Re-Watch: My Girl (1991)

My Girl
Director: Howard Zieff
Writer: Laurice Elehwany
Cast: Anna Chlumsky, Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis, Macaulay Culkin, Richard Masur, Griffin Dunne, Ann Nelson
Seen on: 1.6.2021

Plot:
Vada (Anna Chlumsky) is a bit of a strange child. Her father Harry (Dan Aykroyd) runs a funeral parlor from their home, her grandmother (Ann Nelson) has dementia, and her mother tried when Vada was born. This has given Vada an obsession with death, constantly thinking that she will be dying soon. She spends her summer cycling around town with her best friend Thomas J (Macaulay Culkin), trying to impress her teacher Mr Bixler (Griffin Dunne) with whom she is in love, and also watching her father fall in love with the new make-up artist he hired, Shelly (Jamie Lee Curtis). After this summer, life will never be the same again for her.

My Girl is a sweet – maybe at times too sweet – film that carries quite an emotional punch. But despite the difficult things, it’s a warm film that seems to insist that despite everything, life is good and full of beauty.

The film poster showing Vada (Anna Chlumsky) and Thomas J (Macaulay Culkin) laughing.
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Re-Watch: Casper (1995)

Casper
Director: Brad Silberling
Writer: Sherri Stoner, Deanna Oliver
Based on: Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo‘s character Casper the Friendly Ghost
Cast: Malachi Pearson, Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman, Cathy Moriarty, Eric Idle, Joe Nipote, Joe Alaskey, Brad Garrett, Amy Brenneman, Devon Sawa, Dan Aykroyd, Rodney Dangerfield, Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson
Seen on: 5.1.2021

Plot:
Casper (Malachi Pearson) is a ghost who lives with his three uncles Stretch (Joe Nipote), Stinkie (Joe Alaskey) and Fatso (Brad Garrett) in a mansion. Contrary to his uncles, Casper is not interested in haunting humans, though. He would rather make friends. When the mansion gets inherited by Carrigan (Cathy Moriarty) who is sure that there is a treasure in the house, the uncles dial up their haunting, leaving Carrigan desperate to get into the house by any means necessary. When Casper learns of Dr. Harvey (Bill Pullman) and his daughter Kat (Christina Ricci) who travel the country trying to help ghosts, he sees a chance to fulfill his wish and Carrigan sees a chance to fulfill hers. But things turn out differently from what they all anticipated.

Casper is one of the films that was in constant circulation at home when I was a kid. But I probably haven’t seen it in over twenty years. Looking at it as an adult, it’s still a very sweet and funny kids’ film, although things, of course, strike me differently now.

The film poster showing Casper glimpsing over the letters of his name above the manor. His three ghost uncles' heads can be seen coming out of the manor. In front of it are Dr. Harvey (Bill Pullman) and Kat (Christina Ricci).
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Ghostbusters (2016)

Ghostbusters
Director: Paul Feig
Writer: Katie Dippold, Paul Feig
Remake of: Ghostbusters
Cast: Kristen WiigMelissa McCarthyKate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris HemsworthNeil Casey, Ed Begley Jr., Charles DanceAndy Garcia, Ozzy Osbourne, Michael Kenneth Williams, Bill MurrayDan Aykroyd, Ernie HudsonSigourney Weaver
Seen on: 11.8.2016

Plot:
Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is trying to establish herself as a physicist when an old book of hers resurfaces. She wrote it many years ago together with Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) on the subject of the existence of ghosts and other paranormal phenomena. Erin is afraid that the book will threaten her career despite the fact that she left those ideas behind. When she goes to speak with Abby to ask her to keep the book under wraps, she finds her working with Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) to prove the existence of ghosts. When they are actually called in to examine a haunting, everything changes: Erin tags along and can see the ghost with her own eyes. So the three of them team up with Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) and found the Ghostbusters.

Ghostbusters was a hugely enjoyable film that had me laughing pretty much all the way through – despite the fact that Feig’s humor is usually very much hit and miss for me. But with a cast that great, not much can go wrong.

