DON’T TELL MOM THE BABYSITTER’S DEAD (1991)

Directed By: Stephen Herek
Written By: Neil Landau & Tara Ison
Cinematography By: Tim Sushrstedt
Editor: Larry Bock

Cast: Christina Applegate, Keith Coogan, Joanna Cassidy, Jayne Brook, John Getz, Josh Charles, Kimmy Robertson, Danielle Harris, David Duchovny, Concetta Tomei, Christopher Pettiet, Sarah Buxton, Michael Kopelow 

Single mother goes away for the summer. The kids are first delighted but then find that Mom has hired the sitter from hell to stay with them. When the sitter dies of a sudden coronary they deposit the body at a mortuary only to discover all their summer expense money was in her purse. The kids must find a way to survive the summer without mom or her money. This means actual work! 


The title gets to the point and pretty much summarizes the plot of the movie right away. Usually, movies Like this have a deadly fate. Look at STOP OR MY MOTHER WILL SHOOT! Which is more infamous than anything.

This is actually pretty good and memorable. Even watching it today though some of it is dated and some of the humor random. It still holds up as even though it has some harsh material mostly in the form of language and certain situations. This is more a family romp. The material makes it seem like it’s own Characters who are likable who seem tough and troubled but have good hearts. As it has an edge but plays it clean.

I will admit I have a soft spot for this film. I even saw it in theaters upon the initial release. It still is instantly rewatchable.

This was Christina Applegate’s big Hollywood starring role. She has guest-starred in other shows and had an indie film that was buried on video before this, by this was a big time and even though a modest hit. That seems to love on in airings. She never really got a chance at a big screen follow up the Leading role.

Here she plays against her usual sexy or sex pot type of roles she was getting at the time. This was more of a teenager forced to grow up to get out of a situation but still being a kid at heart. So a kind of comedic coming of age role that wasn’t too deep. This role allowed her to show range and talent. Which might be why she is discharged a consummate comedic actress now. As she grew up play around comedic productions and actors. Even though she was not the first choice for the role. As it was written for Winona Ryder and once she turned it down Justine Bateman was to take on the role but dropped out.

As we basically watch her as a teen prepare for the adult world. While being immersed in it and while making mistakes learning to form them and getting by and actually improving and helping the company and her co-workers. Which has an effect on all those around. Her and proving that karma does exist.

The film even manages to fit in a cute teenage romantic subplot that of course runs parallel to the main plot and ends up having mishaps, misunderstandings and accidents.

The film isn’t as cynical and dark as the title might suggest or that the premise might seem.

Part of what works is that even the supporting characters are fun and come off as believable and funny and get their own space and time to shine.

This was one of the last really noteworthy roles for actor Keith Coogan. Here he plays the second oldest Kenny a stoner metalhead who manages the household while his sister is away and in staying home also learns a skill that helps him to mature. After all his mistakes at home that cause only more trouble and mishaps. He nearly steals the movie though doesn’t have as much screen time. Though this is definitely a highlight of His work and one of his bigger roles. Definitely one most will remember him for other then ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING.

Production nearly stopped towards the end of shooting due to Christopher Pettiet’s drug addiction, which was starting to get out of control. The producers cut a few of his scenes to keep the film on schedule. Which would explain why he is barely in the movie.

This could have easily been a one-joke movie but it actually has some substance to go along with the comedy it presents. It actually feels well rounded which is rare for a teen comedy. Especially at the time. –If the pace had been a bit quicker this could have been quite a slapstick comedy.

John Landis was originally approached to direct as he was the producer’s first choice. the movie but he turned it down. As did John Hughes who only directed his own scripts and was eager to step away from teen films. Also Richard Donner, Joe Dante rand Joel Schumacher turned it down. This was Director Stephen Herek’s third big-screen film production. He shines here. Which would be his style with most of his films. Which really were more family-centered films. With those other directors, the film would be more an approach of their styles which might be bigger than the actors of the film but might have allowed To be taken more seriously as a comedy. Rather than written off as a dark teen film. Even as it packs plenty of nostalgia no matter what age

GRADE: B-

NOWHERE (1997)

Written, Edited & Directed By: Greg Araki Cinematography: Arturo Smith

Production Design: Patti Podesta

Cast: James Duval, Rachel True, Christina Applegate, Nathan Bexton, Guillermo Diaz, Jeremy Jordan, Kathleen Robertson, Jordan Ladd, Ryan Philippe, Heather Graham, Charlotte Rae, Chiara Mastroianni, Debi Mazar, Joshua Gibran Mayweather, Mena Suvari, Sarah Lassez, Alan Boyce, Jason Simmons, Beverley D’Angelo, Denise Richards, Teresa Hill, Traci Lords, David Leisure, Eve Plumb, John Ritter, Shannen Doherty, Rose McGowan, Christopher Knight, Stacy Kennan, Devon Odessa, Stephane Sednaoui, Gibby Haynes,

In it’s own way this film is like a nihilistic beach party movie. Way removed from Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.

