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June 28, 2010


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I saw Grown Ups this weekend and can assure you it was an exercise in how to endure pain. Glenn, once you witness Van Patten tounging Rob Schneider, I have a feeling your, ahem, thing for her may evaporate, so you may want to avoid it -- even on cable. That said, Van Patten and Schneider's interactions were amongst the "funniest" of the film, but, overall, Grown Ups was about as funny as the BP oil spill.

Michael Adams

Van Patten was once married to Grown Ups auteur Dennis Dugan. Imagine being married to this hack and Marty Balsam, being the mother-in-law of George Clooney and John Slattery (not at same time), co-starring in a Peter Sellers film, and being in the original As the World Turns cast. That's some life.


@Michael Adams, that's awesome! I didn't know all that. And, she was in the original Bad News Bears, and is the younger sister of a Dick. Phew. How come the Kardashians have an E! True Hollywood Story, but Joyce Van Patten doesn't?! I think someone should start a campaign like the one that landed Betty White on SNL.

Don Fabrizio

That's Prince Yaphet Kotto!

Jeff McMahon

One wonders why Nolte even needs to have a job at all, if some kind of matrix of box-office results and IMDB user ratings wouldn't provide the same information as 'the audience was amused'.

Oh yeah, because he and Breitbart are dishonest.


Royally hot screenshot! I saw Grown Ups this weekend (my boyfriend dragged me which leaves me questioning if it warrants a break up); Adam Sandler & co. are supposedly 'kings' of comedy, but I'll take Prince Yaphet any day!


Granted, I saw a free academy screening of "Grown Ups" [sic] so there wasn't much laughter in the theater, mainly weary sighs. One thing I haven't read any reviews mention is how truly special the product placement is. For example, all the guys go to scatter the remains of their beloved coach and Kevin James brings along...a bucket of KFC! Cause he's overweight, see? So it's organic to the character. Then, when Rob Schneider hilariously gets some of the ashes onto the chicken, James eats it anyway. Here's what the product placement meeting was probably like:
KFC EXEC: "So...he still eats the chicken?"
SONY EXEC: "Absolutely. Cause that chicken is so good it could be garnished with the cremains of your loved ones and you'd still scarf it down. The Colonel's secret recipe could be twelve herbs and people...PEOPLE! And you know what? You'd lick your fingers and beg for more. That is the message of Grown Ups."
KFC EXEC: "Here's a giant bucket of money."


A trip to Milan is "pseudo-intellectual bullshit"? My head hurts.


Don't tell Big Hollywood that Rocchi is Canadian or they'll send the tanks north..

Grant L

Haven't seen Grown Ups, have zero plans to, especially after reading the linked review below. On one level it could be argued that she's letting one aspect of the movie ruin things for her, on another that that one aspect is so unrelenting and infused in the movie's lifeblood that it makes it truly unbearable. I'll admit that this particular aspect that has always been a huge red flag for me, so I'm hardly unbiased.



@DeGuire, too funny! By that part of the movie, I was too comatose to even process the absurdity. Just when I thought nothing could be more awesome than KFC's Double Down (ya know, the masterpiece that's just the chicken, bacon, cheese, & sauce in your hands sans a roll), you point out the awesomeness of this oh-so-special ingredient. This gives whole new meaning to "kicking the bucket"!

Glenn Kenny

@ Otherbill: Yeah, that's pretty fucked, but even worse is "using the word maze [sic] instead of corn." I mean, first off, it's "maize," anyway. And secondly, nobody's ever actually DONE that since, what, that Mazola commercial from the '80s, which is to say, well, that nobody's ever actually done that. it's like Nolte's on some disorienting drug that dredges up every media trope he's ever resented in his life and compels him to blame them all on the entity that made him the failed screenwriter that he is today. What a whack job.

@ DeGuire: It's funny, my very FAVORITE bit of product placement in a film also involves KFC. It is, of course, from the immortal "Strange Brew," and it's when Paul Dooley, playing the Claudius role in the film's bizarre mutation of the plot of "Hamlet," tells Pam Elsinore to buck up and stop being such a wuss over her father's death. Indicating a KFC bucket at the dinner table, he says, "The Colonel's dead, and we're still enjoying his chicken." Awesome.

James Rocchi

For the record: 1) I became a U.S. Citizen last year and b) I buy off-the-rack (The Nordstrom's Rack, to be more specific); bespoke is beyond my means, with great regret.

