Advertisements

Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Tag Archives: Shaquille O’Neal

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: IMDBComingSoon.net

Advertisements

The LEGO Movie (2014)

Remember those small, yellow things you used to “accidentally” stick up your nose as a kid? Yeah, they have lives you know.

Normal, everyday Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) lives in a world that is controlled, run-by and practically dominated by the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell). In this plastic world, everyone is to wake up, follow their day throughout a precise set of instructions and guide-lines, always smile, swallow overpriced coffee, go to work, be happy about it, get that paycheck, sing terribly-catchy, yet excruciating pop-songs like “Everything is Awesome” and go home to watch mind-numbing sitcoms like “Where Are My Pants?“. It’s so painfully dull and monotonous, but nobody cares, nor does anybody fret, because quite frankly, nobody knows any better; not even poor Emmet, who is just like everybody else. But things begin to change for Emmet once he stumbles upon an an ancient artifact known as the Piece of Resistance. He knows nothing about it, but he’s soon picked-up by the rebellious ass-kicker known as Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), and is told that the fate of humanity lies in his hands, and his hands only. In better words: He IS the “chosen one”, and it’s up to him to stop Lord Business’ maniacal ways.

The plot is the same old, cookie-cutter stuff that we’ve seen done in a million other movies (*cough cough* Star Wars), but that doesn’t matter because it’s all used so that the directors can get all sorts of these LEGO-pieces together and see what sort of magic they can make-up next. Needless to say, for a kid who has played with LEGO‘s all throughout his childhood, it was an honor to see the likes of 2002-era Shaquille O’Neal, rub shoulders with none other than Batman himself. And no, I do not mean that ACTUAL Shaquille O’Neal and Bruce Wayne got next to one another, showed their faces to the camera, and rubbed shoulders; I mean that their LEGO figures did.

Basically, he's like the LEGO version of Corporate America.

Basically, he’s like the LEGO version of Corporate America.

And that’s where all of the fun lies with this movie, whether you like it or not.

Chances are though, going into this, no matter how idiotic you may think the idea of LEGO movie being, you’re going to be laughing, be having a great time and totally surprised by what this movie does; not just with its animation, which is quite stunning to look at pick-apart, wondering just how they were able to film it all, but with its script, that displays hilarious wit at a non-stop pace. Most of the jokes here, are made solely for the adults that will most likely get roped into seeing this, and there is no problem with that whatsoever, because there’s a lot of humor here that had me howling like a banshee in my seat. I mean hell, there’s even a joke about how they refer to one character as “Michelangelo, the artist”, and another as “Michelangelo, the Ninja Turtle.” Now, if that doesn’t make you at least crack a smile or two, then I have no freakin’ clue what will!

But there’s definitely plenty out there for the kiddies as well, which doesn’t mean that there’s just a whole bunch of slap-sticky, or fart jokes to make them giggle – there’s a whole bunch of action, fun and excitement that gets thrown into this, all because you can tell that both Phil Lord and Chris Miller clearly care about the audience that this movie is being made for. Sure, you could argue that a LEGO movie actually does exist, solely to sell more toys and merchandise, and I wouldn’t disagree with you. However, the movie isn’t just an-hour-and-a-half ploy trying to grab your arm, snatch your wallet and long-dart you to the nearest Toys R Us or Wal Mart; it’s actually an animated-flick that’s pretty damn hilarious, fun and always able to gain your attention, no matter how many times you may have to remind yourself that you are in fact watching LEGO‘s, up on the big screen.

It’s a strange feeling that even I had a problem getting through on occasion, but I knew one thing: I was just happy knowing they weren’t actually MY LEGO‘s. After all of the abuse and torture I put those poor things through, lord only knows that if they ever became animated and alive, they’d come after me, and with a vengeance, too! Same goes for my sister’s Barbie Dolls!

Although, that may be a different story entirely….

Anyway, moving on!

Though it is hard to go on and on without talking about the voice-cast, I do have to give all of them credit because they do some energetic, spunky work here that definitely makes you see their wild and goofy figures brought to life. Chris Pratt is growing up more and more each day into the perfect “everyday man”, even if in this instance, it just so happens to be a LEGO; Elizabeth Banks sounds as sexy and dangerous as she should as Wyldstyle, almost too sexy and dangerous for a kids movie where young boys will most likely be present in viewing; Will Arnett is hilarious as Batman, by basically just being Gob Bluth, disguised as Bruce Wayne; it’s neat to see someone like Morgan Freeman lending his voice to an animated-movie as goofy as this, but you know, the guy gives it his all and really seems to be enjoying the hell out of himself; the same being said for Morgan Freeman, can practically be said about Liam Neeson who seems like he was definitely a bit tipsy during the voice-over recordings, but hey, it made it enjoyable to listen to; and if there was one weak-link to be found in this voice-cast, it’s probably Will Ferrell, who is definitely as harsh he should be with a name like “Lord Business”, but the act gets stale after awhile and you can sort of tell that Will Ferrell himself is enjoying this a bit too much. Maybe somebody like Nic Cage would have done this guy total justice. Actually, not “somebody”, definitely Nic Cage.

