Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

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Blended (2014)

Adam Sandler, do everyone else in the world a favor and keep your movies in America. Don’t bring your stink to Africa.

After Jim (Adam Sandler) and Lauren (Drew Barrymore) participate in one of the worst blind dates known to man, they hope to never see one another again. That is, until both them and their kids end up staying at the same vacation resort, in the same country: Africa. Through a convoluted series of unfortunate events, they both have to stay in the same suit, sit at the same table, and practically, can’t avoid either of each other, so they just decide to be as civil as they possibly can with one another. However, when you have somebody as scrumpy, lazy and inappropriate as Jim, and somebody as neat, prissy and up-tight as Lauren, things don’t always go as civil as originally planned. Especially when you throw CGI zebras, giraffes, and rhinos in there! Oh my!

By now, in the 21st Century, I think it’s pretty easy to assume that anything Adam Sandler touches, will not be anything worth seeing. Yet, time and time again, people continue to see his movies, which, as a result, also gets him more money and “ideas” to do more films. Therefore, he gets more money and just never seems to stop making movies, with the same people behind and in front of the camera, same plot-lines, and ending it all with the same message about how “family is important, no matter what.”

It’s been the same tune Sandler’s been playing for the past decade, and though there’s been some changes here and there in the roles that he chooses, nothing since Punch-Drunk Love has really left an impression on anyone that doesn’t already love his idiotic-brand of comedy.

I think I see Jesse and Walt cooking back there.

I think I see Jesse and Walt cooking back there.

And don’t get me wrong, I do not hate Adam Sandler movies. Sure, the 90’s was his decade and definitely where most of my love and adoration comes for him, but for what it’s worth, the guy himself is still capable of making me laugh. It’s not that he’s lost his knack for comedy – it’s more that he’s just put it off to the side so that he can practically keep on doing the same thing, time and time again, while making a heep-load of money. Which, when you’re in Hollywood, I guess is your one and only objective, but it does do a killing to your reputation, which is why I think Sandler needs to start mixing things up, and quick!

However, everything I was about to just go on and on about, can be seen from my Grown Ups 2 review. Anything else that I need to say about Sandler and his career can be seen there. As for Blended, well, I guess I have to start somewhere by saying, yep, this movie’s crap.

But what’s separates this movie from the rest of the Sandler train-wrecks we’ve all come to know and despise, is that some of it made me chuckle. From what I gathered too, it’s because the movie itself is sort of a weird hybrid between a G-rated kids movie made for the whole family, yet, by the same token, has PG-13 gags about boners, rhinos humping, groping, and a whole lotta racism. In fact, this feels like the type of movie my dad would love the hell out of, despite not really caring for Sandler or anything that he does – it’s inappropriate in every way, yet, it still has the guts to make itself “a movie for the whole family”.

With that, the movie’s actually somewhat interesting, but not in the way that Jack & Jill or That’s My Boy, where everything that’s happening is so bizarre and outrageous, you can’t help but actually watch and see just what the hell happens next. Here, with Blended, it’s fun to dissect this movie because it’s never clear who this movie is for and why it’s even made. Clearly this is a movie for Sandler’s already-made audience full of people that, I assume, love drinking Heineken, driving their trucks onto to their porches, farting in public, and listening to Toby Keith, but it’s also a movie that seems like it was made so that Sandler and most of his crew could go take a vacation to Africa, hang out, spend a crap-load of money, and still somehow be able to make a movie, filming whatever they could come up with on that one day.

That’s the impression that mostly all of Sandler’s movies give off, but what’s weird here is that even though it takes place in Africa, I highly doubt that most of the crew actually went to Africa. We see a lot of leopards, zebras, giraffes, and rhinos (who are usually just humping, or getting humped), but they’re either cheap-looking CGI, or stock-footage. The only parts of Africa we do see is this highly extravagant, paradise-like resort that seems like it’s on another planet altogether, forget Africa, and the deserts, which could have easily been filmed out in Arizona or Nevada.

