Timothy Dalton did two Bond flicks in the 1980s and in my opinion, after watching one and a half of them, they are criminally underrated. When it comes to Bond movies, at least in the past few incarnations, I’ve found that there is at least one Bond film per actor that is absolutely stellar (i.e. Goldeneye for Pierce Brosnan or Skyfall for Daniel Craig) and then the others are acceptable or subpar (i.e. Tomorrow Never Dies for Brosnan or Quantum of Solace for Craig – really, the villain is stealing water?)
Dalton only did two Bond flicks and while I haven’t finished the second as of this post, both seem pretty solid, so I think he should have gotten at least a third. Oh well. Can’t have it all. (Coming this Summer – James Bond in “You Can’t Have It All.”
“The Living Daylights” captures the Cold War paranoia of the 80s but doesn’t go all out in silly 80s pageantry. Aha does the cool theme song (I think a rare case where a man sings it instead of a woman but I could be wrong) but there aren’t any real “OMG this movie is so 80s” moments ala “You’ve got the touch! You’ve got the power!”
Moving on. Bond has been dispatched to help Soviet general Koskov defect to the West, bringing all his secrets with him. After a silly, unlikely yet sort of ingenious escape plan is hatched, Bond cozies up with cellist Kara (Maryam D’abo) looking for answers as to why a clueless, non-professional was trying to kill the general.
Twists, turns and double-crosses ensue, all culminating in a showdown at a Soviet era base in Afghanistan (wow various countries have been at war with Afghanistan for a long time now). There’s a very cool scene at the end where Bond and a henchman fight while clinging to a large sack of opium bags dangling out the back of a military plane. (The sack contains a bomb about to explode, upping the ante.) It’s worth watching for that scene alone.
I’ll be back when I’m done watching “License to Kill” but suffice to say, I think Dalton deserves more Bond cred.
BQB here with a review of Liam Neeson’s latest attempt to reclaim his Taken glory days.
The plot is unlikely. For the past ten years, Tom Carter (Neeson) has been robbing banks and getting away with it. He has amassed a fortune of 9 million dollars, and his meticulous ability to get in and out of bank vaults without being caught has earned him the nickname, the In and Out Bandit.
When Carter falls in love with Annie (Kate Walsh), he decides to go legit. He doesn’t just swear off robbing banks. No, he calls the FBI to turn himself in. He loves Annie so much that he doesn’t want to hide any secrets from her, so he wants to come clean, do his time, and resume his relationship as an honest man.
Would an undetected bank robber actually turn himself in? Probably not, but hey, it’s a movie.
The plan goes awry when corrupt FBI agents (Jai Courtenay and Anthony Ramos) decide to abscond with the cash for themselves and frame Carter for the murder of their boss (Robert Patrick), Carter goes on the run, hunted as a wanton fugitive while trying to clear himself of false charges, dodging the efforts of a tiny dog loving FBI agent (Jeffrey Donovan) who will stop at nothing to bring Carter in.
Overall, it’s a cookie cutter mystery/thriller, kind of slapped together to keep Liam Neeon’s tough guy image going. You have to suspend disbelief at moments but it’s worth a watch.
It’s the end of the world as he knows it and Gerard Butler isn’t feeling fine.
BQB here with a review of this disaster flick.
This a good movie and definitely worth a rental. Sad it was released in the COVID era as it most likely would have put butts in seats in movie theaters. The effects were made for the big screen and the twists and turns are perfect for munching popcorn to.
Butler stars as John Garrity, a structural engineer estranged from his wife, Allison (Morena Baccarin). Personally, I’d never let myself get estranged from that but Gerard Butler gonna do what Gerard Butler gonna do. The man’s like in his 50s and I can only assume still bagging mad babes.
But I digress.
A comet is on the way and about to crash in an extinction level event, similar to the one that killed the dinosaurs. Due to Garrity’s job as a structural engineer, he and his wife and son have been selected for relocation to an underground shelter, joining a collective of people with skills and training necessary to rebuild the world.
