Jack and Jill (2011)

This is the Guy Who’s Gonna do a Dunkin’ Donuts Commercial.

Today’s movie was not a request.  Instead, it sprang forth as a sign of my own self-loathing.  I’m pretty sure that everybody that saw the trailer for this movie knew better than to see it, but I saw it and said “I wanna make fun of that.”  That was, of course, once I had figured out that the trailer wasn’t a joke, like some Funny or Die mock trailer.  When I found out it was a real movie, it was on.  But there was no way in Hell that I was going to the theaters to see it.  Instead, I waited patiently for the moment it popped up in a RedBox near me and called to me.  And now the time has come to talk about Jack and Jill, written by Steve Koren, Robert Smigel, and Adam Sandler, directed by Dennis Dugan, and starring Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes, Al Pacino, Rohan Chand, Elodie Tougne, Eugenio Derbez, Tim Meadows, Nick Swardson, Allen Covert, Valerie Maheffey, Gad Elmaleh, and Gary Valentine, with cameos by Dana Carvey, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Norm MacDonald, Regis Philbin, Shaquille O’Neal, Lamar Odom, Bruce Jenner, Johnny Depp, Drew Carey, Jared Fogle (The Subway Jared), and John McEnroe.

Jack Sadelstein (Adam Sandler) works in advertising and lives with his wife, Erin (Katie Holmes), and his two children, Gary (Rohan Chand) and Sofia (Elodie Tougne).  His twin sister, Jill (don’t make me say it) comes to visit his family for Thanksgiving.  She’s annoying as shit, causing Jack to snap at her occasionally, which causes her to extend her vacation so that she doesn’t leave on a bad note.  Jack is also stressed because his work wants him to get Al Pacino (himself) to do a commercial for Dunkin’ Donuts and their new drink, the Dunkachino.  Luckily for Jack, Al Pacino develops a crush on Jill when they first meet.  But Jill, even though she’s incredibly lonely, is having none of Scarface and his tomfoolery.  That’s when shit gets really crazy.

The truth about this movie is a rather surprising one: It’s not as painfully bad as I expected from the commercials and trailers.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s also not good and not very funny, but it wasn’t PAINFULLY so.  It was just another mediocre Adam Sandler comedy (as he’s prone to making these days) with a shitty premise and a good meaning to it.  The premise of the movie seems like Adam Sandler just found out about the phenomenon of twins, ran into the office of his writing partners, and exclaimed “Did you guys know that two people of different genders can look exactly alike?  I have such the movie for you guys!”  And then it was off and running.  Putting Adam in a dress, having him do a voice we’ve heard him do before for her, and having him play opposite himself like Mike Myers.  And then they needed a conflict.  How about one as original as “siblings don’t get along”?  BRILLIANT!  The whole Al Pacino subplot is original, but many people thought it was insane for Al Pacino to fall in love with a female version of Adam Sandler.  That part I can actually get behind.  Pacino seems that crazy.  Then you tie the whole thing up with some “love your siblings for who they are” mess and you have a movie.  All of this would have been forgivable if they made the movie funny, but they didn’t.  The only part that made me laugh was in one of their cameos.  It’s at the basketball game where Jack is trying to talk to Pacino and Jill doesn’t really know who he, nor the person he’s watching the game with, are.  The only funny part of the movie is when Jill asks the friend (are you listening, Loni?) Johnny Depp if he was in Duran Duran, and Johnny says “Yeah, that was me.”  I’ve just saved you two hours!  Except for Loni, that is, who will now watch this movie just because Johnny Depp is in it for two minutes and has words coming out of his mouth.  The whole movie winds up being thoroughly “blah”, with a few moments that are cute, but just as many moments that are painfully not funny.  Jack’s son, Gary, has some strange habit of taping things to himself that is stupid and completely insane, but they managed to get a little bit of almost funny out if it, like when he tapes a salt shaker to his head and Jill uses the shaker while it’s still on his head.  Near the end of the movie, there’s a part where Jack and Jill show off their fantastic jump roping abilities together that is just painfully not funny.  There’s also an entire scene at the picnic of Jack’s gardener that was so blatantly stereotypical that even I came close to finding it really offensive, and I’m not even Mexican (thank God).

