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David Poland

By David Poland


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96 Responses to “BYOB VD”

  1. JKill says:

    I got to see SOMEWHERE this weekend and loved it. It’s such a nice companion peice to LOST IN TRANSLATION but is also very much its own thing. It’s a refining of Coppola’s style to something even more minimal and subdued but, for me, it packed a large emotional wallop. Dorff is spectacular, doing so much with so little. It’s a great physical performance that says what’s left unsaid. It’s also a beautiful movie and so nicely composed. I feel that this is one of those movies that’s not going to work for a lot of people, but for those it does, it’s really special. One of my favorites of the year.

  2. Geoff says:

    Finally saw The Kings Speech, last night – eh, it was pretty good. Honestly if I had seen six months ago before all of this hype, I probably would have dug it more. But THIS is the film that is going to blow away The Social Network, Inception, and 127 Hours????? No freaking way!

    Well written and well acted, but I actually did have some issues with the directing – no matter whether we’re in a the Rush’s apartment or Westminster Abbey, everything looks so freaking gray. Don’t tell me it was the time, that it was World War II – differentiat a bit, Hooper. (makes me think of the Burt Reynolds stuntman movie, which I have great fondness for).

    And yeah, this was distracting – how many angled close-ups did we need of every character? What was the point? To make Geoffrey Rush look weirder, to make Guy Peace actually look older than Firth (wasn’t buying that)…..was actually kind of shocked by this as it adds a whimsical element to the film that was not really needed. ESPECIALLY Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill – look, I get it, the casting is perfect. Dude has the presence for that kind of iconic character. But wow, I think about the Churchill cameo in Inglorious Basterds which was meant to be much jokier and I actually took that Churchill more seriously as a presence.

    3.5 Star movie with really fantastic scenes between Firth and Rush, but just some bizarre elements that took me out of it, sometimes. Look I get that people seem to genuinely like the movie and word of mouth seems to really be strong – the audience I saw it with did seem to eat it up – but don’t tell me that this film’s positioning isn’t ALL about the Weinsteins and how they know how to play the academy. You want to make a case that there are people who love this movie and are behind it? Sure. But let’s not forget that there were people who LOVED Cider House Rules, Life is Beautiful, and Chocolat. I was NOT one of those people. And there’s no way those films deserved Best Pic nods and neither does this one. Bottom line!

    I can rattle off several non-nominated films that engaged me more than The Kings Speech, last year – Please Give, Exit Through the Giftshop, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Cyrus, How to Train Your Dragon…..this is all about the Weinsteins, dead horse, but I’ll say it again!

  3. IOv3 says:

    Geoff, again, Old folks love movies like the King’s Speech. It’s like Oscar crack to them. Also, they don’t like Facebook. If the movie was about Twitter, it would win an Oscar going away.

  4. LexG says:

    Good, I get to wheel out my LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL rant twice in one day on the Internet, thanks to Geoff:

    Even though it’s become one of those Titanic-Forrest Gump whipping targets that everyone now pretends they always hated, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL was a PHENOMENON that was on most critics’ ten-best lists in 1998. Benigni was considered some brilliant, hilarious, heartbreaking genius, it was a word-of-mouth hit, one of those arthouse-foreign movies that everyone went to see and talked up to the hilt. It was BELOVED. I’d even almost say it was considered in the top 3 of the year with SPR and Thin Red Line as some kind of MASTERPIECE TRILOGY looking at WWII from three different perspectives.

    That all plummeted pretty quickly once Benigni went jackassing around at the Oscars (though the immediate reaction was INFECTIOUS DELIGHT)… and now it’s regarded as yet another “unworthy” Weinstein hard-push… But a few dissenters aside, it was a CRITICAL juggernaut when it came out.


  5. LexG says:

    Another thing that’s annoying me. Sometimes I read Glenn Kenny’s blog. It’s been firmly established that the cinematic tastes there don’t really mesh with mine, fine, fair enough. It’s kind of an upscale blog for serious MUBI-type cineastes and such, so this isn’t too surprising…

    But some dude said he’d only seen ONE Adam Sandler movie. How is that possible? What generation could someone be from where Sandler hasn’t been a part of their popcultural conscience for nearly 20 years? When’s Sandler gonna get his props?

    No one’s still WAITING IT OUT on Bill Murray: “Eh, I only ever saw one BILL MURRAY movie.” And Murray was still doing that elephant movie and Man Who Knew Too Little almost 20 years into his big-screen stardom; Sandler’s mixed in a fair share of “smart” movies with his own.

    And really, watch some early Murray. Like Meatballs or Ghostbusters where he’s doing that “And this guy over here, YOU’RE AN ANIMAL MY FRIEND, I wanna party with you!” shtick. Nobody’s really gone back and reappraised that because we all know Murray RULES… but sometimes he could be kind of embarrassing with that stuff.

