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Grown Ups 2(2013)
Lenny has relocated his family back to the small town where he and his friends grew up. This time around, the grown ups are the ones learning lessons from their kids on a day notoriously full of surprises: the last day of school.
For more about Grown Ups 2 and the Grown Ups 2 Blu-ray release, see Grown Ups 2 Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on October 24, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph
Director: Dennis Dugan
» See full cast & crew
Grown Ups 2 Blu-ray Review
The band nobody wanted to see again is back together.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, October 24, 2013
If a movie ever screamed "vanity project," it's Grown Ups 2, the sequel to the medicare hit Comedy Grown Ups about a bunch of middle-aged men trying to recapture their youths in the midst of the grind of adult life. It was a decent little time waster, that original, a film with a lighthearted charm and modest appeal that seemed fun for the cast and translated into a relatively good time for the audience, despite its reliance on toilet humor and other bland comedy routines. The sequel, however, is a disaster. The film plays with no rhythm, no purpose, little cohesion, and barely scrapes together its limited laughs. It certainly looks like the cast is, once again, having fun stumbling all over themselves and working through mindless and needlessly drawn-out drama and skits. Unfortunately, it will likely leave most in the audience feeling cold and abandoned, wondering what pleasure there is in watching a bunch of comedic actors bounce through a film with almost no comedy save for the stale old bodily function humor and sexual innuendo that's been done to death and, here, beaten to a bloody pulp.
It's summertime, and that means one thing: partying. With their kids' school winding down its last day, friends Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler), Kurt McKenzie (Chris Rock), Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James), and Marcus Higgins (David Spade) plan the perfect kick-off-the-summer bash, 80s style. In the lead-up to the party, they experience a number of issues. Lenny's wife Roxanne (Salma Hayek) announces that she's ready for another baby, but Lenny isn't so sure (the family would have to order a second pizza every time). Kurt remembers his 20th wedding anniversary and surprises his wife Deanne (Maya Rudolph) with a necklace. She surprises him by forgetting the important date. Eric escapes from his wife Sally (Maria Bello) by hiding out with his mother and watching Soap Operas. Finally, Marcus spends his first day with a rough-and-tumble teenage son named Braden (Alexander Ludwig) he never knew he had.
The film opens with a wild animal peeing on Adam Sandler's face, followed by it running wildly through the house, peeing on another family member, and running wild through the house some more. In many ways, the movie is like that animal, aimlessly spraying stuff nobody wants and making a mess of things as it runs around almost like a chicken with hits head cut off, showing no direction and leaving only chaos in its wake. Organized, purposeful chaos in cinema is one thing, but this movie, like the animal, lacks control, direction, a goal. It's one of the most scattered films in recent memory, switching between characters almost at random and barely finding a purpose for each scene. The characters are by-and-large obnoxious, save for the McKenzie's newest family member, still in diapers, who gleefully steals every scene he's in because he doesn't know any better than to be himself and just have fun in front of the camera. That's much of what made the first film work, characteristics the lead actors embraced. In Grown Ups 2, the main cast tries too hard to make the movie too big and substitutes legitimate situational, real-life humor with stale toilet jokes and even goes so far as to combine them, trying to make a funny about sneezing, burping, and farting all at the same time. Really, that's one of the main themes in the movie. The movie's other ideas of humor include pee stains on underwear, chocolate soft serve ice cream made to look like poop, characters drooling and spitting all over themselves, characters who serve almost no purpose but to yell "WHAAAAAATTTT?," and showing far too much of sports commentator Dan Patrick's backside. The film earns one or two legitimate laughs when the humor flows from the story, but most of it feels like one of those awful popular culture riffs disguised as Parody films that just throw everything they can on the screen and hope some of it sticks.
If there's a reason to watch, it's not for the assembled primary cast but rather for the barrage of secondary character cameos. Names like Shaquille O'Neal, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and Taylor Lautner all manage to overshadow the film's primary cast, and by a significant margin. Shaq dominates ever scene, not only because of his impressive physical presence but because, like always, he appears with an infectious smile and seems content to just have fun with his part rather than take it even the least bit serious. Stone Cold's performance is much the same. It's a little flatter but then again his character isn't one for charisma but rather physical intimidation as the ex-arch-rival of one of the characters. He plays it tough and straight and manages the best surprise in the movie in his final scene. Twilight's Taylor Lautner appears with his "pack" of frat boys in every scene. In fact, the entire subplot involving him and his fraternity brothers almost feels modeled after the Twilight universe; it's a surprise when Sandler, James, Rock, and the rest of the gang don't start growing fans and leaping through the air when they're in confrontation.
Grown Ups 2 Blu-ray, Video Quality
Grown Ups 2 looks fantastic on Blu-ray. After a troubling opening overhead that offers soft definition, the image transitions into a razor-sharp beast. Clarity is excellent from beginning to end and under all lighting conditions, from the sunniest exteriors to the darkest nighttime scenes. The level of visible detail is striking. The image showcases clothing and facial lines to perfection, and the cleanliness and resolution allows every frame to appear as well defined as any HD video movie out there. Colors, too, are vibrant and varied. The image is consistently bright and displays a wide range of hues without appearing garish or hot. School bus yellows, orange safety vests, green trees, and colorful odds and ends stand out nicely and naturally (the K-Mart sequence being a fine example). There's no apparent noise, banding, blockiness, or other troublesome flaw. This is an excellent transfer from top to bottom from Sony.
Grown Ups 2 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Grown Ups 2 features a fun and lively DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Musical delivery is outstanding, whether the generic and breezy-light Comedy notes or heavier beats heard at the party at the end. Spacing is excellent and natural, the surrounds enjoy a workout, and the low end is tight and firmly supportive. The animal that dashes through the house at the beginning does so with excellent stage presence -- it runs across the listening area and its hooves impact the floor with a solid thud -- that creates the illusion that it's inside the room with the audience, not up on the screen. There are some fine light background atmospherics that gently immerse the listener in various locations, including the train station where Marcus meets his son, inside school hallways and busses, and suburban back yards. Dialogue plays neatly, evenly, and clearly from the center. This is a strong all-around soundtrack from Sony.
Grown Ups 2 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Grown Ups 2 contains deleted scenes and a few fluffy bonuses.
Grown Ups 2 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Grown Ups 2 isn't really a "disappointment" because it's a film, almost by its very nature, that produces extremely low expectations. The only surprise comes from just how dull a picture it really is, how piecemeal and unfunny it plays. The film is at its best when it allows its secondary stars to shine. The admittedly talented main cast just doesn't have any good material with which to work, and the result is a major flop and, hopefully, the last film in the series. Sony's Blu-ray release of Grown Ups 2 features rock-solid video and audio. A few throwaway extras are included. Skip it.
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Grown Ups 2 Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Grown Ups 2 Blu-ray - September 9, 2013
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has officially announced that it will release a combo pack edition of director Dennis Dugan's comedy Grown Ups 2 (2013), starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek, and Maria Bello. The release will ...
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