Six Adam Sandler Movies - Netflix Review

Back when Netflix was first starting to produce original movies and TV shows, one of the landmark deals announced was a multi-picture deal with Adam Sandler and his production company “Happy Madison.” The four movies produced were “The Ridiculous 6”, “The Do-Over”, “The Week Of”, and “Sandy Wexler.” 
I’ve been a Netflix subscriber for years, but I have been avoiding these Adam Sandler movies ever since they were released. It’s not because I’m not a fan of Adam Sandler, because I am, and have remained one to this day. I was a teenager when Adam first broke out on Saturday Night Live, and I was in my 20s when his film career took off. I was in the exact demographic his films were aimed at, and I eagerly awaited each one. If “The Sandman” was in it, I wanted to see it. 
It wasn’t until my mid 30s that I started to waiver on his films. It started with “Just Go With It”, his rom-com with Jennifer Anniston in 2011. It was on Netflix when I first watched it, but I turned it off before the half hour mark. I’m not sure why I did that, but the situations portrayed just came off as too awkward and corny. I can’t really describe how uncomfortable I felt while watching it. 
So from then on, it was over. With the exception of “Grown Ups 2” in 2013, which I saw only because I watched the original “Grown Ups” in 2010, I never watched another Adam Sandler movie. “Jack and Jill”, “That’s My Boy”, “Blended”, “Pixels”; and even the stuff he only produced, I avoided them. All I knew about them was that they were getting torn apart by critics, and from what I saw from the trailers, I was certain they were quite accurate. 
Enter the Netflix films… 
Like with everything else Adam Sandler had done since 2011, I didn’t want to watch those movies either. They were just something that I scrolled past while looking for something on Netflix that I actually would like. 
Then, in October of 2018, Netflix premiered a new Adam Sandler comedy special “100% Fresh”, and I saw it as something that could be worth watching. I certainly wasn’t disappointed this time. I loved it. The show was just pure and simple Adam Sandler doing what he does best. There was a medley of cute, funny little songs broken up with heartfelt and humorous stories about his life, family and friends. It reminded me of just how talented a comedian he is. A talent that had gotten obscured by the ridiculous, over-the-top characters he had been playing. 
This reminder of why I loved Adam Sandler in the first place was enough to make me want to use my Netflix membership to go back and finally watch some of these movies that I had been avoiding. Despite the fact that I knew they weren’t likely to be that great. 
So here are six mini Netflix reviews for Adam Sandler movies that I watched in the Month of November: Pixels, That’s My Boy, The Ridiculous 6, The Do-Over, The Week Of and Sandy Wexler. 
It’s 1982, and a 13 year old named Sam Brenner is awesome at playing arcade games. He goes to a video game championship tournament with his friend Will Cooper, but Sam ends up losing. For some reason, a video cassette with footage of the event is included in a time capsule that is launched into outer space. 
33 years later, Sam (Adam Sandler) has done very little with his life but has remained close with his childhood friend Will (Kevin James) who has somehow managed to become President of the United States (still a more appealing prospect than having Trump though). 
Crisis occurs when aliens, having found the video footage of the video game championships, declare war. The aliens have misinterpreted the videos games as a hostile message and begin attacking with battle drones made of pure energy in the form of elements from video games like Galaga, Arkanoid, Centipede, and Pac-Man. This means that the fate of the world will now rest in the hands of those who possess the most useless skill: Mastery of 80s era video games. 
No one would expect a Sci-fi/Comedy (especially one produced by Adam Sandler) to be particularly believable, but this movie stretches even those broad boundaries. There are some laughs sprinkled here and there throughout, but most chuckles come from ridiculousness more than anything else. If you’re a fan of the 1980s, then some may get a kick out of seeing their favourite nostalgic videos games portrayed in this manner.If you like Adam Sandler, you’ll get a kick out of seeing him be Adam Sandler. 
That’s My Boy
This is the movie that tries to teach us that statutory rape can be a good thing as long as the underage person is a teenage boy. 
In middle school, a 13-year-old Donny Berger makes an attempt to seduce his teacher to impress his friends. Much to his surprise, his teacher responds positively and they begin a sexual relationship. Once the relationship is revealed and it’s learned Donny’s teacher is now pregnant with his child, she is sentenced to 30 years in prison. Custody of the unborn child (which he names Han Solo) is given to Donny and his abusive father. 
The immense publicity Donny received from the trial glorifies him for being able to land a hot teacher, and he is able to bank on his fame for many years. Fast forward to present day and Donny (Adam Sandler) is now a broke, alcoholic slacker indebted to the IRS for $43,000 in unpaid taxes, and facing a 3 year jail term if he doesn’t pay the money. 
Donny is now estranged from his son, who has now changed his name to Todd Peterson (Andy Samberg) and is about to marry his fiancée Jamie (Leighton Meester). Donny learns about the wedding through a marriage announcement in the paper and concocts a plan to get $50,000 from a TV producer acquaintance by organizing a reunion between him, Todd and Todd’s mother at the prison, and letting it be filmed for a show. 
