Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler and Kevin James

Are you ready for some shocking news that’s about to blast you out of your damn seat? Hang on to the edge of your desk, chumps, because it’s about to get postively mind blowing up in here. Adam Sandler — get this — is starring in a new movie with  – you’re not going to even guess this one, don’t even try — Kevin James. Still with me? I know it might take awhile to sink in. But the good news is that what they’re teaming up for is pretty exciting. The Happy Madison venture is called Pixels, an adaptation of a beloved short film by writer-director Patrick Jean in which famous 1980s video game characters come to life and wreak havoc on New York City. The now big-budgeted comedy is taking the small-scaled story and amping it up into something along the veins of Ghostbusters, reportedly — and with King of Kong director Seth Gordon on board for the production, there’s plenty of video game expertise in the room to help expand the film as far as it needs to go.

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Blended (2014) trailer (Screengrab)

Adam Sandler has been flirting with different kinds of movies in the past year, most recently with Jason Reitman and Station Agent director Thomas McCarthy, but Blended is one last Hooters-infused shot across the formulaic bow. To make the magic complete, he’s joined with Drew Barrymore for a third time, Dick’s Sporting Goods is involved and everything looks painfully unfunny. At least, I have a theory as to why it makes us cringe. In the movie from Sandler stalwart Frank Coraci, Barrymore and Sandler play people who hate each other after their first date, but when an opportunity to go to Africa crops up, they Brady Bunch their families together on safari. The big question is whether Terry Crews can dance his way to saving it all. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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It’s easy to dismiss Adam Sandler with a wave of the hand; to cast him aside as the man who made Grown Ups, Jack and Jill, and Grown Ups 2. After all, he did make Grown Ups, Jack and Jill, and Grown Ups 2. But there’s a softer, gentler, legitimately talented side to Sandler that’s far more uncommon. This Bizarro-Sandler can be viewed in the film Punch-Drunk Love (and to a lesser extent, Reign Over Me, Spanglish, and Funny People). Now, the latest filmmaker to try and coax Sandler out of his shell (a shell that’s 15% deer urine and 85% Kevin James) is Thomas McCarthy, the man behind indie hits The Station Agent and The Visitor. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sandler is negotiating to star in McCarthy’s latest directorial outing, The Cobbler, playing a man who can “metaphysically step into the lives of the people whose shoes he repairs.” It’s very possible that Sandler has simply mistaken The Cobbler as a companion piece to Click, and won’t take the role when he finds out he can’t wear a fatsuit or rip a fart in David Hasselhoff’s face. But it could also mark the beginning of a genuine Sandler comeback. If he’s anywhere near as good as he was in Punch-Drunk Love, it’ll be worth it. And if Kevin James gets a supporting role in The Cobbler, we’ll all agree to avoid it like the plague.

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sandler

When’s the last time we saw Adam Sandler buckle down and do some real acting? Do things like Spanglish and Reign Over Me count because they were more drama than comedy, even though they were still pretty cheesy and lame? How about Funny People? That was kind of a meaty part, even though Sandler was essentially playing himself in it. Is his role in Punch Drunk Love really the only thing that could unequivocally be considered an example of Sandler rolling up his sleeves and actually doing some work as an actor? At this point we’ve gotten so used to the guy wearing cargo shorts and t-shirts while sleepily trudging his way through scenes opposite his friends, that to see him actually engaged in his work would probably feel pretty alien. Director Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air, Young Adult) seems to think that he can get a real performance out of him though, because a report from Deadline says that he’s in the process of signing Sandler to one of the featured roles in his next  movie—and Jason Reitman doesn’t make lazy Adam Sandler movies.

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Iron Man Extended Look

Today in life imitating art news, Robert Downey Jr. is one step closer to becoming an actual genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist. Forbes has released their annual list of Hollywood’s Highest-Paid Actors, and the Iron Man star comes in at a firm number one, having made $75m between June 2012 and June 2013. There is no contesting that Downey Jr. is box office gold. He has starred in six films that have all grossed over $500m, and The Avengers and Iron Man 3 both earned over $1b during their runs. The Avengers, the third-highest grossing movie of all time, featured Downey Jr. once more in his beloved Tony Stark role – and it’s easy to argue that he stole many a scene throughout the blockbuster.

