You Have to See This! Tommy Boy (1995)

Currently Streaming on Amazon Prime Video, AMC Plus, Philo, Fandango at Home

Chris Farley would have been sixty this year had he not sadly passed away at the young age of thirty three. One of the best cast members of the iconic late night comedy show “Saturday Night Live,” Farley was looking up at a promising second chapter in feature films. Farley was very much loyal to SNL and only made small cameos in movies featuring his “SNL” co-workers. And although they were small, Farley had the tendency to make the best out of his small roles. Whether it’s the maniacal bus driver in “Billy Madison,” the lovable Ronnie in “Coneheads,” or Milton in “Wayne’s World 2,” Farley was skilled enough to know that there were no small roles, just small actors.

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Drive-Away Dolls (2024)

The big draw for “Drive-Away Dolls” will be the director Ethan Coen for film buffs, and I say that because Ethan Coen spends an inordinate amount of time directing a movie that feels very Coen brothers lite. It has this flavor of a misplaced dark comedy from 2000 that might have paired on basic cable with “Nurse Betty.” It has all the hallmarks of a Coen Brothers movie after all. There are the quirky dysfunctional heroes, the quirky albeit vicious villains, some kind of spiritual journey or awakening, and a premise that devolves into immense chaos.

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“Twisted Metal” is a Wild Ride, Flaws and All

There was just something so appealing about playing “Twisted Metal” as a kid. I fondly remember when it first came out on Playstation in 1995 and was hooked. When we got our first Playstation we played “Twisted Metal” for hours, finding new ways to eviscerate our opponents and win the battles. For those that have never had the pleasure, “Twisted Metal” is a based on an all out free for all battle video game where you man one of multiple armed vehicles in an attempt to come out the victor. The big bad of the game you’d have to ultimately face off against was the armed Ice Cream car with the clown on top called “Sweet Tooth.” There was always room for “Twisted Metal” to become something of a live action property, but now that video game movies are on the verge of become hotter than ever, it seemed like the right time for an adaptation.

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National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983): 40th Anniversary Edition [4K UHD/Digital]

I think one of the reasons why Clark Griswold is so famous is that he’s basically the every man. He’s the man who is tasked with giving his family a good vacation even though he’d rather be home. He’s obligated, and the further he goes forward the harder it becomes to give up and go back. “Vacation” is the prime National Lampoon’s road trip movie where it’s anything but the norm from this sub-genre. Harold Ramis depicts not just a middle lower class family’s attempts to go on vacation, but for Clark Griswold to use it as a moment to savor his family.

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Joy Ride (2023)

There’s been this subtle movement to break all of the stereotypes of Asians in cinema and fiction in general, and I’m enjoying it. “Joy Ride” is one of the newest entries in this new wave of mainstream Asian cinema that appeals to a niche audience but is also broad enough for everyone to relate to. “Joy Ride” is a film I liken very much to “Bridesmaids” and “The Hangover” to where four friends go through a sense of self realization, all while wreaking havoc on one big road trip. The foursome in “Joy Ride” are all wonderfully fleshed out individuals that are seeking fulfillment and a sense of purpose, and they end up finding it. This is all in service of their friend Audrey whose attempts to seal a big deal at her law firm send her on the journey she didn’t know she needed.

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Blood Relatives (2023)

I’m surprised with how much I enjoyed “Blood Relatives,” since it’s not so much a horror film, as it is more of a road trip drama comedy about two vampires. That’s not meant to disparage “Blood Relatives” at all, I found Noah Segan’s horror comedy to be quite good and a very engaging tale about a father and daughter learning to love one another and bond. What makes their dynamic even more difficult is that they have the whole vampire thing wedging between them, which amounts to considerable dramatic tension. Thankfully none of the dynamic ever really feels forced, as Noah Segan and Natalie Moroles have great chemistry.

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STRAIN 100 (2020)

If you like your apocalyptic fiction compiled a lot of the same old tropes you’ve seen a thousand times, then “Strain 100” might be up your alley. It’s “The Walking Dead” with a convenient dash of “The Last Of Us” thrown in, and none of the real social commentary or rich character focus. For all intents and purposes, “Strain 100” has some good ideas and fun moments of zombie carnage, but it’s bogged down by so many editing and writing problems from the outset. The zombies are pretty much the best aspect of the movie, truth be told.

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