Sunday, December 15, 2013

Movie Review: "Home Alone" (1990)

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Movie: "Home Alone"
Director: Chris Columbus
Year: 1990
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 43 minutes

Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is an unruly 8 year old who feels he is being dumped on by his family. After being sent to bed in the attic early the day before a family Christmas trip to Paris, he wishes that he didn't have a family and that they would all just disappear. When he wakes up the next morning, he goes downstairs to find that no one is there. He believes they have disappeared, but they have really just gone for Paris and left him behind on accident. Two small-time, bumbling criminals named Harry Lime (Joe Pesci) and Marv Merchants (Daniel Stern) have been casing the neighborhood waiting for the families to leave their houses on vacation so they can rob them. Assuming the McCallister is empty, the two repeatedly attempt to break in, only to be foiled by Kevin time and time again. Meanwhile, realizing Kevin is absent, Kevin's mom Kate (Catherine O'Hara) immediately tries to make it back to Chicago, only to be foiled by bad weather, no available seats on planes, etc. She will stop at nothing to get home to her son before Christmas day.

John Hughes loves to watch things go wrong in the movies he writes.

This is a family film we both watched growing up and really enjoy, even though now as adults we see that it is wrought with violence and non-family related themes (LOL), most of which probably wouldn't fly today in a PG movie.

This is Macaulay Culkin's most famous role, and though he did films after this, this is what he's known for the most. He's perfect as Kevin, the bratty little twerp-turned-house defender. His character sort of makes a 180 during the film, realizing that family is actually important and that's what matters most, even if they are a pain in the ass sometimes. Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are the biggest sources of comedy in the film. Their plight as buglers is hilarious. Joe Pesci was reduced to grumbling to cover his f-bombs and apparently it was the only way to stop him from cussing on set.

The film does a very good job of building up hatred and resentment towards Kevin in the beginning of the movie. Many fabulous lines come out of the first 20 minutes, our favorite being "I wouldn't let you sleep in my room if you were growing on my ass!," said by Buzz (Devin Ratray), Kevin's older brother. It builds up and allows Kevin to not be sad that they are gone. He does everything I would have done if I was left home alone, from eating copious amounts of ice cream to watching R-rated movies, from jumping on my parent's bed to getting into things I shouldn' was a dream to watch as a kid, and a nightmare to think about as an adult. The movie gets crazier and crazier, but always maintains its heart, John Hughes' staple movie making ploy. It's fun and funny to watch and is a (newer) Christmas classic.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 54%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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