Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE WRONG MISSY (Netflix…also a Happy Madison production, so you can already see where I’m going with this)

Let’s do a Happy Madison Production check list shall we? If you don’t know what Happy Madison Productions are…you must’ve been quarantining yourself long before COVID-19. As a refresher, Happy Madison is Adam fucking Sandler’s production company that he started after his first several crude and crass comedies did huge business. He took the ‘Happy’ from what is probably his most beloved film, Happy Gilmore, and then took Madison from Billy Madison, his first foray into feature films that abundantly featured man childishness, and boom!, there you have it, his production company. Really, arguably, the only good Happy Madison movies are the early ones: 50 First Dates, Mr. Deeds and Funny People…and I’ll throw a couple of guilty pleasures in there like The Hot Chick, Little Nicky, Click and The Longest Yard remake (Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy, Tommy Boy, Black Sheep, A Night At The Roxbury, Wayne’s World 1 & 2, Dirty Work & Big Daddy are not included in these because the production company wasn’t formed until Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo in 1999, and those were mostly produced by Lorne Michaels and are kind of considered Saturday Night Live films). That’s it, that’s all that is good. Out of Happy Madison pictures you only get 7 to 10 half way decent films (you could put Grandma’s Boy in to get to the latter, but I didn’t really care for that film, I see the appeal though). Out of 50, yes I counted. OUT OF 50. That’s 20%, MAX. And out of those 50, only one is a genuine rom com masterpiece, ironically being 50 First Dates. That is not a good track record. If you go on Wikipedia, and start counting how many Happy Madison production films you like out of those 50, and you get to anywhere above 15…you are a dumb shit. Sorry, but you are. You don’t know good cinema, and you should stop watching shit now. Anyway, sorry for berating you, let’s get to that checklist that makes a Happy Madison film a Happy Madison film, and not in a good way:

  • the whole excuse to have this movie is Adam Sandler and co. can go on an all expenses paid vacation while shooting another unfunny disaster
  • if Sandler is no where to be seen, you can bet that his wife has a small role and that 5 to 6 of his dumb ass hack no talent friends, such as Nick Swardson, Rob Schnieder, Vanilla Ice, etc. show up in dumb cameos/small roles (the vacation is for them too you know)
  • poorly written crude and crass humor that stopped working in 1999.
  • unfunny over the top unbelievable situations that would never happen in real life
  • a psychotic character that somehow normalizes in the span of two minutes and has absolutely no character development whatsoever
  • if David Spade is in it, and if he isn’t playing Joe Dirt, he looks bored out of his mind
  • since Chris Farley is dead, one of his unfunny brothers show up
  • lazy direction
  • you can blame the entirety of the awful experience if you watch one of these on Adam Sandler and Adam Sandler alone.

THE WRONG MISSY checks off ALL OF THESE BOXES. This movie is an unmitigated disaster and easily one of the worst films of 2020 if not THE worst. I would rather watch The Main Event again than this absolutely unfunny garbage of a movie. I can only give this movie one little shred of credit, and that goes to who plays the woman named Missy herself: Lauren Lapkus. She plays the psychotic character in the checklist I just mentioned, she is basically co-lead along with David Spade, and she gives it her all. I completely believed she was a nightmare person that I would never, ever, ever, ever want to hang around with let along meet in real life. Like you don’t want to watch the movie, but you can’t take your eyes off her performance as you are wondering…did they give her actual drugs before each take to get her THAT crazy? The only way I would recommend watching this movie is to just fast forward to the parts with her in it and just see how bat shit crazy her performance gets. It’s a wonder to behold, I have never seen an actor/actress go to that level. It was an experience…I just wish it were in a better film. The Wrong Missy has a stupid premise and quickly gets all the characters to a exotic resort so that all the directors, producers, actors and their families can just go on vacation when Tyler Spindel yelled cut: A man accidentally invites a crazy blind date from his past who shares the same name as the woman of his dreams to his work retreat.

