive it. 

Final Thought:

Yeah...Final thought sounds a little "Jerry Springer" for me. Any whoooo. Watch this movie. If you haven't seen the others, watch them first (I'm sure I'll get to reviewing them eventually, but faster if you request it :)) and this is a trilogy worth having copies to show your kids one day. I'm confident that you'll enjoy it just as much watching it now, or with your children, as you did when you saw it for the first time when you were a child. I was 7. I'm now 23. 'Nuff said!

Thanks to you all for reading. I have more on the way still and I appreciate all your feedback. Also, I'm looking for someone to get me a Mighty Ducks jersey with one of the players names on it for Christmas, so if you want to be my new best know what to do :)

Anyway, thanks for reading. I hope this was long enough to satisfy but short enough not to bore!

Feedback in any way you want (don't forget about Facebook likes and clicky boxes)

Thanks and God Bless!