#1  
Old 06-24-2010, 11:03 PM
Dennis Dugan's Grown Ups

Here's the link to the published version of my review in my column at The Richmond Examiner:

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-3...view-Grown-Ups



http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-3...view-Grown-Ups

Grown Ups (2010)

There are two things you need to know about "Grown Ups" before you even think about possibly seeing it. First, it stars "Saturday Night Live" alum Adam Sandler, who hasn't been the least bit funny since he left that show so many years ago. Second, this film is directed by Dennis Dugan, whose other failures include "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," "You Don't Mess With the Zohan,” and "Big Daddy," all starring Sandler (This list goes on, but I'll try to spare him further humiliation). Long story short, when Sandler and Dugan get together for a project, it spells disaster.

"Grown Ups" begins with group of best friends on a basketball team who win a championship. Years later, they reunite for their coach's funeral. Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler) is a big-time Hollywood agent. Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James) is the co-owner of an automobile dealership. Kurt McKenzie (Chris Rock) is a stay-at-home husband. It's not entirely clear what the other two friends, Marcus Higgins (David Spade) and Rob Hilliard (Rob Schneider), do exactly.

Those who have families have brought them along for a week-long stay at a cabin that they used to spend a lot of time at. Their activities range from joking around with each other to going to a water park to playing basketball. Supposedly they are using this time to have fun with their families and to reconnect with each other after not having seen each other for a long time, though it's really hard to tell if that's actually going on.

In the Sandler/Dugan tradition, we have yet another excruciatingly unfunny comedy featuring a level of humor that is so lowbrow and so juvenile that you wonder if it wasn't written by elementary school kids. If that's what you guessed, you wouldn't be far off as it was written by Sandler and Fred Wolf ("Joe Dirt," "Strange Wilderness").

The movie's other big problem is that there isn't really much of a plot. What plot there is is merely an excuse to get all of these wacky people together so they can sit around cracking jokes to each other. It seemed as though someone was cracking a one-liner every 5-10 seconds, all of which fall flat. The funny thing is, even the actors seemed to realize that the material wasn't that funny as they give each joke a really bland delivery.

I've never understood what charm or appeal Adam Sandler has. He did alright on SNL, but then, all of a sudden, he hit it big with a pair of mediocre films, "Billy Madison" and "Happy Gilmore." Since then, he's been continually starring in even more juvenile comedies, usually with a focus on scatological humor. The rest of the cast of "Grown Ups" is mostly filled out with has-beens, many of whom also got their start on SNL, but have simply faded away, like David Spade and Rob Schneider.

At 100 minutes, you can feel this movie drag on quite a bit, especially with the lack of plot, but mainly because the film is made up mostly of awkward situations and bad jokes. They even felt the need to through in another basketball game at the end between the same teams, but grown up. It is around this time that the writers decided to try an awkward tone shift.

After trying to be a comedy for more than 2/3 of its running time, out of nowhere, there's a scene that feels very misplaced where several characters reveal secrets that they've been hiding from the others. Sadly, due to a complete lack of character development, there's little reason to care about what they have to say, which can pretty much be said about the entirety of the dialogue of the film.

The title mainly leaves one wondering when Sandler will chose to finally grow up and stop starring in this ongoing series of terrible comedies. He could easily take a chance with better material, though it's quite possible that since he co-wrote this film that he mistakenly thought it was decent. From looking at his filmography, it's clear that Sandler is not the best judge of good material, which would go a long way towards explaining his current streak. That would actually explain quite a lot. 1.5/4 stars.
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  #2  
Old 06-26-2010, 04:14 PM
Holy shit ! What a hater! Are you serious? Adam Sandler has not been funny since leaving SNL? He is only one of the best bankable comedy stars in the world today. He actually seems to be getting better with age and maturity. His movies are much better than his early Bill Madison days. All the movies you named have all grossed at least $100 each. Apparently, some people find him funny.

I could not get through the hate to see if you actually thought the movie was funny or not. Know you, funny. The point of the movie.

Since you are so smart and published, I suggest you write a screen play and make a movie. Since you are so much smarter than everyone else and know much about what a movie should be, you should stop lowering your standards to see such crap and do your own movies. You are exactly the reason why no one cares what reviewers say anymore.

