Author Archive

Adam Sandler, Method Actor

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 7, 2012 by sdoob

Okay.  I liked this movie.  Is that such a crime?  Is my opinion no longer valid?  Maybe.  Maybe you liked The Descendants.  A lot of people did.  Including the founder of this website.  And now I’m basically telling you I liked Jack and Jill

“Which one is Jack and Jill?”

“Oh, it’s the one where Adam Sandler has a twin sister and she’s played by Adam Sandler?”

“You saw that?”

“Yeah.  On a date.”

You know why I liked this movie?  I’ll tell you.  Because Adam Sandler played Jill, the twin sister, so well, so thoroughly, I thought of her as a woman.  I was not taken out of scenes because I was thinking it was Adam Sandler in a dress and a wig.  Even in scenes featuring her muscular thighs: I believed the character, full on.  And I believed in her, too.  I liked her, and I would have liked to talk to her.  My friend (who despises the movie though he has never seen it) said it was supposed to be mean spirited towards Jill.  I didn’t feel that way.  I thought it was an affectionate and, more importantly, an honest portrayal of a funny, lonely, adorable woman from the nice part of the Bronx.  

By the way, everything else in the movie – the male Adam Sandler character, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, other side characters – is bad and not worth talking about. 

Finally, the movie begins and ends with supposed real twins talking about what it’s like being twins.  This did not sit well because a) all those couples in When Harry Met Sally… are actors, and b) because we know the whole movie is using green screens constantly, so how do we know it’s not one person multiplied?

The Descendants

Posted in Review on December 9, 2011 by sdoob

This movie blows.  I mean it had its moments and everything.  But it was just bad.  Director Alexander Payne seems to be moving further away from the kinetic editing of Election, and limiting himself to the very basics of feature filmmaking.  In theory, this approach should not distract from the story and the characters whatsoever, but for me, it was the opposite.  It’s the style of a dead serious fourteen year old boy making his first drama.  Plain shots – nothing self-indulgent – and bare naked performances with no flashy editing to hide what we normally don’t see when we pay ten dollars to see a movie: actors not making it happen. 

When I suggested the idea of going to my friend, she said, “Is it one of those Middle-Aged Man Pain movies?”

“Yeah, it is,” I said.  “It really is, actually.”

“Those movies are so boring!”

I hadn’t considered it.  I like middle aged men who are in pain, unless they drive sports cars.  Regardless, this is very much a middle-aged-man-that-stares-into-space-a-lot-and-he’s-got-a-complicated-relationship-with-his-kids-and-he-has-to-try-to-fix-everything-and-he’s-such-a-mess movie.  So if that’s what you like – like if you liked A Serious Man or Alexander Payne’s 2002 failure, About SchmidtThe Descendants might do it for you.  It got a lot of good reviews.

Okay.  Positive things: the second half is better than the first half.  When can you say that about a movie?  The story sometimes gets better and it distracts from the stilted acting and clunky cinematography.  Also, the thesis, at least early on, is George Clooney cares on an emotional level more that his wife was cheating on him than that she’s dying.  But yeah, that’s it.  The movie blows.

Spirit Animals: Happy Feet 2

Posted in Review with tags , , on December 9, 2011 by sdoob

A joy. I don’t know if it will stand the test of time.  I don’t know really why I’m saying that.  There is a plot.  But frankly, it’s a little tedious.  The movie relies on good characters, a strong message, jokes, and stunning visuals.  Story fits in there but it’s the weak link.  That’s I guess why I wonder about the standing the test of time thing.  Maybe, too, it’s because it’s a sequel.  A sequel is not a classy thing.  It’s almost always about money.  Not that movies aren’t a business, but I think you know what I mean.  Except for Bad Boys II and probably some others I can’t think of, people don’t usually talk about sequels years after they come out.  But now it occurs to me, Babe: Pig In The City  and Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior are both sequels directed by George Miller (director of Happy Feet and Happy Feet Two) so I’m probably completely wrong.    If you love chemistry between animated penguins, heart-wrenching opera sung by a baby penguin, or Matt Damon voicing a vulnerable krill – with Brad Pitt as the more confident krill on a life quest.  Let’s talk about that for a second.  I thought it was a little distracting, more than the other celebrity voices, to imagine Brad Pitt in a sound booth.  And I’ll tell you why: because I don’t really like Cormac McCarthy that much, or rather, I can’t pay attention to him for the life of me.  And one time I was doing a two day drive by myself and I went to the library beforehand to get some books on tape.  And there was All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy and my thinking was This will be easier to get into, rather than reading the book.  So the next day, I put the tape in – after The Brothers Karamazov was not happening – but I hadn’t read the fine print in the library and when it started, it said, “All The Pretty Horses, read by Brad Pitt.”  And first of all, the man doesn’t enunciate – nor do I; that’s why I can spot it – so I couldn’t understand anything, but more distracting still was imagining Brad Pitt in a sound booth with the music stand and the photocopied Cormac McCarthy manuscript.  But anyway, Brad Pitt wasn’t as bad in Happy Feet Two because of the mind-blowing visuals.    I don’t know why this movie got bad reviews.  It’s so much fun; it almost made me cry four times – and I can’t cry so that’s basically like making me cry.  Happy Feet Two is another reason to not look at Rotten Tomatoes.  Rotten Tomatoes gave The Descendents a high number.    I recommend seeing Happy Feet Two in the theater, probably in 3D.  If you can stomach the price.

