vacation

vacation2

“I found out long ago, it’s a long way down the holiday road.” Long ago would be 30 years as of tomorrow, because National Lampoon’s Vacation opened theatrically on July 29, 1983. Directed by Harold Ramis, the family road movie was written by former “National Lampoon” staffer John Hughes, based on a short story of his published in the magazine.  The comedy debuted at the top of the box office, knocking out Jaws 3-D in its sophomore weekend, keeping Return of the Jedi back in its tenth and besting fellow newcomers Krull and Private School. And it stayed at #1 through mid-August. Americans were clearly in love with rising star Chevy Chase, though they may have been even more in love with the relatable premise of a cross-country outing. We may not have known it at the time, but it was also a sign we were in love with Hughes’s writing, as both Vacation and Mr. Mom, which he scripted and which opened in limited release a week prior, both were among the highest-grossing comedies of the year, each with a then-remarkable take of more than $60m. Vacation has probably the greater legacy, in part because it kicked off a never-ending franchise (another sequel/reboot is currently in the works for next summer) and in part because millions are still enjoying the original to this day. Very little outside of the model of car and styles of clothing (and some notable political incorrectness) is dated. And the following favorite scenes are […]

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Judy Greer

What is Casting Couch? It’s a handy list of the day’s casting news. Today we’ve got a joyous confirmation and some intriguing possibilities, including some huge news about the A-list director Matthew McConaughey may be working with next. So far all of the casting news we’ve learned about Matt Reeves‘ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has regarded actors coming on board to play human characters, but in an exciting twist we now we have a tidbit about who’s going to be putting on a motion capture suit to join Andy Serkis’ Caesar over on the ape side of the equation. Vulture is reporting that Judy Greer (Arrested Development, The Descendants) has joined the film in the role of Cornelia, the hairy dame who’s serving as a love interest for Caesar. If Greer’s long history of being solid in supporting roles isn’t enough to convince you that she’s qualified to pull off such an out there role, Vulture also has a scoop that she had Planet of the Apes-themed toppers on her wedding cake. So, you know, turns out she’s a weirdo. Sounds great.

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It’s been fifteen years since Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold packed up the family for the last National Lampoon’s Vacation movie, probably because that most recent attempt at cashing in on this comedy franchise didn’t go so well. New Line seems to think that there’s still some juice left in the formula however, because they’ve hired Horrible Bosses scribes John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein to co-write and co-direct a new entry in the franchise. This isn’t set to just be the same old Vacation movie where Clark and Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) take their teenage kids on some sort of oppressively family oriented adventure though. The characters are finally being allowed to age, and the lead of the film is set to be an adult version of Rusty Griswold, who will be taking on the duty of being head of family leisure planning.

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Holiday rooooooooooad. Come on. You know the words. It’s that time of year when the weather is starting to heat up, families are planning their yearly excursions to the greater parts of the world, and the highways of this great nation of ours are going to be filled with Family Trucksters. What better time than to visit the original cross-country, family quest for fun? That’s right. We’re talking about National Lampoon’s Vacation. Not only was I shocked to find there was a commentary track on this 20th Anniversary Special Edition, but it contains director Harold Ramis, producer Matty Simmons, and most of the Griswold clan, Cousin Eddie included. Sadly Beverly D’Angelo didn’t make this trip, but our hearts and prayers are with her. As for the rest of the tribe, they give us more than our fair share of Vacation trivia, insight into the filming, and overall good times that are had by all. As Clark W. Griswold once told his son, Rusty, getting there is half the fun, so let’s get there already, shall we? Praise Marty Moose.

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According to Variety, the John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein writing team whose been crafting the words behind a remake of National Lampoon’s Vacation are now in talks to direct the film. It would be the first feature directing job for both, even though no amount of movies can make Daley not the guy from Freak and Geeks. It’s being produced by David Dobkin over at New Line, and at the very least involves the high concept of good old Rusty Griswold takes his loving family out on the road. Who knows what adventures they’ll get into from there. So why pick two newcomers to the directing game? Because they have a strong short film resume. Their latest is Audio Tour which features Will Forte as a man who leaves a museum with his tour guiding headphones still on and learns way too much about the world around him. Check it out for yourself:

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VacationSequelQuestion

Sometimes I feel like I’m just getting back from Wally World. I’m tired, irritable, and there’s an unseasonably high urine count in my sandwiches.  But with the news that Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo are teaming up for a Superbowl commercial, I have to wonder if we should really be saving up for a real family vacation. Don’t get me wrong. I love Superbowl commercials because 1) they are a colossal let down and 2) I’m usually watching the Puppy Bowl instead (after the NFC championship, don’t we sort of already know who’s going to win the Superbowl?), but I would much rather see that dynamic duo hit the big screen again. I know I’m usually pretty negative toward the lack of creativity that this decade will be marred by, but if we’re in for a penny, why not be in for a pound? Let’s just sequelize everything. All of it. Some possible downsides to a National Lampoon’s Vacation sequel in the here and now: National Lampoon, like the magazine that spawned it, has become one of the least funny producers of The Funny around. With John Hughes gone, who could possibly write it? Year One Some urine-soaked food for thought. What do you think?

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Top 10 Places You Should Never Visit, According to Hollywood

If Hollywood ran a travel agency, they’d really suck at it. We are reminded of the places that Hollywood has warned us about in the past. You won’t see this stuff on a AAA brochure.

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