[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=4991[/img]Title: Grown Ups
Starring: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Maya Rudolph, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello
Directed by: Dennis Dugan
Written by: Adam Sandler, Fred Wolf
Runtime: 102 Minutes
Release Date: 11/9/2010
‘Grown-Ups’ is a story of five childhood friends that were cemented in the history of their small town by their championship basketball season in 1978. Now, 30 years later, the five have had to come together for the funeral of the beloved coach of that championship season.
These five friends have now reunited over the Fourth of July weekend with their families to celebrate the life of their former mentor and reconnect with one another and more importantly with something each has lost along the way. As the story moves along, we learn about each person’s short comings as well as their strengths and it isn’t long before they are back to their old stunts as if a day hadn’t passed since 1978.
‘Grown-Ups’ is an extremely by-the-numbers and formulaic throwback type of comedy. The problem here is that there isn’t any one standout moment in the film to me. It is a story about a bunch of guys that are approaching middle age who have lost their way and need to rediscover who they are inside, or at least that’s what it is supposed to be about. The issue is that there is too much focus on being silly and not enough focus on why each of them is in the state that they are currently in. The underlying moral just isn’t presented in a very cohesive way that makes you care about the outcome.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=4989[/img]I liked the characters, I liked the premise and I loved the soundtrack. Lenny Feder (Sandler) is the leader of this ragtag of misfits as well as the most successful of them all. The only problem is that Lenny has found it impossible to bond with his family in this day and age of information and technological overload. Eric Lamonsoff (James) is the group’s clumsy fat friend that never feels quite good enough and who has run into his own issues involving his kids and the word ‘no’. Chris Rock is one of two African-American kids that grew up in the small town and who is now an underappreciated house husband that gets no respect from his wife or his mother-in-law that lives with them. Marcus Higgins (Spade) is the career bachelor of the group that is perpetually seventeen years old and Rob Hilliard (Schneider) is the odd man out of the group who is on a lifelong, new age spiritual journey. What I did find odd was that the person that I personally found to be the most interesting and memorable was Salma Hayek. Hayek plays Roxanne which is Lenny’s wife and a successful clothing designer who impatiently waits for the camaraderie to end so she can get to Milan for a fashion show however; her character actually does the most changing throughout the movie and is the one with the “AH-HA!” moment in the movie.
‘Grown-Ups’ is about what you would expect it to be. It really doesn’t hold any surprises and I really felt like a lot of opportunities were missed. This could have been the perfect vehicle for these five “forty-something” stars to come together and leave their stereotypical juvenile and adolescent staples behind and actually do as the title suggests and “Grow UP”. That’s not to say that we didn’t enjoy the movie. ‘Grown Ups’ was an entertaining and fairly fun movie with some funny moments to watch and was a good family movie night film fr those with teenaged kids, but in the end it has too little heart to overcome the crude humor that continues to move along with Adam Sandler from one film to the next.
‘Grown-Ups’ sports a 1080P AVC MPEG4 transfer with an aspect ratio of 1:85.1 and the results are “meh”. Colors were natural and the picture was clear but there was nothing that ever really stood out to me. Flesh tones were warm and detail was fair, but there just wasn’t anything eye-popping about the whole thing. Even the water park scenes where there are acres and acres of blue chlorinated water were simply ‘Ok’.
Shadow detail was alright and darker scenes were clear without being lost in black crush and there was no digital noise to speak of. There really were no major imperfections that I could find, but there was nothing visually stunning about it either. I guess my overall impression of the video is not unlike the movie itself, several missed opportunities.
The DTS-HD-Master Audio was about on par with the video and movie. Dialogue was clear and textured with some very dynamic and concise characteristics to each actor’s voice. Large group scenes had plenty of surround activity as children run around screaming from front to back and side to side. There were no impactful scenes as far as bass goes as the overall premise of the movie does not lend well to being an outstanding sound design.
The soundtrack on the other hand is a whole different story. I loved the music on this soundtrack and each time another late 70’s or early 80’s hit came on it did kind of pickup the movie a bit. As a whole the DTS-HD-MA was fair but was similar to the video in that there were no truly great audio moments.
- Commentary with director Dennis Dugan
- Behind the Back Basket
- Gag Reel
- Dennis Dugan: Hands on Director
- The Lost Tapes of Norm MacDonald
- The Cast of Grown Ups
- Busey and the Monkey
- Bonus DVD Copy
- Bonus Digital Copy
- BD-Live enabled
As I said earlier, I really wanted to like this movie more. It had all of the makings for a great comeback for all of these actors and could have easily been one of the best ensemble, family comedies in the past several years however; each opportunity was squandered on crude humor and rude jokes as Sandler and co. miss out on what I am sure is getting to be fewer and fewer opportunities. Until next time campers, have a good day and in case I don't see ya later, a good afternoon, a good evening, and a good night! :wave: