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Paul Blart: Mall Cop Review


Grim
Some celebrities aren't meant to cross over into different mediums. While they may look good on a concert stage or in a series of small-screen comedy sketches, that doesn't mean they're headed for cinematic superstardom. Certain performers need to stay well within their audience-gauged abilities. Take Kevin James, for example. He's a wonderful stand-up comedian and a decent sitcom spouse. But put him in movies, and suddenly the limitations start showing up. This is definitely the case in Paul Blart: Mall Cop. While this PG romp is clearly aimed at a less sophisticated crowd, the comic's genial nature constantly tries to lift the material. It doesn't work.

Overweight and desperately lonely, mall security guard Paul Blart (James) just wants to get through Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. He's worried about protecting the customers. Having failed the police academy obstacle course a record eight times, the mall job is all he has. Yet his daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez) knows he needs someone to spend his life with outside of work. Paul specifically has eyes for kiosk salesgirl Amy (Jayma Mays) but he's just too shy to ask her out. But when a group of criminals led by Veck Sims (Keir O'Donnell) enters the facility and takes hostages, it's up to Blart to save the day... if he can.

Continue reading: Paul Blart: Mall Cop Review

You Don't Mess with the Zohan Review


Terrible
You don't laugh with the Zohan, either.

Adam Sandler's latest lewd creation is Israel's top trained assassin who dreams of escaping his nation's ever-present conflict with the Palestinians. For the Zohan, killing comes as easy as breathing. During a deadly battle with his arch-nemesis the Phantom (John Turturro), though, the Zohan fakes his own death so he can safely flee to New York City and pursue his aspiration of becoming a hair stylist.

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Click Review


Terrible
It seems only fitting that Adam Sandler, who has made a career of being the quintessential every-guy, would pilot a movie about the greatest invention for men -- the remote control. But Click isn't about the eternal struggle for who controls the all powerful remote. Instead, it's about all of the trouble Sandler can cause with this seemingly uncomplicated little device.

Sandler plays Michael, a workaholic architect who spends more time satisfying the whims of his demanding boss (David Hasselhoff) than he does with his family. Michael cancels camping trips with his kids and rushes (foolishly) through love-making sessions with his wife Donna (Kate Beckinsale) just so he can inch closer to that partnership he covets. Michael is out of control and out of the loop on everything going on at home. He can't even distinguish his television remote from the one that controls his garage.

Continue reading: Click Review

The Animal Review


Good
It's always a shame when good comedic talent goes bad, and a pleasant surprise when that finally lands a decent role in a funny film. Nothing has been expected of Rob Schneider since his departure from the hellhole of mind-numbing roles like the Copy Guy Richmeister and the Weed Guy on Saturday Night Live, as well as bit parts in ridiculous Muppet Movie sequels and Adam Sandler comedies. But Rob Schneider is a funny man. I remember watching him at the Improv in San Diego when I was 12 years old and laughing my ass off at his brilliant portrayal of Elvis on a fishhook. I was 12, but what the hey?

Modern comedy comes from its ability to not take its story or its characters seriously. The Farrelly brothers and Woody Allen have taught us that. Recent failures like Joe Dirt and Schneider's last film Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo owe themselves to a seriousness they try to create by treating their main characters as martyrs for the audience to sympathize with and pity. The Animal does no such thing, avoiding this common mistake totally and developing into an enjoyable and hilarious 90 minutes.

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The Longest Yard (2005) Review


Grim
Sports and sponsorships go together better than Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

AutoTrader.com dumps millions into a deal with ABC for Monday Night Football rights. Olympic highlights are now known as "Chevy Moments." The currency flooding the pro sports market is getting out of hand. Independent filmmakers could make 71 different Blair Witch projects for the amount of money Anheuser-Busch spent on one 30-second Super Bowl commercial.

Continue reading: The Longest Yard (2005) Review

Anger Management Review


OK
Fresh from uncharacteristic performances in Punch-Drunk Love and About Schmidt, Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson have returned to their roots in Anger Management. In Sandler's case, it's as the dim-bulb Everyman who sings with a falsetto; in Nicholson's, as the crazed lunatic with eyebrows of steel.

These two performers come together for the first time in a strange and uneven movie ostensibly about the dysfunction caused by repressed anger. Sandler's Dave, traumatized since the 1970s when his small package was revealed by a bully in the middle of his Brooklyn neighborhood, is an executive assistant to the president of a pet clothing company (people, I don't make this stuff up). A plane trip lands him in a seat next to Dr. Buddy Rydell (Nicholson), and a chance arm-brush with a flight attendant (you've seen the trailers) lands him in court for assault. Soon enough he's sentenced to spend a month in the care of Rydell, who moves into Dave's flat, where he demands breakfast be cooked for him and sleeps naked with him in his bed.

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Master of Disguise Review


Unbearable
Once the chief late-night headliner on NBC's Saturday Night Live, Dana Carvey has been reduced to appearing in films emblazoned with the phrase "An Adam Sandler Production." I wondered what it must be like as Sandler's name floated across the screen to pick up your paychecks from the clown who sang songs about food and watched you become a star. Sad. Master of Disguise is just another loop in Dana Carvey's shame spiral; a path that begins right where Wayne's World 2 ends.

Dana Carvey is Pistachio Disguisey (clever!), the last in a long line of "masters of disguise." Charged with using their powers of disguise for good, they have for centuries protected the world from evil, using only their wits and an incredible gift for visual deception. But Pistachio's parents have been kidnapped. To save them, he must at last learn the true history of his family, and discover the powers of disguise he holds inside.

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Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo Review


Weak
When the lights go down--the manwhore comes out to play.

When I watch certain actors paint such vivid and animated characters across the silver screen, I am almost reach a state of pure cinema bliss. I came close to that bliss when I watched the riveting Richard Gere is his latest film, American Gigolo 2, Male Gigolo. Gere has such a powerful presence in a number of memorable moments that draw from him an almost frightening realism that seems to reach out from the screen to the audience. Richard Gere's performance in the film--oh, wait a minute--let me retract that last statement. Did I say Richard Gere? Sorry for the confusion. I meant Rob Schneider, and his new film Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo. Gere and Schneider, I tend to mix up the two so often.

Continue reading: Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo Review

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