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Grown Ups - Blu-ray Review

2 stars


Grown Ups Blu-ray Review

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Time has an all too regular habit of getting away from us, doesn’t it? Adam Sandler and company has been the top of the cinematic comedic heap for nearly two decades! His and his compatriots’ efforts since the mid-nineties have produced hit after hit—and the occasional miss, although never so bad as to alienate their audience from returning next time—so it is no surprise that he, and them, have the ability to assemble a large ensemble of high profile performers into one show.

Time has gotten away, and, like all good comedians, Sandler is attempting to explore that fact within his new movies. For men in their early forties, that inevitably means career, nostalgia, and most importantly family.

Rustling together a large portion of Sandler’s regular contributors, Grown Ups follows a group of five inseparable friends (Sandler, Spade, Rock, Schneider and James) reuniting after the death of their mentor to, firstly, pay their respects; and secondly, to re-bond, rekindle their relationships with wives and children alike, and basically embrace what is really important.

With so many characters involved it was always going to be a difficult story to pull off, and they really don’t. This is not to say there isn’t a clear, although completely unoriginal, direction the story follows, but in the end its simplistic spine allows all the performers to riff off each other, and it is this, amazingly, that fails the film above all else.

There is not a comedic dud among them, as far as this reviewer is concerned, and this is the film’s major problem. All five of these male actors have earned their credibility with a type of humour that does not suit this neutered family comedy atmosphere. With each one of them, you can instantly recall their shtick, and to see them attempt their unique flavours of comedy with a straight jacket on is a painful thing indeed. Spade does his sleaze bit... for the Disney channel, Rock’s firebrand hard-edged wit is dulled like a butter knife, Schneider’s penchant to disgust, this time with an old lady, is never allowed to go where it needs to, James’s physical comedy is limp at best, and Sandler plays about the most banal character he has ever conceived to date. It’s a truly wasted opportunity and is so far removed from the reality of families today it’s insulting to watch.

Sandler and co. seem to think that because children come into the mix, adults suddenly morph into some contemporized manufactured line from the Carol Brady factory and teaching them the old ways fixes everything. A parent may watch their cursing around the kids, and take them to water parks and 4th of July barbecues, but it doesn’t turn them all into walking sugar cubes that can placate a modern kid with lines a freakin’ Shirley Temple movie wouldn’t dare touch.

It would have been a far better movie if these men inserted themselves into this world—where a parent has to be careful—as we know them, and far funnier for that dichotomy. Instead, we are entreated to watch extremely stale and desperate grabs for a laugh with farts and boobs and pratfalls that barely, if at all, will turn a grin.

This is a film that goes nowhere, and really slowly, too. You know what the end is going to be five minutes into the film, and that wouldn’t be so bad, if the boys had untied their hands to do what they do best. They had all the ingredients here for a cracker of a good comedy, but someone cut the horses balls off before it was led into the paddock—there is no magic to happen here.

They obviously had fun making this flick and being together, but for the viewer it’s just banal.


Component Grades
Movie
Blu-ray Disc
2 stars
3 stars
Blu-ray Experience
2.5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - November 9, 2010
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio:
English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); Digital copy (on disc); Digital copy; PSP (on disc); DVD copy; BD-Live; movieIQ

Suitable bright and gorgeous picture that makes me wanna go to New England in a hurry. Sound presents lovely clean dialogue, but not much for the surround system—although this is hardly a film that sets out to blow your speakers off the wall.

Special features include a director’s commentary, featurettes about how wonderful everyone was (the usual shit). Gag reel and certain extras, to this reviewer, show a group of friends so busy laughing and enjoying each other’s company they didn’t see the lack of laughs for the audience they were making.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Feature-length commentary track with Director Dennis Dugan

Featurettes:

  • Laughing is Contagious (1080p, 4:08)
  • Riff-O-Rama (1080p, 4:37)
  • Dennis Dugan: Hands on Director (1080p, 4:38)
  • The Lost Tapes of Norm MacDonald (1080p, 6:46)
  • The Cast of 'Grown Ups' (1080p, 7:08)
  • Busey and the Monkey (1080p, 3:24)

Outtakes and deleted scenes (1080p, 10:15)

Gag reel (1080p, 3:49)

Trailers: for The Other Guys, Salt, The Karate Kid (2010), Easy A, Stomp the Yard: Homecoming, Eat Pray Love, Beastly, Big Daddy, Mr. Deeds, Click, and 50 First Dates

{pgomakase}

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