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grownups2-05

I haven’t seen the first Grown Ups. I never had the desire to. But I took the bullet for the team and saw Grown Ups 2 anyway. Nobody else had the desire to. I understand the stigma here. If you know you don’t like Adam Sandler and Co., you probably won’t like this one. You likely didn’t see the original either. But many did. At $271m, it’s the highest grossing movie worldwide for both Sandler and his production company, Happy Madison. That doesn’t mean people liked it (gross doesn’t actually account for taste), but they made a sequel regardless. And I know at least some people liked this one. At the screening I attended, mostly including non-press, there was a fairly continuous roar of laughter. As for me, all I can say is I didn’t dislike it. It astounded me too much with its nonsense, and it’s not nearly as offensive as I’d anticipated. So I have no real issue with it. I might have even smiled once or twice at something ridiculous. This is a movie that opens with Sandler’s character, Lenny, waking up to the sight of a big buck deer staring back at him in his bedroom. His wife (Salma Hayek) sees it, screams and the animal rears and then pisses in Sandler’s face. They chase it around the house, it eats the dog’s food, pisses again on Lenny’s showering/masturbating teen son and then finally exits through the front door, which had been left open all night. […]

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melissa-mccarthy

What is Casting Couch? A column full of casting news that today includes stories on Emma Watson, Adam Sandler, Idris Elba, Liam Hemsworth, and Christina Hendricks. How’s that for an eclectic crew? Hopefully by the time the ubiquitous and centuries long ad campaign for The Heat finally draws to a close, the world won’t be too sick of Melissa McCarthy to go see anymore of her movies. She really is a versatile talent, so it would be a shame to see Hollywood wear out her welcome by shoving her down our throats in the crude loudmouth role until we retch from it. But perhaps her taking a voice acting role in an animated movie could help cleanse the palate. Deadline is reporting that she’s just signed on to talk into a microphone for Dreamworks’ B.O.O (Bureau of Otherworldy Operations), joining Seth Rogen as one of the leads. They’ll be playing partnered up agents who work for a government agency meant to protect humanity from evil spirits, which sounds like R.IP.D., only tons better.

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scarjo

What is Casting Couch? Today it’s mostly just an excuse to post a big picture of Scarlett Johansson. But it also has some news about Adam Sandler’s acting career that actually sounds promising. As if everyone didn’t love Scarlett Johansson enough, the sultry actress just had to go and kick things up a notch by kicking ass as the Black Widow in last year’s Avengers. Now anytime we see her being sexy without also doing a bunch of sweet-looking karate moves, it’s going to feel like a letdown. That shouldn’t be a problem for her next film though, as Heat Vision is reporting that Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita) has hired the lady to star in his next big action movie, Lucy, which is about a girl who acts as a drug mule for some sort of super serum getting dosed with what she’s carrying and turning into a super-smart, telekinetic, ass-kicking machine. This sounds like exactly the kind of movie the world needs right now.

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Grown Ups 2

Great horned beasts loosing their urine on Adam Sandler‘s face, middle-aged male nudity, cheap jokes being ritualistically sacrificed. This is the trailer for Grown Ups 2. At least they got to use Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” in a not-at-all-cliche way. Check it out for yourself and get ready to eke out your best Colonel Kurtz impression:

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Sandler and Barrymore

Lately, when we hear the words “new Adam Sandler movie,” they ultimately prove to be followed by some horrifying, bottom barrel plotline that makes us regret ever considering ourselves a fan of the funny man (sorry, Sandler, I still remember That’s My Boy), but for all the Just Go With Its and Grown Ups (and its upcoming sequel), Sandler can still charm the hell out of an audience with stuff like Fifty First Dates and The Wedding Singer. The continuing thread between such fare? Co-star Drew Barrymore. So, it is with some excitement that we reveal news about a new Sandler/Barrymore pairing that actually sounds charming, romantic, and – get this - mature. Moviehole passes along a ton of information about the film (via /Film), including that it will reunite the pair with Wedding Singer director Frank Coraci, that it features a script by Ivan Menchell and Claire Sera, with revisions from Sandler and Tim Herlihy, and that is will film in Georgia and South Africa. Wait - South Africa? That’s right, because with Blended, Barrymore and Sandler are going on safari…with kids.

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THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN-PART 2

The 33rd annual Golden Raspberry Awards — or Razzies — were held yesterday in Santa Monica, and for the first time in the series’ history, the Twilight Saga took the top (dis)honor of Worst Picture. Excluding the initial installment, each of the Twilight movies have been nominated for this award, but the final sequel, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, has seemingly been chosen as representative of the whole franchise. Kind of like the negative parallel to how Return of the King won Best Picture for the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy. Breaking Dawn – Part 2 also won Razzies this year for Worst Actress (Kristen Stewart, whose award also credits Snow White and the Huntsman), Worst Supporting Actor (Taylor Lautner), Worst Screen Couple (Lautner and Mackenzie Foy), Worst Director (Bill Condon), Worst Ensemble and Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel. It lost its nominees for Worst Actor (Adam Sandler was chosen for That’s My Boy over Robert Pattinson), Worst Supporting Actress (Rihanna won for Battleship over Ashley Greene) and Worst Screenplay (That’s My Boy was preferred). The film had also been up against itself in the Worst Screen Couple category, with Pattinson and Stewart losing to Lautner and Foy.