    But more than that: SANDLER. The most consistent comic presence in movies, with a fanbase from 10 to 45. Who doesn’t see Adam Sandler movies? How do you only see ONE of them? If nothing else, Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison have been on TV every day for 15 years.

  6. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    If you have a television, I would think you could accidentally see at least a handful of Sandler movies.

  7. hcat says:

    The Dugan stuff, maybe on cable. But even with unlimited rentals I have skipped Big Daddy, Little Nicki, Deeds, Click, Longest Yard and have turned off 50 first dates and Anger Management halfway through because I could not stand them anymore. I know people love Sandler and I really liked Zohan but the rest of the stuff is just too juvenile. Murray’s early Reitman films were better and looser than Sandler (with his muttering and stuttering and screaming), and even Murray’s throwaway movies like The Man Who Knew Too Little and Scrooged have him bringing a higher level of energy to his roles than even the best of the Sandler comedies. Sandler can be decent with the right material, but he will never, ever come close to what Murray can do, in say, Wild Things.

    And I liked Murray in the elephant movie.

  8. LexG says:

    Billy Madison is a LOT funnier than Stripes. Not even CLOSE. Half of Stripes is a mediocre action movie with NO COMEDY WHATSOEVER, and the first half is Early Murray where he’s all doing that “Chicks dig me cuz I rarely wear underwear” thing that’s REALLY EMBARRASSING; No idea how Murray got away with that…. If Justin Long showed up in a movie in 2011 going “YOU… YOU… You’re AN ANIMAL,” or whatever Murray used to say, you’d wanna punch him right off the screen.

  9. sanj says:

    DP/30 – Vanishing On 7th St – Thandie Newton was great but Hayden Christensen was pretty bored

    DP/30 – In a Better World – learned nothing about the movie

    DP/30 – Greg Russell had great oscar story

    too bad the DP/30 oscar ones aren’t on the frontpage of
    huffpost / deadline / slashfilm and other big blogs –
    do they even know these exist ?

    snow white plus apple

  10. JKill says:

    I LOVE the first part of STRIPES, especially the stuff with Ramis and Murray together. Awesome.

  11. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    Brad Anderson is a talented director but Vanishing on 7th Street is a pretty bad movie.

  12. IOv3 says:

    Hold on, Lex’s supposition is Sandler has made funnier movies than Bill Murray? Is that it? Really? Bill Murray in Rushmore, Ghostbusters, and STRIPES is better than any performance Sandler has ever given. Seriously, after The Waterboy and Punchdrunk Love, you can miss every Sandler movie, and be better off for it.

  13. yancyskancy says:

    Lex: Amen on the LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL point. I, too, find myself leaping to its defense a couple of times a year, though it usually has more to do with people who totally misinterpret its intention and just dismiss it as tasteless Holocaust comedy.

  14. Geoff says:

    Lex, honestly – have you actually SEEN Life is Beautiful more than once? Because yeah, I cried at the end for the first time. But man, the movie does not age well, at all. Second time, I felt completely manipulated and the whole concept felt a bit much.

    And what’s this about bashing Stripes, really??? The first half of Stripes is comedy gold:

    “Never heard bones creek like that, before.”
    “Lighten up, Francis.”
    “We’re not homosexuals, but we’re WILLING to learn.”
    “I gotta dry out before I turn 30” (Picture the context of that scene and how Murray looks, still makes me laugh:)

    Find me four lines from FOUR Adam Sandler movies that even rival those, Lex – go for it!

    And the second half…..sorry, but if you were a 10 year old in the ’80’s, the stuff with the Winnebago with the never-ending supply of weapons kicked major ass! Still some good lines:

    “Czecheslovakiia, it’s Czecheslovakia (sp) – it’s like invading Wisconsin….”
    “I got the shit kicked out me in Wisconsin, once!”

    Great R rated comedy – nothing in Sandlers ouvre even comes close, seriously. Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison have some laughs (“Price is wrong, bitch!”), but no way!

    Bill Murray’s shtick could get old, for sure – he looks almost half-asleep in Ghostbusters II. But even in small roles, he killed – remember his “cameo” in Tootsie? He had better rhythm with Hoffman in about three scenes than the Hoff had with Warren Beatty during the whole running time of Ishtar.

    “Don’t what???”
    “Don’t play hard to get.”

  15. storymark says:

    Never saw Life Is Beautiful.

    Kinda wish I had only seen one Sandler movie. At least, only one of his comedies. Happy Gilmore pretty much covered me for on Sandler’s shtick for a couple decades.

  16. LexG says:

    ALL HAIL BENIGNI, the true king of comedy.

  17. JKill says:

    One of my favorite less talked about Murray supporting performances is his in ED WOOD. He’s incredible in that, so funny and sad. He doesn’t have much screen time but he kills and makes such an impression.