SIDENOTE – I wonder if I’ll get chosen to go to the shelter in the event of an incoming comet collision. Surely, the post apocalyptic world will need blogs that are only read by 3.5 readers, as well as the bloggers who blog them.
But I digress again.
Many disaster movies only tangentially touch upon the sheer panic that would ensue during a catastrophe. Here, the dark side of humanity that comes out in desperate times is put on full display, warts and all. John and Fam will have to navigate rioters, looters, crazies, weirdoes, murderers, double-crossers and so on just to get to safety.
Thus, this film gets an A from me for realism – as real as a movie like this can get, anyway. It’s a dog eat dog world even on a good day, so when the world is only given a precious few days left, all hell breaks loose and no one can be trusted. Seriously, stop trusting people. I found myself shouting this at John and Allison throughout the movie. “STOP TRUSTING PEOPLE!”
Of all the jobs in the Old West, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks) has the coolest. He is the world’s first social media platform/news aggregating service. In other words, he wanders from town to town, reading articles from newspapers to townsfolk in exchange for their donations. In these pre-Netflix days, assembling to listen to a man read from a newspaper was apparently the height of entertainment.
During his travels, Kidd comes across a busted up wagon. An African American soldier has been attacked and hanged. His charge left to fend for herself? Johanna, a young white girl in Native American garb. She had been raised by the natives who attacked and killed her family. She speaks no English and her native family is the only family she has ever known.
Kidd takes it upon himself to go on a long trek to return the girl to finish the soldier’s mission and return her to her last known relatives, though it is a harrowing journey for sure. Kidd must fight his way through a vast assortment of Old West a-holes, from a pseudo-warlord trying to carve out a slice of Reconstruction era America for himself, where he serves as a type of cruel king, to a band of vile perverts who want to kidnap Johanna and sell her into a life of forced prostitution.
The captain, old, tired, and feeling as though he wasted his life and missed out on time with his wife to fight for the Confederacy during the Civil War, would prefer to live his remaining years in solitude, doing most of his talking during his rousing news readings, only to reflect quietly when he is alone on his failed goals and lost dreams, his wish for a family of his own that never came to fruition.
He’d rather remain stuck in his rut, but he is the only one in this harsh world who cares enough to see the child gets to safety, and the skills needed to do so. His greatest adversary in all of this? Johanna herself, who is trapped between two worlds, unable to trust anyone, often running away, leaving her old caretaker with no choice but to chase after her.
Overall, the movie is Oscar bait. A history piece with some insight into the Reconstruction Era South. The Union Army weren’t fans of the Southerners they were sent to keep watch on. The Southerners felt likewise. In short, everyone was quite angry, yet against this backdrop, Kidd yearns for a sense of personal peace.
The plot is more or less just Kidd has to get the kid to safety, but has to fight a collection of a-holes to do so. Tom Hanks, Hollywood’s Mr. Nice Guy, carries the film, as Kidd is a character guided by morality. He could have pawned the kid off on any number of lawmen, church folk, etc. but knows he will be unable to live with himself until he completes the mission.
Pretend I’ve been whipped with the lasso of truth, 3.5 readers, for this will be an honest review.
Some preliminary thoughts, in no particular order:
It’s been so long since I’ve seen a movie theater quality movie that it was nice.
I get why some reviews are calling it bad.
It’s not as good as the first one…
…but that is, largely in part, due to the fact that the first one was so good.
If we back up a few years, DC had totally botched its rollout of a DC Universe of movies that we hoped would rival what Marvel had done over the past decade. Instead, we got the horror show that was Batman vs. Superman and the Suicide Squad movie (I was the only one who liked it though even I admit it could have been better.)
In those days, we realized that DC wasn’t going for perfection, or anything near it. Instead, they were going for the quick cash grab, trying to rake in a big haul before the comic book movie bubble burst. (I’m not sure why they thought it would. If anything, there’s a hole to fill in the wake of the end of Marvel’s Avengers saga that DC could be stepping in to fill nicely had it taken its time to work on some good stories.)
