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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Thin White Dude's Reviews - Jack and Jill

Directed by: Dennis Dugan

Produced by: Todd Garner
Jack Giarraputo
Adam Sandler

Screenplay by: Steve Koren
Adam Sandler
Robert Smigel
Ben Zook

Starring: Adam Sandler
Katie Holmes
Al Pacino

Cinematography by: Dean Cundey

Editing by: Tom Costain

Music by: Rupert Gregson-Williams

Studio(s): Happy Madison Productions
Broken Road Productions

Distributed by: Columbia Pictures

Release date(s): November 11, 2011 (United States)
February 3, 2012 (United Kingdom)

Running time: 91 minutes

Country: United States

Language: English

Budget: $79 million

Box office revenue: $149, 673, 788


"Here's Johnny!" Actually, excuse me, that is a redundant and irrelevant phrase, as my name ain't John or Jack, and would only make sense if I was talking about my 'Little Jimmy.' As ever, the headless chicken is going here there and everywhere with his film reviewing. I hope you all had a good Easter and saw some decent films in the cinema, for I've personally been avoiding it in my yearly leave of absence. This is the only recent film I have seen, aside from last year's Melancholia, which I'm gonna give another watch as I'm not sure if I liked it or not. So, if there are any recommendations, on either the good or the bad side y'all can give me, I'd be more than happy to get down to it (though don't bet on it: sorry 'Jack's complete lack of surprise.' I loved Shutter Island, so seriously it is in the pipeline!).

Okay, so today I'm reviewing Jack and Jill. As I mentioned, I have been avoiding the cinema of late during my holiday, but I had to do a 'Cinema Sound Review' for my Film Studies module 'Film & Sound' ("remember how I said I took a holiday - I lied!"). Essentially, what this consisted on was reviewing a cinema within the week of Tuesday 14th of February and Monday the 20th of February. I had went to a magnificent screening of The Battleship Potemkin at The Ulster Hall, which was accompanied live by Martin Baker on The Mulholland Organ, partly so I could do my sound review on it, but mostly for pleasure, as it's a film I love dearly. However, as I saw it on Monday the 13th, it was considered outside the period of eligibility, and so I was forced to see this film. I say forced, but really it was my own free will and general masochistic tendencies which 'forced' me into The Movie House on the Dublin Road. As you may know, I've had a mixed relationship at best with Adam Sandler in my now six years of film reviewing. After a bevy of dirge for a period of about five years, Sandler starred in Funny People, which to me (at the time) was his way of apologising and saying "you know what, I did those film's for the money," and I'm convinced of that, because the guy isn't stupid and knows a funny movie when he sees it. Then, he followed this peak with a real trough in Grown Ups. Last year, he produced and did a voice for Zookeeper, which was a further exploration into the deep, dark valley that was Kevin James' significant ass-crack. So, we were already on a less than friendly note. Then, out came Jack and Jill, which me and my good friend Daniel Kelly are in concurrence is like one of the film's George Simmons made in Funny People. If you can guess the tone of the review, frankly, I don't give a shit, because I've already wrote a university paper on this film, and so this review is in it's way another of my nasty exercises in masochism. "Roll the tape!"

In a strange and slightly perverse way, I have to admire the level of dedication that Al Pacino puts into his performance here. Not because I think that Al Pacino is an amazing actor (even if he is), but because this is a role in a film that does him absolutely no favours whatsoever, yet he goes full throttle. He plays this bizarre, parodic version of himself, and gains the film's very few laughs. It's almost as though Sandler and co. have released how shit their movie is, and have decided to re-animate the long-deceased Luigi Pirandello to add a little bit of flavour to the picture. Oops! Nah, screw it, I won't feign modesty. You already know where this going anyway. My last 'good' thing to say about this film is that by no means is my high-strung, pseudo-intellectual Pirandello reference an endorsement of the film. Trust me, it ain't worth it!