Look! That's the joke I'm talking about! And there's even a ghost in the background! Sweet, right?

Look! That’s the joke I’m talking about! And there’s even a ghost in the background! Pretty sweet, right?

But being that this is an animated movie, which is more often than not, being marketed towards the whole family, there obviously has to be a message learnt here, which there is. However, that may also be where my main problem came from – the way in which it kept on hitting me over, and over head with what message it was trying to get across. Granted, Miller and Lord take a very bold-step in the last-act with a twist that I honestly can’t say I saw coming (one which I won’t spoil here), but it’s one that didn’t feel necessary. Reason being is that whatever this movie was trying to tell us about “expressing ourselves no matter how strange or different we may be from the rest of the crowd around us”, all felt like something we understood right after Wyldstyle steps in and decides to shake things up with this story. Clearly this movie wanted to be more than just your typical, fun-for-the-whole-family animated-fare, but rather than being a simple, ode-to-love flick like the Croods, it ends up going for more of a Lorax-feel, that got a bit too preachy and a bit too strained with what it was trying to say. Doesn’t mean the fun didn’t stop, but it definitely did bother me a whole lot and took me away from most of the action that was happening on screen, most of which happened and was said so fast, I couldn’t make-out half of what was going on.

But you know what? That’s the fun of it, everybody! So definitely do make sure to go out and see this! Just make sure you have at least one cup of coffee to assure yourself that you’ll be able to catch almost anything and everything that Lord and Miller are throwing at you. Because do trust me: They’ll give you everything. Even the kitchen-sink.

Consensus: Almost anything and everything that Phil Lord and Chris Miller have at their disposal, they’ll launch at you, and then some with the LEGO Movie, but it’s always fun, exciting, hilarious, appropriate for all ages, and most importantly, as quick-as-a-Jack-Rabbit. So make sure to keep up and not get too distracted by too much butter being on your popcorn!

8 / 10 = Matinee!!

Even cooler! I mean, how in how many lifetimes are you going to be able to say that you not only saw "Abe Lincoln and Superman together at the same time next to one another", but also with "The Statue of Liberty right next to them"?!?! Like, super rad!!

Even cooler! I mean, how in how many lifetimes are you going to be able to say that you not only saw “Abe Lincoln and Superman together at the same time next to one another”, but also with “The Statue of Liberty right next to them”?!?! Like, super rad!!

Photo’s Credit to: IMDBColliderJobloComingSoon.net

Grown Ups 2 (2013)

When Rob Schneider doesn’t show up, you know you’re in trouble.

This is going to be quite a difficult task because, all joking aside, there is no plot here. Basically, it’s just four middle-aged men (Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade) spending a day together where they fart, burp, sneeze, get peed on by a deer, start fights with fraternities, go skinny-dipping in lakes, ogle over hot, young and busty women, love their kids, wife, family and at the end of the day, try to have a good time by throwing an “80’s-themed party” where they try to relive their glory days when times were simpler and a lot less shitty when they didn’t have responsibilities to deal with.

And yes, I was reaching to try and come up with something there that made sense, but let’s face it: A plot does not matter for this movie. All that matters is that these guys get to make fun of other people around them, act like fools, commit acts as if they were young, wild and free, all over again, and fart A LOT. That’s pretty much all there is to this movie and though you can definitely say that I deserve any sort of pain I may have garnered from watching this movie, even though I clearly knew it was a train-wreck from the very beginning, I just couldn’t help myself.

We get it, YOU'RE SO DAMN PLEASED WITH YOURSELVES!!

“Poop jokes! AHAHAHA!!”

I’m a two-bit movie critic, yes, but I’m also a movie lover, and I have to watch EACH AND EVERY SINGLE MOVIE that I can possibly see, dammit!

So, in this case, curiosity did in fact kill the cat and I decided to actually give this a watch. No, I did not expect greatness and no, I did not expect to even laugh a single bit, and well, that’s pretty much what I got. None of this ever funny, and it just seems like everybody involved is either slumming it all the way down to hell with what they think is mildly amusing, all for the sake of a nice, healthy paycheck, so that they can continue to go on and make more shitty flicks that nobody in the world with the least amount of self-respect would want to go see. Or, if they did somehow get roped into seeing it, that they would at least not enjoy themselves while watching it.

