Jason’s 10 favorite vacation-themed movies
Vacationing swimmers flee from a shark attack in a scene from “Jaws.”
- New films
Director: Justin Lin.
Starring: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel.
The plot: A federal agent is dispatched to Rio de Janeiro, where
former cop Brian O’Conner and ex-con Dom Toretto are assembling a
final race as a desperate chance to gain their freedom.
Genre: Action, crime.
Director: Joe Nussbaum.
Starring: Aimee Teegarden, Nicholas Braun.
The plot: Follow a group of high school students as they get
ready for their prom.
Genre: Comedy, drama.
- Film roundup
★★ 1/2 (out of four)
“Your Highness” tells the Medieval tale of Thadeous (“Eastbound
and Down” star Danny McBride, who also co-wrote the film’s
screenplay), a doughy and unkempt failure of a prince who lives in
the shadow of his heroic brother, Fabious (James Franco, in all his
smoked-out, squinty-eyed glory). When Fabious’ bride-to-be (Zooey
Deschanel) is abducted by the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux),
Thadeous is forced to join Fabious in his quest to rescue her. They
are helped along by Isabel (Natalie Portman), a woman-warrior and
fellow traveler on her own revenge quest. Of course, all this is
largely irrelevant, and serves primarily as a crudely fashioned
launching pad for the biggest barrage of obvious toilet you’ve ever
“Sucker Punch” is not just a “bad movie.” We see bad movies
every week, and we forget about them and move on. “Sucker Punch,”
on the other hand, will live on in infamy long after you and I are
dead. Beyond just wasting your time and boring you out of your
skull, this is a film of such mind-bending awfulness that it could
conceivably change how you approach the very art of filmmaking. It
is bad on a very fundamental, very rare and almost theoretical
level. I cannot recall the last time a film actually made me feel
as though I had just been violated.
Imagine if Quentin Tarantino decided to make a Western-themed,
animal-populated, animated reimagining of Akira Kurosawa’s
“Yojimbo” by way of Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown,” and you’ve got a
pretty good idea of what “Rango” is all about. Like a
kiddie-friendly version of “Pulp Fiction,” the movie approaches its
story from a deep-meta, borderline-postmodern perspective, and
successfully filters an entire genre through the lens of pop
consumerism. This is the Western reinvented as interactive
entertainment, tailored to an audience that has been inundated
since birth by the romantic myths of pop culture.
“Hall Pass” is easily their funniest, most charming and most
genuinely heartfelt comedy since their 1997 magnum opus. Many of
the funniest gags involve raunch-flick staples like pot brownies
and public masturbation, but the filmmakers often get a surprising
amount of mileage out of familiar material. The story moves along
at a brisk place, and the Farrellys resist the temptation to turn
their buddy flick into a mere reworking of “The Hangover.”
Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011 8:55 am
Vacation season is almost upon us, and few people have more
reason to be excited than I do. After about a year of 100-hour work
weeks split between several different jobs (including serving as a
substitute teacher for Stockton Unified School District — ouch),
I’m more than ready for the precious few days I get to spend with
Heather living the high life at Disneyland.
But my pseudo-vacation won’t end there. Oh, no. With school out
for the summer, I plan to spend my newfound R&R time parked on
my couch with a Pabst in one hand and a bag of Funyuns in the other
(I like to class it up), cramming in as much movie-watching as my
cinematically deprived brain can handle before descending into a
Friday, April 22, 2011 8:55 am.