Saturday, March 10, 2012
Day 101: Jack & Jill
"What do you think people are thinking here, that I'm sitting with my rabbi?"
Fuck Adam Sandler. Fuck him. I used to be a fan. I used to overlook his laziness and rampant, almost psychopathic, product placement in his films. It now reminds me of that scene at the beginning of Stripes when Bill Murray's girlfriend tells him that it's just not cute anymore. I'm not even really sure why he makes movies these days. He's definitely got enough money, why continue to subject audiences to this torture? It's not like he's just doing it for his buddies, he's given each of them their own starring vehicles. What is his motivation for doing these fucking movies? I just want to know. I don't think anyone can tell me though.
I went through this litany of reasons why Sandler sucks now in my review of Bucky Larson, so instead I'm going to focus my review of this particular film on the way it humiliates several people I like and respect. First up there's Norm MacDonald. When he showed up, a smile actually came across my face. I love Norm MacDonald, he's one of the very few people that I think is unfairly maligned, and I enjoy him both as a stand-up and as an actor. They gave him nothing to do here. I wonder if they reigned him in because he looks thoroughly disconnected, and while that's usually his schtick, he actually looks like a dead man in this film.
Then there's Dana Carvey. I would be hard pressed to say that I still love Dana Carvey, especially after his turn as Pistachio Disguisey in Master of Disguise, a film I plan on getting around to on here, but again, he's in the movie for thirty seconds. It could have been anyone, why have Carvey come in and play a hippie puppeteer with two lines of dialogue? I would like to clarify here that these are all hypothetical questions. I don't think there are actual answers to any of these questions, so I'm just going to continue doing this in the hopes that someone can prove me wrong.
Johnny Depp? He has one of the only two funny lines of dialogue in the entire movie, it's up at the top, and it's only funny in context, said by Depp. Johnny Depp has done enough great movies that he gets a pass from me on whatever nonsense him and his hetero-lifemate Tim Burton want to get up to, but this movie? Why is he there? Again, it can't be for money. It's a cameo, so I just can't figure out why it's him.
This brings me to the big dog in the film: Academy Award winner (for perhaps his worst nominated role) Al Pacino. Pacino is like the second lead in this thing. He's not just in one or two scenes, he's in pretty much the whole god damned movie. I'm going to say this again, in case you were confused, he's in most of the movie. Like more than half of it. A large majority of the film's running time. I would love to say he's playing a "comedically amped up" version of himself, but I don't think such a thing exists, I think this is probably what he's really like. This is probably an intimate glimpse into the mind of a maniac, and everyone thought it was going to be funny, but it's more scary than anything else.
Let's talk about Al Pacino for a moment. The verdict's out on the man, he used to be a genius, now he's insane. His film choices for the better part of a decade have been questionable at best and dizzyingly deranged at worst. He's done some good stuff like Angels in America & Insomnia, but he's also done the following: Gigli, Two for the Money, 88 Minutes, Righteous Kill, & Simone. The guy's out of his mind. I'd say his friends should stage an intervention, but his friends are presumably people like Robert DeNiro & Robert Duvall, and don't get me started on their nonsense. The film geek in me got excited about the reunion of the stars of Donnie Brasco, but that quickly dissipated when I saw that they weren't going to be given anything remotely entertaining to do.
There's nothing original, inspired, funny or worthwhile happening on screen in Jack & Jill. It's not the worst movie I've ever seen. I wouldn't even call it one of the worst movies of the last year, but it is a monumental failure of a film because I can't think of a single reason for it to exist. It can't even get the concept of twins right (opposite sex twins cannot be identical). That fact alone should have been an indication to anyone with a brain as to what this thing was going to end up being, but I guess it takes all kinds. Just like I have The Royal Tenenbaums, somebody out there now has Jack & Jill.