  18. LexG says:

    LOOSE SHOES POWER. Not really, just when I was a kid, I was OBSESSED with tracking down LOOSE SHOES because it (allegedly) had Murray AND Howard Hesseman, and was one of those Groove Tube, Kentucky Fried Movie type sketch comedies. They never had it at our local video store, and after about ’82, ’83 it never showed up on HBO that I could find…

    Finally got a DVD of it in the mid-00s. God was it fucking TERRIBLE, and Murray’s only in one lame sketch. It doesn’t even get talked up alongside TUNNEL VISION in terms of movies that bring up the rear in that dated, early-SNL genre.

    And the one skit Maltin describes as “UNBEARABLY UNFUNNY,” “Darktown After Dark,” was THE unfunniest thing I’ve ever seen, ever.

    Murray was of course great in TOOTSIE. He is great. I’m just saying, in some of those early movies when he does that “You… You dog!” thing, it’s kind of cringe worthy in 2011. Kinda feels like a bad JOHN moment from Moving Violations.

  19. Triple Option says:

    Depending on what Sandler film you see first, I could see that determining how many more from his library you’d see.

  20. LexG says:

    You should see all of them, because SANDLER is the funniest human being of ALL time and has the most consistent filmography in comedic film history, bar none.


    I couldn’t even BELIEVE what I was seeing.

  21. JKill says:

    I would say I like a lot, if not most, of the Sandler comedies to one degree or another but I don’t really see how you would prefer this streak to Woody or Eddie’s 80’s to early 90’s run or Steve Martin or Mel Brooks or, to be more recent, Ferrell (whose track record is MUCH better than people think, with the exception of KICKING AND SCREAMING, although that has its moments).

    Also Lex, I’d be interested in you justifying GROWN UPS as being anything worthwhile… Also have you seen GOING OVERBOARD?

  22. hcat says:

    Oh I fully agree that Sandler’s filmography is consistent.

  23. Krillian says:

    Hated Grown Ups and Little Nicky, skipped Deeds and 8 Crazy Nights, but I’ve seen Happy Gilmore 4 times and Waterboy and Wedding Singer twice and still have fond memories of Zohan, Spanglish and Punch-Drunk, especially his showdown with PS Hoffman. “That’s that!”

    50 First Dates wasn’t bad. Didn’t really care for Madison, Click, Reign Over Me, Longest Yard, Big Daddy, I Now Pronounce You, Funny People…

    Stripes’ second half has not aged well, but it’s clear over the decades of Murray’s career that he grew and stretched. Sandler’s been cranking them out for over 15 years and it doesn’t look like he’s ever going to hit that range. I do appreciate that every fourth movie he tries something a little different. Maybe when he hits his 50’s…

  24. Storymark says:

    Yep, very, very consistant.

  25. LexG says:

    Storymark the Schoolteacher: “consistant.”

    The American public education system at work.

    Sandler = GOD. Not a shocker that guys on movie blogs don’t “get” him. Not liking Sandler = no sense of humor.

  26. IOv3 says:

    Seriously, liking Sandler’s movies is tantamount to not having a sense of humor.

    ETA: Oh yeah, mechanical webshooters can suck it.

  27. hcat says:

    Noone has even mentioned Sandler’s biggest crime against cinedom- Bulletproof.

  28. LexG says:

    Bulletproof isn’t really a Sandler movie, per se; It’s not from his usual crew, it was before the Happy Madison “brand” really took off; It’s more a leftover ’80s-style buddy action movie that shoehorns in a few Sandler bits. Though the riff where he pretends to be a special-needs guy wanting to go to Disneyland is funny. Actually, I like that movie all around.

  29. anghus says:

    i don’t know anyone who really liked Sandler movies other than Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore. Those were ridiculous, funny movies.

    after that, they all pretty much suck.

  30. IOv3 says:

    Bulletproof, seriously, is tolerable because Sandler is doing a character. He’s really acting in that film instead of phoning it in and what anghus stated is pretty apt even though I throw the Waterboy in there as well.

  31. shillfor alanhorn says:

    Whatever one may think about THE KING’S SPEECH in terms of its merits as an intelligent, genuinely crowd-pleasing and uplifting movie with stellar lead performances by Firth and Rush, I am totally in agreement with Geoff about its odd and ugly visual style. I know period pieces are supposed to look sort of drab and burnished, but the DI coloring in that movie is some of the worst and most distractingly-overdone and aesthetically offensive I’ve ever seen. The whole movie has that weird unnatural washed-out SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW look and the freakish skin tones resemble the old ’70s-’80s pastel over black-and-white SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE interstital cards. It’s as if they were aiming to make the movie look like a bad late-period Annie Liebowitz spread, replete with her Photoshop disasters, by way of the trademarked Jeunet wacky-wide-angle-lens-o-vision. And the blown-out blurry matting and artificial forced overexposure in the park scene? I am stunned and amazed that it has gotten nods for cinematography.

