The Vacation franchise now stars Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) as he takes his own family on his childhood trip to Walley World. The original, National Lampoon’s Vacation is still one of those great stand out comedies that we find ourselves watching every couple of years. This new vacation takes components of the original franchise, but fails to find its own signature. What we get in this film is a balls out Vacation film that is more of a parody on what came before it over anything else.

The plot is straight forward as all road trip films are: Rusty decides to change up the rut his family is in by taking up a road trip just like his father Clark did to Walley World. Along the way they meet quirky characters and give nods to the original as you can see here in this red band trailer.

The character development is almost abysmal and when the script calls for the characters to change it feels forced. Ed Helms feels like he tries to play the overly positive Clark Griswold that Chevy Chase perfected, though without any character development, Helms’ character is lacklustre. With all this being said the original was written by John Hughes and he just captured characters perfectly, so how can you really compare them to this one. Most of the jokes are either hit or miss. The jokes that miss are usually ones involving potty humour. The quirky characters played by Chris Hemsworth and Charlie Day are probably the highlights for me, especially Charlie Day. I still enjoyed myself with all the negatives aside, it just means I cannot recommend this film to anyone looking for a good movie.

2.5/5 – Stars

Robert Ring


The Graduate

Where do you start when talking about, The Graduate?

Well—the movie is known most of all for the quote, “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me,” but this movie is so much more than the seduction of Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman), by Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft). First off, Benjamin has just completed his college education and now he is filled with the pressure of achieving great things. He appears to have been a straight ace student in college, so there was a lot he sacrificed in achieving that. Now that Benjamin finally had finished college he saw the world with an existential eye and wondered about his place in it. This leads Benjamin to be seduced by Mrs. Robinson as a way of finding himself, by the prospect of not having to please anyone other than himself. The secret and adulterous relationship he has with Mrs. Robinson matures him into an individual who can think and do what he likes. Everything becomes unsettled when he is forced to go on a date with Mrs. Robinson’s daughter Elaine, which he plans to sabotage until he falls for her. Mrs. Robinson tells Elaine that Benjamin raped her and is sent away to college. Benjamin from here on is determined to get Elaine back and tries to right his wrongs.

Each character in the graduate is not given much of a backstory to go on, but we get a good idea of them from the pacing and the framing within the movie. I think The Graduate is a lot like an independent film because of this and there were so many scenes that felt experimental, yet worked, to perfectly weave the narrative. The soundtrack for The Graduate, by Simon and Garfunkel may in fact be one of the most perfect soundtracks ever made. Dustin Hoffman shines in this role and the on screen back and forth with Anne Bancroft is perfect.

I think the themes within The Graduate have more meaning in todays society than they did at the time of its release, and because of this I don’t think the movie is dated. You should check out The Graduate if you’ve never seen it. I love this movie and I watch it yearly.

The Graduate is a classic not to be missed.

4.5/5 – Stars for The Graduate

Robert Ring