The Earth is being invaded – by actual space Invaders. Also Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and more – so the US President (Kevin James) drafts his old buddy, master video game player Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), to help save the world.
Pixels is directed by Chris Columbus, so it shouldn’t be the usual Adam Sandler goof. It opens on July 24th. Check out the new trailer following the jump.
Thanks to ever growing technology, we are more connected to the world than ever before – but we seem to know less and less about the people we know. That’s the subject of Chad Kultgen’s novel, Men, Women & Children, which been adapted for film by Jason Reitman (Up In The Air, Juno). Men, Women & Children’s first trailer has just gone live and it’s both poignant and intriguing.
Check it out after the jump. Men, Women & Children has its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Genndy Tartakovsky – who’s given us such delights as Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack and Star Wars: The Clone Wars – has taken a time-worn plot about an overly protective father and romance between a young couple who (really) come from different worlds and given it a lunatic freshness in Hotel Transylvania.
Teenager Donny fathers a son, Todd and raises him as a single parent. But after being estranged for years, Donny suddenly shows up before Todd’s wedding. So Todd tries to keep his crazy father from destroying his life.
Starring Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg and Leighton Meester.
Directed by Sean Anders.
Written by David Caspe.
Produced By Allen Covert, Jack Giarraputo, Heather Parry, and Adam Sandler.
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Adam Sandler fans are a forgiving bunch. His last two movies have been awful – and they’ve made great money. Sandler’s new movie, Jack & Jill, is a half-baked tale of the titular twins – Jack & Jill. It relies on Sandler staples like fart and poop jokes and mostly unfunny caricature. Overall, it feels like a rough draft – which immediately puts it ahead of Sandler’s last two efforts: the genuinely awful Grown Ups and the marginally better Just Go With It.
The TV ad campaign for Don’t Go With It is aimed at woman, as a romantic comedy. ‘Tell him it’s a Sandler movie,’ suggests the unctuous voiceover. Well, it’s a Sandler movie that desperately wants to be a romantic comedy – and it doesn’t feature five middle-aged, arrested development twits peeing in a public pool to see if the water turns dark blue – so it’s a bit of ahead of the game there. Almost.
Thirty years after they won a basketball championship, five friends reunite for the funeral of their coach. That, in essence, is the story being told in Grown Ups, the year’s first legitimate multiple Razzie contender.
For his third film as a director, Judd Apatow wanted to tackle something a little deeper than a one-night stand that resulted in a baby or a sexual late bloomer with goofy friends. I can almost see him in the “reading room” when the proverbial light bulb goes off above his head and he shouts, “Imminent death! Of course!”
And so we have a film about a crisis in the life of America’s most beloved comedian, George Simmons [Adam Sandler], who gets the news that he has the rare and usually fatal disease, AML. To balance the darkness of George’s plight, we get a look into the life of wannabe stand-up comic, Evan Wright [Seth Rogen] who works at Otto’s Deli alongside a fellow named Chuck [RZA] who thinks so little of his skills that Evan has to pay him to attend his next performance.
Adam Sandler in a Disney movie… what’s wrong with this picture? Nothing, as it happens. Well, nothing major. Adam Shankman [Hairspray] directs Bedtime Stories and – except for the usual Rob Schneider cameo [which sucks the life out of the film for a few moments] – gets a solid performance out of Sandler as handyman Skeeter Bronson, who works in a towering hotel that sits on property where his father [Jonathan Pryce, who also narrates] once had a charming little hotel. The terms of the sale to future hotel magnate Barry Nottingham [Richard Griffiths] included a verbal promise that Skeeter would one day run the new hotel [and verbal promises are worth the paper they’re printed on].
In the kind of sequences of events that exist in a whimsical tale such as this, the hotel is run by an obsequious twit – here called Kendall [Guy Pearce] and his simpering second in command, Aspen [Lucy Lawless] – and the hotelier’s plans for an even bigger hotel are situated on a piece of land upon which sits a school. That school is where Skeeter’s eco-warrior sister, Wendy [Courteney Cox] is vice-principal – not to mention the school attended by his niece and nephew – and where a pretty teacher named Jill [Keri Russell] works. Because of the plans for the hotel, Wendy has to look for work out of state and asks Skeeter to help Jill look after the kids.
When Kendall’s plans for a unique approach for the new hotel turn out to be in use elsewhere, Nottingham gives Skeeter a shot at running the new hotel. All he has to do is come up with a better theme than Kendall. Meanwhile, Skeeter’s bedtime stories for Patrick [Jonathan Morgan Heit] and Bobbi [Laura Ann Kesling] start coming true – though it takes him a while to figure out that it’s the kids’ improvised additions to his stories that are coming to pass.
So, can Skeeter be a good uncle, beat Kendall, and win the fair maid [Jill, of course]? And can he do it without relying overmuch on Sandler’s usual brand of humor. Almost. The humor is kinder, gentler and G-Rated, but the genuine whimsy of the fantasy is, for the most part, winning and well done. Sandler gets to use some of the chops first unearthed by Paul Thomas Anderson in Punch Drunk Love, and the rest of the cast seems to be having a pretty good time.
The effects vary in effectiveness, but by having one story element come true through what looks like a real life coincidence, Shankman gives the more far-fetched bits more punch – and makes Skeeter more relatable. The pacing occasionally falters [and grinds to a sudden halt during Schneider’s two scenes], but overall, Bedtime Stories is a fun diversion that will be enjoyed in theater and mostly forgotten by the time you get to your car.