Archive for the Adam Sandler Movies Category

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (2012)

Posted in 2012, Adam Sandler Movies, Animated Films, Family Films, Fun Stuff!, Sheri White Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on October 2, 2012 by knifefighter

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (2012)
Movie Review by Sheri White

My kids are old and wizened now at the ripe ages of 23, 17, and 14, which means I haven’t seen a kids’ movie in the theater in a long time. So I was surprised when the two youngest wanted to go with me to see this movie after I told them I was reviewing it for CKF. I didn’t even have to entice them with promises of candy and popcorn.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons was THE GROOVIE GOOLIES (1970 – 1971) —the characters were cool, hip versions of the classic movie monsters, like Dracula and Frankenstein.  I loved that show so much. HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA reminded me a lot of that awesome show.

Dracula is now a single dad with a precious little girl. He promised his wife before she died that he would always take care of Mavis and protect her. He has a hotel built that is a sanctuary not only for Mavis, but for all monsters. No human can get in.

That all changes on Mavis’s 118th birthday. Her dad has promised her for years that she could leave the hotel and check out a human village on that birthday. And, true to his word, he lets her go. But she quickly realizes the outside world isn’t safe and returns home.

Happy once again, Dracula continues to plan her birthday party. It’s like Bobby Boris Pickett’s song “The Monster Mash” come to life. All the monsters are there to celebrate, and it’s a scream.  Until a young hiker accidentally crashes the good time.

Adults will see where this is headed once Mavis and Johnny run into each other and their eyes meet. What follows is a lot of slapstick comedy as Dracula frantically tries to keep them apart, as well as keeping Johnny’s human status a secret.

Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Johnny (Andy Samberg) meet cute in HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA.

In the end, the movie is about letting your kids go, no matter how much you want them to stay.

My jaded teenage girls loved the movie. I enjoyed it very much myself. There is nothing inappropriate for any age —well, there is a cold swimming pool joke that I know my kids got because they watch SEINFELD —and it shouldn’t be frightening to young children, I’d say five ages and up.  There are a few times when Dracula makes a scary red angry face, and that might freak out littler kids.

Aside from Dracula’s red “angry face,” there’s not much to scare kids in HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA.

Parents will relate to Dracula not wanting to let Mavis leave the hotel, especially since he’s afraid all humans are dangerous – they did kill his wife, after all. There are enough sight gags and sly humor to keep adults interested and amused. Lots of action and color will keep kids riveted.

I don’t say this often about kids’ movies, but I would see this again. There is a lot going on that you can miss the first time around. When my kids were little, they watched SHREK on DVD almost every day, and I didn’t mind. This is one that I wouldn’t mind as well.  I’d even watch it by myself, like I do SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS —what can I say, kids’ stuff can be cooler than adult programming sometimes.

The voice acting is wonderful —I’m not a huge fan of Adam Sandler, but his Dracula was great. You’ll recognize several other voices in the movie, such as Kevin James (as Frankenstein), Steve Buscemi (as the Werewolf) and Selena Gomez (as Mavis). There’s a fun jam session at the end.

Don’t worry about staying around for the credits – nothing happens once the movie is over.

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA – fun for all ages, even know-it-all teenagers. I give it four knives.

© Copyright 2012 by Sheri White

Sheri White gives HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA ~FOUR knives (out of five).

THAT’S MY BOY (2012)

Posted in 2012, Adam Sandler Movies, Comedies, Kelly Laymon Reviews, R-Rated Comedy with tags , , , , , on June 20, 2012 by knifefighter

If THAT’S MY BOY!…You Can Keep Him!
Movie Review by Kelly Laymon

Unlike most Adam Sandler comedies, I had slightly higher hopes for THAT’S MY BOY. The plot uses torn-from-the-headlines cases like Mary Kay Letourneau as a jumping-off point. We start with a thirteen year old Sandler in the mid-1980s embarking on a romantic and sexual relationship with one of his teachers. They get caught, she gets knocked up and sent to jail for 30 years, and he cashes in on the tabloid celebrity of his situation.

However, by 2012, the money has run out, he’s got almost 20 years of unpaid taxes, his car painted with a Rush logo is beat to shit, and he’s facing jail time if he can’t pony up $43,000 by the first business day after the Memorial Day holiday weekend. And, wouldn’t you just know it, his son, played by Andy Samberg, who he hasn’t seen since the kid turned 18 and went off on his own, is now a successful financial businessman…who also happens to be getting married that very weekend. The idea is to get his son to the prison where his school teacher mother is serving the 30 year sentence for a family reunion on a Jerry Springer-esque talk show.

Obviously, hilarity ensues. The loud and ill-mannered Sandler is an embarrassment around Samberg’s rich business associates. There’s some bonding over a slow-motion bachelor party full of wacky clichés, an overweight stripper, a stripper in a large neck brace, a blow job in the parking lot, etc.. And, of course, motives are discovered, feelings are betrayed, blah, blah, blah. I won’t explain anything from the final act because, aside from not giving away most of the ending, you’d think I was dropping acid in the theatre because things get…un-realistic. VERY un-realistic. Any cars that were still on the tracks after the first 90 minutes completely derailed by the end.

You can certainly count on bit parts from un-funny SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE cast members, such as Will Forte, Rachel Dratch, and Anna Gasteyer. Rounding out the barrage of un-funny is Nick Swardson, who seemed to be doing a terrible Danny McBride impression. Vanilla Ice has a significant role as himself and Todd Bridges has a cameo that lasts a few scenes.

The humor is all fairly juvenile and the dialogue and scenarios don’t have a shred of reality to them. When comedy isn’t grounded in a believable universe, it’s usually pretty lost on me. Rather than taking a real situation and drawing the humor out of it, this film plays like a bunch of “writers” sat around and tried to come up with “funny” kitchen sinks to throw in.

I enjoyed Sandler back in the SNL days, but his film career is getting to be more and more hit or miss. With 2009’s FUNNY PEOPLE, which I adored, he made fun of his career and the kinds of films he’d made. I wondered if perhaps he was seeing things clearly and wouldn’t make that kind of crap any longer. To his credit, he really commits to this lousy material.

One of the cool things, and, trust me, there aren’t many, is the uncanny similarity between the woman who plays the younger version of the school teacher and the present day version played by Susan Sarandon. It’s no coincidence. It’s not even just great casting. It’s her real-life daughter, Eva Amurri Martino. She has also played the younger version of Sarandon in DEAD MAN WALKING (1995) and has also played Sarandon’s daughter in THE BANGER SISTERS (2002).

All in all, two knives are more than plenty. There’s not much redeeming or humorous about this. If you want something totally mindless, watch it. But if you want to watch something in a similar vein, but much better, dig up THE HANGOVER (2009), THE WEDDING CRASHERS (2005), or OLD SCHOOL (2003). Those have genuine laughs and clever dialogue.

© Copyright 2012 by Kelly Laymon

Kelly Laymon  gives THAT’S MY BOY! ~ two knives!