To make it through the movie, you have to endure endless cringe-worthy scenes of family dysfunction, inappropriate sexual situations, horrific accidental injuries, endless pity for Sandberg’s character and Adam Sandler’s annoying stereotypical Boston accent that has been dialed up to the Nth degree. These are all things you would expect in an Adam Sandler movie, except this time, it’s rated R. There are some choice moments that might make you chuckle and smile, but they are few and far between to get you to the ending that somehow manages to be kind of sweet. It’s your choice if you think it’s worth sticking it out.
The Ridiculous 6
The first of Adam Sandler’s Netflix films has him playing a man named Tommy, who is also known as “White Knife” by the Native American tribe who raised him after his mother was murdered. After a run-in with a deranged group of hapless outlaws known as the “Left-Eye Gang”, he returns to his tribe’s camp with his fiancée “Smoking Fox” (Julia Jones). It’s there that he is visited by his long-lost father who he’s never met, outlaw Frank Stockburn (Nick Nolte). 
Frank tells Tommy he wants to atone for his past mistakes by giving him his amassed $50,000 in stolen money that he has buried nearby. This doesn’t sit well with Frank’s old gang who threaten him to hand the money over. Frank lies to them and agrees to lead them to a fake location so they would spare Tommy and his tribe. 
Unable to find the buried money, Tommy decides to get the money by stealing it, but only from corrupt, dishonest people. This quest leads him to finding he has five half-brothers by his father. Ramon (Rob Schneider) a Mexican burro rider. A mentally challenged, but cheery Lil’ Pete (Taylor Lautner). Herm (Jorge Garcia) who speaks incomprehensibly due to the effects of moonshine. Danny (Luke Wilson) who was a former Secret Service agent under Lincoln. Then finally Chico (Terry Crews) a saloon pianist who confesses to be only half-white. 
As you would expect, there will be crude jokes, gross-out gags, people saying uncomfortably awkward things and a man using his genitalia to play the piano for good measure. Be prepared to endure plenty of racially insensitive material. The film had some controversy during production when some of the Native American extras walked off the set because they didn’t like the way their culture was being portrayed. I will say that Sandler does deserve points for actually using actors who have Native American roots. He was at least trying to support diversity in Hollywood…until he blew it by casting Rob Schneider as a Mexican. 
One thing I did like about the movie was that Sandler was not the hapless, clueless bungler that so many of his characters are (He left it to Taylor Lautner for that). This time, he played someone who always had his wits about him, was almost superhuman in his abilities, and didn’t have a ridiculous voice. I’ll admit that’s my favourite kind of Sandler character.
The Do-Over
At a high school reunion, a mild-mannered, unhappily married bank manager named Charlie (David Spade) reunites with his old buddy Max (Adam Sandler). Max, claiming to be an FBI agent, sees how depressed Charlie is with his life and takes him out on a yacht for the weekend under the guise of cheering him up. 
Max soon reveals his true plan when he drugs Charlie and blows up the yacht with two cadavers on board to fake their deaths. He tells Charlie that he’s not actually an FBI agent, but a coroner who wants to use the identities of the two cadavers to start new, better lives. Charlie is initially against the plan, but after seeing how no one in his family or at his job really care that he’s gone, he realizes he has no reason to go back. 
Charlie takes the identity of Dr. Ronald Fishman, and Max takes on the name of Butch Ryder. A key that Max found on Butch leads them to a safe deposit box full of money in Puerto Rico and a secret mansion hideaway. At first they spend their time enjoying their new extravagant lifestyle, but they soon learn that the men whose identities they stole are targets for hired assassins. In order to survive, Charlie has to rely on Max’s skills with a gun (That he learned while in the police academy), and solve a mystery involving the dead Dr. Fishman and a magic bullet treatment he discovered for cancer. 
Again with the freedom of the R rating, this film dials up the crudeness, graphic injuries and raunch of Adam Sandler’s typical PG-13 rated fare. Sandler clearly must revel in making movie-goers cringe uncomfortably, and there are certainly no shortage of those scenes here. A two-guy, one-girl threeway involving Spade and Luis Guzman is one that really stands out. 
I was relieved that the Sandman chose to play the character in his own voice instead of making up something that just sounds over-the-top and ridiculous. I think under different circumstances this premise could have made for a passable buddy comedy, but it just veers off to the left way too often.
The Week Of
Kenny Lustig (Adam Sandler) is a lower-middle class contractor who is struggling to pull off a wedding for his daughter. Despite the fact that Father-of-the-groom Kirby (Chris Rock) is a wealthy surgeon, Kenny is refusing to accept any help from him. This means holding the wedding in a water-leak plagued economy hotel he was hired to renovate, putting up family from both sides in his home when the hotel rooms become uninhabitable, hiring a 12 year old nephew to DJ for free, and stocking the bar with giant bulk-sized bottles of liquor from the airport duty-free store. 
