Ever wonder what happens to actors and filmmakers who stop making good films and start releasing bad ones? They land themselves in Movie Jail! JoBlo.com readers will act as the jury to hold celebrities accountable for the diminishing quality of films, while still taking into full account their entire career. While they won’t actually spend any time behind bars, this is a fun way for you to voice your opinion as to whether a few bad movies discredits an entire career. So, read through the evidence on both sides and let us know in the comments whether this week’s defendant deserves to go to MOVIE JAIL!
The Defendant: Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler is hereby charged with multiple counts of crimes against the box office and millions of patrons of theaters across the globe. He is accused of maliciously making bad movies with no intention of maintaining any level of quality output. He is also accused of abuse of celebrity in attempts to make films that are without any redeeming value.
EVIDENCE FOR THE PROSECUTION: THE WATERBOY, LITTLE NICKY, MR. DEEDS, EIGHT CRAZY NIGHTS, ANGER MANAGEMENT, SPANGLISH, THE LONGEST YARD, CLICK, REIGN OVER ME, I KNOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK & LARRY, YOU DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN, BEDTIME STORIES, GROWN UPS, JUST GO WITH IT, JACK AND JILL, THAT’S MY BOY, GROWN UPS 2, BLENDED, MEN WOMEN AND CHILDREN, PIXELS, THE RIDICULOUS 6, THE DO-OVER, SANDY WEXLER, THE WEEK OF, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION, MURDER MYSTERY, THE COBBLER,
In the last twenty-five years, Adam Sandler has starred in forty films. Of those movies, some have become pop culture classics thanks to their mix of childish and vulgar humor, but the vast majority have just been bad. While Mr. Sandler used to be a box office draw, his film quality has continued to degrade over the years and finally culminated in a landmark deal with Netflix that has allowed him to make atrociously bad movies multiple times a year with zero recourse or oversight. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Adam Sandler is Movie Jail’s worst nightmare.
While Mr. Sandler has made bad big screen offerings like CLICK, JACK AND JILL, and GROWN UPS, it is his steady stream (pun intended) of Netflix movies that has doomed him in this trial. Not a single one of his films since THE RIDICULOUS 6 has amounted to more than a vacation for himself and his troop of regular players like Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, David Spade, and Kevin James. Even for free, these Netflix films are barely tolerable and don’t make a concerted effort to be more than the juvenile humor of BILLY MADISON. Except, when the actors are in their late forties, it smacks of desperation rather than comedy.
Adam Sandler is absolutely a talented performer and comedian, but since making it big in the late 1990s, he has made minimal efforts to truly act on screen. Comedy is harder than almost anything else in Hollywood and the lack of effort that Mr. Sandler puts on screen for his supposedly funny films is sufficient evidence to find him guilty. If anything, JACK AND JILL should serve as enough proof that Mr. Sandler should never be allowed to make a film unsupervised ever again.
EVIDENCE FOR THE DEFENSE: AIRHEADS, BILLY MADISON, HAPPY GILMORE, BULLETPROOF, THE WEDDING SINGER, BIG DADDY, PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE, 50 FIRST DATES, FUNNY PEOPLE, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2, THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND SELECTED), UNCUT GEMS
It is true that Adam Sandler’s brand of comedy is not for everybody. While BILLY MADISON and HAPPY GILMORE may be more nostalgiac films for those who saw them on the big screen, his Netflix efforts have paled in comparison. Even his more ambitious projects like PIXELS have failed to ignite the popularity that he once had. Still, Mr. Sandler has made more than enough challenging films to cement his acting abilities and prove he deserves to keep making films. Whether it be animated fare, independent projects, or even Netflix movies, Adam Sandler has enough gems in his filmography to offset his duds.
Going back to THE WEDDING SINGER, Mr. Sandler has shown a spark for dramatic and nuanced acting. While that film perfectly blended his more immature humor with a romantic plot, it also showed that he is capable of range on screen. BIG DADDY also showed that balance of scatological with dramatic but it truly came together with Paul Thomas Anderson’s PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE, a brilliant portrait of a broken man that should have earned Adam Sandler an Oscar. He has challenged himself since with roles in FUNNY PEOPLE, REIGN OVER ME, THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND SELECTED) and MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN. While only a couple of those movies have been well received by critics, they show that Adam Sandler can do funny and serious, romantic and dramatic.
This year, Adam Sandler is the talk of awards season with his role in The Safdie Brothers film UNCUT GEMS. Another movie that flies in the face of what the world has come to expect from Sandler, UNCUT GEMS is another project, like PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE, that completely redeems Adam Sandler from his critics. Yes, he takes vacations that happen to be filmed and gets millions of dollars for it, but wouldn’t you do the same if you were in his position? If making mediocre movies is enough to earn us a film like UNCUT GEMS once every five years, that is an easy price to pay and should absolve Mr. Sandler of all charges.
Adam Sandler’s filmography is one made up of imbalances. On one weighted end, we have a volume of bad films that heavily outweigh the good ones. Cash grabs all, these comedies smack of poor writing and editing and yet they still earn him millions of dollars. On the other end of that spectrum, Mr. Sandler has a small, distinct group of independent films that are dramatic, unique, and lauded by critics. It becomes the task of you, the Jury, to decide if this small selection of roles balances the scales of justice against movies like THAT’S MY BOY and THE RIDICULOUS 6. Is it enough to make some good movies if you make three times as many bad ones? That is for you to decide.
*The cases for and against a defendant going to Movie Jail by the author are not necessarily his views and opinions but they are some of the beliefs that one would use to effectively make an argument for both sides. Not quite a devil’s advocate but you get the point. Anyway, this is all in fun so don’t take it too seriously. We have a separate jail for those people called “Troll Tower” and believe me you do NOT want to go there.
WHAT SAY YOU: GUILTY OR NOT?
Here is your change to make your voice heard. You are the Jury! Let us know in the comments below whether you find Adam Sandler INNOCENT or GUILTY and we will share the verdict in two weeks! Remember: this is all for fun. No celebrities have been harmed in the creation of this column.
LAST WEEK’S VERDICT: GUILTY
While he still had many supporters, Vin Diesel was overwhelmingly found to be guilty of crimes against film. While he has the abilities of a talented actor, Mr. Diesel knowingly and willingly makes movies rather than quality films. Due to his attempts to make passion projects, even misguided ones, his sentence will be probation. If BLOODSHOT fails to show an improvement of quality, he will be remanded to Movie Jail for a period of three years.