Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Cobbler Review

Watching Adam Sandler "act" these days has sort of a time machine effect. When I was a kid, I loved his stupid films. Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore? I ate that shit up. Perhaps my age range was the target audience for his wacky voice and ridiculous antics, but man...watching him on screen now just makes me not only hate him now but hate him always. I can feel the child inside that enjoyed his movies dying.

The thing about Sandler in The Cobbler is, he isn't terrible for the typical recent reasons. He isn't over-the-top or acting like a clown or doing silly shit. No, he just seems to be phoning it in from the first frame to the last. Initially I thought the weird, dour character he portrayed was just that, part of the character and he would eventually snap out of it. He doesn't though. Even when things are happy, he seems to be a weird, dour guy pretending to be happy. I felt like I could actually see him just after the director yells cut looking over at his manager and asking when he gets his check.

Speaking of the director, prior to this film Thomas McCarthy had been a filmmaker who had received almost entirely critical acclaim. Win Win, The Station Agent and The Visitor. Surely he could get the most out of a semi-serious turn from Sandler, especially because Sandler has a history of doing pretty solid work under such circumstances. He was believable and heartbreaking as a man with nothing left in his life in Reign Over Me. He was timid and lonely and convincing in Punch Drunk Love

In The Cobbler, he is just bad and sad and lifeless, which actually pretty much describes the entire film. The Cobbler is bad and sad and lifeless. It attempts to tell a magical tale of a shoe cobbler with a magic sewing machine yet I felt no magic. It clearly strives to earn our laughs, but I couldn't even crack a smile. The moments where McCarthy wants us to reach for the tissues to wipe away our tears feel pandering and manipulative and so desperate, like there should be a flashing "BE MOVED NOW" sign on the bottom of the screen. Not only did I never give a shit about these characters, I rolled my eyes whenever the film tried to make me care.

I would have been even more offended by the terrible twist ending, but at that point I was already on the floor bleeding and twitching with sweat dripping off my forehead from the night terrors I knew I would have the second I close my eyes. In these vivid and disturbing dreams I would be forced to sit in a chair and watch Adam Sandler go to the bank and cash his 20 million dollar checks for not even giving a shit about what he is doing, and then I would be held at gun point during a Sandler marathon with no choice but to sit through all the horrendous nonsense he has been doing for, I don't know, a really long time now.

The more I think about The Cobbler, the more I hate it. I didn't even cover the sequences where Sandler is an Asian man excited that he has an Asian accent or the moment he realizes he needs to rob someone so he transforms into Method Man, because of course it has to be the black guy, right?

I need to stop writing now. Don't waste a moment on The Cobbler.


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