There are jokes that miss, there are jokes that fall flat, and then, there are jokes that hit the ground, dig a hole into the Earth’s core, cause an eruption of destruction, havoc and mayhem, which only pleases those who have a sheer fondness for deer’s urine. Seriously, this movie is not funny. I chuckled maybe once or twice, and you know why and by whom? Fuckin’ Taylor fuckin’ Lautner! That’s right! That freakin’ stud from the Twilight movies, is the only funny thing in this whole movie that not only has Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Colin Quinn, Tim Meadows, Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Steve Buscemi, Taran Killam, and Shaquille O’Neal, but even has Stone Cold Steve Austin for lord’s sakes! I mean, WHAT THE HELL?!?!? How does a travesty like this even occur!?!?!

And you bet your sweet rumps that I mentioned all of those famous, well-known names for a reason, because here are all people that have shown us, many, MANY other times in the history of this world, that they are capable of making us laugh and entertain the hell out of us. So therefore, you’d think that a movie that has all of their talents involved with one movie would clearly be the laugh-out-loud riotous-fest of the year, let alone the decade, right!?!? Well, no!!!!! Apparently, nobody here seems to have a clear idea of what constitutes being considered “funny”, “humorous”, or even “smart” for that matter. It’s all dumb, it’s all painful to watch, and it’s all so damn freakin’ sad because everybody here is talented and can do great, amazing things for this world, but none of them ever made me laugh or have a good time.

Except for FUCKIN’ TAYLOR FUCKIN’ LAUTNER.

Seriously though, everyone, I do apologize for cursing up a storm. You don’t normally see this side from me and you sure as hell don’t see me so enraged over a movie like I am with this, but there’s all a reason that I will continue to hammer over the head to death with: Everybody here knows better (with the exception of director Dennis Dugan cause, quite frankly, that guy doesn’t know shit about anything good). I always love to consider myself a huge Adam Sandler fan because I’ve always felt like the guy has a keen-sense of humor that is a bit on the dumb side, and definitely isn’t for everybody, but he’s made me laugh and that’s fine for me. He’s even shown us all some interesting sides to his acting-abilities by taking up some very interesting roles that seem to always work, as well as earn him respect from people who have always considered him an imbecile. So why the guy decides to keep on destroying his credibility as a comedian, is totally beyond me. All I do know is that he needs to quit making these types of fucking movies, and he needs it do it right fucking now. It seems like the year of 2014 definitely has him stepping in that right direction, but there’s always another one of these piles of excrement just peaking around the corner.

Same goes for the rest of this cast, mainly the three other numskulls that help him out with this movie. Chris Rock is by far, without a doubt in my mind, one of the funniest comedians who has ever lived and will continue to be so, regardless of how many of these shitty movies he decides to be apart of; Kevin James makes everything he shows up in, just a bit better by doing his normal, Chris Farley-shtick, and he’ll always garner a “pass” from me, due solely to the fact that King of Queens was one of my favorite shows growing-up; and, no matter what the haters may say, David Spade makes me laugh. I’ve seen a few of his stand-up specials and he’s always made me laugh-out-loud quite a few times, as well as the work he puts into the nonstop sitcoms he shows up in as well. So yeah, from what we know and see, these guys are able to be funny and just have us enjoy the hell out of their presences, but why they all continue to do junk like this makes me ponder my fan-dom and respect for these guys all of the damn time.

Not even anybody from what is considered one of the funniest shows on television can make a laugh happen.

Not even those from what is considered one of the funniest shows on television can make a laugh happen.

It’s a damn shame too, really, because these are the types of guys that comedy should be looking-up to and saying, “This is how you do it”. Nowadays though, it’s just the same old routine we seem to be getting from these folks, mainly Sandler: Get a bunch of money from Happy Madison; get the same cast, crew and buddies to work; cobble-up a plot that doesn’t even have to be cohesive in any way, shape or form; write-out a script that concerns a lot of bathroom humor, sex jokes, homophobia, and messages about how family matters; film in some back-lot that makes every movie look like it was filmed on the sun; make sure that the movies feature cameos from anybody that’s even the slightest bit considered a “celebrity”; and most importantly, DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE PRODUCT-PLACEMENTS. Wouldn’t want to lose any money over that, now would we?

