National Lampoons Vacation Blu-ray Review -

Blu-ray Review

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  • Rated: R
  • Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Cody Burger, Tony Epper, Randy Quaid
  • Written By: John Hughes
  • Directed By: Harold Ramis
  • Original Year of Release: 1983, Blu-ray 2013
  • Distributor: Warner Bros.
  • Special Features: Introduction, Commentary, Trailer, Inside Story: National Lampoon’s Vacation
  • Series:

National Lampoons Vacation Blu-ray Review

You think you hate it now? Wait until you drive it.

By Robert T. Trate     May 29, 2013

Who among us hasn’t been trapped in the car for hours upon end waiting to get to where Dad wanted to go? The same question could be applied to: who hasn’t seen National Lampoon’s Vacation? The film is, hands down, a classic. A pure piece of Americana wrapped in green-walls. When the film arrived 30 years ago, it would gross 64 million at the box office, a hefty some for a R rated family comedy. The film would go on to not only capture our imagination, but hold up a dark mirror to all the family road trips we would go on for years to come. 

Now Vacation’s third installment is a holiday perennial and has been on Blu-ray already. Here, for the 30th anniversary, Warner Brothers has re-released the original in stunning 1080p and Dolby Digital. All of the special features are the same as the 2003 DVD release save one. Much like the new Behind the Scenes feature on Harold Ramis’ other comedy starring Chevy Chase, this one you also have to watch. “Inside Story: National Lampoon’s Vacation” is a brand new 90 minute documentary that takes you on the real road trip that Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid, Anthony Michael Hall, Dana Barron, and Christie Brinkley all went on.

The saga of the Griswolds and their trek to Wally World is nothing compared to the traveling production stories that each member of the cast and crew regale us with. Everyone is here from the Car Salesmen (Eugene Levy) to Cousin Vicki (30 Rock’s Jane Krakowski). However, it is Chevy Chase and Anthony Michael Hall that take center stage. Chase performs almost a stand up routine that is cleverly edited together with the cast and crew’s comments. However, it is Hall’s stories about trying to get a peek at Christie Brinkley, Beverly D’Angelo, and Dana Barron that make you wish you were Rusty Griswold, if only for a moment. 

We’ve all seen it. We can all quote at least one part of it. If anything, you probably already have it. Trust me, you don’t have this edition. It has never looked better and rivals Warner Brothers 2010 Blu-ray release of Caddyshack. Like that film, this is a quintessential comedy and one for the library. I just can’t believe that it is 30 years old and still as funny as the first time I watched. 

The 30th Anniversary Edition of  "National Lampoon’s Vacation" is available on Blu-ray now!


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MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 5/30/2013 1:02:01 PM

 Funny. I always thought this was called NL's Family Vacation for some reason. And I just found out that it was based off of a John Hugh's short story that originally took place at Disney Land.

RobertTrate 5/30/2013 1:50:02 PM

 All that is discussed on the Blu-ray!

DarkXid 5/30/2013 4:58:00 PM

 I'm totally buying this.

blankczech 5/30/2013 10:56:12 PM

 I've been cutting back on my blu-ray DVD purchases thinking that the future of home movie viewing is about to take a turn in another direction.  Amassing a personal film library has been costly ...I've bought some movies (like Alien and the 1933 - King Kong) 3 times... first on VHS, then DVD and now finally on Blu-Ray.

I've learned to appreciate Chevy Chase's movies more over time.  They have an understated quality I enjoy much more than todays' over the top stuff .

MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 5/31/2013 1:54:18 AM

 But if you think about it - that was over the top for that time period.

DarkXid 5/31/2013 11:53:27 AM

I am picky about the movies I re-buy and DVD has been solidly around or 17 years.  I'm not counting on Blu Ray to go to it's grave anytime soon.  And I have been buying Amazon instant videos, but that service isn't perfect yet, and I'd rather own physical copies for my "BIG" movies.  Ones that I consider classics.  I see no reason to purchase the Mission Impossible movies on Blu Ray for example.  I have them on DVD and they are not good enough to justify paying extra for them, although they should be in bargain bins for Blu Ray.

But we have Vacation on Beta.  And it's been gone for twenty-five years. 

It's time my family updated Vacation. 

MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 5/31/2013 1:53:40 PM

 Wait - it explains why I thought it was called "Family Vacation"?

egoist 6/2/2013 9:36:13 AM

 Looking for a reason to justify buying the BLU-RAY? Look no further than the shower scene in glorious 1080DD.

RobertTrate 6/2/2013 6:11:17 PM

 egoist, She was in Hair for like 300 shows back in the day. Imagine see Bev 300 times dancing around naked!

egoist 6/4/2013 3:09:39 PM

 Nice Robert. All I know is I wore out that part of my VHS copy.




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