Meet the Parents (2000)

If you’ve found the woman of your dreams but you haven’t met her parents, you might want to watch Meet the Parents if you haven’t seen the movie yet. You may think that it might be a bad idea to watch this movie before meeting them because it will bring this potentially intimidating and awkward situation to life, but it also can offer you a sense of relief knowing that your experience will not even come close to what Ben Stiller’s character had to go through.

Even though I’ve had this movie on when I just want something familiar playing in the background, I will very rarely sit through the entire showing. It’s just too awkward. My face gets stuck in a permanent cringe as I live through each and every uncomfortable moment that involves Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) saying and doing all the wrong things every minute of this whole movie.

Greg and his girlfriend, Pam Byrne (Teri Polo), fly from Chicago to Long Island to meet Pam’s parents, Jack (Robert DeNiro) and Dina (Blythe Danner). Greg is understandably nervous, but he is hopeful about his trip and is excited about the chance to leave a good impression on Pam’s parents after meeting them for the first time. Despite all his efforts, good and bad, honest and embellished, Greg feels the pressure of Jack’s emphatic disdain. After layers of miscommunication, mistaken identity and questionable decision making, Greg’s inevitable breakdowns simply confirm that Jack has been right about Greg all along. Greg just so happens to be one of the worst guys on the face of the earth who will forever be associated with lost luggage, cat hijinks and overaggressive volleyball spiking.

There comes a point at this movie where I want it to be over because I don’t want to feel bad for Greg anymore, but I am glad to say that we are rewarded with a well-deserved laugh, at Greg’s expense of course, after such an exhausting trip. We can’t thank Greg enough for failing to find out the proper size of carry-ons allowed in the overhead compartment on the airplane, leading to this hilarious verbal altercation with the stewardess.

Meet the Parents is a movie that will give you hope when you are hopeless. It is a film that you can watch when you feel like you have the worst luck in the world and you just need to feel better about yourself. It offers the inspiration you need to face your anxieties and meet your girl’s parents. After all, it can’t be that bad.



What We Do In the Shadows

When I first saw this movie, I wasn’t sure what to expect at all. This was one of those times where I saw a list online of “The Best Movies You Haven’t Heard of” or something like that. What We Do in the Shadows always would pop up in that conversation. All I knew was that Jermaine Clement was involved, and since I’m a fan of his Flight of the Concords, figured it was another winner. I was able to avoid all other info before seeing the movie and go in “blind.” I would suggest you do the same, but if you’re curious – the trailer is embedded below.

This movie is in a unique category which I will call “Horror Mocumentary.” It’s seen through the eyes of a camera crew who follows around a group of vampires, trying to live their day-to-day life, in the present time. We’re used to seeing vampires portrayed as confident horror villains, however in this film we see a slightly different approach. Turns out that vampires are actually similar to you and I, and have to deal with the monotonous aspects of life like dishes, chores, and picking outfits to wear for a night on the town. The dry humor and documentary style really make this one of the most unique comedies I’ve ever seen. It’s refreshing to see something so different be so hilarious.

Watch as our not-so-spooky friends interact with humans, and also the rival, equally-repressed werewolves. They’re all just regular folks, who you can’t help but sympathize with… and laugh at. Definitely check this one out if you’re looking for a different type of comedy, that’s a little dark.



Citizen Kane (1941)

I’ve never claimed to have the greatest taste in Movies – and have never formally “studied” film before. I’m just a fan, and I like what I like. Having said all of that – I finally got around to watching Citizen Kane. I’ve always wanted to watch this movie, because it’s almost always in the top 10 of every major publication’s list of the greatest movies. Here’s an original trailer:

Aside from hearing that it was a “classic” and quite possibly the greatest film ever made, I really went into this one not knowing a whole lot about it. I knew only two things: something about a newspaper, and something about “rosebud”…whatever that meant. I’ll make this writeup quick.

Overall I have to say that for what it’s worth – I wasn’t super impressed when just considering it to be an entertaining film. This is a movie that you may have to do a little bit of reading afterwards to truly understand what you just watched. For me, I did not know that Orson Welles, the write, director, and lead actor, created this film at the age of 25 years old. Also, this movie was made in 1941, and may have been the most important film in the 19th century.

I completely understand that this was an important film that changed the game. But just to watch this film and block out everything you’ve heard about it, I thought the movie was pretty average. I’m sure it can be dissected and studied in film class, but for a Friday night flick – I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped that I would.



