Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rewind - 5 Favorite Films Featuring Adam Sandler

Five Favorite Films Featuring...

Adam Sandler

This list is in no particular order. These are just some of my favorite films that Adam Sandler, the actor and star of the new film Just Go With It, has been in over the years that I enjoyed either solely because of him or it was a generally well made and enjoyable film. It has taken me some time to realize this but I truly believe any movie that Adam Sandler makes where he does some kind of weird voice is complete garbage. That being said though he has made some good or even great films during his career that still give me hope that we will get Sandler back in some films that are legitimately good. If all we have to look forward to in the future though is stuff like Grownups then we are in for some rough times ahead.

1.




I truly believe this was the film that brought Adam Sandler into the mainstream. The combination of the 80's flashback motif (I think this was the first film to ever flashback to the 80's and make fun of it actually) and having an honest to goodness romance brought in a whole new group of people that had until that point just ignored the guy. Furthermore this was the first (and only?) film Sandler made that capitalized on his music background and distinct stylings. While it can be argued, for just about all his movies actually, that he didn't really have to stretch himself in the acting department here I do believe this was the first time we got a Sandler that was a generally nice guy. Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore were funny but those characters ultimately came off as assholes. Where as here you just wanted him to win Drew Barrymore's affections and live happily ever after. I also think this was where we started to get the Sandler group (the guys that would eventually appear in just about all his movies after this) which only helps cement this as a turning point for his career. Love that Billy Idol cameo as well.

The Wedding Singer (Totally Awesome Edition) [Blu-ray]



2.




His first starring role and our first look at someone that would be around for a long time to come. I still remember when this film was just about to come out, I heard a radio spot for it with Adam Sandler telling me to go see his movie immediately. I remember laughing at the notion of the star using the advertisement money to talk to people directly and convince them to go see his movie. That of course was back when he was still trying to make a name for himself, he hasn't had to do that for a very long time. The movie itself...well like most early work for a rising star it is fairly formulaic, raunchy, doesn't have a brain in its head, and is tons of stupid fun. Like the greats before him, Eddie Murphy/Dan Aykroyd in Trading Places, Rodney Dangerfield in Easy Money, Bill Murray in Stripes or Chevy Chase in Vacation this was and still is his best straight up comedy to date.

Billy Madison (Widescreen Special Edition)



3.




P.T. Anderson wrote this film with Adam Sandler in mind. He never had any intention of casting anyone but him for it and it shows. This neurotic, uneasy, and flippant character fits Sandler's personality like a glove and is probably my favorite film he has ever made. The film itself is all kinds of weird but that is what someone like P.T. Anderson excels in, just look at the ending to Magnolia if you want to see strange. But Sandler fits into this oddball world perfectly, his interactions with all his sisters, his temper tantrums, and his basic uncomfortableness around people is all seamless with his mannerisms. I love that he is kind of a bad ass to boot, how he can just flip a switch and go all Waterboy on somebodies ass. And the phone sex scene is just amazing, his double talk with how he keeps saying yes then no mixed with his shyness is priceless. We need to see him in more movies that takes chances like this.

Punch-Drunk Love (Two Disc Special Edition) (Superbit Collection)



4.




Like most comedic actors there comes a time where they have to try and step out of their comfort zone. The examples of this are endless but two of the more recent ones would have to be Will Ferrell in Stranger Than Fiction and Jim Carrey in Man on the Moon. So I wasn't too shocked when I saw the first trailer for this film with Adam Sandler portraying a man that has lost his entire family whom has repressed his emotions so much that he is no longer the same person. I was however shocked to find out that he did a pretty dam good job with this portrayal. While most of the film he seems to be moping around doing his usual shy-guy shtick he is actually setting us up for some really heartbreaking moments later in the film. I can't say that I have ever known anyone that has had to deal with something like that but I can say that I believed every moment that Adam Sandler was on screen portraying a man with a broken mind, heart and soul in recent memory. Perhaps it was due to a lack of box office receipts or maybe he is just over trying to break out of his mold but I would really like to see more from him as a dramatic actor in the future.

Reign Over Me [Blu-ray]



5.




Leave it to director James L. Brooks to turn Adam Sandler into a family man. While there is nothing inherently special about this film it is probably one of Sandler's most genuinely heartfelt performances of his career. A lot of that praise though doesn't rest solely with him though, newcomer (at the time) Paz Vega helped a lot in that regard. Their scenes together showed that Sandler had much more charisma as a leading man than I had thought possible. While I can't say he is out of his element here (let's face it, Sandler excels at playing the downtrodden and tortured soul with a smile) he definitely had never played it better than this. The film is not your conventional love story and Sandler isn't your conventional family man which I felt worked well together and gave us one of his most down to earth and relatable performances to date.

Spanglish



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