Tag Archive: National Lampoon’s Vacation


tcm summer movie cover

Review by C.J. Bunce

We’re just a little over the midway point of Summer 2021, so there’s plenty of time to squeeze the pulp out of the sun and fun.  Summer means movies, often big movies, and Turner Classic Movies’ latest in-depth research into the best of classic and genre films continues in the new book, TCM’s Summer Movies: 30 Sun-Drenched Classics available now here at Amazon.  Think about it–What would you recommend for the 30 best summer movies of all time?  Writer John Malahy makes his selections, and pulls in an additional 30 movies as suggested “double features,” meaning you have 60 key suggestions that will either re-affirm your own picks, or more likely, provide at least a few new films you may want to try out.  Over the past decade I have reviewed most of the books from publisher Running Press’s chronicle from the TCM library, and this latest is on the heels of TCM’s The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter and its sequel (reviewed here and here least year).  Today I’m reviewing and previewing the new volume in what has become a major film library for the film historian.  You may quibble with some of the picks, but I bet you’ll find at least 20 movies that make your own list of movies or at least help get you in the spirit of summer.

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Harold Ramis and Bill Murray in Stripes

Harold Ramis passed away Monday, and one of the best comedy geniuses left us.  Caddyshack, Stripes, Animal House, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Orange County, Meatballs.  You just can’t count the total number of laughs we would have missed without this guy.  Millions?  More like billions.  The entire Earth would probably be swinging differently but for the impact of the writer, director, actor, comedian.  He understood comedy like no other–nobody–and one of the best proofs of this can be found in this 2009 interview.

I don’t know why that line is so damned funny, but it is.  All hail Harold Ramis.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

Escape from Tomorrow banner

Something peculiar lurks in the shadows behind the critically acclaimed 2013 Sundance release Escape from Tomorrow.  You can even make out the shape of two giant ears and a large white gloved hand forming one of the shadows.  The story behind the film is a story surprisingly underreported by the mainstream press, and when it has found coverage since the film’s festival release it typically centers around expressions of shock and surprise at a filmmaker who would dare to cast Disney–yes, Disney–in anything other than a sugar-coated, happy-go-lucky light.  This week was no different with the news that Escape from Tomorrow has found a distributor and is on its way to theaters across America.  Shock and awe again.  “No one really believes it will actually get released” and similar sentiments abound.

The response seems so much like the family and “friends” of Billy Mumy’s character Anthony in the classic episode of The Twilight Zone, “It’s a Good Life.”  If you haven’t seen the episode, drop everything and get thee to a Netflix.  Little, sweet boy Anthony has the power to destroy anyone around him and everyone treats him with love and care not because they want to but because they have to.  Disney’s power is like that of Anthony, the Mob, the Crown, the Pope, the Company… all rolled into one.  American families happily hand over their children to Disney as they would their church or pastor.  After all Disney is all about “families,” isn’t it?  They really do know best, don’t they?  We’re safe leaving our kids in the care of Disney videos, right?  Disney is synonymous with love.

Escape From Tomorrow - 2013 - film poster

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100 Film Warner Bros banner

Not long ago the idea of having all your favorite movies available for viewing instantly was as far out there as hover cars.  With streaming options like Netflix you can have access to thousands of movies and TV series in a flash, only limited by the speed and quality of your own home access and viewing technology.  But just like online news will never replace the physical daily newspaper, streaming will never replace the home video library.

Back in early December we previewed here at borg.com four movie collections as gift ideas of varying price ranges, from the three-film The Dark Knight Trilogy from Warner Bros. to the eight-film Tarantino XX 8-Film Collection from Lionsgate Miramax to the 15-film Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection from Universal Studios to the massive 22-film Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection from MGM.

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