Drew Barrymore

Memento Movie

We can learn a lot from the movies. Of course, sometimes what we learn has no basis in reality. For example, lawyers should not take their cross-examination techniques from Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men, and doctors shouldn’t be too quick to use a defibrillator as demonstrated in… well… pretty much every medical drama ever made. Certain real-life afflictions make excellent plot points in movies and television, and one of the biggest cliches that’s still used today is amnesia. Whether it’s Jason Bourne trying to get a hold of his past or a poor widower chasing down a man named John G., amnesia makes for a compelling story where we get to learn alongside a person who already knows the thing that they don’t know. But is movie amnesia realistic, or is it total crap?

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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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future dead people in HAPPY CAMP

And the hairy monster in the woods found footage train continues — The Lost Coast Tapes, The Woodsman, Bigfoot County, Exists, Willow Creek — with the latest film to hop aboard coming, inexplicably, from producer Drew Barrymore‘s Flower Films. All the ingredients are here, from the small town wary of outsiders to the RV filled with outsiders who come rolling into town with digital cameras filming their every move, from the deadly mystery to the cheesy denouement, from the endless bickering to fill screentime to the questionable camera footage. Welcome to Happy Camp. The opening onscreen text tells us that Happy Camp, CA has reported over 627 missing people in the past 25 years, the highest number in the continental United States, and clearly that’s more impressive than simply saying there have been 628. One of the missing is a young boy named Dean Tanner who disappeared in 1989 while playing with his adopted brother Michael. Twenty years later (the film is set in 2009 for whatever reason) a now grown Mike (Michael Barbuto) has planned a trip with three friends to document his attempt to face and hopefully remember the details of the past. We all know what comes next. Happy Camp takes just about all of the elements that give found footage horror a bad rap and then puts them onscreen for our viewing pleasure.

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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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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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Consider it the the perfect genre storm of conventions – an end-of-the-world film that uses multiple storylines to unfurl its narrative. It’s Valentine’s Day meets Armageddon (or New Year’s Eve meets Deep Impact, if you’re nasty). THR reports (via ComingSoon) that Drew Barrymore has signed on to direct The End, a film that “follows multiple story lines as people reconcile their fate on their last day on Earth.” Written by television writer and producer Aron Eli Coleite, the film will encompass a hearty number of characters, including “a sixtysomething radio personality in London intent on broadcasting until the end, a father trying to make it through the chaos in Tokyo to reach his wife and baby and a teenage couple in the American Midwest being pulled in different directions by their families.” The film is a drama, but is also described as “uplifting and humanistic,” with an intent to focus more on life versus death.

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr heads out to the drab English countryside to settle a woman’s estate only to find the place haunted. Fortunately, Kevin had already crawled down a mysterious hole and gained super powers, so he’s able to fend off the evil spirits. For a fleeting moment, he considers using his new powers for good, like to save a family of gray whales trapped under the ice in Barrow, Alaska. However, his fear of the 30 Days of Night vampires keep him at home. He then decides to use his new powers to read the subtitles of The Hidden Face so he can enjoy the copious amounts of pretty Colombian breasts.

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We are told early on in Big Miracle that “everybody loves whales!” It’s both an excuse and a rallying cry and, had Ken Kwapis‘ film stuck with its first moniker, it would have also been the title of his latest film. Someone apparently had the foresight to slay that terrible name, but it’s still managed to worm its way into the finished feature, where it’s pronounced earnestly, practically begging for its audience to nod and say, “yep, it’s true – just everybody loves whales.” Strangely enough, it’s that tossed-aside title that sums up Big Miracle quite neatly – earnest, insane, and conducive to crowd participation and (positive) involvement.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly entertainment news column that doesn’t usually participate in such overt misogyny. However, in a week that has inundated us with more Michael Bayhem than the world was built to handle, it would like to take out its man card, flop it down on the table like a wet fish and display it to the world. Yes, this is about to get sexual. And no, it will not last long. That’s just how any good late-nite movie news linkdump rolls. It’s a slow news night. Allow me to illustrate right off the bat: Tonight’s lead story is about Brooklyn Decker, model-turned-actress and all-around attractive human being who has been cast in What to Expect When You’re Expecting alongside Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez. Chris Rock will also star. The only thing about this story that I find interesting is the image above, which has less to do with a movie based on a pregnancy self-help book and more to do with reasons why anyone would want to make Brooklyn Decker pregnant in the first place. I think we all still win.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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I’m going to share something with you. I have a sick obsession with sex movies. I don’t mean I always watch them with salacious intentions, because I have to draw the line between art and pornography somewhere. Let me be clear, I really enjoy a movie whose sole purpose is to titillate a viewer so much that they question what they are really watching. I’ve spent many nights snuggled up on my couch cringing my way through Catherine Breillat’s many sex shockers. I made a boyfriend attend a viewing party for the highly controversial, yet exceptionally boring, 9 Songs. I’ve even gotten into fights with Netflix over its recommendation of Salo based on my high rating of Irreversible. Those last two movies have nothing in common, by the way. Sex-centric dramas have been a secret, back alley passion of mine. But in all my years devouring these movies, I rarely see comedies that both deal frankly with sex and show it. Sex is usually the butt of a joke in comedies, rather than a catalyst for moving a couple forward.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr jumps feet first into the world of exploitation pictures. He rips off his shirt to show his prison tats when he sees Machete and then becomes a weapons expert to go head-to-head with George Clooney in The American. Finally, he cringes and rolls his eyes at yet another crappy real-life couple love story with Going the Distance. It’s sad when the highlight of his moviegoing weekend is a Lindsay Lohan nip slip.

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You’re lying in bed with the clock reading some un-Godly hour in red analog, and you reach out your hand to find only the cold space of the other side of your bed. You want to pull the one you love close to you, but you can’t, because they’re gone. They aren’t on vacation or out of town for work. They are – for the foreseeable future – living in a completely different city. Most people have found themselves in this position. Even though the concept of the long distance relationship was probably invented when the first tribe realized there was a second tribe (or at least when war starting sending soldiers away for long periods of time), the struggle to keep the fire burning with mileage looming in between is especially appropriate for an age where you can find love on the other end of an internet connection. It’s the challenge of cross-country romance that the main characters of Going the Distance find themselves facing.

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People are almost constantly worried about what Kristen Bell is going to do next because she gained a huge nerd following with one television series and hooked a larger comedy nerd audience as Sarah Marshall. However, even though it might sound like blasphemy, I’ve never really been terribly impressed with her acting. She’s cute, and she’s funny, and she’s beyond endearing, but she’s right where she belongs in rom-com land.

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve been anxiously awaiting the days when princesses, enchantment and fantastical adventures overtake the dark, brooding, vamping trends in teen-targeted entertainment.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

In spite of the fact almost nothing was screened for them this week, Kevin and Neil meet in the Magical Studio in the Sky to not talk about movies. Instead, they discuss Kevin being a near body double for Taylor Lautner, Neil’s homoerotic fantasies about Neil Patrick Harris and how to tweet in Klingon. tIv cha’!

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mwl-confessionsofadangerousmind

The true-ish story of Chuck Barris, who wrote pop songs, hosted games shows, and killed people for a living. (And the movie where Michael Cera tries to convince a girl his penis tastes like strawberry).

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turnedon-bigelow

Uber sex-columnist Bethany Perryman takes a break from her usual assortment of tranny-loving, fetish-having columns and commands your attention to talk about something very important: a little girl-on-girl… er, girl-on-film.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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