Grant L

Sadly, Glenn, I'm sure he sees every last one of those media tropes as symptomatic...file that particular one under "non-whites insidiously trying to force us speak their language."

Dan Coyle

I really despised Funny People, and one more thing to despise it for is that Sandler made another movie with Dugan in response to its failure. Please, for the love of God, Adam, STOP IT.


Not to break up the Nolte-bash with facts or anything, but...

He's been touting this movie all summer season, and historically digs Schneider and Sandler vehicles. Whatever your ideological issues with Nolte or Big Hollywood or his tact with regards to Rocchi or Kenny, it's pretty obvious the guy's a genuine Sandler fan who was primed for this movie from the jump, and not just to spite the allegedly lefty critics who've panned it.

But mostly I just want to say you need to see this movie to see MADISON RILEY as Schneider's lanky, leggy, golden-blonde SMOKING HOT daughter. Best introduction to a new HOT CHICK since Megan Fox in Transformers. I was almost out of my seat, or at least my boner was, when she showed up and bent over while wearing high heels. Then as icing on the cake, the DREAMY Jamie Chung showed up as her Asian half-sister, so it was like an ebony/ivory VISION FROM HEAVEN.

Their combined STUNNING HOTNESS makes the movie worth seeing, even though almost the entirety of consists of these five guys sitting around doing bad puns (most of which don't even make sense) and making fun of each other, with "setpieces" that consist of merely changing the venue for five minutes from lakefront to water slide to basketball court and still letting them riff.

Also interesting to note the pecking order, with Sandler obviously the lead, MALL COP getting second most screen time, Spade and Schneider each doing their thing (snide lechery, absurdist gross-out) off to the side... then Rock bringing up the rear, seemingly disappearing sometimes, stuck making bad jokes about his mother-in-law's bunions (sample hilarity "Shut up, TOE-BOCOP!" Cut to shot of Sandler laughing heartily.)

But, if you ever liked Rat Pack movies, or more fiitingly, the era where Burt, Jerry Reed, Mel Tillis, Jim Nabors and the boys filmed themselves hooting at Loni in a Coors-induced stupor and called it a "movie," then have at it.

Mr. Peel

Haven't seen GROWN UPS but when Sandler was on Letterman plugging it last week Dave took a moment during the interview to mention Joyce Van Patten and how much he liked seeing her in the movie. It struck me as kind of odd, but maybe he worked with her on some TV project long ago. Maybe Dave always liked I LOVE YOU, ALICE B. TOKLAS.

Hang on...the same woman was married to both Dennis Dugan and Martin Balsam??

Glenn Kenny

Lex G writes: "[Nolte]'s been touting this movie all summer season, and historically digs Schneider and Sandler vehicles. Whatever your ideological issues with Nolte or Big Hollywood or his tact with regards to Rocchi or Kenny, it's pretty obvious the guy's a genuine Sandler fan who was primed for this movie from the jump, and not just to spite the allegedly lefty critics who've panned it."

B-b-b-b-but Lex, Nolte himself writes: "Until I came across James Rocchi’s review at MSN, however, my intentions were to rent this..."

Maybe that's just a fakeout from JN, to set us up for the killer Right Wing Sucker Punch! Ooof!

This Madison Riley of whom you speak sounds...interesting.


I'll take advantage of the tiny opening provided by Glenn and DeGuire. The best use of product placement in film history occurs in Tsui Hark's DOUBLE TEAM. Jean Claude Van Damme and Dennis Rodman fight Wilderness Period Mickey Rourke and a tiger in a bomb encrusted Roman Coliseum (ya know, I enjoy my copy of THE RULES OF THE GAME as much as the next guy, but sentences like that are half the reason I love movies). Apres le combat, Van Damme, Rodman, Some Guy, and a baby run from a giant explosion. They pass a row of Coke machines. Recognizing that the explosion will catch them, Rodman, as adept at being in position here as he ever was in the low post, grabs a Coke machine to shield the party and everyone is saved from incineration by the power of the Coca-Cola Corporation. 2:40 in the clip below:


I can only assume they killed Rourke because he forced them into the pseudo-intellectual bullshit of a visit to Rome. Though Van Damme's a dirty Belgian and Rodman once wore a dress so it's probably just a total wash.


Glenn, wouldn't it be a good time to bring back the screenshot of the dripping wound from Parsifal to sort of clean the palate?

