Friday, December 20, 2013

Ranking Rustys (And The Rest Of The Vacation Series!)

Tis the rank stuff.  This might have been the most bitter ending to any retrospective series ever.  That last movie was heinous, absolutely heinous.  But the first four I rather liked.  Even the ones I found weaker I was able to find positives in.  This seriously is slated for a reboot with Ed Helms as Rusty taking his wife (Christina Applegate I believe) on their first family vacation.  Its been put on delay, so who knows when that'll happen.  It would have been nice to give Anthony Michael Hall or Johnny Galecki a shot at being Rusty again and then grab a major female star to play his wife, but oh well.  Why those two over the others?  Well, one is the original which could draw some buzz and the other is a genuine household name television star.  We'll revisit the series when we get to that.  For now, here's the rankings and a bit of what's going on after this and a bit of a preview of next month.  Thanks for reading and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Ranking Rustys

Let's rundown who I thought was best.

5. Travis Greer (Hotel Hell Vacation) - Eh, poor guy. He might've been a great Rusty, but in this short we really didn't get much of him other than a great reaction shot during the shower scene in Hotel Hell Vacation.

4. Jason Lively (European Vacation) - They did good in the matching looks department here in subbing him in for Anthony Michael Hall.  Aside from a dream sequence that has nothing at all to do with him, there's really nothing of note here from him.  And he'd save his best performance for Night of the Creeps.

3. Johnny Galecki (Christmas Vacation) - A fine Rusty, but as I said here before, the kids in this one are little cartoons as they are usually reactionary as this story focuses more on the adults.  I like him in this one, but there isn't much too it.

2. Ethan Embry (Vegas Vacation) - Maybe its cuz I spent my high school days in the 90s and really loved this guy as an actor, but I enjoyed his presence here.  He seems to be having a blast and loving being in this movie and it helps the enjoyment of it.  Plus, I really liked the guy in pleasurable 90s teen dreck like Empire Records and Can't Hardly Wait.

1. Anthony Michael Hall (Vacation) - The original tops all.  He was able to pull of the comedy, some dramatics and all around just feel like a genuine kid.  He also seemed to have the best chemistry of all the Rustys with Chevy Chase.

Ranking Audreys

4. Dana Hill (European Vacation) - I just really didn't dig this Audrey at all.  They were trying too hard and doing too much.  Both her schticks were one note displeasures that just kind of annoyed me.

3. Juliette Lewis (Christmas Vacation) - See what I said about Rusty from this one.  Even moreso here as she's just kinda played to be oblivious and hillbilly dumb.  The kind of roles that Juliette Lewis got typecast into pretty much for the entire 90s.

2. Marisol Nichols (Vegas Vacation) - No, I didn't just rank her here because I thought she was hot back in the day as a teenager.  I really bought her character as a real girl here and enjoyed her little arc in this film and furthering the relationship of her and her cousin.  Too bad she would grow up to contribute to the worst season of 24.

1. Dana Barron (Vacation, Christmas Vacation 2) - This was close for #1 and #2.  Why?  Because she was in that dreaded Eddie movie.  But, I don't blame her.  I felt bad for her.  Her Audrey in the first film isn't given much, but I like the bad girl stuff they have giving her to do.

Now Its Time For Ranking The Griswold Family Vacations!


I have said enough and am done writing and thinking about this one.

4. National Lampoon's European Vacation

I juggled between this and the next one on this list a bit, but ultimately decided on to put this one here. This one needs to be viewed on its own, with distance from the rest. Its a yok fest with characters basically as cartoon versions of themselves.  I think it does have some funny stuff, and maybe more funnies than the one ranking above it, but I think its so far from what the series and characters are at their core that it takes some enjoyment out of it for me.

3. Vegas Vacation

Okay, so this one gets it, it just has a harder time in the original jokes department. The character work here is all great and I think the progression and arcs of the entire family is incredible satisfactory from start to finish.  There is one horrid sequence that belongs in something like NLCV2CEIA, but aside from that, nothing to crazy.  In all honesty its got the best Rusty and Audrey since the first one, as it actually allows them their own stories and allows them to be their own selves instead of reactionary to the parents.  This one has a score on Rotten Tomatoes and across the board on ratings websites and...I didn't think it was as bad as the rep seems to suggest.

2. National Lampoon's Vacation

 Uh oh, controversy.  This one of the best road trip movies ever.  Its also one of the best comedies ever.  I'll sing it praise up and down.  Its a fun movie.  How on Earth is it getting the #2 ranking here on the Naptown Nerd list?

1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

I watch this one more, that's why.  I watch this movie about 1-2 times every Christmas season.  The first one usually has a few years gaps in there between watches.  I have a nostalgia for this one.  I also get a lot of big big laughs from it even when I know the jokes and bits by heart.  I think Chevy is at the top of his game in this one as well, able to harness the cartoonish Clark with the real life man Clark.  There's also a great array of side character aside from Cousin Eddie to enjoy.  Probably the best set of side characters in the series.  So, I make no apologies, and found it pretty easy to come to this conclusion.  That's what you get from me, honesty!

Well, that's it for this one.  Coming up on Naptown Nerd you'll get some of those stereotypical end of the year lists.  My 'Top 10 Films Of 2013' list belongs to Why So Blu? so you'll have to go there to see it (Dec.30 is when it publishes, i'll link it here i'm sure).  I did my Top 10 Blu-rays of 2013 which you can see if you click HERE.

I'm really iffy about doing the Jack Ryan series right now.  I may or may not do it.  The new movie gets me less and less excited daily.  But, you may find a little surprise retro in your Christmas stocking to read while you're bored waiting to open presents or inbetween family events.  Its all a matter of if I have the time.  BUT, whether I do Jack Ryan or not, next month will be a very special one here on Naptown Nerd.  January is my birthday month and i'll be 32.  And as a tease, if all goes to plan, just like October, you'll be getting 31 days of content. 

As always, thanks for reading, sharing, liking, RT, favorting, I appreciate it all.  Have a safe, fun and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

sorry for the garbage I left you with last time, here's one I really do enjoy this time of year. don't scoff, just...listen ;)

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