Osage Reviews...GROWN UPS (Blu-ray; Columbia/Sony) - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 6 Old 11-15-10, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Osage Reviews...GROWN UPS (Blu-ray; Columbia/Sony)

Studio Name: Columbia Pictures/Sony Home Entertainment/Relativity Media/Happy Madison
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Disc/Transfer Information: 1080p High Definition 1.85:1; Region 1 (U.S.) Release
Tested Audio Track: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Director: Dennis Dugan
Starring Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider

Here’s another one I really wanted to like – the trailers promised something pretty funny given the supporting cast here, with none other than master pranksters themselves Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob “Deuce Bigalow” Schneider on display in all their raunchy glory. The end result was, again, a letdown in the company of recent stinkers like Death at a Funeral, Funny People and more – does anyone know how to make a decent comedy anymore? Considering the fact that this came from Sandler’s own Happy Madison laugh factory and couldn’t deliver makes it all the more embarrassing.

Yet, like all the recent laugh fest attempts over the past couple of years, Dennis Dugan’s Grown Ups succeeds in delivering a few laughs but never continues the burning fire to make any of them memorable; here we have talented laugh folk like Chris Rock and Rob Schneider who have absolutely no comedic input here whatsoever, their roles buried beneath odd performances by the remainder of this motley crew. Further, the film suffers from a serious identity crisis – I couldn’t really make out what kind of audience Dugan was trying to reach with this film, given its PG-13 rating and flagrant lack of vulgarity or adult theme.

Grown Ups flops, ultimately, as so many of these “big marquee” titles do because of the overwhelming amount of stardom competing for screen time here – Sandler, whose performances have become so wooden and predictable in delivery, has to come together with the rest of these normally comic-ridden names, and the result is just a mess. The film’s premise has been seen and done before – the whole they-were-once-boy or girlhood-friends-who-reunite-later-in-life scenario is one of the more clichéd approaches to modern comedy, but directors continue to bank on the possibility that these situations will yield hysterics in an audience. Hence, Grown Ups, which suggests that Rock, Sandler, Schneider and the rest of the guys, when they were young, played on the same school basketball team together. The opening flashback sequence actually has some spot-on casting of kids that look exactly as these guys would look growing up – it was uncanny. When the boys sit around a lakeside house, listening to their coach mentor them about growing up amidst an after-game party to celebrate their win, the action abruptly shifts to the boys in their adult lives years later. Sandler is the main focus of the group – and nauseatingly enough, the film – and has successfully “made it” living in Hollywood with a couple of bratty kids and a beautiful trophy wife (Salma Hayek). When he gets word, via his daughter who attempted to drive his Cadillac DTS but ends up putting it into a tree in his lavish backyard, that the old basketball coach has died, he begins sending the messages out to his other teammates regarding the funeral.

As the characters are re-introduced, we get to see what all the boys have turned into – Schneider is some weird, hippie-like sicko with a penchant for old women, one of whom is as ugly as sin and is his wife. Rock lives with his pregnant, annoying wife and her mother (who steals the show here with Danny Glover-like lines when he starred in Death at a Funeral) but outside of that has absolutely no performance or energy here whatsoever. James' character has not been nearly as successful as, say, Sandler's, but attempts to hide it by renting a Cadillac Eldorado convertible for the weekend with his wife (Maria Bello) to impress his friends. Spade is the outcast here, a greasy-haired loser that is only after as much women as is humanly possible. When the guys assemble at the old lake house for the funeral, they begin catching up on old times and decide to start acting like they’re still teenagers – James jumps on a rope hanging from a tree, but smashes into it upon return, sending him tumbling down a ridge. None of these antics are particularly funny, and casts Grown Ups into the same light of other forgettables like When in Rome, Everbody’s Fine, Wild Hogs, et al.

Of course, some sub-plots begin to splinter, one of which deals with Sandler’s character attempting to hide their Asian nanny from the friends so they don’t look as well-to-do as they actually are, as well as trying to play down their annoying kids’ tendencies to demand fancy water and toys. The dialogue and acting in this was just plain odd in most places, and I just couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out the targeted demographic with this motion picture – was this for teenagers? Pre-teens? Folks in their 30s or 40s who know they should grow up…but couldn’t or haven’t? Along the way, the boys take a trip to a water park –after Hayek has a ridiculously unrealistic change of character from stuck-up L.A. housewife to fun-loving mom of the year – and some hijinks ensue, including a run-in with a rival group of misfits from the boys’ past which leads to a competition of sorts over a highwire and pool. Steve Buscemi actually stars in this brief scene, but no matter – there’s really nothing interesting in the least going on here save for wondering how Schneider's daughters (who join them in the trip to the water park), one being blonde and tall and the other Asian, actually were a product of his DNA.

