Bedtime Stories (2008) Let's face it, Adam Sandler movies are basically kid's movies with cursing and boob jokes. So it was a pretty smart idea for Sandler to pair up with Disney and make a movie aimed at the younger crowd, the crowd that wants to go see his movies in the theatre but has to wait till they can watch it at a friend's house on DVD or cable. Stories has all the Sandler trademarks; bizarre side characters, evil characters of authority, an underdog to root for and a beautiful love interest. They even throw in a bug-eyed guinea pig to shake things up a little bit! The love interest is played here by Keri Russell...a personal favorite of mine! The movie follows Adam Sandler as he gets stuck babysitting his niece and nephew for the week. It turns out, the stories he's been telling them at bedtime all start to come true so Sandler uses this magical power to advance himself at his job and change his life around for the better. It's a cute story with some solid goofy laughs. My kids were laughing the whole way though! They don't have a clue who Adam Sandler is, but who can resist when he breaks out in his "hobilty-hoy, schmibilty-doo" voice!? Like Paul Blart: Mall Cop, (which was produced by Sandler) this comedy is clean and suitable and for the whole family.
Adventureland (2009) I suppose to a teenager who thinks smoking pot is cool and their petty little problems mean the end of the world this would be a great movie. However, Adventureland is really just a tired old summer vacation/coming of age movie with scenes lifted out of about a dozen other films. There's a couple of problems with this film. First, I had no idea what age these characters are supposed to be. They seem to have just graduated high school, they have crappy high school dead-end jobs, they live with their parents and half of them don't drive but they all just waltz into bars and drink like there's no such thing as a drinking age!? Second, the lead, Jesse Eisenburg, is simply doing an impression of Michael Cera from Superbad. The fact that this movie is directed by the same guy who made Superbad drives home this point even more. Third, you can't cast SNL comedy genius Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig and then give them hardly anything to do. They are great when they are on the screen, playing the amusement park owners, but they pop up way too infrequently during the film. And finally, maybe it's just me but if you're going to set a movie in an amusement park how about a little more footage of the park. Would it be so wrong to maybe spend the first 20 minutes of the film with shots of merry-go-rounds, roller coasters and landscaping...I mean, is it just me!? Come on!
I Love You, Man (2009) All I ask from a comedy is to be funny. The storyline, the characters...all that other stuff is secondary to just making me laugh. I Love You, Man is a consistently funny film from top to bottom. Start with the cast; you've got Paul Rudd who I would classify as one of the few male talents in Hollywood whose work I always enjoy, then there's Jason Segel who's really funny and he's about to helm the new Muppet movie - so you know he's all right in my book and there's Rashida Jones from The Office and Parks and Recreation who is always fun to watch. The paper-thin plot revolves around the marriage of Rudd and Jones. When Rudd's character discovers that he has no real friends to be his best man, he goes on a quest to meet the right guy. The situation itself is a great baseboard for some really funny situations. There's a great list of supporting actors in this film too: Andy Samburg, Jane Curtin, J.K. Simmons, Jaime Preesly, Jon Favreau, and Lou Ferrigino. And for those of you who know every name in Hollywood, let me also throw out Rob Huebel, Jerry Minor, Aziz Ansari, Nick Kroll, Jay Chandrasekhar, and Thomas Lemmon. Go ahead and Imdb any of them if you don't believe me those are real people.
Road Trip Beer Pong (2009) I first found out about this movie when I saw the DVD sitting on the shelf at Wal-Mart. I wasn't even a big fan of the original Road Trip, and I certainly wasn't aware that we the people were hungry for more Road Trip but I knew that I had to see a movie as craptastic as one with a horrible title like Road Trip Beer Pong! (It honestly irks me to no end when a movie title leaves out a colon.) So I zoomed it to the top of my Netflix queue and it was in my mailbox before I could say "direct to video." For a rinky-dink, cut-rate direct to DVD movie about throwing ping pong balls into plastic red cups, this movie actually has quite a bit of heart. It's not as vulgar and tasteless as you'd expect. There's also actually some production values and a slightly imaginative yet far-fetched script. The story, as if it matters, has three college buddies on a road trip down the east coast on their way to the Collegiate Beer Pong Championships in Atlanta. As with all films of this nature, wacky things happen along the way most of them involving the boys running for their lives or girls taking off their shirts. Sometimes the situation involves girls taking off their shirts AND guys running for their lives! While it doesn't have any big huge laughs like the first Road Trip outing did, it's a surprisingly entertaining well done college slob comedy.
Masters of the Universe (1987) Oh...this is a good movie! He-Man, Telia and Man-at-Arms accidentally get zapped to Earth and end up helping Courtney Cox and her boyfriend escape the clutches of Evil-Lyn, Beast Man and Skeletor. Yes...it's as good as it sounds! You haven't lived until you've seen He-Man and company destroy a 1980's keyboard shop with laser guns. I was pleasantly surprised with this live-action movie when it came out and it still holds up today! This is 80's sci-fi at it's best and a fine selection from my personal DVD library.