David Spade plays the straight man again, and I usually love when he does so (see guilty pleasure: Lost & Found, NOT a Happy Madison production!), but in this, he couldn’t look more like he wanted to kill himself if he tried. I bet it was all frowns on camera, and then once it was vacation time, his mood probably brightened up a bit. The second Adam Sandler’s friend, Nick Swardson, shows up in this, I rolled my eyes and knew it would be another awful Happy Madison film (and he shows up early in this film with a continual unfunny running joke of he basically knows all of Spade’s characters media passwords and spies on him because he has nothing better to do). There’s every kind of crude and crass joke that has been over done in this: loads of dumb dick & fart jokes, old tone deaf rape jokes, throw up jokes, threesome sex physical Three Stooges comedy jokes, constant disgusting lazy sex jokes, constant disgusting lazy sex jokes, and constant disgusting lazy sex jokes. And it goes on and on and on and on, not one character sympathetic and absolutely no one you can relate to, except if you’ve been on multiple awful dates with a person and just want to get to ghosting them so they leave you alone, and maybe hope to give them a hint to change their behavior, but they won’t, and they will never, ever learn.

Oh, and predictability. Don’t forget that. This movie is the most predictable movie since…I don’t know what. You know that the correct Missy, played by an underused gorgeous Molly Sims, is going to show up at one point, and Spade will realize that he wants to be with the lunatic he’s spent countless minutes trying to get rid of because of a forced 2 second character development where the wrong Missy shows that she can be normal for two seconds…so after those two seconds…I guess Spade decides to fall in love with her character? OH GOD, somebody fucking kill me please. This thing was one long, annoying, unfunny, obnoxious, stupid, lazy, uninspired, unmotivated 90 minute piece of shit. Awful. If you know your Happy Madison production movies, I can only say that it is maybe a step above disasterpieces such as Sandy Wexler or the boring The Week Of. And that is only because of Lauren Lapkus’ bat shit crazy performance as Missy. Watching a couple of those scenes should be your only foray into watching any of this. If you end up watching the whole thing, and think it is actually a decent fucking movie, something is wrong with you and you need to just stop and quarantine yourself even more than you already are. Anybody who likes this movie is stupid. STOO-PID. The Wrong Missy is the wrong movie to be on your Netflix cue. You should really rethink your life if Netflix recommends this title to you. Either that or you need to make sure to hit the thumbs down after you watch the movie to make sure bullshit like this never shows up on the Netflix main screen ever again. Fuck you Adam Sandler…FUCK. YOU. You better be glad that Uncut Gems was that good and not a part of your production company.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: UNCUT GEMS (no spoilers)

Well, here is the 2nd to last review I will publish in the year 2019 (last will be Little Women) and who would’ve thunk that it would be my 2nd favorite film of the year. A film that stars…ADAM FUCKING SANDLER. When is the last time a movie he has been in has been in my top 10…wait…scratch that…top 20 list? Big Daddy…and that’s a HARD maybe. I don’t honestly have any fucking clue. Maybe not since Happy Gilmore or Billy Madison has he been on my best list. (I’m sorry I just didn’t care for Punch Drunk Love all that much, sorry Paul Thomas Anderson brown nosers…) And when is the last year he hasn’t been on a place on my worst list? (FUN FACT: Sandler DOES have a movie on my worst list this year, Murder Mystery, but this more than makes up for that shit show). UNCUT GEMS is unlike anything you have ever seen before. Especially from Adam Sandler, who easily gives us his best performance in a movie. Ever. Ever, ever, ever , ever, and unless he dives right into something like this again, this is probably the only really high peak he’ll ever have, besides the mid to late 90s guilty pleasure comedy peaks. Uncut Gems is dark, gritty, and white knuckle suspenseful. And the dark and gritty doesn’t just pertain to the subject matter, but the fantastic cinematography as well, which makes it looks like a film that was shot in the 70s. It’s just my definition of a perfect movie. I had a really hard time deciding between this and Knives Out as the best film of the year.