For those of you have made it through three paragraphs of feigned objectivity, I commend you, because this is where we get down and dirty. Adam Sandler is once again on fine form, doing a real workman's job in his role(s) as Jack and Jill. So, not only do we get Adam Sandler doing his stupid voice which I heard last year as the monkey in Zookeeper as Jack, he's doing it times two (or squared: work it out, I care not!), although obviously in a greater comfort zone while dressed as in drag. Actually, I reckon that most drag queens would find Adam Sandler's Jill as a great source of ridicule. From my own experience of performing as an old woman in front of hundreds of parents and teachers (an interesting experience!), he does a pretty piss-poor job! The main problem about the film though is the script, for every problem that emerges here comes from its base, rotten core. Four writers, including Sandler, had a hand in this, and boy do they not tap into any realm of comic consciousness. There's a character in the movie who's catchphrase is "I'm kidding." "I'm kidding!" What the f**k is this s**t about, you bunch of r******d barking sea-lions, who've obviously been tossed into the f**king cesspool of humanity's s**t, p**s and j**m, and re-emerged as a perverse cocktail of comedy, and I use the word comedy in the broadest sense of the word: it's comedy by default, not comedy for laughs, you berks! Furthermore, your main source of 'comedy' in this film, Jill, is a morally reprehensible, racist, annoying, glutenous, ill-mannered, pompous and arrogant bitch who makes Hyacinth Bucket seem like welcome company! Thus, when you Sandler (as Jack) snap and go on a rant about how annoying she is, we don't feel sorry for her in any way whatsoever. We're supposed to sympathise with this monster, because surely the fact that she is content destroying everyone else's lives is an indication that she is damaged inside. No, fuck humility and humanity (and grammar consistencies), she's one big cow that deserves to be led to the slaughter! On another note, it is interesting to point out how many people seem to be involved in this picture on a workman-level capacity. Not just Sandler or Dennis Dugan (who would be working with Sandler by default), but also Dean Cundey. Dean Cundey! Yes, Dean Cundey! If that doesn't ring any bells, Dean Cundey shot some of the best films for John Carpenter (Halloween, Escape From New York, The Thing), Robert Zemeckis (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Back To The Future) and Steven Spielberg (Jurassic Park). From magnificent work on those films to this grand canyon of vomit, Mr Cundey, I salute you for your absolute shamelessness! And then we have the sound of the film. Now, I was sitting in a multiplex theatre and thinking throughout that if I got it out on DVD, at least the sound would be coming towards me, as opposed to all around me. Why I thought that you ask? Mmm? Well, it's because as if Michael Bay had overdosed on methamphetamine and decided to turn everything up as loud as damn well possible. Listening to the Drive soundtrack/score has reminded me of a film with some good sound editing, and how annoying it is when most mainstream filmmakers/producers negate their lazy, poor sound editing with the bulletproof equasion of LOUD MEANS FUNNY that tells you "hey, this is where you laugh!" I've seen all of the Transformers films in the cinema, and this was easily as loud. Half the time, I felt as though Yellowstone National Park was in the process of exploding! And finally, "just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in," for the music in the film is rubbish. Not content with butchering Run-DMC's 'It's Tricky' to a stupid twin-skipping-rope sequence, Rupert Gregson-Williams doesn't skip a predictable beat with this murder-by-numbers (you guessed it) appearance from the Emotional Heartstrings Orchestra, who once again just tick every single box in their list of trademarks. Oh, E.M.O., when will you go? People in Hollywood never seem to learn the difference between you and the Johnny Jewel's of this planet, the difference being that you guys suck.

Wow, I feel as though a cold rain has just washed over me, now that I've that shit off my head! I mean, it's like having to see the movie over again, when I crappy day of typically crappy weather in Belfast seems like a blessing, like I've been anointed in holy water. You know a movie is bad when Northern Ireland shitty weather is the best of the thing that has happened to you since you started watching the film (besides a toilet break). Frankly (Mr. Shankly) folks, I have nothing more to say about this film. I hated it, hated it, hated it! Right I've not wrote a review on it and a university paper on Jack and Jill, come, never let us speak of it again. In text format. Fuck, welcome back, Mac, welcome back!

The Thin White Dude's Prognosis - 0.8/10

The Thin White Dude's Self-Diagnosis - Famished (I'm watching Sopranos after reading some Ennui so there you go, A.S. Sandler!

P.S. Get Killing Joke's new album MMXII. I know that I've spent the best past of two years plugging Absolute Dissent, but this work here is the bomb and is up to that level of work. The phoenix has most certainly risen from the ashes! Honour The Fire!