The film attempts to culminate – and believe me, the running time was way too long for all of this – with a basketball challenge from the misfits at the water park to Sandler and his pals. You would think this was going to lead to the gang beating these smack-talking imbeciles due to all the taunting they’re doing of Sandler, Rock and the boys, but when Sandler and his son sacrifice the game by forfeiting for some stupid, “holier-than-thou” reason, I knew the whole thing was finished.

You know something? My wife actually enjoyed this – not enough to purchase, but I gotta say…I sure didn’t. I say, don’t waste your time on this one. I simply could not believe the talent and screen time that was wasted on Rock and Schneider in particular – these guys had no funny lines whatsoever, and seemed like mere window dressing for Sandler to perform the way he does in every single picture he’s in while James continued the streak of being a massive dork and lumbering moron, a la his role in Hitch. And David Spade? I simply don’t know what anyone sees in this guy, personally…if there was a “Lack of Talent” award given out at CES in Vegas, I’d vote for Spade…in spades.

The overwhelming bits of laughter actually came from the black actress portraying Rock’s mother-in-law – when the two of them go at it, there were sparks of hope for Grown Ups. Further, the old woman that portrayed Schneider’s wife delivered some chuckles – but an impromptu "kissing projection" sequence between the two of them at one point was enough to make you vomit. I’m serious.


Presented in a clean, blemish-free 1.85:1 widescreen transfer, Columbia/Sony delivers Grown Ups with striking detail, vivid color and spot-on shadows and blacks. Typical for this genre of film on DVD or Blu-ray, the transfer here filled my display without distracting letterboxing and was rich-looking from beginning to end. No scene really stood out in any certain way; the outdoor sequences in particular were very nice to look at, as when the guys are at the lake, the detail and stunning clarity of the image were beyond satisfying. There was a touch of twitchiness that created a very subtle glow and ring of noise around characters in very limited parts, and there were some very, very brief moments of flatness to facial tones – but nothing that would distract from an otherwise clean, blemish-free presentation as aforementioned.


It’s official – DTS has made some kind of agreement that licenses their Master Audio codec for new releases, and it’s a plan that doesn’t include Dolby. As we scratch and scrape, wondering when a TrueHD track will reappear on the BD title, we’ll just have to “make due” with lossless Master Audio. “Make due?” Yeah, right. Here, the 5.1 Master Audio arrangement is sufficient, but is in no way startling or aggressive. Surround usage is limited, and everything remains in the front three channels – and sometimes just in the center position, seemingly.


“Laughing is Contagious” Blooper Reel; Gag Reel; The Cast of Grown Ups Featurette; Deleted Scenes; Riff-O-Rama; “Dennis Dugan: Hands on Director” Featurette; More


You can skip this one unless there’s really nothing else in the Redbox or at HollyBlock Video.

Thanks for reading; as always, shoot away with any comments if you saw this, or even if you didn’t.
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-15-10, 11:41 PM
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Re: Osage Reviews...GROWN UPS (Blu-ray; Columbia/Sony)

Good review, a fraction harsher than I would have stated it, but not off the mark at all. I agree with your wife's synopsis: I LOL'd a few times, unusual in most comedies of late that are not either European or small production company, but I certainly wouldn't buy it. It was worth the $1 it cost me to rent.
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-15-10, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Osage Reviews...GROWN UPS (Blu-ray; Columbia/Sony)

A9X wrote: View Post
Good review, a fraction harsher than I would have stated it, but not off the mark at all. I agree with your wife's synopsis: I LOL'd a few times, unusual in most comedies of late that are not either European or small production company, but I certainly wouldn't buy it. It was worth the $1 it cost me to rent.
Hey, A9!

Thanks, as always, for the feedback, my friend! I'm glad we were on the same page here in terms of the material...

Thanks for reading!
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-16-10, 07:48 AM
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Re: Osage Reviews...GROWN UPS (Blu-ray; Columbia/Sony)

Saw it and have only two words "Hated it"

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-16-10, 11:13 AM
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Re: Osage Reviews...GROWN UPS (Blu-ray; Columbia/Sony)

Any film starring Adam Sandler must be apprached very carefully.
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-17-10, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Osage Reviews...GROWN UPS (Blu-ray; Columbia/Sony)

Thanks for your thoughts, gentlemen!
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