Weekend rentals—due back by Tuesday

For a nice change of pace, Val and I actually got around to watching the movies we rented for the weekend.

We’d both been waiting to see Thank You for Smoking, having missed it while it was in the theaters. We both love a good satire and Smoking had a mouthful of sharp teeth. It hit the ground running and started out wickedly funny. Aaron Eckhart owned every scene he was in, and he was surrounded by a talented and funny supporting cast.

Unfortunately the movie got soft about midway through. The narrative thread got a bit tangled and I wasn’t sure what the movie was about anymore. It ended with a thud rather than a bang, but the film wasn’t a total loss by any means. There was plenty of good humor.

The second film we watched (Dakota joined us—making it a family affair) was Click, featuring the sporadically talented Adam Sandler. I didn’t like the previews for this film when it first hit the theaters and the commercials for the DVD didn’t win me over either. But, Dakota really wanted to watch it with us, so I tried to clear any preconceived judgments out of my mind and give it a chance. Sandler can be a very funny man at times.
This didn’t turn out to be one of those times. This is an ugly movie about an ugly character (Sandler) who learns the error of his ways and is handed a second chance, a do-over, to start fresh. He doesn’t earn it—it’s just handed to him. The script is lumpy, depending on fart jokes and dogs humping stuffed animals for laughs, and it expects the viewer to swallow some massive contrivances to keep the plot from completely falling apart.

One of the most disturbing things in Click, and something that totally strips away any of the suspension of disbelief you might be able to muster up, is when we see Sandler’s character in the future, when he’s become extremely overweight. Instead of strapping Adam Sandler into a Fat Bastard-type fat suit, the director decided to paste Sandler’s head onto a fat guy’s shirtless body. I can’t begin to tell you how disruptive I found the special effect to be. Even when they actually got the head and body to properly match up, it still looks horribly wrong. Then, to make matters worse, when we see the character later, he’s dressed in a 3X jogging suit, that looks like it’s pumped full of helium. So you go from the real body of a fat guy to Sandler skipping around in a lightweight fat suit that doesn’t even begin to look realistic.

One of the biggest sins Click is guilty of is wasting a precious natural resource—Christopher Walken. Until now I didn’t think it was possible for the man to be bland and unfunny in a movie. Now I know differently.

1 comment:

Tony Akins said...

Hmmm, I've given up Netflixing to make Elizabeth happy...She NEVER sits to watch the films we chose together...I suffered through a queue of mid-18th century farces and dramas that she never took a peek at. Sigh...
The last thing on the "collaborative" list is "The Devil and Daniel Johnston"...which is supposed to be brilliant. I thought "Thank You For Smoking" was really great. Even the familial aspect.