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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Dennis Dugan!

06.22.2015

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This is Movie Jail, a unique maximum security prison that houses some of the worst writers, directors, actors and producers from Hollywood and beyond. Their crimes? The offenses vary from convict to convict but most of these inmates have contributed negatively to the film world to some capacity* and his or her misdeeds have covered a long enough period of time that the authorities had to intervene. In each column a defendant is put on trial, arguments are made, and then it is up to YOU, the jury, to decide if the person is guilty or not guilty of crimes against cinema. Their lives are in your hands, dude.

The Defendant

You Don't Mess with the Zohan Dennis Dugan

The Case

The Prosecution: Grown Ups 2, Jack and Jill, Just Go with It, Grown Ups, You Don't Mess with the Zohan, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, The Benchwarmers, National Security, Problem Child 2, Problem Child

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, director Dennis Dugan doesn't just make bad movies; he makes notoriously atrocious ones. Besides being a basic point and shoot filmmaker with little to no style, as Adam Sandler's go-to director, Mr. Dugan has helmed multiple critically-panned films starring the actor, including Jack and Jill, Just Go with It, You Don't Mess with the Zohan, Grown Ups and its sequel. In fact, the director's only fresh movie at Rotten Tomatoes is Happy Gilmore, his first collaboration with Mr. Sandler.

One might argue that Mr. Dugan simply needs to stop working with Mr. Sandler, however most of his other movies are just as awful. National Security and The Benchwarmers are both lazy, juvenile comedies, and the director is also responsible for the dreadful Problem Child flicks.

If Mr. Dugan isn't found guilty, there is something seriously wrong with the system. Mr. Dugan has one of the worst filmographies out there for a director, and he has no one to blame but himself. The prosecution is seeking a life sentence for the filmmaker, and we also believe he should be thrown in solitary confinement so he won't be able to team up with Mr. Sandler while in Movie Jail.

Just Go With It Dennis Dugan Adam Sandler Jennifer Aniston

The Defense: Saving Silverman, Big Daddy, Beverly Hills Ninja, Happy Gilmore, Brain Donors

Ladies and gentlemen, the defense doesn't believe Mr. Dugan is a bad director, just a mediocre one who unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) hooked up with Adam Sandler early in his career. My client may have been behind the camera for more than a few well-known terrible movies, but it's not like he wrote the scripts, so he shouldn't be completely to blame for his movies' critical failures.

Although critics have never been high on Mr. Dugan's films, the audience scores have been decent, and several have done very well at the box office. And many times we can't help but like a movie many would consider to be a "bad" film. The defense has a huge soft spot for Saving Silverman and Beverly Hills Ninja, and we personally know a number of people who thought National Security was hilarious.

Mr. Dugan once said, "Audiences that go to my movies don't want a message. They don't want my soul exposed or my life view. They just want to laugh." If my client's films aren't for you, that's fine, to each their own. However, we shouldn't bury the guy just because you may not be a fan of his movies.

Happy Gilmore Dennis Dugan Adam Sandler

IN CLOSING...

What should we do with the Mr. Dugan? Is he a solid filmmaker who hasn't worked on the best films, or does he definitely belong in Movie Jail? Is director Dennis Dugan GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?

*The cases for and against a defendant going to Movie Jail by the author are not necessarily his views and opinions but they are some of the beliefs that one would use to effectively make an argument for both sides. Not quite a devil's advocate but you get the point. Anyway, this is all in fun so don't take it too seriously. We have a separate jail for those people called "Troll Tower" and believe me you do NOT want to go there.

WHAT SAY YOU, GUILTY OR NOT?

Grown Ups 2 Dennis Dugan

LAST WEEK'S VERDICT

Katie Holmes

Katie Holmes was found NOT GUILTY of all charges in last week's trial, but just barely. It was close vote, with some jury members saying Miss Holmes has never been a particularly strong actress. However, many also said we should give her a break since she was reportedly kept under lock and key by former husband Tom Cruise for several years, which certainly didn't help her acting career. You get a pass for now, Miss Holmes, but the court will be keeping an eye on you.

