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“Take Me Home Tonight”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Did you ever wish you could relive the ‘80s? Well, at least the late ‘80s? How about the first weekend of September in 1988? While we’re at it, did you ever wish that you could have a roly-poly best friend/sidekick, kind of like Curtis Armstrong… You know, Booger from those Revenge of the Nerds movies? You have!? Well guess what!? You’re in luck, because that’s exactly the weekend and type of buddy you’re going to get in the new movie Take Me Home Tonight! Wow, that’s weird! I mean, what are the odds of you wanting to see a movie that’s based on the exact weekend I was just telling you to think of? Pretty heavy stuff, huh?

In Take Me Home Tonight, Topher Grace plays Matt, a recent graduate of MIT that finds himself hiding from the real world as a Suncoast Video employee. Which is a great way to hide from the real world fresh out of college, I should know, I was a Suncoast manager straight out of college myself. Joined by his twin sister Wendy, played by Anna Faris, and his afore mentioned Boogeresque best friend Barry, played by Dan Fogler, the trio seem to have but just one last weekend to celebrate their ill spent youth. For some reason, this Labor Day weekend in 1988 is the last chance they’ll ever have to do it. I’m not really sure why, but let’s just go with it. And, it also seems more like life after high school, but it’s not, so don’t get confused. Add to the mix the return of Matt’s secret high school crush, played by Teresa Palmer, and you’ve got the makings of… Okay, it’s starting to sound like I didn’t like this movie at all, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I actually really liked it! I mean sure it’s got its share of plot holes, and maybe it is a John Hughes high school movie that actually lets its actors play their real age for once, but overall it’s still really a good movie. Man, that still sounds like sarcasm!

All kidding aside, Take Me Home Tonight is a pretty good movie. Most retro ‘80s movies are made just so the filmmakers can take a bunch of potshots at banana clips and leg warmers, but this movie is more like a period piece. Okay, that might be pushing it, but it does feel that way. Topher Grace does a nice job of grounding the movie, even when the night’s events get a little wild, and the subject of not knowing what you ultimately want to do with your life can speak to just about everyone these days. Overall, I had fun watching it and would gladly see it again. I don’t think it’s going to become a classic by any means, but it will take you back.

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“Easy A”
a review by Darby O’Gill

I find myself torn. On one hand Easy A does remind me of the spirit of a beloved John Hughes’ film, but on the other hand it gets a little too smart for its own good at times, much like that of Juno or Saved. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. The writing was one of my favorite parts of this movie. Well, that and the fact that Emma Stone was playing the lead. This really was the perfect marriage of smart and witty writing, mixed with just the right actress to pull it off. There are a few moments where it all feels a little too heavy handed, but over all it’s a nice refreshing teen comedy that manages to be edgy while still being able to hold on to it’s PG-13 rating. Imagine that, a movie for teens, that teens can actually go see. What’s next? A multi-parody pop-culture movie that is actually watch able? I’m just kidding. We all know that will never happen.

In Easy A, Olive (Emma Stone) tells a little white lie to her best friend in order to get out of a weekend outing, and quickly finds herself at the center of her high school’s rumor pool. She’s quickly branded the school whore, and at first doesn’t really mind her new found attention. But as you would imagine, one lie leads to another, and another, and… Well you get it. When Olive uses her new reputation to help an outed gay student fall off the bully-radar, by lying about a night of wild sex, it’s not too long before more troubled teens come to Olive for help. What starts out as a few good deeds quickly escalates into an all out epidemic. It doesn’t help matters that the school is currently reading Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, or that the school’s biggest bible-thumping prude (Amanda Bynes) has got it out for her. The movie also has a nice set of performances from Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci, as Olive’s modern new age parents. Not to mention one of this year’s best use of title card graphics. The bottom line here is Easy A gets a solid B+. Come on, you knew I wasn’t going to get through this review without at least one cheesy line.

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John Hughes died today of a heart attack, and so did a little bit of my childhood. Actually, that’s not true. A large part of my childhood died today. So many of John Hughes’ movies have inspired me over the years. I know he hasn’t made a movie in many years, but loosing him this soon, just makes me realize we’ll never be able to get just one more film. I think deep down, I was always holding out for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 2. Where Ferris and Cameron take the day off from work and just maybe their kids also just so happen to skip school that day as well. I really wanted to say something about John Hughes, but I never met him, and seem to be at somewhat of a loss for words. But then I stumbled upon this post, and thought it would just be better to share this with all of you.

Please read this link. Sincerely, John Hughes