Home Alone 3

Home Alone 3 takes everything that was overblown and cartoonish about the first two and triples the excess in every area. The criminals are arch-villains instead of low rent cat burglars, the booby traps are next level, over elaborate funhouse nightmares instead of the blunt simplicity of paint cans on ropes, and generally the vibe strives for bigger, crazier, more more more. It actually works on its own outlandish terms, with a healthy helping disbelief suspension. The film seems to take place either in some parallel offshoot dimension where the Macaulay Culkin stuff never existed, because let’s be real, how many time could such events happen in one country. Either that or they just expect us to believe that this could keep happening to the same family again and again like some hilarious purgatorial curse, which is actually an amazing concept now that I’ve spelled it out. Anywho, the kid this time is young Alex Linz, whose family has routinely left him home alone, and he has unwittingly come into the possession of a super top secret weapons grade microchip hidden in a toy car. The quartet of criminals searching for it are led to his neighbourhood, and wouldn’t you know it, an endless tirade of ultra-violent, slapstick, severely booby trapped shenanigans ensue. The pranks and pratfalls here are seriously convoluted and freakishly well timed, not to mention brutal enough to be borderline horror movie material and so over the top you’d need a team of stuntmen just to get em’ on paper. The silly kid even uses a John Deere tractor to set up a giant trampoline/swimming pool snare. Sequels always feel the need to ramp up everything past eleven on the dial though, and this one cranks it til the speakers blow. Surprisingly, the villains are played by a distinctive and competent bunch of character actors, namely Olek Krupa, John Thornton, Lenny Von Dohlen and Rya Kihlstedt, interesting folks who can usually be found in obscure indie fare and off the wall projects. They get pummelled nearly to death here, by everything from electricity, nail guns, turpentine, murderous rogue lawn mowers, firecrackers and one psychotic parrot with attitude to spare. It’s one entertaining blitzkrieg though, like the first two Home Alone flicks on crack. Oh, and Scarlett Johansson has an early career role as the kid’s sassy sister too.

-Nate Hill

Episode 23: Chicago Films with Mike Krumlauf

Episode 23

We were joined by Chicago native and independent filmmaker, Mike Krumlauf.  The three of us discuss our favorite films set and/or shot in Chicago.  We had a great time chatting, and hope you guys enjoy the chat as much as we enjoyed recording it!