Tag: Movies

The Critics: ‘Due Date’

When I first wrote about “Due Date” a few months back, I compared it to the 1980s road trip classic, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” Now that the movie has arrived in theaters, many critics are drawing the same parallel—but the new flick, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis, just doesn’t hold up when compared with “Planes, Trains.”

New York Magazine’s David Edelstein describes “a premise so wrung-out I’m bored recounting it—two viscerally mismatched people thrown together on a desperate road trip,” and the Christian Science Monitor’s Peter Rainer suggests that “if the comic premise of this film appeals to you, you’d be better off renting ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’.” Over at Slate, Dana Stevens adds: “It’s not that a reworking of this familiar material couldn’t be made funny again, but it would take a lot more imagination than this movie, directed by dude-comedy auteur Todd Phillips (‘Road Trip,’ ‘Old School,’ ‘The Hangover’), seems willing to put in.”

I caught the movie this weekend, too, and I was not impressed. The drive from Atlanta to L.A.—a road trip with plenty of potential—provided only a few miserly scenic shots, and while there was a handful of good laughs, too many of the jokes fell flat. I’ll give David Edelstein the last word:

At journey’s end, though, “Due Date” is less than exhilarating. It’s still a formula mismatched buddy movie that goes nowhere you haven’t been, happy to hug the Interstate, willfully oblivious to other roads and a more surprising—and even more riotous—world elsewhere.

R.I.P. Barbara Billingsley

She most famously played June Cleaver on “Leave It to Beaver,” but we’ll always remember her for the scene she stole in Airplane! She was 94.

Travel Movie Watch Update: ‘127 Hours’

Just under a year ago we noted that “Slumdog Millionaire” director Danny Boyle would soon be starting work on “127 Hours,” the true story of Aron Ralston‘s canyoneering accident and escape. The trailer is here, and—among other things—it makes me want to book a flight to Utah as soon as possible. The movie’s due out November 5.

(Via Gawker)

Travel Movie Watch Update: ‘The Tourist’

Sound familiar? That’s because we blogged this flick just over a year ago—as a thriller starring Charlize Theron and Sam Worthington. The movie’s due out in December, only the lead characters—a seductive Interpol agent and the hapless tourist who gets caught up in her schemes—are now being played by Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.

Here’s the trailer, complete with plenty of European vistas and on-the-TGV intrigue:

(Via the L.A. Times and Eli Ellison)

Travel Movie Watch: ‘Gulliver’s Travels’

We blogged about the adaptation when it was first announced a couple years back, and now the release date is in sight—“Gulliver’s Travels” is due out December 22nd. Here’s the trailer:

(Via Gawker)

Travel Movie Watch: ‘Wanderlust’

Details are still thin on this one, but it looks as though the Judd Apatow comedy crew is turning its attention to travel. Wanderlust stars Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd as an “urban couple” who hit the road, aiming to “live a more counter-culture lifestyle.” Apatow is producing, while Rudd and director David Wain are collaborating on the screenplay.

David Wain also directed one of our favorite summer vacation movies, “Wet Hot American Summer,” and Paul Rudd is one of my favorite actors, so from where I’m sitting this looks promising. “Wanderlust” is due out in 2011. (Via Frank Bures)

The ‘On the Road’ Movie: It’s Really Happening, and Soon

When a couple of major casting decisions for the long-awaited flick were announced this spring, I remained skeptical about the project hitting theaters anytime soon. Turns out I should have been more optimistic: “On the Road” is filming now, in locations as far-flung as Montreal, New Orleans, San Francisco and New Mexico. Get the Big Picture’s Colin Boyd thinks it could be ready for Sundance 2011.

A number of heavyweights have joined the cast in supporting roles: Amy Adams, Viggo Mortenson, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Steve Buscemi and Terrence Howard will all make appearances. I’ll admit, I’m getting excited for this one.

‘Eat, Pray, Love’: Eight Great Links

The long-awaited adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” is in theaters at last, and it’s receiving no shortage of media attention. Here are a few worthy entry points.

Start with Jezebel’s brilliant “Eat, Pray, Love” bingo scorecard. If you decide to go see the flick—despite the advice of the underwhelmed World Hum Travel Movie Club—then be sure to bring one along. And if you’re still on the fence about the movie, this helpful “Should You See Eat, Pray, Love?” graphic may help.

The Daily Beast offers Eat, Pray, Love: A Man’s Guide—it’s a good read that focuses on the book rather than the movie—and the New York Post has a story on EPL-inspired guru devotees who’ve lost their shirts rather than finding enlightenment.

Our own Liz Sinclair wrote about her time as an extra on the “Eat, Pray, Love” set in Ubud earlier this year, while over at Jezebel again, Jessica Olien declares that Elizabeth Gilbert has ruined Bali. Finally, Pico Iyer compares the Bali that appears in the book with its big-screen cousin, and notes that “in the 26 years that I’ve been regularly returning to the island, rumors of its imminent demise have been as regular—and as long-lasting—as the full moon.” Indeed.