But I chose Knives Out, because I had a little more fun with that movie. But make no mistake, this one is just as good but even better in parts. You will not have any clue where the movie is going to take you, as I found it very unpredictable. I had guessed what the ending was about halfway through the film, and was completely cut off guard when it wasn’t close to what I thought would happen. This is one of those films that have those neat little set ups that have great big pay offs later. GREAT. BIG. PAYOFFS. And then there are some little set ups that don’t have any kind of pay off, which is a pay off in itself, as it subverts your expectations in the last act. It’s a film that I would watch over and over again, just like The Safdie Brothers (writers and directors on this) last film Good Time. If you haven’t seen Good Time, I highly recommend watching it too. Robert Pattinson’s performance is phenomenal in that and the film is just as good as this one. If you don’t know what the film is about, hopefully this log line or two helps you out a bit: Taking place in 2012, Adam Sandler stars as a high end jewelry store owner named Howard Ratner, a Jewish-American that is addicted to gambling. He is in debt over his head with bookies (one including his brother-in-law) and is trying to sell this uncut opal at auction he gambled with getting oversees from this Ethiopian Jewish Mining Company, and it is valued at $1 million dollars. He is about to go through a divorce with his wife, played be Idina Menzel, they have two sons who he hardly gives the time of day to, and is dating his hot young employee named Julia, (in a incredible first performance by Julia Fox) who is as gold digging as they come. That’s it. That’s all you need to know about the movie.

From the first several scenes, you know that Adam Sandler is actually trying and giving a shit in this role. Now, while I don’t think it is Oscar award worthy (unless there wasn’t any good competition this year), I think he certainly should get a nomination. And it is with this one key scene near the end of the film where he is watching a Celtics game with Kevin Garnett, who plays himself in this (remember, this film takes place in 2012), and Sandler’s character has a bet riding on his game. Sandler’s reaction to what happens within the game is priceless and totally shed my image that it was Sandler in the role. I thought it was someone else. It is quite a brilliant moment. The rest of the film he uses his usual obnoxious-ness in a great way, making this character unique and his own. It is worth just seeing Uncut Gems for Sandler’s performance alone. But if you stay seated through the whole thing, and pay attention, you realize you get more bang for your buck. As the movie has near perfect narrative structure and pacing. The whole movie is one big roller coaster ride of moments, some tense as fuck, and a couple of great comic relief bits, but all played seriously. And the last half hour is so God damn tense, your hands will be sweating and hurting grabbing your theaters arm rests so tight.

I love, love, love, love this movie. And after this and Good Time, I cannot WAIT to see The Safdie Brothers next film. Just discovered that they have a film before these two called Heaven Knows What, which has a high mark with critics and audiences. Need to check that out very soon. I mean even the musical score is unqiue: uplifting, yet haunting (you’ll see). Here’s the point: we are likely never going to get another Adam Sandler film that is even remotely close to how good Uncut Gems is. So if you are a huge Adam Sandler fan, rejoice for this movie, just know that it isn’t his usual phoning it in lazy comedic performance you’ve gotten used to the past couple of years on Netflix. If you can’t deal with that, I feel very sorry for you. Adam Sandler haters: GIVE. THIS. FILM. A. CHANCE. It might not completely change your opinion on Sandler (my opinion? He needs to cut the Netflix horseshit and do more stuff like this but I know he needs to take his family on free vacations so that won’t change), but you might be one to put your hand to your chin, and maybe agree that he’s capable of great things in the right role. Maybe if he gets enough praise for this, we won’t have to suffer through his Netflix bullshit much longer. Maybe he’ll get inspired to give us a late career great show. But if we stick to the present, I’m just glad we now have this great gem that I can keep revisiting in the future.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: MURDER MYSTERY (Netflix) (No Spoilers)

MURDER MYSTERY is Adam Sandler’s best Netflix film. But it’s still a piece of shit and one of the worst films of the year. Other than the wonderful Chris Farley tribute song Sandler’s has been doing with his stand up tour and just redid on a recent episode of SNL (the whole episode wasn’t bad either), he has been on autopilot ever since after Funny People bombed at the box office. So when you think hard about his filmography, what is Adam Sandler’s last best film? I myself unfortunately couldn’t come up with just one answer but instead three different films in three different categories: 1. Sandler’s last film where he wasn’t on autopilot but the film wasn’t all that good – Funny People. 2. Sandler’s last film that was good fun but not great and he wasn’t on autopilot – Click. 3. Sandler’s last great best film – 50 First Dates. So if you want to go with option 3, that means Sandler hasn’t made a good film since 2004….Holy….Shit….a decade and a half. Abbie Doobie!!!

