Adam Sandler

Men Women and Children

Does Jason Reitman hate texting? From the looks of the first trailer for his Men, Women & Children, that definitely seems to be the case. Reitman’s latest is all about the secrets we keep online and that threaten to leak into the real world — which makes it kind of weird that the film’s marketing is encouraging fans to use the Whisper app to share their secrets, because that sure seems like something that’s pushing precisely what the film is against – with everyone constantly staring at their phones and looking shocked. Not a fan of films that use cute graphics to share texts, emails and pix on the big screen? Oh, you’re going to hate this one. Reitman’s film centers on a loosely connected group of students and their families, though it appears that they are all linked by their mutual sadness and disconnection. Put down your phones. Start living your lives. The Internet is bad. You are watching this trailer on the Internet, which is weird, right? Hmm. Watch the first trailer for Men, Women & Children after the break. You can probably do it on your phone.

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Pixes vs King of Kong

One of our favorite documentaries of all time here at FSR, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters debuted back in January 2007 at the Slamdance Film Festival. Before it even released in theaters that August it had become an enormous cult sensation, particularly with people who aren’t normally into nonfiction films. Also before it even opened, director Seth Gordon was recruited by New Line (who also distributed the doc) to remake the feature, presumably to share the goofy story of rival arcade game champions with a much broader audience that wouldn’t ever, ever watch a doc, no matter how entertaining. It’s totally unnecessary, and those doc-despisers don’t deserve this story if that’s how they’re gonna be, but that’s Hollywood for you. As with most plans to redo docs as dramatic or “narrative” films, though, this one has been taking its sweet time — and doesn’t seem like it’ll ever really happen. Gordon was given other offers from New Line in the meantime to direct other big Hollywood movies such as Four Christmases, and he’s since been attached to a bazillion other projects. Yet over the years, he’s consistently confirmed that a King of Kong remake is still going forward, with minor details revealed that it could actually be more like a sequel and that it will be shot mockumentary style. And according to IMDbPro, following a couple years of unknown status, the project is now listed back in the script stage as of April 21st. But the more we see of Adam Sandler‘s upcoming […]

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Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore in Blended

How was your Memorial Day weekend? Adam Sandler‘s probably wasn’t too good. The funny man’s (sort of? I guess he’s still funny sometimes?) latest box office outing, Blended, which tantalizingly re-teamed him with his very own Meg Ryan surrogate, Drew Barrymore, and at least hinted at the possibility of personal and professional growth through a more adult and family-friendy plotline (“they are bllllending”) than we are used to seeing from the actor, didn’t do so well at the box office. Turns out, going up against films like X-Men: Days of Future Past and Godzilla (and even Neighbors, which did make less than Blended but still pulled in a tidy fourth-place finish after three weeks in theaters) isn’t a great idea. It’s an even worse idea when your film just isn’t very good (or, at least, when your film has been savaged by critics far and wide). The Frank Coraci feature made just $14.23M at this weekend’s box office (not counting holiday numbers, in an attempt to make this as even-keeled as possible), putting it quite firmly in third place behind both the mutants and the mutos. How bad is that for a Sandler outing? His last film, Grown Ups 2, which opened last summer after a holiday weekend, made $41.5M in its opening weekend. Not enough perspective for you? Sandler’s last attempt at actual profundity, 2009′s Funny People, made $22.6M on its opening weekend (and that’s a film that people, quite wrongly, hated). What went wrong? Maybe nothing — maybe we’re all just done with Adam Sandler’s schtick.

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The Wedding Singer

Much has already been devoted to talking about how Blended is Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler’s third romantic comedy together. The duo began as an unlikely pair in 1998’s The Wedding Singer, the 80s centric flick in which Sandler played an aspiring rock star paying the bills through wedding gigs and attempting to win the heart of the beautiful Julia. They entered their thirties by portraying Hawaii’s cutest amnesiac and the world’s most determined reformed womanizer in 50 First Dates in 2004. And with this year’s entry into their romcom resume, they’ll slip into the shoes of divorcee parents who happen to get stuck on the same wild vacation together, even though they hate each other. Don’t you hate when that happens? Sandler and Barrymore have this great trend of starring in a romantic comedy together about once every 10 years, and it’s working out well in their favor; how much more publicity have you seen being thrown toward Blended because it’s reuniting everyone’s favorite couple and not because of the content of the film itself? We’re all too aware of what’s probably going to happen in a modern day Sandler comedy, thanks. Their chemistry, likeability and the sheer nostalgia of bringing the two back together for another love story has made audiences wistful about these crazy kids; they remember rooting for them alongside Billy Idol almost 20 years ago, and now, they get that chance again. Of course, Sandler and Barrymore are far from the first couple to pair […]

