Adam Sandler plays Michael Newman, stressed-out workaholic who, overwhelmed by his job though he is, is allowing it to interfere with his family life. At the end of his tether one night, he sets out to buy a universal remote, but Christopher Walken (apparently playing Christopher Lloyd) sells him a truly universal remote.
All sorts of gags involving giving the real world the rewind, pause, fast-forward and slow-motion treatment ensue, and a number are funny. But as sure as night f…llows day, the remote eventually starts behaving in ways Sandlers doesn’t want (fast-forwarding his entire life), and A Lesson About Proper Values Is Learned. Bleechhh. Not to mention a twist that is blatantly telegraphed by Sandler’s arrival at the store where he will buy the remote. And did I mention the whole thing is a riff on It’s a Wonderful Life?
A rather mixed bag here. After some booming opening logos, the actual credit score barely registers at the surround level. Just as I was beginning to write off the 5.1 completely, some nice sound effects of traffic kicked in. Then the environmental effects went away, only to resurface (briefly) as Walken unlocks the vault doors to the remote. Not exactly an immersive experience, then. The dialogue, however, is free of distortion, and the overall clarity of the sound is beyond reproach.
No reservations about the picture, however. It is strikingly beautiful. The colours are extremely deep, rich and warm. The contrasts are superb, as are the blacks. Flesh tones are excellent, too. Grain? Nonexistent. Ditto edge enhancement. Sharpness? Enough to draw blood. An absolutely tip-top transfer.
Commentaries with a large group of participants are rarely more than the equivalent of listening in on a party you weren’t invited to, and that’s pretty much what we have here (for the record, the participants are Sandler, director Frank Coraci, co-writer Steve Koren and executive producer Tim Herlihy). There are seven featurettes (“Make Me Old and Fat,” “FX of Click,” “Design My Universe,” “Cars of the Future,” “Humping Dogs,” “Director’s Take” and “Fine Cookin’”), and they’re all pretty insubstantial. As well as four deleted scenes, there are a whopping 17 trailers (including a very nifty one for Casino Royale).
It’s not awful. It’s entertaining. But oh, the schmaltz. And no, it is not related (except through tangential coincidence) to the erotic Milo Manara graphic novel of the same name.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Making-of Featurettes
- Deleted Scenes