Psycho (1960)

It’s tough to read a list of the greatest movies ever made and not find Psycho on that list. The 1960 original version that is – because as with any successful movie, there are remakes that never seem to live up to the original. In fact, Psycho was remade but not until 1998 with none other than Mr. Vince Vaughn. I didn’t see that movie and I never will. I also haven’t seen any of the sequels to the original and I never will, even though there are far worse sequels that were made according to some film buffs. I just have something against people trying to milk a franchise or put a ‘modern spin’ on a classic film.

I’m not old enough to have seen this movie when it came out in 1960. I’m not even old enough to have seen the sequels in theaters which didn’t come out until 20 years after the original. Also as a fun (yet morbid) fact, this movie is so old that only 2 of the main characters are still alive today (the sister and the boyfriend). This movie is old enough to be not of my parents’ generation, but my grandparents’. Having said that I still think that this is one of the best movies ever made and can and should be appreciated by anyone willing to give an old black and white movie a chance.

Hopefully you’ve seen this movie, if not you definitely should – as it gets the seal of approval from the Famous Player himself. The story begins with our main character, Marion Crane, finding a reason to run away essentially. She tries to start anew and on her way to her new life happens upon The Bates Motel, a place of creepiness. That’s all you get with this ‘synopsis’ because I will not be the one to give anything away. Most red-blooded Americans are at least aware of the plot and certain scenes in this movie – just because of how much the film is prevalent within our own pop culture.

I fully recommend seeing this movie. It has been hailed the greatest thriller/suspense film in American history, and also is unarguably Alfred Hitchcock‘s most popular film. A lot of old movies are duds, but if you can check this one out you will not be disappointed – trust me.

Below is a original trailer for the movie where Alfred Hitchcock discusses the film. If you plan on seeing this and don’t know much about it (somehow), then maybe see the movie first. Also when you do see it, see if you can spot the cameo of Alfred in the beginning of the film.

Movie Trailers Are The Worst!

A Public Service Announcement

Thank you for your attention – now that I have it I can let you in on something that always bothered me.

Movie trailers are the worst.

Personally, I can’t stand movie trailers. Mainly movie trailers for movies that I plan on seeing. I can usually tell by who’s in a movie or who made a movie if I’m going to see it, so I really don’t need to be shown a 2 minute video that gives everything away. This is why old movies are always a good choice. Maybe you’ve ‘heard’ of a movie and that it was good, so you watch it and can actually enjoy it because you might know the premise, but not key points in the plot that have been ruined just because you decided to watch TV and saw a commercial.

Movie trailers are a necessary evil.

Previews are how movies get in front of the masses and get people to the theater, or to buy the movie once it is available to own. If there were no movie previews – the average person would not be interested in going to the theaters. With blockbusters costing 10s of millions of dollars, they need all the help they can get to make their money back as well as a profit. They know if they give away all the ‘crazy’ parts they will get people to buy tickets. The worst thing movie trailer can do (and they do this) is tell you “you won’t see this twist coming”. Well guess what egg-head… now I will… thanks for nothing. Some of the best movies that I’ve seen are ones that I just watched on a simple suggestion of “You should watch Following” Speaking of Christopher Nolan – I hope that I go through November without seeing another trailer for his new movie Interstellar.

Home Alone Movie

Home Alone (1990)

For my first movie review, we’re looking at the John Hughes classic – Home Alone. Home Alone stars Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Roberts Blossom and many more, despite Kevin being alone in a house. I need to acknowledge that I am an actual adult and not in fact, 8 years old. This is a favorite of mine from when I was growing up and I believe that it really does hold up. It’s unlikely that any movie on here will get a perfect 5/5 stars so I gave this one the next best thing, 4.5 stars. Kevin McCallister.

I’m sure that most people have already seen this movie before but quick synopsis: Kevin is boy from Chicago whose parents accidentally leave him behind on a big family trip to Paris for Christmas. They mistake the back of a neighbor kid’s head for Kevin’s and assume that they have everyone – BUT THEY DON’T. Kevin is thrilled at the fact that he is free to live by his own rules and not be scolded or annoyed by his family. Here comes the problem though – there are 2 burglars casing the neighborhood and breaking into homes. Kevin learns that these two buffoons plan on breaking into HIS house, and he decides that he will not let that happen and adorably declares “This is my house. I have to defend it!” and readies his BB gun. I won’t go any further in case you are one of the tens of people in the world who have not seen the movie before.

You could be like my friend Mike who can’t seem to suspend the disbelief that a child can defend himself against 2 adults and also ask why these hardened criminals didn’t have a gun and make the movie much quicker and sadder. I choose to just take this movie for a far-fetched, family-friendly Christmas movie. It still makes me laugh, and I find myself quoting it all year round.