The performances did what they could with what was written, but never really impressed either.  Adam Sandler is probably the most to blame for this movie, having written it and for playing two roles in it.  As Jack, he was mainly just normal, but never really realistic.  As Jill, he was annoying and about as far from realistic as you could get.  The problem for me of making the sister so utterly annoying is that you don’t really sympathize with her when Jack is rude to her.  I would be too!  Al Pacino played himself like I want to imagine him: completely insane.  He had a couple of entertaining parts, like when Jill accidentally broke his Oscar and said, “Oh, I’m sure you have others,” and he said, “You’d think so, but no.”  Maybe it’s because you’re doing movies like Jack and Jill now, and not Godfathers and Scarfaces.  I also found him entertaining at the very end of the movie when he was in a bar dressed as Don Quixote.  I like Tim Meadows, Nick Swardson, Dana Carvey, Norm MacDonald, and David Spade, but none of them really brought any comedy to this beyond David Spade being in drag just like Sandler.  As with most Sandler movies, there are a huge number of cameos in this movie, but none (beyond Johnny Depp) ever did anything for me, it was just interesting that they were there in the first place.

Jack and Jill isn’t as bad as you expect it to be.  It’s just regular bad.  It’s a pretty bad premise to base a movie on, it’s not that great of a story, and the only part I found really funny was delivered by a cameo actor.  I can’t surprise any of you by saying that I recommend you watch this movie, even for a dollar.  You can’t really mock a comedy MST3k style because comedies are already trying to be funny and any joke you’d make would just be “That was dumb.”  That being the case, there’s no reason to see this.  Jack and Jill gets “Busted, disgusted, never to be trusted!” out of “We play games, we eat, we steal white people’s money.”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

Gigli (2003)

The Movie That Made My Penis Sneeze

It’s time for another review request, this time of a movie many have called “The Worst Movie Ever Made”. I’m pretty sure I had watched this before because one of my friends actually purchased it on DVD and claimed it was actually good. When I watched the movie then, I thought it was boring and juvenile, but so was my friend. And when it was requested for me to watch it again and write a review for it, I realized I had retained nothing from the first viewing of the movie whatsoever. But now I’ve watched it again, so let’s find out what I thought of Gigli, written and directed by Martin Brest, and starring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bartha, Lenny Venito, Christopher Walken, Al Pacino, Lainie Kazan, and Missy Crider.

Larry Gigli (prounounced Jiggly, I think. Also, played by Ben Affleck) is a very cliched mobster. His boss, Louis (Lenny Venito), tells him to kidnap the mentally handicapped younger brother of a federal prosecutor to save a mob boss from jail. Jiggly shows up to take Brian (Justin Bartha) back to his apartment when a pretty Hispanic lady (Jennifer Lopez) asks to use his phone. He lets his penis do the thinking and lets her in, only to find out she’s another contractor sent by Louis to make sure Jiggly doesn’t fuck up. She tells him her name is Ricki, but it’s not. Jiggly starts falling for Ricki because of that sweet ass, but finds out he’s barking up the wrong lesbian. Add a cop who’s only suspicious of Jiggly for one scene (Christopher Walken), the ex-girlfriend of Ricki who slits her wrists in Jiggly’s apartment because she can’t get over Ricki (Missy Crider), and the mob boss who doesn’t like the way things are going with the federal prosecutor (Al Pacino) and you fill enough time to call this a movie. Leave Brian on a beach and Jiggly rides off into the sunset with Ricki and you have the movie Gigli.

