Liveblogging the '90s: 'Home Alone'
We’re going a bit backwards. See, last year, I liveblogged Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Because it was the lesser in the McCallister series. But I realized that there is much ground to cover in the original. Because this was just a more chipper score and a few ornamental bulbs away from being We Need to Talk About Kevin. So let’s dive in.
0:00 - The credits sequence moves along at a much faster clip than the sequel. Jesus God, the credits in the other one go on for about a full third of the movie.
0:01 - Is it common for people to just wander into a stranger’s house and no one is bothered? In Goodnight, Mommy I thought maybe it was just some weird German thing, but Joe Pesci just kind of walks in. Granted, he’s a burglar dressed as a cop. This is perhaps too early to get bogged down in specifics.
0:02 - “Hang up the phone and make me, why dontcha?” You know, I question the parenting skills of everyone in this movie. They raised Buzz after all and he’s an actual troll.
0:02 - John Heard can’t shave in France without a voltage adaptor. He is clean shaven. USE A DAMN RAZOR. Fucking rich people. Your wallpaper is still stupid.
0:03 - OK in the first three minutes, Kevin has backsassed (I’m 78 years old) multiple times, nearly killed his aunt with toy cars and stolen his dad’s new fish hooks. I mean, I’d kind of leave him in the attic, too.
0:03 - The only one who seems to be aware of how useless everyone is in this movie is Delia Fisher from My So-Called Life. It’s her gift in all things.
0:04 - Kevin’s older siblings are calling him an idiot and helpless because he’s 8 and can’t pack a suitcase. Totally realistic (I once called my brother a dildo—I was 12 and he was 9. No I didn’t know what a dildo was.) but in the kid’s defense what 8-year-old is entrusted to pack a complete suitcase? Is a child of 8 going to pack underwear or a toothbrush? Hell no. My 8-year-old suitcases were always one T-shirt and 16 Baby-Sitters’ Club books.
0:05 - Can you imagine that many family members being in your house packing suitcases and yelling? Who among us wouldn’t spaz out on Pepsi and dairy?
0:06 - Buzz has a typewriter and is packing his portable cassette player. Oh 1990 you’re so cute. He also hates the elderly man who sweetly salts the sidewalk so his neighboring Winnetkan millionnaires don’t slip and sprain all their ankles.
0:09 - This scene has the following things: Buzz eating an entire cheese pizza in under two minutes just to be a dick. Loud fake vomiting. Kieran Culkin getting VERY excited about wetting the bed. An adult man calling a small child a jerk. The whole family angrily glaring at said small child because he spilled some milk (a 2-liter of PEPSI! PROUD SPONSOR OF THE 20TH CENTURY FOX FILM HOME ALONE! was spilled as well but that was John Heard’s fault, and Kieran Culkin was smashed too but that was all Uncle Frank). What awful humans.
0:11 - “There are 15 people in this house and you’re the only one who has to make trouble.” The fact that NO ONE seems to mind what a nightmare Buzz is only further fuels my theory that he is the product of an affair betwixt Catherine O’Hara and Uncle Frank and everyone just lets him get away with everything to not have to think about his origin.
0:11 - “I am upstairs, dummy.” THESE CHILDREN ARE SO DISRESPECTFUL. (I’m 84 years old. I’ve aged since the last old-person comment I made.)
0:13 - See this is the difference between John Hughes and whatever charlatan wrote Home Alone 2 (oh, it was John Hughes, too? NEVER MIND THEN). In this movie, there’s an overnight power outage. In the other movie, John Heard just unplugs the clock like a dummy and no one else in the family believes in clocks or something.
0:16 - I’m not even mad about cousin who counted annoying neighbor as Kevin. All young kids look the same in hats. I’m only mad at the parents who didn’t at least check on their smallest child who didn’t have a bag packed.
0:17 - I just had a vision of being stuck flying anywhere near any of those kids. Or Uncle Frank. You pay a lot to be in first class to be stuck with Uncle Frank.
0:18 - So the real Home Alone house sold for $1.6 million a few years back and I have to imagine it was on the market for $2 mil and they knocked of a few bucks because of all the ugly wallpaper. So. Many. Wallpapers.
0:19 - Uncle Frank just stealing shit and harassing flight attendants for free booze. He’s neat.
0:20 - Guys, Buzz has a literal gun on his wall. I believe in stronger gun laws but specifically for Buzz. Background checks should include “how big an asshole is the person buying this gun?”
0:24 - Oh, right, I forgot the gun was to show us how good a shot Kevin is. He’s good at everything. KEVIN MCCALLISTER IS A MARY SUE.
0:24 - Guys, remember the sequel to Angels with Filthy Souls in Home Alone 2 that had a woman murdered and implied vaginal odor? Sequels are weird.
0:25 - “Did I turn off the coffee?” YOU HAD TIME TO MAKE COFFEE BUT NOT TO CHECK ON YOUR YOUNGEST BABY CHILD?
0:30 - So, you’re Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci. You are thieves skilled enough to have a very realistic Chicago police uniform. How does it seem more likely that only the child is home than the child plus at least some adult is home? It’s almost like this movie isn’t a documentary shot in real-time.