PREVIOUS VERDICTS

GUILTY Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Vince Vaughn, Tim Burton, The Farrelly Brothers, Michael Bay, Jessica Alba, Ice Cube, Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Marlon Wayans, Julia Roberts, M. Night Shyamalan , Katherine Heigl , Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tyler Perry, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Ashton Kutcher, Happy Madison Productions, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Willis, Paul W.S. Anderson, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brett Ratner, Rob Cohen, Renee Zellweger, Shia LaBeouf, Renny Harlin, Diane Keaton, McG, Demi Moore, King Joffrey (Game of Thrones Special), David Spade, Spike Lee, Kevin James, Joel Schumacher, Ehren Kruger, Chris Rock, Mark Steven Johnson, Mickey Rourke, Ashley Judd, Uma Thurman, Josh Duhamel, Saw Franchise (Halloween Edition), Zach Braff, Sam Worthington, Melissa McCarthy, The Wachowski Siblings, Kate Bosworth, Garry Marshall, David Goyer, Akiva Goldsman, Avi Arad, Damon Lindelof, Hayden Christensen

NOT GUILTY Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Nic Cage, John Travolta, Oliver Stone, Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Wes Craven, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Rodriguez, Kristen Stewart, Roland Emmerich, Kevin Costner, Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Smith, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Anna Faris, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron, Ray Liotta, Jason Statham, Paul Walker, Will Smith, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Johnny Depp, Ryan Reynolds, Milla Jovovich, John Singleton, Jon Voight, Jack Black, Brian De Palma, Jerry Bruckheimer, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Freddy Krueger (Halloween Edition), Johnny Knoxville, Orlando Bloom, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Aykroyd, Sylvester Stallone, Gavin Hood, Jason Lee, Jennifer Garner, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kate Beckinsale, John Cusack, Chris Columbus, Clive Owen, Terrence Howard, Andrew Niccol, Drew Barrymore, Steve Martin, Joel Silver, Michelle Rodriguez, Kiefer Sutherland, Dario Argento, Susan Sarandon, Dennis Quaid, Rob Reiner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mel Gibson, Pierce Brosnan, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, Ivan Reitman, Stephen Sommers, Shawn Levy, Jai Courtney, Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Luc Besson, Jason Reitman, Mila Kunis, Jennifer Connelly, Sienna Miller, Ben Barnes, Simon West, Len Wiseman, Brendan Fraser, Megan Fox, Neal McDonough, Cameron Crowe, Katie Holmes

UPDATES: Robert De Niro, Nicolas Cage and Roland Emmerich, Jim Carrey, Robert Rodriguez and Gerard Butler, Jessica Alba, Julia Roberts and The Farrelly Brothers, Ben Stiller, Tim Burton and Shia LaBeouf, Johnny Depp, Kevin Smith & Chris Rock

Extra Tidbit: Who should stand trial next week? Share your suggestions for actors, directors and writers below with your verdict!
Source: JoBlo.com

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6:39PM on 06/22/2015

What the Heck

I am going to be contrary and vote Not Guilty by reason of insanity. It is insane to work with Adam Sandler during this period of his career, when the best he can hope for is Netflix
I am going to be contrary and vote Not Guilty by reason of insanity. It is insane to work with Adam Sandler during this period of his career, when the best he can hope for is Netflix
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6:35PM on 06/22/2015
Guilty and solitary confinement to prevent him for contacting any of the Sandler gang again.
Guilty and solitary confinement to prevent him for contacting any of the Sandler gang again.
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5:39PM on 06/22/2015

Not guilty

Even though he has done many Sandler flicks, he has always directed some of the goofiest movies ever put on screen. BTW, he only directed the first Problem Child. I'd call him the Michael Bay of comedies, because all his movies are the same & it's cool to hate on someone when they stick to one thing & who they work wirh.
Even though he has done many Sandler flicks, he has always directed some of the goofiest movies ever put on screen. BTW, he only directed the first Problem Child. I'd call him the Michael Bay of comedies, because all his movies are the same & it's cool to hate on someone when they stick to one thing & who they work wirh.
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6:34PM on 06/22/2015
His entire resume sucks!
His entire resume sucks!
+1
5:13PM on 06/22/2015

Epically Fucking Guilty

Any director with two Grown Ups films and Problem Child on his resume needs to be placed inside a burlap bag and beaten with reeds. Open and shut.
Any director with two Grown Ups films and Problem Child on his resume needs to be placed inside a burlap bag and beaten with reeds. Open and shut.
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3:55PM on 06/22/2015

So guilty this shouldn't even go to trial....