You may find this to be a surprise, but most people do not go to movies, because of a plot, story or how real it is. Most people go to the movies to be entertained and enjoy themselves. Movies are product. Every week studios are trying to put out the best piece of crap they can to make money. I don't know if you know much about the world or the economy, but during this current recession (depression really) the movie industry is up. Maybe not in ticket sales, but in money. Not many other industries can say they have been up year over year since 2004. SO even thought times are tough, people still go the movies to be entertained. I think you forgot this fact. People going to see Grown Ups are looking to laugh a little. That's all. What you told us is basically millions of people who watch and enjoy these types of movies are small, pathetic, stupid people who don't know any better and that makes you an elitist. You are not better than anyone else and judging by the numbers, most people do not go see what you consider to be a good movie.
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  #3  
Old 06-26-2010, 06:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erroneous View Post
Holy shit ! What a hater! Are you serious? Adam Sandler has not been funny since leaving SNL? He is only one of the best bankable comedy stars in the world today. He actually seems to be getting better with age and maturity. His movies are much better than his early Bill Madison days. All the movies you named have all grossed at least $100 each. Apparently, some people find him funny.

I could not get through the hate to see if you actually thought the movie was funny or not. Know you, funny. The point of the movie.

Since you are so smart and published, I suggest you write a screen play and make a movie. Since you are so much smarter than everyone else and know much about what a movie should be, you should stop lowering your standards to see such crap and do your own movies. You are exactly the reason why no one cares what reviewers say anymore.

You may find this to be a surprise, but most people do not go to movies, because of a plot, story or how real it is. Most people go to the movies to be entertained and enjoy themselves. Movies are product. Every week studios are trying to put out the best piece of crap they can to make money. I don't know if you know much about the world or the economy, but during this current recession (depression really) the movie industry is up. Maybe not in ticket sales, but in money. Not many other industries can say they have been up year over year since 2004. SO even thought times are tough, people still go the movies to be entertained. I think you forgot this fact. People going to see Grown Ups are looking to laugh a little. That's all. What you told us is basically millions of people who watch and enjoy these types of movies are small, pathetic, stupid people who don't know any better and that makes you an elitist. You are not better than anyone else and judging by the numbers, most people do not go see what you consider to be a good movie.
No offense, but this is the stupidest argument I've heard in a long time. You're basically saying that movie reviewers should give good reviews to movies JUST BECAUSE they are popular. I'm really sorry but that's just about the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a WHILE. The whole "you're no better than anyone else" and "why don't you make a movie of your own?" arguments are also so beaten to the ground and worn out, it makes me sick just to read them.

Hal2001, you did good. As I suspected, there is nothing of worth in this film, and I will not be seeing it. Thanks for reviewing it
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  #4  
Old 06-26-2010, 07:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monotreme View Post
No offense, but this is the stupidest argument I've heard in a long time. You're basically saying that movie reviewers should give good reviews to movies JUST BECAUSE they are popular. I'm really sorry but that's just about the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a WHILE. The whole "you're no better than anyone else" and "why don't you make a movie of your own?" arguments are also so beaten to the ground and worn out, it makes me sick just to read them.

Hal2001, you did good. As I suspected, there is nothing of worth in this film, and I will not be seeing it. Thanks for reviewing it
Again, the same old bullshit. It is a 100% true statement and people like you can't deal with it. If you can't understand that there are different ratings or standards for different types of movies, I don't know what to tell you. You can't judge Grown Ups the same way you would judge Toy Story 3.

I guess you are giving him a pass on his whole Adam Sandler is not funny at all and all his movies suck????

I am going to see this movie and I will tell you the real deal. If it is funny and you like funny movies, you will be missing something. Hal is a total hater with no talent at all, which is why he judges and not creates.
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  #5  
Old 06-26-2010, 07:36 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erroneous View Post
Holy shit ! What a hater! Are you serious? Adam Sandler has not been funny since leaving SNL? He is only one of the best bankable comedy stars in the world today. He actually seems to be getting better with age and maturity. His movies are much better than his early Bill Madison days. All the movies you named have all grossed at least $100 each. Apparently, some people find him funny.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erroneous View Post
Since you are so smart and published, I suggest you write a screen play and make a movie. Since you are so much smarter than everyone else and know much about what a movie should be, you should stop lowering your standards to see such crap and do your own movies. You are exactly the reason why no one cares what reviewers say anymore.
Ah AICN, you've bred some wonderful debaters.

GREAT review Hal2001
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  #6  
Old 06-27-2010, 01:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terminal_83 View Post
Ah AICN, you've bred some wonderful debaters.

GREAT review Hal2001
Where do you get the nerve to say anything? You aren't going to see the movie. You don't like any of the people in the movie. How do you know it is a good review, when you have not seen it? How do you have the nerve to insult me when you are biased in the first place. Maybe you are like many of these people on this site, where you talk a lot of shit that goes with the popular opinion and make fun of everyone who does not think like you do. You are pretty sad.