At any rate, there was a lot of pressure on the first Wonder Woman film. BVS and SS were considered total failures and if WW had tanked, that would have been the end of DC movies for the foreseeable future.
Ahh, but then our favorite lasso wielding lady came in and stole the show, as well as our hearts. Her origin story, as an Amazon warrior princess who leaves the safety of her homeland to save the world from the destruction of World War I was quite harrowing indeed, and frankly, her presence saved the mediocre Justice League movie.
In DC’s defense, they had a bigger challenge. Marvel’s cast of characters were largely unknown to the movie going public, and so they were able to roll out each character with an origin story of their own, followed by flicks that tied the heroes together.
Meanwhile, we’ve already seen Baby Superman’s space capsule crash in Mr. and Mrs. Kent’s backyard 100 times on screen. We’ve seen Young Batman watch his parents get shot after a night at the theatre too many times too. We didn’t need any more origin stories for them and yet, we would have benefitted from stand alone adventures that introduced us to these versions of the well known characters.
Don’t even get me started on the drek that was Birds of Prey. DC should just pay to have all the copies recalled.
Thus, it’s hard for me to knock Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot is beautiful and charming and overall, this character and Gadot’s portrayal pulled DC’s bacon out of the fire. WW is now carrying the whole DC universe on her back and its sad, because if they’d put more thought into creating a cohesive cinematic world, then it would never have had to be that way.
Back to this movie.
We want it all and we want it now. We’ve felt that way for quite some time and the 1980s is arguably the decade where that sentiment began. Get rich. Get famous. Get this. Get that. Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie and give it to me today, not tommorrow.
This is evident from the opening said, where WW saves numerous citizens from, well…their own self-obsession. Idiots impressed with their fast car don’t noticed a jogger. A groom holds up his bride too close to a railing over a steep drop to get the best photo while dopey teenagers run from a store with their shoplifted goods. A pack of imbecile crooks who’d rather cause mayhem in a shopping mall than get caught and do the time attached to their crime. There’s an ongoing theme – everyone is obsessed with their own personal gain and only Wonder Woman can save them from…themselves.
Enter villain Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal aka Mando), a typical 1980s self-help type guru who promises his fans big riches if they buy into his BS. We quickly learn is schtick is but a mere pawnsi scheme, but when he gets his hands on a wishing stone that has wreaked havoc on past civilizations, he gets it all, but to a disastrous effect.
You see, 3.5 readers, at the start of the film, a young WW learns the hard way, back on Amazon Island (whatever it’s called) that nothing good in life is free and if we want something, we must put in the time and the effort. We must slug our way through to the end and drag our weary butts across the finish line. We can’t do things half-assed. We can’t take shortcuts. We can’t cheat our way to success and expect to grab a long lasting success that actually matters.
Referring to “The Monkey’s Paw Effect” (which assumes viewers have read the Monkey’s Paw or seen one of its many TV parodies), WW and company learn that wishing upon the stone comes with a terrible cost. When something is given, something else is taken away. In the Monkey’s Paw tale, an elderly couple wishes on a simian hand. They get, but they also lose…big time.
In reality, magical comeuppances are rare, but to cheat usually brings shame upon yourself. It damages your reputation. Makes people less inclined to trust you. To want to work with you. Ultimately, any ill gotten gain isn’t worth it. You would have been better off slugging away in the trenches of your profession, building yourself up than say, sleeping with your boss to get ahead, or slandering a rival or engaging in corporate espionage or what have you.
Comeuppances in exchange for wishes are bigger and bolder in this film, and that’s where it starts to fall apart. You see, Lord wishes to become the wishing stone, the granter of wishes, and thus, when he grants a wish, he decides what he wants to take from the wisher, and does so in order to fill his needs. Wishes beget more wishes, comeuppances beget more comeuppances, somehow this all escalates into global turmoil as world leaders enter the fray, wishing for madness and getting madness in return.
