Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights (Special Edition)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
4 out of 10
Extras Rating:
6 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Adam Sandler as Davey Stone/Whitey Duvall/Eleanore Duvall
Jackie Titone as Jennifer
Austin Stout as Benjamin
Kevin Nealon as The Mayor
Rob Schneider as The Narrator
Tyra Banks
James Barbour
Bobby Edner
Jon Lovitz
Cole Sprouse
Dylan Sprouse
Travis Tedford

Special Features:

Commentary by Whitey, Eleanore, and writer-producer Allan Covert

Commentary by Seth Kearsley, art director Philip A. Cruden, head of animation Stephan Franck, effects supervisor John Bermudas, and executive producer Ken Tsumura

Nine original featurettes: Eleanore, Whitey, Creating Dukesberry, Townspeople of Dukesberry, Dukesberry Sings, Jennifer & Benjamin, Voices of Dukesberry, Davey, The Deer

13 deleted/alternate scenes with optional commentary

Multi-angle animation progression

HBO First Look special

"Chanukah Song Part 3" music video

"A Day with the Meatball" short film

"NBA: Love It Live" TV spot

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1) and Full Screen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French Language Track
French and English Subtitles
Running Time: 76 Minutes

Synopsis:
Davey Stone is the town hoodlum and holiday Scrooge. Rude, violent, and a drunk, he routinely harasses people and destroys property, especially during Christmas and Hanukah. When Davey goes too far and gets arrested, the judge is prepared to throw the book at him. However, an old basketball referee by the name of Whitey intercedes on his behalf. Whitey knew Davey when he was a good kid and is determined to bring the good side out of him again. The judge releases Davey into Whitey's custody, but if he screws up, he'll be sent to jail for 10 years.

Davey begins to change his ways and even tries to win the heart of his childhood sweetheart, but it's only a matter of time until he screws things up yet again. The final straw comes when Davey crushes the hopes of Whitey about getting a community service award. Is it possible for Davey to see the error of his ways and set everything right?

8 Crazy Nights is rated PG-13 for frequent crude and sexual humor, drinking and brief drug references.

The Movie:
This is essentially a typical Adam Sandler film, only animated. It's like Sandler decided he wanted to do a musical and the only logical way to do that was to make it a cartoon. This also allows him to play multiple characters in the film. If this appeals to you, then 8 Crazy Nights is right up your alley. It's his variation of the old Scrooge formula.

The animation is pretty decent and offers up some odd moments. I must admit that I never thought I'd see a cartoon Bambi pooping, a three-breasted cartoon woman, or other bizarre imagery. Sandler does take full advantage of the cartoon medium.

While most of the musical numbers are forgettable, there was one funny one. A love song in the middle of the film is a cute ballad that suddenly throws bizarre imagery at you unexpectedly. It's hard to describe, but it was one of the funnier moments in the film.

All that being said, though, this film did nothing for me. Yeah, there were some really funny moments, but they were few and far between. It was not worth sitting through the rest of the film just to see them. The film was generally sappy, predictable, and boring. Throw in some gross-out humor and profanities and you have a Disney cartoon on crack.

Adam Sandler's main character Davey is not likable at all. He's rude, violent, insulting, loud, and generally a jerk through 90% of the film. Not only is his final turn from the Dark Side unbelievable, you don't care about the character at all. You hope to see him thrown in jail. Sandler's other character of Whitey has an incredibly annoying high-pitched voice. I thought Sandler couldn't come up with a more annoying voice than that of his Little Nicky character, but I was wrong. The same goes for Eleanore. And was I mistaken or was someone else doing the singing for Adam Sandler's character?

I guess I'm closed minded, but I've always viewed animated movies as either children's films or drama. I've never really viewed it as a medium for a teen gross out movie, yet this is what it is. I must admit I was surprised to see Adam Sandler's cartoon character stumble around drunk, flip off another character, and yell out profanities. Anyone else expecting a kids' flick may find themselves walking out of the theater with children in tow. Heed the PG-13 warning. And the film has little, if anything, to do with Hanukah.

This film is also filled with shameless corporate promotions. It ventures into the absurd when TWO different songs feature stores in a mall. In fact, one of the songs features the Foot Locker, K-B Toys, and Panda Express company logos singing to Sandler telling him to cry. That was one of the points when I asked myself why I wasn't walking out of the movie.

With weak songs, a boring plot, and no particular audience in mind, this film is not one to go out of your way to see. Adam Sandler uber-fans and junior high boys will probably get the most entertainment from this movie.

The Extras:
As bad as the movie is, I’m not quite sure why they decided to release this as a two disc set. I really hated the movie, so I wasn’t too thrilled about watching the extras for this. However, I must admit that they did a thorough job of providing the extra features. If you’re a fan of the film, you’ll enjoy them. If not, you’ll want to skip it altogether. Here are a few of the extras you’ll find:

Commentary by Whitey, Eleanore, and writer-producer Allan Covert – I didn’t think this movie could possibly be more annoying, yet this commentary finds a way to make it just that. Sandler provides commentary as both Whitey and Eleanore. So his high pitched annoying voice ends up being 2/3 of the whole commentary track. It was so bad that I had to turn it off after about five minutes. However, if it doesn’t bother you, you’ll probably find this the better of the two commentaries.

Commentary by Seth Kearsley, art director Philip A. Cruden, head of animation Stephan Franck, effects supervisor John Bermudas, and executive producer Ken Tsumura – This is an incredibly dry commentary provided by the crew of the film. They talk endlessly about how difficult the film was to get made (and I wonder if that should have been their first sign to quit). I kept fast forwarding through the commentary trying to find them talking about the voice work, the plot, or anything else but all they seemed to talk about were logistics and how the production was put together. There’s very little of interest here.

Nine original featurettes: Eleanore, Whitey, Creating Dukesberry, Townspeople of Dukesberry, Dukesberry Sings, Jennifer & Benjamin, Voices of Dukesberry, Davey, The Deer – These are all short featurettes talking about the various characters in the film. The cast and crew come on and talk about their takes on the characters. There’s also behind the scenes footage of the voice cast recording their dialogue. It’s pretty well put together and informative…if you’re interested. Saturday Night Live fans will be pleased to see John Lovitz, Kevin Nealon, and Rob Schneider.

13 deleted/alternate scenes with optional commentary – There’s a ton of deleted scenes here. Most of them are still in an early rough form. I didn’t find any of them particularly interesting. The fact that there are so many seems to be indicative of problems they had with the plot.

Multi-angle animation progression – This is a standard feature on animation DVDs where you see scenes in storyboard form, rough pencil animation, and the final product. It’s interesting stuff for animation fans.

HBO First Look special – This is your typical behind the scenes featurette. Somehow they manage to make this movie look more interesting than it really is.

"Chanukah Song Part 3" music video – The “Chanukah Song” is probably the reason that most people are interested in this movie, yet it isn’t really featured at all except in the credits. It gets one extra on the DVD and it seems to be something that was recorded on Saturday Night Live. Sandler is backed up by some children’s choir and Rob Schneider even appears at one point. It’s a funny variation of the original song, but not on quite the same level of originality.

"A Day with the Meatball" short film – This is like a 3 minute video featuring Adam Sandler’s bulldog running around town doing funny things. It’s slightly amusing, yet it comes across as nothing more than Sandler exercising his power to make fancy home movies of his dog.

"NBA: Love It Live" TV spot – This is extremely short commercial for the NBA featuring Sandler’s characters Whitey and Davey singing a song. Nothing really special here

The Bottom Line:
This is a terrible movie and not even two discs and a nice selection of extra features can save it. I don’t recommend this film.

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