Tag Archives: planes trains and automobiles
How to Be a Man (2013)
Directed by Chadd Harbold
Written by Bryan Gaynor, Chadd Harbold, and Gavin McInnes
Story by Chadd Harbold
Mild spoilers ahead.
I love me some Gavin McInnes. From his appearances on Red Eye, to his pieces for Taki Mag, to his YouTube shorts, to his standup, to his book, to his previous feature-film, The Brotherhood of the Traveling Rants, I’m certainly a fan of his work, and a fan of him as a person, too—when I interviewed him here last year, he was a delight. Sweet and honest and gracious, the polar opposite of what his detractors might expect him to be based on his brash demeanor and polarizing views on all things life. I see him as a living embodiment of the phrase ‘warts and all’, and an inspiration to anyone who holds honesty as a virtue. A man as man ‘might be and ought to be’, to borrow a Rand-ism.
All this to say, I have a knot in my stomach as I write this review, because I have a duty to be honest here—a duty as a critic, of course, but also, a duty to Gavin and all that he stands for. He would not want me to sugarcoat my feelings on this film just because I like him. That would not be very manly of me. And so, here goes.
I did not like this movie.
Now is the time of year where we humans rewatch our favorite holiday flicks, the ones we’ve seen a million times and can stand to see a million times more. Planes, Trains & Automobiles and Home Alone 1 & 2 come instantly to mind for me, and I know I’m not an island in that regard. We all tend to revere the same handful or so, largely due to the fact that there really aren’t too many that are transcendent.
In holding dear to our tippy-top favs though, it’s easy to forget about the ones that are just plain very good—or even hear about them. The ones I’ve listed below have yet to get their due, which is a damn shame, because they’re a lot of fun. They may not be perfect, but each has something unique and beautiful to offer. You may not end up watching them every single year, but you may toss them on every couple or so.
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
Directed by Stephen Herek
Written by Chris Matheson & Ed Solomon
Very mild spoilers.
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is almost perfect. It’s very original, the characters are cleverly constructed, there are some cool visuals, the ride is a lot of fun, and there’s even a few touching moments. But it’s missing a certain fundamental piece of storytelling, the absence of which prevents it from being transcendent. Instead, it’s merely a bonafide classic (which is still pretty damned good).