Tag Archives: Rob Schneider

Hubie Halloween

Hubert Dubois is Salem’s official volunteer Halloween helper. Easily startled and frequently frightened, Hubie devotes himself to keeping the holiday safe for everyone, young and old, for which he is openly and mercilessly mocked by all.

This Halloween, armed only with good intentions and his trusty swiss army thermos, Hubie (Adam Sandler) has an extra hefty burden. He’s being bullied by some local high school kids, he suspects his neighbour Walter (Steve Buscemi) is a werewolf, and a psychotic prisoner in a pig costume is on the loose, escaped from a nearby institution. Exasperated with Hubie’s numerous reports, Sgt. Steve (Kevin James) shuts down his concerns, leaving him with only his elderly mother (June Squibb) in a series of suggestive tshirts and his childhood crush, soup-serving Violet (Julie Bowen) as allies.

As with every Adam Sandler movie, many of his friends and a great many of his family join him on set as they film on location in a very quaint-looking Salem, Massachusetts, even if the town’s lengthy history of “bullies” persists. Hubie Halloween reunites Sandler with his Happy Gilmore costar Julie Bowen 24 years after she first played his love interest, Virginia Venit (this time playing Violet Valentine, we see that Sandler’s love of alliteration and the letter V have also withstood the test of time). Also joining them from the cast of Happy Gilmore, Ben Stiller in a cameo playing the exact same character, orderly Hal.

Although Sandler’s movies for Netflix have been more miss than hit, this one is a pleasant exception. It’s just scary enough to qualify as Halloween viewing, but Sandler’s brand of low-brow humour ensures that all but the little ones will be able to watch. Does it reinvent the wheel? Not remotely; it’s merely better inflated than the flat tires his production company has been turning out for some time.

The thrills are mild, the jokes are corny, but it’s a harmless movie that might add some Halloween spirit to your household, and considering many will be refraining from trick-or-treating this year, a movie night is a nice way to celebrate in a safe and socially-distanced way. I think Hubie would approve.

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The Wrong Missy

Adam Sandler’s recent filmography has largely been an excuse to write off travel as a business expense. How many of his films have been unnecessarily set in Hawaii? Many. Here’s one more!

First, let me be upfront: for better or worse, this film does NOT star Adam Sandler. Actually (not to mention improbably), that is most definitely for the worse. He does produce it, and it does star each and every one of his homies, plus many of his non-actor family members (wife, kids, nephew, and brother-in-law, and those are just the ones I can spot unassisted). The Wrong Missy stars David Spade, because the universe needed reminding there are worse things than Adam Sandler.

David Spade plays “Tim,” a super cool guy. Haha, just kidding obviously. Tim is a wiener with a bad haircut. When we first meet him, he’s on a blind date with an unarguably batshit woman – honestly and completely insane. And yet we don’t really feel sorry for Tim because who is he to want more? This is probably the best he can do. And yet not only does he feels entitled to sneak out a bathroom window, he dares to look an attractive woman (Molly Sims) in the eye as if they are equals. In the Adam Sandler Cinematic Universe, dorky guys are always landing impossible women way out of their leagues. This feels plausible to Adam Sandler because in real life, he is rich and he is funny and he married a model. In real life, David Spade is…comfortable and, um, Adam Sandler’s friend, which at the very least guarantees steady employment and lavish, write-offable travel. But Tim? Tim is not funny. Tim is not successful. Tim does not have any rich best friends. But Tim is off to a Hawaiian corporate retreat, so he plays the best card he has and invites her along.

Except while he thinks he’s inviting the exceptional Melissa (Molly Sims), he’s actually texting his crazy blind date Missy (Lauren Lapkus), who is nuts enough to follow a guy who fled their first date all the way to Hawaii on a second. And when she starts to bleed her insanity all over his helpless coworkers, threatening his outside chance at a promotion, we once again fail to feel the least bit sorry for him. He is miles away from being a sympathetic character. And Missy’s zany antics are miles away from funny. They’re so over the top she’s not a believable character, but more unforgivably, she’s not an entertaining one. It doesn’t make you laugh, it makes you feel uncomfortable, makes you pray for the end. There’s no one to root for, no relationship to endorse. It’s painful, it’s distasteful, and the only reason to watch this movie is if a certified doctor has given you only 89 minutes left to live, and you want those 89 minutes to feel like 3 years.

Norm of the North

Hey kids, can you say B-movie? Because that’s what this one is! Big disappointment. Boring. Badly plotted. Blearily devoid of charm. Bland. Bargain-bin. I’m not even sure how this one made it to the theatres considering how low-budget it feels.

Norm of the North feels shoddily and hastily put together with a barely-there eco-friendly message and not much else. Norm is a polar bear, and he dances images1OQMF438and also speaks human. That’s it. That’s the whole she-bang. Sorry I ruined it for you, but you’ve seen it before, and you’ve definitely seen it done better. The bar is set so low that any random episode of Paw Patrol will be more entertaining for your kids and less annoying for you. Yeah, I said it.

And the voice cast? The thing that’s easiest to hit out of the park? Norm of the North gets an F. Talk about B-list (or C-list)¬† (or D-list, let’s be honest) celebrities: Rob Schneider and Heather Graham. I mean – seriously? Did they norm-of-the-northrecord all of the voices on Oscar night or something? Like, which “celebrity” is not only not invited to the Academy Awards, but not to any of the post-Oscar parties either, and doesn’t even have friends or cable TV to be watching them from home, and doesn’t have a job to go to Monday morning¬†that they’re getting to bed early for? And so they called Balki from Perfect Strangers and he was busy. And they called Tori Spelling and she said no. Screech from Saved By The Bell thought the script was lame. Carrot Top thought it might compromise his artistic integrity. And on and on through a rolodex of reality-TV “personalities” until they finally scraped the bottom of the barrel, and guess who was there, desperate for a pay cheque?

(Apologies to Bill Nighy who somehow got tangled up in this mess, and to Gabriel Iglesias who did punch things up a bit.)

yayomg-norm-of-the-north-quiz-5I was unprepared for how bland and pointless Norm of the North would be. How can you release this alongside Pixar fare and think you deserve to be there? It’s like hanging one of my kindergarten macaroni Christmas ornaments at the Louvre and not being embarrassed. The only thing I can console myself with is that it did set a record for worst opening for an animated feature and so maybe, just maybe, Lionsgate learned a lesson in humility.