Grown Ups

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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Culture Warrior

Crowding a movie with talent often seems like a good idea only in the abstract sense. In practice, such films can easily feel overstuffed. For example, the basic conceits for both The Expendables and Grown Ups sound like products of wishful thinking held during a drunk conversation between a group of 19-year-olds at 3am. Yes, in theory a movie featuring all of the action stars of the 80s or the most successful SNL cast since the late-70s would be great – however, a bunch of famous people do not a seminal action film or great comedy make. What’s most surprising about Joss Whedon’s The Avengers is that the whole somehow proved greater than its parts. A movie with this quantity of iconic superheroes runs the incredible risk of being overstuffed and only half-cooked. The standards created by previous Hollywood films indicate that studios would be happy enough allowing the conflagration of bankable characters stand in for (or, more accurately, distract from the lack of) actual entertainment value; mammoth opening weekends, after all, are always more a sign of effective marketing than good filmmaking. But The Avengers not only stands as an equal to some of the stronger entries in Marvel’s 4-year, 5-film multiverse-building, but is arguably superior. Some of these characters came across more fully-fleshed and three-dimensional as part of an ensemble than in their respective standalone films.

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Boiling Point

Sadly, this article arrives far, far too late. I come to bury Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey, not to praise them. But they’re not dead. No, they are both very much alive and making movies, which is a little unfortunate. Not that they’re alive. That they’re making movies. Or at least that they’re making the movies they do. Yes, this article is years behind, but after revisiting some comedy classics like Ace Ventura: Pet Detecitve and Billy Madison, I just can’t look at another fucking Jack and Jill billboard without saying something. What happened to these guys? Money, success, power, time. Yes, all of those things happened to them and generally that leads to a downslide in movie quality. Or at least a downslide to a different type of comedy. Maybe there is an age where even the most immature of us suddenly grows up and doesn’t want to talk out of his asshole or argue the finer points of shampoo versus conditioner. Fear not, dear readers, for I have not yet reached that age.

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As the movies of 2010 comes to a close, it’s time to look back and revisit the finer points of cinema. But here at Film School Rejects, we like to turn the spotlight not just on the best, but also on the worst. This year has been a particularly rough year for movies as more films fizzled than we expected. With the year quickly coming to a close, it’s time to look back and realize which films didn’t just disappoint, but caused us the most pain. So with the help of the entire staff here at FSR, our own curator of the wretched Kevin Carr has compiled the list of the year’s most unwatchable, unbearable and unfortunately unforgettable films — may there be mercy on the souls of anyone who endured all of these gems…

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This Week in Blu-ray

This Week in Blu-ray, we give ample time to the Brits. God save the Queen, and all that. It’s unavoidable though, as both Doctor Who and a completely (and gloriously) reborn Sherlock Holmes come crashing in with sets that will have you using deductive reasoning to substitute buying Blu-rays for buying food for the next seven days. We also spend time with a favorite Brit filmmaker, Edgar Wright, as he brings Scott Pilgrim to the format of champions in a way that makes us feel complete. And it’s nice to feel complete. Unless, of course, you’re feeling completely surrounded by former comedic talents in an Adam Sandler-led movie about man-children. Then perhaps complete isn’t healthy. In the end, it’s another fun week of flicks and picks, all coming to you in glorious high definition…

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Join us each week as Rob Hunter takes a look at new DVD releases and gives his highly unqualified opinion as to which titles are worth BUYing, which are better off as RENTals, and which should be AVOIDed at all costs. And remember, these listings and category placements are meant as informational conversation starters only. But you can still tell Hunter how wrong he is in the comment section below. This week once again sees a healthy number of releases worth buying and renting and only a few that should be avoided like a leprous Jehovah’s Witness. The much talked about but little seen Scott Pilgrim vs the World hits shelves today alongside Criterion’s release of Antichrist, Grown Ups, Ticked Off Trannies With Knives, and a few TV shows including the first season of the BBC’s excellent Sherlock.

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This week, on a very special Reject Radio, Cinematical writers John Gholson and Will Goss drop by to discuss the finer points of jam bands becoming screenwriters, Daniel Day-Lewis losing his shit, and Peter Jackson’s incredible weight loss secrets. Plus, we make time to review Knight and Day and Grown Ups. Sorry about that.

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Toy Story 3

Sometimes things just turn out the way you might expect them to. It was a no-brainer going into this weekend that Pixar and Toy Story 3 would come out on top for the second weekend in a row. It was also safe betting that Adam Sandler and his crew of Grown Ups would beat out a second place spot for itself and that Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz would show.

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Last night, my fiancee and I were walking into a screening of Grown Ups when we were bombarded by what might be the largest advertising lobby cutout we’ve ever seen. It was for The Expendables, and it’s awe-inspiring with slightly-larger-than-life cardboard version of Stallone, Li, Statham, Rourke, Willis, Lundgren, and Austin. Seven big men all towering over and silently inviting us to come see them kick ass.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr hems and haws about Knight and Day and Grown Ups.

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Coach Buzzer (Blake Clark), an influential Junior High Basketball coach, has died. His championship team of 1978 gets together for the first time in a long time to reconnect and celebrate the life of a great man at the same lake house where they celebrated victory 30 years before. Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler) is an important Hollywood agent whose wife Roxanne (Salma Hayek Pinault) is a clothing designer. Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James) is a furniture store manager with a wife (Maria Bello) who still breast feeds their 4-year old son. Kurt McKenzie (Chris Rock) is a house husband who loves cooking shows and getting generally shit on by his wife Deanne (Maya Rudolph). Marcus Higgins (David Spade) is still single and still obsessed with sex. Rob Hilliard (Rob Schneider) is a new age mess who’s married to a woman twice his age named Gloria (Joyce Van Patten).

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Kevin and Neil meet up again in the Magical Studio in the Sky to talk about their lackluster thoughts on this week’s new movies… and boobs. They also contemplate why movies aren’t making as much money this summer and what are the best sandwiches they have ever had.

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After a record-breaking opening weekend, it’s time to see how much Toy Story 3 can pull in in its second weekend out. It has Adam Sandler and that Tom Cruise guy to worry about, so I think it’s pretty safe.

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I find myself shaking my head and wondering how the titans of my youth (and Kevin James) could end up here. I have to assume that, in some small or large degree, they’re asking themselves the same question. Sandler got his start making funny noises, Rock was a cultural icon with a lot of funny things to say about racial relations, Schneider annoyed everyone by the copy machine, and Spade annoyed everyone while they got off a plane, but all of these men created phrases that were repeated ad nauseam around the water cooler. Kevin James has always based his comedy around being large (like a non-threatening Chris Farley), so his trajectory to this point seems less confusing, but for the others, it’s almost like seeing the neutering of sharp comedic minds come to fruition. And they’re all doing it in one convenient movie.

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June 2010 Movie Guide

Now that American Idol and Lost are over, you have the entire month of June free for movies. What the hell are you going to watch?

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This week it’s all about love, growing old, fighting mythical creatures, taming mythical creatures and getting Sleeping Beauty’s lazy ass out of bed. In fact, let me just take a moment to say something I’ve been wanting to say for a long time: I wish she’d get a job already.

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How about a new column here at FSR? Off the cuff and ready to go is the simply named This Week in Movie Posters, in which we discuss pottery, naturally.

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grownups-header

As is the case with most stock studio comedies, it takes more than just big names to make a comedy worth watching. Except for the fact that your trailer should also be funny. Which this is not.

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Columbia Pictures is doing a little release date shifting this week, including a strategic 2-week push back for Michel Gondry’s Green Hornet.

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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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