This film is a kind of spoof teen movie like SCREAM making fun of teens and teen movies. While being one but being modern and way over the top. Showcasing what teen moves at the time shows away from showing Drugs, Sex, Suicide, eating disorders, homosexuality, date rape, murder, alien invasions and face it all a rough edge.

The film has cameos and appearances galore which makes it feels like a Robert Altman cast with spot the guest star of musicians and actors who were recognizable at the Time. As well as established actors from television. Where some seem here more to challenge their image and be a bit rebellious

This is a low budget odyssey meant to be surreal with great art direction. The film certainly has a diverse cast where an African American character is the most popular and sought after female in the film. And a Great alternative 90’s soundtrack.

It’s an ensemble so the story and film Is supposed to feel unfocused at times. At heart this film wants to be a comedy. Yet hits in serious issues but at other times ends them in more silly ways.

Though the couples are sexually fluid throughout this is the closest at the time Of director Greg Araki making more heterosexual cinema. As before this most of his film had been considered queer cinema. Though this film has a few same sex pairings.

This is kind of a preview of what his future film KABOOM and Television series NOW APOCALYPSE would be like only more structured. Kind of wish it had more of this films madness and world. Love or hate the films of Greg araki they are never boring.

This is a dark decadent comedy that allows sitcom stars to play against type with different stories going on while an alien invasion is taking place. Letting the stars play more dirty and against type.

This is certainly a film to experience and while more a cult classic that at times tries to find art and beauty in trash. Yet always aspiring to be trash. In more a sharp and stylish way then a John Waters way.

The actual leads of the film are mroe the lesser known names in the cast.

This film seems more like an examination, dedication and showcase of the culture at the time, more California based. Where as it seems full of good looking people, fashion and fads, but they are usually doing the worst or bad things and we get to know some more then just face value. To see what lies inside them and what they cause. As sometimes even the most pretty beauty is all they have to offer. Nothing else really.

The film ends nihilistic like most of Araki’s films here we are all lost or doomed in this unpredictable universe and no matter what all we try and search for is to not be lonely and have that person to go through the best and worst with.

This plays like a demented , warped satire of BEVERY HILLS 90210 and teen movies and culture of the 90’s. The film takes place over one day in california. It follows a group of teen friends and their misadventures. No real solid plot as much of the movie just seems to happen, not much seems actually planned.

Though it’s a teen movie it definitely is not for kids. It tackles all the usual subjects. Drugs (tons of them) Infidelity, Date Rape, Suicide, Love, First dates, Butit also includes new ones like Zombies, Cross Dressing and Fetishes. The film also takes typical cliched characters and turns your pre-concieved notions of them and turns them on their ear.With characters named Dark, zero, ducky, Lucifer, Dingbat, Kozy, Hand Job, and Egg. you know this is not your typical film.

It’s has a very surreal stlye. The saturated colors in scenes. One character even has the lyrics of a song superimposed on his bedroom walls that surround him at every turn. It tries to be more punk style if film more then anything else.

This is the third part of Greg Araki’s Teenage apocalypse trilogy though his film KABOOM deals with similar subjects. Truth be told this at the time was the first film of greg araki’s that i enjoyed. The film is a nihlistic piece of work as usual fro him in his early work. He calls this his first heterosexual film. As most of his previous work was considered gay cinema.

Even though the film takes place in one day. the characters change clothes numerous times throughout the film.

This film is filled with both tons of cameos giving it a all star cast and filled with at the time many up and coming actors. The film is filled with sex but oddly very little nudity. Though it does contain plenty of graphic shocking violence.

This film feels like a chance for the young stars of the film to distort whatever images they have in film and television. To show they have an edge and sense of humor. It also gives them a chanceto do a indie film. Which was the cool thing to do at the time. The film is almost like a time capsule to 90’s culture.