If you laughed at those last two jibberish words you probably could’ve once called yourself an Adam Sandler fan. At least when he was doing his jibberish routine in Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, and The Waterboy, he actually made us laugh and was trying to bring the funny. Every film he does now he is either doing it for the paycheck, the ability to take his real family on vacation while he works….or both. And it seems like every time the director yells action in a Sandler film now, Adam pops a Xanax right before he mumbles his first line. Murder Mystery is no different. I don’t want to even explain the plot so I’m just going to give credit to IMDB.com and just copy and paste their one line summary: “A New York cop and his wife go on a European vacation to reinvigorate the spark in their marriage, but end up getting framed and on the run for the death of an elderly billionaire.” See the key word there? Vacation? If you like films that struggle to find endless jokes about Claritin Vs. Allegra, random goats in the road, and aged ham combined with really dumb physical comedy that has absolutely no point, this film is for you. And unfortunately you are also to blame for these types of movies being made.

Unless you are living under a rock you probably know that Jennifer Aniston is in this movie too. And with this and Dumplin’ now under her belt, are we to assume she’s going to be the next once big celebrity stuck in this endless loop of Netflix assembly lined manufactured bullshit? Probably. In my opinion, I don’t think Jennifer Anison has ever been that great of an actress. She showed some potential in the movie Cake, but in everything else she seems like the same character. Again, in Murder Mystery, it is no different. She plays a bumbling wife on autopilot. So you are probably asking yourself if I hate Adam Sandler’s recent movies so much, why in the fuck did I bother even watching this? Gemma Arterton. Probably one of the most gorgeous women on the planet and was the only one in this that felt like they actually wanted to be there and actually tried. I will literally watch everything she does. And in the back of my mind did I have an alterior motive where I wanted another film to add onto my worst list of 2019? Abso-fucking-lutely.

Now I said in my opening that this was Adam Sandler’s best Netflix film, which is true, I wasn’t lying. I will give it two commendations. One, I did not guess who the killer was correctly. I had two theories, both were proven wrong. Two, Adam Sandler’s dumb friends don’t show up in this movie to ruin it. Well, to be fair, one of them makes a cameo as a disgruntled tourist, but the person has two lines, is far off, and I couldn’t tell at all it was Allen Covert until I looked it up, and those lines weren’t memorable for being stupid. So we’ll still count number two as a commendation. The rest of the movie is just filth. Adam Sandler’s arc is that he’s a cop (Sergeant) that has failed his detective exam three times, so I assumed that the movie would use his detective skills to prove he should actually be one in the end. WRONG. Sandler does maybe real detective work in only one scene and that is at the climax in a room where all the survivors are gathered. And that’s a HARD maybe. The rest of the movie characters just come to him and spout off bullshit and in another scene him and Aniston are making up dumb questions to ask the suspects in order for them to possibly confess. There is no real detective work done throughout the entire movie (save for the climax where he is literally putting two lines of dialogue/information together) , and in fact, if I was Sandler’s boss in that fictional world, I would fire his ass for being the most inept lazy cop in existence.

The whole time while watching the movie I was thinking of different and better ways the film could’ve gone, and obviously it didn’t go with any of those options. This entire film was an excuse for Sandler to go on vacation while he does some work on Xanax, while the director gets some gorgeous shots of a foreign city and country side. So other than Sandler, who is to blame? When looking this movie up I was surprised to find out that Sandler didn’t even write the fucking screenplay. But I wasn’t shocked by who it was, James Vanderbilt. He is responsible for Amazing Spider-Man 2, Independence Day 2, Darkness Falls, Basic, and White House Down. Literally the only film he has written that was great was Zodiac, but I have a feeling that was more because of David Fincher’s direction than it was the actual script. So in the end, with Netflix and Sandler, if you have the choice of watching Ridiculous 6, The Do-Over, Sandy Wexler, The Week Of, or Murder Mystery, which one should you choose? Always know that there is the option of not watching any of them at all. Think outside the box, something that Sandler hasn’t done in 15 years.