Bad News Bears
Bad News Bears (1976) is a summer classic that has just as much sports appeal as it does comedy.
Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau), a former major league baseball player turned alcoholic, is forced to coach the worst little league team in Southern California.
This misfit band of children, and The Bear’s star player Kelly (Jackie Earle Haley), a motorcycle riding cigarette smoking delinquent. The Bears go through a unique and somewhat lazy training process that slowly improves their talents on the field while keeping them still believable given how many games they lose.
Bad News Bears is unlike most sports films where the common clichés make many movies in this genre (sports) predictable and mediocre, leaving much to be desired. Bad News Bears is also realistic and teaches moral values along the way, mainly being that winning isn’t everything and by losing there is always a chance at success because of the determination to succeed.
This film shows that winning sometimes comes at a cost due to the loss of integrity, sportsmanship, respect and sense of self in the process.
Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) is determined to spend more time with his family while giving them a worthwhile and memorable cross-country road trip from Chicago to Los Angeles.
National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) has its light-hearted and dark comedic moments that mix the morality of family values with Griswold’s proud arrogance and selfish actions, giving him an edge to his wholesomeness.
One such scene is when Aunt Edna’s (Imogene Coca) dog Dinky is killed as a result of Griswold’s buffoonery and short attention span.
Every psychologically straining moment drives Griswold deeper into his obsession of giving his family the perfect vacation. Upon arriving in Los Angeles at the Walley World theme park that the Griswold’s had trekked across the U.S., only to discover it is closed for repairs. Griswold has a mental breakdown and takes Walley World security guard Russ Lasky (John Candy) at BB gun-point demanding he takes them through Wally World until the owner and SWAT arrive at the park.
A summer comedy directed by Ivan Reitman, follows the foolery and misadventure of male head counselor Tripper Harrison (Bill Murray) and his fellow counselors-in-training at Camp North Star.
The main focus of the film is camper Rudy Gerner (Chris Makepeace) who is sent to North Star over the summer by his father and soon forms a friendship with Harrison.
Harrison helps Gerner gain self-confidence, while Gerner helps Harrison get together with female head counselor Roxanne (Kate Lynch).
Subplots involve the various romantic relationships of the counselors-in-training and a long-standing rivalry against Camp Mohawk.
The most memorable prank is when Harrison and the other campers relocate Melnick’s bed, while he’s sleeping in it, to locations such as the lake or on the side of the road. While the story-line is predicable, Meatballs (1979) doesn’t fail when it comes to entertaining audiences with a wholesome and worthwhile summer film.
The pinnacle of sports comedy, Caddyshack (1980), isn’t only a laugh-riot but has tons of memorable dialogue, slap-stick and a soundtrack by Kenny Loggins.
The story of Danny (Michael O’Keefe) and his aspirations of being accepted into college in the grand scope of the film is more like a subplot that interrupts what could be considered movie’s focus, which is mainly the antics of the comic relief.
Carl Spackler (Bill Murray), Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) and Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield) give Caddyshack a majority of its unforgettable jokes and quotes, especially when it comes to rivalry between the Spackler and the gopher. The confrontation between Danny and Judge Elihu Smails (Ted Knight) interrupts the comedy with unnecessary drama; as does Maggie’s (Sarah Holcomb) pregnancy scare, while dramatic, also seems out of place in this movie.
The ending is underwhelming but nevertheless unforgettable thanks to Spackler and the gopher.
The horror thriller masterpiece Jaws (1975) is the perfect summer movie if plans include avoiding the ocean at all costs.
The tale of a man-eating shark roaming the open ocean near a small New England port town is a timeless classic that received some critical praise and skepticism upon its release; given that some critics saw Jaws having ideological meanings similar to the (then-recent) Watergate Scandal.
Brody (Roy Scheider) is similar to Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) from the Evil Dead series, being every bit as courageous and intelligence against forces that could kill him with ease, or vice versa.
The ending is unforgettable and gives a feeling of an impossible challenge being overcome thanks to determination and logic.
Whether it’s safe to go back in the water or not, Jaws will always remind society of what dangers lurk deep within the ocean.
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