It is a beautiful film to look at no matter how trashy it tries to be. The art Direction, Camera work are truly admirable, but in the same mindset. The film can make things beautiful, but also stomach turning even the characters.

Just like the film the soundtrack is very vivid itself. Scoring the film with uneasiness and energy.

This film is crazy and definately out there, but i can honestly say i enjoyed it enough to give it a mild recommendation.

Grade: B

I AM CHRIS FARLEY (2015)

CHRISFARLEY

 

Directed By: Derik Murray & Brent Hodge
Written By: Steve Burgess
Cinematography By: Shaun Lawless & Geoff Wallace
Editor: J.R. Mackie 

Featuring: Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Lorne Michaels, Bob Saget, David Spade, Christina Applegate, Tom Arnold, Jon Lovitz, Jay Mohr, Bo Derek, Bob Odenkirk, Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd, Molly Shannon, Will Sasso, Will Ferrell, Kevin P. Farley, Fred Wolf, Pat Finn

A documentary on the life of comedian, Chris Farley.

Continue reading “I AM CHRIS FARLEY (2015)”

BAD MOMS (2016)

 

BADMOMS

Written & Directed By: Jon Lucas & Scott Moore
Cinematography By: Jim Denault
Editor: Emma E. Hickox &  James Thomas 


Cast: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Annie Mumolo, Jay Hernandez, Clark Duke, Wendell Pierce, Oona Laurence, Emjay Anthony, David Walton, Wanda Sykes

Amy has a seemingly perfect life – a great marriage, over-achieving kids, a beautiful home and a career. However, she’s overworked, over-committed and exhausted to the point that she’s about to snap. Fed up, she joins forces with two other over-stressed moms on a quest to liberate themselves from conventional responsibilities – going on a wild, un-mom-like binge of long overdue freedom, fun and self-indulgence – putting them on a collision course with PTA Queen Bee Gwendolyn and her clique of devoted perfect moms.

Continue reading “BAD MOMS (2016)”

THE SWEETEST THING (2002)

MSDSWTH EC004

 

Directed By: Roger Kumble
Written By: Nancy Pimental
Cinematography By: Anthony B. Richmond
Editor: David Rennie & Wendy Greene Bricmont

Cast: Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate, Selma Blair, Thomas Jane, Jason Bateman, Parker Posey, Frank Grillo

To ease their roommate through a relationship-induced depression, Christina Walters and Courtney Rockcliffe take her out on the town. During their attempts to find her “Mr. Right Now”, Christina meets Peter Donahue. Missing her opportunity with him that night, Christina is talked into pursuing him to his brother’s wedding.

Continue reading “THE SWEETEST THING (2002)”

VACATION (2015)

_M7C3860.DNG

Written & Directed By: John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein
Based on Characters Created By: John Hughes
Cinematography By: Barry Peterson
Editor:Jamie Gross 


Cast: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann, Chris Hemsworth, Charlie Day, Regina Hall, Keegan-Michael Key, Norman Reedus, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Kaitlin Olsen, Michael Pena, Colin Hanks, Hannah Davis, Ron Livingston,Nick Kroll, Tim Heidecker, Elizabeth Gilles, John Francis Daley

Hoping to bring his family closer together and to recreate his childhood vacation for his own kids, an adult Rusty Griswold takes his wife and two sons on a cross-country road trip to Walley World. Needless to say, things don’t go quite as planned.

Continue reading “VACATION (2015)”

HALL PASS (2011)

Hall Pass

Directed By: Bobby Farrelly & Peter Farrelly
Written By: Pete Jones, Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly & Kevin Barnett
Story By: Pete Jones
Cinematography By: Matthew F. Leonetti
Editor: Sam Seig 


Cast: Owen Wilson, Jason Sudekis, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate, J.B. Smoove, Alexandra Daddario, Rob Moran, Nicky Whelan, Larry Joe Campbell, Stephen Merchant, Lauren Bowles, Richard Jenkins, Tyler Hoechlin, Derek Waters, Alyssa Milano, Joy Behar, Vanessa Angel, Andrew Wilson

A couple of married guys are always looking at other women. Their wives are fed up with their behavior, and grant them a ‘hall pass’: a week off their marriage allowing them to do anything. But the guys take their time and their week is almost up. What they don’t realize is that at the same time their wives make connections of their own.

Continue reading “HALL PASS (2011)”