Tag Archives: John Hughes

The Set of 400: #65 – My Favorite Heyyyyyy-Batter-Batter-Batter-Batter

Today! Because they think he’s a righteous dude –

 

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Directed by John Hughes (x2)

Starring Matthew Broderick (x3), Alan Ruck (x2), Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones (x4), Jennifer Grey, Lyman Ward, Cindy Pickett, Edie McClurg (x3), Ben Stein (x3), Charlie Sheen (x3), Del Close (x2), Kristy Swanson (x2), Richard Edson (x2), Louie Anderson, Jonathan Schmock

Before moving here, if you’d asked me what movie is most associated with Chicago, I might’ve said The Blues Brothers. Maybe The Untouchables, given people’s endless fascination with the town’s mob history from eighty years ago. But having lived here for over a decade now, I can tell you hands down what’s considered the most Chicago-y movie of all time, by visitors and residents alike, is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I know this should’ve been obvious – it’s basically a non-stop travel video for the greatest city on Lake Michigan – but I guess I didn’t think it had a universal appeal to audiences of all ages. Or maybe it’s just that the movie is old enough now that its become a beloved classic, and thus can be enjoyed by all demographics. Either way, there are yearly celebrations and special anniversary events about this movie – last year they recreated Ferris’s bedroom in…a hotel downtown, I want to say? Googling…

The Virgin Hotel, summer of 2018! Oddly, I find this has been done a number of times in various cities, but still

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The Set of 400: #169 – My Favorite Glowing Doorknob

Today! Because I made my family disappear –

Home Alone (1990)

Directed by Chris Columbus

Starring Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci (x2), Daniel Stern (x3), Catherine O’Hara (x3), John Heard (x2), Devin Ratray, Roberts Blossom (x2), John Candy (x7), Gerry Bamman, Larry Hankin (x2), Kieran Culkin, Terrie Snell, Bill Erwin (x2), Billie Bird, Hope Davis, Ken Hudson Campbell, Jim Ortlieb, Ralph Foody, Angela Goethals

Featuring the best comedic child acting performance ever, Home Alone is a very strange Christmas movie, when you step back and look at it. Like, people have this whole “Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?” debate, because it is just an action movie set at Christmas, but blow-for-blow, Home Alone is a way more violent movie than Die Hard. I mean, it’s definitely a Christmas movie, without question, far more than Die Hard is, no matter what you think, but if what holds the John McClane epic back is the full-on explosive thrill ride-ness of the whole thing (and that there’s nothing “Christmas-y” about it), then how are we just giving Home Alone a pass?

Here we are as in olden days/Happy golden days of yore

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The Set of 400: #373 – My Favorite Car Rental Agency Smackdown

Today! Because those aren’t pillows –

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987)

Directed by John Hughes

Starring Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins, Michael McKean (x2), Dylan Baker, Kevin Bacon, Diana Douglas, Larry Hankin, Richard Herd, Edie McClurg, Matthew Lawrence, Martin Ferrero, Bill Erwin, Ben Stein

In the only movie that they share screen time, Martin and Candy are a terrifically funny team in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (They are both funny in Little Shop of Horrors, too, but not together!). It seems like they should’ve crossed over more, right? The old SNL/SCTV staples have overlapping credits in most of their ’80s films – with Rick Moranis, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase – but this is their only co-starring flick. Shame! They are hilarious together in John Hughes excellent foray into R-rated comedy. Its got a standard mis-matched anti-buddy road trip plot, both trying to get home to Chicago for Thanksgiving, thrown together out of convenience, but significantly enhanced by the interplay between Candy’s good-natured if irritating salesman Del and Martin’s alternately simmering/volcanic executive. And for all the set pieces along the way, and the consistently solid laughs, it also features one of the more heartbreaking endings of an ’80s comedy. I’m often a lump-throated mess by the time the credits get rolling on this one. Continue reading

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