The Proper Way to Undress: Footloose (2011)

Posted in Review, Samuel C. Doob with tags , , on October 22, 2011 by sdoob

I’m broke.  Really broke.  I don’t need to be going to see Footloose, alone, on a Thursday night.  But all that was forgotten by the time the previews began and the MSG from the popcorn was coursing through my veins.  I was in a state of such giddiness, I laughed uncontrollably during the Adam Sandler preview and I was so excited about the new Katherine Heigl action-comedy, I couldn’t concentrate on the first three minutes of Footloose.  What I’m saying is I was in a heightened emotional state when I saw Footloose, so my opinion might be skewed.  Continue reading

Bare-knuckled Robots and Distracted Minds—Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Posted in Review, Samuel C. Doob with tags , , , on July 6, 2011 by sdoob

For all its manic explosions, swishing asses, Shia LaBeouf having temper tantrums that appear all too real – like director Michael Bay can work him into such a state of anger LaBeouf barely has to act – and, of course, giant robots battling to the death only to repeatedly get shot down by another giant robot offscreen at the last minute, Transformers 3 (in 3D, of course) did not distract me. 

So I would like to say this to you:

If you’re having troubles in your life – emotional or otherwise – don’t see the movie.  Like me, you will spiral down into a dark hole during the first hour and a half.  (Running time: 2 ½ hours)  Your eyes will remain focused on the screen, but your mind will be elsewhere: somewhere ugly, somewhere bad.  Continue reading

This Time, we’ll add a Monkey: The Hangover pt. II

Posted in Review, Samuel C. Doob with tags , , on July 6, 2011 by sdoob

There’s nothing new to say about this that I haven’t heard before.  A carbon copy of the first one, but more hollow.  Not that the first one was exactly Wayne’s World meets Leaving Las Vegas.

3 shorts ones: Bridesmaids, Fast Five, Jumping the Broom

Posted in Review, Samuel C. Doob with tags , , on June 2, 2011 by sdoob


A fucking piece of shit.  I laughed more than I’d like to admit.  Nonetheless, a fucking piece of shit.  (Did not intend to write a poem there.)

Fast Five

Fell asleep during the first one.  Haven’t seen the other ones.  Enjoyable enough, but I would turn it off if it were on TV.

Jumping The Broom

Unbelievably fast paced.  The falling in love stuff at the beginning should be 250% longer.  But that’s also the worst part of the movie, so maybe that’s why.  There are so many charming characters and so many storylines that I was always entertained and engaged.  It’s a bad movie, no doubt about it, but totally enjoyable.  Better than most in theaters right now, save for Insidious.  Finally, the bride, Paula Patton, is unbearable, and her mother, Angela Bassett – well she just doesn’t have a fun part.

Breast plates and other acts of desperation: Thor 3

Posted in Review, Samuel C. Doob with tags , , on June 2, 2011 by sdoob

My friend put it well: “What’s the story?”  A very film school question, to be sure, but it’s a good point.  Here it is:

Thor’s dad, Anthony Hopkins, banishes Thor to earth because Thor’s being a dick.  Thor continues to be a dick when he meets Natalie Portman and her sister (?) Kat Dennings and her father (?) Stellan Skarsgård in New Mexico.  Dad also throws Thor’s big hammer down to earth – a hammer with a magic adjustable handle.  Thor decides to go get it, which takes up more scenes than one, a poor choice.  After beating up a bunch of dudes in the rain, he tries to pull the hammer out of the ground where it’s stuck, but he can’t.  Deflated, Thor is captured and taken to a spacious and well-lit holding cell.   Continue reading

12months and 33 reviews

Posted in Review, Samuel C. Doob on May 11, 2011 by sdoob

“Been away, but now I’m back.”  — Jack Torrance 


Surprisingly decent.  Seth Rogen has come a long way since Gods And Monsters. 

Adjustment Bureau 

Quite bad.  Decent chemistry between the stars.  I like Matt Damon.  And Emily Blunt looks like my first love.  I would criticize the premise of the movie but the founder of this website loves Philip K. Dick.  Continue reading

On Second Thought: Why We Fight (2005)

Posted in On Second Thought with tags , on April 11, 2010 by sdoob

It has been said of the Beatles that the sum was greater than its parts.  The opposite is true of the Michael Mooreless Michael Moore derived film, Why We Fight, directed by Eugene Jarecki.  The interviewees seemed to have a lot of inside information about the arms industry, but because of editor Nancy Kennedy’s impatient, heavy handed, and insecure editing (the latter meaning the filmmakers were afraid their source material was boring and the audience’s attention might drift if not bombarded with visuals), I would have preferred to read the transcripts of some of the interviews than to hear shreds, mere hints, of what these people had to say. Continue reading


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