There was a pivotal moment in Adam Sandler’s career in 2002, when he starred in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch Drunk Love. Anderson took the volatile, unstable behavior Sandler exhibited as immature, comedic fodder in such films as Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore and channeled it into a volatile, unstable character, damaged at the core, but starving for acceptance. Sandler’s wacky antics were distilled into meaning and purpose, instead of childish mannerisms played for laughs. It was a moment that could’ve marked a new and interesting direction for the veteran Saturday Night Live comedian. Instead, Sandler would follow up Punch Drunk Love with the return to immature antics in such films as Mr. Deeds and Eight Crazy Nights.
Spencer interviews director Matt Piedmont and writer/producer Andrew Steele from Casa de mi Padre.
Also, be sure to check out our review of Casa de mi Padre from SXSW.
Tower Heist (2011), the latest action/comedy film directed by the infamous Brett Ratner, aims to be nothing more than a straight down the line form of popcorn entertainment. On that basic level alone, the film accomplishes what it sets out to do. There isn’t much that is quite remarkable going on here; everyone that is involved has been in far better work. With that said, though, there are certainly a fair amount of laughs to be had, and although the film does have a number of problems, I found myself looking past those issues and concentrating on the elements that did work. It’s a surprisingly fun time; I had walked in to the theater expecting a bad movie, but to my amazement walked out having seen a fairly enjoyable one. Who would’ve thought?
[And yes, I know John already posted a review – I’m just reinforcing his thoughts on it, since I read his after I wrote mine up. John’s is actually a better review, damn him! Haha]
Here is what I knew about MacGruber before going to see this film: MacGruber is a character from an SNL skit (I haven’t seen SNL in more than 15 years) and MacGruber is a spoof of MacGyver (I haven’t seen MacGyver in more than 15 years). I wasn’t familiar with the skit and I hadn’t even seen a preview, I’d only heard people say “it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.” Where I come from, that’s usually means I should see this film.
Spencer welcomes back John from his hiatus and they discuss the movies from Saturday Night Live, consider video game based movies, and give their DVD picks of the week.
There are many reasons why MacGruber shouldn’t work. It’s a Saturday Night Live spin-off movie, the original skits were parodies of a TV show that ended in the early 90s, and every minute long skit ended with the main character being blown up. But in spite of those seemingly insurmountable odds, MacGruber ends up being an extremely funny movie that easily sustains itself for 90 minutes.