Either way, I hope that Sandler enjoyed his trip to Africa, cause I sure as hell didn’t enjoy his!

I know I keep on putting the focus on Sandler, but it’s really his fault these movies continue to be made and are as shitty as they are. But here, with Blended, not only does it seem like the movie doesn’t care whatsoever, but neither does he. I kid you not, there is one scene early on in the movie in which Sandler is insulted and decides to ignore the person he’s talking to by staring at the TV-screen up above him. However, when watching it, because Sandler seems so bored and dazed out of his mind, it just seems like the guy had a stroke and for some reason, just stared at the ceiling, leading it to be one of the most awkward scenes of the whole movie. And trust me, there are plenty more here where that came from.

What a waste of perfectly-ripped abs.

What a waste of perfectly-ripped abs.

Though you know what? Sandler deserves these shitty movies, because it seems like they are all he wants to do nowadays. But don’t bring Drew Barrymore into this! Cause, for what it’s worth, Barrymore does try here – maybe moreso than she should with this junk. Barrymore is pretty much doing the same thing here that she always does in her movies, which isn’t necessarily bad because she’s so charming, but does make me feel bad knowing that she’s really going for it all here. Much like Elizabeth Banks was doing in Walk of Shame: You can tell that the effort is there, but it’s just misused in a movie that doesn’t give a shit about her or anything she does. They just want her to fall down, act like a woman, be naggy, and eventually fall for the guy because of how much of a charmer he is.

But most of what this movie has going for it is that it’s the reunion between Sandler and Barrymore as co-stars which clearly transcends beautifully off the screen, than it does on the screen. However, if there is a saving grace to this movie, it’s that their chemistry is actually good and makes this movie slightly more entertaining than usual. Some of it seems improvised, and some of it doesn’t, but when you’re dealing with an Adam Sandler movie, you need anything you can get. And if that means watching two close-friends act like they’re besties, then sure, I’m all for it. Just keep me away from the poop-gags, please.

Consensus: Much thanks to the natural-feeling chemistry between Barrymore and Sandler, Blended isn’t as cringe-inducing as it should be, but it’s still not very funny, feels lazy, and doesn’t really seem to be for any audience in particular. Except for those who already love and adore Sandler and the carnage he brings to the screen.

2 / 10 = Crapola!!

"So uh, are things going well enough that you could team back up with me?"

“So uh, are things going well enough that you could team back up with me?”

Photo’s Credit to:


Walk of Shame (2014)

Ugh. Like who even does one-night-stands anymore?

Meghan Miles (Elizabeth Banks) is a news-anchor that wants to get her big break in the world of journalism. One day, she finds that opportunity taken right away from her, dashing all of her hopes and dreams, so what does she do? Well, she decides that tonight is the night she is going to get absolutely plastered, do whatever she wants, with whomever she wants, and not even think about tomorrow, because who the hell cares, right? Sounds like a dandy decision in the moment of everything, but when Meghan wakes up the next day, she finds out that not only has she gotten the job that she thought she wasn’t going to get, but that she has no car, no phone, no wallet, no idea where she is, and strapped with nothing more than her car-keys and a skimpy, yellow dress she borrowed from one her friends. Also, to make matters even worse for the already-unlucky Meghan: She has to be at the newsroom, prepped-up and ready-to-go, in less than four or five hours. Sucks right? Well, trust me, it gets a whole lot worse for Meghan, who also happens to be roaming the streets of L.A., where all sorts of grit, crime and mischievousness is occurring.

There’s one plot-line I somewhat left out there up top, and with good reason. I sort of mentioned the fact that Meghan goes home with some guy, has sex with him, and wakes up the next day, barely knowing who this guy was, what she was so attracted to in the first place, and basically moving on with her life, hoping that she gets to her job, on time and able to make a big name for himself. Notice how I didn’t mention who the lucky man was that Meghan went home and eventually had sex with that night? Well, there’s a reason, because it’s James fuckin’ Marsden.

Yeah, they have no chance at all of getting lucky tonight. Like totally.