Ultimately, the movie is more of a lecture on the dangers of consumerism and the need to walk the straight path. If you want to be X, you need to get in line, wait your turn, and check off all the boxes that come with becoming X. Great lesson but, you know, we’d all prefer to see less lecturing and more of WW beating dudes senseless with her whip.
It was cool to see comedienne Kristin Wiig get her day in the sun. She’s that underdog you root for. Talented. Funny. Got to shine in Bridesmaids and then was never given another major vehicle until now. My main complaint is that she is WW’s nemesis, Cheetah, yet we see very little of Cheetah.
STAUS: Shelf-worthy. Overall, it’s a good movie and if you miss the theater experience as much as I do, you’ll enjoy this. It doesn’t beat the first, though it’s rare for a sequel to do so. Wonder Woman continues to be the best that DC/Warner Bros have to offer and if recent forays like Birds of Prey are any indication, poor Ms. Prince will be carrying the DC universe on her back for years to come…so if she wasn’t all you hoped and dreamed for this time around that a) you missed the movie’s point and b) give her a break. She’s doing a lot of work.
I wrote a review about this movie awhile back but I am too lazy to post a link to it. As lazy bloggers go, I am one of the laziest there has ever been…except for those bloggers who are so lazy they never even start blogs that are read by only 3.5 people. Those bloggers are truly the laziest.
But I digress. This movie is old but IMO, it holds up. It’s about growing up and how sometimes we have to settle for less to get more. Sometimes we have to abandon far fetched dreams in order to cling to the real success that is all around us.
Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) is a Manhattan socialite, always invited to every party. Her only means of support come from a) bilking dates out of money for the washroom, because apparently in 1961 you had to pay to poop (she would run out the back door without bringing back the date’s change and/or never made change because she never pooped in the first place) and b) delivering coded messages in the form of “weather reports” between the mafia and their imprisoned in Sing Sing don, though whether she understands the gravity of what she is doing is debatable. Spoiler: She probably does.
Holly’s great dream in life is to one day be a trophy wife, to land a big fish of a husband who is rich and able to pay for all of her needs and wants and desires so she can just have fun and live a happy, carefree lifestyle.
Ironically, her new neighbor, Paul Varjak (George Peppard) is, in a way, living the life Holly has always dreamed of, though he doesn’t enjoy it. Paul is a struggling writer but has won the “patronage” of a wealthy older woman who pays for his apartment and all of his expenses, under the auspices that she is a patron of the arts and believes in Paul so much that she wants him to be able to focus on his dream of writing that great mindbending, once in a generation novel that becomes the toast of the literary world. (But really, the underlying deal is that Paul is her personal man candy and has to give her the old badoinkity doink whenever she snaps her fingers.)
SIDENOTE: If any wealthy older women want to strike up a deal like that with yours truly, I’m all ears. Your sponsorship of all my living expenses will help me focus on writing my Toilet Gator novels, to the literary world’s benefit and I mean, if you’re a 5 or higher I guess the old badoinkity doink can be arranged.
Back to the movie. As Holly and Paul become friends, they realize the love they have for one another is pure and better than anything they could hope for, yet they must find it in their hearts to give up their long held dreams in order to grasp the real love right in front of them.
This means that Holly must abandon the notion of being a rich man’s kept trophy wife. This premise becomes more and more likely as Holly’s dates become increasingly boorish, leading her to include that it is unlikely that a rich man who would be OK to marry a woman who is only in it for the money would be anything but a miserable brute who would boss her around and try to control her.
This also means that Paul will have to, horror of horrors, abandon the arrangement he has with his older grand dame, say goodbye to his hope of spending years on writing a fantastic novel, and GASP get a day job! Ack!
From there on, it’s a will they or won’t they scenario. You don’t want them to abandon their dreams, but you don’t want them to abandon their love either. Ultimately, for their love to work, they’ll both have to become 9 to 5 working stiffs and lead a middle class life. Their pie in the sky dreams will be dashed but they will have their love which is real.
