Tag Archives: home alone

Kevin McAllister’s Brand Loyalty

The next time you watch Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York pay attention to what soda the McAllisters drink. In the first one Pepsi is the brand shown on screen. They even mention it by name: “Fuller, go easy on the Pepsi!” It’s pretty obvious product placement. But in the sequel the McAllisters are drinking Coca-Cola. I question Kevin McAllister’s brand loyalty. You are either a Coke person or a Pepsi person. You don’t switch between the two all nimbly-bimbly. Maybe it’s symbolic of his character growing and maturing, going from a lesser cola to a better one, but I doubt it. My guess is Coke was willing to pay more money to the studio.

Critically Rated at 9/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Top Seventeen Christmas Movies

So Christmas 2013 is less than week away and I’ve somehow managed to avoid watching any Christmas movies. I thought I would celebrate that fact by ranking my top seventeen Christmas movies. And I never saw It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street, so they aren’t included. These are the Christmas movies that I care about.


17. Ernest Saves Christmas is not a good movie, but it’s good enough to be on this list. The late and great Jim Varney plays Ernest, and it’s up to him to find a replacement for the aging Santa Claus and save Christmas.


16. Jingle All the Way would be a forgettable Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy if it wasn’t set at Christmas time. It kind of glorifies the commercial aspect of the holiday, but I love presents so I’m not complaining.


15. Bad Santa is an R-rated black comedy starring Billy Bob Thornton as an alcoholic burglar who robs malls on Christmas Eve. It’s raunchy and hilarious, and not something you can watch with kids in the room.


14. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York reunites young Kevin McCallister with the Wet Bandits. But this time, they are in New York and Kevin has a Talkboy. You can do anything with a Talkboy.


13. Elf is your typical Will Ferrell man-child comedy, but this time he plays an elf. Or a human that was raised as elf. I don’t know, it doesn’t really matter.


12. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is Chevy Chase’s best Christmas movie. There’s no denying it.


11. The Santa Clause is responsible for more people misspelling Santa Claus than any other movie. It also was the foundation for the best Christmas trilogy of all time. Name a better Christmas trilogy.


10. Batman Returns takes place around Christmas. It has Batman in it. And Michelle Pfeiffer in black leather. Merry Christmas indeed.


9. The Nightmare Before Christmas is dark and creepy, but it’s still a family film. It’s easily the most visually interesting film on this list, plus it has great characters and musical numbers.


8. Gremlins manages to combine humor and horror into a holiday film. I don’t even know how that’s possible, but they pull it off.


7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is the original animated Dr. Seuss classic, not the bloated Jim Carrey live action film. You know that Christmas is just around the corner when you’re flipping channels and stumble upon the Grinch.


6. The Muppet Christmas Carol is another retelling of the classic story by Charles Dickens, only with Muppets. And Muppets make everything better. Michael Caine plays a good Ebenezer Scrooge.


5. Home Alone made Macaulay Culkin a star, and it made child neglect funny again. It was the original family comedy without the family.


4. Scrooged is yet another take on the Dickens classic. Bill Murray plays a Scrooge-like television executive who gets visited by three ghosts so he can learn the true meaning of Christmas. Bill Murray is like bacon, he makes everything better.


3. A Charlie Brown Christmas is the best animated Christmas movie. Everybody has seen it, everybody loves it, and everybody knows that Charlie Brown sucks at picking out Christmas trees.


2. Die Hard is badass. It’s one of the best action films of all time. It made Bruce Willis a superstar, it introduced us to Alan Rickman, and the world can never be thankful enough. It’s also the only Christmas movie that you can watch every day without being judged.


1. A Christmas Story is the best Christmas movie of all time. Was there ever any doubt? It’s the perfect blend of nostalgia, consumerism, and family values. It’s funny, it’s heartwarming, it’s quotable, and it’s a shared experience. It’s not Christmas until you catch it on the 24-hour TBS marathon.

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Thinking You Are Home Alone When You Aren’t

If you live with other people, you are generally aware if you are home alone or not. When other people are there, you act normally. When you think you are home alone you are more likely to use the bathroom with the door open, or sing a Katy Perry song with passionate off-key wails, or have a full on conversation out loud with yourself. And then you see your roommate staring at you with disbelief. The only thing you can do is play it off like you knew he was there the whole time and keep on singing.

Critically Rated at 7/17

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Home Alone

Macaulay Culkin was the shit. If there was ever a case for developing anti-growth hormones, it would be to keep him from reaching puberty. I’m sure Michael Jackson would agree. Home Alone is an awesome movie, essential viewing for any happy childhood. It’s they story of 8-year old Kevin McCallister who is accidently left home alone when his family goes to Paris for Christmas vacation. Chris Columbus directs and John Hughes produced and wrote this family favorite.

Kevin is kind of a brat, but he is picked on and excluded by his large family. He makes a wish that his family would disappear, and instead they totally forget about him and leave for an amazing vacation without him. At first he’s ok with it and has fun doing whatever he wants without anybody telling him what to do. Too bad Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, a.k.a. Harry and Marv, a.k.a. the Wet Bandits decide to loot his neighborhood, including Kevin’s house. Kevin decides that it’s time for him to man up and defend his house, and so he devises a crazy plan that uses tons of booby traps and with a little luck he disrupts their plans and saves Christmas.

John Heard and Catherine O’Hara play Kevin’s parents. They have a big family and don’t always have time for Kevin. They love him though. They have to. Catherine O’Hara is Kate McCallister, the frantic mom who would sell her soul to the Devil himself just to get back to her son. There could be a spinoff about Home Alone from her POV. She left her son home alone, she realizes it halfway to Paris, and spends the next few days bartering her way from airport to airport, bumming rides, and essentially doing whatever she can to get home. She even hangs out with John Candy and his Polka buddies.

There is an actual story, a real plot… but I think that the booby trap/house raid was thought of first, and then they built the movie around that. The booby traps are very elaborate and obviously planned out. The whole plot of leaving Kevin home alone is just an excuse to have a kid physically abuse two bad guys. The police are a joke; they don’t do anything to help Kevin. The Santa Claus knows that a little kid is all alone on Christmas Eve, just wishing for his parents to come home. He even knows his address and does nothing to help. The pizza guy thinks he got shot at, knows the address, and doesn’t report it? There are so many adults that Kevin has encounters with, and not one of them is competent enough to recognize that he needs help.

The booby trap/house raid sequence will make you laugh and squirm, especially moments like the nail going into Marv’s foot and Harry’s hand getting branded by the doorknob. I still get shivers down my spine when the Wet Bandits catch Kevin and Harry says he’s going to bite off Kevin’s fingers. It makes everything Kevin did to them justified.

Home Alone was more than a movie growing up. It was a career opportunity. Whenever I was sick or pretending to be sick, it was up to me to defend my house. I must have lived in a decent neighborhood, because I never got my chance to hurt any burglars. At least I could live my dreams through Kevin.

Critically Rated at 14/17

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