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Jim Carrey

What is Casting Couch? Today it’s the casting roundup with news about a talking raccoon, a frog puppet, a famous dog, a beautiful woman, and David Hasselhoff’s shorts. So far Marvel’s next big thing, The Guardians of the Galaxy, has been a great source of casting rumors, but not yet a generator of any casting confirmations. We’ve heard about a bevy of actors who might play Star-Lord, a handful who might be Drax the Destroyer, and now the Latino Review is reporting that director James Gunn and company are reaching out to both Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler to inquire about their availability for the film. What roles might they play? Perhaps they could provide the voices for either the big tree guy, Groot, or the little raccoon guy, Rocket Raccoon. I mean, it would just be too weird if either of them actually showed up playing a live action role, wouldn’t it? Definitely. Even hearing Sandler’s one goofy voice he uses coming out of a CG character’s mouth would just be too weird already. Let’s hope that rumor is completely off base.

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

While many would like to think that snark was something born of the Internet age, the fact that the Razzie Awards for Worst Achievements in Film are now in their thirty-third year pretty demonstrably proves that to be untrue.  There’s an uncomfortable truth at the center of all this, which is, to snark, to pass judgment, to make fun of things that fail publicly and spectacularly—it’s all kind of fun, at least in a sick way. If it wasn’t, something like The Razzies wouldn’t be able to stick around this long. In recent years, however, the film industry’s laser focus on building franchises and sticking to the same formulas has taken a little bit of the fun out of seeing who gets picked on for being the worst of the year. A crop of usual suspects has developed, making the announcement that the latest Twilight movie and the latest Adam Sandler comedy have earned the lion’s share of the nominations something of a tedious formality. So, here we are, having yet again sat through another Twilight movie and another Adam Sandler comedy, and, sure enough, it seems that they’ve once again gotten the bulk of the nominations. If there’s any new narrative going on, it’s that Madea’s Witness Protection seems to have annoyed the people who vote for the Golden Raspberries more than usual. Perhaps that’s due to Jack & Jill making men in drag a more contemptible offense after last year, or perhaps it’s because they’re trying to set […]

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Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

Welcome to another Reject Recap. Can you believe how fast time is flying by this year? It’s already December, and soon it will be the end of the 2012 (and end of the world?). And it’s been a surprisingly busy time for big movie news and rumors. Who can keep up with all the reports and commentary every day? If you haven’t been able to, we invite you to at least check out the highlights down below. First, we must give you the weekly reminder to check out our reviews of the new theatrical releases (Killing Them Softly; The Collection; California Solo; What a Man; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning) and interviews with Killing Them Softly director Andrew Dominik and The Day‘s director and cast, including Dominic Monaghan, Ashley Bell and Shawn Ashmore. This week we also looked at promotional artwork for Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim and watched trailers for such films as Black Rock and something called Osombie. Now, check out our biggest and best stories and original content from the past week after the break.

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Comic actor Adam Sandler, his production company Happy Madison, and Sony Pictures all have a rich history of working together. They’ve brought us a litany of steaming piles of comedy crap, including titles like Grown Ups, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, and the Kevin James-starring Paul Blart: Mall Cop. And, despite the fact that Sandler’s last horrible excuse for a comedy that he made with Sony, That’s My Boy, didn’t perform up to the standards of his previous films, all indications have been that the studio and Sandler were still perfectly happy in their relationship and ready to continue work on a Grown Ups sequel and then some sort of untitled Western comedy. But recently there was a glimmer of hope. Sony has been experiencing some money troubles, and has, as THR puts it in their report of all this inside baseball stuff, started, “actively seeking partners, divesting and abandoning specific projects.” This means that guys like Sandler, who may be showing signs of slowing down as an earner, are starting to look like a bigger risk to the studio, and that they’re less likely to fund risky projects unless they can get some sort of partner to come on board and split the cost. Suddenly, that untitled Western comedy was in trouble. Might it be possible that it could get put in turnaround, thus sparing us from having to see another terrible Adam Sandler comedy for a few years?