    RE: Sandler/Murray/Begnini: Sandler is incredibly consistent and, save for the movies where he goes a bit too far for the schmaltz/kiddy factor, his movies are never less than entertaining and usually have a few scattered non-sequitur moments of brilliance. He’s gotten lazy and he employs too many hack yes-men pals as directors (Dugan is surprisingly smart and competent, as one would expect from the director of unsung masterpiece BRAIN DONERS; Coraci is hit-and miss — his early stuff was solid, then he seemed to lose it; tone-deaf Steve Brill is the worst and he’s the reason the conceptually brilliant LITTLE NICKY didn’t work), but there aren’t too many groaners. Murray, undeniably brilliant, was always the best thing in a string of mediocre starring vehicles, but his actual output pre-career renaissance was always unmemorable and he didn’t turn things around until he stopped working with unfunny hacks like Ivan Reitman. Begnini was a comic genius initially (THE MONSTER is one of the funniest movies ever made), but the Oscar hoopla destroyed him, as he started embracing the treacly cloyingness that is many a comedian’s ultimate undoing. I pray it never happens to Sacha Baron-Cohen.

  32. Krillian says:

    Anger Management – one of the great comedic blown opportunities.

  33. JKill says:

    Shillfor alanhorn, interesting analysis of Sandler’s main directors, although I would add Peter Segal to the list who maybe isn’t the strongest with story but is maybe the cleanest visually out of them all and is actually rather skilled at physical humor and gags.

  34. christian says:

    STRIPES is Murray’s best performance in his early Smart-Ass period – the first part is practically a Woody Allen raunch film with its 70’s subtlety. And Reitman’s direction in the boom shaka-laka scene is quite inspired. The second half peters a bit with the action, but any movie with WARREN OATES is superior to any Sandler film.

  35. LexG says:

    No love for Murray in Where the Buffalo Roam?

    Kind of a slapdash movie that isn’t very well made, has that second-tier early-80s Universal shitty look… But Murray was pretty spot on in it, despite what Thompson thought of the performance.

  36. hcat says:

    While I don’t like Billy Madison, I am amazed by it since to me it is the comedy that is most untethered from reality. Each movie takes place in its own world but Madison’s resembles ours less than even the Naked Gun’s or The Jerk. Nobody acts like an actual person would act, Whitford and Sandler making faces at each other in the Board Room, the teacher putting glue over her eyes for absolutly no reason other than someone thought it was funny, the dead clown who comes back, Buscemi coming in at the end to provide the resolution with a gunshot. Plotwise, charecterwise it just makes no sense.

    Sandler was never better than when he was on SNL. Though that was true of all his castmates as well.

  37. hcat says:

    I actually prefer Buffalo to Fear and Loathing. Thought Boyle was hilarious in it. In fact I can’t think of a single thing he has done that I didn’t enjoy his performance (Charlie’s Angels is probably the weakest, and I haven’t seen Razor’s Edge).

  38. LexG says:

    hcat, that’s probably why I think Madison is the funniest… Also, because as in Waterboy and Little Nicky, Sandler is an active aggressor in that one.

    Someone should do a thesis on how after that initial run (or at least after Little Nicky), Sandler’s basic persona changed from crazy-voiced insitigator to passive second-banana in his own movies. The early ones were Jerry Lewis-esque with The Sandman running amok; Oddly, nine times out of ten since (especially in the non-Zohan Dugan ones), he’s gone on to be kind of a ‘straight man’, who just ambles through pleasantly in shorts and a ballcap mostly being genial and passive with Schneider or Nick Swardson or Kevin James or Kevin Nealon does all the “wacky” stuff.

    If anyone hasn’t figured it out yet, I think JUST GO WITH IT is a four-star masterpiece, and not just because of Brooklyn Decker.

  39. christian says:

    HAPPY GILMORE is his best film. The Bob Barker fight scene is beautifully staged. About the only thing positive I can say about Dugan’s direction in anything. And even Joe Flaherty in a throwaway role manages to make the word “Jackass!” iconic.

    Murray did a great Thompson.

  40. LexG says:

    A lot Sandler fans and non-fans alike point to HAPPY GILMORE as their favorite, which is funny…

    Because Sandler’s pretty laid-back in that one, and ALL the best lines go to Chris MacDonald, who REALLY should be given a retroactive supporting win for Shooter McGavin, which is as good a comedic performance as anyone’s ever given in a movie that gleefully dumb.

  41. JKill says:

    I wouldn’t call Sandler that laid back in HAPPY GILMORE. (“Are those goals regulation size or what?!?!”) He’s very much channeling the angry, man-child thing that PTA exploited so well in PUNCH DRUNK LOVE. It’s not whacky but it’s not the average joe thng that he does later. Although good call on how great MacDonald is in that movie. Shootah!

    I also second how great and weird BILLY MADISON is. Another insane moment is after Billy apologizes to the Buschemi character on the phone, and Buschemi crosses him off the people to kill list and then applies some thick red lipstick to his face. Also FARLEY and NORM are in top form in that movie. I love it. “Marco. Polo. Man, that’s a great game.”