Tom Russell

I always thought the complete and utter crassness of the product placement in MAC AND ME was kind of breath-taking.

And HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE is arguably exempt from being considered "product placement", as it's more a sociological study of a product-oriented subculture.

The Siren

@James Rocchi: Aha, Nordstrom! All becomes clear. I assume you take advantage of Nordstrom's very fine on-site alteration services? Not Savile Row, but it makes all the difference. Whatever else one can say about Mr. Nolte's review, evidently he can spot tailoring. I am tempted to make a copy of my "Tales of Manhattan" DVD-R for him.

There can't be all THAT many of these "gathering at a funeral" movies, but given William Faulkner's frustrating time in Hollywood, it amuses me whenever a screenwriter cribs As I Lay Dying. Great novel. Maybe next we'll see Sandler in a comic variation on "Barn Burning."

The Siren

Oopsy, now I see that it was Glenn, not John, who has the eye for tailoring. Well, now that isn't surprising at all. Carry on. And Glenn, if you wanna come over and see the Duvivier, say the word.


Madison Riley could be a porn name.

@ otherbill: now that you talk abou DOUBLE TEAM, I wonder if the 'Pummas' in KNOCK OFF also fit as product placement... maybe paid by a rival corporation. Always loved the shot of the Nikon camera in DEATH WISH III before the Giggler snatches it and Bronson subsuquently proceeds to blast him with his massive handgun loaded with rifle cartridges, eliciting the applause of the neighbours and a ridiculously sappy Jimmy Page tune in the soundtrack.

Dan Coyle

You know, Lex, your complete switcharound on Nolte is getting really fucking weird. What, your taxes go up and Nolte goes from being "The worst American ever" to a guy who loves movies first and aw shucks ain't that bad after all?

Best part of that Nolte post is that he "regrets" that his highlighting was seen as an attack on Rocchi. Yeah, I'm sure he does. His seemingly infinite need to be viewed as a persecuted member of the "real" America in the interment camp that is Hollywood in his head had nothing to do with it.

Dan Coyle

Death Wish 3 is one of the most memorably, mind-blowingly awful films ever made. I like how they justify Kersey's blatant execution of the Giggler- for purse snatching! with this exchange earlier:

Martian Balsam: "He killed a teenage girl last week. Put a knife in her skull."

Kersey: "How do you know he did it?"

Balsam: "He did it."

Well that clears things up then!

The Giggler was played by, of all people, Alex Winter of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure fame.


so a couple of chicks in bikinis is enough to get Lex to pay $10 to see a shitty movie? I'm assuming he's aware of the internet since he posts here....perhaps he should look into Google Image w/ safe search turned off. Could save him a lot of time and money if all he needs is wank material.

I guess Rocchi is right: this is indeed why we can't have nice things.

Jeff McMahon

You call Death Wish 3 'mind-blowingly awful' as if that's a bad thing! I just saw that movie a few months ago at LA's New Beverly and it was delightful '80s kitsch. I'm sure back in the day it just seemed like hateful propaganda, but nowadays it's aged into just the right kind of cheese (which is also what I expect to happen to Zack Snyder's 300).


Good christ....shoot me for looking at the comments in the Nolte review. How can so many people see things so wrongly? "Liberals hate it so I'm gunno go see it today!" "Hollywood just can't stand to see us neanderthals in Middle America having a good time!"

wat? I will never understand how so many people can collectively delude themselves regarding the opinions others have of them to such an incredible extent. And then they gladly flock to shitty movies just to prove them wrong? or something? It's so bizarre...and actually does more to reinforce any negative opinion anyone might have about the demographic rather than challenging it. Dugan is like their prophet...churning out shitty unfunny movie after shitty unfunny movie for them to champion as proof that they are regular folks. it's all so bizarre.


@ Dan Coyle: correction, Winter plays 'Hermosa', the rookie gangbanger. And yes, they make up that 'justification' for Kersey killing the Giggler, but there's still this woman loudly celebrating Giggler's death, and the next day harassing the cops in the crime scene and proclaming how glad she is because "he stole my purse last week!". So yes, purse-snatching automatically warrants execution, angry old people would be happy if only they could shoot with machine-guns at noisy youngsters, and bazookas can be safely fired in your living room. And the movie makes no attempt to elaborate and reason these self-evident truths. Which is why DEATH WISH III rules and John Nolte sucks.

No chicks in bikinis, though.

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