PS WHat is AICN? Seriously?

Here are your quotes.

Quote:
This would be a great story about men coming to terms with parenthood and their lives re-uniting with their family and engaging in life changing situations...

... if it didn't have the Happy Madison team, Sandler, Spade, Schneider, Rock and James, all of whom suck so much the black hole can't withstand their force
Quote:
I fucking hate Kevin James. His whole shtick revolves around "I'm so fat! Watch me do fat guy things! Ooh I'm loud and a load of blubber! Isn't that funny?!" Every time a fat comedian comes along to do that and disappears, someone else takes their place.

I hate Rock. Never liked him. His movies all blow
Quote:
Exactly. Comedies these days rarely appeal to mature adults, they're all touted to the teenage mentality where farting and falling off things is equated with brilliant genre work. Lame.
Quote:
After Mr. Deeds, Eight Crazy Nights, Zohan, Bedtime Stories, Chuck and Larry, and Longest Yard, I'm done giving Sandler comedies a chance.

However "Reign Over Me," "Spanglish," "Punch Drunk Love," and "50 First Dates" are magnificent.
Quote:
I was never a Rock fan. I've sat through about four of his specials and they were all terrible, so we're at an impasse here.
Chris Rock's HBO specials are that is comic legend. He is the top comedian in the world. #2 is Dane. You may not like them, because they are not your type of comedy, but that does not make them terrible. I do not like country music, but I can respect when a country music singer is great. Garth Brooks is one of the best and I can't name one of his songs. I trust the millions of those who love his music. As a person who enjoy Chris Rock's stand up, take it from me, he is awesome. Racist, but awesome.
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  #7  
Old 06-27-2010, 02:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erroneous View Post
Again, the same old bullshit. It is a 100% true statement and people like you can't deal with it. If you can't understand that there are different ratings or standards for different types of movies, I don't know what to tell you. You can't judge Grown Ups the same way you would judge Toy Story 3.

I guess you are giving him a pass on his whole Adam Sandler is not funny at all and all his movies suck????
I know this concept must be foreign and unfamiliar to you, so I'll try and break it down simply: It's called an opinion, man. I think you're just going to have to face the fact that Hal, PERSONALLY, doesn't think Sandler is funny and doesn't enjoy his movies. I know this might be hard to grasp right now, but Hal is actually entitled to his opinion, just like you are entitled to yours, and it is alright for him to voice his opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erroneous View Post
Hal is a total hater with no talent at all, which is why he judges and not creates.
I don't even know why I am arguing with you. With statements like this you aren't even worth my time.
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  #8  
Old 06-29-2010, 12:20 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erroneous View Post
Holy shit ! What a hater! Are you serious? Adam Sandler has not been funny since leaving SNL? He is only one of the best bankable comedy stars in the world today. He actually seems to be getting better with age and maturity. His movies are much better than his early Bill Madison days. All the movies you named have all grossed at least $100 each. Apparently, some people find him funny.

I could not get through the hate to see if you actually thought the movie was funny or not. Know you, funny. The point of the movie.

Since you are so smart and published, I suggest you write a screen play and make a movie. Since you are so much smarter than everyone else and know much about what a movie should be, you should stop lowering your standards to see such crap and do your own movies. You are exactly the reason why no one cares what reviewers say anymore.

You may find this to be a surprise, but most people do not go to movies, because of a plot, story or how real it is. Most people go to the movies to be entertained and enjoy themselves. Movies are product. Every week studios are trying to put out the best piece of crap they can to make money. I don't know if you know much about the world or the economy, but during this current recession (depression really) the movie industry is up. Maybe not in ticket sales, but in money. Not many other industries can say they have been up year over year since 2004. SO even thought times are tough, people still go the movies to be entertained. I think you forgot this fact. People going to see Grown Ups are looking to laugh a little. That's all. What you told us is basically millions of people who watch and enjoy these types of movies are small, pathetic, stupid people who don't know any better and that makes you an elitist. You are not better than anyone else and judging by the numbers, most people do not go see what you consider to be a good movie.
One of the worst rants I've ever read and I like Happy Gilmore and Anger Management (Granted, mostly for Jack) so I don;t totally hate Adam. But most of his movies blow goats.

Last edited by rocknblues81; 06-29-2010 at 12:24 AM..
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  #9  
Old 07-04-2010, 07:28 PM
Mediocre flick. I'll review it later for my blog, but I will say that Grown Ups contains no plot whatsoever. "Barebones" would be an understatement.
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