Yeah, they have no chance at all of getting lucky tonight. Like totally.

And yes, if you’re a woman or gay man, you know exactly who James fuckin’ Marsden is. Simply put, the dude is a pretty handsome fella’, and that’s just for dudes. For gals, it’s probably a whole lot more detailed and explicit about their feelings for and towards him. But regardless, the fact is that Elizabeth Banks, a very beautiful woman in her own right, goes home with the total hunk that is James Marsden and it makes total sense. He’s smart, she’s smart. He’s hot, she’s hot. He’s got a million-dollar-smile, she’s got a million-dollar-smile. So on and so forth, you get it.

What I’m trying to get across about this one-night-stand is not only does it make sense why these two would want to bang each other in the first place, but it’s the only thing in the entire movie that makes the least bit of sense. Because trust me, as soon as Banks’ character leaves Marsden’s apartment, she’s thrown into a crazy, wild-fire world where all sorts of walks-of-life inter-connect with one another, and make a difference in this one white girl’s life. Yeah, we’ve all seen that premise done before, and some cases, done to absolute perfection, but for the most part, this is not one of those times.

In fact, it’s the furthest thing from, and there’s nobody here to really be blamed except for writer/director Steven Brill himself. See, what Brill does here is that he gets a very talented, very funny cast together that can make lemonade out of lemons, given the right material, in the right time, at the right place, and with the right other people around them, lending a helping hand. Here, everybody seems like they’re either trying too much, or not trying enough. Which isn’t to really get on the cast’s case, because, like I said before, it’s Brill who should be blamed. His script is unfunny, most of the time borderlines on being offensive or racist, and ends on such a falsely-sappy note, that I actually wanted to go back and see if the movie tried to be serious at one point during it’s hour-and-a-half running-time, until I eventually got sober five hours later and realized that this wasn’t the right decision I should be making with my life.

And yet, there are still some people here who end up looking a whole lot worse than him. And yes, the most glaring example of that is definitely Elizabeth Banks, whom I felt so bad for the whole time. I don’t know if anybody knows this about me, but I love Elizabeth Banks. She is, without a doubt, the most charming leading-lady we have working in film today and it honestly surprises me that she would take something as bland, as dull, and as fumblingly-unfunny as this. I want to assume that the paycheck was almost too grandiose to ignore, but there’s still a part of me that feels as if she really wanted to do something like this, if only to prove that she could carry a movie on her own two shoulders. You know, like a real woman, and not with some dirty, disgusting, hormone-fueled man getting in the way and trying to help her out.

Oh mah god! Average, middle-class white girl can't connect with urban, street thugs. The hilarity!

Oh mah god! Average, middle-class white girl can’t connect with urban, street thugs. The hilarity!

No! See, Elizabeth Banks doesn’t want that shit, so instead, she decides to take this road alone and it’s probably one of the worst decisions of her career. She does try with this material here, time and time again, but her character is just so unlikable and screechy, that I just did not give a shit. She has a lot of physical stuff to do here, and while I definitely applaud Banks for flinging herself like a long-dart just to get a slight whimper from the audience, it comes off as if she is trying way too hard to make unappealing material, well, appealing. Which, as I sort of said, would have been all cool and rad if Banks’ character was likable at all to watch as she goes and roams throughout the streets of L.A., lost, dazed, confused, and totally hopeless, but I did not give a flying hoot one bit. I just wanted her to either get to the station, report the news, and shut her damn mouth; or, better yet, get totally lost, end up hitch-hiking a ride with a random, bumble truck-driver, and having the movie just end there, without us knowing at all what happened to her next and whether or not there will be a sequel (even if we totally know, and we just don’t want to admit it to our more-sensitive friends and family members).

Most likely, there won’t be, and we’re better as a society for that.

Consensus: Though just about all of Walk of Shame is terrible, unfunny, disgusting, and downright appalling, it’s biggest and, depending on how you look at it, it’s best undoing is the fact that it misuses Elizabeth Banks, giving her material that’s not even worth her eye-sight, let alone her five-to-six weeks out of the year.

