Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Yeah, it’s Christmas time again, but we can’t go through the whole month exclusively focusing on Christmas can we? Okay, technically we can do anything we want, but I think we need to give a shout out to our Jewish friends celebrating Hanukkah. There’s not a lot of Hanukkah movies that I’m aware of personally, but Adam Sandler is famous for his cartoon film, Eight Crazy Nights. If you noticed my rating right off the bat, you’ll notice I didn’t really like it. This shocked me, because the last time I saw it, I distinctly remembering thinking that it was decent. All I have to say now is that – yes, parts of it are decent, but I’m not too crazy about a lot of what the film offers either.
You got Adam Sandler, which to make a long story short…is pretty much a Jewish Scrooge. He hates the holidays because something devastating happened a long time ago on the holidays. It’s not a complete mystery as to what happened, as you can probably guess, but anyways…he’s a jerk. When he’s about to get arrested for resisting arrest, an old fart by the name of Whitey takes him in and makes a deal with the judge. Davey must do community service as an assistant basketball coach, but if he messes up once, it’s back to the slammer for ten years he goes.
I don’t know, you guys. The film clearly gives off that “Sandler” vibe. Sandler still does his annoying voice here and even applies a newer, more annoying voice for Whitey and his twin sister Eleanor. But why did it have to be a cartoon, exactly? My best guess is to parody other stereotypical family-friendly holiday films that are also cartoon…maybe to mask the multiple characters that he also plays…but you ask me…that’s grasping at straws. They could have easily made this a live action film. It didn’t seem like it would be too difficult to make, actually. Whitey and his sister are a bit over-caricatured…but again…not enough to make a huge difference.
Also, a cartoon is good for only so much. This film relied on the need for emotion for a few distinct scenes. Instead of getting a good actor that can portray emotion through voice, he used his more annoying older guy voice to tell a very emotional story, and it sounded stupid. That was the one moment in the film that they needed to ground everyone for the rest of the film. That is the moment when people say, “Yes, I definitely like this movie now.” Sorry. They botched it up. The animation was decent, but again with the emotion, I wasn’t satisfied. You know as well as I do that Adam Sandler can act when he needs to, and he needed to here. Unfortunately, you just get what you get here…and that’s not much.
You probably are already aware that this is a musical as well. Here’s what surprised me – Adam Sandler’s voice as he sings is not what you typically hear from the man. I had to double check to see that it really was him, because it didn’t sound like him 80% of the time. He has a decent voice. Maybe I have to watching The Wedding Singer again, but he surprised me. Unfortunately a surprise isn’t good enough to save the songs themselves. They are boring, unremarkable, and uncatchy. The two songs that are worth anything are the Bum Biddy Biddy Biddy Bum song towards the end, and the Hanukkah song in the credits. That’s it.
Eight Crazy Nights provides some good information on Hanukkah in the right attitude and spirit for the most part, and for what it’s worth, you like the old flame and her son. There are a couple of good songs and the jokes sometimes work. The overall message about recognition of smaller people doing big things is commendable as well.
There’s a few flaws here and there, but the main one overall basically dealt with the significant lack of emotion. It just wasn’t presented in the way it was supposed to, either through sound or visual. Also, come on, did you really have to go out of your way to show all of these brands, and create animated voiced characters out of their mascots?
Davey Stone: Smell ya later, Poopsicle!