So ultimately, the film is an argument for settling for less to get more and I can tell you, 3.5 readers, that I settled a long time ago and…I wish I hadn’t. I really regret it. Maybe I shouldn’t. But that’s the human condition. We grab hold of something real in lieu of something we might grab tomorrow and then rather than appreciate what we grabbed we start thinking, “Well, what if I had waited another year? Would I have gotten what I wanted?”
Maybe Paul would have written that great novel if he had just kept badoinking that old gal for another year. Maybe Holly would have one day met that rare, one in a million rich man with a heart of gold willing to be her personal ATM machine while not trying to control her comings and goings and doings.
But maybe they would have also just grown old and alone. Maybe the old rich lady would have found a younger struggling writer to patronize and kicked Paul to the curb. Maybe Holly would have never found a rich man and would have just ended up living in her apartment all alone forever.
You never know, 3.5 readers. You only know how your choices worked out. You never get to learn how the paths you didn’t take would have worked out, so try not to wallow in regret…or do. It’s a free country.
But above all else, remember to settle because it will make you happy…but also, it might not, so I guess, don’t settle and keep shooting for your dreams.
Do whatever. It rarely matters anyway. I mean, seriously, Audrey and George are long dead so nothing we do matters in the grand scheme of things. All we are is dust in the wind as the song goes.
SIDENOTE: It was fun to see George as a young man because I only knew him as Hannibal, the leader of the A Team when I was a kid. George didn’t settle for less. He went all in on his acting dreams, was the leading man in this movie and then was rewarded later in life by having to don a parachuting lizard costume in a TV show as an old man. So, it worked out for him. I assume he enjoyed it. Maybe not. He’s dead so I can’t ask him.
DOUBLE SIDENOTE: Mickey Rooney’s portrayal of Holly’s Asian neighbor is awful. I know it was 1961 but even so, you’d think one person on the set would have been like, “Dude, WTF?”
This movie is that big piece of candy you reach for. You know you should be going for the meat and potatoes or better yet, a healthy tofu platter but damn it, it tastes good going down, even though you know it’s going to leave you with a tummy ache in a half hour, wondering why the hell you bothered with it in the first place.
BQB here with a review of a movie that’s found new life in the Netflix charts as of late, “Knock Knock.”
Going into this movie, you know it’s a horror film of sorts. It’s directed by Eli Roth, who has given us strange and bizarre horror films filled with exploitative sex and gore. The sex is here big time while the gore is not but Roth replaces the gore with weird mind games.
Keanu Reeves plays Evan, a middle aged family man who stays at home one fateful weekend while his beautiful wife and family go on a beach trip. All alone and swamped with work, Evan answers the door to find two scantily clad young women claiming to be lost in the rain. Would he mind letting them in to dry off and get their bearings and find out what to do?
Now here’s where I differ from most men put into this situation. As my 3.5 readers know, I am incredibly ugly and hideous, such that I make Gollum look like Matthew McConaughey by comparison. Thus, if a random hot, scantily clad woman comes on to me, I know fraudulence is afoot. There’s no possibly way she could be warm for my form because my form is blobular due to a life long crippling pizza addiction. Ergo, if a woman comes onto me, I know she’s trying to murder me or set me up for blackmail or going to rob me or what have you so in such a situation I would see through the ruse and slam the door in the faces of the women immediately.
Frankly, I’m so jaded that I’ll never trust a woman who doesn’t empty the contents of no less than three cans of mace into my face upon meeting me, but enough about me. Back to the review.
Keanu is handsome and his character is rich, so I guess I can see how he would figure these babes are legit into him. Even so, one might think he’d be intelligent enough to think that things that are too good to be true, i.e. two hotties showing up out of nowhere ready to party constitute a gift horse whose mouth should be thoroughly examined.
The first half of the film leaves us wondering what are these women going to do, because you know it is something. Are they going to murder him? Rob him? Blackmail him? Something else?
