ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – U – Uncle Buck (1989)

Director: John Hughes

Writer: John Hughes (Screenplay)

Starring: John Candy, Jean Louisa Kelly, Gaby Hoffman, Macaulay Culkin, Amy Madigan, Elaine Bromka, Garrrett M Brown

 

Plot: Bachelor and all round slob, Buck, babysits his brother’s rebellious teenage daughter and her cute younger brother and sister.


Tagline – He’s crude. He’s crass. He’s family.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Comedy

 

Story: Uncle Buck starts when Cindy (Bromka) and Bob Russell (Brown) must rush out of town, the only option is to turn to Bob’s brother Buck (Candy) to look after their three kids, eldest Tia (Kelly), Maizy (Hoffman) and Miles (Culkin), they know it is a risk, but it is their only option.

We follow how Buck always keep a happy face on the situation regardless of how people are treating him, with the laughs coming from the misfortunes.

 

Thoughts on Uncle Buck

 

Characters – Buck Russell is the unreliable brother to Bob, he struggles to keep a job, stay in a relationship, but in his time of need Buck comes to babysit his nieces and nephew, his methods do offer more love than the kids are normal even if the eldest doesn’t like the attention. Tia is the teenage daughter that believes she could have looked after her young siblings, she doesn’t like having Buck around and would rather be off partying with her boyfriend. Miles is the son that takes a shine to Buck because he is willing to play along with his games. Maizy is the younger daughter who needs the attention, she misses her mother and Buck does the best to comfort her.

PerformancesJohn Candy is brilliant in this leading role, he gets moments where he gets to show his comedy style, while also handling the serious side to his character. Jean Louisa Kelly is good in her role because you instantly don’t like her even though she is playing the typical moody teenager. The two youngster Culkin and Hoffman both give us good performances for their age, Culkin does get a lot of the better funny scenes of the two.

StoryThe story here follows the unwanted uncle forced to look after his nieces and nephews as a last resort. We see how he gives everything to make sure they are kept safe even if not everything is going well with household chores. This story does get to focus on certain family relationship that could be strained through time, even if the person means well with their actions. It does play into the unlikely person being the most important person in a child’s life when they need them most.

Comedy The comedy in the film lets John Candy handle his style, show how Culkin was going to be a mega star with how cute kid routine which steals nearly every scene.

SettingsThe film takes us to a suburban neighbourhood where the family lives to keep the story flowing with the heart and soul is needs.


Scene of the Movie –
Quick questions between Miles and Buck.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Miles and Maizy do take the back burner for the second half of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun comedy that lets the star show his skills and gets laughs every time it goes for.

 

Overall: Laugh out loud moment.

Rating

 

 

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Chris Hemsworth Weekend – Vacation (2015)

Director: John Francis Daly, Jonathan Goldstein

Writer: John Francis Daly, Jonathan Goldstein (Screenplay) John Hughes (Characters)

Starring: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo, Steele Stebbins, Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Charlie Day

 

Plot: 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.


Tagline – What could go wrong?

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mostly Boring Comedy

 

Story: Vacation starts the Griswold family decide to take a different family vacation, Rusty (Helms), Debbie (Applegate) children James (Gisondo), Kevin (Stebbins) head across country to Walley World, the journey will bring them to meet a string of crazy characters.

Along the way they spend the night with Rusty’s sister Audrey (Mann) and her husband Stone (Hemsworth) who have a happier time with their lives.

 

Thoughts on Vacation

 

Characters – Rusty is a pilot, but seemingly a big of a dumbass outside of the job, he takes his family on a vacation across America, he seems to get away with making bad decisions along the way too. Debbie is the long suffering wife that wants to do something different for her holiday, not seeing eye to eye with Rusty. James and Kevin are kids which are different than normal with the younger bullying the older. Along the way the different characters are crazy in their own ways, mostly offence though.

PerformancesWe have a mix of actors that have been doing comedy for a while, Ed Helms should be doing a lot better as do the rest of the regulars, the only person that comes out of this with any credibility is Chris Hemsworth who shows he can hit the comedy levels.

StoryThe story is a family travelling across America where things go wrong along the way as they meet colourful characters. Part remake, part sequel following the family just feel like every basic mishap possible along the way or even having the basic level not hitting home well enough.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure puts us across America to see which is fine, but never believable and the comedy misses more often than it hits.

SettingsThe settings takes us to location you would be used to see across America without them being anything you would need reminding about though.


Scene of the Movie –
Chris Hemsworth showing his early comedy level.

That Moment That Annoyed Me How is Rusty a pilot, he clearly is an idiot.

Final ThoughtsThis is just another offence comedy that misses more than it hits.

 

Overall: This is just another boring comedy that tries too hard.