    I think what we’re talking about is why I found ZOHAN so refreshing. It was a really odd, goofy but smart movie that embraced a weird, anything goes comic universe that does recall Zucker and others, and was more in keeping with Sandler’s earler movies. One I really like that hasn’t been mentioned at all MR. DEEDS, which is full of really funny stuff actually.

  42. Krillian says:

    SNL Sandler had a lot of good bits. Cajun Man. Opera Man. The “My Ex-Girlfriend Denise” Show….

  43. sanj says:

    Tlyer Labine was on G4 talking about his tv show called Mad Love – he also mentioned his upcoming movies.. he said Tucker and Dale vs Evil is coming in the summer .. also
    leaked version is online and he said download it!

    i liked him on Reaper – he’s been acting for 20 years and no DP/30 ..

  44. cadavra says:

    Lex, “Darktown After Dark” IS unbearably funny, and one hell of a lot funnier than anything in any Sandler movie ever. But then you probably thought the little boy taking a dump on the sidekick’s hand was a laff riot.

  45. LexG says:

    All I know is I haven’t stopped thinking about Brooklyn Decker for ONE second in the last 24 hours.

    Except when some baity little high school chicks were in line in front of me at Panda Express at lunch and they got free samples and ate the honey walnut shrimp off the toothpick YEP YEP.

    DARKTOWN AFTER DARK blowwwwwwwwwwws. I dare anyone here to watch it on youtube and tell me it’s funny at all.

  46. IOv3 says:

    Shil and Geoff: the King’s Speech is a beautiful movie and the colors used are what make it special. The same with the direction. The way Hooper shot that movie is reason alone he should get the Best Director Oscar over Fincher. Seriously it blows my mind that anyone would find that film ugly and the direction odd. Not as mind-blowing as the whole SANDLER/MURRAY thing but mind-blowing nonetheless.

  47. Geoff says:

    Ok, IO, I’ll bite – what was the point of all of those close-ups in Kings Speech????

  48. hcat says:

    Zohan was refreshing because it had a point. An actual sweet we should all love each other, our similarities are greater than our differences, Everybody Wang Chung Tonight message. The Humas jokes, the obsession with technology and disco, the secret longing to follow your true passion. It was fantastic even though it contained a number of Sandler go to gags like the terrible supporting actors (Nick Swardson), and Sandler having sex with undesirable people (old ladies in Zohan, the Maid in chuck and larry, some screeching asian lady in another film).

    Punch Drunk Love and Funny People worked because they took the aspects of the Sandler persona, the self doubt and the screaming, and acknowledged they were deranged. All the other movies seemed to forgive an obvious sociopath simply because they attributed a nice aspect to him like he loved his gran-gran.

  49. hcat says:

    Haven’t seen Kings Speech but loved the Damned United and it has got to be mind spinning for Hooper to go from something that made about 4 million world wide to 400 million world wide. He has got to be crapping himself over what to do as a follow up.

  50. Joe Leydon says:

    Christian: Years ago, the late, great Warren Oates told me that he was nothing less than amazed by Bill Murray while they were shooting Stripes. Evidently, Murray did a lot of improvising. And what really impressed Oates: Murray never, ever did a scene the same way twice.

    And as for Adam Sandler: No love for Reign Over Me? I would put that performance right up there with Punchdrunk Love and Funny People. Maybe a couple rungs higher, actually.

  51. arisp says:

    Sandler has been in ONE good film, and that is Punch Drunk Love. End of story.

  52. hcat says:

    Joe, I am shocked to learn that Oates costars in the films Cockfighter and Tough Enough were not as versitale as Murray.

  53. Joe Leydon says:

    Well, actually, he did have nice things to say about Dennis Quaid in Tough Enough.

  54. christian says:

    Joe, when the hell are you going to post the audio of these interviews? You have audio of WARREN OATES gathering Houston dust? For shame!

  55. IOv3 says:

    Geoff, those close-ups are about the King and how uncomfortable he is, and they slowly go away the more comfortable he is with himself. They are also used to show the mouths of the characters for a reason because it’s a movie about the human voice.

  56. leahnz says:

    further to that subject, in case anyone missed it on the MCN homepage this piece addresses the rationale of the photography used for ‘speech’,0,6129085.story

  57. Foamy Squirrel says:

    I’m late to the King’s Speech party, but my first thought coming out was “My god, Timothy Spall wasn’t chewing the scenery… I think he fucking ATE it”.

    Seriously, I know Churchill is all bombastic and shit, but I got the impression he was auditioning with Rush for a role in a Pirates of the Caribbean sequel.

  58. Joe Straatmann says:

    JL, Reign Over Me left a very bad taste in my mouth. It’s not that the performances were bad, but that the script essentially made Sandler’s character go off whenever the movie felt like it needed a drama bomb rather than when the character would actually do that. It felt so unnaturally manipulative that it turned me off from the rest of the movie. And the ending felt like they desperately didn’t know how to end the thing and just gave up. It’s too bad, because I so wanted that movie to work.

