Monthly Archives: December 2012

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation (1989)

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Synopsis

Clark wants to hold the perfect family Christmas  Doesn’t go as planned. First of a few Christmas movies we’ll be reviewing.

First Half Review

This is a classic movie. There is really no need to watch any other family Christmas movies. Over the last 10 years we’ve had reiterations of this sort of movie with the likes of Christmas with the Kranks and that one with Ben Affleck living with a family or some shite like that. All in all they’re pale imitations of this Chevy Chase classic. It’s part of the Griswold Trilogy, Vacation Christmas and European Vacation (Not including Vegas Vacation for obvious reasons). So while this is full of slapstick there are some clever jokes and quotable lines (SHITTERS FULL). It also has a lot of heartfelt moments in it, The little cousin asking about Santa and Clarke finding the old family movies in the attic. Even though there is some toilet humour… hehehe, electrified animals, a chase scene with rodents and lights not working, It is still somewhat grounded in reality and we each have an archtype of family member we can relate to in this movie. This is one of my four Xmas Movies that have to be watched. The other three being Die Hard, Scrooged and Gremlins.

Second Half Review

I’d watched this movie many years ago, and frankly, forgot half the details until I saw it again tonight. It’s the kind of movie I’m not usually a fan of; the whole “slapstick” bit is not really my cup of tea.

This movie centres around Clark Griswold, and his desire to have the perfect family Christmas, at all costs. It looks like he may actually achieve this, but then, his in laws show up and his “Cousin Eddy”, and things go from bad to worse. His beautiful wife, Ellen, doesn’t really do much and his kids are fairly bland characters (a young Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki).

However, in saying all of that, it’s a pretty good Christmas movie. It shows one man’s triumph over argumentative family members, money troubles, an incinerated turkey and stubborn Christmas lights. I probably would watch it again, but wouldn’t consider it a “classic” Christmas movie. Definitely not in the same vein as “Scrooged” or “WIlly Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”.

Also, Chevy Chase back in the day? A pretty good looking guy. Just saying.

TL; DR First Half Review: Heartwarming Christmas Movie. Shitter is full.

TL; DR Second Half Review: A man slowly loses the plot as Christmas screws him royally.

Next up: The Hobbit (2012)

Pink Ribbons, Inc (2011)

Synopsis

A documentary that looks at the big players and companies involved in breast cancer awareness and research, and where funding goes.

Second Half Review

Just me reviewing today. Too hungover to go anywhere, and I’d heard that this movie was very good. I’m delighted to say that it was just that, good. It takes a little while to find its feet, but when it does, you will never look at cancer research and funding “for the cure” the same way again.

The movie places the viewer in the uncomfortable role of re-examining how and why we donate to cancer research. Do we even know where our donations go? Who is researching the cure? What other interests do these companies have? Are they “pro-cancer” or “pro-cure”?

The documentary interviews women in the final stages of breast cancer, and how they feel about the “survivor” mentality of the breast cancer movement. The answers are surprising, and brutally honest. The documentary forces those watching to hear these women and how the rhetoric may be more detrimental to their struggle with this disease than is necessary.

The companies involved with the breast cancer movements are shown to not be, perhaps, the woman centered  cancer fighting, cure seeking entities that they purport them to be. Companies like Avon, Revlon, Yoplait, AstraZeneca and KFC are all shown for their “good work” and the profits that they reap from the association with the breast cancer movement.

This is a good documentary; one that I would definitely recommend. It’s eye opening, and definitely forced me to re-evaluate my donations to cancer awareness programs.

TL DR: Giving money is easy, thinking about where it goes is hard.