Half the movies on this man's defense should be prosecutable. You should never have a movie like Beverly Hills Ninja on your list of positive accomplishments. I loved Chris Farley, but that movie was just terrible. The only movie that I can really defend him for would be Happy Gilmore. He made one really solid movie. Unfortunately, that movie had a lot more to do with Adam Sandler peaking as a comedian than it did with the director.

GUILTY.

Exile or Death?

Death... By way of Exile
Half the movies on this man's defense should be prosecutable. You should never have a movie like Beverly Hills Ninja on your list of positive accomplishments. I loved Chris Farley, but that movie was just terrible. The only movie that I can really defend him for would be Happy Gilmore. He made one really solid movie. Unfortunately, that movie had a lot more to do with Adam Sandler peaking as a comedian than it did with the director.

GUILTY.

Exile or Death?

Death... By way of Exile
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2:31PM on 06/22/2015

Guilty!!!!!

When I hated the films the Defense trotted out, then this guy is clearly guilty as hell.

Next Up: Elijah Wood. This guy went from playing Frodo in LORD OF THE RINGS to playing second fiddle in direct-to-video fare. Something went seriously wrong here.
When I hated the films the Defense trotted out, then this guy is clearly guilty as hell.

Next Up: Elijah Wood. This guy went from playing Frodo in LORD OF THE RINGS to playing second fiddle in direct-to-video fare. Something went seriously wrong here.
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3:38PM on 06/22/2015
I second Elijah Wood.
I second Elijah Wood.
5:16PM on 06/22/2015
I disagree about Elijah Wood. Grand Piano and the Maniac remake were surprisingly solid flicks.
I disagree about Elijah Wood. Grand Piano and the Maniac remake were surprisingly solid flicks.
8:03AM on 06/23/2015
Yes, Elijah Wood. Good pick
Yes, Elijah Wood. Good pick
12:04PM on 06/22/2015

Electric chair

The man has become wealthy by way of career making aggressively banal product. Not a creative thought to be had.
The man has become wealthy by way of career making aggressively banal product. Not a creative thought to be had.
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10:46AM on 06/22/2015

This man has a spectacular lack of vision.

As someone who grew up on Sandler movies, I find myself even more frustrated than the haters.

Guilty as hell.
As someone who grew up on Sandler movies, I find myself even more frustrated than the haters.

Guilty as hell.
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-1
10:33AM on 06/22/2015

Career average: 2.5/10.

I want to start with something positive: The baseball scenes in THE BENCHWARMERS were very well-directed. I'd like to see him try to direct a baseball drama. Or maybe he should just dedicate to direct real-life games and leave movies for more competent guys. Seriously, he makes Frank Coraci and Steven Brill look like Frank Capra and Steven Spielberg. He's Guilty.

"Audiences that go to my movies don't want a message. They don't want my soul exposed or my life view. They just want to laugh."
I want to start with something positive: The baseball scenes in THE BENCHWARMERS were very well-directed. I'd like to see him try to direct a baseball drama. Or maybe he should just dedicate to direct real-life games and leave movies for more competent guys. Seriously, he makes Frank Coraci and Steven Brill look like Frank Capra and Steven Spielberg. He's Guilty.