    Sandler hit me in the right spot of adolescence where I found Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and Waterboy hilarious and I didn’t really give a shit if Sandler wasn’t “likable” or his attempt at an accent was terrible, or nothing made sense. In fact, as I got older, they were better because they were so batshit insane. It was around Mr. Deeds that he started to settle a little bit (The supporting cast way more interesting than him, except for Winona Ryder giving one of the worst performances I have ever seen), and it hasn’t been the same ever since, save the wonderful craziness that is Zohan. I like his serious work well enough (Though I could’ve done without the first ten minutes of Punch-Drunk Love), but I have a soft spot for crazy Sandler flicks.

    Just one thing: Eight Crazy Nights? What the hell?

  59. IOv3 says:

    If Eight Crazy Nights was not a completely mean fucking movie, then it would be fine. Unfortunately it’s a mean piece of shit that goofs on people with physical impairments and features too much god damn screaming.

    FS: that’s fucking hilarious. Seriously.

  60. LexG says:

    IO, for someone who rants at EVERYONE, sometimes you’re shockingly a strange mix of PC liberalism and SERIOUSLY conservative moral judgment about other people’s actions

  61. yancyskancy says:

    Yeah, ZOHAN is great. I actually like Swardson in it; the gf and I will randomly quote his “motorboat” line at each other on occasion. I have to give her credit for bringing me around on Sandler via BILLY MADISON. After quite liking THE WEDDING SINGER, but failing to make it through 10 minutes of THE WATERBOY, I had lost interest in catching anything else. But BILLY was funny, then I liked PUNCH DRUNK LOVE and parts of 50 FIRST DATES, and he was good in SPANGLISH (a fascinating failure). CLICK was hit and miss but showed some ambition; same with BEDTIME STORIES, only less so. Loved FUNNY PEOPLE, probably his best performance. The only other Sandler vehicle I’ve seen is ANGER MANAGEMENT, and I agree with Krillian that it was a missed opportunity. Will probably see JUST GO WITH IT tomorrow.

  62. LexG says:

    CLICK progresses along like a fairly typical Sandler movie…

    then there’s this bit with Henry Winkler with his dad and it’s like a HOLY SHIT gut punch I couldn’t believe. Maybe THE hardest I’ve ever cried in a movie in the last five, ten years… Could barely make it through the rest of the movie it was so upsetting.

  63. jesse says:

    It’s kinda cool to hear so many people admitting to seeing big chunks of the Sandler oeuvre. He was just getting into movies when I was fourteen, fifteen, and even though even I could tell that that SNL season at the time was pretty awful, I still liked the guys on the show and went to see Billy Madison, Tommy Boy, Happy Gilmore, etc. Lex, you’re spot-on about Little Nicky getting Sandler to sort of back off any real weirdness/aggression in his own movies and becoming more of the straight man to other peoples’ weirdness circa Deeds. Even in Zohan, which is his best Happy Madison movie of the past, I don’t know, let’s say twelve years? … he’s definitely stranger and sillier, and trying harder for once, but it’s a less lunatic performance than Little Nicky, which was the last time he was really actively off-putting in a funny way, as opposed to off-putting for his faux-regular-guy laziness. That’s what really gets to me about Sandler’s more high-concept Happy Madison output: the suburban regular-guy dopiness where instead of filling his movies with lovable weirdos like Steve Buscemi, it’s Sandler playing a millionaire goofing on fat or ethnic people (as with some of the lamest “jokes” in Just Go With It — which I didn’t even hate), and/or Nick Swardson acting dumb. There’s also his latent conservatism coming out — anyone catch that bit in Just Go With It where he tells the kid that if rich people gave away their money, they wouldn’t be rich? Hi-larious, Sandman. Now do a lazy joke about how we should get rid of the estate tax, and be sure to say “ain’t” while you’re doing it so you can pretend you didn’t go to NYU.

    Even in Anger Management, you’d think that would be an easy one: Sandler’s raging-nerd character smashing up against Jack Nicholson… but he turns out to be just a lovable regular shnook who only gets really angry when extremely provoked? It’s missing that Gilmore/Madison madness.

    Still, as frustrated as I can be with Sandler, I almost always go see his movies, hoping one will be fun like the first half of his career, or Zohan. He really ought to work with Smigel and/or Apatow more often. It’s striking to me that since his laziness (and also $125-million-or-more consistency) set in, his wilder, less likable roles tend to be when he riffs on his persona for another director, in movies both excellent (Funny People; Punch-Drunk Love) and middling (Reign Over Me; Spanglish). Strange that an actor as reviled as Sandler is, in his more serious roles, often the best or most interesting thing about these movies that don’t quite work.

