Plot: What’s it about?
A few years ago, Adam Sandler “got the band back together” and made a movie called Grown Ups. In the cast were Chris Rock, David Spade and Kevin James (who I still believe would be played by Chris Farley if he were still alive). The movie was a modest success and all was well. Then 2013 showed up and we were treated to Grown Ups 2. A movie that no one really expected and it might be argued that no one really wanted. Sporting more cameo roles than you can shake a stick at, it had a budget of $80 million and managed to gross nearly double that. Amazing. God Bless America. I’m a big fan of Adam Sandler, well his 90’s work anyway, so I decided to give the movie a chance. I figure the movies I like the best are ones that I don’t get too excited about. So here we are, I sit down, peruse the back of the box and might even lose a few brain cells along the way. Here we go folks, it’s Grown Ups 2!
Most every movie has at least some discernible plot, this is thanks to the screenwriter(s). Fortunately for Grown Ups 2, this isn’t a problem because, try as I might, I couldn’t really tell what the plot was. We meet the same cast of characters: Lenny (Adam Sandler), Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chris Rock) and Marcus (David Spade). Each has their own particular issue they’re dealing with, be it eating lunch at his mother’s house and watching Days of Our Lives (Eric), finding out you have a 6’4″ 13 year old son (Marcus) or learning that your wife wants another child (Lenny). The foursome seems to bond over the fact that life is A-OK until a group of bratty Fraternity boys led by Andy (Taylor Lautner) decide that this is their town and they want the old guys out. Along the way there’s plenty of product placement (a staple of Sandler movies) for Kmart and we meet a police duo led by a balding Shaquille O’Neal. Suffice it to say that things culminate at a party held at Lenny’s place and that’s pretty much that.
I’m usually pretty ticked off when I see a movie that doesn’t seem to try, but try as I might I actually liked Grown Ups 2. Yes, I did! I don’t care if it didn’t make sense, it made me laugh! I like to laugh and thinking about it the day after I’ve seen it, I’m about to go pop it in the player and watch some selected scenes again. Yes, I’m talking about a back-flipping Taylor Lautner, a male cheerleader car wash scene that’s painfully funny to watch and the most erotic ballet I’ve ever witnessed. Is it a sign of the Apocalypse when Taylor Lautner and Shaquille O’Neal are the most interesting performers in a movie filled with comics? Why yes. Yes it is. As you can see, the critics gave the movie an 8% rating at RottenTomatoes. However the audiences loved it. The humor is funny, gross (but not too gross) and if you take it with a grain of salt – you might just enjoy yourself. But just remember to keep those brain cells on standby as you’ll need them later.
Video: How’s it look?
A big budget movie from a major studio making its debut on Blu-ray will usually equal one thing: a good-looking transfer. Guess what? It does. this 1.85:1 AVC HD image has “Mastered in 4K” on the back, as do most of Sony’s new titles, so I don’t know if that had some placebo effect on me or not, but I can say that this looks top notch. Sandler, Rock and company aren’t getting any younger, but we can see every grey hair, wrinkle and every other flaw these legends of the 90’s are now sporting. Thankfully Sandler is transparent and proud of it. What’s that mean? He always puts buxom young ladies in his movies, so we’ve got plenty of opportunities to ogle Selma Hayek’s heaving bosom (stuffed into a dress about two sizes too small…and I’m not complaining) along with a sexy ballerina teacher and cheerleaders – male and female – to boot. Suffice it to say that anything and everything associated with this movie looks about as good as can be expected.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Grown Ups 2 comes to Blu-ray with a fully immersive DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack. To be honest, I really wasn’t expecting a whole lot but this actually delivered on levels I never thought it would. Granted this isn’t the demo disc of the year, but for a slapstick/sophomoric comedy – it surprised me. Vocals are top notch, with no distortion at all. If you want, you can play a little game and close your eyes and see if you can guess whose voice is on screen at that minute. Or you can’t. Surrounds are used sparingly, but do deliver a few good blows to boot. I caught the LFE once or twice, but still – not a bad mix.
Supplements: What are the extras?
In spite of the success of the movie, the supplements included aren’t too robust. There are some Blu-ray exclusives, though that’s not much of an incentive.
- Deleted Scenes – Several funny and not so funny moments that didn’t make the final cut. I mean…why not?
- Shaq and Dante – Dynamic cop duo Shaquille O’Neal and Peter Dante pal around on the set.
- Look Who Stopped By – A look at all of the cameo roles in the film from Jon Lovitz to Andy Samberg to Steve Buscemi. And we wonder why the budget was $80 million? I’m guessing all of these cameos weren’t pro bono.
- The Feder House – The house wasn’t a real house, no, it was constructed along with the entire backyard (for the party scene) inside a huge dome of sorts.
- Mr. Spade’s Wild Ride – We get a look at some “raw footage” of David Spade as he takes his ride in the tire. Careful David, not too fast!
- DVD/UltraViolet Copies