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Just Go With It

Redbox is celebrating its tenth anniversary as the most convenient way to rent a movie on the way home from buying cough drops, and as part of that joyous recognition, they’ve released the names of the Top Ten Redbox Rentals of the past ten years. A few things jump out immediately from the infographic (which you can check out below). Namely, Adam Sandler. The star dominates Redboxing. Not only is Just Go With It the #1 movie on the list, there are three other movies which feature Sandler’s handiwork (Grown Ups, Jack and Jill and Zookeeper ) hanging around in prominent positions. To put it another way, Sandler owns 40% of the real estate here. What’s even more striking is the relative newness of all the movies at the top. The oldest is from 2009, meaning Redbox has been renting for ten years, but has exploded in growth over the past three. So what else made the cut?

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Over Under - Large

Sidney Lumet’s 1975 tale of a bank robbery gone bad, Dog Day Afternoon, is not only considered to be a high point in the careers of both its director as well as its star, Al Pacino, it’s also considered to be one of the key films that was a part of the New Hollywood movement, which started in the late ’60s and continued through to the blockbusters of the 80s. New Hollywood was all about a generation of filmmakers making films that were artsier, grittier, and more experimental than most commercial fare, all from within the confines of the studio system. But while Dog Day Afternoon and its tale of cross-dressing and violent crimes certainly looks at home under that classification, is it really good enough to be mentioned in the same breath as stuff like Bonnie and Clyde, The Godfather, or Mean Streets? The early ’90s saw one of the biggest boom periods in the history of sketch comedy mainstay Saturday Night Live. Cast members like Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Adam Sandler, and Chris Farley led the show to probably its most critically successful period since the original cast, and pretty much everyone on the show went on to become a star in film. Out of all of these talented comedians, however, none became quite as successful as Sandler. After starring in Billy Madison in 1995, he was off to the races, earning big paychecks, pulling in big box office dollars, and gobbling up media attention. Some of his […]

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Genndy Tartakovsky

Hotel Transylvania marks the feature debut of a renowned figure from the world of TV animation, Genndy Tartakovsky, whose work ranges from Samurai Jack to The Powerpuff Girls. Tartakovsky, for those of you who understandably don’t remember this lil gem of a movie, also did the opening prologue for Priest, by far the most ambitious part of that movie. Ambition is certainly something that shows through in a lot of Tartakovsky’s work. There’s an artistry to Samurai Jack work we don’t see in theaters, but Tartakovsky is hoping to change that. To start, he’s made Hotel Transylvania, which the director describes as the “ultimate issue of MAD Magazine.” With all the film’s monsters bolstering with small, playful details, a MAD Magazine reference is surprisingly apt for Hotel Transylvania. Here’s what the film’s director Genndy Tartakovsky had to say about that style of the film, the ups and downs of comedy, and why he isn’t preparing for Popeye by watching Robert Altman’s “classic” over and over again:

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Adam Sandler Funny People

It’s December 2003, and Mel Gibson is standing in front of a rabid audience after premiering an unfinished version of The Passion of the Christ. This was the same guy who chuckled his way through Lethal Weapon. The same actor who got his start insinuating that a post-Apocalyptic baddie should saw his own limb off. Yes, he’d made prestigious award-grabs like Braveheart, but this was something different. Out of the darkness, someone asked where Gibson could go from here and, shielding his eyes symbolically from the spotlight, he said he couldn’t go back. He’d gotten the big house and the pool and the fame, but there was no way he could return to the types of movies he’d made before exploring the final hours of Joshua of Nazareth’s life. The movie was a plunge into the ocean, and the actor/director knew it. If anything, Funny People was Adam Sandler’s Passion, but it didn’t come with the same sort of obvious shift. It was a quieter change that – innocently as it seemed – served to undermine the career Sandler had. Whereas Gibson (as clinically insane as he is) seemed to grasp what he’d done, Sandler has remained in the dark to his career’s detriment. Bluntly put, Funny People and his choices afterward ruined Adam Sandler‘s career.

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Hotel Transylvania

The first thing you notice in the new trailer for Hotel Transylvania is Adam Sandler doing his impression of Adam Sandler doing a vampire voice. It’s unmistakable, it’s annoying, and it’s a key argument against movie stars taking jobs from trained voice over actors. However, the feature directing debut from the remarkably talented Genndy Tartakovsky looks about as charming as they come. The plot is simple: Dracula creates a hotel haven for his monster pals (and to keep his daughter Mavis safe from the Hawaiian shirted humans), but a couch surfer stumbles upon their hideaway and proceeds to fall in love with the blood-sucker’s offspring. Some of the jokes are obvious – Kevin James’s character falls down a lot even in the world of animation – but it definitely shows potential. Check it out for yourself:

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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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