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Re-Watch: Trading Places (1983)

Trading Places
Director: John Landis
Writer: Timothy Harris, Herschel Weingrod
Cast: Dan AykroydEddie MurphyJamie Lee Curtis, Ralph BellamyDon Ameche, Denholm Elliott, Giancarlo Esposito, Frank Oz, Bo Diddley, James Belushi, Al Franken, Tom Davis

Plot:
Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) was born on the sunny side of life and has proven to be a quite successful trader for the Duke brothers (Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche). Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) on the other hand barely scrapes by with crooked schemes. When the Duke brothers bet on whether or not it’s the circumstances or nature that make a man what he is, Louis and Billy Ray quickly find themselves in each other’s shoes. Louis’ reputation is completely destroyed when he is found with a sex worker Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis) hired to set him up, loses his fiancée, his home and his job – the latter to Billy Ray. In the end, Louis has nobody but Ophelia and – surprisingly – Billy Ray to make things right again.

I used to watch this film as a kid as well, though certainly not as often as Scrooged, probably because I am not so much of an Eddie Murphy fan and never was. But since the cinema showed the two films as a double feature, I decided to give it a go. Unfortunately even with the nostalgia bonus, Trading Places barely worked for me at all.

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Behind the Candelabra (2013)

Behind the Candelabra
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Richard LaGravenese
Based on: Scott Thorson‘s and Alex Thorleifson’s memoir
Cast: Michael Douglas, Matt DamonScott Bakula, Debbie Reynolds, Cheyenne Jackson, Dan AykroydRob Lowe, David Koechner, Garrett M. Brown

Plot:
When young Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) meets Liberace (Michael Douglas), he is impressed – by his lifestyle, his money and status, his talent. Liberace, whose relationship with Billy (Cheyenne Jackson) is in its last moments, also takes to Scott and Scott quickly finds himself in Billy’s place. But living with Liberace sure isn’t easy.

Behind the Candelabra was entertaining and funny, had a great cast and awesome make-up. It probably isn’t the best movie of all times, but it is extremely enjoyable.

behind-the-candelabra

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Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

Twilight Zone: The Movie (is an anthology movie based on various episodes of the Twilight Zone show)
Prologue
Director: John Landis
Writer: John Landis
Cast: Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks
Segment Time Out
Director: John Landis
Writer: John Landis
Cast: Vic Morrow, Doug McGrath, Charles Hallahan
Segment Kick the Can
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: George Clayton Johnson, Richard Matheson, Melissa Mathison
Cast: Scatman Crothers, Bill Quinn, Martin Garner, Selma Diamond, Helen Shaw, Murray Matheson, Peter Brocco, Priscilla Pointer
Segment It’s a Good Life
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Jerome Bixby , Richard Matheson
Cast: Kathleen Quinlan, Jeremy Licht, Kevin McCarthy, Patricia Barry, William Schallert, Nancy Cartwright, Dick Miller
Segment Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
Director: George Miller
Writer: Richard Matheson
Based on: Richard Matheson‘s short story
Cast: John Lithgow, Abbe Lane, Donna Dixon, John Dennis Johnston, Larry Cedar, Dan Aykroyd
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
In the Prologue we see a driver (Albert Brooks) who picks up a hitchhiker (Dan Aykroyd), but things don’t go exactly as planned.
In Time Out, racist and antisemit Bill Connor (Vic Morrow) gets shown the error of his ways through involuntary time travel.
In Kick the Can, the residents of a senior home get another chance to play when Mr. Bloom (Scatman Crothers) joins them.
In It’s a Good Life, little Anthony (Jeremy Licht) has the power to make his life just as he wants it to be – something that Helen (Kathleen Quinlan) gets to experience herself when she meets him.
In Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, John Valentine (John Lithgow) battles with his fear of flying during a flight. But this time his fear might not be entirely unfounded.

I have never really seen the show, but I did like the movie. It was a nice and entertaining anthology, even though it didn’t blow me all away.

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