This week we’re taking a trip across across America via the highways of Nostalgia and Gross-ness, M. Night Shyamalan returns with – PLOT TWIST! – a good movie, Charlize goes dark, and a couple of musos have a very long chat.
The next generation of Griswolds is at it again. Ed Helms stars as Rusty Griswold, the son of Chevy Chase’s iconic character from the original National Lampoon’s Vacation films, who is following in his father’s footsteps and hoping for some much-needed family bonding time by taking his wife and their two sons on the road for another ill-fated adventure. What could possibly go wrong?
As a three-decades-later sequel, Vacation is most definitely funny thanks to some hilarious turns by its cast. But it’s also filled with a tsunami of toilet humour, constantly going for the easy fart jokes when it’s not just rehashing ideas from the superior original film. As I explained in my 2.5/5 review, switch off your brain completely and there will be some comedic redemption to be found among all the bodily fluids though.
- The Visit
The terrifying story of a brother and sister who are sent to their grandparents’ remote Pennsylvania farm for a weeklong trip. Once the children discover that the elderly couple is involved in something deeply disturbing, they see their chances of getting back home are growing smaller every day.
M. Night Mshini Wam has been on such a poor run in the last few years, that even typing out his name has become a running gag on this site. But just like one of his trademark third act plot twists, the writer-director’s latest film is surprisingly decent apparently. Double plot twist! It’s a surprisingly decent found footage film! It’s currently sitting on 62% on Rotten Tomatoes, and according to reviews offers a great blend of chills and thrills, and a long overdue return to form for Shyamalan.
- Dark Places
25 years after testifying against her brother as the person responsible for massacring her entire family, a haunted woman (Charlize Theron) is approached by a secret society that specializes in complex, unsolved cases. Nicholas Hoult, Corey Stoll, and Chloe Moretz co-star in this Mandalay Pictures thriller directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, and based on the novel by Gillian Flynn.
Despite the pedigree of talent attached to this, from the star-studded cast to writer Gillian “Gone Girl” Flynn, Dark Places is apparently not as good as it should be. There’s still a solid performance from the cast, but with a much more sanitized approach to Flynn’s twisted original novel and some by the numbers directing ,the rest of the movie never really rises above “just okay”. Pity.
- The End of the Tour
The End of the Tour tells the story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter (and novelist) David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel), which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace’s groundbreaking epic novel, Infinite Jest. As the days go on, a tenuous yet intense relationship seems to develop between journalist and subject.
Brilliantly acted, written and directed, The End of the Tour has been a massive critical smash, with tons of praise being heaped on how intelligently this true story is brought to life on-screen. Jason Segel is reportedly electrifying as he leads the audience on this poignant and layered musical drama which is fully worthy of its 92% Rotten Tomatoes rating.
Last Updated: September 11, 2015