Jack and Jill (Blu-ray)

When you think about Directors who’s films have grossed over a billion dollars throughout their career, chances are you AREN’T thinking about Adam Sandler-favorite Dennis Dugan, but Dugan is on the list. This week sees the release on Blu-ray of the most recent collaboration between the two, the lackluster JACK AND JILL (2011). Sandler and Dugan have both had incredible box office success but that may finally come to a halt thanks to some really poor efforts on both of their parts.

Katie Holmes, Adam Sandler, and Rohan Chand

JACK AND JILL is the story of Jack (Sandler), a commercial director in Hollywood, and his sister Jill’s (also Sandler) annual visit. Growing up the twins were inseparable but have since allowed a rift to grow between them. The more reserved Jack has enjoyed what we accept as success in this society – he has a great job, lots of money, great house, great car, beautiful wife, and two cute children. Jill, on the other hand, never strayed far from her home in the Bronx and just generally gets under Jack’s skin with her every move. When Jack realizes that he can use his sister to potentially save his business, he wastes no time in doing everything he can to manipulate her and the situation. It’s hard to say much more about the plot without giving away what would be spoilers (even through there really isn’t anything to spoil).

Elodie Tougne (behind cage), Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes, and Rohan Chand

In case you didn’t hear, JACK AND JILL was recently nominated for 12 Razzies (or Golden Raspberries), the awards handed out the same night as the Oscars for the movies considered to be the worst of that year. This movie actually won Worst Picture but I think it was a lifetime achievement sort of award. In truth, JACK AND JILL is pretty terrible, but that doesn’t make it one of the worst movies of all time. What makes it so bad is the fact that Sandler has completely lost touch with his audience.

Al Pacino and Adam Sandler

The last four or five movies he has released (with the possible exception of FUNNY PEOPLE) have clearly been attempts to recapture the magic and random silliness of his initial offerings BILLY MADISON (1995) and HAPPY GILMORE (1996), but they just don’t work. His jokes and inability to deliver a line without falling into the caricature that is now Adam Sandler make me sad. I hope that isn’t what happens when you get money, but that is the feeling you get watching Sandler go through the paces. He no longer understands the simple conflicts at the heart of real emotion; instead using things like cruises and mansions and hob-knobbing with celebrities as the big relatable moments.

Katie Holmes, Adam Sandler, Elodie Tougne, and Rohan Chand

It isn’t every day that I have the honor, as a movie/Blu-ray reviewer, to watch and critique what is generally considered to be one of the worst movies ever made. This movie sucks the fun out of every possible moment because there isn’t anything universal about any of the characters. Sandler’s Jack is a jerk of a brother and a manipulator and his Jill is worse, a character without a single redeeming quality other than her love for her brother. In some stories that would be enough but they spend so much time building her up as this monster of a human being that it is hard not to take them at their word.

Adam Sandler as both Jill and Jack

Additionally, the voice Sandler used for Jill is the same “woman” voice from his comedy CDs from 10-15 years ago and it is boring. The jokes aren’t new, the delivery is horrid, and the acting is non-existent outside of the child actors. This is a lame attempt at filmmaking and will leave you disappointed. If you want to see something good with Sandler, check out Paul Thomas Anderson’s cerebral PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE or the afore-mentioned HAPPY GILMORE.

BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video: (1080p, 1.85:1 Widescreen) The video is fine but there isn’t anything impressive to see. High definition actually does the special effects a disservice in that at times it is clear that they had to digitally add Sandler back into the scene (the colors just aren’t quite right, or they are too smooth).

Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) The audio is pretty well done and the track is expertly mixed, but it is hard to tell the difference on something like this.

Deleted Scenes (19:07) 13 scenes that weren’t good enough to make this movie. Yelch. Really not anything here that’s worth the effort. Included scenes are: Here Comes Jill; Driving Miss Jill; Otto the War Veteran; Jill: Exposed; Making Ham Fun Again; Ordering Chaos; “…Or So I’ve Been Told”; “Wham, Bam Eggs and Ham”; A Wish Come True; Sorry Grandma; Pool Side Peepshow; Jill Stays In; “An Al Pacheese Cake”

Dennis Dugan with Sandler on set

Laughing Is Contagious (03:44) This is the outtakes from the production footage. There’s not much to it and not a lot of good moments.

Look Who Stopped By (08:33) This featurette celebrates the many cameos in the movie, most of whom appear to be friends with Sandler.

Boys Will Be Girls (03:44) The cast and crew share their insights on working with Sandler playing a woman, and with another gender-switch you might not have noticed.

Stomach Ache (04:20) A short special feature about Dana Carvey and Regis Philbin’s cameo-scene filming a fake commercial about diarrhea.

Don’t Call It A Boat-Royal Caribbean (02:34) Cast and crew discuss shooting on the largest cruise-ship in the world.

This Blu-ray also features previews for several other Happy Madison films and access to BD-Live.

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