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Expect more Adam Sandler in your Netflix feed. The streaming giant announced Friday that Sandler and his Happy Madison Productions have reached a new deal with Netflix to make four more films.
Adam Sandler himself has – not inaccurately – described Howard Ratner as selfish, but the character is also a cockeyed optimist, a dreamer, the quintessential American striver. He’s not a hero exactly, except perhaps a tragic one.
As part of a previous four-movie deal, Sandler has already produced and starred in two films for Netflix. While neither “Ridiculous 6” nor “The Do-Over” received anything close to good reviews, Netflix said Friday they are the biggest film releases for the service. Sandler’s next Netflix film, “Sandy Wexler,” debuts April 14.
“Let the nerds take over.” This is an official order handed down by President Cooper (Kevin James) during an alien invasion where Earth is being attacked by extraterrestrial life in the form of 1980s arcade games. In “Pixels,” directed by Chris Columbus, the 40-something self-described losers who spent too much time at the arcade are the ones who will inherit the Earth – led by their benevolent leader, Adam Sandler, of course. Sandler plays Sam Brennan, a video game whiz kid we meet in a 1982 prologue with his best friend Chewy, the one who inexplicably grows up to lead the free world – somehow the giant Pac-Man chomping through New York City requires less suspension of disbelief. Sam, his confidence destroyed after losing to Eddie “Fireblaster” in the “Donkey Kong” world championships, hasn’t gone as far as his pal. He’s ended up as a self-deprecating, aw-shucks but defensive employee of the Nerd Brigade, installing Playstations.
If you’re a huge Hollywood actor and you’ve just poured your heart out in an emotionally exhausting dramatic role, taking a job in a dumb thriller in which most of the work is done by a stunt double must feel like going on a vacation. Sure, everyone needs a break every once in awhile, but a lot of actors have been stuck in vacation mode for too long.
War, plague, pestilence, famine, tornadoes, drought, head lice, cold corn dogs, the fourth hour of the “Today” show, that Train song where the guy sings about wanting a two-ply Hefty bag – all of these things are far, far worse than “Grown Ups 2.” And yet sitting through this deluded, directionless, relentlessly puerile comedy somehow feels equally punishing. The first “Grown Ups” was a middling family comedy about a guy named Lenny (Adam Sandler) and his childhood friends (Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider) who reunite after their basketball coach’s death and reconnect by spending part of the summer together with their families.
“Bedtime Stories” is the kind of children’s tale that sounds like it would make a great book. Unfortunately, great books don’t always make great movies, and “Bedtime Stories” is far from a great film. Adam Sandler, in agreeable naïf mode, plays Skeeter, a maintenance worker with dreams of running the hotel that employs him. Of course, he has a villain to deal with: Kendall (Guy Pearce) is a dandy with impeccable manners and plans of taking over the hotel.
Adam Sandler plays a guy who, when he tells stories to his niece and nephew, finds the tales coming true. Running time/rating: 1:35; rated PG for mild rude humor and mild language.