0:34 - The police do not come out on top in this film. It’s the suburbs. You’re not THAT busy, guys. But again THE PARENTS how do you a) tell the police “just to check on him.” It’s going to take you at least 12 hours to get home even if you get on a flight right now, b) not call the police again IMMED-JITLEY and tell them “I won’t be home for like two days, PICK THIS KID UP AND TAKE HIM INTO HUGGY FLUFFY CUSTODY!”
0:36 - What does one do with trading cards? Like…trade them? Is it like old timey Fantasy Football that I also don’t understand?
0:37 - Oh. Right. Big-ass spider. Forgot about you there, big-ass spider.
0:38 - What’s the point of stealing things if you’re breaking everything with a crowbar before dropping everything—made of crystal mind you—into a shitty sack? GLASS SHARDS EVERYWHERE.
0:41 - Can you imagine if your house was burgled AND flooded? That would just be annoying. You’re terrified and violated and on top of everything else your socks are wet. It’s some bullshit.
0:44 - I never understand in movies how people running from someone on their immediate tail has time to find a disguise and pretend to be a statue or something rather than just hiding behind the goddamn structure they’re pretending to be part of.
0:45 - This kid’s pulley system game is STRONG. Is his family cruel to him because he’s an impossible genius?
0:48 - Hey, Little Nero’s kid? At a certain point it is on YOU to stop skidding into the damn front porch.
0:49 - I don’t think it’s illegal for children to pay for pizza, so this movie stunt may have been unnecessary. It’s probably illegal to make teenage pizza delivery boys think they’re being shot with machine guns, however.
0:49 - All worth it to have that pizza to yourself though, Kev. I get it. Respect.
0:54 - My first grocery store trip living in Chicago, my shopping bags broke, too. I feel that this is a commentary on the Chicago area’s shoddy grocery bags.
1:01 - You know, it would be almost worth abandoning your child to ride in a van with John Candy and some oompah instruments.
1:03 - “We’ll come back around 9 o’clock, that way it’s dark.” Um, Illinois in December it’s dark by 4:30, Joey Pesch.
1:05 - The guy who plays Santa was just on an episode of Girl Meets World. Guys, Girl Meets World is a really good show. Shut up. IT IS. NO YOU SHUT UP!
1:06 - I guess I just don’t understand how you can be smart enough to set up an elaborate pulley system involving trains and physics but not to just tell any random adult “Help please my parents are gone and there are murder burglars out to get me.” Even the old man neighbor you’ve church-bonded with.
1:09 - That said, if you are old man neighbor church-bonding with the child, how do you not ask, “hey, btdubs, why are you here by yourself on Christmas Eve? That’s a weird thing for an 8-year-old to be doing. Did I tell you I have a complicated relationship with my son? Anyway, maybe I should check on you or something. Or not. Whatevs, yo.”
1:13 - “Yep, small boy, you just run out of this here church here in the dark of night by yourself and run home alone, it’s totes kosh. Super cool. Did I mention I miss my son? I miss my son. Anyway, be cool, little one. Don’t get murdered by burglars on our much-burgled street. Peace out, boy scout.”
1:14 - This kid’s genius level is impossible and he literally only uses it for chaos and destruction and bodily injury. HE COULD BE CURING DISEASE.
1:16 - The 8-year-old knows the order silverware goes in. I don’t even know that. Also, these are impeccably punctual burglars. Also, he didn’t get to eat his dinner. HOW CAN YOU ASSAULT THE INTRUDERS ON AN EMPTY STOMACH?
1:17 - I know enough about men to know that this entire movie actually ends the second he takes a BB gun to the ballsack.
OK, I’m just going to list injuries now:
— BB gun to the balls
— BB gun to the face
— Slip on ice, land on back
— Slip on ice, fall down stairs
— Drop own crowbar on own head
— Slip on ice again, fall backwards onto head and neck
— Pull hot iron onto face
— Burn hand on red-hot doorknob
— Fall down stairs
— Walk up sticky stairs, step on nail
— Entire sphincter sucks up into body at the site of stepping on nail (that one was me)
— Homemade flamethrower to the scalp
— Slip on ice again
— Sticky plastic wrap to the face, feathers to the sticky (what a pleasant break)
— Step on glass ornaments with bare feet
— Slip on toy cars
— Paint can to the face
— Paint can to the face
— Loss of gold tooth
— Trip over wire
— Tarantula to the face
— Crowbar to the chest
— Crowbar to the shoulder several times in vengeance
— Swing into house from elaborate treehouse rope situation
— Two hits with shovel
Everyone’s fine, obvs.
1:30 - Old man neighbor man takes Kevin home AND LEAVES HIM THERE ALONE. No wonder your relationship with your son is strained.
1:32 - And Kevin cleans it all up in the time it takes the burgles to be taken off to jail. He can’t pack a suitcase but damn can he tidy up some melted tar on a stairwell.
Excuse me if I’m not as verbose for the end of the movie. My intern just woke up from naptime.
1:37 - How is it even possible that there are like five hugs and then “we need to go to the store and get some milk?” THE KID AT LEAST DESERVES IHOP.
1:38 - Aw, bless, old man neighbor man clearly thought “speaking of neglecting children clearly in need of some manner of adult care and protection, better call my son. Hope that neighbor kid’s still alive. Son, have I told you about my relationship with you my son?”
And we end with a presumed senseless beating from Buzz to Kevin. Happy holidays my friends and lovelies.
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