What? I spoiled the movie? Whatever could that mean? DON’T WATCH IT! This isnt a good movie. It’s kind of like watching a Kevin Smith movie that he wrote shortly after being brutalized in the head with a lead pipe, and then someone threw a mob plot in there. In fact, there’s one scene in the middle where Ben Affleck is confessing his growing affection for the lesbian Ricki that is very reminiscent of a very similar scene from Chasing Amy if you took away the rain, added a bad Italian accent, and removed the emotional quality of the scene. Sadly, it seems as if the story may have worked if they removed the thin subplot about Affleck and Lopez being contract mobsters and the unnecessary comic relief of the retarded kid. But then you’d just have a poorly written Chasing Amy, so I guess you shouldn’t do that. They had plenty of moments involving Lopez and Affleck discussing how awesome the penis or the vagina are, but to no great effect because they didn’t have the charm and cleverness of Kevin Smith’s much better version. Even the fact that Lopez (at her best) was wearing skin tight workout gear and doing yoga held no interest for me because I had to listen to what the two of them were saying. And, ladies, even if you’re as hot as J’Lo, if you ever invite me to perform cunnilingus on you by saying “It’s turkey time. Gobble, gobble,” I will leave. Or at least think twice. The greater majority of the “funny” moments are supplied by Justin Bartha acting retarded; being a retarded white dude rapping songs about big butts, and making statements about how someone makes his “penis sneeze”. God bless you, penis. I like Bartha, but I found these moments came closer to offensive and unnecessary than funny. The rest of the moments made me uncomfortable in how unfunny they were, like when Affleck was psyching himself up to go in and bag Lopez by flexing in the mirror and spouting things about how he was the bull and she was the cow. The funniest thing in this movie was the scene from the Man Show playing on the TV Justin Bartha was watching. There were also a few things that didn’t make any sense, like when Affleck had to cut the thumb off of a corpse and decided to do it with a plastic butter knife. A rock would be sharper! You’d have better luck with a piece of paper! You’re in a hospital and you can’t find SOMETHING to cut a thumb off? Don’t give me that. It makes less sense that he was able to find a plastic butter knife!

Though I consider myself a big fan of Kevin Smith movies – and this gentleman can be found in the lion’s share of them – I have never been that big of a fan of Ben Affleck, and this movie did nothing to assist that. His over-the-top Italian schtick got on my nerves early and stuck it out for the rest of the movie. But he was the bomb in Phantoms. J’Lo was hot through the entire movie, so that was nice, but I never believed that either of these two were mobsters. It just didn’t seem to be in their genetic make-up. I guess I kind of believed her as a lesbian, but those lesbians are tricky. They can be anyone! One positive thing I will say about the two stars is that they did have a nice chemistry to their lame interactions, which I suppose you should expect from people that were dating – or engaged or whatever – at the time. I like Justin Bartha from the National Treasure movies … so I’m going to ignore that he was in this. Christopher Walken, Al Pacino, and Lainie Kazan all popped up in cameos for one scene a piece, and did a much better job than the movie deserved. Christopher Walken was the wacky Walken character that he seems to love to play. Kazan was the Italian mother that either sets or follows the standard for Italian mothers. Pacino was a good character too because he starts off seeming a bit goofy and turns pretty hard into intimidating. I liked all three until I got to thinking about why they would be in this crap.

Gigli is a movie that I feel would be offensive to ‘tards, dykes, and wops, and I personally would never do, say, or type anything to offend those lovely ‘tardy, homo, guido peoples. In fact, it is probably offensive to anybody because it’s a comedy that isn’t funny and a movie with lame story. There are a couple good performances and decent chemistry by people that are otherwise unappealing beyond J’Lo’s hotness. Is this, in fact, the worst movie ever made? No. Is it even the worst movie of 2003? Probably not, based on my limited memory of what movies came out that year. But is it a movie you need to see? No, unless you want to be bored and uninterested. You can skip this movie. Gigli gets “Suck-my-dick.com” out of “This must be mental-fuckin’-illness week!”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!