The second half of the film leaves us wondering why the women are doing what they are doing to Evan. Has he wronged them in some way that has yet to be revealed? Is he a horrible person who deserves it and there’s just some clue we have yet to see? What is the purpose of all this mayhem?
SPOILER ALERT: There’s a lot of build up for very little payoff. After Evan caves into temptation, the women (Lorenza Izzo as Genesis and Ana de Armas as Bel) put Keanu through a series of tortures, each creepier than the next. I hate to say it but some of them are even humorous, though I don’t think they were intended to be. There’s something about watching veteran actor Keanu buried up to his head in dirt while the women taunt him that makes me wonder if we weren’t better off in the Golden Age of Hollywood when 50 something actors would gracefully retire, only to maybe return once in awhile to play a kindly grandpa, whereas today dudes like Keanu rub some shoe polish in their hair so they can be chased around by psycho babes on camera well into their golden years. I don’t know. At any rate, Evan is subjected to all manner of punishments, though an explanation as to how or why these women decided to go around, offering their goodies to married men only to punish them if they partake is never fully explained.
Is there a moral to this story? Men are, by nature, animals, as are all creatures. In our cavemen days, men claimed any woman they wanted as long as they were strong enough to carry them back to the cave and I doubt that was a situation that ever worked out well for the woman.
The years passed and man became domesticated, realizing that the best goal in life is to win the heart of a woman, to marry and form a partnership, create a stable home, family etc.
In theory, men often torture themselves. If I’d waited, would I have been able to find more women? Could I have become rich and successful and attracted a vast array of hotties if I hadn’t tied myself down to the old ball and chain?
Probably not. And the irony is, it was hard, at least for me, to not feel sorry for Evan. Here is a dedicated family man, husband and father who brings home the bacon and at the start of the film, enjoys an idyllic life. He does not appear to be the kind of man who cheats and it is doubtful he would ever go out looking for another woman, i.e. he isn’t patrolling the bars late at night or anything. Left to his own devices he would never stray, but put two random naked beauties in front of him and his animal instincts kick in.
In such a scenario, does he deserve to be punished? Isn’t this entrapment? Or is that the moral of the story? Perhaps it wouldn’t happen in this way. Perhaps two too good to be true babes will never show up at your door. However, temptation is everywhere (again, if you’re Keanu) so…I don’t know. A flirtation with a waitress. An emotional affair with a coworker. You get tempted one time, you stray just one time and that’s all it takes to ruin your idyllic married life. And would those women punish you as in bury you in your head in dirt and try to kill you? No, but you know, they might take your money or ruin your reputation or leave you divorced and penniless and at that point, you might wish they had buried you alive and put you out of your misery.
Again, this would never happen to me as I don’t trust any woman who doesn’t instantly pepper spray me. You’re a woman and you want my trust? Pepper spray me directly in the eyeballs. Then I will know you are a woman of good moral fiber.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. It is a terrible movie and yet like a flaming dumpster fire full of poo, it is hard to not look away. I’m not sure why Keanu did this movie as it seems beneath him other than I guess he got a paycheck and got to hang out with naked babes though I doubt he needs Hollywood’s help in the money and babe departments at this stage of his life so, who knows.
A serial killer run amuck! An American forced to work with Europeans!
BQB here with a review of “The Postcard Killings.”
I liked this one. In a year where there hasn’t been much in the way of new releases, this was a good mystery. Plus, as a fan of The Walking Dead, it was good to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan not just in a lead role, but in a role that’s a real person and not a cartoon character come to life.
Morgan plays Jacob Kanon, an American cop who arrives in London when his daughter in son-in-law are murdered during their honeymoon vacation. Unwilling to wait while the Brits discover whodunnit, he throws himself into the fray, quickly learning that similar murders have occurred all throughout Europe, brutal killings in which the victims are posed in positions similar to famous works of art.