World Hum Travel Movie Club: ‘Eat, Pray, Love’

A big-screen incarnation of author Elizabeth Gilbert heads to Italy, India and Indonesia. Eva Holland and Eli Ellison go along for the ride.

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Roger Ebert on ‘Lost in Translation’

I’ve never read a more insightful piece about the beauty and nuance in Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation”—a masterpiece of a film—than this one. Coppola has one objective, Ebert writes:

She wants to show two people lonely in vast foreign Tokyo and coming to the mutual realization that their lives are stuck. Perhaps what they’re looking for is the same thing I’ve heard we seek in marriage: A witness. Coppola wants to get that note right. There isn’t a viewer who doesn’t expect Bob Harris and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) to end up in love, or having sex, or whatever. We’ve met Charlotte’s husband John (Giovanni Ribisi). We expect him to return unexpectedly from his photo shoot and surprise them together. These expectations have been sculpted, one chip of Hollywood’s chisel after another, in tens of thousands of films. The last thing we expect is… what would probably actually happen. They share loneliness.

Among other highlights, Ebert explains why he can’t take his eyes off of Bob Harris (Bill Murray) in the film, and why whatever Johansson’s character whispers into Bob’s ear at the end simply doesn’t matter. (Via LAObserved)

Travel Movie Watch: ‘Due Date’

Otherwise known as “Planes, Trains and Automobiles 2010,” to judge by the trailer. Robert Downey Jr. plays the straitlaced family man on his way to Los Angeles for the birth of his first child; Zach Galifianakis is the chatty oddball along for the ride. It’s not clear why they aren’t flying, but they aren’t—and trans-American hijinx ensue.

“Due Date” hits theaters in November. (Via Get the Big Picture)

Newsweek Takes a Road Trip Through Pop Culture History

Travel-themed works featured in the slideshow run the gamut from “The Odyssey” to “Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas.” A few of our favorite summer vacation movies and favorite fictional travelers make the grade.  (Via @SophiaDembling)

Daisann McLane: ‘Movies and Travel Make a Great Match’

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably heard it before: “Why are you wasting time in a movie theater when you should be out sampling the local culture?” World Hum contributor Daisann McLane has an articulate and convincing answer—which, yes, I’ll be cribbing from in future conversations with my fellow travelers. Here’s McLane on movie-going on the road:

When I first began to travel, I craved experiences that were totally different from what I already knew. But as I got more mileage under my belt, I discovered it was more interesting to follow my regular routines and see how my familiar furniture was rearranged by being in another place. When I travel by myself, I steer myself to places and activities I enjoy anyway, such as movies, and wait. Some of the most interesting experiences I’ve had have been watching films “out of context.”

Celebrating ‘Airplane!’ at 30

The New York Times weighs in for the 30th anniversary of the comedic masterpiece, a movie that, on its 25th anniversary, I argued is one of the best travel movies of all time.

Here Come the ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ Product Tie-Ins

With the movie adaptation just weeks away, the Los Angeles Times books blog has an intimidating list:

By the time the movie opens in August, you will be able to get “Eat, Pray, Love” furnishings from Cost Plus; shop the “Eat, Pray, Love” way with the Home Shopping Network, get “Eat, Pray, Love” jewelry from Dogeared, spray “Eat, Pray, Love” eau de parfum from Fresh, wear organic “Eat, Pray, Love” T-shirts from Signorelli, and drink “Eat, Pray, Love” tea.

I’m holding out for the official “Eat, Pray, Love” Yoga Mat and DIY Ashram Home Decorating Kit, myself. (Via @julia914)

Happy Birthday, Hotel Horror Movies!

Time to dust off a couple of classic DVDs for a very scary birthday celebration. Hitchcock’s “Psycho” has been scaring travelers in their motel showers for five decades this week, while “The Shining” turned 30 last month—the Atlantic’s James Parker visited the hotels that inspired Stephen King’s novel and Stanley Kubrick’s subsequent movie for the occasion.

Both movies made our list of 13 Great Travel Horror Movies a couple years back.

R.I.P. Dennis Hopper

Hopper wrote, directed and starred in the road trip classic “Easy Rider,” which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year. The New York Times obituary includes an overview of his long and varied career.

Tales of a Second Grade Traveler

Is it possible to pinpoint the moment a girl becomes a traveler? Julia Ross thinks so.

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Mapped: California as the World’s Stand-In

In 1927, Paramount Studios apparently produced this map of California, designating cities and regions that could double as various parts of the world. Now I can say I grew up near the stand-in for Wales. (Via The Map Room)

Travel Movie Watch: ‘180 Degrees South’

180 South looks like a great new outdoorsy travel documentary. In it, Jeff Johnson retraces a 1968 road trip from Ventura, California, to southern Patagonia undertaken by Yvon Chouinard and a few others. The film features surfing and climbing, and, it seems, a healthy dose of philosophizing about travel and life.

It’s touring the country now—dates and locations are listed here—and it comes out on DVD in June. Here’s the trailer: