Why The Ice Harvest Is One of Harold Ramis’s Best Movies

by Ethan Alter February 24, 2014 5:11 pm
Why <i>The Ice Harvest</i> Is One of Harold Ramis’s Best Movies

Many of the testimonials about the life and career of Harold Ramis, who died Monday morning in his native Chicago, will deservedly highlight his involvement -- as either a writer, director or actor (and occasionally all three) -- in such superior, generation-defining comedies as Caddyshack, National Lampoon's Vacation, Back to School, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day and Analyze This. There's one deserving movie that may be left out of the conversation, though and that's The Ice Harvest, a wicked, witty little thriller that Ramis directed in 2005.

Happy Anniversary: National Lampoon’s Vacation

by Ethan Alter May 20, 2013 6:00 am
Happy Anniversary: <i>National Lampoon’s Vacation</i>

When the 30th anniversary Blu-ray edition of National Lampoon's Vacation (which hits shelves tomorrow) crossed my desk, two thoughts went through my head. 1) "I haven't seen this in ages!" and 2) "30th anniversary? Man, I am old." To my surprise, though, the movie itself doesn't feel as ancient as I did in that moment or as many comedies from that era do today. (Seen Meatballs lately? Yikes.) In fact, period fashions, music cues and surprising amounts of casual nudity aside, Vacation is fairly timeless in its comedy. The Griswold clan's ill-fated road trip to Walley World still makes us laugh in large part because the characters' personalities and the madcap situations they become ensnared in remain relatable and funny to viewers past and present.

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