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Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore in Blended

Last summer, I got a lot of flack for my review of Grown Ups 2, which I claimed was “definitely not as horrible as it’d been made out to be.” Almost a year later, I’m here to review the latest Adam Sandler movie, and I’m glad to have placed that previous one at a high enough level, with a high enough grade, to give some perspective on how much worse the new one is.  Grown Ups 2 is just a harmless and mostly plotless and somewhat surreal lowbrow comedy. Blended, on the other hand, is the actual sort of cinematic stain we’ve come to associate with Sandler, yet probably even worse than fits his reputation. This is a movie that has multiple jokes about various-aged daughters’ vaginas, mainly regarding the size of them and wiping them, humor that will make you cringe because it’s inappropriate (and to a degree inaccurate) rather than awkward, as cringe-humor is meant to be. There is also a lot of material derived from the sexuality of teenagers, which isn’t necessarily out of line as subject matter but which is handled with bad form for a movie that wants to somehow be both a sweet family film and a raunchy rom-com. It’s one thing to depict a boy in the early stages of puberty as a total horndog shamefully obsessed with pornography, his babysitter and the jiggle of a woman’s breasts, but a shot of him zoning in on a woman’s crotch with binoculars followed by a camel toe joke […]

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Adam Sandler Bulletproof

Sure, you could go and see Blended this weekend, and watch Adam Sandler and his non-traditional family be urinated on by all the animals of the African savannah (for the record, I have no idea if Blended contains any animal urine, but given Sandler’s body of work, he’s bound to startle something with hooves and a bladder). But why would you want to see Adam Sandler play Adam Sandler, when you could see him play someone who only marginally resembles Adam Sandler? Enough of the oversized t-shirts, rampant product placement and supporting cast made up entirely of people Sandler hangs out with in real life. You’re a Sandler aficionado, with all the style and sophistication inherent in someone who uses the word “aficionado.” So let’s take a look at the surprisingly numerous, yet still small number of films in which Adam Sandler reaches outside his comfort zone, and towards a little something called drama. More than the saddened turns in Punch-Drunk Love and Reign Over Me, there’s also the big surprise of what happens when you put Sandler into an buddy cop action movie. Let’s begin, in order of most Sandlery to least Sandlery.

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Neighbors 10

There’s a great jab at Kevin James movies in Neighbors. Seth Rogen‘s character is arguing with his wife, played by Rose Byrne, because he thinks she needs to be the responsible part of their marriage, and he cites the actor’s work comparatively. He’s watched too many movies and TV shows, apparently, in which an idiot male needs to be reigned in by his more rational female partner, and he thinks that’s reality. I’m sure a lot of husbands out there will identify. But Byrne’s character wants to have fun and be a little immature, too. She can be just as foul-mouthed and get just as down and dirty as the boys, and man does she. This break from expectations is one of the reasons Neighbors succeeds as a great work of comedy. It aims to be more realistic and relatable than your average dumb gross-out movie. In particular, there is one recent comedy starring James that relates very much to Neighbors: Grown Ups 2. I didn’t include it on my list of movies to watch after seeing the newer movie, because I don’t want to recommend it (I got enough flack for giving it a non-negative review last year), but it’s probably the movie I thought about most while watching Rogen and Byrne battle a fraternity led by Zac Efron and Dave Franco. Both movies deal with adults in arrested development clashing with young attractive college students. Either one could go by the original title of Neighbors, which was “Townies.” But only one […]

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The Amazing Spider-Man

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. This special edition features, naturally, a lot of Star Wars: Episode VII reactions tucked prominently into other non-Star Wars editorials. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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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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