STRIPES (1981)

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Elizabeth

Stripes was playing at a local theater in honor of Bill Murray’s birthday, so it seemed pretty necessary to go, especially since I had never seen the movie before. I really didn’t know what to expect; all I knew was it was a movie in which Bill Murray joined the army.

I think what I enjoyed the most about Stripes was the fact that it’s view of the army wasn’t the stereotypical movie view: it’s not like they made it seem like being in the army was easy, but it also wasn’t a Full Metal Jacket-esque hell hole, either. They made it almost seem like summer camp. Maybe people in the army wouldn’t feel great about that, but I thought it was pretty funny. But the starts of the movie, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, really carry it. They’re funny and sweet and have a funny and good relationship. I loved Harold Ramis’ character in particular, maybe because I feel like I would have similar views to everything as he. Naturally, Stripes isn’t exactly a feminist movie, but you have to choose your battles with that. It came out in 1981, so for me it gets a pass for a lot of the bullshit. But at least they showed a female character in the army who was actually good at her job, despite being a female, plus she was played by Sean Young, which helps with the you-can-be-feminine-and-be-in-the-armed-services idea.

Stripes is really just good, young Bill Murray action, and definitely fun to watch.

Christopher

I think this was the third time I have watched this movie in my life but it was enjoyable to see it on the big screen for the first time. We were able to get tickets to a new theater in Round Rock that for $5 a ticket we got to see the movie, got a piece of cake, and a pint glass with a picture of Bill Murray and a memorable quote form the film. Well worth it and the theater was great, except the employees were a little too friendly for me.

I think Stripes is a good funny movie to enjoy. I know people really do love it but I don’t think it ever really struck me as a favorite in any way. I think my favorite experience seeing it was this last time. Maybe since I was older more of the jokes made sense to me? I’m not sure but I’m glad I saw it again cause I have a better memory of it now. That’s not saying that all my other experiences with it were bad, I really would just forget almost everything about the movie. As funny and straight-forward as the plot was, none of it really stuck with me.

The best part of the movie to me is easily Bill Murray and John Candy but I don’t think I ever realized how funny Harold Ramis is!

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UNCLE BUCK (1989)

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Christopher

I was a bit surprised when John Candy’s character in Uncle Buck was a dick and difficult to like. I’m still so used to his character in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, just a big lovable, depressed guy. In Uncle Buck, there are a ton of reasons why the kids shouldn’t like him.

In many ways, Buck is like Hank Hill. He feels like he knows what’s best and he’s not going to let any situation play out without everything working out in his favor. But in my mind this came off not in a good way, where you can easily see where Hank Hill is coming from.

This movie was okay but it was no Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and I think I want to see Canadian Bacon next.

Elizabeth

So I had never seen Uncle Buck, and I thought it was sort of weird when I realized it. It’s something a lot of people my age have seen and love, it’s a John Hughes movie, and I always liked John Candy. Probably a big reason why I had never seen it is because I don’t think my mom would have ever wanted to watch it. And it sort of pains me to admit it, but now that I’ve seen it I kind of understand why.

I knew that part of the premise of Uncle Buck was that no one seemed to like Buck (John Candy), but I guess I had assumed he must be a misunderstood character. Which he soooooort of is, but mostly he’s just actually an asshole and people have every reason to dislike him. But he’s not the only one; the parents, which includes Buck’s brother, are assholes because they don’t tell their children anything, the oldest daughter is an asshole because she’s a bitter teenage girl . . . it’s just kind of unpleasant all the way around. Of course, in the end, everyone reaches certain levels of understanding and everything, but still. Not the most enjoyable ride to get to that end.

PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES (1987)

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Christopher

This is a film my parents rented for my sister and I when we were younger and left us with the babysitter. I believe I enjoyed it but never really thought of it beyond a nice comedy. As an adult I’ve watched this movie multiple times and it is pure genius. IT’S SO GOOD!! And I have to say John Candy is a genius. I think what’s so nice about this movie is how clean and simple the jokes are but it’s so funny. It’s also insanely tragic in multiple ways but what are you guys reading this blog right now for? GO WATCH THIS MOVIE RIGHT NOW!! It’s on Netflix for goodness sake!!!

Elizabeth

Even though Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a comedy, and a good one, anytime it comes up or comes to mind I always think first of how sad it is. Because, really, Del Griffith (John Candy) is a sad character. And it’s kindly John Candy, so you don’t want to see him being a sad character. It’s just rough at times. But I guess everyone can sort of identify with parts of his character, which probably makes it sadder.

Since Chris and I recently took a long trip together, I was kind of struck by how similar Chris can be to Del and how similar I can be to Neal Page (Steve Martin). Chris is a very mellow, take-things-as-they-come, happy-go-lucky traveler. I’m a very nervous, easily-irritable traveler. Neither of us are really that much similar to either character, but it’s just funny to see.

I also love seeing and hearing Steve Martin say “fuck.” It just never gets old to me.