The only two characters that really get any focus are Sandler and Rock, who are really the only two recognizable faces (except for Steve Buscemi). The relationship between the bride and groom is barely touched on, and there are times you can forget which ones they are. The whole movie plays out as one disaster after another leading up to a heartfelt ending. As the credits role, a scene plays between Sandler and Rock’s characters. It shows the closeness and camaraderie the two actors have with each other that will leave you wishing there could have been more scenes like that throughout the whole movie.
Sandy Wexler
Sandy Wexler (Adam Sandler) is a talent manager working in Los Angeles in the 1990s. He has a small stable of clients who are all barely on the fringes of show business. As a manager, he is very diligent, but somewhat erratic. His hapless efforts and ill-conceived ideas cause disaster and embarrassment to his clients on a regular basis. 
One day during a visit to an amusement park, he is captivated by a talented singernamed Courtney Clark (Jennifer Hudson) who was performing in a kiddie show. Sandy convinces her to leave her job at the park and let him manage her career. 
Despite his ineptness, Sandy is able to open the door for Courtney by getting her demo tape recorded and setting up a meeting at Capitol Records. All the studio executives love everything about her…except for Sandy being her manager. 
As Courtney’s fame and success grows, the head of the studio has become fed up with Sandy’s screw ups and convinces him that he is only holding her back. Despite the fact he has developed feeling for her, he agrees to step away from her career due to his dedication to his client’s success always coming first. Courtney clearly didn’t want Sandy to leave her, but she accepts his resignation. She goes on to become a superstar in her career, but maintaining any romantic relationships prove to be impossible for her. 
My biggest complaint with this movie would be the overly-stereotypical squeaky Jewish accent Sandler chose to give his character. I did find myself constantly rooting for him though. I kept hoping for the moment when common sense would reign, and he would make the logical decision. Unfortunately, it ended up being just a constant stream of inconceivable hard left turns into disasters. 
Out of all of Adam Sandler’s Netflix films, this one is by far the most watchable. If only for the incredibly high number of celebrity cameos that have been packed into it. There are more celebrities in this movie than in all of the “Ocean’s Eleven” films combined. The fact that so many of them were willing to appear in it is a true testament to just how many friends “The Sandman” really has. 
For my overall review, I’ve chosen to group all the movies and score them as one Instead of individually because they were all going to get the same score anyways. 
The watch-ability of these films is very low. I can’t imagine anyone could watch them without cringing and/or rolling their eyes less than a dozen times. I will say that all of Sandler’s movies start off with interesting premises, and for each one I found that I always enjoyed the ending. Somehow, they left me with a smile on my face. Unfortunately, Sandler’s penchant for shocking the audience meant that I really had to push through to make it to those endings. 
These movies definitely do not appeal to the masses. These are only for people who really, really like Adam Sandler (like his family and friends). As I’ve already mentioned, it was only his most recent Netflix offering “100% Fresh” that reminded me just how talented he was and why I liked him to begin with. That’s what if took for me to give these movies a chance. 
In terms of script vs. casting hurting the film, the culprit is 100% the script every time. These movies are jam-packed with some of the best Hollywood talent. Jennifer Hudson, Nick Nolte, Chris Rock, Steve Buscemi, David Spade…the list is too long. The only issue is what they are forced to do. 
Finally, the score for genre. I give these movies a perfect score because they are a perfect representation of what they are…The Adam Sandler genre. 
There was nothing in these films that I didn’t expect to see. I knew exactly what I was getting into when I started watching them. The Sandman has always been very true to himself and never tries to be something he’s not. We all know that Adam Sandler is a brilliant actor. We’ve seen it in movies like Punch-Drunk Love, Spanglish, Funny People, Reign Over Me and The Meyerowitz Stories. These are all films that have been praised by critics, not just his loyal fan base. 
Adam Sandler makes ridiculous movies because he wants to, not because it’s the only thing he can do. 
Through the course of watching these movies, I came to the realization that these films are not films. They are more like Adam Sandler’s home movies. They are Sandler telling us that he spent a couple of months hanging out with his friends, and he’s just showing us what they did. 
Unfortunately, as with all home movies, you tend not to care about them too much if you’re not personally connected to whoever is in them, which may be one reason why they get judged so harshly. I wouldn’t expect a smartphone video of my kid’s school play to get rave reviews if I showed it in a movie theatre. 
The Sandman makes these movies for himself and his friends to have fun together. No matter how bad a reviewer chooses to trash one of his movies, there is no denying the spirit of camaraderie that can be felt amongst the actors. 
While I’m watching, I don’t get the feeling that anyone has ever been embarrassed to appear in an Adam Sandler movie (Though I’ve never seen Al Pacino’s performance in “Jack & Jill”). It’s clear that they are not concerned with what the reviews will be, and they all understand what a privilege it is to be a part of The Sandman’s inner circle. 
In the end, I was glad that Sandler came out with his comedy “100% Fresh’, and I’m also glad that it made me want to go back and watch the movies I’ve been avoiding. His films always go for the throat, but they also have a lot of heart. 
There are still a few other Sandler movies I still haven’t seen that I may now give a chance…well maybe not “Jack & Jill.”

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