But yeah, you can tell that I pretty much hated this movie, but this one hits even closer to home because it shows you just how easy it is for somebody to get junk made, solely because they’re famous, and have money, power and all the string-pulling one person could possibly get. The first Grown Ups already made showed that statement to be true, but this one, on the second go-around, we already know what to expect and yes, it is a whole lot worse this time around.

However though, this one does have FUCKIN’ TAYLOR FUCKIN’ LAUTNER around, and I guess you could that there’s at least a “slight improvement” to be found there? Then again, maybe not. Both movies fucking blow and please do whatever you possibly can to stay the fuck away from them. Mainly this hour-and-a-half-long show-reel of human feces.

Consensus: Without thinking about this too hard, or even trying to dig in deeper as to what the real problem with Grown Ups 2 is, it doesn’t matter. The movie’s not funny, hard-to-watch and an example of exactly how low Sandler and all of his buddies will go to make some more money, and continue to make more piles of dung that are exactly, if not worse, than this.

1.5 / 10 = Crapola!!

Thank you, Taylor. You've done something right for a change.

Thank you, Taylor. You’ve done something right for a change.

Photo’s Credit to: IMDBColliderJobloComingSoon.net

Jack and Jill (2011)

Adam Sandler’s career went up a hill, then totally plummeted.

Jack (Adam Sandler) has a nice quiet life with his family, until Thanksgiving comes and in comes strolling in his identical twin sister, Jill (also played by Sandler). She creates a huge problem for Jack especially when Al Pacino comes into the mix as a man who is very fond of Jill.

My expectations were already terribly low for this film going in considering that the trailer looked like one of those fake-films ‘Tropic Thunder’ had in the beginning, the 4% it now has Rotten Tomatoes, and the fact that it’s directed by Dennis Dugan, the genius behind ‘I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry’, ‘Grown Ups’, ‘You Don’t Mess With the Zohan‘, and the list goes on and on. Therefore, you know this is going to be shit.

In case you already can’t tell from the looks of it, this film is not funny but that’s not to say it doesn’t have some chuckles here and there. I had a chuckle and maybe one laugh-out-loud moment, but other than that, this film blows. I mean the film goes from fart-jokes, to obvious slap-stick, to anti-semantic jokes, and then randomly to jokes about Mexicans, hookers, Indians, and Al Pacino. The film varies all over the damn place. But not in a good way.

Another major problem with this film that I did not understand was how could anybody ever like Jill and her company, let alone her own twin brother. I mean she’s loud, annoying, mean, disgusting, talks loud, makes fun of chicks to their face, and gets sad at the most random things of all. I can’t really put any blame on Jack for not wanting to be around her because honestly, she annoyed the hell out of me just watching her, I could only imagine what it would be like to spend all of your favorite vacations with her.

Then the film tries to go for the little sympathetic note at the end where it tries to show that Jill just needs love, but what has she actually done that made her seem like she needed it and why the eff does Jack all of a sudden feel like he needs to give it to her despite practically trying to avoid her the whole 93 minutes. 93 minutes that I also must say felt as effin’ long as ‘The Godfather‘. As you can tell I’m trying to reference as many good films as I can just to get my mind off of this crap.

The performance from Adam Sandler that he gives for Jack and Jill really isn’t a bad one to say the least, there’s just nothing really all that funny about either of their characters so it kind of just doesn’t matter. It’s also really sad to say this because Sandler used to be one of the funniest guys in Hollywood and probably still could be if he wasn’t stuck doing shit where he gets to wear lip-stick, make-up, and woman’s clothes. Also, Katie Holmes plays his wife, as if she was trying to base her role off of a piece of card-board.

It was pretty fun to see all of these random cameos from people such as Regis Philbin, Dana Carvey, Drew Carey, Shaquille O’Neal, Jared (the Subway guy), Michael Irvin, Tim Meadows, and even David Spade. However they are all just here because Sandler has a lot of friends and keeps true to them but still doesn’t do much. Al Pacino is hilarious and shockingly convincing basically playing a nutty version as himself and is probably the main reason to see this film considering he is just so damn funny. The one laugh-out-loud moment I had with this film was because of him, which is saying a damn lot really.

Oh and there is also Johnny Depp wearing a Justin Beiber t-shirt saying that he was apart of Duran Duran. This is the most random bit of the whole movie and probably the most memorable, considering it lasts for only about 2 minutes.

Consensus: Jack and Jill had chuckles mostly thanks to Al Pacino, but other than that is just not funny because Jill is incredibly unlikable and just a person that nobody would ever want to be around, let alone her own brother.

2.5/10=SomeOleBullShitt!!

How ironic is it also that one of the last lines of this film was Pacino himself saying “Burn it!”? My thoughts exactly Al.