    Anyway, as long as we’re doing the Sandler analysis, I’ll go ahead and rank the Happy Madison pictures:

    1. The Wedding Singer
    2. Happy Gilmore
    3. Billy Madison
    4. You Don’t Mess with the Zohan
    5. Little Nicky
    6. Mr. Deeds
    7. Big Daddy
    8. The Waterboy
    9. 50 First Dates
    10. Just Go With It
    11. Click
    12. Anger Management
    13. Bedtime Stories
    14. Grown Ups
    15. The Longest Yard

    I actually have only seen bits of Chuck and Larry on cable. I was too homophobiaphobic to check it out in theaters and what I saw on TV was as lazily unfunny as anything he’s done.

  64. christian says:

    That’s way too much Sandler.

  65. IOv3 says:

    Lex, there’s no such thing as PC but some folks love to go on about PC, and that to me is missing the point of why the whole PC thing came about, and it’s about not being a jerk. You also missed the whole explanation where I stated emphatically that my rants are NOT ABOUT ANY OF YOU (even if you think they are, trust me, you are just getting in the way of me shaking my fist at the cruel fates of pop culture. CURSE YOU CRUEL FATES!). When I am venting about something, it has to do more with some amorphous blob of bullshit, then you folks.

    Now I don’t get the conservative moral part of your statement above, so give an example.

  66. sanj says:

    i saw Quiet City 2007 … lots of talking .

    it started with a decent story but went downhill from
    there – by the end i didn’t care what happened to
    anybody in the film

  67. storymark says:

    Lex the spelling fairy.

    I’d rather have taste than always spell correctly.

  68. Joe Straatmann says:

    IO, my thing about Eight Crazy Nights is it felt like one of those animated movies from the 90s like Rover Dangerfield or Rock-a-Doodle where I sit back and wonder, “Who the hell is this made for?” Kids aren’t going to get it, it’s going to be too watered down for Sandler fans and they’re not going to no animated musical anyway, and plenty of older people just plain despise Sandler. It’s like they just made the movie because they could.

  69. LexG says:

    See also: BEBE’S KIDS.

    Yeah, who was that genre for, anyway?

  70. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    50 FIRST DATES is one of the most mean-spirited and hateful movies since SALO, whereas THE WEDDING SINGER is as close to being ‘the’ perfect date movie.

  71. LexG says:

    Really? I don’t remember that at all. Barrymore is a RAY OF SUNSHINE… What was mean-spirited about 50FD, as I like to call it?

  72. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Strip back the surface yuks of 50FD and whats left is one cruel nasty depressing spin on a premise that is pretty horrifying. The casual throwaway nature of the Ten Second Pete gag is just jaw dropping to me. The leads are great and Astin steals every second but I feel like I’m rubber-necking at a disabled dance contest.

  73. Hopscotch says:

    His fame has often baffled me. He’s our favorite sitcom star, just on the big screen. My wife and I watched Grown Ups and it is just startlingly bland. “He makes out with an old woman…eewwwwwww!”

    He appeals to the 13 year old in all of us I guess, and literal 13 year olds who go to see his films. The Wedding Singer is somewhat charming.

  74. LexG says:

    The Sandman ALWAYS gets the hottest tail in his movies.

    In some ways, his brand is starting to remind me of ’80s Blake Edwards, where every single scene of every single movie seemed like a cry of help saying “LET ME CHEEEEEAT!!!!”

    Most guys get through marriage by watching porn and fantasizing about their babysitter. Sandler gets to just cast the Maxim Hot 100.

  75. LexG says:

    Anyone get the Swimsuit Issue?

    Is it nonstop BROOKLYN DECKER? Can it just be ALL Brooklyn D?

    I am going to buy it and totally stroke off to it.

  76. LexG says:



    HOW DO YOU GUYS LIVE WITH YOURSELVES if you’re not fucking her?


    I DEMAND ANSWERS. Where can I get a blog where I can RIFF AND RANT about sexlessness instead of doing it to diminished returns on Poland’s movie blog?


  77. LexG says:




  78. LexG says:

    No one cares of course.

  79. IOv3 says:


  80. LexG says:

    It is what KEEPS MEN ALIVE. They could NOT get through the day if they FACED THE FACTS that they are not fucking a model and probably never will, not banging an A-list actress and never will.

    If the COMMON MAN sat down and thought of this instead of lying to himself with the ruse of CONFIDENCE and HAPPINESS, both of which are bullshit, he would kill himself on the spot.

    There are people out there who have had sex with supermodels and Minka Kelly.

    You are not one of them.

    How do you live with this fact?


  81. IOv3 says:

    First off, I made the mistake of buying a GE mouse and let me tell you… figuratively, that’s mistake will never be made again. Apparently wide screen scrolling freaks it out. Freaking GE.

    Now onto the subject at hand: how do I live with the fact that I am never ever going to have sex with a celebrity or a model. You know, out of most things in life that really are nonsensical and would require Graham Chapman dressing as an army officer and declaring things to be SILLY, this one I may think of the most. The least? I am not even sure.

    Right now I want to watch some SCTV and Minka Kelly is the furtherest thing from my mind. Sure, she’s a lovely lady, but even I could not treat the Captain in such a disrespectful way. Seriously, that dude was like a cat in heat and if he’s chilling out for her, things must be serious.