Along the way he works with journalist Dessie Lombard (Cush Jumbo) and his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) to crack the case.
I suppose I can’t say much more without revealing the plot but overall, it’s a good mystery.
BQB here with a review of this Netflix horror/comedy.
This movie was a fun, silly surprise, reminding me of all those 1980s horror films of yesteryear where plucky kids would band together to fight monsters because their out of touch, unable to believe in the unbelievable parents won’t lift a finger. Though it takes place in modern times, it feels inspired by The Goonies, the Monster Squad or what have you.
Here, the vamps come in the form of a real estate company, buying up every house and store in the Bronx and replacing them with trendy, foofoo chic crap – i.e. condos, artisan butter stores and so on. To comic effect, one bodega owner tries to get in on the action, attempting to peddle kale and oat milk to the influx of wealthy yuppies.
Enter heroes Miguel, Luis and Bobby who discover that this real estate scheme is just a front for the vamps to hide their coffins under the neighborhood’s collective nose, so the bloodsuckers can feast on the locals. They might do something to stop it if Miguel’s mother will ever stop yelling at him out the window about how he needs to change his underwear while he’s trying to chat up some girls.
Humor and shenanigans ensue as the kids go on a quest to bring the vamps down, while inept adults occasionally help or hinder their progress.
And yes, I suppose the overall point of the movie is to compare white purchasing and “gentrification” of minority neighborhoods to vampirism but I’ll let you 3.5 readers get into the politics of it all.
Well, I suppose I had to watch it sooner or later.
BQB with a review of Adam Sandler’s latest Netflix movie, “Hubie Halloween.”
I wish I could remember who said this so I could give them credit, and I’m going to be paraphrasing here, but I remember one time a reviewer likened Adam Sandler to a drug dealer in that both provide products that the public consumes and yet both never stop to think if they should. Ouch.
However, as Sandler movies go, this isn’t his worst, and if you’re looking for a film that will put you in the Halloween spirit without being too scary, this will work.
Sandler returns to his Waterboyish demeanor as Hubie Dubois, the constantly dumped on and made fun of town doofus in Salem, MA, which you history buffs may recall was the home of the Salem Witch trials in the 1600s and thus has been the locale of many a Halloween based movie.
Hubie is a man child, having never really grown up. He works in a deli and in his free time, he holds himself out as a self-appointed town volunteer, involving himself in this or that cause on the auspices of being a good citizen but ultimately, you the viewer quickly realize that this guy is so awkward and lonely that he basically volunteers for a reason just to come into contact with people.
His favorite time of year is Halloween and as the town’s self-appointed “Halloween monitor” he spends his days in October snitching on kids who are purchasing absurd amounts of eggs and toilet paper, lecturing school kids on Halloween safety and dodging all the various objects that townsfolk throw at him while riding his biycyle.
Long story short, someone is kidnapping townsfolk on Halloween night and it is up to Hubie and his trusty Swiss Army thermos full of soup to solve the case. Along the way, he’ll have to dodge bullies like Ray Liotta, Time Meadows and Maya Rudolph, collaborate with police officer Kevin James, and win the love of his high school crush (Julie Bowen who I recognized but wasn’t sure from what until I looked it up and realize she played Sandler’s love interest in Happy Gilmore and has still got it!)
I’ll be honest, I’m not sure who this movie is for. Sandler still practices that old school style of unwoke comedy though you can sort of tell it was run through a filter where various suits probably told him “You can’t do this or that or this or that and here’s as far as we’ll let you go.”
As someone who was alive during Sandler’s early heyday, I appreciate his style, though Im not sure many today still do…or then again maybe they do as this movie is ranked in the Netflix’s top ten as of late (at least, last I checked).
It does have some swears and some adult jokes, yet overall it is silly and childish so I can’t see adults loving it – it is Halloween based so you’d think it would be for the kids yet due to the aforementioned swearing and adult jokes, I’m not sure you’d want your young kids to watch it either. I believe it is PG 13 which seems about right.