Friday, August 7, 2009

Remembering John Hughes, John Smoltz and Steven Tyler

The List

My five favorite films written, directed and/or produced by John Hughes, who died Thursday after suffering a heart attack at age 59:

5. Home Alone. Just because Macaulay Culkin has become the butt of jokes, it doesn't mean this flick wasn't a blast. Sadly, this 1990 film was the last really good one Hughes made.

4. The Breakfast Club. From the script to the cast to the message, this was the best of the '80s Molly Ringwald trilogy. (Although I admit it: I laughed more at Sixteen Candles.)

3. Ferris Bueller's Day Off. In addition to giving a generation of teenagers fresh ideas on how to play hooky, this turned Matthew Broderick into a major star. Of course, it also turned him into Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago.

2. National Lampoon's Vacation. Hughes wrote the perfect screenplay for Chevy Chase, whose Clark Griswold is one of the funniest screen dads ever. Watch this again and, as Clark would say, "You'll be whistling Zip-a-dee-doo-dah out your a--holes!"

1. Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Often overlooked on those "greatest comedy ever" lists that come out every year or two, this John Candy-Steve Martin buddy farce produced more laughs per minute than just about anything out there. I especially loved that Martin, who by 1987 pretty much had stopped being funny, was cast as the straight man for Candy, who was never funnier. As a result, Martin actually was funny again. Just because Hughes was known for his many coming-of-age flicks, it doesn't mean this film about and for grown-ups (OK, very immature grown-ups like me) wasn't numero uno. Three words sum it all up, folks: "Those aren't pillows!"

The Bald Truth

If John Smoltz is supposed to be the answer for the Red Sox, the question must be:

What future Hall of Famer with an 8.33 ERA should retire already?

The Balder Truth

I'm not sure the best plan is to put more money into the Cash For Clunkers program.

But really, enough about Milton Bradley and Barry Zito ...


Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler got hurt falling from a stage during a concert in South Dakota.

Jeesh. As if falling so far that one has to play a concert in South Dakota isn't painful enough.


  1. sturgis - largest motorcycle gathering in the world?

  2. Plains/Trains.....awesomely funny and poignant movie that makes me really really miss John Candy every time I see it.

    Ha, I thought the same thing about Steven Tyler....the only thing I'd go there to see is Mt Rushmore and it's free!