Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

The Star Wars LEGO Holiday Special, created by Lucasfilm and Disney: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Taking place after Star Wars IX: The Rise of the Skywalker we join our friends as they settle in to create an amazing celebration for Life Day (the Star Wars equivalent of the Holidays).  As Rey continues on her journey to train up Finn as a new Jedi Knight she feels like her knowledge as a teacher is falling short.

While her friends prepare for Life Day Rey takes off to find a new source of information that may help her to train her new apprentice.  She finds herself on a journey through space and time discovering some of the most critical moments of past Jedi and Sith.  As things get out of hand will Rey make it back in time to celebrate Life Day with her friends?  And if she does will Poe have cooked any of the Tip-Yip in an edible way?

General Information:

-Genre: Holiday Family Special, Science-fiction

-Creator: Lucasfilm and Disney

-Length: 47 minutes

-Rating: TV-G (some mild animated violence but in LEGO form, some scary looking characters)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription)

-Page of Reference in RP1: 22

Review (contains spoilers):

This was absolutely delightful.  Silly and self aware, full of LEGO jokes and Star Wars references up the wazoo.

Apparently it was not only released on the same day 42 years after the original (and frankly horrible) Star Wars Holiday Special the film took inspiration from and even pulled references directly from it.  When I finally find a copy I’ll be able to see if this is true.

Don’t go into this thinking its going to be some profound Star Wars addition. Its just a silly little film made for kids. It goes through time and space on a little journey to include all sorts of moments from the Star Wars Universe (including an appearance by Baby Yoda from The Mandalorian). Just sit back and enjoy…and learn a little lesson about friendship.

Overall a really fun little movie about Life Day. Even for someone like me who isn’t a huge Star Wars fan.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Home Alone 3, created by John Hughes: a Film Review

Synopsis:

The mob is out to seal a chip that will make any missile unable to be detected by radar and therefore indestructible.  After they retrieve the chip it is hidden in a toy car to hide it from security at the airport as a group of them work to get it back to their boss.  At the airport their bag is picked up by an elderly woman. As they chase after her they find she lives in a rich suburb of Chicago in a house that hasn’t been shoveled.

Just down the street is the local boy who shovels her walk.  She gives him the toy car that she accidently took at the airport as payment for his work.  That week he ends up at home with the chicken pox.  While stuck he discovers that thieves are trying to break into the house down the street… and then another house and another house… when he calls the police and is deemed a boy-who-cried-wolf he takes matters into his own hands.  What will happen when he discovers that these thieves want his toy car?  What could be so important that they would break into every house on the street to find?

General Information:

-Genre: Christmas Family Comedy

-Creator: John Hughes

-Length: 102 minutes

-Rating: PG (mild nudity, mild violence-particularly near the end of the film, mild profanity, mild intense scenes-particularly near the end of the film)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Alex D. Linz, Haviland Morris, Olek Krupa, Rya Kihlstedt, Lenny Von Dohlen, David Thornton, Marian Seldes, Kevin Kilner, Scarlett Johansson

-Page of Reference in RP2: 182

Review (contains spoilers):

Finally! A more believable reason for the bad guys to be after the kid!  And a more believable reason the kid is at home ALONE!!!

While the general silliness and most of what really makes a John Hughes movie seems to be lacking here it’s an interesting choice for a third film.  Kind of “Wait until Dark” meets “Home Alone”.  It has a polish that was very indicative of later 90s films that is not seen in the first two movies.

The fact that the kid is an inventor and is super observant makes the whole set up and all the little traps he sets so much more believable.  Not that Kevin in the first two movies isn’t smart but some of the stuff he comes up with (while simple and effective) seems to be something an adult would think of rather than a typical kid (like the paint cans and the kerosene on the rope in Home Alone 2).  This kiddo is an inventor.  He comes up with some off the wall stuff…but most of it comes from a solid science side of things…and a love of Rube Goldberg machines.

A solid film that is fun to watch with the family.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, created by John Hughes: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Its Christmas again and the McCallister family is once again jetting off on vacation.  This time to Miami.  As usual they end up late to get in the cars to go to the airport…but luckily this year Kevin doesn’t get left behind.

