Disney is place where people on their way up (Lindsay
Lohan in Herbie Fully Loaded)
or on their way down (Michael Keaton and Matt
Dillion in the same film) often find themselves. That makes me
wonder a bit about Adam Sandler's career.
After a string of mediocre-at-best films the one time superstar
himself making a film for the House of Mouse, Bedtime Stories.
With his gross out humor toned down a bit,
Sandler is effective in this charming, family-friendly story, but it's
ultimately so bland that it won't do much to bolster Sandler's sagging
When Marty Bronson (Jonathan Pryce) is forced to sell his
small LA hotel or go bankrupt, he makes buyer Barry Nottingham (Richard
Griffiths) promise to let his young son Skeeter (Adam Sandler) one day
that Nottingham plans to build on the
site. Years later, Skeeter is the
maintenance man at the hotel. When
Nottingham announces that he's going to close the hotel and rebuild
Skeeter is devastated that the head manager position is going to
(Guy Pearce) who is dating Nottingham's tabloid fodder daughter (think
Hilton) Violet (Teresa Palmer.)
While he's down in the dumps, Skeeter's sister Wendy asks
him to sit her two children (even though she hasn't talked to him in
and he doesn't know her kid's names) while she's out job hunting in
Arizona. The school she was principle of
is closing down and the land has been sold.
(You'll never guess who bought it and what's going to be erected
site.) Skeeter watches the kids at night
while Wendy's friend Jill (Keri Russell) takes them to and from school.
The first night Skeeter has no idea what to do with the
children, so he tells them a bed time story, with much input from the
themselves. The story is very
autobiographical with Skeeter playing a hard working knight who gets
over for the job of running the castle.
In the story however, the king decides to give the
knight a shot at the top job just before it starts to rain gumballs.
The next day Skeeter is astounded that, while fixing Mr.
Nottingham's TV, he indeed does get a shot at managing the new hotel. He's even more flabbergasted when he gets
caught in a rain of gumballs on his way home.
It's clear that the tales that are told at night are coming
it's only the parts that the children tell that come real.
So how can he convince them to write a happy
ending to his story without them messing it up?
There were some amusing moments in this movie, and I did
laugh a couple of time. (The flame proof
spray for Xmas trees scene was funny, and I enjoyed the original ending
first fairy tale.) The rest of the film
rarely rises above the 'mildly amusing' stage though.
A lot of the gags go on for way too long (the
rain of gumballs for example) and the plot was incredibly weak. Some of the more interesting aspects of the
story are never examined, like why Skeeter's sister hasn't talked to
four years, and the rest feels like it was written by a committee.
This is one of those movies where the viewer picks up on
what's going on way before the characters do, and that's never good. The romantic subplot was forced and more
silly than most of the actual jokes, and there were a lot of events
make any sense. (Why was Skeeter's
room-service friend sleeping in his room?)
Added to that is some horrible dialog and a deus ex machina
so ludicrous and full of plot holes to sap what little enjoyment there
the rest of the film.
Having said that, if you can ignore the uneven plot and just
sit back and relax the film has its moments.
There are some scenes that will elicit a smile and when all is
done it's a harmless film that kids will probably enjoy.
The Blu-ray Disc:
The film is encoded at 1080p with the AVC codex and
presented with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
Overall it looks good with nice detail a pleasing image. The fantasy scenes have a lot of rich vibrant
colors and they're reproduced very well; colors look bright and
without being punched up in postproduction.
The blacks are nice and inky too.
The contrast is good and lines are tight and sharp.
The level of detail is good even in
shadows. The biggest problem with the
movie image-wise isn't a fault of the disc at all, more with the
and that's the CGI. The computer
animated segments stand out pretty blatantly, especially Bugsy the
pig. Whenever his face is on the screen
it just screams out "fake!" Since he has
absolutely no part in the plot and doesn't even come across as a comic
you have to wonder why he was even included.
Disney provides a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track for
the film and it's pretty uneven. During
the fantasy scenes and the film's big conclusion the action comes
across a bit
too loud and the music can be overpowering.
During the rest of the film the audio is centered squarely on
with little in the way of rear channel action.
The dialog is always clear however and the dynamic range is good.
As Disney has been doing with it's BR releases lately, this
disc also comes with a DVD copy of the film, as well as a disc that
digital copy if you want to view this movie in lower definition on
screen. In addition there are several
featurettes, none of which are really exciting.
One nice thing is that they are all presented in HD.
First off is Until Gravity Do Us
Part (4 min), a look at how
the zero G space battle was filmed. To
All the Little People (5 min) isn't about the group of "angry
in the film but interviews with the two child co-stars. It's Bugsy (4 min) shows how the
guinea pig was created.
The disc is rounded out by 10 minutes worth of cut scenes
that deserved to be cut and a 7 minute gag reel that had its moments. There's also a series of trailers for other
Even from a kid's point of view, this film leaves something
to be desired. With few jokes and even
fewer funny jokes, the film just doesn't deliver. Yeah
there were some amusing moments and
though a lot of the film doesn't work, some of it does.
The movie is ultimately forgettable though,
so if you're curious this would be a good rental.
images in this review are not from the Blu-ray disc and do not
represent the image quality on the disc.