"Audiences that go to my movies don't want a message. They don't want my soul exposed or my life view. They just want to laugh." How ironic. Not only are his movies unfunny, they usually do have messages. Bad messages. JACK & JILL's is "Put up with your relatives, even if they annoy you". JUST GO WITH IT's is "It's OK to manipulate people into getting what you want and it's OK to ditch your girlfriend when you meet a hotter woman". CHUCK & LARRY's is "Gays aren't bad people but they are the dumb stereotypes homophobes believe." BIG DADDY's is "Women who tell their loser boyfriends to get a job are bitches." I don't even want to get into the anti-racism that's still racism in NATIONAL SECURITY. It's hard to say on SAVING SILVERMAN since the plot turns into a mess by the end, but there is a sexist subtext there. The only ones with good messages are GROWN UPS (spending time with family and friends is more important than technology), ZOHAN (don't hate someone based on their ethnicity) and BENCHWARMERS (don't bully), but they're still bad movies overall. So are BEVERLY HILLS NINJA and HAPPY GILMORE.
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10:53AM on 06/22/2015
Does he really make Frank Coraci and Steven Brill look better? Or are they on the exact same level? Would Grown Ups have been any better if directed by Coraci? Would Blended have been any worse if directed by Dugan?
Does he really make Frank Coraci and Steven Brill look better? Or are they on the exact same level? Would Grown Ups have been any better if directed by Coraci? Would Blended have been any worse if directed by Dugan?
11:26AM on 06/22/2015
I'm so sorry. I confused Steven Brill with Peter Segal. THE LONGEST YARD may one of the worst movies I've ever seen, but I liked his other Sandler collaborations and he showed more potential with the movies he made without him. Coraci tries to give his movies some visual flair. Dugan usually just keeps the camera rolling and lets the actors do whatever they feel like it.
I'm so sorry. I confused Steven Brill with Peter Segal. THE LONGEST YARD may one of the worst movies I've ever seen, but I liked his other Sandler collaborations and he showed more potential with the movies he made without him. Coraci tries to give his movies some visual flair. Dugan usually just keeps the camera rolling and lets the actors do whatever they feel like it.
12:01PM on 06/22/2015
I saw no distinction in visual flair between Blended and Just Go With It.
I saw no distinction in visual flair between Blended and Just Go With It.
8:52AM on 06/22/2015
Based on his resume in both the defense and prosecution cases, Guilty!
Based on his resume in both the defense and prosecution cases, Guilty!
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8:29AM on 06/22/2015
I've honestly never heard of him.
*Looks at movies in prosecution / defence lists*
Ah, I see. Guilty.
I've honestly never heard of him.
*Looks at movies in prosecution / defence lists*
Ah, I see. Guilty.
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8:28AM on 06/22/2015

Guilty

The guy directs absolute garbage. Give him credit for Happy Gilmore and Big Daddy I guess, Happy Gilmore was written when Sandler was still in his prime and Big Daddy was definitely the last good film Sandler did. Group this guy, Happy Madison and Sandler in the same crap pile.
The guy directs absolute garbage. Give him credit for Happy Gilmore and Big Daddy I guess, Happy Gilmore was written when Sandler was still in his prime and Big Daddy was definitely the last good film Sandler did. Group this guy, Happy Madison and Sandler in the same crap pile.
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+0
8:27AM on 06/22/2015

Guilty

He was a bad comic actor and his direction reminds me of the scene in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back with Gus Van Sant supposedly directing while counting a stack of money.
He was a bad comic actor and his direction reminds me of the scene in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back with Gus Van Sant supposedly directing while counting a stack of money.
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+0
8:16AM on 06/22/2015
Not Guilty only cause of Julie bowen and my happy place
Not Guilty only cause of Julie bowen and my happy place
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7:47AM on 06/22/2015
Not guilty. He directed Happy Gilmore. That should give a jail-free pass. Extra tidbit: Steven Seagal.
Not guilty. He directed Happy Gilmore. That should give a jail-free pass. Extra tidbit: Steven Seagal.
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8:21AM on 06/22/2015
A film given to him written when Sandler was in his prime. Hardly a lifetime pass.
A film given to him written when Sandler was in his prime. Hardly a lifetime pass.
7:43AM on 06/22/2015

Guilty...

This is a tough call as the guy is obviously loyal as hell to Sandler who has only gotten worse over time. He has obviously just turned into a paycheck director, no doubt about that.
This is a tough call as the guy is obviously loyal as hell to Sandler who has only gotten worse over time. He has obviously just turned into a paycheck director, no doubt about that.
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7:20AM on 06/22/2015
I don't think there is a defense that could save this film maker.....Guilty !!!
I don't think there is a defense that could save this film maker.....Guilty !!!
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7:17AM on 06/22/2015
The real question is how is it that he's not already locked up?! I say life sentence, solitary, with no chance for parole.
The real question is how is it that he's not already locked up?! I say life sentence, solitary, with no chance for parole.
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