As the family rushes to reach their plane somehow Kevin gets separated from the group and ends up on a flight to New York City.  When he arrives, he realizes he is once again without his family.  When the McCallister family gets to Miami they discover that Kevin didn’t make it onto their plane.  As they try to find their son, Kevin takes off on a whirl wind adventure in the Big Apple (with his father’s credit cards and cash he has from the bag he accidently took with him).

While exploring the city Kevin discovers his arch-nemeses have escaped from prison, he ends up chased from the hotel, and has to protect a toy store from thieves.  Will his ingenuity keep him safe in the town that never sleeps? Or with the children’s hospital go without one of their largest donations of the year?

General Information:

-Genre: Christmas Family Comedy

-Creator: John Hughes

-Length: 120 minutes

-Rating: PG (moderate violence-particularly at the end of the film, mild language, mild use of cigarettes, moderate intense scenes-particularly at the end of the film)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Maccaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Catherine O’Hara, Tim Curry, Brenda Fricker, Eddie Bracken

-Page of Reference in RP2: 182

Review (contains spoilers):

Great continuation of the first movie.  Its always nice to rejoin old characters in the world.  I also love how his family ends up having a horrible time in what should be sunny Florida while he is having a blast in New York City during Christmas.

It is a little unbelievable that he would run into the same thieves half-way across the country from his home but you know…it’s a movie so I can overlook that.

John Hughes is known for writing about the outcast.  This film still involves that motif but this time it is Kevin who ends up in the role of “normal” as he befriends the outcast (and homeless) bird-lady in the park.  It’s a nice little lesson that sometimes how someone looks isn’t who they are.

I really love how clever Kevin is while still utilizing common supplies and a little ingenuity to save the day.  He’s a really bright kid.  And as always everything ends up well for him and not so well for the bad guys.

Defiantly one I will continue to watch throughout my life as is Thanksgiving tradition in my family.  Still really unbelievable though.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Home Alone, created by John Hughes: a Film Review

Synopsis:

It is Christmas time in one of the wealthiest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.  The McCallister family is getting ready to depart to visit family in Paris, France for the upcoming holiday.  As they all get ready the cousins and siblings clash causing the one of the youngest, Kevin, to be sent to the attic bedroom as punishment.  As he climbs the stairs Kevin makes the ultimate Christmas wish: that his family disappears for Christmas.

During the night a large storm causes a power outage. When they don’t wake up on time the family rushes to get to the airport, not realizing that the count of the cousins and, in turn, getting onto the plane means they left Kevin behind at the house.  As Kevin’s mother tries to get back home to get her child things at the house are in peril.

A pair of thieves are trying to make good on a holiday crime spree while everyone in the neighborhood is on vacation.  Will they be a match for Kevin?  Will Kevin be able to take care of himself? And will his mom get home in time for Christmas?

General Information:

-Genre: Christmas Family Comedy

-Creator: John Hughes

-Length: 103 minutes

-Rating: PG (mild violence-particularly in the end of the film, mild language, mild alcohol use, mild intense scenes-particularly in the end of the film)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Maccaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Roberts Blossom, Catherine O’Hara

-Page of Reference in RP2: 182

Review (contains spoilers):

This is one of my favorite movies to watch during the holidays.  In fact it is family tradition in my family to watch this and the second film as we get Thanksgiving dinner ready.  The holidays can’t really start until we watch these movies.

That being said…they are kind of ridiculous in that fun and slightly cartoonish way.

They are over the top. And slightly unbelievable. And really fun to watch.

They do still hold some of the constants of John Hughes films.  Kevin is clearly the outcast in his family.  He wants to fit in sometimes and other times he wants to be on his own.  During the course of the film he learns a lesson…which is pretty typical for his films.

The end is absolutely crazy.  The two thieves would be dead at least three times over from Kevin’s traps.  It becomes almost comical, like a live action Wile E. Coyote cartoon. 

Overall, it’s a really family friendly and fun movie for the holiday…I highly recommend it if you have older kids.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.