When I first got Netflix I promised that these reviews would come in thicker and faster thanks to the multitude of movies available to me, but that hasn’t really been the case. I would apologise, but I actually watched some. Perhaps it’s you and your insistence that should apologise to me.
I was also going to do Mad Max, Avengers and Jurassic World, but I’m far too late for any of those now. My bad.
The Promotion (2008)
There’s something about John C Reilly’s friendly-ogre-ish face that I find relaxing, so it wasn’t hard for me to select this film from the list of appalling choices you’re offered on a service such as this. Combine him with Sean William Scott and hey, I figured there would be a laugh or two throughout the 90 minutes.
Scott plays the ambitious young…. supermarket assistant manager, with a young wife and a family on the way, angling for a promotion, and absolutely elated when he finds out that the franchise is opening a new outlet and seeking new management. He’s a shoe-in.
Enter Reilly, some bloke with little to no back-story who has come down from Canada solely to go for the job and, as all movies try to do, create conflict. Why he’s from Canada, I’m not exactly sure. If there’s a joke there, I’m not getting it, and South Park probably did it better anyway.
So begins the competition between the two, with Scott making many awkward choices and slowly losing his sanity while Reilly maintains an overly pleasant and non-confrontational air that cinema like this has taught me every single Canadian must possess. It ends as I’m sure you’re thinking it will.
The most confusing part of this movie was figuring out what it was trying to be. Two relatively high-profile stars in a movie marketed as a comedy means you have certain expectations of the film, but it instead tries to go as far as it can in the opposite direction, like an indie film, with an element of bleak humanity and enough acoustic music to make you think that a character might just choose to kill themselves at any moment.
It many ways it reminds you of a teen coming of age indie drama, except instead of young people discovering themselves, each other and life along the way, it’s two relatively disenchanted men, aged 36 and 48, fighting for a supermarket job. If you think that sounds funny, you’ll probably enjoy it. If you want a much, much better version of a somewhat similar film, go and watch Waiting. 3/10
That’s My Boy (2012)
I like Andy Samberg. The Lonely Island are a pretty damn funny comedy music group and Brooklyn Nine Nine has shown that he can be the lead as well.
I used to like Adam Sandler. Sure, Billy Maddison, Happy Gilmore and even The Waterboy were all pretty stupid, but they were my generation’s stupid. The Wedding Singer is a truly great film! The Hannukah song? Saturday Night Live? He’s got some funny shit, alright?
So why not combine the two of them as a father-son duo with the intention of comedy? That’s My Boy is 114 minutes of evidence that shows you EXACTLY why not.
Sandler plays a man who, as a 14 or 15 year old, had an obsessive sexual relationship with his teacher that ended in pregnancy. I suppose that was topical back in 2012 but the glorification of the child that follows throughout the opening credits takes an obvious joke and doesn’t just milk it, it rips the teat off.
And that’s what Sandler and his films have become, I guess – but it’s not like they were ever about tactful, sharp humour in the first place I suppose.
Sandler’s character ends up a broke strip-club regular and an alcoholic who hasn’t spoken to said son (who he named Han Solo) for many years, until he finds out he’s getting married. He arranges a TV reunion op with the mother, and so ensues the old ‘father pretending to be the best friend who rocks up at the wedding weekend preparations in an attempt to convince his son to do something that earns him money while pretending he loves him’ routine. It’s a bit like Meet The Parents but much, much worse.
The worst thing about this movie is that there’s nothing redeemable about Sandler’s character, but he never has to suffer the consequences. He’s a loser, he’s an asshole, but everyone loves him! His son has a promising career, a bright future ahead of him, and the father comes along and ruins it – and this is portrayed as a good thing! All the while he’s shrouded in glory and fame because he fucked his teacher. He masturbates to, and then has sex with, a wrinkly grandmother. All this and much more.
And in the end we’re supposed to believe it’s all OK because even his son’s fiancé was having sex with her brother? (Oh come on, you aren’t going to watch it anyway.)
It’s a deplorable film with no moral whatsoever. Andy Samberg should consider himself lucky this crap didn’t shoot down his career. Adam Sandler obviously doesn’t give a shit about his anymore. 1/10