1.5 / 10 = Crapola!!

They don't deserve one another.

Eh, unrealistic.

Photo’s Credit to:

Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star (2011)

Small weenies are so funny….

After discovering that his mild-mannered parents were huge porn stars in the 1970s, a young man (Nick Swardson) bids farewell to his small Iowa hometown and seeks his destiny in Los Angeles, where he aims to become the world’s most popular adult-film actor. The only problem is that he is not that well-equipped if you know what I mean.

Knowing that it scored a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes and was considered one of the biggest box-office flops of 2011, you are all probably wondering why I even wasted my time reviewing this. Well my friends, let’s just say I didn’t want to say that ‘Apollo 18’ was the worst flick of the year.

Directed by Tom Brady (no not that one, but it could have possibly been done by him) this is a flick that takes essentially a one-joke premise and stretches it out beyond belief, until there is absolutely nothing funny in it at all. The whole film is basically just about this dude Bucky Larson who has a small pee-pee and takes the porn industry by storm and gives hope to everyone all over the world. It’s a stupid idea in the first place but it just keeps on getting worse and worse until the point of where I had nothing to actually laugh at let alone even watch.

This is also all thanks to Adam Sandler, who actually co-wrote the script and since he has been doing a lot of PG/PG-13 comedies as of late, he’s finally allowed to once again branch out into R-rated territory, which makes this film even worse. The constant dick, sex, fart, boobs, vagina, and porn jokes just aren’t funny and instead of actually saying the word “dick”, they try all of these little cool slang words that I guess Sandler has been using for ages now but finally is able to let loose now that he isn’t catering to the whole family audience. Now of course I had about two chuckles that seemed completley forced but still chuckles none the less, but the whole formula of this fish-out-of-water comedy is just too lazy and the whole time this film just tries to resort to lame jokes that will only make you laugh if you’re the biggest perv in the world.

Now let me get to the real problem of this film and that is the title character himself, Bucky Larson played by Nick Swardson. I think that Swardson is a funny dude and I’m glad to see that he has finally gotten a chance to head-line a comedy for once but I just wish it was another flick and another character entirely since each quality is terribly annoying. Bucky is that kind-hearted, country bumpkin that was so sheltered from the outside world that he doesn’t know what to do around all of these naked chicks instead just automatically jizz everywhere that we usually get with these types of films, but it never works once here and I just wanted to punch Bucky in the face every time and knock those obviously fake buck-tooth out of his mouth. He’s annoying and he has this incredibly dumb Iowa accent where he over-exaggerates his r’s in everyday language. Poor Swardson, he deserves a lot better but the sad thing is that after being in a flick like this, it’s a little too hard to get anymore work that will even come close to having us forget about Bucky Larson.

Everybody in this film blows too, and are basically just a bunch of cartoon characters played by some familiar faces that we have seen every once and awhile. Christina Ricci is totally one-dimensional as Bucky’s lady-friend, Kathy McGee but she’s incredibly cute and hot so that was the one positive to her performance; Stephen Dorff plays the porn-industries own George Clooney as Dick Shadow, who looks like he came straight from an 80’s hair-metal music video and desperately wanted to go back after he realized what shit he just got put in; the incredibly washed-up Don Johnson doesn’t do anything here as the porno director, Miles Deep (Getttt ittt?!?!?!); and Kevin Nealon is probably the only one who had me chuckle and even that was a big-ass stretch considering this guy is so random and spends almost every single one of his scenes just screaming at the top of his lungs at something. You’ll of course see the usual Happy Madison crew pop-in every once and awhile but it’s a real shame that stars like Dorff and Ricci took shit like this considering they are very talented, and if this is the kind of material they’re going to be getting from now on then they should definitely fire whoever the hell is responsible for putting them in this crap.

Consensus: With a one-joke premise, unfunny jokes that seem to be raunchy just for the sake of being raunchy, and plenty of other annoying elements including the title character himself, Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star does nothing new with this obviously tired formula and is definitely one of the worst films of 2011.