    Now with other actresses, you never really know, but even if it does not happen. I at least have Madden. Madden: It’s a Good Distraction from Such Silly Thoughts!

    Seriously though, women are great, but no person should use another person to define themselves. It’s weird to imply that you have to have sex with famous women, not a relationship or even a friendship, to have a fulfilling life. It’s just a really weird way to think but you know, if that’s what gets you through the day, then good for you.

  82. LexG says:

    I have fantasized about sex with actresses for as long as I can remember. Even in “normal” relationships, I’ve still fantasized about starlets at every point…. It is my life’s goal, something that I want more than literally anything on the planet. Fame and sex with actresses. Those are the two thoughts that consume every waking second of my existence.

    Fuck a relationship or friendship. Friends are WORTHLESS, and as a fucked-up former Catholic, I cannot get a boner for someone I actually know and like. Sex can only transpire between strangers and with sluts or unattainable fantasy figures. The second you actually “know” something, eroticism is out the window. How the fuck do you people stay MARRIED? Sex is the most EVIL THING EVER and can only be done with a LUST OBJECT, not someone who’s actually approachable, which isn’t sexy at all.

  83. LexG says:

    Fuck it, I know we can’t mention him here, but…

    Jeff Wells claims he’s had sex with 175 WOMEN in his lifetime. Jeff Wells. Wells. 175.

    How do you hear a figure like that and not commit suicide?

    I am 38 years old, and my number is 170 shy of JEFF WELLS.

  84. IOv3 says:

    175 women? Wow. One should never under-estimate the kindness of women. Oh yeah, Lex, you were married. Seriously, if you didn’t get the whole LOVE and SEX thing then, well, that sucks.

  85. hcat says:

    Isn’t he in his fifties, seems a little sad to me that he would keep a nearly accurate count.

  86. IOv3 says:

    oh I thought he was closer to his sixties and look at that guy’s mystique. Everything about it screams keeping an accurate tally of who he’s slept with and probably when he slept with them.

  87. hcat says:

    I can picture his apartment littered with dozens of Rorshach-like journals he has kept over the years with scribbled entries about every meal, conversation, and sexual interaction he has ever had. And crude doodles mocking overweight latinos he sees on the subways.

  88. LexG says:

    All I know is the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED CHICK was on Letterman last night and it is not a righteous and just world that some guys get to have sex with women like that, and we do not. If there are women like that in the world, or Taylor Momsen, or Anne Hathaway, or You-Know-Who, how is a man supposed to get excited for everyday women, when we are HARD-WIRED to ONLY give a shit about LOOKS?

    Just saw some douchebags on another site complaining that, yeah, January Jones is beautiful but she’s a BAD ACTRESS.

    Like, asshole, JANUARY JONES could be a schizophrenic serial murder with a basement full of skulls, and EVERY GUY ON EARTH would STILL want to do her.

    It is a GRAVE INJUSTICE that supermodels and actresses often date stupid sports guys, aka the most boring people in the world. Do you not bleed, that Andy Roddick is dating Brooklyn Decker, instead of at least someone genuinely awesome like Channing Tatum? Sports guys should not be allowed near actual celebrity women.

    But back on point, HOW DO YOU LIVE knowing you will never sleep with Emily Blunt, or K-Stew, or Amanda Heard, or Jessica Alba?

    IT IS A LIVING NIGHTMARE to not know women like that.

    Hey, ALL WOMEN IN THE WORLD: See Megan Fox? Try looking MORE LIKE HER.

  89. hcat says:

    Emily Blunt is an everyday looking woman, and there are half a dozen K-Stews bagging grocerys at my local IGA.

  90. christian says:

    BTW, IO, Arianna is jumping the progressive ship to go “beyond the two-party system” — hack code for her ever-changing and opportunistic lack of principles.

  91. LexG says:




    And BULLSHIT on that “I see hot chicks at the mall” argument. Another LIE men tell themselves to feel better that they are NOBODY.

  92. LexG says:

    Why does anyone care about Arianna Huffington? She isn’t hot, she’s old. Who cares what she does?

    But she got PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAID, so mad props.

    MONEY IS EVERYTHING. No, wait, pussy is everything. No, wait, fame is everything.

    Anything else is BULLSHIT. Starting with ideals, principals, or politics. Personally, I’d love it if some rich asshole used their wealth and power to bring back slavery… of hot white women.

    How much better would the world be if you could literally own a 19-year-old skinny white girl?

    YEP YEP.

  93. christian says:

    Lex.Z. strike again.

  94. sanj says:

    Jessica Alba is having another baby.
    still no DP/30

  95. LexG says:

    Sometimes I forget Jessica Alba is Mexican.

    Then goes and has a kid every couple years.

    ZING! Off to Hotness Jail til the body’s back in form. She can share a cell with Natalie.


Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon