That’s My Boy

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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2012year_worst

Years from now, cinema fanatics will probably look back at 2012 fondly, remembering that this year brought us new films from Spielberg, Bigelow, Anderson (P.T.), Haneke, Affleck, Anderson (Wes), Van Sant, Arnold, Tarantino, Johnson, and many, many more. But amidst all the good stuff (and, rest assured, there was plenty of good stuff to go around), there were plenty of rotten, silly, messy, sloppy, boring, and insulting films to fill our theaters and empty our heads. The worst, if you will. Just the worst. Settle in, gird your loins, and prepare yourself for The 12 Worst Films of 2012, as determined by your faithful Rejects. Oh, 2012, you really packed some doozies.

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Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Moonrise Kingdom It’s 1965 in New England, and two young lovers have run away from their homes. They’re twelve years old, and they live on an island, but it’s the thought that counts. Their decision sets in motion a chain of events involving Bob Balaban, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Ed Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis, a scout troop and an impending storm. A spectacular cast isn’t the only thing going for Wes Anderson’s latest film though as he weaves a beautiful, romantic and bittersweet tale complete with a sonderful score by Alexandre Desplat. It’s a sweetly funny visual feast guaranteed to put a smile on your lips and in your ears. [Extras: Featurettes]

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That

It wasn’t quite the kind of fruitful summer weekend the likes of Adams Shankman and Sandler had hoped for. Running up against a smattering of lackluster reviews and some stiff competition, their films — Rock of Ages and That’s My Boy, respectively — failed to gain momentum in their opening weekend, ending with less than stellar results and a few bumps and bruises, thanks to Ridley Scott and some animated jungle creatures.

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Andy Samberg‘s comedic sensibility isn’t exactly what one would label as mainstream. From the epic Laser Cats series, the Lonely Island sketches, to the overlooked Hot Rod, his brand of humor can be somewhat of an acquired taste. Since leaving SNL, it’ll be interesting to see if he’ll stick with that tone or, as he says he hopes to, give a grounded Apatowian performance someday. In the latest Happy Madison Picture, That’s My Boy, Samberg doesn’t give that realistic performance he’s talking about. When you’re acting with Vanilla Ice or going one-on-one with James Caan, realism certainly isn’t the goal. But, as Samberg explains, the film also features the sentimental side Sandler’s broad comedies usually play up. Here’s what That’s My Boy star Andy Samberg had to say about his knack for taking a beating, over thinking comedy, and why an even more bizarre cut of Hot Rod deserves a Criterion release:

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The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: Billy Madison (1995) The Plot: Billy Madison (Adam Sandler), is an idiot, a slacker, and heir to a grand chain of hotels. With his father eyeing retirement, Billy expects to be next in line to take over the company, but the weasel Eric Gordon (Bradley Whitford) raises some legitimate doubts about Billy’s mental capacities. To prove to his father that he’s capable of taking over the family business, Billy must complete grades 1-12 and graduate High School on an accelerated time table.

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It’s no secret that Adam Sandler‘s resume is studded with films that the critical mass has turned firmly against – of his thirty most recognizable starring roles, only four have managed to ring in as “Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes, and his last run of films (including Just Go With It, Jack and Jill, Zookeeper, and Grown Ups) have signaled that Sandler the actor has no interest in continuing any of the thoughtful, nuanced work he turned in with stuff like Punch-Drunk Love and Funny People. If that’s how he wants to play, that’s just fine – Sandler’s career decisions are his own and good luck with them, but things have simply gone too far with his latest feature, the revolting, moronic, despicable, deeply unfunny, wildly offensive, and frankly disturbing That’s My Boy. Make your money how you want to, Sandler, but count me out of watching it – forever.

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The first trailer for That’s My Boy showed us what would have happened if a pubescent Adam Sandler had become a father. The results…well, they looked a lot like an Adam Sandler movie. But at least it seemed like Sandler was finally going back to his raunchy roots and not giving us something as saccharine and lame as his most recent works (though I’m certain That’s My Boy’s third act will segue into Sandler’s trademark sentimentality). Well, the marketing team behind the film is back, and this time they’ve given us a red band trailer that provides us with an even better idea of the depths of depravity Sandler is willing to reach with his latest endeavor. The material here is certainly dirtier than what we got the first time around, but unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be any funnier. Sandler’s silly voices, sexual references, and slapstick humor feel like relics of the ’90s at this point, and dressing it all up with a bunch of F-bombs only goes so far toward making you forget how many years ago it was that we all first listened to “Fatty McGee” and laughed at the foul-mouthed crudity. At this point, Sandler’s best chance at continued relevance is likely to come from acting in other people’s films, rather than putting these lackluster – though I’m sure more profitable for him personally – Happy Madison movies together.

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Once upon a time, Adam McKay’s upcoming football comedy Three Mississippi was going to be a glorious re-teaming of not only Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell’s dueling idiots act from The Other Guys, but also a re-teaming of Wahlberg and Alex Baldwin’s meathead chemistry from The Departed. But now Mark Wahlberg is dropping out of the movie, and heck, it isn’t even an Adam McKay comedy anymore. Just when things were looking so promising too. What happened? It’s a sad tale of other movies taking priority. With Peter Berg’s Battleship sinking at the box office, Universal got cold feet when it came to financing his next movie, Lone Survivor, which is about a Navy SEAL on a doomed mission. Without Universal fronting the bill, Berg needed a big name attached to the project in order to procure some new financing, and he got that in the form of Mark Wahlberg. As part of the deal, Wahlberg had to agree to make Lone Survivor his next project. The other movie that took the wind out of the sails of Three Mississippi is McKay and Ferrell’s upcoming Anchorman sequel. For the longest time nobody thought that movie was going to happen, but then it got unexpectedly green lit and suddenly McKay found himself in the position of having to drop out of Three Mississippi. Ferrell’s own commitments to that film made it pretty impossible for he and Wahlberg’s now inflexible schedules to synch up, so something had to be done.

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It wasn’t until watching the newest green band trailer for That’s My Boy that everything became clear. Underneath the baffling, annoying voice Adam Sandler makes through the whole thing, the simple truth remains: this is the unofficial sequel to Big Daddy. In that 1999 comedy, Sandler played a terrible man-child who let his fraudulently adopted son become the smelly kid in class by being lazy and moronic. In the film from Sean Anders and John Morris, Sandler plays a terrible child-child who becomes a father after knocking up his middle school teacher and now (many years later) has to deal with an estranged, very successful son played by Andy Samberg. In a movie world where Sandler doesn’t evolve or grow up in Big Daddy, this is what little Frankenstein would have become. He ate the terrible candy he wanted to, he dressed how he wanted to, he had zero discipline and here’s how it all turned out:

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published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B
published: 12.12.2014
D+


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