“Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” – Nathan’s Movie Challenge, Week 12
“Her first baby came out sideways. She didn’t scream or nothin’.”
I like John Hughes movies – as most folks do. They generally have the right mixture of interesting characters, outlandish situations, a morality tale intertwined, and a bit of heart sandwiching it all together.
Steve Martin and John Candy are suitably loveable and detestable simultaneously. The road trip feel to the movie gives the story a brisk pace, despite how many setbacks they continue to have.
As a comedy, I’m not necessarily that overjoyed with it. There were a few chuckles here and there, but I was more enamored with the relationship growth and underlying humanity of it than the slapstick or one-liners.
It’s kind of a flat look, too – nothing particularly creative in terms of cinematography or lighting.
I’m still glad I finally saw it, and still want to see the other Hughes movies that have escaped me like Sixteen Candles or She’s Having a Baby. I’ve seen Uncle Buck, but I don’t have it ranked yet because my memory of it is non-existent. It would require a rewatch to give it any proper evaluation.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles was at the time of this review at #262 on my Flickchart list of shame (ranked #494 among the best movies of all time). Here’s how it entered my chart:
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles vs. Poseidon
Poseidon is pretty average, at best. It could have been a much better remake. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles wins.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles vs. Equilibrium
Equilibrium is so odd because of how strangely it was handled in terms of its theater distribution. It’s not great, but it’s got some extraordinarily cool ideas behind it. It wins the matchup.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles vs. Battle: Los Angeles
Battle: Los Angeles is also a film that is flawed, but succeeds by its ambition despite itself. I like the attempt at ultra-realism in the face of an alien invasion.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles vs. Martian Child
I’m a big fan of John Cusack and will see pretty much anything he’s in. This little tale is a fun and interesting one, and will win this battle.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles vs. TRON: Legacy
Planes, Trains & Automobiles, barely. Tron: Legacy loses out because of how disappointing it was. Good soundtrack, though!
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles vs. Lovelace
Peter Sarsgaard is always an excellent antagonist. He seems to always effortlessly play a real asshole in every “evil” role he plays. I’ll give it to Lovelace based on his and Seyfried’s performances alone.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles vs. Star Trek Into Darkness
While it wasn’t fantastic, there were a lot of exceptional visual elements and story beats in Star Trek Into Darkness. It’ll win the matchup.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles vs. Predator 2
As much as I enjoy the awful Predator 2, I know it’s awful. Planes, Trains & Automobiles wins.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles vs. The Adventures of Tintin
I am not a fan of Tintin. It’s one of my least favorite things Spielberg has ever been involved with. Boring, too long, and pointless. Planes, Trains & Automobiles beats it.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles vs. Rush Hour
Rush Hour is a buddy cop movie that works. It also makes me miss Chris Tucker, who’s always funny in just about eveything he’s in. It was nice to see him in a small role in Silver Linings Playbook. Rush Hour wins.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is now ranked #641 out of 1385 movies on my Best Movies of All-Time chart.
Rocky and Marathon Man are up next. In the meantime, check out the other films I’ve ranked during the challenge.