National Lampoon's Vacation
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Collection of four comedies following the Griswold family's vacations. In 'National Lampoon's Vacation' (1983), the West Coast Wally World theme park is the Griswold's holiday destination, and they intend to drive there cross-country all the way from their Chicago home. Father Clark (Chevy Chase) has planned the trip down to its last detail, but the trouble begins as soon as they hit the road. In 'National Lampoon's European Vacation' (1985), the family win a holiday to Europe. Contrary to their expectations, however, it is not a luxurious, all-expenses-paid kind of trip, but rather a cut-price, economy deal which takes them to some of the Old World's seedier locations. Of course, it's not long before they are caught up in all manner of misadventures. In 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' (1989), the Griswolds decide to spend the Christmas season at home. Needless to say, it is not as quiet as they had planned. Finally, in 'Vegas Vacation' (1997), the clan head for the gleaming lights of Las Vegas. Unfortunately, Clark is soon transformed into a compulsive gambler, daughter Audrey (Marisol Nichols) becomes an exotic dancer and son Rusty (Ethan Embry) begins posing as a suave high roller
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European vacation is probably the least known/popular entry in the series and for good reason, it's probably the least funny but not completely awful. Christmas Vacation is my favorite! An aboslute classis in every way. Cousin Eddie and the grumpy neighbors highlight what is a quintessential Christmas classic. Vegas Vacation is probably my second favorite. You see the return of Cousin Eddie yet again and you have the whiney voiced blackjack dealer from Princess Bride that is totally hilarious. I really don't see Chevy Chase making anymore of these so it is (for the time being) the definitive collection of the National Lampoon Vacation movies (there are some spinoffs but these are the original 4).
My boyfriend is a huge National Lampoon's Vacation fan as well and loves the entire series of them. So when I saw this 4 pack I knew I had to buy this for him. This set includes the original (National Lampoon's Vacation) as well as National Lampoon's European Vacation, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation.
For me personally none of the sequels to the original (National Lampoon's Vacation) are nearly as good as the original although if I was to choose a second favorite it would be the Christmas vacation sequel. Each of the sequels have different actors playing the fictitious Clark and Ellen Griswold's children which takes something away from the movies (although understandably this happens in most movie sequels as the original "children" have grown too much to re-use in the next film) and by the third sequel I believe the films had lost their magic. With this said I cannot say I don't watch these films every time I see them on television. There's something about them that draws you in no matter how many times you've seen them.
Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo lead the way in these films and by the end of the original you too will have been routing for the Griswold's to make it to their destination, "Wally World".
The movies will never be bettered by remakes. At least not Christmas Vacation. Now all are classic status.
Thankfully this set does NOT include the recent "Vacation" with Ed Helms. What a total p.o.s. that was!!!
The Blu-Ray for the original Vacation movie included in this set is the 30th Anniversary version, so it does have the cool "Inside Story" in the Special Features section. It's a well-done, in-depth review of the original movie with many of the original cast members being interviewed. That alone is worth the price of admission in my opinion.
The transfer to Blu-Ray is very high quality in my opinion. I remember reading where someone gave these discs a negative review because the audio for the original "Vacation" was in mono. UMMMM, guess what, that's how they shot the movie. Check IMDb if you want. Scroll down to technical specs. Video and audio quality are awesome, so no doubt they went back to the film stock for the transfer.