It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Some sPo0kY films and a Russell Crowe one.
Netflix deal piss-taker Adam Sandler chucks his rotten oar into the Halloween genre, with a ‘comedy’. Imagine my joy.
- Errrr. Buscemi, Liotta, Chiklis, Maya Rudolph & Kenan off Kenan & Kel need to pay their bills too I guess. I think my goodwill towards them was the only thing that got me all the way through this. Liotta just going over the top in every scene is fine, just totally underused.
- The completely unexplained all purpose Thermos flask is actually pretty fun. Although keeping things in perspective, if I find a gadget more entertaining than the lead role, draw your own conclusion on how funny this is.
- Also in its favour: the amount of wild & wacky shit the local bully kids sling at Sandler provides some slight chuckles, as well as how comedically evil they (and most of the town) are. Oh yeah, Shaq is at the same time amusing & disgusting for all of his 2 minute cameo.
- Oh for the love of all things unholy, Sandler’s doing his mumbling simpleton act somehow loved by about 3 of the townsfolk and rightfully hated by everyone else. By the halfway point I honestly could not understand a fucking word he was saying. If you hated the same schtick he’s done in dogshit like Little Nicky, The Waterboy etc, this is going to piss you off like it did me from the outset. If you did like those films, fuck you.
- I can never understand this either – Sandler does a serious role around once every 10 years and he actually comes out alright. I mean I hated Uncut Gems but that’s the point, Punch Drunk Love & Funny People are good films. At a minimum, he can get away with the sort of everyman smart arse he does in The Wedding Singer/Happy Gilmore, why the fuck just not coast on that? I mean they’re not great, but you can live with them as hangover flicks instead of him sounding like Droopy on Temazepam.
- As for everyone else in here, it’s his usual stable of has beens mugging away in bit parts. I always imagine Rob Schneider & Kevin James have to beg at the masters table so they can be in dross like this, like anyone else is gonna employ them. I assume the other lickspittle David Spade was too busy filming The Wrong Missy to be in this, and take it truly from my heart to yours, do not bother with that mess either. The same with his wife & kids, who pop up here because instead of Happy Madison his production company should just be called ‘Blatant Nepotism Pictures’.
- ‘Violet Valentine’.
Should I watch this?
I can only imagine who Sandler thinks this is aimed at, aside from contractually fulfilling a 6-picture deal that Netflix have already written off as a tax loss. I know we’re not exactly drowning in new releases but it’s not a kids film and only an adult of exceedingly low mind is going to find entertainment here. At around 4 minutes of vague smiles in an interminable 1h 42m, none of which involve Sandler, skip this shit unless you’ve watched literally everything Netflix has to offer or recently had your brain removed.
Russell Crowe is Unhinged. That’s literally all I knew before watching. And it managed to be in cinemas or something?
- I’m glad I didn’t pay for a whole seat at the cinema, because I’d have only needed the edge! Seriously, when I’m not acting like a Truckasaurus announcer, this is actually gripping stuff. A nice tight 90 minutes, doesn’t fuck about getting right into it and just hurtles along from there.
- On that note, best serious role Crowe’s been in since (looks through IMDB) fuck, American Gangster in 2007*, just straight up dead eyed terrifying. Caren Pistorius as the other lead sells hysteria well too, even if she looks far too young to be the lead kids mum. Solid support, not least from McPoyle of Always Sunny.
- Some absolutely crunchy car smashes throughout, and props for not relying on that rinsed to hell & back T-bone impact out of nowhere every other car chase film does. Just untold wreckage. It rules.
- I won’t spoil anything, but be warned there are some outright brutal deaths in here.
- And while it’s his best role in a while, Crowe appears to have based his entire look on Ram-Man off Masters of the Universe. Like, half the $33 million budget went just on feeding him instead of replacement cars & hydraulic ramps.
- Suspension of disbelief required a fair bit, in certain actions and whether or not you think a lass who weighs less than a 3-litre bottle of Orangeade would be getting up from a tank like Crowe knocking the everloving shit out of her. Ditto for him being pretty much indestructible.
- You know it, you love it. Shot in exhilarating ‘Canal-water-flowing-through-a-Northeastern-industrial-estate-o-vision’, even the fucking flames here look like they signed a form opting them out of the colour spectrum. Not good enough.
- At no point does anyone display the dry cool wit of an action hero, so what the fuck is up with the final scene?
Should I watch this?
Yes. I wasn’t expecting anything of it given Crowes record over the last 15 years or so but give it a go, I was well impressed.
*I mean he’s quality in The Nice Guys from 2017 but that’s a comedy role.
THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW
Local police investigate a number of murders in Snow Hollow, Ohio*. Or is a werewolf involved?
- Hell yeah Robert Forster, in what unfortunately is his final role in film.
- Appreciating the takes from the police here on despite what the local legends and doofus townsfolk say, you’re not going to base an investigation on the killer of these poor women being supernatural in nature. Also rating Jim Cummings in the lead castigating his deputies for being incompetent and having them face the consequences of their actions. Rocksolid supporting cast of unknowns too.
- Does just fine in terms of its low budget on cinematography & SFX.
- Gets a bit weighed down in writer/director Cummings’s personal issues as the Sheriff. It’s a bit much to have daddy issues/anger issues/alcohol probs and a harridan ex-wife/daughter to deal with on top. Still, he does well with it, and I suppose one thing leads to another in those situations. Also if you’re relapsing into the drink, your choice is warm 330ml tins of American piss that have been a cupboard for years? And chugging mouthwash?
- RIP to Robert Forster, a fine character actor but it’s a shame you can pinpoint the exact moment he died halfway through production that they had to write around.
- I wish horror films would put a fork in having stupid children defying all common sense: Sheriff Dad: “Hey daughter, the last 3 full moons a girl your age was slaughtered, tonight is a full moon too so stay the fuck indoors.”
Daughter: “Of course, daaaad, I’m not a child! Stop treating me like one!” etc
Daughter’s boyfriend: “Hey baby, want to come round for ‘pots & pans time’ in my car?”
Daughter: “On my way!”
For fucks sake.
- Cummings’s character is called John Marshall. Why in the name of Satan isn’t he pushing to get promoted to Marshal?
Should I watch this?
Yes. It’s a well done throwback to good 80s horror/thriller yarns with plenty of blindsides and not overly heavy on the gore. Some good Halloween watching.
*Unless a film is clearly set in New York or LA, I just assume it’s in Ohio.
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