Rating

 

 

Weird Science (1985)

Director: John Hughes

Writer: John Hughes (Screenplay)

Starring: Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly LeBrock, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Bill Paxton Suzanne Snyder, Judie Aronson, Robert Downey Jr

 

Plot: Two high school nerds attempt to create the perfect woman, but she turns out to be more than that.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: 80’s Teen Comedy Fun

 

Story: Weird Science starts as we meet our two social outcasts high school students Gary Wallace (Hall) and Wyatt Donnelly (Mitchell-Smith) who tired of being shunned by the girls at school, decide to build their perfect woman on a computer. This creates their perfect woman, Lisa (LeBrock) who they gave intelligence to go with her sexiness.

Lisa shows the boys a good time as well as teaching them to stand up for themselves be it Wyatt over his military school brother Chet (Paxton) or Gary when it comes to talking to woman. The two boys learn so much from Lisa so they will be ready for the real world.

 

Thoughts on Weird Science

 

Characters/PerformanceGary is the slightly more confident of the two boys, he stays positive through all the bad things that have happened to the two, but he can get them in trouble too. Wyatt is the constantly worrying of the two, he is the computer whiz that does the technical side of creating Lisa. Lisa is the created woman that finds a way to bring out the best in the boys as she is a free spirit that will let the boys see the new vision on life.

Performance wise, Hall was one of the go to teen stars of the time and this shows why he was great in these geek like roles, Mitchel-Smith was also good through the film too showing he could handle the teen comedy genre. Kelly LeBrock fits the role perfectly looking the part needed for the sexy woman the boys couldn’t understand.

StoryThe story does follow two nerds that don’t fit in getting shown the way to fit in by just being themselves rather than trying to impress others. This story fits into the 80 style of storytelling with an over the top idea into a fantasy film.

Comedy/Romance/Sci-FiThe comedy clicks for the time even if some moments do come off dated in places with the romance being teen romance which is all fine and the sci-fi comes from being able to create your own woman.

SettingsThe settings show us the different environment Gary and Wyatt must go into to fit in as well as keeping the home comfortable for them.

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to 80s film this will must go down as one of the best, parts have dated now but this still does what teen comedies should do throughout.

 

Overall: Classic 80s teen comedy.

Rating

 

 

Home Alone (1990)

homeDirector: Chris Columbus

Writer: John Hughes (Screenplay)

Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Roberts Blossom, Catherine O’Hare

 

Plot: An 8-year old troublemaker must protect his home from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Family Classic

 

Story: Home Alone starts as we see the McCallister family preparing for their Christmas holiday away in Paris and with 15 family members in the house the chaos begins. We follow 8-year-old Kevin (Culkin) who gets banished to the attic after misbehaving and wishing for a new family.

During the night, there is a power cut which makes everyone oversleep and an all-out panic to get to the airport on time leading to Kevin getting forgotten and left Home Alone. Kevin doing what every child would do on their own gets the run of the house but soon finds himself having to fight off two burglars Harry (Pesci) and Marv (Stern) and he uses all the weapons from inside the house to defend his family home.

Home Alone is always going to be the family comedy classic people can enjoy of Christmas the slapstick comedy works to perfection even if it comes off slightly violent for today’s audience. The solo setting inside the house Kevin is protecting all works to show just what one boy can do to protect his own home.

The acting all works great as Macaulay Culkin will always be remembered for this role and the turns from Joe Pesci in a comedy shows the range he had along with Daniel Stern being a great sidekick character to him. The rest of the family all work well giving good performance to show the different siblings Kevin must live with.

This is always being one people will talk highly about and it is hard to say anything bad about this true classic on the genre.

 

Overall: Fantastic Festive Family Film

Ratingcard

 

Flubber (1997)

flubberDirector: Les Mayfield

Writer: John Hughes, Bill Walsh (Screenplay) Samuel W Taylor (Short Story)

Starring: Robin Williams, Marcia Gay Harden, Christopher McDonald, Ted Levine, Clancy Brown, Raymond J Barry, Wil Wheaton, Edie McClurg

 

Plot: An absent-minded professor discovers “flubber,” a rubber-like super-bouncy substance.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just bad

 

Story: Flubber starts as we meet forgetful genius Professor Philip Brainard (Williams) who has been working towards finding a more reliable energy source but while working on that he keeps forgetting his own wedding to Dr Sara Reynolds (Harden) and on his actually wedding day he makes the biggest discovery of his career with a flubber like material.

When Philip misses the latest attempt to get married he uses the flubber to try and impress Sara who has warned him that was his last time, he has to go against his former rival Wilson Croft (McDonald) as well as dealing with a rich father and his goons.

Flubber is a film I remember from my youth being something I enjoyed as a kid but re-watching it now I found myself think what is this? We get terrible cheap comedy which never really hits with a lot of the goon comedy feeling like it was just stolen from Home Alone. Williams does what he can with his quick delivery but even he looks like he is struggling to make this work. The story is simple and while it flows past quickly you never really get invested in the characters. This is one I can only see young children enjoying.

 

Overall: Not worth the time really

Rating25